Paisley on old enemies/new friends…

Sue Denham notes in today’s Sunday Times:

The Independent Orange Order is hoping Ian Paisley will address its parade as usual this year. The first minister gave a rousing speech in 2006, saying: “No unionist who is a unionist will go into partnership with IRA-Sinn Fein. They are not fit to be in the government . . . and it will be over our dead bodies that they ever get there.”

Perhaps he could bring his deputy, Martin McGuinness, along to keep him company this year.

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  • Dawkins

    Mick,

    You may scoff, but Paisley was speaking as an individual when he uttered those words. It was his personal opinion.

    Similarly when his son made his homophobic statement the other week, he wasn’t speaking in his official capacity.

    Shame on you that you can’t see the difference :0(

  • Slugger O’Toole Admin

    I’m not scoffing in the least. SD may well be scoffing but these are matters of record, which only underline the nature of the progress of the last year.

  • Dawkins

    Dear SOTA,

    Sorry, I couldn’t find the tongue-in-cheek smiley on my keyboard and used :0( in its place.

  • Paisley will no doubt give his usual fire and brimstone speech, only with a different angle – i.e. Claiming that he personally has brought SF into line etc…etc..

    As always, his ‘devotees’ will gormlessly lap it up, just as they did last year, when he told them ” No Unionist who is a Unionist will go into partnership with Sinn Fein”.

    Some people tend to believe only what they want to believe. In this instance, they will continue to believe in the individual because, deep down, they can no longer believe in his message. When push came to shove and the prospect of power was on the table, even ‘The Big Man’ sold out…

  • Cruimh

    Mac – that’s not what he said.

    “And no unionist who is a unionist will go into partnership with IRA-Sinn Fein!”

    So, unless you are saying that there is still such a beast as “IRA-Sinn Fein” he can claim that he finally sundered the two organisations .

  • Chris Donnelly

    Cruimh

    Rather jesuitical strategy that, eh? No wonder Papa Doc has decreed the Assembly is Pope….

  • Cruimh

    Chris – The old fellow has obviously been studying SF statements over the years 😉

  • Turgon

    I wonder at Paisley’s love in with McGuiness at one level and yet at another it is maybe less suprising that one thinks. I am no psychologist but here goes.

    Remember that Paisley is a minister. I have been to countless church services over the years. Now ministers (and priests as well?) frequently deliver firey denounciations of sin and tell people of their need to repent etc. These can involve quite violent shouting even ranting.

    In my experience, however, almost all of them are extremely pleasant people when with one person or a small group. Paisley is said to be quite friendly with John Hume and apparently has had him round for tea (and no not eaten him).

    Is is possible that being with McGuiness day in day out not in the public debating forum but in meetings has made them become friends as Paisley may well find it difficult to keep up dislike of him.

    McGuiness himself since he seems to have played a relatively leading role (ahem) in a military organisation (ahem) is probably quite personally charismatic. You cannot persuade your own assiatants to do things purely by fear.

    Of course from my analysis this is an error (and a predictable one) by Paisley and he should have continued to keep his distance but could it be an explanation of these seemingly biazzare goings on.

    I do not know what the independent OO will make of it though.

  • To be honest, I think that the extent of the Paisley/McGuiness relationship may be being overplayed to some extent. Whatever people think about McGuinness’ past, he is most definitely a very personable person when you meet him on a one-to-one basis. From his point of view, he probably just treats Paisley in the same way in which he would treat anybody else. Sinn Fein have their own strategic reasons for wanting the Assembly to work, so it would not be in his interest to have anything other than a cordial relationship.

    Things are slightly different when we analyse Paisley’s apparent dramatic change in his attitude towards Republicans. He has managed to persuade the majority of his party (although by no means all of it) that the best way of defending the Union is to make the Assembly work and to embark on a new strategy of ridding the party of it’s previous hardline image. This includes striking-up not only new relationships with Sinn Fein, but also embarking on a ground-breaking new relationship with The Irish Government.

    Obviously there is a great degree of risk in Paisley’s strategy. By trying to re-invent his party as the new cordial and friendly persuaders for The Union, he has alienated a number of his senior party members including the likes of Gregory Campbell adn Nigel Dodds. This is not to mention many of its supporters at grass-roots level.

    It is clear that a number of components of the island’s infastructure are now being organised on an All-Ireland basis and the DUP now face increasing challenges. To ensure that it’s core principles are adhered to while also not doing anything that would stunt the growth of economic prosperity in The North.

    Just how far the likes of Gregory Campbell, Nigel Dodds and the grassroots will allow this new relationship to develop, is the big question. Interesting times ahead…

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    A politician’s words are always open to interpetation – but there can be no doubting the vast majority of people who heard that speech believed they “They are not fit to be in the government” meant that the Rev would not actually be facilitating putting them there within a year. This is a reversal, a massive U-turn, a porkie of siginificant dimensions. This most certainly deserves scoffing – the significant progress that has been made is at least partly made up of the the boy Ian realising/admitting he got it wrong.

    A true man of the cloth would admit he got it wrong and seek forgiveness for telling porkies and or bad judgement.

  • Northsider

    We’ve always been at war with Eastasia…

  • Comrade Stalin

    macswiney:

    As always, his ‘devotees’ will gormlessly lap it up, just as they did last year, when he told them “ No Unionist who is a Unionist will go into partnership with Sinn Fein”.

    A bit like the SF devotees who lapped up the party’s newfound support for the PSNI. SF have sold out on every single principle they ever had.

    By trying to re-invent his party as the new cordial and friendly persuaders for The Union, he has alienated a number of his senior party members including the likes of Gregory Campbell adn Nigel Dodds. This is not to mention many of its supporters at grass-roots level.

    Given that Nigel Dodds is a minister in the executive, how can you sensibly make this claim ?

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Stalin,

    possibly fair point about SF. Out of interest -not because I know the answer – when was the last policy statement by SF e.g. we will never support the PSNI – that is directly contradicted by there being in government etc.

  • Cruimh

    Republicans still cannot bear to admit they were out-manoeuvred by Paisley. How many times did we hear in response to his saying that if and when SF did what needed to be done in respect of crime, decommissioning and signing up to policing and the courts that no matter what SF did he would never do the deal – and they were forced into calling what they thought was a bluff.

    “SF have sold out on every single principle they ever had.”

    I dare say it looks like that to hard-line traditionalist republicans – but I’d say they were comprehensively out-played.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Cruimh

    Paisley has admitted he was threatened into the deal by the Englezes – the Provos had signed up to the deal years before at the GFA.

    Paisley’s battle was with Trimble – who was going to lead Unioinsts into a political arrangement that was not to Unionists liking and was designed to both stop the Provos bombing London and allow the Provos to go down the political path with some gains under their belt – prisoners out , Ruc RIR gone and political invovlement from Dublin.

  • Cruimh

    “the Provos had signed up to the deal years before at the GFA. ”

    the provos didn’t sign the GFA Sammy. That was SF’s strength – they could take all the concessions and at the same time use the provos for leverage – give us more or else, it’s wrong to punish SF voters for what the provos do etc etc – but once the provos were defanged they had to rely on politics – and have been out-manoeuvred.

  • The Insider

    I have information that Paisley has been warned by the ILOI to keep his speech religious rather than political . Apparently the hierarchy are very concerned that Paisly will be heckled and cheered by organised protestors .
    Mid-Ulster district is vehemently anti-Paisley and had Rev Ivan Foster as their guest speaker at a recent rally.
    Take my advice get down to Ballymoney on the 12th -It is going to be an interesting afternoon.

  • Hunter

    @macswiney

    “It is clear that a number of components of the island’s infastructure are now being organised on an All-Ireland basis and the DUP now face increasing challenges. To ensure that it’s core principles are adhered to while also not doing anything that would stunt the growth of economic prosperity in The North.”

    If there is one great lesson of Irish history it is that economics never made any difference to anything constitutional. Irish independence was economic idiocy, and all through the years that the Celtic tiger grew the number of Protestants supporting a united Ireland in opinion polls did not so much as flicker, it was steady as a rock.

    Another point is that while economic ties between south and north are deepening economic ties between the south and GB are also deepening. The “tescoisation” of the south is also proceeding apace.

  • lib2016

    It was interesting to hear Rabitte admit on the Finucane show this morning (RTE 1) that Sinn Fein couldn’t be kept out of government forever.

    How long before the DUP are trading for a place in government in Dublin – in order to keep out Sinn Fein of course?

    It took ten years for the unionist parties to be competing to go into government with Sinn Fein in the North but we’re a long way down the road already. Maybe it should be Lib2012?

  • Hunter

    “Another point is that while economic ties between south and north are deepening economic ties between the south and GB are also deepening. The “tescoisation” of the south is also proceeding apace.”

    Part of this is cultural too. Southerners are indulging in the British cultural experience more than they ever used to. I’m not talking about waving a union jack. What I mean are things like watching Big Brother on their Sky dishes and reading about Jordan and Peter Andre in the Sun.

  • dub

    just a little tongue in cheek but did not Paisley say “no unionist who is a unionist….”?

    that would surely rule him out? (i.e. he is not a unionist!!) 🙂

    Hunter,

    Irish independence was not an idiocy. the very substantial and deeply embedded INDIGENOUS middle clase that we have in the republic (which is an absolute pre requisite for any civilised nation) owes its very existence to independence. You should read Garret Fitzgerald’s analysis of economic benefits of independence. the north now on the other hand seems to have a tiny real middle class and is going to find it very very hard to break out of economic dependency… paisley to his absolute credit wants to break out of this dependency..he basically want to break the economic link with the south of england and retain dominion type links only for cultural reasons (read paisley on alex salmond where he congratulates salmond on being the kind of nationaliat who wants independence but with continued links to the crown… and then he basically says if only “our nationalists in ireland” (his words) were like that). to put it another way paisley is going back to 1780’s protestant volunteer irish nationalism. lindsay crawford head of the 1OO in the period up to 1916 had very similar ideas. check out his magheramorne manifesto.

    these are fascinating times.

  • abucs

    ” …. I mean are things like watching Big Brother on their Sky dishes and reading about Jordan and Peter Andre in the Sun”

    cultural imperialism !!!!

  • lib2016

    Hunter,

    The rapproachment between Britain and Ireland goes much deeper than merely sharing much of the same media although over the next few years the greening of the Northern media will continue since we are becoming one market, see the headlines on the UTV newspage and admire the number of stories originating from the South, for example.

    The Christian churches are pulling together in the face of growing secularism and the rabid anti-Catholicism of the Northern unionist especially of the Orange Order is perceptably fading, as discussed on other threads.

    In an enlarged EU we are two off-shore islands whose interests often coincide. The autocratic position taken by the British government in the past has long disappeared. Both sides see the virtue of working together.

    We live in exciting times!

  • Comrade Stalin

    possibly fair point about SF. Out of interest -not because I know the answer – when was the last policy statement by SF e.g. we will never support the PSNI – that is directly contradicted by there being in government etc.

    In the past made various statements about the police being unacceptable until plastic bullets were banned (I remember this specifically being mentioned by Alex Maskey on the day the Patten report was released, when he commented on the report’s failure to achieve this), or until they had been properly disbanded and reconstituted, or until there had been a full enquiry into collusion etc etc. Personally I thought that SF acceptance of policing was inevitable since the Patten report was accepted by the British government, but I think there are a lot of people in republican circles who never thought they would have to make that choice.

    Cruimh:

    [ on principles ]

    I dare say it looks like that to hard-line traditionalist republicans – but I’d say they were comprehensively out-played.

