For many decades, until relatively recently, there was one absolute inviolable rule in British politics. Senior political figures, regardless of party, never supported or appeared to sympathise with political violence. Well this healthy tradition is now over. Corbyn’s accession to the Labour leadership has brought several people who have previously either condoned or supported political violence, that is the use of violence to achieve political objectives, within spitting distance of Governmental power. And none have been so blazon, so nakedly unashamed, in their historic support political violence than Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell. In a decent party this would rule him out from standing as an MP, let alone holding a Shadow Ministerial portfolio. Well alas Labour is no longer such a party. So I thought I’d go through his history and find the top five times Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell supported political violence:
One: Called Labour Councillors who refused to meet with Sinn Fein ‘gutless wimps’ who deserved ‘kneecapping’.
In the 1980 a group of politicians from Sinn Fein, then unambiguously the political wing of the IRA, visited Lewisham in London. Local Labour Councillors, quite understandably, refused to meet them. This didn’t go down well with McDonnell though, who described them as ‘gutless wimps’ and suggested that ‘kneecapping [a punishment commonly carried out by the IRA] might help change their mind’. He later claimed this was a joke, which you might believe if you’re the sort of person who trusts unsolicited emails claiming you’ve won the Nigerian lottery.
Two: Praised rioters who attacked the Conservative’s Millbank HQ in 2010
In November 2010 the Millbank office block containing the Conservative Party HQ was stormed by several hundred rioters, who had broken away from a protest against the Government’s plan to increase tuition fees. The exterior windows were smashed, and fourteen people injured in clashes with the police. Most seriously a fire extinguisher was thrown from the roof, missing police officers by a matter of meters. Had it hit it would likely have caused death or serious injury. So how did John McDonnell, then a backbench Labour MP, respond to a rival political party having its offices attacked? By describing the rioters who ‘kicked the shit’ out of the building as representing the ‘best of our movement’.
Rioters attacking the building containing the Conservative Party HQ in November 2010.
Three: Quoting supporters claiming Tory Minister Ester McVey should be ‘lynched’
On Remembrance Sunday 2014 John McDonnell spoke at a comedy evening hosted by Stop the War Coalition, an anti-Western group with deep ties across the British far-left. He quoted to the crowd a group of his supporters from a previous event who, referring to the then Employment Minister Ester McVay, asked ‘Why aren’t we lynching the bastard?’ This wasn’t followed by any condemnation, nor suggestion that the supporters were wrong, which suggests at least implicit approval.
Four: Saying he’d like to assassinate Margaret Thatcher
Appearing on the BBC’s Any Questions, but speaking before the broadcast had started, McDonnell stated that he’d like to go back in time and assassinate Margaret Thatcher. Suggesting Thatcher should be murdered was pretty common currency on the far-left, and especially sickening considering she survived an assassination attempt in 1985. Again McDonnell tried to pass this off with the ‘joke’ excuse which is pretty unconvincing, and also suggests McDonnell has a pretty shit sense of humour.
Five: Claimed IRA terrorists should be honoured and praised the groups ‘bombs and bullets’
Finally we arrive at the climax. The final turd on the mountain of shit that is McDonnell’s attitude to political violence. Speaking in 2003, referring to the terrorist group the IRA, he claimed that ‘It’s about time we started honouring those people involved in the armed struggle’ before adding that it was ‘bombs and bullets and sacrifice’ which ‘brought Britain to the negotiating table’. It’s impossible to interpret this sentence as anything other than wholehearted support for the IRA’s terror campaign, a campaign which killed many hundreds of McDonnell’s compatriots, soldiers and civilians alike. If open support for terrorist groups doesn’t make a person unfit for high office then what the hell does?