Getting beyond the schmaltz…?

A Tangled Web gives Gerry and Co the usual rough ride. Few round Sevastapol Street will lose much sleep over it. However, I was struck by Andrew McCann’s remark that we are entering a schmaltz and bullsh!t interlude. Few political parties can avoid having to bullsh!t their way past awkward moments. The trouble is that in the long term (in order to retain political credibility) they also have to be seen to live up to at least some of their own PR. That’s the apparently simple challenge facing the IRA over the next few months.

  • David Vance

    Imagine giving the IRA a rough time – shocking, isn’t it?

    I can assure Slugger readers that we at ATW won’t lose much sleep worrying about what the Brownshirts round Sevastapol Street think about it. Or the handmaidens in other places.

    Now, back to 1994…or is it 1997….hard to tell in the land that time forgot these days.

  • beano

    The IRA and their political regiment have spent nigh on a decade not living up to their own PR. Is it surprising that unionists remain to be convinced that they’ll start now?

  • Henry94

    beano

    If the IRA don’t do what they say they” do then unionists don’t have a problem. Their problem will be if the IRA do deliver.

    How many were glad of the arms excuse for not sharing power and what will they do when the arms are gone. That’s the intersting question.

    My own belief is that unionism will fail the test.

  • Keith M

    Jo “I doubt that even a DVD of the entire IRA consecutively blowing their own heads off would have satisfied.” Personally, I’d consider it a good start.

  • David Vance

    Keith M,

    Yes – it would be a good start. But since the IRA are cowards one would wait in vain for that DVD release.

    Jo,

    Bitterness is such an unattractive trait.

  • Jo

    Keith,
    Your own views, including your view that the Brazilian guy shot by police deserved it for “being stupid enough to run away” demonstrates the level of insatiability to which I refer. There is just no pleasing some people. Fortunately, reasonable people do outnumber them by a substantial margin.

  • Jo

    David
    I saw quite enough foul mouthed bitterness on ATW to do me some considerable time, thank you.
    I decided not to post anymore lest I be dragged down to that level.

  • Ciarรกn

    I was particularly struck by Andrew’s call for the Crown forces to use the experience they gained killing Jean Charles de Menezes and turn their guns on the ‘filth who wrote this drivel, the scum who front them, and those who assisted in their campaign of terrorist pogroms.’ Putting aside the quips about the dead, what does this mean? Kill everyone in the IRA, Sinn Fรฉin and their supporters? Some 175,000 people?

  • aquifer

    Onionism. Peel off the layers of transparent bile and there’s nothing left. Not bad in Irish stew tho’

  • Jo

    Aquifer,
    That “stew” remark could just drive Andrew over the edge! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Cairan
    Paisley was cold this evening on UTV about the lack of an apology from the IRA, but compos mentis enough not to overplay his hand. He advised that Geo. Bush had rang him earlier to advise “wait and see.” I think he enjoys that typoe of phone call…

  • PS

    Putting aside the quips about the dead, what does this mean? Kill everyone in the IRA, Sinn Fรฉin and their supporters? Some 175,000 people?

    Yes I think thats EXACTLY what Mr. McCann has in mind. Certainly its an opinion he has expressed many times of A Tangled Web. Though he has also expressed the view that SF members should in fact kill themselves so I’m not sure exactly which is more preferable to him.

  • Jo

    Mick
    I think your reading of the piece was a little too subtle. Andrew was actually dissecting the statement and called a section in the middle the “schmaltzy/b-s” bit. It is a fair point though that the SF (we cant use “SF-IRA anymore??)PR machine will be taxed in the coming months to show that they really really dont need that weaponry to back up their political muscle.

    Equally, on the assumption that there was not 100% backing for this move from the “Volunteers” what sanction could be brought to bear on those who dissent? Is this where the ยฃ25 m. loose change might help? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • DaithiO

    Mick,

    Why give legitimacy to that website ?

    It is a mouthpiece for Andrew McCann’s bigoted, racist and sectarian rantings. It’s anti-catholic and all things Irish. D. Vance by his silence clearly agrees with his stance.

    I’m sure you can find some other site that better represent sensible unionist thought.

    I’m all for free speech and abhor censorship but I really feel Slugger is above that vitriol.

  • bertie

    Jo

    “Forgiveness doesn’t appear to come terribly easy to the self-professed Christians on that site.”

    Don’t want to be picky, because I think ‘I know where you are coming from’, but I don’t think forgiveness should come easy when it relates to people who are not sorry.

