There is the LAW. There is POLITICS.
Maybe Politics is the application of Law, Education, Environment, Health, Defence and all the rest.
There are some professionals…economists, military, doctors, scientists, lawyers who can operate in the political world. And others who cannot.
John Larkin, the Attorney General seems to be in the latter group.
The Office of the Attorney General is one of those offices which works best when you dont even know it exists.
And its hard to imagine that recent statements made over the past twenty four hours have been made without Larkin understanding at least some of the fall-out that would follow. He cannot be that naive.
John Larkin has said the “unsayable” and it probably reflects conversation in the Law Library in Belfast more than the conversation of politicians and the chattering classes at Stormont and beyond.
Larkin has stated that there is no real prospect of convictions for crimes committed decades ago. And really Society should accept this and draw a line under our History.
This is of course saying TWO things rather than one.
And importantly reflects Larkin’s personal feelings, probably the feeling of his advisors and the general thought of the Legal Profession.
If Larkin resigned next week…and surely his position is difficult…then would any successor think so very differently? Surely that would be the first question that journalists would ask.
But coupled with Larkin’s legalistic point that there is no prospect of a prosecution succeeding is his assertion that people…victims…should draw a line. That is not his call to make.
The only political party to support him is NI21. Maybe he will join them.
But DUP and Sinn Fein have condemned him.
But it is unconvincing …DUP will be glad that the old RUC are off the hook but they will pretend to be upset that IRA wont be facing charges.
Likewise SF will condemn that RUC and the British are off the hook while relieved they will have no questions to answer.