On this day a year ago
I happened to see the pdf link below, which is a tribute (a collection of eulogies) to John Lloyd, a barrister who was in my chambers when I practised in Exeter (2002-2008):
John Lloyd, who was born in 1941, died in 2017, a fact of which I was unaware until I saw the link yesterday.
I usually follow the maxim de mortuis nihil nisi bonum (“about the dead, nothing if not good“), but Lloyd did die about 5 years ago, and some matters are of historical interest.
I rather liked John Lloyd, someone who was unfailingly polite, and with whom I shared a room at Chambers, though he was rarely at his desk. I was under the impression that most of his work was done in London or at home. I believe that he had property in both London and Exeter.
Lloyd had taken on the English or Oxbridge eccentricity displayed by some affluent and financially-successful persons, of riding an ancient bicycle, in his case to Chambers, at which times he changed his “Gromyko” black wide-brimmed hat for a bike helmet.
Lloyd was one of the highest-earning members of Chambers (I believe in the £300,000+ bracket, which would be good now, let alone 15-20 years ago). His work came, I was told, mainly from Labour Party-controlled local councils in London.
I myself only encountered John Lloyd once in Court, in — I forget which— Plymouth or Exeter County Court, and in an unusual matter in which three members of Chambers were briefed for different parties in the same case; incidentally, the matter ended satisfactorily for all in the end.
Though I liked John Lloyd, I knew that he had been anti-apartheid, and had strong political views, though (like me) he rarely spoke about political matters in Chambers. I have to say that, despite quite liking him, there was some element there that had me wondering whether he was entirely trustworthy or open. Nothing concrete, just a vague sense of something hidden.
John Lloyd was diagnosed with cancer in or about 2007, but lived for another decade. I myself ceased active Bar practice at the end of 2007, though remained notionally in practice until mid/late 2008. I think that I last saw him sometime in 2007.
I was aware that John Lloyd had been dropped as prospective Labour candidate for Exeter several years before I met him, but did not know much detail, though I knew from someone at the Bar that it was connected with his having given evidence against a terrorist in a bombing case in South Africa. The local Exeter Labour Party was (quelle surprise) all in favour of the anti-white terrorism in South Africa, though by the time Lloyd was binned (mid-1990s), South Africa was already under ANC control.
The half-witted Nelson Mandela (an ex-law student who had failed his law degree three times) was 46 when convicted in 1964 of plotting to start a race war): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rivonia_Trial.
The defendants in that trial were all either Africans or Jews.
I have just now been looking at what is available about John Lloyd and South Africa at that time.
It seems that Lloyd had joined an extremist/terrorist organization after the Rivonia trial, as had one John Harris: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick_John_Harris; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African_Resistance_Movement.
The “ARM” started to blow up electrical-power pylons etc before graduating to the operation that destroyed it and also led to convictions for most of its small membership. That operation was the planting of a bomb in a whites-only waiting room at Johannesburg Railway Station.
One old lady of 77 (or as the apologists would have it, “only” one person) was killed; many others “only” injured. One was a 12-year old girl, Glynnis Burleigh, the grand-daughter of the murdered old lady.
A doctor involved in the aftermath has written: https://www.theheritageportal.co.za/article/caring-injured-after-johannesburg-station-bombing
The bomb at the railway station was mainly made of sticks of dynamite wrapped around a core consisting of cans of petrol; it seems that some phosphorus was also included. A simple but wickedly-deadly device.
It is now claimed that the bomb was “symbolic”, having been placed in a whites-only area. Tell that to, say, Glynnis Burleigh.
It is also pleaded, by (in my opinion) apologists, such as a London (I think Jewish or partly-Jewish) lawyer whose father was apparently the bomber, that “a warning was given“.
That kind of attempt to shift the blame for the death and injury caused by acts of terror will not wash. The IRA used to give warnings of that sort, as did the Jews who killed about a hundred people at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem in 1946: see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_David_Hotel_bombing; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_David_Hotel_bombing#Warnings.
You can see from Wikipedia etc that the same claims are made about the Jerusalem bombing of 1946 as about that in Johannesburg in 1964: a “warning” was given, and “the authorities may have deliberately not acted on the warning” (in order to incite hatred against the bombers). Pretty unconvincing in both cases.
As a matter of fact, the Johannesburg “warning” was telephoned to police only six minutes before the bomb exploded; the police did act on the warning but by that time the device had detonated.
Incidentally, there may even have been a link between the two bombings. It seems that a leading member of the terrorist cell in South Africa was an Israeli Jew who had held senior rank in the Israeli military apparat:
“The [Johannesburg Railway Station bombing] operation was planned by Lionel Schwartz, who was ARM’s most militarily experienced operative, having served as an officer in WW2 in the British army, and in the IDF in Israel’s 1948-49 Independence War. He served as a senior (Brig. General) in the IDF until he returned to SA in 1953 or 54.” [Wikipedia].
