The decision by the last government to issue IRA terror suspects with de facto immunity from prosecution is sickening. At a time when Tony Blair's government was sending British soldiers to fight and die in Iraq and Afghanistan his government was colluding with those suspected of murdering British troops.
I don't really understand how a letter from the Northern Ireland Office can trump a prosecution, it looks like a political move to me. The main argument deployed by those who support what the government did is that it was a price worth paying for peace.
This isn't an argument that much merit- a better way of achieving peace is to defeat the terrorists. We are told it is impossible but pretty much all the European terrorist groups of the 1970s had been crushed and sidelined by the 21st century. They all did it without the wholesale corruption of their legal and political systems.
Even the most similar group to the IRA, the Basque separatists ETA are now beaten and trying to "negotiate" with the Spanish government. The Spanish have behaved with more courage and compassion for the victims than our government did and have refused to elevate them to more than thugs.