    Funnily enough I was talking to someone once who was part of the forgiveness industry and who was trying to convince me that we should forgive unrepentant IRA members. I couldn’t beleive what she thought was her clincher arguement, “don’t worry they will be writhing hell in everlasting damnation”. She thought that that would make me feel better. I was momentarily dumbstruck (I am never more than momentarily in this state). I cannot take any pleasure in contemplating everlasting torments of people even as evil as this.

  • cladycowboy

    David Vance,

    ‘I’ve been away for the last two days in the Lake District (I also popped into the Sellafield Visitors Centre and congratulated them on winding up the Irish).’

    and they didn’t look at you like you’re a little wierd, with your accent and all? They probably put it down to the effects of the radiation

  • PS

    Cladycowboy

    I think that’s one of Andrew’s little gems to be fair!

  • cladycowboy

    don’t know whose ego i’m hurting most but the previous post should have been addressed to Andrew McCann

  • cladycowboy

    you got in before i could correct myself PS ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Bob
  • cladycowboy

    Ah ,so our Mr McCann is a Yorkshire native. The penny has dropped about the sellafield remark. Lets hope the penny drops for him before the UK Govt introduces tighter legislation on incitement to religious/racial hatred.
    Glad he enjoys his little day trips over to our gaffe

  • beano

    Jo, I normally have a lot of time for your opinions whether I agree or not but when I read your “forgive and forget” post I immediately thought what Bertie said.

    Forgiveness comes after repentance. At least, I’m no Christian but, I think that’s how it works.

  • ganching

    “Forgiveness comes after repentance”

    Well that depends on who is doing the forgiving. You as individual can forgive someone whether they have repented or not. It’s up to you. I think it might just be God or fundamentalists who demand repentance before they can forgive.

  • Jo

    Bertie/Beano:

    Thnaks for your comments, I understand where both of you are coming from but you may probably also understand that the reason that I had problems with the quoted comment is that it did not, in any sense, hint at the love of neighbour, detestation of sin, love of the sinner, which I and many others associate with the Christianity in which we were raised. Wishing evil and pain on anyone is not, to my mind, laudable in any moral sense and is simply indicative of brutal malice.

  • La Dolorosa

    David Vance :

    “Now, back to 1994…or is it 1997….hard to tell in the land that time forgot these days”

    Think 1690 would be more you cup of tea

  • La Dolorosa

    Jo – as I said before . Just as I said once before just a glance at ATW makes you want to spend all day in the shower cleansing you body & mind.

    What passes there for informed comment/views is no more than toxic vitriol and bitter hatred.

    It is interesing that they are quite happy to post the most hateful & bitch comments on other blogs but do not reciprocate that liberty on theirs.

    Thank God for Slugger!

  • Jo

    La D:
    I shower less often than I did when posting there – they say natural odours are a turn-on? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Oilbhear Chromaill

    Keith M never fails to stoop to the level of the terrorist that he claims to abhor. Then again maybe he doesn’t have as far as he thinks to stoop.
    Isn’t it amazing how those who condemn ‘terrorism’ are so quick to support the use of it, as long as it advances their political cause.

    When are David Vance, Keith M, Andrew McCann and all the other terrorist equivocaters going to dump their visceral hatred?

  • Jo

    Incidentally, I dont necessarily think that forgiveness goes hand in hand with forgetting – quite the opposite.

    I simply think that how Gordon Wilson acted and spoke and genuinely thought after Enniskillen was something which was laudable touching and basically GOOD in a way which wanting revenge, wishing pain and death, retaliation, isn’t.

    Not that I can tell people how to react to loss – its just how I know how I would want to behave in that situation would be more like Mr Wilson than Mr McCann.

  • Mick

    Talk about thread drift.

    I don’t normally comment on the content in threads – except when in referee mode. I prefer to stick to minding the quality of my own outputs.

    I have to say that I’m disappointed that it turned into a slagging of ATW, rather than around the original point: ie the important (and non-trival) distinction between good PR and bullsh!t.

    I have to admit, it’s not been a case of playing the man. But…

  • Jo

    Mick,

    Sorry, but when you provide a link to the vitriol that typifies the posting there, its inevitable that people will comment on the substance (or lack of it) that lies behind the expression of hatred.

    I did post that I thought your comment was too subtle – and that Andrew’s piece was simply a dissection of the statement, rather than anything more nuanced.

