Friday, December 19, 2014
'Monstrous' multicultural murderer in Britain
A killer faces spending the rest of his life behind bars for battering his ex-partner to death with a sickening array of weapons and slashing his baby daughter's throat.
Roland McKoy inflicted horrific injuries on Valerie Forde with a hammer, machete and screwdriver before killing 22-month-old Real Jahzara out of 'spite and resentment' at being told to leave the family home in Hackney, east London.
There were cheers from family and friends at the Old Bailey after a jury took just two and a half hours to find McKoy guilty of the two murders.
Jailing him for life with a minimum of 35 years, Judge Charles Wide said he had not shown 'one iota of regret' for what he had done. He told him: 'You have been convicted of the deliberate, horrific killing of Valerie and your 22-month-old child, Jahzara.
'You did it out of spite and resentment that Valerie at long last had the strength and resolve to say that enough is enough and you had to go. 'You thought she was going to back down but she didn't and that was an affront to your monstrous egotism.'
Mrs Forde had suffered 33 separate blows to her head and body from McKoy, who wielded the hammer, screwdriver and machete in turn in a sustained attack, the judge said.
He told McKoy that his actions had caused 'grievous loss and distress to a close and loving family and community'. Members of Mrs Forde's family wept as victim impact statements were read out in court.
Mrs Forde's 28-year-old daughter Carrise - who overheard the murders on a phone - said they had been in a living nightmare since the murders. She wrote: 'Time will never heal the hurt the loss, the pain, the betrayal and the yearning to hear their voices and laughter.'
The court had heard that 54-year-old handyman McKoy attacked Mrs Forde as she got ready to leave for work on March 31 this year - the deadline she had set for him to move out of the three-bedroom terrace house.
Afterwards, he drank bleach and left a perverse note on Mrs Forde's face which was stained with Jahzara's blood, blaming her for what happened.
It read: 'Valerie Forde you never stop playing derty ticks (sic) for many years on all people places and things you targets. Now the world must see the sudden destru..tions you creates in our families, our home and on yourself. Our fame in history. Roland.'
During the trial, McKoy carried on blaming the 45-year-old community project manager despite the overwhelming weight of evidence against him.
He claimed that she was 'jealous' of his close relationship with Jahzara and she killed her own child while in the grip of a demonic 'trance' - thinking that he was about to take her away with him.
After finding the baby dead on the landing, he said he went to confront Mrs Forde in the bathroom and hit her with a hammer in 'self-defence'.
He said: 'Maybe I just felt like I was floating. I could not get away even though I wanted to get away. I just couldn't control myself. When I saw the baby dead, I just did not know.'
But prosecutor Ed Brown QC said McKoy had concocted a fictitious version of events. He said: 'It is plain that the defendant had attacked Valerie Forde with the hammer, slashed her face and neck with the machete and stabbed her multiple times with the screwdriver.
'It is equally clear from the evidence that the defendant used that same machete to cut Jahzara's neck from one side to the other. Each attack was a brutal one.'
The court was told Carrise listened on an open phone line in horror to the screams of her half-sister while McKoy was attacking their mother.
She called the police, who went to the house in Oswald's Meade and found Mrs Forde and Jahzara dead.
McKoy was curled up in a foetal position beside them, surrounded by weapons. When he was roused, he was sick and his vomit smelled of bleach, the court heard.
The prosecution said McKoy, who emigrated from Jamaica in the 1980s, had made a series of threats against his family before the murders.
In January this year, Mrs Forde texted her sister saying: 'I have to be very very careful and pray for my safety each day and night.'
The following month, she reported him to police after he told a neighbour that he was going to burn the house down with everyone including himself inside.
McKoy said a neighbour had informed him that police followed up the report and went round to the house - but they left after finding that neither he nor Mrs Forde was at home.
Emotions ran high during the trial, which was attended by some of Mrs Forde's friends and family.
Jurors were reduced to tears as the victim's text messages were read out and a man in the public gallery stormed out while McKoy was in the witness box.
Investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector Charles King said: 'Research has shown that women are at greatest risk of homicide at the point of separation or after leaving a violent partner.
'What Roland McKoy did on that day in March almost defies belief, but it is a stark warning that extreme violence within such relationships is a very real possibility.
