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Former soldier convicted of manslaughter in NI troubles 1988

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Former soldier convicted of manslaughter in NI troubles 1988

Old 1st Dec 2022, 15:23
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Originally Posted by Tengah Type View Post
Can we please ressurect Nelson Mandela to produce a new "Truth and Reconciliation Commission" as in South Africa. That seems to be the best way ( in recent times )
to accept that all sides are equally to be responsable for the past "Troubles" and to let "Bygones be Bygones".
I had high hopes that this is what might have come out of the GFA, but it seems that was far too big a stretch. Much good has come from the GFA, though, I think the only major issue is the one-sided nature of the cancellation of past crimes.


Originally Posted by Readthebigbreach View Post
Northern Ireland is not a two sided sectarian soccer match. It has a population of over 1.5 million people. The vast majority have never held a weapon or inflicted violence on another human. The vast majority simply want to be left alone to mind their own business and make a living for themselves and their family. This man was one of them. A bigot imposes an identity on his victim to allow his uncontrolled emotional thinking to compensate his lack of reality.
I agree, and having some in-depth knowledge of many of the finer points of criminality involved (my family live within a couple of km of the border with South Armagh) I despair at the way the media had always tried to emphasise The Troubles as being a two sided sectarian war. The British media, in particular, rarely seemed to report on the massive amount of organised crime going on, most of it not specific to one sectarian group or another, just criminals taking advantage of the no-go areas and the general break down in law and order. By contrast, the criminal stuff, particularly associated with cross-border activities, was never out of the news when we were still living near the border.

I've also long felt that the RUC was far from being squeaky clean. As another has pointed out, the UK armed forces there were effectively under some degree of control by the RUC, but as a police force there were parts of the RUC that were as corrupt as hell. I knew one fairly senior RUC officer for a time (married a cousin of mine) and remember going to his house one evening and being shocked to see a massive UVF flag hanging on the wall in his hall. The UVF at was a prohibited terrorist organisation, yet here was a n RUC police officer more or less openly telling anyone that visited that he was either a member or a supporter. Nothing to do with religion, either, he didn't believe in a god any more than I do.

The whole thing is a bloody mess. No one side is right or wrong, all are as bad as each other. Looking at the demographic changes in the population and the impact of Brexit it would not surprise me at all to find that the idea of re-unifying the island of Ireland starts to look more attractive. I've no view one way or the other about that, but can see that there are a lot of issues caused by Brexit than may well cause some to question very long held beliefs.
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Old 5th Dec 2022, 11:52
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Northern Ireland is far from a bloody mess . It has the highest number of civil servants per capita than any part of the UK . There are more murders and violent crimes in many US cities than in NI including during the troubles. For many it is a very profitable and easy existence despite (or maybe in some cases because of ) the continuing sectarian dialogue trumpeted by a the usual sources.
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Old 5th Dec 2022, 18:29
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Originally Posted by Readthebigbreach View Post
Northern Ireland is far from a bloody mess . It has the highest number of civil servants per capita than any part of the UK . There are more murders and violent crimes in many US cities than in NI including during the troubles. For many it is a very profitable and easy existence despite (or maybe in some cases because of ) the continuing sectarian dialogue trumpeted by a the usual sources.

Surely you are not correlating the "highest number of civil servants per capita" as any sort of measure of success for a population, are you? My experience suggests that the reverse should be true, a truly meritocracy should have the LOWEST number of civil servants per capita, as ultimately they are little more than a burden upon taxpayers.

I made no reference to murder, or violent crime, you appear to have plucked that from thin air. What I wrote is a matter of record above, and in case comprehension is not a key skill, allow me to repeat it:

The British media, in particular, rarely seemed to report on the massive amount of organised crime going on, most of it not specific to one sectarian group or another, just criminals taking advantage of the no-go areas and the general break down in law and order. By contrast, the criminal stuff, particularly associated with cross-border activities, was never out of the news when we were still living near the border.
.

