Henry Patterson is half right, but dealing with the past must be broadly based

. Henry Patterson, a historian of high repute from the unionist tradition has entered the debate sparked by the Panorama on collusion, Britain’s Secret Deals. He laments what he sees as unionism’s “parochialism and defensiveness “in failing to challenge the republican narrative  of the Troubles as a struggle for freedom and  justice in common with similar struggles elsewhere. The recent publication in the News Letter of a graph detailing deaths caused by paramilitary organisations and the state (showing that deaths by the state …

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Roy Mason, the last to believe in outright IRA defeat

Roy Mason who has died aged 91 was  Northern Ireland Secretary of State  from 1976 to the end of the Labour government in 1979. He was  “short in stature and long in self confidence “ as David McKittrick  rightly described him. He even designed his own peculiarly vented and lapelled tight fitting light khaki suits. When I last met him a few years ago at the launch of a Northern Ireland stamp, he was eloquent about his collection. He retained heavy police security at …

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