Slugger O'Toole

Conversation, politics and stray insights

Peter Hain: “I took some risky decisions to engage with people who were on the fringes…”

Sun 13 January 2013, 4:56pm

The BBC reports more self-aggrandisement disguised as political comment from the erstwhile Secretary of State for Wales, etc, Peter Hain.  From the BBC report

“In Northern Ireland, I think there is a particular issue with the loyalist community and I do not think the government is doing enough to engage with them,” [Peter Hain] said.

“I took some risky decisions to engage with people who were on the fringes and some actually almost in uniform as it were, in paramilitary activity, and it paid off.”

[Who could he possibly mean? - Ed]  Well, to be fair, some of those people are still on-side.

And which ‘government’ does he mean?  I suspect that his target is the Conservative/Lib Dem coalition in London.  But, unlike the time when Peter Hain was undermining the rule of law, and contradicting the PSNI, the issues he identifies would now more accurately be described as being the responsibility of the Northern Ireland Executive semi-detached polit-bureau.  [That was the 'indigenous' deal! - Ed]  And they have responded to violent unrest before…

From the same BBC report

Mr Hain said that, coupled with youth unemployment, made the situation in Northern Ireland “very toxic”.

“Youth unemployment is horrific in Northern Ireland and particularly loyalist youngsters feel that they don’t have a future. They think that republicans are getting everything.

“You’ve got youngsters without training, without jobs, on both sides of the divide actually feeling that this is ‘not their scene’ any more.

“Because they can’t get jobs, they don’t have a stake so they’re causing trouble, and there’s also, I think, an identity issue there as well,” he told BBC’s The Wales Report.

However, apparently, some of the parties in that NI Executive now only yearn for victory…

Share 'Peter Hain: “I took some risky decisions to engage with people who were on the fringes…”' on Delicious Share 'Peter Hain: “I took some risky decisions to engage with people who were on the fringes…”' on Digg Share 'Peter Hain: “I took some risky decisions to engage with people who were on the fringes…”' on Facebook Share 'Peter Hain: “I took some risky decisions to engage with people who were on the fringes…”' on Google+ Share 'Peter Hain: “I took some risky decisions to engage with people who were on the fringes…”' on LinkedIn Share 'Peter Hain: “I took some risky decisions to engage with people who were on the fringes…”' on Pinterest Share 'Peter Hain: “I took some risky decisions to engage with people who were on the fringes…”' on reddit Share 'Peter Hain: “I took some risky decisions to engage with people who were on the fringes…”' on StumbleUpon Share 'Peter Hain: “I took some risky decisions to engage with people who were on the fringes…”' on Twitter Share 'Peter Hain: “I took some risky decisions to engage with people who were on the fringes…”' on Add to Bookmarks Share 'Peter Hain: “I took some risky decisions to engage with people who were on the fringes…”' on Email Share 'Peter Hain: “I took some risky decisions to engage with people who were on the fringes…”' on Print Friendly

Comments (11)

  1. The Impartial Reporter originates in Enniskillen. It certainly wasn’t present in the above.

    There’s enough bias among the contributors (this one included) without the head-post setting the tone so grotesquely. Why not let us make up our own minds?

    Once one excludes the intrusive asides ["self-aggrandisement"…], there’s quite a bit of real meat to chew on in what Hain is saying.

    BOSS lives?

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  2. David Crookes (profile) says:

    PH wasn’t afraid to say do this or such-and-such a thing will happen. Sometimes you need that kind of democracy.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  3. sherdy (profile) says:

    For someone who supposedly started his career in the anti-apartheid movement,Hain’s career and reputation has slid down a very slimy slope ever since. So his words nowadays are of no consequence whatever.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  4. sherdy @ 7:31 pm:

    supposedly? Are you implying that the banning order on his parents, waking (at the age of ten) to see police rummaging his bedroom, the letter bomb, the bank-job fit-up, the Mugabe filth etc. etc., were all part of the “self-aggrandisement”?

    Surely you can find enough in Hain’s three decades in elective politics and appointments to find fault, without such sniddery.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  5. I’m a tad curious about which government too. Does our Justice Minister have any responsibility to make sure that the Chief Constable does the job for which he is paid?

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  6. Pete Baker (profile) says:

    Joe

    He’s doing the job the Policing Board unanimously appointed him to do. But that’s not the topic here.

    Malcolm

    Was I not sufficiently reverential of the Sainted Peter for your liking? My bad.

    Must remember to increase the dosage of those homeopathy pills he recommended…

    But go back and read the whole thing. Then point out what “real meat” in his comments that you think I didn’t address.

