03/12/2013 Spotlight


Debating the week's big talking points are: MLAs Arlene Foster, DUP, and John O'Dowd, Sinn Fein; Alliance MP Naomi Long, PUP leader Billy Hutchinson and artist Rita Duffy.

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Hello and welcome to an hour of robust topical discussion. The talks


are approaching their deadline. One of the issues that may come up with


our panel is the flag. We are joined by Rita Duffy, an artist full stop


Naomi Long, an MP from the Alliance Party. Billy Hutchinson. Sinn Fein


education Minister John O'Dowd. And the DUP enterprise Minister Arlene


education Minister John O'Dowd. And Foster. Ladies and gentlemen, that


is the panel. You have your part to play at home


full stop let us know what you think about the talking points of the day.


Text your comments. Let us go right away to our first


question. With Judge Smithwick 's recent rejection, how can anyone


have any confidence in the process? It said there was collusion in the


process and rejected evidence from former IRA members. Naomi Long. But


it highlights is that there are two grieving families dealing with the


fallout of what was announced today. That is something we need to be


conscious of. They are ordinary people who have had their lives


changed. We need to be sensitive to that. In terms of how we deal with


this as a process going forward, we have a ready said that something


along the lines of an amnesty is not something that could deliver. We


have had a measure of truth today and I think that shows we need to


continue to explore our past and try to deal with these issues and


confront the truth was up to deal with these issues and confront the


truth was out what it does show is that we have to have a process in


which those who are acting in a paramilitary capacity are also held


accountable for their actions. If we end up with a process which simply


looks at state involvement in whether that is the Irish or British


state, we would get a narrative which is not full and reflective of


the entire picture. That is where confidence needs to be built in


terms of how willing people will be to cooperate and how we will make it


work. For some victims it would be about justice. It should not be


ruled out. Others may want a process that offers the truth but there


needs to be confidence built by those who will be able to provide


that trust that they are willing to do so. We hear from some that a


truth commission would be the arena where they would tell what happened.


Here are three former members of the IRA speaking to a tribunal and the


judge said I do not believe you. It is a 500 page report. I think the


report deserves to be studied in detail. He discounted the evidence.


The tribunal, there was contested evidence given from the former are


The tribunal, there was contested you see, the Garda and from sources


who were informers and therefore and reliable court -- characters in the


first place. People come forward and give evidence and then the report is


delivered in an enquiry. This came out of the negotiations in 2001. The


British and Irish governments agreed to several enquiries. The only party


to those negotiations have been the British government. Let us talk


about Smithwick. What influence whether this decision have an any


future truth commission? We should not dismiss truth commission. The


Smithwick style enquiry will not be the enquiry, we are talking about an


international style truth committee. -- commission. Might a


say we told the truth to the Smithwick tribunal and they said


they do not believe that. What is the point going forward quest Mike?


The Smithwick tribunal was a formal process in the current phase. If we


are to resolve, we have to deal with it in a competency of way. Arlene


Foster, this was described as the death knell for any truth


commission? death knell for any truth


want a Smithwick tribunal type. How can you have a truth commission


where part of the paramilitaries are going to come forward and tell their


so-called truth which does not bear any resembles to what actually


happened? That has always been a concern of my party. Can I also say


that I welcomed the findings in this tribunal. This will be a difficult


day for the families and we should always remember the victims and they


should be centred in all that we say in these programmes. As someone who


grew up on the border with the Irish Republic, I knew there was collusion


going on and I brought a group of victims don't to meet the Ibis Prime


Minister recently that I Prime Minister recently. This should be a


catalyst for the Irish government to acknowledge and I welcome the


apology. We waited to hear what the Irish Prime Minister will say.


Omissions were made at that particular point in time in relation


to the death squads that roamed around in the border areas at that


point in time. There are a number of issues here. Can we have truth and


justice at the same time? I am not sure. In many ways, we need to get


all those people who were involved in the conflict to take some sort of


corporate responsibility will stop when you bring it down to


individuals, they were not come forward because of prosecutions. We


also saw prosecutions in Nuremberg because of such actions. We need to


make sure victims are listened to. We need to mature we can move on and


make sure victims are listened to. read need to be able to move on.


