Kevin Myers: Arise, Sir Martin McGuinness of Londonderry
Last week, RTE News announced that Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain was to meet Martin McGuinness in Belfast. Phew. I'm certainly glad they told us it was Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain, and not the Queen Elizabeth of Togo, or the Congo, or Peroo. Except that is not her title. She is Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The kingdom of Great Britain exists only in Sinn Fein-IRA's political lexicon.
But at least this episode serves to remind us that Sfira's kulturkampf continues. Sfira lost the war, as "republicans" always do, and so now it's trying to win the peace. You no doubt expect me to denounce the proposed handshake between Martin McGuinness and the queen, but alas, I must disappoint you. I'm not sure what to think. I see no reason why she should be expected to shake his paw, but maybe she wants to. After all, nearly half the IRA Army Council were, apparently, informers. In any given IRA court-martial, the Operations Officer, the two interrogators who used the IRA's drowning bath to extract the confession from the poor accused, the trial judges, the driver to the place of execution, the shooter, the lads with spades and the girl taking the notes, all -- except probably the accused -- were probably working for MI5.
Sorting out pensions must be hellish for poor old Whitehall. So who am I to say whether Martin McGuinness was or wasn't an agent? By God, I certainly hope that he was -- in which case, the queen is surely entitled to meet and thank one of her truly heroic servants. And it's the least he deserves on this, her jubilee year.