A small dispute over numbers

The other interesting thing from Newsnight tonight was something of an aside. There was definately “a failure to communicate” (as Robert de Niro once said in The Untouchables) between Kirsty Wark and Martin McGuiness. Wark insisted on an explanation of the “credibilty” gap between the 3 people the IRA had implicated in its statement for the McCartney murder and the twelve that had been mentioned by the victim’s sisters. Try as she might, Martin would not oblige.

  • Emily

    Bah. It was the Captain in Cool Hand Luke who’s more famous for the “failure to communicate” speech!

  • Mick Fealty

    Spoken/written like a Hollywood gal!

  • peteb

    Mick,

    That “small dispute in numbers” is far from being “an aside”.. as I pointed out earlier.

  • Emily

    The rest of his speech might be relevant to the circumstances at hand: “Some men you just can’t reach.”

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    We are told that no one has come forward etc etc but people who were no where near the scene can give exact numbers and their affiliation.

    Didn’t see Newsnight but Mc Guinness was very busy last night. First on Hearts and Minds and then Primetime.
    SF seem to have adopted their style to suit the Thompson interviewing technique. It seems to be that if he talks over you then do the exact same. It really was messy viewing but perhaps a marker to Thompson that cutting across selected interviewees adds nothing to the debate.

    Primetime was perhaps one on the worst episodes of current affirs produced by RTE in a long while with Mc Guinness again in very combative mode. If nothing else it looks as if placating surly interviewers is not on the agenda.

  • Lafcadio

    “..what we got here is, failure to communicate. S-some men, you just can’t reach, so you get what we had here last week, which is the way he wants it, well, he gets it. I don’t like this any more than you..”

  • barney

    I saw Newsnight last night and McGuinness pointed out that he did know the full facts and neither did Kirsty. He also pointed out that it was not his job to investigate the crime and neither was it Kirsty’s. When asked to say if Robert McCartney’s killing was murder, McGuinness again pointed out that he could not be the judge of that. He observed, to Kirsty’s discomfort, that in the 30 years following Bloody Sunday nobody in the BBC had ever said that the killing of 14 people was murder or that their killers were criminals. IMO Kirsty was glad to change the subject.

  • barney

    “BBC had ever” should be “BBC had never”

  • barney

    Ooops again!! I was right the first time. No more night shifts for me.

  • Mick Fealty

    My own views on the treatment meted out to politicians by journalists are clear enough.

    McGuinness was cool enough on Newsnight. Kirsty didn’t attempt to talk over him. But she seemed to lose her cool somewhat when he wouldn’t answer any of her questions.

  • barney

    Poor old KIrsty, it’s hardly the first time she was ignored.

  • Henry94

    I think it is very egotistical of interviewers to think politicans are there to answer their questions. I assume Martin McGuinness comes on air because he has someting he wants to say.

    That’s what I want to hear not some Paxman wannabe trying to make a name for themselves.

    If the politican is talking shite we will be able to smell it ourselves.

  • joc

    I think it is very egotistical of interviewers to think politicans are there to answer their questions. I assume Martin McGuinness comes on air because he has someting he wants to say.

    Yes – it is extremely egotistical isn’t it – we should just let politicians have the floor. Hope I don’t get caught out for not playing ball – but thats pure bollix.

    Saw the primetime interview last night. Martin reminded me of the way the RC church tried to lecture and condescend to us – until it eventually realised that it had its pants down (literally so it would seem).

    There are remarkable similarities between the arrogance of said hierarchy and the way the RM movement gets on.

  • Mick Fealty

    I could not agree more about the egoism of some presenters. But there is a limit to how much a politician can ignore legitimate questions and not expect to take a credibility hit. Whatever the honest intention, it comes across like a class of, ‘talk to the crib sheet, cause the face ain’t listening’.

  • Henry94

    Mick

    i But there is a limit to how much a politician can i ignore legitimate questions and not expect to take a credibility hit.

