Click here to read the announcement that Lord Cullen was leaving the judiciary - before he was turfed out for his ignominious role in the Dunblane Inquiry Whitewash.

The webmaster of Dunblane Digest, Billy Burns, petitioned the Scottish Parliament to open up to the public Lord Cullen's extra-statutory, therefore "illegal", 100-year Closure Order on files relating to his pseudo-inquiry into the Dunblane Massacre.

Submitting 21 pages, I was ordered by the Clerk to the Public Petitions Committee, Steve Farrell, to drastically reduce it.  "In order to be helpful," he said, "I have reworded your petition as follows ..."

Mr Farrell proceeded to reduce it to less than one page ... just to be helpful of course!  This was unacceptable to me so, under protest, I reluctantly curtailed it to 4 pages.  It was duly accepted.  All the committee members were provided with a copy of the original submissions - or so I was led to believe - along with an abundance of other supportive evidence I had submitted.

During the course of my oral hearing, it became evident that the committee members had either not taken the time to read the full content of this very important petition or that the Clerks to the Committee "(Lawyers", or to be more precise, "duly elected 'legal bouncers'") did not in fact provide the committee members with all the papers.  To view the full version of the petition, Click here.  To view the enforced impoverished version, Click here.  To see what the committee members look like, Click here.

My correspondence with the Cullen Inquiry, before, during and after the farce, was included in the closure order so Lord Cullen can elicit little sympathy from the public for the way he conducted his inquiry into the Dunblane Massacre in 1996.  He restricted the remit and concentrated more on the gun licensing argument, "diverting the discourse" from Hamilton's background.  This would have been a major embarrassment to the establishment, shedding light on his charmed life and why he was protected and by whom.  The inquiry, therefore, was a departure from what the public expected and deserved.

A prominent Sunday Times journalist brought it to my attention that my correspondence with the "Cullen Inquiry" before, during and after the inquiry had been put on a 100-year closure order, along with 105 other files.  I then wrote to Lord Cullen on 27 February 2003, demanding his resignation from the judiciary.  I also wrote to the Lord Advocate Colin Boyd, asking him what he was "prepared to do to bring to justice all those involved in the child sex-abuse scandal, the subsequent murders, and the ultimate whitewash."  The Lord Advocate refused to address the issue.

It was claimed that the reason the "GAGGING ORDER" was put in place was to protect the names of children who were victims of sex-abuse.  Lord Cullen, at the time of the Inquiry, said there was no evidence of child sex abuse, but now, seven years after his Inquiry, he has used the fact that there was evidence of child sex abuse to try to justify his unwarranted "gagging order".  Others at the time also said, in support of Cullen, that there was not enough evidence of child sex abuse, flying in the face of the real evidence.

This just did not wash with me.  My letters to him did not mention a single name of a child sex abuse victim - for I did not know any names.  My letters dealt strictly with the potential, then actual Masonic cover-up, keeping in mind the many reports in the press at the time that the mass killer, Thomas Hamilton, was a Freemason.

I asked Lord Cullen to recuse himself if he was a Freemason.  He got Glynis McKeand, the Clerk to the Cullen Inquiry to deny on his behalf that he was a Mason following the question posed.  I then asked him by letter to instruct every witness to the Inquiry to declare if they were Masons, because too many sinister loopholes were created for Thomas Hamilton over a number of years to enable him to retain his gun licence and continue running boys clubs.  Hamilton was given this seal of approval despite many misgivings from worried members of the public, certain police officers and others.

As it happened, Lord Cullen did not recuse himself, even though, as I have since discovered, he is numbered 1702 on the membership list of the 'Speculative Society of Edinburgh', which is an exclusive off-shoot of Freemasonry.  In fact, MASONS belonging to LODGE CANNONGATE KILWINNING No 2, founded the 'SPECULATIVE SOCIETY' in Edinburgh in 1764.

As the inquiry got under way, only one witness was asked if he was a Mason, Robert Comrie Heslop Deuchars.  Answering in the affirmative, this Mason's evidence was later used by the Clerk to the Cullen Inquiry, Glynis McKeand, to claim to me that Hamilton was not a Mason, even though Deuchars testified that he had never socialised with Hamilton and that he did not know if Hamilton was a Mason.   Cullen was therefore digging a hole deeper and deeper for himself as his pseudo-Inquiry deteriorated.

