03/12/2013 Spotlight


03/12/2013

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.


Similar Content

Browse content similar to 03/12/2013. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!

Transcript


LineFromTo

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

:00:32.:00:40.

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

:00:41.:00:47.

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

:00:48.:00:56.

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

:00:57.:01:11.

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

:01:12.:01:17.

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

:01:18.:01:19.

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

:01:20.:01:32.

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

:01:33.:01:34.

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

:01:35.:02:07.

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

:02:08.:02:19.

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

:02:20.:02:28.

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

:02:29.:02:36.

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

:02:37.:02:40.

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

:02:41.:02:46.

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

:02:47.:02:50.

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

:02:51.:02:55.

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

:02:56.:03:01.

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

:03:02.:03:09.

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

:03:10.:03:13.

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

:03:14.:03:16.

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

:03:17.:03:19.

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

:03:20.:03:22.

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

:03:23.:03:26.

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

:03:27.:03:30.

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

:03:31.:03:35.

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

:03:36.:03:40.

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

:03:41.:03:43.

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

:03:44.:03:48.

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

:03:49.:03:54.

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

:03:55.:03:57.

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

:03:58.:04:02.

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

:04:03.:04:08.

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

:04:09.:04:13.

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

:04:14.:04:20.

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

:04:21.:04:26.

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

:04:27.:04:39.

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

:04:40.:04:45.

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

:04:46.:04:49.

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

:04:50.:04:57.

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

:04:58.:05:03.

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

:05:04.:05:10.

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

:05:11.:05:17.

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

:05:18.:05:26.

about Smithwick. What influence whether this decision have an any

:05:27.:05:32.

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

:05:33.:05:44.

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

:05:45.:05:46.

international style truth committee. -- commission. Might a

:05:47.:05:53.

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

:05:54.:05:58.

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

:05:59.:06:07.

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

:06:08.:06:15.

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

:06:16.:06:23.

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

:06:24.:06:24.

commission? death knell for any truth

:06:25.:06:41.

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

:06:42.:06:47.

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

:06:48.:06:51.

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

:06:52.:06:54.

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

:06:55.:07:00.

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

:07:01.:07:09.

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

:07:10.:07:13.

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

:07:14.:07:21.

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

:07:22.:07:26.

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

:07:27.:07:33.

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

:07:34.:07:42.

catalyst for the Irish government to acknowledge and I welcome the

:07:43.:07:52.

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

:07:53.:08:03.

Omissions were made at that particular point in time in relation

:08:04.:08:06.

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

:08:07.:08:12.

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

:08:13.:08:21.

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

:08:22.:08:30.

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

:08:31.:08:34.

corporate responsibility will stop when you bring it down to

:08:35.:08:38.

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

:08:39.:08:50.

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

:08:51.:09:02.

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

:09:03.:09:07.

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

:09:08.:09:20.

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

:09:21.:09:27.

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

:09:28.:09:34.

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

:09:35.:09:40.

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

:09:41.:09:43.

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

:09:44.:09:52.

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

:09:53.:09:58.

paramilitary violence being as important as victims of state

:09:59.:10:02.

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

:10:03.:10:06.

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

:10:07.:10:12.

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

:10:13.:10:18.

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

:10:19.:10:29.

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

:10:30.:10:34.

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

:10:35.:10:39.

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

:10:40.:10:45.

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

:10:46.:10:51.

lost his life. The press at the time but

:10:52.:10:54.

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

:10:55.:10:58.

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

:10:59.:11:07.

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

:11:08.:11:12.

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

:11:13.:11:20.

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

:11:21.:11:26.

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

:11:27.:11:37.

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

:11:38.:11:39.

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

:11:40.:11:44.

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

:11:45.:11:49.

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

:11:50.:11:57.

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

:11:58.:12:01.

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

:12:02.:12:05.

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

:12:06.:12:12.

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

:12:13.:12:16.

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

:12:17.:12:20.

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

:12:21.:12:24.

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

:12:25.:12:32.

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

:12:33.:12:37.

English-speaking voice in the Kingsmill murders was involved in

:12:38.:12:45.

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

:12:46.:12:48.

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

:12:49.:12:58.

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

:12:59.:13:02.

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

:13:03.:13:10.

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

:13:11.:13:16.

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

:13:17.:13:22.

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

:13:23.:13:27.

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

:13:28.:13:30.

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

:13:31.:13:39.

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

:13:40.:13:43.

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

:13:44.:13:50.

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

:13:51.:13:56.

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

:13:57.:13:59.

