You’ll Never Walk Alone

Football songs are generally not high on my list of musical delights, but today we will be having a chorus of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’, in sympathy with those who lost friends and family members at the Hillsborough disaster.  It’s bad enough to lose people through the collapse of a stadium which was known to be unsafe at the time: to lose them through incompetence when they could have been saved, is far worse – but what beggars belief is the attempt to blame it all on the fans themselves.  You can’t help wondering how much of this is due to prejudice: it’s hard to imagine the same thing happening in, say, Birmingham; but Liverpool has a large Irish population, so how much of it is, at bottom, due to prejudice against the Irish?

Whatever the cause, it is inexcusable.  Today’s ‘Thought for the Day’ reflected on the urge to cover up when you’ve cocked up.  We’ve all been there – in smaller ways – but we all hope, I’m sure, that none of us would do what the police and ambulance service did after Hillsborough.  One of the most enlightened – and astonishing – responses to guilt after the event came from Nelson Mandela’s ‘Truth and Reconciliation Commission’.  There could so easily have been a bloodbath after apartheid was ended, and it was only thanks to Mandela’s incredible strength that there wasn’t.  I’m not suggesting we go down a similar route here: the crimes of apartheid were well known whereas Hillsborough was successfully covered up for 23 years, and any attempt to just ‘blow past it’ would smack of further collusion.  Things need to be brought out into the open, people need to be brought to book – and that includes the police – and they need to do something (god knows what) to show remorse.  Only then can there be healing.

A course on healing and related issues began in church last night: it was kinda interesting but the guy in charge had an unfortunate tendency to interrupt people: he interrupted me when I was in the middle of a prayer!  A total no-no in my view.  As a teacher I am not always very tolerant of other group leaders – I feel like standing up and saying to everyone, ‘Did you notice the mistake there?’  Instead of standing at the front the guy seemed most comfortable in the middle, which would have been all right if he’d turned round at times, but he kept his back to one part of the group for long periods: if I’d been them I think I’d have got slightly miffed and tired of staring at his back.  However, it was interesting hearing the experiences of people from other churches and to know that we are all singing from the same hymn-sheet (LOL) as far as inclusivity goes (ask not what your visitors can do for you…)

And so to bed.

Today I shall be mostly… redoing a short story collection which the computer deleted.  Grrr…

OK now, let’s sing:

Walk on, walk on, with hope in  your heart

And you’ll never walk alone

You’ll never walk alone

Kirk out