There’s more to Andrew Mackinlay than support for the DUP

Although there’s no doubt of Andrew Mackinlay’s unionist sympathies, these are not exclusive. You fail to capture the essence of the man if you stereotype him as simply a DUP supporter or anything else. He is in fact that rare animal, a one man awkward squad who genuinely believes in Parliament. And he ‘s that even rarer creature, an English MP with a real interest in our affairs. Regularly, he was one of only two of three Labour backbenchers present in the chamber for Northern Ireland business and you could be sure he wasn’t there only at the behest of the whips. In the days before the restoration of the Assembly, he used to rail to me about the laziness of (named) NI MPs who failed to turn up for duty. He felt he had to fill in for them. Fascinated by the part played by Irish MPs in the past who were even more than a nuisance to government than he’s been, he deplored the use as a workman’s dumping ground of a corridor where portraits hang of the old Irish Nationalist party and a bust of their last leader John Redmond is displayed. He liked pointing out this was adjacent to Committee Room 14 where Parnell was finally denounced and more recently Gordon Brown has had to endure almost equally uncomfortable sessions.

I believe it was Mackinlay’s loathing for so much secret negotiation and the railroading of Northern Ireland business in all those one day Acts during Direct Rule that sparked his interest in our affairs. This was fuelled by his later sense of outrage that abstentionist Sinn Fein MPs seemed to be favoured over NI MPs participating in Parliament including the SDLP. He felt deceived by Blair and never forgave him over Iraq. He’s been a remorseless critic of government secrecy, a constant prober himself, even to the extent of attracting a warning from Downing St that he might have been targeted as a fall guy in the murky struggle between Russian oligarchs and Putin’s state. A small man physically and perhaps more than a bit chippy, he was always sensitive to the idea of anybody within his range being taken for a ride. That instinct I think goes quite a way to explaining his belligerence towards David Kelly whom he accused of being “chaff” and “a fall guy” at that fatal committee hearing. Mackinlay believed he was supporting Kelly not attacking him. Although shaken by the suicide and the flood of public and private abuse he received, he remains basically unrepentant. Only last week he unsuccessfully tried to have Irish citizens born in the Republic after 1949 recognised as British citizens. He’s been as keen on effective border security as on the common travel area. A continual bee in his bonnet has been the mangement of police officers in NI ports and airports. Never one to duck the hard cases, Mackinlay called for the release of GCHQ files on conversations between alleged Omagh bombers. He also supports the lifting of the constitutional bar on Catholics succeeding to the throne. On his retirement, I believe he intends to spend a lot of time at his (unsubsidised) home in Co Down. I doubt if we’ve heard the last of him.

Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London

  • Ulick

    “he deplored the use as a workman’s dumping ground of a corridor where portraits hang of the old Irish Nationalist party and a bust of their last leader John Redmond is displayed.”

    No better place for them.

  • Anonymous

    [i]believe he intends to spend a lot of time at his (unsubsidised) home in Co Down. I doubt if we’ve heard the last of him[/i]

    We could try covering our ears when the “utter bastard” opens his mouth.

  • What utter rubbish, Brian, even dragging in Parnell to support the guy who set Dr. David Kelly for murder, apparently by a Mossad kidon who thought that Kelly’s outing by Mackinlay was PM Blair’s signal for his killing – what forced Blair to appoint the Hutton Inquiry to keep the massive cock-up covered up.

    And what was Parnell, a bachelor, guilty of besides having an affair with a unhappy, married woman he later married. Was that what he was finally denounced for or was it because he had been wrong hunted down by The Times, Professor Dicey, and other scumbags as a covert agent of the Clan na Gael and the Phoenix Park murderers?

    Looks like Mackinlay would like to have finished them both off himself.

    And then this craven self-server says conveniently that he will not run again, as there is no chance in Hell that he would be re-elected.

    Some principled MP! He sounds like another Jack Straw when it comes to fundamental constiutional reform!

  • I’m a quiet admirer of Mackinlay. He is doing a good, honest, principled job for his constituency (as did the decent, but sent-to-the-wall, Ian Gibson, and many, many more). Without exception, they will be regretted when the Tory boys and gels (or even worse) inherit.

