Jack Hermon dies

Sir Jack Hermon who died suffering from Alzheimer’s for many years was the longest serving and the first modern professional native-born chief of the RUC of the Troubles, as successor to the Met policeman Sir Kenneth Newman, later to be Met Commissioner. Earlier old school Ulster-born chiefs were clearly subordinate to the army’s GOC of the day, even though the policy of “primacy of the police” nominally began in the mid seventies. No doubt Sir Jack’s critics have other descriptions of him.The RUC’s progressively greater role put them literally more in the firing line. The dossier of “shoot to kill” allegations compiled by deputy chief of Great Manchester John Stalker remains unopened and the collusion charges over the Finucane and other murders remain in limbo. No balanced account of the RUC’s role and of Jack Hermon’s leadership will be possible without greater disclosure. My impression of him was that that he always kept a tight command and there was no question of his not being briefed, like Sir Ian Blair over the de Menezes shooting.

This was an era of relentless conflict, only a little less grim than the previous decade, beginning with the hunger strike aftermath in 81, the Droppin’ Well bomb in 82, the Loughgall killings of 8 IRA men, the Enniskillen bomb which killed 11, 8 soldiers blown up outside Ballygawley in 87, to instance only a few of the biggest death tolls. The overall tally must include the local backwash of the IRA’s English campaign, from the Regent Park and Brighton bombs of 82, to the horrific cycle of death beginning with the SAS “Death on the Rock” killings of 3 in Gibraltar in 1988, followed by the Michael Stone graveside attack and the subsequent lynching of the two incognito solders following the second highly charged funeral procession to Milltown cemetery in a week.

  • RepublicanStones

    I had no great love for the man, but im sure he has family who do and I wish them well.

    I doubt this thread will remain civil. (Which im guessing has Mr Walker rubbing his hands. One can only imagine the depths to which this thread is going to descend.)

  • martin

    i was at many republican funerals at which our people were brutalised by the ruc under hermons watch, as we tried to bury our dead.
    i hope his family are free to bury him without the brutality he heaped upon us

  • Alan

    I remember seeing him in Cranmore Park some time after he had retired. He was pushing the kids on the swings. He looked content.

  • Blair

    I doubt that we would be enjoying the peace that we have today without the efforts of Sir John Hermon. RIP

  • cynic

    Predictably people will have different views of the man. He was Chief Constable through one of the worst periods of our history. Nationalists will remember the Hunger Strikes. Loyalists will remember that the Anglo Irish agreement. In both cases he held the RUC firm in enforcing the law and preventing all attempts to subvert the county, from whatever side.

    Sadly in our history being impartial in policing often means that you end up with no friends on either side!

    May he rest in peace.

  • Harry Flashman

    One small aspect of the Stalker affair which amazed me when I read about it a few years ago has never been dealt with.

    You’ll remember ‘Honest John’ Stalker famously recounting how he realised what he was up against in his investigation, he described how Jack Hermon took him, Stalker, out for a round of golf and halfway through the game, Herman stopped and pulled out a cigarette packet from his pocket whereupon he started writing on it Stalker’s Catholic Irish background, Stalker was naturally shocked and realised this was going to be a tough assignment.

    I remember at the time thinking it odd that someone like Jack Hermon would do something so obviously idiotic and wondered how big this cigarette packet was that it could accommodate Stalker’s family tree.

    Of course Hermon always dismissed this incident as a complete fantasy and something that for whatever reason Stalker had simply made up. I suppose I must have been taken in by Stalker’s permanently injured innocent look as I tended to give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that there was more to Herman than met the eye.

    Until I read somewhere a while back, Jack Herman didn’t smoke.

  • An Ceilleachaireach Rua

    Not to totally disprove your thesis but he wouldn’t be the first or last “golf course smoker”!

  • Big Maggie

    martin wrote i was at many republican funerals at which our people were brutalised by the ruc under hermons watch, as we tried to bury our dead.

    cynic wrote: he held the RUC firm in enforcing the law

    Am I alone in seeing a contradicion here? Which law was being enforced above, the one that states, Thou shalt not bury thy dead unmolested? Maybe it should be removed from the statute book.

  • Paul McMahon

    Larry Marley’s funeral was on Hermon’s watch. Luckily Sylvia Hermon will not face the same horrific funeral conditions imposed by Hermon’s forces on Kate Marley.

    I hope that John Hermon sleeps peacefully and that his family, in their grief, find some comforting solace in the fact that both he and they have been released from the frustrations and pressures of a terminal debilitating illness.

