|With Norman Tebbit at the House of Lords, 2002|
"There's always the possibility that a member of the Real IRA will be so outraged by Mr McGuinness bowing to the Queen that they might shoot him in the back for it. We can but hope."
Lord Tebbit has received quite some criticism today for this comment. Let me just put on record my absolute support for him. No qualifications. No justification. Absolute support for this great Englishman.
I remember meeting with him in the House of Lords, where I was interviewing him for an ex-services newspaper. A nicer, and more gentle man you could never meet.
We are both ex-RAF, and I was delighted to learn that he had flown the Gloster Javelin. I had done some ground training on the Javelin, a beautiful looking aircraft, but with an alarming tendency to burst into flames around the undercarriage legs on engine start-up. Hence the big asbestos gloves we were given...
Totally unnecessary training, as the Javelin was taken out of service many years before my time, but like God, the Royal Air Force moves in mysterious ways.
But I digress....
Norman Tebbitt has very strong thoughts about the cowardly scum that came close to murdering him in cold blood, and who inflicted grievous injuries on his beloved wife. I understand, and share, his thoughts.