Boris Johnson’s Spectator looks at the current crisis through the lens of the controversial Prevention of Terrorism Bill, he believes that were the government to use it against muslims and not IRA members it would inherently be racist:Theoretically addressing a future Home Secretary he argues:
He will have no excuse not to: section 2 (1) of the Bill clearly states that the powers can be used against any individual who ‘is or has been involved in terrorism-related activities’ in cases where the director of public prosecutions has advised ‘there is no reasonable prospect of a successful prosecution of the individual for terrorism-related activity’. That description fits the killers of Robert McCartney perfectly. For the Home Secretary to exercise the powers of the Prevention of Terrorism Bill against suspected Muslim terrorists but to refuse to do so against Irish terrorists would be pure racism.
He goes on to berate Tony Blair for treating Sinn Fein as though they represented every Republican in Northern Ireland:
We would far rather, of course, that Mr McCartney’s killers be brought to justice properly, through the courts. This would more likely be achieved were the government to support the growing revolt against the IRA by ordinary republicans. It could achieve this by ceasing to appease the terrorists. The effect of the peace process has been to sideline moderate republican political parties in favour of Sinn Fein. It is with them that all the deals have been done, them for whom the power-sharing arrangements have been made; Sinn Fein has been treated as if it were the sole representative of all Catholics in Northern Ireland. Nothing will change Mr Blair’s starry-eyed view of Gerry Adams and his henchmen: not even December’s £26 million bank robbery in which the IRA was implicated.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty