Northern Ireland has been at the centre of European, even world politics, over the last three years, as a result of a referendum in Britain that was held with little, if any, thought of the possible consequences for Ireland.
If an alien zooming towards Earth burst through the atmosphere and was faced with the Western European Archipelago (WEA), it might figure these islands should be an obvious Free Trade area or if not that each of the two main islands should be Free Trade areas. And in 1660 the world’s first Free Trade proposal covered Ireland and Britain – a Britain that at the time was trying to shake off European influence.
When Free Trade works, everyone should benefit. But it can go wrong and suck life out of regions, concentrating wealth centrally. Pressure then builds to re-balance the system. Ireland’s Protestants initially led the push to re-balance but a century ago when the system finally broke open and created the conditions for re-balancing, things went wrong.
Northern Ireland emerged and quickly became a failed political entity. Success was always likely to be difficult given its location and size. An all-island entity was a better bet. A WEA entity with differences within it could work as could a European entity but not two small entities on a small island owing allegiance to two different polities. These are the points where visionary leadership is needed rather than a scrambling for political advantage.
Unless you live on the island, Northern Ireland likely looks like a backwater, Even the English barely know where it is, or knew where it was had it not been for the regular place it occupied in news bulletins. A place to avoid if you were a tourist.
A currently ongoing 7 part BBC series – Spotlight on the Troubles: A Secret History – might change your views about whether the N Irish issues were just local. This extraordinary retelling of the story of the Troubles (1966 to 1998) raises the most profound issues about the role of the State in any of our lives – anywhere in the world. Those who are now worried about the treatment of the Uighurs by China would do well to look at this series – its well worth trying to find pirated copies if you live outside the BBC remit.
While it might seem obvious why a program about N Ireland should be shown at this critical juncture in the Brexit debate, it’s difficult to avoid the question – why is this program being shown now.
Even taking into account that States have right and left hands with one not necessarily knowing what the other might be doing, there is a pressing question as to why or how a program about the murky, likely illegal, depths to which the State seems willing to descend could be made and continue to air
In lectures and other settings over a 20 year period, I have regularly used the example of the Guildford Four as an illustration of what is going on in the case of suicide on antidepressants or other deaths linked to on-patent drugs. Following bombs in a Guildford pub, 4 innocent Irish people were locked up. After this became clear, senior British jurists argued on the record they should remain in jail forever as otherwise the public would lose confidence in the rule of law.
Its the same with drugs. For some, a link between death and injuries and treatment has to be denied for fear the public will lose confidence in medicine.
What Spotlight exposes as happening in Northern Ireland was of a piece with the Guildford Four scenario – but worse – an elimination of the innocent. Many among the media and politicians had a very clear idea about what was going on over 30 years ago but did nothing.
If even States claiming adherence to the law are prepared to sponsor the elimination of their own citizens, or write off their deaths when convenient, what might they do when it comes to drug (or vaccine) induced injury and death?
It has taken the BBC and some elements of the British State over 20 years to even hint at what appears to have been a policy of extra-judicial executions of innocent people.
In avoiding the issues surrounding antidepressants and suicide – executions of innocent people – the BBC and other major media outlets have done more than almost anyone to create the epidemic we now have – and continue to do so.
There were 3,600 deaths linked to the Troubles. As of 2018 there had been over a thousand more suicides since the Troubles (4,600+) than deaths in the Troubles. Efforts were being made in civil society to draw attention to these deaths. Deaths that are being attributed to nervous problems, anxiety, PTSD and related problems now attributed to the Troubles – see Here.
What is not mentioned is that Northern Ireland has one of the highest rates of antidepressant consumption in the world – see Here.
It suits the interests of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), the largest “Protestant” party, and Sinn Fein, the largest “Catholic” party, to milk this one for political gain. More money for more mental health services and more drugs – none of which is likely to help but for which politicians can take credit. This is a time for cross-party, and cross-community leadership, not scrambling for political advantage. Neither community is spared these senseless killings – SSRIs are neither Catholic nor Protestant.
Stephen O’Neill’s death in 2016, and the reaction of the “system” to his death, makes visible the failures of basic decency and leadership deaths like his involve. The next few posts will shine a Spotlight on these Troubles.
(Editorial Note: There is always breaking news about drugs and health which lead to comments. The comments after these posts will be restricted to the topics that come up – linked to death from treatment and the cover-up by the authorities. Other comments should go to posts on DH or RxISK dealing with pertinent topics).