Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A Make or Break Year

It has been a pretty good year here inside the Tavern hedges. Not that one can say the same for Hillary's Village outside. There it has been one of the nastiest for a very long time. Barely a day has passed without someone talking of beheadings of people that Muslims don't like or the dispossession of florists and bakers that homosexuals don't like.  The religion of peace is anything but, and the love previously unprofessed but now speaking its name at the top of its voice seems virulently hateful of florists. No breaking of bread with bakers either if they don't kow-tow to the 'agenda'.

As if the Muslims were not content with mass killings and even hijacking hostages in a cafe in Sydney this month, they were busy all year going after the bakers and most other food-sellers too with their 'halal certificate' extortion racket. 

Heck, these varied dystopian types even think they are trying to 'convert' us to become like them!!

As if !

And don't get my customers going on Palestine, Crimea, Syria, the half-black fellow in the White House ruining a once proud Nation, the fall in the price of silver, the pretty young actress who has been more used to unicorns than being manipulated by the UN into beating men over the ears and heart, etc etc. The list would take all day.

It has been a year of breaking the spirit, bit by bit. Many have been broken. Many severely damaged. 

We 'fear'. 

So to end the year our fine customer John Douglas brought a mate Michael Tymn around for a refreshing bevvie and to give us some cheer. He did that indeed and he gave far more than expected. He put tough and really nasty  times in context for us and showed an unexpected light at the end of the tunnel.

This old curmudgeonly Tavern Keeper, a chap with a scar from a festering wound only lately cured, has seen a lot of strife and grief in self and others and has also seen a lot of 'faith healers' who purport to bring grace.  I am a skeptical man and know that if Divine intervention is to be, then my Supplier will be in charge of it rather than some intermediary. Even a Tavern Keeper.

But let Michael tell the tale. If you can take it, you can make it.

How “Unbroken” Hero Lou Zamperini 
Saw the Light
Every now and then, while channel surfing, I’ll come upon some evangelical preacher seemingly captivating his audience, so much so that when he asks audience members to come up on the stage and profess their faith, many of them parade to the stage as if mesmerized, fall backward into someone’s arms, claim that they are healed of some long-standing affliction, and shed tears while praising God. 
 Such scenes perplex me and I wonder if it is all an act 
or if I am simply too ignorant to appreciate what is going on.
The Billy Graham crusades I occasionally watched were not quite as dramatic as most of the evangelical events, but I still wondered what he said in his sermons that motivated all those people to leave their seats and march up to the front as if they had suddenly come out of a life-long stupor and now saw the light.   
I just didn’t get it.  I still don’t. 
Apparently, Lou Zamperini,  the real-life hero of the just-released movie “Unbroken,” felt the same way when his wife asked him to attend a Billy Graham crusade one night in 1949.   
I knew I was a sinner and was living a rotten, drunken life, but I didn’t need someone to stand in front of me and tell me, so I fought it,” Zamperini told me when I interviewed him at his Hollywood, California office in 2001.  “I told Cynthia I would go, but that as soon as he said ‘every eye closed and every head bowed,’ I’m out of there.”  
But something happened that night that turned Zamperini into a different person. 

As if he was not a different person from his ordeals? Well, throughout those ordeals his firm spirit remained. Stubbornly. Our virtues are often our curse when taken to extremes and this great man, a quite young man at the time, went through extremes we would not even like to imagine for ourselves.

“I experienced a 180-degree turnaround and ever since then my life has been successful,” he continued his story with a sincere nod.   
I pressed Zamperini for an explanation as to what prompted the “turnaround,” but he just smiled and said something to the effect that .. 
"it is something you have to experience yourself to understand".
I know that I would not like to have even one tenth of the horrific experiences that he had had. Would I have even survived? 

But I have had the experience he had that evening. I hope my customers can have similar.
Zamperini was the first person I had ever talked with about such an evangelical conversion and it made me rethink them.  He was a sincere, intelligent man who had held on to his faith for some 52 years and had no reason to fabricate such a story.   
He was my “white crow,” the one who proved that all such evangelical converts are not victims of temporary brain washing. 
Zamperini, who transitioned from this life last July 2, at age 97, was a mere 85 when I interviewed him.  I had read his story in his 1956 autobiography, Devil at My Heels, long before the current best-selling book about him was released a few years ago, and was anxious to hear his story first hand.   
It was a story in which the limits of human endurance went far beyond what most of us living in an Epicurean world can even begin to imagine. 
As I wrote in the April 2002 issue of Running Times magazine, for Zamperini,  endurance meant surviving in the rigid domain of despair, beyond the reach of help, or rest, or pity.   
It meant living from day to day with the heart tearing itself between hope and fear, merely subsisting under a cloud of doom with no finish line in sight.   
It meant starving and thirsting while confined to a life raft in the Pacific Ocean for 47 days. 
It meant fighting off sharks while the enemy shot at him from above. 
 It meant being tossed around by waves that towered over him during an all-night storm on the 46th day.   

