Police misconduct plan should not have reached legacy draft

Morning View
Morning View

When talks at Stormont have waxed and waned in recent months there has been talk about unionists being opposed to a “standalone Irish language act”.

But this is misleading because most unionist opposition is to the sectarian intention of an Irish language act, not whether it is standalone or otherwise.

The problem is the fact of an act, standalone or not.

A similar potential misunderstanding arises over the way the definition of a victim has been so successful in drawing a moral equivalence between state and terrorist.

The DUP is rightly insisting that the definition must change, but while that definition is a moral stain on the whole process its removal will not in itself end the legacy scandal, any more than the removal of the word standalone makes an Irish language culture war OK.

The definition becomes a secondary matter if the law agrees a bomber is not a victim but goes on to give groups that bombed the witch hunts they want into the state.

It is very welcome therefore that the DUP in its legacy submission has addressed other scandals such as the definition of ‘collusion’ and the plan to pursue retired police officers for misconduct.

However, that is only the beginning of the overhaul needed on ‘police misconduct’ aspects of the structures, which as the Police Federation says will become the new substitute for collusion and should never have got anywhere near the draft proposals.