Tag Archive: ireland


Picket Of The Greek Embassy, Saturday 31 August:
Defend Savas Michael-Matsas; Defend Communities Against The Nazi Golden Dawn

The Socialist Fight has called a picket of the Greek Embassy for Saturday 31 August between 1 and 2 pm and propose to hand in the following letter. We are requesting that your organisation participate in the picket and endorse the letter as an organisation so you name can appear as supporters.

The Ambassadoraddress
 H.E. Mr. Anastase Scopelitis
Greek Embassy in London
1A Holland Park,
31 August 2013

 Dear Mr. Anastase Scopelitis,

 We, the undersigned, are protesting today against of trail of Savas Michael-Matsas a Greek Jewish Marxist intellectual and General Secretary of the Workers’ Revolutionary Party (EEK) of Greece and Constantino Moutzouris, the former rector of the University of Athens, on 3 September 2013.

 Savas Matsas is accused of “defamation” against the Greek openly Nazi party, the infamous “Golden Dawn”, for “instigation of violence and chaos” and “disruption of the civil peace” because, four years ago, in May 2009, the EEK has issued a leaflet calling for participation into an antifascist demonstration of protest against a murderous attack by the Nazis against the immigrant communities in Athens covered by the Greek police.

 In December 2008, an important youth revolt had shaken the entire country following the murder of a 15 years old youth, Alexandros Grigoropoulos, by two police guards. The revolt continued for nearly for two months, in what Dominique Strauss Kahn, head of the IMF at that time, had rightly described as “the first political explosion of the current world financial-economic crisis”.

 The police pogroms against the immigrants reached a climax in spring 2009, in Athens, in the neighbourhood of Aghios Panteleimonas, where Golden Dawn thugs terrorised the immigrants with the support of the local police. Left organizations had called for anti-fascist demonstrations. The EEK took part and issued a leaflet calling on the people to participate. The leaflet signed by the EEK as a political party was also published in the party newspaper NEA PROOPTIKI and presented in the party’s web site. This is the “crime” for which the General Secretary of the EEK is accused and put on trial.

 In May 2009, leading members of the Golden Dawn, including Ilias Panagiotaros, now a member of the Greek Parliament, and Themis Skordeli (a woman with dark connections with the underworld, was accused of the assassination of an Afghan immigrant but who never was been charged), posed a lawsuit against the entire spectrum of the Greek left, from the Communist Party of Greece(KKE) and SYRIZA to the extra-parliamentary left, ANTARSYA and EEK, all the immigrant associations, and independent personalities like the Dean of the National Technical University of Athens Constantinos Moutzouris (accused to allow the alternative web site Athens Indymedia to broadcast from the space in the campus).

 The lawsuit was not acted upon until late 2012, after the Greek elections of May and June 2012, when, the Golden Dawn was catapulted to Parliament from the margins of political life and the shadow of the State repressive apparatus. In November 2012, at the day celebrated nationally for decades now as the anniversary of the 1973 youth revolt in the Athens National Technical University(Polytechnic) against the military dictatorship of the colonels, the Greek Police, after receiving orders from the judiciary, started interrogations of all the accused in the Nazi lawsuit of 2009. In June 2013, from the dozens of the accused in the legal action of 2009, and interrogated in 2012, only Savas Michael(Sabetai) Matsas of the EEK was called to trial on September 3, 2013, together with the former Dean C. Moutzouris.

 Simultaneously with this preposterous “legal” action, the Nazis have intensified a non-stop, vicious anti-Semitic and anti-communist campaign against the Secretary of the EEK, accusing him of being “an instrument of the World Jewish Conspiracy to foment civil war among Greeks to impose a Judeo-Bolshevik regime in Greece”. Pictures of Savas Michael are presented combined with anti-Semitic insults and openly death threats: “Crush the Jewish vermin!”

