On 24th March I attended a meeting, addressed by Tobias Ellwood and attended by , seemingly , a wide range of people , including victims of Libyan supplied Semtex.
Elwood, he who told the Commons that on a salary of almost £90,000, he was having to watch the pennies, tried to establish his bona fides with us by telling how his brother was killed in the Bali bombing and how he , Tobias, had served as a soldier in Northern Ireland and was almost shot.
The big message which his masters in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office had given him to deliver was that HMG had no intention of making any effort to access £9.4 billion of Libyan assets, held in the UK.
Speaker after speaker criticised this position and HMG’s lack of activity. Not one politician joined in the criticism, neither Robinson, Paisley, Elliott or Kinahan. Voters should be aware of that. At the end of the meeting they fell over themselves to thank Ellwood and have their photograph taken with him. [Organised by Frazer]
I asked Ellwood to go to the UN Security Council and have the resolution , freezing assets, amended. Toby is practising the Big Tory Putdown. He scoffed and asked me did I think that Russia and China would support that. Why not? Why not try?
The mood of the meeting was summed up by Jim Allister MLA who told Ellwood that he had no plan for victims and that his purpose in addressing us was to keep us under control in case we rocked the diplomatic boat and big business in the UK did not get lucrative contracts in the new Libya.
So where did Gav get his impression of “positive ministerial engagement” Assuming that Gav was not able to make up his own mind or was perhaps asleep throughout the meeting, he was relying on none other than Willie Frazer. Willie, who never misses an opportunity to witter, except when Martin McGuinness is in the room, told the meeting that he had had a private meeting with Ellwood and that it was the first meeting with a minister that he had not been thrown out of. This is classic Willie. Establish your credentials as a no nonsense man of the people. A rabble rouser who is a thorn in the side of the establishment. Do you remember Paisley doing that , while all the while negotiating behind backs?
It’s interesting that a man with terrorist connections can be afforded a private meeting with a British Government minister. Times have not changed. I wonder what was discussed?
Perhaps Robinson would like to tell us what he thought was positive. The suggestion that once a new UN backed, unelected government is imposed in Libya and all the militias are bribed or killed, a committee of the Libyan government will have a think about compensating us? How likely is that in the lifetime of any existing victim?
Perhaps it’s another example of the Unionists cosying up to the Tories. Perhaps some have aspirations to do business in Libya or have mates who want to do so. Perhaps Jeffrey, Her Majesty’s Trade Envoy to Egypt, has a hand in it. Who knows?
Will big Gav tell us or even make a really angry speech about it?