Murder is Murder is Murder not my words but Mrs Thatchers

Irish children murdered by British Crown Forces in the occupied six Counties of the North of Ireland

Spitting Image creator calls for TV show comeback to spit in the face of Brexit

Beloved satirical puppet show that mocked Margaret Thatcher may well return, if its creator John Lloyd gets his way

Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher depicted as a puppet in Spitting Image, 1989

“In this particular climate, I think it’s about time Spitting Image had a comeback,” says absolutely everyone.

But this is the satirical puppet show’s producer John Lloyd saying it, so that’s much more encouraging.

Creator Roger Law is currently attempting to take the ITV series Stateside — “there is a possibility it will happen in America,” confirms John.

But John firmly believes it’s “about time” the show, which aired in the 1980s and 1990s, returns to British TV screens.

“It’s really good for Brits,” he tells the Mirror. “We have slightly lost our sense of humour in this climate and no one dares speak to anyone.

“Spitting Image is very good at airing the issues in a way that made people laugh about them.

Former PM Margaret Thatcher was the original target of the show (Image: Getty Images)

“When I was producing it, it’s not unlike what we have now, which is a very divided society – you were either pro Mrs Thatcher or you didn’t like her at all. Spitting Image went on and people could have a lightness of touch about it.”

John — who has previously said he believes Spitting Image might have prevented Brexit if it had been on air during the referendum — adds that the show “educated a bunch of kids in politics” and “made them interested in it”.

“That is the problem,” he continues. “Nowadays, people have washed their hands with it and they say ‘I don’t like any of them. I’m not interested.’”

Last year, show creator Roger Law said he was focused on a US version.

“I don’t need some halfwit at ITV or the BBC telling us what you can or can’t do,” he scoffed. “I’m too old.”

With many thanks to the: Daily Mirror for the original story

Margaret Thatcher ‘know of Cyril Smith abuse and Cabinet Office covered up information’

Papers shown to a Sunday newspaper show the then Prime Minister was aware of allegations surrounding the Liberal MP before he was handed the honour

Cover-up: Thatcher allegedly knew of Cyril Smith’s child abuse

Margaret Thatcher was aware of allegations of child abuse made against Cyril Smith but the information was covered up by the Cabinet Office, it has been reported.

The Cabinet Office has been accused of attempting to cover up information about Whitehall’s knowledge of the MP’s abuse at the time he was granted a knighthood.

The documents revealed that Margaret Thatcher was made aware of allegations involving the Liberal MP before he was given the honour.

The papers, released to the Mail of Sunday following repeated demands for disclosure, also show that the country’s most senior civil servant wrote to the director of public prosecutions to find out why Smith did not face justice for alleged offences against teenage boys.

The newspaper first requested the documents under the Freedom of Information Act in April last year but they were only released on Friday following an intervention by the Information Commissioner, the Manchester Evening News writes.

Blind eye: Cyril Smith was given the benefit of the doubt (Image: Gerry)

The 19-page dossier of information on the decision to confer a knighthood on former Rochdale MP Smith in 1988 included one undated letter, marked secret, from a member of the Political Honours Scrutiny Committee to Mrs Thatcher, warning of “the risk that such an award could give rise to adverse criticism”.

In the letter Lord Shackleton spelled out that police had investigated Smith in 1970 for “indecent assault against teenage boys” between 1961 and 1966, but the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) had decided “there was no reasonable prospect of conviction”.

The letter to the then prime minister said the case was reported in the Rochdale Alternative Press and Private Eye, adding: “One may regret this kind of press reporting but it could be revived if an award to Mr Smith were made.”

Lord Shackleton said it would be “slightly unfortunate” if this “episode” stopped Smith receiving the honour but added: “We felt it right to warn the honours system would be at some risk if the award were to be made and announced.”

The newspaper reported that a second note to the prime minister, dated May 1988, admitted the committee had “some hesitation” about the award but “so far as we believe and have been able to ascertain, his past history or general character does not, in all the circumstances, render him unsuitable.

In the know:Margaret Thatcher (Image: PA)

In another letter the committee’s secretary said Smith had been given the “benefit of the doubt” because he had not been prosecuted.

