Cullen Inquiry (100-year
Closure Order) Petition PE652
Wednesday, 29 October
Convener Michael McMahon
Ms Jackie Baillie MSP
, Helen Eadie MSP
, Ms Linda Fabiani MSP
Leckie MSP , John
Farquhar Munro MSP ,
John Scott MSP (Deputy Convener )
Mike Watson MSP
, Sandra White MSP
Convener Michael McMahon
: Petition PE652 is from Mr William Burns
, who is present. LINK
The petition calls on the Scottish Parliament to consider a range
of issues, including initiating a new inquiry into events that relate
to the Dunblane massacre; the 100-year closure order on some files
that relate to the Cullen inquiry LINK;
and membership by the Scottish judiciary of the Freemasons, the
Speculative Society and other similar organisations. Mr Burns
has supplied a considerable amount of material with his petition,
with the specific request that it be made available in full to all
members of the Committee. Accordingly, a copy of all
the material provided has been issued to each member with their
meeting papers. LINK
Before we begin, I
make it clear that the committee has been advised by the Parliament's
legal office that it would not be within the competence of the Parliament
to overturn a court order, and that those sections of the full petition
that call for such action are therefore inadmissible. The
petitioner has been advised of that and has indicated to the clerks
that he disagrees with the advice, which he has the right to do.
For legal reasons,
the full text of the petition was removed temporarily from the Parliament's
website. The clerks were advised that it could be argued that
certain statements made in the petition are defamatory and that,
because the petition has not yet been considered as part of the
proceedings of the Parliament, the publication of the petition on
the website could leave the Parliament open to defamation action.
Guidance on the submission of petitions states clearly that petitions
should not "include language which is intemperate, inflammatory,
sarcastic or provocative".
The petitioner has
been advised of the reasons for the temporary removal of his petition
and that it will be reinstated on the website immediately after
the meeting. LINK
start of my oral presentation to the Public Petitions Committee
William Burns: I do not think there is anyone in Scotland
who now believes that the Cullen Inquiry into the Dunblane Massacre
was anything other than a Masonic Whitewash. LINK
The 100-year “Gagging Order” on my correspondence with
the inquiry confirms that. This Committee was provided with
copies of my documents, so it cannot now ignore the existence of
that solid evidence. LINK
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, Lord Cullen uses the fact that there was evidence of child
sex-abuse to place a “Gagging Order” on the files, claiming
it was imposed to protect the names of victims, even though most
of the files that have been buried do not mention any names of victims.
My own files fall into that category. It must be clear to
the Committee that the only reason the content of my letters to
Lord Cullen were “gagged” was precisely to keep the
Masonic implication out of the equation; therefore out of the public
Lord Advocate has stated: "There is no statutory basis for
the closure of records created by Scottish public bodies."
Those are his words,
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". LINK
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. LINK
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."
That means they are
lenient, tolerant or liberal, reflecting a belief that there should
be as few restraints as possible. “Preservation, custody
and care of records” do 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."
The phrase "in
practice" means nothing and could be replaced with the words
“convenience”, “habit”, “obsession”,
“fixation”, “weakness” or a number of other
meaningless slogans. Even tradition has no authority in law.
The fact that something is widespread practice does not create a
power that Parliament has denied or for which it has not legislated.
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 on to 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 the children concerned,
who are now adults, but to protect the names of very high-profile
Masons and paedophiles. LINK
Helen Eadie: In January 2003, the Justice 2 Committee agreed to
take no further action on a similar petition, with the proviso that
it would consider revisiting the issue if there were evidence of
specific cases in which difficulties had arisen over judicial membership
of the Freemasons or the Speculative Society. The Public
Petitions Committee believes that it is one thing to make statements
and allegations, but another to provide evidence. Do you have
evidence that we could refer to the justice committees?
[Ed. ~ The petition to which Helen Eadie referred
was PE306 from Tom Minogue.
