Iain Dale is Leading Britain's Conversation.
27 April 2016, 11:12
James O'Brien Takes Aim At Kelvin Mackenzie
James O'Brien turns both barrels on Kelvin McKenzie: "A man whose conduct that day was so despicable, he should never have been employed again, let alone rewarded with another column."
James O'Brien aimed both barrels at former Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie in a passionate monologue about the Hillsborough verdict.
Yesterday, a jury concluded that the 96 victims of the Hillsborough disaster were unlawfully killed and that police were to blame for the deaths.
That is the opposite to the infamous front page of The Sun, where MacKenzie as editor created a front page claiming "The Truth", blaming fans' behaviour.
James claimed he should never have worked again, yet he still has a column at the newspaper.
Speaking on his LBC show, he said: "The massive majority of ordinary journalists... don't deserve to lose their jobs because of the actions 27 years ago of a disgraced individual editor.
"A man whose conduct that day was so despicable that frankly he should never have been employed again, let alone elevated subsequently and rewarded today with another column. He still has a column in The Sun, Kelvin MacKenzie - absolutely unbelievable.
"Six months ago, Kelvin MacKenzie was still joking about it in his column about how he could be Lord MacKenzie of Anfield if it was true that George Osborne was putting gongs up for sale. Oh, that's hilarious yeah. Hilarious. 96 dead people. Families still grieving.
"What better butt of a joke could there be for a newspaper columnis, secure in the knowledge that he enjoys the protection of his proprieter to such a degree that he can commit the foulest calumny, the most disgusting and disgraceful of lies and effectively - for all the mealy-mouthed apologies he may have issued when backed into a corner like a cornered rat - he can still be joking about it in print in that newspaper."
"This is Britain and this is the 21st century. The newspaper that claims credit for selecting Prime Ministers, the newspaper that still sells more than any in the land.
"The newspaper that I probably compromised myself professionally by criticising in any way whatsoever. A newspaper in which Kelvin MacKenzie has called for me not to have this job.
"It goes to print on a day like today without mentioning the story on its front page. That is the most perfect illustration of the contempt in which that class of people hold the truth and you."