  • Harry Flashman

    Probably the law that banned public paramilitary displays by armed and masked members of terrorist organisations, but then I’m only guessing Maggie.

    Such a law could probably safely remain on the statute books.

  • Big Maggie

    Harry

    Maybe Martin will fill us in on the details. Martin?

  • I don’t see why HF has to use the death of Sir John Hermon to take a swipe at John Stalker, a far better, more honest cop.

    And, as often is the case, HF has changed what Stalker wrote about the man who ruined him.

    It occurred during at a lunch at a golf club, not during any match. And there was no mention of Hermon stopping anywhere, and taking out a cigarette for a smoke. (The Stalker Affair, pp. 29-30)

    “During the meal, Hernon handed me a handwritten note, sketched on the back of a flattened-out cigarette packet. It outlined my family tree on my mother’s side. She is Catholic, and her parents were born in the Irish Republic, No mention of my father, who is a Protestant from a Liverpool family…I found it very puzzling; I still do.” (pp. 30-1)

    Sounds totally believeable to me, especially when HF makes up stories to discredit it.

  • Ann

    I find myself in agreement with Trowbridge H Ford. There is no need to try to discredit Stalker here, and anyone who has read his book must know how he and his family suffered to try to bring out the truth.

    As for Jack Harmon, may he rest in peace and be buried in peace and dignity the like of which was not allowed to others.

  • Harry Flashman

    Yup, Trowbes old son, totally believable, precisely the sort of thing chief constables of police forces do every day, maybe Olaf Palme sent him the fag box that’s why the Bildeberg Group had him offed just before he released the fourth secret of Fatima.

    Follow it up on your blog and I’ll have a read.

  • Pathetic response, HF.

    Instead of admitting your recall was totally wrong and mean-spirited, you just compound it by taking about what appears on my blog.

    I have no blog. I only write articles which people like Ed Chanter, John Young, Rixon Stewart, etc., chose to post on their blogs.

  • Hermon did a difficult jump attempting to provide Northern Ireland with law and order whilst its police force was under attack. If he has rest, peace and dignity in death, it will be more than he was afforded in life by certain sections of the community. Even relatively recently, as he lay dying and in the final few months of his life, he was subject to republican threats.

  • Driftwood

    Jack was probably best known as what would be termed a ‘coppers copper’. At least he wasn’t reduced to fronting daytime ads on Channel 5 for window blinds.

  • *for jump job

  • edward

    Yup, Trowbes old son, totally believable, precisely the sort of thing chief constables of police forces do every day,

    Police forces no….. paramilitary terrorists like the ruc YES

  • Posters really wanting Stalker’s assessement of Hermon should read what he wrote, starting at the bottom of p. 262, especially this:

    “It should never have been a battle, although I respect, if not admire, the way in which Sir John Hermon took the fight to me. He protected the Force and himself from intrusion by me into its anti-terrorist efforts and practices, and he succeeded. I believe he was wrong to do so and that co-operation with me at the time I asked for it would have served those admirable aims much better.”

  • Big Maggie

    Harry Flashman

    Yup, Trowbes old son, totally believable, precisely the sort of thing [sectarian] chief constables of [dodgy] police forces do every day

    You left out two importance words which I’ve helpfully inserted for you.

  • And it would have been even better, Big Maggie, if you had replaced “son” with “coot”, as I shall be 79 on Sunday.

  • PaddyReilly

    When one has to decide which of two Chief Constables is telling the truth (though I have never read that Sir John denied Stalker’s allegation, and he certainly didn’t sue over it), then it is probably best to accept the account of the one who grew up outside Northern Ireland.

    If the man on the Falls Road alleges malfeasance by the RUC, then there are arguments why his testimony should be disbelieved, but when an English Chief Constable encounters the same thing there are no ad hominem arguments that can be advanced.

    Or is Harry Flashman alleging that having a mother born in the Irish Republic does make you a pathological liar? Why then has none of the rest of Stalker’s book been disproven?

    The sad fact is that partition, unless accompanied by something like the Good Friday agreement, turns NI’s Nationalists and their legitimate political aspirations into a fifth column, classified as traitors and criminals. Sir John’s cigarette packet displayed nothing criminal or even unethical. It was just an attitude that was so utterly at variance with normality in England that someone raised in England found it amazing.

    Am I correct Harry in thinking that you had close relations in the RUC?

  • Earnan

    He certainly had to know about the duplicity of his agents, of judicial murders being approved, of innocent families/individuals being forced to get involved in intelligence work under threat, of funeral goers being assaulted and hassled, etc.