There was indeed no further action taken on this petition, but the
Justice 2 Committee of the Scottish Parliament neglected its duty
to address the requests made in PE306, despite the fact that Parliament
insists petitioners "clearly show in their petitions the nature
of the remedy or action sought". By refusing to address
the remedy or action sought in PE306, the Justice 2 Committee was
able to callously "bury" it. This gave all the other
Committees carte blanche to conveniently resurrect the Justice 2
Committee's decision on PE306 in order to scupper petitions of a
similar nature, claiming, falsely, that the issue had been previously
dealt with in PE306. To this day, it has still not been explained
to Tom Minogue the reasons why PE306 was unsuccessful.]
William Burns: The Committee has my initial letters asking Lord
Cullen whether he was a Freemason, on which a 100-year closure order
was placed. I know for a fact that it is a Masonic ruse to
get someone else to deny that you are a Mason. It is another
ruse that someone who is asked whether he is a Freemason can say
that he is not — he has to be asked whether he has ever taken
the oath of an Entered Apprentice. LINK
Lord Cullen used the ruse of getting someone else to deny
that he had been a Mason when he got Glynis McKeand, the Clerk to
the Cullen Inquiry, to telephone me to deny it. To my everlasting
regret, I took that as read at the time. Later I found out
that he is an extraordinary member of the Speculative Society, numbered
at 1702. LINK
The Speculative Society is an offshoot of Freemasonry; it was formed
by Masons in the Canongate Kilwinning lodge in Edinburgh. LINK
That is a fact; it is a Masonic set-up.
Helen Eadie: I will press this issue a little bit further
because it is one thing for you to give us hearsay, allegations
and statements, but it is quite another to provide substantive evidence. I
ask you again, do you have substantive evidence that can be referred
to the Justice 2 Committee, which said that it would consider revisiting
the matter if substantive evidence was provided?
William Burns: Are you asking for evidence of the Speculative
Helen Eadie: Either.
William Burns: I have the whole list here of members of the
Speculative Society and Cullen is on it.
Convener Michael McMahon: I do not doubt that the list exists,
Mr Burns. Helen Eadie is asking whether you have any
evidence that connects members of that society to any decision that
has been made and the impact of that decision, so that we can take
the petition further. [Ed. ~ That was
NOT what Helen Eadie was asking. I had in front of me the
evidence of Cullen's denial of being
a Freemason. I also had the list of Spec members, but
McMahon was unintersted in it. His intent seemd only to "divert
William Burns: It was widely reported that Thomas Hamilton
was in the Freemasons. LINK
While evidence was being given, I was reading the papers on a daily
basis and I asked Lord Cullen to ask every witness whether they
were in the Freemasons. LINK
It looks as if there was a cover-up to protect Thomas Hamilton over
many years. The evidence is in my submission and in
the embargoed documents that have been put under the 100-year closure
order. Why else would Lord Cullen put the documents on
a 100-year closure order? They
do not mention one name of a child victim. I do not
know the names of any of the child victims. The only thing
I referred to was Freemasonry and Cullen has embargoed my letters
to protect Freemasonry. That is obvious if you read the letters
— there is no other reason. It is the Masonic implication
that has been buried, as far as my letters are concerned.
I am asking you why else Cullen would have buried the documents.
He has done it because they expose the Masonic connections.
Jackie Baillie: In your view, that is critical to the wider issue.
From what the Lord Advocate has said about this matter, I understand
that evidence of any child's name had been removed from police reports
and they were ready to be released. The National Archives
of Scotland is producing a full catalogue of all the material and
submissions. As you will appreciate, there is a huge
volume of material. The Lord Advocate has gone on record
as saying that when that catalogue is complete, he will consider
what material can be released and whether all the material should
stay under the 100-year closure order. LINK
I would have thought that would go some way to satisfying your concerns. Am
I misreading the situation?
William Burns: You are not misreading it; I see where you
are coming from, but it could take another 99 years to release material.
Jackie Baillie: I would hope not.
William Burns: So many high-profile people are involved that
that could be another ruse to put the public off. It is the
Parliament's duty to insist on having another inquiry so that we
can be done with all this nonsense. LINK
It is just another stalling tactic. My correspondence with
Cullen should be accessible right now because there is nothing in
it about any children; it is about the Masonic implication and that
is the only reason why my correspondence has been buried.
