Victims Commisions online now!

You might just catch that webchat over at the Newsletter, if you hurry!

  • worker

    Can’t have been much work done in Jim Allister’s office whilst it was on anyway.

    He had his officeboy posting plenty of hostile questions.

  • PeaceandJustice

    To worker – it’s not just Jim Allister who is concerned about the commission. Most of the victims in the Ulster-British community are very concerned about having someone from a Sinn Fein PIRA family background on the commission. The web chat confirmed one thing – at the moment they are treating Sinn Fein PIRA death squad members as victims. Something the greater number of people in Northern Ireland will find sickening.

  • Different Drummer

    Worker

    Thanks for that TUV update but who knows if this will mark JA’s becoming Paisley MKII.

    On the victims I think that the best we can do is put ‘Lost Lives’ on line.

    I know it will lead to a lot of whatabourty but I think it will help people who supported SF realise that they were not what they thought they were.

    Likewise the underreporting and insignificance of Loyalist killings will be undermined.

    Personal note: I don’t think I’m alone in being thankful to Mr Feeny for recording for posterity my teacher’s death and why he was killed.

  • Mick Fealty

    Lost lives is indeed a great book (there are five authors on the copy I have). Though since it is an (excellent) journalistic work, those paramilitaries, Lenny Murphy for instance, who die have a huge commentary attached, whilst an RUC Reservist a couple of pages later barely gets half an paragraph.

    That’s the nature of the beast. I am not sure what can be done to reconcile those who want a dividing line between what is sometimes a difference between the killers and the killed.

  • worker

    PeaceandJustice
    “Most of the victims in the Ulster-British community are very concerned about having someone from a Sinn Fein PIRA family background on the commission.”

    That may be true, but equally it could be complete rubbish.

    What evidence do you have for that statement? Or could it just be that those victims groups who shout the loudest happen to be opposed to it. Whether those groups represent the broader spectrum of victims groups never mind victims as a whole is definitely open to question.

  • PeaceandJustice

    worker – “What evidence do you have for that statement?”

    I haven’t met anyone from the Ulster-British community who thinks the appointment of someone from a Sinn Fein PIRA family is a good thing. The letter pages of the News Letter reflects this view. It’s a major insult to the real victims who are seeking help that they may bump into the Sinn Fein PIRA death squad members who attacked them and their family. The DUP are keeping quiet about it, but they have helped re-classify Sinn Fein PIRA members from terrorists to victims.

  • worker

    PeaceandJustice
    I accept that you may not have met anyone who is satisfied – but perhaps that’s simply a reflection of the circles you mix in.

    I would also dare to suggest that the letters pages of the Newsletter are not reflective of wider society. Its a paper which doesn’t exactly compete with The Sun in terms of circulation figures and it we were to remove letters from people like the aforementioned Mr Morrison and Jim Allister’s other staff then I would suggest the content of the page might be somewhat different.

    Clearly there is an issue there about Patricia McBride – I would suggest the best policy there is for IRA victims to actually go to her specifically and show her at first hand the effects of provo terrorism. That might actually show her the misery that people like her brother dealt out to people.

    “The DUP are keeping quiet about it, but they have helped re-classify Sinn Fein PIRA members from terrorists to victims.”

    The DUP may or may not be keeping quiet about it. I would suggest that seemingly endless coverage from the Assembly over the legislation to create the Commission hardly qualifies as ‘keeping quiet’ however.

    Moving on to the DUP “helping to re-classify IRA members as victims” – that just plain rubbish. The current legislation which defines victimhood was passed by Direct Rule and opposed in the House of Commons by the DUP and the UUP. There was an attempt by the UUP to use the most recent legislation passing through the Assembly to change that definition. However, it was not legally possible to use that Bill to change the definition. The DUP made it quite clear that had it been possible to change the definition in order to ensure that terrorists could not be classified as victims then they would support that.

    Given that people such as Jim Allister, and if groups like FAIR support his view, would have us return to Direct Rule then how exactly would the legislation governing the definition of a victim be changed? The only possibility for changing that definition of a victim is through devolution.