    What needs to go in the record here is the antipathy there is on the leftist fringes of the Labour Party for anyone, like Mackinlay, trying, among much more, to bring about a decent, democratic, alternative future for Northern Ireland.

    Don’t weep for me, Estancia ‘La Hibernia’

    After two Parliamentary elections, and eleven years as a London Borough Councillor, I was refused re-selection by the controlling clique in my Constituency Party. My intra-party opponents were well known to hold pre-meetings, by special invitation only, in advance of Constituency Party and Labour Group meetings. They were a party-within-a-party, and (in those benighted days) very successful at it. These were the ex-SLL and ex-WRP adherents of the London Labour Briefing (now the London Left Briefing). The primum mobile there was Jeremy Corbyn, who was enfeoffed with North Islington constituency. Sniff the brimstone.

    The killer question in my auto da fé was: “Which Party would you vote for in a Northern Irieland election?” When I, loyal to Labour Party policies, replied “SDLP, our fellows in the Socialist International”, that was light-the-faggots time. The correct answer, of course, and as I knew, was “Sinn Féin (Workers Party)”.

    The irony here is that I was probably a more convinced Marxist, Republican and Nationalist than any of them. In Dublin I had ameeting-of-minds with the Pearse Street “Red Shed” (now “Connolly Books”) lot. I was an admirer (though I could never have worked with him) of Noel Browne, for whom and his NPD I did a bit of backroom stuff before he and Jack McQuillan rejoined the Labour Party (and we TCD slefties went with him). The TCD Fabians (and I was there) were trying to open channels and establish a dialogue with the lefties in QUB long before NICRA and PD. Yet, to the Corbynistas, we knew nothing.

    Mine is only one of the many stories which contribute to the Labour years of the 1980s, the years the locusts ate.

    Funnily enough, we stayed honest, loyal, and will be voting for a socialist alternative as long as we breathe:

    Ulster lost with each green sod still crying
    For those dear dead who left us dreams undying
    Of Ireland’s needs, O’Neill whose heart took fire
    And joined the sacred flames of Hugh Maguire.

    Shall we not cry Lamh Dearg abu and glory
    In Cromwell’s fall, in reading Clonmel’s story,
    Or by the Yellow Ford who cheered most loudly
    As hand from hand we passed the same flag proudly?

  • Driftwood

    A lowlife opportunist who realised he would lose his seat mext May, and set himself up as a would be martyr over the UFO nutcase.
    Rat. Sinking ship. Leave.

    Pathetic, makes Jeffrey Donaldson look like a beacon of virtue.

    He could set up as an estate agent in East Belfast I suppose. But like other ex Estate Agents there , he’s made his millions and to hell with the people.

    pity his ‘friends’ in NI don’t join him.

  • Anonymous

    Well said Drifty, it’s nice to see you talk some sense for once in your life. I am a little bit sad, however, because I was quite looking forward to the prospect of the “utter bastard” fighting another “utter bastard”, Nasty Nick, for his seat at the next election.

  • I would take a very different view from McKinlay on a lot of Irish issues, but you had to admire his independence of mind

    As for David Kelly, I think he was trying to do his best to hold the executive to account on an issue where it was sorely needed. That he wasn’t able to was perhaps more of a commentary on the ‘high court of Parliament’ than on him.

  • Billy

    He was a keen supporter of many DUP linked victims groups and a strong supporter of the DUP claim for Libyan compensation to IRA victims.

    Oddly enough, I am not aware of him condemning the clear DUP leadership links with “Ulster Resistance” who imported arms from South Africa, among other places, which were used by “loyalist” terrorists to kill innocent Catholics.

    Has he been involved with any Nationalist victims groups? Does he feel that Catholic victims should get compensation from South Africa?

    I’d gladly retract if anyone can point out where he did any of these.

    In the absence of any such evidence, I’m afraid I’ll just have to regard him as a blatent hypocrite who was happy to accept links with terrorism from his DUP friends but condemning them from anyone else.

    Just another hypocrite then – good riddance!

  • tube


    You forgot to preface your post with “I’m not a member of Sinn Fein”

  • Driftwood

    Still feel sorry for the UFO guy (Gary McKinnon?) and hope he wins his case.
    The only reasom his case is being pursued is to ease prejudice at the military incompetents in the USA.

