Something went wrong somewhere and five people died.

There have been claims that the security forces knew three days in advance that the PIRA was planning to murder Rev Robert Bradford, Unionist MP for South Belfast. It appears that both FRU and Special Branch had detailed information about the plot, informed their chain of commands and an operation to prevent it was planned. Despite this, the PIRA murder gang succeeded in killing Bradford in Finaghy Community Centre in front of local children. The centre caretaker was also murdered during the attack. The killing didn’t stop there: “This is not just about Mr Bradford, either. There was also Mr Campbell who died and at least three Catholics were killed by loyalists in retaliation in the days after the killing.”

  • Strange

    Nasty piece of work was oul Bradford but I wonder why they shot the caretaker and not the peeler?

  • Baldy

    That was the deal.

  • As I said here yesterday, will unionist politicians now stop sticking their heads in the sand and admit that collusion really wasn’t an illusion? Their response to the recent Police Ombudsman’s report into SB collusion in North Belfast was truly breathtaking- perhaps now that it seems ‘good loyal unionists’ were also the victims of collusion, they may sit up and take notice.

  • URQUHART

    Is this the start of the Provo collusion material we were promised before the election by disgruntled SB types?

    hardly matters now.

  • ingram

    El Mat,

    Unionists have had their head up their own arse for so long, it is only now that one or two are waking up to the smell of the coffee.

    I remember with some humour Lord Maginnis when the Stakeknife story was first entering the papers in 1999.

    quote These things could never happen unquote

    A typical mindset by a leading and well conected unionist! LOL who cannot quite come to terms that he and his colleagues were being played. No different than the Ra who believed passionately that anyone who had committed the ultimate sanction could not be an informer. LOL

    The reality is very clear and just like I said in my book. This conflict was fueled and ran by a state intent on pulling both sides strings in this conflict to a point that it was nothing short of state sponsored terrorism.

    And there are those today who still believe Peter Brook when he stated:

    quote Brooke stated that Britain had no selfish economic or strategic interest’ in Northern Ireland and would accept the unification of Ireland by consent. unquote

    Ding Ding

    Martin

  • Dec

    El Mat

    The crucial line in this is from the FRU man (definitely not Ingram):

    He admitted that he had “no evidence whatsoever” to substantiate this claim (to protect an agent), but insisted: “I find it hard to believe any other reason.”

  • ingram

    Dec,

    A couple of relevant quotes from the piece mate, by the way, pass my best on to your partner Ant.

    quote Harkin I have since been able to verify these claims with two other sources not known to each other unquote

    Quote FRU soldier This was not a general warning. We had someone in the IRA giving us information on the planned attack. unquote

    I wonder whats coming next lads, maybe the Andytout News will be covering next weeks expose. I have a feeling in my water . LOL

    Ding Ding

    Martin

  • Dec-

    As I wrote previously, claims by ‘sources’ must be treated with caution. However, in this case the line you mention I believe relates to the very specific claim made by said ‘source’ that “I believe the hit went ahead to save agents’ lives.” rather than in relation to his allegations in general.

    The journalist also states “I have since been able to verify these claims with two other sources not known to each other,” in relation to the general allegations set forth.

    Naturally, all allegations made in such reports need to be treated with caution- cue a Police Ombudsman investigation.

  • Like Fair Deal, I don’t think the unionist parties should have dismissed the O’Loan report as they did. Ingram’s point about the British state pulling strings on both sides is not unknown in certain unionist circles that think about these things.

    But I also wonder if nationalists will respond to this report as they responded to O’Loan. I await calls from Sinn Fein for a public inquiry.

  • Dec

    El Mat

    The journalist also states “I have since been able to verify these claims with two other sources not known to each other,” in relation to the general allegations set forth.

    That makes 3 unnamed sources in this report. The allegations in general seem to be the RUC made a balls of things. Is this news?

    Ingram

    Where to begin..

    quote Harkin I have since been able to verify these claims with two other sources not known to each other unquote

    See above

    Quote FRU soldier This was not a general warning. We had someone in the IRA giving us information on the planned attack. unquote

    My God, you seem to be claiming that the British army ran agents in the IRA. Hold the presses!