Then, with the maddened fury calmed, and after being taken prisoner by the Japanese on a small island, endurance meant living with the tyranny, torture, and torment of his captors, including the threat of decapitation, while confined to a box-like cell measuring six by three feet, and being fed only fish heads and rice scraps. And then there were two cold winters with a minimum of food in a POW camp in Japan, his weight dropping to around 76 pounds.  

I was interviewing Zamperini for a running magazine because he had been a standout middle-distance runner during his high school and college years, making the 1936 Olympic team at age 19, between high school and college.  In fact, he shook hands with the Devil himself at those Berlin Olympics when German Chancellor Adolf Hitler had him escorted to his box.  “Ah! The boy with the fast finish,” Zamperini recalled Hitler’s reaction as he was introduced to him.  
Michael had more to say that was beside the point here so we shall skip a bit. You can always see the whole conversation at: 
But Zamperini’s real story began with the war and his service as an Army Air Corps navigator.  When his B-24 developed engine trouble during a search mission and crashed at sea, his 47-day endurance test on the life raft began.  He and two other survivors of the crash subsisted on a few raw fish, a half-dozen uncooked birds, a couple of shark’s livers and rain water.  “We ate everything, eyeballs included, and it tasted like a hot fudge sundae with nuts on top.  It was delicious,” he said of tearing into and eating the birds like a wild man.  He told of catching two sharks by the tail and swinging them into the raft, as one of the other two survivors of the crash put a signal flare down their mouths while Zamperini cut them open with a broken signal mirror. 
After undergoing such adversity, many a man would say that there can’t be a God because a fair and just Creator would not permit such suffering.   
In fact, Zamperini leaned in that direction until that Billy Graham crusade.   
Although he had not been religious, he had called for God’s help many times during his two-and-a-half year survival struggle.  “Lord, save me through the war and I’ll seek you and serve you,” was, he said, his frequent petition, one that he would quickly forget after the war.   
He is not alone in crying to God and then conveniently forgetting to follow-through on his promises. Been there; have the T-shirt. And you?
While his wounds slowly healed and his physical strength returned, there were bad scars and his hatred for the Japanese soldiers and guards who had brutalized him festered, at least until his conversion at the Billy Graham crusade.  
It was at that crusade that Zamperini began to understand what was happening.   
His physical shell had been freed, but his soul had remained imprisoned.   
The craving for revenge had shackled him even more than his captors had.   

In 1950, he returned to Japan and confronted many of the guards who had beaten him, most of them now prisoners themselves, having been convicted of war crimes.  But rather than lash out at them, Zamperini befriended them.  The former prisoner was finally free.  He devoted much of the rest of his life to operating a boys’ camp designed to teach physical, mental, moral, and spiritual fitness to young people.  
And so whenever I channel surf now and encounter one of those evangelicals seemingly spewing nonsense, I stop to think about how one person’s venom might be another person’s elixir, how people are at different stages of spiritual development and with different needs.   
If a person finds peace of mind while living a life of love and service to others, that is, I believe, what is most important. 
Unfortunately, the chaos, madness, and turmoil in our materialistic and hedonistic world today suggest that few people have such peace of mind and motivation.
Michael Tymn is the author of The Afterlife Revealed: What Happens After We Die is published by White Crow Books. His latest book, Resurrecting Leonora Piper: How Science Discovered the Afterlife is now available on Amazon and other online book stores.
His latest book Dead Men Talking: Afterlife Communication from World War I is published by White Crow Books.

How many times have I said that we must love the sinner and hate their sins. And our own. Hatred  of the sinners is so easy. It is a path of least resistance and we do love our own sins. Once on that path it may take a Divine smack around the ears to turn you 180 deg. 

How many times have I almost given up in the trying myself? 

Customers, visitors, we NEED the Grace of God.

I am not trying to convert you. I won't cut your head off. I won't take out a law suit if you don't sell me your cakes.

But I WILL pour for you a pint, a tankard, a cup, a glass of Fine Bevvie that my Supplier graciously allows me to give away.

Deep in the Cellars a light shines from the Crypt.

The world is a nasty place, all too often, and we may sometimes just want to give it away. But your heart and mind and Soul are YOURS, God-given.  

