A Brief Introduction
from John Roberts
I was born in Hunslet, Leeds 10, on February 23rd 1957. This was, of course, the same year the Soviets
sent a Moscow street dog, Laika, into orbit. Also the year when Britain exploded its first hydrogen bomb over Christmas Island
in the sunny Pacific.
I've never been
particularly academic but I am a voracious reader and could call myself basically self-taught, an auto-didact. I have painted
over the years, enjoying some success at regional art shows. Contact with Robert Edwards in 2005 opened up writing possibilities
in a way I could never imagine. It is great to be able to write what you think without censorship.
My career path has been varied. Since 1998 I have worked in a secondary
school. Before then, a further education college library and, before then, a British Rail Secondman and train driver (hours-horrendous;
however, no experience in life is invalid).
had numerous letters published in newspapers over the years, my initial foray was a letter I was fortunate enough to have
published in The London Times in July 1971. A protest, really, about a proposal to build a road through our school playing
fields; they ended up tunnelling the road to cut the noise but the school was demolished 15 years ago! It was only built in1960.
I am a Roman Catholic in faith.
Music is an abiding passion, in particular the works of Edward
Elgar, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Jean Sibelius, Francis Poulenc, Eric Satie and the lesser known English composers of the Great
War period like George Butterworth and Frank Bridge.
Who does he think he's kidding?
West Tyrone MP Barry McElduff posted a video of
himself on Twitter, showing himself fooling around, displaying a loaf of Kingsmill branded bread above his head. He did
this on the anniversary of what became known as the Kingsmill massacre in January 1976. A group of republican gunmen (The
South Armagh Republican Action Force-but as a decorated ex-British Army soldier said to me recently (one who had served
in Northern Ireland), whatever they call themselves; The Real or Continuity IRA, it is all the same IRA at the end of the
day) stopped a van full of textile workmen on a country road and told them to get out. The one Catholic man was told
to run. They then proceeded to machine-gun the Protestant workmen, killing them all except one, Barrie Halliday, a
clergyman. 10 were murdered.
was the reaction from Unionists. Aileen Foster called the video"inhuman and depraved".
Looking back, there always was a sick aspect to these people.
McElduff has since removed the video and apologised profusely. "It was all just an accident.
I had not realised or imagined that there would be any possible link between the product branded name and the Kingsmill anniversary".
Now, who is he trying to fool?
lying, of course. No Unionists, or anyone else, is buying his excuse. He also looks like he might have had a few
when he filmed the video.
The inquest into
the original atrocity is still ongoing in Belfast.
McElduff said, "Where does McCullaghs (the supermarket) keep the bread?" Perhaps, he ought to have asked, more to
the point, where McElduff keeps his head.
John Roberts, January 8th 2018
Letter from John Roberts to The London
Date: 26/07/2017 11:22
Subj: Northern Powerhouse et al
The London Evening Standard.
It was interesting to see that Crossrail2 has been given the green light but various long-promised
projects further afield, such as the electrification of the Midland and Trans-Pennine routes, are again to
be put on hold. I'd be curious to read the editorial view of this.
I have a vivid memory (BBC News) of our former Chancellor sitting at a press meeting of the
Northern Powerhouse held at The National Railway Museum at York. Ironically, they were all sitting directly in front of a
Chinese steam locomotive, which spoke volumes. Every picture tells a story!?