Detail of that Mandy interview…

Chris Thornton has been over the Guardian’s Mandelson tape, and picked out some of the detailed highlights. Effectively, he makes explicit what many Unionists and members of the SDLP have believed for some time: ie, that Blair privileged Sinn Fein and the IRA over other constitutional players.

“One problem with Tony, Tony’s fundamental view of Northern Ireland, is that the process is the policy, that as long as the process is being sustained and nurtured and as long as you are giving plenty of evidence that you believe in the process, even if you can do nothing else, that is sufficient policy. The process is the policy, he used to say.”

He added: “The only thing I would say about that is that what Tony would sometimes do, in order to keep the process on track, would be to appear to, or, in reality, accept, or indicate that he was giving proper consideration to, in a way that it was likely to be agreed and happen, republican demands which in my view were excessive and unreasonable.

“But secondly, more importantly, calculated to push the unionists off the other end of the table. So, in order to keep the republicans at the table – you know they would be constantly tugging the blanket their way – I would say, ‘Look, they’re having too much of the blanket. We’ve got to allow the unionists to tug it back a bit their way’.”

However, with Rita O’Hare still languishing (if that’s the right description) in New York, it’s clear that Blair’s inability to deliver on his soto voce promises were not entirely one way.

  • Oilibhear Chromaill

    It’s a bit rich for Mandelson to be harping on about the ‘blanket’ given it was the Blanket Men who propelled SF along their current path.

    The problem is, with Mandelson, is that he’s so ignorant of Irish history he wouldn’t recognise the historic meaning behind his remarks which, as usual, are trying to justify his own position in a selfish way rather than seeing the process in the bigger picture.

    Meddleson was and is a unionist sympathiser and fellow traveller, something which he displayed with the remarks caught on camera in the Stormont Great Hall. As a man who got several sweeties himself, real ones, like interest free loans which he failed to declare, sinecures he’s unfit for (Such as EU commissioner) and the like. Unionists, though they many not realise it, are better off without the likes of him fighting their corner.

  • Mick Fealty

    None of that means he’s wrong Oili…

  • heck

    can unionists and I agree on one thing?

    Honest Tony is a liar

    He lied to everyone about the war, he lied to unionists, he lied to Clair Short to stop her bolting the government before the war, Major called him a liar.

    This guy is just a disgusting piece of work- A liar and a war criminal. Shame on the British Labour Party

  • heck

    Sorry about my man ball violation in post 3 but —-It’s Honest Tony!!!

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Mick Fealty: “None of that means he’s wrong Oili…”

    Mayhap, Mick, but it certain calls into question is credibility on two fronts. First, he has an axe to grind, being pro-union an’ all… secondly, he is demonstrably a shifty character. I mean, hell — would *YOU* buy a used car from this fella?

  • whynot

    Wasn,t there a song called Mandy Oh Mandy!

  • Handy O’Shandy

    Just listened to the Mandy interview myself..can’t understand the importance being atrributed to this?? Surely he’s only stating the totally bleedin’ obvious, I always would have assumed myself that that’s the way things went on behind the closed doors of Peace processing.That’s why it’s taken so long and will take so much longer – promises keep getting made to keep certain parties and/or individuals onside, those promises keep getting broken because what was being promised was never realistic in the first place; to sweeten the feelings of bitterness some piecemeal offering is made instead of what was originally offered, and so on.

    The central players in this grand soap opera keep playing along for several different reasons, among them (a) – it flatters them and makes them feel important; (b) – they do sometimes get what they were actually promised, not very often, but even when they don’t, they know they’ll usually get a consolation prize of some sort that they can later crow about; (c) Nobody’s in too much of a hurry to get to the end point of this game, because everyone is aware that a lot of time & water needs to flow under the bridge yet – we had 30 years of relentless terrorist violence, followed by 13-14 years of ceasefire, albeit interrupted, as someone put it yesterday or perhaps the day before, Unionists will take a while yet to come round to sharing power with ‘taigs’ because incidents like ‘Uncle Freddy’s shooting’ are still too fresh in the mind, yet (d) – Things are a hell of a lot better than they were 10-15 years ago.

    That’s life…I mean it’s the anticipation of a better future, isn’t it, rather than the cold harsh reality of the present, that keeps us all getting out of our beds in the morning, surely?