Paisley has had the last laugh on Republicans…

It’s hard to know what Gerry Adams really thinks about Ian Paisley. Last week, he refered to the First Minister as a fascinating and respectful in his dealings. Yesterday, at a Republican commemoration in Milltown Cemetary, he suggested in his address that the DUP had been ‘careless’ to lose, not one but two Paisleys. Anthony McIntyre thinks the Big Man has had the last laugh:

Ultimately, history might be unkind to Ian Paisley, judging him as the man who abandoned all his beliefs for a slice of power, only to fall on the extremist sword he had fashioned to perfection. A more astute assessment might well conclude that, in essence, the old theocrat never really changed. In government, he secured what had long eluded him outside of it — Sinn Fein’s acceptance of second-class citizenship. His perpetual dismissal of Martin McGuinness as ‘the deputy’ was par for the Paisley course. That the Derry Catholic should prove so deferential to the ‘big man’ negated a lifetime spent insisting that God made Catholics but the armalite rifle made them equal.

Ian Paisley can step into retirement chuckling at his achievements: partition into perpetuity and the union with Britain as secure as it has ever been. His has been one political odyssey that defies Enoch Powell’s dictum “all political careers end in failure”.

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  • Greenflag

    When he heard about Paisley’s retirement an old Belfast Catholic called Doherty showed up outside the DUP Headquarters with a huge poster which read :

    ” Thank you , Rev Ian , for our happy childhood”

    The new future DUP leader Peter Robinson saw the poster and immediately ran outside went over to the oul Fenian and said :

    ‘What’s the matter with you old man ? How old are you anyway ? ‘

    ‘ 95 years of age ‘ says oul Doherty nonchalantly .

    ‘Why , when you were a child , Ian Paisley had’nt even been born yet ! says Robinson

    ‘That’s exactly what I’m thanking him for’ says oul Doherty.

    ‘A more astute assessment might well conclude that, in essence, the old theocrat never really changed.’

    Sometimes change means same old by a different route . By the time this American Presidential election is over I’m sure the ‘word’ change will have taken on a new meaning similar perhaps to Potemkin village !

    Mc Intyre may be right but IMO the most interesting part of Paisley’s apparent metamorphus from crude ultra Prod frog into charming Pape friendly near saint is the ‘why’ ?

    It will be decade before we know assuming we ever do !

  • mick_c

    Maybe Anthony if you had taken the chip off your shoulder and helped secure votes for the Derry Catholics party rather than dissenting, the said Derry Catholic may well have refered to Mr Paisly as deputy but that would mean giving something positive to the community you once held dear.

  • Paul P

    Mick,

    Dream on boy. There will never be a DUP “deputy” to Derry Catholic at Stormont!

  • mick_c

    Yeah Paul, and there would never be a Governmet involving Sinn Fein and the DUP, dreams can be made into reality Paul P, it won’t be long now son.

  • Fraggle

    Paul P

    The catholic majority in school age children suggests otherwise.

  • harry

    Maybe Anthony if you had taken the chip off your shoulder and helped secure votes for the Derry Catholics party rather than dissenting, the said Derry Catholic may well have refered to Mr Paisly as deputy but that would mean giving something positive to the community you once held dear.

    Posted by mick_c on Mar 10, 2008 @ 12:33 PM

    oh yes.. the climax of sinn fein’s ambitions… that Martin becomes the first minister of a stormont administration. implementing policy direct from london, whilst retaining the PIRA army council for, as TD O’Caolain puts it…a bulwark aginst republicans.

  • mick_c

    sorry Harry, I don’t think Sinn Fein see that as thier “climax” but a step in the right direction. Would you like to offer an alternative approach to thier gaining thier ambitions ?

  • What a depressing post from Mick c, the whole thing was about nothing more than being top dog in a mockney British parliament, the likes of which no Englishman would give the time of day.

    If ‘harrys’ post has some truth in it, the Provos have not even morphed into Broys Harriers but a UK version of the South Lebanese Army.

    Is it any wonder the turn outs for these commemorations seem to be getting smaller. I wonder exactly who is advising SF these days, a commemoration for the Gib three in Stormont of all places?

