In the 50 years since the beginning of the Troubles there has been one constant theme - the victims and survivors have been let down repeatedly by the political class. And it is happening again today with the wrangle between Stormont and Westminster over who will pay the pensions for those seriously injured in the noxious conflict.
The bill is estimated to run to around £100m, which might seem a lot but it is a mere fraction of the money being spent to prevent people losing their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The beneficiaries of the pensions are people who, for example, lost limbs and have nearly lost hope of being treated fairly.
Most people will agree with Lord Hain, a former Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, who describes the situation as a "shameful impasse", and Simon Hoare, chairman of the NI Affairs Committee at Westminster, who argues that there is "a moral imperative" for the UK Government to fund the initiative.
The argument for Westminster coming up with the money is strong. The pensions Act was passed in the Commons while the Executive was in self-imposed furlough. As well, it should be remembered that Tory and Labour Governments effectively ran Northern Ireland for almost all the duration of the Troubles, from the prorogation of Stormont in 1972 until devolution of powers back to local politicians in 1998. That must surely impose a moral imperative on Westminster to belatedly compensate the most seriously injured.
Some might point out that Lord Hain, during his time in office here, failed to help the bereaved and survivors in any lasting and meaningful way.
However, local politicians cannot escape censure. They have consistently failed to address the legacy of the past, whether in establishing a truth and reconciliation mechanism or creating the conditions where the bereaved can obtain closure for the trauma they have endured, often for decades. In the case of pensions, the Executive has failed to create the necessary structures to vet applications and pay out.
Perhaps last night's two-pronged bipartisan criticism of the Westminster Government will bear some fruit, although there was little movement initially. This is not an issue for a sordid stand-off, but one that demands action, and quickly. Victims, many of them terribly injured and most of them of advanced years, deserve their money. They've been insulted for too long.