When I learned of the 100-year gagging order, I wrote to Lord Cullen, demanding his resignation from the judiciary.  The year after the Inquiry (1997) he was quickly promoted to the position of Lord Justice-Clerk, the second top judge in Scotland, then in 2002 he was promoted to the Lord Presidency for his sins, the top law lord in the country.  After receiving my letter, it was reported he was to be moved to the House of Lords.  I had no intention of allowing him to take refuge in the Lords so I wrote a letter to him, addressing the envelope to the Judicial Department in the Lords, so that employees in that department were fully aware of the scandal surrounding the Dunblane cover-up.  But a judge who shames his own country and countrymen is evidently still good material for the Lords.

The only satisfactory way to now appease the relatives and friends of the victims of the Massacre and of the child abuse - and, indeed, to appease the entire Scottish people who have been excluded from the fundamental rights of citizenship as a result of the pseudo-inquiry - is to conduct a brand new inquiry with no restrictive remit under the auspices of a cross party panel of nonlawyer-MSP's and nominated lay members whose lives were touched by the Massacre.

The same panel must also conduct a full-scale inquiry into Lord Cullen's status and behaviour before, during and after his risible inquiry, and into his placing of the extra-statutory, illegal 100-year "gagging order" on the evidence, and the subsequent loyalty and protection he received from various senior law officers, such as the Lord Advocate, and others.  In March 2003, Dunblane families demanded the release of the embargoed files.

(Due to the embarrassment caused to the Scottish Executive by the illegal embargo, the Lord Advocate Colin Boyd was ordered to release the files, so about half the 6,000 plus files were released on Monday, 3 October 2005 - ten months after the Freedom of Information Act came into force - but in such a redacted form that made them largely illegible.  In what was supposed to be to protect the names of victims of child sex abuse, my name and address were removed from my embargoed letters to Lord Cullen.  So too were the names of witnesses to the Inquiry to whom I referred in my letters.  Place names also became targets for the censor's pencil.  In one case even the name a pub was airbrushed over.  Was this pub named after one of the victims of child sex abuse?  I wouldn't have thought so!)

Nevertheless, as a consequence of my letter to Lord Cullen, asking him to resign, my name and address were summarily airbrushed from the already inaccurate description of the file held by the National Archives of Scotland.  After I wrote a letter of complaint to NAS, it was changed again and now has the following relatively more accurate description:

'1996 Apr-Jul Additional Productions
Correspondence between William Burns, South Queensferry, and Lord Cullen and the Clerk to the Inquiry concerning possible connections with Freemasonry of Thomas Hamilton, Lord Cullen himself, witnesses to the Inquiry and civil servants; also extracts from inquiry transcript relating to possible links with Freemasonry, and letters to and from Thomas Hamilton concerning running of boys clubs, rebuttals of allegations made against him and his claims against Central Regional Council and Central Scotland Police (R77).'  The latter (highlighted) section concerns Thomas Hamilton material and is actually held in file COM21/4/105/2.  The former section, in relation to my letters to Cullen, is held in file COM21/4/105/1, but the two were "yoked" together under file COM21/4/105/1-2 to try to justify gagging my letters to him.

Since I was informed about the above new description of the file, I have received yet another description of it, which details every letter to and from the Cullen Inquiry, verifying that my correspondence, along with a letter of mine that was published in The Scotsman on 20 August 1996, had been "yoked" together with totally unrelated Thomas Hamilton material.  But why was a letter published in a national newspaper also included in the extra-statutory 100-year closure order?  Can this embargo throw up anything more ludicrous?

I lodged a Petition with the Public Petitions Committee of the Scottish Parliament and sent copies to every MSP, exposing the flagrant cover-up.  At the hearing on 29 November 2003, I made the following oral submission to the PPC:

"I don’t think there is anyone in Scotland who now believes that the Cullen Inquiry into the Dunblane Massacre was anything other than a Masonic whitewash.  The 100-year Gagging Order on my correspondence with the Cullen Inquiry confirms that.  This committee was provided with copies of my documents so cannot ignore the existence of this solid evidence.