  • J Kelly

    Pisley may be laughing now but come the end of may he will be yesterdays news and he will be gone. The sterner face of the DUP will be left to work with Martin McGuinness, Gerry Kelly and the likes that won’t be easy for Gregory and co now they can blame Paisley then they will be on their own.

    Paisley claims to have smashed Sinn Fein and he knows better than anyone Sinn Fein is far from smashed. Sinn Fein may have been bruised in the past year it came from the south certainly not from the North. If the two recent by elections for council seats in the north are anything to go by the parties in the north under pressure is the DUP and the SDLP.

    Sinn Feins aspirations to First Minister status in the north is far from the end it will serve as a bridge head to further advancements. Sinn Fein have recently set up a group to examine how to move to the next stage, a United Ireland. Paisley, mackers and many on this board may be laughing, they should remember that the games not over to the fat lady sings.

    A United Ireland is now more than ever on the political agenda across this island and it will become more and more relevant as the days pass. Cancer Services is a clear example of how it will become a reality to people in their every day lives. If you live in Sligo,Leitrim, Tyrone, Fermanagh, Donegal or Derry the nearest treatment centre will be Belfast or Galway. The argument from the HSE and DHSSPS is that the population doesn’t merit a centre in the North West. The population divided by two it may not but the catchment across the entire Northwest certainly does. So when these issue start biting the practical issue of a United Ireland will start to impact.

    Sinn Fein will be the party that will be pushing teh United Ireland agenda more and more as the days, months and years go by. Then we will see who ahs the last laugh.

  • micky

    want some cheap lamberts, j kelly?

  • Turgon

    J Kelly,

    Sorry to dampen a “stand up for Londonderry” typed moment but the population of the whole North West does not merit a cancer centre. Centralisation and specialisation of services is critical to the provision of modern health care. As such whilst a satellite centre may have some merit in Altnagelvin the simple fact is that care is best provided in fewer centres, hence, allowing cancer doctors to subspecialise. In this case the centres are in Belfast and Sligo.

    I care little about which people go to provided they get adequate care. A much more relevant question would be which cancer drugs are available on the NHS in each jurisdiction and which are not. But when local politicians are presented with a choice between having the best possible health care and having slightly less good health care more locally, it is clear which they choose for their constituents. I wonder which they would choose for themselves?

    Unfortunately since health care is not a bottomless pit hard choices have to be made and at this time spending money on a Cancer Centre for Londonderry would mean we had less money to spend elsewhere reducing or not improving other services. Furthermore it would result in each cancer doctor having to treat a wider range of cancers in Londonderry; hence, over time reducing each doctors specialist knowledge and ability to adopt new techniques in each area of cancer. Flowing from that would be less good care for the people of Londonderry.

    Still why let such unfortunate things stand in the way of another cavalcade.

  • RUC man

    Thats just a makey-uppey name. Doire Cholm Cille I’m sure you mean. Langer.

  • J Kelly

    Micky whats silly point are you making that if people stopped smoking cheap fags they wouldn’t get cancer.

    Turgon cancer services are being stripped out of Sligo and centralised in Galway. The issue isn’t about cancer services it was only used, because its topical presently, to make the broader point a united Ireland will become inevitable in the not too distance future.

  • Gréagóir O’ Frainclín

    It was good to here “Robbo” talk rather optimistically about the relationship today between north and south. He even nearly smiled in the course of the interview. I suppose the hardcore Unionists will have “Mr Stiff Upper Lip” himself next for the chopping block if he shows any kinda warmth toward Irish Nationalists. Roll out Jimmy and then Grego.

    Regarding Paisley, what a selfish man, an opportunist if ever there was one, and an out and out liar. He duped the rather “sheepish” element of Ulster Protestant folk all his political life. Stirring it up by demonising Catholics and any anyone else who opposed his blinkered views. Paranoia abound. He was appaling really! Many lying cold in the ground today because of his vitriol.

  • Gréagóir O’ Frainclín

    “good to here” should be “good to hear”….. DOH!

  • Turgon

    J Kelly,
    Maybe it is inevitable; I doubt it. Just like union between Scotland and England is inevitable, or the USA and Canada?