Arlene made the point. I know the Irish government has been involved


with the IRA. Some of that has already come out. We need to be very


careful that this process is about everybody and not just about the


British government. This is about all of those who took part in the


conflict. We need to make sure this happens. Heretic to pick up an


8-point made about the idea of victims of IRA violence and


paramilitary violence being as important as victims of state


collusion. It is no hierarchy of victims. It is especially important


that you need to pick up an allegations of state collusion.


States are seen as legitimate entities. If states are involved and


that raises serious questions about the legitimacy of any state in the


Western world. I think the issue of collusion whether it is state


violence or paramilitary violence, I also was aware that there were death


squads roaming around the border area. I had a cousin killed in a


telephone box. He was 18 years of age and went to phone his mother. He


lost his life. The press at the time but


lost his life. The press at the time coming up from the south, perhaps


with a bomb that had gone off and fortunately. It turned out it was a


death squad from the North. I think it is sufficient to say we have had


a war and it is time we moved on and built a future.


Are you concerned that this finding of the tribunal that the higher rate


evidence was not reliable will have an effect on any future forum? I


hold with the idea of proper future of reconciliation, but there is


legislation that will prevent that from happening. The pattern you can


case, my sister is a lawyer, and there has been a lot of shifting


around, so I do not know how much of this we can afford? We only have a


short life. The important thing about this report, I accept it has


only come out and people need to go through it, but one of these stark


things was not just about the incident, the terrible deaths of


these two people, it was a culture of collusion that is mythic talks


about. It is not just one or two bad apples, it is a culture of


collusion. That is something that the Irish government needs to make a


statement on and needs to recognise what went on in the 1970s, 1980s and


1990s. On the issue of collusion, William Fraser asked if the


English-speaking voice in the Kingsmill murders was involved in


it, what is your opinion on that? We need to try to keep it to keep its


two these mythic issue, what the question was about. -- qubits to


this mythic issue. This lady was able to give an account about what


happened to her family, and this man is not allowed to ask the question?


We have limited time, you must understand, we need to keep to the


original question. Just as for the victims is very important, I had two


cousins that were murdered in 1984, but the reconciliation process is to


allow closure for the families and for the victims, and you can get


this to the truth and reconciliation process. Let's go back to Leanne.


Absolutely, my question was answered, I agree with what was


said, if the families and victims get justice, that is what needs to


be done. Let's go to the next question from a civil engineer from


County Antrim. Why were all of the party is so quick to dismiss the


comments from John Larkin, the attorney general, about drawing a


line under the past? Yes, he got some flack about putting an end to


prosecutions and enquiries on issues before the Good Friday agreement.


One or two people supported him, but in general, was rounded upon by most


people. That is find out from Arlene, what do you think? John is


entitled to hold those opinions and to express those opinions, but he


needs to know that when he expresses these opinions, he has an impact on


the politicians but also a huge impact on all of the victims across


Northern Ireland that were in packed it by the troubles. He should have


looked at this. -- that were in at it by the troubles. I do not think


he thought about that. When you look at the fact that the Proctor family


finally got justice last week in relation to the death of their loved


one, John Proctor, murdered renders the front coming out from seeing his


little baby. When we see that my party colleague, Sammy Brasch, he


got justice from when he was attacked in County Tyrone, and


everyone should have the attacked in County Tyrone, and


to access justice. That has to be the way we work in a democratic


society. Even if the victims know that as years pass, in the wake of


John Larkin's comments, the chances of getting justice well received


very quickly? -- will recede very quickly. Yes, this is correct, but


in the Proctor case, they brought through new methods and new


evidence, and they could find out who killed John Proctor. The fact


that this murderer will only serve two years is apparent to me, but


everybody else supported the Good Friday Agreement here, and


therefore, it is more of a recognition that this man has killed


somebody, but at the end of the day, it gives him the wreckage vision,


they know who murdered their loved ones and they have that could ocean.


