Gerry Adams gets a hot reception in London

Spring is in the air and along with the Daffodils, demonstrations proliferated across the country today.

Birmingham saw thousands march in support of Justice for the 21 and against terrorism, whilst in London an event that seemed to pass under the radar was also treated to a peaceful protest from Veterans and Patriots.

 

A conference named ‘Towards a United Ireland’ was held from 12pm at the TUC Headquarters on Great Russell Street where the keynote speaker was former Sinn Fein leader and alleged IRA commander, Gerry Adams, with support speakers including current SF leader Michelle O’Neill. What the TUC are doing hosting a meeting discussing sovereignty of a part of the UK baffles me as their remit is to be an umbrella group for trade unions, whose job is to support their member’s rights in the workplace, not interfering in politics.

Adams is also a highly controversial figure given his past associations and as a result, a number of veterans decided to peacefully protest the event, supported by patriots from a number of groups.

I arrived at just after 12pm when the attendees had already entered the building – a large presence was outside handing out leaflets about injustice towards our Armed Forces veterans in the province, many of whom are now seeing cases that were investigated and closed in the 1970’s re-opened whilst IRA members who killed innocent civilians were pardoned under The Good Friday Agreement.

Prominent were posters with Adams’ image alongside that of Jean McConville, a mother of 10 who was executed by the IRA for being ‘an informer’ – it is alleged that Adams authorised the killing and some of the veterans who were there who had flown in from Northern Ireland told me it was in reality because she had helped a wounded British soldier.

Other posters showed bloodied hands and placards had names of civilians, Police Officers and military who had been killed by the IRA with times and dates on them.

The gathering obviously had an effect on the speakers as Adams was smuggled in around the back rather than having to walk through the assembled peaceful demonstration at the front – a victory of sorts for those who came from across the UK to make their point.

By 12.30 it was obvious that no more people were coming through, so the protesters retired to various pubs and restaurants for lunch, agreeing to meet back at 4pm to catch the attendees on the way out.

None of the speakers were in evidence when we got back, but a number of conversations were had with people exiting the conference and putting across our point of view. The Police presence was quite heavy and I was informed by one of the officers that there had been an issue around 15 minutes before our arrival but I have no further information on that.

One thing that did strike me was the reaction of one of the event organisers towards us as she was putting equipment in the back of the sound van – “We love you lot”, she said with a sneer. It is a pity she doesn’t love the family of Jean McConville as much, an innocent woman executed by a bullet to the back of the head whose body was missing and therefore unable to be laid to rest for over 20 years by her grieving relatives.

 

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Signs that Britain is still actively involved in PESCO EU Military Union?

Sent to me by a friend, has the threat of the EU Army disappeared?


I have just been looking at Michelle Barnier’s speech in Berlin yesterday. Some interesting points which maybe more revealing than we ever get from the UK government and the EU ambition to grow its EU army by 2025 continue to get more extensive everyday to a St Malo Agreement made on 3rd December 1998 to have a defence force under one roof run by the EU.

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Ladies and Gentlemen,

For the first time since the failure of the European Defence Community in 1954, we are witnessing an unprecedented effort to establish a Defence and Security Union. This is the roadmap we need to follow between now and 2025!

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The Chennai 6 – an update

I recently wrote on this blog about the British ex-servicemen currently held on trumped up charges in an Indian gaol.

Further to an email to Foreign Secretary and Uxbridge MP Boris Johnson, I recently received the following reply to my enquiry about what the British government is doing to secure their release…

 

Dear Mr Dixon

Thanks you for your email of 6 October about the six former soldiers currently detained in India.

While we are unable to interfere in another country’s legal processes, I can reassure you that since the men’s detention we have regularly made clear to the Indian authorities our interest in this case. Each time we raise this case, we stress the importance of seeing progress and make clear the enormous strain and financial difficulty the ongoing separation is causing the men and their families.

The Prime Minister last raised the case with Indian Prime Minister Modi when they met in July at the G20 in Hamburg. I raised the case with the Indian Minister of External Affairs, Sushma Swaraj, in August and the the Minister of State for Asia and the Pacific at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Rt Hon Mark Field MP, raised the case with the Indian Minister of State for External Affairs, Mr J Akbar, when he visited India in October. He also visited the men in detention and subsequently met with families in London on the fourth anniversary of the men’s arrest on 12 October.

The Data Protection Act of 1998 prevents me from discussing the details of the consular assistance we are providing to any British national without their express permission, but I can assure you that while the case continues and the men remain in detention, consular officials continue to support them, focusing on the men’s welfare.

They take account of their individual needs and have secured significant improvements in their detention conditions.

The Right Hon Boris Johnson MP

 

My thanks to Boris Johnson for his reply and we hope to see these brave men home soon

The Chennai 6 – A story you will not have heard

We frequently see stories of MP’s taking up the cases of people imprisoned in foreign lands and their human rights.

Hayes MP John McDonnell was very vocal over the case of Moazzam Begg, a man he claimed was wrongly imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay after being ‘picked up’ in Afghanistan and who, after his release, received a big compensation payout from HM Government.

But how many have you seen campaigning for the release of the ‘Chennai 6’, six forces veterans who were employed by a private security firm to guard shipping traversing the pirate filled waters off the Horn of Africa? Imprisoned in India on trumped up charges, their only crime being to ensure safe passage for valuable merchant ships, these men have been mostly ignored by the media in the UK. Here is the story of one of the men involved

I have been keeping a close eye on the case and spreading the word and received the following heartbreaking update by email recently from Yvonne Machugh –

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UKIP – Job done or only just started?

With the resignation of both Douglas Carswell and Mark Reckless, many in the media are now saying that UKIP has achieved its goal and it is no longer relevant on the political landscape.

Indeed, the aforementioned Mr Carswell has been gloating on his Twitter feed about a council byelection in his area where the Tories have taken a seat from UKIP , claiming that many Kippers think ‘job done’.

So, what is the reality? With the triggering of Article 50 and the initial founding reason for UKIP (Leaving the EU) looking like a reality, what have UKIP got left to offer?

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A reply to Cllr Janet Gardner

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In the Uxbridge Gazette on 23rd November, Cllr Gardner wrote in to the letters page with a piece called ‘Remembrance and our town’s solidarity’. I reproduce the letter below –

I would like to thank PC Emma Reed and her Police colleagues for organising yet again an event in Hayes for the community that live in Hayes and to again prove to the narrow minded critics of Hayes that rather than be a fragmented town as is often claimed, we are in fact ‘in solidarity’.

The event was conducted on the frontage of the Social Centre in Botwell Lane with prayers said by some of the local clergy and a PCSO, the local faith centres were represented by members of their congregations – Christians,Muslims,Buddhists,Sikhs,atheists, all observed the two minute silence.

Over 100 people attended the event, some with their little children,in remembrance of those who have died and are still dying in wars all over the world, and of course with emphasis on those who are affected by wars, many of who live alongside us in the community that is Hayes. Something we all tend to forget.

Children from the local school attended and I am sure some have family members who know first hand the horrendous effect of war.

So again I would like to thank the local Police teams and Emma especially for their ability to make many of the cynics realise that people who live in Hayes are all part of one community and not just many diverse groups living in isolation.

Firstly, can I express my whole hearted agreement that we are all one community – indeed, I have said as much on leaflets we have put out across Hayes. My grandfather served in the Western Desert and Italy during World War 2 and fought alongside Australians, Sikhs and Gurkhas to rid us of the Nazi menace – brave men all.

But a number of things about her letter have caused me to write this reply.

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