Carolyn Leckie: I am particularly interested in the evidence you
provided that show the amendments to the archived references to
your correspondence and that does cause me concern that that had
to be expanded, and obviously it was acknowledged that the correspondence
did take place, and some of the subjects you were raising were necessary
to be put on the archives. It concerns me that they had to
be amended. If someone was doing a research of the material
you mentioned, in the first two examples your name was not mentioned.
I do share some of your concerns about what evidence has already
been placed in the public domain. Will you expand on any correspondence
that you have had in relation to what is currently not in the public
domain? What evidence do you believe is not already in the
I am a member of Unison,
which asks in its application form if you are a member of the Freemasons.
I agree that people have the right to ask that question. In
the explanations that you have received, has it been explained why
that question is not considered to be legitimate? Mr Burns
has raised legitimate questions about the 100-year closure order
and its relationship with the powers of the Parliament.
I believe that the
Parliament should consider investigating the matter and perhaps
creating a framework to state how long a closure should last and
what is acceptable and what goes a wee bit too far.
William Burns: I believe that there is to be legislation to
compel MSPs to declare whether they are members of the Freemasons.
Is that true? LINK
Convener Michael McMahon: I think that it is being discussed, but
I do not know what stage it has reached. It is under consideration,
Carolyn Leckie: I make it clear that I am not a Mason — I
am a woman and I would not be allowed anyway.
William Burns: If no one has anything to hide, they should
state that. Members of the judiciary should declare whether
they are Freemasons, especially when they are judging civil cases. Freemasons
take an oath of allegiance to one another so, if the judge and the
plaintiff are both in the Freemasons, they will protect one another,
as the fifth of the Five Points of Fellowship states that members
must support a brother in his absence as in his presence.
That is the most important oath that Masons take, so how can such
a judge be impartial? Even if the judge tried to be impartial,
non-Freemasons will perceive that he will be partial. Public
perception is all-important.
are more than 3,000 pages in the transcript of the Cullen Inquiry.
Three people who gave evidence mentioned QUEEN VICTORIA BOARDING
SCHOOL. Thomas Hamilton had access to the gun club in
that school, where he also got a job for a teacher. He had
a van from Central Regional Council to use for transporting children
at the Queen Victoria School. However, there was not one mention
of Queen Victoria School in Cullen's Report. LINK
I have the transcript of the pages that it appears in. Ian
Steven Boal was referred to on page 1803. LINK
He was a teacher at Queen Victoria School; Thomas Hamilton got him
the job. On page 286, Grace Jones Ogilvie, a neighbour, said
that Thomas Hamilton used to get a van from Central Region for camps
at Loch Lomondside and Queen Victoria School. LINK
Robert Mark Ure, an ex-husband of a friend of Thomas Hamilton, said
[at page 2,266, on Day 18 ~ Ed.] that
his estranged wife had been to the rifle range at Queen Victoria
School with Thomas Hamilton. LINK
Thomas Hamilton had all that access to Queen Victoria School, but
there was not one mention of the school in Lord Cullen's Report.
A schoolmaster, Glenn Harrison, wanted
to give evidence at the Inquiry. LINK
This is ultra important in calling for a rerun. He saw—
Convener Michael McMahon: I am trying to get—
William Burns: He saw high profile people coming into the
Convener Michael McMahon: I fully appreciate that you want your
statements to be factually accurate—
William Burns: They took children away for the weekend. LINK
Convener Michael McMahon: What I am asking about is the relevance
of the information to the petition and where it is taking us. [Ed.
~ Why did McMahon divert the discourse from this crucial evidence?]
White: Dunblane was a terrible tragedy. Nobody wants anything
like that to happen again. My concern about the decision at
the time — it did not arise just from the petition —
related to the 100-year rule. I do not want to indicate to
the petitioner that any decision that the Committee makes may lead
to a witch hunt of people who he may have named or who may not have
been named, but I am concerned about the 100-year rule.
may be a hurtful question to Mr Burns, but it has to be answered.