    Union will occur if the people here want it; unfortunately for you, SF’s friends in the IRA have ensured that to many of my community we would oppose it all the more. If there ever was a union I very much doubt if we would feel united with republicans. That is the gross self perpetuated failure of the stated aims of the republican movement, a failure advanced by every shooting and every bombing.

    Of course I suspect that the unity the republican movement wants is not the rather trite and insulting “Protestant, Catholic and Dissenter” invoking a false distinction between Protestant and Dissenter. No the unity desired by the reopublican movement as proven over the years both before and after the ceasefire is a unity of victory of its own ideology over that of unionists and any nationalsist who dare stand in its way. It has much more in common with the unity desired by dictators of various stripes throughout history.

  • A N Other

    Re RUC Man,

    Typical Cork-man – self-appointed authorities on everything!!

  • “In government, he secured what had long eluded him outside of it—Sinn Fein’s acceptance of second-class citizenship. His perpetual dismissal of Martin McGuinness as ‘the deputy’ was par for the Paisley course.”

    But under the Agreement McGuinness is effectively co-First Minister. Paisley might have called him “Deputy” but the old fool would have known better. (I hope.)

    “A United Ireland is now more than ever on the political agenda across this island and it will become more and more relevant as the days pass. Cancer Services is a clear example of how it will become a reality to people in their every day lives. If you live in Sligo,Leitrim, Tyrone, Fermanagh, Donegal or Derry the nearest treatment centre will be Belfast or Galway. The argument from the HSE and DHSSPS is that the population doesn’t merit a centre in the North West. The population divided by two it may not but the catchment across the entire Northwest certainly does. So when these issue start biting the practical issue of a United Ireland will start to impact.

    “Sinn Fein will be the party that will be pushing teh United Ireland agenda more and more as the days, months and years go by. Then we will see who ahs the last laugh.”

    Oh here we go again. Take a look at Geneva. It is surrounded on virtually all sides by France. Is there going to be a change of sovereignty anytime soon? I bet not. People live in France and commute to work. There are plenty of other bits of Europe where an urban centre has a hinterland within another state. So what? Never mind cancer services, perhaps we need more psychological care in the health service so the likes of J.Kelly can get over his delusions.

  • John O’Connell

    With Paisley gone there will be enormous pressure on the press to raise the past scandal that he, Paisley, has been part of, i.e. David Ervine’s wallpaper remarks. Republicans may feel that the pressure is then off them to maintain Gerry Adams as a similar god-like figure, and they may begin to release information that takes away from his divine image. Paisley and Adams feed off each other. Paisley going will enable their enemies to attack both theses demagogues and this may mean that Adams has to go too.

    I predict that there will be strong pressure on Adams to go in May too. He is after all a spent force so far as the South is concerned, and a weary potential liability in Northern terms. Remember “I am not and never have been an IRA member.” That’s a risky approach.

    I guess that the press will move into overdrive in their pursuit of both these characters in the next sixty days.

  • PaddyReilly

    Of course I suspect that the unity the republican movement wants is not the rather trite and insulting “Protestant, Catholic and Dissenter” invoking a false distinction between Protestant and Dissenter.

    The distinction between Protestant and Dissenter is not a false one, and it is virtually only in Northern Ireland that these disparate sects have managed to forge a common identity. For as long as the Established Church ruled supreme and Presbyterians were discriminated against, or perceived themselves as such, many among their ranks took an interest in revolutionary politics. Nowadays the bulk of Presbyterians can be classed as Protestants. Dissenters nowadays are those whose religious ideas are so far from anything Biblical they cannot be called Protestants. Perhaps Unitarians and Quakers, certainly Scientologists and Hare Krishnas are the modern Dissenters.

  • Pancho’s Horse

    Turgon, is it not a bit disingenuous of you to suggest that if the Provisional Alliance had not launched their ‘campaign of terror’ that the colonial types would have been bursting themselves to throw up their privileged position and rush madly into a United Ireland or at least a settlement with the natives? If the white S Africans/Rhodesians could have avoided democracy, they would have.You can’t seem to grasp (or maybe you can) the fact that once the planters start to mix with the planted and grant them equality in their own country, then the show is over and a return to the mainland (sic) is the only option.THis imagined racial/religious/linguistic superiority is the colonial raison d’etre and if it is removed then all is lost.

