24 AUGUST 1985, Page 21

LETTERS Reporting Ireland

Sir: Your leading article, 'A weakness for terrorism' (10 August), draws a false para- llel between the presentation of IRA poli- cies on television and the broadcasting of fascist views, which, you say, would never be contemplated by the BBC. The fact is that however much we might like to ignore it, Sinn Fein, and to a lesser extent the IRA, are supported by a sizeable minority of the people in Northern Ireland. They won 59 seats at the latest local elections. The National Front has never come any- where near winning a single council seat although it has contested many. Even its detestable policies fall far short of 'killing Jews and blacks' which you cite as exam- ples of the kind of policies the BBC would not air.

Irish republicanism, in short, is a power- ful and widespread political movement which needs to be examined and under- stood. Fascism at present is not, though if it became such a force then it would deserve its 'Real Lives' or 'Panorama' slot. As the Spectator recalls at convenient moments, such as the NCCL investigation of the miners' strike, liberty is indivisible.

Marlyn Harris

41 Lorne Road, London N4