    I wonder whats coming next lads, maybe the Andytout News will be covering next weeks expose. I have a feeling in my water . LOL

    Let me guess: is it the one about Martin McGuinness? No wait, it’ll be those relevations about Nuala O’Loan you promised us? Tell me if I’m warm…

  • Dread Cthulhu

    If the SB was running the Loyalists and the SB was running the Provos, what the hell has the last nearly four decades been about? Did some relic of the Empire want one last turn at “the Great Game?” How many murders did the SB sweep under the foundations of British Northern Ireland “for the greater good?”

    A pity someone forgot that its a bit hard to get off the merry-go-round once its in motion… and that there comes a point at which you stop playing the game and the game starts playing you.

    EVERYONE association with this hit — the hitters not on the SB payroll, the informants and the pissants who stood by and did nothing and their superiors who permitted it — should face the music for their action.

  • mickhall

    It is becoming increasingly clear that the issue of State collusion in criminality is not going to go away, not least because far to many people have axes to grind. What the situation demands is a Truth and Reconciliation Commission; and the sooner the better as sure as hell it will clear out the stables and the north will be all the better for that.

    In the mean time, imo it is beyond belief that an individual like Mr Maginnis was unaware of the level of collusion, maybe not the detail, but his security service contacts would have kept him in the broad picture. He would not have wished to know the details otherwise he would not now be able to deny any knowledge etc, which is the game the Unionist politicos all intend playing.

    The excuse that “ the hit went ahead to save agents’ lives” is infantile, for to achieve that all the security services would have needed to do was pull the tout out. That the choose not to, tells one that they were playing a political game and not just using some of their informers for actionably info.

    Besides the general public safety should be paramount, not touts or even security service personnel, otherwise what’s the bloody point of running informers/agents of influence?

    [Besides the paramilitaries were comparitivly small organisations and if the security services had a touts at the highest levels[which they did in Scap and Nelson and others] they had the opportunity to take out a sections of top leadership, that they choose not to demands an enquiry in itself.]

    Greg Harkin has been running some first rate stories of late, an interesting part of this one is the after thought that there is allegedly three informers still working within SF

  • Dec-

    “That makes 3 unnamed sources in this report. The allegations in general seem to be the RUC made a balls of things. Is this news?”

    As I said, such allegations need to be treated with caution, and the only way the truth can be uncovered (so far as is possible a quarter-of-a-century later) is by a Police Ombudsman’s investigation.

    If the allegations are true, it doesn’t show an RUC balls-up, but something much worse- state sponsored murder. It would also expose a high level of infiltration of the IRA.

    Watchman-

    “But I also wonder if nationalists will respond to this report as they responded to O’Loan.”

    Well, firstly these are allegations contained within a newspaper report- not an ombudsman’s report. That said, I don’t think I personally, as a nationalist, can be any clearer in my calls for the truth to be revealed about this, and other such cases.

    Let’s have all the facts out in the open.

  • mnob

    lots of snide comments directed at Unionists but with no real understanding firstly of unionisms argument in the first place and secondly why this should change anything.

    The argument is that the state acted in a way to protect itself. To discover that the state operated in the same way in different organisations is no revelation – in fact most unionists have been waiting for this evidence to come out – if only to stop republicans arguing that the state only acted against them and somehow exclusively sponsored loyalist thugs.

    So the meat of the bones – yes the state acted in a way most people would see as unacceptable, but then the state was being attacked in a way most people would see as unacceptable. Outside of the usual suspects you’re not going to get much more of a reaction than that. Constant introspection isn’t going to move things forward.

  • So mnob, should these allegations be true, are you content with the idea that SB allowed a Unionist MP and a caretaker to be assassinated to secure the maintenance of an informer(s) in the PIRA?

  • Dread Cthulhu

    mnob: “The argument is that the state acted in a way to protect itself. To discover that the state operated in the same way in different organisations is no revelation – in fact most unionists have been waiting for this evidence to come out – if only to stop republicans arguing that the state only acted against them and somehow exclusively sponsored loyalist thugs. ”

    They would have been “working against” the Republicans if they had stopped the hit. By permitting the hit, they were *enabling* the terrorists, not working against them.

    mnob: “So the meat of the bones – yes the state acted in a way most people would see as unacceptable, but then the state was being attacked in a way most people would see as unacceptable. Outside of the usual suspects you’re not going to get much more of a reaction than that. Constant introspection isn’t going to move things forward. ”

    Yes SIR, Officer Obie… nothing to see here, move along…

  • lib2016

    Where to begin? There are so many parties interested in confusing the issues and pretending that the republican project isn’t well on the path to achieving it’s ultimate aim of removing the British government from power in Ireland.

