Blue Velvet

One of my principal sources, whom is separated from the last professional board at Ibrox by a cigarette paper, has been engaged in some gaming theory in regard to King’s next move.

Prior to outlining one of his plays it’s important to highlight why RIFC issued unaudited interim accounts when they had no obligation to do so. Let’s have a look at their prospective audience and the message that they wished to convey:

1. Current shareholders : Any offer of 20p per share is a poor bargain.

2. SFA:  We are on track to break even and will take our rightful place in UEFA football.

3. Season ticket holders: Caixinha will be given a budget to challenge for the title.

4. Merchandise customers: A new strip will be launched next season.

If I was as sentiently challenged as the average reader of The Daily Rectum, I might come to the conclusion that everything is tickety-boo and that the current governors of the club will provide a team to challenge Celtic and deliver shareholder value.

However each point is either a confection of bare-faced lies or half-truths. Let’s deal with them in reverse order.

Merchandise

Puma is licensed to manufacture branded products until June 30, 2018. If any new strip launch is on its way there will no possibility of anyone other than Puma engaged in its manufacture. As for Sports Direct, they have the rights to add a handling charge and retail all branded goods until January 2024.

Transfer Budget

As Mark Warburton found to his cost he had to make do with loans and Bosman signings from Accrington Stanley. Caixinha’s position will be exacerbated by the pay-off to The Ibrox Three and an anticipated reverse at the High Courts to the tune of £5m. He will be lucky to have a budget to challenge Aberdeen.

Solvency & UEFA Participation

There is no possibility whatsoever of RIFC plc breaking even given the circa £3m in six months losses to December 31, 2016. Losses will ineluctably rise to circa £5m when the auditors step in at fiscal end. If Ashley prevails at the High Court RIFC will fold. No-one should have any doubt that the craven SFA will use their back of a fag packet calculations to endorse Rangers Lite’s UEFA application. Should the denizens of Sion require audited accounts this will be performed behind closed doors by Campbell Dallas.

Share Offer

King does not require the services of a NOMAD to produce a prospectus as the company is no longer listed. Given that Deloitte resigned as auditors, much to the chagrin of the rogue board, E&Y or PWC would be the standard ports of call. However the Limpopo Cowboy  will probably do his utmost to cut costs with a small regional player.

Why use a small player? It would be grossly irresponsible if one of the big four did not receive their fees in advance and maintain sole responsibility for any disbursements from an escrow account containing £10.75m. King does not have this quantum. The chances of Douglas Park loaning him this amount are somewhere between Bob Hope and no hope.

Will King relinquish the wheel?

My source has ventured an alternative strategy. Should King somewhat improbably cobble together an offer, Ashley and the Easdales could cash in their 15%. Circa 12,222,150 shares would cost King £2,444,430.  The Easdale Proxy would also be advised to sell up and would do so gladly as King stripped them of their voting rights. This would add another £3m and change to King’s tab. If one adds a few informed dissidents, and the cost of the prospectus, King would face a bill in excess of £8m.

Ashley and the Easdales could then return to the plate to make King a reduced offer that he could not refuse.

King has a choice of financial ruin or a Cold Shoulder in the City. Ashley and the Easdales are going to ragdoll King.

To end this article on a lighter note, and to add some balance, it should be noted that King told a half – truth to Guttersnipe Grieve at The Sun. King asserted that he did not act in concert with Letham & Park. Nice try son but no cigar. The Takeover Appeal Board found that he acted in concert with Letham. Letham admitted that he Park and Taylor acted in concert. Whether he acted in concert with Park is a moot point.

Apocalypse Now

As the Dave King circus packed up the lamb gourmands at the SMSM were left with a veritable smorgasbord of gaffes to choose from, but as we have come to expect they just repackaged his back catalogue of lies and added a polish for good measure. What we were left with was a Chairman (according to the fawning BBC Scotland) who shoots himself in the foot so often that he is at risk of head shots when he puts the perforated appendage in his mouth.

I do my utmost to maintain decorum on this site but there are rare occasions when I am so appalled that I revert to industrial language:

Who the fuck does this prick in a cheap suit think he is kidding?

King booked the £2.9m loan as income. The unaudited accounts which are available on the club website show clearly that a loss was incurred during the six months period of trading so how the Record managed to ignore this and proceed with Level 5’s lie that  a profit had been realised truly beggars belief. What does Darren Cooney do all day to pick up £120,000 per annum? Surely a cursory glance at the published unaudited figures was not too much to ask?

When one deducts the £2.9m loan, which will in time be converted into equity should the rogue board eventually disapply pre-emptive rights, the unaudited  income is £13,447,000. The total operating expenses for the six month period were £16,302,000.

RIFC PlC LOST £2,855,000 IN SIX MONTHS

These accounts are a damning indictment of the rogue board. Their illegal actions in regard to Rangers Retail, their unwarranted legal action against the former board and the Joey Barton fiasco has led to a loss that will indubitably be north of £3m when Campbell Dallas deconstruct this tissue of lies. Which does not bode well for the final annual accounts that could see losses escalate to £5m or more.

Now that this lie has been exposed the SFA have no hiding place should they use this farrago of lies to procure a UEFA licence for Rangers Lite. I will personally write to Andrea Traverso in Sion if Regan tries this on.

