Question time questions on the IRA question..

Question time was broadcast from Sterling last night. Once again some of the best value was provided in the form of the text messages coming in from the broadcast audience on Ceefax page 155. Here’s some I scribbled down in haste:

“Gerry Adams is just employing a rearguard action. Mr Adams is out in the cold and he should stay there”.

“The cynics should give Gerry Adams a chance. He means well”.

“Why is a Protestant bomb or gun not considered a danger?”

“Gerry Adams gaining political point? I thought that’s what politicians did?”

“Adams can appeal to the IRA at any time. Why now?”

“The IRA didn’t start the war – the English did.”

“I think Gerry Adams has learned a lot from Tony Blair about meaningless soundbites”.

  • beano @ Everything Ulster

    Since when does “The IRA didn’t start the war – the English did.” qualify as ‘useful’? Surely the ‘they started it’ line is the ultimate in whataboutery, employed by someone trying to deflect attention from the fact that Sinn Fein/the IRA have yet to make good on the promises they made.

  • beano @ Everything Ulster

    I stand corrected, replace useful with “best value”. Are you talking from a comical point of view?

  • Levitas

    Oh dear Beano you are beginning to sound petualnt now, perhaps its beginning to sink in that once again your lot have been out-manouvred, the texts suggest as I predicted that yesterdays announcement has played well with the impartial observers in the UK which accounts for about 95% of your so-called compatriots. It just gets better and better.

  • beano @ Everything Ulster

    I think yesterday’s announcement is a completely seperate issue from a lot of the drivel posted above. I can accept most of them but the likes of that reminds me of pub politics.
    Re the announcement itself I’ll wait and see if it’s followed by any action. Words from SF and local politicians in general mean nothing to me anymore.

    I have no problem admitting that “my lot” whoever you think that may be, has been “outmanouvred” – SF have been outmanouvering unionists for years. That says more about the lack of any fresh thinking in the unionist parties than anything else.

  • mnob

    … and taking a (strange) meaning from an edited small sample of messages from an edited small sample of messages from a non random small sample of the public is a credible argument is it ?

  • fair_deal

    Levitas

    “the texts suggest as I predicted that yesterdays announcement has played well”

    There was only one positive comment out of seven about Gerry Adams. Don’t think I’ll ask you for a tip for the grand national with this as an evidence base.

  • slackjaw

    So there was no ‘why don’t we just put them all on an island together and let them blow the shite out of each other’ then?

    That one was always favourite when I used to listen to Radio 5 Live in the mid-90s. Ah the Great British public. So well informed about what goes on in the North.

    I went into a, er, Jobseeker’s office in Southern England once to ask them if on my return to Northern Ireland I would be entitled to make a claim for the week I would be missing in England. Wayne behind the counter said no, because Northern Ireland wasn’t part of the UK.

    Another time I got asked by a rather equine lady of upper class extraction if I was ‘in the IRA’. As I wasn’t wearing my balaclava at the time, I thought it rather odd. No, I’m afraid not, I replied.

    With some honourable exceptions (Tory Boys, ex-pats, the no-surrender-to-the-IRA and Old Firm football supporters), the Great British public cares little about the affairs of this part of the world. That is not to say that they deserve reproach for it: on the contrary, their life is undoubtedly more bearable as a result of their blissful ignorance.

    What does David Beckham think about Gerry Adams’ speech? That may the best way to gauge what that great nation really thinks.

  • slackjaw

    I omitted from the last post that other illustrious group of people who care about NI: the friends and cousins of soldiers.

    Many times was my petition for a cigarette or a light met with the curious reply ‘My mate/cousin was posted in Belfast/Londonderry/Crossmaglen/Bandit Country (you c**t)’

    Such things probably don’t happen so much these days, but what is the correct way to greet such an intimation?

  • George

    “‘My mate/cousin was posted in Belfast/Londonderry/Crossmaglen/Bandit Country (you c**t)'”

    It’s not my fault you’re related to a letter…..

  • Levitas

    Count again fair_deal-(and read them this time) 5 of the 7 selected posts are actually pretty in favour of the initiative – oh yeah and comparing GA’s political skills to that of the British PM is a compliment for most Brits.

  • George

    “‘My mate/cousin was posted in Belfast/Londonderry/Crossmaglen/Bandit Country (you c**t)'”

    I’ll try the letter analogy again:

    Does he work with the Royal Mail?

    Ok I give up.

  • Mick

    Lev, I doubt they can be considered quantitatively meaningful. I’m sure I missed a few. These are just the ones I was able to jot down in time. I switched on after the VB show on RTE 1.

  • fair_deal

    Levitas

    “Gerry Adams is just employing a rearguard action. Mr Adams is out in the cold and he should stay there”. Negative

    “The cynics should give Gerry Adams a chance. He means well”. Positive

    “Why is a Protestant bomb or gun not considered a danger?” – Neither doesn’t mention Gerry Adams, its about loyalist decommissioning.

    “Gerry Adams gaining political point? I thought that’s what politicians did?” Neither.

    “Adams can appeal to the IRA at any time. Why now?” Neither with a hint of concern about the motivation.

    “The IRA didn’t start the war – the English did.”
    Neither, a whataboutery comment, doesn’t mention Gerry Adams.

    “I think Gerry Adams has learned a lot from Tony Blair about meaningless soundbites”.
    Negative the use of meaningless soundbite is not an endorsement.

    “comparing GA’s political skills to that of the British PM is a compliment for most Brits.”

    I repeat the commentator used the phrase meaningless. Furthermore, blair is now a vote loser for Labour and is not particularly popular so it is no compliment.

    Methinks you were simply scratching around for justification of the claims you made yesterday. Methinks you will have to look a bit harder.

  • Levitas

    “Wayne behind the counter said no, because Northern Ireland wasn’t part of the UK.”

    Really? now that would be my cousin Wayne O’Reilly he works for the DHSS in England and has had a subscription to AP/RN since his 13th birthday, not ignorance slackjaw just a very astute political comment :))

    “With some honourable exceptions (Tory Boys, ex-pats, the no-surrender-to-the-IRA and Old Firm football supporters”

    You sound like you mixed with the creme de la creme of British society there slackjaw, “Tim nice but Dim’s, National Front members, and football hooligans”- no wonder you came home.

    “Many times was my petition for a cigarette…”

    asking ex-squaddies, or their relatives, for anything in England can be a the quick and easy way to get on the great “hospital food diet”- Geordie squaddies consider, or deliberately pretend to consider, that guys who ask them for cigarettes or lights are merely importuning them for gay sex- I kid you not- I saw a nasty altercation on the Newcastle train from Catterick arising from precisely the same scenario when a Durham student asked some squaddies for a light….(ok ok I know it was just an excuse to scare the shit out of a “posh southern git”) but I would say you were lucky to get away with mere verbal abuse.

  • slackjaw

    Levitas,

    The Wayne was generic. I called him that because he didn’t look like a Barry, or a Julian. 🙂

    ‘You sound like you mixed with the creme de la creme of British society there slackjaw’

    Yes. My life there was equal parts Catherine Cookson, PD Wodehouse and The Pogues.

    To be fair, these were the freaks i.e. the ones who took some sort of an interest in the North.
    As is the case nearly anywhere, most of ’em were sound enough.