Gavin Robinson’s lost afternoon

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?

The victims’ industry

It must be interesting to be one of the folk that inhabits this strange world.

One day you are an ordinary Joe or Josephine and the next , courtesy of the PIRA’s bullet or Semtex, you are propelled into the heady world of Victimhood.

This means that your pronouncements, however crap they are, have to be solemnly  followed and that you must be invited to every “Victims'” event known to man.

At these occasions, you must get on your fake tan, do up your hair with the latest blonde  rinse and if you are a girl, wear a nice frock.

Why? Because a reporter will ask about your feelings and you must give a sound  bite.

Where will you go? Westminster, Stormont, Titanic, anywhere where the State thinks you can be plonked to do the least amount of harm.

Because the last thing the State wants is you , bleating and crying all over the place, annoying people and frightening the children of the Peace.

So the more silly events you can go to and speak at , like todays European Day of Victims , the less impact your story will have.

Occasionally , just for show, a State official will turn up, to express his solidarity , support and condolences and you will go away, energised.

Why? Because you were at the Top Table. You had a Reserved Seat. A Minister, some Tory Boy from London spoke to you.

Every so often, when the Peace Process is wobbly, Liz sends a family member over. What Joy! You get invited to Hillsborough, which is owned by the masses but which everyone pretends is owned by the Queen. You get on your best bib and tucker and you go through security , as if anyone would want to kill any Royal Prince.

At these events , if you are lucky , one of her relatives will speak to you, asking if you have ‘come far’.

You will go home, glowing with the fairy dust of Royalty.

The next day you will be just what you were, the son, daughter, husband, wife or other, of a victim of the Troubles. In that still quiet moment, before dawn, you will reflect on what might have been.

And you will, hopefully ,  rejoice that you are not one of the 268 people who took their life in 2014.

But also reflect on this. Not one organiser of any event that you have been to cares much for those 268 dead.

If they did, the events would be completely different.

Tony Blair and history

Blair once felt the hand of history on his shoulder. [Psychopaths often have such hallucinations]

That same hand has continued to re-write Tony’s role in Northern Ireland.

Last week he issued a statement from his opulent offices, paid for by nefarious world wide deals. It dealt with his role in the failure of victims of Libyan supplied Semtex to obtain compensation. Despite kissing Gadafy in a tent in the desert, he has denied that he had any role or influence over the settlement which Bush concluded with Gadafy. He is subject to the scrutiny of the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee, who have indicated that, if he does not be transparent with them , they may go to Washington D.C. to investigate further.

One ‘fact’ that Blair repeats , ad nauseum, is that we were not entitled , by law, to receive compensation.

Here is a recent example of this. “The decision by the US not to include British victims was , I believe , because they were precluded legally from such an action.”

We are used to weasel words from Blair, after all , he was the architect of the Good Friday Agreement, the biggest con of the twentieth century. He structured  the ‘on the runs’ arrangement and he established immunity from prosecution for Adams, McGuinness and Slab Murphy.

The fact is that the 160 claimants were able to sue Gadafy and others from the regime, under US Federal law. Lawyers were appointed in the UK and the USA. The non-US claimants were  legally “aliens” under the legislation. Proceedings were taken and responded to by the defendants in the US Federal Court. Each side was shaping up for a trial. What happened  next was that Bush intervened and passed an Act preventing Britons from obtaining compensation but facilitating payment to US citizens. The decision by Bush , to exclude Britons, came after the court hearings , the Act followed later. In that sense , we were legally  precluded from compensation.

Where was Blair in all of this? Out of office but in the desert. He has never been able to properly explain what  deal he was doing with Gadafy, which benefitted Americans but not Britons.

The answer could be , of course, that the UK had much to hide. After all, the Libyan deal for Semtex and arms was concluded between Gadafy , Moussa Koussa and other Libyans on the one hand and Slab Murphy, Gerry Adams , Martin McGuiness and other members of the Army council, on the other. Given Blair’s close connection with Sinn Fein/IRA and given the number of IRA  informants being run by the State, any probing into how it was that Libya admitted liability for its actions towards Americans but not Britons had the potential to be embarrassing.  One could hear Gadafy saying to Blair, in the tent after the snog , “I have given you the list of arms and explosives we gave Sinn Fein/IRA. I have told you how much money we gave them. I have told you who we did the deal with. Martin did the Enniskillen bomb as a thank you and revenge for the Yanks killing my daughter. What more do you need to know? Shall I tell who was an agent and what was the role of MI6?” This position is borne out by British Ministers telling the House of Commons that Gadafy had come in from the cold and had helped Britain in respect of the IRA . As far as the Foreign Office was concerned, the matter was closed.

