DELINGPOLE: We Need to Drain the Swamp that Spawns Scumbags Like Lawyer Phil Shiner

We don’t have capital punishment in Britain anymore but if we did, the disgraced “human rights” lawyer Phil Shiner would make a prime candidate for the drop.

Not only has this streak of slime betrayed his country for money but he has exposed the lives of everyone in it to needlessly increased danger. In my view, this makes him a traitor.

Shiner – to recap – is the self-proclaimed crusading “socialist” lawyer whose now-happily-defunct firm Public Interest Lawyers made millions of pounds pursuing largely vexatious cases against blameless members of the British armed forces for imaginary war crimes they had supposedly committed in Iraq. He has just, rightly, been struck off the solicitors’ register.

He brought needless misery to the lives of hundreds of servicemen whose reward for risking their lives for their country was to have their names dragged through the mud by this grasping charlatan.

He squandered many millions of pounds of taxpayer money, enriching himself at public expense – yet affecting to own the moral high ground.

Perhaps worst of all, he has imperilled the lives of everyone in Britain – both civilian and military – by promulgating a myth which will have been seized with rapture as both propaganda coup and casus belli by our many enemies in the Muslim world: that the British army behaved like barbarians during the Iraq war.

In February 2008, Shiner enjoyed what he probably thought at the time was his finest hour, when he held a press conference to accuse the British military of war crimes in Iraq, during which it had allegedly killed and mutilated innocent civilians during the 2004 Battle of Danny Boy. These claims were repeated by the BBC on a Panorama investigation.

But these claims, a subsequent inquiry established – at a cost to the UK taxpayer of £30 million – were utter rubbish.

What had actually happened was that British units had been ambushed by fanatical Shiite Iraqi insurgents from the Mahdi army and fought back so heroically – one soldier was awarded an MC – and effectively, often at bayonet point, that 28 Iraqis were killed with no British lives lost.

That’s when the vultures moved in, in the form of Phil Shiner’s grotesquely misnamed Public Interest Lawyers. They sent out scouts to Iraq looking for victims who wanted to claim compensation for the suffering they had experienced at the hands of the British. To no one’s astonishment, lots of Iraqis were prepared to swear in the infidel court – in return for the prospect of wheelbarrows of free money – that they had indeed been horribly abused.

Even at the time it was obvious to half of Britain that Phil Shiner was a grasping, sanctimonious, treacherous scumbag of the lowest order.

The Mail‘s Richard Littlejohn, for example, spoke for a lot of us when he wrote: “Shiner is always on the lookout for a jihadist with a grievance which can be used to discredit the Army and win some hard cash.”

And even more so when he wrote that Shiner’s falsely accused victims would be “happy to form a firing squad”.

In interviews given to sympathetic left-wing newspapers since, Shiner has bleated about receiving death threats.

Well yes, Professor, that’s the deal. If you’re going to rip off British taxpayers to the tune of millions, besmirch the good name of our brave military, ruin lives, betray your country, and feed vile propaganda to the kind of people who’ll love any new excuse to kill us, then, no, you’re not going to get a pat on the back from everyone.

But never mind Shiner: his reputation is toast and presumably a criminal prosecution is on the cards.

What I’d like to know is: when and how are we going to drain the swamp of primordial ooze which makes creatures like Phil Shiner possible?

I mean the BBC, which never tired of having Shiner on its programmes to promulgate his latest anti-British conspiracy theory , the Ministry of Defence which appeared more than happy to allow these soldiers to be thrown to the wolves, newspapers like the Guardian which were happy to take Shiner at his own words as a crusading hero (“guilty of pursuing cases in a single-minded way and upsetting powerful people”, as Shiner generously described himself), the Law Society (which named him their 2007 Solicitor of the Year), Liberty (the human rights charity, formerly run by the “will run whitewash inquiries for a peerage” Baroness Chakrabati, which named him Human Rights Lawyer of the Year in 2004), and the various universities which showered him with honoraria.

According to Wikipedia [Oddly if you do a Google search for this page it doesn’t come up. Instead, you get a much favourable Wikispooks page]:

He was an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Warwick from 1999 to 2004, an Honorary Professor of Law at London Metropolitan University from 2005 to 2013 and a Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics from 2005 to 2013. He was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Law from the University of Kent in 2012.

The University of Kent has taken down the encomium that its Professor Nick Grief delivered when it gave Shiner his Honorary Doctorate.

Luckily, a sharp-eyed reader has found a cached version:

The aptly named Grief began his panegyric thus:

It is fitting that we are near the spot where, in 1170, Thomas Becket, that turbulent priest, was murdered by four knights who believed that Henry II wanted him out of the way. For there are those who, since the invasion of Iraq in 2003, have wanted to be rid of Phil Shiner: a radical, campaigning, strategic lawyer with an old-fashioned approach to Christian socialism, for whom challenging the abuse of power is a vocation. There may even be something prophetic about his determination to “tell it as it is”, without fear or favour.

Yep. You read that right. A tenured member of Britain’s legal and academic establishment really did stand on a public platform and liken a slippery, money-grubbing, ambulance-chasing lawyer to a martyred (and sainted) priest.

This, my friends, is the swamp that needs draining. It has existed for generations but there’s little doubt that it grew significantly deeper, more stagnant and widespread in the era of Tony Blair who used his long era as Prime Minister to entrench human rights law and feather the nest for his legal cronies, many of whom were his former colleagues and best mates, one of whom was his wife.

I remember, at the time, watching with horror this betrayal of British traditions and institutions, this surrender of our English common law to the foreign jurisdictions of the European courts and this embrace of the perniciously left-wing concept of “Human Rights”. Why were my countrymen allowing Blair and his cronies to get away with these radical changes with so little resistance?

Well, what I’ve learned since is that lots of us felt this way but felt powerless to fight against the “clamour of the times”. Instead, what happened was that our rage and frustration festered and festered until, finally, we found a way of making our feelings known. That’s how Brexit happened.

It’s also, I suspect, how Trump happened.

If something can’t go on forever then it won’t.

One day we’ll look back in astonishment at the idea that a British lawyer was able to drag the names of brave British servicemen through the mud with fabricated allegations, at eye-watering public expense with the full support of Britain’s liberal elite, from its legal system and its government ministries to its state broadcasters.

Shiner is just the beginning. The fetid swamp that makes such creatures possible remains undrained. Until it is, our work remains far from done.

 


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