London: targeted for over 2 decades

The Guardian’s Donald MacLeod looks at how London has been the target of terror attacks before.. a point which, undoubtedly, was in many minds yesterday. He notes that – “There were 36 bombs in London in 1973.” The experience of Londoners over those decades will inform many of the reactions to yesterday’s attack.

Another point worth noting, and in contrast to the comments in the Irish News article, the Guardian report also points out that, the choosing of financial targets was a development of, rather than a constant part of, the IRA’s strategy –

Over 20 years, the IRA strategy shifted away from causing as many casualties as possible to trying to cause economic damage to London’s financial centre.

  • Zorro

    No doubt we will all get to hear the squirming ‘RA supporters when they are likened to the perpetrators of the London bombing. They are already squealing “the bhoys never targeted civilians” How deeply sickening it is to hear their supporters try and distance themselves in some kind of unholy league of infamy. Using the wrongs and misdeeds of other paramilitaries/the British Army, they attempt, in a feeble way, to justify their own criminal, immoral and completely unjustified activities. On occasions like this anyone who ever gave any of the paramilitaries any support in any way should bow their heads in shame. All those men of violence share one thing in common – their inhumanity.

  • harpo

    ‘How deeply sickening it is to hear their supporters try and distance themselves in some kind of unholy league of infamy.’

    Indeed. PIRA suicide bomber Edward O’Brien is revered as a great fella by IRs for blowing up a London bus in 1996. I’m sure Gerry Adams wouldn’t be condemning him. Gerry probably offered to carry his coffin as he did for suicide bomber Begley.

    Funny though that Gerry condemns whoever blew up a bus in similar style yesterday. Maybe he should have waited to find out who did it. If he turns out to be Irish Gerry may have something different to say.

  • sean h

    Martin McGuiness, on the Inside Politics programme, said many people see Gerry Adams as a peacemaker. He also said that when ever they are in London, talking to “ordinary Londoners”, they come up to them in the street, shake their hand and say “well done!” and “keep up the good work!”.

    Yeah right! Sure they do! Does Martin really expect people to believe him? “Ordinary Londoners” aren’t like the Spinn Fein sycophants he is used to when he is back home in ‘Derry! ‘Sounds to me as if he doesn’t even recognise their own stooges. Don’t believe the hype Martin – especially when it’s your own. Also, Gerry the Peacemaker! There’s a funny thought. But I guess he does want to inherit the earth – well at least just one small part of it! Is this the new ‘Republican strategy we’re waiting to here?

    Zorro.

    I agree with you. Martin too fell in to the line of trying to “distance themselves in some kind of unholy league of infamy. Using the wrongs and misdeeds of other paramilitaries/the British Army, they attempt, in a feeble way, to justify their own criminal, immoral and completely unjustified activities” he tried to gloss over the fact the Bhoys put the lives of innocent people at risk. Not soldiers. Not Non-combatants. Not Infiltrators. Just innocent people. Shame on them and all who support them. That’s your legacy to the world!

  • Keith M

    I can’t argue with anything posted on this thread. It takes a super human powers of hypocrasy for the man who led the organisation who initially brought the terror of the no warning bomb attacks on London civilians to condem those that have followed their example.

  • Wichser

    Keith M

    Not that I necessarily disagree with you but what would you have wished/hoped Adams to have said in reaction to the events of this week in London ?

  • Keith M

    Wichser I would have have wished for silence from Adams.

  • Wichser

    Keith M

    Isn’t it fair to day you would have accused Adams of duplicity if he had remained silent ? Isn’t it true that you don’t believe that anything Adams would say or do would change your opinion of him ?

  • Keith M

    Wicsher “Isn’t it true that you don’t believe that anything Adams would say or do would change your opinion of him?”. Not true, there is one big lie that casts a shadow over Adams’ credibility for me and for many others. In both the 1970’s and 1980’s, Adams represented himself as a leader of the IRA in talks with the government of the UK. Today (and for over a decade) Adams maintains that he was never a member of the IRA, let alone a leader of the organisation. Therefore the question is, was he lying then, or is he lying now? I believe he is lying now, as I don’t believe that the IRA would have allowed an interloper represent them.

    What Adams can say that would change my opinion of him is that he has been lying for the last decade and that he was and still remainds a leader of the IRA (somethjing we all know). Alternativly he could say that SF and the IRA are one and the same organisation and that leadership of one explicity means leadrship of the other. I think the former option possible, but still extremely unlikely.