    I think it’s quite OK to set aside your principles for a time in order to achieve greater things, and I think it’s right that both SF and the DUP did so recently. On the other hand, it annoys me when people like macswiney (SF supporter) laughs about other people jettisoning their principles when SF have done this to a greater extent than anyone else.

  • martin walker

    Paisley is a total dictator and a Free Presbyterian elder in Magerafelt was suspended for “daring” to pray against those in government with terrorists. Willie McCrea has had to pay-back Paisley for the Chairmanship of the Agriculture by suspending an elder in his own church.

  • will go into partnership with IRA-Sinn Fein

    If the IRA no longer exist as a fighting force, what is the problem?

    Sure, Paisley and the Shinners have both sold out deeply held principles. Wet liberals like me might well wonder why they couldn’t have done this in 1974, but given that we can’t undo the past, this is a good thing.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Stalin

    I suppose with Paisley the reason he looks so ridiculous is that they uturned so close to the election. If you have a holy man issuing oaths
    and promises that he is or is not going to do something then its likely that some of his congregation might just believe what he has said. For nationalists and other outsiders ( the Englezes ) Paisley himself is a caricature figure of fun – probalby no longer a threat to civic order and having swallowed his fire and brimstone is suffering some personal difficulty ( did you see his face when sitting beside Gerry in the Stormont photo shoot) and some political difficulty having told people one thing before an election and then doing the opposite. Tip to unioinsts: dont elect a fundamentalist preacher as your political leader – especially in 21st century Western Europe.

    But I do agree SF have moved a uturned significantly – presumably dragging out decomisioning over a number of years having ‘prepared their base’ or whatever it is they call it.

  • Cruimh

    Comrade Stalin

    “I think it’s quite OK to set aside your principles for a time in order to achieve greater things, and I think it’s right that both SF and the DUP did so recently. ”

    You think the Shinners have accepted Stages theory ?

    Dub – maybe I am misunderstanding this from you –

    “the very substantial and deeply embedded INDIGENOUS middle clase that we have in the republic (which is an absolute pre requisite for any civilised nation) owes its very existence to independence”

    are you saying there wasn’t a large and indigenous middle class in Ireland before 1916 ?

  • Diluted Orange

    [i]“No unionist who is a unionist will go into partnership with IRA-Sinn Fein. They are not fit to be in the government . . . and it will be over our dead bodies that they ever get there.”[/i]

    …Ehh it’s pretty obvious that Paisley is no Unionist – we’ve been swamped in sound-bites from him over the last few months of a more Ulster-Nationalist flavour rather than Unionist. He had the OO fooled right and proper then because as an ‘Ulster Nationalist’ he can refrain from heeding his own advice to Unionists.

    As such, with the whole Ulster Nationalist thing, the Doc has gone up in my estimation. Not much of a fan of the whole independent NI idea, not that he ever raised that issue (but we all know he’d love one, minus them damn Cafflicks of course), but at least Big Ian has finally given NI Unionists an ounce of self-respect by suggesting that we don’t have to automatically be wimperingly loyal servants to the Crown whilst in reciprocation for our ‘loyalty’ said Crown wouldn’t urinate on us if we were to go on fire.

    [i]”Perhaps he could bring his deputy, Martin McGuinness, along to keep him company this year.”[/i]

    … and then he can go and teach them ‘some manners’ whilst he’s there. We can all take sound-bites from the past and apply them to present events – but as you’ve said a lot has happened over the past few months.

  • Turgon

    It was Sammy McNally what done it
    “Paisley has admitted he was threatened into the deal by the Englezes – the Provos had signed up to the deal years before at the GFA. ”

    I agree Paisley has stated this and I agree it may well be true.

    This is something I cannot understand re GFA StAA etc.

    If the union is secure till there is a majority against it and that was enshrined in GFA etc. Then surely the implication from Hain that he was going to essentially create joint authority makes a mockery of the no change in status etc.

    I have little doubt all these explanations threats etc were indeed made. Presumably then the legislation would have been moulded modified or intreperted to allow what was defacto a change in Northern Ireland’s status as compared to that outlined in GFA.

    This is a fundemental problem I have with the DUP explanation of what happened in the last few months. They were forced into something they say they did not want under threat yet we are told the union is secure. Why did Paisley and co not call Hain’s bluff. I suspect a Gordon Brown premiership (probably not with Hain there for a prlonged period) would have been less interested in Ulster and so would have not bothered with much Hain typed joint authority.

    Hence I think Paisley and co were simply keen on power, sold out and are now using things like these “threats” to explain it away along with this GFA makes us secure which it does not, the Atlee government introduced the concept of a majority being needed for a united Ireland and let us face it: the British government is the main grauntor of the union as the RoI was never and is hardly going to invade.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Turgon,

    I agree it is puzzling but as I understand it Plan B ( joint authority) was an alternative or at least a supplement to GFA/STA – so the union was not as guaranteed as it was by those agreements. It would never have been called ‘joint authority’ but given that Blair was going to stick around until after the deadline given to Unionists had passed Gordie would not have entered the picture. I presume Blair had promised SF that if they accepted policing etc he would see Unionists do the deal or implement plan B if they did not. Plan B would involve enough ROI involement to ensure SF being kept sweet and force Unioists to consider a new ( and probably worse ) deal in 5 years or so time.

    If Rev Ian is to be taken at his word he had little choice but to sign up.

  • Roger

    Paisley is reported to have said he will not be attending this years demonstration as he does not want to be seen as Loyal Order sympathiser.

  • Turgon

    Martin Walker,

    I do not doubt what you state here. I find it odd though in that it implies that the Free Presbyterian church may not have a Presbyterian system of government.

    Presbyterian churches are “ruled” governed whatever, by elders who form the kirk session. These are selected by the congregation. They are all equal. The minister is not even first among equals but merely the “teaching elder”. In a standard Presbyterian setup to discipline any member requires as far as I understand the support of the majority of the Kirk session, I suspect the same would be true of an elder. Your post implies that this is not the case in the Free Presbyterian Church.

    It was Sammy McNally what done it,

    I agree with all you say but I would submit that Paisley has been threatened with dire consequences before and has not buckled. On this occassion he was “helped” in his decision by this being probably his last chance for power. I wonder also if being older he lacked the stamina for prolonged negogitation. I remember one of the white South African leaders saying that they became exhausted by debate with the younger ANC members the ANC wisely used for negogation rather than older men like Mandela.

  • The Dubliner

    “Part of this is cultural too. Southerners are indulging in the British cultural experience more than they ever used to. I’m not talking about waving a union jack. What I mean are things like watching Big Brother on their Sky dishes and reading about Jordan and Peter Andre in the Sun.” – Hunter

    Big Brother isn’t a British TV show. The format was devised by a Dutch TV production company, Endemol, and runs versions of Big Brother in numerous countries – one of which is England, but others include Greece, Norway, Slovakia, Australia, Denmark, Italy, Germany, Poland, Scandinavia, Spain, Sweden and Mexico. So, the cultural imperialism is Dutch and the British have been colonised. Indeed, the American TV shows have colonised British TV screens long before the Dutch got in on the act. As for the BBC and ITV networks, they have been broadcast in Ireland for decades. The British tabloids are read by the same class of moron that reads them in England. And really, do you want to hold the freaks who enter the Big Brother house up as being representaive of English society? If they are, you’d be wise to keep quiet about BB.

  • Turgon

    The Dubliner,

    Thank you for that. At least as a British person I do not feel the need to apologise to civilisation for the farce that Big Brother has become. Remember when it started it was supposed to be a “social experiment”. It degenerated pretty rapidly. Now what is it? Incidentally does anyone remember that religious Scottish bloke from the Outer Hebridies who won BB 2 and had the good sense to vanish back up there and get on with life.

  • Dawkins

    Turgon,

    “Your post implies that this is not the case in the Free Presbyterian Church.”

    A caution never to trust anything that claims it’s “free”.

