26/01/2017 The View


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Day one of the election campaign proper and already a major skirmish.


One of the most senior legal figures in Northern Ireland takes


on Conservative and Unionist criticism over his impartiality -


Legacy is back in the headlines and in a big way -


are prosecutions of soldiers a witch hunt or long delayed justice?


Has this pushed back even further dealing with the past?


Plus, it'll be just ten months from the last one -


so who's in the market for a new election?


I will not be voting again, they are not worth voting for.


Also tonight, after Ian Paisley said many people were further down


the road to reconciliation than the politicians,


I'll be talking to two men who've been a witness to that


And one week in office, we've Donald Trump as you've


And in better voice - hopefully - our commentators


Ex-soldiers will march on Westminster tomorrow


in their continuing campaign against being prosecuted


It's escalated to such an extent that one of the most


senior legal figures here, the Director of Public Prosecutions,


Barra McGrory, has hit back at critics who say


Joining me now are the DUP's Sir Jeffrey Donaldson


Barra McGrory has been defending himself against those charges


made against him today - but tonight your party


leader has again claimed the prosecution of soldiers


It looks like the DPP has become collateral damage


in the early stages of this brutal election campaign.


This is an issue that is gathering momentum at Westminster. A


across-the-board, not just for those interested in Northern Ireland


politics. But it has dragged Barra McGrory into it, it has become


toxic, the Director of Public Prosecutions has been pulled into


the NT is not happy. It was the BBC who went to interview him, the


political parties. In terms of the problem that we have, this is a


symptom of the problem. I think we need to understand what the problem


is. We have a system at the moment that is not fair. We have a system


that is focused almost entirely on what the state does. Barra McGrory


can only take decisions based on files presented to him and someone


is preparing those files and it is not the Director of Public


Prosecutions, it is the PSNI, they are legacy investigation unit, which


is almost entirely dedicated, despite the fact there are 3000


unsolved murders, over 90% of those killings were carried out by Carolus


paramilitaries, despite that, over 90% of the resources available to


the PSNI legacy investigation unit is going towards investigating what


the States did. That is the problem. Last December we heard from the


Assistant Chief Constable but on the prosecution of soldiers there is no


witchhunt, nor specific human, he said he is simply fulfilling his


stature to the rule to investigate all deaths duelling the Troubles. I


have to challenge that. You do not believe him rich and Mark I have


investigated this. We have asked questions at the Policing Board. Let


us be clear. The moment most of the resources of the units that were


referred to, the legacy investigation Branch, it is going


towards investigating what's the state did. Let me ask the PSNI, who


is investigating bloody Friday? None of their resources are investigating


those atrocities. I am entitled to ask the question why. Why the focus


on what the state did. I will bring Gerry Kelly in but stick with such


you have moved the conversation away from Anna McCrory, are you


suggesting that you are happy with the way he conducts himself? -- from


Barra McGrory. Barra McGrory and his team, that file has been compiled


after investigation, they are not responsible. But there has been


criticism is directed against the Director of Public Prosecutions, he


said his integrity has been questioned, it is not clear to him


and his staff, are you saying you are no prepared to give your


unequivocal support to Barra McGrory as DPP? My criticism is not elected


towards the DPP. Does he have your complete support? I will answer the


question the way I want to do. It is this. I am clear. The problem is


that the cases against soldiers are not being investigated by Barra


McGrory or the DPP. You have said that. We need to understand this. He


has to take the decision based on an investigation, a police


investigation, whether this to be a prosecution. He has two criteria. Is


it in the public interest? Is there sufficient evidence? I do not see


the file therefore I cannot second-guess what the public


prosecutor does and does not know. The DUP and others have started an


attack on the DPP. I am glad he is pulling away from that. These


attacks work on the basis that he had defended Republicans. As he said


he had defended Republicans, Unionists, loyalists, all types,


which is the duty of any lawyer anyway. And should I take the


position that because he defended loyalists, or Unionists members of


the DUP and UUP that he is biased? That is ludicrous. They were in the


