This year has been so eventful that those who would normally commemorate the opening of an envelope failed to mark or acknowledge the 30th anniversary of the collapse of the infamous Gilmour show trial.
30 years ago this month the trial against 35 Derry men and women who had already spent around 2 years on remand collapsed when the trial judge, Lord Lowry, declared that super-grass Raymond Gilmour was a liar who was 'entirely unworthy of belief.' Sadly this situation bears a similar resemblance to the current case of the Craigavon two who are serving life sentences on farcical evidence and on the word of an informant who according to his relative is a Walter Mitty who should not be believed, but unfortunately for these men the show (trial) goes on..
|Speaker of the House!|
Ironically shortly after the verdict was reached in the Gilmour trial Sinn Fein's Mitchel McLaughlin headed a press conference and spoke on behalf of those released. Thirty years on Mitchel McLaughlin is the Stormont speaker and his party supporters of informants. This would explain why Sinn Fein remain silent on the issue of the Craigavon Two'. Not forgetting this is the party who in their own words said they were content “to administer British Rule in Ireland for the foreseeable future.” Vichy regime anyone?
In a recent tweet tantrum former Blanket man, Sinn Fein Councillor Kevin Campbell accused academic and former blanket man Anthony McIntyre of running a touting programme in respect of his work on the Boston Oral History Project. A sentiment echoed by Sinn Fein's Raymond McCartney.
|Tweet from twits.|
Then in a dramatic twist stretching beyond the imagination of the writers of Dallas, on December 23rd Stormont parties with the British and Irish governments brokered a deal which includes the establishment of, wait for it, an Oral History Archive project by 2016.
Maybe Kevin Campbell could take time to explain how his party would support a similar programme sponsored by the British establishment, after he referred to an academic project as a 'touting programme'.
Kevin I think you and Raymond owe “big Mackers” an apology as he has clearly been an inspiration. The difference is “Big Mackers” fought with everything he had to protect the project he was involved with whereas Sinn Fein will be working on this new initiative with the British establishment. Need I remind Kevin, Raymond and the rest of the flock that this is the same British Government who lied to the European Court of Human Rights over the case of the hooded men. What part of 'not to be trusted' does your party not understand? Here's another reminder, 'On the runs.'
Now whilst on the subject of new initiatives surely more thought should be given to ways of dealing with the past. The Historical Investigations Unit (HIU), will be established to investigate outstanding troubles related deaths and the Independent Commission on Information Retrieval (ICIR), will be established to enable people to seek and receive information in private. Whilst it has been agreed that this information will be inadmissible in court proceedings it has been stated that if information comes from another source a person can be prosecuted. I would question if this could leave a participant open to being branded a tout if a case should arise. And considering not one of the Para's from Bloody Sunday has been arrested or prosecuted it could be argued that this process will serve a select few.
Whilst some may be deluded enough into believing that this new process puts the British establishment on a par with republican and loyalist groups maybe people should consider the many who have 'troubles-related' criminal convictions that have blighted them and held them back from opportunity since their release. Will they ever have their slate cleaned?
It seems if you're involved in the murder of 14 people on Bloody Sunday the Queen awards you, have a troubles related conviction even a trivial one from 40 years ago and it will haunt you forever. Furthermore if this process is genuine in that a war situation has been acknowledged, will the the British Government acknowledge their part in the deaths of ten the hunger-strikers who died in opposition to their criminalisation and brutalisation policy which continues today?
Another aspect of the latest deal which is deeply concerning is the views expressed by the following gentlemen: The First Minister Peter Robinson believes this deal provides an "agenda for a better government". The Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan stated that the deal "sets out a plan for financial and welfare reform",whilst Mr McGuinness hailed it as a 'remarkable achievement'. Considering Mr McGuinness said the recent Stormont draft budget was the best deal possible, I would take what he says with a pinch of salt!
I can understand Peter Robinson hailing this deal as an agenda for better government as with the establishment of a Commission on Flags, Identity, Culture and Tradition by June 2015 Peter and the unionist majority may be in a position to ensure their Twadell brethren have a leisurely stroll home, after all the powers for this are being devolved to Stormont. You could say keeping it in house!
Maybe Mr McGuinness could explain his view especially as his party promised during their latest publicity stunt to oppose Welfare Reform. I for one don't buy into this cushioned flexibility nonsense as in reality this is more debt, with two thirds of this 2 billion quid cushioned flexibility having to be repaid on top of our crippling levels of debt already accrued in our names.
Some of the outcomes of the recent talks just befuddle me! These remarkable achievements, well, just aren't that remarkable. It's often said that history is written by the victors, but the sad reality here is that history being rewritten on a constant basis to suit the maintenance of the political status quo and its middle managers. On top of this any semblance of resistance to financial terrorism against the people under the guise of austerity was wiped out by a faux deal which could be considered more like another retelling of the emperors new clothes than any genuine and meaningful attempt to create a better society.
On the 23rd of December 2014 our people were robbed, as a consequence of more deals beyond reason & thought!