    The people taking the credibility hit are the interviewers. You, of all people, should know that the blogsphere will disect every nuance and evasion of a political statement. I say let them speak and let the viewer judge. We are well able to notice if a question is not answered.

    joc

    This is not about Sinn Fein. I want to hear waht unionists have to say without childish interruptions either.

  • J Kelly

    Martin McGuiness was making a fair point the BBC are part of this crusade against SF and journalist are not just questioners they are influential opinion makers. So for the BBC to quiz SF on what is a crime and what is not a crime is a bit rich form an organisation that has never used the word murder in relation to Bloody Sunday. Noel Thompson wasn’t long coming off that issue when he was confronted.

  • Henry94

    I should make it clear that I’m not looking for Party Political Broadcasts. Ask the question and let the person reply. Then ask a follw-up. Our discussions here don’t have interruptions but people can still get cornered and caught out.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    The questioning style by Thompson is clearly pre planned and is only used against certain interviewees. To ask a long winded question and then intervene after a few seconds on virtually every occasion makes for hellish viewing for the public. But maybe the agenda is to deliberately not allow a different side to the current story, to make the interviewee look argumentative.

    Joc,

    that point was quite evident on Primetime, various people were allowed to come on to make the most ludicrous allegations that flew in the face of all available facts. At no time was there any attempt by the reporter to question their version of events.
    As for the studio discussion the poor girl has only just started on the programme and was either over enthusiastic or just not good. At times her voice was quite shrill. When taking up a point made by Mc Guinness she quite clearly stated that RTE weren’t making allegations, obviously she hadn’t followed the programme as they most definitely did. A poor show all round.

    SF should be held accountable during interviews, no one would expect anything less, howver current fare isn’t even worth the effort.

  • AW

    I watch McGuiness last night and it struck me Sinn Fein are now switching to the old tried and tested victim node. I have done something wrong but let us not address that let us distract by blaming someone else about something else. Very childish. It does not matter how long ago, anything will do, and by the way keep reminding everyone that we are the victims not the people we take out and beat the hell out of.

    The weakness of this position are firstly that we all agree that past wrongs were appalling and the governments lack of candour does not help and does need to be addressed but that is a separate issue.

    However two wrongs do not make a right and Bloody Sunday happened many years ago. In the here and now Loyalist and Republican thugs are terrorising their communities. We cannot bring back the dead, or undo the past, but we can by our actions change tomorrow. We need to be rid of all armed militia and gangsters and perhaps then we can turn our united fire on the government and demand some clarity in its role in decades past.

    It is time the Republican movement grew up and accepted responsibility for its conduct, its actions, and addressed those problems unambiguously. It would be the stronger for doing it

  • slug9987

    Sinn Fein are uninteresting now.

  • Henry94

    b slug9987

    Count the threads.

  • slug9987

    I’m bored with their answers.

  • DerryTerry

    slug9987,

    Maybe you’re bored with the questions?

  • slug9987

    I think it’s because SF are very ideologically driven they have a certin line they take, with which we all are now very familiar. Rather like Hume 10 years ago with his constant line, listening to Hume was never that interesting once you got his basic message.

  • mickhall

    The main point of interest to come out of the Newsnight interview with Martin McGuinness, was that he stated it is not his job, but that of the PSNI to find the killers etc of Robert McCartney. With this statement McGuinness publicly recognised the writ of the British police force in the north of Ireland. Hardly a small matter, but unfortunately Kirsty Wark was to busy massaging her own ego to see the importance of this. The fact is if one of the most senior leaders of the Provisional Republican Movement recognisees the PSNI, thus the legality of the northern British Statelet, what purpose does the PIRA now serve? None, beyond that which its main critics claim, i.e. fund raising and muscle. As this is the case it is high time for SF members to call for the army to be stood down. Then we can all move forward.

  • DerryTerry

    slug9987,

    With the greatest respect if you are saying that a percieved SF adherence to a particular line is boring you then you must be absolutely switched off with the media’s current adherence to the single line, Republicans bad and responsible for all wrong doing.