 We wish to express our total opposition to the Greek state and government collaboration with the Nazi Golden Dawn in bringing these persecutions. We wish to express out outrage at the collaboration of the Greek state and government in failing to oppose and thereby collaborating with the vile anti-Semitic campaign against Savas Michael-Matsas and thereby against all Jews.

 We demand that the charges against Savas Michael-Matsas and Constantino Moutzouris be dropped immediately and that the Greek state and government protect the immigrant community against the fascist assaults of the Golden Dawn and cease prosecuting their defenders. Signed:

Steve Hedley, on behalf of the Rail and Maritime Union. Weyman Bennett, on behalf of Unite Against Fascism D.R. Rayner Lysaght, on behalf of Socialist Democracy (Ireland) David Yaffe, on behalf of the Revolutionary Communist Group Michael Holden, on behalf of the Irish Republican Prisoners  Support Group Michael Pröbsting on behalf of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) Alex Steiner on behalf of permanent-revolution.org Martin Ralph on behalf of the International Socialist League To add your organisation to the list email:  Socialist_Fight@yahoo.co.ukSocialist Fight

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We’ve Occupied – Now Try Revolution

This article is a contribution from an activist in Occupy Dame Street in Dublin. The opinions reflect his and other people’s experiences and how they see and understand what is happening within Occupy Dame Street.

This article first appeared in Socialist Voice, Communist Party of Ireland (CPI) publication. November 2011
ON 9 October 2011 a group of people pitched tents
on the plaza outside the Central Bank in Dame Street and began a protest against Irish and international finance. Inspired in part by events in New York, as well as the M15 movement in Spain, the Occupy Dame Street protest has become not only a physical stand against bank bail-outs but also an exercise in participatory democracy.

And it is the latter, rather than the former, that has so far managed to hold the disparate group together. The almost  complete lack of democratic engagement by the state with its citizens in relation to the banking crisis is the issue that gives the action coherence.

From the start, Occupy Dame Street adopted a “no banners” approach. This is in tandem with similar calls made by the M15 movement and by Occupy Wall Street. The move has been called counterproductive, short-sighted, and naive, and the criticisms are not without justification. Yet the decision to ban overt political and trade union connections at the Dame Street protest has less to do with a rejection of ideology and more to do with the realisation among the participants that the Socialist Workers’ Party is aggressively pushing to take over the occupation—and is using the call for
trade union banners as its Trojan horse.
 
Bizarrely, the SWP has openly admitted to participants that this is its objective. Whereas other political and trade union groups have respected the “no banners” approach—including the Socialist Party, People Before Profit, Workers’ Solidarity Movement, Unite, the Dublin Council of Trade Unions, and the Communist Party of Ireland— the SWP remains committed to infiltrationism. Until that issue is resolved, the distrust of left-wing political groupings will remain.
 
Unfortunately, the ban has left the Dame Street camp exposed to the ideas and conceptual frameworks of conspiracy theorists, who have descended on the camp like locusts. It is not uncommon to hear at ODS that the world is run by Jews and the Bilderberg Group, that fluoride is a mind-control drug, and that 9/11 was conducted by the American government itself. During the first week of the occupation I was informed by a gentleman that Barack Obama was kidnapped from the Kenyan jungle by the Bilderberg Group when he was four, who then raised him to be president of the United States. In the spirit of the premise that it is pointless to argue with a madman, I patted him on the shoulder and quickly walked away.
 
More recently, a group of conspiracy theorists tried to hijack an open assembly. These are held twice daily and are open discussion forums. The pressures facing the camp extend beyond the weather and logistics.Occupy Dame Street is best described as social-democratic in outlook and orientation. There is a istinct lack of class analysis, for example; and a core belief is that the problems facing Ireland have come about through the actions of individuals or politicians rather as a result of the dynamics of the economic and political system itself. The phrase “We are the 99 per cent” is a reflection of this, with the implication that a small group of greedy bankers and financiers are the root cause.
 
