Alex Massie

Stickies vs Provos

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Tory Bear is upset with the continuing brouhaha over the Conservatives' pals in the European parliament. Well, fair enough. I find it hard to believe that anyone, apart from euro-obsessives, cares about the european parliament but perhaps I'm mistaken. Accordingly he wants, not unreasonably, to draw attention to some of Labour's less than wholesome allies in Europe. Among them...

How about Proinsias De Rossa, ever heard of him? Well he is a murdering terrorist who is linked to the killing of six British Policemen. This former IRA man originally joined the Communist and Allies group before transferring to the PES and taking an active role in the drafting of the European Constitution. What do you expect from a Labour Party who didn’t bat and eyelid when their guest Martin McGuinness was allowed to stroll around the Grand Hotel in Brighton almost 25 years to the day the IRA had murdered so many there.

True, this hostility dates back to the split between the Provos and the Stickies, but that does litte to change the fact that, like other members of the old Workers Party, such as Eoghan Harris, de Rossa was no friend of the IRA. Far from it in fact. Indeed, Democratic Left took a more sceptical attitude towards the Republican movement than did successive British governments.

In other words, these things are more complicated than they sometimes seem. On both sides of the ball.

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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