15 December 2005 Edition
Secret British Army files on the Miami Showband massacre by its own UDR soldiers and the UVF will not be released at the end of this year under the 30-year secrecy rule. Why not? It's claimed, they're not safe to release because they're contaminated by asbestos!
So now we're told that one of the major nuclear powers in the Western World, George W Bush's closest ally, and with all the technology and experience gained in dealing with chemical weapons in Iraq cannot clean up its own files. Or maybe that's just what the British Government is doing, if you know what we mean.
Waiting 30 years for answers
Miami Showband survivor Stephen Travers has called on Taoiseach Bertie Ahern to follow up on the secret files and the threatened cover up.
"For 30 years we have been waiting patiently," the massacre survivor said. "We haven't made any demands and we have abided by the rules. Now it seems we may not be told anything.
"All this time we have been waiting for answers.
"Among the terrorists that night there was a man with an upper-crust English accent. He was dressed differently and was in charge. He was a British Army officer. I don't need files to tell me that, but I want to know what the official line on that is.
"I need that expanded on. Who was he taking orders from?"
The Colonel-in-Chief of the Parachute Regiment, the self-styled Prince of Wales, dropped into the Six Counties on Monday.
Not one of the reporters from the media organisations, who pride themselves on their "tough questioning" of Sinn Féin representatives even tried to ask the representative head of the most infamous British Army regiment to have served in the Six Counties for his views on the Bloody Sunday Inquiry and his regiment's massacre of civil rights marchers.
Private meeting, private police?
• DUP naturist Sammy Wilson
Part-time police reservists had a private meeting with the DUP on Monday to enlist the Paisleyites' help in gaining recognition in the form of substantial "gratuities" (ie hard cash) for their loyal service in policing in the PSNI and RUC.
DUP naturist Sammy Wilson met the part-time peelers but we'll resist the temptation of using the police spoof film title, Naked Gun. That's far too juvenile, even for us.
Principles of policing
The Police Federation in the Six Counties have come out against the "On the Runs' Bill".
The Fed's magazine, Police Beat, says: "The idea that fugitives from justice should be dealt with, not by due process before a court of law, but through administrative tribunals, is unpalatable in principle and insulting to victims' families in its proposed execution."
Don't remember the Police Federation (wearing its RUC hat) being too concerned about "due process before a court of law" during Internment, the RUC shoot-to-kill ambushes of republican suspects and running unionist paramilitary death squads in the UDA and UVF.
The PSNI uniform that's hanging...
The Sunday Life has gone all teary eyed about a PSNI Peeler who faces a "whopping" £10,000 legal bill if he loses his discrimination case against Chief Constable Hugh Orde "because his uniform reminds him of the IRA".
Former RUC man and now PSNI Constable Philip Crawford cited Orde at an industrial tribunal in Belfast last week in a case claiming that he suffered "political and religious discrimination" because his white shirt and green jumper with gold lettering "is representative of Sinn Féin and the IRA".
The gold lettering was replaced with silver lettering when the new PSNI badge came in but there are a few 'green, white and gold' outfits floating around and this is causing Constable Crawford considerable distress.
For the record, Constable, the colours of the Irish Republic are green, white and ORANGE, not gold.
If Constable Crawford succeeds in his uniform case, lawyers at Belfast City Council and the Botanical Gardens had better be on alert in case he prosecutes them for assailing his eyes with 'Provo daffodils'.
Stuck at the last minute for a really decent Christmas present that will actually do some good and give you a really warm feeling? Well why not visit the Bóthar website and, "in honour" of your friend, buy a family in a developing country the gift of some livestock, anything from a whole cow, a goat or chicks to a hive of bees or a trio of rabbits?
You can order through the Bóthar website at http://www. bothar.org/catalogueseason/cathome.html
Don't buy one for Fine Gael, though — they already have a gift-wrapped Rabbitte.
Yo, ho, ho.