Fitt recalled with great affection…

Despite the political wrangling over the meaning of Gerry Fitt’s political career, Laura McDaid in yesterday’s Andersonstown News found that ordinary people in West Belfast had little else but praise for a man they remember with great affection.

  • La Dolorosa

    There’s quite a bit of contrast re the views and tone expressed by Gerry Adams and Danny Morrison – is Danny Morrison now the SF rottweiler?

  • TAFKABO

    Gerry made the statement that would reflect well on the party.

    Danny made a statement that reflected the true feelings of the party.

    If there’s two things republicans never do, it’s forget or forgive.

  • la dolorosa

    Tafkabo – ie gerry’s good cop (no pun intended) to danny’s bad cop routine….it’s easy to forget that poets aren’t always be peace loving humans….

  • Jo

    “Cheerleader for the British”?

    ..this from the man who took Eamonn Collins to task for calling Gerry Adams “a Stick” when all Eamon was doing was being prescient, a few years before his erstwhile fellow travellers put a chisel through his skull.

  • circles

    OK stand back La Dolorosa and TAFKABO – I’m going to try something here that may have you rockin’ back on your heels so watch out.

    …Danny Morrison was expressing his personal opinion…

    I know, I know, this may come as a shock that such things happen these days, particularly in the press, and I know its just a crazy theory of mine, but there you go.
    Of course this would put a few cracks in that theory that SF are a well oiled and coordinated machine, with a sinister agenda to rule ireland with an iron fist. It may even give the impression that SF members are (dare I say it) people, with, gulp, opinions.

    But surely thats going too far.

    I was surprised by the warm recollections most people had though – fair play to them. Obviously not republicans then TAFKABO, because as you so knowingly informed us they never forgive nor forget. Surely then theres a story in that – “Andytown news in non-republican interview scandal” (although I tend to think theres some kind of SF manipulation scam going on there too – I just haven’t worked out what it is…)

  • toughstake

    I guess circles is an apt handle for someone who seems to be going around all the time. Yes, gerry fit was a sucker for throwing his lot in with a bunch of middle class school teaching catholics but he did come to see the error of his ways and remained true to his labour backround until the last. Unlike the millionair Gerry Adams, Slab Murphy and several other senior Provos, who have built several very expensive holidays homes on the backs of the people they purport to represent. There is a clear distinction between the sickness that is Provism and the honest, if somewhat amature approach to politics that Gerry fit espoused. He didn’t take sponsership deals from coco cola or Capitalist Americans like bill flynn, nor did he endorse unfettered nationalism as a way of uniting every section of this country (Northern Ireland). Sick circles should take note of this the next time he offers a revisionist version of provism. It probably will make his head spin but hey, when you are a circular type of guy this will tend to happen.

  • circles

    He he he – so much for ball not man toughstake :o)
    Although I fail to see the relevance of your post either in the context of this thread or in light of what I said.
    I’m not interested in getting into comparing Lords salaries with Coca Cola sponsorship (wherever you managed to pluck that from) – nor in anything else in your post to be honest. But thanks for devoting your time to me – I’m touched.

    (By the way – provism?? did ya just come up with that one yourself or have you been sneaking a look at Love Ulster?)

  • TAFKABO

    Circles.

    I think you missed the point of my comments.
    I wasn’t suggesting that it was Danny who may have been saying something he didn’t truly believe.

  • circles

    TAFKABO:
    No – but you were suggesting that he was representing “true feelings of the party”, which would suggest that it was somewhat more than his own personal opinion.

    And don’t think I’ll ever forgive or forget that “never forgive and forget ” quip :o) (I mean that was a bit on the strong side TAFKABO – no need at all to use the broad brush approach)

  • La Dolorosa

    I wonder how much Gerry got from all his literary oeuvres to date…..

  • mickhall

    To those who believe Mr Fitt stayed true to his original political principles I would ask them this. How did a minor provincial politician [in the eyes of the English establishment] end up being ennobled by the British Queen to the House of Lords.

    It does not take a lot of working out, during the hunger strikes he sided with the British state. He was delegated during this period to brief doubters and waverers in the British Labour Party and Trade Unions. He backed the Thatcher government four square on this issue, when he had a duty as I have already said to give comfort and support to the community from which he came. Even if he disagreed with the hunger striker’s, he should have said nothing as he must have known he had no influence to make them change their minds. Instead he embarked on a campaign to undermine them.

    During that period if I had a pound for every Trade Union official or Labour MP who told me they had been briefed by Gerry Fitt that the Hunger Strikers had been ordered onto the HS by IRA godfathers, I would be a rich man. Wether they were telling the truth or just trying to fob me off who knows. but with out doubt he was the front men to stop the LM in Britain supporting the hunger striker. He gave the British Labour Movement the justification to turn their backs and by so doing there was little pressure on Thatcher to reach a compromise, which made the blood that flowed after the deaths of the ten men almost inevitable.

