“appalled and humiliated”

The Police Federation Conference yesterday was attended by NI Secretary Shaun Woodward, and while he released a bland if optimistic statement other statements generated more interesting headlines. Some of the missing detail from that RTÉ report is included in the Belfast Telegraph coverage – and, if you have the time, UTV’s Ivan Little’s video report[approx 1/3 into programme].

Some Executive Ministers and other MLAs would be “appalled and humiliated” if details of their past activities were exposed by a truth commission, the head of the Police Federation said yesterday.

And Terry Spence also had some recommendations for the Eames/Bradley group – more below the fold.

From the Belfast Telegraph report

He said the Consultative Group on the Past, currently examining ways of dealing with the past under Lord Eames and Denis Bradley, “must address the legacy of the past with the widest possible remit”.

“They should look for an answer which does not saddle this generation and its successors with the world’s largest re-investigation industry,” Mr Spence told Secretary of State Shaun Woodward and 150 delegates.

“We need, if not a one size fits all solution to dealing with the past, then an approach or even a multitude of approaches which allows the individuality of grief to find expression and, through time, eventual comfort.

“There can be no truth commission included in their recommendations,” he said. And, in an apparent reference to Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams, he added: “Especially when one of the leading proponents of a truth commission cannot even admit that he was in the IRA.”

Of course, despite the March for Half-Truth, Gerry Adams also told a recent interviewer

“So we can poke through the embers of the last 30 years, and in fairness I’m not very interested in doing that.”

Poisonous foundations and all that..

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  • DK

    Is there any chance of a Truth Commission starting: Those in power who will make the decisions are mostly those who would be “appalled and humiliated” – but the half measure proposed by Spence will simply leave room for continued use of the past as a political stick. Plenty of people would refuse to testify to any commission set up, no matter how weak it is, so Spence is merely using Gerry Adams as an excuse to duck the issue. Is this because as well as the MLAs and ministers, certain in the police hierary will also be “appalled and humilated”?

  • Lets take a quick look at this apparant bland statement by the NI secretary, dismissed in classic bakeresque fashion, because a more titillating Adams-bashing headline could be found:

    “Policing is a model for other countries”
    Northern Ireland has a bright future. The policing arrangements here are fast becoming a model for many other countries; the PSNI is the equal of any other police force …… during a period of great change in Northern Ireland has helped to create a police service that is supported by all sections of the community and is respected by other police forces across the world.

    Isn’t it abundantly clear therefore, that one of the poisonous foundations we’re invited to accept as gospel by bakerists is in fact a total misnomer.
    Its clear that RUC policing of which you could say nothing positive about, (unlike the above on the PSNI) was one of the poisonous foundations of the NI statelet.

    Secondly as regards a truth commission; the thread author would have done been better to have blogged separate posts, one on the PSNI positives and one on the inherent difficulties in establishing a truth commission. ( which all sides have difficulty with )

  • heck


    I think there will be a lot of people in westminster and fleet street who will be “appalled and humiliated”.

    Has anyone asked why most of the opposition to a “truth comission” is comming from the establishment or why unionist object to finding out the truth because it will “embarass Gerry Adams”?

  • Pounder

    If the MLA’s where stupid enough to do something which could leave them “embarassed and humiliated” they deserve to be exactly that. When you enter public life you have to expect a little spotlight on you and if you can’t handle that don’t fecking do anything you don’t want your voters to know about.

  • Briso

    Equality of blackmail. Excellent. You keep quiet, so will we. Everyone’s a winner. Except those who died, obviously.

  • Sean

    It is kind of amusing that Gerry Adams is calling for an investigation of the RUC collusion including collusion between the IRA and the RUC and yet it is the high ranking “prods” that are actively campaining against it because it would embarass Gerry. Makes you wonder who really has something to hide doesnt it?