-- that recognition. Is it not important for those that died in the


troubles that this peace process goes ahead and it changes the lives


of young people that desperately need to be helped. There is a point


where thinking about the past and searching for this truth, it is so


difficult to find something in life that is an absolute truth, so we


should surely be tilting towards the future? That is fine, but we cannot


tell the victims what they should and should not have. Your argument


is for the greater good of society. You need to have the hope of getting


justice. If we had empathy, compassion, we would build a


stronger peace process. In war-torn areas of the world, there is a limit


to the point where people are victims, there is a point of people


are encouraged to get on with their lives. APPLAUSE


I do not believe this excludes us from having justice for the past.


You can have a culture of people are forgiving and can move on with their


lives. But you also have a centre in justice is not ignored, because this


is a good welding block for the future. We need to speak to families


properly, they may never gets justice because of the passage of


time, they may not get truth because people that have the truth may not


give it up, and we need to be honest about that and not raise expect


nations beyond where it is possible. That is a different


conversation to watch John Larkin was proposing, I think even if it is


possible, you would be denied the right to justice. I do not think any


of us has the right to impose that. It could be that there is part of


this process where we are looking at the past, that some victims will


choose to forego justice to try to attain the truth instead. To get


one, you could not be able to have the other, possibly, but that is the


choice for the individual victims and we have to respect these


decisions that they make, and we have to respect these


for them, this is personal and it is not about the past, they live with


it every day. Their lives have changed, it is their present and we


need to find ways to do this with integrity so we can build a better


future. Billy Hutchinson. I am not so sure that the Attorney General


just through this out there. I am not sure that he just party would


shock this, I think he did it for a reason. The question has come from


the floor, I think the reality is, it is an option. Nobody says it is


the right option, but it is an option. It goes back to the argument


of transitional justice, do the victims want truth or justice? Some


may want to justice, some may want the truth. The two are compatible


for this reason, because of somebody has the truth and they come forward


with it, and the truth of this is, they will suffer the consequences


for the rest of their lives. It does not matter if they go to prison for


two years, they have consequences for the rest of their lives because


there are government restrictions on what you can do. I am not so sure


that the attorney general said this... I don't think people lose


sleep over people serving two years for murder. The point is, I


recognise, as someone involved in the conflict, but victims are the


way forward. Do you want an honesty? -- amnesty? I do not know,


I do not think an amnesty is on people 's lips. He has not looked at


the prosecutions over the last number of years since signing the


Good Friday Agreement, have we had any benefits from the prosecutions


that have happened, that is what he is saying? All he is doing is


putting a question out there, it is an option, not necessarily the right


one. Let us hear from the floor. The conundrum has been expressed by the


last few panellists, what they have said. The victims do not, they are


not uniform. Some will seek justice, some will be content with


the truth and can move on with that. But as Billy said to the first


question, we will not get the truth if the issues of justice, perhaps,


are not dealt with. People will not tell the truth. That is the


conundrum we are facing. Notwithstanding the appetite for


truth or justice, clearly Notwithstanding the appetite for


cost money, has nobody in the panel considered that the Attorney General


is getting it out there that there is no money for either? It is not a


money question. This is about trying to heal the past to build the


future. I think John Larkin handled the situation poorly. He is


perfectly entitled to put out the message that he did, but he should


have spoken to the victims groups and advised that he would be saying


that, and they would be prepared for that. He has certainly sparked a


debate. He had support from the Bishop of down and Connor, and Basil


McCrea before that. We have come out of it conflict, not a criminal


conspiracy, this is an internationally recognised conflict


that needed a internationally recognised conflict


resolve it, not criminal legislation to resolve it, not criminal acts to


resolve it, not militarism to resolve it, a political process that


is act I some of the most powerful nations in this world to make it