Robert Grieve of The Sun, who made a total prick of himself when asking Brendan Rodgers whether he agreed with Barton’s assertion that he was suffering a mid-life crisis, is now reporting that the Takeover Appeal Board’s decision is ‘No Biggie’.

Smell that? I love the smell of Dave King’s bullshit in the morning.

Depositing £13m in an escrow account and paying a minimum of £2.15m to a NOMAD, if one can be found that is prepared to work with King, is nothing if not a big deal. Mike Ashley and the Easdale brothers await his prospectus with baited breath. As I exclusively revealed neither will sell to King, but they will enjoy watching him dance on the pin head that is his integrity.

There could well be a cold wind blowing from the city in a matter of weeks if King believes he can lie his way out of his latest clusterfuck.

As for the cub reporter Chris Jack at Clotted Weir’s sports desk, King has already appealed the Takeover Panel Executive’s decision. The clue was in the name Takeover Appeal Board. Giving morons like Jack and Clotted a voice is unconscionable.

To add insult to injury, King who has yet to pony up his much vaunted £30m is now claiming that he will pick up the Rangers Retail slack. He would have us believe that detente has broken out with Sports Direct. Could he therefore explain why Mike Ashley’s counsel has just persuaded a High Court judge to proceed to trial?

Assume positions Gullibillies. Drop pants and bend over to touch your toes.

In my previous article I contended that if Rangers Lite did circuses they would probably be the best circuses in the world. When reviewing the latest batch of lies I will give the last word to Halloween Houston:

The Horror. The Horror.

Cirque Du Soleil at Rangers Lite

The concert party carpetbagger jetted in and out of Ibrox with the precision of a Cirque Du Soleil performance. Le Grand Chapiteau (The Big Top – The Gazebo is so old hat) was erected by sub-contractors from the Level 5 velodrome at Auchenhowie. In an epic performance by Traynor he managed to convince his tame reporters at The Daily Rectum (Real Arseholes read The Rectum) that an unaudited pre-tax loss of £278,000 was actually a £500,000 profit.

The Rectum probably thought they would get away with ‘Operation Good News‘ as their demographic of badger-baiting whippet gourmands are not renowned for their ability to discern the nuances of creative accounting.

Douglas Fraser at the BBC broke the news that The Rectum were talking out of their alimentary canals in regard to a profit. Of course it is a moot point when one considers the cash injection of £2.9m to keep the lights on.

To not put too fine a point on it, Rangers Lite are a loss-making company that as a direct result of the malpractice of its board of carpetbaggers has no credit line from any financial organisation. Even the last resort ‘vulture funds’ turned their noses up at the carrion offer by Rangers Lite. Kenny Mac was not available to comment as he was engaging in some playful jello-wrestling with Barry V Ferguson. One wonders if King impressed upon St. Vincent de Pedro Caixinha of the merits of having a Real Rangers Man, with his EBT accreditation, in his team. Who needs coaching badges when you have an EBT?  Ferguson’s resume is littered with abject mediocrity. The only cone he deserves is one marked with ‘D‘.

One line item that should have raised a mono brow was the unaccounted for £450,000 which one assumes is either a payment to Joey Barton or the costs of a failed action against the former regime, or both. As Clotted Weir and his cub reporter Chris Jack scattered rose petals in King’s path, the latest legal spat with Sports Direct that was playing out in The Chancery division of the Royal Courts of Justice was largely ignored. Chapeau to Aberedeen’s Evening Express for facing down Jim Traynor’s three-line whip.

When the rogue board step out they do it ‘circus style’.

Deputy High Court Judge Richard Millett has been asked to decide how the litigation should proceed. He received skeletal arguments at a High Court hearing in London, yesterday.

William McCormick QC, who is leading Rangers’ legal team, told Judge Millett that directors and supporters were somewhat upset with a deal that delivers only 7p to Rangers (TRFC Ltd) for every £1 expended. However whether the deal is good enough for King or the supporters is largely moot. Charles Green who had a basket of assets and a League application wing and prayer, bit Ashley’s hand off when he made an offer. Having  a relationship with a FTSE 100 company was successfully leveraged at the IPO.

Whether it is a good deal or not is neither here nor there. King and Murray have effected  a seven year notice period to quit. However the concert party carpetbaggers turned their hand to unilaterally terminating the use of intellectual property rights which effectively prohibited the sale of branded products.

In May 2016, King & Murray asserted that they were going to rip up contracts held with  Rangers Retail, that they themselves ran in collaboration with Sports Direct International (SDI).

This was not within their gift. Had they tabled this motion at a Rangers Retail board meeting it would have been defeated.

In summary, King & Murray have abrogated on their fiduciary responsibilities to Rangers Retail and engaged in activities that breached iron-clad contracts. On the face of it Ashley has them bang to rights. One wonders how Traynor will spin a £5m hole in the audited accounts to  Campbell Dallas. How many emphasis of matter flags does it take to convince the £18.72 brigade that Rangers Lite are having difficulty in swimming against a current of exceptional costs, such as the payments due to The Ibrox Three.

Of course King, who would screw his grandmother’s coin gas meter if it paid for litigation, is looking for a loophole to cover his arse apropos forcing the Ibrox Three to walk the plank and then lying that they were using it as a springboard to Nottingham Forest:

“I’m going to have a legal discussion (about whether we could pursue Nottingham Forest for compensation). On the face of it, whether it’s Nottingham Forest or the management team, it’s a possibility but we just have to see how we feel about that.”