Victims and survivors were only legally barred from payouts after Blair did the deal for Bush.

What was in it for Blair? Money, enough to impress Wendi Deng.  Contacts with states around the world. Adviser to many dubious regimes.

I hear someone saying “how can he sleep at night?”

Psychopaths sleep well.

 

Moussa Koussa and the Chief Constable

I wrote to George in December 2015 about evidence that Andrew MacKinlay had given the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee. He said that MK “would have known about Semtex and the supplying of arms to the IRA over many years and probably authorised it”. I asked George if MK was interviewed by his officers when MK had his stop over in the UK and if he intended to seek MK’s extradition from Qatar.

At the end of January 2016 “Will Kerr OBE Assistant Chief Constable, Crime Operations” replied. This all came as a big surprise to him and , no , they did not interview him and no, he was “not currently being sought in connection with an offence in Northern Ireland”. He did say that they were trying to get an address for Mr McKinlay [sic] so that they could “establish whether he possesses evidence of Mr Koussa having committed a criminal  offence”. I suppose they might ask Mr MacKinlay who received the Semtex in Ireland, though that might be embarrassing for the NI Executive.

Of course, George could have popped in to say hello to MK , when he visited Qatar recently. The Belfast Telegraph reported that George had an all expenses visit to Doha and stayed at the  luxury St Regis Hotel. Given that MK was booted out of his suite at the Four Seasons Hotel and now lives in a small house , it was the least George could have done to have taken him for a slap up meal at his place.

There, he could have asked him to relate his life as a CIA/MI5 agent and tell George stirring tales of shipping Semtex to Martin McGuinness and other the other chaps that George shared a platform with in West Belfast. He could have given George a rough estimate of how many people died as a result. What George refers to as “legacy issues”. MK could have explained how MI6 rescued him from Libya and flew him on an executive jet to the UK before MK retired to Qatar.

Mk and George could have chatted about flogging , torture and the deaths of 1,000 workers in Doha. They could have mentioned corruption around the World Cup.

George could have told him that the PSNI always “follows the evidence”.

Alas the PSNI’s “human rights based policing approach” seems not to have borne fruit and George came home with no new news about MK.

Meanwhile I have this assurance from Will. “if evidence exists relating to offences in Northern Ireland, we will consider what further action is necessary in accordance with our statutory obligations”.

Take it easy Moussa!

Villiers and ‘Legacy”

Much ink has been spilled about how State intelligence about terrorist killings is to be made available to the judicial process and to victims and survivors.

Predictably, Republicans accuse the State of deception and bad faith and ,inexplicably, Unionists side with the Government.

This is an issue which affects all victims and survivors.

The extent of British and RUC collusion is unknown but verified  as a practice by de Silva.

An indication of how little the NIO or the Secretary of State  thinks of us can be gleaned from the following.

In February 2015 I wrote to the Attorney General , enclosing a seven page letter, arguing that he should direct a new inquest into the murders of my parents. I met with him on 4th March 2015 and his view was that he had no power to direct a new inquest unless the State had some prior knowledge of the operation, through an agent informant. He wrote to the Secretary of State in March 2015. An answer was only forthcoming after I threatened to have the matter raised in the House of Commons.

She said that “neither the Ministry of Defence, the Security Service, the Police Service of Northern Ireland nor the Northern Ireland Office hold any material relevant to the Attorney’s request”.

Note the use of the word “hold”. It is a word which tries to  convey much but which means little. An organisation is likely to archive material after a number of years. They send it to a store , managed by others. Then they no longer ‘hold’ it. Worse an organisation destroys documents, then they no longer ‘hold’ them. Given forty years of state denials and cover ups, I’m sure , Dear Reader , that you will forgive my cynicism.