Is the reason that you have brought the petition to the committee
to get to the truth of what happened at Dunblane, or is it a witch
hunt of people who are members of a Freemasonry lodge? LINK
I am concerned by some of the language that you use. I
am not a member of any such organisation, but I do not think that
we should carry out a witch hunt of people who are members of a
union or any other organisation. I want a simple yes or no
answer. Have you brought the petition to the Committee
to get to the truth and to prevent another Dunblane or to have a
witch hunt of people who are members of secular societies, the Freemasons
[Ed. ~ I had already clearly clarified
in my written submissions to the Committee that there was no witch
hunt - in these selfsame terms - so why was Sandra White trying
to put on the record that the the opposite might have been the case?
William Burns: It is about the truth. It is not so much
to get to the truth as to get the truth made public.
Sandra White: So it is the 100-year rule
that you have the problem with and you are looking for a new inquiry.
William Burns: Obviously I want the 100-year rule to be removed
because that explains a lot on its own, but I want the truth revealed
about what happened in Dunblane. What is worse than the murders
themselves is the cover-up after they took place. That is
even worse because they could happen again and again.
Sandra White: Are you saying that the evidence that came out
in the Cullen Inquiry is untrue?
William Burns: The truth was smothered! Not only was
a gagging order put on the files, but a gagging order was put on
witnesses. Glenn Harrison, a schoolmaster at Queen Victoria
School, wanted to give evidence. He had been claiming for
years that children were getting abused. LINK
He ended up getting moved away out. He is now living on an
island away up in the north of Scotland — he got taken right
Convener Michael McMahon: I am trying to keep the discussion
focused on what the petition is asking for.
Sandra White: I am trying to focus on that. There are three
recommendations that Mr Burns asks for. There’s
a new inquiry and the 100-year ruling as well. I am trying
to establish whether a new inquiry would satisfy what he wants.
Convener Michael McMahon: There is also the question of whether
we can ask for such an inquiry.
William Burns: We need a new open and honest inquiry.
Convener Michael McMahon: Do members have any points or do they
want to make recommendations on where we take this petition?
Helen Eadie: Perhaps we could write to the Lord Advocate to ask
him to give an indication of the time scale for the publication
of the catalogue that Jackie Baillie mentioned on the Cullen Inquiry
material and to inform us of any subsequent decisions on the release
of material or any variations to the closure period. If we
had that information from the Lord Advocate, then I think I would
be happy with that as a way forward to help this petition.
Watson: There is an issue to do with the 100-year rule, although
I am not sure whether we would get all that much further forward
if we asked for it to be rescinded, because I understand that the
normal rule in such a situation is 75 years. That would still
not serve anybody who is currently in the room.
[Ed. ~ Mike Watson is totally wrong!
There is NO statutory basis for closure orders of any description
in Scotland. Not 100 years, not 75 years, not even one
year. In England and Wales there are statutory instruments
for imposing closure orders. A closure order might be imposed
for 50 years, for example, after a major war when it is deemed to
be in the national interest.]
I think it might be
useful to get some answers to the points that Mr Burns has made.
We have been told that the 100-year rule was brought in to protect
the children and the children's children ultimately. Although
that argument may have some resonance, Mr Burns has made the point
that some of the information that is retained has nothing to do
with children and does not mention them. That particular point
should be queried. Whether the Lord Advocate is the appropriate
person to ask or not, I think we should be asking that question.
I was not happy that
Sandra White equated being a member of a trade union - which everyone
at work should be - with being a member of the Freemasons.
was a bit concerned about one of the comments that Mr Burns made
in his opening statement. He felt that the Freemasons were
harbouring paedophiles, which is an extremely serious allegation
to make. I am prepared to believe that it is likely that Freemasons
would help one another to get jobs or promotions, but I have difficulty
in getting my head round the idea that senior law officers, for
example, would harbour paedophiles, who are among the most abhorred
members of society. LINK
Unless Mr Burns has firmer evidence, that sort of allegation does
not serve his case, but weakens it. The allegation that senior
law officers would hide paedophiles simply because they were members
of the Masons or a similar organisation is so serious that very
few ordinary people in the street would believe it. LINK
I do not want to sound patronising, but I do not believe
that that allegation helps his case.