'McKoy lost control as the reality hit home that Valerie was adamant he must leave and carried out a horrific attack with a variety of weapons. Not only did he vent his fury at his partner but he also killed his baby daughter.'
Al-Sweady lawyers 'should now face disciplinary action'
The Al-Sweady probe was named for Hamid A-Sweady one of the Iraqi men who died. He was an insurgent killed during a ferocious firefight with an ambushed patrol of the the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. A total of 28 insurgents were killed and nine militants were taken to the Camp Abu Naji military base where they were questioned. The detainees claimed they were subjected to torture and witnessed executions and the mutilation of bodies
Lawyers who wasted millions of public money pursuing false claims that British troops murdered and tortured Iraqi detainees should now face disciplinary action, senior Government figures have suggested.
Ministers condemned the “shameful” conduct of solicitors who brought the claims, which were yesterday dismissed as “deliberate lies” by a £31million, five year inquiry.
Last night the Ministry of Defence said it was looking at recouping part of the legal aid fees which were paid to the lawyers who represented the now discredited ‘victims’.
Sources close to the Prime Minister, David Cameron, said the sums paid to the lawyers were "shocking".
The defence secretary Michael Fallon said the lawyers should make an “unequivocal apology” to the soldiers whose reputations “they attempted to traduce’’.
Mr Fallon said the claims put forward by the legal teams representing the Iraqi complainants were a “shameful attempt to use the legal system to attack and falsely impugn our Armed Forces.”
He said delaying tactics by the solicitors - who pursued the most serious accusations of murder until the final days of the inquiry before accepting they could not be proven - had unnecessarily saddled taxpayers with extra costs.
The Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said he was concerned that “the actions of a minority of lawyers could bring the profession as a whole into disrepute” after a “very unhappy episode in the history of our legal system”.
The two legal firms involved, Public Interest Lawyers (PIL) and Leigh Day & Co, both denied any wrong doing. Last night spokesman for the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority (SRA) said it was investigating both firms.
Politicians across the political divide rounded on the lawyers after the Al-Sweady public inquiry ruled claims that British troops murdered, mutilated and tortured Iraqi detainees in their custody were “wholly and entirely without merit or justification”.
The exhaustive investigation found the serious allegations were based on “deliberate lies and reckless speculation” from witnesses and detainees who were often determined to smear the British forces.
Failure to disclose a document that showed detainees had been members of an Iraqi militia had also extended the inquiry, the Government said. Legal teams had claimed the ‘victims’ were innocent farmers despite some of the legal teams having a document showing otherwise.
A senior ministerial source said: “The SRA will now be able to look into any of the allegations of misconduct and if there has been sharp practice by lawyers then the SRA should deal with it firmly.
“I would have thought that it was important for the reputation of the legal profession that the sharp activities of some lawyers don’t discredit what otherwise is a hardworking and honourable profession that is trying to do the right thing for their clients.”
Vernon Coaker, shadow defence secretary, said: “The SRA should fully investigate these possible breaches of professional standards
“Service personnel have faced a lengthy inquiry in to their conduct, after being accused of the most awful crimes. They have been completely exonerated.
“There must now be accountability for those who made these scurrilous allegations and who failed to disclose key evidence that would have shown them to be completely baseless.”
Mr Fallon said MoD officials were investigating whether they could now recoup some of the money from the earlier stages of the investigation.
The inquiry included nearly £6 million of legal fees for lawyers. PIL earned nearly £1m in fees during the inquiry on top of an estimated £2 million during a earlier judicial review.
The Iraqi detainees, their accomplices and their lawyers must “now bear the brunt of the criticism” for the protracted nature and cost of the “unnecessary” public inquiry, he said.
Dominic Grieve, former attorney general, said: “The conclusion must raise issues as to how this case was handled by the representatives of the claimants. The background clearly raises important issues of professional conduct which need to be investigated.”
Christopher Chope, a Conservative member of the House of Commons Justice select committee, told The Telegraph: “The reputations of the soldiers have been besmirched , and their families and friends have been put under immense pressure.”
Lord Dannatt, a former head of the Army, said he was delighted that soldiers have been unequivocally cleared of the major charges and said they should never have been brought.. He said: “The lawyers and the professional bodies need to look very closely at the conduct of the companies involved.”
