Fan Mail From Japan

The correspondence below is fairly self-explanatory. I sent this guy a further e-mail but did not hear from him again, so have anonymised the correspondence in accord with Internet protocol. Apart from that, these e-mails are verbatim, including their layout as far as possible.


From: ********666
Sent: Sunday, 11 May 2014, 7:47
Subject: Hello from Japan re: Satpal Ram

Dear sir,

I hope you are reading this email, as your website was last updated a few years ago.

Greetings from Japan, I am a music writer / journalist contributing to various national publications in the country. Browsing through the internet, I have come across your website on the Satpal Ram case - what little I knew about the subject came from the Asian Dub Foundation song, so it was an eye opening experience learning about what really happened. The texts were written intelligently, I thank and congratulate you for creating the website.

I am hoping to do a research of my own, mainly for myself, hopefully in the future I can do a piece on the case in one of the magazines I contribute to. Your website is definitely a great inspiration and a source of information.

Would it be possible to clarify a couple of points about the case?

1)All press reports say that Satpal Ram is a ‘South East Asian’, born in Birmigham. Do you know where in South East Asia he originates from? He is referred to as a ‘Paki’ in the Independent web article, but it is probably used just as a derogatory term, and does not necessarily mean that he is of Pakistani descent.

I understand that Sky Blue restaurant was an Indian restaurant run by Bengali speaking people (Bangladeshi?) but was playing ‘Paki music’ according to Ram (again it could have been a racial slur), but that does not necessarily mean Ram was Indian or Bangladeshi, he would have gone to any restaurant open till late.

2)In your website, there is a post-mortem report saying that Clarke Pearce had ‘a complex double incised wound was present in the skin of the left lower chest’, while you have written that he was stabbed in the back. If he had wounds in the chest, is it not more natural to assume that he was stabbed from the front?

I would most appreciate it if you could enlighten me on the matters.

Being a scholar of music writing, I have visited London on a number of occasions, I am hoping to return one day very soon.

Thank you, I hope to hear from you very soon!

Best regards,

T******* Y*******
Tokyo Japan


To: ********666
Sent: Sunday, 11 May 2014, 15:48
Subject: Re: Hello from Japan re: Satpal Ram


I don’t think I’ve ever had fan mail from the Land Of The Rising Sun before. Because of that and because your questions are detailed I will try to answer at length. Good thing you speak English, the lingua franca of the Universe, because my Japanese is limited to Banzai! from kids’s comics back in the 1960s, and con-bun-wa from the Scorpions Tokyo Tapes album.

First, thank you for your kind compliments. As you are a music journalist you might like to contact Carl Wiser who runs the SongFacts database; there are few Japanese songs in that, and I don’t think my humble contribution - Fly High by the Nakanomori Band – counts.

Regarding Ram, I did a lot of research before I set up the website. At that time the Family Records Centre at Myddleton Street held the registers of births, deaths and marriages. I used to visit this on occasion, and obtained the death certificate of Ram’s victim. Also on one visit I checked the register of births which confirmed that Ram was born in Birmingham.

I am informed the Sky Blue no longer exists, but it was a Bengali restaurant. As far as I am aware, Ram’s parents were Pakistanis, but Ram himself was totally Anglicised, he certainly swore proficiently in English.

Regarding racial slurs, epithets and so forth, this is a complex matter, and nowadays any use of one generates hysteria, although in 1986 this was nowhere near as bad as today.

The word Paki is simply an abbreviation of Pakistani but it can allude to anyone from Pakistan or India, any “brown” Asian, and is doubtless often misapplied. Pakistanis often refer to themselves as Paki/Pakis. I have used it on occasion but nowadays I generally use the word Asian. Many people used it innocently, although it can be used as a term of abuse, phrases like “Paki bastard” are obviously abusive. People often swear in anger, but this does not necessarily equate with a racial slur. Similarly a woman may call another woman including herself a bitch.

The word that always generates the most hysteria is nigger, although with the rise of rap, blacks began using nigga – spelt thus and with other misspellings.

Other words such as coon, spade or wog are used extremely infrequently nowadays. Many such words were once regarded as bona fide. You are probably familiar with coon songs, but the term nigger minstrel was perfectly acceptable until the 20th Century. My own preferences are for black (rather than African-American), Asian and Hispanic, etc. I certainly never use the ludicrous “people of color” which divides the human species into two and only two groups.

Words such as Yank, Limey and Jock are generally not regarded as racial slurs, though you can never be certain. Regarding Japanese, the equivalents would be Jap and Nip (after Nippon). I would regard Nip as a slur but Jap as an abbreviation, though you may differ.

Back to Ram, the incident in the restaurant was very quick, and as the Court of Appeal pointed out in November 1995, the victim suffered a number of wounds including two stab wounds to the back, the fatal one being to the back of the left side of the chest. In 2007 I was sharing my bed with a doctor, and although she had long been out of medicine, when I showed her the pathologist’s report she recognised the chest wound instantly. The important thing is that the fatal wound could not have been delivered when the two were facing each other. See also the bottom of this page for the first appeal – which was dismissed at the leave stage.