Having said that, there is no direct evidence (that I have seen) of a link (i.e. that Schwartz was also involved in the 1946 bombing).
The said Schwartz may also have been a Soviet agent, which would fit:
“In recent years, however, it has been suggested by Eli Bardenstein in his article ‘Traitor or Liar?’ in Maariv (22 July 2003) that Lionel Schwartz, a key Soviet spy who penetrated the highest echelons of Israel’s political and intelligence establishment in the 1950s, and who was heavily involved in the Lavon affair, handed over the Israeli network to Egypt“. [Spies Against Armageddon]
There is a suspicious dearth of information online about that Lionel Schwartz Jew.
Returning to John Lloyd, he had (probably fortunately for him) been arrested a day before the bombing, as the South African authorities rolled-up the small ARM network.
It is claimed that Lloyd was “tortured”; he was certainly ill-treated, made to stand in one place for two days. If taken to an extreme, that might amount to “torture”: in the days of Stalin, the “stoyka” or “standing” was a recognized technique of the NKVD, with some prisoners having to stand (because forced into vertical oubliette-style tiny cylindrical cells and kept there for days) until they died or “confessed”.
“I was made to stand on one spot. It is a devilish torture for would-be heroes. You torture yourself. I stood for two days. On the evening of the second day, a bomb exploded on the Johannesburg railway station. The police told me that 20 people had been killed. It was not until months later that I learned that, in fact, only one person had been killed.” [John Lloyd in the Independent].
Note the weaselling again, though; “only” one person killed (and no mention of the terrible injuries suffered by many other victims).
Whether because of his interrogation, or because he was shocked at the bombing having been carried out at all, or with such carnage, Lloyd agreed to co-operate, and eventually testified against several of his former comrades. It is also a fair conclusion that Lloyd did not want to be incarcerated with them. In return for immunity from prosecution, Lloyd turned State’s Evidence (became a prosecution witness).
The bomber, Harris, was hanged after a trial. His son, now a barrister in London, referred to his father, in a Guardian piece some 9 years ago, as an “activist“…: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/aug/13/my-activist-father-was-hanged.
Mandela, of course, morphed from being just a failed law student and failed or would-be terrorist leader into the West’s secular “saint” of the age, having mellowed in his (actually eventually quite comfortable) incarceration (in the last few years he was in a house reserved for him alone, and even had his own chef and other servants!).
John Lloyd never did become MP for Exeter. The Conservative Party made much of his early “terrorist” activities, while the Labour Party binned him because he had (as they preferred to look upon it) turned coat and “betrayed” his former “comrades”.
Ben Bradshaw, a mediocre and rather dishonest person who later became a Cabinet minister (and noted expenses cheat and/or freeloader), became MP for Exeter in 1997, as well as an “ultra-loyal” Blairite, and is still sitting there: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Bradshaw.
So there we are. A few reminiscences, and a few more-general thoughts.
Postscriptum: I should add that, though I did spend some time in Rhodesia and Botswana (in 1977), I have never visited South Africa (unless you count my almost-overnight plane change at Johannesburg, also in 1977: Gaborone-Johannesburg-Frankfurt). I believe that my maternal great-grandfather is buried, or memorialized, at Cape Town, though.
Tweets seen today
I agree, in that you see newspaper readers’ comments, Twitter twit comments etc to the effect of “let’s bomb Russia” or the even more brain-dead “bring it on!“. People sitting in suburban England, who apparently cannot wait for their entire world, home, family etc to be utterly destroyed by nuclear attack. “Idiots” hardly covers it…
Then add in the pseudo-machismo. “Britain can take it” etc. Yes, Britain, which will not exist except in terms of geography after a nuclear attack, can take having all its main (if not all) cities and towns destroyed, irradiated, all the people killed, or mutilated and/or mortally-irradiated, all supplies of food and water gone, all services (NHS, financial, police, fire, even sewerage) gone. As I say, “idiots” hardly even covers it.
The West is weak. Britain is very weak. Look at the Russians. Look at the Ukrainians. They both have national and national-cultural sentiment. That has been large wiped out in the UK. A high proportion of the UK population is now not really British, nor even white European.
I understood decades ago that The Economist is more or less the house journal of what one might now call the “New World Order” [“NWO”] or Western establishment.
Apparently about a third of the “Ukrainian” “refugees” are actually blacks and other non-Europeans.
I hope that it survives the present conflict intact.
Early evening music