“Four Victims’ Commissioners have eight ears, but access to no mouth”

Interesting take from Ian Paisley in yesterday’s News Letter:

I know that there have been difficult decisions and hard choices taken here. I had to take many of them myself. But those choices will only bear fruit if those who are the deepest affected by them have our ear.

In this present very public debate between a woman whose sister was murdered and those who have chosen to appoint someone responsible for what occurred on that Sunday morning, everyone is listening. But it is the ears of Sinn Fein and every other political party that sits at the Executive table that need to be open.

Furthermore, the four Victims’ Commissioners have eight ears between them, but, it would seem, access to no mouth. If the appointment of one special advisor has become the story of this newly appointed Executive rather than any other thing, then the Executive right now needs to regain control and respect the mandate which put it there.

There has been some comment since writing… But it does beg the question what kind of progress has been made in dealing with the painful past, or were they simply appointed four watchdogs to keep an eye on each other and prevent anything actually happening?

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty