“Both would take precedent over Arlene and her tricks, methought….”

Okay, so for the awkwardness around this whole election thingee, I’m going to leave it up to Ed Moloney to say what needs to be said about the real reasons for the departure of Martin McGuinness (I said something similar on Twitter a few days ago and got into awful trouble):

When I watched McGuinness on the BBC’s website yesterday afternoon my overwhelming thought was that this man isn’t quitting because he is fed up with Arlene Foster, the DUP and their little scheme to enrich their farmer friends (at least those with large empty sheds to heat), although I am sure he is.

No, my thought was that this man wants to go home to be with his family for his last days in this world. McGuinness is a devout Catholic, the sort who daily wears a scapular – so I am assured – and so he would also want to make peace with his God, something that promises to be an interesting exercise. Both would take precedent over Arlene and her tricks, methought.

Call me cynical but I have had more than two decades of dealings with Martin McGuinness’ comrades and so my second thought, based on that toilsome experience, was that what we were seeing was another Provo bunco game designed to make us believe the unbelievable.

  • ted hagan

    Interesting thoughts indeed. Moloney doesn’t believe Adams will allow the institutions to collapse. I hope he’s right.

  • woodkerne

    Fairly typical, graceless remarks from Moloney, a proud malcontent. That McGuinness is seriously unwell is plain enough. As well as journalistic cynicism, do you and Ed have the medical expertise needed to pronounce the man’s imminent demise. Where’s your evidence? Or maybe this is nothing more or less than another instance of the speculative banter you clever boys enjoy exchanging.

  • ted hagan

    Moloney didn’t pronounce anything, he gave us his thoughts. I salute McGuinness for his dignity in office but many have every right to be cynical about the man and his past.

  • woodkerne

    Reads like a pronouncement to me. More to the point, where’s the story? ‘Sick man plainly sick’.

  • ted hagan

    Read the full article

  • mjh

    I don’t believe that SF want an election because of MMG’s health, RHI, Liofa, or pressure from the grassroots. All those things may well have played a part. But in the end, despite a very messy route to arriving there, I suspect they have concluded that this is quite simply the best opportunity that they are likely to get of seeing the DUP drop below 30 seats, and thus losing the abilty to employ a Petition of Concern without the help of other parties. Indeed if they did not grasp the opportunity now it might slip away for another generation.

    If the DUP lose that veto they will have to pay more attention to the wishes of other parties. A Marriage Equality Act would almost certainly pass. Private Members could introduce other Bills that the DUP could not block alone, provided a majority of MLA’s were in agreement. An example could be an Irish Language Act.

    A relatively small drop in first preference votes and transfers for the DUP could bring this result.

  • woodkerne

    I read what was cited by the editor. By your own description, it isn’t journalism, it’s ‘comment’. No sources. No research. It is comment, moreover (aka opinion) of a malign variety Moloney is well known for. Where’s the story? cf. ‘HRH isn’t dead yet’

  • woodkerne

    I agree with with the thrust of mjh’s critique (above) of SF rationale for precipitating an election and sincerely hope that the DUP do indeed fall below the 30 seat threshold that otherwise permits them to act the local poo bah.

  • Anthony O’Shea

    We need a little more from the anti shinner brigade who suggest that every SF turn is a swindle a game or a scheme than the same old bungled unsubstantiated opinion.

    Bullying cajoling and sneering at an enemy is standard form in modern political discourse for sure, but Eds piece reminds me of Donald Trumps classless sneering insult at a disabled reporter during the US election campaign. An opinion has merit if it helps get to the truth of an issue, a morcel of evidence or even a hint of plausability can sometimes suffice.

    So why even bother when you have neither. But nothing about Marty’s patience, demeaner and work ethic over the last ten years suggests he has any reason to send SF into an election where at best they can only hope to stand still; even if Arlene is on fire – literally.

    Ed has been around twenty years practising his trade, but imperfect practise on a such a scale can lead one way off the mark over such a long period of time.

