Tutu tells Northern Ireland: Find your own solution…

ARCHBISHOP Desmond Tutu was in Dublin yesterday, and said a South African-style Truth and Reconciliation Commission may not work in Northern Ireland. “One of the things you have to be very careful of is not to be prescriptive, that one size fits all. Each country and situation are unique and it is up to the people involved to decide,” he said. Whether it is ‘The People’ or ‘The people appointed by the Government’ who decide is another matter, though the Irish Foreign Affairs Minister welcomed the Bradley-Eames group’s intention “to consult widely in considering how the legacy of the events of the past decades can best be approached, and what steps might be taken in this area”. Note what the appointments of Bradley, Eames and Al Hutchinson have in common – all people who are singing from the same hymn sheet about drawing a line under the past.

  • Crataegus

    Where are a lot of people who want a line drawn under the recent past and sweep it under the carpet as though it never happened. Just pay the Danegeld and we will all live happily ever after.

    Why we are all such a civilised lot with our new Assembly a pillar of democracy. The victims get shafted, but they don’t count in our brave new world, because they have no leverage, and in NI terms that means they are unlike to kill or cause damage. It is good to have murderers and thugs walking the streets or even resting their rumps on Assembly seats. Many a ‘respectable’ person here, in Britain and the South were instrumental in murder and other serious crime. They aided and abetted heinous crime, they turned a blind eye at unpalatable events as it didn’t suit their purpose to protect the innocent. So let’s just forget all about it and be thankful for they are ‘respectable’ people.

    The price of peace they say, but there is a cost, there is an underlying distrust of politicians and confidence in the PSNI is eroded. I for one would be very careful in relation to any contact with the police in relation to paramilitary type crimes I simply would not trust them, not at all and that view is unlikely to change in the near future.

    It wouldn’t suit too many if the truth started to leak out so don’t expect any government initiatives. It is a pity really enjoy the peace, but don’t expect justice.

  • overhere

    I would really refer if Desmond Tutu stayed at home a little more and spoke out about the crime situation in his land. 42,000 murders in 2006 sort of makes NI problems pale into insignificance somewhat.

  • overhere

    Sorry should be prefer 🙂

  • Pounder

    A truth Commission is one of the ideas I suggested to my own party recently. However the Truth Comission in South Africa was a failure and many of the worst offenders in South Africa where let off in the name of not rocking the boat to much.

  • Glensman

    This idea of drawing an official line under the past will be a long term failure because it will breed resentment for ever more. It’s like when we were reading our history books in school and new it was lies. It made us angry- and political.

  • For anyone to think that the Brits are going to do anything serious about investigating, and punishing what they did covertly, and by colluding with various paramilitaries during The Troubles is just dreaming.

    They have been dragging their feet ever since Stevens agreed to a most hasty cover up of what the FRU did, especially the assassination of Pat Finucane. While they finally pinned this mess on Ken Barrett, they stonewalled any further investigation despite what Canadian judge Peter Cory surprisingly recommended.

    Then they watered down these inquiries until they now have proven clearly pointless.

    Now we are being told about a possible TRC – what I urged so strongly to former SoS Paul Murphy, and what he said he was looking into – what only resulted in his being sacked shortly thereafter.

    And by the time this belated inquiry into a possible TRC finally reports, we shall be told that the time has passed.

    It’s all just a most hypocritical conspiracy!

  • I would really refer if Desmond Tutu stayed at home a little more and spoke out about the crime situation in his land.

    How do you know he hasn’t?

    For anyone to think that the Brits are going to do anything serious about investigating, and punishing what they did covertly, and by colluding with various paramilitaries during The Troubles is just dreaming.

    Indeed. But to spread the blame fairly, nor are the Provies going to want to display to the world the sheer degree of cynicism shown by Northern Command and the Army Council, and by extension Sts. Gerry and Martin, in the latter years of the troubles as they played through the end game of a war they knew had already been lost. And do the Loyalists really want to reveal to the world the high-detail of planning and target selection behind atrocities like Loughinisland or Greysteel (i.e. let’s take some Fenians out).

    None of the beligerent parties have any interest in seeing truth come out; that doesn’t mean the rest of us shouldn’t try to force them so to do.

    And truth, sadly, isn’t necessarily catharsis; it seems to have been in South Africa but wasn’t for most in Eastern Europe. But truth is still valuable as truth.

  • Cruimh

    “Tutu tells Northern Ireland: Find your own solution…”

    NI tells Toto: P*ss off back to Africa and sort your own country out – it’s an even bigger mess than NI.

