A northern ‘scandal pattern’ is emerging

(from the Irish News)

In light of the high state of confusion that Hugh Orde and his puzzled detectives appear to be in over the Northern Bank job surely its time to call in Scooby Doo, Shaggy and the rest of ‘those perky kids’ who appear to have no problems with these cases.

Let’s face it, they couldn’t do any worse than the PSNI who have looked amateurish, clueless and increasingly desperate right from the start of this mysterious escapade. Could it have been two big baldy blokes with sheets over their heads?

For all we have been told it might have been.

Like Castlereagh and Stormontgate, following a big media furore, finger-pointing, unionist frenzy and political fall out the amount of evidence produced boiled down to nothing more than allegations. After a while they all disappear in a puff of disinterest and indifference through lack of hard fact.

Who is fooling who here?

We have seen it all before.

The northern state and its various institutions have never worried about evidence when it comes to the persecution, vilification, malicious prosecution and conviction of republicans and nationalists. All it takes are forced confession, highly-paid informers, high-profile media stunts for mud to stick.

This has been the pattern down the years and now that we are in another political vacuum a villain is needed to blame and the path of least resistance is being followed once again.

With a British general election coming up in May followed by unionism’s traditional summer of Fenian bashing there is no prospect of any political deal in the near future so handily enough another high-profile scandal involving republicans is wheeled out as fact and an excuse. There seems to be a pattern evolving here.

When in times of crisis involving a failure to embrace equality, justice or sharing power with nationalists there is always something concocted to shift the blame away from its source - ie unionist intransigence.

It stinks to high heaven.

In the weeks following the raid all strands of establishment unionism had no doubt that republicans were to blame.

The same people who demanded proof upon proof, indisputable evidence, photographs, lists and the verification of religious ministers that republicans had decommissioned are now quite happy to accept just words as proof that “it was republicans what done it”.

Only in the poisonous atmosphere of the six counties could such hypocrisy go unopposed.

Unionists are now prepared to believe and take the word of the same British administration and security services that lied about weapons of mass destruction and fooled their own population and parliament into a bloody and illegal war

in Iraq.

The former have no intention of going into government with nationalists for sectarian reasons and the latter still believe that they can militarily defeat republicans.

When the Northern Bank fiasco disappears from view and no- one is prosecuted the damage will have been done and some other excuse will be wheeled out to stop nationalists having any real input or control on political or policing issues.

How many high-profile raids or prosecutions have we seen for the ongoing sectarian and race hate crimes carried out by loyalists?

That says it all.

The SDLP and Irish government are kidding themselves if they think policing has been resolved. One can only conclude that the sinister forces now controlling the peace process resent and fear the growth of Sinn Féin as a party and are using any excuse or tactic to slow the process of change to a crawl.

It is increasingly hard to dispute this as endless allegations against republicans are made and are ultimately shown to be groundless.

It is also ironic that Bertie Ahern and his ministers lecture republicans about morality and criminality but have no qualms or difficulties sitting down with a Chinese administration that murdered more than 1,000 human rights protesters in Tiananmen Square just 15 years ago. Does Michael McDowell regard the Chinese government as criminals?

Pass me a Scooby snack.

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