Wake up and smell the coffee Dave, you have much bigger fish to fry. You have been exposed as a concert party carpetbagger of the first ordure. It’s time to put up a share offer or shut up. Your chutzpah is fooling no-one.

A Spare to the Heir of Auchenhowie

One should never underestimate the unreserved audacity of David Cunningham King. A few days after being found culpable of engaging in a concert party takeover of the executive functions of RIFC plc, King has jetted in to anoint Ibrox’s answer to St. Peter, Pedro of Caixinha, and to leverage the bonhomie reserved for new managers of Rangers Lite with a naked season ticket pitch. This will indubitably feature the bon mots that Pedro of Caixinha is only the sixteenth appointment in their 144 years history, blithely ignoring the fact that Rangers will soon be little more than a footnote in the files of the joint liquidators at their Canary Wharf office.

Roll up, roll up, for the continuation circus, Gullibillies!

The SMSM love nothing more than a visit from King as his soundbites are manna in their blue heaven. Chris Jack has been tossing and turning  tossing in his Rangers duvet, barely able to sleep with excitement. His head of Sports Reportage, Clotted Weir, is visibly erect. Kenny Mac at BBC Scotland is so excited that he cancelled his internet order of Viagra. Jackie Bird has had her topiarist around to trim her bush.

However there has been one cloud on King’s Silver Linings Playbook. The ticker tape parade along Paisley Road West to celebrate parity at Celtic Park has had to be postponed by Glasgow City Council as they plan to venerate King as a Freeman of Glasgow on the same day. The ticker tape parade has been postponed until the 12th July.

A number of bands have been booked, including Govan favourite ‘ The Kaiser Wilhelm Up To Our Knees in Fenian Blood Oompah Band’ to mark this august occasion. The palpable sense of incandescence has been heightened by the anticipation that King will announce the spare to the heir of the coach’s crown, the assistant to the assistant coach, The  Fabled Ibrox Number Three.

A short list has emerged of two leading candidates for this elevated role. Bomber Brown has thrown his bowler hat into the ring. Despite a preoccupation with finding the deeds, his scouting experience and his ability to survive on a diet of vodka and Ferrero Rocher comestibles as Club Ambassador, stands him in good stead. He has unfortunately besmirched the reputation of the Ibrox cat, Peeping Tom, with his liberal sightings of rhats. 

Bomber’s sterling efforts to redact ‘liquidation‘ from all dictionaries within an 1872 metre radius of Ibrox, is inordinately clubbable.

The favourite for the role is a bearded Charlemagne who led Clyde in The Crusades. Barry Ferguson replaced the text book midfield diamond with The Ferguson V. As his former charges are threatened by relegation, the best one can say about this innovation is that it was ‘a qualified success‘.

Pedro’s Paperwork will not be a challenge to The Charlemagne of Clyde as he has endured  death by 2,500,000 paper cuts during the EBT Crusades, which raged from 2001 to 2011. Many thought that Barry would have been elevated to number three in Mark Warburton’s Camelot, but this was cut short one Friday evening when Warburton found himself to be ‘resigned’.

Royal watchers, who have been reading the runes, are holding a round-the-clock vigil as they await the smoke signals from the Blue Room that a spare to the heir has been chosen. If the smoke is thick and black, the Hairy King, Charlemagne of Clyde, will ascend to the bucket and mop closet.

If bright orange, Bomber Brown will be given the keys to the cones locker.

 

Any other hue of smoke will be the work of arsonists. Those behind the torching of the Ibrox Coach, a.k.a. The Space Shuttle, are still at large.

Meanwhile in the East End of Glasgow there has been a spate of audacious Jelly & Ice Cream heists. The Supreme Court Ice Cream Bond was held up by men in green hooped jerseys. Police are looking for suspects answering to the name of Dafabet.

The recall of one formerly popular brand has led to what can best be described as an ice-cream drought. One can but hope that Mr. Custard steps into the breach.

A Conflict in Context

“A terrorist is someone who uses fear to motivate civilians to act in a political manner on their behalf. A freedom fighter is someone who acts on the behalf of at least some civilian population in direct opposition to a military or government.”

Mowing down innocent pedestrians on Westminster Bridge prior to murdering an unarmed police officer with an eight inch knife was perceived by members of ISIL as a justified response to British air strikes in Syria. One man’s terrorist is another man’s guerilla war hero. When discussing the legacy of Martin McGuinness it’s important to bear these distinctions, which are often blurred, in mind. To many Martin McGuinness was a freedom fighter /politician who worked tirelessly to effect a negotiated end to The Troubles. To his supporters the eighteen years of peaceful power-sharing accord is his legacy. To others he will be forever tarnished by his paramilitary past.

This site which is ostensibly a football blog has never shirked the big issues, be it organ farming in China, the wrongful  conviction of Ched Evans or the death of Madeline McCann. I’m planning an article on the SNP which will be inordinately well researched. It may not be popular, but if it’s thought provoking then it will have served its purpose. As it will be much more sympathetic to the SNP than my previous political articles it will surprise many. I will also arrive at a conclusion which I believe is ineluctable.

However prior to writing and publishing this article I will tread carefully into a minefield in regard to the passing of Martin McGuinness.