  • Billy


    I guess that’s meant to be witty – well, you’re only half-way there. Your pen name is well chosen.

    I speak my mind – if I was a member, supporter or Sinn Fein voter I would say so.

    I would never have voted for Sinn Fein while the IRA were active. I left the North before the ceasefire and haven’t lived there since.

    Were I in a position to vote in the next election, I may well give them a vote. I do have issues with some of their policies such as education. However, from a Nationalist point of view, they are much better than the SDLP which would do everyone a favour if they died off as soon as possible.

    As much as it may pain you, I will also be interested to see what the UUP/Cons offer and will look at it with an open mind. I don’t think Cameron is any sort of bigot – he genuinly wants to make the Union attractive to Catholics.

    Unfortunately, the UUP need to skip at least one generation before they can be taken seriously by Catholics. Even “reasonable Reg” is associated with Vanguard and it’s UDA links. Also the OO link is still way too strong. In short, there are still to many anti-Catholic bigots in the UUP and that will drag Cameron and the Tories down.

    Perhaps, what really riles you is the fact that I pointed out the hypocrisy of this man’s position.

    Those damn uppity taigs eh! We should just sit there and praise him for his DUP and Protestant victims support and not mention the blatent hypocrisy.

    Apologies, I really must try and remember my place!

  • Framer

    Andrew Mackinlay also worked for many years in support of the Camapign for Labour Representation which was never a fashionable cause and one opposed by too many in Northern Ireland, particularly the devolutionist left and the Trotskyists not to mention the Communist Party of Northern Ireland whose members now discreetly inhabit the upper reaches of our quangocracy.

    Andrew spoke on Northern Ireland more than most of our own expenses-padded MPs. I instance Iris Robinson MP who intervened only once in the House of Commons in the last year despite claiming £200 a month for food in London.

  • può dirmi

    Why were the comments for the other Andrew Mackinlay closed?

  • Censored?

    As può dirmi said, explanation?

    That’s hardly a shining example of upholding the right to free speech, is it?

  • Censored?

    Well, will any explanation be forthcoming? (not directed at you, Brian, but there’s no other suitable outlet for my query regarding this most mysterious of disappearances)

  • The reason for the censorship is because there is much more to Andrew Mackinlay than just supporting the DUP – e.g., ouiting Dr. David Kelly for assassination, strongly supporting the Iraq War, Trident, and ID cards, opposing an investigation of the Iraq War, etc.

    The MP has a terrible record in the most important regards, and it does no good to talk about his constituencey service. All the lesser MPs are good at it too.

    For more about Mackinlay’s voting record, see this link:

    In short, the reason for scrubbing one of the threads is damage control.

  • Censored?

    Mick, any answers to the above?

  • Censored?


  • Since no one else will explain the scrubbing of the other thread about Andrew Mackinlay, I shall have to.

    This thread – started by Brian Walker, stating that there was more to Mackinlay than just supporting the DUP – grossly compounded the problems of starting the first one, resulting in its being closed down because Mackinlay was truly, as Dr. Kelly uttered, an “utter bastard”.

    As Walker showed, Mackinlay modelled himself on another “utter bastard”, Nationalist MP Tim Healy who won the Monaghan by-election in the summer of 1883, thanks to Parnell’s campaigning for him.

    This was when Dicey, an original Home Ruler, was organizing the famous Northern Pacific junket to the USA for all the British Liberals who were considered the key players to get PM William Gladstone to go along with the campaign.

    Parnell had even been invited to lead the Irish delegation but he declined because of all the problems it might cause with the Irish Physical Force people in the States, and because of what Healy needed to win the by-election.

    Of course, this all went nowhere when Dicey decided most wrongly that Parnell was a front for the Clan na Gael and the Phoenix Park murderers because of how Patrick Ford had treated a column by Dicey about Dublin Castle when it was republished from The Nation in Ford’s Irish World.

    For more on this, see my biography of Dicey, p. 125ff.