    I cannot judge him, the task before him was immense and one where moral lines were easily blurred, if they existed at all (from all I have read I doubt they did for either side).

    But…How he could condemn and pledge to rid NI of terrorism on one hand while using loyalists as weapons and/or doing nothing to stop them from attacking funerals and innocent Catholics is beyond me.

  • ulsterfan

    Was Stalker a Chief Constable?
    I don’t think so, Surely he was an Assistant CC in Manchester.

  • Brian Walker

    Stalker was deputy chief constable of Greater Manchester. Repstones, you have obviously never read my comments.

  • Driftwood

    Wasn’t he (Stalker) Deputy to ‘Gods Copper’ James Anderton who said that Homosexuals deserve to die of AIDS. He never had much to say about that. Heard John Hermon on Radio Ulster tonight, fairly disparaging about Paisley. I believe he was a fair man, he had views that some would dislike, but ultimately, he cared deeply about the RUC and all who served in it.

  • The Raven

    …and adding to what Driftwood says, if you were one of “the staff”, that’s all you can expect from your boss in what was a crazy, mad and maddening time.

  • McGrath

    To make judgements on the decisions of a man who had his head in a vise with the screw being tightened by both sides doesnt make much sense.

    It did strike me that he seemed to enjoy it though.

    He seemed to have had the capacity to be fair.

  • Ann

    as I shall be 79 on Sunday.

    Well done Trowbridge, many happy returns for Sunday!

  • William

    Drawbridge H. Ford is 79 on Sunday….goes to disprove the maxim, that ‘folk get wiser as they get older’.

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘Wasn’t he (Stalker) Deputy to ‘Gods Copper’ James Anderton who said that Homosexuals deserve to die of AIDS. He never had much to say about that.’

    Drift, im sure im not the only one who would like you to enlighten us, as to the relevance of Mr Stalkers superior’s views on homosexuality and the investigation Mr Stalker carried out here in the north regarding collusion????

    Brian, apologies, I realise you’re more impartial than most.

  • edward

    William do try and grow up thats amature trolling at best

  • Thanks Ann, and all the best to you, though we still have some minor differences.

    And William, age does not necessary make one more wise, only more focused, as I have demonstrated in the Stalker rigmarole.

  • Driftwood

    RS
    If Stalker had any conscience, he would have stood up and remarked on Andertons’ vile assertions. He didn’t, because he had ambition and wanted to make a name for himself. Would you buy ‘secure’ window blinds from this man? He was/is a huckster. Unlike Sir John.
    I appreciate you may be sympathetic to James Anderton. I am not. I think he was a dingbat.

  • Driftwood, what you assert in your apparent, private conversation with RS is simply despicable, and if you want to continue it, would you please go offline???

  • RepublicanStones

    So no doubt Drift, you’ll be so direct in your condemnations of Iris Robinson’s DUP colleagues.

    Or maybe you just think ill of anyone who would dare to open the dreaded envelope marked ‘collusion’. On the basis of your attempt to sully Stalkers name, its pretty obvious what your game is.

  • Driftwood

    RS
    Yes I would condemn Iris Robinson and her colleagues for the same offence. Pure bigotry.
    I also heard John Hermon refer to Paisley in much the same manner-if not as direct- for fermenting trouble. When his officers were under attack from so called loyalists after the 1985 Anglo-Irish agreement. Jacks professionalism and loyalty to his force was in direct contrast to certain politicians who have since followed the money. A bit like Stalker.
    Trowbridge, I’m not sure what part of my post you find ‘despicable’ Please elaborate.

  • RepublicanStones

    You keep saying Drift about Mr Hermon’s loyalty to the ‘force’. Not in question. But as you have mentioned conscience, surely then you can criticise him in the same way you did for Stalker. Considering the nefarious activities some of his colleagues were getting up to?

  • skullion

    raven

    Caring deeply about the Ruc isn’t necessarily a compliment.Because he cared deeply about those involved in shoot-to-kill and disrupting funerals of only republicans doesn’t make him in any shape or form a fair minded man.Like any family suffering a loss we grant condolences to his family but let’s not start any revisionist nonsense that because he was a copper’s copper he was an impartial,objective chief constable.

  • cynic

    Which law was being enforced above, the one that states, Thou shalt not bury thy dead unmolested?

    Maggie

    Perhaps the one that said thou shall not produce guns in a public place and fire shots in the air? Or dress in terrorist uniform?