Background

McGuinness was born in the Bogside area of Derry, the second of seven children of religious parents, William, a foundry-worker, and his wife, Peggy. Unlike Gerry Adams, McGuinness did not come from a republican background, but grew up in a city where gerrymandering meant that Protestants always controlled the city council, even though Catholics were the majority population. Indeed, he said that when the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (NICRA) began campaigning for equal rights, he saw no point in joining.

He failed his 11 plus and on leaving the Christian Brothers’ technical college he was turned down for a job as a car mechanic because he was a Catholic. He accepted the inevitable and sought a job open to Catholics. The fact that he became a butcher’s assistant was used mockingly against him during The Troubles.

McGuinness was still a teenager when fate propelled him into violent politics in his native Derry. Pictures in 1968 of Gerry Fitt, the Catholic MP for West Belfast, splashed with blood after being hit by police batons as he led a civil rights march, shocked him into activism. He took to the streets just as the IRA, having been stood down after abortive Border campaigns in the 1950s, was re-arming. IRA leaders saw him as capable of providing organisation in Derry to mirror what Gerry Adams was developing in Belfast. Within months McGuinness was second in command of the IRA Derry Brigade, the position he still held on 30 January 1972, Bloody Sunday, when British parachute regiment soldiers shot dead 13 unarmed Catholic demonstrators. (source The Guardian obituary).

Martin McGuinness first joined the Official IRA in 1970 before moving to the Provisionals. As an Irish republican and Sinn Féin politician he was second-in-command (deputy First Minister) of Northern Ireland from May 2007 prior to retiring from political life due to the deterioration of his health in January 2017.

McGuinness & Adams were part of a six-strong IRA delegation who engaged in secret talks in London with a team led by William Whitelaw, the Northern Ireland secretary, in 1972. McGuinness and Adams already knew each other from the barricades, but that trip gave them an invaluable insight into the powerful British political establishment and cemented a lifelong friendship and political partnership that was strong enough for them to push through the peace settlement against often violent opposition within the republican community.

Gerry Adams was asked a question by a veteran reporter as to whether violence paid. Adams objected to the use of ‘violence ‘ and asserted that it was pejorative, but continued:

That’s what the war resulted in; it would have been better that there was no war but you show me anywhere in the world where people have won either a modicum of decency and rights, or indeed in terms of colonial wars, won independence, that it didn’t happen after blood-letting.”

One could choose numerous examples of this blood-letting, but I will choose only one.

The Birmingham pub bombings of 21 November 1974

In the early evening hours of Thursday 21 November, a minimum of three bombs primed with alarm clocks were planted inside two separate public houses and outside a bank located in and around central Birmingham. The bombs concealed inside the Mulberry Bush and the Tavern in the Town were detonated at 8.17 p.m and 8.27 p.m.The explosions killed 21 people and injured 182 others. Martin McGuiness was a senior member of the Provisional IRA at the time of this outrage. The Provisional Irish Republican Army have never officially admitted responsibility for the Birmingham pub bombings but a former senior member admitted their involvement forty years later in 2014. Was this blood-letting of innocent civilians, enjoying a Thursday evening drink, in any way justified or justifiable? I will do my utmost not to let the bitter taste in my mouth colour my judgement when presenting the facts on a divisive figure. An individual hailed by some as the Irish Nelson Mandela.

The Provisional IRA extended its campaign to mainland Britain in 1973, attacking military and symbolically important targets to both increase pressure on the British government, via popular British opinion, to withdraw from Northern Ireland and to maintain morale amongst their supporters. It was a tactic first seen in The Vietnam War. A war which ended with the complete withdrawal of the American forces. During their unjustified and unjustifiable tenure in Vietnam the American military machine killed three million and maimed ten million more. (Source: my visit to The War Museum in Ho Chi Minh City)

The body bags containing the remains of American Servicemen were initially draped in the Stars and Stripes and conferred a hero’s burial. As the number of body bags escalated to 60,000, they were obscured from public view. Winning the information war was central to maintaining the draft.

Prior to any attack upon civilian targets, a code of conduct was followed in which the attacker or attackers would send an anonymous telephone warning to police, with the caller reciting a confidential code word known only to the Provisional IRA and to police, to indicate the authenticity of the threat.

At 20:11, six minutes prior to the first detonation, an unknown man with a distinct Irish accent telephoned the Birmingham Post newspaper and stated:

There is a bomb planted in the Rotunda and there is a bomb in New Street at the tax office. This is Double X”.

‘Double X‘ was an official Provisional IRA code word recited to authenticate any warning call. A similar warning was also made to the Birmingham Evening Mail newspaper, with the anonymous caller repeating the official IRA code word to indicate the authenticity of the threats, but again failing to name the public houses in which the bombs had been planted.

Police had six minutes notice to clear an area but no precise information on the target locale.  Where was the agreed 30 minutes warning that should have preceded any attack on civilian targets? The code words are the smoking gun of Provisional IRA involvement. A smoking gun that can be traced to a command structure that authorised this atrocity. I contend without fear of contradiction that Martin McGuiness had a senior executive position in this command structure at that time.

If one sets aside the 21 innocent victims who died at the scenes or shortly afterwards for a second, one should take pause to consider the many who would lose one or more limbs. Several casualties had been impaled by sections of wooden furniture; others had their clothes burned from their bodies. A paramedic called to the scene of this explosion would later describe the carnage as being reminiscent of a slaughterhouse, whereas one fireman would state that, upon seeing a writhing, “screaming torso”, he had begged police to allow a television crew inside the premises to film the dead and dying at the scene, in the hope the IRA would see the consequences of their actions; however, the police refused this request, fearing that the reprisals would be extreme.