This is changing as the occupation progresses, with more focus and debate on the economics of  banking and speculation in Ireland, and the role of the IFSC as a pivot point in international finance. For now, though, class remains a taboo topic at the camp—that is, the idea of class as a power relation. When class is discussed it is usually portrayed as an affliction of the working class and the poor. The view of Ireland’s middle class at ODC is one that sees the middle class as benign participants in Ireland’s class system—not surprising, as the majority of the participants at ODC are middle-class themselves.
 
In general, the Occupy Dame Street camp is a positive development. It may be social-democratic, but such is the paucity of democratic engagement in Ireland that even such a stance has radical undertones. Long may it continue.

A motion in support of the Irish Republican Prisoners Support Group (IRPSG) was passed at the Labour Representation Committee (Chair John McDonnell MP) Conference on 19 November by 250 votes to 6. It is a model motion for all Labour movement bodies, Labour CLPs, Trades Union Councils and other political and community organisations. Comradely Gerry Downing, Sec IRPSG.

Defend Civil Liberties: Political Status for Irish Republican Prisoners,
repeal the Imprisonment for Public Protection (IPP) powers.

The situation of Irish Republican prisoners in the north of Ireland continues to deteriorate; they are subject to frequent beatings and brutal strip searches in Maghaberry. From May 2011 some have been on dirty and no-shave protest, evoking memories of the blanket men and hunger strikers of the late 70s and early 80s. More than 13 years after the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) on 10 April 1998 there are still 62 Irish Republican Prisoners in Ireland and 2 abroad, not counting remand prisoners, according to the Irish Freedom Committee – POW List of 28/8/2011.

These prisoners are in jail because they oppose the partition of Ireland via the British occupation of the six north eastern counties by British Imperialism and the GFA which they contend merely seeks to legitimise this partition and occupation. None would be in jail if Britain did not occupy the six north eastern counties of Ireland.  Under the terms of the GFA those republicans still opposing the GFA and continuing to fight for a united Ireland have lost their Special Category status and are treated more or less as common criminals.

In August 2010 after a protest that went on since Easter of that year an agreement was reached and signed by the prisoners’ representatives and by the prison authorities in Maghaberry Prison. The agreement conceded the two demands of the prisoners, freedom of movement and an end to strip searching. A body scanner was provided instead. But the screws broke the agreement within weeks, the first prisoner going out to court was brutally strip searched. Colin Duffy was strip searched 8 times for a 4 day court hearing, so brutally that he had very obvious injuries and appeared in court naked from the waist up because he refused to wear a prison uniform top.

The frame up and revocation of the licences of some of those released under the GFA constitute a hidden form of internment of those who wish to continue the Republican struggle.  Human Rights campaigner Monsignor Raymond Murray has this to say on the framing of Michael McKevitt; “Evidence of paid and schooled informants resembles internment, where persons were put in jail on the suspicion, prejudice or dislike of anonymous agents. The social and political consequences of accepting evidence of a long-term paid informant like Rupert (highly paid informant David Rupert) are very serious and long-lasting. … (The document) The Framing of Michael McKevitt, (presents a) strong argument for the innocence of Michael McKevitt”.  

In like manner Michael Campbell was set up in a ‘sting’ operation by MI5, the Irish and Lithuanian intelligence agencies and jailed in Lithuania on 21 October 2011 for 12 Years. The spooks had in fact initiated the arms deal on which he was convicted. His lawyer, Ingrida Botyriene, said: “He would never be involved in arms deals and would never go to Lithuania for such an affair if he had not been provoked by secret agents.” 

Marian Price – a founder-member of the 32 County Sovereignty Movement – is one of a number of political activists held without trial. To be a member of the 32 County Sovereignty Movement is by no means illegal, nor is it a criminal offence to support or join this organisation. It is not proscribed by law, nor is the Irish Republican Prisoner’s Welfare Association (which Marian Price helped found) and was until her arrest and (illegal) detention that group’s secretary. Her ‘crime’ apparently is she ‘poses a significant threat to society.’! She held a piece of paper for a masked man who read a speech from it!