Most of that cross-border activity was associated with smuggling. In the case of fuel smuggling this was obvious to a visually impaired person. There were filling stations out in the wilds on the UK side of the border that made a handsome living from selling fuel to Irish drivers, often driving vehicles with enlarged fuel tanks, who would cross the border several times a day to fill up with cheap British fuel and flog it back home. Same went for pretty much any other commodity that was more expensive in the RoI.

Very little was ever done to address the vast amount of cross-border crime, and much of it (on some of the bigger roads across the border) was allowed to continue because it there were no resources to police it. There were hundreds of official crossing points on the border, and many hundreds more unofficial ones, like farm tracks. Heck, one farm near our place had fields both side of the border, so moving his cows through a gate was crossing the border!
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Old 5th Dec 2022, 20:19
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[QUOTE=_Agrajag_;11342840]Surely you are not correlating the "highest number of civil servants per capita" as any sort of measure of success for a population, are you? My experience suggests that the reverse should be true, a truly meritocracy should have the LOWEST number of civil servants per capita, as ultimately they are little more than a burden upon taxpayers.

Thank you for those kind words, belittling 41 years of dedicated professional service in the M o D Met.Office, during which I paid a lot of tax.
In that time the staffing was reduced from about 5000 to about 2000, and the output improved, driven by early take-up of main frame computers. Staffing on military stations was always minimal, usually covered 24/7/365, and sick leave was almost unknown. Staff suffered frequent upheaval, being posted every 3 years and undertaking short detachments at very short notice.
Little has changed since I retired except forecasts continue to improve.

The next time you look at a weather forecast remember, it is not magic, it depends on a small nmber of highly skilled but rather inadequately rewarded civil servants.
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Old 5th Dec 2022, 21:07
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Originally Posted by langleybaston View Post
Originally Posted by _Agrajag_ View Post
Surely you are not correlating the "highest number of civil servants per capita" as any sort of measure of success for a population, are you? My experience suggests that the reverse should be true, a truly meritocracy should have the LOWEST number of civil servants per capita, as ultimately they are little more than a burden upon taxpayers.


Thank you for those kind words, belittling 41 years of dedicated professional service in the M o D Met.Office, during which I paid a lot of tax.
In that time the staffing was reduced from about 5000 to about 2000, and the output improved, driven by early take-up of main frame computers. Staffing on military stations was always minimal, usually covered 24/7/365, and sick leave was almost unknown. Staff suffered frequent upheaval, being posted every 3 years and undertaking short detachments at very short notice.
Little has changed since I retired except forecasts continue to improve.

The next time you look at a weather forecast remember, it is not magic, it depends on a small nmber of highly skilled but rather inadequately rewarded civil servants.
For goodness sake, tone down the hypersensitive, lets take this completely out of context in order to wind someone up for no purpose, mode!

My intent was very clear, and I was also a civil servant for 16 years after serving queen and country for 22 years before that. I was not in any way, shape or form, criticising civil servants, as you would realise if you had actually taken the time to read my post. What I was criticising was the merit of using the ratio of numbers of civil servants to the total population as a measure of success of a state or part thereof.

Would you argue that NI would be seen as a world beating state if 50% of the population were Met Office staff? I would guess you would not, any more than I would not argue that having 50% of the population of NI made up of civilian ROs was a good metric.

Sometimes it helps the flow of sensible intercourse to be reasonable and allow a bit of give and take, and not choose to be hyper-sensitive and criticise a point that has not even been stated.
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Old 5th Dec 2022, 21:25
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Originally Posted by _Agrajag_ View Post
F I was not in any way, shape or form, criticising civil servants,
Other than being little more than a burden upon taxpayers.

Says it all.




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Old 5th Dec 2022, 21:34
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Originally Posted by langleybaston View Post
Other than being little more than a burden upon taxpayers.

Says it all.

Ok, I'll play this game then, as it seems you're intent on being offended for absolutely no reason. Hypothetical question. Let's say that 50% of the working population of NI were Met Office staff. Would that be, in your view, a valid indicator of the success or prosperity of that region?

I say that it would not, any more than if 50% of the population were civilian ROs, or 50% of the population worked for HMRC, or 50% of the population worked in Stormont.