Burns: That point needs to be answered right away. I
have friends who are Freemasons. I am talking about high-profile
people — law lords and politicians — who are paedophiles
and are being covered up. LINK
Convener Michael McMahon: Mr Burns, you are again making
allegations which, unless you substantiate them—
William Burns: If there were another inquiry, that would all
come out and my allegations would be proved to be true. LINK
Convener Michael McMahon: If you have evidence of that, you
should not be talking to the Public Petitions Committee; you should
be referring it to the police. LINK
To make such statements—
William Burns : Glenn Harrison, who was
a schoolmaster— LINK
Convener Michael McMahon: I counsel you not to use people's
names unless you can back up your allegations with evidence. LINK
We are getting on to very dangerous ground. I am trying to
be helpful to you. [Ed. ~ He was not trying
to be helpful, he was styming my petition.]
William Burns: I will drop that for the moment. I know
that Lord Cullen became Lord President, but his boss at the time
- Lord Ross, the Lord Justice-Clerk - was on the board of directors
of Queen Victoria Boarding School LINK,
as was Michael Forsyth. LINK
Convener Michael McMahon: I fail to see how that is relevant.
You are answering Mike Watson's point.
William Burns: Lord Ross is a member of the Speculative Society.
Convener Michael McMahon: I do not think that we need to
have a roll call of who are members of what organisations.
I do not see how that serves your petition in any way.
Burns: I am answering Mr Watson here.
Convener Michael McMahon: I fail to see how your line of
argument does that.
William Burns: Mr Watson said that he could not believe that Freemasons
would protect paedophiles. I know a prominent Freemason whom
members of the Committee will probably all have met. He stands
outside on the first Wednesday of every month. He backs the
exposure of any Freemason who is the subject of the kind of allegations
that I am making.
Convener Michael McMahon: I am asking you to be very careful.
You are making allegations about a connection between an organisation
and paedophilia. I am asking you not to go down that
route. You are using people's names and accusing them—
[Ed ~ Why was McMahon advising/warning me
not to go down that route?]
William Burns: I am talking about high-profile Freemasons,
as opposed to Freemasonry as a whole.
Convener Michael McMahon: Mike Watson made the point that it does
not help for you to go on in the way in which you have done.
Burns: I think that I am helping the cause, to get a rerun
of the inquiry.
Michael McMahon: We will have some more questions.
Carolyn Leckie: Such suspicions are inevitable when a gagging
order is placed on evidence. There are legitimate questions
to be asked about why certain evidence has not yet been put into
the public domain if the reason for that - to protect children -
has not been substantiated. Whether or not the
suspicions are true, their existence is inevitable.
I also think that there
is enough concern in society about organised child abuse for legitimate
questions to be asked. I am certainly of the view that people
who abuse children exist in every layer of society. When there
is secrecy, there is bound to be suspicion. The specific recommendations
before us talk about the wider implications of the ability to have
a 100-year rule, and I do think that one of the Justice Committees
should look at that and we should pursue this further. I am
quite happy if the committee wishes to write to the Lord Advocate
as well, and perhaps if we are in a position to exert some pressure
to get answers to some questions or get some evidence from the Cullen
Inquiry that has not yet been put in the public domain, then there
would maybe then be information and evidence that would support
the demand for another inquiry. But, logically, getting to
the bottom of what exists as a result of the original Inquiry comes
Convener Michael McMahon: The difficulty is that the petition
does not ask for that. That is not to say that we cannot—
William Burns : I am asking now!
Convener Michael McMahon:: We have to be careful about how petitions
are dealt with. If we consider a petition, we have to know
what its aim is. The aim of petition PE652 gives us a couple
of options. It has been suggested that we take the matter
up with the Lord Advocate. That does not—
Burns: The Lord Advocate has nothing to do with it!
Convener Michael McMahon: Mr Burns, excuse me.
Carolyn, the recommendation is that questions be asked of the Lord
Advocate. Responses will come back, which will allow
us to decide what further action we want to take on the petition.
However, to agree to write to the Lord Advocate seeking an indication
of the time scale for the publication of the full catalogue is a
starting point for taking the petition further before we ask anybody
else to consider the petition.
William Burns: The embargo is illegal. The Lord Advocate
has nothing to do with it. LINK
Convener Michael McMahon: Mr Burns, I am sorry. We are
trying to agree to some recommendations to act on the petition.