    Strange you don’t comment on stopping Loyalist illegal activities. But I suppose it was always OK for the police to that

  • cynic

    “it is probably best to accept the account of the one who grew up outside Northern Ireland”

    ….ah Paddy….nice to see a non racist comment

    ….you can never trust the Irish you know. Lord Brookborough would have been proud of you!

  • cynic

    “doing nothing to stop them from attacking funerals and innocent Catholics is beyond me”

    Strange viewpoint. I always thought that pro rata more Prods were convicted of sectarian murders than Catholics were.

    And of course, PIRA murdered more Catholics than the Loyalists ever did…. buit you don’t mention those.

  • skullion

    cynic

    Perhaps you can tell us how many protestant funerals were disrupted by Jack’s ruc?And brian if Jack Hermon was so well briefed explain this.A young lad named John Boyle found weapons in dunloy graveyard.He immediately told his father who in turn informed the ruc.A couple of hours later the inquisitive teenager went back to the graveyard to inspect his find and was promptly murdered by the sas.Tell me the difference between Blair and Jack?

  • latcheeco

    Mr. Herman’s job was to defend the indefensible and he had about as much success as anyone could have had given the circumstances and the quality against him. As a unionist RUCman he was fairly effective at what he did even if that wasn’t policing to nationalists. Didn’t the Libyan gear come in on his watch after all, and wasn’t that Unionism’s biggest disaster because it lead (indirectly) to the successful England campaign and forced negotiations? Nevertheless, I’m sure he was awful good to his mammy and anything else is now between him and his God and should be left there because his family weren’t combatants and should be left in peace. Anecdotally I’ve heard tell of an aughnacloy who had tea with him in his house one afternoon in Donaghadee and neither Jack nor his bould successor had a clue.

  • WindsorRocker

    latcheeco,

    explain how hermon was “a unionist RUC man”…..

    Hermon, like it or not, did is duty and enforced the law.

    Some people in this country may not have liked the law that was passed to ratify the AIA of 1985 but it was.
    People may not like the law on paramilitary displays but it was there as well and Hermon enforced it too.

    Probably the line that sums him up comes from the aftermath of the AIA when a senior civil servant said to Hermon that he was considering resigning…. Hermon’s response was “Do your duty as I will mine”….

    This is a Chief Con of the Royal Ulster Constabulary was always going to be a target for the people whose activities he curtailed.

  • PaddyReilly

    ….ah Paddy….nice to see a non racist comment

    It is nothing to do with the race, it is rather as Latcheeco succinctly puts it, his job was to defend the indefensible. This is the way partition works, turning legitimate political aspirations into treason, and making what should be a legitimate police force into an organisation as dubious as the ones it was intended to fight against. Senior RUC men were constrained to overlook police actions which in other societies would be considered criminal.

    Getting into a long bout of speaking ill of the recently dead is not something I want to do, and of course Sir John’s actions and opinions can be defended by a long screed of whatabouting comments about the forces he was attempting to combat. However, just because Sir John is newly dead, doesn’t mean we have to characterise John Stalker as a liar, when he isn’t. The family tree on a cigarette packet story is not something that anyone from outside NI could dream up: it is so alien to modern thinking.

    I hope that Sylvia’s unselfish work in looking after him all this time is rewarded in some sphere or another, and that she will now pursue her political career again in a liberal and reconciliatory fashion.

  • The Raven

    Skullion….thanks for helping me to understand what I wrote.

  • thankfully we seem to have moved from from the lowest of postings which were evidenced in the following link…….

    http://sluggerotoole.com/index.php/weblog/comments/unionists_need_to_let_bygones_be_just_that/P25/

  • [i]”And of course, PIRA murdered more Catholics than the Loyalists ever did…. but you don’t mention those.[/i]”

    Nice propaganda “truth”, cynic, but, alas, the Sutton analysis of those killed during the
    Troubles tells a somewhat different story.

    The PIRA killed 517 Catholic civilians. The Unionist thugs killed some 873 Catholic civilians.

    I suggest you check your “facts” BEFORE posting

  • RepublicanStones

    Don’t fret Bob, cynic will condemn such analysis as propaganda, whilst gloriously ignoring the mere facts of a few hundred years or so of murder and mayhem before then which british crown forces had fun with, into the bargain.

  • latcheeco

    Windsor rocker,
    You’ve lost me.Are you saying a. He wasn’t a unionist or b.He wasn’t an RUC man?

  • earnan

    So it was only paramilitary displays that the RUC were stopping at funerals? When those didn’t happen, they didn’t harass, assault, and antoganize mourners?

    ….guess I’m mistaken

  • Chess Game

    This is how impartial Mr hermons police force where during Larry Marleys funeral and the funeral of John Bingham UVF.