Some of the victims whose bodies had been blown through a brick wall and wedged between the rubble and underground electric cables would take up to three hours to recover, as recovery had to be delayed until the power could be isolated. A passing West Midlands bus was also destroyed by the blast.

Many of those wounded were left permanently disabled, including one young man who lost both legs, and a young woman who was blinded by shrapnel. The majority of the dead and wounded were young people between the ages of 17 and 30, including a young couple on their first date, and two Irishmen, brothers Desmond and Eugene Reilly (aged 21 and 23 respectively). The widow of Desmond Reilly gave birth to his first child four months after his death. One of the victims, 18-year-old Maxine Hambleton, had only entered the Tavern in the Town to hand out tickets to friends for her housewarming party. She was killed seconds after entering the pub as she had been standing directly beside the bomb when it exploded, killing her instantly. Her friend, 17-year-old Jane Davis, was the youngest victim of the bombings and had entered the Tavern in the Town to view holiday photographs she had had developed that afternoon.

In Northern Ireland, loyalist paramilitaries launched a wave of revenge attacks on Irish Catholics. Within two days of the bombings, five Catholic civilians had been shot dead by loyalists.

One of the worst miscarriages of justice ever seen in a British courtroom led to the conviction of six men who had Republican sympathies but no connection with the atrocity. The actual perpetrators have been named. One of these men was Mick Murray, who had been tried alongside the Birmingham Six and convicted of conspiracy to cause explosions. Murray was named as having assisted in the selection of the targets, and had later placed the advance warning call to the Birmingham Post and Birmingham Evening Mail newspapers, which was delayed by a half-hour due to the fact that the pre-selected telephone had been vandalised and another needed to be located, leading to the fateful delay in the warning calls. The other three named in this appalling activity were Seamus McLoughlin, who planned the atrocities; James Francis Gavin (a.k.a. James Kelly, who had likewise been tried alongside the Birmingham Six and convicted of the possession of explosives), who had allegedly constructed each of the bombs; and Michael Christopher Hayes who had planted the bombs at the preselected locations. All the perpetrators were active members of The Provisional IRA.

As much as the unprovoked attack on Fitt was the catalyst for McGuinness taking up arms it’s important to note his commitment to protecting his community from an unofficial dirty war being waged on Nationalists and Republican sympathisers by the Northern Ireland security apparatus.

Lethal Allies: British collusion in Ireland by Anne Cadwallader offers indisputable evidence of security forces collusion with loyalist paramilitaries from 1968-1998

Cadwallader’s forensic analysis of documentary evidence has led her to contend that members of the police force, the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), and Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR), were part of a loyalist gang that killed more than 120 people in just one small area in the 1970s.

In the course of her research at the human rights organisation, the Pat Finucane Centre, she encountered Alan Brecknell who had carried out painstaking research into widespread collusion after investigating the controversial circumstances surrounding the 1975 murder of his father, Trevor.

Cadwallader’s documentary evidence was gleaned from the Historical Enquiries Team (HET), which was a unit set up by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) in September 2005 to investigate unsolved murders committed during The Troubles..

Cadwallader’s book reveals how RUC officers and members of the UDR were part of a death squad operating from two farms in south Armagh and Tyrone. This death squad targeted and assassinated 120 individuals.

Cadwallader asserted:

It can be demonstrated beyond a reasonable doubt that there was systemic collusion in these cases.”

In support of her thesis she relates a series of killings that point to collusion, such as the murders of four people in attacks on two pubs in Charlemont, Co Armagh, in May 1976 and an attack on the Catholic-run Rock Bar in Co Armagh, also in 1976.

The Guardian’s Henry McDonald, in his report on the book, centres on the Rock Bar incident. He tells of how only one serving police officer was found guilty of the attack, which the HET report said “beggars belief.”

It described the original police inquiry into the attack as “unforgivable” and made a damning indictment in a document quoted by Cadwallader:

A busy country pub frequented by honest, decent working people was a target for a sectarian attack; a member of the public in the street outside was callously gunned down without warning; a powerful explosive, wrapped in nail and metal fragments to ensure maximum numbers would be killed or maimed, is detonated at the door; the police investigation is cursory, ineffective and even fails to interview the only witness, who survived being shot down.”

Another HET report also claimed that the RUC had advance knowledge of an attack in which two people died in August 1976 at the The Step Inn in Keady, Co Armagh.

According to the book, the RUC knew a bomb was being stored at a farmhouse owned by a serving police officer and asked the army to put it under surveillance. But the surveillance was lifted and the bomb was then used in the attack.

Cadwallader contends that RUC’s Special Branch knew the identities of four people involved in the bombing, but that no arrests were made.

Has McGuinness’ remit as a defender of his community against the worst ravages of a paramilitary death squad been quickly forgotten by those who seek to condemn him? He was deemed to be Britain’s number one terrorist by The Daily Mail less than twenty-four hours ago. I have come neither to praise McGuinness nor to condemn him. I will let history be the judge of his military legacy.

I have long been an admirer of Channel 4 news. In the course of my research for this article I came across a discussion on McGuinness’ legacy which solicited input from Sinn Fein’s Raymond McCartney, Alastair Campbell and Julie Hamilton whose sister perished in the Birmingham bombings.

