This is an odd one, I really cannot say much more than that about this. Alliance Party Cllr in North Down, Andrew Muir has taken a shot at a Green Party candidate who (wait for it) is not standing in North Down or even Northern Ireland. Rather the candidate Richard Stanton is standing in Brighton at the May 2015 general election. (As a local election candidate)
UPDATE- Stanton was quoted as saying that the bomb was a “justifiable act of political warfare”
Now leaving aside the Alliance said nothing about John O’Farrell who made similar comments about the Brighton Bomb and the fact that they share power with Sinn Fein, Cllr Muir has thought it a normal thing to comment on the issue. Cllr Muir said this;
I am shocked that the Green Party would select a candidate who has made such offensive and hurtful comments. It perhaps shows the Green Party’s political inexperience and lack of thought for victims.
Many people will be asking our local Green Party representatives whether they support Mr Stanton being selected to stand for election by their Party. Given the thousands of people who were killed and seriously injured during the Troubles, I would seriously doubt whether those who voted for Green Party candidates in this year’s election would support his comments.
Stanton made these comments whilst I understand not even a member of the Green Party and the fact that on a variety of councils Alliance work with Sinn Fein it is a bit strange that this has been commented on. As soon as I read it, it reminded me a bit of the reaction of some parties to Anna Lo’s United Ireland comments.
Responding to this statement the Green Party leader, Steven Agnew said;
@AlexKane221b Green Party in Northern Ireland does not share the views that Richard Stanton expressed 30 years ago when a member of Labour.
— Steven Agnew (@StevenAgnew) December 7, 2014
Have I just missed the point entirely? Is this something that should be pointed out more often by local representatives like Andrew Muir? Update full statement from the Greens Very fast pace of attacking the Greens to attacking each other
Andrew Muir has taken to Twitter to respond to Agnew’s statement
I welcome @StevenAgnew statement distancing Green Party NI from Richard Stanton’s comments Should not have required me to prompt this
— Andrew Muir (@AndrewMuirNI) December 7, 2014
David McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs