'Cult of Gerry is counterproductive'

By popular demand, here is Newton Emerson’s recent Irish News article on why he believes “A shy retiring Gerry [Adams would be] good for Irish unity”. (courtesy of Newshound)

  • smcgiff

    Interesting article.

    ‘Does he realise that bereavement is hereditary, that he will be a hate figure to children still unborn?’

    From a journalistic point of view, the above is one of the best sentences I’ve seen for a long time.

  • ricardo

    Thought that article was very good.

    A refreshing look at things.

  • mickhall

    I agree a very interesting article, Emerson makes in restrained language how many unionists undoubtedly feel. However in an all Ireland context the cult of Mr Adams is far from counter productive, yet
    I wonder given time after the RA is stood down and we begin to get some daylight onto the last 30 odd years if this will remain so. I doubt Mr Adams is unaware of this and it would part explain why he is pushing to the fore the likes of Mary Lou. However ego is a powerful force in most politicians. The smaller the stage the bigger the political ego theory it seems to me fits the North’s political class perfectly.

    Mick

  • maca

    I thought it was “interesting” but also a bit silly. He’s almost saying that things were hunky dorey and heading for a happy UI when suddenly Gerry pops up with a “grubby little ethnic war”

    And comparing him to Pinochet? And is he saying that somehow a UI will turn into a dictatorship with Augusto Adams at the helm?

  • smcgiff

    Perception is reality, Maca.

  • lib2016

    What a pathetic example of playing the man and not the ball! I thought that this was a civilised site which tried to avoid that sort of thing – there’s virtually no serious political point to this article, in fact it’s a hatepiece which could equally well have graced the columns of the Protestant Telegraph.

    It was right of the Irish News to have published this nonsense and it will give people an insight into what’s been happening in NI, though not quite in the way the author intended.

  • chunkyguy

    “His grubby little ethnic war betrayed those Protestants who true republicanism might have persuaded, then relentlessly drove that very class of people to the edge of extinction”

    Now Im sure newton as a well known historian of the troubles will realise what triggered the ethnic cleansing war in the 60s- particuarily in belfast! me thinks it wasnt adams!

  • Henry94

    This, it must be said, repreents a serious escalation in the decommissioning demand. But not a surprising one. The “one more obstacle” strategy is well established and recognised. But sadly we know that the Unionist mindset which refuses to deal with Gerry Adams in 2004 wasn’t able to bring itself to deal with Gerry Fitt in 1973. So who would be an acceptable Gerry.

    Is Mander a surname?

  • Henry94

    This, it must be said, repreents a serious escalation in the decommissioning demand. But not a surprising one. The “one more obstacle” strategy is well established and recognised. But sadly we know that the Unionist mindset which refuses to deal with Gerry Adams in 2004 wasn’t able to bring itself to deal with Gerry Fitt in 1973. So who would be an acceptable Gerry.

    Is Mander a surname?

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Newton tried to invent himself as the person from Portadown who was unafraid to tackle the bigotry and sectarianism from within his own community. Like not a few before him the mask has slipped and the pseudo moderate unionism espoused is seen in all its glory. Seems you can take the person out of Portadown.
    A few variations on themes that could be used for a bit of mileage from the usual suspects. Instead of the IRA being to blame for everything from the Ice Age, Black Death and the famines in Africa, Newton has refined it down to one person, it was Gerry Adams all along.
    Also unionists can now cut to the chase and skip the Fascist & Nazi insults and go straight to the new Pinochet line. Despite the average 15 yr old GCSE History student being able to blow a hole in that little comparison.

    Yes, from mildly amusing corn merchant on a Saturday morning to observer on all things hysterical (sorry historical). Has the SDLP election campaign started already down at the Irish News?

  • Fraggle

    it’s a shame that thatcher didn’t give adams the same support she gave old augusto.

  • Mick Fealty

    Lib,

    I’ve often noted that more than a few party political statements made elsewhere in the public domain might just be considered yellow card material here.

    However although the figure of Gerry Adams is clearly a target for Emerson’s polemic, the subject is primarily how he is percieved by a large number of Unionists.

  • ulsterman

    Gerry Adams and the rest of his band of murdering cohorts should all be charged with genocide by the world court of justice and shot as war criminals. The murdering scum.

    Arise the Ulster Protestant Nation. We are on the march to true greatness. We defeated the Republican scum and the filthy Pope.

    God Save The Queen.

  • jessop

    FAO: Mick –

    Can I ask what is the policy here re: banning posters who spout deranged racist/sectarian/bigotted drivel?

  • Colm

    Mick is aware that every pack has it’s jokers as well as it’s knaves. Ulsterman falls into the former category, and that’s why he is tolerated.

