“And who makes the decisions on this..”

Also on the Politics Show was Northern Ireland Justice Minister, Paul Goggins, MP, who had some interesting, if non-committal, things to say about the Consultative Group on the Past’s report – focussing on the Legacy Commission. And, if you are looking for dishonesty, I wouldn’t worry too much about the target apparently identified by Jarlath Burns. Look instead in the ‘uneven’ direction indicated by Mick’s Guardian post – also here on Slugger. [But it’s easier to simply pony up stereotypes – Ed] Indeed. Also mostly relevant is the Sunday Business Post article by Tom McGurk, where he provides an answer to a question posed by Susan McKay some time ago – “if our new democratic institutions aren’t strong enough to withstand the truth..” From the SBP article

Despite what Lord Eames and Denis Bradley may say about the need to unravel the past, the reality is that, for pragmatic political reasons, such an unravelling is simply impossible. In the meantime, what the Eames/Bradley report is offering is both a subterfuge and a substitution for a Truth Commission.

Of course, it’s not the institutions themselves which are not strong enough.. but rather [some of] the parties within them. Hence the reported need for “political expediency”. Anyway, here’s Paul Goggins on what happens next..

The full interview is available here.

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  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    “And, if you are looking for dishonesty, I wouldn’t worry too much about the target apparently identified by Jarlath Burns.”

    Dont see why not ? Just because it doesnt suit your politics? Surely you are just indulging in “whataboutery”.

  • Pete Baker

    Sammy Mac

    You can worry all you like about that. Just do so under the appropriate post ;o).

    I’m just saying that I’ll not be worrying “too much”.

    Partly because there are other more important issues at stake here.

  • percy

    Jarlath burns has definately picked a lock, which unionists don’t want to be picked.
    Fig-leafs and all that.

    Wouldn’t yet describe it as a break-in, like Castlereagh, but hope springs eternal.

    I like the one about “yuz are all blaggers, or we got ya with your pants down”..
    Watch this space.
    The walls are coming down.


    Here’s a start to truth and reconciliation, why don’t the British open their Intelligence files and reveal the facts about it’s official government death squads and cabinet policies that murdered innocent people so we can all move on? Abolish the Inquires Bill and Public Immunity Certificates that Westminster has introduced and that will set an example. Why were Pat Finucane and Rosemary Nelson killed by the British State? Why was John Stalker smeared and lied about when he was about to expose Britain’s Dirty War and why was John Stevens hindered? Why has the Saville Report been stalled and why are the Robert Hamill & Rosemary Nelson Inquiries being prolonged and drawn out? WHY? Because Britain should be in the International War Crimes dock in The Hague alongside the rest of the crooks AND it is shit scared of the rest of the world knowing it.

  • The Raven

    …and how long, Lurig, will it be, before someone comes on here and posts – in detail – the exact same question back to you, except from the other side of the fence? Perhaps regarding allegations about our First and Deputy First Minister?

    There isn’t much innocence on either side. I believe they call it “war”. And that’s why this is an endless game we play, where asserting blame is so much easier, and for some, so much more fun than getting to the truth.

    I’m very lucky actually. Anyone that I knew who was killed or involved was on the periphery of my admittedly-short existence. That doesn’t take away from the need of some relatives and victims to find out the truth.

    But I was reading a piece on the Beeb website lately about the costs of maintaining Auschwitz, and the thoughts of one person who thought it should be left to crumble:

    “It might be that we will agree that the best way to honour those who were murdered in the camp and those who survived is by sealing it from the world, allowing grass, roots and brambles to cover, undermine and finally efface that most unnatural creation of Man. At that future date, may the slowly crumbling debris of decay suggest the final erasure of memory.”

    I can see the parallels.

  • Dave

    “I can see the parallels.”

    I can’t. Those who were responsible for organising the human suffering at Auschwitz were hanged for war crimes, whereas those responsible for organising the human suffering in Northern Ireland were celebrated as peacemakers. One saw justice done and the other saw it denied.

    As Tom McGurk pointed out, you can’t have justice when those who are responsible for the injustice remain in power. Since your current process is built on rewarding the guilty (you elected them to public office), you can’t reverse that tact and suddenly decide that the guilty should now be punished (and hounded from public office).

    In short, you injected the scumbags into the political process so you just have to shut up about scum in high places and hope that their victims do the same.

  • Dave

    The disconnect from reality in this process is this: since justice for the victim means punishment for the victimizer, there is a definitive conflict of interest between the victim and the victimizer. Because that conflict of interest exists, the victimizer should not be allowed to have any control over the process by which his victim receives justice. If the victimizer is allowed such control, then he will use it to deny justice to his victims.

    In Northern Ireland, the principle victimizers (with the exception of the loyalist murder gangs) were either granted or retained political power at the conclusion of the conflict. Therefore, the principle victimizers are in a position to determine the level of truth and justice that their victims receive.

    Naturally, they will receive the minimum amount that it is possible to dispense without discarding the pretence that the principle victimizers had any intention of granting justice to their victims and thereby punishing themselves.

    This farce wherein society pretends that the system it supports (of rewarding the victimizers with political power) would not require that the victims be shafted is just pathetic. Rather than insulting people who will die with unbearable emotional pain, why not just be honest with them and tell them that you – as a society – couldn’t care less about them?

  • The Raven

    I was referring to the parallels in terms of what might be better for the longer term “memory” that is in this country. Not the alleged crimes or otherwise of the select few that get voted in year upon year.

    Already you have a large swathe of up-and-coming youngsters for whom the Troubles is not even memory. It’s only a matter of time before the same edifices – physical or otherwise – begin to crumble and fall. “Simply British” or whatever republican equivalent you wish to pick, simply won’t cut it ten years from now.