Not so. [/quote]
[quote=“The BBC”]On the programme Mr Livingstone also took questions on his views on the IRA, after he called them “freedom fighters” during the 1980s.
He said: "That is how the IRA saw themselves - at the time the British Government’s views were that these were simply psychopaths and godfathers of crime.
“They denied a political motive, I therefore said you’ve got to understand the political motive of the IRA.”
“The political motive of the IRA”?
Ken Livingstone is just one of a long line of English politicians with very strong opinions about Northern Ireland which are dusted off and paraded in front of voters from time to time and then quickly forgotten about. Perhaps he didn’t read Sinn Fein’s manifesto in the 1980s. Perhaps he had no idea how unpopular in Ireland SF’s goal of a 32-county Marxist state was. Perhaps he has an explanation for the low level of support for the IRA in Ireland in the 1980s. Perhaps he can explain why successive Irish governments banned Sinn Fein from politics and the media. Perhaps he can surprise the people of Northern Ireland, from both sides, who know the IRA has been for years a straightforward collection of “psychopaths and godfathers of crime”. Perhaps not. Inviting Gerry Adams and Danny Morrison to the GLC at the height of the IRA’s bombing campaign is a hell of a statement. If it’s not a statement of support for the IRA then I don’t know what it is. Indeed I wonder how much time the man’s actually spent in Ireland? When he popped over to see Gerry and Danny after it was discovered the Prevention of Terrorism Act stopped them going to London I wonder did he discuss what was to be done to get the Irish population in London back hoem to Ireland, a country they had to leave in no small part because of the nonsense in the North. We will note for the record that Livingstone didn’t invite the Official IRA which still existed at the time (maybe he’s never heard of them?) or the Workers’ Party, and any of the constitutional parties, or even the INLA, which was doing most of the killing at the time (they’d have just shot him anyway for fun). Oh no. Not glamorous enough for our Ken.
I suppose he’ll be inviting Osama bin Laden to London for a chat about resolving the problems that freedom fighter has with British foreign policy?
I wonder did our amatuer foreign secretary/Northern Ireland secretary feel even a little bit stupid when it transpired that there had been on-and-off dialogue between the IRA and the British government all along - even when Ken was pulling his silly populist stunts at the GLC?
You can’t really take Ken Livingstone seriously, surely? Frankly, Gerry Adams, even as an ex-IRA man, comes across as twice the man Livingstone is, not I suppose that that’s saying much. And now these comments about Tiananmen Square? Beggars belief.