    4.12/9.53

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=KySF3FTakEY

  • Driftwood, I find your comments about John Stalker being a huckster, etc. despicable when it comes to his reaction to Sir John Anderton’s behavior, especially regarding AIDs, gays, and prostitutes, as Stalker made it quite clear that it was one of the reasons for his resigning from the GMP. (p. 282)

    What more do you want from the man? Should he have murdered him?

    And this was after Anderton had conspired to ruin the man, and stop his investigation of the shoot-to-kill murders.

    Regarding his inquiry, it is important to note that Stalker might have the last word on it rather than Hermon, Anderton, Sir Laurence Byford, Sir Philip Myers et al. as Chief Coroner John Leckey has not only called for the release of Stalker’s sealed report, but also for new inquests into the murders of the three RUC policemen in the Kinnego roundabout bombing in October 1982 – what could blow sky high the role of MI5, British military intelligence and reinforced Headquarters Mobile Support Units in the whole murderous process.

  • mick cooper

    Ahhh thank God for Karma .

  • Driftwood

    RS posted that this thread would go downhill (post 1) and on that point it has. Trowbridge-Hermon was a better man than Anderton for lots of reasons. As for MI5, Army Intel, HMG, none came within Sir Johns remit. I repeat, whatever you think of the RUC, Jack had the respect of his men and women. Whether anyone here thinks that good or bad, I’m sure he would be happy enough with that legacy.

  • You obviously have no recall, Driftwood, about what you post – what was most responsible for the thread going downhill.

    At 06:24PM yesterday, you posted: “Wasn’t he (Stalker) Deputy to ‘Gods Copper’ James Anderton who said that Homosexuals deserve to die of AIDs. He never had much to say about that.”

    Then, two hours later, you added that Stalker had no conscience, had only ambition, wanted to make a name for himself, etc., ad nauseam.

    The facts are that Anderton’s comments about what gays, drugs addicts and prostitutes deserved was a big cause of Stalker quitting the GMP. Stalker noted what Anderton said on December 11, 1986: “Anderton gives widely controversial speech about AIDs sufferers.” (p. 282)

    Stalker then adds about what Anderton did in January 1987: “Anderton gives his ‘Prophet of God’ speech.” (ibid.)

    In short, you grossly libelled the man, and should apologize.

    And as I recall, it was Hermon who pulled the plug on Stalker, so he must have had control over his remit.

  • Blair

    This guy Larry Marley. What was he, a charity worker or something?

  • ulsterfan

    Trowbridge

    Hermon did not pull the plug on Stalker.
    Look closer to Whitehall and Manchester to see who opposed him.
    Hermon would not of course have given him any help and probably enjoyed looking on from the side lines.
    Stalker had a difficult job to do and did it to the best of his ability.
    The fact he did not fully succeed says more about the obstacles thrown in his path than his pursuit of the truth.
    In short he did a good job and no one else could have achieved any more.

  • Brian Walker

    Well up the thread skullion has reminded me of the tragic case of John Boyle who was shot dead in terrible error at Dunloy. Tactically it resembles the Michael Tighe killing which was part of the Stalker dossier. Skullion, obviously I don’t know how much or how soon Hermon knew things but I’m pretty convinced the RUC remained under his general direction and did not spiral out of total control. Ian Blair faced several weeks of similar high tension which Hermon coped with for a decade. My hunch – and it can only be a hunch – is that “shoot to kill” is an emotive term for an occasional strategy on the edge of the law that raised the stakes on both sides and often went over the line. Perhaps it played a long term part in containing the IRA and INLA, I don’t know. We do know it was part of an escalation. But as Richard English concludes chapter 6 of “Armed Struggle: a history of the IRA” “.. the late 80s offered problems for the IRA. They were losing numbers (26 during 87-77); unintentionally killing civilians (27 during 1987-88) and losing the publicity war as a result…….(A sympathetic observer).. was able to write .. there is a strong possibility that Sinn Fein and the IRA will lose more than they gain. on the present course..”

  • A reading of Stalker’s book shows that he was certain that Hermon had pulled the plug on him – what was confirmed by his removal by Byford, Myers and Anderton at a meeting at Scarborough on May 19, 1986.

    And Stalker attributed it to all the false information that Assistant CID Chief Constable Ralph Lees and others had given Hermon about Stalker’s relationship with informant David Burton:

    “I told him that in my view either he or his officers had given the Chief Constable an over-inflated story that had not stood up to scrutiny; that he had made the cardinal error for a detective of rushing in without checking his facts.” (p. 211)

    Then Hermon pulled the plug on Stalker for which Lees was truly sorry.