It's a silly point to try and make, whichever way you choose to look at it. Any successful population needs the minimum amount of government, and civil servants, commensurate with a high standard of living and decent public services. An imbalance, such that their is a surfeit of people being paid by the taxpayer, just increases the burden of taxation beyond that which the population can sustain and still have a reasonable quality of life.

Edited to add: I have the utmost respect for Met Office staff. More than once my life depended on their skills and expertise. At the same time, I would not have wished to have had 100 of them giving me a met brief at the same time.

Last edited by _Agrajag_; 5th Dec 2022 at 21:39. Reason: Addendum
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Old 5th Dec 2022, 22:07
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Before long I can foresee an outbreak of Balloons on Sticks at Ten Paces Man to Man combat if this goes much further.
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Old 6th Dec 2022, 09:24
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Would you argue that NI would be seen as a world beating state if 50% of the population were Met Office staff?
I don't know weather that would work..
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Old 6th Dec 2022, 14:55
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Originally Posted by NutLoose View Post
I don't know weather that would work..

Or [email protected] in the wind ?
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Old 6th Dec 2022, 17:19
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Originally Posted by melmothtw View Post
Aidan McAnespie's family might disagree.
​​​​I was at Bessbrook on the 12th February 1997, when Stephen Restorick was murdered by a shot to the back from a coward. I was still there a month later when his parents visited the spot where their son was killed and unveiled a memorial to him in The Mill garden.

And yet Stephen Restorick's parents, especially his mother Rita, have been tireless campaigners for peace in NI, with a call for an amnesty for all sides, despite the fact that their son's murderer was released 16 months into a 490 year sentence. So whose voices matters more?

​​​​​

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Old 6th Dec 2022, 21:25
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I suppose if there ever was a group of people that would put an end to War and Murder....it would be the Mothers who lost children to it.....and rightly so.

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Old 6th Dec 2022, 21:35
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Originally Posted by SASless View Post
I suppose if there ever was a group of people that would put an end to War and Murder....it would be the Mothers who lost children to it.....and rightly so.
There have been some signs that it is the mothers of soldiers in Russia that are making the most noise about the war in Ukraine. How much influence they have I don't know, let's hope it is significant.
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Old 7th Dec 2022, 07:48
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Originally Posted by _Agrajag_ View Post
For goodness sake, tone down the hypersensitive, lets take this completely out of context in order to wind someone up for no purpose, mode!

My intent was very clear, and I was also a civil servant for 16 years after serving queen and country for 22 years before that. I was not in any way, shape or form, criticising civil servants, as you would realise if you had actually taken the time to read my post. What I was criticising was the merit of using the ratio of numbers of civil servants to the total population as a measure of success of a state or part thereof.

Would you argue that NI would be seen as a world beating state if 50% of the population were Met Office staff? I would guess you would not, any more than I would not argue that having 50% of the population of NI made up of civilian ROs was a good metric.

Sometimes it helps the flow of sensible intercourse to be reasonable and allow a bit of give and take, and not choose to be hyper-sensitive and criticise a point that has not even been stated.
Oh, but you were though.

Haven't seen a bigger backtrack since the Antonov missed his turn at Asi.
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Old 7th Dec 2022, 10:10
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Originally Posted by MATELO View Post
Oh, but you were though.

Haven't seen a bigger backtrack since the Antonov missed his turn at Asi.

Believe what you wish, even though I've been clear to state my intent, which is not at all as you've tried to construe it. Ask your self why a civil servant with 16 years service (me) would make the ludicrous assumption that you and another have done - it makes no sense whatsoever.

My last post on this, it's not worth the effort of trying to clarify my intent any further. I know what I meant, and it was not as you've chosen to falsely conclude.
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Old 7th Dec 2022, 18:39
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Originally Posted by _Agrajag_ View Post
Believe what you wish, even though I've been clear to state my intent, which is not at all as you've tried to construe it. Ask your self why a civil servant with 16 years service (me) would make the ludicrous assumption that you and another have done - it makes no sense whatsoever.