    In any event, Marty has decided to let the people decide. And that takes precedent over everything.

  • Oriel27

    absolutely spot on. SF have worked out a very clever strategy, they need to split the hard DUP vote. This will be a clear run to a SF First Minister.
    In my opinion, Mairtin O Muillear would be a great FM, supported by both sides.

  • woodkerne

    Have replied below. One caveat, SF are under pressure from PBP.

  • whatif1984true

    Listening to SF on radio they now come accross as having many more motives than RHI for MMG resignation.
    I think that will play very badly with DUP electorate who will simply ignore the RHI scandal and give DUP even more support because it is ‘NOW’ a SF versus DUP fight and not an RHI problem (seeing as SF are now stating it is not so much about RHI but other more general matters).
    The validity of the ‘other’ matters and their priority in NI’s overall problems will not be weighed. Decisions are generally made on one question (this could vary from person to person but I would suggest one main matter rises to the top).

  • Jams O’Donnell

    Here’s an interesting take on it all:


  • whatif1984true

    As an EX Catholic ( if that is now allowedin NI) I am always very uneasy with devout ‘anythings’ on the basis that they are incapable of reason (due to faith). Religion is a talisman against the afterlife for the fearful.
    I would also regard it as naivety to believe that sinners always try to atone prior to death, self righteousness is a strong armour against self examination.

  • Jams O’Donnell

    Lets hope it works out like that.

  • mickfealty

    I sort of agree. On the PoC, I had it pointed out to me recently, by one more knowledgable than me, that the DUP have never used one on their own party strength ever. It would be good to see it finally banished from parliamentary life.

    I just think we need the health issue out there and in the mix.

  • whatif1984true

    Dreaming of a caring politician who is standing for election, misguided in NI. I also dream of that person.
    I think we had one in John Hume and possibly in David Trimble but maybe it is in comparison to the current crop that the ‘old’days were better.

  • mjh

    I don’t see a prospect of an SF first minister. SF will be affected as much as the DUP by the reduction in seat numbers. By the same token that on last year’s voting patterns the DUP would fall to 32 seats, SF would fall to 22 or 21 (it is impossible to calculate the effects in Foyle). In addition they would be very vulnerable to losing one of those in West Belfast if PBPA run a second candidate.

    There is no reason to suppose that SF are about to take massive chunks out of the SDLP vote which they would need to take more than one or two seats from them. In which case they would be reliant on the DUP dropping 10 or 11.


    Not for the first time Ed has got it wrong,a bit soon to bury Martin yet.This evening we are told if their is talks Martin will be there.

  • Jams O’Donnell

    Yes. But if Arlene had had the imagination . . .

    I suppose if she had had the imagination she would not have been there in the first place.

  • whatif1984true

    I will give them all the benefit of the doubt and say they all have imaginations. However what they imagine is based on their background/beliefs.
    it is possible that someone can see past their beliefs and background but there is a further hurdle – are they prepared to act.
    Call me a cynic but such an animal is rare in politics (because the herd of politicos make sure such a person is kept down – powerless to upset the Status Quo).

  • Donagh

    The crass speculation here about MMcG’s health is nothing but distasteful distraction trying to have us believe it somehow contributed to this election. At the end of the day SF could have replaced him if his health wasn’t up to it and there was a sign of rescuing something from the shambles. The half £billion burned by the DUP and their other antics is the direct cause of the current situation, nothing else.

  • Mike the First

    The sneering obnoxiousness MOM has displayed in recent days kind of says otherwise, Oriel.

    (Admittedly he’s hardly alone in this unpleasantness in recent times, but he does seem to be doing it deliberately)

  • Vince

    With a bit of luck DUP will be dragged down below 30 seats. But Mairtin O’Muilleoir as FM? That really would be the ultimate triumph of spin & style over substance. Possibly the only politician in NI to be fluent in 3 languages – English, Irish & bull****.

  • Second election if SF largest party and then back to usual split and then Direct Rule.

  • woodkerne

    another g*bsh*te …