  • La Dolorosa

    I wonder how much Gerry got from all his literary oeuvres to date…..

  • circles

    Is that a standard response La Dolo? and in what way is it relevant?
    After all I found Adams response to be extremely appropriate given the cirumstances. I’m not sure if this is the right post to grind yer axe on.

  • La Dolorosa

    Circles – that was the gist of my first post ie that Gerry’s response was respectful and honest (in that it acknowledged the differences) unlike the poert Morrison.

    My last post was really begging the question (not clearly I admit) as to which one of them embodies/embodied socialist ideas/principles more closely…

  • P Ring

    Joe Hendron’s comment in the A’town news carries most weight in my opinion, as regards Fitt’s deep-felt personal hurt about being driven from his house by a baying mob. His off-the-wall dogmatism from there on in was more than understandable if not politically credible. How many amongst us could return to a sustained and balanced mindset after the trauma of such an event?And think of other local politicos and their own careers after comparable events: John Taylor might have been bound for something more liberal and rational had not the Stickies drilled him back in the early seventies. Bernie McAliskey had the intellect and energy to be something other than the vicious caricature she metamorphosed into after the Brits and the UDA had a go at her. And of course, speaking of traumatised and entrenched victims of physical force politics…What if ‘Grug’ Greig and his boys had missed Gerry Adams…?

    In this vein, a whole generation of Tories who
    personally survived Brighton were a classic illustration of how fierce and unyielding (and irrational of course) a traumatised person can be.

  • bertie

    I am really pleased to hear that “ordinary people in West Belfast had little else but praise for a man they remember with great affection”.

    Regardless of what the great and the good thought him and indeed those of us who are just ordinary unionists from outside his patch, apart from his own family, the affection of the ordinary people of West Belfast would surely have meant the most to him.

    Regarding the baying mob, Gerry understood some of the pressure on them to be seen to turn on him. He once told me about recognising many faces in a mob who had turned up to abuse him, [I don’t think that this was THE incident, involving him having to bring out his gun), including people he had individually tried to help, with small children including one small child who was there “to throw his wee stone”. He bumped into one of the parents afterwrds and asked what on earth was going on that she would turn on him like that. She was extremely embarrassed and said “you know how it is Gerry, we had to do it”. It could be argued that it was a case that “she would say that wouldn’t she” when having to face him, but Gerry had no doubt that she and some of the others were acting under orders.

  • Jimmy Sands

    Mick,

    Frankly I’m appalled at the uncriticical manner in which you repeat these smears. Apparently you believe that as a socialist he had a duty to side with paramilitary fascism on grounds which I can only assume to be sectarian. It was a principled stand which cost him both career and home and could have cost him his life. He was also right. If it caused the scales to fall from the eyes of the “student union” left in England then so much the better but I suspect you greatly overestimate his influence.

  • Henry94

    It’s a funny thing abbout socialism that life-long dedication to it is considered such a noble thing. Thus going to the Lords, in Fitt’s case has to be explained away as compatible with socialism or pointed out as an example of betrayal of socialism.

    Why such concern about a failed disproved and bankrupt ideology?

  • Jo

    Thats quite a telling comment, Bertie. Individuals can act in completely different ways when the mob mentality takes over – and how was the mob assembled in the first instance?

  • circles

    “She was extremely embarrassed and said “you know how it is Gerry, we had to do it”. It could be argued that it was a case that “she would say that wouldn’t she” when having to face him, but Gerry had no doubt that she and some of the others were acting under orders.”

    Of course its clear that “those peole” had to be acting under orders – its not like they could be expected to thinking for themselves, and surely they wouldn’t be attacking our Gerry if it wasn’t for the hairy faced men with hurls who knocked them out of bed. Maybe Gerry just couldn’t handle the fact that people actually wanted him out (no excuse by the way for the fact that they did – that was (and is) completely inhuman behaviour)

  • t o kane

    sorry did i read correctly did danny morrison say taking the queens shilling mcguiness and adams et altake their mps amlas salarys and many sinn fein members have taken unemployment benefits , what hypocrasy

  • t o kane

    sorry did i read correctly did danny morrison say taking the queens shilling mcguiness and adams et altake their mps mlas salarys and many sinn fein members have taken unemployment benefits , what hypocrasy

  • t o kane

    sorry did i read correctly did danny morrison say taking the queens shilling mcguiness and adams et altake their mps mlas salarys and many sinn fein members have taken unemployment benefits , what hypocrasy

  • t o kane

    sorry did i read correctly did danny morrison say taking the queens shilling mcguiness and adams et altake their mps mlas salarys and many sinn fein members have taken unemployment benefits , what hypocrasy

  • t o kane

    sorry did i read correctly did danny morrison say taking the queens shilling mcguiness and adams et altake their mps mlas salarys and many sinn fein members have taken unemployment benefits , what hypocrasy