    Maybe instead of focusing overally on the answers we should also focus on the questions that are asked and the assumptions that underpin and give rise to those questions.

    I agree entirely that the single transferable speech, answer or question simply recreates a piece of well rehearsed drama for the media that brings us nothing new, but them maybe that’s what sections of the media want.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    ‘The main point of interest to come out of the Newsnight interview with Martin McGuinness, was that he stated it is not his job, but that of the PSNI to find the killers etc of Robert McCartney.’

    Is it not universally accepted by the supporters of the Mc Cartney family, including yourself Mick that this is indeed the case? Do you recognise the legality of the NI state?

  • slug9987

    Terry, the media line changed in its attitude, it was not like this as recently as last year.

  • slug9987

    The UK is a state, NI is not.

  • J Kelly

    How will the media and others react if the SF vote in Meath holds up or increases as some are predicting. Will they ease off or will they redouble their efforts.

    My opinion is that they are that far up their own ***** that they will keep it up.

  • Alan McDonald

    Pat,

    When you ask the question:
    “Do you recognise the legality of the NI state?”
    does that suggest that you DO or DO NOT recgonise the legality?

    I ask this question only because, as an American trying to follow issues since the GFA, this constitutuional question seemed to have been settled by the referendum.

  • DerryTerry

    Slug, has the attitude really changed or rather are we not seeing the same forces within the media, and society generally, taking a different tack to achieve what they always sought to achieve, the defeat of Irish Republicanism, as now represented by a growing SF?

    Personally I have been amazed by the ready acknowledgement within sections of the media that the New Good Old IRA, 1969 – 1994, was actually a “respectable” military organisation that fought a guerilla campaign that included the defence of beleagured Nationalist/Republican communities like the Short Strand and the New Bad New IRA, 1994-present, that is a criminal conspiracy aimed at self enrichment for individuals.

    Don’t know about you slug but I’m sure that if we change the dates I’ve seen and heard this stuff before, alongside the phrases criminal conspiracy, mafia, criminal godfathers and my own personal favourite beloved by Diplock Judges and Defence lawyers alike, older and more sinister people.

  • slug9987

    Terry

    The new Good Old IRA. Hadn’t noticed that one. I doubt if, when the dust settles, the notion of cuddly Eniskillen, Warrington, Birmingham, Shankill bombers is that sustainable.

    That said, people like O’Doherty point out that at least there was a civil rights problem in 1969 while today there is no obvious rationale for the IRA. Seems a reasonable point.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    AlanMcD,

    I recognise the reality of the state.

  • slug9987

    “I recognise the reality of the state.”

    Would would it mean not to recognize that?

  • mickhall

    Pat,

    I recognise the actuality of the northern state, but not its legitimacy due to the way it was established, I doubt we differ on this. Although if you/me/whoever accepts the legitimacy of the political process, i e the GFA, IM not sure you can do anything eventually but recognise the laws of the northern statelet, because it is against your own self interest not to do so, cheery picking what laws to obey negates them all does it not. I feel to recognise the writ of a British police force within the island of Ireland is a very difficult thing for an Irish Republican to do, however having said this times change, different horses for different courses.

    Glad you are back posting.

  • Alan McDonald

    Mick,

    That was my point about the GFA and the “legitimacy” of NI. It appears to an outsider that the RM’s refusal to admit that the GFA validates NI legitimacy is tantamount to the DUP rejecting the GFA entirely (even though Paisley would take the job if offered).

    So, in other words, the ethical “fudge” hit the fan when the voters of NI chose the two anti-GFA (based on my analysis) parties to represent them in the last Assembly elections. Looks like direct rule or endless meaningless elections (people get elected but don’t go to work) for the foreseeable future to me.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    mickhall, cheers

    I agree entirely with your post, the immediate point being that if we want to see justice for the Mc Cartney family then how is that achieved under the present set of constitutional circumstances?
    This cannot be viewed as a special case in my opinion, if one accepts the PSNI must be helped in the Mc Cartney case then it must be across the board.