"At the time of the Inquiry, Lord Cullen claimed there was no evidence of child sex abuse in relation to Thomas Hamilton and his connections, but seven years later he uses the fact that there was evidence of child sex abuse to put a Gagging Order on the files, claiming it was imposed to protect the names of victims, even though most of the files buried do not mention any names of victims.

"My own files are in that category.  It must be clear to the committee that the only reason the content of my letters to Cullen was 'gagged' was precisely to keep the Masonic implication out of the equation; therefore out of the public eye.

"There is no statutory basis for the closure of orders created by Scottish public bodies.  These are the words of the Lord Advocate, not mine.  They were produced in a publication on 18 March 2003 by the Scottish Executive - News Online, under the heading: 'Dunblane police reports released.'

"That disclosure alone makes a mockery of the Clerk to the Committee, Steve Farrell’s 'view' that it is not within the competence of the Parliament to overturn or interfere with the terms of such an order.  The Scottish Parliament is the ONLY body with the power to create a framework for imposing closure orders; but it must do so in the public interest, not in the interest of collaborators in secret societies.

"The Lord Advocate goes on to say: 'The Public Records (Scotland) Act 1937 makes provision for the preservation, care and custody of the public records of Scotland.  The terms of the legislation are permissive [i.e., lenient, tolerant or liberal, reflecting a belief that there should be as few restraints as possible].'  'Preservation, custody and care of records' does not mean the exact opposite; the 'smotheration, stash and snare' of public records.

"The report continues: 'By contrast, in England and Wales the Public Records Act 1958 (as amended by the Public Records Act 1967) sets a statutory "closure period" of 30 years, after which records must, with limited exceptions, be made available to the public.  The 1937 [Scottish] Act DOES NOT impose similar obligations on Executive departments, but IN PRACTICE those procedures are followed in Scotland.'

"'In practice' means nothing and could well be replaced with 'convenience', 'habit', 'obsession', 'fixation', 'weakness', and a number of other meaningless slogans.  Just because something is widespread practice, it does not create a power that Parliament has denied or has not legislated for.  EVEN TRADITION HAS NO AUTHORITY IN LAW.

"Since there is no framework for closure orders in Scotland, I am calling on Parliament to enact unequivocal legislation to prevent people with a vested interest from burying evidence and diverting the onus onto everyone from judges to procurators fiscal to the police to clerks and to every Tom, Dick and Harry chosen for the purpose, so that the real culprits can distance themselves from their illicit undertakings.

"This closure order was enforced not to protect the names of children, who are adults now, but to protect the names of very high-profile Masons and paedophiles."

On being questioned by members of the PPC, I brought it to their attention the fact that, in the Cullen Inquiry transcript, three people gave evidence referring to Thomas Hamilton's connection with the Queen Victoria School in Dunblane.  These referrals to Queen Victoria School were mysteriously ignored in Cullen's Report.   (Lord Cullen was appointed Lord Justice-Clerk in 1997 the year following his Inquiry, a position that automatically made him a member of the Board of Her Majesty’s Commissioners of Queen Victoria School, which entrusted him with a legal responsibility for the custody and care of all their pupils.  In 2001, Lord Cullen became Lord President for his sins, the top judge in Scotland.)

At page 286 of the Cullen Inquiry transcript [page 25 of 'Day 3' ], Grace Jones Ogilvie, a neighbour of Thomas Hamilton, said Hamilton periodically got a van from Central Region for camps at Loch Lomondside and Queen Victoria School.  At page 1,803 [page 75 of Day 14], Ian Steven Boal, who was a teacher and a friend of Hamilton's, told how he was helped by Thomas Hamilton to get a job at Queen Victoria School.  At page 2,267, [page 47 of Day 18], Robert Mark Ure, an ex-husband of a friend of Thomas Hamilton, evidenced that his estranged wife had been to the rifle range at Queen Victoria School with Thomas Hamilton.

Why were questions not asked about who made it possible for Hamilton to have easy access to and influence in QVS?   According to Glenn Harrison, a former school master at QVS, Hamilton was allowed to wander around the school whenever he liked, had free access to its rifle range, and even was found creeping around the dormitories at night?  Being a boarding school for children of the military, apparently sten guns were occasionally used on the range.

