Tuesday, 20 May 2008

The script for the Keith Brown trial was already written

I'M AFRAID I find the court case over the murder of Keith Brown just too depressing reading. Quite understandable the defence council are playing the race and politics card at every opportunity and the pen portraits of those involved in this tragic case seem to be more important that the events that actually took place on that afternoon.

The accused Habib Khan is being portrayed as "a Muslim community elder" who had experienced "years of trouble from the British National Party activists next door".

The victim Keith Brown, 53, who died in his driveway after being stabbed with a kitchen knife is portrayed as "a BNP activist", "a friend of Nick Griffin" and of course "a racist".

So race and politics are being used to influence the jury and important facts such as that Keith and Mr Khan had worked together for eight years and even travelled together on many occasions, are forgotten and that the fall-out between them only happened when there was a dispute over property.

I could be wrong, and often am, but I feel that the script for the outcome of this case was probably written well in advance and that the proceedings taking place are just the going through of the motions.

Tina and I have our accommodation for the Summer School now booked after initial concerns that everywhere suitable was being snapped up. We are both students on the Saturday, and then turn lecturers on the Sunday, with Tina talking on administration while I'm briefing on PR and publicity from our media viewpoint. Thankfully we only have one half hour slot each. Two years ago, when I was giving a talk on Nationalist history, I had to do five half hour slots in a rotating classroom format. It was hard going and makes you realise just how well teachers do to hold a class's attention at the end of a long day.

May is a strange month in politics. Once the local elections are out of the way there tends to be a bit of a lull in which everyone recoups from their exertions. In the distant past I was always busy this month trying to put a positive spin on dismal election results in the nationalist newspaper of the time. It was a difficult job and sometimes almost impossible, but the bottom line was that the Thatcher years were desperate days for British nationalism and the very fact that there was a British nationalist political party actually contesting elections and a monthly nationalist newspaper to report on this, was an achievement in itself.

I'm 57 tomorrow, but won't be celebrating until Friday when we have a meal booked with friends at a local pub. I've recently started corresponding with an old school chum who I first met at Steyning Grammar School in 1962. We were friends for the next 30 odd years but lost contact when I moved to France in the 1990s. Thanks to the school's Old Boy website, we got in contact again recently and most Saturday evenings we exchange long emails recalling school days, holidays in Ibiza and Livigno or Thursday nights out at Worthing's Assembly Hall watching the Kinks, the Move or the Small Faces. Reminiscing via email over a glass or two of wine is an excellent weekend pastime.

Postman has just been and there's a card for me!! - Thanks Ems, with all your exams I thought you might forget.


alanorei said...

Happy birthday, Martin

I was reading an article by an Independent Baptist minister in the US entitled I am An Old Timer, reprinted from 1994, when he was 72. (He's now 86 and still in there pitching, DV.)

He says that he can remember when 'gay' meant 'happy,' 'pot' was a cooking untensil and any convicted murderer was electrocuted, gassed, or hung, within two months after being found guilty.

Those were the days. But rather than say bring them back, I'd say, bring forward the BNP Government.

Uncle Tom said...

Happy birthday Martin.
Have you & your ftriend tried Skype?
You can talk to each other for free & even see each otyer if you have web cams.