Socialist Worker

Troublemaker - judge concerned that pigs get a fair cop on collusion

Issue No. 2587

The appalling scene after the murders

The appalling scene after the murders


There were dramatic scenes in Belfast High Court last week.

Justice Bernard McCloskey had been expected to quash a report by Dr Michael Maguire’s police obundsman’s office relating to the Royal Ulster Constabulary investigation into the Loughinisland massacre.

On 18 June 1994 six Catholic men were murdered in a tiny rural Northern Ireland pub. Five others were wounded.

The report released by the watchdog last June found that some cops had colluded with the Loyalist UVF gunmen responsible for the attack.

The Retired Police Officers Association had challenged the report.

In December Justice McCloskey delivered a damning assessment of the ombudsman investigation saying he had gone beyond his statutory powers in reaching conclusions which were “unsustainable in law”.

McCloskey found the police had been subjected to “destructive and withering condemnations” without the protection of due process.

Former Assistant Chief Constable Raymond White and retired officer Thomas Hawthorne had taken the judicial review into the ombudsman’s findings.

Adjourned

The case was adjourned for a week to allow further submissions about what was described in court as a “significant issue”.

There was little in the way of detail forthcoming about the issue.

Justice McCloskey had previously represented the Police Officers Association in a similar case in 2003 which sought to quash a report by a former ombudsman into findings of RUC collusion in the Omagh bombing.

While that challenge was unsuccessful one of the complainants named in the case was Raymond White.

Troublemaker understands that lawyers for both the ombudsman and the victim’s families have raised questions in relation to this.

The record of a barrister’s cases is of course no guide to his or her conduct as a judge.

Barristers make the strongest case they can for one side or the other but when they become judges they switch immediately to a position of independent impartiality.


Pic of former cop cost £7,460

The Metropolitan Police has spent £7,460 on its ex-chief’s retirement portrait despite him claiming “warning lights were flashing” over funding.

Lord Bernard Hogan-Howe bowed out with an estimated £6 million pension pot.

He took early retirement from his commissioner post last February.

The force said, “As a long-running tradition, a portrait is commissioned for every commissioner.”


Go faster cops get let off

A cop doing 98mph in a 30mph zone was let off.

It was one of thousands of speed offences by officers that went unpunished by one of Britain’s biggest forces.

There were 3,218 non emergency speed offences in Thames Valley Police cars in 2016.

Only 29 resulted in the driver being hit with a fixed penalty notice or a court summons.


Ukip shocked at racism in the party

Poor Ukip leader Henry Bolton has dumped his girlfriend Jo Marney after discovering in a tabloid newspaper that she was a racist.

Texts sent by Marney included comments that the “black American” Meghan Markle would “taint” the royal family.

And that women refugees arriving in the UK would “fuck a mangy dog for about ten quid and a Big Mac”.

Clearly Bolton felt his job threatened—racist statements are his job.

For instance, “Multiculturalism is swamping or displacing our own British culture.” Or immigration is “overwhelming” public services.


Nigel Farage is being docked half his £7,535 a month MEP salary until October after being accused of misspending EU cash.

The ex-Ukip chief will have to repay a £35,500 debt to Brussels.


Tories love animals - or shooting them

The Tories have been getting keen on animals recently. Lots of tweets about Blue Planet and Theresa May likes bird watching—rather than David Cameron’s pig related interests.

But in contrast take Tory MP Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, treasurer of the party’s 1922 Committee, to whom May gave a knighthood in the New Year’s Honours in order to shore up her position.

The latest edition of the register of MPs’ interests shows Clifton-Brown has been on a shooting jolly with bloodsports lobbyists.

The British Association for Shooting and Conservation kindly gave the MP a night’s hospitality and a days shooting on 15 December.

He and three other members of the 1922 Committee have previously been on shooting trips and Tory MP Jonathan Djanogly is also the chairman of the British Shooting Sports Council.


Tory minister lies - shock!

Here’s hoping new housing minister Dominic Raab knows more about houses than he does hospitals.

On the BBC’s Question Time on last Thursday, he claimed there were “more beds than ever” available in the NHS.

He added, “We’ve got more beds, more doctors, more flu vaccines available than ever before.”

But NHS England figures show there were 17,000 fewer beds available in the past three months than in April to June of 2010—dropping from 144,455 to 127,614.


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