The duplicitous Foreign Office

On 16th September 2015, Tobias Ellwood , on behalf of the Foreign Office, gave this evidence to the Northern Ireland affairs Committee.

Q133 “if there is some assistance that I can provide for when there is a Libyan government to deal with”

Q134 “until there is a government in Libya for us to work with , we cannot pursue any of those aspects”

This same canard, that there is nobody at the helm in Libya is repeated ad nauseam by Cameron and other Tory ministers.

Unfortunately at least one member of the Committee believes this to be the state of affairs in Libya. This all in response to the question as to why compensation for terrorism has not been paid by Libya.

Let’s see what the FCO has been telling other Commons Committees.

“The UK’s [sic] provides significant political , security and economic support to a nascent democratic Libya on a cross- Whitehall basis, driven by the National Security Council (NSC) Strategy for Libya.”

“Total UK humanitarian support to the Libya Crisis was £17.2 million”

This does not take account of the £212 million spent by the UK on Operation Ellamay, the bombing of our former friend Gadafy.

Readers may recall that Libyan troops were being trained at Bassingbourn. A number committed crimes on the local populace and the contract was cancelled. Here is what the FCO said about the lost costs.

“Through the Libyan  Embassy in London we continue with efforts to secure reimbursement from the Libyan Government.”

WHAT! There is a Libyan Government after all?

It gets worse Dear Reader.

“UK ministers continue to speak to and meet their Libyan counterparts  and HMG is recognised by Libyan political , military and militia leadership as a trusted interlocutor.”  [Let’s just leave aside the chronology of the number of times HMG has changed sides in Libya recently]

“Since 2011 there has continued to be sustained and high level Ministerial engagement on Libya. The Foreign Secretary most recently met with the Libyan Foreign Minister Mohammed al-Dairi on 21 August 2015.”

Then , interestingly, this passage.

“We also want to see a just solution for all the victims of Qadhafi-sponsored terrorism. HMG considers compensation claims by the victims to be private matters, best pursued directly with the Libyan Government.”

Now somewhat contradicted , you might think by Ellwood’s undertakings to the committee.

The bottom line is this. There is a Libyan Government, HMG and the FCO talk to it regularly. There is a Libyan Embassy in London. All that is missing is a willingness by HMG to act.

They acted for WPC Fletcher and the victims of the Lockerbie bombing. They are chasing up a debt with the Libyan Embassy.

Why do the victims of Libyan Semtex, supplied  to  PIRA not count? Has it something to do with  PIRA?

Paul Tweed and the Klondike Cases

Yesterday, Paul Tweed, solicitor, appeared before the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee, representing Michael Gallagher and others who were the victims of the Omagh bombing.

In his written submission he took the unusual step of expressing his personal views. Lawyers , by convention, leave their personal views at the door of the court.  Mr Tweed said that it was his personal view that it was morally and possibly legally wrong that a limited number of victims should be entitled to receive exemplary compensation “in total disregard for the sacrifice and entitlement of other victims”. I deal with the stupidity of this remark below.

In his oral evidence, under the protection  of privilege , he described such payments as “Klondike” and “football pools” awards.

Let’s stop and have a think about Mr Tweed’s expressed personal views on the matter.

He describes himself on LinkedIn as “an international media lawyer” in fact one of the “world’s highest profile media lawyers”. He lists the A-list Hollywood stars that are his clients.

He majors in defamation cases for them. [For non-lawyers, that is when someone hurts your feelings]

He secured for Barney Eastwood , a very rich man, an award from a Belfast jury of £450,000.

Recently he represented Louis Walsh, some sort of impresario, I believe, and got him an award of 500,000 Euros.

I wonder how Mr Tweed’s personal moral compass was set for those awards? Neither has been killed, shot, bombed, maimed or suffered PTSD.

Well, Dear Reader, some facts.

  1. Mr Tweed does not represent me or over a hundred other Claimants who took formal legal action in the American courts in April 2006.
  2. He has no idea what my pain suffering or loss is or more importantly the more serious suffering of others. Take Zaoui Berezag, left blind, paralysed and brain damaged after the 1996 Docklands bomb. I wonder if he is a Tweed Klondike Case?
  3. Mr Tweed spoke of a select group of victims getting all the attention. He failed to mention or perhaps he is ignorant of the attempts by Jason McCue and others , since April 2011 to secure an additional wider fund for other victims of Gadafy’s supply of Semtex.
  4. The fact that Mr Tweed was not even aware of this Parliamentary enquiry until recently speaks volumes about his attention to it. But when the A-lister calls….

Paul Tweed’s remarks do not wound me in the way that some rich sensitive client of his might be hurt. He has a greater opinion of himself than I do of him. The likelihood is , though , that someone far worse off than me will be distressed by his insensitive remarks.

I wonder would he seize an opportunity to retract them? Or make them again without the protection of Parliamentary privilege?

Emma Pengelly Part II

Readers will know that for many years I have been involved in the campaign to have the killers of my parents prosecuted and for hundreds of people to be compensated for the use of Semtex  by Martin McGuinness and his fellow terrorists, who are in government with the DUP.