wrong. Now they have shifted onto a different thing, they want to shift


the blame someone else. Barra McGrory has your complete support of


his role as Director of Public Prosecutions, do you accept that


this looks to Unionists like another example of what they see as a


one-sided process where the physical opponents are attempting to be right


things? Nobody asked what was her view. Hiding behind other people's


perception does not cut it. If you are a politician you must lead as


well. Let me deal with proportionality, the proportionality


that has been brought up many times, and I noticed that as soon as the


election was caused -- calls, to try and move away from the scandal


within RHI and, they went to this issue. Proportionality, let us deal


with it. In terms of the number of British soldiers who have been


convicted over the last 40 years, I can remember for. Only four. Lee


Clegg was found guilty of murder, he did 22 months, sorry, Ian Clegg did


37 months. Somebody else did 22 months. All were brought back into


the British Army. Is that the way the British deal with justice? Does


that look one-sided to you? He is complaining about soldiers being in


for a limited amount of time. Let me remind you, the man who exploded a


bomb on the Shankill Road and murdered I believe seven innocent


people on that occasion, was convicted of seven life sentences,


and he was released after a much less period, it was made lace, and


he served seven years in prison, which is less than one year for each


life that he destroyed. Why was he released? Because of a deal that was


done and an Agreement that I post for that very reason. He was


released as part of a political settlement which the majority of


politicians and people in this country supported. People will be


dismayed about the two of you trading insults and examples across


the table. We are answering your questions. It was DUP that raise the


issue of proportionality. Let us deal with that yet again. An


estimate of 20,000 Republicans have gone through jail, they have done


100,000 years in jail. If you want to talk about proportionality, talk


about it. Unionists are concerned, I have heard this on the radio,


Republicans are keen on getting 100% transparency in relation to the 10%


of killings carried out by state forces, not so keen on complete


transparency for the 60% of Republican related killings. There


you go again with the 10%, if you deal with the over 300 deaths by


state forces, add to that will prove collusion, which brings the number


over 1000, even though 90% is a nonsense. Let us adjust the figures.


If you are concerned about 100% chance and see in a mission to 40%


of killings, the point remains the same, you are not so keen on the


other percentage. We have been through a number of negotiations in


the Stormont House Agreement and in fresh start. The architecture was


set up to deal with this right across the board. Most victims and


survivors want truth, -- want the truth, some want more. If you want


to deal with legacy, proportionality, there is over 50


legacy cases, some of them over 40 years old, the Lord Chief Justice,


not a politician, maybe he will get attacked next, he said he could sort


it out in five years, the DUP and the British Government will not hand


out this small amount of money which will allow justice to be done. How


did you respond? Let me be clear, I have never attacked the DPP or any


of the judicial system. The problem is... A lot of politicians have. I


am the person who reads the DUP team in dealing with legacy issues, we


reached the Stormont House Agreement and we stand by that and the


Stormont House Agreement made provision, and we want to implement


that, but you will not allow it to be implemented, over issues related


to national security. We are ready to implement this Agreement is


tomorrow and that is the way forward. People out there want to


hear about how we are going to resolve this issue. Let me speak.


The legacy case set outside that, to allow the money to go ahead, at


least get something that works. Address that point. I am sorry but


we are not going to allow a one-sided process to continue to be


even more one-sided. That is not on. Tell that to the actual victims and


families. Tell that... You are on the other side of the fence to the


Lord Chief Justice? He has set down his view of how this matter could be


dealt with as expeditiously as possible and you disagree? No. You


still blocked the proposal. You cannot create a hierarchy of


victims, where a certain element gets priority. The rest of the


victims are ignored. That is what has happened. He says you are trying


to put members of the British Army above the law? No. There has to be a


level playing field, the moment there isn't. You would be happy for


the soldiers to be prosecuted if other people were prosecuted as


well? I believe nobody is above the law. Would you be happy for them to


be prosecuted in certain certain -- circumstances, or never at all?