    The British secret services were undoubtedly successful in penetrating the republican movement but they never controlled it as the various ‘mainland’ ing campaigns showed. It even took them a hell of a long time to criminalise the loyalist paramilitaries which one would have thought would be a relatively easy project.

    Now that the Brits are at last slinking out of one of their few remaining colonies it would be too much to ask them to suddenly achieve dignity or honesty in their leaving. They certainly never achieved it during the centuries of occupation so we’ll have to put up with the abominable ‘ding – ding’ for a while yet. Not a long while I suspect.

  • forlorn fairy

    There is a little quote in that article that you all seem to have missed, this former FRU operative claims, ‘I have not a shred of evidence for these claims’. These are his ‘feelings’ on how things worked out.
    Thus:- nothing more than pure speculation…..
    With a sub headline about next weeks article to come. ie ‘The truth about danny morrison’………
    I wonder will it be the truth based on some more speculation or will there be any evidence??????
    Evidence my god what is that????????

  • againstthehead

    what’s the point of having enquiries. SF and loyalist paramilitries demanded that murderers be released as part of GFA. We voted for it. Justice has no place in NI pre GFA, our politicians made sure of that one; so whatever happened, let’s move on.

    Waste of time, waste of money.

  • Sean

    If what is being said is true then it is obvious that the english government let a lot of people die. Some they murdered, some they had murdered by proxy and some they just let be murdered for conveniance sake. perhaps its time to revisit the Cain listsand start moving more of the murdered into the security forces column where they appear to belong

    And ding a ling I see you make a hundred vague predictions on here so sooner or later, due entirely to their vagueness, you appear to be partially correct.
    Is not the law of averages fantastic

  • Ian Sectar

    “Aah yes, ding a ling a ling a ding dong ding…the canny old Brits have everyone fooled again, ha-ha, it’s all a big game and the Brits are winning it, the other players don’t even realise they’re playing but the foxy old Brits are always two steps ahead, LOL, ha-ha…”

    Mr Ingram, I’m beginning to think you are having some kind of a breakdown or are living in some kind of fantasy land where no matter what way the real world appears to everyone else, you keep telling yourself that each and every thing that happens is yet another canny stroke pulled by the Brits. The paragraph above isn’t an actual quote from you. But is beginning to resemble the kind of utter gibberish you have been posting on this site for the last year or so.

    Forgive me for missing the joke, but what are all the LOLs about? Is it just designed to annoy everyone else on the site, that you just keep on sniggering and laughing to yourself? Is there a point to any of it, and if there is why don’t you come out with it? Or are you just looking for attention?

    Maybe you think that the current debacle in Iraq is really a cunning ploy by the Brits as well, and that even though it appears as a total disaster to the rest of the entire world, that you and a handful of ‘need to know’ cohorts have the REAL inside track, and that in reality it’s another massive coup for her Majesty’s Government and another mighty British ‘victory’. Ditto the recent Navy farce in Iran.

    I think you ought to wake up and smell the coffee, Mate. I can’t sperak for others on this site, but I don’t see no victories here. Not for the Brits, not for whole generations of people on both sides of the conflict in NI…not for anyone. Just a lot of pointless death and violence, and a mountain of corpses.

    Do you really find it so funny?

  • mickhall

    what’s the point of having enquiries. SF and loyalist para-militries demanded that murderers be released as part of GFA. We voted for it. Justice has no place in NI pre GFA, our politicians made sure of that one; so whatever happened, let’s move on.

    Waste of time, waste of money.

    Posted by againstthehead

    The reason why this attitude is wrong, is because if those who engaged in criminality whilst employed by the UK State are not exposed and made to account for their behavior, then as sure as night follows day their misdemeanors and crimes will be repeated at some time in the future, thus we have a responsibility to future generation here.

    The fact of the matter is whether loyalist or republican, Unionist or British politicians, the over whelming majority of them believe they have nothing to answer for, as like the nazis before them they will claim they were just doing their duty by following orders.

    Indeed some of those members of the security forces who were at the heart of criminal collusion have been promoted by senior politicians in London who have a responsibility to uphold the rule of law. Are we all supposed to turn a collective blind eye to this.

    Now these people are either crooks themselves or in hoc to the security services; or more likely they like the majority of those who live in the UK, have little idea of what actually occurred during the years of the dirty war. Yet another reason surly for a T@RC.