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

:14:00.:14:07.

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

:14:08.:14:12.

prosecutions and enquiries on issues before the Good Friday agreement.

:14:13.:14:15.

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

:14:16.:14:20.

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

:14:21.:14:28.

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

:14:29.:14:32.

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

:14:33.:14:37.

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

:14:38.:14:41.

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

:14:42.:14:49.

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

:14:50.:14:55.

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

:14:56.:14:58.

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

:14:59.:15:05.

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

:15:06.:15:09.

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

:15:10.:15:13.

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

:15:14.:15:15.

everyone should have the attacked in County Tyrone, and

:15:16.:15:19.

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

:15:20.:15:24.

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

:15:25.:15:28.

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

:15:29.:15:37.

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

:15:38.:15:46.

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

:15:47.:15:49.

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

:15:50.:15:54.

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

:15:55.:15:58.

everybody else supported the Good Friday Agreement here, and

:15:59.:16:04.

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

:16:05.:16:08.

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

:16:09.:16:13.

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

:16:14.:16:23.

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

:16:24.:16:26.

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

:16:27.:16:31.

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

:16:32.:16:38.

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

:16:39.:16:47.

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

:16:48.:16:51.

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

:16:52.:16:59.

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

:17:00.:17:08.

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

:17:09.:17:16.

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

:17:17.:17:21.

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

:17:22.:17:25.

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

:17:26.:17:29.

are encouraged to get on with their lives. APPLAUSE

:17:30.:17:36.

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

:17:37.:17:43.

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

:17:44.:17:48.

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

:17:49.:17:51.

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

:17:52.:18:03.

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

:18:04.:18:06.

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

:18:07.:18:10.

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

:18:11.:18:13.

nations beyond where it is possible. That is a different

:18:14.:18:17.

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

:18:18.:18:21.

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

:18:22.:18:26.

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

:18:27.:18:30.

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

:18:31.:18:35.

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

:18:36.:18:41.

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

:18:42.:18:44.

choice for the individual victims and we have to respect these

:18:45.:18:46.

decisions that they make, and we have to respect these

:18:47.:18:50.

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

:18:51.:18:54.

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

:18:55.:18:59.

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

:19:00.:19:06.

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

:19:07.:19:10.

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

:19:11.:19:14.

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

:19:15.:19:19.

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

:19:20.:19:22.

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

:19:23.:19:29.

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

:19:30.:19:33.

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

:19:34.:19:38.

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

:19:39.:19:42.

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

:19:43.:19:47.

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

:19:48.:19:51.

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

:19:52.:19:55.

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

:19:56.:19:59.

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

:20:00.:20:04.

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

:20:05.:20:11.

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

:20:12.:20:17.

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

:20:18.:20:29.

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

:20:30.:20:33.

the prosecutions over the last number of years since signing the

:20:34.:20:38.

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

:20:39.:20:41.

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

:20:42.:20:46.

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

:20:47.:20:54.

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

:20:55.:20:58.

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

:20:59.:21:03.

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

:21:04.:21:08.

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

:21:09.:21:13.

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

:21:14.:21:17.

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

:21:18.:21:24.

conundrum we are facing. Notwithstanding the appetite for

:21:25.:21:25.

truth or justice, clearly Notwithstanding the appetite for

:21:26.:21:31.

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

:21:32.:21:33.

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

:21:34.:21:41.

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

:21:42.:21:46.

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

:21:47.:21:50.

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

:21:51.:21:54.

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

:21:55.:21:59.

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

:22:00.:22:05.

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

:22:06.:22:12.

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

:22:13.:22:15.

conspiracy, this is an internationally recognised conflict

:22:16.:22:18.

that needed a internationally recognised conflict

:22:19.:22:21.

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

:22:22.:22:26.

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

:22:27.:22:31.

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

:22:32.:22:35.

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

:22:36.:22:43.

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

:22:44.:22:46.

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

:22:47.:22:51.

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

:22:52.:22:57.

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

:22:58.:23:06.

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

:23:07.:23:09.

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

:23:10.:23:15.

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

:23:16.:23:17.

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

:23:18.:23:27.

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

:23:28.:23:30.

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

:23:31.:23:35.

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

:23:36.:23:43.

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

:23:44.:23:48.

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

:23:49.:23:54.

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

:23:55.:23:59.

members of the IRA, there were clearly other political party

:24:00.:24:02.

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

:24:03.:24:05.

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

:24:06.:24:09.

conflict between nations and communities here that had to be

:24:10.:24:14.

