“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Sunday, Bloody Sunday.

with 18 comments

If you follow the reporting of the Saville Inquiry into Bloody Sunday, 1972 then you will notice a strange form of debate taking place in Britain.

The debate in the British media is primarily not over the culpability of the soldiers from the Parachute Regiment.

No, it is not that, instead they drone on about the cost of the new inquiry.

Even the liberal media, in the form of a Guardian editorial, is apologetic but seemingly constrained by the prevailing mood in Britain.

So it is reduced to arguing that whilst it was costly it was a price worth paying, which is a rather insipid argument.

No, even the supposed radicals at the Guardian can’t bring themselves to ignore the irrelevance of the cost and concentrate on British culpability and the past cover up, in the form of the Widgery report.

Had Irish nationalists not push for this inquiry then we would still be left with the Widgery whitewash and the British media wringing their hands.

But this poor state of affairs does highlight the nature of British hypocrisy and particularly amongst those in the media.

Only last week we heard them screaming blue murder about events in the Middle East, yet when it comes closer to home their savage invective leaves them and they often dance around the topics, avoiding the key issues.

It would be nice if the British media could make an effort, for once, to apply their critical faculties to the activities of British soldiers in the Six counties, and address the savagery of British rule in Ireland.

You might almost say it is strangely inconsistent that the British media can’t be objective about civilians murdered by British troops in one of the last remnants of Britain’s one-time empire. Hmm.

Anyway, this is the Saville report and the conclusions, sadly they do not provide an easy and compact PDF of the report or its conclusions, although much of the evidence and material is available as PDFs.

Written by modernityblog

15/06/2010 at 19:00

18 Responses

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  1. I think people are coming at it from the angle of ‘we knew what really happened, all the inquiry had to do was rubber stamp that, why has it cost so much.’

    But they didn’t. They delivered a 5,000 page report following ‘millions of words’ of witness testimony that goes in to great detail on every death, every shot fired and every soldier’s actions.

    Looked at it from that angle I would say it was worth every penny. But if the papers were expecting a quick Google search and a rewrite of an older story (after all, that’s how they would have gone about it!) then you can see why they’re balking at the cost.

    Julia Smith

    16/06/2010 at 10:08

  2. Good point, but as Chris Mullen in his diaries points out even £320 million is small change for HMG.

    I think it is a way of talking about something else and avoiding the topic of British brutality in NI.

    Only last night listening to the Radio World service news the choice of words in describing events was revealing rather than say “British troops murdered 14 innocent civilians”, it was relayed as “British troops shot at…” a subtle downplaying of events.

    And like many news pieces on NI it didn’t ask why was a civil rights demonstration taking place at the time, because to do so would 1) mean acknowledging the Unionists grip on power in NI during this time 2) their intransigence 3) how the civil rights movement had comparatively moderate aims and was nonviolent

    No, you weren’t here any meaningful backgrounds the issues in the British media when Ireland swings into view.


    16/06/2010 at 10:32

  3. You lay into the brutality of the British state in Northern Ireland (rightly) but on the other hand you find millions of excuses for the hoodlums in the IDF. What a pity you have such double standards.


    16/06/2010 at 14:15

  4. Sorry?

    Oh, I see, you are accusing me of bad faith, how typically English.

    It is a pity that doesn’t tally with the evidence.

    If you took the trouble, P, you will see a number of posts on my blog which have been critical of the Israeli military, Netanyahu and the unnecessary incursions into Gaza.

    You might do well to remember this passage:

    “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?”


    16/06/2010 at 16:00

  5. You have a funny concept of bad faith. Or you have got me completely wrong.

    I am saying you have double standards. Now, I might be wrong about you, and I have to admit I’m not the most regular follower of your blog, but it seemed that in the past few weeks you had spent most of your time saying that the actions of the ruffians on the high seas were understandable and justifiable.

    With regard to your invocation of religion, I suppose it fits with your new religious advertising theme. We all have our idiosyncrasies, and I’m happy for you to point out mine (though more explanation would be helpful), but that doesn’t get you off the hook.


    16/06/2010 at 16:21

  6. Bad faith, where you are too lazy to read or understand my criticisms of the Israeli military, their government and their actions.

    That’s why it’s pointless arguing with you, I have done so in the past and nothing gets through.

    Why don’t you blog the Saville report yourself ?

    PS: I don’t have advertising enabled, I am an atheist.


    16/06/2010 at 16:42

  7. Should not the Queen apolgize in person to the families? Cameron as PM obvioulsy has as head of the government to issue his regret on behalf of the British nation, buit he was 5 years old when it happened and the Queen was nearly a middle aged women when this happened. And I am not talking about some glib Buckingham Palace photo shoot but actually going to the sceen of the shooting and apologize

    Andrew Murphy

    16/06/2010 at 20:43

  8. Excellent point Andrew,

    I think you can see where its leading from The Times headline today “Cameron seeks closure as he says sorry for bloody Sunday”.

