Go way , peasants

On 9th October, at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office,  Alister James Hendrie Burt will have to entertain a motley crew. They will be Arab, English , Irish and Northern Irish. Their common bond will be Semtex. That pernicious explosive will have killed their family member, their friend or will have injured them.

Burt, as a junior minister at the FCO has drawn the short straw , meaning that he should entertain this group and tell them once again [how many bloody times must we tell them?] that HMG will not lift a hand to help them.

The peculiarity of this group is that , among all the peoples of the world, they are the only people not to have been compensated for Gadafy’s supply of Semtex to the IRA.

As a member of the Establishment, Head Boy of Bury Grammar School, St John’s College Oxford, degree in Jurisprudence 1977; he will be required by his masters to send the [mostly] Paddies away with some more platitudes.

Burt will have been briefed as to the dangers of this group. To the danger of the history of the UK’s relationship with Gadafy and with the IRA, where HMG ran numerous informers.

So , the outcome of this meeting is pre-ordained. Burt will express sympathy. He will tell the audience of peasants that Libya is a basket case. He will say that we must wait till there is stability. He won’t tell his audience that Libya is producing a million barrels of oil a day or that its  exports to the UK exceed $350 million a year. He won’t reveal how many of his Tory friends want to do business there, including those of Boris, his boss. Remember the joke about clearing the dead bodies so that a casino could be built?

Burt is another of those Tories who believes the rules are for the little people, [over claiming expenses on his flat.] He is just another Tory, on the make, passing through.

Such is the British response to Terrorism. One a  crook and the other a conman. Those of you affected by killings in Tunisia, Manchester or London, don’t believe that the State has any regard for you. The government is in the grip of the Spooks , who drive the agenda. And of chancers, controlled by the spooks.

 

 

 

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Gripping the IRA :Part II

It is useful to set out the correspondence in extenso.  [Lawyers love Latin, no more so than Lord Carswell,  that Old Instonian, whose surprising expenses claims for attendance at the House of Lords were set out in extenso in the Sunday Times.]

But I digress.

Here is the correspondence.

IMG_3486

fullsizeoutput_266bVersion 2IMG_3485What is surprising about this exchange , coming in late 1988, is the pessimism shown by Peter Bell.

Note his comment “there still remains too much adhoccery in the way Whitehall grips…the kind of problem which IRA terrorism is likely to present us with over the coming months”.

Ivor Roberts has no firm proposals, in reply, except for a jolly good lunch. [Your club or mine?]

The exchange does not sit well with the analysis by those who say that by this point PIRA was heavily infiltrated and was being paralysed.

It does, however , point to the likelihood that each of the agencies, RUC , Box and Army , were very much doing their own thing with informers. That leads on to the question whether or not the RUC, with a duty to preserve life, could ever have known if informers to the Army and Box were participating in murder.

Re the Boyd Group, TOP [I] and the Assessment Staff Machinery, that is all for another day, Dear Reader.

“Gripping the IRA”

Much has been said about the security triumph which, the Brits say, halted the IRA and led to the Good Friday agreement.

In  late 1988  a different picture was being painted by the Security Coordination Department of the Foreign Office. In a letter to the Northern Ireland Office , Ivor  Roberts said that “MPSB, Box 500 and the RUC each have their role on the intelligence side”.  He remarked  that Operation Flavius was the exception rather than the rule and that operational matters such as the Eksund follow up are also “uncoordinated”. He said that the Security Service ” rarely get round to telling us what we want to know”.

Operation Flavius was the shooting of three IRA members in Gibraltar. Roberts complained that nobody would tell him of the detailed provenance of the Eksund’s cargo. On the latter point, the cargo came from Libya but it is very likely that the Secret Intelligence Service and possibly the Security Service had agents among those who purchased the arms  and particularly the Semtex in Libya. This may well explain the reluctance of HMG to press for compensation for those killed and injured by PIRA Semtex bombs.

There were also issues between the Foreign Office and security coordination.

He characterised the position as “entrenched interests”.

He had no solution to propose, reflecting that the responsible ministers “are not, of course without their own vested interests.”

The image is of each party, RUC, Army and MI5 ploughing its own furrow, to the detriment of security. It gives further credence, of course, to the case that many killings and other operations were carried out by one arm of the State, unknown to another. Collusion by the State was not directed just against Republicans.

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?

Nine point four billion pounds

This is the value of frozen assets held in the UK and related to Gadafy, his family, his government officials and various Libyan institutions.

It does not reflect the additional  amount of money Gadafy gave Sinn Fein/IRA or the value of the arms, ammunition and Semtex he gave them.

Hundreds of people were killed as a result of this terrorism. No-one in Libya  and none of the SF/IRA leaders ,such as Martin McGuinness have been prosecuted for this.

Not one of the UK victims has been compensated , while citizens of USA, France and Germany have been paid long ago.

The lesson that Britain sends is that terrorism pays. In fact Blair kissed Gadafy in a tent and the FCO forgave Libya.

Relatives of the Tunisian atrocity should take note. Your government will not help you and that’s official.

Tobias Ellwood, a shameful performance

With that insouciance and practised air of effortless ease , Tory Grandee-in-the-making, Tobias Ellwood appeared in front of the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee in September.

He was accompanied by an official from the FCO, Mr Dart.

