Towards ‘War and Peace, not politics’…

If the way our new and future leaders talk about each other is anything to go by, then our new settlement is going to be a rough ride. Marie McBain picks up the keynote from Martin McGuinness’s profoundly misleading description of Paisley’s Free Presbyterian Church as the Taleban and Jeffrey Donaldson’s ‘battle a day’ remark:

“I have seen Ian Paisley engage with people in a warm way, including with the catholic Archbishop Sean Brady.” But he warns: “I can’t see that happening in the early stages with Sinn Fein leaders.” Rather, Donaldson warns that when the two sides eventually do get into coalition with each other, “It will be a battle a day: no love lost and no quarter given”.

It’s theme ably (if briefly) tricked out by Máirtín Ó Muilleoir in Comment is Free (even if he rather capriciously ascribes to all Nationalists a single attitude):

Nationalists weren’t terribly fond of the war but, post-conflict, rightly or wrongly, they’re full of admiration for those who fought it. Which isn’t necessarily fair but then this is war and peace not politics.

  • Greenflag

    ‘from Martin McGuinness’s profoundly misleading description of Paisley’s Free Presbyterian Church as the Taleban ‘

    Why is McGuinness’s description of Paisley’s Church misleading ? Paisley was a Minister before he became a politician . A large number if not a majority of his DUP Assembly MLA’s are Free P’s including another FP Minister McCrea . One well known journalist has even described the DUP as mixture of Taleban and Technocrat with the Free P’s in the role of Taleban.

    I can just imagine the established ‘media’s reaction if SF or the SDLP had elected a few Catholic priests or even a Bishop as MLA’s !

    The harsh truth is as the same journalist (McGurk) continues

    The overall picture after these elections is that the unionist and the nationalist blocs are now equal in size for the first time. Demographics and the potential offered by the new politics have bypassed history. For all of their political success, it’s very strange territory for the DUP to find themselves in. The pressure on them is immense both from inside and outside the party.

    As a close observer of the scene for years, I have the greatest doubts that the DUP can deliver. It simply can’t satisfactorily answer the question why, if in 1972 power-sharing with the SDLP was so utterly unacceptable, the party is now contemplating it with the political successors of the IRA, 35 sad years and so many dead later.

    How exactly did that ‘‘save Ulster’’?

    McGurk’s analysis here is correct .The problem with many in the established media and the unestablished media is that they continue to try to find ‘excuses’ for the DUP leader’s reticence . Before this election Paisley’s opposition to ‘power sharing ‘ was because he did not want to be outrighted by the UUP or the UKUP. Now post election his ‘reticence’ is being explained away by his need to deal with ‘internal DUP opposition’.

    Despite all Paisley’s guff and wind blowing the winners in this Assembly election are SF . Paisley’s pathethic posturing over Peter Hain’s March 26 th deadline is even now condescended to by SF . The result of Paisley’s election in retrospect is beginning to look like the hook on which Paisley has hung himself . We need to remember that 70% of Northern Ireland voters did not vote for Paisley or his DUP and neither did 82% of the electorate . Just as Cromwell may have had his ‘rump ‘ Parliament – Paisley may have a short lived rump Assembly !

    The shorter the better . From the convoluted D’Hondt mechanism to the lack of any effective opposition this charade of an Assembly is just as much of an undemocratic farce as was the old Stormont (1920 -1972)!

  • Mick Fealty

    GF,

    Paisley and McCrea are anomalies that prove the rule: which is that the Free Ps are, in general, non-political in their pre-occupations. Indeed, Prof Steve Bruce recently argued that the church is in a singular retreat from politics towards religious piety.

  • malachi

    I wrote most of the article that, but when my work was stitched together with Marie McBain’s it produced this atrocity:

    “Last year a former British agent Martin Ingram went so far as to accuse McGuinness of being a British spy. He dismissed the claim, but [Denis] Bradley has described how the connection was made, when he escorted an MI6 man to McGuinness’s house. Gerry Kelly, later to find notoriety as the Old Bailey bomber, was there and was furious when he saw what was happening. But Bradley told McGuinness: “You have to talk to this man.” ”

    This confuses Denis Bradley’s mediation work with the allegation from Ingram that McGuinness was a spy and, in effect, appears to endorse Ingram’s story and claim that Denis Bradley helped recruit Matrtin McGuinness as a spy. This is not true and not what I wrote.

    Nor, incidentally, did Gerry Kelly ‘later’ become the Old Baily Bomber; he’d done it nearly 20 years earlier.

    Perhaps I am better off without my byeline on that.

  • Dec

    It’s theme ably (if briefly) tricked out by Máirtín Ó Muilleoir in Comment is Free (even if he rather capriciously ascribes to all Nationalists a single attitude):

    He’s not the only one who’s done that recently, Mick, so I’m not sure why you’re singling out Máirtín on this occasion.

  • “Towards ‘War and Peace,”

    The election results show a couple hundred thousand of each variety of hard-liner entrenched on either side of no man’s land.

    The Great White Hope, the hundred thousand UUP and the hundred thousand SDLP which were to unite and lead the province into middle class bliss are still gelded.

    This is the second time round with the same results, Mick. I’d say that this behavior is now established.

    You’d have more chance for change if we gave you Bush.

  • You’d have more chance for change if we gave you Bush.

    Hmmmmm……..

    It just occured to me that this could be the Dreaded Plan C.

  • Henry94

    I haven’t seen the leadership issue come up in either the SDLP or the UUP. That is unusual for losing parties in an election. It indicates that nobody else wants the thankless task.

  • Wilde Rover

    “profoundly misleading description of Paisley’s Free Presbyterian Church as the Taleban.”

    Quoting from http://www.fas.org/irp/world/para/taleban.htm

    “The members of the Taleban Islamic Movement of Afghanistan (TIMA) were mostly Pashtuns from Kandahar in Southern Afghanistan and were led by a mullah (a village-level religious leader), Mohammad Omar.”

    FP is concentrated mostly in the east of Northern Ireland, not the south.

    “The Taleban applied a strict interpretation of Sharia, enforcement of which was administered by the “Department for Promoting Virtue and Preventing Vice.”

    FP only practices fundamentalism. It doesn’t apply it because it’s just a church, not a political party or army, and its not as if it has a political wing that’s going into government anytime soon, is it?

    And as for the possibility of the free-thinking minds of the Free Presbyterians coming up with an idea for something like a “Department for Promoting Virtue and Preventing Vice,” well that’s just crazy talk.

    “The Taleban required women to wear strict Islamic garb in public, and Taleban gender restrictions interfered with the delivery of humanitarian and medical assistance to women and girls.”

    We can assume FP women have full access to healthcare and can wear whatever tastefully modest clothes they like.

    Philosophies that spawn phrases like “you should be making the tea” and “you should be breeding for Ulster” are really neither here nor there.

    So after comparing the two it is quite obvious that there isn’t even the merest whiff of a similarity.

    And as for the DUP, unlike the Taliban, women are of course, well, represented within the party (of course it does help if hubby is a big hitter in the party).

  • OIlibhear Chromaill

    I always thought it was ironic that Paisley and co wanted no ‘Rome rule’ in the north but were perfectly willing to put up with Ballymena rule. This idea of no line dancing and swings tied up on a Sunday is positively medieval. The fact that Paisley and McCrea are both preachers/politicians also tallies with the Taleban image. It’s a simile by the way not an absolute comparsion though I would get slightly worried if Paisely or McCrea started to sport beards.

    It seems to me that the women in the DUP are there to straighten their husbands ties and to make the tea. That’s not a woman’s role but that’s the appearance of it looking in.

  • kensei

    “The Great White Hope, the hundred thousand UUP and the hundred thousand SDLP which were to unite and lead the province into middle class bliss are still gelded.”

    The UUP are a Unionist Party. You know, the one responsible for those “years of Unionist misrule”. The SDLP are a Nationalist Party and have been running greener recently. Trimble and Mallon disliked each other immensely when in office.

    D-D-Don’t believe the hype, kids.

  • Eyeball poster #3.

    D-D-Don’t believe the hype, kids.

    That was the point, Sherlock.