Meantime the State has achieved its objective. As a result of this reply, no new inquest will be held into the murders of my parents.

The Docklands bomb

On 9th February 1996 Slab Murphy’s South Armagh IRA gang bombed the Docklands. The bomb consisted of a fertiliser mix , accelerated by Semtex, supplied by Libya.

Readers of this blog will know of the history of British involvement with Gadafy and the current Parliamentary inquiries.

Victims and survivors of Semtex bombs still await reparation from Libya. Over 150 took legal action in April 2006 and were blocked by the unholy alliance of Bush,  Blair and Gadafy. Over 1,000 others have a moral claim to reparation.

The big issue is ‘from whence will the money come?’

The British Government says that we must await a stable Libyan government. There has been chaos in Libya since 2011. Given that there are currently three rival governments, stability seems a long way off.

Frozen in UK bank accounts is £9.4 billion , most of it the property of Gadafy, his family and  his henchmen. This would provide reparation  to thousands of victims all over the United Kingdom but presently, the government will not legislate to release it.

A campaign has been under way since the middle of 2015 to secure release.

McCue and Co , solicitors in London, have led this campaign and they and a number of other people have given evidence in support , to the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee. Further activity is planned for 2016.

Imagine my shock  to find that Diane Dodds MEP, told the European Parliament; “we must see a relative and sustainable peace in Libya in order to further our goal of negotiating a fair financial settlement for those innocent victims”. So the DUP’s MEP agrees with the British Government.

In fact in January 2016, and under her watch, the EU renewed its legislation for the freezing of funds and neither she nor any other unionist politician seemed to notice.

Jeffrey Donaldson is DUP Chief Whip. In the DUP 2015 election manifesto, the DUP  said ” the DUP is not beholden to any national party”. At that point they were in a fever of expectation that they would hold the balance of power. In November 2015 David Cameron appointed Donaldson Britain’s Trade Envoy to Egypt. Jeffrey gushed in the press about his appointment.

In  correspondence with me about Diane Dodds’ statement, where he was abusive and ill tempered, he said that he was elected to represent “ALL innocent victims”. So I thought that I would take a look at both the DUP’s 2015 election manifesto and its grandly entitled “Northern Ireland Plan”. Neither document mentions the securing of compensation or reparations for victims. If he were so elected, it seems to have happened by osmosis.

Jeffrey then referred to me as one of ‘the select few’. I’m not easily offended and I’m a big boy, well bigger that Jeffrey anyway; but I wonder if that is his view of victims and survivors generally, when they take legal action against a dictator?

Stung at my criticism of Diane,  the Egyptian Trade Envoy said;”I will be asking your legal team to reflect on the damage such unwarranted exchanges does [sic] to our combined efforts” An interesting idea. I wonder how often he approaches other lawyers about their clients? Perhaps it’s a DUP thing to try to intimidate victims and survivors. Any views, Arlene?

The fact is that neither he nor any other unionist has made a scrap of difference to the campaign for reparations for me or for the people hideously maimed.

Meanwhile , let’s think about someone more important.  Zaoui Berezag. He was injured in the Docklands bomb. In September 2015 his wife said “My Zaoui is blind , paralysed, brain damaged and has no leg’. He is very disabled and now he is in nappies.” Many other survivors of Libyan Semtex bombs are similarly afflicted.

James McArdle was convicted of conspiracy to cause the Docklands bombing and in June 1998 he was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

On 25 July 2000 the Queen granted McArdle  the Royal Prerogative of Mercy and he was released.

Zaoui remains imprisoned by his injuries and in dire financial straits.

Meanwhile Jeffrey , Her Britannic Majesty’s Trade Envoy, is spending this week in Egypt, where President Sisi has killed 2,500 political opponents and represses gays.

 

 

Why Blair should not fear the NI Affairs Committee

The Northern Ireland Affairs Committee announced in July of 2105 that it was minded to enquire into the failure of HMG to secure compensation from Libya for the supply of Semtex to Sinn Fein/IRA.

Allegations have frequently been made that Tony Blair was instrumental in brokering a deal with USA and Libya and failing to secure the rights of UK citizens , when other nationalities were compensated.