    For Healy then to turn on Parnell when the now Dicey-led Unionists wanted to get rid of him – not because of his affair with KItty O’Shea but to make good on their “Parnellism and Crime” campaign – was the height of treachery, not some kind of useful parliamentary service by a dedicated MP.

    And for Mackinlay to model himself on this whole scandalous process by Healy shows just what I self-serving bastard he really is.

    As Healy was a willing supporter of Parnell until he decided otherwise, Mackinlay has been a most willing supporter of another “utter bastard”, PM Tony Blair – especially in setting up Dr. Kelly for assassination by, it seems, a still undisclosed kidon in the area where the murder took place.

    And I am quite willing to go to court to prove my position in this incredible scandal – what the cowardly British royal state will never do.

  • I know I’m going to regret this, but … oh! My Gawd!

    I’m sure the Labour Whips would roll eyes at the notion of Mackinlay being:

    a most willing supporter of another “utter bastard”, PM Tony Blair.

    Mackinlay saw that Kelly was flakey; and took him apart, in a proper forensic fashion. In the Select Committee (15 July 2003), 179 questions were put to Kelly: fewer than 50 were by Mackinlay, specifically on

    the “dodgy dossier”;
    Kelly’s meetings and briefings of journalists, in particular Gilligan;
    on Niger as a source of yellowcake;
    whether Kelly was properly licensed to brief the Press, and/or whether he had been hung out to dry by the MoD.

    None were, in the strict sense of the word, “impertinent”.

    As for the “utter bastard” thing, that is hear-say from a Kelly “relative”, after the event. Its main basis emerges much later, via an item in the Telegraph (3 Sep 2003) by Andrew Sparrow.

    The rest of Trowbridge H. Ford @ 06:37 AM is equally speculative.

    Professor A.V.Dicey was, strictly, a constitutionalist. To describe him as “an original Home Ruler” misunderstands the beginnings of the Home Rule movement, and the development from Repeal, through Federalism, to the Home Government Association of 1870.

    That bit about “Dicey-led Unionists” gives me another false impression. Dicey’s main contribution was his pamphlet, A Leap in the Dark — from 1893, by which time Parnell was two years departed this life. “Unionism” is more usually dated from Randolph Churchill’s Manchester speech of 3 Mar 1886:

    Do you not think that such a party might be formed which might combine all that is best of the politics of the Tory, the Whig, or the Liberal? … Might we not call it the party of the Union? Members of that party might be known as Unionists.

    Lord Rossmore, Richard Kane of the Orange Order, Edward Saunderson’s “roaring at Ballymena” and many others were there before Churchill. Perhaps Mr Ford could help us lesser intellects by explicating his argument in this regard?

    Despite his Cork declaration in January 1885 (observed daily by North Dubliners on the bus into work), Parnell never came close to defining Home Rule before 1886: he did say, in 1875, that he saw no difference between Repeal and Home Rule. That was one reason for harder-line nationalists nurturing doubts about Parnell. The Irish-American context is far more complex than Ford dismisses: it needs to consider (say) the Devoy and Sullivan factions in Clan na Gael, and the class divide between the Irish World fund and the Hoffman House Committee.

    What are we to take from Ford’s assertion that Healy was “a willing supporter of Parnell until he decided otherwise”? May I reasonably suspect Ford is implying that Healy only ratted at the end? Healy (still recovering from typhoid) defended Parnell at the Leinster Hall: significantly, his uncle and father-in-law, T.D.Sullivan had already gone the other way. Healy frequently had previous moments with Parnell, notably the Galway Mutiny over O’Shea as the by-election candidate.

    I think, by now, I’ve overstayed my welcome here.

  • Well, as Malcolm Redfellow said at the outset of his post that he was going to regret it, as he well should, as the rest of his post is just complete nonsense.

    Given his own figures about Mackinlay grilling of Kelly, there can be no doubt that he was the MP he was referring to when he discussed the matter with his daughter.

    For more, see this link:

    As for Dicey having been simply a constitutional loyalist, the Royal Historical Society doesn’t agree, having noted these articles by me in its Bibliography:

    “A.V. Dicey and the destruction of Parnell,” Eire-Ireland, 1978.

    “A. V. Dicey’s articles in ‘The Nation’ of New York,” Eire-Ireland, 1989.