You can wash and polish them and give them back to God who will set you free.

Be not Afraid.


And have a better 2015 with greater physical, mental, moral, and spiritual fitness 

Sunday, December 28, 2014

The Greatest Blue-Water Boat Race in the World.

OK. Some will argue. Such is the nature of outstanding claims. But let us look at the field of world-famous boat races. There is the Fastnet. A grueling challenge in nasty seas with sea-dog sailors who cut their teeth on force eight gales.

There is the Americas Cup (originally the Britannia Cup); not much blue water but sometimes depending on where it is, the yachts may stray into open sea. Poor weather usually delays 'heats'. A race for pussies really.

There is the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race of course, but heck, it is hardly 'international, and it is on a river, which is anything but blue and the crews row rather than hoist sail. I have heard that some coxswains read while steering !

Then there is the Sydney to Hobart; a prosaic name for a challenge that draws yachtsmen (and lately women) from all over the world, features collisions with whales, sinks hardy yachts on a semi-regular basis, de-masts and cripples others, occasionally drowns some poor sods who at least go to Davy Jones doing something they love, and finishes near the Tavern. 
It has to be the Greatest.
It also has a hugely varied starting line with boats as long as 100 ft weighing in at 30 tons  and a crew of twenty, down to quite modest little craft less than 30ft with a crew of four. They do not even budge the scales.

This year there were 117 starters. Three start lines were needed with staggers around the harbour heads to even the distance up a bit. And what a distance. 1155 kms as the albatross flies or in sailor-terms 628 nautical miles. (Multiply by 1.15 landlubbers to find statute miles).

last year's start.
Every Boxing Day Sydney turns on a spectacle. People flock to every available headland viewing spot. Picnics and the ubiquitous Barby are everywhere. The air is thick with helicopters and the harbour thick with viewing boats.

We were busy in the Tavern of course and a long way distant but did manage to hear the start cannon and watch as the boats raced off. The weather was magnificent, and, unusually, stayed that way.

The first out of the Heads took just 5 minutes. It was the American Maxi boat Comanche, kitted with every 'aid' one can think of that is legal.  Within just those few minutes it had a commanding lead over the next Maxi boat, Wild Oats 1X, which had seven previous wins to its credit (or was it eight?). 

The last boat to clear took 28 minutes.  That is just one measure of this race. It is a 'handicap' race after all and 'wins' are awarded not only to 'Line Honours' but to overall handicap performance. Small boats are well in with a chance, even against Giants.

So, we followed them down the east coast of Oz, across the vicious Bass Strait, past all the beautiful spots on this small but beautifully put together Island and so to the finish line which is just opposite the Tavern.

By lunchtime today many visitors, not our usual patrons, indeed 'outsiders', had breached the Tavern Hedges and were settling in on the Patio which has a splendid view right to the bottom turns and the approaches up the D'Entrecasteaux Channel.

The upper Patio cum 'Lookout'.

From here one can see seventy miles over three headlands and bays.

Patrons have plenty of space in the Tavern's extensive grounds
I set staff to delivering blessed beverages to our 'guests' and hoped they would eventually go away. They didn't. But I did. We can see a long way from up there but I wanted to be closer. 
Sail ahoy ! 30 miles to the finish line. I have time to get down the hill
I went down the hill into the nicer parts of the Hilary Village below where I knew I could find a vantage spot right at water's edge near the finish line. Sandy Bay. And it was also handy for Mass later in the afternoon.

I stopped by at a favoured bistro to refill on iced coffee and coffee cake and left a barrel of Best Blessed Bevvie for them, sprinkling some on the patrons while I enjoyed the sit. 

That bush on the point just on the right would make a fine shady spot
So by two pm I was comfortably settled and soon joined by many, many others. A chap has to hunt hard for solitude! 

At three pm  the mob of boats arrived. Most had set off a few hours before from Hobart to 'meet and greet' the winners. It had been expected that Comanche and Wild Oats would be slugging it out as they came past, but no.  Comanche had lost sea miles to Wild Oats overnight and at one point had been at least fifty miles behind. A superb effort brought it to within ten miles but rounding the land near Port Arthur Wild Oats kept them at bay.

So the old boat, winner of so many years, won again to great cheers.

Passing no more than 500 yards away.

Turning short of hitting the Tasman Bridge. We would not like to see a repeat knock-out !

No. That one wasn't racing. This time.
 Meanwhile, after just a little while, Comanche comes home. 

