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.

 

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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.

 

 

Ambassador, you’re confusing us!

Next week Sir Vincent Fean, KCVO, is scheduled to give evidence to the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee. Sir Vincent was educated at Saint Theodore’s Roman Catholic High School and the University of Sheffield and speaks Arabic. According to the  Oxford Research Group , the retired ambassador is particularly interested in Libya’s future.

On 8 June 2008, he wrote to Tony Blair , re the talks between Libya and the USA, in the following terms:

“HMG is not involved in the talks , although some British Citizens might be affected by them [Lockerbie plus some Northern Irish litigants].

It remains a UK objective to promote the City of London as a safe and profitable place for Libya to invest its Sovereign Wealth Fund through the Libyan Investment Authority, which  we hope will open a London office this year.”

He then went on to extol the virtues of selling some arms to Gadafy, a contract worth £400 million  to the UK .

When Sir Vincent appears I will be interested to hear him respond to the following questions.

  1. Having established that Gadafy funded the IRA and provided the Semtex which killed hundreds in the UK, was it OK to be his friend?
  2. Having known about Gadafy’s human rights abuses, was he satisfied that the money to be invested was not stolen from Gadafy’s subjects?
  3. When is money the proceeds of crime and when is it legitimate, or does that depend on which arms company is twisting the Ambassador’s arm?

Small chocolate, anyone?

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.

Libya, Semtex , PIRA and the duplicitous British Government

The regular readers of my blog will know that I have a personal interest in the craven behaviour of the British Government in relation to compensation for the PIRA use of Semtex.

There will be more of this in the coming weeks because the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee has promised to conduct an investigation into why every other nationality received compensation except holders of a United Kingdom passport.

It might interest readers, in the meantime, to ponder this statement.

On 11th September 2008, Gordon Brown [surely the worst prime minister since Spencer Perceval] said, in a letter to my lawyers; “Libya has answered questions about its involvement with the IRA to the satisfaction of the UK government”.

So there you have it. Libya supplied tons of arms, ammunition and explosives to the IRA. Hundreds of people were killed but the UK Government is satisfied.

Of course, at this point Blair had done his deals and UK firms were flocking to Libya. So much for the Paddies…..

Libya, ourselves alone.

My parents were killed by a semtex bomb in June 1990.

In April 2006, proceedings for compensation were started in USA courts.

Within two years US citizens had been compensated  and Uk citizens abandoned in a deal brokered by Tony Blair.

Eight years have gone by since the issue of proceedings and no settlement is in sight.

The provisional Libyan Government, later recognised  by the UK as the legitimate government , promised to compensate us. Three years on they have not done so.

Our lawyers and politicians appear helpless and/or useless.

It is time to take this on and get personal.

I have asked that I be permitted to give evidence to the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee. I shall also make the same request of the Foreign Affairs Committee.

When you hear our politicians condemn terrorism, think about what they do in practice.