Different songs, same technique…

For more than twenty years Ruth Dudley Edwards has been a keen watcher of the Northern Irish political pot and has even stirred it a few times herself. Whatever her political dislike of the two main parties of the moment, she believes they have been hard working and diligent in developing their craft in democratic politics. And not above learning from each other!

By Ruth Dudley Edwards

It was twenty years ago, as we listened to Peter Robinson of the DUP, that John A. Murphy dug me in the ribs and said.

  • Davros

    Another excellent article By RDE, although I wonder if everybody agrees that Jeffrey’s cupboard is free of skeletons ? He was after all a member of the UDR.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Another error ridden piece of tripe from an orange sympathiser who has no sense of shame in proclaiming herself a nationalist only in order to enforce her own stereotypes.

    “Now even though I am no fan of Paisley and recognise him for the malign agent provocateur he has frequently been, I see a clear distinction between DUP politicians, who didn

  • Jeremy 1

    Ruth Fudly:
    “Now even though I am no fan of Paisley and recognise him for the malign agent provocateur he has frequently been, I see a clear distinction between DUP politicians, who didn

  • Mark McGregor


    Don’t abuse Ruth here, she gets upset, she writes about it, she’ll make you a star in next week’s Sindo.

  • john

    Ruth’s just a spoiled girl.

  • Davros

    now now Pat RDE is after all one of the “Children of the nation” you are supposed to cherish ….

    Kincora …30 years ago and nothing to do with RDE

    How is the Stitt case progressing – Irish News 2003?

    What happened over that computer with Child Pornography found in SF’s Waterford office – Irish independent 2004 ? Operation Amethyst ?

    or if we are going back a few years , let’s look at the poetry of a republican Icon, a school teacher-

    I forgive you, child
    Of the soft red mouth:
    I will not condemn anyone
    For a sin not understood.
    Raise your comely head
    Till I kiss your mouth:
    If either of us is the better of that
    I am the better of it.
    There is a fragrance in your kiss
    That I have not found yet
    In the kisses of women
    Or in the honey of their bodies.
    Lad of the grey eyes,
    That flush in thy cheek
    Would be white with dread of me
    Could you read my secrets.

    Mind you …the dodgy teacher spoke highly of the Orangemen of Ulster 🙂

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    I have read your post a couple of times and still can’t work out what the point of it is. Could you share your hallucinations in a legible format.

  • Davros

    Pat – I would love to be able to help you but I’m going downstairs to explain the epidemiology and pathogenesis of Fascioliasis to my Budgie. He doesn’t have a great brain either, but at least he won’t lie about what I say to him.

  • Fraggle

    Davros, I don’t think it’s a fluke that you neatly shifted the point of the thread away from Paisley and Ruth.

    Paisley is personally responsible for starting the troubles off in the first place.

  • Davros

    Fraggle- love the pun 🙂

    I wasn’t the one who brought child abuse into the thread, and neither was RDE – but it’s sad that Jeremy tries to make political capital out of something as tragic as Kincora, which as my examples show, is something that cuts across communities.

    It’s convenient but rather naive to blame Paisley for “Starting the Troubles off”.

  • willowfield

    It never fails to amaze me the extent to which nationalists like Mark McGregor and Pat McLarnon hate people like Ruth Dudley Edwards and Malachi O’DOherty for stepping outside the nationalist volk. No room for diversity in their vision of Ireland.

  • maca

    It’s natural Willowfield, certain Unionists have been known to do the same here on Slugger.

    In the case of RDE she’d hardly get much nationalist respect with comments like: “I see a clear distinction between DUP politicians, who didn

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    I don’t hate either of them, in fact RDE gave me a mention and wee Mal wanted to fight me. Regardless of their political beliefs I find their columns cynically manufactured and trite. They have cut out a nice little niche for themselves, good luck to them , it obviously pays well.

  • Davros

    It’s a demonstrably true statement Maca.

  • maca

    I don’t agree Davros. The fact that some DUP members were *once* loyalist terrorists is proof enough that some DUP members did approve of murder. And don’t get me started on Paisley 😉

  • Mick Fealty

    Be careful you’re in a position to back up what you say about individuals Maca.

  • maca

    Sure Mick, thanks for the warning.

  • Jeremy 1

    A bit of a red herring, but let us examine the phrase from Davros:

  • Davros

    Jeremy – paedophilia cuts across both communities.
    You want to dredge up Kincora from the past to discredit Unionism ? Where does that leave Republicanism regarding Pearse ?

  • Mick Fealty

    Interesting points Jeremy.

    It’s interesting how this thread has drifted from the substance of the story, mostly out of an ‘unpacking’ of the perceived motives of the writer away from the main point of her article – the professionalisation of what has been known heretofore as the extreme parties, but which are now clearly (for good or ill) the political mainstream.

    There’s nothing wrong with that per se – it’s in the nature of internet dialogue that it should happen. But it’s worth noting nonetheless.

  • peteb

    It didn’t exactly drift, Mick, it was steered there.

  • Jeremy 1


    The problem lies with Ruth’s capacity for hysterical anti-provoism. I picked up on her aside in the middle of her comparing levels of political tenacity within both Sinn Fein and the DUP. Attempting to suggest that there is some line of democratic and political morality separating the DUP and Sinn Fein is nonsensical in the context of the NI state. Davros made an issue of one of my examples by making the trite and irrelevant observation that paedophilia occurs in both communities. I pursued it (pointing out that it is “a bit of a red herring”). Davros now wants to comment on Patrick Pearse – relevant only in the sense that Ruth has written a biography of Pearse.

