By Jamie Bryson
As the disgraceful news broke on Saturday that former British Soldiers, as part of a witch hunt that is little short of a national shame, are to be prosecuted in relation to Bloody Sunday Andree Murphy- who works for Relatives For Justice, the ‘victims’ group who have previously used their social media pages to advertise events commemorating IRA terrorists- said “no one felt age should be used as a reason not to convict war criminals in European Holocaust cases, in Cambodia or Chile. Or in the case of BBC sexual predators”.
It seems quite apparent that Ms Murphy is drawing comparisons between British soldiers and war criminals tried in the Holocaust cases. This astonishing tweet outlines the warped thinking that underpins republicanism’s legacy agenda.
If we were to follow Ms Murphy’s logic then of course it would be the IRA- who Relatives For Justice have never called to tell the truth or to be brought to justice- who are the freedom fighters, and the British army who are the war criminals akin to the Nazis.
This type of perverse ‘peace process’ thinking has seeped into civic society and been allowed to spread throughout our political discourse. It has thrived in a vacuum whereby state forces and loyalists resisted the temptation to ever claim the status of victims; shamelessly the IRA and their arms-length activists have wasted no time in taking on the mantle.
Anyone that refuses to pander to the kind of propaganda promoted by the likes of Murphy and her fellow republican activists is deemed to be ‘anti-peace’ or guilty of the cardinal sin- “threatening the peace process”. Why don’t we actually just follow the logic of that; we all must agree with republicanism’s legacy agenda, and if we don’t then this is anti-peace. Why, is peace dependent upon republicans getting their own way?
In the past week alone we have seen the case of Pat Finucane again elevated. It seems Mr Finucane is a special kind of victim, entitled to a higher form of justice than every other victim. The truth of course is that no inquiry will ever satisfy the republican movement, because it isn’t really about truth, it is about having a celebrity victim to use as a vehicle with which to advance their one sided legacy narrative. If it is time for truth around Pat Finucane (I would point out it is arguably the most investigated killing of the troubles) then why don’t the Finucane family lead the way and start by explaining Mr Finucane’s relationship with the IRA?
We have also had the shameless promotion of the Glenanne Gang film, which is based on stolen HET files, the testimony of a proven liar and convicted murderer John Weir and amongst the contributors includes Paul O’Connor, a man alleged to be in possession of an OTR letter in connection with the killing of a child. It perhaps even by-passes the ‘No Stone Unturned’ documentary in terms of republican activism masquerading as journalism.
And of course barely a week goes by without ‘No Stone Unturned’ (which the Newsletter recently exposed as based on a series of malicious lies) getting a mention, thanks to the clumsy arrest of two of the activist journalists involved in making the film.
Then we have the news that £55 million is being released for legacy inquest funding- the majority of which will be used for nationalists to abuse the legal process to promote and advance their own agenda. It isn’t about truth and justice; but rather about taking control of the past to re-write it and shape it to justify the wicked murderous deeds of the IRA.
Again, if it is really about truth and justice then when will these nationalist legacy activists be campaigning for the IRA terrorists to be brought to justice for their crimes? You see, the legacy process demanded by nationalist activists is one whereby it is they who will sit in judgement, it is they who will re-write the past for their own ends and most of all it is they who will decide who deserves justice, and who does not.
Needless to say the outcome of this process, if it follows the demands of nationalists, is simply that all loyalists, members of the security forces and RUC officers should be hung, drawn and quartered meanwhile the IRA should be given medals. You think I am joking? Just take a day and look at the social media of some of the nationalist legacy activists. You will be shocked at the extent of their delusion and ferocity of their absurd demands.
In recent months a fight back has started on the battlefield of legacy with people genuinely feeling enough is enough. I was speaking to an individual from within the loyalist community last week who had been involved in the conflict. In the context of a conversation around the increasingly one sided legacy process he remarked “if you keep kicking an old dog, eventually it is going to turn around and bite you”.
Lest his view be misinterpreted, he clearly meant that former members of the security forces, loyalists and the wider unionist community have quite simply had enough. It is one thing after another and the passive manner in which the broad ex security force, loyalist and unionist community have passively sat back and allowed nationalists a free hand to gain a monopoly on the legacy process and indeed legal activism is coming to an end.
If nationalists want a free for all with trial by media, strategic litigation for political purposes and a stream of legacy allegations then it is about time to return the serve. Of course when UTV named the Birmingham bombers, Paddy Murray- who had championed his brother’s Glenanne Gang film- told the Irish News that trial by media was not appropriate, and the courts were the appropriate place to deal with such allegations- really? Mr Murray and the rest of the nationalist legacy activists took a different view when the trial by media was directed against loyalists and members of the security forces.
There are plenty of ex-RUC, UDR and British Soldiers who have a wealth of intelligence documents and secrets. They have for many years sit back and withheld all they know out of a duty to maintain professionalism; but in the context of nationalist activists manipulating every single aspect of the criminal justice system- not least the Police Ombudsman’s office- I think it is about time that a few documents naming IRA terror suspects and the atrocities they were involved in started dropping into the post and arriving at the door of unionist journalists. After all, it was all good when such documents landed (or so it is claimed) on Mr McCaffray’s lap in relation to Loughinisland.
Good for the goose, good for the gander. #RebalancingLegacy