Monday, July 25, 2005

Cash carries more weight with IMC than teenagers’ coffins

Robin Livingstone:

The International Monitoring Commission (IMC) has decided not to bang out a stand-alone, early report on the latest loyalist feud in the way it did after the £26m robbery in Belfast last Christmas.

It seems the murder of two men and a series of shootings that makes 1930s Chicago look like Walnut Grove are not as serious as the fact that the Northern Bank doesn’t know how to look after your money.

Thrillingly, though, the IMC has said that it will be looking at the shootings in its next report, whenever they get round to it. Which is nice. It’s their job and it goes without saying of course, but it’s still nice.

When the IMC reported on the Northern Bank robbery in February, it found that the raid had been carried out by the IRA.

It added that if the Executive had been up and running it would have recommended the expulsion of Sinn Féin.

It further found that if your granny had balls she’d be your granda and that if you’re going to San Francisco you’d be well advised to wear some flowers in your hair.

Strange creature, the IMC. Its job is to ask the agents of the British state to tell it some things about the IRA that the British government already knows so that it [the IMC] can include them in a report that can betut-tutted over by the British government and its pals.

So, for example, how does the IMC know that the IRA carried out the Northern Bank raid? It knows because the PSNI Special Branch and British intelligence told them. How does it know that the IRA is continuing to target and recruit? Because some British spooks told them.

Of course, Tony and Bertie already know this information, but because it’s repeated in front of an expectant media by a handful of old codgers who would otherwise be doing a crossword or pruning the roses it takes on a whole new life.

Sitting down with spooks and asking them about the IRA is like sitting down with a dog and asking it what it thinks of cats.

When is a "terrorist" not a "terrorist"?

With the sound of explosions and gunfire echoing through the streets of London, the BBC has told its journalists that its credibility should not be undermined by “the careless use of words which carry emotional or value judgments”.

It points out that “the word ‘terrorist’ can be a barrier to understanding and its use should be avoided.”

Funny how they only twig when it’s not Irish bombs exploding.

I don’t know about you, but I reckon terrorist is quite a reasonable term to apply to anybody who puts a bomb in a crowded tube carriage. And aren’t people not only entitled but morally required to make a value judgment on someone who blows up a double decker bus?

It’s your ordinary decent Asian I feel sorry for because I can sort of understand what they’re going through at the minute.

I was an ‘A’ level student spending the summer working in a soft drinks plant in London (I won’t say which one – Sssch!) in London when the IRA killed Lord Mountbatten and 18 paras in August 1979.

When I went to work the next morning there wasn’t a single person in that huge factory who would look at me, never mind speak to me, even though I’d been quite the popular little Paddy up to that point.

I don’t mind admitting I was afraid – afraid to smile at anyone, afraid to say hello in case somebody hit me over the head with a bottle of soda water.

Later that day they told me I was off the production line, gave me a bucket of soapy water, a scrubbing brush and a pair of yellow Marigolds and told me to clean the stacking chairs in the canteen.

It kept the factory happy if the sneering grins were anything to go by, and it didn’t worry me much because I remember that at that time in my life I didn’t think too much of people who had baked beans with a fry in the morning.

Back home they were writing ‘13 Dead but Not Forgotten, We Got 18 and Mountbatten’ on the walls.

I contented myself with not doing a very good job on the canteen chairs.

Attacks 'linked' to loyalist feud

Shooting similar to Gibraltar IRA deaths

Shoot-to-kill policy - No lessons learned from IRA campaign

The bombings in London cannot be seen in isolation from what is happening in Iraq


Post a Comment

<< Home