Former editor of the BBC’s Today programme, and now a regular columnist at the Spectator, Rod Liddle, says the one thing required from Gerry Adams and Sinn Fein is honesty. He makes an unfavourable comparison with Al-Qaeda:
…the main difference between these twin threats to our peaceful existence is in IRA/ Sinn Fein’s disingenuousness, the century of lies. The peace process would be easier to pursue and we would be more inclined to forgive the decades of murder, the IRA/Nazi alliance in the second world war, the bombs and the shootings and the beatings and the robberies, if they would simply come clean.
We know we have to negotiate, much as it may stick in the craw to do so. We know that a peace process or Stormont without IRA/Sinn Fein is a singularly pointless exercise. It grieves us to admit this but it is true.
We know, too, that Ulster is a historical anomaly and that we share some of the blame for the bloodshed, for the earlier unjust treatment of Catholic Ulstermen and for human rights abuses. We are even aware that there has been movement — too little movement, undoubtedly — from Sinn Fein towards a semblance of civilised behaviour.
Now, all we need is a bit of honesty and less of the flouncing off, stage left. As an international statesman, Gerry, do you think you can manage that?