    This big lie (and others from SF/IRA) is one of the reasons why I oppose a South African style truth and reconcilliation process, as I don’t think we’ll ever hear the full truth from Adams or his associates. They have built their political careers on a tissue of lies. Put any stress on that tissue and you would see how threadbare SF/IRA’s so called “peace process” really is.

  • Wichser

    Keith M

    I hold no candle to Adams however isn’t it at all likely that the reason he won’t/can’t do so is that he can still be prosecuted for IRA membership and jailed for 7 years which would give unionists yet another excuse and condition to ‘hold up the peace train’ ? Also, isn’t it at least possible that, if what you allege is true, he feels guilt and shame over his past involvement, drawing as it would attention to the fact that so much was lost and so very very little won by republicans ?

  • Keith M

    Wichser, Martin McGuinness has already admitted being a leader of the IRA in (London)Derry during the worst period of republican attrocities in that city. He hasn’t been prosecuted. The best solution is for the IRA to publicly disband and decommission, and for its leaders to then admit their full roles in that organisation. It is unlikely to cost them votes as we already know most of the facts. However it will show that they have been repeatedly lying for over a decade and that’ something they are unlikely to want to do.

    Nothing that Adams has done or said shows any sign of remose, let alone guilt or shame. Instead he and his cohorts try to justify some of the most cowardly and despicable acts. They have developed their own lexicon where cold blooded murder is not a crime.

    The reason why republicans have won so little is not down to the association of Adam and the IRA, it is that we are living in a democracy, where only the parties that can be trusted by the majority of the population can be entrusted with positions of power. If SF/IRA want any kind of real power (and I am not sure that they do), then they have to work out a way where they can build that trust, and that applies in both Northern Ireland and in this country. A facile statement by Adams on the London bombings is not going to do that, while he continues to tell the big lie.

  • Wichser

    Keith M

    McGuinness could not be prosecuted because he provided that information to the Saville Enquiry which was priveleged – he was immune for admitting his past involvement in that context. If Adams isn’t ashamed for having achieved so very very little while having sustained and, as you’re alleging, inflicted so much loss on so many for so long, then he most certainly ought to be. NI remains more firmly than ever a part of the UK and will be for as far into the future as it’s possible to see. SF has recognized partition and UK jurisdiction, it is working partition and is administering British rule in Ireland.

    If unionists could grasp the blindingly obvious significance of that and move on then we’d all be in better shape.

  • Keith M

    Wichser, I could be wrong on this, but I don’t believe that McGuinness’s immunity stretches beyond the events of “Bloody Sunday”. SF/IRA is not working partition or administered “British rule” (ie the democratic process) in Northern Ireland. Their MPs don’t sit at Westminster and the executive hasn’t sat for years. That enforces my point. I believe that when push comes to shove SF/IRA are willing to make the real sacrifices necessary to achieve positions of power. They prefer to create their own lexicon, their own rule book and believe their own rhetoric, in splendid isolation from reality. The party is indeed “ourselves alone” as their name implies. Unlike real political parties they do not aspire to real power but rather are content to stand on the sidelines and oppose everything. They are at their heart a party of opposition, otherwise they would have made the necessary sacrifices (on things like a credible decommissioning process) in the past decade.

    Unionists are right to to wait and to see if SF/IRA are willing to finally make the appropriate moves. Once in an exective the principle of cabinet responsibility applies, and who in their right mind was to be responsible (if only tangentially) for the actions of a bunch of murdering bar brawlers and bank robbers?

  • Keith M

    a vital little typo ” I believe that when push comes to shove SF/IRA are NOT willing to make the real sacrifices necessary to achieve positions of power.”

  • Wichser

    Keith M

    With respect, I think you’re fundamentally missreading the current republican leadership and its strategy. They are desperate for the executive to recommence and if you reflect on their performance while it was reflects all I’ve said. They won’t sit at Westminster but if in time the Exec works properly in time it won’t matter anyway, one could argue eit already doesn’t matter as the NIO has the only power here anyway on contral matters and the attendance of the other MPs is both poor and inconsequential anyway if you’re honest. Whether they say it or not the war IS over and won’t come back, not from the Provisional quarter. Decommissioning will happen and probably relatively soon if the blockhead unionists don’t insist on humilation and other nonsense which holds back any sort of momentum being created in which SF’s good faith can be evidenced and I say that as a non-nationalist. SF’s major worry now is that they will be snookered if the unionist appetite for Stormont is as equivocol as it often appears and it isn’t re-established in one form or another.

    The underlying problem frorm my perspective is the GFA itself but that’s another story.