Me Fein Campbell harks back to the Sackcloth

Gregory Campbell has made little effort to conceal his opposition/scepticism about the ‘New Deal’ which has joined McGuinness and Paisley as one up at Stormont, but his poor, embittered performance on tonight’s Hearts and Minds programme revealed the extent of the difficulties being faced up to by the East Derry MP and- likely- others from within the DUP (as if to prove this, the ‘If you ask me’ slot was occupied by Mr. Angry of the Outer Reaches of Unionism himself, David Vance.)
In a 5 minute slot, Campbell managed to invoke Godwin’s Law, belittle discrimination against nationalists, demand an apology from republicans as a prerequisite to discussions about the future and bring even presenter Noel Thompson to the edge of despair. Worth a viewing.

  • Prince Eoghan

    >>In a 5 minute slot, Campbell managed to invoke Godwin’s Law, belittle discrimination against nationalists, demand an apology from republicans as a prerequisite to discussions about the future<

  • Rapunsel

    Worth a viewing? Hardly — truely terrible performance from Gregory Campbell and utterly depressing– mind you Martina Anderson’s performance was hardly inspiring either, but you could at least forgive her for not engaging in a verbal battle with Mr Campbell. Problem with him is that he seems to want it both ways to be in government and in a partnership and not to work with the same partners at the same time. I think he can easily be exposed as a hypocrite , if he is so opposed to engaging with a former IRA prisoner in the shape of Ms Anderson why is his leader in a joint office with Martin Mc Guiness and if Gregory has such a problem why the hell is he remaining in the DUP and not resigning a la Jim Allister

  • flaminglip1

    Depressing stuff, but oh well.

  • kensei

    “You have to move on in the spirit of forgiveness”.

    !!!

  • kensei

    “The IRA were the source of the problem. They weren’t the source of every problem. But they were the source of the problem.”

    Classic stuff.

    Anderson should have said what both sides did was wrong though rather than split hairs.

  • flaminglip1

    I thought the IRA etc was more of a result of the problem, though a result that only served to cause more problems. Ah Northern Ireland, what a cycle of crap it has been, though things can only improve, and they have been.

  • The DUP strategy with dealing with Republican spin-doctors is all wrong.

    I would have liked to hear what Martina’s proposals are for going about work in the community and the Assembly in a reconciliatory fashion; however, I didn’t get the chance to because Gregory stole the show raising veritable concerns over Republican hypocrisy.

    It made for good TV, the TV we are used to seeing; but Unionists seem to always come out the worst, they probably should have put up the Strangford MLA Michelle McIlveen and told her to run with the idea of listening to new ideas which the dyed, dried and spun ‘blonde-bombshell’ had to offer.

    A fine Republican publicity stunt and pleasure to watch.

    Take note everyone North and South this was how not to deal with Republican PR.

  • PeaceandJustice

    “Chris Donnelly – Gregory Campbell … poor, embittered performance on tonight’s Hearts and Minds programme … bring even presenter Noel Thompson to the edge of despair.”

    Thanks for the link to this programme – but you must have been watching a different one to me. Gregory Campbell was saying what the majority of Unionists are thinking. We need a sincere apology from the Sinn Fein-IRA death squads. Instead all we got from Martina Anderson was warm fuzzy nonsense. She seems to think Unionist Outreach means to keep repeating the Christian name of Unionist politicians!

    And of course on Slugger we get the usual Sinn Fein-IRA spin doctors making comments – trying to spin the truth out of existence. What Sinn Fein-IRA did was wrong. Shooting people dead in front of their families is wrong full stop. Torturing people and dumping their bodies is wrong full stop. Blowing up people causing death and serious injury is wrong full stop. It’s horrible dirty terrorism. Let’s hear that from the contributers to this site – that would be a good start for real Unionist outreach.

  • DC

    “Chris Donnelly – Gregory Campbell … poor, embittered performance on tonight’s Hearts and Minds programme … bring even presenter Noel Thompson to the edge of despair.”

    Yes but it is important to remember PeaceandJustice that, while DUP concerns are quite true, the interview between Gregory and Martina followed on from the debate over peacewalls and persisting tension between those who live eitherside.

    So that is why the DUP lost tonight because they ought to have listened to any case for improving relations and Martina may have had some ideas but for Gregory by-passing the opportunity.

  • GavBelfast

    I don’t find either of them the least bit engaging, especially with their respective facades of denial.

  • politicalviewer

    Agree with above, maybe the early showing of Hearts and Minds was different because what I just watched was nothing like what Chris is claiming.

    I usually cannot bear Gregory Campbell but found myself agreeing with him tonight, I even questioned some of the points Noel Thompson made to him, perhaps he was blinded by the glamour of Ms Anderson?

    After watching Catriona Ruane wow on Let’s Talk, Martina was woeful, she sounded like a robot repeating the same lines about wanting a shared future so many times. Gregory on the other hand was honest and rational and really spoke for all who are against terrorism.

  • Cahal

    PandJ
    “Gregory Campbell was saying what the majority of Unionists are thinking.”

    Oh God. How depressing.

    “We need a sincere apology from the Sinn Fein-IRA death squads.”

    Too late for more hurdles I’m afraid. The race is over.

    “What Sinn Fein-IRA did was wrong.”

    Sinn Fein-IRA is so 90s. Its just Sinn Fein these days. You know, in the 21st century.

    “Shooting people dead in front of their families is wrong full stop. Torturing people and dumping their bodies is wrong full stop. Blowing up people causing death and serious injury is wrong full stop. It’s horrible dirty terrorism.”

    Nobody has clean hands around here, not the IRA or the British or their loyalist henchmen. By the way, did I miss Harry Potter calling for loyalist decommisioning? Must have.

    Political viewer
    “Gregory on the other hand was honest and rational and really spoke for all who are against terrorism.”

    Again, its a bit rich listening to DUP types talking about the evils of terrorism given some of their previous dealing with the LVF etc. Time for loyalism to disarm.

    The SF attempt to reach out to the other side is admirable, particularly in the face of such provocation from the likes of Campbell.

  • I wonder…

    I think with Sunday Sequnece featuring Mr Vance and tonights Hearts and Minds that representation of extreme views has reached its peak and nothing should be heard further from this sector until autumn 2008, if one takes into account the support for power sharing as repressnted in the March elections

    Mr Vance has demonstrated his attitude to my opposition to him on Global warming by slandering me across the ineternet and banning me from his website.

    Someone who less respects democracy is hard to imagine, short of his late opponent, Mr Hussein.

    As I have presented myself as a woman who works for the Northern Ireland public sector, Mr Vance has threatened to use my IP address to advise my employers of my identity. I appeal to fellow bloggers and commentators, wther you agree with me or not, for support against this utterly fascistic and anti-blogging enterprise.

    My last endeavour which he took exception to was condemning how the family of a SF councillor (gored to death by a bull) was treated with contempt on his website, at the time his own father died…at a atime when basic humanity should have been a focus, Mr Vancfe could not rise above contempt and rejoicing in the death of anyone opposed to him. Reject this fascist.

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    I think the really telling part of this rather nasty face-off was Anderson’s expression right at the end. No-one can jump from the mindset of a bomber prepared to murder political enemies to an ‘outreach’ councillor to those same enemies, and Ms Anderson is no exception.

    Throughout the interview she reminded me of a shop assistant forced to endure a tirade of abuse from an irate customer, allowed to respond only with platitudes and patronisation.
    Campbell was not the man to do it, but the likes of Anderson have a tilt switch (if you’ll pardon the pun) which when pushed far enough will trigger an explosion.
    We’ve seen comrade Gerry with ruffled feathers in the past, most recently when demanding that the media desist from asking ‘stupid questions.’

    Sometimes the mask slips and it will happen again.

  • kensei

    “Throughout the interview she reminded me of a shop assistant forced to endure a tirade of abuse from an irate customer, allowed to respond only with platitudes and patronisation.
    Campbell was not the man to do it, but the likes of Anderson have a tilt switch (if you’ll pardon the pun) which when pushed far enough will trigger an explosion”

    So, to sum up what you’ve said:

    1. Martina Anderson remained calm and reasonable in the face of fairly heavy ranting by Gregory Campbell, despite her body language giving away she was a bit annoyed by it.

    2. If you push people enough, eventually they will lose their temper.

    Fantastic analysis, there.

  • I wonder…

    The accusation betrays an assumption that the customer is always right, a strange assumption from Gerry or indeed, castro. 🙂

  • jaffa

    I’m still not getting the “outreach” brief. Martina mentioned a couple of times that while Campbell might not be ready to “move on” there were many (did she say hundreds?) in the unionist community who were.

    What is her role? Is it negotiation or reconciliation? If she’s going around the Campbell mindset who is she reaching out to?

    Maybe it all becomes clear on Tuesday at the big Stormont launch.

    I fear that all that’s happened is that Gerry got a bit carried away with the Unity Green Paper proposal in SF’s southern manifesto and he’s decided to fill some pretend Irish cabinet positions in the meantime.

    Ms Anderson seems to have neither the skill, the empathy, the imagination nor even the disposition to play ambassador to unionists. Surely SF have someone better somewhere. Is there not one McCracken, Casement or even Hewitt anywhere in SF who understands at the gut level both unionism and militant republicanism and is capable of representing the one to the other with some elegance, let alone proposing some sort of equilibrium or even synthesis.

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    ‘Fantastic analysis, there.’

    Thanks Kensei glad you enjoyed it.

    Let’s cut to the chase. Ms Anderson and her party were more than happy to blow up shoppers and shoot people in the back for decades. Eventually it dawned on them that actually they weren’t getting anywhere. Being a moral-free psychopath just wasn’t getting results.

    So they plumped for the political option. And why not? If you can go on live TV and justify blowing up ten workmen in a minibus, you can damn well justify anything.

    I watched both Catriona Rouane and Martina Anderson fronting it out for the party tonight and the smarm factor was up to 10. Ruane patiently explained why she couldn’t bring herself to utter the dreaded words Northern Ireland and why academic selection couldn’t be allowed to continue just because two thirds of parents wanted it. Anderson went for the world record use of the word Gregory in a conversation and patronised her opponent so much she almost got away with it — until that final moment.

    My point is that SF hate Unionists enough to kill them — they did it for decades with no justification whatsoever. Now we’re supposed to accept that they’re our best friends despite their rabidly anti-Unionist actions and on-message slippage.

    The fact is they’ve signed up to the principle of consent. That’s democracy for slow learners.
    So apparently one of the great SF ideas for persauding Unionists to go for a UI is to appoint an IRA bomber as a ‘Unionist Outreach’ representative. Campbell’s reaction was depressing but predictable. This is going to run and run.

  • De Sade

    Is there a reason SF choose those who have committed the most brutal of acts as their public representatives? Surely 21st century SF have enough “clean” Shinners to put in front of he TV cameras without resorting to those with a conviction for violent acts. Or have they a reason for puting up the likes of Anderson to engage with their unionist neighbours?

  • young fella

    The SF machine at work again,droppin the blonde bombshell (all puns intended).Thank God I’m out of Derry,I forgot about how pathetic a local politician Greg was.Anderson was hardly shining either but she came up like an academic against that raving eejit.Most of the DUP and the shinners know that neither side is going to get to sing “we won the war”,Big Ian knows it and Big Gerry knows it,so the thought of such a patheticly entrenched unionist like Campbell squeezing it out of Anderson (who is essentially a PR muscle of Sinn Fein) is daft beyond belief.The talks are all just a negotiation table for “saving face” on both sides.Greg can’t accept that his party’s stance has massively changed right under his nose and now big Ian’s probably just loving the fact that he can get on with the big boy business and use Greg as his little rottweiler to make sure no-one takes the OAP as an easy target.