Marian Price was released from Armagh Prison in 1980 having been granted an RPM – a Royal Prerogative of Mercy – as she was suffering from anorexia and tuberculosis brought on by forced-feeding and ill-treatment. This means the Secretary of State was not legally entitled to order her return to prison as she had been released by Royal Prerogative of Mercy – and not on licence. The Price legal team are now thought to be preparing to launch a legal challenge in the light of this information. 

Lurgan man Martin Corey, who had served 20 years in Long Kesh, was arrested in April 2010 and his licence, was revoked, according to British Secretary of State Shaun Woodward who had him arrested. He was not released on licence either and had served an extra two years having refused to sign any such licence agreement  so as to be able to politically campaign for his republican beliefs. He is still held in Maghaberry. In October, 2009 Brendan Lillis was arrested and had his license revoked despite no charges being pressed against him for alleged involvement in an attempted robbery. He suffers from a chronic medical condition called, ankylosing spondylitis which causes the spine to fuse and, though now moved to an outside hospital he remains interned.

Mohammed Hamid was found guilty in early 2008 of “soliciting to murder” under legislation dating back to 1861, despite never actually instructing anyone to any specific act. Months of surveillance, both through undercover agents and covert recording produced no evidence at all; everything was inferred and circumstantial. He was given an extremely severe sentence of 7 ½ years, together with the “imprisonment for public protection (IPP).” This sentence is extremely controversial, amounting to a life sentence unless an individual can prove that he is no longer a risk to the public. As Hamid, based on the evidence, was never accused of a violent act, how would he be expected to demonstrate that he has reformed and is no longer a risk to the public if there was never any risk to begin with?

According to Brian Barder’s website, “Nearly half of the more than 6,000 IPP prisoners in our prisons have completed the punishment and deterrence element in their sentences: they continue to endure the harsh punishment of imprisonment, not for anything they have done — they have already been punished for that — but because our risk-terrified society is scared to release them for fear that they might one day, in some way, re-offend. They are being brutally punished for offences they haven’t committed and which they might well never commit if released. And it’s worse than an ordinary prison sentence because the IPP prisoner can have no idea when or even whether he will ever be released.” http://www.barder.com/294

These conditions in Ireland, taken together with the Islamophobia highlighted by Mohammed Hamid’s conviction are a full-frontal assault on civil liberties and threaten the liberty of every serious trade unionist and political activist. Any  serious opponent of the capitalist system would never be released if arrested under these IPP powers.

Mumia Abu-Jamal is an African-American writer and journalist, author of six books and hundreds of columns and articles, who has spent the last 29 years on Pennsylvania’s death row. His demand for a new trial and freedom is supported by heads of state from France to South Africa, by Nobel Laureates Nelson Mandela, Toni Morrison, Desmond Tutu, by the European Parliament, by distinguished human rights organizations like Amnesty International, city governments from Detroit to San Francisco to Paris, scholars, religious leaders, artists, scientists, the Congressional Black Caucus and other members of U.S. Congress, the NAACP, labor unions, and by countless thousands who cherish democratic and human rights – and justice -the world over.

We therefore demand:
 1. Immediate implementation of the Agreement of August 2010 conceding freedom of movement and an end to strip searching.
2. Restoration of Political Status to all Irish Republican political prisoners in the north of Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and abroad.
3. Repatriation of Michael Campbell and no extradition to Lithuania of  his brother Liam, framed by the same secret intelligence agencies.
4. Release of Marian Price and Martin Corey and an end to arrest using the excuse of revoking the GFA license – this amounts to political censorship and a reintroduction of internment in another name.
5. Repeal the “Indeterminate Sentences for Public Protection” laws: free Mohammed Hamid, free Mumia Abu-Jamal.

