The thing I have noted about the hard left is that they keep lists. These lists are of perceived 'historical wrongs' that have happened to them, which must, no matter what the cost to the country, be avenged, or is that revenged? These wrongs can range from the Tolpuddle Martyrs (which they won at the time),..... via the Luddites,
|Tolpuddle Martyrs (was a Battle Won already) ....|
.... through to the perfidious English, voting for Mrs Thatcher in huge numbers.The list is long .....
However the capture of the high ground of the Labour Party, has now meant that the hard left can dust off this list, and waive it in the air again. Names can now be named, wrongs can now be righted, and offenders prosecuted.
So the fact that an important security bill that affects the whole country is going through Parliament, is not seen as a chance to prove that they can be responsible in opposition and put the country first, but rather as a chance to reopen the old wrongs.
So they have dragged up a case from the 1970's (yes they are still fighting the Edward Heath government) .... this one is known as the 'Shrewsbury 24' .... a bunch of trades union activists who were charged with various offences under the then laws (including under the 1875 Conspiracy Act), after a national building workers' strike. Now I say activists, because they included the actor Eric Tomlinson (aka Ricky Tomlinson)
The current Labour Party considers these trade unionists to have been victims of a "politically motivated show trial". So the Shadow Home Secretary Andy Burnham (a man who has flip flopped from left to right, more times than a beached salmon, over the last few months), has threatened to oppose government plans to extend spying powers via the government's Draft Investigatory Powers Bill (changes designed to protect us all from Islamic terror attacks), unless the government releases papers about the trials of those trade union activists.
The government says the requested papers do not relate to the safety of the men's convictions, and have refused to hand them over on the grounds of national security.
The workers were charged with offences including intimidation, and damage to property, when they picketed building sites, and six of them were eventually convicted in trials and sent to prison ... these six included Mr Tomlinson, who served 16 months in prison. The key point to this is from my point of view is that these were open jury trials, as were the appeals .... a fact played down in some reports.
The complaints seem to be that the actual decision to prosecute, were somehow influenced by the then government; however it was not the government that convicted the men. That was the juries who found them guilty. So why are Mr Tomlinson and the other five, not claiming that they are innocent, based on the evidence presented in open court, and not on the basis of the decision to prosecute them, that was based on that evidence?
Not being prosecuted, is not proof of innocence; it simply proves that the evidence gathered is not enough to take to court with a guarantee of a conviction. In this case, not only was there evidently enough evidence to go to court, but that there was enough for 12 people to find them guilty in both the original trials, and the appeals that I assume took place. So where’s the beef?
Well the Left have a dossier (don't they always ... presumably not a dodgy one) which alleges (and that the key word, alleges) that
a) The government at the time (via a shadowy Whitehall unit called the Information Research Department) was involved in the manipulation of witnesses and attempts to influence the judge and trial jury by getting a TV show made that was critical of the striker’s actions.
b) The then Home Secretary Robert Carr, ignored advice from the attorney general and director of public prosecutions, not to proceed to court ... he was apparently right to do so as the court case ended in convictions.It was only advice .... not binding, just like your doctor may advise you to walk more.
c) Other papers in Mr Burnham's dossier show police notified lawyers for the prosecution that original hand-written witness statements had been destroyed and rewritten, once officers "knew what we were trying to prove", he alleges.
Mr Burnham has stated that "If the government wants our support, it needs to do something in return to build trust. It should hold up a mirror to the past and be honest about times when powers have been misused." ... yeah .. right.
So here we are, 43 years on, with the Labour Party reopening a battle from the 1970's.
|Peterloo Massacre (Manchester) .... 1819 AD ... Ripe For Reopening?|
Whatever next, the Miners strikes, the Peterloo massacre, or maybe the sinking of the Belgrano?
If this is how the opposition is to proceed for the next four and a half years of the parliament, then we are in for a long time in politics.