La Haine…

HOW long before unionists adopt the language of Brian Feeney and refer to the Secretary of State as ‘proconsul’? The News Letter comes close with its description of Peter Hain as “ruling this part of the United Kingdom like a colonial-style British viceroy”, after the cost of his various jaunts to sporting events was revealed. Hain told his critics to get a life, which I’m sure will endear him to them further.

  • Garibaldy


    This is an accusation unionists hurl at secretaries of state they don’t like on a regular basis. There’s a famous quote from the 1970s on exactly this which, unfortunately I can’t remember exactly but which I think can be paraphrased politely as saying that unionists were being treated like black people from African colonies.

  • Frustrated Democrat

    As a unionist there are some downsides to life – Blair and Hain are two I can think of. However they are transient in the scheme fo things and we can live with them while we have to.

    Hain’s jaunts are characteristic of the old maxim, ‘power corrupts and abolsute power corrupts absolutely’ it seems to apply to much of his fellow cabinet members as well.

  • I’ve used the term ‘remote control dictatorship’ and other similar descriptions to describe the London-based regime. It is indeed akin to the historical colonial control of faraway lands- however, they have long since gained independence. Unfortunately, this part of the world is still under the yoke of such a system.

    Unionists cannot exactly compain- after all, this is one of the ‘glories’ of ‘union’ with our neighbouring island.

  • smirkyspice

    quel titre!

  • lib2016

    The Residence in Hillsborough was formerly known as the Governor’s Mansion precisely because it had the Governor living in it. Governors look after colonies, one of which this is.

    Molyneaux may have believed that the Queen Mother was very sound on the union but the rest of us noticed what had happened to the Empire. America said “Go” from the Far East and they went, America said “Go” from Africa and they went. Thanks to Hume, Clinton and to a lesser extent Adams the same thing’s happening here.

    Next question please.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    I thought it was interesting that the News Letter editorial referred to Hain in the style of a Irish republican anti-imperialist…

    It’s also interesting to see how Peter Hain’s political life has come full circle – from anti-apartheid, anti-colonial activist in South Africa, to pro-apartheid colonial Governor in Northern Ireland.

    Still, John Reid was a commie once, so Pete’s not alone.

  • lib2016

    “Peter Hain’s poitical life has come full circle ———–to pro-apartheid colonial Governor in Northern Ireland”

    Not at all – somebody has to do the dirty work of winding up any insolvent business and the Empire was a business above all else. Think of NI as a last threadbare bit of firedamaged goods in the sell-off and you’ll get the picture.

  • Turbo Paul

    Anyone who still recieves a salary from the assembley even though it is suspended should think twice before critisizing Hain for his blatent misuse of public finds.

    A case of those who live in glass houses should not throw stones.

    Picasso said it took him sixty years to paint like a ten year old, Peter Hain may be wise to consider this!!!!!!

  • The Devil

    “Proconsul |pr??käns?l|
    a fossil hominoid primate found in Lower Miocene deposits in East Africa, one of the last common ancestors of both humans and the great apes. • Genus Proconsul, family Pongidae.”

    One might well call this elusive creature the “missing link”, which could be appropriate in Hain’s case. He’s the link between Britain and NI and he’s frequently missing, given that his job title obliges him to spend some time in Wales as well.

    I wonder what the Welsh call him?

  • circles

    Hmmm, I wonder Gonzo if the order of your posting is trying to tell us something….

    LA Haine?

  • Robert Keogh

    The term pro-consul has been used by republicans to describe the NI secretary of state since the foundation of the state. I’m currently reading C.S. Andrews autobiography where the term is used in the 20s.

  • heck

    Belfast Gonzo raises an interesting point about Hain’s political life coming full circle.

    As someone who use to admire Hain from his young liberal days I must say that he is a real disappointment. However can’t the same be said about the whole labour party.

    reid was a commie, staw a NUS trot- now straw is a new labour neo con and John, the bull, reid is like his family enforcer.

    harriet harman and patricia hewitt(?) were prominent members of the NCCL, now they are part of a government that has done more than any to destroy civil liberties in Britain. Honest tony himself was a member of CND. The party, which sold itself as the vanguard of the British working class is now lead by an Oxbridge educated public school boy.

    even Dennis skinner who began his career as the beast of bolsover will end it as the pussy cat of Westminster.

    The only member of the party with b***s is Ken Livingstone who took on Honest Tony and won.

    Perhaps it is now time to put the labour party out of its misery and have a new party of the left. Either that or send it into opposition for a few years to sort these w**kers out.

  • Garibaldy


    No matter how bad the Labour Party is, it’s better than the Conservatives. Had the tories won the last few elections, it’s highly unlikely we would have anything resembling a National Health Service, or indeed any public services.

    Reid, Mandelson and the other ex-leftists may well have sold out, but, much as it pains me to say it, they retain some sense of vague egalitarianism which separates them fundamentally from the Tories.

  • The Devil

    And the party on the left
    Is now the party on the right
    And the beards have all grown longer overnight

    The Who, 1971

    But we did get fooled again…

  • GurnyGub

    The Devil,
    Great, pity wicked Uncle Ernie turned out to be Townshend

  • The Devil

    Nice one, GurnyGub!

    Which is more than we can say for Windmill Pete….

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Turbo Paul said: “Anyone who still recieves a salary from the assembley even though it is suspended should think twice before critisizing Hain for his blatent misuse of public finds.

    A case of those who live in glass houses should not throw stones.”

    Who on earth are you talking about?

  • dodrade

    I see no contradiction in Unionists referring to Peter Hain in such terms. Northern Ireland is an integral part of the UK and its citizens are entitled to se treated no differently than people from surrey, glamorgan or lanarkshire, not as colonials from some far flung outpost.