Download: Free Marion Price:  An IRPSP Newsletter.

Experts demand inquest into David Kelly death.

Back in August a group of ‘prominent experts’ demanded a full inquest into the death of government weapons inspector Dr David Kelly. They described the official cause of death, haemorrhage, as “extremely unlikely” in the light of evidence since made public.

The call came in a letter to The Times signed by eight senior figures, including a former coroner, Michael Powers, a former deputy coroner, Margaret Bloom, and Julian Bion, a professor of intensive care medicine.

The scientist was found dead in woods near his Oxfordshire home in 2003 after he was exposed as the source of a BBC story disclosing anger within the intelligence service over use of Iraq arms data. Evidence has since shown that it was the government that leaked Dr Kelly’s name as the source in an attempt to smear him.

Mr Andrew Gilligan, on the BBC Today programme, 29 May 2003, reported Dr Kelly’s allegations that the Government ‘probably’ knew their claim that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction capable of being deployed within 45 minutes was incorrect, but decided to put it in its dossier anyway- and secondly, that 10 Downing Street ordered the dossier to be ‘sexed up”.

On 1st June 2003 the Mail on Sunday published an article written by Mr Gilligan describing his discussion with Dr Kelly, an ‘unknown source’ at this time. The article stated that his source said: “The Government’s dossier on Iraq’s WMD was transformed the week before publication”. “I asked him how this transformation happened. The answer was a single word ‘Campbell”.  Alastair Campbell has publically called these allegations lies.

The Foreign Affairs Select Committee announced on 3rd June 2003 that it would hold an inquiry into the decision to go to war in Iraq. The allegations reported by Mr Gilligan were one of the reasons why the FAC decided to hold its inquiry.

There are however doubts as to weather Dr Kelly was indeed the source of Mr Gilligan’s story. To-date Mr Gilligan has never confirmed or denied his source was Dr Kelly. On 30th June, Dr Kelly wrote a lengthy letter to Dr Wells, his line manager at the MoD. He stated that he had met Mr Gilligan on 22nd May, but that he was convinced he was not Mr Gilligan’s primary source of information.

Dr David Kelly

A decision was taken at a meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Tony Blair on Tuesday 8th July, to issue a statement that an un-named civil servant had come forward to say that he had met Mr Gilligan on 22nd May, a week before his broadcast.

On the evening of 8th July the BBC issued a press statement referring to the MoD’s statement. The BBC said that the description of the individual contained in the MoD statement did not match Mr Gilligan’s source.

The press officers in the MoD were given a brief not to volunteer Dr Kelly’s name, but if the correct name were put to them by a journalist, it should be confirmed. At around 5.30pm, the Financial Times put Dr Kelly’s name to the Director of News at the MoD, and she confirmed it.

Hutton claims in his final report that Dr Kelly did not tell Gilligan “that the reason why the 45 minutes claim was not included in the original draft of the dossier was because it only came from one source, and the intelligence agencies thought it untrue”. Hutton claims this was Gilligan’s invention and that it was unfounded.

The final report by Hutton, published 28th January 2004, points to evidence submitted by Donald Anderson MP and Mr Andrew Mackinlay MP, of the Foreign Affairs Committee. “Anderson said that after the Committee -who were about to publish a report on their Iraq inquiry- learned of the MoD statement of 8th July, that a civil servant had come forward to say that he had met Mr Gilligan, there was a meeting of the FAC to decide whether it should reopen its inquiry in to the Iraq War and call Dr Kelly to give evidence.

The meeting decided that “fundamental to our report had been the question whether the politicians had overborne the intelligence community in respect of the information. Our views on this question might well be fundamentally overturned as a result of meeting the person who may have been Gilligan’s source, and therefore it would look odd if we did not seek to clarify the position.”  Mackinley states that he considered it the duty of the government to have immediately informed the FAC that a civil servant had stepped forward claiming to be Gilligan’s source.

