In the Derry Journal Eamonn McCann takes issue with a recent editorial in the paper [this one presumably] responding to Northern Ireland deputy First Minister Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness’ rhetoric about dissenting republican paramilitaries.
“It’s OK by me if Sinn Fein leaders offer a different account. It’s hardly unusual for a political party to offer a version of its past (re)designed to meet present needs. But the rest of us, when purporting to offer a fair and objective opinion, shouldn’t stretch facts to fit a particular party’s particular analysis.
The scary fact which Tuesdays editorial writer seemed to me to be squirming to avoid is that the ‘dissidents’ aren’t dissident at all, but are following the path already trodden by every previous generation of Republicans. That doesn’t mean that they are right. It means that if they are wrong, then so is the Republican tradition itself.
To deny the legitimacy of armed struggle in the present while simultaneously celebrating armed struggle in the past is not to make any useful point of principle but is implicitly to support a particular political party.”