Should they ever be prosecuted? I'm going to deal with that. It is a


simple question. Are there any circumstances in which there are


soldiers should be prosecuted? Era nobody is above the law. If they are


guilty of murder... You don't know unless they have been prosecuted? If


they are being accused, the law has to take its course. Should they be


prosecuted in those circumstances? I am coming to that. Please do. Well


if you let me answer... I've had to ask you six times. We have had an


anomaly in the agreement, if a soldier is convicted of murder, he


does not benefit under the early release programme that is available


to terrorist prisoners. I think that has to be dealt with. I think we


have to look at all options here. That might include a statute of


limitations. You can't apply the same criteria to soldiers as you do


to terrorists because the criteria requires you to support an illegal


organisation. There are circumstances which might meet your


approval, where they could be prosecuted? And certain


circumstances where they are not prosecuted. That is the point I'm


trying to make. The problem at the moment is that soldiers are not


covered by the provisions of the agreement. That is unfair. I


remember this, I was in the house of Jean McBride, the mother of Peter


McBride, killed by Fisher and Wright. Mo Mowlam gave a guaranteed


it would be dealt with like anybody else. Within weeks, she released


them on the basis that she did not want British troops connected to...


A simple question, you have said that you support Barry McGrory and


acted in a fair and evenhanded way. There were many Republican killings


were those responsible were not brought towards the courts. Would


you be happy to see IRA men brought to the courts if fresh evidence came


to light to enable prosecutions? Under Section 32, the PMS I are


still investigating all of those issues. -- PSNI. And if it came


forward, they would be prosecuted. Do you agree with that? It would


take its course. Will you answer that? Everybody under the law. I


accept that. It would be uncomfortable for you? I am just


clarifying. It would not be uncomfortable for me. Here is the


issue, Sinn Fein's decision, from the start, has been the truth


commission. It was the Unionists that refuse to go for that. The


compromise was the architecture we are talking about. How would it be


possible when the IRA doesn't technically exist? The people exist.


The people that say they weren't in it! Former members of the IRA take


part in truth recovery? Ask him if the UDR would come forward. Would


you can forward? I have already said, if I am asked to come forward,


I would come forward. Do you think that others in the IRA would? Those


people have to deal with that. The point you made was that it does not


exist, the people exist. I used to be in the IRA and I still exist.