The government learned of it on 30th June, but didn’t inform the FAC, who only heard of it once the MOD had issued its press statement on July 8th. Mackinley expressed the view of the FAC that the government “deliberately stalled, hoping the FAC report would be published before they had learnt that Gilligan’s source had come forward. It was designed to avoid him coming before the FAC’s Iraq inquiry.

The BBC issued a statement on the evening of 8th July that the source was not Dr Kelly, but “one of the senior officials in charge of drawing up that dossier” as stated by Mr Gilligan in his broadcast on 29th May – “nor was it a source within the intelligence service as stated by John Humphrys on the Today Programme,” said the statement.

David Kelly (if he was the real source) claimed that Tony Blair’s press spokesman, Alastair Campbell “sexed up” his dossier on Iraq’s weapons capability, transforming it a week before it was published, to conclude Iraq had weapons of mass destruction capable of being deployed within 45 minutes. Dr Kelly, the British UN weapons inspector, not only refuted these claims, but said he thought Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction what so ever.  

Dr Kelly stated prior to the war- in memos submitted as evidence to the inquiry in to his death- that the ‘45 minutes’ intelligence was based on one single unverified source. This source was an undergraduate’s thesis published on the internet. Dr Kelly said sarcastically, he knew of a source that claims it could be done in four minutes. The reality David Kelly said is that “reliable information was not obtainable and could not even be gained from detainees despite financial incentives”. Kelly further stated that “the sanctions in Iraq were working well. It was very hard to import things, and the Iraqi arms industry had been impeded”. He asserted in his memos that “there was no evidence of a WMD programme and a large weapons programme would be impossible to hide”.

The dossier was used by the British government as a pretext to invade Iraq. Studies by the British Medical Association, Havard University and University of Austin, Texas conducted between 2006 and 2007 agreed an estimated 1.2million to 1.8million people had died as a result of the illegal war – and still the casualties continue.

The inquest into Dr Kelly’s death was suspended before it could begin by the then Lord Chancellor Lord Falconer. The Lord Chancellor then used the Coroners Act to designate the Hutton Inquiry in to Dr Kelly’s death as ‘fulfilling the function of an inquest’ -so the inquest was never resumed. On the 5th August 2003, before the Hutton inquiry began, Hutton banned all broadcasting of its proceedings.

Just prior to the start of the inquiry, in a statement on the hutton-inquiry.org.uk web site, 23rd July 2003, Hutton said; “My terms of reference is this: To urgently conduct an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of  Dr Kelly. I make it clear that it will be for me to decide, as I think right within my terms of reference, the matters which will be the subject of my investigation”.

In June 2010 The Mail on Sunday reported that Dr Kelly’s death certificate was officially registered before the Hutton inquiry ended and it was not properly completed. It was not signed by a doctor or coroner and does not state a place of death, as all death certificates should.

The Hutton report concluded “the principal cause of death was bleeding from incised wounds to his left wrist which Dr Kelly had inflicted on himself with the knife found beside his body”. But the letter sent to the Times in August, insists that the conclusion is ‘unsafe’. The signatories claim a severed ulnar artery, the wound found on Dr Kelly’s wrist, was unlikely to be life-threatening.
Dr Hunt, the post-mortem pathologist, claimed Kelly was suffering from ischaemic heart disease. “And had a toxic dose of Dextropropoxyphene, a dangerous drug in overdosage with direct effects on the heart”. According to Dr Hunt, Kelly also had a toxic dose of coproxamol present. Dr Hunt added, these ‘may or may not’ have played a part in his death.

