Tuesday, October 19, 1999
The citizens of Great Britain are at a serious disadvantage with regard to justice when they are compared with the people of other countries. This is because Great Britain and Saudi Arabia are the only two main countries that do not have a written Constitution.
This is shameful. For UK citizens this is an unacceptable denial of Human Rights and shames those responsible for allowing this grave injustice.
Fortunately one of the blessings of the European Union means that UK citizens are now protected by the Constitution of the European Union. It is a valuable asset to our citizens but we are only protected by it while we remain in the Union.
The oldest Constitution in the world is that of the United States of America, a former British colony. They obviously learnt by our mistake.
The former eminent lawyer and renowned politician Lord Hailsham (Quintin Hogg QC ) was a staunch advocate for a Constitution for the people but the Establishment blocked his efforts, and the endeavours of other champions of democracy who tried to right this terrible wrong. Today we standout in the free world as being bereft of a Constitution that clearly spells out the Rights of the People.
The latest startling development in the criminal case of 'Dodgy' Dave of allegedly supplying false information to police on alleged drug offenders is that in a related matter a forensic laboratory assistant who tested alleged drug specimens has been charged with a criminal offence. Apparently it is alleged that the forensic scientist interfered with scientific laboratory tests to ensure the results were positive.
This is another despicable charge and, if it is true, strikes at the very root of justice because enormous weight is placed on forensic evidence and juries are usually content to rely solely on scientific evidence to reach their verdicts.
No doubt people who have been involved in cases where this forensic scientist was a witness will be seeking the advice of their solicitors. If they haven't then they should.
It is difficult to find out the exact details of the charge, or charges, brought against the forensic scientist because, it would appear, that, yet again, a censorship blanket has been drawn tightly over the matter by the media.
This spreading octopus of media censorship is a worrying concern for everyone and some of the better journalists have told me they are very unhappy with this unacceptable state of affairs.
The duty of a newspaper and TV is to report the news as it happens and for the people to decide upon the facts. Any member of the media that fails to do this is failing in its duty and a disgrace to its profession. In the modern age of telecommunications it is also stupid because with facilities like the Internet the world is made aware of the news within seconds of it happening.
In recent months there have been several important matters that have been subjected to media censorship:
A gang of young black gunmen held up the women passengers on an underground train and robbed them. The women were put in fear of their lives.
The effect on the mental and physical health of the women is not known but you may depend it was not a 24 hour virus.
The matter was reported when it happened but has since then vanished off the newspaper pages and TV screens.
When the train robbers committed the Great Train Robbery no passengers were nvolved. Only money was stolen, albeit a large amount, and the only person to suffer an injury was the train driver who seven years later died of natural causes.
In my view there is no comparison in the gravity of the crime of terrorising defenceless women and robbing them of their personal possessions on an underground train and the crime of robbing a train of used bank notes on the way to an incinerator.
The Great Train Robbers were given 30 years imprisonment each.
I can't tell you what the sentences were on the lowlifes that robbed the women of their personal possessions because there is no news on this crime that is of concern to all passengers on public transport. However, I will willingly wager that it will not be anything like 30 years each. Or for that matter the total amount to which the lowlifes are sentenced.
Again it is clear example of wrong priorities.
If the robbed and terrified women read this then I advise them to consult bright solicitors and sue London Transport for failing to provide duty of care.
You may, or may not, believe The Great Train Robbers deserved 30 years or believe it is just that Reggie Kray should remain in prison after serving two years longer than the 30 years recommended by the ferociously hard-line Judge who sentenced him.
However where there is no doubt is that if any of the train robbers or Reggie Kray had been in the carriage with the women that were held up at gunpoint, the cowardly low-lives would have afterwards needed hospital treatment.
I do not wish to give the impression that I am advocating long prison sentences for the lowlifes but I am merely using their crime to make a comparison with the savage and revengeful sentencing of The Great Train Robbers, Reggie Kray - and others like them.
Again it is a dreadful example of wrong priorities.
The young man that was with Stephen Lawrence when he was murdered in Eltham in South London was recently charged with criminal offences including one of a serious sexual nature.
But you needed a magnifying glass to read the small print in which it was reported in the newspapers that did report the matter.
Whether you, members of the media, or I, believe the accusations repeatedly being made against the young white men from Eltham in South London that they allegedly murdered Stephen Lawrence is not really relevant.
That which is very relevant is that the young white men against whom the prosecution believed they had a case that would result in a guilty verdict, went through the due process of law before a jury of their peers and were adjudged to be not guilty.
They were then subjected to a rare civil High Court action before a senior Judge and midway through the hearing a top criminal lawyer Michael Mansfield QC, who represented the Plaintiffs, the parents of young Stephen, threw his hand in. The Judge agreed with this and the defendants were immediately freed.