John Dickinson, of Public Interest Lawyers, refused to apologise and said the MoD was to blame for the delay and cost of the investigation because it had refused to hold its own transparent inquiry earlier.
He said it was not up to him to apologise to troops. He said: “I regret the anxiety caused to those soldiers by the delay in the same way I regret the anxiety caused to the families of the deceased.”
It had been impossible to withdraw the murder and torture allegations earlier because not enough evidence had been heard until this year, he said.
He said: “We don’t accept we did anything wrong.” “Had there been any criticism of this firm then the inquiry would have mentioned it,” he added.
A spokesman for Leigh Day said: “We were not responsible for representing the Iraqis at the Inquiry and were not asked by the Inquiry to disclose all relevant documents in our possession until August 2013."
The Arabic document detailing the detainees association with the militia “remained in our files until it was handed to the inquiry in September 2013 following a request from the team". “On this occasion we did not get things right. We have apologised to the Inquiry for not realising the significance of this document sooner."
The spokesman said the firm had been "working with the SRA to ensure that in all areas, especially the demanding foreign work of the firm, we have training and structures in place to prevent any similar mistakes in the future.”
Al Sweady inquiry: The British Army deserves a full apology from the BBC
Looking back, it is amazing just how many people were prepared to believe the accusations that the British Army routinely tortured detainees.
Of course it was the BBC and its fellow travellers on the Left who made the most of accusations that British soldiers had committed what amounted to war crimes following a three-hour battle with Iranian-backed insurgents in Iraq in May 2004. Rather than praising the British soldiers for their undoubted heroism in tackling the Shia-dominated Mehdi Army in a fierce battle that could have gone either way, the BBC preferred to concentrate its considerable resources on Iraqi claims that some of the captured insurgents had been killed in cold blood, while others had been subjected to torture.
Coming in the wake of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal, where American service personnel certainly were guilty of mistreating their Iraqi captives, it was easy for some to believe that British forces had engaged in similar acts of mistreatment, even though the evidence was murky, to say the least.
But rather than conducting a proper journalistic investigation into the incident, the BBC’s flagship Panorama programme, in its edition broadcast in February 2008 entitled “On Whose Orders”, instead preferred to rely on the testimony of former Iraqi combatants and their Legal Aid-funded lawyers to make unsubstantiated allegations against the integrity and professionalism of the British Army.
It has taken nearly six years for the truth to come out, but the conclusions of the al-Sweady inquiry published today makes for some uncomfortable reading for the BBC’s current affairs production team, as well as the teams of lawyers who forced the Government to conduct an inquiry into the allegations, earning themselves handsome legal fees in the process.
For the inquiry, which cost a staggering £31 million, has ruled unequivocally that the claims that British troops murdered, mutilated and tortured Iraqi detainees were “wholly and entirely without merit or justification”, and that the baseless allegations contained in the Panorama programme were the product of “deliberate and calculated lies”.
So much for the standards of the BBC's so-called investigative journalists.
It is hard to imagine a more damning indictment of the Army’s accusers, and all those at the BBC and elsewhere who were credulous, or naive, enough to believe them. But now that the truth is out, perhaps those responsible for making this programme, and who gave an air of credibility to the claims, would now like to issue a fulsome apology to the British Armed Forces for their own grave errors of judgment.
They could even make a new programme explaining why they got the story so horribly wrong in the first place. Now, that really would be a first.
More seriously, though, Tony Hall, who as the BBC’s director-general has overall responsibility for the corporation’s current affairs output (in a previous life he was in charge of BBC news and current affairs), should undertake an urgent investigation of his own to find out how Panorama got it so badly wrong.
After Ferguson: who’s really racialising America?
Progressives are now the most fervent promoters of racialised thinking.
In the political and media tumult that followed the recent American police killings of two black men, one thing has been very striking: the most rigid racialised commentary has come, not from the police or the state, but from the protesting liberals and radicals. In the aftermath of the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and the strangling of Eric Garner in New York City, it hasn’t been American officialdom that has explicitly played the race card, talking about whole sections of society as homogenous entities with particular characteristics that need to be closely monitored and possibly corrected. No, it’s the supposedly progressive side in the debate that has done this, which has indulged in highly racialised political commentary and action. This tells us a great deal about where the racialising dynamic is really coming from today.