work. -- act that is backed by some of the more powerful nations. The


rights of victims are also not uniform. We know who carried out the


shootings on bloody Sunday 40 years ago. They're as been no criminal


investigation into that. We know who carried out the shootings in 1971 in


Ballymurphy, had been no criminal investigations into that. We know


who was involved in the military reaction force in Belfast and other


faces because it wasn't only a Belfast operation and it did not


only end in 1972 or 1973, but none of those people are spending two


years in jail for anything and they never well. Go ahead. Do you believe


in the truth? You're talking about bloody Sunday and everything else


that your party colleagues will tell the truth that they were in the IRA


and did a lot of shooting and bombing to your party Catholics? And


yet you back, yet you are saying, you are all for the truth and


whatever happened, bloody Sunday, Ballymurphy, as that is fine, and I


agree with all that. There is clearly Sinn Fein members that were


members of the IRA, there were clearly other political party


members that were involved of armed groups as well, but we have got to


this point because we were involved in a peace process, there was a


conflict between nations and communities here that had to be


resolved. We will not resolve it through a criminal analysis going


into the future. Back to Terry. I think that as a society and as


politicians, there is too much time bickering about the past and no


amount of enquiries will ever solve it. We need to build for the future,


it is about the living and not the dead. Let's go to our next question


now. Does the panel believe that we should follow the example of Canada


who in 1965 decided to adopt a new and iconic flag for their country?


Yes, previous Canadian flag had some version of the union flag on them,


but in 1965 they adopted the maple leaf. Richard Haass has told people


to think about a new flag, Billy Hutchinson, watched you think? --


what do you think? From my point of view, the union Jack is the national


flag of the country, I am British and I live in Britain, so I do not


want to see a new flag or do I want to be involved in creating a new


one. We need to be careful about using other countries as examples of


what went on. I have relatives living in Canada, and they were not


particularly happy whenever these flags were changed, so from that


point of view, we do not have everyone's view. Richard Haass has


thrown out a question and he is asking us about a flag. He had a


number of other questions and asking us about a flag. He had a


of these I am not so sure that he will get any conclusions from and


Naomi Long said she was involved in talks today, so it will be


interesting how involved the executive got? Is there a concrete


way to own up to the recognition that there are two competing


ideologies? We have talked a lot about the past. The problem is we


have not dealt with the past and that is why we have problems around


parades and flags. The DL it is when Sinn Fein members cannot even after


the name Northern Ireland, when they are administering British rule in a


British Assembly. This is a long mindset about the terminology we


use. We have gone through a peace process was up we went to see less


flags hanging. That is what people want to see. As an Irish republican,


I have allegiance to the Irish tricolour. It is not a flag stands


for that is the most important thing. I do not believe I have


hoisted any flag anywhere. Have you taken any down? I have. I have taken


Irish tricolour is down when they were being used for the wrong


reasons. What we need to do is work our way through this current phase


of negotiations and inwardly about colours on a flag afterwards full


stop there that the important issues being dealt with. You talk about


identity and history. I think this is fascinating for supper I am so


glad Richard has come over and listened. You are doing me out of a


job. I have considered flags since I first saw them. The severed red hand


was on the coat of arms. It is the symbol of Ulster full stop Unionists


have adopted it but it belongs to all of us and we can track it back


to ancient times for that I would like to see a flag with the red hand


on debt. A variation. -- an egg. Flags are enormously expensive.


Nationalities have become ludicrously expensive when you think


about the wars and the disturbances around the world. I think


nationalities and flag should only be used in it ought. We need to


start working together, but just in Northern Ireland but across the


land. The red hand of -- the red hand of Ulster is one artefact data


has been exhibiting at Derry-Londonderry City of Culture. A


flag is more than a piece of cloth. The union flag is not the only flag


and people like to recognise the Irish tricolour. There are many


analogies. It is not just about the union flag or the tricolour. Making


a new flag would be a good idea to move us forward. One theory is that


Richard has been playing devils advocate when talking about flags.