  • Mick

    Yeah I saw that. I tried to make a point that wasn’t actually made in Andrew’s original. But maybe you’re right.

  • David Vance

    May I recommend Peter C.Glover’s analysis of the seismic IRA statement on Wiresfromthebunker? He is surely as nuanced as you guys require.

    http://www.wiresfromthebunker.com/

    Oh no – not everyone is taking the IRA seriously..it’s an outrage.

  • Mick

    Thanks for the heads up David.

  • DaithiO

    A Tangled Web for me is like a festering sore, if I leave it alone it will go away, but I just can’t help looking at it.

    I’m all for playing the ball Mick, but just the briefest of glimpses there makes you realise that isn’t their policy.

    Oh, and such is their respect for Slugger, I quote…

    “… I take no notice of the witless Slugger crowd. ”

    Hmm.

  • Jo

    Daithi:
    I understand what you mean but, like all morbid addictions, it can be broken.

  • Keith M

    Oilbhear : “When are David Vance, Keith M, Andrew McCann and all the other terrorist equivocaters going to dump their visceral hatred?”

    Firstly that you for putting me in such good company. Secondly when have ever shown the slightest equivocation on terrorism?

    Yes I have a “visceral hatred” of those that reject democracy and take wantenly innocent lives, and that won’t change while I have a moral bone in my body.

  • Jo

    Keith:

    Hatred is a cancer and will rot your bones, moral and physical.

  • Keith M

    Jo a lack of hated for those who do wrong will leave you spineless and without any moral fibre.

  • Mick

    Judicial pruning of this thread coming up. Play the feckin’ ball. You guys are worse than watching feckin’ Big Brother! On second thoughts, I don’t have the time.

  • Chris Gaskin

    Mick

    Don’t tell me you hate BB too?

    Great stuff ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • La Dolorosa

    Surely the important thing is to recognise that the statement is a historic step change within the context of the IRA and its history maybe it’s a bit too nuanced for some posters…..

    The basic fact is that ‘baggage’ is not exclusive to one group/side and surely we should encourage the political path as the only way forward. We are not dealing with Al’Qaeda here.

  • Jo

    Daithi:

    I notice also the ATW reference to the “contempt” that David has for the “feeble-minded liberals (that used to infest this site)” Don’t know bout you, but I weep in my coffee daily…I guess if you don’t hate, you ain’t welcome there. Ah well.

  • bertie

    Jo

    I knew what you meant and I’d just like to second Beano’s sentiment about being interested in what you have to say, even if I don’t always agree with it.

    At the same time I’ll burst if I don’t post this – Gordon Wilson did not actually say that he forgave the IRA in his origional comments (and I’m not saying that you have said he did). It was reported that he forgave them and we were all stuck with it. The debate got dumed down to the do you hate them or do you forgive them. The otion of doing neither was never properly explored. This links to my previous comment re hells fire.

  • Jo

    Bertie:

    I appreciate your *bursting* and also your comments. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Irrespective of the words spoken, I think Mr Wilsons entire attitude to his terrible loss was something which left many including myself at a loss for words at his bravery and the transcendental quality of his reaction.

    I remember reading that it was his attitude which dissuaded some UDA people from exacting revenge and therefore what he said/did, even if he didn’t use specific words, perhaps prevented other lives being taken in revenge…in relation to Hells fire, this has always struck me as a moral horror about traditional Christian beliefs. What possible beenfit is it to anyone, let along a good God, to inflict everlasting pain for sin?

    If I suffered the most grievous loss through the most sadistic of murders, would the pain of that person for eternity help me in any way? At some point, would I not have to say *thats enough*?

    Its a terribly profound question but I think taking pleasure in the pain of anyone else, leave alone eternal pain, cannot be an admirable feature and remains a point of conscientious objection with me as regards religions which have this as a core belief.

  • George

    Or as Robert Kennedy, quoting Aeschylus, said on the night Martin Luther King was murdered, calling on people not to seek revenge and explaing how he got over the murder of his brother:

    “Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God.”