  • páid

    Good spot Castro.

    She was perfect up till then.

    Martina Anderson, serious player. Intelligent.

    Glad she’s not messing about under my car, you get a feeling she’d get the wiring right.

  • Jimmy Sands

    I’m no fan of Campbell or his odious party but I found little to disagree with in what he said. Those praising Anderson confuse substance with form. The evidence that SF is engaged in outreach is the creation of an outreach sinecure, filled with one of the people least likely to be acceptable to unionists, whose job appears to be to go on television, speak to unionist politicians as if they were small retarded children and pretend to be deaf when any really difficult questions are asked, simply insisting repeatedly that everyone else is just as guilty of sectarian violence as she is.

    Is that it or did I miss something?

  • Chris,

    I am not taking a swipe at you personally, but please do not come on slugger and express surprise that Mr Campbell is a rather nasty reactionary bigot. Remember your party proposed the likes of Campbell as first Minister and no matter what Gregory is like his master is the real McCoy.

    Now as to sitting silent whilst a bigot like Campbell [or any other] spews his poison, shame on any shinner who does so. Your party are acting like middle class politicos who believe their own excreta does not stink and they have a god given right to rule over the working classes.

    How are you going to win a single Protestant worker over to the republic is you do not challenge those who currently represent them in such a shameful manner. [do not forget there are thousands of Protestant who are ashamed of Campbell and his kind. Offer them an alternative and expose those who do not.]

    It seems the SF leadership are afraid of up setting the political apple cart in the north and are only to keen to play the sectarian game as dictated by the UK government. The bigots in the DUP like Mr Campbell can represent without opposition or criticism the protestant community, whilst SF does the same in the nationalist community. It is as if the top NY mafia godfathers have divided the cake up, and the smaller out of state families must take their share or shut up.

    Finally I would just say this, far from praising a republican for refusing to challenge a bigot whilst/after he spewed poison they should be sent back to the locality from whence they came to relearn their trade.

  • againtthehead

    Like a lot of people on this site, i thought gregory was poor, but again agreed with most of what he said. although he did dodge the question about inflicting hurt on the nationalist community, which is extremely disapointing. I preferred Sir Reg’s stance were he openly admitted that wrongs were done on both side.

    Anderson is one of the most condecending, pre-programmed spin doctors I’ve ever seen. I’m not sure if SF could have found anymone more inapppropriate to engage unionists – but no doubt that was the idea. The PUP should employ Micheal Stone as nationalist outreach officer, and we’ll how they all get on.

  • Briso

    SF in Derry managed to buck the trend at the last election. They’ll keep pushing Anderson and McCartney but they’re both pretty poor. They’re just lucky Gregory is even worse. Durkan will be enjoying his breakfast.

  • Bemused

    Agree with most posters – Campbell is a depressing bigo t pure and simple. Anderson is a fairly shallow automaton but at least had the sense to do what any right-minded adult would do in Campbell’s company namely try not to rise to his puerile unpleasantness and be as patronising to him as is humanly possible. As for Vance – well, he’s firmly in the look, point and laugh category of ‘ulster’ malcontents..

  • tok

    Gregory campbell hasnt been concilaitory at all since st andrews , his performance was worse on Q&A on rte he came across as bigoted and defensive he asked for the Ireland rugby team to be split into two teams , he has also said the pope shouldnt come to ni even though free ps only reresent 3% of Population the guy is fast becoming a relic in the present climate
    what was David Vance doing on the program he represents a very small extreme whos on next week Ruari o Braidaigh or gerry mc geough.
    Martina anderson was very weak se s not the great hope that sf thought shed be .Durkans safe she not much better than billy leonard here long forgotten predecessor

  • Ginfizz

    Gregory was spot on in what he said last night. Listen folks, what happened at Stormont was necessary and right for Northern Ireland to move forward, but you shouldn’t expect the DUP to become some cuddly Unionist-lite, proto-Alliance group who will expouse publicly this “lets all move on” guff. We can never forget the past and we must resist all efforts to re-write history – something which Sinn Fein are very adept at doing.

    I think Gregory articulated the concerns that a lot of people within the Unionist community have – just how do Sinn Fein expect Unionists to react to a women like Anderson – given her pedigree and her past form, I think she got off very lightly last night.

  • kensei

    “Ruane patiently explained why she couldn’t bring herself to utter the dreaded words Northern Ireland and why academic selection couldn’t be allowed to continue just because two thirds of parents wanted it.”

    Actually, that is a wholly and unmixed Good Thing whether you agree with her or not. It means that the party has at least some principles and is prepared to stick its neck out on an ideological point. Great. Maybe it’ll encourage some other parties to do the same rather than the depressing modern style, where you just tell people what they want here.

    “Anderson went for the world record use of the word Gregory in a conversation and patronised her opponent so much she almost got away with it—until that final moment.”

    Even Noel was aghast at the rant Gregory went off on, and it isn’t hard to come across as more reasonable even when being a bit patronising,. She betrayed a little annoyance at the very end. So what? Annoyed at raving bigot does not equal annoyed at all Unionists let’s go back to blowing them up, however much you want it.

    “My point is that SF hate Unionists enough to kill them—they did it for decades with no justification whatsoever.”

    There has been enough wrong doing here for either to side to justify just about anything. Both frequently did. Really, spare me the bollocks.

    “Now we’re supposed to accept that they’re our best friends despite their rabidly anti-Unionist actions and on-message slippage.”