Julie Hamilton made an impassioned plea that McGuinness lacked the integrity, courage and bravery that one would expect of a senior statesman. She finds it unconscionable that a ‘mass murderer’ is lauded and applauded as a modern-day Nelson Mandela. She asserted that Mandela paid for his crimes when incarcerated on Robben Island. She contrasted his situation with that of McGuinness whom she contended had never been denied his liberty for his crimes.

However this is not historically accurate as McGuiness spent much of the 1970s in and out of prison as a victim of internment due to his membership of a proscribed organisation. HM Prison Maze was the Guantanamo of its day.

McCartney would not be drawn on McGuinness’ paramilitary past. His rhetoric highlighted his role as a champion of the peace process. However it was evident that Julie Hamilton has no peace of mind.

Alastair Campbell was fulsome in his praise for McGuinness, but as the patron saint of an Iraqi genocide he was not in a position to cast the first stone.

McGuinness’ introduction to politics was at the behest of the IRA leadership who invited him as twenty-two year old to participate in the secret meetings with Whitelaw.

This led inexorably to his finest hour as a politician when he was Sinn Féin’s chief negotiator in the Northern Ireland peace process that led to the Good Friday agreement of 1998.

A fitting tribute to McGuinness’ legacy as a politician and statesman came in a letter from Ex-UUP leader David Trimble who wrote to his former political foe just last week to say he believed he had been indispensable to securing the republican movement’s support for the Good Friday Agreement and devolution. In a letter, dated March 12, which was released by the Nobel Peace prize-winner following Mr. McGuinness’ death he also asserted that the Sinn Féin leader had been foremost in reaching out to unionists:

Like many I was surprised to learn of your illness and of its seriousness. Then, on reflection, I thought it behoved me, as the First Minister when we first achieved devolution to the Assembly created by the Good Friday Agreement some eighteen years ago, to say how much we appreciated all that you did to make that happen. In doing that you reached out to the Unionist community in a way some of them were reluctant to reach out to you. Without knowing the detail of how the republican movement moved to that point, I and my colleagues believed that your were indispensable.

I will never forget the truly historic first meeting of the Executive and how we approached that seriously and in good humour, marred only by the absence of two Ministers.  I think that that even tempered manner was characteristic of all your time in office, and we knew that it was never at the expense of your principles.  Perhaps the best expression of your approach was your meeting with Queen Elizabeth. There are many today, as we sit with the clock ticking down to the deadline of getting the institutions up and running again, who think that if you were at the helm, we would face this prospect with greater optimism.”

The image of McGuinness, as deputy first minister of Northern Ireland, standing side by side with a smiling Robinson, Paisley’s successor as Democratic Unionist party leader and first minister, and shaking the Queen’s hand during her visit to Belfast in 2012, vividly portrayed not only how far McGuinness himself had developed over the years, but how far Northern Ireland had moved from the violence of 1968. The two met on a number of subsequent occasions, the last coming in June 2016 at Hillsborough Castle, when the Queen unveiled a portrait of herself. After a 20-minute private meeting McGuinness said: “I am an unapologetic Irish republican and I value very much the contribution Queen Elizabeth has made to the peace process and to reconciliation.”  One should note that she was shaking the hands of a man of whom it is alleged gave the go-ahead for the assassination of Lord Mountbatten, her second cousin first removed.
When drawn McGuinness would justify the “armed struggle” of those early days, saying that a “little boy” from the Catholic Bogside was no more culpable than a little black boy from Soweto. But in the subsequent half-century, his commitment was to words, not bullets.

He stated :

The lesson from the conflict here is the same for everywhere else. There are no military solutions – dialogue and diplomacy are the only guarantee of lasting peace.

In his resignation letter of 9 January, McGuinness spoke of his aspirations:

I have sought with all my energy and determination to serve all the people of the north and the island of Ireland by making the power-sharing government work. Throughout that time, I have worked with successive DUP first ministers and, while our parties are diametrically opposed ideologically and politically, I have always sought to exercise my responsibilities in good faith and to seek resolutions rather than recrimination.” 

If one removes one’s predetermined prejudices to Martin McGuiness a more sympathetic figure emerges. Is Northern Ireland a better place for all of its citizens due in large part to the tireless endeavour of Martin McGuiness? The answer to this is unequivocally to the affirmative.

So who was Martin McGuinness? Was he an unconscionable cold-blooded murderer or a freedom fighter? In my estimation he was both. I cannot begin to condone the slaughter of innocent civilians in the pursuit of a cause. Just as I cannot begin to condone the latest outrage by ISIL in London.

Did the 3 Bears shit in the woods?

I note with interest that STV have finally caught up with my exclusive narratives on a bad week at the office for Dave King. One can but hope that the vile pond life who inhabit my spam file will soon realise that I was right all along about career criminal Dave King. Is the news more palatable when presented by Grant Russell in his best Slaters’ suit?

The expression do bears shit in the woods is often used as an axiom, as is one of its alternatives is the Pope a Catholic?  The premise of this article is how the Three Bears took a public concert party dump but escaped censure by the Takeover Party Executive (TPE).

The correspondence between George Letham and Dave King on two of their ultimately unsuccessful ruses to take control of Rangers Lite were used to hang the career criminal. King would not have disclosed this correspondence to the TPE or the independent Takeover Appeal Board. George Letham did. Did he escape censure by fingering King?