    You are free to disagree with what I post. But you need to present an argument. Rather than simply complaining about the tone…

    As for your implied comparison of my post with the activities of pre-1980 South African security services. That’s out there. Even for you. ;)

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 1
  7. Pete Baker @ 11:23 pm:

    Disrespect or sanctify as you wish.

    My quibble was that, for 130 words of direct quotation from Hain, you felt it needed nine or ten interventions to tell me what I’m obliged to think.

    I felt, and feel, that the matter of youth unemployment is significant, was Hain’s ‘meat’, and was about the only aspect not glozed by you.

    Hain had a track-record here, in his various government roles, and it was not a wholly-dishonourable one. NI youth unemployment seems statistically to be worsening, compared to the UK. Welfare-to-work is a devolved responsibility: that puts the onus primarily on the NI administration (the government) — though, goodness knows what they are meant to do in the wider context (i.e. the other government). At least the NI administration finessed an extra 700+ 18-24s back into study: let’s hope there’s some real employment, not just McJobs, around when the courses end.

    As for BOSS: it didn’t go away in 1980: after Muldergate it shimmied into NIS, and then outlasted the Berlin Wall. It continued to complain that its opponents, including Hain, were all Commies — semi-detached dupes of the Politburo [rectē], alas. Ummm .. Mr Baker, you do seem to have a limited range of political metaphors. If you really want to diss Hain, consider how the Economist did it back in 2000.

    For me, Alexander Pope’s formula [Damn with faint praise, assent with civil leer…] is still as good as it gets. And doesn’t require as many authorial interventions.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  8. Nevin (profile) says:

    Here is The Wales Report; the Hain contribution begins 15 minutes in.

    Peter’s link to the BBC report exposes the removal of a reference to young republicans from Peter’s contribution:

    “Youth unemployment is horrific in Northern Ireland and particularly loyalist youngsters feel that they don’t have a [real] future; they think that republicans are getting everything. [That actually is a misnomer because some of the recent trouble around the parading season was young republicans.]

    “You’ve got youngsters without training, without jobs, on both sides of the divide actually feeling that this is ‘not their scene’ any more.

    “Because they can’t get jobs, they don’t have a stake so they’re causing trouble, and there’s also, I think, an identity issue there as well,” he told BBC’s The Wales Report.

    [.. This is a divided city .. and the decision they took was a hard argued one and the Alliance Party, which has adopted a traditionally middle way on these things, was the one that came up with only flying the flag on certain designated days and that seemed to be a reasonable compromise, in fact it has inflamed the situation but for reasons which are not only in my view to do with the British flag, the Union Jack, above Belfast City hall but to do with the wider alienation, especially of young loyalists from what they see as the developing city around them.]

    For me, the full report is much more interesting and illuminating than the shorthand version or the trite comments about ‘polit-bureau’.

    The final item in The Wales Report deals with identity in a small Welsh village and may also be of interest to Slugger folks.

    Here is John Hume’s take on alienation:

    Alienation is a desperate development within minorities because it weakens their coherence, erodes their faith in progress and gives violence the opportunity to take root .. Personal Views p26

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  9. BarneyT (profile) says:

    Here’s a thought…if they moved the border northwards, just south of the A55 ring road would that offer more opportunities to the loyalists….opportunities in the black economy…no pun intended….despite the tougue-in-cheek aspect to this post

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  10. Thank you, Nevin @ 8:57 am: that does indeed give a different complexion.

    The BBC abbreviated (sanitized?) version was all I had to go on (and I suspect Mr Baker similarly).

    In the early hours I went looking for something fuller, but turned up only repeats of that same item. A fatal combination (third attempt at Laurent Binet’s HHhH as a bedside book, and the foulest winter cold) had put the iron in my soul and the cotton-wood in my brain: so I didn’t think of iPlayer and issues that matter in Wales. Good to know what Huw Edwards does on the side.

    All together now:

    A is for Alienation
    That made me the man that I am, and
    B’s for the Boss who’s a Bastard,
    A Bourgeois who don’t give a damn.
    C is for Capitalism,
    The bosses’ reactionary creed …

    Now all we need is a convincing remedy for Entfremdung.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  11. Nevin (profile) says:

    Malcolm, you can probably appreciate why some politicians are reluctant to participate in recorded programmes; they don’t want to become victims of the whims and prejudices of the programme makers.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Copyright © 2003 - 2014 Slugger O'Toole Ltd. All rights reserved.
Powered by WordPress; produced by Puffbox.
79 queries. 0.597 seconds.