    That’s what the British establishment want, closure, to brush it under the carpet, to say it was an aberration, bad apples, etc

    Rather than discuss what brought it about ?


    16/06/2010 at 21:29

  9. General Sir Mike Jackson, the erstwhile head of the British army, was the ground commander on that faithful day we remember as Bloody Sunday.
    How did this man get to the top of the army, why is there no information in the press about his involvement. Did his silence, convienent loss of memory or involement in a cover up get him to the top. WE MUST KNOW. The Saville report CANnot be the end. It should be the end of the beginning!!!!!!!!!


    16/06/2010 at 22:00

  10. I don’t have a blog.

    Yesterday, or whenever I made the comment, you had advertising encouraging us all to seek religion. But it might have been a bug with my computer.

    But listen, I really haven’t accused you of bad faith. Just inconsistency, which we’re all guilty of from time to time. I think your approach to discussion and argument is misguided. It’s not about ‘getting through’ to me. That assumes I’m wrong. Of course, I may be; but so might you. Discussion is about both of us coming to a better understanding. If you don’t want to change your mind, fine. I always try to open-minded.

    So let me try a different tack: do you think a Saville-style inquiry should be set up by the UN to look into the Israeli flotilla raid? And if not, why not?


    17/06/2010 at 08:04

  11. Bad faith is also where you assume the worst of intentions of your interlocutors, which is what you do when you arrive here.

    There is no possibility of meaningful discussion between us because there is no common ground, even linguistically, even on definitions.

    Remember, we’ve been through this before, and I found it a thankless task. Not one I wish to repeat.


    17/06/2010 at 10:45

  12. Really, it has nothing to do with your intentions, which I’m sure are noble. I admit that I think you are mistaken, or rather, have an inconsistent approach to the two incidents under discussion.

    The problem is not to do with language. It seems we both understand what bad faith is. It’s just that you have misunderstood my intentions. Thinking that you’re wrong doesn’t make me a bad person.

    Now, maybe we can continue with my question? Which was: do you think a Saville-style inquiry should be set up by the UN to look into the Israeli flotilla raid? And if not, why not?


    17/06/2010 at 11:22

  13. See you’ve made my point for me, I have expressly said twice that I am not interested in any discussion.

    Yet you persist.

    I assume that you persist because either you don’t understand what I said, which would be a problem in any potential discussion between us, or you don’t care what my views are, and carry on regardless.

    In either case, there is NO possibility of any meaningful exchange of views as there is NO common ground.

    Do you really need me to say that for the 4th time?

    Please, get your self a blog, it is simple, takes 5 mins to setup and you can express your views until your heart is content,


    17/06/2010 at 11:31

  14. I’ll accede to your wishes. My persistence was an attempt to convince you that your assumptions about me (some might say, ‘bad faith’) were mistaken and that it would be worthwhile having a discussion, despite your doubts.

    Of course, it’s your right to choose whether to engage or not. So I won’t post again. Should I assume that I’m no longer welcome to post comments on this blog in the future?


    17/06/2010 at 11:56

  15. Your persistence was either the result of your inability to understand what I’d written, or the fact you didn’t care.

    You’re welcome to post whatever you please, but don’t expect me to engage you in any civil discussion.

    Again, because I assume you didn’t take the trouble to read my comments policy or the discussion I have with truculent Tory, if people want to comment here that’s fine by me with one reservation, I am not bothered if people insult me or whatever, but I won’t have neo-Nazis, neofascists, their mates or people otherwise hung up on the existence of Jews, Muslims, the French, the Irish, the Roma, etc etc.

    So if you don’t fall into those category than you are welcome to post here, if you wish.

    I hope that is clear enough and I don’t have to restated three more times ?


    17/06/2010 at 12:26

  16. I have read your comments policy. I had hoped that I had avoided the particular issues you so helpfully highlight.

    Most blog writers I have come across view the comments section as a forum in which they can discuss the points made in their posts, or tangential matters. I had hoped to discuss the merits of your post and a few previous ones. You seem to blog because you need to get your thoughts off your chest. It doesn’t seem to occur to you that anything you think might be in the least bit mistaken. Well, as I keep emphasising, this is highly unlikely to be true. What a pity you have such a closed mind.


    17/06/2010 at 13:52

  17. I’ve noticed that tendency of the BBC’s. At various times when I’ve been in Israel and have been listening to the BBC, it’s clear that they have a double standard. Back before the Good Friday agreement, they wouldn’t have any trouble referring to the IRA as terrorists, but wouldn’t use the T word when referring to Palestinian terrorists attacking Israeli civilians.


    18/06/2010 at 04:17

  18. P,

    again, you misunderstand.

    I blog cos I want to.

    I value intelligent comments, I like informed views, I like people that can see beyond the obvious…

    which is why I don’t particularly wish to engage with *you*, been there, done that, not of any worth…


    22/06/2010 at 17:51

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