Merlyn Rees dies…

The Times is the first out with a substantial obit for the former Secretary of State of Northern Ireland, who it argues never had a chance of success when he took over after Labour’s victory in February 1974:

The truth is that Rees never had any chance of success. Unlike his predecessors he was faced with the triumphalism of the Protestant extremists, who had been victorious at the polls and winners at the barricades. He ended detention without trial and the special status of “political prisoners” but failed in his attempts with a constitutional convention. His aim of detaching moderate Catholic opinion from the IRA produced no noticeable reduction in terrorism.