  • Comrade Stalin

    J Kelly,

    If I want plastic surgery, possibly a face transplant (probably a good idea) I would guess that the nearest place which specializes is France. Should when then be pushing a United Ireland+France agenda ?

    In fact, in general where the interests of people living in two nations happen to coincide, should we throw away the national border ? What’s the point in national borders in the first place anyway, why don’t we get the best of both worlds and have Ireland join the UK ?

  • Pancho’s Horse

    ….. or better still. Have the UK join Europe?

  • Turgon

    Pancho’s horse,

    I know you are no idiot but I think this racial superiority stereotype is inaccurate. I am a pretty upper middle class unionist as is my wife, we really never thought like that neither did our parents. Yes some of the proper Big House Prods might have but they were a small minority.

  • Garibaldy

    How is it that people who support PSF can talk about how unionists are being rolled back by things like cancer provision (and I see Comrade Stalin has beaten me to the analogy with people from the UK going to France) and ignore the glaring u-turns that have been done by PSF?

    Rather than say, yes compromises have been made in order to improve the quality of life, but the fundamental goal remains the same. The trumpeting of a taskforce on Irish unity being established (as opposed to what, the entire party?) is laughable. So a group from the leadership asks some people to cherrypick some stuff from old documents on a UI. I’m sure unionists are shaking in their boots and about to admit defeat.

  • Garibaldy

    On Turgon’s point about the uniting Protestant, Catholic and Dissenter. I consider myself a republican in the tradition of Tone. That is precisely why I reject the narrow sectarian politics offered by unionism and nationalism.

    In the hands of the Provos and their offshoots and supporters, that is a trite phrase that means nothing when stacked against their actions.

    But the vision of an Ireland where sectarianism has been left behind and a politics of common interest has replaced it remains the only solution to our problems.

  • Pancho’s Horse

    I bet your wife is a prettier upper middle class unionist than you.But it is not inaccurate. The natives have to be portrayed as dirty, promiscuous,heathen,drink ridden etc if the colonisation is to work.That’s the way of the world. You don’t fight your equals and steal their land. You try to civilise the untermensch and to do this you have to take their land. Sure they were only grazing a few cows on it, anyway – savages! But now, you and people like you, have met the natives and found some of them quite likeable – not trustworthy – but likeable rogues. The fact that some are better off than you and may even have bought farms that the pioneers have been driven off (by their raggle taggle comrades). Remember John Taylor’s remark that unionists must remember that 1 in 2 Catholics vote Sinn Fein. Your class of people will prosper in any society and no form of government is a threat to you. You can be forever the ‘hurlers on the ditch’ – with nobody and agin nobody. Forgive the rant and the stereotyping and I hope Mr Willowfield doesn’t read this.

  • aquifer

    Lets admit the possibility that Paisley has destroyed the Union in the sense of any real shared political relationship with Britain. Sinn Fein may be as comfortable as Paisley is with the image of protestantism alternately beleaguered and defiant, held at bay by the IRA, but then assertive in government. For the DUP are Irishmen in government in Ireland. Britain is delighted to leave them to it, and can be counted on to lift no finger to defend proud proddy privileges should things get sticky later. All his own work, his one extravagance his choice of enemies.

    And what of the tidy suburban hordes who suspended their critical faculties and tolerance to follow him for a bit?

    Led into the wilderness.

    SO biblical, but as father Dougal says, and without the death, sure its only a bit of a laugh really.

  • Alan

    Sinn Fein knew after 9/11 that political violence has no future in Ireland so it was external events, not Paisley or any Unionist, who put Sinn Fein into Stormont in the medium term.

    Ordinary UUP people would settle into in UI easily. They clearly don’t want it but that doesn’t mean if/when there’s a nationalist majority they won’t participate and help shape a new, equal and fair unified Irish state for all our citizens of whatever background.

    It’s the DUP disparate group of followers who maintain the colonial mindset that would cause problems in any modern society. Many of these are either religious fundamentalists or intellectually defunct Loyalists. A democratic majority in the North won’t matter to these type of people. Thus Ireland will need a well trained Police Force or the UN will be invited to Belfast and Ballymena to calm the colonial nutjobs.

