Definition of Rearguard Action:
1: a defensive or delaying fight engaged in by a rear guard (as in covering the retreat of an army or the evacuation of a besieged garrison)
2: an effort put forth by means of preventive or delaying measures or tactics and usually against great odds in defence of a threatened existing order or situation or in opposition to a proposed new departure
Example of rearguard actions:
1988: To call allegations of RUC collusion after Milltown killings IRA propaganda.
1989: To direct the murder of human rights solicitor Pat Finucane as he exposes the state’s role in the conflict.
1990: To burn down Metropolitan Commissioner John Stevens’ offices in Seapark as he investigates collusion.
1991: To refuse to ban the UDA despite it being the name of the UFF in a year where loyalist killings exceeding republican killings for the first time in the history of the conflict.
1992: To concoct a deal between the PPS, the Attorney General and all three arms of the Task Coordinating Group to ensure UDA quarter master and Force Research Unit agent Brian Nelson would keep silent in return for a mitigated sentence.
1993: To continue to criminalise Sinn Fein, deny them special protection measures and rebuff all allegations of collusion despite significant escalation in attacks on party members’ homes and the killing of over 20 party members and workers in preceding years.
1994: To stop publishing ballistic details of weaponry used in loyalist killings following the report by Relatives for Justice which demonstrated the devastating human cost of the importation of South African weapons by same Brian Nelson with full oversight and knowledge of the security agencies and their distribution to loyalist groups.
2002: To legally challenges the Police Ombudsman Nuala O’Loan’s scathing report on the PSNI investigation of the Omagh bombing.
2003: To reveal to the preliminary inquest of three men in Coagh in 1991 that key documentation held in Gough barracks relating to numerous contentious cases had been destroyed without court approval due to “asbestos”.
2012: To deliver a series of workshops to the Retired Police Officers Association on how to uphold the reputation of the RUC if called to an inquest into killings where RUC actions are called into question.
2015: To so systematically prevent disclosure of relevant documentation to the inquest of Sean Brown, a GAA official killed in South Derry, that the inquest is postponed indefinitely.
2017: To bring the Police Ombudsman to court for using the term collusion in relation to the UVF killings in Loughinisland in 1994.
2018: To scream fury and outrage at the term collusion so much as being mentioned and try to bully mothers from outlining the circumstances surrounding their sons’ murders.
That is just a sniff of state efforts to hide, cover up and deny collusion – the systemic policy objective of the British state.
Collusion is an established legal fact. I
It has been acknowledged and apologised for by a British Prime Minister.
Saying its name is not contentious.
Saying its name does not stoke community disharmony.
Yes there are some who will be discomforted. But that is not the same thing.
The legions of the rearguard so loud attacking those daring to speak the name collusion need to be careful they are not indicted with an attempt to perpetuate the same policy they pretend never existed.