In the wake of channel four’s screening of the Ballymurphy precedent, Eamonn McCann asks why state killers are still being let off the hook.
The exposure of Michael Jackson in Channel 4’s Ballymurphy documentary makes it necessary to look back on his performance at The Bloody Sunday Inquiry – and at the Inquiry’s refusal to draw proper conclusions about his participation in the murders, his role in the cover-up, and his perjury to the Inquiry.
His word isn’t worth its weight in dirt.
Jackson was present in Ballymurphy throughout the three days in August 1971 when the paras turned the area into killing fields. He was quoted in the documentary saying that he had been “dealing with the press” when the shooting was at its height and hadn’t seen a thing.
He put on exactly the same performance in the Bogside five months later. He is a murderer, a liar and a coward.
Even before the smoke had cleared from Rossville Street on Bloody Sunday, Jackson was writing out fake accounts of every single killing and wounding. His script was then typed out and distributed by British Army chiefs and the Ministry of Defence and sent by the Foreign Office to every British embassy and consulate in the world as the basis for answering any questions from local politicians or media.
Jackson’s lies were effectively repeated in the House of Commons by Home Secretary Reginald Maudling. It will be remembered that Bernadette Devlin rushed across the chamber and didn’t hit him half hard enough.
All this was laid out in detail in “Go On The Paras!” published three years ago by the Bloody Sunday March Committee.
“Go On The Paras!” will be republished next January.
The fact that Bloody Sunday was a repeat performance in Derry of what had happened in Belfast links Ballymurphy and the Bogside together forever. We pledge the Ballymurphy families our full support until justice is done.
The Ballymurphy families have marched with us every year. Next January we hope that they and representatives of all other families bereaved by State killers will join with us and shout out with one voice our demand for truth and justice.
Ballymurphy and Bloody Sunday directly contradict the official narrative of the Troubles which has implicitly been accepted by mainstream opinion North and South – that the problem here has to do with ancient hatreds between Protestants and Catholics and that the solution lies in a system of government in which Protestants and Catholics agree to bite their lips and “share power.”
This lets State killers off the hook.
We ask British journalists to ensure that we will never again have to watch Michael Jackson on television mouthing off about morality in war. It’s like Jack the Ripper giving us his opinion on violence against women.