    Just a question to all those who say forget about it, move on, how would you feel if the individual who murdered your loved one is living in the next street, and the security forces officer who was party to their murder or had responsibility for those who were, had been promoted as head of MI5 or in the case of Sir Ronnie Flanagan GBE MA, given a knighthood and made Chief of Her Majesty?s Inspector of Constabulary.

    Don’t the families of the victims deserve the truth? This is not a matter of cost, but a matter of honour, our media rightly condemns nations like Argentina when their security forces fought a dirty war and murdered countless individuals, surly when our own government has been party to such crimes it is time we all stepped up to the bar for what has occurred here is that the British government was party to murdering its own citizens.

    Pray tell how any decent human being can move on without a backward glance from that?

  • ingram

    Ian Sector.

    quote The paragraph above isn’t an actual quote from you unquote

    That above quote says everything about you and your post .

    Mick H

    quote Don’t the families of the victims deserve the truth? This is not a matter of cost, but a matter of honour, our media rightly condemns nations like Argentina when their security forces fought a dirty war and murdered countless individuals, surly when our own government has been party to such crimes it is time we all stepped up to the bar for what has occurred here is that the British government was party to murdering its own citizens.unquote

    A very fair and balanced summation.

    Ding Ding

    Martin

  • 007

    Dread 02.07

    Read anything by Frank Kitson. Google for “false flag terrorism”.

    Things will slowly become clear, but we will probably all be long gone before the full truth is out.

  • The Dubliner

    Mick Hall, I can think of few projects that are more worthwhile than a Truth and Reconciliation Commission with appropriate Terms of Reference and the prerequisite judicial powers. Unfortunately, I can think of few projects less likely to happen as the instigation of government. The power is with the vested interests and they are all opposed.

    The state has persistently frustrated all attempts to inquire into its secret life as the Stevens team, Stalker, Judge Cory, et al, discovered. I’m sure Martin Ingram has lost count of the number of gagging orders that have been slapped upon him – and he’s supportive of the state’s secret life. Judge Cory dismissed the British government’s Inquiries Bill as creating “intolerable Alice in Wonderland situation” and stated that he would advise judges to decline any invitation to serve on any inquiry launched under it as it “would make a meaningful inquiry impossible”.

    Likewise, neither of the two sectarian parties in the north, PSF and the DUP, would want their roles exposed to public scrutiny. They prefer the voters to see them in their new roles as statesmen and peacemakers rather than what they actually are. The last thing PSF want is to be exposed as puppets of the British state.

    If such an inquiry is ever to happen, then it will have to come from the demands of the people via public demonstrations of support for it. However, the vested interests have convinced the people that truth and reconciliation is not in their best interests and so they too are opposed.

  • confused

    Thinking about the past does anyone know what Paisley was talking about on this evenings news when he stated a security story would break which would stretch the credulity of the Press?

  • Flyways

    Dread Cthulhu

    “If the SB was running the Loyalists and the SB was running the Provos, what the hell has the last nearly four decades been about? Did some relic of the Empire want one last turn at “the Great Game?” How many murders did the SB sweep under the foundations of British Northern Ireland “for the greater good?” ”

    Um, the simple explanation is that the SB were not running either the Loyalists or the Provos. So far no-one has provided any evidence of collusion with *paramilitary organisations*, merely dubious goings on to not blow the cover of undercover agents who they had recruited who were *members* of such organisations. Lets not put 2 and 2 together and get 5.

  • heck

    what’s the point of having enquiries. SF and loyalist para-militries demanded that murderers be released as part of GFA. We voted for it. Justice has no place in NI pre GFA, our politicians made sure of that one; so whatever happened, let’s move on.

    Waste of time, waste of money.

    Posted by againstthehead

    what a load of B***S***. There need be no waste of time and money. All Honest Tony has to do is call general kerr and the head of MI5 into his office and ask them to tell him everything, and then make a statement to the house of commons. If they refuse to tell him then sack them. Talk about the cost of inquiries is only designed to confuse the issue.

    The fact is that Honest Tony is an accessory to the coverup of state murders. And the bas***d lectures the rest of the world about human rights.

  • Gordon

    Another link to similar or connected issues raised by the former journalist of the year.

    http://www.sundaylife.co.uk/news/article2450141.ece

    Take a bow Greg.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Flyways: “Um, the simple explanation is that the SB were not running either the Loyalists or the Provos”

    It’s called “hyperbole,” sort of verbal special effect for effect.