The taking of evidence began in September. The weight of evidence so far points to discrimination towards UK citizens.

In October 2015 the chairman of the Committee , Laurence Robertson, wrote to Blair ,inviting him to submit written evidence. Blair replied on 11th December 2015 admitting, as far as he was aware, that he never raised the case of Semtex victims with Gadafy. You might find that in itself surprising, Dear Reader but worse is to come.

He said that the needs of the victims were being addressed through existing structures. For those of us used to Blair whoppers this was a mega whopper.

He followed this up by saying that we were precluded from legal action in the USA. Another lie.

On 11 December Blair appeared before the Foreign Affairs Select Committee.

On 6th January 2016 Robertson wrote again to Blair and invited him to give oral evidence. In an undated letter from the Office of Tony Blair, he replied saying “these continued attempts to implicate me in deliberately trying to stop IRA victims receiving compensation are, as I have made very clear, without foundation”

The Committee must now decide what to do.

Erskine May’s Parliamentary Practice is the authoritative work on Parliament. Let’s take a look…

“when a select committee has the power to send for persons, that power is unqualified, except to the extent that it conflicts with the privileges of the Crown and of Members of the House of Lords, or with the rights of Commons”

[see Erskine May Parliamentary Practice 24th ED  p820]

So what if the person does not attend by invitation?

The witness is formally summoned to attend as a witness by order signed by the Chairman. On the face of the summons, unlike such issued by courts on occasions. there is no penal provision.

If he neglects to appear , he will be dealt with as in other cases of disobedience.

[ibid p820]

I know that now Dear Reader , those not well disposed to Tony will have visions of Blair in chains. Not so fast!

There is no power of arrest and imprisonment.The power of committal for contempt has not been used in modern times. It was last used in 1880.

There is power, held by the House of Commons, not the committee, to punish in other ways for contempt. Nobody has been fined since 1666.  The House has not punished a non member since 1978 and the tide of opinion is against sanctions.

So if he  does not appear , members of the Committee may gnash their teeth , rend their garments,  even wear sackcloth and ashes but Tone ain’t comin!

So much for the Mother of Parliaments.

 

Moussa Koussa, an odd man out

MK, as I shall call him, born in 1947, was one of the most powerful figures in Gadafy’s regime. Educated in the USA, he was head of the Libyan Intelligence Agency from 1994 to 2009. He then became foreign minister. He defected in March 2011 as the Arab Spring engulfed Libya. Arriving into  Farnborough by private jet , he was guarded by British Intelligence until he was permitted by the Foreign Secretary, William Hague, to leave for Qatar.

There has been much press speculation that he was a MI6 agent.Papers released by the CIA in relation to the Senate Inquiry into Mrs Clinton point to him  being  their asset.

Despite calls for him to be questioned about the killing of WPC Fletcher and the supply of Semtex to Sinn Fein/IRA he was spoken to only by the Scottish police, presumably in relation to the Lockerbie massacre.

The then Foreign Secretary , William Hague,  told the House of Commons that officials would encourage MK to cooperate fully with all requests for interviews with investigating authorities. This was said with a straight face.

Both the USA and the EC lifted both monetary and travel sanctions against him.

Well done thy good and faithful servant!

So, there it is then. MK saw the light, defected, recanted and now lives in comfortable retirement.

Enter Andrew MacKinlay at the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee.He said in evidence that MK was a known terrorist , named to him by Leyden , the British Ambassador as having been “up to his neck in Lockerbie”. MacKinley went on ” There were far too many people and agencies who would have been embarrassed in either a British or an International court… it is a reasonable assumption that his fingerprints would have been all over the supply of Semtex and other weaponry to the IRA.”  He went on to say that MK probably authorised supply to the IRA.

The really embarrassing thing for the “Peace Process” would be that MK knows precisely what Sinn Fein/IRA got. Comparing it to what was “decommissioned” would not be in the interests of the Peaceniks.

You might wonder Dear Reader , when the Director of Public Prosecutions is so exercised about the alleged murders by British forces  in Belfast and Derry , that he might be a little concerned about Andrew MacKinlay’s allegations. Unless I have missed something , he has been utterly silent.

