Against Whataboutery

Cunning Hired Knaves

I may not get round to writing about the matter of Kincora Boys’ Home in Belfast and its treatment in the southern media in the depth I might like any time soon, but for the moment, allow me to vent about something: I am sick of the charge of ‘whataboutery’ being levelled –whether explicitly or implicitly- when it comes to discussion of outrages perpetrated by state forces in the North of Ireland.

Such charges of ‘whataboutery’ -whereby someone who points to a particular injustice or atrocity is accused of doing so in order to distract from or refuse to acknowledge their own misdeeds- are a form of moral blackmail. Nowadays, when both the press and prominent politicians make use of it, they generally do so not only as a blatant means of countering the political threat from Sinn Féin, but also as a covert means of exercising control over what…

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