A Protestant wind

Since my retirement from the Bar and my ensuing freedom to say what I choose, without the republicans and their fellow travellers in Chichester Street having a go at me, I have pursued the killers of my parents and supported others who have lost loved ones.

Readers of this blog will know that I allege that the State had an involvement in my parents’  murders.

One of our early successes related to  the killing of John Bingham. Bingham was reportedly a loyalist commander. The circumstances of his murder cried out for a proper investigation. One that the RUC did not provide.

When the question ‘why?’ is posed, the State falls silent.

As a result of dogged work by others, Operation Kenova has now sent a file on this murder to the PPS.

Our allegation was that the killing was carried out by republicans, some or all of whom were State agents. We further alleged that the State covered up the circumstances of the killing.

The matter is now the subject of a file within the PPS. State sponsored killings are particularly repulsive and  formerly have been regarded as the province of South American dictators.

But there are more worrying aspects. And we should not rest on our laurels.

Three lawyers, employees and agents of the Crown,  have been reported for prosecution for perjury. You can read more about this in the Guardian and two articles written by Henry McDonald.

This must cause concern about the probity of any case in which these lawyers had an input.

Jon Boutcher has often , to me and to others, used the phrase ‘boiling the sea’.

By this I understand him to mean that the extent of alleged State involvement in crime during the Troubles is massive.

Boutcher has presented the PPS, [within whose walls some alleged criminals may reside, or at one time may have resided] with a small number of files.

If he has information that the nexus between terrorists and the State goes much further, his duty is to present that evidence to the Chief Constable and his duty is to conduct further investigations.

BBC Spotlight has brought into the public domain some of the material that many of us have known about for many years.

The republican movement, SFIRA, the Finucane Centre, Relatives for Justice, Sean Murray , Trevor Birney and his republican mate, are all silent.

But there is a bigger picture. James Sefton was targeted and killed by republicans for reasons other than his service with the RUC. By 1990 PIRA was not only riddled with agents and informers but also well surveilled by hardware.

This took the form of cameras, listening devices, satellites, computers and other technology  still in use in updated formats all over the world. The State knows precisely who killed him and my mother. It hold this information secretly, guarded by the spooks and probably corrupt lawyers and police officers.

Now the door is ajar. Let’s kick it down. The roll call of senior  republican figures is , at least:

Adams

McGuinness

Bobby Storey

Spike Murray [father of Sean Murray, the ‘film maker’]

Brian Gillen

Sean Maguire

They were employed  by the State and were participating informants in murders and other serious crimes relating to police officers, politicians and other innocent civilians.

The phrase “Protestant Wind”  refers to the storm that scattered the Spanish Armada and  the wind that propelled William of Orange to Torbay.

It is now starting to cleanse Northern Ireland of the canker of State murder of its own citizens

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My life in a Banana Republic -June 2017

Jambo!

I have been very busy and most anxious. As the CEO of the Community Research and Action Programme, I was worried about our income. The Jeremiahs said that we would be forced to close our door, that there would be no forthcoming money. But Hey Presto! money comes from the Great Parliament on the Hill and from the Peaceful Fund , Number Four. Our bacons were saved. All staff were kept on, even Billy, whom I have yet to meet but who performs a valuable security role, I am told.

And what of the Great She Elephant? What an achievement ! It is like the book “From log cabin to White House”. Here is this humble lawyer, from a cottage on the edge of Europe, who had rarely been in Belfast, never mind London, now at the centre of power. This would not happen in my country. You need to be in the right tribe to achieve greatness. I have written to her and invited her to come to CRAP.

Dingle pointed out to me that there are three barristers in the DUP MPs plus Jim Allister in the TUV. This is because,  he says,  the Bar Library is a Cold House for Unionists. This puzzled me. In Africa , lawyers become freedom fighters and leaders of the country. Dingle says that here “the other side” prefer the Lisburn Road, Donegal, great works of art and a judicial appointment. He challenged me to name a Republican MLA/MP lawyer. This bodes unwell for the future.

Now that my income is assured for some time, I have moved from the Biblical lands and purchased a dwelling in East. This means that Emma Aardvaark Little Pengelly is not my MP but it is now Gavin Robinson. I like him. He has the bearing of a great chief. In my country there is no place at the top table for skinny persons. They smack of liberalism, sandals and veganism. Gavin surely eats like a chief and has chiefly bearing. He can also make fearsome speeches, Dingle says. My new home, a modest terrace house is not in a shared space, apparently. This means that the tribesmen erect symbols of their supremacy and challenge the native troops to interfere. They do not , because they are few in number and led by men who eat as much as Gavin.

I wrote to my Uncle, the President , about Brexit. He is a wise man. Now in his eighties, he has seen it all before. Many times in Africa, some strong man wanted to make alliances. Once we got rid of the white man, it was other persons, such as Gadafy. Soon his son will rule Libya again. But I digress. My uncle said that this Brexit thing is just a manifestation of Little Britain. I told him that this programme was funny, especially the fellow in the wheelchair. He was cross that I did not read history. He said that Britain had always tried to keep away from the Foreigner Jonny. “Splendid Isolation” he called it. I thanked him.

He said that “when Arlene visits CRAP, remind her about what Gladstone said about the Irish”.

I have not had time to consider this because I have been researching pallets. This is a puzzle. Dingle says that when he was a boy, bonfires consisted of rubbish. Old sofas, someone’s old shed, a rotten fence, and worse. Boys went out in search of material and dragged it through the streets to the site. Now the bonfire is made up of hundreds of pallets. These are not disposed of . They are perfectly useful. They cost about £10 each. I know not how many are in a bonfire. Someone is complicit in this bonfire thing.

