When it comes to public enquiries the British government seems to lose all
interest in privatization and outsourcing. It is quite happy, if not
over-keen, when it comes to selling off the crown jewels of UK State
infrastructure, such as water and railways, and doesn't lose a night's sleep
about out-sourcing the running of prisons to US multi-national corporations.
As to the NHS, it likes nothing better than mortgaging the tax revenues of
future generations up to the hilt under the PPFI.
But when it comes to inquiring into the conduct of the UK State in the
north of Ireland, all talk of out-sourcing a Truth, Justice, and
Reconciliation Commission [TJ&RC] is scoffed at as unfeasible if not
ridiculous, when in fact the opposite is true. For to do otherwise will
negate the whole purpose of a TJ&RC, as it would allow those accused of
misdeeds, i. e., the UK State, to conduct an enquiry into themselves, which is
something even London's Metropolitan police no longer insist upon. If the
shoe were on the other foot, would most people believe it feasible for the
PIRA to conduct an inquiry into how people came to suffer at its hands?
At this moment in the north of Ireland, two UK government appointees, Lord
Eames and Denis Bradley, are deciding on just how the years of the north of
Irelands 'long war' can best be looked into, although in today's world, where
white becomes black, the wags on the street prefer to use the term 'covered
If ever there was a case for outsourcing a government sponsored enquiry
this is it, as it has become increasingly clear that if a Commission is to
look with unprejudiced eyes at how the UK State criminally colluded with
Irish para-militaries, it cannot be made up of political appointees such as
the two aforementioned gentlemen, both of whom can be described as being
members of either the British or Irish establishments.
Indeed Robert Eames is a member of the English House of Lords and as such
he will have sworn an oath of allegiance to the English queen and the State
she rules over. By stating these facts I am not casting aspirations about
either man's character, simply stating that due to their close association
with the British and Irish establishment they will not inspire confidence in
Ireland amongst those who suffered most due to UK State collusion.
Any TJ&RC will be a difficult enough project as it is. If it is to have the
full support of the people of Ireland then it must be seen to be open, fair
and impartial. One of the problems is that by accepting the GFA in it
entirety, SF have accepted that the UK State is an equal negotiating partner,
with, dare I say it, no selfish, economic or strategic interest in the North
of Ireland. Thus the British government quite understandably demands the
right to appoint the members of a TJ&RC, which for most nationalists and
republicans would be like allowing a criminal accused of foul deeds to
appoint both the judge and jury who are about to try him.
This cannot be allowed to happen and not only because those who have
suffered and lost love ones due to the criminal collusion that took place
between UK State agencies and criminal elements are crying out for justice,
but also because the very fabric of British and Irish democracy depends
upon it. Those who have pledged to uphold the law on our behalf cannot go
around running a coach and horses through it and then expect our trust
One of the main reason why criminal collusion was allowed to take hold in
the north of Ireland was because the British State refused to admit they
were engaged in a war against the PIRA. They created the myth that
throughout the long war they were simply fighting against a band of
criminals lead by mafia type godfathers, whilst in reality below the surface
they themselves were acting in the most appalling and criminal manner. We
should not be surprised about this as that has been how the UK State has
fought all the colonial insurgencies it has historically come up against.
But this was not an insurgency within some far-flung land but within the
heart of the United Kingdom and by fighting this war in an illegal manner
the government set a precedent which seeped across UK law enforcement. For
example, the highly political strong-arm and often illegal methods used by
the English police against striking miners in 1984 would in all probability
not have happened if the State had not struck a similar precedent in the
north of Ireland when combatting the Republican Movement.
There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that with the Good Friday Agreement
the British State has managed to revert to the status quo in the north of
Ireland, albeit a status quo that has managed to entice and incorporate
elements of the Irish Republican Movement.
Nevertheless it is the status
quo all the same and I am certain with this will come a rewriting of recent
history, i. e., British State benign, British army guarantors of freedom and
democracy, etc., etc., and all those who opposed them bad. Which is a travesty of
the truth about what actually occurred in the north of Ireland and not only
during the years of the long war but since the northern state-let's
It is imperative that there is an international TJ&RC, for
if not, the victors will once again be writing the history of this war and
the victims will be assigned the role of the villains of the peace.
Read more of Mick Hall at his blog, Organized Rage.
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