Jude Collins

Friday, 11 June 2010

Our boys

DERRY, NORTHERN IRELAND - MARCH 16: The grave of Hugh Gilmour who was killed on Bloody Sunday in 1972 lies in the Derry City Cemetary on March 16, 2010 in Northern Ireland. The Bloody Sunday Inquiry chaired by Lord Saville was established in 1998 to look at the shooting dead of 14 civil rights marchers by the British Army in Derry, Northern Ireland on January 30, 1972. Lord Saville and his fellow judges have spoken to 921 witnesses during the longest legal proceedings in British and Irish history. The report is due to be sent to the Government by the end of March 2010. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
Who can blame him? When you’re in a hole at home, you naturally want to divert public attention abroad. So David Cameron, faced with the kind of cuts that would have made even Maggie Thatcher wince, has declared his intention to double the allowance of British troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. He’s also made sounds about bringing his boys home at the earliest possible date.  All this on the same morning that we get a leak from the Saville Inquiry report, due out on Tuesday. Apparently some of the soldiers ( yes, you heard aright, Grandmother -  some) will be found guilty of unlawful killing (no, Grandmother, they didn’t say ‘murder’).  I think we get the message.  There were some British soldiers who lost the head on Bloody Sunday, so talk of a trail leading all the way to Downing Street is out, out, out. At the same time some soldiers will be found guilty of ‘unlawful killing’, and the hope is that will appease the restless natives of Londonderry.  I mean,  if you don’t accept that, as a body of fighting men, the British Army is probably the most effective and most honourable in the world,  what’s the point in talking to you? 

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