    No, you have to accept that they are interested in creating United Ireland and they realise that they are going to need at least some Prods on board. And they really want a United Ireland a lot. SO much so they are prepared even to try to talk to some Prods who, of course, they hate more than anything ever. Rather than viewing this as a threat, perhaps viewing it as an opportunity might be better.

    Unless you think they are so persuasive that you will catch Nationalist from their mind control techniques? I mean, all them Ketholics vote for them.

    “The fact is they’ve signed up to the principle of consent. That’s democracy for slow learners.
    So apparently one of the great SF ideas for persuading Unionists to go for a UI is to appoint an IRA bomber as a ‘Unionist Outreach’ representative. Campbell’s reaction was depressing but predictable. This is going to run and run.”

    Let’s be honest – it would matter who SF put in the role, Unionists hate the very idea of it anyway. I am glad SF aren’t just ditching the ex-IRA people. We need buy in from everyone and we need more understanding from everyone rather than more outcasts. Maybe if we get enough understanding, SF will come up with some way to apologise.

  • darth rumsfeld

    Gregory is always poor, falling into the trap that the more intelligent the DUPer, the more ‘orrible they appear on TV

    Hence- Jim Allister and Nigel Dodds, both megabrains, come across as sour no matter what they talk about. Gregory is intelligent enough to know this deal is a farce and sees the precedent of pushover Unionism in Londonderry extending to NI as a whole.
    At the other end, Sammy is just a decent bloke who likes a laff but shouldn’t really be in politics and Arlene makes a lovely sponge cake

    I have to say through gritted teeth that last night Ruane’s defence of the completely undefensible was much superior to Foster’s recycling of ten cliches which is her standard media performance.

    But enough of these media pigmies-Anderson is a true star, in the sense of the truly amazing ability to project warm karma and lurv to anyone who is even slightly protestant.
    It’s like putting a great white shark in a tutu, and then watching as it attempts to performs “Swan Lake”. 10 out of 10 for effort, and that tends to distract from the quality of the performance, which was like a recycled script from the “Partridge Family”

  • derrydave

    Gregory Campbell was, to put it mildly, embarrassingly bad last night on Hearts & Minds. I thought that the parties had all agreed to put aside their mutual dislike of each other / each others history, and try to work together to get real politics working i.e. health, education, the economy ?? Has no-one told Gregory ? Did he miss that class ? Has he anything to offer in the sphere of real politics ?
    Difficult to judge Martina Anderson on this occasion as there really was very little else should could do – I think she did what was best in simply sitting back and letting Gregory get it out of his system (as if it will ever be so !).
    I have to say though that Catriona Ruanes performance on Lets Talk later on was extremely impressive. I had heard mixed reports on Catriona but have seen very little of her in person – last night she came across as someone who wants to get on with the business of real politics, someone who is well clued up on all the issues, and someone who seems very capable of performing the role of minister of education. On that performance she is definitely one to keep an eye on for the future.

  • Whatever Next

    I do love Provettes – calling a man embittered when you can’t even bring yourself to type out the name of his constituency, and have to kid yourself it’s called ‘east derry’. You couldn’t make it up. Well, those of us who don’t make a habit of supporting sectarian murder couldn’t make it up – no problem whatsoever on the other hand for the SFers.

    BTW really convincing argument made there by all you drones calling Campbell a ‘bigot’. Thank f*ck you don’t have to actually advance, let alone respond to an argument or anything.

  • Pounder

    WN can you really heart say the Campbell isn’t even the tenniest wee bit anti-catholic? Because I’m pretty sure he’s a member of the Orange Order and by the very rules of that organisation will treat catholics as second class citizens.

  • Ginfizz

    Darth

    You are wrong about Sammy Wilson – an extremely astute and clever person, who actually manages to come across as a human being – one of the few NI politicians to do so.

  • Shore Road Resident

    Were we watching the same ‘Let’s Talk’?
    Catriona fluffed her lines, sounded totally confused and said nothing of any substance whatsoever. She just kept repeating that children are our future and we should love them well and let them lead the way etc. but please don’t ask exactly how, especially if you’re a parent or a primary school head. Anderson was much better, and that’s saying something.

  • Ginfizz

    WN

    Good point – East Derry! LOL!!

    Pounder

    Gregory Campbell is not a member of the Orange Order.

  • Ginfizz

    “Arlene makes a lovely sponge cake”

    Nice.

  • Gregory Camppbell’s performance was the most embittered and bigoted display that I have seen from any local politician in the past 5 or 56 years. Martina Anderson showed true civility in the face of blatant anti-Catholicism from Campbell.

    I am glad that the wider public were givena breathtaking example of the bitterness which still exists within mainstream Unionism…

  • Whatever Next

    Pounder I’m not a member of the DUP, so I hardly feel the need to defend them. For all I know Campbell’s as bigoted a fool as his master (you know, the chap we’re supposed to hold equally guilty for the the troubles because of, er, his words, which were, er, as a deadly as other folk’s bombs, and so, uh, we’re all equally guilty, even those of us who neither bombed nor ranted, so, er, don’t ask anymore difficult questions – have I got that right? that *is* the Newthink line these days, isn’t it? hey come on, someone from the NIO appear and give us a steer, or a bung at any rate) and the fact that I sole time I met him he was charm itself could doubtless be as misleading as the fact that David Burnside is a “PR man”.

    The point I was making was that, rather than address the substance of Campbell’s points (and he *did* make a fair few, though neither well nor even consistently – he can’t bring himself to criticise the DUP after all for putting the Provos into power), the drones who crop up so pointlessly on Slugger [you convince no one, and I can’t believe you even please yourselves] and parrot the line, ‘Campbell … bigot … Campbell … bigot’ would be a lot more effective if a.) they detailed how Campbell’s supposed to be a bigot, other than the fact that he’s politically in disagreement with them & b.) rather more pertinently, reagrdless of whether he is or ain’t (for after all, being a ‘bigot’ no more disqualifies stand-alone arguments than, oh, being a sectarian killer like Martin seemingly disallows him being able to pronounce on, I don’t know, road pricing, or PFI or etc), just name-calling him one and running away from actually addressing the issues he raises does just that little bit give the game away about the force of his case.