The then cabinet secretary Sir Robin Butler – now Lord Butler of Brockwell – wrote to the DPP on the committee’s behalf to seek more information about Smith’s case.

He said: “The case for taking the exceptional step of writing to you in this way is to protect the Prime Minister (and The Queen) while also being fair to Mr Smith.”

He said the committee wanted to know “whether the case against Mr Smith was not well founded: or whether it was a sound case, but that the evidence was not likely to stand up in court”.

The newspaper said no reply from the DPP is recorded in the file.

The papers were only released following five requests by the Mail on Sunday and the intervention of the Information Commissioner.

Campaign: MP Simon Danczuk (Image: MEN)

Campaigning Labour MP Simon Danczuk, who wrote a book about the allegations against Smith, accused the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of aiding a cover-up.

He told the Mail on Sunday: “Nick Clegg and David Cameron have colluded in covering this up. It involves their people and we should not have to learn about this piecemeal because of journalists pestering for information.

“Both men need to come clean and make a personal commitment to revealing everything that is now held by Government departments.

“The Prime Minister promised there would be no stone unturned into the inquiry of historic sex abuse in Westminster.

“But the Cabinet Office seems to be doing the opposite.

“Nick Clegg, who sits in this department, has already written to me refusing to carry out an investigation into who knew what about Cyril Smith in his party and it’s disappointing to see the Cabinet Office continuing this unhelpful approach.”

A Cabinet Office spokeswoman said: “The Cabinet Office has released almost all of the information held about this matter.

“We concluded that the public interest favoured releasing this information rather than applying the usual exemptions that cover honours material. We are sorry that it has taken some time to consult all relevant officials.”

With many thanks to the: Daily Mirror and David Hughes for the original story.

Sands ‘offered to suspend Hunger Strike to reach deal’ !!!

‘Why would he make it up? It’s a private conversation and he relates to Humphrey Atkins – Thomas Hennessey speaking about Fr John Magee‘s version of events.

BOBBY Sands offered to suspend the 1981 Hunger Strike in order to reach a deal with the British, a new book has claimed. The claims are made in Hunger Strike: Margaret Thatcher’s Battle with the IRA, written by academic Thomas Hennessey.

A mural dedicated to republican hunger striker...

As well as looking at the role of the former British prime minster, the book examines efforts to end the protest which eventually claimed the lives of ten brave republicans. Mr Hennessey reveals that Sands, who died in May 1981 after 66 days on Hunger Strike, made the offer to Co Down native Fr John Magee who had been sent from Rome to Ireland by John Paul 11. An account of the conversation between the priest and Sands was later relayed to the then secretary of state, Humphrey Atkins. In his book Mr Hennessey says Sands agreed to suspend his fast for five days to allow time for talks – “provided certain conditions were satisifed”. Some of the conditions set out by Sands included that an official from the NIO (Northern Ireland Office) would visit him, that two priests should be present as guarantors and that three other republican prisoners should be present. Details of the offer were later rejected by Mr Atkins who objected to the idea that the hunger striker was “setting conditions”.


According to the author Mr Atkins made it clear that the British government was not prepared to “negotiate” with protesting prisioners at that time. While he had “respect for the Pope” he said he would not be able to meet his representative again “because to do so would risk creating the impression that some form of negotiation was going”. Mr Hennessey believed Fr Magee’s account of the conversation he had with Sands was accurate. “Why would he make it up? It’s a private conversation and he relates it to Humphrey Atkins,” he said. “To me it’s genuine and does not undermine what Sands is trying to do.” The author backs up previous claims made by former H-Block prisoner Richard O’Rawe that a deal was offered that could have ended the Hunger Strike in July 1981. His account of how the deal offer was handled has been strongly contested by other Provisional republicans. “It is clear there was a deal offered that could have ended the Hunger Strike,” Mr Hennessey said. “I accept Richard O’Rawe’s analysis of that but there are other aspects you can’t prove.”

With many thanks to: Connia Young, The Irish News.


Paisley, McKeague and Seawright among famed users of emotive words.

POLITCIANS playing to their constituency with colourful and emotive rhetoric is uusually regarded as an asset. Renowned orators like Michael Collins and Winston Churchill delivered words in a manner that instilled awe and great loyalty among their audience.


