I got a mass of retweets for my link to an article in which a DUP MLA suggests the Protestant working class universally has no interest in the arts. It is right to draw attention to such outrageously patronising sectarianism.
However, scant attention was given to an even more outrageous tweet from a Sinn Féin MLA. This suggested that “South Down remembers with pride” (ie South Down in its entirety) and IRA terrorist who had been guilty of maiming and mayhem even in the 1956-62 campaign, before managing to get himself killed while carrying out an attack 42 years ago – well before the MLA himself was even born.
Contained was a link commending this “volunteer” for his many “successful operations” and noting his passing was “on active service”.
Let us just be clear to this brave young MLA who doesn’t even remember the brunt of the Troubles: were such a volunteer operating now, his party colleagues would chide him as representative of an “unrepresentative micro-group” who “just want to take us back to the past” with “nothing to offer the future”.
For the fictional “successful operations” read actually “pointless murder and mayhem causing great and unnecessary suffering”; for the fictional “on active service” read “while engaging in terrorist atrocities counter to the democratically expressed will of the Irish people, North and South”; and for “South Down remembers with pride” try “the great majority in South Down remember with pity and disgust (if at all)”.
One correspondent tried to convince me there are “Progressives” in Sinn Féin. If there are, they’re wasting their time and should join a different party actually committed to moving on from the hurt and suffering of the past.