Saturday, 21 June 2014

Gerry Conlon

To younger readers the Guildford Four will mean nothing, but they have had a slightly undue significance in my life. The Guildford Four where four people from Northern Ireland wrongly convicted of the Guildford pub bombings in 1974. The miscarriage of justice was caused simply by the Metropolitan Police, whose only interest was to convict someone, regardless of whether they were guilty or not.
It wasn't until 1989 that the convictions were overturned. The full story is here Guildford Four and Maguire Seven on Wikipedia.
At the time of the bombs I wasn't yet in my teens and didn't understand what was going on, but by the time of release I was fully aware of both the background to the bombings and how inclined certain police where to just make things up. So wasn't really surprised, what horrified me was the reaction of one of the salesmen at the company I was working at, an ex squaddie by the name of Steve Powell. His angry comment was "they should bring back hanging that would stop this kind of thing". He objected to the release simply because it showed the fallibility of the courts, he reasoned that if killed when convicted they wouldn't be in a position to appeal. He would rather have them killed than the state brought into question. So if you work for Avanquest in St Ives you know what a complete cunt you MD is.
All I could imagine was what it must have been like to have been convicted in such a corrupt way, how it would have eaten at my soul in prison, the anger and the frustration.
Today, having had more experience of the police arrogant disregard for the law and politicians conniving with them to win the support of shits like Steve Powell. If you doubt that politicians do this, ask why this government removed peoples right appeal complaints about Police to the IPCC. Though that was only ever the slightest fig leaf as the IPCC just checked all the boxes were ticked or why the likes of Jane Kennedy will ignore police violence if you think the Police aren't getting away with criminality, explain why we haven't been told the names of the people who assaulted this John Spencer and why they haven't been tried.
It seems Gerry Conlon bore no grudges which probably allowed him to cope with what happened but does that sort out the fundamental problem.