Ruth Dudley Edwards: If there's a hung parliament, Gerry Adams will present his wish list to Jeremy Corbyn
With a deal they can sell the rank-and-file, Sinn Fein will take their seats in Westminster
In the alarming event that the general election produces a hung parliament, expect the republican movement’s inner circle to respond to its friend Jeremy Corbyn’s plea for help by having Gerry Adams (and appropriate sidekicks) fly to London for talks before calling an emergency party meeting to approve Sinn Fein taking its seats in Westminster.
The troops would vote the right way when they learned that a close relationship with a Corbyn government would be dreadful news for unionists and most southern politicians.
Republicans are dismayed that Leo Varadkar will be Taoiseach.
Not only has he said he won’t extend an olive branch to Sinn Fein — “the greatest threat to our democracy and our prosperity as a state” — but he’s also anxious to work with constructive politicians north and south to help restore the Executive and find solutions to problems posed by Brexit.
Worse again, he and Arlene Foster overlapped as tourism ministers for more than three years and got on well.
So what’s not to like about changing the rules to help elect a hardline socialist British Prime Minister who has been close to IRA and Sinn Fein leaders since the early 1980s, regards a united Ireland as sacred dogma and has had nothing to do with the SDLP, unionists or democratic southern politicians?
Just in case you haven’t been following what’s been going on across the Irish Sea, you should know that Jezza, that amiable grandad figure who loves peace and his allotment, actually hates the West, has flirted with a bevy of its enemies including Vladimir Putin, Hamas and Hezbollah, and has surrounded himself with an appalling cabal who despise and loathe their own country and love its enemies.
As recently as 2013, John McDonnell, the Marxist Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, exulting in London riots, called for “insurrection” against capitalism.
The Stalinist journalist Seamus Milne, whom Mr Corbyn appointed as Executive Director of Strategy and Communications, has written eloquently in support of an array of dictators and demagogues that in recent times included such mass murderers of their own people as Slobodan Milosevic and Bashar al-Assad.
Then there’s Andrew Murray, until last December a member of the Communist Party of Great Britain, who has expressed his solidarity with North Korea and is now the Labour Party’s campaign manager.
And let’s not forget Diane Abbott, Shadow Home Secretary, who earnestly explained on television that Mao Zedong — who through purges and famine murdered around 60,000,000 Chinese — did more good than harm.
All of them, of course, were enthusiastically pro-IRA: Ms Abbott said on the record that “every defeat of the British state is a victory for all of us”.
(She’s tried to explain this away on the grounds that she said it 34 years ago, however not only was she 30 at the time and with a degree from Cambridge University financed by the tax payer, but she had worked for three years as a graduate trainee in the Home Office). It’s been annoying for Messrs Corbyn and McDonnell and Ms Abbott that — especially in the light of the inconveniently timed Manchester bomb — people are making a fuss about their support over many decades for those wreaking havoc with bombs and bullets on the mainland as well as Northern Ireland.
They’ve taken refuge in claims they hobnobbed with the Provos only because they were working for dialogue and peace.
Some dialogue, when you associate with the terrorists and their apologists and ignore their victims.
In 1996, The Guardian said that in giving Irish republicans a publicity platform after the Canary Wharf bomb, Mr Corbyn demonstrated that he was “a fool” who lacked “wider political and moral judgment” and had a “predilection for gesture politics”.
Recently, the SDLP’s Seamus Mallon — Northern Ireland’s first Deputy First Minister — said bluntly that Mr Corbyn “very clearly took the side of the IRA…[which] was incompatible…with working for peace.”
Buoyed by the polls, the Adams inner circle will already be drawing up the blueprint for the concessions to be immediately granted to Northern Ireland republicans by a Corbynite Secretary of State.
All decent Irish people must hope it will be wasted labour.