My last post on this, it's not worth the effort of trying to clarify my intent any further. I know what I meant, and it was not as you've chosen to falsely conclude.
I am glad that is sorted: happy to learn that civil servants are not considered little more than a burden upon taxpayers.
My last on the subject too.
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Old 7th Dec 2022, 20:21
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I knew an extremely competent glider pilot who would do an aerobatic sequence returning to the airfield from a cross country flight. After a couple of sessions he confessed he was in the red arrows and born and bred north of the border. I asked why he had relocated to the south..I make and sell racing sails and whilst those in the republic are happy to use his services the north is filled with civil servants who have nothing better to do than find the cheapest price.
A council has recently taken over a park that we use for paragliding..they have insisted that we sign an annual agreement to use it and give a weeks notice before we fly. Our take off criteria is wind direction of 290 to 250 degrees and 8 to 12 knots…they couldn’t even forecast the fastnet storm 24 hours in advance!
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Old 7th Dec 2022, 20:45
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Originally Posted by blind pew View Post
I knew an extremely competent glider pilot who would do an aerobatic sequence returning to the airfield from a cross country flight. After a couple of sessions he confessed he was in the red arrows and born and bred north of the border. I asked why he had relocated to the south..I make and sell racing sails and whilst those in the republic are happy to use his services the north is filled with civil servants who have nothing better to do than find the cheapest price.
A council has recently taken over a park that we use for paragliding..they have insisted that we sign an annual agreement to use it and give a weeks notice before we fly. Our take off criteria is wind direction of 290 to 250 degrees and 8 to 12 knots…they couldn’t even forecast the fastnet storm 24 hours in advance!

I fail to understand why anyone can object to society having the lowest cost, taxpayer funded, administration. It seems pretty obvious to me that we should strive to have a fair and equable society where taxation is as low as can be practically achieved, commensurate with a high standard of public services, as ultimately it is everyone that pays taxes that fund all public services. The trick is getting that balance right, so that we place the least burden on taxpayers in order to get the required level of public services. Some states get this wrong and spend too little on public services, some states get this wrong by paying too much for poor public services. Finding the sweet spot, where public services meet the needs of the majority, without placing an undue burden on all taxpayers, should be the goal of all government.

One problem in NI is that they have not had a proper and effective government for years, too much time has been spent arguing about power sharing and too little time has been spent in managing government funded services. As a consequence there have been several major errors of judgement and poorly thought through legislation. Who can forget, for example, the insane RHI scandal, where farmers were paid a profit by government to heat empty barns under the way the civil servants of the NI government chose to frame their version of the legislation? : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renewa...entive_scandal

No one here is going to suggest that this was a well thought through policy, and one that justifies the way government and the civil service works in NI, are they?

There are other examples too, including those around other incentives associated with things like farming, that were almost as badly thought through and implemented.

Last edited by Senior Pilot; 8th Dec 2022 at 08:41. Reason: Remove unwanted paragraph
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Old 7th Dec 2022, 22:02
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The glider pilot story was before the good Friday agreement…not long afterwards I was in a cafe north of the border when the owners old boss came in, had a chat and left. They had worked together in local government with something to do with food hygiene. He had been party to drafting new inspection guidelines which only he could fulfil, organised sabbatical leave to allow him to set up a company to carry out the inspections for the council.
‘Wasn’t it McGuinness who resigned in protest at the wood pellet heating scandal that involved the top politicians…not apparently unlike the PPE print money for your mates (allegedly) across the water.
We were locked down for months within a 2km home radius then 5km whilst anyone from across the border could roam freely including 100s of yanks who rented RVs after flying into Belfast.
A land of contradictions where the standard excuse starts with “because of the British” and continues with why they ignore the rules…a great place to retire.
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Old 8th Dec 2022, 09:09
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This thread is a great example of obfuscation and circumlocution . Aidan McAnespie was mown down in a unjustifiable act of violence by someone paid by the taxpayer to do the opposite .Northern Ireland is not the dystopian nightmare portrayed by some who did their best to make it one.
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