This could be a active to get politicians to take action on these


issues. The British government treated Unionism as the Americans


treated the beard dummies -- the Vietnamese. A government using a


treated the beard dummies -- the sense that it was expendable. The


Alliance Party got into a lot of trouble wanting to take the flag


down of Belfast City Hall. Where do you stand on the one flag, the new


flag issue? The first issue is about whether it would be good to have


shared symbols in Northern Ireland, things in common. It is a unique


region. That is a positive thing to explore as a community. We have seen


that symbols are hugely emotive. We see it with all of our symbolism. If


we can find symbols that evoke that passion about Northern Ireland in a


united way it would be good. I would not rule things in and out. I want


to hear what people have to say and I want to explore those ideas with


other people. It does not solve the fundamental issue that we are


dealing with in terms of Richard has and that is how we treat our


constitutional symbols. We should treat both flags with respect and


dignity as we would treat with respect the flag of any mission.


That does not mean having shared symbols plays a role in and locking


those symbols. They are not necessarily a solution to the core


problem but it would help to move us down the road and that would be a


step forward. We down the road and that would be a


dilution of the national flag. That is from the statement of the deed


you leave. -- DUP. The Belfast agreement made it clear that under


the principle of consent, we would remain part of the United Kingdom


until the greater number of people decided otherwise. Under the


principle of consent therefore the union flag is the flag of this part


of the United Kingdom. That is our national flag. It should be accorded


the respect from everybody, not just from Unionist but everyone in the


country but it is our national flag. We will not allow any dilution of


the national flag because it is the flag of the nation and as a British


subject that is where I am. The peace process is about recognising


two traditions. It is also about keeping the principles we signed up


to. The principle of consent in the Belfast agreement is clear. We are


staying in the United Kingdom until such times as the greater number of


people decide otherwise for the icy note evidence of the greater number


of people in Northern Ireland moving away from the United Kingdom for


that in fact we are moving more in the other direction. Flying the flag


on designated days at all cancers in Northern Ireland would achieve


that. That is our proposal in terms of dealing with the flag for the pic


is how it is flown at the majority of councils across the rest of the


United kingdom. -- United Kingdom. They do you recognise my Irish


identity quest to Mac it is not up to me to recognise that. While I am


saying to you is that you have to accept what you signed up to in the


Belfast agreement which is the principle of consent. Sinn Fein time


and time again move away from that. That is another aspect which you


have failed upon. Do you believe the recent violence from Unionism. We


are moving away from the question now. What have you deemed from that?


The reason they decided to now. What have you deemed from that?


was they had been involved in the peace process after the Suez crisis


in the 1950s. It was good to rebrand and shake off some of their colonial


baggage. There is no country more loyal to the Commonwealth than


Canada. Not to mention Quebec and Montreal. They felt it was time to


rebrand and move on. I believe Northern Ireland has reached that


point. There is a fundamental distance. Northern Ireland is a


constituent part of the United Kingdom. Canada never was. The flag


constituent part of the United is in the union flag was up I would


be happy to adopt the Saint Patrick flag. Time for the next question. Is


the UVF cease-fire still intact? There have been instances and


protests about the flag. If the cease-fire still intact? It is still


intact. You will have two ask the IRA. I am saying it is intact. But


what I am saying to the questioner is that you have two


what I am saying to the questioner the IRA cease-fire is still intact.


If we take the statement by the Deputy First Minister that the UVF


was organised in an incident. None of the people involved were in the


UVF. The police cannot tell me who was responsible for the shooting for


the people on the ground do not know. People in East Belfast do not


believe it was the UVF. Those sort of thing should not be


believe it was the UVF. Those sort now. I do not believe you can be a


criminal and a loyalist at the same time. I am in the Progressive


Unionist Party and we have a broad church. We know the party is linked


to the UVF. We have been saying this from before 1984. Our goal is to


give political advice whenever they ask for it. It is a closer link than


anyone else at this table. I have answered the question. I do think


people need to recognise that there are Republicans out


people need to recognise that there kill people and take the city apart.


We are not hearing questions coming from there. The UVF cease-fire is a


matter for the chief constable and the police to determine on. The


signs are not good in terms of the attempted murder and what is going


on in relation to Tracey Coulter. That is another colour military


organisation. That paramilitary organisation could I do not care


where any paramilitary organisation comes from that that is no place


them in Northern Ireland today. That is the point that needs to be made.


