In one of my telephone conversations with Mrs O’Neill she told me that she had heard through the broadcast media that Ram had found a new champion, one of the Birmingham Six. Was it Paddy Hill? I asked. It transpired that it was.
That is unfortunate for Ram, I thought, because I know a man who knows Paddy Hill, and he’ll put him in the picture. In retrospect my ongoing naïvete never ceases to amaze me.
The man in question is John McGranaghan, whom I know well. McGranaghan was a career criminal: both a professional burglar and an innately violent man. I have studied McGranaghan’s case papers, but without flying off at too much of a tangent I will say only that he was gaoled for life in 1981 for a series of sex attacks committed during the course of house burglaries, and was cleared by the Court of Appeal in 1991 when new forensic evidence (which had been suppressed by the prosecution) came to light. McGranaghan was in Gartree Prison at the same time as Ram although he says he never spoke to him.
He gave me Hill’s number, and I spoke to him on June 27, 2001. Paddy Hill is the most high profile member of the Birmingham Six, the victims of one of the most outrageous miscarriages of justice in English criminal history. He is a man who is extremely bitter and cynical about the police and everyone who works within the criminal justice system.
He too has done time with Ram, and has visited him. That is acceptable. He believes Ram should not have been convicted of murder. That much is understandable. A man who has been through what Hill and his co-defendants went through will surely believe anything of the police. I must confess though that I had not expected a total lack of critical faculty.
Ram, he said, was the victim of a racial attack. He was cut badly. I told him I had read the transcripts of both Ram’s appeals. Had he? Hill said he had seen the witness statements, and that he had read the pathologist’s report. Ram used a flick knife on his victim, I told him. No, it was a purring knife, he said. That was a new one on me. As is a purring knife. I searched a couple of books and the Oxford English Dictionary in vain. Finally, in desperation, I posted a query to the Internet newsgroup rec.knives and received a reply by E-mail from a gent who suggested that I was referring to a paring knife, which is basically a small kitchen knife, which is clearly what Hill meant.
This photograph of a paring knife was downloaded from the web. (Please excuse the onion!). Most housewives will have a knife or two like this in their kitchens; I certainly have. The reader will note that it has a fixed blade. In Britain it is a criminal offence to carry a knife like this without a lawful excuse. This is a bad law, and I don’t condone it, but a much more pertinent point is that a knife of this sort cannot be carried on the person safely and without discomfort unless it is sheathed. There is no suggestion that Ram used a sheath or any sort of holder. Mrs O’Neill is adamant that he took it straight out of his pocket.
As Ram insisted in his questioning by the police that he had used a pen knife, and as this lie is part and parcel of the campaign propaganda, Hill could have got this new lie only from Ram. Lie, after lie, after lie.
I’m not saying that Ram shouldn’t have gone to gaol, Hill said, (we can agree on that, at least), but he was definitely the victim of a racial attack. He asked me if I had met Ram; I told him I had written to Ram but that he had not replied; I told him too that I had received documentation from the Free Satpal Campaign. Hill poured scorn on the campaign, obviously not realising that everything done by this campaign - and every lie spread by it - is done with Ram’s approval if not his outright connivance. Most disappointingly, he had also swallowed the lie that Clarke Pearce died because he refused medical treatment, and nothing would budge him from that.
When I told him that I had spoken to the victim’s family, Hill’s retort was that Clarke was a racialist and that his entire family were racialists. If I believed what they said, I must be a racialist too. If I believed Ram was guilty of murder, I must be a racialist.
Finally the penny dropped; I’ve met a few angry young men in my time; why not an angry old man too? He has plenty to be angry about: sixteen wasted years.
When he came out of gaol, Paddy Hill could have taken a large compensation payment, sold his story to the media and walked away. To his credit he elected instead to join in the fight against what he considers to be a corrupt system. In April 2001, he featured in a TV programme about John Kamara, a black man who had been framed by the usual police dirty trick of wilful non-disclosure of exculpatory evidence. Kamara was gaoled for murder in 1981, and languished in prison writing letter after letter until his conviction was quashed by the Court of Appeal in March 2000. Hill welcomed Kamara into his home and helped him put his life in order. Championing a worthless cause and a shameless liar like Ram in the face of overwhelming evidence of guilt comes a poor second to this sort of thing.
I was really extremely disappointed with Paddy Hill; he has swallowed not only the revealed truth of Saint Ram which I have alluded to in my essay Guilty Beyond All Reasonable Doubt but all the lying dogma of that most perfidious of entities the “anti-racist” lobby.
The crusade against racism has become a new inquisition, and the “anti-racists” the new witch-finders; their victims are anyone they accuse. In the case of the unfortunate accused witch thrown into the water bound hand and foot, she was deemed innocent if she sank and drowned; if she floated, she was guilty. Under the new inquisition, no one has the luxury of sinking; all are deemed guilty. Worse than that, the mere fact that someone has been accused of racism means, in the eyes of hard line “anti-racists”, that everything that person says is unworthy of belief. Paddy Hill, an inherently decent man, has swallowed this poison hook, line and sinker. The fact that the eyewitness evidence and the forensic evidence all point overwhelmingly to Ram’s guilt counts for nothing.
Taking this perverted reasoning (or lack thereof) to its logical extreme, if Ram had denied stabbing Clarke Pearce and claimed that Nadine O’Neill had stabbed her brother, only a racist would dispute that. If Ram had claimed Clarke had committed suicide, only a racist would dispute that. If Ram had claimed that the ceiling had opened miraculously and Clarke had been stabbed by a little green man who had then flown off to Alpha Centauri in a flying saucer, well, you must be racist, why else would you not believe this poor, innocent, victimised Asian?
This last retort may seem facetious in the extreme, but it is the current writer’s experience that for hard core “anti-racists” their revealed truth really does run that deep.
That lunatic (and sorely misnamed) quango the Commission for Racial Equality has as good as stated this overtly. As long ago as 1996 it proposed that in employment tribunals the burden of proof should be shifted to the alleged discriminator because “the discriminator’s evidence as to the state of their mind is likely to be unreliable.” * As former Labour concillor Leo McKinstry points out “the race zealots only have to make the charge to find it proven”. **
Fortunately, for all their faults both the police and the criminal justice system recognise that racism, whatever is meant by that nebulous epithet, is far lower down the list of felonies than murder. However much the Satpal Rams of this world and his supporters may shout and whine and scream and lie about racism, racist attacks and racist abuse, we should never allow ourselves to lose sight of the fact that in this case a man was stabbed to death, that the fatal wound was delivered from behind, that his assailant used an illegal weapon, that he gloated over his victim, that he fled the scene of the crime, and, most tellingly, that he was drunk at the time of the murder.
I told Hill that while I agreed with him on many things, on this subject at least we had best agree to differ. He said that Ram would not serve much longer; I begged to differ on that too, and again, I am better informed.
July 28, 2001
* How the race zealots promote racism, by Leo McKinstry, published in the Daily Mail, November 29, 1996, page 8.
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