Corbyn and McDonnell did back IRA terror

Morning View
Morning View

It has become increasingly clear that Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell hold views on the IRA that are vile.

Any wriggle room that Mr Corbyn had previously, of perhaps being able to claim naivete about IRA murder or of facilitating at Westminster views that he did not in fact share, are evaporating on close inspection of his record.

The News Letter has today looked into some of the claims against him. It now seems that he did not merely stand in silence for the sectarian thugs who attacked Loughgall RUC station in 1987 (some of whom were notorious mass murderers) but he spoke enthusiastically on their behalf as men who died for Irish independence.

Mr McDonnell never had much wriggle room. His 2003 speech was a clear salute to IRA terror. His apology was welcome but it did not erase the evidence of what deep down he thinks, or thought, about republican murder and mayhem.

If Mr Corbyn and Mr McDonnell were members of Sinn Fein, their enthusiastic support for armed struggle would be no surprise.

But they are not. They hold the two most important positions in the party of opposition, Labour — that of leader and shadow chancellor.

This is a grim state of affairs.

Both men are so extreme on a whole range of matters that there is next to no chance that they will ever inhabit Downing Street. But the very fact that they have reached such commanding positions within the Labour Party is an alarming illustration of how volatile mass feeling can now be. It can suddenly sweep political groups or sections of populations.

Senior members of the parliamentary Labour Party are despairing, but it is hard to see how they will topple their top team. In any event, the overall Labour Party wanted one member one vote to choose its leadership. Such idealism is now common in political parties. The election of extremists shows where it can lead.