McKee: SAA is just the GFA by another name…

As one of our commenters noted here, there are some noteably unhappy voices within the DUP. At a senior level the party is holding firm so far. But Jack McKee, the party’s poll topping local councillor in Larne is clearly very unhappy, and unsually he has broken ranks with the party’s otherwise steadfast silence. His statement, already published in the Larne Gazette, comes close to wondering that if the St Andrews deal is acceptable, what was the party’s stiff political resistence over the last treaty to any rapprochement with Nationalists (and in earlier years any Nationalists) all about?

Certainly I would be opposed to the St Andrew’s Agreement.

I have to pose the question to myself: When Terence O’Neill brought the Irish Prime Minister to Northern Ireland, all those years ago, he met with a hostile reaction and the campaign ‘O’Neill must go’. What was wrong then is equally wrong now.

When Brian Faulkner set up power sharing with Gerry Fitt this was also deemed to be wrong and brought about the Worker’s Strike and all that that entailed.

I must say to myself ‘What then have the last thirty or thirty five years been all about? Why did we have 3,000 deaths, countless people maimed and crippled and billions of pounds worth of damage?

David Trimble, when he signed the Good Friday Agreement, was deemed to be wrong. He was hounded from office as a result.

Yes we can tinker with the Belfast Agreement and alter it here and there, but a rose is still a rose by any other name.

It’s alright to condemn those people when you don’t have power but, especially when you have a position of power, you have to justify it.

My only conclusion is that after being in opposition, things are seen differently now you are in power.

One must consider that every leader who went down this road was regarded as a Lundy and a traitor and drummed from office.


  • So the DUP still dosen’t want one of us about the place, is that his message?.

  • Mick Fealty

    I’d guess it is a good deal subtler than that.

    I pick up an almost sorrowful questioning asking what the hell was it all about? If this current deal is acceptable, why weren’t the others?

    But I guess that’s open to conjecture.

  • Greenflag

    ‘I must say to myself ‘What then have the last thirty or thirty five years been all about? ‘

    A good question . Paisley has the answer . In fact he may be the answer .

    ‘Why did we have 3,000 deaths, countless people maimed and crippled and billions of pounds worth of damage? ‘

    Because some people are slower learners than others. Unionist politicians to judge by McKee’s comment appear to be slowest of all 🙁

    Paisley must GO – Lundies OUT .

    The farce continues 🙁

  • Mick Fealty

    I was struck by its similarity in theme and tone to some of Sinn Fein’s Republican critics.

  • Didn’t former DUP Lord Mayor of Belfast Eric Smyth say something similar?

  • “I pick up an almost sorrowful questioning asking what the hell was it all about” Honest, transparent and fair politics for everyone. We’ve come psrt of the road to get there but we are not there yet.

  • crow

    In reading his comments, I couldn’t help but think of Harold McCusker’s ‘Waiting Like a Dog at the Gates of Hillsborough’ speech in the House of Commons following the Anglo-Irish Agreement. The sense of betrayal was both palpable and poignant, even for non-unionists.

    However, what is more disconcerting is the apparent belief that a return to the trenches is a more desirable outcome. The thought that waiting at the gates of Stormont, Hillsborough or St. Andrews and throwing snowballs (or worse) at the likes of Bertie Ahern is in anyway more productive than engagement is depressing. The rallying cry might tug at the heart-strings but I’m hoping Mr McKee is in a very small minority and amongst the slowest of the slow learners.

  • aquifer

    The DUP are just daft. They have destroyed the Union. No squaddie will ever be sacrificed again to put such bigoted zealots in charge of any part of the UK. The English are embarrassed by them and would be shot of them. The idea of a british citizenship, of all equal under one red white and blue flag, is poxed by their ranting and religiousity. They have the Balkan disease, ethnic aggressors posing as cultural martyrs.

    There are decent people among them for sure, but as a political vehicle this charabanc is in the ditch with the bonnet up.

    All they were ever good for was driving irish catholics to the Provos, a communist gun gang, and how did they manage that?

    Time for a wee prayer for our lost brothers and sisters.

  • Plum Duff

    This whole scene is like deja vu all over again. Paisley is now exactly where Trimble was the day after the Good Friday Agreement in 1998. Trimble signed up but many in his party didn’t and he had to go through the very messy business of coaxing them into the new deal. Some joined up, many jumped ship. It was clear then that no groundwork had been done prior to the agreement to prepare the way in the event of reaching one. It is equally and more painfully clear now that the DUP are going through the same birth pangs and that no similar groundwork has been carried out to bring their own backwoodsmen into line. The problem was (and is) that the DUP had been saying ‘No’ for so long I think everyone was surprised – epecially their own upporters – when, after St Andrews, they came out and said Yes/Maybe. Now, when reality is kicking in, when they have to be seen to be DOING something and not just dissing it in which have been well experienced, they appear to be running scared. I have never, ever heard such a cacophony of disappointment from DUP supporters in my lfe since St Andrews. Obviously Paisley does not want to put his party in the same spot where Trimble gambled and lost, so it will be interesting to see what way the dice fall when their discussions are done. Unfortunately, the rest of us are left to dangle in the wind waiting on the results of their deliberations. But here’s hoping…

  • smcgiff

    Sadly, while Nixon could go to China it may well be the case that not even Paisley can deliver the most DUP of DUP supporters.