On 1st July 2010, the Mail on Sunday reported that a female colleague of Dr Kelly’s had recently claimed, in a letter to the Attorney General, that the UN weapons inspector could not have committed suicide, as he was too weak to cut his own wrist. She said a hand and arm injury meant that the 59-year-old even ‘had difficulty cutting his own steak’. Miss Pedersen also said Dr Kelly had been suffering from a severe throat infection and had difficulty swallowing pills. She casts serious doubts in the letter that he could have swallowed 29 painkillers before slitting his left wrist. Therefore, she said, “he would have had to have been a contortionist to have killed himself by slashing his left wrist, as Lord Hutton concluded in 2004”. The letter continued: “The absence of a full coroner’s inquest into Dr Kelly’s death and perpetual secrecy meant it was crying out for further scrutiny”.

Miss Pedersen said in the letter that she had provided the Hutton enquiry with a witness statement that voiced these concerns, but her statement was not presented to the enquiry. Miss Pederson states in her letter that she also offered to testify at the enquiry, but that her testimony was refused. When she asked why it was refused, she was given no answer.

On 25th January 2010 it was reported in the Mail on Sunday that Hutton had secretly barred the release of medical records, post-mortem results, witness statements and unpublished evidence. The records will be kept under wraps for up to 70 years.

The normal rules on post-mortems allow close relatives and “properly interested persons” to apply to see a copy of the report and to “inspect” other documents. Hutton’s measure has overridden these rules, so the files will not be opened until all people are likely to be dead.

Hutton refused to speak to the Mail on Sunday about the ban, whilst a Ministry of Justice spokesman told them he was “unable to explain the legal basis for the order”. Such an order is totally unprecedented.

The ban and the existence of hidden, unpublished material – including witness statements not disclosed to the enquiry, all medical reports, the post-mortem findings of Dr Hunt and photographs of Dr Kelly’s body – only came to light a year after the conclusion of the enquiry in 2004.

The restrictions only came to light in a letter from the legal team of Oxfordshire County Council to a group of doctors who were challenging the Hutton verdict. The doctors claimed the artery is too small and difficult to access in cases of suicide and severing it could not have caused death.

Lord Hutton QC

Hutton is no stranger to controversy. He was the former Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland, presiding over an occupying force condemned internationally for human rights abuses.

Brian Hutton QC was the representative of the British MOD during the 1973 “Bloody Sunday” inquest. Members of the Parachute Battalion had opened fire on unarmed civilians attending a civil rights march in Derry. Fourteen people were killed and another fourteen shot and wounded.

The Londonderry City coroner, Major Hubert O’Neill, accused the British army of “sheer unadulterated murder”, adding there had been “no justification for the soldiers to open fire”. Addressing Major O’Neill at the inquest, Hutton said: “It is not for you or the jury to express such wide-ranging views, particularly when a most eminent judge has spent 20 days hearing evidence and come to a very different conclusion.” Hutton’s conclusion of the Bloody Sunday inquest has since been totally discredited and the British government has been forced to apologise for the actions of the British army.

In 1997 Brian Hutton featured in the case of David Shayler. Shayler, a former MI5 agent claimed in the Mail on Sunday that agents in the 1970s illegally tapped the telephone of Peter Mandelson, later to serve as Northern Ireland Secretary, and kept a file on Jack Straw who later became Foreign Secretary. David Shayler went on to expose an MI5 plot to assassinate Libyan leader Colonel Gadaffi.  

Lord Hutton, together with Lord Hope of Craighead, Lord Hobhouse of Woodborough and Lord Scott of Foscote unanimously agreed that it was “not in the public interest” to report on the illegal activities of MI5. Their ruling cleared the way for Shayler’s prosecution under the Official Secrets Act.

On the 11th of December 2003, as the Hutton Inquiry was nearing its climax. Hutton announced that he would retire as a Law Lord on the 11 January 2004, two weeks before his report was due to be sent to the printers.

The Hutton Report has failed to allay suspicions of foul play in Dr Kelly’s death and has been dismissed by many experts as a whitewash for clearing the Government of any culpability. Last year, a group of doctors, including former coroner, Dr Powers, compiled a 12 page medical dossier as part of their legal challenge to the Hutton verdict.