Taken from the top Patio.
The rest of the fleet will be home and tied up by lunchtime tomorrow, with luck and a fair wind. They, all 117, less the ones who 'retired', will be 'fitted-in' with  about a hundred more into Sullivan's Cove and various friendly Yacht clubs up and down the Channel. Those others will be from the fleets that are currently en-route in the Melbourne to Hobart races - two of them, one down each side of the Island - and the Launceston to Hobart race. 

The 'Taste' is on at the harbour. That is another tradition here. 
A Looong Lunch 
that lasts until after the fireworks on New years Eve. There will be plenty of food, drink and carousing for the sailors.

I will be busy in the Tavern and hope to see some of them. And the fireworks.

Meanwhile for ongoing and detailed 'other' reports I cannot go much further than JH. Look him up at:


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Bringing in Christmas

The Tavern is prepared for Christmas. Lights and bunting deck the halls, but holly is not a native down here and even robins are few on this small Island. Not that there are no substitutes and traditions. We have our own to add to the world's, and they include piping music down to the Crypt wherein our Treasure, the Holy Grail sits.

It is a Tavern tradition to let the customers determnine some themes, as Cherie did just the other day. You can see Cherie's Place here:

So too, as this Christmas Eve approaches, we let another offer their selections.

I will be at Midnight Mass for the Big Arrival and a special Latin Mass down the hill will be transmitted and shared in the Cellars with selected customers who are trusted to sit quietly and with reverence amid the barrels and bottles. (No sampling if you please). 

To set a mood and 'warm them up' ( a media tradition, it seems) we have some music suggested by an aquaintance and sometime visitor.

John Douglas, JD to those who know him, is one of those aquaintences. I have shared the vibrant columns of James Higham's welcoming place at 'Nourishing Obscurity' for some time now as has JD. Yes, I do get out and about. It is not all pump-pulling and bar-top wiping. 

See more of James and Co at:

John Douglas describes himself as old, bewildered, Scottish, retired, divorced, happy, traveller-no-more, ultilinguist (allegedly), painter, nouveau semi-blogger, singaholic (after a few jars) and contentedly waiting for God. 

In many respects, me too. He is welcome to a few jars in the Tavern at any time, as he is one of the world's gentlemen. 

JD's Light. Not unlike JC's
You can see more of his art at:

Being an older chap he shares some things with myself, including a liking for Maddy Prior. Maddie is the 'lead' singer in Steeleye Span, a group quite popular a half century ago. I remain a fan. Her 'style' is medaeval and so an appropriate remedy in this god-rejecting age.

So Maddy, with her high, clear voice, still going strong celebrates the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ. 

It is a very old song. You might like to hear this from rather more comely wenches and perhaps know the words. So here they are.

Gaudete, Gaudete!            Rejoice, Rejoice!
Christus et natus              Christ is born
Ex maria virgine,              Of the virgin Mary,
Gaudete!                            Rejoice! 

Tempus ad est gratiae,      It is now the time of grace
Hoc quod optabamus;        That we have desired;
Carmina laetitiae,              Let us sing songs of joy,
Devote redamus.                  Let us give devotion.

Deus homo factus est,          God was made man, 
Natura mirante;                   And nature marvels;
Mundus renovatus est           The world was renewed
A Christo regnante.                  By Christ who is King.

Ezechiellis porta                  The closed gate of Ezechiel
Clausa pertransitur;             Has been passed through;
Unde lux est orta                 From where the light rises
Salus invenitur.                      Salvation is found.

Ergo nostra cantio,            Therefore let our assembly now sing, 
Psallat iam in lustro;          Sing the Psalms to purify us;
Benedicat Domino:            Let it praise the Lord:
Salus Regi nostro.                  Greetings to our King.

JD again ! Give him a pencil and he is happy as Lawrie.
The Church is in Chile.

John also suggests this beautiful song in Spanish (actually sung from South America) that has a long and complex history too. This is a very deep and interesting fellow.

Here's a bit of an explanation: (you might notice that I get a bit of a mention !) It is roughly translated as my Spanish is rubbish. 

