At Glasgow High Court last Wednesday, Ronnie Coulter was found guilty of the murder of Surjit Singh Chhokar.
Coulter killed Surjit by stabbing him three times as he returned home from work in 1998.
This was Coulter’s second trial for the murder. He was cleared of the murder in 1999.
Then at a seperate trial in 2000, his nephew Andrew Coulter and a friend David Montgomery all walked free.
Andrew Coulter has since been photographed on demonstrations with the racist Scottish Defence League.
Serious criticism was made of both the police and of the prosecution service, citing incompetence and institutional racism.
The decision to try Coulter separately rather than all three together was even criticised by the first trial judge.
It is seen as the reason why it proved impossible at the time to gain a guilty verdict.
There was also criticism of the authorities for their refusal to acknowledge a racial motivation for the crime.
Surjit’s family were also treated insensitively. They were not provided with the necessary interpreters or informed about the decisions made about prosecutions or exact charges.
The Chhokar Family Justice Campaign was formed by the family’s solicitor Aamer Anwar in conjunction with anti-racist campaigns. It got strong support from trade unions and the STUC.
Eventually two inquiries substantiated many of campaigners’ claims. But the inquiries were in themselves unsatisfactory, being held in private and also criticising aspects of the campaigning.
Sadly Surjit’s father died last year before seeing his son’s killer convicted. But the fight for justice was never given up.
Ronnie Coulter, who boasted to his sister, using racist language, that he had committed the perfect murder, now faces a life sentence.
Margaret Woods, Glasgow
May pays for brutal cop
Some Socialist Worker readers may be surprised at the pro-migration attitudes found in the Economist magazine.
It explained that European migrants have added “more than £20 billion to the public finances between 2001 and 2011.”
The same edition attacks May’s announcement of a further £103 million to South Sudan as a way of stopping migration at the source.
“Money to help patrol Sudan’s borders will go to its corrupt and brutal police force. Worse, the government has deployed the dreaded Rapid Support Force to round up Eritrean and Ethiopian refugees.”
Sending money to source countries, as with Operation Sophia reported in Socialist Worker (28 September), shows utter disregard for humanitarian concerns.
Miriam Scharf, east London
Love/hate relationship with swine
In her conference speech last week, Theresa May hailed Edmund Burke—the founder of modern conservatism.
Burke feared the “swinish multitiudes” with “cannibal appetites” that would threaten democracy if the right to vote was extended to everyone.
It tells you something about the Tories that they still look up to Burke.
For all their talk of being the new party of the workers, they still hate and fear us.
Of course, some attitudes have changed in the Tory party.
And if tales about what their last leader got up to are true, perhaps some of them would enjoy spending time among a multitude of swines.
Erin Banes, Sunderland
Leave vote left a mess
I’m Sorry to say this comrades, but Socialist Worker did help Theresa May in building up this mess.
It was very easy to imagine the consequences of a leave victory in the European Union vote—a strengthening of the right wing.
You failed to spot it and campaigned to leave. Therefore you have to take a little of the responsibility.
Stafano Bianchi, on Facebook
Demand that Labour MPs face reselection
Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour MP opponents should put their careers where their arguments are.
They obviously don’t represent or reflect the grassroots interests of the Labour Party membership.
So they should put themselves up for re-selection in their constituencies.
It’s only democratic for them to resign and at least seek reselection to find out what their local party thinks of them. Unless this is done they’ll continue to undermine Corbyn.
The splits and divisions will remain in Labour when the party should be challenging head-on the failed Tory economic policies.
Many of Corbyn’s opponents effectively endorse those policies—that’s why they lost Labour the last two elections.
Nick Vinehill, Norfolk
A tale of two cities
Jez we can”, Jez we can”, Jez we can”! The idolising chants ricocheted around the packed-out conference hall in Liverpool.
Corbynistas young, old, black, white, middle class, working class, joined in the standing ovations and rapturous cheers that filled the teeming auditorium.
Contrast that to the Tory conference in Birmingham. I know which conference I’d rather have been at.
Gabrielle Whitehead, Derbyshire
There’s room for all here
There’s plenty of room for refugees.
At any one time in Britian there are 600,000 empty homes.
That’s not counting empty properties that were formerly businesses, or the huge buy-to-let market where landlords own one or more houses.
There is more than enough will to get this done, if those of us who want to help those in danger are allowed to do so.
Kevin McCaighy, York
Can we let in all refugees?
Your front page last week said Britain should let in all the refugees.
But the world has tens of millions of refugees. We should take in our fair share and adequately support them.
I would say Britian should accept 750,000 over the next five years with adequate housing and support provided.
Craig Skinner, Derby
Abortion bans are deadly
Well done to the pro-choice protesters in Poland.
In countries where abortion is illegal, women die as a result of botched attempts or from pregnancy-related complications that
could have been prevented by a safe, legal termination.
The “pro-life” movement has blood on its hands.
Rebecca Grant, on Facebook