Possibility that Britain’s top security agencies have State approval that allows for participation in ‘serious criminality’ is shocking
IN A report on serious crimes in the UK, The Guardian, revealed that some murders were sanctioned (legally) by spy agencies, such as M16.
The newspaper referred to murderous acts being carried out by ‘intelligence sources’ on behalf of State agencies, prompting the ‘newspaper of repute’ to ask somewhat coyly if such conduct was ‘lawful.’
Up North (the Six Counties), the answer to a conundrum of that kind would be uncluttered and to the point. Murder, when carried out by official bodies, such as MI6, is not murder. It’s ‘something else’ as has been highlighted by civil liberties groups, such as the Pat Finucane Centre and the Committee for the Administration of Justice in Belfast.
Indeed, the possibility that Britain’s top security agencies have State approval that allows for participation in ‘serious criminality’ is shocking, as is the disclosure that MI6 agents have a ‘licence to kill’ without fear of prosecution.
Recent disclosures in the British media indicated that thugs, such as MI6 agents, had to have permission from the foreign secretary before they could execute someone – as seemed to be the case in the foul murder of Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane in 1989.
The Pat Finucane Centre commented that it was not surprising that a government which historically refused to investigate the role of its own intelligence agencies in murder was turning a blind eye to recent criminal authorisations.
The Committee for the Administration of Justice in Belfast reminded the British Government that the peace process was predicated on law enforcement accountability, which extended to covert policing.
Need to know
Yet, it is believed that MI6 continues to have discretion on when to ‘authorise’ its informants to commit crimes.
Needless to say, our representatives in Leinster House rarely express concern at the continued existence of Northern ‘shoot to kill’ policies, preferring to draw a curtain over Britain’s dirty war in Ireland even though the lingering stink shows no sign of disappearing.
But then, for many Unionists even ordinary preconceived notions are slow to dissipate. Last week, for instance, the DUP leader, Arlene Foster, rejected any criticism that her failure to align the North’s Covid-19 policies with Dublin had led to the current Third World-style crisis in Six County hospitals – with very sick people being treated in ambulances outside full hospitals.
Even Taoiseach Mickey was ‘concerned’ at the sight of queues of ambulances outside Six County hospitals. He hoped that nothing similar would become a reality down here ‘as hospitals struggled to cope.’
Speaking on behalf of us all, he declared that ‘we were in solidarity with the people of Northern Ireland who are going through a difficult time right now.’ At the same time, he seemed to intimate that Northerners had made the ‘proverbial balls-up’ of the pandemic situation.
That aside, and because the high levels of Covid-19 in the North were a matter of great concern, he promised to provide greater levels of support to border counties.
After all, suggested Mickey, queues of ambulances outside Northern hospitals were not nice to see as it suggested that some hospitals were ‘struggling to cope’. It was something that we also might experience here, ‘if we allowed things go out of control, which we’re not going to do.’
Mickey gave the impression that he deplored the North’s lack of alignment with the South ‘in terms of restrictions’ – an observation that prompted Labour leader, Alan Kelly, to be somewhat more forthright when commenting on the Northern hospital mess.
‘They (Northerners) needed to be told very clearly that the way in which the Executive is dealing with this crisis isn’t working,’ said Kelly. ‘The level of the virus in Northern Ireland is alarming and having a knock-on impact on the border counties.’
It was a common sense observation that was applauded by rational people.
SF most popular
Meanwhile, a recent Sunday Times-Behaviour and Attitudes poll made for interesting reading. It revealed that Sinn Féin was the most popular party in Ireland and had a five-point lead over Fine Gael. The little media interest shown in the report can be attributed, one supposes, to the Christmas frenzy which diverted attention from politics.
Yet sometimes it seems that the fact Sinn Féin is outstripping its conservative rivals belongs to an alternative reality – something slightly ominous that shouldn’t be happening in this day and age.
The party’s popularity ratings now are at 32%, up two points since the last Behaviour and Attitudes poll in October.
In comparison Fine Gael dropped four points to 27% (since October), while Fianna Fáil managed to crawl upwards by just three points, to 22%.
Meanwhile, the loudmouth Greenie party fell by two points, to a derisory 3% – a result, which if it meant anything, raised the possibility of Green extinction in a general election.
The party’s woes reminded us of a silly Christmas cracker joke about what the calendar said on its death-bed: ‘My days are numbered!’
Curiously, support for Labour stands firm at 5%.
Rumours are swirling about Eamo Ryan losing control of the Greenie Party and that the current hallmark of meetings is that of rancour rather than the traditional, polite exchange of viewpoints.
At the heart of the matter is a controversy (suitably abstruse) relating to the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (Ceta) signed between the EU (including Ireland) and Canada.
The thing is threatening to tear apart Eamo’s beloved party.
Approval or otherwise of the awfully important Bill has been postponed while Greenies strip off, put on the boxing gear and proceed to bash one another into oblivion over policies with which they don’t agree.
Although few can state with certainty what the Bill (or Trade Deal) is about, it has something to do with cutting tariffs in order to promote business between the EU and Canada.
But the bone of contention, according to Greenies, is that the new EU legislation will allow foreign corporations to sue governments in cases where state action reduces company profitability (Oh, and there would be no certainty of protection of environmental rights).
Worse still, Greenies are infuriated at the way the trade deal was negotiated and that lobbying by big corporate interests won the day.
As for the real government, Mickey and Vlad have made it clear that they want the Bill approved pronto, but the Greenies are insisting on a ‘proper’ debate.
Much to Mickey and Vlad’s annoyance, the demand for a ‘proper’ debate sounds very much like stalling, particularly since back in October Greenies intimated they would back the Bill’s passage through the Dáil.
In other words, another fine mess!