It should be explained that the Committee is about Paddies.

The  subject matter was irksome and somewhat tiresome. Why had every other nationality been compensated for Libyan Semtex murders except  those from the United Kingdom?

Cue Tobias. Ex Royal Greenjacket.

First up. No, he had not read the transcript of the evidence from the previous week. He had “scanned through  it”. [stuff about Paddies is as interesting as diesel carbon emission statistics].

Second , having scanned through it, he had come to the immediate conclusion that evidence given by experienced lawyers was wrong.

Third. The deliciously named Mr Dart dropped him in it by telling the Committee that the decision not to espouse the victims’ claims was a political one.

Fourth, he had no clue about the value of frozen Libyan assets.

Fifth and most astonishingly, Tobias agreed with Mr Dart that the holders of the frozen bank accounts were entitled to be paid the annual interest accruing. He even indulged in a conversation about this with Ian Paisley.

It will come as no surprise to you, Dear Reader, that the Treasury has told me today that Dart and Ellwood  [do I think of sunglasses at this point?] are completely wrong.

The point about this sorry tale is that Tory ministers pay scant attention to Northern Ireland and can’t even be arsed to pretend.

Let’s hope that those relatives of the victims from Tunisia understand where Perfidious Albion’s interests lie.

It is not with the victims of terrorism then or now.

Libya and HMG

The Northern Ireland Affairs Committee at Westminster has begun to take evidence about the failure of HMG to secure compensation for victims of Libyan Semtex and arms.

At the same time, many people on social media hold extreme views about the admission of refugees into the UK. They see things in ‘them and us’ terms. They appear to be confident as to who is our friend and who is our enemy. Consequently they argue that we should not admit the majority of refugees, because ‘what are the arab states doing?’ This presupposes that  all arabs are  friends, which is incorrect and that all arabs are our enemies.

I am no expert on the Middle East but it might be useful to examine the UK relationship with Libya, as a case in point.

Libya was an artificial creation by the Italians. They merged three countries and governed them as a colony.

After independence from Italy, who you might remember was our enemy then our  ally in WW1 , then our enemy, then our ally in WW2; it was ruled by a monarchy.

In 1969 a military coup overthrew the king. Gadafy emerged as the strong man of the plotters and became head of state. Interestingly his manual for oppression was a “green book”, where have I heard of that before?

Gadafy used increasing oil income to be the thorn in the flesh of the West and a friend of the Soviet Union. He began to sponsor terrorism.

So he was not our friend.

So much so that on 5th  April 1986 he bombed the La Belle Disco in West Berlin.

On 15th April 1986  the USA bombed Libya, using some aircraft which had taken off from British bases. This was not actually required for the mission but Thatcher wanted to show solidarity with Reagan against the dastardly Gadafy.

The bombing annoyed Gadafy. His adopted daughter was killed.

In March 1987 he told the Observer newspaper that he had increased arms supplies to PIRA, in response to the bombing.

PIRA were now the beneficiaries of new arms, lots of money and for the first time, Semtex, a deadly explosive which Gadafy had purchased from the the Czechs.

PIRA were required to demonstrate gratitude to their sponsors. What better target than two Remembrance celebrations? PIRA put these up and Gadafy was well pleased.

McGuinness was instrumental in the organisation of these operations and the committee heard today from Mr Donaldson about that. One bomb exploded, in Enniskilen,  killing 12 people. The other bomb failed to explode.

That was Gadfly’s revenge for the USA bombing. Pan Am followed in December 1998 and UTA in September 1989.

So what to do about a nasty person?  Kill him!

In 1993 Al Qaeda carried out the first attack on the world Trade Center. Al Qaeda were a bad lot.

Then in 1996 they were paid by HMG to assassinate Gadafy. They failed.

So, I hope you are following, Al Qaeda good, Gadafy bad…..repeat!

Twin Towers , November 2001, carried out by …..?

In 2003 the West cosied up to Gadfy. In March 2004 he became our new faithful friend. Blair went to Libya and snogged Gadafy in a tent. [Blair’s career has not looked back, surely the most useful kiss in Christendom?]

British firms flocked to Libya and were well rewarded. Gadafy told the Brits exactly what he had given PIRA…that wasn’t nice was it? So De Chastelain knew what had not been decommissioned and so did all the parties.

The victims of Libyan sponsored terrorism filed a claim in the USA in 2006.

In 2008 Blair and HMG ensured that we did not get paid.

The UK ambassador was promoting the City of London as a place for Libya to lodge $9 billion of its funds. In 1996 the City had been bombed, using Libyan Semtex.

More lucrative contracts followed for British firms. Our new friend was the nicest chap.

Then came the Arab Spring, it arrived in Libya in 2011 and HMG changed sides and bombed their friend’s army. Gadafy was murdered.

Oh well, some friends you lose!

Now, HMG are doing lots of business with Libya while the foreign secretary tells the House of Commons that there is nobody to talk to about compensation.

So, my questions to the hard men of the refugee crisis.

  1. Who are our friends?
  2. If you were Johnny Foreigner, would you trust Her Britannic Majesty’s Government?
  3. Who do you trust?

The Victims’ spokesmen were articulate today. If you cannot trust the State to protect you, who can you trust? This may now be a naive attitude but twenty five years ago the scales had not fallen from the eyes of the people.