The way the media dealt with this case is amazing but sadly very typical. There have been many such cases over the years, including in the USA. Many but not all involve minorities who are said to be victims of a racist system, but on closer inspection they are not only guilty but obviously guilty. What happens is their supporters and others churn out lie after lie after lie which are parroted uncritically by the media, by special interest groups and so-called human rights organisations. Sometimes the latter go the extra mile and invent further lies. Both Amnesty International and Reprieve are notorious liars who prostitute their ill-deserved reputations as human rights organisations to raise money on the backs of worthless causes.

If you are not familiar with it, check out the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal who was arrested less than two minutes after he murdered a police officer, yet his supporters have been lying about him for over thirty years. Other cases that involve lying on a grand scale and which I have written about are Linda Carty, Troy Davis, and two white men, Stafford & Luvaglio. Reprieve and in particular Clive Stafford Smith have lied incessantly about Carty; Amnesty appear to have gone so far as to bribe witnesses in the Troy Davis case. Stafford & Luvaglio murdered Angus Sibbet in 1967. A few years ago, Sibbet’s brother found my Ram site and contacted me. I met him at Kew and we did some research in the original files. He said he found the similarity between the cases uncanny.

The Western media cannot be trusted on many issues, but at times the so-called alternative media is even worse. The marvel of the Internet is that it empowers us all, but as Satpal Ram proved, a knife can be both a useful tool and a dangerous weapon, ditto “information”.

I am still in touch with Nadine O’Neill; you can contact her through Facebook, although don’t expect a reply because she doesn’t like talking about that fateful night. Next time you are in London though, please look me up.

A Baron


From: ********666
Sent: Monday, 12 May 2014, 16:12
Subject: Re: Hello from Japan re: Satpal Ram

Hello from Japan,

Thank you so much for your quick and detailed reply! Wow, I didn’t know much about Nakanomori Band, I think they split years ago?

The more I research about the Satpal Ram case (again thanks to your great website), I get the feeling that it was all about two drunks getting in a fight, with tragic results. If you are drunk and get into a fight with a foreigner, you would probably badmouth his/her nationality. The racial issue was never an issue until someone had the brilliant idea of Ram being the innocent victim, and the white boy being the bad guy. It happens all the time, Mumia Abu Jamal, Rubin Hurricane Carter, OJ Simpson to name a few.

I was curious as to why Satpal Ram’s ancestry was not openly discussed, he is referred to as an Asian or a South-east Asian and rarely (if ever) as a Pakistani. Was it to prevent hate crimes against Pakistani people? Any ideas?

SongFacts website is a great source of information for lyrics meanings - hopefully I can lend a hand for Japanese music soon!

Thanks you once again, keep in touch! T******* Tokyo Japan


To: ********666
Sent: Monday, 12 May 2014, 18:23
Subject: Re: Hello from Japan re: Satpal Ram

Hello again,

The suggestion that this was two drunks getting in a fight is a reasonable one, but when I interviewed Nadine O’Neill and her husband they said this was not the case. They said too that the Court of Appeal did not get everything right. From my own experience of the Court of Appeal I am not surprised, but at least they got the verdict right.

I’m glad to see you have checked out the other cases including Abu-Jamal and Carter. The Abu-Jamal case is just plain silly; if you can’t convict him of murder, you can’t convict anyone. The Carter case is not quite so clear but again it is a sanitised story. The acquittal of OJ Simpson was widely regarded as payback for the Rodney King beating. While it appears to be true that in the US, most blacks genuinely believed OJ to be innocent, you’ll find very few who believe that now. I don’t think it was ever that way in the UK because at the time of the acquittal I heard a guy who may have been Moroccan trying to convince an African that the verdict was correct. I also knew another black guy who said he felt OJ was very lucky.

A jury will sometimes acquit in the face of overwhelming evidence if it feels sorry for the accused as in this case. Other times jurors get it badly wrong.

In the UK, Ram would not have been regarded as a foreigner, even in 1986. At one time we had immigrants but by that time they were ethnic minorities. As Ram was born here in any case he would have been regarded as a member of an ethnic minority, but any Asian who speaks fluent English will be accepted as “one of us” in the broadest sense. You would be regarded as a foreigner on account of there being very few Japanese here, but assuming you speak English as fluently as you write, most people would not make that distinction. Also, the Japanese are widely admired in the West; the same cannot be said for Africans for example.

In the UK, whites seldom if ever make the distinction between Indians and Pakistanis, and most – including me – can’t tell the difference, although Indians and Pakistanis can, and occasionally there has been aggravation between them.

With regard to Ram, after his conviction he was clearly looking for a way out, and his case was taken up by a woman named Lesley Naylor, who appears to have been little more than a girl at the time. She has written a book under the name L.A. Naylor which includes his case. She decided to play the race card, as it is known now, but there have been so many of these cases since involving obviously guilty defendants that even the sheep-like British public won’t stand for this sort of thing anymore.

Recently, barrister Constance Briscoe was given a 16 month sentence for perverting the course of justice. Although there is no question over her guilt, one “spokesman” made a fool of himself by claiming she was a victim of, well, see for yourself.

Re SongFacts, drop him a line:

I think I’ve done an entry or two for the odd Japanese folk song, but it needs some input from someone who knows what he is writing about, and Japanese rock, of course. There are no $ in it I’m afraid. Incidentally, Ram was the reason I started writing for the site.

A Baron

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