Wednesday, 25 February 2009

In order to salvage any of Eames Bradley, Woodward had to kick £12,000 payout into long grass

Secretary of State Shaun Woodward’s decision to rule out any possibility of a £12,000 payout to the relatives of everyone killed in the troubles (within the UK) is unsurprising. It was necessary, both to avoid justifiable moral revulsion and in order to salvage other recommendations contained in the Eames Bradley report. This one clause might otherwise have deemed an extensive report effectively worthless, had it not been swiftly and unequivocally kicked into the long grass by the government.

What Eames and Bradley produced is not entirely without merit. It is imbued with an underlying desire to see closure which many people in Northern Ireland share. Putting a stop to endless calls for expensive public inquiries is plainly a necessary aspiration. Despite criticism, I also believe it makes a decent fist of suggesting structures which might enable victims’ families to hear the truth about what happened to their loved ones.

However Tom Elliot articulates some objections which the Ulster Unionist Party has as regards the Consultative Group’s findings. They are relevant, pertinent and pertain to the equivalence which has been accorded to terrorists with those who did not perpetrate terror, but were its victims.

The report comes before Westminster’s Northern Ireland Select Committee today.

1 comment:

Timothy Belmont said...

I've been surprised that Lord Eames has recommended the payout at all given his undoubted personal gifts, not least that of empathy for people. In retrospect, he may have inadvertently accepted a poison chalice. I wonder if he was as keen on the idea as his colleague, Mr Bradley. Otherwise, many of us have immense respect for him.