Monday, 7 July 2014

A Political Earthquake

The Blether Region reported a few days ago on the Elm Guest House scandal, which, without any exaggeration, looks set to prove a political earthquake. Among the pop stars, dignitaries and politicians — more than one of whom served in the NIO — whose involvement has been alleged by some websites was a person whom the Blether Region referred to as "a Sinn Féin politician with a Protestant-sounding name".

Of course, there have always been some Protestants involved in Republican politics and even paramilitarism. In the 1930s there was an IRA unit on the Shankill Road. More recently, Ronnie Bunting, son of loyal Paisley follower Ronald Bunting, was leader of the INLA. In general, however, Protestant support for the Union has been very solid indeed, and Protestant loathing of violent Republicanism understandably even more so. Not only that, but Googling the name listed on the Internet provides very few hits, suggesting that it is in fact a pseudonym.

At least one site, however, identifies that pseudonym as referring to a former volunteer known to have passed information to the Garda Síochána — the reference to "Sinn Féin" evidently being a euphemism for "IRA". In view of the big names alleged to have attended the guest house — without libelling anyone living, the Blether Region can name the deceased Anthony Blunt and Charles Irving MP — if a Republican spy was indeed involved, the question arises of whether he was also working for the British.

That all puts the Kincora scandal, in which intelligence service involvement and a VIP child prostitution ring have been alleged, in a new context.

Another issue that should be raised is why Anthony Blunt was never prosecuted even after his role as a KGB agent had been publicly exposed — but perhaps we now know the answer to that.

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