King with breathtaking audacity appealed the original decision by the TPE (that he had acted in concert) on a spurious technicality which was found out to be the latest in a catalogue of lies.

On 31 December 2014, Messrs Letham, Taylor and Park acquired interests in shares in Rangers (at 20p per share) from Laxey Partners Limited, which, together with shares already held by Mr Taylor, amounted to 19.48% of the issued capital in Rangers. On the same day, Mr King instructed Cantor Fitzgerald, an investment bank, to acquire shares in Rangers. As per Mr King’s instructions, the shares were purchased by New Oasis Assets Limited (NOAL) which is beneficially owned through a trust by Mr King (and his family) at 20p per share, from three institutional UK fund managers, with completion occurring on 2 January 2015. The shares amounted to 14.57% of the issued shares in Rangers. The interests of Messrs Letham, Taylor, Parker and King amounted to an aggregate holding of 34.05% of the issued shares in Rangers.

On 7 June 2016, following completion of its interviews and other investigations, the Takeover Panel Executive ruled that, for the purposes of Rule 9.1 of the Code, Mr King had been acting in concert with Messrs Letham, Taylor and Park in the acquisition of shares in Rangers on 31 December 2014 and 2 January 2015 and that an obligation should be imposed on Mr King to extend an offer to other shareholders in Rangers in accordance with Rule 9 for all of the issued shares in Rangers not owned by him and Messrs Letham, Taylor and Park. The offer was to be made at the price of 20p per share.

On 2 August 2016 King requested a review of the Executive’s ruling by the Hearings Committee. At the review hearing  on 5 December 2016 they upheld the Executive’s decisions. On 12 December 2016 King appealed their rulings. The Takeover Appeal Board (TAB) heard the appeal on 25 January 2017. King failed to attend either the Hearing Committee or TAB appeal hearings.

King quite incredibly submitted in writing that there was a separation between him and New Oasis Assets Limited (NOAL). He mendaciously claimed that NOAL did not act on King’s instructions.

The TAB noted that NOAL had neither made an application to be heard nor made any submissions either to the Hearings Committee or the TAB, nor had NOAL made any comments on emails forwarded to it in relation to the matter. Further, the TAB noted that it was Mr King who communicated with Mr Letham, Mr King who decided on the quantum of price of the share purchases, Mr King who contacted Cantor Fitzgerald to effect the purchases and Mr King who – within a day of the decision – caused his family trust to pay for the shares and put them into the name of NOAL.
King’s denial that he had any interest in the shares acquired by NOAL and any voting rights in Rangers is contrary to the evidence as to their acquisition and as to NOAL’s requisition of an EGM that led to Mr King and his nominees constituting the Rangers board of directors.The TAB further highlighted that the completed internal Cantor Fitzgerald KYC document produced to the TAB named NOAL as the client, but described the ‘deemed purpose of the business as to buy shares in RANGERS INTERNATIONAL FOOTBALL CLUB PLC for Mr Dave King’.

King had been hung out to dry by Cantor Fitzgerald, who unlike King were not prepared to lie.

King who would instruct solicitors as to whether dawn should be considered as morning, if he could glean a beneficial interest, stated that his interest in Rangers was to work together with supporters groups to restore proper standards of corporate governance.

Would that governance include no NOMAD being prepared to work with him, the suspension of RIFC’s listing and its subsequent delisting? How on God’s green earth could this be construed as restoring proper standards of governance? How could paying £25,000 for hacked information to destabilise the former board and undermine the share price be anything less than a criminal act? Would good governance include the resignation of auditors Deloitte as they were not prepared to stand idly by and watch Rangers Lite glibly trade while technically insolvent?  As for his cronyism, what possessed him to appoint Je Suis Graham to his board and watch on as he resigned 48 hours later after it was disclosed that he had distributed images of Mohammed engaging in bestiality and in sexual congress with fictional character Jar Jar Binks?

No-one does own goals better than King.

The Takeover Appeal Board ruled that King’s personal motives or reasons for gaining control of a company are not relevant when considering whether parties were acting in concert. They asserted

The facts relevant to acting in concert may be established by direct documentary or oral evidence, and by reasonable inference from all the surrounding circumstances of the case” 

It is reported that King is on his way to London to identify the costs of a prospectus and to pitch to Graeme Park that his father should bankroll an offer of 20p per share to  the 65.95% who acquired their shares by legal means. These 53,695,320 shares if fully subscribed would set King back £10,739,064 plus a minimum of £2,147,812 for a prospectus. If fully subscribed King would not have much change out of £13m. However as I exclusively revealed Ashley and the Easdales are not willing to sell, which limits King’s actual exposure to circa £8m.

One could contend that only 50% would be prepared to dispose of their holdings, but with costs King would still be looking down the barrel of north of £6m. A quantum that he cannot move out of South Africa due to their capital flight regulations.

Therefore his pitch to Graeme Park will be that his father underwrites the concert party premium with King’s shareholding as collateral on his end.

Would King glibly induce Park to engage in yet another concert party scam? Do Bears shit in the woods?

Persona Non Grata

Prior to the main thrust of this article I take pause to consider the merits of a company/club in liquidation due to taxes owed to HMRC being represented by a QC made bankrupt due to unpaid taxes to HMRC. Was Andrew Thornhill, who cannot handle his own tax affairs, the correct choice to petition The Supreme Court? There are times when the Rangers narrative is beyond parody.