William Burns: There is no power to impose the 100-year closure
[Ed. ~ Despite the Freedom of Information
Act that came into force on 1st January 2005, the Lord Advocate
Colin Boyd still illegally refused to release the closed files.
He finally released half of them on 3 October 2005, on orders
from the Scottish Executive, but in a much redacted almost illegible
Eadie: Convener, you have summed up the views of other Committee
Members. I would happily endorse your recommendation.
Convener Michael McMahon: Do members agree?
Mike Watson: Does that mean that we are delaying the question
about the 100-year rule?
Convener Michael McMahon: No, we are asking about it.
We are asking for a time scale.
William Burns: That will take another 100 years!
Convener Michael McMahon: If the Lord Advocate replies on the time
scale for announcing publication of the full catalogue, we can ask
for more information on the 100-year rule and its use. That would
be a legitimate part of pursuing the petition. Does the Committee
Members indicated agreement.
Convener Michael McMahon: Thank you very much for attending,
[End of hearing]
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.
days after the hearing, I wrote to
the Public Petitions Committee, illustrating
my displeasure at them taking the futile step of writing to the
I would later receive from the Crown Office on behalf of the Lord
Advocate, dated 28 June 2004, said: “Although your correspondence
with Lord Cullen does not refer to children the decision was taken
not to release any material until it had been catalogued by officials
at the National Archives of Scotland.”
Deputy Keeper of Rolls at the National Archives of Scotland sent
me a letter dated 4 March 2004 in which a description was placed
on every individual letter between the Cullen Inquiry and me. The
National Archives of Scotland had no problem whatsoever locating
that particular file, COM21/4/105/1 and letting it be known that
my correspondence had been “yoked” together with Thomas
Hamilton material filed at COM21/4/105/2. When I wrote asking
the Lord Advocate, Colin Boyd, why he had such great difficulty
locating these files when the National Archives of Scotland found
it a simple task, all the embargoed files were removed from the
National Archives of Scotland and taken to the Crown Office.
despite the plethora of supportive evidence with which I provided
the Public Petitions Committee, they seemed to have neither the
inclination nor the courage to properly address this important petition,
and none of the six remedies sought in the requests I made were
My petition PE652 was "buried", just as though it never
existed. At the "discussion" about a subsequent
petition I had submitted (PE685), the Committee "settled"
the issue by declaring in public documents: "The Committee
considered petitions PE652 alongside new petition PE685. The
Committee agreed to write again to the Lord Advocate seeking further
information in relation to petition PE685 and to take no further
action on petition PE652. LINK
burying PE652, the original petition, the Public Petitions Committee
were able to only consider whether or not the 100-year closure order
should be reversed, and ignore the principal reason PE652 was submitted
in the first place; calling for a renewed Dunblane Inquiry with
no restrictive remit. Shame on them!
by the time the decision was taken to bury PE652, articles in the
News of the World on Glenn Harrison, the former QVS housemaster
and Lord Burton, the former Grand Master of Scottish Masons LINK,
had long since corroborated what I told the Committee at the hearing
of my petition on 29 October 2003 – but to no avail, despite
the fact I drew the attention of the Committee to the articles before
they made their decision. The Glenn Harrison article was in
the 9 November 2003 edition and the Lord Burton article appeared
in the 28 December 2003 edition.
Mick North, a retired university lecturer, whose daughter Sophie
was murdered in the 1996 massacre, branded Lord Cullen’s Inquiry
“a piece of theatre” in an article in the Daily Mail
on 10 March 2004. LINK
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 thus far admitted.” LINK
Leckie MSP resigned from the Committee and filed a motion in the
Scottish Parliament to the effect that she believes, inter alia,
that the Cullen Inquiry bears the hallmarks of a cover-up, and calls
for a new inquiry, without a restrictive remit, to be set up without
Although around half of the files were eventually released on Monday,
3 October 2005, they were redacted to such an extent that they were
largely illegible. No moves have yet been made to conduct
a new Inquiry without a restrictive remit and PE652 was buried without
the least consideration. LINK]
To view the petitioner's
correspondence with the
Cullen Inquiry, gagged by Lord Cullen's 100-year
closure order, click the red button.