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The real John McDonnell - from someone who knows him watch

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    Writing in The Independent, John Stewart, an activist opposed to the expansion of Heathrow Airport, writes:

    I have got to know the new Shadow Chancellor well in our common fight against the third runway at Heathrow airport. I have chaired the residents’ group, HACAN, for the past 15 years, during which time John has been the MP for Hayes and Harlington, the constituency which includes Heathrow.

    What has been fascinating to watch is how this man on the very left of politics has been able to bring together MPs and peers opposed to Heathrow expansion from across the political spectrum. He chairs the meetings of the group in an inclusive way which, I suspect, would be an eye-opener to many of today’s headline writers.

    McDonnell’s best buddy in the campaign is Zac Goldsmith, the Conservative MP for Richmond Park. Recently I was at a meeting of young activists in the House of Commons who were mildly critical of Goldsmith, largely, I suspect, because he was rich and a Tory. McDonnell was having none of it, mounting a staunch defence of his colleague...

    ... Commentators are right that McDonnell will be a Shadow Chancellor like no other – but perhaps not in the ways they expect.
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    The comments made about the IRA by him have been blown way out of proportion. Back then, during those times, a lot of people would have said anything to ensure a peaceful situation remained. McDonnell and others were making those comments to ensure that the egos of the IRA members were not damaged and that peaceful negotiations could continue.

    At the end of the day, they did continue and lives were saved rather than further bloodshed being caused. However, instead of realising this, morons would rather seize on the language he used to go at him and others just because the press, with an agenda themselves, has highlighted it.

    It has got sod all to do with sympathising with them or being happy with what they did but everything to do with playing the clever political game of letting your opponents think they are the best to get the end result you require. Stroking the ego of emotionally driven people to get what you want is nothing new and happens all the time.

    What did people want McDonnell to say 'oh the IRA are absolute violent morons who should be exterminated'. That's a surefire way to get more people killed in revenge bombings and is most certainly going to see the end of discussions with the aim of reaching a peaceful resolution.
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    (Original post by Mr JB)
    The comments made about the IRA by him have been blown way out of proportion. Back then, during those times, a lot of people would have said anything to ensure a peaceful situation remained. McDonnell and others were making those comments to ensure that the egos of the IRA members were not damaged and that peaceful negotiations could continue.

    At the end of the day, they did continue and lives were saved rather than further bloodshed being caused. However, instead of realising this, morons would rather seize on the language he used to go at him and others just because the press, with an agenda themselves, has highlighted it.

    It has got sod all to do with sympathising with them or being happy with what they did but everything to do with playing the clever political game of letting your opponents think they are the best to get the end result you require. Stroking the ego of emotionally driven people to get what you want is nothing new and happens all the time.

    What did people want McDonnell to say 'oh the IRA are absolute violent morons who should be exterminated'. That's a surefire way to get more people killed in revenge bombings and is most certainly going to see the end of discussions with the aim of reaching a peaceful resolution.
    "Ensure that the egos of IRA members are not damaged" - this is meant to be a good thing?
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    (Original post by The_Mighty_Bush)
    "Ensure that the egos of IRA members are not damaged" - this is meant to be a good thing?
    If it makes them continue on with peace negotiations, then yes. The aim was achieving peace and stopping more people get killed.

    The comments were made in 2003, when paperwork was signed off. In 2005, 2 years later, decommissioning occurred.
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    Lets be honest here - McDonnell and the 'extreme left' may have made comments about the IRA that people don't like, but it was those on the 'electable mainstream' of politics who were involved with releasing convicted IRA criminals from prison, for the sake of a peace process.

    If you want to get offended by something, get offended by that.

    I'm sure there will also be quotes dug out from Corbyn and some lefties expressing comments that sound like they are showing solidarity for some unpleasant groups in the Middle East, but again these were backbench politicians with zero power making comments. On the other hand, those on the 'electable mainstream' of politics have been actively making use of unpleasant groups in the Middle East to achieve political ends by arming them. During the 1980s Soviet war in Afghanistan, our mainstream decision makers supported arming Islamic fighters who were later to become the Taleban; Saddam was given a lot of weapons; we armed Kurdish and Shiite groups against Saddam in Iraq that subsequently turned out to be not particularly pleasant people.

    If we are really going to condemn support for terrorism or these murky militia groups, there are a lot more offensive things that took place on the orders of mainstream politicians than comments from backbench MPs who were not in power.
 
 
 
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