    Stalker even makes the claim directly somewhere in the book, but I have not found it yet. But when I do, I shall post.

    Stalker’s sacking was totally dependent upon what the RUC did, and didn’t do regarding him.

  • Peter Brown

    Having made clear on numerous other threads my views on so called loyalist terrorists is comparing the funerals of Bingham and Marley comparing like with like?

    I am just about old enough to remember these incidents but there was no attempt made to have a paramilitary display at Bingham’s and presumably his was policed differently on the basis that such assurances were given?

    Far be it from me to suggest that it suited the purposes of Republicans to portray the police in this light and I think I have read that if such assurances were to have been given and kept in relation to Marley the whole thing would have been dealt with very differently…

  • mick cooper

    Peter Brown that sir is the biggest load of baloney, Binghams coffin was draped in paramilitary regalia, it also had a UVF guard of honour, at least do a little research before posting clap trap, or selective recollections. John Hermon presided over a paramilitary force, who employed Loyalist murder gangs to prop up a failed statelet, thats how I will remember the man, may he rest in peace with the devil.

  • billy ghoti

    I see Bob McGowan is still counting the bodies.

  • Driftwood

    You heard John Hermon on the radio last night? Oh no, I thought the old boy was dead and firmly nailed down in his box, I hope he has not come back for a second go. By the way, and I am not attempting to cast any aspersions on Mr Hermon, but my experience of those they call a “coppers copper”, is that they are the types who turn a blind eye when those they command beat the shit out of suspects in the cells; or take back handers.

    But I’m sure a knight of the realm would not behave like that; and in fairness to the old fellow, he did not cut and run when he retired.

    He was what partition made him.

    Condolences to his family.

  • Peter Brown

    UVF guard of honour

    I don’t think that it did – it certainyl didn;t have anything illegal – which is the subtle (I accept that it is a fine line) difference between a UVF wreath and masked men firing shots from an armalite…

    I suppose I wasn’t exact enought the first time.

    Usual]y so called loyalists got round that by having the shots fired at some other time in the local area….thus allowing the funeral to be within the law and policed accordingly…

  • Intelligence Insider

    Jack Hermon will be sadly missed by all who served under him, a coppers copper indeed.

    Trow , strange that such a highly experienced detective as Stalker would not actually hold on to the strange hand written note from Hermon. No?

    As for Larry Marley he was a senior PIRA member in Belfast who planned and organised the Maze escape.

  • Villa Fan

    Some people in this statelet may not have liked the law that was passed to ratify the AIA of 1985 but it was.

  • Driftwood

    mick hall
    It was a recording of an interview back in 1985 when Hermons officers were being burned out of homes by ‘loyalists’. Guess who was cheerleading the ‘loyalists’. Jack also was instrumental in stopping Orange parades through Obins St Portadown. His job was always going to be tough.
    And he wasn’t a nutcase like James Anderton.

  • PaddyReilly

    Trow , strange that such a highly experienced detective as Stalker would not actually hold on to the strange hand written note from Hermon

    More attempt to muddy the water. As I have already pointed out, the hand written family tree on the back of a cigarette packet was neither criminal nor unethical. That is not what Stalker was investigating. Stalker was not there to investigate the investigation into Stalker.

    And as it was probably not even written by Hermon, who didn’t smoke, but by one of his underlings, who passed the results of his investigations to his chief, all its retention would prove is that cigarette packets exist and it is possible to write on the back of them. As for genuine cases of unethical behaviour bordering on the criminal, the proof of them is supplied inter alia in the report.

    But what it does reveal is an attitude so out of touch with modern thinking as to make one gasp. I am reminded of a particularly ironic sentence from Borges “He was unable to refute a single one of the Gestapo’s charges; his mother’s family name was Jaroslavski, he was of Jewish blood, his study on Böhme had a marked Jewish emphasis.”

    Hermon did not invent this attitude: he was not the worst, and may even have been the best. But, boy, is this thinking out of touch with modern day England and America.

  • I am just amazed at the continuing doubt that Sir John Hermon prepared the note about Stalker’s Catholic background.

    Stalker was accompanied by John Thorburn, his assistant, at the lunch (p. 30), so he could testify about its existence if required. It must have blown Thorburn’s mind too.

    I just wish posters were more interested in discussing and resolving more controversial matters – like Hermon’s briefing the Home Office about Pat Finucane being a Provo – what helped lead to his murder.

