Last week, John Downey, the former IRA man, avoided trial for the Hyde Park bombings of 1982. One who stood bail for him was Roy Greenslade, the media pundit of the Guardian.

Since Mr Downey has not been proved guilty, we must presume him innocent, but isn’t it extraordinary that Greenslade can cosy up to such a man without suffering in reputation?

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Suppose I were to stand bail for, say, Nick Griffin of the BNP (who, so far as I know, has never been accused of a terrorist crime), or for some loyalist oaf. I would rightly be shunned in my trade. Yet a link with extreme, violence-justifying, anti-British republicans is worn with pride.

This is an extract from Charles Moore’s Notes in this week’s Spectator.

Tags: IRA, UK politics