London must speak up about the ongoing victories for republicans over the legacy of the Troubles

The United Kingdom yesterday made the right decision in banning Huawei 5G equipment.

Wednesday, 15th July 2020, 9:04 am
Updated Wednesday, 15th July 2020, 1:07 pm
News Letter editorial

China has been a brutal dictatorship for many decades, and still does not even acknowledge its massacre of students at Tiananmen Square, more than 30 years later.

The hope in the West has long been that the communist emerging superpower would liberalise as it became richer.

Instead, its disgraceful, secretive, repressive behaviour has worsened, with the coronavirus crisis, and with regard to its imposition of security laws in Hong Kong.

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The UK has a duty to its citizens to make national security a top priority.

It was this duty to the safety of its people that meant that the British state patiently saw off terrorism in Northern Ireland over three decades.

It adhered to the rule of law in the face of this violent, sectarian onslaught. Known terrorists were treated more leniently than they would have been almost anywhere else on Earth, until they finally decided to end their terror.

As a consequence of this softness, many victims of IRA terrorism died, often at the hands of murderers who used the Republic of Ireland as a sanctuary.

The UK did the right thing, because if it had been too harsh in its response to the Troubles, the situation might well have been greatly inflamed.

However, republicans are now making relentless advances via the courts and politics, as they distort the past.

One such legal advance was the Supreme Court ruling that Gerry Adams was not lawfully detained.

Rarely in recent decades has a ruling by the highest court in the land met such criticism from some of the most distinguished figures in government and the legal world (see link below).

Downing Street must act to make clear that internment orders were indeed legal, as these experts insist. Yet it has been silent and still has not acted, two months later.

Similarly, it must make clear that the victims’ pension will not be paid to terrorists injured by their own hand (see Ulster Human Rights Watch, opposite page, to be put online later).

That would be a moral concession too far to terrorists.

Yet on this too, London has been almost silent, and weak.

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Alistair Bushe