About Me

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No Fixed Abode, Home Counties, United Kingdom
I’m a 51-year-old Aspergic CAD-Monkey. Sardonic, cynical and with the political leanings of a social reformer, I’m also a toy and model figure collector, particularly interested in the history of plastics and plastic toys. Other interests are history, current affairs, modern art, and architecture, gardening and natural history. I love plain chocolate, fireworks and trees but I don’t hug them, I do hug kittens. I hate ignorance, when it can be avoided, so I hate the 'educational' establishment and pity the millions they’ve failed with teaching-to-test and rote 'learning' and I hate the short-sighted stupidity of the entire ruling/industrial elite, with their planet destroying fascism and added “buy-one-get-one-free”. I also have no time for fools and little time for the false crap we're all supposed to pretend we haven't noticed, or the games we're supposed to play. I will 'bite the hand that feeds' to remind it why it feeds.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

'Civil' War

I was going to write about Army recruitment tonight as they are advertising on TV again, however we had today the news that B.Liar/Brown Trousers 'Consultative Group on the Past' [In Northern Ireland] is likely to recommend that all families affected by a death in/as a result of the troubles should receive a compensatory payment of around 12,000 pounds...

When I first heard the headline, I thought WTF! However as the news story unfolded in more depth, I could see the vague logic in it, I was then worried that it would only apply to the residents of Ulster, but it seems that the family's of British soldiers and foreign nationals (like three members of a Miami Show-band ?) will also get a payment.

I guess the thinking is that if a 'Known Player' was killed by the other side, without having ever been successfully prosecuted, his family aught to be entitled to the money, however all those who's 'Player' died after he was legally implicated in militancy (whether Catholic or Protestant) would then feel aggrieved.

Another argument is that it makes it look like crime pays, so do you pay more to the Army and Police families? That is no different - in terms of fairness - from not paying some at all, and presumably the bean-counters have worked out that in the long run it will save some money down the line; the idea being that once everyone has had the money they will all be more likely to come forward with information on unsolved crimes, missing persons etc...

However - I believe - a similar approach was not that successful in South Africa, where those who agreed to co-operate only served to implicate those who chose not to admit their roles, thereby requiring the lengthy, costly investigations and trials that they were trying to avoid in the first place! Note that the 'Bloody Sunday' inquiry has so far cost over £200million - presumably they're burning the money to keep the courtroom warm!

In balance I think this is a poor compromise, but what else could they have come up with, the aim in all these situations (Bosnia, The Basque-separatist region of Spain, SA, Cambodia, Rwanda et al...) is to normalise the citizenry without alienating one or other small group. Ultimately - once you have decided to make payments, you HAVE to pay everybody and you HAVE to pay them the same amount?

And lets face it at £12,000 (less than a years wages for all but the youngest/least skilled of the workforce), this money's no more than a token gesture and is hardly going to change lives.

I was lucky enough not to serve in NI, but friends did, I suspect they would have a hard time accepting this suggestion as readily as me?

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