Baseball91's Weblog

July 6, 2012

When You Don’t Like The Conclusion of A Government Report

Filed under: Anglicans,Ireland — baseball91 @ 9:28 PM
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A police state. When you had created a police state. And federal officials in London had hopes that a police state would be dismantled. On June 20, 2012, Queen Elizabeth, the pre-eminent symbol of British rule in the six county region of Ulster, came to Belfast in what Buckingham Palace described as a “patronage” visit – stressing it was not connected to the diamond jubilee tour but designed to meet Sinn Féin’s sensitivities. The Belfast’s Lyric Theater was the venue, said Peter Sheridan, the chief executive of Co-operation Ireland, which “had a neutral, independent feel to it.” In advance of marching season which begins in July in the north of Ireland as Orangemen, in the tradition of the Klu Klux Klan, attempt to march through Catholic neighborhoods in this divided region, marred by loss of life, there was now an independent feel.

In the north of Ireland, it had been a particularly bloody summer in 1986 when on August 7, 1986 Peter Robinson, then deputy leader of the Democratic Unionist Party marched with 500 Loyalists into the Republic of Ireland, entered the Garda Síochána (the Irish police) station in the village of Clontibret, County Monaghan, and physically assaulted two Garda officers. Maybe that is how you make a name for yourself as a leader in such a dysfunctional society of northern Ireland. Robinson was later arrested and fined £17,500 in a Drogheda court because of the incident. Twenty-two years later, in the wake of Ian Paisley’s retirement, it was Peter Robinson who was nominated unanimously by the Democratic Unionist Party on April 14, 2008 to replace Paisley.  As Leader of the Democratic Unionist Party, Peter Robinson was ratified by the Northern Ireland Assembly as deputy First Minister with Martin McGuinness of the Sinn Fein party as a consequence of the Irish Peace Accord. The First Minister and deputy First Minister have the same equal governmental power, and their decisions are made jointly for the six county region of Ulster.

Two weeks AFTER Queen Elizabeth’s visit, Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) Chief Constable Matt Baggott announced to the Northern Ireland Policing Board the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and Public Prosecution Service on July 5, 2012 an investigation to review the findings of the Saville inquiry which had concluded no warning had been given to the 13 innocent Catholic people shot dead by the British Parachute Regiment in Derry on Bloody Sunday in 1972. The Police Service of Northern Ireland is the successor to the not exactly impartial Royal Ulster Constabulary police service.  And wasn’t it fourteen not thirteen people who had died?

How long the deceit has been going on – once stopped at thirty-eight years, when it came to the story of Bloody Sunday, in Ulster? Legalized terrorism against the Irish Catholic community was detailed in the 1972 report of Bloody Sunday by Lord Widgery, which accused the 14 victims in Derry’s Bogside on January 30, 1972 of firing weapons or handling bombs.  After a 38-year struggle for truth and justice for those fourteen unarmed civilians shot dead by the Parachute Regiment in Derry, the Bloody Sunday Saville Report, concluding based upon facts that none of the 14 dead was carrying a gun, no warnings had been given, no soldiers had been under threat, and the troops had been the first to open fire, was that British soldiers had lied to the inquiry of Lord Widgery.

It was Tory prime minister David Cameron who had two years ago announced the findings and apologized on behalf of the British state.  No comment apparently addressed the ensuing cost to house the British army in the north of Ireland for the generation which followed.

Speaking today after police confirmed they would be launching a murder investigation into the deaths of the people shot by British soldiers in 1972, Democratic Unionist Party leader Peter Robinson said: “How could you avoid an inquiry into that (the inquiry’s finding that Deputy First Minister McGuinness was present at the time of the violence in January 1972) and say that we’re going to have an inquiry into the Army personnel that were there?”

When you grew up as part of the dominant culture, and intended to keep celebrating a dominance in the culture, with the forms of legalized terrorism and deceit which stopped due only to pressure from the outside world.  Put a uniform on a man, and the killings become legal.  And in the aftermath, paramilitaries have evolved into mafias in the province said to be littered with peace walls.

In April 2009, The News of the World, before the hacking allegations ever arose, described Peter and Iris Robinson as the “swish family Robinson” with claims the couple was receiving £571,939.41 per year in various salaries and expenses, with further salaries being paid to four of their family members of £150,000. Married since July 26, 1970, both Iris and Peter Robinson came under fire after MPs’ (member of parliament in the House of Commons for the Belfast constituency) expenses accounts were leaked to the press.

Immediately prior to the airing of an investigative BBC program looking at her personal life and financial dealings, Iris Robinson announced December 28, 2009 her decision to retire from politics, claiming that stress and strain of public life came at a cost, resulting in serious bouts of depression. The day before the airing of the BBC program, Iris Robinson issued a statement in which she said that she had attempted suicide in March 2009. The next day, BBC’s Spotlight program on January 7, 2010 alleged that Iris Robinson not only had an affair with 19-year old Kirk McCambley, but encouraged her friends to provide financial backing for Kirk McCambley’s business venture. The BBC program showed that Peter Robinson did not tell the proper authorities what he knew about the financial transactions from two property developers to his wife and Kirk McCambley when he found out about his wife’s relationship, despite being obliged under a code of professional conduct as an elected representative. Though he did insist that the money she had lobbied for and subsequently lent, he did not tell the proper authorities as required – and so the deceits. In January 2010, Peter Robinson temporarily stood down from his position as First Minister to clear his name over his financial dealings in his wife’s affairs.