  • Jo

    Good one, George. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Levitas

    Sounds to me like an awful lot of thinking will have to be done by the unionists now, you see the IRA move has played so well with the worlds media, do any of the unionists actually ever listen to the BBC world service and its round up of international coverage especially in the all important USA? Its doubles and back slaps all round for Gerry and Martin, and theres even a little gleam of post-IRA nostalgia growing in the US media “rebels who fought the one of the most formidable armies in the world ” was a quote on a world service vox-pop from LA. If the unionists continue to throw their rattles from the pram they are shown up, or if they enter negotiations then its seen to be a loss of face from they’re “NEVER NEVER” stance..Either way mark my words I have it on good authority,that theres now going to be a LOT of pressure applied to the DUP by the Brits and the Yanks…many of the senior civil servants are quite relishing putting the thumbscrews on them politically (since they are so personally obnoxious,one thing the provo’s never lacked was a serious and consistent effort to be pally with the Brit civil servants, whereas the DUP were almost always noticeably rude-ask any of the Brit support team at Leeds Castle )…You see the USA and Britain WANT this sorted BIG TIME, and the egotists and bombasts of the DUP will soon melt when confronted by the sheer heat of the power of US/Brit “gloves off” tactics which will now ensue.
    Now, the provies are the good boys in the class, and according to my sources theres the little matter of some quite smelly canards concerning leading DUP’ers and other Unionist obstructionists which may well be used to apply pressure….the Brits and most importantly the USA have all the cards. and a very full file on Paisley’s confederates,at least two minor functionaries of the aforesaid are said to be in the pay of the Brits anyway.This dynamite, it is confidently expected is sufficient powerful to blow a whole in this apparent wall of resolute obduracy, it should take about 6 months for face saving purposes.

  • Bob

    [Bob, Slugger would prefer not to be seen as encouraging censorship of other bloggers, even implicitly – ed Mod]

  • Colm

    Or better still just argue your case back intelligently , thoughtfully , politely and factually, rather than trying to censor, after all re; the Typepad guidelines how on earth do you define such concepts as ‘hateful’ ‘harmful’ ‘vulgar’.

  • Bob

    No doubt Typepad can make their own minds up about that.

    Censoring those who advocate censoring? Really Mod, is that totally necessary?

  • David Vance

    Wonder how Movable Type feels about blogs that cheer on the IRA?

  • bertie

    David

    you’ve just anticipated my post on ATW re Slugger :0)

  • Bob

    “Wonder how Movable Type feels about blogs that cheer on the IRA? “

    Well quite David, perhaps you can get in touch with them and make the point?

  • David Vance

    Bob,

    Because I am too busy and have more important things to do with my time – as the output on ATW demonstrates, I would suggest.

  • DaithiO

    Output ? More blatantly bigoted sectarian shite with your fellow stormstooping racist chum.

    Oh yes, clearly you’re a busyman, jog on…

  • David Vance

    “blatantly bigoted sectarian shite”

    I’m sorry, is this what passes for informed debate here? Crude, rude and spectacularly uninformed.

  • Jo

    David:

    When you can “disentangle” personal insult, gratuitous abuse and ad hominem attack from the responses to views that don’t exactly co-incide with yours on ATW, you might gain enough respect to validate criticising Slugger.

  • Mick

    Chris G:

    Don’t tell me you hate BB too?

    Not at all. It’s a fascinating social experiment – albeit one that is grossly manipulated to increase viewing figures. However that the comparison can be so easily made with Slugger by times is slightly worrying (BTW, don’t smirk DV – ATW is not above the same range of behaviours).

    BB centres on a small group of people, who are systematically cut off from outside stimulus have no access to any individuals other than their fellow house mates. Particularly in this current series, conversations are dominated by opinions (mostly unfavourable) of other housemates.

    At least those guys have an excuse! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Jo

    Did I hear that Orlaith was thinking of going into politics?

    Getting out before youre kicked out would seem a lesson that certain politicians might have usefully learned before May… ๐Ÿ™‚

  • David Vance

    Jo,

    I didn’t criticise Slugger – I criticised some of those who post on it. Paying attention to the content of a post is quite important, I find.
    I note you gloss over DaithiO’s comment. Can’t say I’m surprised. Rather than deal with an issue, you run away. Like you did on ATW! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Jo

    My understanding that Daithi’s comment referred to the content of posts, rather than people.

    It may surprise you that, although I wouldn’t use Daithi’s language, I dont mind my views being labelled in a derogatory way, providing that there is a argument underlying the comment. I just don’t go for name-calling. It may be a fine difference, but as you know I try to be finely attuned to nuance…
    I can tell you miss me loads, btw. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Chris Gaskin

    Mick

    Let’s remove the psycho babble from BB and tell the real truth

    It’s shite ๐Ÿ˜‰