This is interesting…
Soldiers and police officers who served during the Troubles in Northern Irelandshould not be prosecuted in relation to historical killings and torture, a Westminster committee has said.
The House of Commons defence select committee said a de facto amnesty granted to republican and loyalist paramilitaries under the 1998 Good Friday agreement should be extended to army and police veterans involved in killings and other incidents in the Troubles.
It wants the next British government to introduce an amnesty for police and troops who served in the region between 1969 and 1998.
Paddy Corrigan (valued native of this Parish) spoke on behalf of Amnesty International:
The defence committee’s call today would in effect be the granting of a blanket amnesty for human rights abuses committed by former members of the security forces in Northern Ireland. It would be an utter betrayal of victims’ fundamental right to justice.
Now, there’s more to Paddy’s point than moral outrage. It’s not clear to me whether any such statute would be enforceable in law. But it’s interesting not least because this is a unilateral move on the part of HMG. It feels like something has just been put on a table.
For the most part, the structure and customs of what we, sometimes, refer to as the Peace Process™ are part of a relativist Blairite settlement. Mrs May appears determined to play a political game of her own, right to the far edges of her Kingdom.
Barney Rowan rightly noted in the coverage of the election that legacy would need much more time than a simple three-week break would ever allow. He’s right, not least because the ways of dealing with the past being proposed at the moment have already proven unsustainable.
Figures like Adams and McGuinness have relied on the British keeping their known war records under wraps and inviting the rest of us to entertain the polite fiction that the latter left the IRA in 1974 (see “McGuinness told a whopper of a lie“), whilst the other was a Republican Macavity.
Despite SF’s efforts, most people in Northern Ireland will not be reconciled to the IRA’s own account of what it did: particularly while those who planned and conducted operations against NI’s citizens are not only still alive but retain a controlling footbrake on genuine reconciliation.
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