Channel 4 announced recently that Gerry Adams was to appear on a programme in the new year about religion called, The Bible: A History. There was predictable denouncement by the likes of Ann Widdecombe who is to present another of the programmes and Lord Tebbitt who apparently burst out laughing at the idea that Adams will also examine Christian teachings on ‘love, forgiveness and repentance’. Others have been more supportive and Alan McBride whose parents were murdered in the Shankill bomb has apparently taken part in the programme.
Whilst we will wait for the programme the simple reality remains that few unionists will believe that Adams will actually say he is sorry for what has happened in the past in a convincing fashion. Adams has specialised in the recent past in suggesting that many of the things that happened in the troubles were “regrettable” or “unfortunate” or indeed “sad” but never that they were actually morally wrong and unjustified.
In no way is this an attack on unionists in favour of the current political dispensation. Some feel that we must share power with SF, that I do not argue with here. However, we owe it to all those who died (even those republicans whose deaths eased his passage to power) to remember that Adams is not a man with blood on his hands but rather one mired over his head in the stuff.
Adams has climbed to his current status of political power and self image of the intellectual thinker, philosopher and statesman over the bodies of literally thousands of those whom he claims as fellow countrymen along with hundreds of people from mainland UK, some Australians and other nationalities and even the remains of his own comrades.
The fact we now have these weasel worded comments about regret is simply because it is currently in Adams’s self interest. This is the man who cannot admit that he was in the IRA despite claiming that they were an honourable organisation. This is the man who pretends to have been in gaol (for not being in the IRA of course) when Jean McConville was murdered; though since he was not involved in her murder, it is unclear exactly why that should matter. Adams has been repeatedly caught out telling lies, sometimes even when they are completely trivial, such as when he pretended that he and others sang “Always look on the bright side of life” whilst in gaol; that despite the song only having been aired after Adams’s release.
It is in this context of casual lying that anything Adams says must be judged: be that about his IRA involvement or any feeling of remorse. Not that Adams’s lying and appalling hypocrisy seem to have prevented his continued political power in Northern Ireland; though they may have helped (along with utter incompetence and economic illiteracy) prevent him and his party achieving anything within the RoI.
Now, however, a whole new vista of hypocrisy has opened up for Adams. It now seems that Adams’s brother is a paedophile and child rapist (of his daughter as it turns out). Of course Gerry may be guilty of many things but one cannot blame him for his brother’s crimes. However we have now learnt from Adams’s mouth itself (fortunately corroborated by his niece as it would be difficult to believe Adams) that his response to this was to try to take the abused back to see the abuser. Clearly Adams did not go to the police about the matter. However, he also did not do anything to prevent his brother holding a position in Muirhevamore Community Centre in Dundalk and indeed then attempting to become a Sinn Fein candidate.
Maybe just maybe this episode will make people (especially the media) see this man for what he truly is: an individual devoid of morality and honesty. Then just possibly could next year see the fall of the house of Adams? Surely as a minimum Channel 4 should now reconsider its invitation to Adams to present a programme?