  • mick cooper

    Peter Brown, I don’t wish to stray off the original topic, but Binghams coffin was draped in UVF flag and had a UVF guard of honour, there was widespread outrage due to this and the attendance of a number of high profile Unionist politicians, there was distinct difference in John Hermons policing policies between the to communities, to suggest different is to ignore the truth. Even in death Republicans were subjected to atrocious policing by Hermans army.

  • edward

    Even in death Republicans were subjected to atrocious policing by Hermans army.

    Posted by mick cooper on Nov 08, 2008 @ 04:05 PM

    You mean Even in death Republicans were subjected to atrocious policing by Hermons goons

  • Peter Brown

    Unfortunately whilst the display at Bingham’s funeral is as sickening to me as it is to you (and to at least a certain extent contradicts the assertions at the time by the former First minister among others that he was not a UVF man) it is not per se illegal or unlawful – nor was the equivalent displays of tricolours berets and gloves at Republican funerals.

    Where they crossed the line (for the police and the clergy in certian diocese too if I remember correctly) was the almost inevitable firing of shots – when this wasn’t on the cards (assurances were given in relation to certain funerals if I recall) they were policed differently. There were grounds for different funerals being policed differently…whether you think they were good or reasonable grounds is a matter of opinion but they were founded on the prevention of crime.

  • mick cooper

    Thats NOT what you originally claimed Peter. Besides there are no grounds whatsoever to attack mourners at a funeral.

  • Peter Brown

    Let’s call it a score draw mick – paramilitary display was poorly phrased, it should really have been specifically shots fired but there was no official UVF guard of honour either as I remember it (although that particular lodge is maybe the same thing if others who know better than me are to be believed).

    As for attacking mourners at funerals I agree but once again it has been done to everyone by everyone else….let those who are without sin and all that tends to override doing unto others as you would have them do unto you in Northern Ireland.

  • Intelligence Insider

    Stalker was never able to gather either any evidence, or a corroborating statement, to support his claim.

    As for remarks made regarding the Finnucane family and their involvement in paramilitary activity, they are well known and no doubt well documented. Unfortunately most of those records can not be released due to how that would infringe upon the OSA and how it would not be in the interests of public safety. I think Sir Jack was well briefed regarding what he said and was also absolutely correct.

  • Some more utter bs from II.

    As for the Stalker interim report, Sir Jack was enraged by it, so much so that he conspired to get rid of him with another manufactored bit of evidence, like his Catholic background – i.e., that Stalker was connected to Kevin Taylor, Christopher Hayward, and other criminals.

    You remember that Chris Hayward’s brother Simon was, apparently, the hitman for the Palme hit, and was put away by ‘Steak knife’ et al. to prevent his becoming an utterly ‘loose canoon’ here in Stockholm.

    And II’s crap about the Finucane murder puts the cart before the horse – i. e., failing to prosecute Finucane’s real murderers in order to protect the Official Secrets Acts. They are not ends but means to protect exposure of anything, good or bad. And in this case, the evidence was totally bad.

    And Sir Jack was generally badly briefed about anyting, as I just stated in my previous post – i. e., Stalker’s alleged involvement with tout David Burton.

    One can just wonder what II gets for such disinformation.

  • mick cooper

    Call it what you will Peter, but back on topic I will remember dear old Jack as the man behind the forces of law and order who attacked bereaved familys while trying to bury their loved ones, as the man behind Loyalist murder gangs and ultimately as the Chief Constable who consented to state murder.

  • Driftwood

    The Facts:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/3401849/Sir-John-Hermon.html

    Stalkers friends in the Manchester gangster underworld showed that he was desperate to prove himself elsewhere. Taking the heat off his own shady connections.

  • Pteer Brown

    I will remember dear old Jack as the man behind the forces of law and order who attacked bereaved familys (only because they were also facilitating publicity stunts by terrorists) while trying to bury their loved ones, as the man behind (most of the convictions of) Loyalist murder gangs and ultimately as the Chief Constable who (was eventually cleared of having) consented to state murder (whilst at the same time attending the funerals of over 100 of his men and women who were murdered in cold blood many of them by cowards to afraid to face them)

    Mick sometimes what you leave out is more important that what you say….

  • cynic

    Interesting to see all the Stalker allegations seized upon as lifelines by a number of posters.
    Interesting too that, as I recall, Hermon sued a number of those who published them and won substantial damages in the courts. Where was Stalker as a witness? Where was the cigarette packet?

