James Forsyth

One person we don’t need any moral lectures from

One person we don't need any moral lectures from
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There are few people less qualified to act as any kind of moral arbiter than Martin McGuinness. So it is deeply comic to see him pronouncing on how television celebrates the demon drink. He told the British Irish Council,

“I am not a fan of East-Enders or Coronation Street but my wife and my children, particularly the girls, watch the programme. I am appalled at the drunkenness that is quite clear for everybody to see and all of that before the 9 o’clock watershed when children as young as 8, 9, 10 and 11 are watching. Now I regard that as irresponsible broadcasting and I think something should be done about it.”

McGuinness seems to have conveniently forgotten, or more likely just doesn't care, about the scenes of death and violence that the IRA used to put on screens in Northern Ireland night after night. Children saw those too. Children were also killed by the IRA’s bombs. Drunkenness on TV might be a bad thing but in moral terms it hardly compares to murder, the IRA’s specialty.

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

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