Glenn Harrison also disclosed that he had been complaining for years about very high profile people arriving at the school (Friends of QVS they were called).  The pervs - some of them major establishment figures and close pals with Hamilton, according to the News of the World (9 November 2003) picked up their victims in flash limos to play out their perverted, sordid, sexual fantasies on the children, and dropped them off the next day, obviously distressed.  Hamilton was the mediator for this paedophile ring.  This schoolmaster was prevented from giving evidence at the Cullen Inquiry.  He had earlier left QVS to a remote part of Scotland as he feared for his life.

What you had around this time was three Secretaries of State for Scotland, Malcolm Rifkind from 11 January 1986 to 28 November 1990, Ian Lang from 28 November 1990 to 5 July 1995, then finally Michael Forsyth from 5 July 1995 to 2 May 1997, who, by virtue of office, were Presidents of the Board of Directors of QVS, with a leading legal responsibility for the custody and care of all their pupils.  The last named was also responsible for the appointment of Cullen to conduct the Inquiry.  Cullen was the man cut out for the whitewash and was chosen within a day of the massacre, before the bodies of the victims hardly had a chance to grow cold.

Then you had Prince Philip, a Freemason and the honorary patron of the Board of Directors of QVS and is an honorary member of the exclusive, secretive and highly suspect Speculative Society of Edinburgh.  Then there is Lord Donald McArthur Ross, the then Lord Justice-Clerk and Cullen's superior in the judiciary at the time, who was also on the Board of Directors, and is also a "Brother" of Cullen's in the Masonic Speculative Society of Edinburgh, numbered at 1642.

Five weeks after the hearing of my petition, I still had not heard a peep from the Public Petitions Committee so I decided to write to them, stressing my concern about the inordinate delay in replying - notwithstanding the committee's (inappropriate and unconstitutional) approach to Colin Boyd, the Lord Advocate, to ask why the 100-year Gagging Order was imposed.

Even forgetting for the minute that the Lord Advocate has no legitimacy in Scottish law whatsoever to agree to the imposition of unlegislated closure orders in Scotland, it would take no time at all for even a primary schoolkid to follow instructions, pick up 106 files, single out the second-last one filed at 105, read the straightforward content, and declare: "I have no idea why these files have been gagged for 100 years."

But we are not depending on schoolchildren here to utter a response.  We are depending on grovelling politicians and the highly suspect legal profession.  In a reply from the PPC dated 9 December, I was advised:

"As you are aware, at its meeting on Wednesday 29 October 2003, the Scottish Parliament's Public Petitions Committee considered the petition that you submitted on 26 June 2003.  At that meeting the committee agreed to write to the Lord Advocate seeking (a) further details of the framework under which a decision to impose a closure order of 100 years can be made, (b) confirmation as to why certain evidence that does not name specific children also appears to be subject to this 100-year closure order, and (c) an indication of the timescales for publication of the full catalogue of Cullen Inquiry material by the National Archives of Scotland and for any subsequent decisions on the release of material and variations of the closure period.

"We are still waiting for a response from the Lord Advocate's Office; once this has been received it will be further considered by the committee.  You will be informed when the petition is considered further and the outcome of that consideration."  ENDS

After that hearing on 29 October 2003, the committee agreed (not with me, but with one another) to approach the Lord Advocate to seek further details.   I retaliated: "That could take another hundred years!"

By the time the decision was taken to bury my petition, articles in the News of the World on Glenn Harrison, the former QVS housemaster, and Lord Burton, the former Grand Master of Scottish Masons, had long since corroborated what I told the committee at the hearing of my petition – but to no avail, even though I had sent on 6 January 2004 copies of the damning evidence in the two newspaper articles to Brian McConnachie of the Public Petitions Team Support.  That further evidence ought to have consolidated the petition.  This evidence was obviously sent before the committee made their blunt decision to disregard ALL the evidence in the petition and flagrantly "bury" it.  The Glenn Harrison article was in the 9 November 2003 edition and the Lord Burton article appeared in the 28 December 2003 edition.

Dr Mick North, a retired university lecturer, whose daughter Sophie was murdered in the 1996 Massacre, branded Lord Cullen’s Inquirya piece of theatre” in an article by the Daily Mail on 10 March 2004.  Joining the growing number of people campaigning to overturn Lord Cullen’s 100-year closure order is Lord (Norman) Tebbit, the former Home Secretary who told the Scotland on Sunday (17 October 2004), “It’s fairly clear that many people think the ‘sensitive’ material is sensitive not to the children of Dunblane, or their relatives, but to other people who perhaps knew more about Hamilton than they have so far admitted.”

