I’m told cocaine is an expensive habit and that some newspapers pay their columnists as much for a single opinion piece  as many nurses, ambulance men, teachers or firemen earn in a single year.

THE TIMES is  a prime example. In an attempt, coordinated with the Government led by Lord Salisbury, to destroy the Irish leader Parnell, it paid the Irish journalist Richard Pigott very handsomely for a forged document purporting to prove that Parnell had encouraged murder. An enquiry in which the newspaper paid numerous false witnesses to support its allegations  destroyed its credibility and almost bankrupted it.

Michael Gove, when snorting cocaine, was ventilating anti-Irish dope through  THE TIMES.  He regaled its  readerson Easter Monday 1996 with the assertion that the 1916 Insurgents were “Squalid gangs who betrayed Ireland.” Men like Richard Pigott, who DID betray Ireland, have usually been well paid by the British state or found well-paid posts in its newspapers. There never was an offence against English or UK law of betraying Ireland, or for that matter, England, Scotland or Wales.

The 1916 leaders shot in Ireland were tried by British Courts Martial. And Roger Casement, born in Dublin and arrested in Kerry, was transferred to London and tried by a London jury. 

The Irishpeople are the only ones qualified to determine who best served Ireland, and in numerous elections, starting in 1917, have decided the matter.

Richard Pigott had, perhaps, one saving grace: a sense of shame. So he shot himself.

Unfortunately both his employers in  THE TIMES and  their sponsors in the Government were quite shameless. Exactly as their successors are today.

Would that  the squeaky clean contenders for today’s Tory leadership shared Pigott’s saving grace!

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