THE Eames Bradley ‘Let’s all be friends now’ report had recommended cash for the families of victims of the Troubles.
£12,000 was to be paid, whether the victim was a member of the public, a terrorist/combatant/freedom fighter (delete as applicable according to your historic prejudice) or a member of the security forces.
Righteous indignation followed from the camp that said ‘bombers’ and their victims were unequal, and from the camp that said screw the cash we want the truth.
In classic British Government fashion the initial response was…”We’ll think about it”. Roughly translated this means “we’ll stick a dampened finger in the air and see what way the political wind blows”.
In another epic piece of classic ‘yes, minister’ double talk, Northern Ireland Secretary of State Shaun Woodward announced on Wednesday that the recognition payment proposal was not to be implement, because ‘the time was not right’. Which, of course begs the question, what time will it be right? Half past, quarter to, ten past?
The Consultative Group on the past front men, Eames and Bradley caught on quick when they stated that their report was more important than the recommendations.
Woodward must have missed that bit when he said that there were 31 recommendations that really bear looking at.
Keeping in mind the mounting legal bill of the Bloody Sunday Inquiry, Woodward said he was keen to look at the group’s recommendations on public inquiries into the past.
We can definitively refute any claims that the Secretary of State was heard to say “You bog-trotters cost a fortune”. That is simply untrue and Mr Woodward definitely did not say “did any of you paddy’s notice there’s a global crisis going down here.” Instead he may have just hinted that barrister’s retirement fund parties may be drawing to a close.
Eames was content that at least some of the recommendations from the Consultative Group might be taken on board with regards to victims.
The Victims Commissioners (x4) meanwhile took time off from getting their knickers in a knot over the issue.