  • PeaceandJustice

    To worker – the problem with your argument is that the DUP originally claimed to have have “secured a Victims’ Commissioner” as some sort of Unionist gain. Then they went on to approve four including one from a Sinn Fein PIRA family. Now they are not shouting about the fact that a SF PIRA terrorist is defined as a victim. Despite what you say, most people don’t know that and the DUP are not actively campaigning to have it changed. After all the years of shouting about everyone else, the DUP are now very passive when it comes to standing up for Unionism. It’s hardly surprising that many Unionists don’t bother voting.

  • Samuel Morrison

    “Can’t have been much work done in Jim Allister’s office whilst it was on anyway.
    He had his officeboy posting plenty of hostile questions.”

    I emailed my question in advance – that is why it is first on the list and the News Letter will be able to confirm that if you contact them. The second question was posted during my lunch hour.

    Secondly, I didn’t discuss this with my employer or ask the questions at his direction.

    However, I’m glad to see that Mr Nesbitt took the time to avoid answering my questions. That is more than can be said about the letter Mr Allister set to him shortly after his appointment which still remains unanswered.

  • Different Drummer

    Mick Writes:

    “Lost lives is indeed a great book (there are five authors on the copy I have). Though since it is an (excellent) journalistic work, those paramilitaries, Lenny Murphy for instance, who die have a huge commentary attached, whilst an RUC Reservist a couple of pages later barely gets half an paragraph.

    That’s the nature of the beast. I am not sure what can be done to reconcile those who want a dividing line between what is sometimes a difference between the killers and the killed.”

    Thanks for that Mick I take your point about the paramiltary getting more space than the police reservist: But it is the quiet tone of tribute to those who were lost that is the books strength.

    I think you should team up with CAIN and put the book on line. Sorry about not indicating all the authors they were of course:

    David McKittrick, Seamus Kelters, Brian Feeney, and Chris Thornton.

  • The Fly

    Samuel Morrison

    What about the questions posed to Mr. Allister by Lyle Cubitt? When will they be answered?

  • worker

    PeaceandJustice
    I think it is a DUP gain to have a victims commission – after all its clear that some of the so-called “victims groups” are actually vehicles for egos and political campaigning. Some of them clearly do little or nothing for victims, and at least one is currently being investigated because of financial irregularities.

    At least a victims commission will have some level of accountability and will actually do what they’re meant to do. The vast majority of victims groups do good work – its just a shame that they’re tarnished with the couple of bad apples.

    “Despite what you say, most people don’t know that and the DUP are not actively campaigning to have it changed.”

    Its good that you appear able to speak on behalf of “most” people – mind you, I suppose its a change from speaking on behalf of all people, so we’re making progress. It would appear that the poll on the newsletter website carried out gives the view that nearly 90% of people believe that the Commission is positive.

    I’d of course be interested to know what you base your claim that the DUP aren’t actively campaigning to change the definition. Not that you’d be biased or anything.

    “the DUP are now very passive when it comes to standing up for Unionism”

    Yeah, that’s why Gerry Adams is throwing a hissy fit and threatening to tear down the Assembly because the DUP won’t give him his way.

  • The Fly

    One thing I think is utterly appalling is the way in which those groups referred to by “worker” above (vehicles for egos, party political agendas etc.) are using Michelle Williamson. This woman has been manipulated time and again because of her terrible circumstances. First there was Trimble accompanying her to the High Court to judicially review Sean Kelly’s release even though he knew nothing could be done to stop it (he crafted the Agreement for goodness sake!), then there was “The Long March” escapade that was supposedly about victims issues but strangely mutated into something about parading issues and now we have Frazier, Hazlett Lynch et al. using her to judicially review the Victims Commission. It’s not fair (pardon the pun) to use her an her suffering in this despicable way.

  • a

    It would seem that the results of the poll carried out by the Newsletter didn’t back up the view of Morrison, PeaceandJustice & co…