“we need to remove legacy policing from contemporary policing…”

A timely reminder, should one be needed, from Newton Emerson in the Irish Times this week, that when Sinn Féin talk about ‘agreement’ on the “need to remove legacy policing from contemporary policing” what they mean is “No prosecutions, please.”  From Newton Emerson in the Irish Times It is all or nothing on dealing with the legacy of the Troubles. Either all sides must face the same prospect of prosecutions and convictions, or all sides must be given an amnesty …

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If deception is the real enemy of trust, then it’s getting harder and harder to spot…

Just a quick share dump, with a few links on the new age of digital politics. The relate to the hype about what the internet can do and what it cannot. First, that story about Facebook likes getting used (on an industrial scale) for cleverly segmented marketing: Cambridge Analytica has marketed itself as classifying voters using five personality traits known as OCEAN — Openness, Conscientiousness, Extroversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism — the same model used by University of Cambridge researchers for in-house, …

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Of course black can be white if all notions of truth are treated as relative (Part 354)…

Okay, further to my 2011 post on the Irish political journalist’s problem with partial disclosure (or even earlier Why the truth matters)… This Pensive Quill post from Thomas ‘Dixie’ Elliot, a regular commenter this parish: The threat from Long Kesh worked. Patrick Duffy’s body was dug up and left in a brand new coffin inside a car which was abandoned on the Buncrana Road on the Northern side of the border on the 24th August, 1973. It was the pressure …

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Truth or justice: Highly unlikely that most us will ever have either…

Riffing of Kevin Cullen of the Boston Globe, Seamus comes up with an argument you sense has been much talked about under wraps but which no one has the political strength (rather than confidence) to ask for: The only legitimate way to end yet more years of speculation and anguish for the McConville family is for the governments of Ireland and Britain to agree a general amnesty that will allow all participants to the conflict, willing or otherwise, to give …

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Smithwick debate: “it calls into question Sinn Féin’s professed commitment to open and transparent truth-telling”

A  minor detail from yesterday’s debate on the Smithwick Tribunal worth rescuing from the NI’s political press spike. It’s the SDLP’s Patsy McGlone speaking in favour of his party’s amendment (defeated BTW) : Sinn Féin is alone in its denial of the findings of the Smithwick tribunal, but that denial echoes the denials of those who have rejected findings of collusion in the North by elements of the RUC, the UDR, and the British Army and its agencies.  There are many victims of collusion, …

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“the value of the truth is as valuable as the way it is reached” – seeking justice & truth in Lebanon

Northern Ireland isn’t alone in seeking truth and justice for historical atrocities. Nor is it alone in facing up to the cost, complexity and uncertainty of processes to deal with the past. So I was interested to read a blog post about the Special Tribunal for Lebanon which has has finally opened. It was set up in a suburb of The Hague in March 2009 with the mandate to “hold trials for the people accused of carrying out the attack …

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Haass pt3-more process, little actual solutions

Stephen Walker from the BBC has managed to obtain details of Richard Haass’ third draft to the five main parties. The latest draft comes to the conlusion that most of us could have said months ago that : “We could not reach a common position on the flying of flags.” Haass does reccomend a policy of councils flying flags on designated days-something that Unionists are unlikely to adopt. He also proposes the creation of a new working group that would …

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When exactly do we start listening to all victims and can the past ever become a ‘dead letter’?

‘That’s it, we’ve had our fun,’ The leader said to Kate, Pat’s job is done, He’ll soon be home.’ But that was not the truth. Pity for the Wicked, Brian Lynch              Noel Whelan clearly ‘gets’ the pragmatic reasons (even over five years £190 million is a lot of money) why it might be better to forgo further pursuit of justice for pre Belfast Agreement crimes, but he also nails one reason the political classes jumped to …

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“If there was a hierarchy of the victims of the Troubles, #TheDisappeared were at the bottom…”

…So Darragh McIntyre begins a truly haunting evocation of the plight of the families of those killed mostly by the IRA and disappeared… You can pick it up here on the RTE Player and here on the iPlayer… I’d recommend watching it in full, but for now, two indicative passages. This one, in which former south Armagh IRA man Martin McAllister outs the rumour mill around post execution citings of disappeared victims as a way of stealing some grace for …

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Reconciliation without truth is the new game in town. But will anyone play?

Steven McCaffrey reports on a new proposals from Mitchel McLaughlin, in which dealing with the past he suggests be detached from the idea of truth: The party’s Mitchel Mclaughlin said republicans would prefer a South African style `truth and reconciliation’ commission, but now accepted that splitting the two elements into a twin-track process could help deliver swifter progress on reconciliation, given the deadlock on the past. A prominent victims’ group however said that putting reconciliation before establishing the facts of …

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Was 9/11 Television’s last great exclusive on a truly global event?

Last Friday’s #DigitalLunch was ostensibly about 9/11, and the effects it has had on society, or at least how society has changed in the meantime. Whether those changes were consequential or not is a moot point. Certainly in the realm of human communication technology and culture have never been more closely entwined. Blogs in 2001 did exist, but they had yet to find a broad cultural or political purpose. The traumatic events of that morning and afternoon in the US …

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“Truth and trust are intertwined. You can’t have one without the other.”

And Alex Kane makes a fairly pristine argument that there’s nothing stopping Martin McGuinness from going to Smithwick and telling the truth… First of all, he sets the scene: …the truth is that the UUP and DUP – the first time being December 1999 – still participates in an Executive that includes McGuinness, even though he is routinely referred to as a ‘godfather of terrorism’ and as the former officer-in-command of the IRA’s so-called army council. I doubt if there …

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“…inhabitants of a world whose assumptions are false, and self-descriptions fraudulent.”

Here’s a piece worth sharing on the subject of politics and truth (we might also through journalism in there too for good measure)….First of all, John Kay on Vaclav Havel: Havel emphasised the mechanical nature of the process of effusion. “Part of the essence of the post-totalitarian system,” he said, “is that it draws everyone into its sphere of power, not so they may realise themselves as human beings, but so they may surrender their human identity in favour of …

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“That is if this place ever has a process of truth and reconciliation.”

In the Belfast Telegraph Brian Rowan picks up on NI Police Ombudsman Al Hutchison’s comments following the publication of the Claudy report.  Al Hutchison was, let’s not forget, repeating himself…  From the Belfast Telegraph article The Ombudsman has more than a hundred historical cases sitting on his desk — work he estimates will take fifty years to complete. And if this is left in his office and left with the Historical Enquiries Team, then the reality is that many people will never have their …

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