I blogged about Emma Pengelly and she emailed me today to say that she finds my blog “both unfair and upsetting”. Leaving aside the DUP inactivity on either of my campaigns, I’m sure there are many politicians who share her emotions about my blogging about them.

She says that she is not a “blow in” having lived in South Belfast for about a decade. Given the size and geographic spread of the constituency, that could be said by anyone in Sandy Row, the Malone Road or Carryduff. But ask Ruth Patterson for a more intimate view.

Secondly she says that she did not support a cap on self employed barristers “in the context in which it was being discussed”. You decide, Dear Reader.

Thirdly she says that she has “a full mandate”. An extraordinary claim in the circumstances. Nobody has ever voted for her.

Fourthly she says that it is outrageous that I mention her husband’s salary. Well, is not her point to Jim Allister about the payment of money by the state?

Fifthly she objects to the use of the word “comfort”. That word  has been in the public domain for a long time.

Lastly , she suggests that I have attempted “to publicly humiliate her” and added a little note of menace, something the DUP majors in. Ask Jamie Bryson.

When she was appointed I wished her well. I hoped that she might be that ‘breath of fresh air” that we often seek in our politics.

Sadly, by her willingness to get embroiled in a spat with Jim Allister, she displayed all the weaknesses of her boss and of the party in general. Arrogance and willing to spend more time rubbishing unionists than SinnFein/IRA.

I’m disappointed by her and that’s in less than a month.

Anyway, what’s that saying about the heat and the kitchen?

The past isn’t over

“The reason the past cannot be dealt with is that it isn’t over”. A pithy statement by Eamonn McCann.

Let’s imagine in what civilised country the murders of two pensioners in 1990 by a terrorist organisation would be variously regarded by the Chief Constable as “a legacy issue” or by the pro-GFA press as  ‘the past”.

Just a note of caution here. Every government seeks, by whatever means , to shape events and opinions. History tells us that the British target journalists. See Kim Philby, working for the Observer and the Economist. Frederick Forsyth , also a spook. How many of our ‘respected’ journalists are working for the state, being fed information and shaping stories to suit their masters? How many have skeletons which have been dangled before them by the spooks? Each time you read an article in the local press or on TV , ask yourself, who wrote it and why.

I digress. Crimes such as the murder of my parents in 1990 would be relentlessly pursued  by the Israelis.

Well, twenty five years and more on the past isn’t over, no matter what the state tells Dr Maguire , the Police Ombudsman.

No matter what the OFMDFM told the Victims’ Commissioner, when they appointed her.

I will be returning to that august body in my next blog.

Humpty Dumpty sat on the fence

Humpty Dumpty told Alice that if he ever fell off the wall, the King would send all his horses and all his men to pick him up.

Our own policing Humpty Dumpty can look forward to the Queen sending him a knighthood, providing he stays on the fence.

Last night Sharon O’Neill asked him a very obvious question; “Who is the leader of PIRA?”

His answer was that membership is a criminal offence and he wasn’t going to do or say anything or speculate on anything which could undermine any future court proceedings.

So there you are Dear Reader, the Chief Con is on the case “following the evidence”. Can’t you see him with his magnifying glass and cape , accompanied by Joe 90, examining the footpaths of West Belfast?

Of course he could have arrested a sizeable proportion of PIRA high command the other week when he met them in a hall in West Belfast, a hall being guarded by a PIRA run security company. He shook hands with a man who has murdered many innocent people. The butchers boy from the Bogside.

To imagine for a moment. George causes a file to be sent to Barra-Boy. It contains evidence against senior members of PIRA, it being a proscribed organisation. Barra, because of his past would have to pass it to the team which bought you such block busters as Cahill and McCartney.

This is just a little fantasy for two reasons.

  1. A number of the northern command and the Belfast brigade PIRA are state agents. Therefore George and MI5 know exactly what is going on in PIRA and keep the Secretary of State informed.
  2. I have been asking since 1990 why no senior member of PIRA was questioned about the murders of my parents.

No senior member of PIRA has ever been convicted.

As Northern Ireland descends into chaos and farce with this , Nama, Red Sky and other imbecilic acts, will the unionist parties have the courage to act?

Don’t hold your breath. As they often say in Ahoghill; “Deus ex machina”.

The Inquisition returns

Observers were astonished to discover that the Inquisition had been re-established in a quiet , leafy avenue in North Belfast.

Under the innocuous title of “Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith” the comings and goings at the large detached house on Somerton Road, owned by a lawyer, aroused local interest.

The arrival of a van which appeared to deliver gym equipment was noted by a neighbour.

“I asked the driver were my neighbours setting up a personal gym”, said Ben Avron.

“Not unless you liked to be stretched”, said Sammy of Sammy’s Removals.

Rachel Avron said , “my suspicions were aroused when I saw several members of the Alliance party going in but not Ford or the ginger girl”.

We attempted to contact the Congregation’s headquarters but nobody was available.Their website lists Torquemada and the last Pope among their Old Boys.

