The Bar Council and reality

At a time when access to legal aid is more restrictive since the 1960s and when criminal legal aid access threatens to lead to many miscarriages of justice, it is reassuring to see that the Bar Council is in touch with the common man.

On its website it quotes Aristotle. Not a premier league footballer nor a eurovsion singer but a person who was born in 384 BC.

He taught Alexander the Great , whose forces raped and conquered the entire world. A sort of old fashioned IS. When Alexander had found no new worlds  to conquer, according to Plutarch, ‘he wept”. As one would. As Hitler would have done, or Pol Pot, given a break.

So there, the Bar Council wants you to know about Aristotle. So when your child is taken from you, or sexually abused or worse, don’t worry be Aristotle…

What planet does Gerry McAlinden and his Council inhabit? Of course , being chairman of the Bar Council often leads to the High Court bench, how silly of me….


It is said that it originated as a way of showing that you were unarmed.

English barristers do not shake hands because as ‘ learned friends’ that have no need of this display.

There have been many famous handshakes. Hitler/Chamberlin, Nixon/Mao, Sadat/Begin, Rabin/Arafat, McGuinness/ Elizabeth Saxe- Coburg-Gotha.

These have been ground breaking moments.

So why did  George Hamilton , stolid, NIO Gopher, go to West Belfast and shake the hand of  McGuinness, terrorist, gunman, murderer of policemen and others, member of PIRA Northern Command, and sometime member of PIRA Army Council?

What was the hidden agenda? What was the purpose? McGuinness confessed to having been momentarily in  PIRA, like Clinton confessed to smoking dope but not inhaling.

Is there a clue in what was said?

Hamilton  said ” there were serious problems with policing in the past”.

McGuinness said “tonight is another act of reconciliation”.

Leaving aside the  Relate-like language of these two almost former lovers [you don’t bring me flowers anymore], on whose behalf does Hamilton speak? Certainly not those officers killed, maimed or still living daily with their scars.

Certainly not on behalf of my parents, whom he refers to as a “legacy issue”.

Perhaps on behalf of Bryan Harold Harris or Anne Harris? The brother and mother of his deputy, whose father was killed by PIRA on 8 October 1989, on the orders of McGuinness?

Will he look his deputy in the eye on Monday morning?

Is the message from the PSNI that there will be no more arrests of senior Provos? Their head of intelligence Bobby Storey shared the platform. Hamilton had no issue with that.

And what of the other branches of government? Who knows what messages are being whispered into the ears of the judges in the back corridor?

The Secretary of State may not be able to fix welfare reform but there is a lot more on the republican agenda that we don’t see and which can be attended to.

Not all landmark handshakes survive. Hitler, Arafat…maybe we can add Marty and Liz to that list?

But wait! the most famous modern handshake of all! Blair and Gadafy! I’m coming for you soon Tony!

Perfidious Albion

Those who are perplexed by British foreign policy would do well to consider the treatment of the Bolsheviks.

In 1918 the British Government, with the support of that great professional warmonger, Churchill, ordered the Marines to attack the Bolsheviks and support the White Russians [ for them read Tories] . The Brits got their asses whipped.

Guess which army beat Adolf in 1945?

The House of Windsor and terrorists

The Duke of Windsor shook hands with Hitler.

So I don’t see what all the fuss is about re Adams.

The Monarchy has always been pragmatic both for its  own and the establishment’s interests.

Seamus Tracey refused to swear an oath to Her Majesty to  become a silk. Her Majesty is now pleased that he is one of her Judges, having sworn fealty.

Nothing is ever as it seems……