Jude Collins

Monday, 21 June 2010

The past: first, put your knee on its chest...

The past -  pain in the arse, eh?  Full of what-might-have-beens and  dashed hopes and petty slights.  Full of a sense of loss – of loved ones, of what once seemed so permanent, of one’s own youth. The only way to cope with the bloody thing is to bend it into a shape that suits you and then try not to think about it too much.

That’s what some unionists are doing in the light of the Saville Report. They figure it’s time to cut losses and so they’ve bitten their lip and accepted Saville. It may have pointed the finger at the Parachute regiment for killing innocent people but at least it stopped there – it didn’t point the finger at someone like General Mike Jackson, who immediately after the killings busily drew up a totally misleading ( aka lying) record of who had shot at whom and what was whom carrying at the time when he was shot.  For unionists such as these, and the British government, what’s  now important is to say ‘Right, that’s it. We’ve admitted we did wrong – or rather, the Paras did wrong, we didn’t do a thing. So let’s leave it there and move on”.  In other words,  that’s enough examination of the past, we’re accepting the imperfect picture of it you’ve drawn, but don’t you try adding even more dark clouds, smearing the canvas with more blood”.  That was in essence what David Cameron said, what Gregory Campbell said and what Jeffrey Donaldson said,  although Jeffrey tried to wave a big club at any nationalist thinking of further past-exploration by saying that such exploration would have to involve an exploration of what the likes of Martin McGuinness did during the Troubles.

See? The past is a pain in the arse. What you must do is put your knee on its chest and prevent it doing you any more damage. If anyone objects, tell them you’ll examine THEIR past if they’re not careful...

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