“and there’s not a parliament to publish the report…”

According to a BBC report, Northern Ireland Secretary of State, Shaun Woodward, speaking in Londonderry, said that he hopes to be in a position to publish Lord Saville’s [pointless] report into Bloody Sunday “within days of receiving it.” Except that, as the BBC previously reported, he told the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee at Westminster on Wednesday that “he would only take about two weeks to consider the mammoth document but added that nobody knew when Prime Minister Gordon Brown would call the election.”

He told the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee of MPs the election raised security concerns about possible leaks and added people’s lives could be endangered if highly sensitive personal details were released. “Where it is the case that the report is delivered and there’s not a parliament to publish the report, it then sits in electronic and in physical form in a warehouse for what might be weeks so I am genuinely concerned,” he said. “But I am also concerned, not just about legitimate leaks but those leaks which actually of course are not based on the report at all but are wild speculation dressed up as leaks.” He said such speculation would cause anxiety but “it will be impossible to give any response” at that time.

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  • RobertNoonan

    Speaking in Londonderry wheere is that

  • IanR

    “nobody knows when Prime Minister Gordon Brown will call the election”

    I do. Monday the 12th of April.

    http://www.parliament.uk/commons/lib/research/briefings/snpc-04454.pdf

    Coincidentally (or not) the date that devolution of Policing and Justice to Stormont takes place.

  • Rory Carr

    Woodward’s sham concern about the possibility of leaks is quite disingenuous as we can be sure that in this case, as in that of every other report ever commissioned by government, the government will wish to retain as much control as possible over how the report is to be received and to that end they will be leaking like mad to their trusted editors in the news media while briefing them on the line which they expect the media to take “in the public interest” and, in this case, probably “in the interests of security” as well.

    If you have any doubts about this then I can only suggest that you carefully monitor how the report is received by the various organs of the media upon publication and marvel at the uniformity of opinion expressed thereon – the type of uniformity that these competing organs rarely reach apart from when reporting on an England sporting success, a very warm summer’s day or, latterly, a health scare bulletin on the late Queen Mother.

  • dodrade

    Actually i’d say March 26th is much more likely for a May 6th election, as it saves them the bother of reconvening parliament for one day after the easter recess and gives Labour an extra couple of weeks campaigning to turn things around.

  • Reader

    dodrade: …and gives Labour an extra couple of weeks campaigning to turn things around.
    I thought one of the tactical deciders was that labour couldn’t afford a long campaign anyway?

  • joeCanuck

    I have a sinking feeling that the report is being heavily redacted as we speak. It would be a shame and I hope I’m wrong.

  • Framer

    Redacted? Come on – the evidence was in public.

    It was pointless, sorry absurdly expensive, because the deeper you poke the more complicated it gets.

    Some of the shooters were responding to others.

    The Alliance Party is now experiencing the heat of being in government. It will take them time to get used to it.

    What about an enquiry into the death of the Orr brothers or the Abercorn killings/maimings?

  • joeCanuck

    the evidence was in public

    If the report will be simply a typing up of the evidence, then it is already available on the Inquiry website.

    One soldier was under such sustained attack that he had to fire 23 rounds in self defense. Will we see him named as a murderer?

  • FitzjamesHorse

    Indeed Mr Carr is right.
    The Government needs time to cherry pick and get out the briefings to their favourite journalists.

    There is a certain inevitability about whats going to be in it.
    “time has elapsed….”
    “confusion….”
    “no compelling evidence…”
    “suspicion that…”
    “courage and determination of families….”

    And a solemn looking Woodward or whoever saying
    “a sad chapter….”
    “bright new future…..”

    At least it puts the record straight “officially” and that as our wonderful Minister of Justice and his allies cant see….IS the point

  • joeCanuck

    people’s lives could be endangered if highly sensitive personal details were released

    So the only named ones will be the dead and wounded terrorists who so grieviously attacked those poor soldiers with gunfire.

  • Rory Carr

    “What about an enquiry into the death of the Orr brothers or the Abercorn killings/maimings? “

    asks Framer, repeating the tired old mantra of Gregory Campbell on Nolan yesterday morning and somehow ignoring completely the fact that there have indeed been searching and rigourous inquiries into these and similar incidents.

    Such inquiries are known as criminal murder inquiries and they are set in place immediately upon there being the mere suspicion that a wrongful death has occurred, never mind the existence of prima facie evidence that a murder has taken place.

    There was ample evidence, including the testimony of hundreds of eye witnesses and plentiful camera footage available, of what took place on that awful day in Derry to provide prima facie evidence of a cold blooded massacre by agents of the state.

    Had a murder investigation been launched and charges brought against those responsible instead of a rigged inquiry being established by the very state which was a party to the massacre to exonerate its own killers and blacken the victims then we would not have had the need for the Saville Commission nor the opportunity to negate its purpose either through accusations of “pointlessness” or complaints about its cost.

  • dodrade

    5. Reader, once the election is called the law restricts spending, to the disadvantage of the Tories, Labour are nearly broke but can probably just afford a six week campign.

  • joeCanuck

    Well said, Rory.