Wednesday, 6 March 2019

Bloody Sunday wasn't "dignified" or "appropriate" and undemining the rule of law is despicable.

On January 30th 1972 the occupying British army in Northern Ireland opened fire and shot 28 unarmed civilians who were attending a civil rights march in Derry, Northern Ireland, 14 of them died and many others have lived with the physical injuries and trauma of that day for the rest of their lives.

For decades the UK government pretended that the shootings on Bloody Sunday were somehow justified, but in 2010 the extensive Saville Inquiry found that all of the victims were unarmed, that several had been shot in the back while running away, that others had been shot while attending to the wounded, and that numerous military figures had given false testimonies in order to cover up the truth.

When the Saville Report was released the Prime Minister David Cameron gave a long-overdue apology to the families of the victims and publicly admitted that the killings were "unjustified and unjustifiable".

Of course anyone with any economic sense or basic human decency must detest Cameron for the ruinous austerity dogma, economy-choking infrastructure underinvestment, and wage repression policies that have trashed living standards for the last 9 years, and for the grotesque systematic abuse of sick and disabled people his government enacted.

However credit where credit is due, he did actually apologise for probably the most grotesquely indecent display of violence and political repression perpetrated by the British state during the "troubles" in Northern Ireland.

But attitudes within the Tory party have shifted dramatically since then with the hard-right Tory Brextremists coming to prominence and the party continually seeking approval from the extreme-right ultranationalist blue-kip demograhpic they're now electorally reliant upon.

The unapologetic Tory contempt for Northern Ireland is quite clear from their continued collusion with the corrupt DUP sectarians, their arrogant stance on the Irish border issue, and from today's extraordinary announcement by the Tory Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Karen Bradley that killings by the UK security services in Northern Ireland were "not crimes" and that those responsible for the killing spree on Bloody Sunday acted in a "dignified and appropriate way".

Of course any government minister with the vaguest grip on reality would know that it's actually up to the judicial system to determine what is and isn't a crime, and that government ministers deliberately interfering in judicial matters is the kind of authoritarian undermining of the rule of law you'd expect to see under crackpot extreme-right governments like the ones in Poland, Hungary and Brazil.

And any minister for Northern Ireland should also know that the UK government has already accepted that Bloody Sunday was outrageous and unacceptable and apologised for it, and that calling the killers "dignified" and their actions "appropriate" is not just grotesque, it's blatantly whacking a political hornets' nest with a stick.

It's as if these hard-right Tories are still upset that the Irish peace process ever happened at all, and they're desperate to actively inflame tensions with their outbursts of offensive and irresponsible rhetoric, their open and ongoing collusion with one side of the sectarian divide, and their outright arrogance over the Irish border issue so that they can settle old scores.

Looking at Karen Bradley's lawless and despicable rhetoric today (and the fact that Theresa May hasn't immediately sacked her for publicly undermining the rule of law) it hard not to notice how an austerity-obsessed inveterate liar with a gambling problem like David Cameron was actually a quite a moderate in comparison to the current Tory rabble!

If Theresa May had any sense she would never have appointed such a gaffe-prone and catastrophically ignorant woman as Northern Ireland Secretary in the first place, and if Theresa May has any respect for the rule of law whatever then Bradley should be sacked for deliberately and publicly undermining it.

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Shelagh said...

I usally follow your blog via a rss feed reader. I've just realised that your rss feed no longer seems to work. When I click the 'suscribe to posts' link at the bottom of your blog, I get an error:
This page isn’t working redirected you too many times.

Unknown said...

When is the wind rush scandal going to be put through due process, disgusting behaviour, when will islamaphobia in the Tory ranks get proper scrutiny in our controlled press..I am witholding my TV licence I'm taking back control, hit them in the fecking fumming over building a 100 million pound BBC studio in Cardiff when your skint, du du how does that work, stop feeding the greedy beast

Jack said...

Having an assignment due tomorrow and understand you can’t do it yourself? But you’re afraid of delegating your paper to some scam services as well? Why not check

PaddyT said...

Very well crafted article and gets the facts correct. Interesting to see how the pending prosecutions of former soldiers involved pan out.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget secretary for Northern Ireland Karen Bradley stated this week " Killings by the British army " WERE NOT CRIMES " What does that tell you of the future. Now that the Army are being put on the streets of the UK.

Cheka Man said...

Put them on trial-and then let them off like all the paramilitaries who were freed under the Good Friday Agreement.

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