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Power really does corrupt, as Hillsborough proves

By Jane Graham

Published 15/09/2012

It's a cliche to say power corrupts, but sometimes cliche just means we keep saying it because it's so obviously true.

The policemen at Hillsborough who sought to save their own skins by altering ambulance and witness statements, lying to the media about crowd behaviour and blaming blameless people - call it the Guildford mentality - were probably decent people once. But that was before they had high incomes to lose, impressive job titles to defend, and batons to raise their blood pressure and make them feel powerful. What horrible, stomach-lurching reading the Hillsborough documents make.

And perhaps, most gut-wrenching of all, a reminder of the Sun's headline under the personal order of editor Kelvin McKenzie: The Truth, it said, above columns of lies about fans pickpocketing and urinating on victims and "brave cops".

McKenzie should be shunned by all respectable media now - I hope never to see his face on Question Time again.

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