Secretary’s report – January 2005


So there was that House of Lords judgement, saying “This law is an infamous piece of work that threatens the civil structure of our society.”  And our national derogation from the European Convention on Human Rights is improperly founded. Oh, was I delighted!  Not often you feel like shouting “Good for you, people!” about a bunch of lawyers, is it?


And there was the government saying, “Yer, well, we’ll have a think about it and maybe get around to changing some bits when we have time from telling the Nay-shun how wonderful we are and why we should be reelected.”  Makes you boggle, doesn’t it?  that any government can be so cavalier about a judgement from our highest court.  I nearly wrote its highest court; but thank goodness, the House of Lords made it abundantly clear that it is by no means the governments court, nor should it be.  Isn’t it amazing, the effrontery and shameless behaviour of this bunch of – oh, hell, this is a family Newsletter so I’d better restrain my language.  Let’s just call them a bunch of New Labour politicians, and leave it at that.


Did you notice that there’s a plan to make it illegal to demonstrate in Parliament Square?  Might disturb the politicians …… tough for the pro-hunting crowd, but tougher for Brian Haw  who has been living there for the last three years and who is, of course, the target for presenting a continuing reminder to all who have passed by his stand (good word, that, isn’t it?) – and boy, that must be a lot of people by now.


More serious stuff.  You will, I hope, have noticed that at very long last there’s a prospect of the release of the UK Citizens who have been illegally, immorally, indefensibly seized and imprisoned in Guantanamo.  Good, isn’t it? and high time too.   Now, how about UK Residents. 


I am writing of course of Bisher Al-Rawi, “the forgotten man”, 20 years resident of Kingston - and 2 years internee (extra-legal category) of Guantanamo Bay having been hoisted from his reasonable and legal business affairs in the Gambia, bounced around the globe via jail in Afghanistan and finally dumped in that horrible place.  Mr Al-Rawi has lived in our town for some 20 years,  and his family are UK nationals, so you would think that our politicians would show an interest in his affairs.  Contemptible, pettifogging, small minded legalistic wretches that they are, they hide behind his nationality (Iraqi) in refusing to lift a finger.   Yes, he is Iraqi; a refugee with his family from the Hussein regime.  He retained his Iraqi nationality so that if possible he could hold legal rights to family property in the country.  All the rest of his family have taken British nationality. 


I wonder what they now think of the government of their adopted country.