AFTER 9/11 the western world got itself a little... let’s put this gently... insane. Human rights became the enemy, government lies became policy and mass murder became reconcilable. All under the guise of defeating 'terrorism'.

In 2005 in Britain the Blair government drew up legislation which would “pull the terrorists out by the roots”. The Terrorism Act meant business. The legislation included a five-year jail sentence for anyone “glorifying a terrorist act” committed over the previous 20 years, and the small print promised the Home Secretary drawing up a list of historical terrorist acts that would constitute a criminal offence to glorify.

The following month, the list was abandoned, the jail sentence reduced to 12 months and the definition of glorification tightened up so it was necessary to prove the intention was to incite further acts of terror.

20 years later and the DUP are not busy doing the day jobs, but are busying themselves getting insulted by funerals of veteran republicans, girls in sing-songs and republicans being republicans. 

Even in that revised form, the offence did not get through the House of Lords when the upper chamber saw it for what it was – unworkable hysteria that could not stand up to real life where one fella’s terrorist is the next fella’s lad in fatigues sitting in the White House. Actually, who they mentioned were Nelson Mandela praising the freedom struggle against apartheid and Bertie Ahern commemorating 1916. 

20 years later and the DUP are not busy doing the day jobs, but are busying themselves getting insulted by funerals of veteran republicans, girls in sing-songs and republicans being republicans. They get up in the House of Commons, paying as much attention as possible to methods to try to insult republicans – who by the way are the people they need to share governance with. The latest faux outrage focuses on the attempts to outlaw republicans’ memorials and commemorations.

This line of thinking spread to decrying Sinn Féin leaders burying their friend, comrade and leader Rita O’Hare. It is a spectacle of ignominy. And no less than what we have come to expect. Of course, no-one expects anything to come of this wailing and gnashing teeth other than a further souring of relationships and fostering of cruel disrespect.

In related expositions of terror and its perpetrators, we see further evidence of how the cruel use of plastic and rubber bullets against the civilian population was illegal and designed to cause maximum carnage. The merchants of this brand of terror are not only being facilitated with an official amnesty, but the families are told that their files are closed for their lifetimes. Maybe those who handed medals to those who fired those guns, maimed and killed civilians, including many, many children, might be viewed as glorifiers of terror?

Those who have for decades told lies about state killings, providing initial justification in press releases, then covering up murder and collusion in courts, then destroying evidence just as lawful examination approached, all to protect a state’s glorious narrative, could perhaps be considered terror’s guardians? 

Righteous indication is often a signifier of hypocrisy, a hallmark of so much of the DUP and British Government’s modus. The Legacy Bill currently progressing through Westminster tears up families’ rights to a legal contest of official narrative, narratives which often deny families’ experience of state murder and conspiracy.

Surely, in the context of hard-won disclosures regarding state violations, we must view this Bill as a critical platform in the perpetuation of state glorification of its own terror.