16 April 2009

Politician Heckled

The Times reports that,

"30,000 pay respects at Anfield, then Andy Burnham turns grief to anger.

More than 30,000 turned up at the football ground to grieve, to mourn and — unexpectedly — to express their anger. The occasion was hijacked by politics. But hijacking is a dangerous business. It’s likely to go wrong.

The surprise speaker was Andy Burnham, the Culture and Sport Secretary. The appearance of a government minister provoked a strong response. His words pricked the bubble of grief and pushed an emotionally charged occasion into the realms of fury.

This incident immediately reminded me of what happened on the 25th commemoration of the Bologna bombing on 2nd August 2005.

In a report titled, Sons of Darkness: Bologna, 1980 the authors describe ...

"The public disdain that reigned 25 years ago has barely abated. Bologna’s ... crowds invariably heckle Rome government officials when they visit the city in August to pay homage to the victims. They do so in part to protest bureaucratic Italy’s ongoing tedency to conceal more than it reveals, spawning confusion, resentment and passionate accusations of complicity."

The comparisons between the two events, as well as the contrasts, are striking.

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