The real crime is British Occupation

British Secretary of state to Ireland, Karen Bradley’s remarks concerning murderous British soldiers comes as no surprise to anyone with even the faintest knowledge of British misrule in Ireland.

Speaking in the British House of Commons on Wednesday 6th March, Karen Bradley stated: 
“The under 10% (of deaths) that were at the hands of the military and police were not crimes. They were people acting under orders and instructions, fulfilling their duties in a dignified and appropriate way.”

Bradley has since said she misspoke, and that her comments were factually incorrect and did not reflect her views.

Karen Bradley speaking in House of Commons


I think that this retraction adds only insult to injury, Karen Bradley is not one bit sorry, in fact, her statement in the House of Commons very much reflects her views and that of very many others in the British Government. 

Her comment was no slip of the tongue, it was not taken out of context or misinterpreted, she said it very clearly, she said they were “not crimes” and that the British soldiers fulfilled “their duties in a dignified and appropriate way.” 

British state forces murdered 355 Irish citizens since the start of the 'troubles', and according to CAIN 67 of them children! How can anyone even suggest that the murder of a child can in any way be dignified or appropriate?

Some of the Irish children murdered by the British State

To claw back later because of a backlash is not an apology or in any way meaningful, it is an insult to our intelligence and clearly an attempt to keep her job, perhaps she has now learned the lesson to keep your mouth shut when you are far from an impartial person trying to give a veneer of impartiality.

Bradley points out the 10% of the deaths since 1970 were at the hands of the British state, however, this does not include the vast number of murders at the hands of Loyalist death squads that worked hand in glove with the British State. Collusion that included British soldiers taking part in loyalist attacks while off-duty, giving weapons and intelligence to loyalists and hindering police investigations.

The British Army also had double agents and informers within loyalist groups who organised attacks on the orders of, or with the knowledge of, their Army handlers. The De Silva report found that, during the 1980s, 85% of the intelligence that loyalists used to target people came from the British security forces. A 2006 Free State Government report alleges also that British soldiers helped loyalists with attacks in 26 Counties.

To believe that the British State takes the murder of Irish citizens seriously is laughable, to date only four British soldiers have been convicted of murder while occupying the 6 counties. All were released after serving two or three years of life sentences and allowed to re-join the British Army. 
Senior British Army officers also privately lobbied successive British Attorneys General not to prosecute soldiers and it would seem they were successful as according to the Committee on the Administration of Justice, there is evidence soldiers were given some level of immunity from prosecution.

While private lobbying went on in the past, it would appear that now with Ireland nearly entirely pacified and accepting of British rule, they feel it is now time to formalise immunity for British State murderers.

The general response to Bradley’s remarks has been condemnation, however for Republicans her comments are far from shocking and are a public confirmation of what we all already knew, that the British Government does not view innocent Irish citizens murdered at their hands as victims, they do not view Irish citizens as worthy of justice at all. 

One of the most infamous mass murders at the hands of British soldiers was that of Bloody Sunday, Derry in 1972, 14 innocent people were gunned down on the Derry Streets by murderous Paratroopers, the victims were taking part in a peaceful protest march against Internment. 

Bloody Sunday victims


Immediately after the murders and to try and come up with a cover story the British army position, backed by the British Home Secretary the next day in the House of Commons, was that the paratroopers had reacted to gun and nail bomb attacks from suspected IRA members.
This cover story was complete and utter lies and proven to be so in the subsequent Saville Inquiry published in 2010, it found:

“The firing by soldiers of 1 PARA on Bloody Sunday caused the deaths of 13 people and injury to a similar number, none of whom was posing a threat of causing death or serious injury.”

Speaking after the inquiry’s findings, British Prime Minister David Cameron said:

“Mr Speaker, I am deeply patriotic. I never want to believe anything bad about our country. I never want to call into question the behaviour of our soldiers and our army, who I believe to be the finest in the world. And I have seen for myself the very difficult and dangerous circumstances in which we ask our soldiers to serve. But the conclusions of this report are absolutely clear. There is no doubt, there is nothing equivocal, there are no ambiguities. What happened on Bloody Sunday was both unjustified and unjustifiable. It was wrong”

Cameron’s somewhat apology could not undo the 40 years of hurt and grieving that these families went through and it never can. David Cameron’s opening to his “apology” exposes the British mindset that prevails to this day when it comes to their soldiers and is very much in keeping with Karen Bradley’s thinking

 “I never want to believe anything bad about our country. I never want to call into question the behaviour of our soldiers and our army, who I believe to be the finest in the world.”

Bradley’s recent remarks are a total insult to the Irish people, while Bradley was making these repulsive comments in London, in Belfast an inquest was hearing from relatives of people murdered by British soldiers in Ballymurphy, in 1971. The Ballymurphy Massacre was a mass shooting carried out the British Paratroopers between 9-11th August 1971 which ended in the deaths of 11 innocent people. The Ballymurphy inquest is currently ongoing.

Ballymurphy Massacre victims

Not for one second should anyone believe that Bradley’s remarks where a slip of the tongue or not what she meant, they were politically motivated and orchestrated words, the timing of her remarks could not be any more choreographed coming the week before prosecutors are due to announce whether paratroopers will be charged for the Bloody Sunday Murders.

The reality here is, that while British rule remains in Ireland, the chance of another Bloody Sunday, another Ballymurphy or another child being added to the current list of 67 murdered is possible.

Should Karen Bradley resign? 100% yes, her continuance in the role shows the blatant disregard the British Government have for the Irish Victims of their occupation, but while that occupation remains the possibility of further British State murders remains plausible, the only way that we can ensure that it does not happen again is to once and for all expel the British Government from Ireland, and create a Republic worthy of all its people.


Cáit

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