The clearest sign that a rigid racial consciousness is now at least as strong, if not stronger, among the supposed opponents of police brutality as it is among the police themselves came during the big Ottawa protest over the grand jury’s decision not to indict the cop who killed Brown in Ferguson. The protest was, in essence, segregated. The radical organisers of the demo paid lip service to the ideal of solidarity, saying ‘we appreciate the solidarity shown by White and Non-Black People of Colour’, but then suggested whites should march separately from blacks. ‘Please refrain from taking up space in all ways possible’, they told white attendees, before cautioning against white people speaking to the media, because ‘you should never be at the centre of anything’. The protest was slammed by critics for being not so much ‘anti-racist’ as ‘pro-segregation’.
Imagine if, post-Ferguson, the police in Missouri had issued instructions that effectively segregated political marches. There would, rightly, have been outrage. But among the apparently more progressive sections of public life, racial thinking now comes naturally and causes little controversy. Beyond Ottawa, liberal media outlets around the world were packed with commentary that reduced both America’s black and white communities to their homogenous essence, to their most basic, and in some cases base, shared characteristics. This could be seen in the headlines splashed across some of the globe’s most respectable publications. ‘White people are finally starting to get it’, said Time. ‘Dear white people: your discomfort is progress’, said the Guardian. ‘What white people need to know, and do, after Ferguson’, instructed the Washington Post (in a piece written, of course, by a white person).
And what must this mythically monolithic horde of exactly similar white people do after Ferguson? For a start, whites must more self-consciously conceive of themselves as a race — ‘you’re mistaken if you don’t think white is a race, [and] you’re mistaken if you think you can remain neutral’, says the Post writer. Once we think more racially, apparently us whites will be able to see that we often adopt an ‘inherent superiority’ to other races and we often ‘reinforce white privilege’, sometimes ‘unintentionally’. In short, white people – all white people – are inherently racist, even if they think they aren’t, and the only way for them to overcome their racism is to become more racially aware and more sensitive to the needs and struggles of other races (or ‘black folks’, as the Post’s racially conscious white writer quaintly calls them).
This incitement to racialised thinking from the Washington Post speaks to the general tone of liberal public debate post-Ferguson: the focus has been less on the structural and economic failings of post-civil rights America, and more on the problematic attitudes of ‘the races’ that inhabit America and the question of how those attitudes might be improved and corrected in the name of social peace. Even the now omnipresent term ‘white privilege’ is not used to denote economic, social and legal structures that make life harder for blacks than for whites (and even here, of course, ‘white privilege’ would be a crude, unsatisfactory term) – rather, it refers to the problematic, sometimes unwitting attitudes of white people, the characteristics of one of the races, which must apparently be kept in check and ideally educated out of existence.
The hardening of racial consciousness was most clearly expressed in an exchange published in the UK Observer. Featuring a white and black writer performing their racial roles to perfection – the white writer expressing guilt and self-disgust, the black writer talking about herself and her entire race as perennial victims – the exchange provided a disturbing glimpse into how the old prejudices about there being natural differences between the races have been replaced by a new prejudice about there being rigid, ossified cultural differences between the races. The black writer, Rebecca Carroll, selected by the Observer as representative of all black people, everywhere, across all time, said blacks are still reeling from a ‘legacy… of pain and strife’, while whites are still benefiting from a ‘legacy… of cultural decimation, violence and human ownership’.
Racialised thinkers once claimed that biology determined the mental and moral make-up of blacks and whites; the new racialised thinkers claim history is the deterministic power, making all black people feel weak and all white people feel inherently privileged. The solution? White people – all white people – must ‘check your tone, your tenor and your composure’ in order to avoid making black people – all black people – feel ‘pretty awful’, said Carroll. The white writer, the Guardian columnist Jess Zimmerman, responded to this demand for heightened racial sensitivity in all interactions between white and black people by promising to become more ‘racially conscious’ and to try to educate white people who ‘aren’t racially conscious’. The take-home message: we all need to recognise that we are racial creatures and we all need to think more racially.
