Current Affairs Politics

UK Minister Karen Bradley: Irish Killings By British Forces Were “Not Crimes”

With the political and press establishment in the United Kingdom racketing up its protests against any attempt by the regional authorities in the Six Counties to bring members of the UK’s military, paramilitary and intelligence services to court for their crimes during the British “dirty war” on this side of the Irish Sea, here is Karen Bradley, London’s absentee Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, answering a question from a parliamentary committee in Westminster:

Emma Little Pengelly, DUP MP: Well over 90% of the murders and injuries caused during the Troubles in Northern Ireland were caused by acts of terrorism. Very few prosecutions and investigations are underway, innocent victims are being left behind with thousands of unsolved cases. When is the Secretary of State going to address this issue and put in place a mechanism to investigate the over 90% of acts of terrorism that caused those murder?

Karen Bradley, Conservative MP: Well, Mr Speaker, the honourable lady sets out the figures very, very powerfully. Over 90% of the killings during the Troubles were at the hands of terrorists. Every single one of those was a crime. The fewer than 10% that were at the hands of the military and police were not crimes. They were people acting under orders and under instruction and fulfilling their duties in a dignified and appropriate way. I look forward to working with her more to ensure that we can deliver the much-needed reforms and changes that we all want to see.

So, the UK government’s contribution to a peace process already destabilised by its reckless actions over Brexit is to continue the prosecutorial war against Irish veterans of the 1966-2005 Troubles while ensuring that British veterans are given some form of legal amnesty? To continue the United Kingdom’s investigations into the conflict, the arrests, the detentions, the use of internment-by-remand, and the issuing of extradition warrants as if the struggle was still raging, while labelling the military massacres of civilians during the likes of the Ballymurphy and Bloody Sunday atrocities as examples of soldiers simply following orders?

Karen Bradley’s words – and her subsequent non-apology – have sparked outrage in Ireland; and mystification in Britain at the Irish outrage. Which is indicative of just how far apart both island nations are in their collective view of the history of the Troubles. Simon Coveney, the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, has requested a meeting with the British minister and her officials to discuss the matter, though calls in Dublin and Belfast for the Tory MP to resign from her post seem unlikely to carry much weight in London.

Unfortunately, Britain’s views and opinions in relation to its contested legacy colony in Ireland, from the Troubles to Brexit, will always reflect the worse excesses of the British character, until that rancorous outpost of empire is finally gone.

12 comments on “UK Minister Karen Bradley: Irish Killings By British Forces Were “Not Crimes”

  1. Not looking good for the pending trials of the Parachute Regiment murderer’s Bloody Sunday, the jury will already have their minds made up for them by the Tories.

  2. Sounds to me like Karen’s stuck her foot in her mouth to the point where her breath’s going to start smelling like shoe leather.

  3. I’d say Karen’s stuck her foot in her mouth to the point where her breath will start to smell like shoe leather.

  4. Don’t think that “dead paddies” account for very much as so far as the British establishment is concerned. They have of course ” a Licence to kill” given to them by themselves. You could call Karen Bradley a hypocrite and her 10% figure of all killings by British military/police a work of fiction especially as British Intelligence basically ran loyalist paramilitaries. One former British intelligence operative Martin Ingram/ real name Ian Hurst says infiltration by British intelligence of republican groups was also quiet severe. Karen Bradley and the Tories must be to face up to their war crimes in Ireland sooner or later

  5. left out “made to face up to their war crimes” sorry for the typo

  6. Brendan McSherry

    Do prosecute the British gunmen, by all means but it’s the senior officers and politicians who sent these thugs to terrorise the people of Ireland who need to be exposed and brought to justice. As well as their apologists.

    • Yep. You always want to “fry the big fish” rather than chasing around all the little ones too much.

    • Absolutely correct that it was the British political establishment who sanctioned military action in Ireland.
      And it is the same establishment who would again sanction military force in Ireland.
      In particular the Conservatives and the ideologues in the military have scores to settle.
      The disregard for the GFA agreement, the fact that a majority in NI voted to remain in Europe and that opinion polls suggest circa 90% EU support in the ROI exposes very clearly the British attitude.
      Indeed, what was the recent quip from Stanley, father of Boris, Johnson .
      Let us hope that the EU and the wider international community continue to support Ireland against an aggressive and belligerent Britain.
      Indeed, I cannot but help think that the Brexit crisis will ultimately assist deliver a united Ireland and an independent Scotland able to freely trade and move within the wider European community.
      Folks want peace and prosperty and not barriers and belligerence.
      ( And as a footnote the picture of a heavily armed British soldier pointing a weapon at unarmed civilians is a poignant reminder of just how rotten things were not so many years ago )

  7. Just another example of the English government’s refusal to accept any responsibility for the war that it started.

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