May 30, 2003


A leftwing Labour MP, who praised the “sacrifice” of IRA bombers, faces the threat of expulsion from the party for his outburst, which was widely condemned yesterday.

John McDonnell, a member of the Socialist Campaign Group, who unsuccessfully tried to unseat the prime minister during the Iraq crisis, horrified the Labour leadership by declaring that it was time to honour people such as Bobby Sands, the IRA hunger striker who died in 1981 during his prison protest.

At a republicans’ meeting this week in London, the MP for Hayes and Harlington said: “We are in the last stage of imperialist intervention in Ireland and only armed struggle has stopped it. It is about time we started honouring those people involved in that armed struggle. It was the bombs and bullets and sacrifices made by the likes of Bobby Sands that brought Britain to the negotiating table. The peace we have now is due to the unilateral action of the IRA.”

When will these people learn that it’s bad form to root for the other side?

Of course, to them it’s not the other side, is it?

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