Dear Mr. Mackenzie,
I realise this may be an awkward time for you to receive this letter, with having to apologise in public (and you don’t look like the sort of person that comes easily to) but I had to send it anyway.
I’m writing to you to ask you to retire from your pundit role on the BBC. Apologies are a good start but sometimes words need to be backed up with action. I realise that BBC need some sort of right wing bogey man to wind up the liberals, after all it’s all for the sake of democracy and balance and all those sort of things. You need both side of the debate and argument but you don’t even represent the right wing very well. Sometimes you say stuff that appears to be solely to annoy Guardian readers but then I look into your face and realise that there is not much there apart from a cruelty and a coldness and you actually believe in most of the stuff you have to say.
I know you like to call it ‘common sense’ and ‘speaking the truth’ but those phrases look out of place now after the truth about Hillsborough has come out.
We all make mistakes at our work. God knows the amount of times we have cocked up on this site but it has never been malicious or with intent or with a joyful pleasure in smearing people or kicking them when they are down. I guess it takes all sorts in this game and being cruel seems to bring big rewards in our society, which is quite depressing really.
All this Hillsborough stuff has been pretty grim to hear about. Do you ever think about the victims and the people who were there that day? do you ever think about what they must have felt like afterwards and then they had to put up with media myths about them that mainly came from your paper? Does it make you feel like a job done well? was it ‘common sense or ‘speaking the truth’.
Of course we all knew what you were up to with the Sun all those years ago. It was probably, at best, just some hi jinks in the office and at worst possibly part of a cover up but these were real people that got hurt with that notorious Sun front cover. Normal people from normal walks of life who probably thought they could never get a comeback or a right of reply or anything.
But they did.
This whole affair has been quite inspiring because the families dug in and demanded the truth about their loved ones. And for once they got the truth. The real truth. Not the tabloid truth.
And that’s been the beauty of this whole Justice campaign. The so called powerless dug in and demanded the truth and now they will demand justice and that’s why you have finally got round to saying sorry after not apologising when asked before. I’m not sure if it’s enough now really, the damage has been done and it was bad damage. Hurtful damage.
You can’t go round smearing people like that and expect to be allowed onto Question Time on the BBC and it’s time the BBC realised this as well. Maybe you think you can continue but I think most people are sick of this kind of hypocrisy and it is time for you to retire from your role as a pundit in the media, surely there must be other people on the right who can take on your role.
You have no credibility. People will look at you and think there’s that bloke who used to make stuff up in newspapers and was responsible for the Hillsborough Sun front cover which, not only lost your newspaper masses of sales in Liverpool, has come back to haunt you to the end.
And there’s a sort of justice in that isn’t there…
If you have any dignity left in your soul, just go.
More open letters on Louder Than War website…
An open letter to Clint Eastwood
An open letter to Vladimir Putin about Pussy Riot
An open letter to Danny Boyle
An open letter to the Fat Controller or whichever thief runs the trains