I was intrigued by this article by Gail Walker in the Belfast Telegraph on
top British Agent dedicated Republican leader Martin McGuinness...
The man once described by Alan Partridge as "a clown without the make-up on", but who was never by any stretch of the imagination a clown, now appears even less amusing.
Everyone knew there was a high-ranking spy. It was accepted. It was intimated at the time of the late Denis Donaldson's unmasking that he had been sacrificed by his securocrat handlers to protect the real Deep Throat - just as Freddie Scappaticci had been outed earlier.
Now it can at least be dealt with in the traditional way: Deny. Deny. Deny.
(Though I hardly think Martin will be paraded by Gerry Adams in front of TV crews with a solicitor to rubbish the allegations. Been there before, with Freddie, and it didn't work.)
But the Brits can always be accused of 'dirty tricks' (with some justification, it must be said) - dark forces in British intelligence attempting to de-rail the Peace Process, sullying the good name of a Hero of the Revolution, trying to split the Movement. Or 'movements'.
Problem is, all the arguments SF have mustered over the years to protect McGuinness from the accusation that he was a member of the IRA only appear to fuel the suspicion now that he was a double agent.
The security forces never had evidence that he was even a member of the IRA. He never did time for membership in Northern Ireland. Was never formally connected with any murder, bombing, kidnap, robbery, or anything more serious than scowling.
Clean as a whistle, in fact.
How could that be? Especially when everyone knew exactly how lofty his position was within the paramilitary group.
The last sentence is worth reflecting on, for a moment.
In her columns, Gail Walker supported the Belfast Agreement and the establishment of an Executive which contained Martin McGuinness as Minister for Education.
Her employer, the Belfast Telegraph took a similar line, in its dreary editorials.
The local MSM, the establishment including prominent Church and Business figures, also endorsed the idea of McGuinness as Minister for Education. In fact, if they were honest, most of them would support McGuinness as Deputy First Minister in the Assembly.
AND YET - they all know "exactly how lofty his position was within the paramilitary group." And they know the atrocities that paramilitary group carried out. That makes them, to my mind, duplicitous hypocrites.