Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Comparing Blair with Adams a miscalculation

I'VE just read Eamonn McCann's piece, 'There are bigger beasts than Gerry Adams to be hunted down' (DebateNI, November 13), and I am really quite shocked at Mr McCann's naive reasoning.

I am no fan of Tony Blair. I do agree with Mr McCann that Blair lied, misrepresented and double-dealt – and not just regarding the 'dodgy dossier' and WMDs.

That said, I find Mr McCann's opening statement (that he is not attempting to excuse Adams) to be disingenuous; because, by attempting to create some kind of hierarchy of villains, he is doing just that. In effect, what Mr McCann is doing is attempting to push Adams aside and provide us with an even bigger Public Enemy No 1 – a kind of Derren Brown alchemy of misdirection.

The basic problem with Mr McCann's argument is that it is fundamentally flawed. Mr Blair may well be a crook, but the vital factor that Mr McCann has conveniently overlooked is that Blair was a publicly elected crook. When Adams (allegedly) sent an execution squad to Jean McConville's door, who had elected him to his position?

On that reasoning, would Mr McCann try to argue that Thatcher was a murderer over the Falklands? Attlee over Korea? Churchill over the Second World War? Can they be compared with Adams also?

I'm aware that Mr McCann's columns are simply a schoolboy fondness for controversy, but I think he has miscalculated here.

CAROLINE BELL

Bangor, Co Down

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