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

:24:15.:24:23.

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

:24:24.:24:27.

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

:24:28.:24:30.

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

:24:31.:24:34.

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

:24:35.:24:45.

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

:24:46.:24:50.

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

:24:51.:24:56.

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

:24:57.:25:02.

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

:25:03.:25:07.

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

:25:08.:25:16.

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

:25:17.:25:20.

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

:25:21.:25:25.

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

:25:26.:25:29.

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

:25:30.:25:32.

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

:25:33.:25:38.

particularly happy whenever these flags were changed, so from that

:25:39.:25:41.

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

:25:42.:25:47.

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

:25:48.:25:49.

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

:25:50.:25:53.

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

:25:54.:25:58.

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

:25:59.:26:03.

interesting how involved the executive got? Is there a concrete

:26:04.:26:11.

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

:26:12.:26:30.

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

:26:31.:26:37.

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

:26:38.:26:42.

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

:26:43.:26:49.

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

:26:50.:27:00.

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

:27:01.:27:07.

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

:27:08.:27:21.

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

:27:22.:27:31.

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

:27:32.:27:48.

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

:27:49.:27:54.

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

:27:55.:28:03.

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

:28:04.:28:12.

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

:28:13.:28:16.

of negotiations and inwardly about colours on a flag afterwards full

:28:17.:28:20.

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

:28:21.:28:32.

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

:28:33.:28:35.

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

:28:36.:28:43.

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

:28:44.:28:58.

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

:28:59.:29:04.

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

:29:05.:29:09.

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

:29:10.:29:19.

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

:29:20.:29:24.

Nationalities have become ludicrously expensive when you think

:29:25.:29:28.

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

:29:29.:29:32.

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

:29:33.:29:38.

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

:29:39.:29:48.

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

:29:49.:29:55.

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

:29:56.:30:04.

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

:30:05.:30:08.

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

:30:09.:30:18.

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

:30:19.:30:22.

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

:30:23.:30:32.

Richard has been playing devils advocate when talking about flags.

:30:33.:30:39.

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

:30:40.:30:51.

issues. The British government treated Unionism as the Americans

:30:52.:30:55.

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

:30:56.:31:12.

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

:31:13.:31:15.

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

:31:16.:31:19.

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

:31:20.:31:27.

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

:31:28.:31:30.

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

:31:31.:31:37.

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

:31:38.:31:44.

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

:31:45.:31:48.

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

:31:49.:31:56.

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

:31:57.:32:02.

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

:32:03.:32:08.

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

:32:09.:32:12.

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

:32:13.:32:21.

constitutional symbols. We should treat both flags with respect and

:32:22.:32:27.

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

:32:28.:32:33.

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

:32:34.:32:38.

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

:32:39.:32:43.

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

:32:44.:32:44.

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

:32:45.:32:53.

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

:32:54.:33:01.

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

:33:02.:33:06.

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

:33:07.:33:10.

until the greater number of people decided otherwise. Under the

:33:11.:33:13.

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

:33:14.:33:18.

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

:33:19.:33:22.

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

:33:23.:33:27.

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

:33:28.:33:32.

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

:33:33.:33:40.

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

:33:41.:33:46.

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

:33:47.:33:52.

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

:33:53.:33:55.

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

:33:56.:33:59.

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

:34:00.:34:04.

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

:34:05.:34:08.

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

:34:09.:34:17.

on designated days at all cancers in Northern Ireland would achieve

:34:18.:34:20.

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

:34:21.:34:24.

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

:34:25.:34:34.

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

:34:35.:34:42.

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

:34:43.:34:49.

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

:34:50.:34:53.

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

:34:54.:35:00.

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

:35:01.:35:09.

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

:35:10.:35:15.

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

:35:16.:35:24.

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

:35:25.:35:29.

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

:35:30.:35:38.

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

:35:39.:35:46.

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

:35:47.:35:54.

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

:35:55.:36:01.

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

:36:02.:36:09.

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

:36:10.:36:11.

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

:36:12.:36:22.

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

:36:23.:36:26.

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

:36:27.:36:44.

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

:36:45.:36:53.

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

:36:54.:37:00.

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

:37:01.:37:08.

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

:37:09.:37:15.

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

:37:16.:37:24.

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

:37:25.:37:38.

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

:37:39.:37:46.

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

:37:47.:37:48.

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

:37:49.:38:04.

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

:38:05.:38:12.

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

:38:13.:38:15.

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

:38:16.:38:22.

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

:38:23.:38:35.

