Hain: “I make no apology to you or the people of Northern Ireland”

Peter Hain was unapologetic this morning about his role in the appointment of the Victims Commissioner: noting that already she had done important work and, significantly, that victims were the one issue that had effectively been ignored in this process. Even though the Historic Enquiry Team was set up to investigate 3000 unsolved cases, it seems unlikely that 30 years on that a relatively passive re-examination of either witnesses or evidence will provide any tangible justice for the broad sweep of victims. Outside, that is, a tiny handful of cases being pushed assiduously by a single political interest – and almost all of them nationalist. Some Westminster insiders Slugger has spoken to take the view that if this was a political decision, the Secretary of State was perfectly entitled to use his prerogative to break a deadlock that would almost certainly ensued.

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty