I was uncomfortable with the overly fulsome tributes the other week to Loyalist leader David Ervine, examples aplenty here. So I was pleased to read a typically forthright ripose from Ruth Dudley Edwards here.
One of the sad things for me about media coverage of the Northern Ireland peace process is the way that reporters are so indulgent of those with nasty paramilitary pasts, so long as they can master inclusive language and Guardian speak.
Had a former Alliance Party leader died suddenly, it is hard to imagine that they would have received the kind of eulogies afforded Ervine by the great and the good, nor the same level of media coverage. And yet the likes of John Alderdice or Oliver Napier have devoted their lives to opposing sectarianism and promoting peace.
Ervine's political party had negligible political support and his terrorist organisation failed to disarm. But because he managed to sound like a Guardian editorial, Ervine is hailed as a great man of peace.l