  • darth rumsfeld

    “You are wrong about Sammy Wilson – an extremely astute and clever person, who actually manages to come across as a human being – one of the few NI politicians to do so.”

    Well I happen to like him and think he is quite intelligent. Perhaps he belongs to a subclass of DUP bikers, as Junior can come across as human too, and he’s clever. Unfortunately there are other times where he can seem graceless

    SRR
    yeah Ruane did fluff a bit, but perhaps its because we’re so use to her coming across as the glassy-eyed defender of birdwatchers in Colombia, her bumbling was almost personable. Perhaps she’s going to be the Boris Johnson of the executive

  • Welcome to the Northern Ireland of DUP/ Sinn Féin.

  • Whatever Next

    Look everyone knows what the problem is with Norn Iron’s political class is: it’s grosly over-inflated, both in temrs of its payroll-maintained size, and, hitherto, the attention paid to it.

    Let’s use the useful yardstick of – regions represented in the Cabinet. We’d struggle to have someone in the Cabinet or even the shadow cabinet every other year on simply a brute statistical basis – that’s *one* local politician worthy of being taken seriously nationally, at best, every other year. And obviously since the bulk of middle class talent wimped out of politics more than 30 years ago, in the real world our actual stock of political ‘talent’ is grossly weaker than it should be. And before anyone moans on to me about elitism – all successful parties everywhere are dominated by the middle classes and upwards – the UK, France, America, Germany, you name it, if it exists in the real world, the middle classes & above run it: this is not a conspiracy, still less a point of view, it is merely a boring adumbration of reality – and the fact that the single most consistently successfully political caste everywhere on the planet has largely absented itself from local politics *is* a significant factor in the p*sspoor quality of local politicians.

    In fact, it tells you how bad local politics is when you ignore the UK-national template and instead shudder to think on how many local nonces would make it even into *Bertie’s* cabinet (and for those uninterested in Free State politics, world beaters they ain’t).

  • Whatever Next

    Oh dear: “Look everyone knows what the problem is with Norn Iron’s political class is: it’s grossly over-inflated, both in terms of its payroll-maintained size, and, hitherto, the attention paid to it” – for some, a killer self-rebuttal no doubt.

  • Ginfizz

    “Welcome to the Northern Ireland of DUP/ Sinn Féin.”

    Oh aye El Mat, because the Northern Ireland of the UUP and the Stoops was a land of milk and honey where little Catholic children and little Protestant children danced around the may-pole and the sun always shone.

    Pull your head out of your *ss, you patronising git.

  • Sean

    And of course on Slugger we get the usual Sinn Fein-IRA spin doctors making comments – trying to spin the truth out of existence. What Sinn Fein-IRA did was wrong. Shooting people dead in front of their families is wrong full stop. Torturing people and dumping their bodies is wrong full stop. Blowing up people causing death and serious injury is wrong full stop. It’s horrible dirty terrorism. Let’s hear that from the contributers to this site – that would be a good start for real Unionist outreach.

    Posted by PeaceandJustice on May 24, 2007 @ 11:56 PM

    I could not agree more, so when is the RUC going to apologize

  • Ginfizz

    Sean

    Har-de-harr-harr!

  • Pounder

    Well Sean thank you for making it clear once again how fucking pig headed both sides of muppets are. “Oh we will if you will”. It’s only a shame the extremists in either side didn’t wipe each other out and leave ordinary deacent people to run the place.

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    Sean:

    ‘I could not agree more, so when is the RUC going to apologize’

    Maybe you could ask them the next time they have a policing meeting at your nearest town hall Sean.

    Despite the beautifully drawn murals in Republican areas proclaiming that PSNI = RUC, it’s muppets like YOU who have accepted them as your police force.

  • ingram

    Hi,

    quote The PUP should employ Micheal Stone as nationalist outreach officer, and we’ll how they all get on. unquote

    LOL

    classic. God knows what his Handlers would say though.

  • BogExile

    ‘Martina Anderson showed true civility..’

    Hmm, yes. With her pedigree that’s a bit like saying King Herod showed a good grasp of childcare policy.

    I like my politics visceral (like my women). What you got is raw boned unionism versus boneheaded republicanism. The inarticulate in pursuit of the indefensible. It was entertainingly sad.

    The premise of this whole post from it’s inception has been, ‘look at the nasty Gregory Campbell and how he treated the nice reasonable ladies.’ Well to a point. The sour and sarcastic delivery actually let the blonde bomber off the hook and to that extent it is a triumph for SF machine politics.

    The reality is that despite Gregory’s distracting bluster Martina Anderson hasn’t the moral or intellectual force to do the job asked of her. But perhaps this is all a tactical device (she’s used to planting them after all) to convince the lobotomised amongst us that the (much-swabbed) hand of friendship extended to unionists has once again been bitten.

  • kensei

    “The PUP should employ Micheal Stone as nationalist outreach officer, and we’ll how they all get on”

    Do you understand the distinction between ‘former’ and ‘current’? And I do believe a lot of Nationalists warmed to David Irvine, no?

  • Sean

    lol you boys is funny but the truth both hurts and shall set you free

    What I said was a short and very pointed way of yanking the unionist chain that says we arent as bad as themuns and they need to apologize and beg our forgiveness.

    You need to apologize every bit as much as they do, so if you really are so much better than SF it should be easy for you to go first. I mean you are the decent people arent you?

