A man of peace

So former IRA commander Martin McGuiness has popped his clogs. Personally, I’m with Norman Tebbitt on this one…

He told ITV’s Good Morning Britain fronted by Piers Morgan : “I’m just pleased that the world is a sweeter and cleaner place now. It’s not merely these creatures [the Brighton bombers] crippled my wife, but they also murdered five of my friends.”

Norman is a neighbour of mine. I see him regularly in Waitrose doing his shopping. I have always been impressed by the forthright way he expresses his views. He talks a lot of sense and says things that others shy away from. He’s an honest and straightforward man.

I confess to my own strong views on the IRA London bombing campaign, having nearly been caught 3 times by the bastards. I used to work in Westminster Bridge Road. I came to work one morning to find my office covered in glass and the window blown out when they bombed the Central Office of Information which backed onto our building. They bombed High Holborn tube station under the office where I used to work. Thankfully I’d moved on by then but some of my friends were a bit shaken by that one!

The clincher for me was the Westminster Tube Station bomb. I used to buy a paper at the station when I got on the train in the morning. Sometimes I’d cut it a bit fine and buy one the other end – at Westminster Tube Station. That morning, I got my paper at my home station. I walked up the steps – right past the bomb – and started across the bridge. About 100 yards across there was an almighty bang as the bomb went off.

If I’d stopped to buy a newspaper that morning, I’d have been killed.

That was enough for me. I got a job out of London at less pay. It was better than being killed or – worse – maimed like Margaret Tebbitt.

I reflect at this stage on the words of Custer when he was minister for Indian affairs. When asked how he reconciled his views on Indians with being a ‘man of peace’, he replied “Ain’t nothing as peaceful as a dead Injun!” I believe McGuinness, man of peace, believed there was nothing as peaceful as a dead protestant.

So that’s why I’m with Norman. The world is a better place this morning…


13 responses to “A man of peace

  1. I’m with you and Norman Tebbitt on this. He was a vile murderer. Gets a eulogy from the BBC of course.

  2. “The world is a better place this morning…”
    It is? I never met the man and I neither know nor care whether he thought, in private, that the only good tangerine coloured bigot was a dead sashwearing, drum beating, tangerine coloured bigot.
    What however I do know for sure is his later actions in public contributed mightily to ending the senseless killing on all sides. How many lives have been saved because he and GA put down the armalite and picked up the cheque book-oops I mean, of course, the ballot box ?
    As much as I respect NT and understand his feelings on the subject (I doubt I would feel any more forgiving if I were him), the bigger man DID manage to forgive.
    Calling McG a ‘vile murderer’ is to make the same mistake McG did in his youth and condemn future generations to more fucking pointless killings and was there ever any more pointless, senseless, longer war? It’s what 20? 30? years or so since Common fucking Sense broke out in NI, long may it continue and long may the body bags NOT need flying back to Wallingford or where ever it was.
    Those bigger men who can find it to forgive their enemies should say so, those who, however understandably, can’t should keep quiet for all our sakes. Blessed are the peace makers, whether we like them or not.

    • I’m not saying the idiots on the Protestant side weren’t just as bad. I think Paisley was a disgrace as well.
      But whichever way you look at, he really was a murdering scumbag…

      • To be sure but it would be a much sorrier world where even murdering scumbags couldn’t redeem themselves by peace making because I don’t know anyone, on either side of the divide-and i’ve known some right ‘heed cases’ both Billys and Dans, who wants to go back to the days when you couldn’t get an Arts Council/EU grant for a mural and buying a pint of milk anywhere in the slave state required kevlar and a Browning hi-Power.
        A few years ago I came downstairs wearing an IRA t-shirt. In my living room were a gang of my kids’ mates- all chavs, two of them at least on furlough from Crown Forces and another couple on furlough from the nick.
        One of the little cherubs piped up and asked (in “boxers showing” chavese, I translate for your benefit): “Excuse me, Sir, who are the ‘IRA’ and why doth your tshirt proclaim them to be an ‘undefeated army?”. This was in maybe 2009? I wept bitter tears of mourning for the English educational system and tears of joy that this generation had not had to learn the hard way whom the IRA were. I was also pleased by the thought that should two of my sons really join Crown Forces, as they desired at that time, then if they did get sent to NI they might come back with all their limbs and not in a body bag.
        Will McG and people like him, the Johnny Mad Dogs, have much to answer for on the last day? Yes, as will we all but in McG and GA’s cases the scales may well be balanced by the lives they have saved by renouncing violence and sitting down with their sworn enemies (although I cynically assume that ‘profit’ was a much a motivator as the prospect of peace).
        There is more rejoicing in heaven over one repentant “murdering scumbag” than…

      • The bible also says an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. Wonderful thing, religion. Without it we’d have to find another excuse to murder each other…

      • We have ever needed an excuse to murder each other? News to me.

  3. BlockedDwarf, Get te fuck ye wee taigy bastard

    • @Andy C, what on earth makes you think I’m Irish (and I include the entire population of NI in that Irishness) ? I’m not. About as pure Brit as it gets as it happens…and I mean real Brit not NI Proddy fake Brit.

    • “and there was no justification for the soldiers opening fire.”
      Here, right here, RDE’s-otherwise surprisingly fair -piece loses credibility. Surely opening fire without justification is murder or does that only apply when it is “terrorist” unjustified killings? Doesn’t matter whose unjustified finger is on the trigger, whether they’re wearing Crown Forces uniforms or berets and sunglasses or orange sashes.
      And incase anyone thinks I’m some kind of IRA apologist, personally I think that the chances of paras opening fire on unarmed civilians because it seemed like a fun thing to do seems unlikely…it was a setup, only question whose. Like the ‘corporals killing’ ,those plain clothed soldiers that were ‘lynched’ when I was teenager.

      • What gets me is that we prosecute soldiers for doing what we train them to do (i.e. shoot guns) and after putting them under psychological extreme pressure in life threatening situations. Meanwhile the IRA gets what is effectively amnesty for murder.

        Surely we should either prosecute both or neither, otherwise we’re guilty of hypocrisy and double standards at worst and inconsistency at best…

  4. Peter MacFarlane

    Well I’m not stepping into this minefield.

    But I will just say my eldest son went to London once, because he and his girlfriend were leaving for Oz for a year the next day, so they thought they’d take in a show or something.

    The date? 7th July 2005. So their day was not as it was planned; the only thing they managed to do was walk miles back to their digs (all tubes were off) and share a bottle of vodka. And of course, they could well have been blown to bits instead.

    So I’m with Norman.