They need to get off the backs of the working class people in those


areas and they need to move away from their loan shark activities and


drug activities and all those sorts of activities that back bringing


harm to working class areas. I think we need to send clear messages out


that paramilitary is has no place in Northern Ireland. We have to be


clear about this. The chief constable and assistant chief


constable and others cannot tell us where this is going on. It is OK for


members of the Assembly to say all of this but that is no evidence from


the police that suggests to me this is going on. We want to see a


society where there are no paramilitaries in society. We should


watch the show, listening to do what they are saying and witness the


diatribe spilling into people 's living rooms is part of the problem.


Orange, green, it does not change. You do not represent me. It is time


to move on. It is a whole lot of us here who do not take sides and never


have. We have been left behind. When I say paramilitaries should go, that


is taking sides? The question was, do we believe the


the UVF are still in operation? We have people that are being


threatened by the UVF and are looking for my help. We need to look


at who is responsible? I think it is the Secretary of State that has two:


If these fires are still in place or not, but the reality is, people do


not believe that after the brutal attack after somebody like Gemma


McGrath, who we hope will walk again, but when you see a young


child of 15, shot in the legs, who might lose their limbs, that is


child abuse. I am not discounting those who took a bomb into the city


centre and left it and could have caused absolute carnage in our city


centre. I do not discount that, nor do I argue that we should all those


people to account, but nobody is arguing that those people are on


cease-fire. Nobody is arguing that the people are not engaged in active


terrorism. People create a smoke screen by saying elements within,


almonds within the UVF are links to responsible for... If the UVF are


behind these attacks, we need clarity and we need to shine a light


on those attacks where it is clear that former Republicans, mainstream


Republicans, they had been working with dissident republicans, because


it has been clear from some of the devices that were planted that this


technology has been passed on. We need to highlight all of that, and I


ask of the government that they put in place the kind of reporting that


we had when he has the Independent in place the kind of reporting that


monitoring commission to look at the activities, both those that are


criminal and terrorist related and shine a light on that. I agree with


the woman in the audience, this is the point where I switch off the


television and I sit on my sofa and dream, wouldn't it be amazing if we


could educate our children together? Wouldn't it be incredible


if we could stop adding ridiculous arrogance about flags this matter I


would not like any flag! Other than the one I would cook up myself! I


would like the money wasted on policing these arguments to go to


the health service, to go to the education service, and frankly, I


think the loyalist people have been sold a pub in thinking that holding


on to a piece of material with crosses and exes in red and blue


actually maintained their sense British this? My sense of humanity


is my nationality, my family is my nation. Do you think the UVF


cease-fire is over? The evidence is on the ground. If you are living in


east Belfast, North Belfast or other constituencies under the control of


the UVF, you cannot turn the TV off, it is the reality of the


situation in their lives. The question is, why is it still in


existence 15 years after the cease-fire is? No matter how many


years, six or seven years since the disbandment of the IRA, and they


have disbanded, it may suit the debate for Naomi to say, mainstream


Republicans are involved in this, no credible analysis of the current


situation will show you that mainstream Republicans are involved


in any of the anti-peace process activities that are being carried


out by the UVF or by so-called dissident republicans. I suspect


that the same people running the UVF are running dissident republicans


and I hope in ten years time you're not sitting in this studio finding


out that malign elements within the so-called British security services


were messing with all of our lives? Let's go back to the question. Billy


knew all along that there was collusion with the mythic tribunal,


wide it he not bring his evidence before the tribunal took place? At


however, I have no time for any paramilitary organisations or any


type of violence in any quarter, but the violence that has been portrayed


on the Shankill, that the lady's home was attacked and drug-related,


they need to... The lady's home in the Shankill Road is nothing to do


with the UVF, she has said to it was, we need to be clear about all


of this. Yes, we need to be accurate at all times. Now, a question. Is


Gerry Adams now a liability to Sinn Fein and Republicans, both north and


south of the border? A recent re-weighting over questions in his


role in the disappeared and other the conviction of his brother Liam