  • Diluted Orange

    I have to say that Hearts & Minds, was to put it mildly, depressing to watch. Gregory went off on one as soon as he possibly could – it was a pretty predictable reaction from the DUP to a Sinn Fein spokesperson for ‘Unionist engagement’, especially when Martina Anderson is a former IRA operative.

    Which leads me to wonder if the appointment of her as director of ‘Unionist Engagement’ is anything more than a publicity stunt or mild propoganda from the Shinners? Even the term ‘Unionist Engagement’ itself seems like a military operation, not an exercise in reconciliation. It’s fairly obvious that any live TV debate between a former IRA bomber and a DUP MP about engaging Unionists is going to lead one way – a full scale verbal assault. So how better to play to the viewing audience by playing Martina Anderson’s ‘startled puppy dog’ act against Campbell’s ‘rabid rotweiller’?

    If SF are serious about ‘engaging’ with Unionists then there needs to be some sort of reconcilliation and an acceptance that what the IRA did was wrong. That doesn’t mean a grovelling display of public apology but some sort of recognition that their paramilitary campaign was deeply flawed and caused unnecessary suffering to a lot people would be a start. In response Unionists should also recognise that pre-1969 Northern Ireland wasn’t a nice cosy place where Catholics were afforded the same opportunites as Protestants and that whilst the actions of the IRA and loyalists were vile, the Unionist hegemony that preceded it helped to create an atmosphere where such hostility was more likely to take place amongst a maligned Catholic community.

    On the programme I didn’t see any sort of indication that the DUP or SF are close to adopting either of these positons in the near future. When categorically asked by Noel Thompson if anything that either side did was wrong both guests tried in vain to dodge the question, with a cringeworthy lack of political guile on both parts.

    derrydave

    [i]”Gregory Campbell was, to put it mildly, embarrassingly bad last night on Hearts & Minds. I thought that the parties had all agreed to put aside their mutual dislike of each other / each others history, and try to work together to get real politics working i.e. health, education, the economy ?? Has no-one told Gregory ? Did he miss that class ? Has he anything to offer in the sphere of real politics ?”[/i]

    To be fair he was hardly put in a position where debate about real politics was on the agenda. It was all about SF’s strategy on Unionist engagement. Whilst he was embarassingly and predictably over-aggressive he did raise some valid points. Martina Anderson should have seen his attack coming a mile off but seem completely unprepared to answer any of the criticism Campbell launched at her with anything more than the standard, “we all need to move on together” sentiments.

    As for the majority of folk on this thread labelling Campbell as a ‘bigot’ there seems to be alot of this type of name-calling recently. Whilst he didn’t come across as being warm and friendly I would hardly say that he was ‘anti-Catholic’, it seems a lot easier to just dismiss his argument by calling him a bigot. He was being ‘anti-Republican or ‘anti-IRA’, which is hardly surprising and not the same kettle of fish at all as being ‘anti-Catholic’. Some people on this website seem to confuse ‘anti-paramilitarism’ with that of sectarianism – these are two completely different attitudes. Instead ‘paramilitarism’ is the concept which should be equated with sectarianism.

  • kensei

    “On the programme I didn’t see any sort of indication that the DUP or SF are close to adopting either of these positons in the near future. When categorically asked by Noel Thompson if anything that either side did was wrong both guests tried in vain to dodge the question, with a cringeworthy lack of political guile on both parts.”

    I think SF clearly want to move that way, but have to keep the hardline elements on board. I don’t think they’ll ever come out with the type of apology Gregory Campbell wants, but I’d bet on them coming out with some form of apology that avoids demonising volunteers or accepting culpability for everything but recognises there are things that need apologising for. It’s such an easy PR win that I can’t see them not doing it.

  • Whatever Next

    Spot on DO. After all, for all the spurious moralising off the back of this especially boring TV programme, what’s the worst Campbell did? Yammered on. What’s the worst his ‘political’ opponent did? Oh yeah . . . planted bombs. You begin to see why pro-Provo posters on this thread are quite so defensive, peevish and prone to pointless name calling.

  • Ian

    Whether or not Gregory Campbell is bigoted, he’s certainly hypocritical. Here’s his reaction to Brian Arthur’s arrest, from the NewsLetter:

    “DUP MP Gregory Campbell noted that Mr Arthurs had the right to a fair trial and should and would get one.
    It was, he added, “down to the due process of law” to determine a defendant’s guilt and until then he was innocent.
    But, he said: “Sinn Fein has no right to interfere in that process.
    “They seem to be most concerned about the process by which he has been brought to court and less by the allegations.”
    Mr Campbell added: “Public representatives have a primary responsibility to support the rule of law and order, to get to the bottom of any alleged breach of the law. If, subsequent to a trial, there are concerns about how someone was arrested or brought to court, that is the time to raise those matters.
    “Support for the rule of law is paramount, as the Prime Minister and Secretary of State and everyone else has said. Mr Molloy is failing, in his comments, to make it paramount.”

    Perhaps Mr Molloy picked up a few tips from watching Campbell’s colleague Nigel Dodds in his reaction to the police raid on the Alexandra Bar, where Dodds was indeed more concerned with the process by which the PSNI interrupted the UDA’s “show of strength” than with the alleged nefarious activities of those that were arrested.

  • Ginfizz

    “It’s such an easy PR win that I can’t see them not doing it.”

    It’ll be heartfelt and genuine then?

  • Diluted Orange

    Ginfizz

    [i]”It’s such an easy PR win that I can’t see them not doing it.”

    It’ll be heartfelt and genuine then?[/i]

    I wouldn’t set my hopes on it. It was hardly an awakening of some kind of dormant morality within Gerry Adams and co that got them to stop in the first place – more that they realised that violence wasn’t getting them anywhere.

  • kensei

    “It’ll be heartfelt and genuine then?”