The basic theme of the song is the Nativity of Christ and the Immaculate Conception. The refrain which gives the villancico its title goes: 
Ríu, ríu, chíu, la guarda ribera,
Dios guardó el lobo de nuestra cordera. 
"[With a cry of] Ríu, ríu, chíu, the kingfisher, God kept the wolf from our Lamb [Jesus]." 
The Immaculate Conception is mentioned in the lyrics:  
El lobo rabioso la quiso morder
Mas Dios Poderoso la supo defender
Quíso la hacer que no pudiese pecar
Ni aun original esta virgen no tuviera. 
"The raging wolf (the devil - el Lobo) sought to bite her, but God Almighty knew to defend her; He chose to make her so that she could not sin; no original sin was found in that virgin." 
The song also mentions themes of the Incarnation and Christmas: 
Éste que es nacido es el Gran Monarca
Cristo Patriarca de carne vestido
Ha nos redimido con se hacer chiquito
Aunque era infinito finito se hiciera. 
"This one that is born is the Great King, Christ the Patriarch clothed in flesh. He redeemed us when He made himself small, though He was Infinite He would make himself finite." 
Yo vi mil Garzones que andavan cantando
Por aqui volando haciendo mil sones
Diciendo a gascones Gloria sea en el Cielo
Y paz en el suelo pues Jesús nasciera. 

"I saw a thousand boys (angels) go singing, here making a thousand voices while flying, telling the shepherds of glory in the heavens, and peace to the world since Jesus has been born"

And back for more from Maddy.

There is room for one more at his suggestion and so to another name from way back. Mike Oldfield.

Now, I must go back to the bar and pull some pints. I think there are some who want to listen to those again.

My gratitude to JD.

Finally a different 'Rejoice'. Beautiful too.

Now, the Fundemental Question: Whom Does the Grail Serve.

Remember whose Birthday is upon us.

My supplier insists !


Saturday, December 20, 2014

Lawyers and Media: Viilfying the Good, Defending the Bad.

UPDATED. (See at bottom)

Standing behind the bar listening to all the nasty and miserable news that customers bring in, a chap can get quite disheartened.  Sick to the stomach sometimes. Fortunately I have fine Ale to sort out ailments of the gut and Grace as a salve to the daily wounds to our social spirit.

But these seem not enough for diseases of the limbs, and the media and legal system are two vital arms that society need in good working order. In Hilary's Village (you know - the one needed to raise a child instead of a mum and dad doing it) the essential work of reporting events and dealing with transgressors is carried out by arms rotting with gangrene.

Two such representative arms in the UK are in need of the knife. The BBC and the Legal Aid Fraternity.

So many discussions in the UK room, the US room, the Oz room and the P&B are tainted by the Family Court, for instance, or its equivalent pseudo-institutions around the Anglosphere.  Or the various 'Tribunals' that impose Political Correctness penalties on wallet for the individual (usually a chap) and the bank vault of a company, over minor bad manners on someone's part. Or even an accusation taken at face value even though patently false and opportunistic.

We used to have a system of 'Trial' where evidence was presented and a person accused was 'Innocent until Proven Guilty'. The 'Golden Thread' known to Rumpole of the Bailey but very few other lawyers and courts. 

We even advocated and paid for Lawyers to represent the most blatently guilty.  The criminal must have a defence. Often a team of defence lawyers. Taxpayers fund Millions into Legal Aid. Much goes to defend the feckless and criminal, and into the Inns.

Now the Media takes sides and has a person hanged, drawn and quartered before he even sees the inside of a Court. Usually some innocent sap against whom evidence is simply an accusation from 50 years ago by a lunatic, attention seeking woman after a fast, unearned buck. Previous good repute is no protection.

And as we have seen most recently with the 'Rolling Stone' case, the media will print total fiction on the basis of bizarre accusation by a lunatic, attention seeking woman who can change her story a dozen times. And crowds bay for the bloody dismemberment of otherwise innocent people.

Like soldiers.

This is what took up the conversation today.
Al Sweady inquiry: 
The Al-Sweady probe was named for Hamid A-Sweady  one of the Iraqi men who died.  He was an insurgent killed during a ferocious firefight with an ambushed patrol of the  the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.  A total of 28 insurgents were killed and nine militants were taken to the Camp Abu Naji military base where they were questioned. 

The detainees claimed they were subjected to torture and witnessed executions and the mutilation of bodies.

Of course they 'claimed'. As Mandy Rice Davis said: "They would say that, wouldn't they"

 They were shown how to by the the same sort of bleeding heart groups like the left-wing 'Amnesty International', an organisation started by the Communists and funded by the Communists and intent on ruining western democracy. They have spawned dozens of 'advocacy' groups all busily operating on Guvmunt funding, ie the Taxpayer, that bottomless pit of someone elses money.
The British Army deserves a full apology from the BBC
Looking back, it is amazing just how many people were prepared to believe the accusations that the British Army routinely tortured detainees.
Of course it was the BBC and its fellow travellers on the Left who made the most of accusations that British soldiers had committed what amounted to war crimes following a three-hour battle with Iranian-backed insurgents in Iraq in May 2004. 
Rather than praising the British soldiers for their undoubted heroism in tackling the Shia-dominated Mehdi Army in a fierce battle that could have gone either way, the BBC preferred to concentrate its considerable resources on Iraqi claims that some of the captured insurgents had been killed in cold blood, while others had been subjected to torture
Coming in the wake of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal, where American service personnel certainly were guilty of mistreating their Iraqi captives, it was easy for some to believe that British forces had engaged in similar acts of mistreatment, even though the evidence was murky, to say the least.

