Friday, 18 September 2009

Libya and irony…important lessons

PARIAH states sometimes become good mates. This is a fact of international diplomacy that seems to fly in the face of logic, reason or even the ability of a reporter to understand.

Libya is likely to be a case study for future studies of the paranormal in politics.

To recap: Libya once was a ‘bad country’; Libya stood accused of being behind the Lockerbie plane bombing; Libya pays compensation to victims of Lockerbie; Libyan man convicted of said bombing released from jail in Scotland because he was dying; Prime Minister accused of dodgy deals on release of bomber; victims groups in Northern Ireland want compensation over Libya arming IRA in the 80s; and UK and US oil companies vying for contracts in the north African state.

And now, to complete the ever winding moral maze of relationships it emerges that PSNI officers have been helping training Libyan police officers in the UK and Libya.

Cue unionist politicians’ outrage and disbelief…which underscores the irony of not having policing and justice devolved. Had these powers been devolved, a Northern Ireland Executive Minister would, at the very least, have been informed of the location of deployed officers seconded to the National Police Improvement Agency.

Irony point number one: Libya which used to back paramilitaries who killed Northern Ireland police officers now has its police force being trained by Northern Ireland police officers.

Irony point number two: Sinn Féin, who used to care about such things don’t even raise an eyebrow at these conundrums.

Irony point number three: Nobody outside Northern Ireland cares about any of this, and no-one in the United Nations will notice.

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