    You know those “buy one, get one free” offers in the supermarket? Always turns out that the shop has upped the price by 50% only the week before.

    The FPC is a bit like that :0)

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Here’s another theory in addition to the others as to why Paisley buckled – no muscle.

    The UVF/PUP had become virulently anti-Paisley, the UDA was and is in disarray, and the LVF – the only group that the DUP could ‘rely’ upon around the time of the GFA to stir the shit – had effectively been neutralised. That it’s two main leaders ‘committed suicide’ in prison is, of course, entirely coincidental.

    There would be no repeat of 1974 because the loyalists were neither willing nor able to supply the DUP the paramilitary strength it needed to bring down the government, and the alternative – the Orange Order – had been beaten over Drumcree.

    Course, lack of ‘muscle’ is just one contributing factor to the DUP’s change of heart, and shouldn’t be seen as important as others. The DUP has always been willing to abandon loyalist paramilitaries when it suited them in the past, so I doubt they thought they could always completely rely upon them this time around.

  • páid

    The Dubliner, you write…

    “The British tabloids are read by the same class of moron that reads them in England.”

    With that comment, you condemn millions of the plain people of these islands to moronism .

    I’m surprised at you.

    Millions of people on this side of the Irish Sea avidly watch EastEnders, and follow up on the gossip in the papers – though the sorce of the action is hundreds of miles away.

    A short trip across the Channel in Picardy however, virtually no-one watches it, or buys the redtops.

    Oíche mhaith 🙂

  • Sam Hanna

    I understand that Rev Ivan Foster got a standing ovation by the ministers and elders of the Free Presbyterian Presbytery when he spoke against Ian Paisley to his face last week.

    It looks like Willie McCrea and Ian Paisley’s days in the FPC are numbered.

  • darth rumsfeld

    Paisley has just annoiunced he has cancelled his appearance on the Ballymoney platform because it clashes with his Irish language residential course in Gweedore

  • The Insider

    Sam , I have also heard Foster was cheered . Apparently Paisley has been using procedural devices to avoid a vote on the issue in Presbytery.Although I have also heard that his opponents are waitng till September to vote him out of the chair.

  • tok

    Guys another good point sue denham made was what she called the ‘cuddlisation’ on ni politics .She demonstarted a good example eg martin mc guinness telling us he was a secret cricket fan , this I thought was an excellent point its similar to paisley telling us he visited rome or watches rte. thPoliticians are telling us these cross communal noceties expecting us to forget PIRA campaign and the DUPs unproductive and negative intransigent contribution to ni politics they could have stopped this by accepting the same thing in 1974 so what was the lat 30 years all about

  • darth rumsfeld

    ah yes, Marty the cricket fan…
    yup, never been to Brigade or Glendermott( probably doesn’t even know where they are), and never bowled an over. Even St John managed to chuck a few slow left arm deliveries down for the seconds.

    I’m waiting for the NIO spin docotors to tell us he secretly went to the Twelfth next. or maybe his “Da was a prod” too…mind you, perhaps as a secret british agent his real name is Tarquin Cholmondly-Warner from Surrey

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Tok

    “accepting the same thing in 1974 so what was the lat 30 years all about ” or as SDLP would have it GFA/STA are Sunningdale for slow learners – which is an appealing line.

    But did it offer SF prisoner releases disbandment of the RUC and the trappings of government. How did the all ireland element compare with what is implemented now.

    Not suggesting/commenting on whether the ‘long war’ was worth it but wondering about the validity of the comparison.

  • I hope the Independent Orange field this Twelfth will have stalls selling rotten eggs alongside the normal burger vans.

    If he turns up to the Independents as he did last year, the old Lundy will have a cheek. And hopefully he’ll get plenty of yolk as well.

  • Orange and Blue

    Anyone know where there is a website which reflects unionist discontent for STA?

  • overhere

    Orange & Blue

    You could try ATW, Vance seems to dissagree with everything. Down with everything !!