    Is that another precondition :)?

    To be serious, things aren’t that straight cut. People can genuinely regret or oppose things that happened, and it’s easy to find horrific examples, without believing that the people involved were monsters, or their actions weren’t understandable or, that they didn’t have some genuine grievance behind them. There is a scale within that. But on a war footing things have to be absolute. It is merely moving closer to reality, finding the right form of words and showing a different face.

    Part of the problem is Unionism’s demand that the IRA apologise as the solely responsible for everything – see Gregory’s quote I posted earlier. Even Nationalists who strongly oppose violence can get uneasy about it – they remember the circumstances, or things that happened or know someone who was involved and it just doesn’t ring right and it smacks of trying to put you in your place.

    Reconciliation and understanding isn’t a quick or easy process. Even by just having an outreach office, even if it is just symbolic, is a positive step and I doubt they’ll be unchanged by it.

  • Token Dissent

    Diluted Orange hits right on the most important point – the failure of both sides to acknowledge past wrongs. I believe that true reconciliation can only begin when the parameters of an agreed history are set. By this I don’t mean that we all have to agree on every detail of our past, but the basics have to there. Unionists have to acknowledge that NI pre-69 was “a cold house for nationalists”, and also that during the troubles the British (and Irish)state(s) did in certain areas act illegally. Secondly republicans have to face the fact that the ‘armed struggle’ was wrong, unjustified and indeed counter-productive. By their political actions the DUP and SF have accepted these realities, but they still can’t bring themselves to say it publicly. The ideological contradiction between both parties maintance of ‘traditional’ readings of history, and their agreement to power-sharing, should be clear for all to see.

    Despite Campbell’s spineless avoidance of the issue I believe that the vast majority of unionists accept that discrimination was a major issue. Therefore I think it would probably assist the DUPers’ journey to respectability if they had the moral courage to face-up to the past. On the otherside some, like Kensei, will say that its entirely unrealistic to expect SF to come anywhere close to saying the above. Maybe in the short term that is true, but until then it is entirely reasonable for others to point out the hypocrisy and vacuous nature of their calls for reconciliation. I just hope that unionism finds leaders who can do it with more skill, intellectual coherence and grace than Gregory.

    Ps, I have heard it said that in private some senior Shinners snigger at the selection of Anderson as an ‘Unionist Engager’.

  • BP1078

    Are there any Unionists reading who have actually been “outreached” to by Martina Anderson…in person?

    I asked a Shinner blogger a couple of weeks ago for some info about “ground-level” events or projects she’d been involved in since her appointment and was deafened by the silence, a quick shufti through the SF site has revealed nothing other than her trip out to Messines and a speech given at the Ard Fheis.

    But if it did take place, what did this “outreach” involve?… did she listen to unionist concerns, did she speak to any victims of the Provo’s campaign for example, or was it the type of “outreach” that a kindergarten teacher “engages” in with her charges?

  • kensei

    “On the otherside some, like Kensei, will say that its entirely unrealistic to expect SF to come anywhere close to saying the above.”

    I think it is unrealistic because I do not believe anyone in the Republican movement believes that “the ‘armed struggle’ was wrong, unjustified and indeed counter-productive”. Not 100% black and white like that.

  • BogExile

    ‘But on a war footing things have to be absolute’

    Bollocks. That’s what we have a Geneva Convention for. Try as I might I can’t see any opt out clause that allows chaining people to van bombs, torture or any of the other absolutism of physical force republicanism.

    And while I’m at it some of the most virulently anti-IRA proponents of the troubles I know were the very Catholics the hedge-row skulkers had self-appointed themselves protectors of. But ‘not in my name’ was the route to an early grave if uttered in public as you well know.

    The IRA was responsible not only for its own repulsive activities but arguably provided the catalyst/raison d’etre for the if anything even more revolting loyalist reaction.

    I can say with regard to physical force Loyalism, whoever they killed, very definitely not in my name. Kensei, let’s see if you can do the same in four words or less.

  • kensei

    “Bollocks.”

    I was talking about attitudes, if you were paying attention.

    “That’s what we have a Geneva Convention for. Try as I might I can’t see any opt out clause that allows chaining people to van bombs, torture or any of the other absolutism of physical force republicanism.”

    The Geneva Convention was written for traditional wars involving states. We are into 4th Gen warfare involving non state actors and things are a hell of a lot more messy. See: Iraq. Hypothetically, if the UK was invaded tomorrow, totally unjustified and the only way you had to fight back was using terrorist methods would you do it?

    Not saying I agree with any of that, mind, just that we really need a new framework.

    “And while I’m at it some of the most virulently anti-IRA proponents of the troubles I know were the very Catholics the hedge-row skulkers had self-appointed themselves protectors of. But ‘not in my name’ was the route to an early grave if uttered in public as you well know. ”

    Some people were. Not nearly as many as you may think, or the IRA could not have operated.

    “The IRA was responsible not only for its own repulsive activities but arguably provided the catalyst/raison d’etre for the if anything even more revolting loyalist reaction.”

    Unfortunately, I have lost all sympathy for you with “Loyalism was a reactionary force”. Now there is an attitude that need to go.

    “I can say with regard to physical force Loyalism, whoever they killed, very definitely not in my name. Kensei, let’s see if you can do the same in four words or less.”

    What about state violence?

    But, nope, not playing this game. I am against violence unless absolutely necessary so I don’t think the IRA campaign was right. And it was certainly counter productive. But I’m not going to say that I can’t understand why some people did it or demonise everyone involved (on either side). Context also matters and if I was getting burned out of my home in 1969 (which happened to some of my relatives) I may have felt differently.

  • Token Dissent

    Kensei – sadly I accept that you are probably right, the vast majority republicans do appear to have the same old delusions about ‘the war’.

