How could it get better for the British?

Martin Galvin with a letter to the Irish News that featured on 4th April 2013

A chara,

Why would the British ever heed Brian Feeney’s call to Wipe the Slate Clean (March 27) much less risk any honest truth process, when British interests are better served by the present arrangements?

The ‘unspoken amnesty’ which columnist Feeney says veteran Republicans were led to expect, has been twisted by the British into a selective one-sided immunity or ‘impunity’ for crown forces. Britain may dole out the occasional hard won apology, but need not arrest uniformed members of the British Army or constabulary, who carried out or colluded in sanctioned murders, which Cameron terms unjustifiable killings.

The British have systematically stonewalled the families of collusion murder victims, like that of Pat Finucane among so many others. Some bereaved families will count it a victory to see an inquest, much less see culprits in the dock. Even Saville stopped at scapegoating the troopers who carried out the orders on Bloody Sunday.

What makes anyone believe the British would ever risk, much less encourage, any independent truth search which required troopers and constabulary members to lead us back up the chain of command and indict those who gave orders or set policies?
On the other hand, quarter-century old charges can be unearthed to send inconvenient Republicans like Gerry McGeough to Maghaberry, should they dare speak too strongly against such injustices during an election campaign.

Britain’s latest innovation of Internment-by-License, today practiced upon Marian Price and Martin Corey, was devised to threaten others. For example, should Gerry McGeough stand for election to Stormont or a Council seat and campaign against British injustice, will constabulary members await him at the polls claiming secret evidence to revoke his license?

How could it get better for the British? Why would they ever cede exclusive control and risk a genuine independent search for truth? Surely those who negotiated such terms for Republicans did not see this coming. Surely they have a moral duty to do more to undo these twisted terms than sitting still for them at Stormont.


  1. The fact that quisling $inn £ein were duped and outmaneuvered in the negotiations that led up to the signing of the gfa is now beyond doubt,had that party leadership or its members been in anyway true to the republican ideals that so many suffered for including many of those in the leadership, been honest and accepted that the brits being the masters of double speak were not serious about bringing true and lasting peace to this part of the world,they could have and should have walked a long time ago,and retained some right to call themselves republican,however the illusion of power and greed has not only embedded them into the corruption that is Stormont it has morphed republican revolutionaries into fully fledged members of the british establishment willing to meet and greet the big chief Liz the brit herself,denounce former comrades and implement conservative policies to the detriment of the very people they claim to represent,as stated in other posts on TPQ quisling $inn £ein have lost any right to be referred to as republican.I would go even further and say that they have no right to claim they represent the underprivileged members of this society,its against this background that the british need never worry about truth and reconciliation when they have puppets like q$£ doing their bidding for them ..

  2. Martin,

    a good piece. Did they see it coming? If they negotiated a top man's agreement which allowed certain leaders to avoid the drop, but not activists in general, then we have strong grounds to suspect that they did see it coming but in the rush for office decided to let the devil take the grassroots. Others may not have seen it coming. Those who have consistently displayed no foresight can hardly be accused of seeing anything coming one way or the other.

    I think that Feeney is right in suggesting the leadership were led to believe that there would be an unspoken amnesty. Did they believe it when it was conveyed to them? We don't know. They have enough experience of the British to mistrust them. But there was an atmosphere at the time which probably lent istelf to being confident about the future. But like the Pat Finucane matter it seems not to have survived the Tories. Now we have drift and increasing disillusionment as the failure of the struggle becomes all too hard to deny. A few suits in office does not a victory make.

  3. In answer to your question Martin, the alleged high number of unionist catholics might exist, so affording them the place to put their WMD once Scotland ceeds from the union! Derry or Belfast docks.
    Your piece on 'internment by licence', what do you expect? They bought the leaders and let those they could not buy rant from the sidelines in Brendan, Dolorus, Gerry, et. al.
    They use their new friends up in Stormont to talk down to all whom disagree.
    If only an Dorchas and Dolorus had survived longer to put the bowsies in their boxes before the next election with truth rather than spin.