Belfast Telegraph

My only regret is the way message was twisted, by artist who drew cartoon

By Brian John Spencer

My thoughts throughout recent days have been with the families devastated by the Kingsmill massacre.

People have asked if I regret making that cartoon. No I do not.

I regret the way events and my intentions have been twisted.

The only matter at hand is Barry McElduff MP and his obscene misconduct and the failure of his party to take responsibility for his video.

The job of the political cartoonist is to observe events, and then depict hypocrisy and wrongdoing.

All I did was highlight republican hypocrisy.

They say the cartoon is obscene and insensitive to victims, but the work simply depicts events as they happened. The cartoon is not obscene for republicans, it's highly inconvenient.

The republican movement lectures about "red lines" and respect and equality, but celebrates its gruesome past and mocks its opponents. The republican aggressor is playing the victim - it's brazen but many people have bought it - but for many others the republican sleight of hand is obscene - and that is why this cartoon has hit such a pitch.

This cartoon, no doubt, is very controversial. But not one unionist has made a word of criticism, instead they have taken to it as a tonic. We're almost at the point that if you oppose the republican movement, you're a bigot.

Republicans and others have said it is obscene and insensitive to victims, but if a gruesome image is required to bust republican myths and viscerally show that they were not gentle activists but instead sectarian gunmen and bombers, then that's what is needed.

As an artist and young person, it's alarming how readily young people embrace the Sinn Fein view of the past - that violence, while regrettable, was justified.

In the words of the late Maurice Hayes, nothing was achieved by violence that could not have been achieved by peaceful means.

Northern Ireland is a great place and we have great potential.

We need to build a bright future for everyone, but only if we can be truthful about the past.

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