In February 2005 Tony Blair apologised for a gross miscarriage of justice that took place thirty-one years earlier, fuelled by a public spooked by terrorism and laws framed as part of a war on that terrorism. It is good, if inadequate, that he apologised. That case, the “Guildford Four”, was the subject of the extraordinary 1993 movie In the Name of the Father, which I have been watching tonight.
It is impossible to watch this movie today without hearing very discomforting reverberations, catching glimpses of Guantanamo, of (in this country) the oh so reassuring John Howard and the oh so pedantic Phil Ruddock and the oh so compliant Bomber Beazley. Watch it, people, and consider what in our present climate we may have been giving away. It does not hurt that we are reminded that trusting the guardians too readily can itself be perilous.