So too, the silence of Chief Constable George, the man who invariably follows where the evidential trail leads.

The answer may lie in what MacKinlay says. Neither Barra nor George fancies facing up to the opening of Pandora’s Box. Or they have been told to do nothing by their political masters.

Happy Christmas Moussa!

My life in a banana republic: December

Jambo Jambo!

My lodgings in the Biblical Lands of Belfast are cold. My friend , Dingle, says that I will be ‘foundered’. I have not encountered this word before.

To warm up I walked into the City. There are villages springing up. One is by the Great Hall of the City Fathers, just where there are many flegs on a Saturday. Many countries have sent aid in the form of kitchens. The citizens are so hungry that they come from many miles and spend days on the M1 to eat at these kitchens.

Another village is to be found near the Great White Church, outside of which a man in black begs for alms , just like in Morocco. This other village is called Lidl Land and has comestibles from many poor countries. Really poor people buy things here.

Belfast is a kaleidoscope!

Tomorrow a Christian Pastor is to be put on trial for Insulting Islam. It is perplexing that 3,000 people have been murdered and nobody has been put on trial by the Great Prosecutor [who is really small in person] but he chooses to put a 75 year old man on a Show Trial. Perhaps the Grand Mufti asked him to do so. [There is great corruption in this place]. Tomorrow there will be a Great Gathering at the place of Trial and his Brothers and Sisters will pray and sing hymns. If he were in a place where ISIS rules he would already be hanging off the great gates of the Royal Courts of Justice, where Dec lives.

Also, it is interesting that the Great Province will have a new Ruler! My friend Dingle [who has inside information] says that the new Ruler will be a woman. Women , like in Africa, are not valued here. Nobody cares for their health when with child. In my cousin’s country such a Ruler is called Ntfombi, which means ‘Great She Elephant’. This not disrespectful but a great accolade.

Soon my classes will finish for this term. However Marxists are occupying University buildings because they object to the University burning coal.

Perhaps if I burned coal I would not be Foundered!

Jambo Jambo.

The past

 

My attention turns towards Christmas Past. Who can avoid such stuff?

Thousands contemplate the empty place at the table , the gift not bought.

“the heartache and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to” comes to all our doors.

Christmas is especially burdensome for those who have lost relatives or friends at the hands of terrorists. Much worse again if the crime was committed by the State.

As time moves on ,those OxBridge boys and girls in Whitehall look for ever more cunning ways to disengage GB  from the disaster which is Northern Ireland.

The Army is perplexed as  to why its squaddies might be prosecuted. I’d be happier if an officer or two was in the frame but what do you think is the likelihood of that?

Here, George Hamilton, the somewhat sturdy leader of the Constabulary calls the murders of my parents, in June 1990, a ” legacy issue”. Extraordinary for a policeman. More and more as he manoeuvres at the behest of his paymasters [those OxBridge ones again]  he wants nothing more to do with old crimes.

Only in the fantasy world of Northern Ireland would the most senior police officer suggest such a course.He is pretending that this all came as a terrible shock when he became Chief Constable. What a jolly jape!

Nothing to do with me Guv!

But there is worse.

In November 2015 Pablo de Grieff , the UN rapporteur on transitional justice , published a preliminary report on us.

He says that there are four pillars in a transitional justice policy;  truth , justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence.

On all of these the Northern Ireland vehicle is running on empty.

During his ten day visit he met [apparently] with a wide range of people. It didn’t take him long to spot our segregated education system as being a major problem.

Nor did the Spooks pass him by. Here is what he said about that:

“Although everyone must acknowledge the significance of national security concerns, it must also be acknowledged that particularly in the days we are living in , it is easy to use ‘national security’ as a blanket term.”

For those who have been bereaved, the sting is in the tail.

He says: “the issue of reparations for victims will need to be tacked in a serious and systematic way.  Here it may be important to bear in mind the many international experiences that have established reparations programmes on the basis of broad acknowledgement of responsibility distinct from acknowledgements of criminal guilt.”

In this jurisdiction no organisation has remotely come near  this standard.

It is facile and useless to expect the Northern Ireland Executive might so do. Might our Westminster MPs? Might the Victims’ Commissioner?