Tuesday 26 January 2021



In the UK and the USA (and Russia and most of the world), army veterans are overwhelmingly regarded with huge warmth by the public. 

This BBC Twitter headline today, therefore, raised a lot of few hackles for using 'veteran' as a noun and tying it to an IRA terrorist:


"Murderer, terrorist, criminal. Not veteran" sums up the general reaction

The opening paragraph of the BBC News website's report does the same:


Here's a further flavour of the reaction:

  • Veteran, BBC? Sealing your fate methinks.
  • "IRA Veteran". A headline to make you sick from our supposedly national broadcaster. A broadcaster that Irish people can watch for free, but which takes poor Britons to court to force them to pay for itself.
  • IRA murderer is now classed as a ‘veteran’ by the BBC!
  • ‘IRA veteran’ should reading ‘IRA terrorist’. 
  • He wasn’t a “veteran” he was an IRA murderer.
  • "IRA veteran". I think they mean terrorist. Keep paying the licence fee or you could go to prison.
  • Veteran, eh? Well done to the BBC. Never fail to show their colours...
  • "Veteran". Do you think this is appropriate language to describe a member of a terrorist organisation?

Though someone quipped:

  • IRA veteran and Londonderry in the same headline just to make sure they’ve pissed off everybody. #impartial 

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