There is little point in my feigning hurt or offence that Bangers should wield his crayon against me, Ed Moloney, Boston College or the interviewees who have so vexed him by deciding to follow his advice and not allow others such as him to become the authors of their own history. When have I ever concerned myself with what he thought, whether it be on Scappaticci, decommissioning or anything else?
He has been so hopeless on the lot of it, that The Wrong Man would be a much better title for his biography than the novel he hung it on. A person of extremely limited foresight who managed to learn nothing with the benefit of hindsight, what credibility has his persistent inconsistency not robbed him of? Slow on the uptake, he seems determined to drown in his own drivel, to the sound of the gurgling nonsense he is now renowned for.
One of West Belfast's better known bluffers, Danny Morrison would appear to carry his grievances heavily and sorely. For the most part his spites against slights are hurled in the direction of those who have persistently proved him wrong over the past two decades, leaving him looking as daft as a baldy brush. Even his big black hat can't disguise that. Yet proving him wrong is nothing for any of us to boast about - that's hardly the most daunting challenge we could face; just as hard as showing that England are not world soccer champions.
In Tipperary on Thursday morning I got a text from a friend informing me there was a nasty piece on the Bangers website directed at myself and Ed Moloney. Later in the day, with no great sense of urgency, I rang my wife and mentioned it to her in passing. She has experience of Morrison, having turned his baldpate purple on more than one occasion, and treats him with even more disdain than I do. After she read it she called and told me it was so boring that if I bothered reading it I should only do so in shifts.
But let's cut to the chase. The latest output from this angry old man finds him hurling invective at the oral history project sponsored by Boston College. In spite of his brouhaha and transparently fake concern about the ethos governing the project, his anathema towards the college project is deeply personal. That is why he seeks to weaken the college's case against handing over its oral history recordings to British authorities. It also explains his lack of invective aimed at the British for seeking the recordings.
He blames Boston College for having unlocked the real story behind the 1981 hunger strike which uncovered his malign role and destroyed what remained of his credibility. Had that pesky college not been willing to allow activists of all stripes to author their own history he could still be living on the wounds of those whose lives he helped end.
People like Danny Morrison want only, if at all, a managed and massaged ‘truth recovery process’ in which invidious activities such as his own will be airbrushed out of the narrative. The Boston College project did not provide that. He has been found out, hence his unhinged fury.
One point raised in the lengthy Bangers article which should be addressed is that Ed Moloney and I took a leaf out of his book by emulating his shafting of the hunger strikers of 1981. On that occasion he deliberately withheld information from republicans on hunger strike, effectively sending six of them to their graves. Had that information been in their possession they most certainly would have ended their protest, a satisfactory outcome reached.
Morrison's case is that both Ed Moloney and myself (and presumably Wilson McArthur, who interviewed the loyalist activists) aped him by withholding information; that we, acting in bad faith, failed to tell the people interviewed for Boston College that their interviews could not be protected from certain forms of legal action and that as a consequence they could be endangered.
Now, were it true that we withheld any information of such a nature from those interviewed that would be a grave offence; one which would place both myself and Moloney on the same lowly moral plateau long occupied by Morrison, making each of us a louse in the locks of humanity, just like him. Were we to have been guilty of such a betrayal we would have behaved both abominably and unpardonably and would justifiably be condemned, pilloried and lambasted out of hand by all those who would have been victims of our nefarious shafting. We would deserve no quarter. But then, typical for Danny Morrison, nothing of what he says is true.
For the record Ed Moloney told the interviewees nothing. He had no contact with them. Wilson McArthur and I told them that their interviews would be protected in all circumstances. We were convinced beyond doubt that this was true, otherwise no interviews would have been initiated. The irrefutable evidence for the basis of my belief is available to all who were interviewed. None thus far have contradicted it.
Thanks to the Boston College Project we now know that Danny Morrison amongst others helped foreclose an alternative route to six hunger strikers and subsequently steered them down a path where only the silence of the grave awaited them. He has lied about it ever since, sure that his sordid secret was safe. But like with much else that proved so wrong. An alternative history emerged that rained on his parade and the sun has not shone on his baldpate since. Does this deceitful hypocrite seriously expect to raise a head of steam against those involved in the Boston College project? More chance that he will raise Sammy Llewellyn from the dead. Pennies for your thoughts on what Sammy might tell.