“The Price of Peace” – part 2

A quick reminder that part 2 of John Ware’s series “The Price of Peace” is about to air on Radio 4 starting at 1.30pm – “Dealing with the Big Man.” It’ll be repeated on Thursday at 8pm and direct link to the audio now available online. Adds Interesting comment from US Envoy Mitchell Reiss – “Plan B, I think, was more smoke and mirrors than it was reality.” [approx 24 mins in] But there’s much more detail on the US involvement in The Process™ in the previously noted analysis. Update Whilst Ware claimed there was lack of conditionality in the DUP’s position before joining the current Executive, a series of interviews by Frank Millar in early 2006 provide evidence of just such conditionality. Here’s Mitchell Reiss in June 2006 – he mentions Plan B as well

“I will say that I’ve been encouraged by the objective criteria they have set out for joining a government with Sinn Féin. The two issues Peter Robinson articulated when he visited the US in April were a commitment to supporting the police and an ending of IRA criminality. I think those are completely reasonable for the DUP to stake out – and again, if they should be met, then I can’t see any reason why the DUP wouldn’t be willing to stand up in Stormont immediately.”

, , , , ,

  • Mark McGregor

    Was very disappointed after last week’s excellent programme. Apart from Reiss’ brief comment on Plan B it was pretty much an unenlightening, basic biography.

  • slug

    I just listened to it and would highly recommend it.

    What struck me for the first time was how the programme could make sense of Ian Paisley. A working class authentic no-spin politician whose Ballymena accent stood out as a mark of his authenticity.

    A man who at times (as Lord Bew pointed out) said things that were true and insightful but that other politicians wouldn’t say: At the Downing Street Declaration, Ian Paisley was the only person predicting that this meant Sinn Féin at negotiations and in government without decommissioning and he turned out right; At the GFA he said that this meant Sinn Féin in government without any decommissioning and he was right.

    And Ian Paisley did get the mighty IRA and Sinn Féin to move on decommissioning and support for policing, things that he insisted on before taking that final act of leadership into government with Sin Féin. These are real achievments.

    In this sense his career can be understood and a positive case can be made: others have moved more than he did.

    The programme did make the point that this thesis is perhaps somewhat undermined by the lack of such conditionality (on decomissioning support for police etc) in Ian Paisley’s earlier statememts.

    Nonetheless I thought the picture created was that of a real leader who never lost his roots, did his own thing, and went out on a positive and yet conciliatory note.

    In this sense, more than any other player in this process, this is a fascinating story of a working class rebel, a great speaker who could lead his people, who overcame setbacks (GFA), who took on the establishment, and came out victorious.

    A narrative of a complex but ultimately fascinating person.

  • Dewi

    Very good I thought – Lord Bew (is that how u spell it?) talked some sense. Always good to remind oneself what a blasted ranter Paisley was.