  • Henry94

    Mick

    However although the figure of Gerry Adams is clearly a target for Emerson’s polemic, the subject is primarily how he is percieved by a large number of Unionists.

    I’m not for a hard line on censorship but that’s a bit of a loophole isn’t it.

    Can I say that many in my community might percieve willowfield (for example) to be a langer.

  • Tom Griffin

    Emerson’s argument puts me in mind of an interesting article by the late Bobbie Heatley, (a Protestant republican) published on the Irish Democrat website this week.
    Heatley wrote that: “The military campaign, whatever the arguments for it, certainly did make it exceedingly hard for NICRA. It made it especially hard to rekindle an awareness that unionism was not synonymous with Protestantism among sections of the Protestant population.”

    http://www.irishdemocrat.co.uk/features/bobbie-heatley-1934-2004/

  • North Antrim Realist

    allowing for the possibilty of looking stupid what does ‘langer’ mean? I have never heard it used before.

  • peteb

    Take your pick, NAR

    Langer

  • maca

    Never heard “langer” before? What kind of a langer are ye? 😉

  • mickhall

    Ulstermans failure to mention any trial for Gerry Adams between when he is arrested and shot is ever so slightly revealing is it not?

    Mick

  • Henry94

    My wife is from Cork. For years she had me believing it was a term of endearment. It isn’t.

  • maca

    Makes you feel like bit of a langer doesn’t it Henry? 😉

  • Mick Fealty

    Jessop,

    No one gets banned here straight away, but Ulsterman, please lay off the gratuitous stuff. You make your points more effectively if you stick to the substance of the argument.

    Please note all, that I’ve not issued a card of any colour for some months now. Let’s try and keep the spirit of competitive good will going a while longer?

  • Davros

    Fascinating article on Bobbie Heatley.Thanks Tom. The Irish Democrat has some excellent reviews.

  • Dag

    The word ‘langer’. When I was young and had no sense – I tore my britches on a barbed wire fence- to the doctor I did go- – * and all I had to show.
    In my area of Ireland to be ‘langers’ was to be drunk.

  • Gerry O’Sullivan

    As the husband of a Corkwoman, I can give you a fairly accurate definition:

    Langer = gobshite

  • Mark McGregor

    Nice to see journalists sticking to their field. Excellent sanctimonious article on smugness and self-righteousness without a hint of irony. Next week a feature on old rope and cheap eskimo snow.

  • Davros

    Like it or Not Mark, Gerry Adams and people like Martin McGuinness, Gerry Kelly and Paul Butler are a barrier to people such as myself who approve of a lot of the work done by the other face of SF – people like Alex Maskey and Gearoid O hEara , and many of the excellent policies that SF put forward.

  • peteb

    I take it you disagree with the Newt’s assessment of a unionist’s viewpoint then, Mark.

  • irishman

    Newt’s contention that Irish unity was on the way bar Adams’ intervention is quite pathetic. It’s quite revealing that Newt quickly moves on without providing substantive evidence for such an assertion- perhaps because there is none!

    In reality, a nationalist reaction to unionist supremacist rule for 50 years from partition was inevitable. That Adams emerged as leader of northern nationalism twenty years in to the conflict is really incidental, though quite fortunate from a nationalist perspective as he is undoubtedly the most intelligent nationalist leader since Collins. (And before unionists get on their high horse about that one, let’s set the record straight: All leaders of unionism, from Craig down to Trimble, Paisley and Robinson, have been despised by nationalists as much as Adams and previous nationalist leaders were by unionists.)

    Furthermore, these unionist leaders have -in the great tradition of political unionism- maintained the complimentary relationship between political unionism and paramilitary unionism, each seeking to employ the services of the latter periodically to serve their ends.

    In reality, the only difference between Adams and Paisley/ Trimble was that Adams displayed that character trait supposedly common to the ulster prods: honesty.

  • Oilbhéar Chromaill

    test

  • Dag

    I don’t know if this is a useful analogy, but to those who feel they can’t deal with Adams because he has ‘blood on his hands’ I would say, look at historical examples. Oliver Cromwell thought that HE was fighting a just war; his troops were responsible for civilian casualities – eg he had a bunch of Irish Catholic female camp followers put to the sword in England because (he said) they were prostitutes.Yet all this was no bar to becoming a respectable ruler; all were given equal
    rights in his republic (except Catholics); and he is held by some today to be the ‘Greatest Briton’.

  • Dag

    And the fellow who fiddled Shane O’Neill out of his land and went riding around Ulster killing ‘rebels’Lord Chichester, died a respectable old age.

  • Fraggle

    yeah but that stuff is all history and anyone who talks about it is a whinger and a moper.

