We Say
15 Jan 2003

Tony Blair's government has so much experience in appointing `yes
men' to positions of influence in Ireland, that it's hard to believe
they got it badly wrong in their selection of retired Canadian Judge
Peter Cory to investigate the most infamous cases of alleged
collusion here.

For rather than sit back and let the British Government snub his
hard-hitting report into the cases of Billy Wright, Rosemary Nelson,
Pat Finucane and Robert Hamill, Judge Cory has now contacted the
families involved to tell them that after his initial investigation,
he has recommended to the British that they set up public inquiries
into all four killings.

Prime Minister Blair actually went on the record to state that he
would publish the Judge's report and act on his recommendations.
Now, however, he's turning Turk, insisting that the reports can't be
published and that moving to inquiry stage is not as straightforward
as the natives or the learned judge might think.

There isn't any great surprise in the fact that we're being fed half-
truths and spin by Mr Blair, that is his stock in trade.

And after all, he has plenty to hide. A government which rewards the
murderers of Peter McBride by giving them an exalted position in its
armed forces isn't lightly going to blow the whistle on the spooks
and Special Branch men who pulled the strings of the loyalist
campaign of sectarian killings.

Especially since it's now a given that the use of loyalist gun-gangs
as an element of the war against the IRA was sanctioned at the very
highest levels of Cabinet.

However, much more worrying is the `don't-look-at-me-guv' attitude
of the Irish Government. They snapped to attention when HMG demanded a new body to punish Sinn Féin if the IRA lifts a finger to defend the nationalist people during the marching season.

But when faced with an abuse of power by the British Govenment which is as chilling as anything ever perpetrated in apartheid-era South Africa, Bertie and co can do more than twiddle their thumbs and look at their feet. Thank God for the resolve of the Finucane, Nelson and Hamill families — and for the grit and determination of the hundreds of ordinary nationalists whose loved ones were cut down in the British Government's Dirty War.

Their thirst for justice is in stark contrast to failure of the
Irish Government to stand up for the rights of Irish citizens who
were cut down over 30 years by loyalist paramilitaries controlled by
Godfathers with military titles and long-service police medals who
worked not from the backroom s of loyalist clubs but from government offices, complete with direct phone lines to Downing Street.

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