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?

Advertisements

Libya, who cares?

On the north coast of Africa, for five years, the inhabitants of a western constructed state, known as Libya, have been fighting each other.

This “state” was brought about by the Italians, during their colonial phase. The same phase that saw Britain steal lots of the world.

The response of the UK to the fighting in Libya was to try to second guess who might win. Why? Because Libya has lots of oil and lots of money as a result and lots of Tories and Blairites stand to gain from commercial ties.

First, Gadafy was our enemy. Understandably, given that he had armed Sin Fein/IRA. Then he was our friend. So we encouraged him to deposit huge amounts of money in the City of London. Money stolen from the people of Libya , of course, but when did the Establishment care about that?

Then , as the Arab Spring extended to Libya, we ceased to back Gadafy and we backed the rebels. The money which had been deposited was frozen.

Then the rebels were fighting Islam and IS.

Now a regime has arrived in Tripoli, backed by the UN. It has no authority. Nobody has voted for it. But the West , brainwashed by the British media, will think that it is a good thing.

Why? Not sure. But if they are doing this about a state that exists only in the minds of a few people, what would perfidious Britain do in NI?

The antics of the Foreign Office is performed on behalf of you and me.

Do you care?

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.