The adjective "superb" is often awarded too easily, but in this case it is fully justified. Last week, Albert Burgess recounted how he was shown classified documents that proved Edward Heath and others committed treason when they took us into the Common Market in the 1970s, and how he went straight to a police station in Oxford to report the crime. In today's instalment, he discomfits successive levels of police hierarchy by reminding them of their sworn duty to uphold the law.
Whether Albert will ever succeed in his primary aim is uncertain to say the least, but he feels morally bound, and the police are professionally required, to try. The greater issue revealed in this process is, on what does power in this country stand? If it is our constitution, laws, truth and logic, it seems Albert must prevail; if not, we have the dreadful prospect - some would say, a present reality - of arbitrary rule by tyrants.
A few days later I received a letter from one Superintendent Trotman saying he was not going to investigate, his reasons being it would be difficult to obtain evidence as all the witnesses were dead (not true), R vs. Commissioner of the Metropolis exparte Blackburn 1968 gave the police the right to decide which crimes they investigate and which they don't, and he was not prepared to allocate his resources.
I wrote him and told him that treason required him to investigate as a priority, that Blackburn was nonsense and that a lot of the people who worked with Heath were not only not dead but readily available.
A couple of days later a woman police officer who was Superintendent Trotman’s assistant phoned me and said, "What exactly do you want?"
I said, "I want to turn on the six o'clock news and see Douglas Hurd in handcuffs being helped into the back of a police car, and 10 months later I want to see him and others on trial for his life at the old Bailey."
She said, "I will put this through to Special Branch."
I said, "Give me their number so I can talk to them."
She said, “Hold on, he's just walked past my door, I’ll get him."
After a few seconds a Detective Inspector from Special Branch came on the phone. He said, "I know about this, and have allocated a woman detective constable to it, but she is very busy and will not get to you for three weeks."
I said. "Give her my number and tell her if I have not heard from her in five days I will submit a formal allegation of neglect of duty against her."
The following morning she phoned to tell me she had a two hour window and could come and see me. We arranged for her to come about noon and I phoned David Barnby to see if he wanted to be there; he did and he arrived about half an hour before two detectives. I explained what Heath had done and what the crimes were and handed over another set of documents, and then they left.
After a number of letters Superintendent Trotman wrote to say he was not going to conduct the investigation. So I submitted a formal allegation against him for neglect of duty under the police discipline codes and for Misprision of Treason at Common Law.
Two weeks later I had a knock on my door and a Chief Inspector Howard from the complaints department and his Sergeant were there. I invited them in and DCI Howard told me they had cleared the Superintendent.
I said "Did you read the documents?" He said, "I glanced at them." I said, "Did you read them?" He said, "I glanced at them." I said, "Without reading them and studying the treason laws, how can you clear him or convict him?" He said, "Well, we have because we don't want the Chief Constable’s photo on the front page of every newspaper as the Chief Constable investigating the government for treason." I said, "She hasn't got to be Chief Constable without having her picture taken, and I am not asking her to go topless on page 3."
Then he confirmed what I had been hoping they would not notice when he said, "The real reason we are not going to do this, is that if we get a conviction against any of Heath's people, which we probably could on the evidence you have supplied, we would have to go out and arrest every government minister for the last 35 years, and that we are not prepared to do." I said, "You are not allowed to make the decision on those grounds, you have to follow the evidence where it leads you."
He got up to leave and I said, "How do you like knowing I know you are a liar?" He said, "What do you mean?" I said, "You took an oath to uphold the laws of this country without favour, fear, malice or ill will. You have just told me because it means arresting government ministers you are not going to do it. That makes you a liar."All original material is copyright of its author. Fair use permitted. Contact via comment. Unless indicated otherwise, all internet links accessed at time of writing. Nothing here should be taken as personal advice, financial or otherwise. No liability is accepted for third-party content, whether incorporated in or linked to this blog; or for unintentional error and inaccuracy.
He left in a huff.
He left in a huff.