Geldof’s ac­tions reek of dou­ble stan­dards

Belfast Telegraph - - LETTERS - TOM COOPER Dublin

BOB Geldof ’s de­ci­sion to re­turn his Free­dom of the City of Dublin award while it is shared with Myan­mar’s leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, smacks of dou­ble stan­dards (News, Novem­ber 13).

Mr Geldof ap­par­ently sees no con­tra­dic­tion with this de­ci­sion and his de­ci­sion to re­tain his honorary Knight Com­man­der of the Order of the Bri­tish Em­pire.

Per­haps Mr Geldof might re­flect on the 14 in­no­cent peo­ple shot dead by Bri­tish sol­diers in Derry on Bloody Sun­day in 1972.

These vic­tims had to en­dure the ap­palling in­dig­nity and lies of the Widgery Re­port, which branded the vic­tims ter­ror­ists.

Lord Sav­ille’s con­clu­sions on Bloody Sun­day, ac­knowl­edged in full by for­mer Prime Min­is­ter David Cameron, un­am­bigu­ously ex­on­er­ated those killed, yet no one was ever pros­e­cuted for this mas­sacre.

Lt-Col Derek Wil­ford, the of­fi­cer com­mand­ing the Para­chute Reg­i­ment re­spon­si­ble for the killings, was awarded the OBE by Queen El­iz­a­beth six months af­ter the killings.

That this man con­tin­ues to re­tain his award today puts Lord Sav­ille’s find­ings and Mr Cameron’s apol­ogy into per­spec­tive. It also puts Mr Geldof’s sense of ethics in per­spec­tive.

Fol­low­ing the killings of Bloody Sun­day, the late Bea­tle John Len­non re­turned his knight­hood to Queen El­iz­a­beth in protest at the be­hav­iour of the Army.

In the face of ad­ver­sity and charges of dis­loy­alty, he bravely dis­played a level of con­cern for in­no­cent vic­tims of his coun­try’s Army when his ac­tion was re­garded as un­pa­tri­otic and even trea­son­able.

In the end, civilised so­ci­ety will re­mem­ber the words and ac­tions of John Len­non — not the dou­ble stan­dards of Bob Geldof.

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