One of the members of the Eames Bradley group has accused unionist leaders of being dishonest and almost duplicitous in their reactions to the Eames Bradley report. The BBC are quoting Jarlath Burns as saying:
“A lot of our politicians came up with a lot of the ideas which we had but felt that they couldn’t really present them publically or couldn’t support us publically,”
“One or two politicians said ‘I know and I understand what you are doing in this report but I can’t support this publically because I’d take a tremendous hit for it.”
“Individually we found politicians very helpful, but once they get into this thing called the political party, very often they have to hide behind the policies and rhetoric of that party.”
It is interesting that Mr. Burns seems to be mounting something of a fight back after all the negative publicity (by no means all of it from unionists) over the report. If Mr. Burns is correct of course it is dishonest of the politicians. The problem is that there is no way for us to establish who is being dishonest here. Any unionist who privately supported the commissions proposals would be unlikely to come forward and admit such. Equally of course Mr. Burns and the other members of the Eames Bradley group could be seen as having reasons to try to spread around the blame for the report. I guess it is a matter of who one wants to believe: it certainly looks as if someone is being less than entirely honest.
Jim Allister has called for the Eames/Bradley Commission to “Name and shame duplicitous politicans:”
“Today’s allegation from Jarlath Burns of the Eames/Bradley Commission that prominent Unionist politicians, who have publicly protested about the contents of the report, were supportive in private, is disturbing and a further blow to the morale of the innocent victims. It is appalling if some, for the sake of public consumption and approval, have trotted out condemnation while all the time encouraging Eames/Bradley down this path. This truly would be duplicitous. I call on Eames/Bradley to name and shame those dabbling in such hypocrisy.
It does remind one of the irrefutable fact that last year when the Assembly was legislating for the Victims Commission no attempt was made, by the DUP – who tell us they control Stormont – to amend the immoral definition of “victim” which governs our legislation. Stormont has the power to change it, but because the Victims Commission was the product of a DUP/Sinn Fein deal, shamefully, no such attempt was made. Actions do indeed speak louder than words.”
Mr. Burns may have thought he was helping the situation with his remarks on Sunday Sequence. There is a danger of the reverse. As fair_deal said below it is probably time for Jarlath Burns to “put up or shut up.”