And Justice For All?

Whilst the Free Satpal Campaign and the hard core of Ram activists are unabashed liars, it is undoubtedly true that most of those who support Ram are innocent dupes. Having said that, there can be little doubt that many of these dupes dupe themselves, if only by their lack of critical faculty and their subjugation of truth, logic and reason to ideology. Ram has received a certain amount of trade union support, mostly from those hard left trades unionists who have swallowed the “anti-racist” line hook, line and sinker.

Ram’s strongest support in this field has come from the public sector union, UNISON. In keeping with its commitment to opposing all forms of discrimination, sexism as well as racism, UNISON has also supported Moors Murderess Myra Hindley. A motion submitted to its 1995 conference reads as follows:

Conference condemns the decision of the Home Office that Myra Hindley should not be released and should spend the rest of her life in prison.
    Conference believes this is further evidence of the bias in the law against women who commit crimes. In spite of the heinous nature of her crime, Myra Hindley should receive equitable treatment from the criminal justice system as other mandatory life prisoners, a majority of whom serve a great deal less than 28 years.
    Conference therefore instructs the National Executive Council to:
    1. publicise its opposition to this decision;
    2. support relevant groups/organisations campaigning against this decision and seeking justice for all women prisoners including Myra Hindley;
    3. urge the TUC, STUC and the wider trade union movement to do likewise;
    4. affirm its continued commitment to justice for women. (1)

Those who know anything about the case of Myra Hindley, as do most British people of my age, will be staggered that anyone could consider her to have received inequitable treatment.

Hindley was the more than willing accomplice of her lover and fellow sadist Ian Brady. In May 1966, the pair were convicted of the murders of seventeen year old Edward Evans and ten year old Lesley Ann Downey. Brady was also convicted of the murder of twelve year old John Kilbride, and Hindley as an accessory after the fact. The evidence against the pair was overwhelming and has never been disputed in any meaningful sense by either of them, notwithstanding their not guilty pleas. They were gaoled for life. (2)

Twenty years later, Brady confessed to two further murders, those of sixteen year old Pauline Reade and twelve year old Keith Bennett. (3) In December 1986, Hindley was taken to Saddleworth Moor under a heavy escort in an effort to locate their graves. The search was unsuccessful, but the body of Pauline Reade was discovered the following June. (4)

Hindley, who is sane, could theoretically have been tried for the murders of Keith Bennett and Pauline Reade, but the authorities have long decided that this would not be in the public interest. Along with her accomplice she is one of a select group of lifers who have been told they will never be released.

Hindley has other supporters besides UNISON who are similarly misguided. It is true that she has been demonised by the tabloid press, but not even the most sensationalist of tabloids is wrong all the time. Like Ram she claims to be a political prisoner; this is true only in the sense that any Home Secretary who dared to release her would seriously jeopardise the prospect of his government being re-elected, and would also bring enormous hatred and vitriol upon himself.

The demonisation of Hindley is due as much to the fact that she is a woman as to the enormity of her crimes. (5) This though is clearly nothing to do with sexism but to the extreme revulsion many people feel that a woman, any woman, could engage in the torture and murder of innocent children. The few individuals who have been both brave enough and misguided enough to call publicly for Hindley’s release have been upper class white men, most notably Lord Longford, while women, especially mothers, are prominent amongst those who have no hesitation in publicly displaying their sense of outrage and revulsion.

It is all well and good for UNISON to “affirm its continued commitment to justice for women”, but that justice must include justice for the mothers of the victims, and for the mothers of murdered children everywhere.

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