The IRA didn’t die, it was supplanted by al-Qaeda

“If a week is a long time in politics, then a decade must be aeons. So it seemed to those of us who had followed Northern Irish politics during the 1970s and 80s, when, post-9/11, the archetypal terrorist became a Muslim. Or, to put it more strongly, for some people terrorist – or at any rate, terrorist sympathiser – and Islamic became synonymous.

“And then, after the 7/7 London bombings, the equivalence became even more complete because these weren’t just shadowy foreigners but our very own home-grown killers.”

To read the rest of Will Self’s First Post column, go here.