Martin’s strange addiction to talks…

Mark Steel reckons the secret talks with the Iraqis may have some unintended consequences:

…there’s a danger it could be counterproductive, because McGuinness and the Unionists might say to the Iraqis: “Your main problem is you’ve been at it for only four years, you need another 26, at least. So we’ve set out a schedule – in a couple of years, one lot needs to kidnap a horse, then have a hunger strike, then there needs to be a period when Al-Sadr is only allowed on television if his words are read out by an actor – we can provide him, the poor bloke’s been out of work since 1996, then there’s a ceasefire, some dodgy marches, one side has to bury its guns, then you all drink tea together, laughing in a hotel in 2033.”

  • So this is what we get instead of informed comment.

    For a start I didn’t think the UUP sent anyone there, that party being so busy with being ‘simply British’ it has no time for foreign adventures.

    The one thing that Martin McGuinness and, no doubt, Jeffrey Donaldson could advise the Iraqis of whatever hue on is to avoid the many mistakes of the British Government during its period of misrule here and lets not forget to give a dishonourable mention to the rampant misgovernment of the previous unionist regime.

    First off, avoid one party rule, especially by parties with a sectarian animus. Avoid also apartheid, marginalisation, state collusion with paramilitary death squads, censorship, deliberate or incidental deprivation of areas containing minority populations….

  • slug
  • cladycowboy


    That’s a little harsh. He does allude to all the things you mention in your last paragraph.

    I love Mark Steel’s columns. Let’s be realistic, we can have all the informed comment we like but it doesn’t really seep in, does it? I mean what’s all this fuss about in Darfur, that’s not genocide, Rwanda had that. We as readers become blase.

    I think his injection of humour and rude awakenings cut to the chase better than ‘informed opinion’. Well at least his style works for me.

    He holds up a view of the world as run by and run for mad men, and he ain’t wrong.

  • steve48

    Perhaps Martin explained about how the Provos were infiltrated by the Brits and Jeffrey explained how the DUP were infiltrated by pro-agreement unionists like …..err himself

  • smcgiff

    When was Slugger supposed to have had the Humour Bypass?

    FFS without humour we might all as well be… well, British!

  • Aye. Because Britain has never produced any humourists of note.

  • smcgiff

    ‘Aye. Because Britain has never produced any humourists of note.’

    True, there were the Carry on Movies!

  • Wow Oliver how impartial, balanced and unpolemical.

    Clearly if you’re any indicator, the Irish Language movement has no anti-unionist baggage any longer!

    Where do I sign up?

  • me

    mick fealty that is a cracker! Britain has produced good humour, whats wrong with rab c? little britain? black adder? british humour is great. now american humour…… sucks. really.

  • Z, do you deny that the Unionist government from 1921 to 1972 MISRULED the north?

    Otherwise point out to me how anything else in my earlier post specifies the unionist community? Perhaps the lady doth protest too much?

  • Of course you’re 100% right Oliver! No sweeping generalisations, no diatribe! A really thoughtful and accurate analysis.

    As I say, you’re a fine cypher for your apolitical movement.

  • That’s so nice of you.

    But I have to say that wherever the Irish Language Movement is in the north – and perhaps movement is too political a term – we mightn’t be except for the enlightened interculturalism pioneered by the UUP during its fifty year regime as the single party ‘government’ of the north. After all it was the government’s refusal to recognise the Irish language school set up by parents on the Shaws Road in Belfast in 1971 – and their subsequent threat to jail the parents – which led to the birth of the Irish medium education movement all over Ireland!

    What you sow, you reap…..

  • “Britain has produced good humour, whats wrong with rab c? little britain? black adder? british humour is great. now american humour…… sucks. really”.

    Yeah right?? All those Yanks are just awful comedians…

    Laurel and Hardy, Abbott & Costello, The Marx Brothers, Phil Silvers, Gene Wilder, John Belushi, Richard Pryor, Will Ferrell etc… etc…

  • Sorry to deflate your balloon mac but Laurel and Hardy were British comedians – and very fine ones too.

  • me

    LOL macswiney,

    other than laurel and hardy,(who are brits) your list would fail to make anyone laugh.

  • Me,

    You are a sad case mate if you think that Little Britain and Rowan Atkinson represent the comic icons of the last century…

    Would’nt be letting you do the stand-up routine down my local…

  • So says the man naming WIll Ferell as an exemplar of comedy.

  • Alan Anderson

    I never got Black adder, Little Britains map of britain is correct but alas the show is not funny , just stupid like League of ugly gentlemen, never got it.

    Who can say Seinfeld is not funny? Or did you lot ever see HBOs Curb Your Enthusiasm the funniest thing since, Fr Dougal took a job on Pat Mustards Milk float that had a bomb on it, now thats genius!!!

  • Mutton & Spin-ich

    Mark Steal…..errrrrmmmm

    The Trotskyist wing of zany Brit humour but he’s not as good as his dad – George Galloway who is much funnier – on stage.

    What is it about the British Socialist Workers Party (aka RESPECT!). That attracts political comedians who then become creatures of our multimedia age.

    If only they could make their workers into Ken Livingstone’s then they would have something to Billy Brag about!!

  • The Dubliner

    That article by Mark Steel is pure gold. Political satire at its best.

  • me

    Ah the milk float with the bomb on it, personally I prefer the one when they were in the caravan with the singing priest.

  • Mutton & Spin-ich

    Mark Steal on Gerry and the Brit Makers.

    I think having known he of the Steal for some time – he is more worried about how awful Celene Dion is.

    Next it will be his version of what happended when Amy Winehouse meets G. Brown in the Big Brother House.

    It is about as predicable as a wet beer mat at the old comedy club.