Monday, 12 October 2015

Plain Speaking (18/09/15)

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The focus of media attention after Prime Minister's Questions (PMQs) last week was on the less combative style adopted by the new Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn.

But the most powerful and revealing moment of PMQs came when Nigel Dodds MP, leader of the Democratic Unionist Party, invited the Prime Minister to join him in condemning John McDonnell, Corbyn's new shadow chancellor, for his previous comments about 'honouring' the IRA. 

Now I don't have a whole lot in common with Ulster Unionists although they do speak common sense at times and this was clearly one such occasion.

I interviewed a leading loyalist some years ago, David Ervine, the then leader of the PUP (Progressive Unionists) who was once involved with paramilitary violence himself for a time before going on to play a major role in brining peace to Northern Ireland through the Good Friday Agreement.

I have since heard that John McDonnell has issued some kind of clarification about his words although I've yet to hear these for myself.

For a thoughtful account of PMQs follow this link to John Rentoul's column in The Indepednent.

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/prime-ministers-questions-corbyn-promised-powerful-opposition-to-the-tories--this-wasnt-it-10503512.html