on sex abuse charges have raised questions, do you think is


liability? If I ask this question, why are so many enemies of


Republicans looking to get rid of him? When I see anti-peace process


Republicans on the TV telling allayed stories about Gerry Adams


and are feeling some Gerry Adams and how he is damaging republic is,


these are the same people that walked away from republicanism,


because he was bringing us into the peace process. When I see the


mainstream media concerned about the future of Sinn Fein because Gerry


Adams is leading them, this is the same media that for years have been


attacking Sinn Fein on a wide variety of issues and I say, they


are not genuinely concerned for the well-being of Sinn Fein are Gerry


Adams or the victim of Liam Adams, because it is the child that is


abused by the media, the South, because it is the child that is


these allegations. In fairness, she came forward. I am not pointing any


finger of blame to the victim of this crime, do not suggest this. I


am not saying this, you said the media were dragging it out, she


rejected anonymity and came forward. People are not interested in the


victim, they are interested in political scaremongering. Gerry


Adams has your support? Yes, until he stands at the Ard Fheis and says


he does not want to be the leader, then he will have my support. There


is a great danger for people using politics as other types of showbiz


for the less talented. I think we are talking about going around in


circles and I do not really care very much about our politicians, to


be honest with you! They do not have any leadership. It is showbiz for


the ugly, present company excluded! These are important questions, the


questions about what Gerry Adams might have known about the


disappeared, his role might hit have been in the ultimate conviction of


his brother... I am not naive enough to think that everything he said is


true. I do not think a lot of what our politicians say is true, a lot


of it is about perception and about encouraging people to vote in


traditional ways. I think that we think Lily failed to have leadership


in this country. -- singer Lily failed. What is important at the


moment is the possibility of fracking in County Fermanagh. She


seems to dismiss politics out of hand, it plays to anti-peace process


elements, and I am not talking about any politics. I am very political. I


have very political but I do not think we have effective politics in


Northern Ireland. Naomi, would you address the question of Gerry Adams


being a liability or otherwise to Republicans north and south? I am


not in a position to say whether Republicans think he is a liability


or not, that is their decision, but I think it does show how things were


in Northern Ireland, not just in terms of what one to me that he did


to another, but the kind of injustices that were meted out


within families and within communities because of the very


warped sense of loyalty that people had to different causes. Fact that


people didn't feel they could engage with the police, the fact that they


did not think they had recourse to justice, the fact that people opted


to go to paramilitary is to add resolution rather than the normal


justice system, and how justice was denied, but also on the core


issues. Things like child abuse, things like abuse of young people,


those things also were not given their problems during the troubles,


because everything focused on something else. That is injustice,


and that will out also. And that is why walking away from the past is


not a solution, we have why walking away from the past is


the past, deal with the past, and that involves everyone in this room


and it involves Gerry Adams also and no walking away from what he did,


what he did and did not know. It has to be acknowledged by everyone in


the community and we need to find ways to heal this harm that has been


done. Essentially, there are two questions in relation to the


leadership of Sinn Fein. That is a matter for Sinn Fein and they will


make their own decision. As to his credibility, he has not had any


credibility for some considerable time. This insistence that he is not


a member or never was a member of the IRA is just laughable, nobody


believes him. The issue about the disappeared which was hugely


difficult programme to watch, but a very important programme to be have


been made. His credibility is nowhere. If you look at his point


about politicians in Northern Ireland and if you look at Naomi's


point, there was a culture of secrecy, particularly around child


abuse in the 70s, 80s and 90s and I have seen it in my constituency and


you may conclude politicians, Rita, you're entitled to do that, but if


you are dealing with constituents that have suffered from historic


child abuse going back to the 70s and 80s, I think that we do quite a


good job in a constituency offices. You may disagree, but that is a


fundamental part of what we date. You might see a Sun TV thinking we


fight and stew of those things, but we deliver a service. Very quick


late, Billy. Looking at it from the outside, there are three things that


has hung Gerry Adams, from sort of people that are not involved with


republicanism, and that is, the non-reporting of the rape of his


