THE British Government is about to tear up all legal norms and all of their commitments to international law and introduce an amnesty bill for all conflict violations. Any day now if the soundings are correct.
In parallel,  London is engaging in extraordinary Brexit brinkmanship which could see the collapse of the entire Brexit agreement. Meanwhile, unionism is giving up all pretence of commitment to the Good Friday Agreement. It is all a perfect storm if you believe in the rule of law and the primacy of agreement over conflict.
However, it is worth stepping back from the merry-go-round and recognising that none of this is happening in a vacuum. All of this was a long time coming and entirely preventable, but that it is all happening tells us just how much the British government cares for this part of their “United Kingdom” – not one jot.
The legacy legislation is the British Government continuing its covert policies in an open way. Every single family affected by state violence and collusion has known the depths to which the British Government will go to hide its role in the conflict. When John Stevens came to investigate collusion his offices at Seapark were burned to the ground. This legislation is the new arson policy, they are just not pretending any more.
If anyone thinks the current row about the Protocol from the British standpoint has anything to do with pot plants for garden centres any more, they need a quiet word. Britain doesn’t care about how many lobelias will be available in North Down next spring and they definitely do not care if the North Down garden centre-goer feels a little less British than the one in a garden centre in Finchley because the lobelia needed additional paperwork. They do care that Europe, or Europeans, or foreigners, might have the ability to call out wrongdoing. Given this government doesn’t want their own standards commissioner, a white woman with a CBE, calling out wrongdoing when an MP muddles up lobbying for principle and lobbying for a wad of cash, it is hardly a stretch to recognise this same mentality in David Frost as he chirps about potential recourse to the European Court of Justice on repeated bad behaviours.
And as for unionism saying they no longer have confidence in the Good Friday Agreement structures, well, it is all a little tiring. The DUP has done everything to limit the Good Friday Agreement from the minute they got their first majority vote. From St Andrews to the perverse use of the veto to block basic human rights, the DUP has never shown one moment of commitment to power sharing. As for the Progressive Unionist Party. From the moment Dawn Purvis resigned following the murder of Bobby Moffett by the UVF, the PUP has demonstrated zero commitment to the Good Friday Agreement, except when community “stakeholders” seek funding support. Unionism just doesn’t like accountability or sharing power and they are crying about it as their majority fades and the constitution is discussed.
So, let’s not pretend the weeks come as a surprise. We had to reach this point in order to meet the challenges head-on. Our peace agreement belongs to the people, not vested interests, and certainly not London’s current interests, and we will all need to call spades spades and defend our peace.