You’d assume that somewhere in the background , papers are already being shuffled in the corridors of power….Yes.. Let’s try that on for size ….”A few bad apples!”.. That has a certain ring to it .It’s a catch-all kind of phrase and covers any number of possibilities and is vague and homely enough to allow us a little movement without actually coming out with the whole unvarnished truth. “Apples” …Yes …..”Bad Apples”…… Someone will ponder…Isn’t that County Armagh supposed to be the “Garden of Ulster”? They grow apples there especially around Loughgall where the Orange Order was founded. Yes the “Armagh Bramley”.The phrase has a certain parochial charm to it too.
I know they don’t put apples into barrels anymore …it’s boxes now isn’t it …or is it all plastic skips now?…”Rotten apples” in barrels has more of a ring to it than rotten apples in boxes, mind. Anyway, most wouldn’t know what a barrel was these days…..but ” A few rotten apples” ….That might do , if it’s repeated often enough to catch the public imagination .You’d never know until you give it a try .
“A few bad apples” is the current phrase de jour in DUP circles. I wonder has it been seeded there by the ministers in Westminster as a stiffened rope starter to get just a little movement on this dreadful “Legacy” issue which is holding back forward movement in Norneverland . Like sailors of old were “started ” up the rigging.Those few “Rotten Apples ” are a reference to “A Few Bad Cops” in the old RUC, who apparently …all on their own …were responsible for all of the chicanery that the British Government got up to by proxy throughout “the Troubles”. The DUP now want to believe this in public too.That ‘s something new for them alright .A fresh wind. It fits their narrative of being the mostly unblemished innocents , the slaughtered lambsblood who didn’t undertand why there was a “Troubles” at all. The good apples.
It took them a long time to believe even that such “Bad Apples” existed at all in their sacred police force. After all , we are not talking about some abstract fictionalised storybook …. This is their very own sons , brothers ,fathers and husbands you are talking about so it is very understandable that the fellow coming back home from work into your living room wasn’t in fact part of some noxious cabal, doing all manner of underhand , unworthy and immoral deeds in your name. It was fine so long as you didn’t say it out loud .
On this the DUP and the British Government are on the same page. They both agree that it would be better not discussed at all, even though many of their own voters and followers have suffered at the hands of these covert machinations .Both have much to lose. Sinn Fein has less to lose in that respect so they are more open to some revelations.
The latest phrases are “Full Disclosure” or “National Security” which are suitably nebulous and unmeaning words to cover ill-thought out notions or non – solutions . Well the truth doesn’t always have a pretty face so no one should be shocked when they see that all the old heroic myths are really just myths. Should that be for the british, republicans , loyalists or unionists, some of this disclosure is bound to hurt.There is much talking around the point and even commentators are showing signs of frustration in that no-one can actually pinpoint what those phrases mean or how they would actually affect anything .Life will still go on with all the damage still done. When victimhood is discussed it is only too easy to see who the victims are .The damage that has been done is inherent in every word they write or in any words that they say.Sometimes it is manifested in a corrosive blind -hatred of all things….fill in your own blanks.Sometimes it is the physical or psychological damage that has the mental health in Norneverland at the top of the damage charts across the globe.It is there in the pills swallowed every morning with the breakfast cup of tea. It is there in the hatred too.
Sinn Fein believes that the British Government ,by inciting “National Security” as their reason for not opening their files is indulging in a cover-up to save the reputation of many in powerful positions..The DUP are glad of this but also need to pretend to themselves that they, themselves , really have nothing to hide. Apparently they have something to hide or at best “forget” , given the talk of “collusion” between the police force, the British Army , the UDR and a swathe of armed groups on all sides and of every description, who between them ,are all responsible for many past deaths….either by word or deed.
There will never be any full disclosure, of course . Everyone surely knows this. .There will never be a full amnesty for everyone involved in all the deaths and the British Government ‘s hope is that everyone involved will eventually forget or die before any such amnesty or disclosure would ever be instigated as some “ancient historical” memory sometime in the very distant future.. the phrase for this is “kicking the can down the road”.Many believe that the British government are doing that very thing.
In the meantime much money will be spent investigating a select high-profile few “Bad Apples” .Already scares are being floated at the high cost of £35 million for the proposed investigation of one single person, the double-agent “Stakeknife”.The public are being asked to wonder if any investigation is worth all that money and what would be the potential cost to us all if many more were to be investigated . There’d be no money left for anything else.
Scapegoats are needed and will be carefully selected eventually. Those few tarnished “apples” will be all that anyone will be allowed to remember. The DUP is already seeding the ground and soon it will be apple-picking time.