Zimmerman’s distinction between white people who are racially conscious and white people who aren’t is also striking. It explains much of the dynamic behind the protesting over Ferguson and Garner by white liberals everywhere from Ottawa, Canada to the Westfield shopping centre in Shepherd’s Bush, London. At these protests, the highly racialised narrative of the new politics of identity has been much in evidence, with white protesters holding up placards saying things like ‘My white privilege keeps me safe’ and ‘I won’t get shot’. These protests are not about offering solidarity to blacks who suffer from police brutality – they’re about white liberals advertising to the watching world their moral sensitivities, their white sensitivities, the fact that they have escaped, at least partially, the privilege trap of their race and have become aware of how their attitudes, and their ‘tone, tenor and composure’, might harm other races. It’s a display of a superior form of white racial consciousness, an attempt by white liberals to distinguish themselves from the white mob, which, as everyone from the Washington Post to Time is keen to tell us, has in-built, historically determined racial flaws which must be condemned and somehow fixed.
This is why liberal Londoners last night took the bizarre decision to host an Eric Garner-sympathising die-in at Westfield shopping centre, which is Australian-owned and has nothing to do with the American state — it’s because they wanted to contrast themselves to the white mob, in this case Christmas shoppers, and demonstrate their racial superiority, their ability to be ‘racially conscious’, over the unwitting white privilege and inherent racism of all other white people. The irony is almost unbearable: there’s a powerful strain of racial superiority to these supposedly anti-racist protests; the white liberals are effectively saying: ‘By dint of our racial consciousness, we are superior to the less well-educated, less aware members of our race.’ This echoes the biological politics of race of the Victorian period, which was frequently aimed at exposing the moral inferiorities of the white underclass, as well as being devoted to exposing the savagery of foreign blacks.
The liberal set’s post-Ferguson incitement to heightened racial consciousness shows how the definition of both racism and anti-racism has changed in recent years. Racism was once understood to be an ideology cultivated by the rulers of society for certain political or economic ends. Now it is seen as an inherent trait in the populace, a problematic attitude that lurks in everyone’s soul, whether they know it or not. Anti-racism once meant battling against the laws and structures that hampered certain peoples’ freedoms, fortunes and opportunities. Now it means policing the minutiae of individuals’ speech and behaviour, down to educating them about their ‘tone, tenor and composure’ when they engage with anyone of a different race. How tragic: it is now so-called ‘anti-racists’ who most explicitly divide the races, through presenting them as deeply divergent peoples, determined by profoundly different histories, whose every interaction must be implicitly policed by the racially aware.
Post-Ferguson, we’re witnessing the hardening of a new racial set-up. One of the great tragedies of the twentieth century was that the demise of the aggressive biological racism of much of the Western world’s political and intellectual classes did not lead to the creation of a post-race world; on the contrary, the old racism was superseded by different forms of racial thinking, in the guise first of a new race-relations industry, then of the politics of racial identity, and more recently of an official ‘anti-racism’ that is in fact an incitement to constant and myopic racial thinking. So entrenched is the new racialised thinking that many people now think it perfectly normal, and even good, to define themselves by their racial make-up and to engage with other people from a highly racialised standpoint.
The mid-twentieth-century crisis of racial politics, particularly following the horrors of Nazi Germany, opened up the possibility of a world free of the curse of racial thinking. But it was never realised. Instead, the new politics of identity and racial sensitivity is shoving people back into highly distinctive black and white boxes that earlier progressives longed to free us from.
Where the old racists defined people by their biological make-up, the new racially aware rulers and thinkers define people by their apparently inherent moral characteristics or their historically determined sense of privilege or shame. The end result is the same in both cases: people are judged by their race, and separated by race. The brutal physical segregation of the past has been replaced by a new moral segregation, by a segregative mindset that encourages cautiousness and awkwardness between ‘the races’.
What the new racialised thinking and activism ultimately speak to is a crisis of universalism. Today, tragically, there is no powerful universalistic, democratic movement or impulse that might successfully negate the return to racial thinking among vast sections of Western public life. The current weakness of the promise of universalism, the weakness of the ideal of a common humanity that might strive to create a more modern, progressive, wealthy world, has made true solidarity next to impossible and has allowed racial thinking and racial identity to flourish. To break free of the depressing prison of identity, of defining ourselves by our natural characteristics or our race’s historical experiences or by anything else over which we have no control, we need to breathe life back into the universalist project.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.