    And yet again we have Republican posters here who completely ignore Hermon’s position and the RUCs action on OO marches and on the Anglo Irish Protests despite all the DUP attempts to subvert the force. I fear that they simply cannot cope with a different much more complex narrative and prefer the Jack and Jill, MOPE version of history where, of course, everyone was out to do them down

  • mick cooper

    Peter its important to leave out the lies, but more important to add the truth, in your comment you have failed to do either.

  • Peter Brown

    Everything I added is factually accurate – which is a lie?

  • PaddyReilly

    Interesting too that, as I recall, Hermon sued a number of those who published them and won substantial damages in the courts. Where was Stalker as a witness? Where was the cigarette packet?

    Hermon sued, successfully, those papers that said he was part of a masonic conspiracy, which Stalker never alleged. He did not sue over the cigarette packet.

    You are still trying to muddy the waters.

  • PaddyReilly

    Interesting too that, as I recall, Hermon sued a number of those who published them and won substantial damages in the courts. Where was Stalker as a witness? Where was the cigarette packet?

    Hermon sued, successfully, those papers that said he was part of a masonic conspiracy, which Stalker never alleged. He did not sue over the cigarette packet.

    You are still trying to muddy the waters.

  • [i]”I see Bob McGowan is still counting the bodies.

    [b]Posted by billy ghoti on Nov 08, 2008 @ 12:14 PM[/b][/i]

    Sorry if the actual numbers from a study of some 3,524 victims disturbs you, but posted falsehoods — all to often by unionists — disturb ME. And, I prefer to post the actual count by the investigator/analyst than some generalization. I’m hardly upset because the facts — as determined by an impartial investigator — contradict some falsehoods which too many unionists, including you, have come to believe.

    Too bad!!

  • Shades40

    A Co Armagh building company linked to an alleged UVF leader was paid more than £5 million by the PSNI, it can now be revealed.

    In January 2000, alleged mid-Ulster UVF leader Richard Jameson was shot dead by the LVF near his home in Portadown.

    http://www.irishnews.com/articles/540/5860/2008/11/6/602162_362599073245PSNIgave.html

  • Shades40

    Peter Brown

    “Usual]y so called loyalists got round that by having the shots fired at some other time in the local area….thus allowing the funeral to be within the law and policed accordingly… ”

    The IRA had paid their respects and fired a volley of shots the night before the funeral, the family only wished to have a flag and gloves on the coffin now to see the difference?

  • Harry Flashman

    “the hitman for the Palme hit”

    I knew it wouldn’t be long before poor old Olaf’s spectre turned up at this feast.

  • I knew it would be too good to be true that Harry Flashman would at least disappear on this thread after the tall tale he made up about John Stalker making up the whole story about Hermon’s providing a card about Stalker’s Catholic background when Stalker and John Thorburn first met the RUC Chief Constable for lunch during their Shoot-To-Kill inquiry.

    Now he is making out that the assassination of Sweden’s statsminister – even misspelling his name – is totally irrelevant to this discussion when it is central.

    When Hermon made it clear to James Angleton that he wanted Stalker’s inquiry ended, the GMP Chief Constable had his CID put together a completely fabricated case that Stalker was criminally associated to Manchester businessman Kevin Taylor, part of the city’s Quality Street gang which was smuggling cannabis from North Africa on a catamaran that Stalker had once enjoyed the facilities of, thanks to Taylor’s connections.

    The catamaran was later sold to Christopher Hayward, and once Manchester’s CID learned that Stalker et al. were investigating his borther Simon’s involvement in the Shoot-to-Kill murders, Stalker was gone, and the whole cover up of his inquiries started.

    The only trouble with this set-up was that Stalker paid his way to NYC back then, Taylor had no criminal connections with the Quality Street gang, and the selling to and operation of the catamaran by Christopher Hayward had nothing to do with Stalker.

    And why the British police authorities were so afraid to allow Stalker to continue his investiation was that he would discover Hayward’s apparent role here in Stockholm when Olof Palme was assassinated on February 28, 1986 – what would have triggered a nuclear war if the Soviets had not been able to penetrate the conspiracy by spies Rick Ames, Robert Hanssen, Jonathan Pollard et al.

    And a solution to Palme’s assassination has never been achieved, thanks particularly to the connivance of Margaret Thatcher, former SOD George Younger, MI6, Anderton and his boys, Hermon and his boys, etc., ad nauseam. And Palme is considered by many Swedes as one of its greatest.

    So you can just stuff your snide remarks about the subject.

  • Big Maggie

    Trowbridge

    Fascinating stuff. Palme was definitely a good ‘un.

    Belated birthday greetings! I was away and missed the festivities.