I have gone on for too long. CRAP is  functioning well. We give money to deserving cases. Cookers, washing machines and fridge freezers. There are no tower blocks in our  bailiwick. I went out and checked.

Sometimes it is important that we immigrants look after the natives.

Jambo!

Human rights in the summer

There is a cartoon of a young lawyer , being interviewed by three American heavyweight partners.

“We practise law for the money, Gene, if you can think of a better reason, let us know”, says the chairman.

It may well be the purest of motives but, having heard little about access to justice from the profession these last six weeks, I wondered how citizens were coping.

Were they able to plead that the fat cats were in their second homes [Banus, Portugal, Donegal or the Port] and would be back soon?

It strikes me, as a retired Non-Human-Rights-Lawyer, that the access to justice argument only surfaces in times of Legal National Emergency. That is to say , a further reduction in fees.

Perhaps I’m unduly sceptical. Well, let me quote from an article written by Professor Kieran McEvoy in 2011.

“Internment suspects were entitled to be represented by a solicitor and counsel of choice… the remuneration was quite substantial for the time – a joint fee of £250-£300 for solicitor and counsel.Although groups of lawyers periodically threatened to withdraw their services, in practice the Northern Irish legal profession cooperated in the system of hearings…It is hard to quibble with the conclusion of Boyle et al [in 1975]  that the legal profession’s decision to continue to provide legal services was in part due to the lawyers’ genuine desire to assist their clients and …also in part due to the very substantial remuneration which had been provided.”

As clients on the Shankill and Falls often observe about lawyers: ‘plus ca change’.

A victim

Much is said about victims. We have a Commissioner for them. She has an office and staff. This costs us about £1,000,000 each year. I have never sought help from them. Why, I hear you say Dear Reader, am I blogging about this, especially on an Ulster summer day? For this reason. Occasionally in the battle for compensation from Libya, a battle won for their citizens by the USA, Italy,France and Germany but disgracefully lost by Perfidious Albion.I have found myself writing about “victims” as if I am one. Also, more than one person has said “you’re forever portraying yourself as a victim”. So I’ve decided to think about what I am. To begin. Not a day goes by when I don’t think about my parents. I’m sure I’m not alone in that. I’m a citizen of the United Kingdom. That gives me rights and responsibilities. I contend that the murders of my parents didn’t take place in a vacuum. They happened when the State had so penetrated the terrorists and so perverted justice that not only did one arm know who killed my parents but at a meeting on the Shankill Road another arm, the RUC , gave the UDA a name and the UFF set out to kill him the night my mother died. He was Sean Keenan, a well known Republican from Riverdale Park South. He survived, as he did when he was shot in 1984, along with Adams. So perhaps I am a vengeful angry citizen. I represented the Crown in court for twenty five years. How many times did the state deceive me and the court? But wait! In some respects I am a victim and I shouldn’t shy away. I’m a victim of people who should have been at my parents’ funeral and weren’t, I’m thinking of a particular grandson. I’m a victim of a spouse whose only solution was to hand me a glass of wine so that she was not bothered by my problems. I’m a victim of the Bar Library which never enquired into my well being for twenty five years until I got into trouble , then briefed Frazer Elliott , that icy cold , presbyterian, paragon of virtue to prosecute me. Not unexpected in that cold house for unionists. I’m a victim of senior police officers who continue to lie to me about what intelligence exists. I’m a victim of the many people who tell me to “get over it” or that it is “a legacy issue” or that “we need to move on”. I’m a victim of those erstwhile friends and colleagues who say “the grief has got to him” and pass by on the other side of the street.I’m a victim of the State which is just passing time until I , and others like me, pass on. So here I stand. A victim. But that is different from victimhood. My daughter criticises me for “not taking responsibility for myself” . An interesting accusation. Instead I’ve taken the responsibility of the fight for justice. I don’t regret that, nor what it has cost me [ my career, my house my family] , nor what the future holds. I can now go several days without seeing or talking to a soul. At the last I hope , though, that some will see me as a son who tried his best for his parents.   Franz Schubert said:” Every night when I go to bed , I hope that I may never wake again and every morning renews my grief.”

Barristers

Legal services in Northern Ireland are in crisis. There is no doubt about that. On the one side stand the forces of Minister Ford, Alliance,  and  his well paid officials. Already they are two times winners over the legal profession.

As in all causes , there are two sides. There are fat cats in my profession. Some knew exactly how to play the game and became very rich. But they did not steal the money. Ford’s officials paid them.

There are also what a famous English rugby player called “the old farts”, who run and are part of the system.

At the other end the majority of barristers do their best to represent their clients.

The menace for the citizen is that the State, the Assembly, wants no opposition. Paul Given would have flourished in Berlin.

The unholy alliance of DUP/Sinn Fein/IRA wants no opposition.

At present, the citizen relies on Jim Allister , Stephen Nolan and the legal profession.

Where do the LGBT community, the poor , the oppressed, those without hope, go for support?

In the old bar library, I sat at a table with five colleagues. Of the six, two were Protestants from North Belfast , four were Roman Catholics  from Belfast and elsewhere. All were the first in their family to go to university .

If minister Ford has his way nobody , client or your child, will have access to the legal system , unless you are very rich.

Is that what you want?

Young barristers

The Irish Times reports today that sixty percent of the law library’s members have been in practice less than ten years.

“Many of them have part time jobs as teachers , waiters-even security guards- just to make ends meet”.

Frowned on in Belfast?

Positive approach by David Barniville in Dublin. But then again, his country is well ahead of us where women lawyers are concerned.

Why I own myself

Kipling said:

“The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. To be your own man [or woman] is a hard business. If you try it – you will be lonely often and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.”

I have been asked, ” why do you pursue these issues, and allow grey men [and women] to victimise  you?”

My answer is that if you read the autopsy reports on my parents, you would do the same.