    Yes, I know they were not “run” in the literal sense, but with the level of infiltration we *know* and the greater level we suspect, a great many events appear to have been either manufactured / permitted to occur. The SB and other agencies were playing quater-master and intelligence officer of the Loyalists — lord knows what other roles they were playing, on both sides of the fence.

    While I understand that one does not act on every piece of intelligence, so as to preserve one’s assets, if the assassination of elected officials isn’t grand enough a cause to stir, then what would it have taken? As for “no acts of collusion, when the police get into the business of permitting and covering up murders, that is collusion. Were ordinary citizens to do it, they would become conspirators after the fact.

  • mickhall

    Dubliner

    Of course you are absolutely correct, I agree with every word. Your last sentence is spot on for it epitomizes the type of society we are living through today so I quote it in full.

    “However, the vested interests have convinced the people that truth and reconciliation is not in their best interests and so they too are opposed.”

    How can the two communities be reforged in friendship and tolerance if truth and reconciliation is not in their best interests, the answer is they cannot be, instead old wounds will be left open to fester new hate. What will emerge will be two political thiefdoms overseen by the capo de tutti in London who will divvy out the cash.

    The very thought should enrage us for the main beneficiaries will be those, whether English, Unionist or republican who brought decades of suffering down upon the majority of ordinary peoples. The English because they should have left Ireland in 1922, the Unionists for setting up and administering a wretched sectarian Statelet and the Republican leadership for failing to call a halt to their war in the mid 1980s when they first realized the war had run its course without victory.

    I am not saying people should be punished but they need to go before the people and admit their errors. For if there is to be no T@RC, there will be no cleaning of the stables and that will mean the very people who I aforementioned as being responsible for so much suffering, will be administering the northern statelet for the next 20 years, and surly that would be plain wrong.

  • Fergus D

    Doesn’t all this about informers, agent provocateurs etc demonstrate the futility of terrorism by small secret goups? How is the public supposed to respond to some terrorist act when we’re not even sure who did it? Seems to me it was a lack of political analysis and a clear political strategy, coupled with an unthinking devotion to violence that led the provos into a mire of ghastly killings, betrayals, suspicion and manipulation.

  • Ian Sectar

    Ingram – is it at all possible that you could give a simple answer to a straight question?

    If, as you say, the British Government have been the puppet masters in NI over the last 35-40 years and engaged in state sponsored murder by its own agents of its own citizens and been effectlively complicit in several murders of their own citizens by various terrorist groups by their deliberate non-intervention, what has been the point of it all (in your opinion)? What has it achieved? Try to step out of your retrospective spinning fantasy machine for a second and just answer that.

  • ingram

    Ian Sector.

    Against my better judgement I will respond to your last points.

    1. In relation to the depth of penetration within both (Primary) terrorist organisations there are very few active volunteers/members who would disagree with me and others who were at the heart of this long term government policy when I say that both organisation were corrupted from the top to the bottom at the very outset of this campaign.

    Indeed Sir John Stevens a few years after I wrote a piece for the Irish News agreed with me when I said the british governments state agencies relationship to paramilitaries amounted to institutionalised collusion.

    To give just two examples.

    1. Brian Nelson

    2. Freddy Scapp

    Both very senior members of their respective units and both handled for decades. If you take the murder of Pat Finucane. Of the ten people directly involved in that operation 7 were agents of the state.Those individuals ranged from the person who sponsored the idea to the person charged with organising and gathering intelligence upon the target to the person who had safe custody of the munitions who willingly and under control handed them over to the persons who ultimately shot Mr Finucane and then those charged with disposing of the evidence.

    That is clear control over a murder that can only be described as State sponsored terrorism.

    1. In relation to Freddy. Well not only Freddy but the entire security unit of the IRA was compromised for over twenty odd years. during that time many people died at the hands of that unit.

    Indeed so many you would need a full afternoon to discuss the issues and I have a feeling in the coming weeks the public are going to see some further developments on that front that even the Omudsman will find difficult to avoid.

    Maybe we can discuss them at a later date. I will look forward to that.

    In respect to your last point.