But rather than conducting a proper journalistic investigation into the incident, the BBC’s flagship Panorama programme, in its edition broadcast in February 2008 entitled “On Whose Orders”, instead preferred to rely on the testimony of former Iraqi combatants and their Legal Aid-funded lawyers to make unsubstantiated allegations against the integrity and professionalism of the British Army.
Yes, our BBC, yesterdays 'Aunty'. Trusted, competent and so English. It's reputation sold for a song.  Who can ever trust it now. As with her sister the ABC in Oz. Toadies of the Left and PC to its shins.

A society has a right and duty to criticise itself, but to do so with health in mind, not in some fit of nasty, self-flagellation. Believing the enemy when a country is at war, is tantamount to Conspiracy to Treason, after the fact.

It has taken nearly six years for the truth to come out, but the conclusions of the al-Sweady inquiry published today makes for some uncomfortable reading for the BBC’s current affairs production team, as well as the teams of lawyers who forced the Government to conduct an inquiry into the allegations, earning themselves handsome legal fees in the process.

For the inquiry, which cost a staggering £31 million, has ruled unequivocally that the claims that British troops murdered, mutilated and tortured Iraqi detainees were “wholly and entirely without merit or justification”, and that the baseless allegations contained in the Panorama programme were the product of “deliberate and calculated lies”.

So much for the standards of the BBC's so-called investigative journalists.
It is hard to imagine a more damning indictment of the Army’s accusers, and all those at the BBC and elsewhere who were credulous, or naive, enough to believe them. But now that the truth is out, perhaps those responsible for making this programme, and who gave an air of credibility to the claims, would now like to issue a fulsome apology to the British Armed Forces for their own grave errors of judgment.

They could even make a new programme explaining why they got the story so horribly wrong in the first place. Now, that really would be a first.

More seriously, though, Tony Hall, who as the BBC’s director-general has overall responsibility for the corporation’s current affairs output (in a previous life he was in charge of BBC news and current affairs), should undertake an urgent investigation of his own to find out how Panorama got it so badly wrong. 
He should resign or at the very least be invited to a Dining Out night at an Officer's mess of the Army's choice and direction; preferably the Argyll's. There he may experience some combat of his own. 

And he can take the Lawyers involved with him. Those slimey, theiving 'advocates' who may well have trained under some feminist 'entitlement' junkie.

 Al-Sweady lawyers 'should now face disciplinary action'

Lawyers who wasted millions of public money pursuing false claims that British troops murdered and tortured Iraqi detainees should now face disciplinary action, senior Government figures have suggested.

Ministers condemned the “shameful” conduct of solicitors who brought the claims, which were yesterday dismissed as “deliberate lies” by a £31million, five year inquiry.

Last night the Ministry of Defence said it was looking at recouping part of the legal aid fees which were paid to the lawyers who represented the now discredited ‘victims’.

Sources close to the Prime Minister, David Cameron, said the sums paid to the lawyers were "shocking".

The defence secretary Michael Fallon said the lawyers should make an “unequivocal apology” to the soldiers whose reputations “they attempted to traduce’’.

Mr Fallon said the claims put forward by the legal teams representing the Iraqi complainants were a 
“shameful attempt to use the legal system to attack and falsely impugn our Armed Forces.”

He said delaying tactics by the solicitors - who pursued the most serious accusations of murder until the final days of the inquiry before accepting they could not be proven - had unnecessarily saddled taxpayers with extra costs.

The Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said he was concerned that “the actions of a minority of lawyers could bring the profession as a whole into disrepute” after a “very unhappy episode in the history of our legal system”.
Many in the bars spluttered into their dinks at that. Minority? Disrepute?  Far too late to be waking up to that. It is past noon and the afternoon of our society is almost over as well. The evening is almost upon us.

The Family Court, the one court system that handles over half of all 'non-criminal', 'civil' cases is so used to false accusations, lying lawyers, and claimants whose only justification  for being believed is their gender, has long abandoned Justice, evidence, even the 'no-fault' that supposedly underpins Divorce Law. It condemns at great length and spins out the misery of accused fathers for years and years, and years in excess of the piddling six of this inquiry.