    “Dicey and the destruction of Sir Charles Dilke,”
    Eire-Ireland, 1976.

    “Dicey’s polemic against Parnell,” Studies, 1976.

    The Bibilography used to have the one about Dicey’s crusade against Parnell from Studiea Hibernica, 1979, until it determined that it was essentially the one which had appeared in Eire-Ireland the previous year.

    In sum, my work on Dicey’s career has been recognized by the highest authorities, and I am not at all concerned about what MR says about the wild conspirator or his prey to the contrary.

    And are we just supposed to ignore the Mackinlay bit about Healy’s finally denouncing Parnell in Committee Room 14?

  • I must correct myself as the Studia Hibernica article, entitled “Dicey’s Crusade against Parnell,” is also in the RHS Bibliography. It carries the Professor’s campaign against the Nationalist leader through the cover-up by the Parnell Commission.

    It in under the name T.H.Ford, what British colleagues often called me to make my efforts be more convincing, as the Brits love to use initials.

  • I must correct myself as the Studia Hibernica article, entitled “Dicey’s Crusade against Parnell,” is also in the RHS Bibliography. It carries the Professor’s campaign against the Nationalist leader through the cover-up by the Parnell Commission.

    It in under the name T.H.Ford, what British colleagues often called me to make my efforts be more convincing, as the Brits love to use initials.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford @ 11:41 AM:

    Well, most authorities believe the meetings, starting on 1 Dec 1890, took place in Committee Room Fifteen. So, who’s adrift there?

    Who is “the wild conspirator or his prey”?

    I notice that all the articles Ford cites are by his own hand.

    To reprise: Dicey was originally a Liberal, mainly on the issue of Free Trade, who made a political journey rightwards. His four pamphlets on the Home Rule issue show his intellectual development:

    England’s Case Against Home Rule (1886) — an instructive title, mayhap;
    Letters on Unionist Delusions (1887) — hardly the most positive endorsement;
    A Leap in the Dark (1893) — which gained most traction; and
    A Fool’s Paradise (1913).

    Dicey may, in Ford’s view (we are all entitled to our quirks), have been an intellectual influence on Unionist thought — goodness knows, that oxymoronic concept needed gracing with something more than the opportunism of Churchill and the Ulster cabal. He was not, however, an active player until his peripheral involvement in the end-game. Hence my impatience with Ford suggesting he was significant in the fall of Parnell.

    Let us consider the couple of occasion when Dicey did enter the ring.

    In 1913 he was exchanging views with St Loe Strachey (editor of the Spectator). Dicey argued that the new King should exercise the Royal Prerogative last employed by William III. The elected Liberal Government (which held a substantial majority with the support of the Labour and Irish Parliamentary Parties) should be dismissed, and Balfour enstooled by regal diktat:

    We shall have to fight the usurpation of a party machine. We cannot afford to give up an old and clumsy weapon… [The King should] call to office a Unionist Ministry.

    So much for any democratic niceties.

    On 12 Feb 1914, Dicey was advising Bonar Law to use the Annual Army Act to forbid coercion of Ulster. That’s not just a coincidence with the Curragh Mutiny (declared by Gough and his officers, 20 March 1914).

    However, when the Home Rule Bill received its third reading in the Commons on 25 May, 1914. Dicey endorsed it to the extent of telling Milner (and, through Milner, Carson) that rebellion in Ulster after Home Rule “would, I can hardly doubt, be treason”.

    On two occasions, then, for good or ill, Dicey was ignored.

    In one respect Ford is correct. The Ulster mess was made in England, by English Tories, for English political advantage. And Dicey was playing Tory party games by the time of the last Home Rule Bill.

  • This thread is about Andrew Mackinlay – especially about what he did as an MP, not only to his constituency but to the country at large, especially its foreign policy in the lead-up to the Iraq War and its blowback.

    In dealing with this matter, Mackinlay demonstrated in devastating ways that he was the MP who Dr. Kelly referred to as an “utter bastard” whose outing of led to his murder.

    Maclinlay likes to compare his parliamentary activites to the most independent-minded Nationalist MP Tim Healy whose similar turning on Charles Parnell led to political destruction, making him, in my mind, an “utter bastard” too.