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

:38:36.:38:38.

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

:38:39.:38:52.

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

:38:53.:38:58.

people need to recognise that there are Republicans out

:38:59.:39:00.

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

:39:01.:39:03.

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

:39:04.:39:17.

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

:39:18.:39:21.

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

:39:22.:39:30.

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

:39:31.:39:35.

organisation. That paramilitary organisation could I do not care

:39:36.:39:39.

where any paramilitary organisation comes from that that is no place

:39:40.:39:43.

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

:39:44.:39:49.

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

:39:50.:39:54.

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

:39:55.:39:58.

drug activities and all those sorts of activities that back bringing

:39:59.:40:05.

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

:40:06.:40:13.

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

:40:14.:40:22.

clear about this. The chief constable and assistant chief

:40:23.:40:29.

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

:40:30.:40:37.

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

:40:38.:40:40.

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

:40:41.:40:47.

society where there are no paramilitaries in society. We should

:40:48.:40:57.

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

:40:58.:41:03.

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

:41:04.:41:09.

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

:41:10.:41:13.

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

:41:14.:41:22.

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

:41:23.:41:24.

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

:41:25.:41:43.

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

:41:44.:41:46.

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

:41:47.:41:52.

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

:41:53.:41:56.

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

:41:57.:42:04.

not believe that after the brutal attack after somebody like Gemma

:42:05.:42:07.

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

:42:08.:42:14.

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

:42:15.:42:19.

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

:42:20.:42:25.

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

:42:26.:42:29.

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

:42:30.:42:33.

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

:42:34.:42:39.

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

:42:40.:42:45.

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

:42:46.:42:50.

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

:42:51.:42:54.

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

:42:55.:42:59.

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

:43:00.:43:03.

Republicans, they had been working with dissident republicans, because

:43:04.:43:07.

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

:43:08.:43:11.

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

:43:12.:43:15.

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

:43:16.:43:18.

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

:43:19.:43:22.

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

:43:23.:43:27.

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

:43:28.:43:32.

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

:43:33.:43:36.

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

:43:37.:43:39.

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

:43:40.:43:43.

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

:43:44.:43:48.

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

:43:49.:43:52.

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

:43:53.:43:56.

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

:43:57.:44:00.

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

:44:01.:44:05.

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

:44:06.:44:08.

actually maintained their sense British this? My sense of humanity

:44:09.:44:14.

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

:44:15.:44:26.

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

:44:27.:44:31.

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

:44:32.:44:34.

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

:44:35.:44:38.

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

:44:39.:44:42.

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

:44:43.:44:48.

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

:44:49.:44:52.

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

:44:53.:44:56.

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

:44:57.:45:00.

situation will show you that mainstream Republicans are involved

:45:01.:45:04.

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

:45:05.:45:10.

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

:45:11.:45:13.

that the same people running the UVF are running dissident republicans

:45:14.:45:17.

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

:45:18.:45:21.

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

:45:22.:45:25.

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

:45:26.:45:38.

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

:45:39.:45:43.

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

:45:44.:45:49.

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

:45:50.:45:51.

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

:45:52.:45:58.

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

:45:59.:46:05.

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

:46:06.:46:08.

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

:46:09.:46:17.

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

:46:18.:46:25.

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

:46:26.:46:33.

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

:46:34.:46:39.

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

:46:40.:46:44.

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

:46:45.:46:52.

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

:46:53.:46:55.

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

:46:56.:47:01.

Republicans on the TV telling allayed stories about Gerry Adams

:47:02.:47:03.

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

:47:04.:47:07.

these are the same people that walked away from republicanism,

:47:08.:47:11.

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

:47:12.:47:17.

mainstream media concerned about the future of Sinn Fein because Gerry

:47:18.:47:20.

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

:47:21.:47:24.

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

:47:25.:47:29.

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

:47:30.:47:33.

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

:47:34.:47:38.

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

:47:39.:47:48.

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

:47:49.:47:54.

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

:47:55.:48:00.

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

:48:01.:48:09.

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

:48:10.:48:14.

victim, they are interested in political scaremongering. Gerry

:48:15.:48:22.

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

:48:23.:48:25.

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

:48:26.:48:32.

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

:48:33.:48:38.

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

:48:39.:48:41.

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

:48:42.:48:47.

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

:48:48.:48:55.

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

:48:56.:48:58.

questions about what Gerry Adams might have known about the

:48:59.:49:01.

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

:49:02.:49:08.

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

:49:09.:49:12.

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

:49:13.:49:17.