The present English judicial system is the only one we have. I learnt the hard way that it could be manipulated and abused. However, in the two trials of the Stephen Lawrence affair there were no allegations that justice had been perverted or abused. It appeared that the main complaint was that the police had not carried out their investigation correctly and handled it in favour of the accused. This may or may, or may not, be true but it was most certainly a dramatic change from the usual complaint against police methods which is to pervert the course of justice to secure a conviction.
There is nothing new in this complaint and there have been numerous cases where abuse of the justice system has occurred and innocent men have been hanged.
Where was the army of organised campaigners when the mentally backward young man
Derek Bentley, who was younger than Stephen Lawrence, was wrongly convicted of shooting a policeman?
When Derek's devoted sister, Iris, refused to give up the cause to clear her brother's name and fought this shocking miscarriage of justice over a period of decades, where were the organised banners and parades by the army of campaigners for justice?
They were nowhere to be seen.
Instead this lone woman fighter, with a family to support, dedicated her life to fighting the battle alone and was only assisted by her family. There were no high powered lawyers supporting her. No national newspapers with banner headlines proclaiming the injustice.
There was just a solitary woman with no experience of legal matters devoting her life to a heinous injustice perpetrated upon her young brother. The cost to her was not only financial; it took years off her life.
The injustice was compounded when Home Secretary after Home Secretary refused to allow this brave woman rejoice in her great fight to clear her brother's name. When it became known that that this gracious and loyal sister had a short time to live acknowledgement of her superb fight to clear her brother's name was still denied by the Home Secretary on advice from his civil servants.
Fortunately, the daughter of Iris Bentley was like-minded and carried on the good fight.
Realising the daughter was going to be as determined as her mother the Home Office was forced to reluctantly concede and shortly after her mother passed away the statement was made by the Home Office that Derek Bentley was a victim of a dreadful injustice.
To deny this pronouncement to a wonderful woman with great resources as a fighter, Iris Bentley, as she approached death and allow her to die in peace was callous in the extreme and shames us all.
I hope that the beast, or beasts, responsible for this is devil's torment suffer a lifetime of severe conscience turbulence.
To take just two other examples of dreadful miscarriages of justice: was it right that Ruth Ellis was hanged for murdering her lover? Is James Hanratty guilty? Not in my book and they remain indelible dark stains on English justice. Where are the organised Ruth Ellis and James Hanratty campaigners? They don't exist because, as with Derek Bentley, there is no political gain.
The cost of the civil action by the Lawrence family was presumably very expensive and the campaign waged by its supporters has to be a costly item. Who is funding these items? Is there any reason why we should not be told?
Pick 'n' Choose is a popular way of choosing sweets. You cannot apply it to justice. To do so is a travesty of Human Rights and I am an expert on this type of travesty and paid for my education with years and years in jail.
The murder of Stephen Lawrence was a senseless killing but we have never been given the full facts of the case. The grapevine is a powerful communication aid and I am well tuned into it. There are questions that remain unanswered and they do not favour only the prosecution. The reason for this is because the industry that has been carefully developed on race matters has made certain that the murder is seen from only one perspective - race hate.
I don't like ignorant racists and put myself in serious, and painful, trouble when I went to the aid of a then unknown to me young black prisoner who was being physically abused by 'screws' in April 1975 at Bristol Jail. So any opinions I might have on this subject are objective.
The black prisoner - and we have remained friends - thanked me profusely, and even today still talks about it, but I had to point out to him that I didn't do it because he was black , I intervened because the 'screws' were taking a liberty with him. The fact that he was black played no part.
It is terribly wrong to use race as a political football. Young black people are being badly let down by their elders - especially those with power in the House of Commons and Council chambers.
These elders should do their utmost to control their community without the need of political activists who care only for their political cause and have little regard for the people with black skins.
The wiser black people I speak to know of this and realise they have a duty to speak out but to do so is unpopular and may be dangerous. While I understand their problem I have to tell them that they have a duty to perform.
The Jews, in particular did, and still do, a great job in supervising their community. The Greek, Turkish, Irish, Italian and more recently the Serb and Croatian communities are also very successful. To a lesser degree the Asian communities achieve success. This is because the elders of these communities take their responsibilities seriously and act accordingly.
The black elders take every opportunity to huff and they puff when there is a possible injustice to a black person. This is because they know it makes them popular as being people for their people.
In reality they are charlatans. They hide away and make excuses when behaviour by black people is exposed as a social problem. This is wrong and bad for black people because it gives them a crutch and an excuse when their real need is for guidance and leadership.
*(a) The Commander-in-Chief of the Allied Forces in the Gulf war with Iraq was a black man. (b) One of the candidates for Mayor of London is a black man. (c) One of the five most influential men in American politics is a black man. (d) The highest paid sportsman in the world is a black man. (e) The number one and richest boxing promoter in the world is black. (f) Black men sit in the House of Lords and black men help to govern this country and the USA. Judges in the High Court and USA Supreme Court are black. (g) The leader of the largest trade union in the UK is black. (h) The UK TV newsreader with the most coveted job is a black man. (i) The entertainer who earns the most money in the world of music is black. (j) A black man outbid all others to buy the copyright on the music by the Beatles. (k) The highest paid woman in the world is black. (l) One of the most powerful and richest men in Hollywood is black. Do I need to carry on?
