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Why are links with violence-justifying Republicans something to be proud of?

7 March 2014

Last week, John Downey, the former IRA man, avoided trial for the Hyde Park bombings of 1982. One who stood bail for him was Roy Greenslade, the media pundit of the Guardian.

Since Mr Downey has not been proved guilty, we must presume him innocent, but isn’t it extraordinary that Greenslade can cosy up to such a man without suffering in reputation?


Suppose I were to stand bail for, say, Nick Griffin of the BNP (who, so far as I know, has never been accused of a terrorist crime), or for some loyalist oaf. I would rightly be shunned in my trade. Yet a link with extreme, violence-justifying, anti-British republicans is worn with pride.

This is an extract from Charles Moore’s Notes in this week’s Spectator.

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  • Jackthesmilingblack

    Looks like Pod didn’t get the Memo. The ultimate “Get out of jail free” card.

  • Curnonsky

    But the Left doesn’t support bloodthirsty psychopaths like the above-pictured character despite their violent activities but because of them. That is the attraction, the thrill of the gruesome act, joyous retribution on all those that ignore the true path of Marxism. That is why they have always cozied up to groups like the PLO, Baader Meinhof and the rest; that is why they idolize mass murderers like Stalin and Mao, that is why they wear Che Guevara t-shirts: their very ruthlessness sends a shiver up their legs, so of course they will not disown them. The Left has always had a peculiar fascination with death.

    • Swanky

      Yes. Comfortable self-preservation is staid, responsible, and … bourgeois.

  • Picquet

    The reason for this apparent nonchalance on the media’s behalf is that the principal players are too cowardly to make the tiniest squeak about the monstrosity of it. Greenslade; well, Greenslade is well known to those of us who have worked in the Services. A more repulsive fellow-traveller I’ve yet to come across.

  • The Laughing Cavalier

    Typical socialist double standards.

  • Daniel Maris

    I have never trusted Greenslade. THis is a complete scandal and all the more worrying having read Hooky’s observations below.

  • Tony Quintus

    “Since Mr Downey has not been proved guilty, we must presume him innocent”
    That would be a refreshing change in recent journalistic output.

  • Frank

    The Guardian states that T Villers has announced that the “get-out-of-jail” letters given to the “on-the-runs” are not legally binding.
    Can we hope that all the “on-the-runs” will now be arrested and put on trial?

    • Ron Todd

      Little change of that.

  • HookesLaw

    Greenslade has not just worked for lefty newspapers. But it does look as if his natural home is The Guardian.
    Others may have already got there but it is worth repeating this from Wiki and then forming your own conclusions about the man …
    ‘During the late 1980s, when he was managing news editor of The Sunday Times, he secretly wrote for ‘An Phoblacht’, the Sinn Fein newspaper, which served as a propaganda sheet for the Provisional IRA.
    His pseudonym was ‘George King’. This was exposed by Nick Davies, a Guardian colleague and instigator of the journalistic investigation into phone hacking. When Greenslade reviewed Davies’s book on his blog in 2008, he did not deny his writings for An Phoblacht.
    Greenslade also spoke at a Sinn Fein conference in London on the 30th anniversary of the hunger strikes, and he wrote an article on the same subject for An Phoblacht .
    He has had a house in County Donegal for many years, and a close personal friend is Pat Doherty, whom from 1988 until 2009 was vice president of Sinn Fein, and who has
    been publicly named as a former member of the IRA Army Council.’

    You have to think that his choice of pen name was somewhat unadventurous (Rupert Prince might have made the blinkered gunmen laugh a bit more) but it does at least betray a short sightedness to match the rest of his writing.

    • Wessex Man

      Hooky, my pleasure to give you a tick up, well said!

  • Eyesee

    The Guardian cannot stand on its own but is buttressed only by state funds (the BBC in particular) and its Marxist backers. Taking offence at its opinions, or including it in any mainstream debate is like asking the children to design a new house, or the internals of a gearbox. They have a set of opinions which are all ideology led and will always be predictable. Supporting a man who does the work of Marxism (even if it is only as a murderer) will always trump the good of society or the welfare of individuals (unless they are the Marxists themselves). So I wouldn’t bother worrying about whether Greenslade is treated with opprobrium for his sake, but there is the concern that by not speaking out, society at large shows it is little by little, giving way to these extreme totalitarians.

  • Robert_Eve

    What do you expect from the Guardian?

  • Magnolia

    My youth was spent ignoring the bombs and just getting on with life and I was busy doing other things but my overriding memory of that bomb was of dead horses splattered all over a London park.
    Mum had taken me to see Ryan’s Daughter when I was ‘underage’ so I had some idea of the issues but to kill horses?
    Now of course we see school buses and the like blown up all over the world in the name of so called political movements.
    Slaughter only leads to retribution and generational hate.
    It is easy to stir up hate with imaginary or even a reality based grievance in a world where living is hard work.
    The politicians had better keep this in mind.

  • David B

    I regret that a growing number of people have a romanticised view of what was called the troubles and without exception they are the people who did not live and group up through it, did not have windows rattled by car bombs as they sat at their desk working or sat it traffic jams because of bomb scares or getting out of shops while under threat of a bomb going off, not knowing if you are going into it or away from it.