Throughout the Troubles – and even before 1969 – the North of Ireland‘s politicians have enjoyed employing aggressive and provocative language when speaking in public. One of the most notorious incidents occoured almost 50 years ago when big Ian Paisley demanded the removal of the Irish tricolour from Division Street in West Belfast. He warned of riots if the RUC did not heed his call, but the violence the relatively young Free Presbyterian preacher predicted was avoided after a police operation to remove the flag. Over subsequent decades the former DUP leader’s language sailed close to the wind on many occasions but never were his words deemed so offensive that they resulted in arrest. However, his East Belfast loyalist associate John McKeague did face prosecution for a hate crime over the written word rather than an inflammatory speech.

The 1971 publication of Loyalist song book and its inclusion of anti-Catholic lyrics saw McKeague brought to court but ultimately acquitted after the proesecution failed to convince the jury of his intent. McKeague was shot dead a decade later by the INLA. In perhaps the best known episode of inciting sectarian hatred Belfast DUP councillor George Seawright was pprosecuted in 1984 when he made provocative remarked during a meeting of Belfast Education and Library Board. The loyalist, who like McKeague was later gunned down by the INLA offshoot, described Catholics who objected to the singing of the British national anthem “fenian scum” and suggested they should be burnt in an incinerator. Although he denied making the comments, Mr Seawright was prosecuted and received a six-month suspended sentence. The era of social media means the opportunities for people to go beyond what is deemed acceptable is much greater. The court restrictions around using Facebook and Twitter placed on loyalist flag protesters Jamie Bryson and Willie Frazer reflect a recognition of the potential by political and community leaders to incite their followers through.

With many thanks to : John Manley, The Irish News.


A SINN Fein assembly member has claimed comments by former Ulster Unionist Ken Maginnis during a TV documentary on Margaret Thatcher confirm the British government operated a ‘shoot-to-kill’ policy during the Troubles. West Tyrone MLA Declan McAleer claimed remarks made by Lord Maginnis showed the ggovernment was “responsible for targeting and executing people”.

Collusion - Shoot-to-kill

During the RTE documentary Thatcher – Ireland and the Iron LadyLord Maginnis said IRA members were killed in an SAS ambush shortly after he gave names to Baroness Thatcher. The former Ulster Defence Regiment major said he met Margaret Thatcher after the IRA killed eight British soldiers in August 1988. When Ms Thatcher asked him who was responsible the former UUP member gave her names of the people he suspected of being involved. “Subsequently, believe it or not, there was an SAS operation when the same team tried to kill a coal man and they were ambushed and that was the end of that particular team,” Lord Maginnis said in the programme, broadcast on Tuesday.

IRA  members Martin Harte (23), his brother Gerard (29) and brother-in-law Brian Million (26) were shot dead at Cloughfin in Drumnakilly, Co Tyrone, during an SAS ambush in August 1988. Mr McAleer claimed Lord Maginnis’s comments confirmed that there was a ‘shoot-to-kill policy sanctioned by the highest level of the British government. “It confirms what republicans have been saying for years, that those at the highest levels of the British government were involved in targeting and assassinating republicans, solicitors and anyone else who challenged their remit in Ireland,” he said. The UUP dismissed Mr McAleer’s comments. A spokesman said : “This is yet another attempt by Sinn Fein to rewrite history.”

With many thanks to : Brendan Hughes, The Irish News.


AN ARCHIVE paper from the Margaret Thatcher Foundation containing handwritten notes from the former:-)  British Prime Minister has reignited a dispute within Republicanism about whether the 1981 Hunger Strike could have been ended sooner.


Former Maze prisoner Richard O’Rawe said the publication of the document “removes all acmbiguity” and proves there was a “concrete offer” from the British government approved by the then Conservative prime minister in early July 1981. He has long insisted a proposal was relayed to prisoners in the Maze that could have ended the Hunger Strike, which had already claimed four lives and would lead to six more deaths. Mr O’Rawe(pictured below) acted as a public relations officer for the prisoners and has argued that inmates had accepted the British government’s offer but were overruled by an IRA committee on the outside, of which Gerry Adams and Danny Morrison were members, to maximise electoral success.

