I am troubled by the decision not to press charges in the MI6 Rendition case. No one is denying that two couples were sent to Libya. The torture allegations have no been disproven. The evidence of communication between British Intelligence and Libya is extant. And there is no suggestion of clean hands or non-involvement. The question is about the nature of the involvement and the capacity of available evidence to stand up in court.
That the United Kingdom through either its Government, its Intelligence Services, or a combination of both, are implicated and found at the scene is morally disgusting. Rendition is a process that bypasses the judicial system and neutralises all claims to human rights. It should never happen from the territory of a country that is a signatory of the UNDHR.
This news comes when it is also confirmed that the Police in Northern Ireland colluded in the murder of six Catholics in a pub in Loughinisland 22 years ago. Once again it is already suggested the time that has elapsed will make it difficult to achieve conviction of those repsonsible.
In the aftermath of Hillsborough, and the growing unease of what happened with police and miners during the strike confrontations, there is an accelerating devaluation of the integrity and trustworthiness of policing and security institutions in our country. Right at the top, whether MI6, The Met, or wider police authorities, there is a recurring theme of failed public responsibility, and hard to achieve public accountability. More and more cases of corruption, cover-up, career protection, collusion with criminality, culpable inaction ranging from incompetence to deliberate delay to sabotage evidence, - such revelations undermine the trust and reliability essential to good policing, public confidence in the judiciary, and the place of the United Kingdom on the global ethics scale of international justice.
The public good can never be served by its own core values subverted for the purposes of, well, serving the public good. At that stage the word good is itself misleading - serving the public interest? - serving the public by deceiving? Or as was said in the recent Line of Duty drama series. " I want justice and I'm prepared to commit injustice to have it." That way lies the erosion of all that makes a society healthy, robust in the face of evil, hate and violence, and actually worth preserving in the first place. That I pay taxes to a Government, whose politicians and intelligence services reek of plane fuel from rendition trips, is something that fills me with, I use both words advisedly, righteous indignation.