In this strange parallel universe Northern Ireland has entered, hypocritical double-speak has become almost a lingua franca. Hence Martine Anderson’s suggestion that paramilitary convictions be removed from ex-terrorists records receives a cold response from a DUP who have hopped merrily into bed with many of these ex-terrorists and delivered them some of the most important jobs in the province.
SF’s Unionist outreach “expert”, you see, is trying to remove any barriers that an ex-psychopath may encounter in the job market. The fact that an employer may wish to know that his prospective employee was involved in murder, assault, racketeering, destruction of property or theft does not appear to exercise this reprehensible bomber. Part of reaching out to unionists appears to involve depriving employers of this insight.
The fact that Gregory Campbell is critical of the proposal is of course simply natural. The fact that he is prepared to sit in government (all be it grumpily) with many ex-terrorists, as part of a party which is actually almost melding seamlessly into one with its erstwhile enemies, is rather less easy to rationalise. The message seems to be that a terrorist past has to be remembered unless you are part of Northern Ireland’s government.