  • “NI tells Toto: P*ss off back to Africa and sort your own country out – it’s an even bigger mess than NI”.

    Cruimh :

    That is one of the most juvenile and intellectually-redundant comments that I have ever read on Slugger. Firstly i think You will find his name is Tutu not Toto… As far as I can recall ‘Toto’ were actually a nauseating American soft-rock band of the early 80’s…

  • Cruimh

    mac – if only slugger had an edit facility. The point stands – S Africa is a mess – the pompous dwarf should put his own house in order instead of indulging his ego.

  • BogExile

    HEALING THROUGH FORGETTING: THOSEE NEW RULES OF ENGAGEMENT:

    1. Find a gravy train (there are plenty around)
    2. Put some men on it*
    3. Add some gravitas
    4. Subtract any focus
    5. Select destination for train.(Anywhere except truth)
    6. Drive train through sensibilities of victims
    7. Derail train before it arrives anywhere
    8. Collect gong.

    * don’t worry if you aren’t selected. there are more trains than men these days

  • overhere

    I think this must be a first but I agree with cruimh.

    Tutu is jetsetting around the world imparting his wisdom to anyone who will listen, he even did a TV series recently if I remember on NI and reconcilliation. His own home in SA was recently broken into and his Nobel medal stolen, he was out of the country at the time, strange thing is the burgulars were caught within 24 hours. Yet my sister-in-law was highjacked while backing out of her drive on the way to work at gunpoint with her 1year old daughter in the back. Guess what the car was found but no one arrested. We were just thankful that her and her daughter were not murdered

  • So, depending on which comments you read, the Truth & Reconciliation Commission in South Africa either helped, or failed terribly.

    What benefits did it bring? Did it out the truth, and was there any benefit in that?

    In what way was it a failure? Was justice sacrificed to reconciliation? Was the tradeoff worthwhile?

    And what were the differences between the goals of the TRC, and what we think we need to achieve in NI?

    How can we do better?

    Which is more important: punishment of the guilty, admission of guilt, closure for victims, an end to eternal blame and whataboutery, acceptance of the suffering of “the other side”, no hierarchy of victims, acknowledgement that innocent victims are not the same as those who suffered during or because of crimes (freedom fighting, murder, collusion, sectarian murder and extortion, or whatever) they committed, different treatment for those whose actions were political compared to those who were merely criminal, inclusiveness, stable institutions of government, democracy, or simply peace?

  • Crataegus

    Bog Exile

    Nice one, sums it up nicely.

  • Pounder

    [i]That is one of the most juvenile and intellectually-redundant comments that I have ever read on Slugger. Firstly i think You will find his name is Tutu not Toto… As far as I can recall ‘Toto’ were actually a nauseating American soft-rock band of the early 80’s…

    Posted by macswiney on Jun 26, 2007 @ 10:47 AM
    [/i]

    Hey I liked Toto, the rocked on the Dune OST in conjunction with Brian Eno. Irony being they did sing a song about Africa, maybe thats where the poor boy slipped up?

  • Cruimh

    Just wait until Mac makes a typo pounder!

  • Missed this one, Gonzo. Thanks for the tip.

  • jim

    “Tutu tells Northern Ireland: Find your own solution…”

    Bit of a davros comment !!

  • jim

    ‘NI tells Toto: P*ss off back to Africa and sort your own country out – it’s an even bigger mess than NI.’

    Sorry, this was the Davros moment

  • snakebrain

    I’m with Cruimh on this one. SA is a fucked up mess, where those who had been oppressed got their hands on power, and promptly put the jackboot down and started feathering their nests and screwing everyone else over.

    I don’t have massive sympathy for the ex-colonialists; they were a bunch of gits too. But the current set-up is far from ideal. I was born in Kenya, and recently looked into going back there and starting some kind of business on a fair-trade/sustainability model. You wouldn’t believe how hostile the Kenyan High Commission are to the idea of a white guy going out there to do business. That’s a trend that’s reflected across a lot of sub-Saharan Africa, and in its own way, it’s just as xenophobic as anything that happened before.

    That said, it looks a lot like that’s how it’s going to pan out here too. A bunch of ex-idealists corrupted by power inside a few years. Nice future we’ve got here. I might take Africa over this – at least the climate’s better.

  • Mayoman

    I just don’t undertsand the vitriol directed at a man who has made such benign comments! So noone other than the ‘chosen people’ have a right to pass an opinion? Or is there, I wonder, some other underlying reason why some people resort to telling this man to ‘p**s off’ and calling him a ‘poison dwarf’?