Republican News · Thursday 13 September 2000

[An Phoblacht]

What an arrogant hypocrite

Last Sunday, Peter Mandelson appealed to the IRA to again open its arms dumps `to build confidence'. What rank hypocrisy and arrogance.

While the IRA has adhered to a disciplined military cessation for the last five years, there has been little or no movement on the part of the British establishment, which has reneged on the commitments it made at Hillsborough earlier this year.

While the British Army intensify their activities in Armagh and Fermanagh in particular, while also fortifying their barracks, it is the IRA who must `build confidence'.

While the Patten Commission recommendations on policing have thus far been subverted and the RUC remain, it is the IRA who must `build confidence'.

While the UDA and UVF engage in sectarian attacks and internecine feuding and are acquiring new weaponry, it is the IRA that must `build confidence'.

It seems that building confidence is strictly a one way exercise for the British Government.

New proposals for the flying of flags announced last week are a further example of this belligerent attitude from the British administration. The draft regulations proposed by Peter Mandelson would require the British Union Jack to fly alone or alongside the European flag above the departments of all the Assembly ministers on 17 designated days. No other flags would be permitted. This again highlights a lack of regard for the rights and sensitivities of nationalists and republicans.

The British Government indicated this week that they are prepared to engage positively in new inquiries into the Dublin and Monaghan bombings. This must be followed with actions. It must also be remembered that the British themselves stand accused of organising those massacres.

In order to build confidence, the British government must also come clean on its dirty war in the Six Counties. Where are the independent international inquiries into the assassinations of Pat Finucane and Rosemary Nelson? Or of all the other state victims?

It's time for Peter Mandelson and Tony Blair to assume their responsibilities to building the peace.

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