Friday, 23 January 2009

Isn't our Government woderful?

The government is to be asked to pay £12,000 to the families of all those killed during the Troubles - including members of paramilitary groups.

The families of paramilitary victims, members of the security forces and civilians who were killed will all be entitled to the same amount.

The payment is expected to be recommended by the group set up to advise on how to deal with the past.

So far, this is just a leak from what the report may contain. Of course, this has not deterred the politicians from The Green Latrine rushing in with the outrage volume turned high.

Ulster Unionist MEP Jim Nicholson warned against implementing a proposal he condemned as "immoral".

"The proposal endorses the morally flawed notion that a terrorist killed while undertaking a mission of murder has the same status as an innocent civilian murdered in a bomb attack or a member of the security forces murdered in front of their family," he said.

TUV leader Jim Allister described the recommendation that £12,000 is paid to the families of all those killed during the Troubles - irrespective of how they met their deaths - as "nothing short of outrageous".

If the recommendation is accepted by the government, the cost would be an estimated £40m.

The group, co-chaired by Lord Eames and Denis Bradley, is expected to say there should be no hierarchy of victims and that everyone should be treated in the same way.

That would mean the family of the IRA Shankill bomber Thomas Begley would receive the same for his death as those of the families of the nine civilians he killed.

Likewise, the families of two UVF members killed while they planted a bomb that also killed three members of the Miami Showband in 1975 will be entitled to the same payment as those of the victims.

The Consultative Group on the Past is also expected to recommend the creation of a five year legacy commission, appointed by the British and Irish governments, to deal with the past - and to say there should be no further public inquiries.

The Consultative Group is a Peter Hain initiative and when launched he said 

“The Government cannot tell the people of Northern Ireland how they should deal with the past – only the people themselves can try to answer that question.

“This consultative group provides a platform for people to express their own views on how to address the violent legacy of the Troubles which impacted on so many across all sections of society.

“I know that this will not be easy. I understand that many do not want to discuss the past. It is too painful and personal and I respect those views. But I believe that with the historic political agreement that was implemented only last month, it is time to pause and ask how a society that went through a violent and long conflict wants to deal with its past.  

“The question is how Northern Ireland might approach its past in a way that heals rather than poisons, that enables everyone to focus on building a shared future, not looking constantly over shoulders to a divided past.

“Only the people of Northern Ireland can answer, I hope with the help of the consultative group headed by Lord Eames and Denis Bradley – who are highly respected across both communities.”

Given the initial response, it seems that a significant portion of the Irish Psychos do not have a view shared with those happy to hold out their hands for the proceeds of murder. I cannot see just what good these Truth & Justice-type activities achieve. There is a good essay from a researcher which details the background to such iniatives in NI. Pages 100 and 101 are especially relevant. This posits that the Bloody Sunday was the first such process related to The Troubles. If that be the case, it only adds to the condemnation due to the Hain Effort. Costly - over £400 million so far and delayed "Maybe late 2009" and already with absolutely no credence from the Republisan side before a single page of the report is released.

Whilsy I do not like (no - really I don't) hitting a man when he is down, Hain seems to have problems in his abilities and honesty

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