  • Paul P

    If Paisley and leadership listen to the refusniks then where does that leave Unionism. IMHO right into further isolation and loss of political influence for the next generations.

  • Yokel

    Bob McCartney reckons on 21 000 disaffected votes..21 000? Jesus what a terrible split…

    Assuming the agreement is as the DUP believe it to be then they’ll back it comfortably enough because their electorate will back it just as Sinn Fein’s electorate will back policing.

  • joe mangel


    The analogy that Bob used was that the Alliance Party has six Assembly seats with only 21,000 votes, and how he feels, there are at least that amount of people who would vote against the Agreement.

  • Karlos

    Why was my last post deleted? He openly claims to be a member of the Somme Society. He put it down on his profile when he was standing for election?

  • Pacman

    AIs it just me or does all this talk of dissent within the ranks of the DUP, combined with the perceived view of them running into severe difficulties trying to play this poitively to world remind anyone of a year or two back?

    Methinks the major banks may increase their security quickly before someone offers the DUP an excuse to batten down the hatches again.

  • ciaran damery

    Unionists are, for the most part, an insecure sensitive bunch. Hence their supremacist, isolationist and fascist perspective of the indigenous Irish in the occupied territory.

    In fact one could even argue that unionists created their little fantasy land, Prior to the IRA’s most recent phase of armed struggle with the Brits. Even today they refer to six of the nine counties of Ulster as a “province”, “Ulster” or even a “country” for christs sakes.

    So the scoop is that Paisleyites and the neo-nazi clandestine Orange Klans, will never share power with Irish people. They are quiet content to pretend to engage in the process, but wimp out when the crunch comes. Their hatred of Irish Republicanism is their raison d’etre and they are happy to be ruled by the Brits in London. Thus they forfeit any political power they would have in the proposed Home Rule parliament where those with a mandate could control the police and judiciary.

    Meanwhile the ever evolving N/S executive bodies have never been in better shape. So let’s accept the Paisleyites as they are. They believe that they are Jihadists fighting for “protestantism” throughout the world. Thing is, the rest of the world’s prods couldn’t give a tinker’s curse.

  • guillaume

    What was it all about?The last thirty years you ask.

    It was about waiting for the British government to state that it has no economic or strategic,interest in northern Ireland(even if their civil servants burn white flags for commas) and waiting for the Irish Republic to become an economic force and waiting for the rise of scottish nationalist,the implentation of the MacBrdie principles and now the putting the cherrys back on the cherry picked patten proposals.So much of that did not exist 30 years ago that I might say they were waiting for the Brits to recognise that what they are ab out is getting out and n othing else

  • guillaume

    or was it ‘no selfish,stratigic interest’.
    Either way note the comma that suggests that they could have an unselfish strategic interest.I hope they have read their Irish history but I doubt it.When it all kicks off again with people like greenflag it is to be expected

  • Plum Duff

    Ciaran D…,
    As you’re obviously on a soft-pedalling (Hmmph!) ‘Hearts and Minds’ campaign, I hesitate to intrude on your (mirror) version of Neo-Nazism of which you accuse the DUP/Unionist electorate.

    Bottom line is, it take two to tango and you seem to be dancing in step with the alleged faults of your opponents.

    Neither side is perfect and no-one yet has found the Holy Grail to political Nirvana. Cliché, it might be, but politics is supposed to be the art of the compromise. Doesn’t seem to gel with your (very rigid) point of view, eh?

    Lighten up, Ciaran. In a slow waltz you can get to know what makes the other person tick.

    On the other hand, line dancing can lead to perdition. But that’s a different story…!

  • Aaron McDaid (was Occasional Commentator)

    David Trimble, when he signed the Good Friday Agreement, was deemed to be wrong. He was hounded from office as a result.

    (According to my hazy memory) unionists supported the GFA and still do to this day (bear with me on this…). If anything, he was turfed out for allowing GFA to not be implemented fully – i.e. he should have pulled out when the 2001 decomissioning ‘deadline’ passed. So, a vote against Trimble was a vote for the complete implementation of the GFA (GFA = powersharing + decommissioning). The DUP better not forget that.

  • Concerned Loyalist

    No, this is not Belfast Agreement Mark II Jack McKee. The St Andrews proposal, for that is all that it is as no-one but Her Majesty’s Government and the Government of the people of the Irish “Republic” have signed up to it, represents a major stride forward for the Protestant/Unionist/Loyalist (PUL) community. Like Jim Allister however, the most senior Unionist politician to come out and say so, I have deep reservations with the same content he does. Particularly worrying for me, like Jim, is the Irish Language Act and the fact that nowhere does it definitively state that the 7-man IRA Army Council or it’s slightly larger Executive will, without a shred of doubt, disband for good if SF/IRA sign up to policing and the rule of law in Ulster in return for the DUP agreeing to share power with them in the Assembly…these issues in particular need to be addressed before I can give my full support to the St Andrews proposals.

  • abucs

    “My only conclusion is that after being in opposition, things are seen differently now you are in power”.

    For me, this is both the most sad, and the most hopeful recognition the Larne Councillor makes.