Good news from Britain. Douglas Hogg the former agriculture minster has been forced to resign in the expenses scandal. He is out of politics.
Hogg claimed $3,000 for cleaning the moat at his 13th century manor house. It was such an outrageous claim that even his own party disowned him.
However, he should have resigned and been jailed years ago on an issue of far greater importance.
Hogg was the British Minister who effectively loaded the gun that led to the killing of human rights lawyer Pat Finucane as he sat down for dinner with his family on February 12, 1989. Finucane was just 39.
A loyalist killer gang burst into the Finucane home and gunned him down in front of his family. As he lay dying, the greatest cover-up of Northern Ireland’s Troubles began.
The killing was sanctioned and carried out by the British state. Many believe, as I do, that it went right to the top, that Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher herself probably gave the order.
Of all the crimes committed in Northern Ireland, the Finucane murder is the one which successive British government, of whatever hue, have most resisted investigating.
Pat’s problem was that he was too good at his job of defending Irish men and women arrested for alleged crimes against the state.
He had to be got rid of. The leader of the gang that killed him was a British special branch agent named Tommy Lyttle. The man who confessed to being the Ulster Defense Association hit man was Ken Barrett, also a special branch agent.
The UDA man who supplied the gun was William Stobie, also a Special Branch agent. He was killed by the UDA in 2001 when he threatened to tell the truth about what happened to Pat Finucane.
Hogg might as well have been in the room when the gun went off - he was just as culpable. The killing happened just weeks after Hogg stood up in the House of Commons and stated that some lawyers in Northern Ireland were "unduly sympathetic" to Irish Republicans.
It was the equivalent of painting a target on Finucane’s back - everyone knew who he meant. The British government had made their preference known.
Now Hogg has had to face his own political demise. The fact that Hogg turns out to be a pig and a thief of taxpayer’s funds should come as no surprise. He stole something else far more valuable many years ago - another man’s life.
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