Documents previously released in London under the 30-year rule confirmed that Mrs Thatcher had approved a message to be relayed to the IRA leadership outlining concessions on prisoners’ demands such as clothing, food and parcels after they dropped a demand to be given prisoner-of-war status. Mr O’Rawe said the latest release by the Margaret Thatcher Foundation further proved his case. The document – entitled Hunger Strike: Message to the relayed through the channel – stated that the government wanted a satisfactory response to its proposal by 9am on July 7.


However, Danny Morrison, former Sinn Fein director of publicity, has again rejected Mr O’Rawe’s claim and maintained there was no concreate offer on the table in early July 1981. Mr Morrison said papers from both the British government and Brendan Duddy, who acted as an intermediary between the government and republicans, proved Mr Morrison had gone into the Maze to speak to IRA prisoners on July 5 without an offer. Mr Duddy did not receive information on the government’s position until late the following night, Mr Morrison insisted.

With many thanks to : Maeve Connolly, Irish News.


New book reveals fear after deaths of hunger strikers.

MARGARET TThatcher was “terrified” the IRA would kill her, a new book about her life has revealed. The former British prime minister, dubbed ‘The Iron Lady‘, lived in fear that republicans would target her in retaliation for the deaths of the 10 (Brave Men) hunger strikers in 1981.


The new authorised biography also reveals that Baroness Thatcher once described North of Ireland nationalists as “traitors” because they wanted a United Ireland. Work on the book by Charles Moore, a former editor of the Spectator, Sunday Telegraph and Daily Telegrah, began work in 1997 on condition it would not be published until after the former Conservative leader’s death. The 87-year-old died after suffering a major stroke earlier last month. The book confirms that despite public denials, Lady Thatcher authorised contact with the Provisional IRA (Gerry Adams & Martin McGuinness) leadership during the Hunger Strike and gives details about failed negotiatoins to end the fast, hours before Joe McDonnell lost his life as the sixth prisoner to die. The author claims that in the aftermath of the Hunger Strike  she felt “sad” and “admired the hunger strikers ‘ courage”. “You have to had it to some of these IRA boys,” she is reported to have said.


She also described them as “poor devils” and suggested they were forced to join the fast or “they’d be shot”. “What a waste. What a terrible waste of human life,” he said. While her veiw of the hunger strikers may come to a surprise to some, so to could be the vulnerabilty she felt in the face of IRA threats. The prime minister’s tough public image was reinforced when she pressed ahead with the 1994 Conservative Party Conference despite narrowly escaping injury when the IRA blew up the Grand Hotel in Brighton. Five people were killed and 31 injured during the attack.


With many thanks to : Connia Young, Irish News.


What elsegdoes Mark Thatcher have to do to lose his knighthood ?


was brought up to not speak I’ll of the dead – but doesn’t apply to her family.

Maggie was laid to rest this week and hopefully with her will go the hysterical arguments about whether she was a saint, sinner, saviour , or criminal. Following on as her remains were loaded onto the gun carriage were family members and friends including wayward son Sir….yes, SIR Mark Thatcher. How on earth did that scoundrel land a knighthood ? It turns out he inherited the title when his father died in 2003, but if ever there was a commentary on the discredited honours system then this is it. I mean, what’s a guy gotta do these days to be stripped of an honour ?

Sir Mark has a glittering career of underachievement with more than a whiff of criminality, under his belt. His first suffered public ridicule a couple of years after his mother came to power when he got lost in the Sahara Desert while competing in the Paris-Dakar rallyAt one stage eight Algerian and British aircraft were looking for him and his mother (Iron Lady) had to write a cheque towards the cost of the rescue and settle a £11,000 unpaid hotel bill ! She should have heeded the warning.

