Just call it a day - Editorial

After the first IMC report in April, we told the Commission in no uncertain terms where they could shove their paper.
This time round we’re not going to bother, because to be honest, anybody with half a brain knows that the body is a lame duck and it’s only a matter of time before it folds up its tent and becomes the latest in a long line of groups to disappear into oblivion deserving of not even a footnote in a reputable history book.
Unionists and the usual gallery of media lackeys who can be relied upon to spin the NIO line on such things, were conspicuous by their silence. We believe that’s because even they were embarrassed by the farrago of nonsense being churned out by the IMC, first in their ridiculous report on paramilitary activity, considerately released early at the request of the British government, and re-named The Bobby Tohill Report by some of those unlucky enough to have to wade through the whole thing, and now in this latest dog’s dinner.
By the IMC’s own admission, this report was compiled using statistics supplied by the British government. Does anyone really believe that the people of South Armagh, so long used to having helicopters land in their back gardens and playing fields, will accept for one moment the word of the British government when it comes to the question of overflights? Given that the IMC has an unlimited budget, couldn’t they have given some students a clipboard and paid them a few quid to spend a few days logging flights in and out of Crossmaglen, Bessbrook and Camlough so they can at least claim to have made at least an attempt to obtain some independent data of their own?
You don’t need a pencil and a clipboard to count the number of spy posts towering over us still. But the IMC remains singularly unconcerned about the issue. Nor does it speculate on why it is that all the best posts are kept for nationalists, while loyalist paramilitaries – by the IMC’s own admission responsible for the lion’s share of paramilitary violence – go about their business unruffled by the presence of towers or cameras.
Then there’s the question of British army levels here – twice what they are in Iraq. Again, the IMC can’t summon up the passion to get annoyed about that, the way they did so spectacularly in their first report about the Bobby Tohill incident, for instance, or about ex-prisoners and republicans on community groups.
The bad news for the IMC is that the damage is done, even if the will was there to undo the damage they have already wrought – which doesn’t seem to be the case anyway – it wouldn’t be possible. They are a laughing stock in the eyes of the nationalist community and the best thing they can do now is quit. The IMC is a discredited and pointless body, outside the ambit of the Good Friday Agreement, dreamed up by unionists, and obediently given life by the British government.
Even as the IMC was distributing its latest report to the media this week, the latest cover-up concerning the notorious Castlereagh facility was starting to come apart at the seams. Dozens of RIR members taken off ‘sensitive duties’; the personal details and pictures of scores of people (we’re going to take a wild guess and say nationalists), missing; a Secretary of State who says he hasn’t a clue where the missing documents could be but that he’s sure and certain they’re not in the hands of loyalist killers; the PSNI reacting to all this by yawning and going on a tea-break (John O’Hagan anyone?).
Now there’s something that the IMC might care to go to work on. But, you know what, we’re not going to hold our breath.

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