  • Davros

    Dag : eg he had a bunch of Irish Catholic female camp followers put to the sword in England because (he said) they were prostitutes.

    Have you a credible source for this Dag ?

  • Dag

    Davros – it was a TV documentary on Cromwell on UK television. As far as I can remember it was one of the 2 most popular commentators; either the one who makes bitchy comments on BBC Moral discussion prog.; or the American based historian. I would not make it up, and I was quite surprised when I heard it. It was a Civil War programme. Sorry, I can’t be more accurate. Fraggle – I am not whinging; just using history to help in the reconciliation programme.

  • Davros

    Dag, Please don’t think I was implying that you would invent it. I’m reading Peter Berresford Ellis book at present – and hence I was wondering if it came from a reasonable source I could check out. There’s considerable variation!

    Re Fraggle- I don’t think he was implying that you were whinging , I read it as an aside aimed at the knee-jerk response that unfavourable history brings from my side of the fence 😉

  • Dag

    Cromwell- that particular programme was about the English Civil War and Cromwell’s campaign in England only. The women were with captured Royalist soldiers. This would ring true because there was an Irish input (Heaven forbid!) into the Royalist army in England – hence the paranoia about a possible invasion of Papists from Ireland. Of course a Unionist would say all this shows the interconnectness of Irish & English history. But I would say Irleand was dragged into these wars. She would probably have had enough wars of her own to be getting on with. Anyway, even in 1798 the irish rebel army was always composed of civilians as well as armed men. The women and children went with their men (sometimes out of fear of reprisals back at their cabins). Hence the high civilian mortality rate (women and children) in 1798. Cromwell ordered their death (according to the commentator) because they were ‘prostitutes’. Well, that label certainly helped!

  • Fraggle

    thanks davros

  • Tom Griffin

    The women were killed after the battle of Naseby in 1645. It has been suggested that they were actually from Wales, a major royalist recruiting ground, and their identities were mistaken because they spoke in Welsh.
    Incidentally, most of the Irish troops who fought in England were Protestant government troops, who were nevertheless stigmatised as Irish by their fellow royalists, and executed by the roundheads.
    The only Irish Catholic intervention in Britain was by the O’Donnells who fought in Scotland under Montrose, who broke the power of Scottish Presbyterianism on the Parliamentary side, only to pave the way for the domination of all three countries by England and Cromwell.
    Ireland was involved in the English Civil War (or the war of the three kingdoms) from the beginning. It essentially started as a dispute about who would control the army to put down the rebellion of 1641.

  • Davros

    Actually, I Have found the incident. Thanks Tom.
    Dag- the women were killed by the Parliamentary foot who weren’t under Cromwell’s command.
    Naseby was a turning point in Military History. Cromwells Cavalry and New Model army took discipline.
    When I get a moment later on I’ll scan the relevent section from Antonia Fraser Book and have a look elsewhere.

    But as is usual with Cromwell ….

  • Dag

    Thank you Tom and Davros. I feel only a little better now!

  • Davros

    Cromwell revolutionised warfare in England Dag.

    Upto then armies were “Paid” by being allowed to rape, loot and pillage. Cromwell’s Cavalry didn’t, once through the enemy lines , keep going to the baggage and stores to the rear, but turned and charged again. He was a strict disciplinarian. The only time that discipline was completely lost was at the siege of Wexford.It’s recorded that two of his soldiers, on the march to Droched Atha were hung for stealing hens from some Irish women.

  • Mario

    3,000 people?

    Is he serious? Obviously this

  • Irishgael

    What is Emerson Newt on about. Comparing Gerry Adams to Pinochet !!! Emerson Newt has no credibility whatsoever and it is about time the Irish News realise people like him are counter productive to their newspaper sales

  • willowfield

    Pat McLarnon

    Newton tried to invent himself as the person from Portadown who was unafraid to tackle the bigotry and sectarianism from within his own community. Like not a few before him the mask has slipped and the pseudo moderate unionism espoused is seen in all its glory. Seems you can take the person out of Portadown.

    Can you explain your criticism? Are you objecting to someone being a “pseudo moderate unionist”? If so, what do you mean by this, and why is it objectionable?

    Henry94

    I’m not for a hard line on censorship but that’s a bit of a loophole isn’t it. Can I say that many in my community might percieve willowfield (for example) to be a langer.

    What’s your problem with the article?

    If people in “your community” thinks someone who opposes paramilitarism and challenges nationalism to be a “langer”, that’s up to you. What’s the problem with that from your point of view?

    Dag

    I don’t know if this is a useful analogy, but to those who feel they can’t deal with Adams because he has ‘blood on his hands’ I would say, look at historical examples. Oliver Cromwell …

    Not a useful analogy.