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Colin Parry has called for Claire Fox to stand down as Brexit party candidate for the North-West of England - as she supported the IRA bombing in Warrington which killed his son in 1993. She would be MEP for Warrington if elected
This was Revolutionary Communist Party's defence of the IRA murders in the Warrington bombing: that the Irish had the right to defend themselves. (The Irish govt was anti-IRA pro-peace but RCP believed the terrorist group were the legitimate representatives of the Irish nation)
Fox expresses sympathy for Parry. She says that her views are "well known" though "unaired for many years". So the statement implies that her unaired views - for the IRA bombing campaign, because Northern Ireland exists - have not changed.
The RCP & isuccessor offshoots (from Living Marxism and Spiked Online) backed IRA uncritically then criticised Sinn Fein backing the Good Friday Agreement as a sell-out. They continued to oppose it after 72% in Northern Ireland and 96% in the Republic backed it in a referendum!
These "unaired" views are not "well known" to those who were not active left-communists or close critical students of far left. I feel sure less than 1-5% of Moral Maze audience - aware of Fox as articulate "left-libertarian" contrarian - would know that her group was pro-IRA.
Brexit Party vetting process could well have considered a wide range of RCP controversies. (Eg IRA; denial of Rwandan genocide; pro-Serb libel case denying Bosnian genocide).

Choice of north-west (Warrington) may suggest dots were not joined re IRA. Fox was born in Lancashire
There is (cf Scruton) an ongoing debate about norms in public life and "offence archaeology" in the past. Anybody criticising Corbyn over Munich 1972 or John McDonnell over IRA/Sinn Fein ought to be interested in the defence of IRA bombing in Warrington in 1993.
* Whatever range of views about Northern Ireland/united Ireland, this is about public support of the (political) murder of British citizens.

* If those views are unchanged but just unaired, i think that should be a disqualification for a party that wants to be mainstream.
If can say views have changed - against IRA murder in hindsight, but pro-united Ireland - one could debate boundaries for candidacy.

Political issue: does support for united Ireland depends on consent of north & south (GFA), just south (trad Irish/FF), or neither (new IRA/RCP)
It does seem to me bizarrely incoherent for any Brexit Party candidate running on the respect democracy "will of the people" platform about the Leave majority in 2016 to refuse to accept that results of 72%/96% referendum votes entrench the Good Friday principles of consent
As occasional Moral Maze contributor, & have spoken at Institute of Ideas, I know Claire Fox a little bit. Friendly, personable & interested in ideas & debate. I do think this "unaired views" defence can be questioned. If backing IRA is not a boundary, are there any boundaries?
Some background on that particular left faction
Part of imperfect peace process is we want to rehabilitate *past* supporters of violence (eg Sinn Fein in office) to democracy, *on basis that renounce terrorism & violence*.

Derry reaction to murder of journalist Lyra McKee & New IRA apologists shows present (not past) issue
David Aaronovitch a close watcher of the ex-Communists. I was surprised by this *2009* quote about the positives of the 1984 Brighton bomb from Mick Hume
Please do follow @peacefoundation created in memory of Tim Parry and Jonathan Ball, working on conflict resolution & counter-extremism. I will be hearing about some of their work at a practitioner workshop today.

Brexit Party spokesperson says that Claire Fox now supports Good Friday agreement & held those views in the past, but not now. Fox said her views "well known" but "unaired for many years". Did not say she has changed her views, or regrets her (past?) view
I do not think the Brexit Party spokesperson has the Kremlinology credentials (v.understandably!) to know what the RCP crew have said about Good Friday Agreement for last 21 years. If there has been such a conversion in 2019, the candidate will surely tell us about it very soon.
Claire Fox has fair point against "hyperbolic slur" of saying the ERG were as bad as the Nazis. But why did a candidate who wants to uphold democracy support armed resistance against & after 1998 referendum verdicts (72% & 96%) for Good Friday Agreement?

A good case for inviting those who have held extreme anti-democratic views into mainstream electoral politics. (Complex issues on boundaries/sincerity)

If it comes to championing IRA murders, surely this must be a minimum foundation for Brexit Party?

Colin Parry reports that Claire Fox called him today, but would not disavow the IRA bombing campaign
Sally Bate resigns as a Brexit Party candidate in north-west because Claire Fox will not disavow her support of IRA bombing campaign. I understand Sally Bate lives in Warrington; resigned after Fox's response to Colin Parry call to disavow IRA violence
There are three ex-RCP (former?/current?) supporters of the IRA running for the Brexit Party, in the north-west, Yorkshire and London. I am not clear if the others have been asked if they still hold and defend those views supporting terrorism
Brexit Party candidate James Heartfield has co-written serious book on Easter 1916, defending trad republican account from the "revisionists'. Eg,critiques commemoration of Irish volunteers in WW1 since they fought for the 'wrong cause' & 'wrong country'

Academic Alka Seghal Cuthbert wrote for Spiked about why she is standing for the Brexit party. Includes her family's experience of racism. (Nb: It is quite possible she had no particular involvement in RCP on Ireland; I do not know her background on that).
Heartfield's co-author Kevin Rooney chaired this admirably pluralist & nuanced Institute of Ideas panel on the poppy in Ireland back in 2012, where he and Ruth Dudley-Edwards gave contrasting perspectives on growing Irish commemoration of WW1 volunteers

Personally, I have a pro-revisionist bias. Though Heartfield/Rooney counter-argument about the aspirations of moderate nationalists being blocked eg stridency of Bonar Law is sadly true
Nick Taylor, Director of @peacefoundation reflects on Warrington and RCP support for the IRA bombing. Says of Claire Fox's conversation with Colin Parry today that "the statement that Fox stands by is not radical, it is extreme"

Brexit Party have one candidate who campaigns against terror, after her mother was killed by IRA at Enniskillen. And at least one candidate (three?) from group who defended IRA Enniskillen murders & even now, refuse to disavow, when asked by relatives
A continued refusal in 2019 to disavow vocal support for IRA bombing has to be a deal-breaker. It will be absolutely shameful if it is the campaigner for victims who ends up standing down here. But maybe she can convince her fellow candidates
Maybe an issue of personal integrity: being unable to disavow past support for IRA murders, if that would be insincere.

If supporters of extremist violence want to enter electoral politics for a mainstream party, should insist on very clear choice between ballot box & armalite
Warrington Guardian report: local Warrington4Brexit candidate quits her Brexit party MEP candidacy after fellow candidate Claire Fox refuses Colin Ball's request to publicly disavow her support for the IRA bombing Warrington.
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