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

:49:18.:49:21.

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

:49:22.:49:25.

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

:49:26.:49:31.

moment is the possibility of fracking in County Fermanagh. She

:49:32.:49:42.

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

:49:43.:49:46.

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

:49:47.:49:57.

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

:49:58.:50:04.

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

:50:05.:50:08.

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

:50:09.:50:14.

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

:50:15.:50:19.

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

:50:20.:50:24.

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

:50:25.:50:28.

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

:50:29.:50:30.

within families and within communities because of the very

:50:31.:50:34.

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

:50:35.:50:38.

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

:50:39.:50:42.

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

:50:43.:50:46.

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

:50:47.:50:51.

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

:50:52.:50:57.

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

:50:58.:51:01.

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

:51:02.:51:05.

because everything focused on something else. That is injustice,

:51:06.:51:10.

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

:51:11.:51:12.

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

:51:13.:51:16.

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

:51:17.:51:21.

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

:51:22.:51:26.

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

:51:27.:51:28.

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

:51:29.:51:36.

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

:51:37.:51:39.

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

:51:40.:51:43.

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

:51:44.:51:46.

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

:51:47.:51:51.

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

:51:52.:51:58.

believes him. The issue about the disappeared which was hugely

:51:59.:52:00.

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

:52:01.:52:03.

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

:52:04.:52:08.

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

:52:09.:52:12.

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

:52:13.:52:18.

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

:52:19.:52:22.

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

:52:23.:52:29.

you are dealing with constituents that have suffered from historic

:52:30.:52:33.

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

:52:34.:52:39.

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

:52:40.:52:43.

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

:52:44.:52:53.

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

:52:54.:53:01.

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

:53:02.:53:07.

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

:53:08.:53:12.

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

:53:13.:53:35.

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

:53:36.:53:41.

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

:53:42.:53:45.

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

:53:46.:53:53.

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

:53:54.:53:59.

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

:54:00.:54:02.

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

:54:03.:54:07.

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

:54:08.:54:18.

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

:54:19.:54:29.

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

:54:30.:54:34.

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

:54:35.:54:37.

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

:54:38.:54:44.

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

:54:45.:54:54.

Unionism? The two years into the independence debate, birders

:54:55.:55:00.

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

:55:01.:55:04.

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

:55:05.:55:08.

Party Billy wants independence, because they still want the Queen

:55:09.:55:15.

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

:55:16.:55:19.

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

:55:20.:55:22.

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

:55:23.:55:28.

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

:55:29.:55:35.

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

:55:36.:55:42.

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

:55:43.:55:51.

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

:55:52.:56:00.

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

:56:01.:56:02.

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

:56:03.:56:08.

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

:56:09.:56:14.

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

:56:15.:56:17.

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

:56:18.:56:21.

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

:56:22.:56:25.

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

:56:26.:56:27.

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

:56:28.:56:31.

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

:56:32.:56:36.

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

:56:37.:56:39.

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

:56:40.:56:44.

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

:56:45.:56:47.

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

:56:48.:56:51.

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

:56:52.:56:55.

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

:56:56.:57:00.

nations with more regionally devolves power but better

:57:01.:57:02.

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

:57:03.:57:05.

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

:57:06.:57:11.

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

:57:12.:57:16.

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

:57:17.:57:17.

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

:57:18.:57:26.

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

:57:27.:57:30.

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

:57:31.:57:34.

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

:57:35.:57:38.

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

:57:39.:57:46.

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

:57:47.:57:48.

exploring in relation to how the Scottish have dealt with this

:57:49.:57:51.

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

:57:52.:57:55.

union can dissolve and it can dissolve peacefully and

:57:56.:57:59.

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

:58:00.:58:04.

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

:58:05.:58:09.

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

:58:10.:58:15.

I mean the debate around English representatives about where their

:58:16.:58:18.

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

:58:19.:58:27.

Arlene. The difference between Scottish rationalism and

:58:28.:58:30.

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

:58:31.:58:35.

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

:58:36.:58:39.

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

:58:40.:58:42.

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

:58:43.:58:48.

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

:58:49.:58:51.

negotiating position and they probably will give more devolution

:58:52.:58:56.

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

:58:57.:59:00.

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

:59:01.:59:07.

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

:59:08.:59:12.

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

:59:13.:59:23.

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

:59:24.:59:28.

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

:59:29.:59:32.

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

:59:33.:59:35.

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

:59:36.:59:46.

team, good night.

:59:47.:59:48.

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.


Download Subtitles

SRT

ASS