I don’t know how many of you have had emails in praise of “BIG AL” the British Marine Sergeant whose murder conviction was overturned on the grounds of post traumatic stress disorder, essentially the same grounds that saved Captain Bowen Colthurst’s neck from the hangman in 1916.  Both cases are  typical in of British justice where  her armed forces are concerned.
 I was preparing a piece on the contribution to peace and justice and intelligent politics of. British Secretaries of State for Northern Ireland, perforce a short blog and was going to start with Merlyn Rees. I believe it was shortly after the  war in the South Atlantic when the British gathered an impressive striking force and (quite unnecessarily) sank the General Belgrano when it was  sailing away from the exclusion zone announced by the British, that Rees contributed to a radio phone-in on Northern Ireland. He said that Britain had to remain there, for otherwise Glasgow-based UDA men would cross to Ireland and raise ructions.
I found the GUARDIAN’s Obituary of Rees, all praise of a loyal and principled public servant, who, as Chairman of some Parliamentary Committee, determined that German, and. Greman-supporting servicemen, against whom there was evidence to support criminal charges, should be compelled to answer for their actions in courts of law, no matter how old they had grown, nor how many years had passed since the defeat of Fascism ( on the European mainland.).   The bracketed words I added myself.
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