The Attorney General, Dominic Grieve has also indicated that he believes “the case could merit a further inquiry”. On the morning of July 17th 2003, Dr Kelly mysteriously told a friend by email that there were “many dark actors playing games”. In 2007 it was discovered, through a Freedom of Information request, that the blunt pruning knife he is said to have used to cut his wrist had no fingerprints on it.

Michael Howard, former Tory leader has joined the call for a full inquest. He told the Mail on Sunday on 15th August, “Recent evidence by the first police officer on the scene, together with new statements by doctors raise serious questions which should be considered”.

So; Who killed David Kelly? Well I’m buggered if I know. Anyone with a stake in perpetuating the public illusion that Iraq was in possession of WMDs would have a motive. It’s a very long list, one that concievably even includes the Iraqis themselves. It’s even posible- though on balance highly unlikely, that Dr David Kelly killed himself. I don’t think I’ve ever agreed with a Tory before, but “serious questions need to be answered”.

Since 2009 the Chilcot Inquiry, the most recent inquiry into the Iraq war has been drifting on. Dr Kelly’s name has scarcely been mentioned. Chilcot was quoted admitting he “did not want to touch the Kelly issue”.

One could be forgiven for thinking that the Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq war as an academic exercise, delving into some distant historical event in an attempt to understand what happened. But to many Iraqis, the inquiry is something else entirely. It is an inconsequential charade, a classic case of fiddling while Baghdad burns.

Last year Hans Blix, former chief UN weapons inspector, appeared before the inquiry. He told Chilcot there was no justification for war, because his inspectors had found no evidence of weapons of mass destruction; and he had made it clear to the UN that he needed a few more months to finish his task.

However when Blix appeared before the UN Security Council in 2003, 11 days before the invasion, he failed to make a clear, unequivical stand against the war. It allowed Tony Blair to push on with plans to drag Britain into the war.

Like a lot of politicians with guilty consciences, Blix has thrown his weight behind justice and morality only after the fact. The problem is, the Iraq war is not some bygone event. When Blair misled parliament into passing a motion to disarm Iraq of its non-existent WMDs he started a chain of events that destroyed a country, and left millions dead, maimed, orphaned or widowed. Its horrific consequences are still being visited upon Iraqis – such as the mothers who are delivering deformed babies because of the chemical weapons used by the invading forces.

Meanwhile, the litany of repressive policies gets longer. It is illegal to be a member of a trade union, just as it was under Saddam. Paul Bremer, the US envoy who ruled Iraq after the invasion, revived Saddam’s infamous “decree 150” in 2004, effectively banning all public sector unions. Activists are now treated as if they were terrorists, with a government decree under the 2005 anti-terrorism act, allowing their assets to be siezed.

The regime has also brought terror-related charges against oil industry trade union leaders. The president of the Federation of Oil Unions, Hasan Juma’a, and several other union leaders have been charged with contacting the media, sabotaging the economy and high treason. Juma’a believes that the regime is trying to “liquidate” the unions while transferring Iraq’s oil wealth to the multinationals.

Last year, troops opened fire on the demonstrators protesting against elcticity restrictions and prices. The prime minister described them as “hooligans” and deployed troops in Baghdad to stop the protests – dubbed by Iraqis as the “electricity uprising”.

Last week Tony Blair was recalled to the Chilcot Inquiry, but whilst Chilcot rumbles on, there is palpable anger across Iraq against the regime’s policies and corruption. Baghdad has the biggest US embassy in the world, from which, many Iraqis believe, the US dictates important regime policies and deepens Iraqi political divisions in order to maintain its control of the country. US aims have changed since the invasion – America wants to steer Iraq’s political and economic direction, and use the country as a base against Iran – but most of the Iraqi people continue to bravely resist.