The irony of it all

The refusal of the sisters of Robert McCartney to share a platform with Margaret Thatcher at the Women of the Year Awards has caused concern among a section of the commentariat [or rather the inability to comment on it has *ahem*], but while Thatcher’s former press secretary Bernard Ingham has taken offence on her behalf I heard Norman Tebbit express his understanding of their decision on one radio interview [the Irish Times has the quote subs req], and the award organisers certainly weren’t offended. Henry McDonald, meanwhile, online at The Guardian, has an interesting take on the matter, pointing out that, “the irony of Thatcher’s legacy to Ireland is that the woman who once protested that Ulster was “as British as Finchley” actually began the process by which the Irish Republic gained more influence over Northern Ireland.” Update Dan Keenan in the Irish Times has Norman Tebbit’s commentsFrom the Irish Times –

Lord Tebbit said: “I do understand their position and I wouldn’t want to criticise them. They’ve got troubles enough with Sinn Féin/IRA. It would enable Sinn Féin/IRA to justify their treatment of the McCartney family if they were to share a platform with Lady Thatcher.”

  • Petty and sad.

  • What’s the matter? Aren’t they your favourite bane of the Provos any more?

  • Deaglan – I was never a big fan, but they’re victims who deserved justice. Being a victim doesn’t make you a good person, but being a good person is not a pre-requisite for deserving justice.

  • I’m sure their decision will see most of the British media go off them as well. No more headlines about “Brave women who stood up to the IRA” etc.

  • I don’t see why Deaglan – that description is still accurate.

  • Irish Republican in America

    Good for them. Sticking up for their cause, but not sharing the stage with the anti-Irish Thatcher.

  • Colm

    Does anyone know what Norman Tebbit said. I would be surprised at him being sympathetic.

  • Beano – “I don’t see why Deaglan – that description is still accurate.”

    Let’s see, shall we?

  • Gum

    They have to decide what they are campaigning for. If its ‘justice for Robert’, then political stunts like this have to be put aside. I think their 15 minutes are up.

  • billy

    I think they always had other aspirations

  • Keith M

    I think the McCartney sisters made a moral a tactical error here. Did they forget that Thatcher and her government were also victims of IRA terror?

    Beano ” Being a victim doesn’t make you a good person, but being a good person is not a pre-requisite for deserving justice.” This is one of the wisest things I’ve ever seen on Slugger.

  • jim

    Could someone define what a ‘good person’ is.

  • stu

    I’m fed up of the McCartney sisters.

    They didn’t mind voting Sinn Fein and supporting the IRA when it was blowing up Thatcher’s government but as soon as their brother gets stabbed it’s non-stop MOPEry. I also believe that they deserve justice, that is what happens in a democratic society. But I don’t think that they deserve any of the accolades being bunted towards about being brave or great pioneers or whatever- they supported terrorism and it came back to bite them in the ass. Women of the Year? Bah…

  • Liberal Voice

    As a Conservative minded person I was deeply disappointed the sisters did not accept their award, I supported them all the way, but thats it for me.

  • martin

    I remember the sisters referring to Robert as a “committed” Republican–just how ”committed” was he—Does any one know and more specifically does anyone know whether Robert Mc Cartney was at any time a PIRA volunteer.

  • Brian Boru

    If they had shared a platform with Thatcher it would have been used as a propaganda-weapon against them within their community so it may have been the best decision. This way they cant be portrayed unfairly as West British.

  • barnshee

    well pointed up

    murder gang supporter gets murdered -karma or what

  • james
  • micktvd

    Deaglan, by the tenor of these posts I think you are right.

  • Pete Baker


    I’ve updated the post to include Norman Tebbit’s comments, courtesy of Dan Keenan in the Irish Times.

  • Padraig

    Implicit in the sour grapes about the McCartney sisters is this. That you cannot be sincere in your search for justice if you are a Nationalist. Its no good kicking Republicans you must kick them with all the power and fury you can muster.

    The sour grapes crowd let the mask slip. They don’t care about Robert McCartney, they never did. What they do care about is putting the boot into the Rebels. Any sign of boots clashing with Maggies backside and the fun caeses, the mask slips and the sour grapes begins.

  • Padraig that seems to be reading an awful lot that wasn’t actually said anywhere. What do you mean by sour grapes? As far as I can tell nobody’s opinion has changed that the McCartneys should still get justice – but that doesn’t mean they’re angels that can do no wrong and IMHO they were bing petty with this action. As I said above, my hope that the killers are caught is unaffected by this.

  • Brian

    The McCartneys obviously made the right decision by not sharing a platform with the evil, blood soaked, former terrorist, Thatcher. However nobody in the Short Strand supports their campaign against the Movement. Not because people do not share their grief, but because they have become pawns of the enemies of Irish liberation by licking Bush’s arse and running around screaming BS that the IRA killed their brother.

  • spartacus

    if they had come to their senses a long time ago and given the same response to the invitation from that other war criminal, bush, their campaign would have had a lot more integrity and had a lot more support, and potential, in working class areas throughout the north. good decision, too late. and yes, beano, the chill in the attitutde to them is obvious, even on this short thread. sorry they’ve disappointed you. not.

  • Padraig

    Good Catholics hate Republicans.

    Very good Catholics vote Unionist.

    Catholics who joined the RUC were the salt of the Earth.

    Catholics who support the Orange Order marching through Catholic areas, well some of them are just as good as Protestants, well almost.

    But at the end of the day, you just can’t trust them. I mean to say look at those MCCartney sisters. Don’t get me wrong, good girls when they were getting stuck into the Shinners. But the mask slipped with Maggie Thatcher! At the end of the day you just can’t trust Taigues, they’re not like us. The mask is always slipping.