On Wednesday, 4 February 2004, the petition was subsequently unceremoniously "BURIED" without addressing any of the six requests I made after Jackie Baillie MSP sinisterly proposed: "On a technical point, given that the new petition [PE685] homes in on the key point about the 100-year closure order and timescales, I would be inclined to close petition PE652 and keep the new one live.  That would be more appropriate.  The Convener:  Are members happy with the suggestion that we close PE652 and wait until the outcome of the review before assessing PE685 in that light?   The members indicated agreement, ignoring the fact that PE652 was the principal petition and PE685 was related only on the periphery.

Not one of the six requests made in the petition was addressed, despite it being a prerequisite that petitioners "show clearly the nature of the remedy or action sought".  It was the most naked bludgeoning of a petition imaginable, despite the Parliament's "Guidance on the Submission of Public Petitions promising: "The public petitions process is a key part of the Scottish Parliament's overall committment to openness and accessibility."

The Lord Advocate Colin Boyd, dragged his feet over the release of the embargoed documents until the Scottish Executive ordered their release (although in a much redacted almost illegible form) on Monday, 3 October 2005.  Rather than elaborate, I quote the words of William Shakespeare in 1 Henry VI, iii, 1592: "Defer no time; delays have dangerous ends."

To prompt a quicker response from Boyd, I periodically handed out copies outside the Crown Office and the Scottish Parliament, to employees and passers-by, of a booklet I produced about the iniquitous travesty, but no-one except Carolyn Leckie MSP had the mettle to try to put things right, despite the fact that I also provided every MSP with a copy, which I handed into the Scottish Parliament personally on Wednesday, 2 March 2005.  So there is no excuse whatsoever from that quarter.  Perhaps it was this booklet spurred the Scottish Executive to order the Lord Advocate Colin Boyd to release the illegally "gagged" files.

With the constant pressure, ab extra, the occasion finally caught up with the judge who shamed his country.  Lord Cullen announced on Friday, 15 July 2005, that he was to retire from the judiciary later that year on 25 November.  Before push came to shove - to avoid getting kicked out for his dispicable role in the Dunblane Public Inquiry - he was provided an escape route by the same Brotherhood that protected Thomas Hamilton over many years.  And on a full pension for his sins.

If the above information does not on its own rouse us, the public, into calling for a fresh inquiry into the events leading up to the Dunblane Massacre and the ensuing whitewash, we are all guilty of something a lot more serious than complacency; we are all guilty of complicity.  "To sin by silence when we should protest, makes cowards of men." ~ Ella Wheeler Wilcox.

It was reported in an exclusive article in the Sunday Express on 21 February 2016, 25 years after former teacher Glenn Harrison formally made complaints to Central Scotland Police about the abuse, that a new investigation was to be launched into a VIP paedophile ring operating at Queen Victoria School (QVS).

Only time will tell if this is will be but another one of those pseudo inquiries, set up strictly to find a way to pooh-pooh legitimate allegations of physical and sexual abuse in places like QVS, and to ultimately cover up high profile perverts, "citizens-above-suspicion", preventing them from being called to account.

In the near future, however, I envisage many clandestine figures in the Police the Judiciary and in Parliament, with something to hide, clumsily tripping over their cloaks and falling on their poniards/daggers.

Dunblane Digest

Copyright © Billy Burns 2016.  All rights reserved.
The stained glass window in St Blane's Church, Dunblane, which commemorates the victims of the 1996 Massacre
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Click here to view the full list in the Dunblane Whitewash catalogue
We know that the above victims were killed by Thomas Hamilton, but we do not know for sure who killed Thomas Hamilton!
Emma Crozier
Kevin Hassell
Victoria Clydesdale
Ross Irvine
David Kerr
John Petrie
Hanna Scott
Joanna Ross
Sophie North
Emily Morton
Maegan Turner
Brett McKinnon
Abigail McLennan
Charlotte Dunn
Mhairi MacBeath
Melissa Currie
Gwen Hodson/Mayor - schoolteacher
List of the victims of the Dunblane Massacre
Dunblane Massacre
Dunblane Cover-up