How were these people able to rise to the top if racism was as rife as the propagandists would have us believe?
If these achievers, in some of the most difficult of professions, are able to make it to the top then it is open to any true-minded person do so. If anyone tells you that the achievers only did it because they were lucky then tell them to get lost.
They did it because they wanted to succeed by using their best personal resources, working very hard and being a top professional.
By making excuses, which is often based upon false political propaganda, as to why black people do not fulfill their ambitions is a bad disservice to black people, especially the youngsters. Whatever black people may believe they are going through it fails to compare with that suffered by Jews and Irish who came to this country, and other countries, in the late 19th and 20th centuries. These immigrants made it to the very top and are a credit to their people.
If you want it badly enough you can make it and if by doing so you have to overcome stiff hurdles you will be a better person for it
Jews will tell you that Arabs may always hate Jews, and vice versa. Protestants may always hate Catholics, and vice versa. Blacks may always hate whites, and vice versa. Indians may always hate Pakistanis, and vice versa. Spurs supporters may always hate Arsenal, and vice versa. Hate is a human character frailty and goes back to the early days in the bible.
If black people want to combat racism and rise above it then their best weapon is achievement. They have to show by positive action and behaviour that the racists are wrong.
Blaming bad historical events, whingeing and placing the liability for non-accomplishment on others, at best, is only a short-term answer. So while slavery is a mortifying side of history the truth is not always told. The first slave masters were the Moors and they had black skins. They are also responsible for setting up the international slave markets and creating the export trade. Today, slavery still exists in some Third World Countries. The masters and dealers are not white they are either black or brown.
Each time a denigrating blanket reference is made of past members of the white population who played no part in slavery, distress is caused to their living loved ones and this creates resentment. Resentment has a habit of fermenting anger.
There would never have been a Great Britain if our forefathers had been content to blame the Romans for enslaving our people, or relied upon the excuse that because of the rape and pillage of this country by the Normans and the Vikings the world owed us a living.
True judgement of the quality of a person is colour blind and, in my view, the two master indicators are principles and achievement.
This brings me to the question I have been repeatedly asked: does Winston Silcott deserve the award given to him last week of £50,000 for false imprisonment over the death of PC Blakelock in the riot on Broadwater Farm.
The death of PC Blakelock was, like that of Stephen Lawrence, totally unnecessary. The police constable was following orders and only doing his job, and it was a dangerous and unthankful task.
Many police officers abuse their position and I have only contempt for those who help to rob people of their liberty. However, without the police anarchy would reign and the lives of the defenceless would become purgatory.
The award to Winston Silcott was insufficient if it was solely based on the suffering
caused to him by being accused of the most serious crime on the Statute Book and for which the mandatory punishment is life imprisonment. You cannot put a price on stolen liberty and £50,000 pounds is derisory by the standards of today.
However, if part of the payment was because he was a black sufferer then the award is tainted by political shenanigans and the amount allocated in the award because of his colour is an over-payment. There is no such thing as reverse racism. Racism is racism which ever colour it comes in.
At Walton Jail in Liverpool a male nurse in the hospital wing of the prison recently committed suicide and blamed bullying by prison officers at the jail as the reason.
Where are the exposures by the news and TV hounds on this shocking state of affairs? They are very noticeable by their absence. Following upon the recent scandal of the arrests of prison officers at Wormwood Scrubs on charges of serious violent ill treatment of prisoners, this should be 'hot, hot news'?
Instead Grant Mitchell of East Enders goes missing presumed 'dead' and this, apparently, judging by the space given to this mythical event is news of a greater importance.
Is fictional tragedy more important than real life tragedy? Only a fool would think so.
Newspapers and TV editors may be many things but they are not fools. No, the insidious octopus of censorship has again spread its tentacles and the story appears to have been suppressed in the national newspapers and nationwide TV.
The fact that the loved ones of the nurse, who could no longer bear the torments and the alleged physical abuse by prison officers, are desperately anxious for help to reveal the truth obviously means little or nothing to those who have a duty to present the truth as news.
As a person who has suffered badly at the hands of sadistic prison officers, and Governors, I know better than most the suffering the poor fellow went through. However, the unfortunate nurse had the option of escaping by returning home or even going away. For prisoners subjected to physical abuse by bullying 'screws' there is no escape and every time their cell door is opened or they are alone with the sadist 'screws', they can expect the worse.
I respectfully send my deepest condolences to the family of the nurse.
* (a) General Colin Powell. (b) Trevor Phillips. (c) Rev'd. Jesse Jackson. (d) Michael Jordan. (e) Don King. (f) There are numerous. (g) William Morris. (h) Trevor McDonald. (i) Michael Jackson. (j) Michael Jackson. (k) Oprah Winfrey. (l) Bill Cosby.