Tuesday, 14 September 2010

The Billy Wright Inquiry

In all inquiries into the past I have argued previously what Unionism's approach should be to if they reach negative conclusions about the state.  My first thoughts on the conclusions of the Billy Wright Inquiry are (full report can be downloaded here):

  • Goalposts - The BWI definition shifted the collusion goalposts.  It adopted a more restrictive definition which helped contribute to a no collusion conclusion.  Its alternative terminology is 'directly facilitated' which does not sound that different from collusion by omission.

  • Top Lawyer - When criticism has been made of the report Owen Paterson defended the report on the basis a top lawyer oversaw the process. So was Lord Widgery.

  • Missing Evidence - Through death, illness and missing and deliberately destroyed files (under the instructions of a person who is criticised in the report) key parts of the story have been lost. This is an example of a problem common to any such inquiry process.  The reluctance of the prison and security services to provide the inquiry with information is further grounds for concern. 

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