My previous article, which may not survive my critical self-editing, touched on the possibility of Dave King being subjected to The Cold Shoulder.  Dave King is a career criminal who has been masquerading as a qualified accountant for 40 years. He should have no place at the helm of any UK plc, even one as toxic as RIFC plc.

Letham, Park & Taylor have a decision to make. Given that Letham admitted to the Takeover Panel Executive that he acted in concert with Park & Taylor to acquire a 19.52% share, they could not buy out King’s 14.53% as they would breach the 30% threshold where an offer to the other shareholders is mandatory.

However they must jettison King prior to The Cold Shoulder being effected. King’s position as Chairman of RIFC is untenable. It could lead to the unedifying spectacle of Metro Bank closing down the RIFC account. Season ticket sales would be badly hit as no credit card firm would deal with any company where King is a director. The current facility for paying season tickets in four chunks would be withdrawn. Players would have to be paid in cash drawn from the accounts of either Park or Taylor. Letham was refused an overdraft to underwrite RIFC.

I cannot overstate the gravity of this situation. RIFC would not survive if it were to be put into quarantine. There is some discussion on another site as to who gave King up to the Takeover Executive. I have little doubt that this was George Letham as his correspondence with King was a smoking gun. The only way Letham could have escaped sanctions was via a deal.

The SMSM were being briefed that King was on his way to anoint Caixinha and to leverage his appointment to buttress season ticket sales. I contend that this is now extremely unlikely as the Three Bears seek to distance themselves from King. It is no longer a question of whether King will survive as to when the axe will fall. Will LPT offer him a dignified exit by throwing him the bone of a remit as a Global Ambassador?  He has to be handled carefully as his 14.53% stake is currently a powerful weapon. However he will be rendered impotent when The Cold Shoulder is applied.

In the SMSM fanned euphoria in regard to the appointment of  Saint Vincent De Paul Caixinha at Ibrox,  Craig Houston’s posturing to attain a blazer has been largely ignored. I somehow doubt he will make it to first fit after the following communique:

As you will be aware following the announcement from Club 1872, all 3 of us have resigned as directors. We considered it an honour and a privilege to be voted to serve on the board of Club 1872 by our fellow Rangers fans, and those of you who know each one of us personally will understand how painful it was for us to leave an organisation we firmly believed in and worked tirelessly to establish since our election.

We feel it is incumbent upon us to outline to members the reasons why we felt our positions had become untenable. As anyone who has served on a board or committee will know there will always be differences of opinion and varied interpretations on matters and the Club 1872 board was no different in that respect.

However, throughout our tenure we found the conduct of one director particularly challenging, causing all of us to make considerable personal compromises at times. However last week a situation arose, which we felt compromised the organisation rather than ourselves, and that was one compromise we were not prepared to make under any circumstances.

As many of you will be aware Rangers have recently advertised two job vacancies in respect of a Social Media Officer and a Supporters Liaison Officer. At Club 1872 we were informed recently that the latter of these two roles would be our main point of contact at the club in the future.

Word subsequently reached some of the Club 1872 board members that one of our directors had applied for the position of Supporters Liaison Officer. However, as no notification had been received from the director in question this matter remained as nothing more than a rumour.

Matters came to a head when the director in question intimated he, in addition to two Club 1872 directors who had already confirmed their attendance, would attend a meeting at Ibrox facilitated by Rangers Security personnel. This meeting was in respect of the forthcoming Old Firm fixture at which both Police Scotland and Club 1872 were invited participants.

As persons present at this meeting from Rangers were to be involved in the interview and recruitment process for the vacant Supporters Liaison role concerns were raised within the Club 1872 board. As nothing had yet been received in writing to the Club 1872 board this necessitated a phone call by one director to the director in question at which time it was established he had in fact applied for the role of Supporters Liaison Officer.

On such confirmation, the director in question was advised that it would not be appropriate for him to attend this meeting. In essence, we had a Club 1872 director who had applied for a job at Rangers, attending a meeting where persons from the club who were not only involved in the interview and recruitment process, but would also have direct line management responsibility for the post in question, were present.

Despite such advice and the concerns of fellow board members, the director in question attended the meeting.

We tendered our resignations shortly thereafter.

We would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere apologies to all members, and in particular, those who voted for us. However, all 3 of us believe that by resigning in such circumstances we were reflecting the standards, values and principles which saw us elected.

Laura Fawkes
Joanne Percival
Iain Leiper

Should one have been surprised at the naked ambition of King’s attack dog, Halloween Houston? He can barely string a sentence together on The Sons of Strewth Facebook page so any ambitions as a Social Media Officer would be risible. John Gilligan has opened doors for Halloween to assist his punting of pre-mixed tequila cocktails to the licensed trade. One wonders whether Gilligan has any skin in Halloween’s new game? Would anyone be surprised if Gilligan threw his weight behind Halloween’ appointment?

The idea of Club 1872 being a separate entity to RIFC is the biggest joke of the year. Halloween’s revolving door approach to gaining a blazer is instructive. The Club 1872 executives are puppets whose strings are being pulled by King.

If push came to shove would King join forces with 1872 to take control of RIFC?  No narrative should be dismissed as fanciful when King is involved. The Takeover Panel Executive pulled that rug from under his feet. One can but hope that Houston joins King on the naughty step.