knees. -- neice. Also, his denial of being in the IRA, and also the


disappeared. What do you think? Stephen, what you think the answer


to your question is? I Stephen, what you think the answer


is becoming a bit of a liability, and in general, my personal opinion,


I would welcome any severing of a criminal past that Sinn Fein may


have, and I welcome that for the future, so it might be time to move


on, but that is only my opinion. Just one comments to go by? The


criminal past of champagne? -- Sinn Fein? A period in our history in


conflict, let us not just dismiss it as a criminal conspiracy. Let us


move on, Andrew Morrison has a question, he buys aircraft parts and


he from Londonderry. The question, he buys aircraft parts and


2013 and Scotland as an independent nation, where does that leave


Unionism? The two years into the independence debate, birders


Unionism stand here? I do not think it will happen, and when you listen


to the debate in Scotland, I am not so sure that the Scottish National


Party Billy wants independence, because they still want the Queen


and the currency and it is not for me a real question. I do not think


they will get independence, because I do not think people in Scotland


will want the vote for independence, , so for me, I do not think it will


happen. A hypothetical question not worth addressing. I think you're


hoping it will not happen. It will be enormously good for the tourism


potential, they can celebrate cultural... Berlitz leave Unionism?


Baby in a to learn. Learn what? Learn more about the colonial


situation we're living in. It is an interesting proposition, I do not


think Scotland will leave the union, I think they will opt for the


devolution max. That trend is, we will see maximum devolution in


different regions of the UK, maximum co-operation between the Republic of


Ireland and the UK, and I think we will see that within an expanding


Europe, so I do not know that even if Scotland were to leave the union,


given the kind of context in which they are talking about, which


given the kind of context in which remaining in the EU, keeping the


pound sterling, and all the rest of it, I do not think it would really


affect things here and I think given how complex our politics are, I am


happy to let the Scottish people make up their own mind in this


situation. I would get annoyed when people told us what to do in


Northern Ireland, I think we should be mature enough to make our own


choices. I am happy to let the Scottish people make their decision,


but the reality is, we will have a situation with smaller as poorer


nations with more regionally devolves power but better


cooperation between them, and that is a really good thing regardless of


whether Scotland is in or out of the union. The interesting thing about


the Scottish debate is it as been handled rationally and it is about


the economy and the economic and asserts of awe of not leaving the


union and that is what our debate asserts of awe of not leaving the


needs to be. We do not have the information coming from the Treasury


about what it means for us to leave the union, we're told that we will


get a grant and all of this, but they do not breakdown the figures.


Very Unionism, I think it means that if Scotland leaves the union, that


you can leave the union and still have British identity. That is worth


exploring in relation to how the Scottish have dealt with this


aliment of British identity in their society. It also shows that the


union can dissolve and it can dissolve peacefully and


democratically and society can move on. The other interesting element is


the rise of nationalism within England and I am not talking about


the racist nationalism that we have on the streets of England at times,


I mean the debate around English representatives about where their


identity is going and where it is going in terms of economic power.


Arlene. The difference between Scottish rationalism and


republicanism here, we did not have 40 years of violence in Scotland and


John needs to allege that. I am very happy to have the economic debate


with John because the UK is the fastest-growing developed nation in


the world and why in heaven 's name with Scotland's leave that growth


pattern that they have? It is a hypothetical question and it is a


negotiating position and they probably will give more devolution


of the back of its depending on how close the debate is, but with


regards to Northern Ireland, we are in the UK and we are into state.


Andrew? It is interesting, some dismissive views, but in the next


few years, will you a lot about this with people talking about Northern


Ireland. -- we will hear a lot. It is not down traditional party lines


as other issues would be. That is where we have to leave it this


evening. Thank you to our guests and studio audience and GUI tool for


watching and taking part. The debate continues online. From this the


team, good night.


Joining Noel Thompson to debate all the week's big talking points, with a studio audience, are: MLAs Arlene Foster, DUP, and John O'Dowd, Sinn Fein; Alliance MP Naomi Long, PUP leader Billy Hutchinson and artist Rita Duffy.

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