    However, in relation to the original point, it was always the case that, aside from what happened in the US all those years ago (when Sinn Fein was excluded with the approval of Ruth and her pals), British negotiating strategy always attempted to induce the most

  • Mick Fealty


    Another slightly irrelevant aside:

    I remember a long drawn out coversation with a former colleague, many years ago, on the nature of the word tenacious.

    She took it to be a cold and insulting term. I viewed it as an essentially virtuous and necessary quality in any entrepreneurial venture.

    Could we both have been correct at the same time?

  • Jeremy 1


    You both could.

    The problem is not with the ascription of superficially similar traits but the suggestion that Sinn Fein politicians supported

  • willowfield

    Jeremy 1

    Attempting to suggest that there is some line of democratic and political morality separating the DUP and Sinn Fein is nonsensical in the context of the NI state.

    It’s not nonsensical. It’s a reasonable argument, given PSF’s inextricable link with murder gangs.

  • Davros

    Jeremy, How many DUP politicians have convictions for terrorism ? How does that compare with SF ?

  • Jeremy 1

    It is difficult to debate when we cannot even agree on what constitutes

  • Davros

    Jeremy as far as I know one DUP councillor has done time for a violent crime. How many SF councillors have done time for violent crimes ? More or less than 10?

  • Jeremy 1


    You may (I put it no higher than that) have missed the point.

    Put it this way, many DUP members have violent convictions, which they encourage the state to give effect to. When the victims complain and react in kind their convictions become

  • Davros

    That’s wonderfully evasive Jeremy 🙂
    You are a slippery customer …and that is meant as a compliment!

  • Jeremy 1

    Thank you dav, I accept in the same spirit. 🙂

  • willowfield

    Put it this way, many DUP members have violent convictions, which they encourage the state to give effect to.

    What does “the state giving effect to violent convictions” mean, and how and why do DUP members encourage the state to do this?

  • Ruth Dudley Edwards

    What makes you think I wrote an official history of the British security services, Jeremy 1? Are you confusing this with the short portrait of the British Foreign Office I wrote to accompany a TV series about their work?


  • Jeremy 1

    Hi Ruth,

    I do beg your pardon, it was of course about those who are in charge of the nation’s security and “written with its (the FO’s) co-operation”. Your website says that you feel “intellectually English and temperamentally Irish”. How does that work? Do you sneer at yourself when you are drunk and laugh at yourself when sober? Intriguing.

    Is that all I got wrong. I am relieved.


    The DUP supported every “get tough” policy with regard to the IRA and nationalist ghetto areas. Generally the attitude was

  • Mick Fealty

    Jer, given the amount personal remarks already aimed at Ruth on this thread I don’t think we need anymore.

    If you think a given proposition is impossible and contradictory, then argue it out. If the point is too trivial and it’s not worth doing, then please resist the temptation to let rip with abuse in place of argument. Your opponents will simply win by default!

  • Jeremy 1

    OK then, what does it mean, being “intellectually English and temperamentally Irish”? Leaving unappreciated attempts at humor aside, is it a sort of Anglo-Irish manqu

  • Davros

    Quote: Paisley said in 2000:

  • willowfield

    Sectarian comments by DUP members and their complaints that the security forces didn’t get tough enough against terrorism hardly equate to having their own terrorist wing like PSF.

  • Jeremy 1

    Some of the wit and wisdom of William Beattie (below).

    I have answered the point, though obviously not to your satisfaction.

    Ruth…..? Ruth! Where has the Scarlet Pimpernel gone?


    MORE THAN 1 WAY…….
    [from ‘AP/RN’ , 28th November , 1985 , page 5]
    At a meeting of Lisburn Council on 25th November, 1985 — a Monday , if memory serves — , Democratic Unionist Party Councillor William Beattie stated that – “50,000 armed men would solve the Northern Ireland (sic) problem.”
    Beattie then advised Irish Republicans to “leave Ulster” (sic) or else they would be “kicking up the daisies from 12 feet under” !
    However , those that know ‘ BATTY ‘ Beattie assure me he meant ” 12 armed men ” and “50,000 feet under”

  • Davros

    Yes Jeremy, Beattie may be a prat, but with respect, NEITHER an fleabite NOR 1169 are CREDIBLE sources for claiming that he has openly called for the killing of Catholics. ( Sorry Sharon! )

  • Jeremy 1


    I am afraid that I am rather busy at the moment and am unable to assist you in the proferring of sources that are to your liking. I am aware that you have rather strict rules on the subject (for example refusing to listen to the views of

  • Davros

    Don’t be silly Jeremy. Would you accept something said by the Late George Seawright ?

    The Henry quote shows hostility ( and stupidity) but those are very different from an exhortation to go out an slaughter people because they are Roman Catholic.

    The McGuffin quote ? Makes him sound like “Poison Pat” about loyalists.

    The an fleabite ? No mention of Roman Catholics.

    But if you sling allegations such as the one you made you could at least back them up with sopmething other than an fleabite and waffle from a dodgy blogsite!