“Black armbands have a history.”

In the Irish Times, Susan McKay points out that tomorrow’s ‘March for Half-Truth’ by Sinn Féin is, in reality, their annual commemoration of “10 republicans who died on hunger strike in 1981, so to take part is to show solidarity with the IRA as well as with the victims of the British forces.” That places it in an area of activity identified previously by Liam Clark. Susan McKay also links in the on-again-off-again-on-again [but don’t tell anyone – Ed] deal over OTRs and she’s critical of the latest appropriation of victims

But what is the campaign for truth? Adams, who says he was never in the IRA, referred to the fact that some of the victims’ groups taking part in the march and rally are calling for “an international-based, independent truth commission”. He adds that this is something that Sinn Féin “will look carefully at”. But why the caution? Perhaps because although Sinn Féin needs to reassure the victims from its own community that it hasn’t left them behind, the truth is, it doesn’t want a truth commission any more than the British government does.

Remember the on-the-runs legislation a few years ago? Sinn Féin signed up for that to get its exiles back, and then had to abandon it when victims’ groups and the SDLP pointed out that this was a law that would make it impossible to pursue the truth about collusion. The party is not going to make that mistake again.

All the signs are that the British and Irish governments both take the shabby view that the new powersharing regime at Stormont is best protected by leaving the past alone for the foreseeable future.

Sinn Féin can safely seem to support calls for a commission, confident it isn’t going to happen.

McKay is not, as far as I can see, opposed to demanded the truth.. as I’ve noted out before..

Anyway, how can it possibly be right to ignore evidence of such corruption, and to refuse to learn the real history of the Troubles? The British will look bad, Sinn Féin has dirty hidden history and so has the DUP. But if our new democratic institutions aren’t strong enough to withstand the truth, they aren’t strong enough.

.. just opposed to demanding half-truth.

Black armbands have a history. Those campaigning to force Britain to tell the truth on its vicious part in the Northern violence need all the support they can get.

This is a just cause, and Sinn Féin’s appropriation of it serves it badly.