Saturday, January 23, 2016

The Waybach Machine: We don't need no water let the mutha...

Courtesy of the BBC, Bokolis jumped into the waybach machine to revisit the Bradford City stadium fire at Valley Parade, 1985, years before I'd venture into the English countryside. The fire killed 56 and, when I first read about this many years ago, immediately triggered my hood senses. I've linked to Wikipedia, but there is plenty out there on this.

Now, it's highly doubtful that it was the arson many are claiming but, callously negligent, while the simplest and most convenient explanation, may not be enough to describe this; this is a screaming case of LIHOP. Ownership had been warned that the place was a tinder box- even provided the most likely cause of a fire- and did next to nothing about it. The program explains that Heginbotham had a firebug past but, given that it wasn't exactly a secret at the time, I'm surprised it doesn't explain that the stand was scheduled for upgrade/renovation- because of Bradford's promotion, not because it was a tinder box- over that summer (at least, I didn't hear them note it...for all I know, Bokolis' attention span may be slipping). Those renovations would've cost much more than they invested into the club- back in those days, clubs saw fans as a liability, rather than something to harvest/monetize. So, leaving aside that they actually made out on the exchange, it doesn't take a cynic to speculate that ownership wasn't excited about such an expenditure.

That the fire occurred on the final match day is an incredible coincidence and, depending on your perspective and motives, good/bad luck. To boot, the guy claiming to have accidentally started the fire lived half a world away and had been in town visiting family. The program doesn't say what became of him, other than he has since died. Bokolis would presume that he fucked off back to Australia, far enough away so as not to be hounded for any followups.

It's all circumstantial evidence to be sure, but when viewed from that perspective, the official story does not pass the smell test. Since we've seen the lengths to which they went to cover up, frame even, the Hillsborough Disaster- it took 28,000 people to shout at a politician, as infuriating as it is inspiring, to gain the impetus to finally cut through the bullshit- looking the other way on an insurance job, even paying him off, isn't farfetched. If nothing else, it should have taught us all that the authorities' word can NEVER be blindly trusted.
justice for the 96
justice for the 56

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