Whereas Courts are supposed to hold 'all equal before the law' our main courts in almost all anglophile countries hide behind elevated children. The new Class at the top of the new heap. Children given into the care of mothers soley on the basis of genital possession. Who possesses the child is the tyrant in charge.
"In the Best Interest of the Children"

 But I digress. Back to the Lawyers and the soldiers.
The two legal firms involved, Public Interest Lawyers (PIL) and Leigh Day & Co, both denied any wrong doing. Last night spokesman for the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority (SRA) said it was investigating both firms.

Politicians across the political divide rounded on the lawyers after the Al-Sweady public inquiry ruled claims that British troops murdered, mutilated and tortured Iraqi detainees in their custody were “wholly and entirely without merit or justification”.
The lawyers KNEW that. 

We are all for fair representation for the guilty in a Court. But making out LIARS and EXTORTERS, CALUMNISERS and ENEMIES of our country to be innocent  victims 'entitled' to level false and calumnous accusations against those who offer their very lives to defend our country and our friends, while holding those Honourable men as wicked is... well wicked. 
The exhaustive investigation found the serious allegations were based on “deliberate lies and reckless speculation” from witnesses and detainees who were often determined to smear the British forces.

Failure to disclose a document that showed detainees had been members of an Iraqi militia had also extended the inquiry, the Government said. Legal teams had claimed the ‘victims’ were innocent farmers despite some of the legal teams having a document showing otherwise.

A senior ministerial source said: “The SRA will now be able to look into any of the allegations of misconduct and if there has been sharp practice by lawyers then the SRA should deal with it firmly.

“I would have thought that it was important for the reputation of the legal profession that the sharp activities of some lawyers don’t discredit what otherwise is a hardworking and honourable profession that is trying to do the right thing for their clients.”

Vernon Coaker, shadow defence secretary, said: “The SRA should fully investigate these possible breaches of professional standards

“Service personnel have faced a lengthy inquiry in to their conduct, after being accused of the most awful crimes. They have been completely exonerated.
Not an actual lawyer. An actress.
“There must now be accountability for those who made these scurrilous allegations and who failed to disclose key evidence that would have shown them to be completely baseless.”

Mr Fallon said MoD officials were investigating whether they could now recoup some of the money from the earlier stages of the investigation.

The inquiry included nearly £6 million of legal fees for lawyers. PIL earned nearly £1m in fees during the inquiry on top of an estimated £2 million during a earlier judicial review.
You might ask where the rest of the 31 million went. Ask away. This post deals with the lawyers but behind them and infront are the Judges, the Court Officials, clerks, etc, all sucking on the public teat. They are an expensive luxury not enjoyed by the average Iraqui insurgent terrorist, disguised as a farmer. Which hotels do you think they were 'accomodated' in?
The Iraqi detainees, their accomplices and their lawyers must “now bear the brunt of the criticism” for the protracted nature and cost of the “unnecessary” public inquiry, he said.
No. They must bear the cost. And pay damages to the Army. A 'message' should be sent. In the 'old days' it would be sent on parchment stuffed in the mouth of a head in a bag.
Dominic Grieve, former attorney general, said: “The conclusion must raise issues as to how this case was handled by the representatives of the claimants. The background clearly raises important issues of professional conduct which need to be investigated.”

Christopher Chope, a Conservative member of the House of Commons Justice select committee, told The Telegraph: 
The reputations of the soldiers have been besmirched  
and their families and friends have been put under immense pressure.”

Lord Dannatt, a former head of the Army, said he was delighted that soldiers have been unequivocally cleared of the major charges and said they should never have been brought.. He said: “The lawyers and the professional bodies need to look very closely at the conduct of the companies involved.”
Now, I wonder if the same politicians will say exactly the same about and for Fathers who daily have their reputations besmirched. Don't hold your breath.
John Dickinson, of Public Interest Lawyers, refused to apologise and said the MoD was to blame for the delay and cost of the investigation because it had refused to hold its own transparent inquiry earlier.

He said it was not up to him to apologise to troops. He said: “I regret the anxiety caused to those soldiers by the delay in the same way I regret the anxiety caused to the families of the deceased.”

He said: “We don’t accept we did anything wrong.”  “Had there been any criticism of this firm then the inquiry would have mentioned it,” he added.

A spokesman for Leigh Day said: “We were not responsible for representing the Iraqis at the Inquiry and were not asked by the Inquiry to disclose all relevant documents in our possession until August 2013."