Her less-than-golden boy moved to the sStates where he was investigated for tax evasion, forcing him to flee to South Africa where he was investigated for loan sharking. He has been refused residency in Monaco – where he is listed as an ‘UNDESIRABLE’ – Switzerland and the US, and pleaded guilty to being part of an attempted coup d’etat in Equatorial Guinea. I think you’ll agree it’s a pretty impressive CV for a knight of the realm. I mean Fred Goodwin was stripped of his knighthood and all he did was bring down a bank. Poor ooil Lester Pig got had his MBE taken away after he was banged up for tax fraud, yet Sir Mark sails serenely on. TThe nation of Tories claim Maggie ‘saved’ should do the honourable thing and bust Mark down to the rank of an ‘ordinary Joe ‘.

With many thanks to : Richard Sullivan, Sunday World.


PM sent her private plane to rescue spy then brought his family to Downing St for tea-and a fish supimmediately

A BRITISH agent who iinfiltrated who infiltrated Sinn Fein to spy on Martin McGuinness has told how Maggie Thatcher helped smuggle him out of the North of Ireland as an IRA assassination gang was closing in on him. And Derry man Willie Carlin even had a private audience with the ‘ Iron Lady ‘ in her drawing room at 10 Downing Street.


It took place just days after he was spirited out of Ulster by his M15 handers in Thatcher’s Ministerial jet – which she personally put at his disposal. Carlin was lucky to escape with his life because the security forces warned him that if he stayed even an hour longer, he would have been scooped by an IRA kilker squad. We have learned that even before Mrs Thatcher meet the Derry man, she often sang the praises of MI5 agent 3007 – codenamed ‘ The Fox ‘. And on at least two occasions, she rejected RUC briefings in favour of reports written by Carlin. Shortly after he escaped out of Derry with his wife Carlin was presented to the Tory PM at a late night meeting inside 10 Downing Street. She told the diminutive Derry man : ” I have been looking at breifing notes outlining your work for years.


Willie Carlin worked for British Intelligence as a paid informet

” I only knew you by your agent number 3007 and your codename ‘ The Fox ‘. But I can’t thank you enough for all the work you have done for us over the years.” The PM added : ” It’s nice to put a face and real name to a number and a code name after all these years.The PM added : ” It’s nice to put a face and real name to a number and a code name after all these years. And I now release why they called you ‘ The Fox ‘ “. At that time Carlin had bright red hair. Mrs Thatcher also thanked Carlin’s wife Mary – who only discovered her husband was a Tout/Informer 48 hours earlier – and she even arranged a fish supper to be delivered to No 10 for the Carlin’s young daughter Maria. As far as friends and neighbours back in Derry were concerned Willie Carlin was just another Sinn Fein activist who lived with his family in Derry’s Waterside. But in reality, he was a highly-placed British agent who had just compleated a 12 year stint inside the Republican Movement where he operated undetected as a member of Martin McGuinness’s inner circle. Speaking to the Sunday World last week, Carlin, now 64, recalled the night he was introuduced to the Iron Lady and he revealed he will be attendind Margaret Thatcher’s funeral with full military honours in London next week, albeit in a private capacity. He said : ” First of all Margaret Thatcher helped save my life by allowing me to escape in her jet. That’s good enough reason to be going to her funeral. But apart from that, I admired her toughness. ” I know she was a women, but she had more balls than any IRA man Also, she never gave up. Martin McGuinness did give up. Martin McGuinness delivered the IRA – Maggie Thatcher delivered nothing !” And he added : ” I’ll be happy to salute her at the funeral next week ; she saved my life.” William Joseph Carlin was a member of a large Catholic family from Derry. He was brought up on the Creggan estate. As a young man starting out in life in the early 1960’s, he faced the bleak prospect of spending years on the dole. Determined not to go down that road, Carlin applied to join the British Army. And faced with a bright young man with a high IQ, army recruiting staff steered Carlin towards an Irish Cavalary Regiment, the Royal Irish Hussars. But after a nine year stint where he excelled as a soldier, Carlin tired of army life and in 1974, he longed to return home to Derry with his wife and young family. However, army top brass advised against the move as the Ulster Troubles were at their peak. Soon members of the British Secret Service got to hear  of Carlin’s plight and after a series of long discussions, the spooks persuaded him to work for them as a Tout/Informer inside Sinn Fein. After agreeing a handsome financial package, Carlin was told to return to Derry, find a house and settle down quietly for a period of around two years. After making contact with republicans in his home town, Carlin was given the the go ahead to return to Derry after he was given an assurance that he and his family wouldn’t be harmed as a result of him having served in the British Armed Forces. The Carlins were a well known in Derry. Willie’s father-in-law had worked alongside Martin McGuinness’s father in Brown’s foundry. And he had even been best man for McGuinness Snr., when he married Martin’s mother. The Carlins settled down to life in a house in the Waterside area. And with the cushion of an MI5 salary to finance him, Willie busied himself studying the political strategy of Sinn Fein. The Provisional IRA was still the dominant force in the Irish Republican Movement, althrough even then, moves were afoot to wean republicans away from vioence and towards democratic politics