    People, on all sides (and the security forces were a side on their own) died very horrible deaths. It is a journalists job to report the horror, with out fear or favour. If they want to take sides, then let them declare that their view are not impractical so the next time the Guardian makes a comment about a Unionist politician or believes they must declare they have a commentator who comes from a background that supports people who used to murder those same people for holding those views.

    There was nothing romantic about the troubles or those who planted bombs or pulled triggers, we need to find a solution to the historic issues and this case most certainly did not provide that solution.

  • Frank

    I am not sure why you think that Roy Greenslade’s reputation has not been damaged. I have read that Roy also stood bail for Mr Downey, so it was much more than just cosying-up.

  • DavidL

    Lefties tend to hate this country: it’s as simple as that.

    • telemachus

      What the left want is an administration that acts on behalf of all the people not just those born to the levers of power or are fortunate enough to have accrued wealth
      Remember Attlee who ensured health for all ensuring the best for all in the country and the survival of many to make a productive contribution to the wellbeing of the country as a whole

      • Colonel Mustard

        On behalf of “all” the people? No way. On behalf of themselves, chippy minorities, newly arrived foreigners, client agendas and rent-seekers, but primarily themselves. 29% of a 65% turnout at the last election so barely 19% fall for their tripe and that includes the Scots and Welsh socialist blocs.

        Attlee and the current gang running Labour are chalk and cheese. Attlee was a grounded ordinary Englishman not the wonk son of a foreign Marxist in hoc to the unions and heading up a gruesome gang of New Labour Blair/Brown has-beens.

        Remember Attlee by all means and then compare him to the sorry pretence that has inherited his legacy and besmirched it with 24/7 dishonesty.

        • Wessex Man

          Don’t forget these ‘Socialist’ millionaries Colonel!

          Ed Miliband Ed Balls Harriet Harman Margaret Hodge
          Tony Blair Liam Bryne Michael Meacher Neil Kinnock
          Emily Thornberry Hilary Benn Andrew Rosefeld
          Yette Cooper Tom Baldwin Jon Cruddas Charlie Allen
          Roland Rudd Assem Allam Tristram Hunt

          and dear young social warrior Chuka Umanna, haven’t they done well?

          • Colonel Mustard

            It is indeed a grisly list. The thought of that lot slithering into public office again is a grim prospect. And the thought of the malevolent Thornberry as AG, no doubt with Starmer, the honorary DPP in hiding, whispering more of his extreme feminist vendetta in her ear is especially grim. I understand that one is currently creeping around within the Labour party – so much for the impartiality of civil servants. Grieve played a cruel and grieve-ass joke on every conservative in the country when he kept Starmer on and allowed him to turn the CPS into the prosecution wing of the loony left.

      • Ron Todd

        Everybody equal but some more equal than others old socialist policy. What is new with new Labour is who they want to be more equal.

      • Fergus Pickering

        Nobody remembers Attlee. You certainly don’t.

      • ADW

        That would be Atlee who detested West Indian immigration and demanded to know who was responsible for the “incursion”.

  • Makroon

    Ha-ha, it seems most of the British establishment, including Charles Moore are “proud” to be linked with the “violence justifying republicans” in Kiev.
    I guess that is “different” though.

    • HookesLaw

      Come of it. Who are the dead? Members of the then govt or their supporters? No it was the protesters who were shot.
      Protesting is not illegal and I would think justified when the opposition leader is a political prisoner in jail and the president scamming billions and the corrupt govt elected on a fraud.

  • Colonel Mustard

    Not extraordinary at all. The symbiosis of the British self-styled but essentially Marxist ‘insurgent left’ with Irish republican romanticism goes back to before the end of the 19th Century and extends to the Good Friday Agreement. Markievicz the murderess was the archetypal champagne socialist woman, a sort of prototype Harmon, but her cold-blooded execution of unarmed prisoners has been suppressed in Wiki.

    Any country but their own, any patriotism but their own. They hate their own country so will cosy up to anyone who strives against it, from the Soviet Union to the IRA.

    • Andy

      Well said.

    • Andrew Parke

      Fun fact- Countess Markievicz is actually my eighth cousin, once removed!

  • Andrew Parke

    Beneath Sinn Fein’s violent republicanism lies an extreme Marxist ideology- worthy of contempt on its own besides the 40 years of murder. It is why they are trying to wipe out NI’s grammar schools, and their insistence that everyone who died in the Troubles (including murdering criminals) are victims- how more moral relativist can you get.
    Their ideology is a British socialist’s wet dream- and the British left has always despised Irish unionists anyway.

    • Daniel Maris

      Which Sinn Fein? Official Sinn Fein did actually appear to have some genuine socialist principles and got out of the violence game back in the early 70s. The Provos started off as bourgeois nationalists. As I recall it was internment that turned them into crypto-Marxists.

  • Bert3000

    If Charles Moore were to cosy up to Nick Griffin, the damage to Nick Griffin’s reputation would be immense.

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