Tús maith and all that stuff…

As in tús maith, leath na hoibre – A good start is half the work. To which might also be added is fearr mall ná go brách – better late than never. Iain Dale’s readers have Ian Paisley as clear winner in their Northern Ireland politician of the year vote. Will Crawley, more generously spreads the award between the ‘big man’ and his deputy joint Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness, but backs it up with nice observations as to why they deserve it:

For looking like they have truly embraced change rather than merely touching shoulders with it.
For laughing together. Often.
For transforming the atmosphere of Northern Ireland.
For lifting the gavel together at the New York Stock Exchange, making Sinn Fein and the DUP joint accolytes in the cathedral of global capitalism.
For surprising everyone and showing that it is possible to overcome the past.
For enhancing the reputation of the original Chuckle Brothers.
For redefining the word “Deputy”, which now means “Joint”.
For quoting the Bible very appropriately (for a change): “We know not what a day may bring forth”.
For leaving hundreds of thousands of people wondering, “What was all that about?”
For proving that political miracles are possible.
For becoming the poster-boys of teetotalism, thus joining George W Bush in the exclusive club of non-drinking heads of government.
For demonstrating the wisdom of the poet Seamus Heaney, who once said that we speak too often of “the others” or “the other side” when what we need to do is to get to a place of “through-otherness”.

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  • Freddie w.belf

    I agree with Will C’s choice. He’s also right about the joint-deputy thing. That was always a daft idea (prob suggested by the SDLP).

  • Outsider

    If Paisley gets this award he knows what he can do with it.

  • rj

    Is Crawley supposed to be serious?

    For looking like they have truly embraced change rather than merely touching shoulders with it.
    Looking like? How hard has Crawley looked? What have those two achieved that even Direct Rule Ministers couldn’t have done (apart from their own power)?

    For laughing together. Often.
    So that’s the purpose of Government?

    For transforming the atmosphere of Northern Ireland.
    Tell that to those watching their Orange Hall burnt, their GAA hall defaced with graffiti, a peace wall built through the grounds of their Integrated School.

    For surprising everyone …
    Yes, certainly …
    … and showing that it is possible to overcome the past.
    … it’s possible, but perhaps premature to suggest that they have?

    For leaving hundreds of thousands of people wondering, “What was all that about?”
    Including the bereaved, the maimed, the intimidated, the Protestants forced from Derry to the Waterside, the Catholics forced from Newtownabbey to West Belfast, those who committed crimes they regret because of the malign influence of preachers and paramilitaries, …

    I wonder if those who are now lauding the Chuckle Brothers will be quite so sure in a year’s time.

  • páid

    Well I think he should get it. In some quarters, enjoying your work and laughing with your colleagues is to be frowned on with a big frowning action.
    He has secured his objective, a serious and enduring place for Northern Protestants in any new Ireland.

    And with that, páid bows out of Slugger.

    I hope it’s not to cheeky to write slán in the middle of a thread. Thanks for the debates with ye all and sorry if I ever caused offence, easily given and taken on a subject that deals with personal identity.
    Special word for IJP for civility, Malcolm Redfellow for sheer knowledge, JoeCanuck for reasonableness, Fair Deal for well, fairness, Darth for brilliant humour, Dewi for enthusiasm, BonarLaw for opening my mind, Turgon for honesty, Sammy Morse for intelligence, willowfield for decency,Olibhéar C do chreisdiúnt sa gcúis, Harry Flashman for Derry dour, JEB for decency and Pete Baker for the nerdy accuracy ;-). Apologies to the rest but you’ll all be aware of my adjective limitations!
    And, ár ndóigh, Mick chun a rud ar fad a thosaigh.
    Rud tabhachtach é i mo thuairimse. Tá fir marbh ag siúil sráideanna agus garrantaí mar gheall ort agus do leithéide a Mhic.

    Jaw jaw and all that. 🙂

  • Granni Trixie

    Yet again WC surprises me – is he all there? We are supposed to be grateful to two individuals who played leading parts in bringing NI to its knees, beause they are helping to put things right?
    On separate note – why is paid leaving …has he now got a life?

  • Granni Trixie

    Yet again WC surprises me – is he all there? We are supposed to be grateful to two individuals who played leading parts in bringing NI to its knees, because they are helping to put things right?
    On separate note – why is paid leaving …has he now got a life?

  • Hell-mutt

    What a pack of cynics. Would you rather that the DUP and SF remained enemies firing shots across at each other. By any realistic standards of political progress, Paisley and McGuinness have pulled off a remarkable achievement in working together. That was been recognised internationally. I notice that one major almanac has placed Paisley and McGuinness on the front cover for the story of the year. Crawley’s choice is hardly that surprising. Nobody is suggesting that P and McG are saints; they have a lot to answer for in relation to NI’s past. That said, they have taken a step forward that is worth recognising and, yes, celebrating. I agree with the choice.

  • Ladslo

    Guys, guys, guys, you have no sense of irony. WC’s language is a mix of serious and tongue-in-cheek, just as it was last year when he chose Richard Dawkins then added a list of semi-insulting observations that irritated a lot f my humanist mates. It’s a fun list. Take it in the right spirit, for God’s/Dawkins’sake. For what it’s worth, I agree with the selection of the big man and the little man. (Sorry, that was humour, not a sizest comment.)

  • Sam Spud

    What was all that about? That was exactly the question I asked when the deal was done between the shinners and the duppers. I’ve little time for either but I agree on this choice for person of the year because they were def the story of the year in NI. Futher afield too Ive seen lots of interest in what’s going on in stormont. Rememeber: you don’t have to like or aprove of someone for them to be picked as your person of the year. TIME picked Putin and not for any positive reasons either. They once selected Hitler!