    Both MPs showed themselves to be most self-serving in crucial matters, and I think that they should be so remembered.

    I only mentioned Dicey – who I know my publications on establish me as an expert of – because his activites showed most clearly when it came to Nationalist party politics what Parnell was really up against.

    According to your lights, no one can be an expert on anything – only a reporter of what others have done.

    What Dicey did as a Unionist after the Parnell Commission failed to identify his conspiratorial efforts in bringing down the Nationalist leader, and his demise is completely irrelevant to this discussion.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford @ 01:43 PM:

    Correct: this thread is about Andrew Mackinlay.

    I did not drag in Healy or Parnell or Dicey. I merely sought to establish facts.

    Ford says:

    Maclinlay likes to compare his parliamentary activites to the most independent-minded Nationalist MP Tim Healy…

    Well, Mackinlay (recte), as far as I recall, called in aid Healy just the once. On 29 Mar 2004, Mackinlay responded to an announcement by the PUS Defence, that funding would be provided for Irish veterans to attend the “Heroes Return” D-Day commemoration. Mackinlay quoted Healy:

    as long as water runs and grass is green Irishmen will always remember.

    True, true indeed: though the first part of that expression is lifted from the Medicine Lodge treaty of 1867.

    Depicting Mackinlay as:

    an “utter bastard” whose outing of led to [Kelly’s] murder

    is blackguarding of the most gross kind. For the record, Kelly was before the Select Committee because he had been briefing the Press anonymously:

    Did he have the approval of his seniors to do so?
    Was he Gilligan’s only source?
    Was he correctly represented by Gilligan?
    Was he outed by Downing Street?
    Was he being subsequently set up by the MoD (which is the point of Mackinlay’s “chaff” comment)?

    Surely, all legitimate lines of inquiry.

    In all respects, Kelly singularly failed to answer questions put to him by the Select Committee (and not by Mackinlay alone).

    As I read Mackinlay at the time, he was out to get at the people in the shadows (the MoD, Downing Street and those in the media, like Gilligan, running a political agenda) not the witness himself. The sad fact is that Kelly did not recognise that, when he betook himself on his solitary last walk.

    The Select Committee’s proceedings are on-line for all to read and decide for themselves:

    I do not brag of being an opinionated “expert of” anyone or anything. I merely have a strong regard of the facts. If that makes me “only a reporter of what others have done”, I am content with that.

  • You asked earlier where I got my source about Committee Room 14 being the scene where the showdown with Parnell occurred.

    I, of course, got it from the heading that Brian Walker provided for this thread. Walker also added that Andrew Mackinlay likes pointing it out to people, showing that he referred to Healy quite often.

    Do you read what other people write?

    And I notice that you completely ignored the link about what Kelly’s daughter said her father said about Mackinlay. He said he was an “utter bastard”, and I completely agree.

    And Mackinlay’s public outing of Kelly certainly led to his murder – as the unprecedented appointment of the Hutton whitewash demonostrated.

    Given what Mackinlay had in mind for the alleged out-of-line civil servant, he should have held the meeting under the tightest secrecy, if at all.

    And what would you have done if you had been under the public spotlight like Kelly? Told everything to your accusers just to insure that you made your situation more untenable?

    Mackinlay made the outing known to everyone, especially his assassins. As for who they are, read the testimony of the two rescue people who finally found his body before the Hutton coverup.

    Kelly’s alleged suicide is just what question beggers seek when they try to explain Parnell’s destruction – it was just another fall.

    As for my writings on Dicey, I think that they deserve to be considered more than just another opinion, especially since they were published in referred, respected journals, and are included in the most authoritative bibliographies.

    You don’t brag about being an expert – you just assert that you know it all, and then try to demonstrate it by using any means possible!

  • Brian Walker

    Malcolm the committee room 15 of late c19 is now committee room 14. Same room.

  • I knew that I should have been better banging my head against the wall.

    The numbering of the Committee Room Fifteen is significant to the Parnell story because that is how every history names it. No more; no less.

    Mackinlay complained that the corridor outside was being used as a tip, disrespecting the portraits and the events.