    My own personal opinion is the UK has every intention of retaining the Union and that can be demonstrated in the way it has developed and forged the Republican movement over the last thirty seven years into a position that it is now recognising partition and is willing to administer British rule in the North of Ireland.It has laid down its arms and destroyed them whilst at the same time Loyalists retain their arms and a capability to attack Republicans and their communities.

    Articles 2& 3 of the Irish constitution have been removed and Republicans today have accepted far less than was available back in the mid seventies.

    There are those who believe Gerry Adams is both capable and able to deliver upon his promise to deliver a United Ireland by 2016. I do not share that viewpoint and only time will tell who is right and wrong but I believe I am right and he is wrong.I honestly believe Republicans have set back the cause of Irish unity at least one or two generations and for a genuine Nationalist that saddens me.

    The extract replicated below is from the security services MI5 web site. IT is a clear indication of the mindset of a nation that is spending vast amounts of money TODAY by recruiting additional man power and upgrading the infrastructure within Northern Ireland to monitor those WHO WORK AGAINST BRITISH INTERESTS.

    NORTHERN IRELAND-RELATED & DOMESTIC TERRORISM
    Dissident Irish republican terrorist groups present a serious threat to British interests.

    Regards.

    Martin

  • Ian Sectar

    Ingram – Funnily enough I agree with a lot of what you just said. I also believe that the armed struggle has set back the cause of Irish unity by several decades and I have long been of the opinion that it actually suited the unionists and loyalists to keep the fires of sectarianism burning because every violent and malevolent act which occurred between the two sides in NI further deepened the chasm between them and drove another stake through the heart of a UI.

    The IRA’s campaign played right into the hands of those on this Island who wanted to keep the communities divided for as long as possible. I believe that if the campaign had never been allowed to happen eventually the civil rights marches would have achieved their aim as there is no possible way the Brits could have justified what was going on in NI for much longer. But obviously Bloody Sunday was the final straw for the Nationalists in NI and after that 20 years of mayhem and horror were pretty much inevitable.

    You’re right though – it f*cked any chance of a UI any time soon. I’d say I’m much younger than you and I doubt I will even see it in my lifetime. But the irony is that pretty soon I don’t think it will really matter too much. I’ve posted many times on this site that the eventual inevitability is a joint stewardship of some sort, or who knows – maybe devolution will work in the long run, but that regardless of whatever colour the flag than flies above stormont, there will be a de facto UI on the ground once things calm down on the streets on Belfast, Derry, Armagh and other towns and cities. What has helped massively to keep the status quo in the North – as well as the social retardation brought by the violence – has been the reluctance of southerners to go North, for any reason, over the last 50 years.

    If the current situation holds, i.e. the killings gradually become a fading memory and society eventually returns to normal – that will change considerably. I and thousands like me grew up watching death and destruction and absolute savagery in NI on the TV and for that reason I know very few people from the 26 counties who have ever been to the North. I even have a few friends from the North who, after living in the South for a few years, say they could never contemplate going back, because they find that once they have adjusted to life in the South, they just cannot re-adjust to the North and cannot understand why anyone would want to endure living there. And that is exactly what the Unionists always wanted, lest they be ultimately swamped by hordes of migrating Southerners. (TBC)

  • Ian Sectar

    But that will all begin to change soon IMO, especially now that we have so many immigrants living among us on this Island, who don’t have the shared sense of history we have, and who won’t think twice about criss-crossing the border and those who live on the island will be sure to make the most of the fact that once residency/citizenship is gained in the south, you only have to go a few miles north of Dundalk to be in the UK. The realisties of everyday life will eventually win out in the long run, and when southerners finally lose the fear of going north and the paranoia that if they turn the wrong street corner they will be instantly set upon by gangs of bloodthirsty skinhead, tattooed loyalist thugs, they will soon start applying for jobs in the North, going back and forth for weekends, shopping trips, stags etc.

    It might sound naively optimistic but I think that over the next decade or two/three there will be a UI in all but name, and by then I don’t think people will really care that much who’s flying what flag where. That might sound like failure to some Nationalists but I disagree. The tragedy is that, as many people have pointed out over the last 2-3 weeks, where we all are now is not very far from where we all were 35 years ago i.e. Sunningdale et al, yet over 3000 people had to die in the meantime..