The Arabic document detailing the detainees association with the militia “remained in our files until it was handed to the inquiry in September 2013 following a request from the team".  “On this occasion we did not get things right. We have apologised to the Inquiry for not realising the significance of this document sooner."

The spokesman said the firm had been "working with the SRA to ensure that in all areas, especially the demanding foreign work of the firm, we have training and structures in place to prevent any similar mistakes in the future.”.

It is not just 'high profile' cases like this that feed the Legal Aid lawyer's pockets. In Oz there is an Industry, paid for from legal Aid to Lawyers representing illegals, muslim mullahs, terrorists etc, all 'entitled' to bill the taxpayer all the way up to the Highest courts - at the behest of their lawyers, despite everyone and his dog having shown their guilt. 

They can be found guilty, after reams of evidence, and still will 'appeal' and appeal, all at taxpayer cost. Most will be on 'disability' benefits.

And the lawyers just love the freedom.

Calumny and False accusation, sins of 'False Witness',  should be punishable by severe penalty. Not a smack on the wrist; not a piddling fine; not a small sentence of 'community service', but by lengthy jail time.


We now have some details of this supposed nastiness on the part of the British soldiers. 
British soldier investigated for war crimes after touching Taliban terror suspect on nose with piece of paper
A British soldier was investigated for possible war crimes for thrusting a piece of paper at a Taliban fighter, it has emerged.
He was accused of abuse for touching the terror suspect on the nose with the sheet during a routine interrogation in Afghanistan.
The enemy fighter had been captured and detained as a potential ringleader in the murder and mutilation of four French soldiers in 2008.
But it was the military intelligence officer, who had an exemplary record, who was investigated for possible war crimes amid claims he had broken rules banning the touching of prisoners during interrogation.
On another occasion an interrogator was probed for shouting in a suspect’s ear in case he burst an ear drum, it was claimed. 
The investigation is said to have taken place four years after the alleged offence.
The incidents came to light after the Ministry of Defence tightened the rules governing tactical questioning in the wake of several highly-damaging allegations that UK troops abused captives in their custody.
The changes have led to considerable disquiet in the military that soldiers are being hampered in their ability to extract information from insurgents that could potentially save lives.
Last week, the Al Sweady Inquiry report into the fallout from a firefight in Iraq in 2004 which became known as the Battle of Danny Boy concluded that insurgents and their families had used ‘deliberate lies’ to smear British troops.
Sir Thayne Forbes, who led the £31million inquiry, found that claims soldiers murdered, mutilated and tortured detainees were ‘wholly and entirely without merit’.
But while blasting the Iraqis and their legal aid-funded British lawyers, the 1,250-page report also turned the spotlight on nine examples of military intelligence officers abusing Iraqi detainees during questioning, although these instances were found to be ‘relatively minor’.
One soldier was criticised for walking around a captured and blindfolded Iraqi insurgent and blowing gently on his neck, which Sir Thayne said ‘amounted to a form of ill-treatment’.
The soldier was also castigated for banging a metal tent peg on a table to startle the prisoner, shouting in the man’s ear and warning him he would never see his wife if he refused to co-operate.
Following the revelations, a former senior Army interrogator, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, told the Sunday Telegraph: ‘There was an incident in 2008 when French soldiers were massacred and the bodies of four of them were mutilated.
‘We had two of the suspects in detention and they were brought in for questioning.  ‘One of the interrogators touched one of the suspects on the nose with an A4 piece of paper and he was investigated by the special investigation branch for abuse.
‘Just for touching a detainee on the nose. 
The fact somebody could be investigated for that is to my mind incredible. 
It was ridiculous. These French soldiers had been horribly mutilated and yet it was the interrogator who was investigated.’
Blaming MoD lawyers, the former soldier said: ‘We once had in for questioning a well-known Taliban fighter.  ‘He didn’t say a word; he wouldn’t speak to us and when he eventually did all he would say through the translator was: 
“Your detention policy is toothless”.
‘We would have these suspects in and there we are worried about what the lawyers in Britain are going to say. These are really bad people. They mutilate their victims.  ‘They murder women and children and all we can think about is did we shout in their ear and will we get investigated for that? That’s how ridiculous it got.’
Colonel Tim Collins, who made a celebrated eve-of-battle speech during the Iraq war, said he blamed ‘ambulance-chasing lawyers’ and ‘play-it-safe judges’ for the new rules on interrogation. He said: ‘We are no longer able to carry out tactical questioning. That in itself brings risks to the lives of the people we deploy.
‘These insurgents are not nice people. These are criminals. They behead people; they keep sex slaves. They are not normal people.’

Drink. Drown sorrow. Night cometh.