Comments made by Tony Blair’s former chief of staff Jonathan Powell that the IRA should be legalised is a further demonstration of the flawed and warped thinking which prevailed within the heart of Tony Blair’s government.
What planet is Jonathan Powell on? His suggestion that the IRA is a “veterans’ organisation” - a veterans’ organisation of what precisely?
The facts are that PIRA murdered over 2,000 men, women and children.
Jonathan Powell is portrayed as some sort of policy and diplomatic expert on Northern Ireland, he is not.
Where is his compassion for the innocent victims of IRA terrorism or indeed the innocent victims of so-called ‘loyalist’ terrorism?
What next, that this state should provide pensions for former IRA “soldiers” and the families of those who died on “active service”?
Or maybe it’s the expunging of the criminal records of these individuals or the active destroying of all remaining evidence which links their “soldiers” to the murders of their neighbours?
Innocent Victims United (IVU) and the broader innocent victims and survivors constituency want to know; who is Mr Powell’s puppeteer?
Some commentators are suggesting that Mr Powell’s intervention is almost an acknowledgment on the part of the Blair government that ‘loyalists’ have been left out in the cold since 1998. IVU asks Mr Powell; when will the Blair government or any Westminster government for that matter deal with the innocent victims and survivors of terrorism who have never been in the warm and continue to remain out in the cold, increasingly being treated as pariahs?
IVU asks; is it Mr Powell’s view that victims of terrorism should be denied Justice, Truth and Accountability?
Is it his view that victims and survivors based in Great Britain (where his former Party contest elections) should continue to be denied access to support services to deal with their health and wellbeing and other practical needs?
Is it his view that victims and survivors should be expected to swallow political revisionism that their loved ones died in a ‘conflict’ or ‘war’ and weren’t actually murdered via a terrorist campaign motivated by ethnic and sectarian influences?
Is it his view that it is acceptable for the Blair government to have colluded with a tyrant in Gaddafi to deny innocent victims and survivors of Gaddafi/PIRA terrorism compensation for the evils visited upon them?
Kenny Donaldson, Innocent Victims United, Lisnaskea, South Fermanagh