“In her hands golf balls which she said were thrown by her nationalist neighbours…”

Worth watching this piece from Gerry Adams at a Presser at the weekend. “It is not spontaneous, it is not organic, it is orchestrated it is planned. This was a deliberate policy of coming to these so-called interface areas and attacking people only on the basis that they are Catholic.”

Except here’s the UTV news from last week, which reports another version of the truth and a group of loyalist protesters returning from the centre of Belfast:

Indeed, Mr Adams fell foul of Channel 4’s chief correspondent, Alex Thompson for suggesting that Mr Adams was being economical with the truth when he flatly denied that people from the Short Strand initiated any actions of their own at the weekend. At the core was a disturbance that took place in full view of the press corps:

Interestingly, Thomson went on to have this revealing conversation with Sinn Fein’s past Lord Mayor, Niall O’Donnghaile:

Gerry’s advice was that Martin and Peter should get together and thrash something out between them. But they tried that before Christmas and it failed to come up with any kind of a solution.

In the meantime, the political double talking (in which context, ‘this is the way people see it’ always trumps text ‘this is what actually happened’) on who started what is belied somewhat by Alex Thompson’s report from the micro community that always gets it in the neck every time there is trouble in inner east:

Alex has gone home now, almost certainly convinced that, as I noted last Monday, that politically this protest is going nowhere… The lack of political will around these issues is yet another indication that we have another turbulent summer in prospect…

Cui Bono? Well, the DUP will get the prize of getting their East Belfast seat back now minds have been re-concentrated around the importance of tribalism and tribal belonging.

Sinn Fein also earn their spurs in the culture war (and have a weakened Alliance contingent at Belfast City Hall), and get to go into the summer with stories (some of them actually true) of partial policing, and loyalist aggression.

But the primary strength of both governing parties is the degree of political pain they are prepared to take in opposing each other.

So the toxins will continue to build up, even as Stormont does little or nothing on behalf of the people who elected them. Gerry Adams in his blog for Comment is Free correctly notes that “of the 40 most deprived wards in the north, 36 are nationalist”.

What he does not share with the readers of the Guardian is that after six years in government, both his party and the DUP have failed to agree on any kind of anti poverty strategy.

And so it goes on

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