    Counter-productive. As an example can you name one positive achievement of the PIRA? They obviously failed utterly as a defensive organisation, and as an agent to promote unity. The Sunningdale for slow learners mantra is tiresome, but fundamentally is it not spot on? Or has the personal journey of Gerry and Marty (and Ian) made it all worthwhile?

    As for unjustified, did the discrimination by local government and in employment justify political violence? And even if you believe it did, in what way did the PIRA have any democratic legitimacy, even limited to the nationalist community, or from Ireland as a whole, to conduct it?

    I support the logic of BogExile’s “not in my name” argument.

  • BogExile

    Q: I can say with regard to physical force Loyalism, whoever they killed, very definitely not in my name. Kensei, let’s see if you can do the same in four words or less.”

    A: What about state violence?

    Nothing I could add would more eloqently illustrate the gulf between us.

  • barnshee

    “do not forget there are thousands of Protestant who are ashamed of Campbell and his kind.”

    Ah Thats why “he and his kind” increase their vots at every election- thousands of prods are ashamed of him.

    Probably not —Gregory is the classic working class Prod who had (along with a lot of micks) fuck all and now despises those who claim that he was in some way privileged

  • Token Dissent

    barnshee – fair point. Campbell’s background does help explain his position on past discrimination. The wilder claims that some nationalists put forward, comparing the Northern Catholic experience to South Africa for example, does alienate many Prods whose own life contradicts the idea that there was a pampered Prod working class.

  • GavBelfast

    This thread is increasingly looking like it was to be a useful distraction from the evolving story of the Southern election ….

  • kensei

    “Counter-productive. As an example can you name one positive achievement of the PIRA? They obviously failed utterly as a defensive organisation, and as an agent to promote unity. The Sunningdale for slow learners mantra is tiresome, but fundamentally is it not spot on? Or has the personal journey of Gerry and Marty (and Ian) made it all worthwhile?”

    The context matters. This deal could not happened in the 1970’s otherwise it would have. It isn’t merely “Gerry and Marty”‘s personal journey, it’s a journey of almost everyone here. Whether or not it was worth it depends on where exactly we go.

    As for Sunningdale, it’s a nice sound bite, but it is far short of the GFA, particularly in terms of All Ireland bodies and the reform of the RUC.

    “As for unjustified, did the discrimination by local government and in employment justify political violence?”

    I think the discrimination here was enough to justify political violence if all other avenues were closed – like in South Africa for example. I don’t think that point was ever quite reached, personally, but people get impatient for change and would find it difficult to argue with someone that said they found it intolerable. I certainly think that attacks on someone’s home, particularly getting put out of it, is enough to justify defensive violence. Especially when the police are absolutely no use in helping you.

    If someone is interned unjustly, does it justify violence? Probably not. But can you understand how that person might be radicalised and view the state that did it differently than you do. What if then a lot of people are shot dead by the army? Or burned out of their home? People get overtaken by events and that needs remembered when talking with hindsight. To an extent, I think arguing over justification is a red herring. Violence was inevitable given the history. It remains inevitable if any group in our society gets put in a similar box. The aim should be to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

    Maybe that is ambivalent, maybe some other people here can take a superior moral attitude, but I’m merely trying to be honest. I don’t think killing people was right, but I don’t think the absolutism demanded from Unionism is right either.

    “And even if you believe it did, in what way did the PIRA have any democratic legitimacy, even limited to the nationalist community, or from Ireland as a whole, to conduct it?”

    Democratic legitimacy? Nope. But then again, neither did those in 1916. If they had have got a mandate within Nationalism would it have mattered? The people killed would still be dead, and I still wouldn’t think it was right.

  • Memo to:

    Chris “Mr Sycophant for the outer reaches of Irish republicanism” Donnelly,

    You need to learn to chill out – I’m not angry anymore! You see I used to be disgusted…

    Best Wishes

    David

  • Pounder

    While the DUP have increased their vote so have Alliance. We have gained many votes from moderate unionists who can’t stand the DUP’s policies and have seen the UUP for the joke it is. My family are all moderate unionist yet voted Alliance in the last election. Given how many 1st preference Votes Naomi Long got this time over the previous election it’s safe to say they wheren’t the only ones.

  • Token Dissent

    kensei, cheers for your response. I appreciate your honesty, and in some ways I agree with what you are saying. Context and the radicalising impact of bitter personal experience were of course vital.

    However we will have to agree to disagree that “violence was inevitable”. History did not determine the explosion of 1969. For one thing nationalists were not in as tight a “box” as republicanism portrays. (Remember that the Provisionals represented a small section of the community.) A glance at the economic and social progress of much of the 60s surely highlights that alternative routes were open. Whilst the historical context set the scene, the decisions of inividuals and elites were the decisive factor that pushed society over the edge. And the decision of the Provo leaders to go on the attack should, in my opinion, be placed at the top of that list.

    I also disagree that the all-Ireland bodies of Sunningdale were sigficantly different from today’s, and would also suggest that the RUC would have gone in the direction it has now gone; maybe minus the name change. Unionist short-sightedness and panic, and the continuation of PIRA violence destroyed these opportunities. It must also be remembered that even if the alleged shortcomings of Sunningdale you see had been resolved, the Provos would have rejected it anyway.

    Funnily enough I would also argue that 1916 and its’ lack of democratic legitmacy, was similarly disastrous for Ireland. But hey, here’s to a peaceful future.

    Regards
    TD

  • Martina Anderson was amazing, if perhaps in retrospect a bit too shiny, in response to Campbell, definatley an impressive speaker, especially in comparison to the bitterness of Campbell’s tirade.

  • Martina Anderson was amazing, if perhaps in retrospect a bit too shiny, in response to Campbell, definatley an impressive speaker, especially in comparison to the bitterness of Campbell’s tirade.