I realise I have come rather late to this, but yesterday came across this fantastic, withering piece from last September by Steve Moore of Volte Face magazine. Having tweeted it and seen a lot of interest, I thought it would be good to link here as well.
It essentially gives the lie to Corbyn's and McDonnell's disingenuous claims that they were "engaging" with the IRA, to "help the peace process". They were not, and it is important that people understand this.
The ironic thing is that, had that peace process not been successful (despite their both voting against it in Parliament at every turn), Corbyn could never have become leader. A politician directly connected with a terrorist group still active in his own country could never lead a major party. And it is partly down to the success of Tony Blair - yes, the one Corbyn believes should be in gaol - in helping bring about that change that he has even been given that opportunity.
Activists yet to vote in the leadership election, and even those who have already voted, should read the whole thing, but I post here a short extract:
Corbyn took part in a BBC Five Live interview with Stephen Nolan. During the course of the interview Nolan offered Corbyn an opportunity to condemn IRA murders. Asked outright five times, five times he refused to do so. Finally having proffered the idea that they might discuss this some other time the line goes dead.
Listen to it here
Corbyn hung up.
The inconvenient truth for Jeremy Corbyn is that we, of course, know why he hung up on Stephen Nolan and we know why it took John McDonnell 13 years to offer such a risible, caveated apology.
It is because they wanted the IRA to win.
Their pious homilies to the peace process will not wash with anyone. Their commitment to a united Ireland was total. The relationships they invested in for decades were with terrorists organisations not democratic nationalist parties. It has proved a hard habit to break for them as Nick Cohen and others have demonstrated.
Corbyn and McDonnell had nothing to do with the peace process. Not a single person involved in the negotiations that led to the Belfast agreement has come forward to support McDonnell’s assertion that he played an active role. No historic accounts of the process include them. Corbyn and McDonnell were partisans. They were irrelevant bystanders. McDonnell’s abject attempt to suggest that he was acting as a peacemaker remains almost as insulting as the remarks that prompted the forced apology."Straight talking. Honest politics."