    I cited a source for the “utter bastard” reference that I might be factually corrected. The nearest we can get to what Ford asserts might be Ben Russell in the Indy [2 Sep 2003]:

    Rachel Kelly … revealed [Kelly’s] anger in an apparent reference to Andrew Mackinlay, the Labour MP who called the weapons expert “chaff” and “a fall guy”, but said that Dr Kelly had not named the MP concerned.

    I note that is an inference, not a statement, and comes to us at third hand. Not my definition of good historical practice.

    As I say, I am prepared to let others make their own opinion as to whether Mackinlay and the others on the Select Committee were in order to ask the questions they did, and whether Kelly adequately responded. Mackinlay, however, did not have the choice of the Select Committee meeting “under the tightest secrecy” rather than “under the public spotlight”. Perhaps Donald Anderson (Chairing the Committee) had that authority; but he would have undergone media excoriation in doing so. Everything Gilligan had alleged was in the public eye and ear: the issues were how it got there and was it valid. Kelly had written a letter to the Select Committee seeking to correct his previous position. In the course of his evidence I read Kelly contradicting himself in detail as to what he was trying to put into the public domain, whether he had been authorised to say it, and whether Gilligan had properly represented him. At the end of his questioning the Chairman put to him:

    Dr Kelly, Sir John [Stanley] has properly said that you acted honourably. When you thought that you might have been the source you wrote a letter volunteering the fact of your meeting. Given what has subsequently happened, do you feel used in any way?

    Kelly replied:

    You have already asked that question. I accept the process that I have encountered.

    Beyond that, assertions about “murder” and “coverup” are pejorative and partisan froth: such doesn’t constitute objective or convincing “history”. As for,

    Mackinlay made the outing known to everyone, especially his assassins

    Ford transgresses into the bizarre. My reading of that is Mackinlay was responsible for identifying Kelly as Gilligan’s source (not so) and Mackinlay then sent a personal invitation to some cloak-and-dagger operatives to do the business. This is the stuff of a cheap sensational thriller. Unsupported petty libels are not, in my mind, attributes of a credible “historian”.

  • Malcolm Redfellow can play the protector of Andrew Mackinlay until Hell freezes over but he was FAC’s bloodhound after Dr. David Kelly, not its chairman, retiring, yes-man Sir Donald Anderson, as these links show:

    And while MR can plead ignorance about an obvious murder if he chooses, I cannot.

    And I never said anything about Mackinlay sending a personal invitation to anyone about killing Kelly. He didn’t have to as he had already shown that Kelly was the troublemaker that PM Blair apparently wanted disposed of.

    And I am not involved in either writing or engaging in some cheap thriller, only hoping to see some kind of justice done in a case only worthy of the worst police state.

  • And guess who has piped up about these matters just after most interesting developments in the Sean O’Neill case are becoming widely known?

    Sir John Chilcot, the head of the Iraqi War Inquiry.

    He contends that its makers and disinformers, politicians like former PM Tony Blair and MP Andrew Mackinlay, will eagerly come forward to fully explain voluntarily and truthfully their role in the whole process without any subpeneas or any oaths, subjecting them to perjury actions if they turn out to be lying.

    And then this whole process will only publicly begin after the Inquiry completely understands the whole terrible scandal.

    It is also interesting to note that Sean O’Neill -apparently an RUC informer involved in the unexplained murder of innocent businessman Frederick Jackson right after the Brighton bombing of the Thatcher government – is now facing sentencing for only a small part of his IRA activities in the States.

    For more on this, see this link:

    And don’t forget that Chilcot was head of the Home Department’s Police Office when O’Neill somehow disappeared from prison in the UK, and when Chilcot was supporting the efforts to tar John Stalker’s inquiry into shoot-to-kill murders like those concerning Jackson with the alleged role of hitman Captain Simon Hayward through Stalker’s connections with alleged criminal Kevin Taylor.

    Finally, Chilcot led the inquiry into the 2002 burglary of the RUC Castlereagh file headquarters, in which all the information of its informants conveniently disappeared, and no one yet has been convincingly convicted of the massive crime.

    For more on all this, see this link:

    In short, Chilcot’s Inquiry is shaping up to make the Hutton Inquiry look like one of judicial probity.

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