The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

Villians of the Peace


Mick Hall • 31 January 2008

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 up'.

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 without question.

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 inception.

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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Index: Current Articles


 

6 February 2008

Other Articles From This Issue:

Was it a War?
Michael Gillespie

Impossible Task for Truth Body
David Adams

Pandora's Box
John Kennedy

Villians of the Peace
Mick Hall

India's Undeclared War
Cedric Gouverneur

Borders Exist to be Crossed: Maryam Namazie
Anthony McIntyre

That This House Believes That Irish Republicanism Has No Future: Opposed
Ruairí Ó Brádaigh

Dismantling Partition
32 County Sovereignty Movement

We Shall Not Be Deterred
Brian Mór

Martin Meehan
Anthony McIntyre

Washington Pressure on Dodds
Fr Sean Mc Manus

No Pope Here
Brian Mór

Fundamental Primer
Dr John Coulter

Internal Exiles
Seaghán Ó Murchú


14 January 2008

Republicanism...Alive or Dying?
Anthony McIntyre

Pillocks of the Community
John Kennedy

Irish Unity Cannot Be Ruled Out
David Adams

A Great Republican and a Great Man
Aine Doherty

John Kelly
Anthony McIntyre

How Urgent the Need?
John Kelly, from an interview with Liam Clarke

My Grandfather's Insurgency
Eoghan O'Suilleabhain

Kitsonian Success With the Provos...?
Liam O Comain

McGuinness Takes the Peace...to Finland!
John Kennedy

Provisional Sinn Fein - Don't Throw the Baby Out With the Bathwater
Jerry Pepin

Disappeared
John Kennedy

Operation Helvetic: To Be Expected
Michael Gillespie

Hung Out to Dry
John Kennedy

Re-Imagining Ireland
Seaghán Ó Murchú

Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission
Mick Hall

One Armed Bandit
John Kennedy

Terrorism and Leftism
Paddy Hackett

Power to the People
John Kennedy

 

 

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