As iinstructed, after two years, Carlin made his move and applied to join Sinn Fein. Gradually, he gained promotion and rose through the party ranks. Eventually, he was given a full time job running a community group in the Gobnascale area, near his home. The former soldier’s natural organisational ability and gift for facts and figures meant he was ideally suited to Sinn Fein’s plans of building a credible political machine. He also became a close aide to Sinn Fein chief Martin McGuinness, now deputy First Ministef in the North of Ireland. Carlin’s roll as an MI5 agent was to photocopy documents relating to any significsnt political developments taking place inside Sinn Fein which he later delivered to his MI5 handlers. Down through the years Carlin meet his handlers at various locations around and near the city. He would go for a walk through the Ness Woods beauty spot or a quiet country road near Benone Strand, where he would find an MI5 handler eagerly awaiting his arrival. And he also met them at an old detached house on the outskirts of Limavady, named ‘ Old Forge ‘. It later transpired, this was exactly the same location where Martin McGuinness had meetings with MI5 chief Michael Oately, to discuss ways of bringing the IRA campaign of violence to an end. One of Carlin’s handlers during this period  was MI5 operative Michael Bettaney. A gay Catholic man, who smoked a pipe and was a chronic alcoholic, Bettaney very nearly blew Carlin’s cover on several occasions. But it was in 1984 after he left the North of Ireland that Bettaney did his damnedest to expose Carlin’s secret roll as an MI5 Tout/Informer operating inside Sinn Fein and working as an aide to Martin McGuinness in Derry. Bettaney had been convicted of treason at the Old Baily in London after being found guilty of trying to sell British Military secrets to the Russians. He was jailed for 23 years and served his time with a numer of IRA men convicted of a bombing campaign in England, including a couple of months later, Pat ‘Chancer’ Magee, the Brighton Bomber. It was Magee, who using a false name Roy Walshe, booked into room 629 of the Grand Hotel, Brighton, with the sole purpose of blowing up Maggie Thatcher and her Tory party Cabinet colleagues during their annual party conference in 1984 in revenge for Thatcher’s role in the hunger strikers deaths. But just weeks before Magee’s arrest, Michael Bettaney was attending mass in the prison chaple along with a number of IRA men. Consumed with anger at the severity of his sentence, Bettaney approached an IRA man and gave him the name of an MI5 operative who had been spying on Martin McGuinness and Sinn Fein for 11 years. And That name wadwas William Joseph Carlin. Using a sophisticated system of communication, the IRA man successfully pased the information to the IRA in Derry and Willie Carlin’s days as an MI5 informer were numbered.


Thatcher's final farewell from the Irish Republican Army TAL32
Thatcher’s final farewell from the Irish Republican Army TAL32

Hoerver, as the IRA net was closing in Carlin received a phone call ordering him to pack a suitcase immediately and walk to the end of the street with his wife and children. Within an hour, the Carlin’s were safely inside Derry’s Ebrington Barracks. There were taken to Palace Barracks, Holywood, before traveling to RAF Aldergrove where they boarded Margaret Thatcher’s personsel jet. The Prime Minister had personally ordered the aircraft to be put at the Carlin’s disposal as a token of repaying all the hard and dangoures work carried out on behalf of the British Government by agent 3007. On Saturday night as preparations were well underway for next Wednesday’s controversial Thatcher funerel, the Sunday World put it to Carlin that if he was asked to emberk on such a dangerous undertaking again, would he do so. He said : ” I would find out the time of the next plane to Derry was. It was the best most exciting thing I ever did in my life. I would do it again tommorow !”


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