Martin McGuinness must be held to his own standard

Deputy First Minster Martin McGuinness at the Commission for Victims and Survivors conference on Wednesday. Pic: Stephen Hamilton/Presseye
Deputy First Minster Martin McGuinness at the Commission for Victims and Survivors conference on Wednesday. Pic: Stephen Hamilton/Presseye

I was struck by the recent feature, ‘How can McGuinness lecture victims conference on the past?’, and I feel I need to reiterate what Ann Travers said, the serious matter of Martin McGuinness’s doublespeak and hypocrisy.

McGuinness is a fountain of sanctimony.

Like the irritating smart Alec child, the former “republican Adonis” has made his sleek and self-righteous act of double-standards into a perfect art.

Firstly, he lectures young republicans for doing what he did: killing and maiming. McGuinness was a dissident once. Peter Taylor said:

“Talking to dissidents today reminded me of talking to the Provisional IRA way back in 1972 when the IRA leadership, that included Martin McGuinness and Gerry Adams, met the Northern Ireland Secretary, William Whitelaw.”

In the 70s McGuinness and his dissident cohorts were denounced by Paddy Devlin. McGuinness is now Devlin, and the dissidents are a young Martin McGuinness. He has no moral authority on this issue.

Secondly, he lectures the state for murder, impropriety and shadowy dealings. This comes from the former commander of “the most effective guerrilla movement in Europe” (Niall Ó Donnghaile).

If he wants truth and justice we need it from each side, but he only wants one-sided justice, which is partisan and sectarian justice.

As member of the Provisional IRA he held that his army was “the legal and lawful government of the Irish Republic”.

When will he take the responsibilities that come with being a lawful government?

Until he fronts up and takes these responsibilities he has no moral authority.

The trick to McGuinness’s craftiness is that he holds Britain to their own high standards.

Unionists are put into a spin by this. The way to beat the dastardly solipsism and craftiness is to hold him to his own republican standards.

Brian John Spencer, Belfast