The past

 

My attention turns towards Christmas Past. Who can avoid such stuff?

Thousands contemplate the empty place at the table , the gift not bought.

“the heartache and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to” comes to all our doors.

Christmas is especially burdensome for those who have lost relatives or friends at the hands of terrorists. Much worse again if the crime was committed by the State.

As time moves on ,those OxBridge boys and girls in Whitehall look for ever more cunning ways to disengage GB  from the disaster which is Northern Ireland.

The Army is perplexed as  to why its squaddies might be prosecuted. I’d be happier if an officer or two was in the frame but what do you think is the likelihood of that?

Here, George Hamilton, the somewhat sturdy leader of the Constabulary calls the murders of my parents, in June 1990, a ” legacy issue”. Extraordinary for a policeman. More and more as he manoeuvres at the behest of his paymasters [those OxBridge ones again]  he wants nothing more to do with old crimes.

Only in the fantasy world of Northern Ireland would the most senior police officer suggest such a course.He is pretending that this all came as a terrible shock when he became Chief Constable. What a jolly jape!

Nothing to do with me Guv!

But there is worse.

In November 2015 Pablo de Grieff , the UN rapporteur on transitional justice , published a preliminary report on us.

He says that there are four pillars in a transitional justice policy;  truth , justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence.

On all of these the Northern Ireland vehicle is running on empty.

During his ten day visit he met [apparently] with a wide range of people. It didn’t take him long to spot our segregated education system as being a major problem.

Nor did the Spooks pass him by. Here is what he said about that:

“Although everyone must acknowledge the significance of national security concerns, it must also be acknowledged that particularly in the days we are living in , it is easy to use ‘national security’ as a blanket term.”

For those who have been bereaved, the sting is in the tail.

He says: “the issue of reparations for victims will need to be tacked in a serious and systematic way.  Here it may be important to bear in mind the many international experiences that have established reparations programmes on the basis of broad acknowledgement of responsibility distinct from acknowledgements of criminal guilt.”

In this jurisdiction no organisation has remotely come near  this standard.

It is facile and useless to expect the Northern Ireland Executive might so do. Might our Westminster MPs? Might the Victims’ Commissioner?

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