Peter Robinson was back at the Lyric Theater in Belfast, one of just seven people in the room – The Queen, the Queen’s private secretary Sir Christopher Geidt, the Duke of Edinburgh, Irish president Michael Higgins, his wife Sabina, and Northern Ireland’s deputy first minister Martin McGuinness. The historic encounter was between the Queen and Martin McGuinness, the republican dedicated to uniting Ireland, with no cameras and no photographic record. Cameras later were allowed at the handshake at the end of the event organized by Co-operation Ireland which works to bring divided communities together– the main principals being the Queen and McGuinness. It was said that Prince Philip – whose uncle Lord Mountbatten was assassinated in 1979 by an IRA bomb in his fishing boat in County Sligo – appeared to move swiftly away as McGuinness leaned towards him while the group viewed the art exhibition, though Prince Philip did shake his hand later as McGuinness stood second in the lineup for the Queen’s handshake which lasted three times longer than the others. McGuinness has acknowledged leaving the IRA in 1974, though British and Irish intelligence believe he was active for longer. McGuinness who had greeted the Queen in Irish – “Maidin mhaith. Cead mile failte.” (“Good morning. A hundred thousand welcomes.”) – did not, as the others, bow his head as he shook hands. In an interview before the meeting, McGuinness said: “I represent people who have been terribly hurt by British state violence over many years. I also recognize I am going to meet someone who has also been hurt as a result of the conflict, and someone who is very conscious that in many homes in Britain there are parents, wives, children, brothers and sisters of British soldiers who were sent here who lost their lives in the conflict.”

“Nobody expects Martin McGuinness would be at an event with 10,000 union flags being waved,” a Sinn Féin spokesman was quoted as saying. McGuinness bade Queen Elizabeth “Slan agus beannacht” – “Goodbye and farewell” – on departure, as all of its 29 members of Sinn Féin in the Northern Ireland assembly boycotted the event.

A police state. Now the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) investigation is expected to take at least four years and involve a team of 30 detectives. And cost ten million pounds. After that Saville Inquiry, the longest-running and most expensive inquiry in British history, cost £195 million. The BBC had reported in June 2010, “Lord Saville’s report into the Bloody Sunday killings raises the possibility of criminal prosecutions for offenses ranging from perjury to murder.” Yeah, the BBC which was the propaganda arm of the British government in power that never had reported on the truth in the north of Ireland. Throughout this 5,000-page tribunal report was the use of the term “unjustifiable,”with the report’s unequivocal conclusion that the shootings were “unjustified.”

The chairman of the Police Federation for Northern Ireland, Terry Spence, said that it would be more appropriate for the killings to be investigating by the Historical Enquiries Team, which is looking into murders carried out during the Troubles. However, he said that where there was sufficient evidence of criminality by either police officers or Army personnel, prosecutions should follow. Because the Irish never forget.

When this all happened forty years ago. In Derry. “Why are police resources, already under enormous pressure, to be devoted to a particular event when the unsolved murders of 211 RUC police officers are being investigated along with over 2,000 civilian unsolved murders through the Historic Enquiries Team?” Police Federation for Northern Ireland chairman Terry Spence asked.

It was Tory prime minister David Cameron who, in announcing the findings of the Bloody Sunday Saville Report had two years apologized on behalf of the British state. When you had created a police state. And paramilitary mafias. And Queen Elizabeth was the pre-eminent symbol of British rule in the six county region of Ulster. On Friday, spokesman for Prime Minister David Cameron said, perhaps because the Irish are so crazy: “Whether or not a police force decide to reopen an investigation is entirely a matter for the police force.”

When only the Queen, perhaps as a head of the Anglican Church, carried a sense of the atonement ideal, when she had led a dominant people so wrong for so long. When there was so much bloody guilt everywhere, to firmly resolve to finally change this world — of Peter Robinson and of Sinn Féin.

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2 Comments »

  1. What is the responsibility of elected government to its people? To the Hillsborough victims? Did you notice how law enforcement was found in the UK to have been hiding culpability again? In their system of class and always the class war? Stereotyped in the immediate report as soccer hooligans – the unholy life of the poor, in their “yob” culture. The original judicial commission findings were about a lack of public control, the lack of private control, resulting in the crushing of the seven hundred, with 96 dead, of which were 37 teens. “It is your own self-destruction.” The previous lies about the disaster are now under reviewed. Who would ever catch the chief officer in charge of security in his lie? The Chief Superintendent, the Chief Constable. Limit the damage, when no one could be resurrected, 28 years later. There is a loss of purpose, when a child dies, in the now and the days to come.

    It’s come undone. AN emergency response “to contain” the accidental versus unlawfully neglected and killed – like abortion for a pregnant unmarried mom. In a territory with 1.8 million in the north of Ireland compared to the 58 million English. “I have decided,’ now said the head of the Crown Prosecution Service’s Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division, “there is sufficient evidence to charge six individuals with criminal offences.”

    Comment by baseball91 — June 29, 2017 @ 11:36 PM | Reply


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