A song by Welsh rock group Manic Street Preachers, criticising the role of police at the Hillsborough football stadium tragedy, was attacked yesterday as offensive by the chief officer of the force in charge.
The song, South Yorkshire Mass Murder, is a track on the Manics' new album "This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours, due to be released on September 14. The album's title is a quote taken from Aneurin Bevan.
As South Yorkshire Chief Constable Ian Daines condemned the song yesterday, the band's spokeswoman Terry Hall said South Yorkshire Mass Murder was more a tribute to writer Jimmy McGovern, who produced a controversial film about the disaster, than an anti-police anthem.
She said the song, penned by the band's bassist Nicky Wire. was a result of the Blackwood-born musician's fascination with McGovern's treatment of the disaster.
Fans were crushed to death at the Sheffield stadium in 1989 after supporters surged into an overcrowded enclosure. As they streamed in, others were pushed up against fences designed to stop fans running on to the pitch.
The Manic Street Preachers track, abbreviated to SYMM on the new album, contains the line, "South Yorkshire mass murderer, how can you sleep at night?"
Mr Daines. who was not involved with policing on the day of the disaster said, "Judging solely from the title it would appear to be in bad taste and is likely to cause offence."