Very quickly. What has happened here is that they do not want any state


forces to be prosecuted or even to come forward with the truth. That is


what it's about. Not necessarily the case that people would agree with


you, but thank you for that. The Assembly election campaign got


under way formally today and it's The big question, though,


is will voters be mobilised by the Renewable Heating scandal


or will they be turned off by the political bickering and yet


another Stormont shutdown? Enda McClafferty has been


testing opinion in some of the constituencies


with the lowest turnout last time, Make no mistake about it, politics


right now in places like Kilroy is a hard sell. Just look at the response


to this question. If anybody's going to vote in the next election, please


raise your hand. No hands went up. Hardly surprising, in a constituency


where half the electorate didn't bother to vote in the last assembly


election. Eight months on, and there is clearly no appetite for another


vote. I don't think I'll be voting again. They are not worth voting


for. I think we are all worn down. How far are we from the last


election, really? Did you vote last time? I did, but not this time. No


more. Enough is enough. I don't think we need another election. It's


not time for us not to have government in place. Agriculture is


in crisis, education, health, everywhere we looked, problems and


infrastructure across the board. This will be an assembly election


like no other. The numbers will be very different. Of the 108 assembly


members leaving Stormont this week, only 90 will be returning. 18 will


be out of a job. But that is only part of the picture. A more


important figure might be the percentage turnout. The figures show


a growing number of voters here are slowly turning their back on


politics. Over the past 19 years, the percentage turnout in assembly


elections dropped by 15%. So, the parties have a lot to consider. Last


time round, we had five constituencies which recorded 50% or


less. Only one constituency recorded over 64%. There is a question


whether or not the nonvoters will be galvanised, or whether the trend of


a decreasing turnout will apply this time round as well. People that have


been voting on having called the hard-core in each party. But the


centre ground has just faded away from voting. Do you think we might


lose some big hitters in this? You have one seat less, a number of


large names might fall. It's a question of fighting, really, within


parties, rather than between parties for seats. The heart of West Tyrone,


59% of voters turned out here last time. But the mood is very different


now. Stormont, on television, sometimes, it is going across the


whole world, what we like? Fighting, squabbling and squabbling. Where is


it going to end? I'm disgusted at politics, I really am. I think there


will be a bigger turnout this time. Why? Because of the situation. There


are some facts they still need to be letting on to people that was going


on when they were in power. These students at the Northwest Institute


were among the 56% who voted in the constituency last time. Our young


people tuned in to what is happening at Stormont, or are they


disillusioned with politics? It is frustrating that people seem to vote


for the same people over and over again, and they keep doing the same


thing. They can't seem to agree. I don't think young people realise


there is an alternative. People are angry, already, people go and have


their say, people that have never voted before I going to vote. Moobs


people I know don't care. -- most people I know. Stormont does not do


anything to help the youth. Education is always the first thing


cut. Dislodging the old guard at Stormont will not be easy. Don't


expect any fresh faces. What we can expect is lots of political wheeling


and dealing, maybe the prospect of another election beyond March the


2nd. Enda McClafferty there,


listening to the views of people Now, we're not normally big


on patting ourselves on the back, but last week's programme did


get people talking. Ian Paisley's thank


you to Martin McGuinness And here's something else that


caught many people's attention too - when I asked Mr Paisley about how


other unionists might thoughts on Mr McGuinness's


contribution. Do you think other Unionists, some


of them don't understand it? I don't think it is necessary for Ian


Paisley or any Unionists to sit on a show like this and qualify every


comment with the fact, I'm a Protestant, think something


different to the cassock beside me, I am a Unionists I think something


different to the Republican beside me. We have to Dennis Praet we are


beyond that. Dashed to the Catholic but beside me.


Well, the Reverend Steve Stockman and Father Martin Magill launched


the Four Corners Festival five years ago to encourage people out


of their comfort zones in the city of Belfast.


The comments must have been like mana from heaven. But then it was


like business as usual? That was remarkable. Tonight we have had


white noise again. I am looking for the politician making me stop and


think, did he really say that? Ian Paisley did that. Everybody has


conspiracy theories about why he said it. It has been a conversation


starter all week long. Everybody was talking about it. I don't know how


many reviews and treats you have had, but it has been a remarkable


change in tone, even in the conversations in the street. It was


the biggest viewing audience ever in four and a half years. It caught


public attention. The question is, does it make a difference, does it


help reframe the political debate at the beginning of a brutal election


campaign? I think it does. Taking the likes of social media, last


week, following it on Facebook and Twitter, the enormous response. It


is still a talking point. To some extent, it gives us an opportunity


to build on that. The article on Grace, another talking point. I am


detecting a real sea change. I am very much aware, that we would not


be able to take the matter have some of the conversations we are having.


I think things have changed. It seems there are two parallel


conversations going on, what you have described as white noise, where


politicians talk at each other, and the other one, perhaps not in front


of television cameras quite so much, they do not come out with the


chestnuts that we are used to seeing on television studios, on the radio.