    But then again is there any point in crying about the past now? Sometimes I think that once the country was partitioned – and maybe even if it hadn’t been partitioned, even if things had happened very differently 90 odd years ago – that the fight was always going to happen, that it was inevitable that someday something would spark off an almighty row between the 2 communities that would take 20 years to sort out. Now they have had that fight, the scumbags on both sides had got a lot of bloodletting out of their system, both traditions have literally fought each other to a weary, breathless standstill and their curiosity about their self-perceived notions of supremacy over the ‘enemy’ has surely been satisfied. More killing isn’t going to gain anything for anyone at this stage, and even though I’m sure there are plenty of psychopaths on both sides who would like to start the whole nightmare up again just for the sake of it – and the fact that they always enjoyed killing – almost all now finally recognise the sheer futility and pointlessness of it all.

    What I still can’t figure out though, is if the British Government really had any control over what was happening, how/why did they allow it to get so bad? And what was their motivation in the first place? What is their motivation now? Fair enough if you believe that Peter Brooke was having us all on and that the Brits in fact do want to hang on to NI for selfish/strategic reasons, I just cannot imagine why. Surely they weren’t/aren’t so stupid as to be living in complete denial about the end of the age of empire, are they? I mean, what use could they possibly have for NI at this late stage?

  • mickhall

    Ian

    What you have to understand about the UK and many of its people is that it has never come to terms with the ending of its empire. Nor has it even analyzed in a serious manner what effect that empire had on millions of people around the world. One only had to see Blairs infantile apology over slavery to understand that. Well over half of the English middle classes still regard the British empire as a progressive thing, and if you scratch below the surface of this group, they genuinely believe that those countries whose peoples suffered under its yoke were better of under the empire.

    When a man like Peter Brooke says that the Brits have no selfish/strategic reasons for being in Ireland, he believes he is telling the truth. But you must consider that he also in all probability believed that the British state had no selfish or strategic reasons for being in India and countless other places, these people still have a sun never sets, rule Britannia mentality.

    Take Blair today, the reason he does not get down on his knees and ask his people and maker for forgiveness for the suffering and tragedy he is putting the Iraqi people through on a daily bases, is because of the above post imperialist mentality, the fool thinks he is doing good work.

    After the Hitler period the Germans, especially the youth studied and analyzed how it all could all have happened and drew conclusions which would make it unrepeatable. [inshaller] No such thing happened in the UK at the end of empire, they simply drew a curtain across the past, hence they are once again making silly and murderous mistakes in foreign policy.

    It is no accident that it is the UK government which is at the fore of those who wish to draw a line under the last four decades in the north. They should be fought tooth and nail on this, for a people which fails to understand the past is doomed to repeat it.

    That is why there must me a Truth and Reconciliation Commission in the North of Ireland..

  • confused

    Mick
    You ask for a Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
    Many people would agree with you but please indicate if you think such an agency will be set up.
    What are the main obstacles and how can they be overcome?
    If all goes well how much of a difference would this make to daily life for the ordinary person.

  • mickhall

    confused,

    Forgive me for not answering in greater detail but time makes it impossible, briefly I feel as things stand there is little likelihood of a Truth Reconciliation Commission being set up, although with the continuos drip drip of disconcerting information which is coming into the public arena this may change.

    Thus I believe it is imperative that those of us who believe there is a need for such a commission, raise this issue at every opportunity that avails itself. For example if a senior government minister in the new administration were to be revealed as an informer for the security forces, this would undoubtedly add to the pressure.

    What is really needed is for those who have like minds on this to form a committee/organisation, so that the viability and benefits of a T and RC can be looked at in detail. It would be particularly helpful to find out how the committee that Desmond Tutu chaired in SA paned out and how those who went before it, plus the families of their victims feel about it today.

    There will be plenty of grants around soon which the political parties and para-miitaries will wish to get their fingers into, such a committee would be eligible for funding so that they can look at this matter in greater detail etc.

    As to the impact such a commission will have on ordinary folk, on those who have lost loved ones it will be deep and painful but hopefully it may lead to closure.[this is why I said it is vital to look at the SA experience as no one wants to make an already painful situation worse] As to the rest of us, I feel we will be shocked, appalled, angry and at first even vindictive, but gradually I believe we will go through a learning curve which will reinforce the belief that when major political differences again break to the surface, armed struggle must never again be the option of choice when attempting to solve them.

    Hopefully the lessons for the State will be enormous, not least allowing the secret state absolute freedom of action without close political control is a recipe for disaster.

    Finally I stress that what is needed is a Truth and Reconciliation Commission with an independent chair, as yet another public inquiry would be worse than useless.