Monday, October 24, 2005

All victims count

I'm glad the UK government has created the post of Victims Commissioner because it's the first step towards what we really need: a Truth & Reconciliation Commission à la South Africa.

But Bertha McDougall's the wrong person. She meets the primary requirement of having lost a loved one - her husband - in the guerilla war, but he was an RUC reserve policeman, and - unfortunately - that doesn't sit well among Republicans, many of whom lost loved ones who belonged to organisations like the one that murdered Mrs McDougall's husband. Couple that with the fact that her appointment is so welcomed by the DUP and frowned on by almost all non-Unionist parties, and I'm afraid the poor woman doesn't stand a chance.

Politicians have to realise that hurt exists on all sides. Therefore the person to hold this important position should be acceptable to Unionists and Republicans alike, and if that isn't possible there should be two people appointed to work together as closely as Siamese twins. In many respects that would be a far better solution as it might encourage people from both traditions to mix more, and as regular readers will know, that's one of the Big things I believe we need.

7 Comments:

At 11:37 a.m., Anonymous beano said...

"that doesn't sit well among Republicans, many of whom lost loved ones who belonged to organisations like the one that murdered Mrs McDougall's husband. "

I'm disappointed you see fit to equate the death of a terrrorist with that of a police officer.

The families perhaps don't deserve to suffer, but I'm sure many of them were aware of what their 'lost loved ones' were up to when they were out destroying other people's lives.

For what it's worth, I think a 'victims commissioner' is a waste of time that will only encourage the victimhood mentality that is already engrained on both sides of the divide here.

 
At 12:43 p.m., Blogger B.U. said...

I'm disappointed you see fit to equate the death of a terrorist with that of a police officer.

I don't equate their activities - one's a peacekeeper and the other's a lawbreaker - but I believe the pain felt by sons, daughters, wives, husbands, mothers and fathers is the same. BU.

 
At 1:49 p.m., Blogger B.U. said...

Beano, I agree with you that terrorists' families often approved of their illegal activities, but it think their pain has to be recognised irrespective of their political persuasions. I also agree that there's a big danger of overdoing the victimhood. Victim mentality is unhealthy if it last more than a few years. BU.

 
At 1:53 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why not Alex Reid? :-)

 
At 5:30 p.m., Blogger Michael Shilliday said...

To be honest, I'm sick of reading stuff like this. Beano is right on the mark.

Who would YOU like to see in the post John?

 
At 11:19 p.m., Blogger Cybez said...

I'm wondering whats behind this Victims Commissioner, why Sinn Fein visited South Africa recently? Is South Africa's "Truth and Reconciliation Commission"on a similar vein to this? Is it all about money? Who will end up profiting from this?

 
At 12:45 p.m., Blogger B.U. said...

The commissioner has to be accepted by the broad Nationalist faction as well. Maybe she will be. But while there's bitterness and squabbling, and while elected politicians can't even shake hands with each other, my preference would be for an outsider, maybe George Mitchell or Desmond Tutu.

I'm sick of reading stuff like this.

Intolerance is at the root of our problems. Only listening and acknowledging will break the cycle that's got us where we are. BU.

 

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