What do you think you can do about that? If there is a public appetite


for change, how do you deliver that? I have talked to a lot of


politicians. I am amazed when I talk to them, privately when we have


spoken at Four Corners, these are people that want to bring change to


society. They get in of cameras, they play their party line, and you


go, what happened there? They say they have a mandate? That is the


problem we all have. 45% didn't vote the last time. We are expecting


peace and reconciliation to drip down from the hill, it has to creep


up. We have to give collateral to the people on the hill. They are


trying to find out how they can get the vote out for the election, what


can they say to get people out of their seats to vote? If 45% are


apathetic, they are not going to vote. If they say, this is what we


are going to do for you, there is a change in the groundswell. A


politician said to me, leaving an event, I have just got to be more


courageous. I thought we could make him more courageous if we were


prepared to change the conversation and maybe more people vote for the


things we want to vote for. Reconciliation should be higher. We


should be thinking about the future more than the past. The politicians


on the Hill need to looking over their shoulder. Politicians at


election time think they have to deliver a message that the public


wants to hear. That is what they think will get them votes. They say


if you don't vote for me, you will get the other fellow, and you don't


want him, you want me, so you've got to just vote the ticket. You got to


do what you got to do. Even if you might be tempted to do something


different, you'd better not risk it? The likes of next week, and we will


hear from a representative of the University later, I was talking to


some young people from the students union, and I am hearing a sense of,


we do not want an orange and Green approach this time around. We are


tired of it. There is anger and frustration at it. If that was the


case more people would thought for other parties, more people would go


and vote, but they do not. One of the contributors docs about


squabbling and squabbling. With all respect to the previous contributors


who work life year, there were a few moments where I thought it was quite


helpful conversation, but really it was a turn off. Some of the youngest


members of the last Assembly were those who came out with the least


reconstructed contributions, it is not as if that is... I listen to


them every Monday and Tuesday, there was not much clear blue thinking


going on. You said earlier, what they portray to the public, they are


not going to the public, they are going to their constituency. Somehow


this other groundswell that wants change has to say there is a


constituency and you are not coming to our constituency, and if we


decide to vote for other parties, there will have to be a change from


the ground rather than the top. In terms of reconciliation we need to


be saying that louder and making it clear to our politicians, enough of


the beckoning of the past. Stay with us.


Let's bring in our commentators at this stage -


I suppose there is a disconnect between what you are saying and what


happens on polling day when people decide they want to fall along


tribal lines, they might be saying we are tired, we cannot stand the


beckoning, and people dancing around issues, and what they were saying


depended on their perspective, and it is hard to see a meeting of


minds. The reality is, not what you are saying is wrong, but when people


thought they still vote along tribal lines and they are still voting to


keep people out. Tonight we heard a lot, and the warm glow that we heard


last week 's forgotten about. So how do you shift away from the debates


of the past and engage with the 45% of people who do not bother or


cannot bring themselves to vote, how do you turn that around? We need to


get away from this wishy-washy situation, people should not be


afraid to see a side is in the wrong, and the missing element is


that Unionism has a particular problem with giving that hardliners.


That is not necessarily a harsh criticism of Unionism. It is less


inextricably linked. Talking about looking over their shoulders. Maybe


it has a harder time to control them but that spends more time looking


over its shoulder even what it is looking at shrink state to small


numbers like a caravan full of people. Even after years of that


there was not a single Unionist leaders who was prepared to lead


those people or just leave them, that is a fundamental problem and


that keeps society unbalance and needs to be addressed. What you are


saying is we are lacking bold leadership. People are who -- people


who will see this is not the way we want to move forward. The focus is


always on the past. The conversation earlier was legacy issues, and it is


toxic, and if we cannot deal with the past, we were told in the fresh


start that they were moving forward. The Secretary of State said he was


biting his ideas out to consultation. The justice minister


said she was hopeful. Nothing happened. Gerry Kelly can see, yes,


and be part of truth and reconciliation, politicians know


there will not be a truth and reconciliation Commission because


there are things that neither Unionists, Republicans, nor


Westminster wants to come out. We have talked about a lot of people


engaged with last week's programme. People at the table tonight have


said, you have said, people were coming up on the street talking


about what Ian Paisley said last week. We struck a chord and people


were pleased. They said that is what we need to hear. Jeffrey Donaldson


Kemen tonight and it was as if he had not seen at interview because


there was no sense whatsoever that he was bringing into his comments


any elements of what Ian Paisley said, or the note that Ian Paisley


tried to strike on the programme. Ironically, Jeffrey Donaldson and


Gerry Kelly get on well having worked on reconciliation projects


abroad, they just need to bring that home with them. And warmly welcomed


in every constituency apart from the DUP who did not warmly welcome those


comments. How would you deal with legacy? Giving people the power to


tell the story. We have two great member a lot of people who are


living with the past on a daily basis have not got justice or other


things also. We need to leave it there.


That's it from The View for this week.


Join me for Sunday Politics at 11.25 here on BBC One.


Donald Trump is a different US President in so many ways.


To start with, he's one of the few US Presidents not


Raise your right hand and repeat after me. I Donaldson Trump do


solemnly swear. Back that I will faithfully execute. The office of


President of the United States. And we'll do the best of my ability. And


will to the best of my ability. Preserve, protect and defend.


Preserve protect and defend. The Constitution of the United States.


The Constitution of the United States. So help me God. So help me


God. MUSIC: The Elements


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