As part of the Eleanor Rathbone Social Justice public lecture series 17/18, Jimmy McGovern will be delivering his lecture: 'What I wrote and why I wrote it'.
Kelvin MacKenzie, the ex-editor of The Sun, is no idiot. Shortly after the Hillsborough football stadium disaster in April 1989, the ‘newspaper’ carried an infamous headline - ‘The Truth’ - under which there were three subheadings: ‘Some fans picked pockets of victims’; ‘Some fans urinated on the brave cops’; and, ‘Some fans beat up PCs giving the kiss of life’. It is important to remember that MacKenzie expected that front page to be believed and that he had every right to expect it: 1989 was the culmination of a decade-long attack on working class culture and institutions. If you were a white working class male you were despised. If you were a white working class male football fan, you were even more despised. And if you were all those things and a ‘Scouser’ on top, God help you! And this contempt didn't just come from the reactionary right; it came from the Guardian reading left too.
By drawing on previous work including ‘Hillsborough’ (that centred the disaster), ‘Cracker’ (a crime drama series), ‘Sunday’ (on ‘Bloody Sunday’ in Derry), ‘Dockers’ (about the 1995-1998 Liverpool Docks Dispute) and Common (a drama about the iniquities of the common law of joint enterprise), this talk will explore fundamental questions of justice and injustice.