When it comes to finally telling the truth about its crimes in Ireland the British state does rather like to take its time.
The preferred strategy is to initially deploy the SAS (Slaughter And Slander).
After Bloody Sunday came the appalling whitewash by Widgery.
Those men lost their lives and their reputations.
Agents of the state murdered them and that state then lied about them.
These were Orwellian lies about innocent unarmed men gunned down at a peaceful civil rights march.
Then, finally, after decades of campaigning by the families of the slain men, the Saville inquiry stated that what everyone and their granny knew in Derry about that day in January 1972.
The Finucane family have had a long wait even to get to their Widgery.
They are not convinced by the Da Silva report or by Prime Minister Cameron’s pretend apology at the Dispatch Box in the Commons.
His performance, I have to admit, was masterful.
Is that what they teach them at Eton?
Or did he pick that up in the Bullingdon club?
The family of Pat Finucane certainly weren’t convinced by this charade.
Here are the facts of the case that are incontestable:
Pat Finucane was murdered by agents of the British state operating AS agents of the British state.
By February 1989 the Kitson counter insurgency strategy for winning the Northern war had been developed and finessed from the days of the McGurks bombing.
What Cameron has admitted regarding state collusion would have been dismissed by the British establishment as the paranoid ramblings of republican propagandists back in the day.
Well it turns out that Paddy was right all along about Perfidious Albion!
Who would have thought it?
Where the Da Silva report stops short of is to implicate the highest levels of the British political establishment in the strategy of collusion and counter gang in the Six Counties during the war.
Like the Bloody Sunday families the Finucane clan will not give up in their quest for the truth.
If the British want closure on their dirty war in the north of Ireland then they should admit to what they did during those years.
The Westminster elite claimed to hold the moral high ground during the conflict.
However, republicans knew then that such a notion was self-serving nonsense.
However, the Northern war was fought before social media and the old paradigm lf news management still was in place.
In the Republic Section 31 of the broadcasting act meant that elected Sinn Fein representatives were banned from the airwaves.
Then Thatcher decided to improve the carer prospects of voice over artistes.
You could see Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness, but you couldn’t hear their subversive voices on British television.
“Denying the terrorists of the oygen of publicity” was bizarre stuff.
A key part of the intelligence war was the battle to control the narrative.
That hasn’t changed.
What Cameron attempted in the Commons yesterday was an attempt to hold back the day when the world will know what Britain did in its last colonial war in Ireland.
I believe that British spooks are still active on this island and that they are busy influencing the activities of republican micro-groups.
Will it the thirty or forty years before we know what roll agents of the British state played in these recent events?
Margaret Ritchie of the SDLP has already raised the question in the Commons around the murder of PC Ronan Kerr.
Using parliamentary privilege [4th April column 791] she asked what roll the intelligence services had in his assassination.
I do not know if Margaret Ritchie’s question in the commons was prompted by a concern that the British state may have had foreknowledge of his murder.
However, I sincerely hope that PC Kerr’s family do not have to wait decades for an answer to that question.