Slugger points us to last Thursday’s Times and an attack by Dean Godson on the British Government consultative group set up to look at ways of dealing with the legacy of the Troubles:
Concepts such as “transitional justice” may be suitable for
describing events in South Africa, Guatemala or Argentina, where state
forces committed the lion’s share of the atrocities. They have no place
in Northern Ireland where the lion’s share of the atrocities was
committed by terrorists.
The leaks from the consultative group
suggest that its focus will be on British state crimes. Why? Surely the
role of elements of the Irish State in setting up the Provisionals in
1970 is at least as worthwhile a subject of inquiry. Why are there
never inquiries into the IRA’s campaign of ethnic cleansing in
What’s strange here is that Dean Godson assumes that British state violence and IRA violence are mutually exclusive categories. Yet this is the very person who claims he was told by the late Fr Denis Faul that Martin McGuinness was an MI6 agent, an allegation that potentially implicates the British state in a whole swathe of IRA activity, if true.
If we are to take Godson seriously on that point, then surely that is exactly the kind of issue that a truth commission should be investigating.
And if we are not to take him seriously on that point, then why take him seriously on anything else?
Speaking of contested versions of the truth, has anyone heard any more about Policy Exchange’s threatened lawsuit against Newsnight?