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Sunday 27 March 2005

Persuade our leaders to quit the pandering and get tough

If we’re to live in freedom not fear, we’ve to fight for it, says Ruth Dudley Edwards


It’s time all decent people stood up for civil society against the forces of political terrorism: if we want to live in a world of freedom rather than fear, we must fight for it. 

As Bobby Sands put it: ‘Everyone, Republican or otherwise, has his own particular part to play. No part is too great or too small, no one is too old or too young to do something.’ 

(I’m concentrating on republican fascism here: loyalist and Islamist scumbags can wait for another day.)

We could start challenging everyone who repeats the absurd Sinn Fein mantras that have become common currency. Here are a few: 

1) ‘340,000 voters can’t be wrong’. Of course they can. If they’re not, Sinn Fein has to accept that those opposed to them can’t be wrong either. 

What would Adams et al say if Enda Kenny went about with a tee-shirt saying ‘417,653 VOTERS CAN’T BE WRONG’? Or Bertie swaggered about with a baseball cap with ‘770,846’ on it? Or Ian Paisley had a clerical collar bragging about 177,944 of the righteous.

Face it, guys. The DUP are the biggest party in the North and Fianna Fail the biggest in the South. Size matters.

2) ‘Our mandate must be respected.’ Well, no, actually. In a democracy, the number of votes you receive must be recognised and accepted as a fact, but not necessarily respected. 

Mussolini and Hitler had mandates too and the neo-Nazis are doing nicely on the Continent.

3) ‘We reject the politics of exclusion’. Well, now, who’s excluded you? Those responsible for the innumerable crimes and betrayals of democrats by the republican movement in general and its armed wing in particular. That’s who.

4) ‘Republicans must not be criminalised’. Why the hell not, when they’re criminals? You might as well say that Ray Burke shouldn’t have been criminalized because he was a member of Fianna Fail. The Provos are the ‘biggest organised crime gang’ on the island, the gardai reaffirmed last weekend. They’re robbing us all blind and they should be in jail. 

5) ‘The IRA should be allowed to disband with dignity.’ No, it bloody shouldn’t. The IRA didn’t worry about the feelings of their victims. Why should anyone worry about theirs? If they feel upset, let them use some of their £billion of ill-gotten gains to hire shrinks to deal with their neuroses.

6) ‘There is no hierarchy of victims.’ What? Is anyone seriously suggesting that there is no moral difference between Jean McConville, Garda Jerry McCabe, Robert McCartney and their murderers? 

7) ‘Sinn Fein and the IRA have done all they could to help bring the killers of Robert McCartney to justice’, we are told. ‘Unfortunately,’ said the self-pitying IRA Easter statement, ‘it would appear that no matter what we do it will never be enough for some.’ Too damn right, P O’Neill. What you can do if you’re serious is to get Gerry Adams, Martin McGuinness, Gerry Kelly, Brian Keenan, and a few more of the lads to go into the Short Strand, name (without prejudice) the people that they expelled from Sinn Fein and the IRA as well as the ones they should have and didn’t, and offer to lead witnesses to the police station with a guarantee of permanent safety. 

If justice is secured, then we’ll say you’ve done enough.

8) ‘We will not be demonised.’ That’s pretty rich. Look what you and your friends are trying to do to the McCartneys? Ogra Shinn Fein has accused the McCartney women of turning their brother’s death into ‘a political showcase’ when they should have been ‘thanking the movement for their efforts’. 

In Daily Ireland, its editor-in-chief, Robin Livingston, described them as ‘a group of women who have lost the run of themselves’ and their visit to the US as ‘unionism on tour’. 

In the same organ, in a breath-taking example of ‘Whataboutery’, Danny Morrison, Sinn Fein’s top propagandist, produced a savage account of Senator Ted Kennedy’s misdoings in 1969 at Chappquiddick, ending with: ‘So, with that example of a cover-up, the destruction of evidence, contempt for the law and failure to fully cooperate with police, I think it ill-behoves Senator Ted Kennedy to be lecturing anyone.’ 

These people are as infantile as they are morally imbecilic. 

We should be challenging them wherever we can, to their faces, with our family, friends, colleagues and neighbours and writing to our politicians in Ireland and Britain to tell them to stop pandering and get tough. The more energetic of us could picket republican events with appropriate placards. How about: ‘TIME TO GO’ ? Or ‘IRELAND’S LAST PUBLIC EXECUTION - MAGENNIS’S BAR, 30 JANUARY 2005’. Or ‘HITLER HAD A MANDATE TOO’?

We might even try a few placards aimed at Bertie. ‘GET TOUGH WITH TERRORISM’. ‘CLOSE DOWN THE IRA’, ‘LOCK UP THE CRIMINALS’, ‘EXCLUSION, NOT INCLUSION’ or ‘NO BARGAINING WITH BASTARD REPUBLICANISM’. 

Ruth Dudley Edwards

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