Our reporter finally managed to speak to Father Tom Beetroot. He said “It’s time the Holy Mother Church had a new hero. Someone who will die for the Church. A line has been crossed by these perverts.”

Ignoring the obvious retort, our intrepid reporter asked him , over the noise of torture, if he really wanted an Alliance MLA to die in opposition to same sex marriage.

“Yes”, he said, ” if it was good enough for someone in 1535, well before the Boyne, it’s good enough today.”

A spokesman for the Alliance party said that at present they were “mentally reserving”.

The Police Ombudsman..progress report I

Over a month has passed since I lodged my detailed complaint and set out my allegations regarding the state agents who murdered my parents.

So far, all I’ve had is an acknowledgement.

Perhaps they are very busy, perhaps there is a fluttering in the coop. Who knows?

At least one suspect was so concerned with my blog on the matter, also published a month ago , that just yesterday he contacted me , threatening legal action.

Let’s see…..

James Carrick Annette Sefton, an appreciation

James was born on 25 February 1925, the second  son of William and Cissie Sefton.

He left school at fourteen and was , like many of his contemporaries, apprenticed in Harland and Wolff.

Despite being good at maths he was in love with literature and history. He read three books each week, borrowed from Shankill Road public library.

When I was eight, he took me there and signed me up. We went to the childrens’ section. “Here is a book you might like”. It was a Tale of Two Cities. I remember taking it home and reading the opening lines. How inspirational is that for any boy?

James wanted to be a teacher but his circumstances did not permit.

He was always smart  and well turned out and eventually found his way into the RUC.

Not your usual officer, he completed a crossword every day and counted Paddy Devlin amongst his friends. That friendship may not be surprising in that James was a socialist and Paddy was born a few streets away.

Never an unthinking loyalist, he used to take amusement in observing that the Orangemen were having their ‘ annual’ church visit,

He married my mother , Ellen, a beauty and rich , and a year older than him in 1949. That must have made his friends jealous.

They were in love right to the end.

They represented all that was good about Northern Ireland in those years that many observers  have rubbished. They had honeymooned in Dublin [ where I was made]  and visited the Republic regularly.

James had a dry sense of humour that could convey a concept. I remember reading out my letter of offer of a place to read law at QUB, at the breakfast table.

His reply was “anyone who gets a university place and fails should be shot” That got my attention and is probably explained by  his wish to have been a teacher.

When I explained that I was prosecuting my first historic sex abuse trial, he remarked that “those people steal childrens’ childhoods”. It was the first time I really understood abuse.

James served uncomplainingly in B division for many years.

The rector of St Matthew’s, with whom he loved to debate , said of him and my mother; “they were ordinary decent caring people…[James] was not the sort of man to talk about politics, he was a tolerant sort of individual who didn’t hold any unyielding views”

I still hold the memory of him going out on night duty , after the Anglo Irish Agreement, when he was more likely to be attacked by loyalists.

I never told him how much I loved him.

I know that I am not alone in my loss and that many people suffered more than I did.

But he was my Dad, the bravest man I ever knew and I’m only half the man he was.

Cameron and platitudes

Here is a question for the relatives and loved ones of the British citizens, butchered on a  Tunisian beach.

How likely is it that Cameron will do anything material in response?

The British government negotiates with , appeases, protects, gives letters of comfort and Royal Pardons to murdering terrorists within its borders. Gerry Kelly , who blew up the Old Bailey, got a Royal pardon.

PIRA terrorists, responsible for thousands of deaths and injury were supplied by Islamic terrorists, yet these  internal terrorists are in power in part of the United Kingdom and Cameron refuses to help compensate their victims.

So don’t imagine Dave is doing anything more that spouting platitudes.

Sorry.

Cameron, the International Toad

Once again, British  [and other] citizens have been killed by Islamic terrorists.

Leaving aside the valid  counter argument that we have killed an awful lot of Muslims in the last fifteen years, let’s look at what happens next.

Wheel out the platitudes!

“I say Rupert , old man, dust off that ‘they won’t succeed’ speech, for Dave”

“the 1972 version?”

“Yes, obviously, with the names changed, again.”

Puffed up Toad of Toad Hall was big on talk when it came to the weasels but he had to be rescued by Badger , Mole and Rat.

Let me translate Dave’s words for you.

“we will defeat the terrorists”= “we are currently in talks with them , offering all sorts of incentives, if only they would stop”

“these terrorists will not succeed”= “my officials will invite them to Chequers”

“there is no place for these Islamist extremists in the modern world”= “OTR letter, Royal Pardon, Abdul?”

Anybody who has had dealings with the Cameron Government over the last five years knows what a liar he is. For example ,he promised that Sir Kim Darroch would negotiate on behalf of the Libyan victims but Sir Kim, properly, told me that that was not the brief that he had been given.

The fact is that the British Foreign Office is a mealy mouthed pathetic excuse for an organisation which fails to represent British Interests. On this Armed Forces Day I’m sure that most veterans would not disagree.

Dave/Toad will do nothing much, except bluster.  He will rely on stronger friends to wield the cudgels on the weasels.