  • Gréagóir O’ Frainclín

    “You don’t fight your equals and steal their land. You try to civilise the untermensch and to do this you have to take their land.”

    How can this unsettling thought rest in the consciousness of astute upright devout Bible observing Christians of the Reformed Churches today. “Very easily,” I hear them say? Surely the sin of covetness should be recognized and corrected here!

  • Tim

    Did’nt martin sf say on spotlight a few weeks ago that they where not considering a united ireland anymore? what has happened to him, my thoughts are he’s been britishised…

  • Llamedos

    I am an Anglican educated agnostic,who probably might swing to deism. I am tempted to the Bahai faith. I am Bitish,a resident of Northern Ireland and I remain steadfasly firm in my belief that total integration of The UK is the only answer; with secular politics. Liechenstein, Andorra, Monaco, Gibraltar, The British Dependencies,San Marino, Malta etc. all coexist with their larger neighbours,So what,s the problem with the Irish Republicans, can they not be mature?. We do lots of surgical procedures up here for them, remember the hypocatic oath.Women can only be seduced voluntarily by love and persuasion,not by threats and megaphone diplomacy and lawyers never sort out anything its bad for ongoing fees. Whats happened, happened; and no more commissions or Eames Bradleys will solve anything.
    The IRA were defeated by superior forces and anything Sein Fein says will not stop me knowing that and its the likes of me they’ve got to win over in this argument not that crowd in Milltown Cemetary. Could’nt they kick Adams upstairs and give my head some peace.

  • Alan

    Yes indeed you can co-exist with your larger “neighbour” Llamedos – the 26 counties.

  • Gréagóir O’ Frainclín

    “I am Bitish,a resident of Northern Ireland and I remain steadfasly firm in my belief that total integration of The UK is the only answer”

    Well good for you Llamedos!

    I’d say you’d be all on for a UK soccer team then, and sure why not rugby as well, etc…

    Give the UK a big cheer in the Eurovision too! Andy Abraham will represent you well this year, as I’m sure you have a lot more in common with himself (and Scooch last year) than the folk you live among in northen Ireland! As a UK citizen maybe you will give your neighbours in Ireland the “douze points” pleeze!

    Go raibh maith agat, sir!

  • darth rumsfeld

    “For as long as the Established Church ruled supreme and Presbyterians were discriminated against, or perceived themselves as such, many among their ranks took an interest in revolutionary politics.”

    Quite true, but many more became fervent Unionists. Don’t overestimate Presbyterian republicanism.

    Many United irishmen became supporters of the Union as a means to break the Protestant Ascendancy. Presbyterians were in the Orange Order from the very start, and were arguably numerically stronger than Episcopalians in many counties by the mid 18th century. Henry Cooke’s analysis chimed far more accurately with us than Montgomery’s or O’Connell’s.When the orange leadership tried to defend the establishment of the Cof I there was widespread dissent from Presbyterian members.

    Even people like Rev W B Armour were more interested in opposing what they saw as anti-presbyterian discrimination right in to the 1920s than in supporting Home Rule. The radicalism of the Route was the old Liberal non-conformism, but it was fundamentally Unionist.They didn’t like Carson the Tory, but they liked Collins and De Valera even less.

  • darth rumsfeld

    “A democratic majority in the North won’t matter to these type of people.”

    …er, you mean in the way that it mattered to nationalists when Unionists won every election from 1921 and counting?

  • Democratic

    Is it just me or does anyone else just switch off these days when Misty-Eyed Nationalists start up with any of the following phrases : Motherland, Serf, Colonial mindset, Untying of apronstrings,
    Native, Planter, Indigenous, Garrison, Croppies and the inevitable stolen land spiel……

  • Gréagóir O’ Frainclín

    Jesus, what’s that luking in the dark? Don’t look under the bed, for the fear of Home Rule and a United Ireland!

    “Home Rule” seems to be the bogeyman of Unionists.

    “Women can only be seduced voluntarily by love and persuasion,not by threats and megaphone diplomacy and lawyers never sort out anything its bad for ongoing fees.”

    So you want to be wooed into a United Ireland then, Llamedos. Kinky!

  • Gréagóir O’ Frainclín

    …”The Curse of the Home Rule Papists”

    ha ha….A horror flick set in Stormont….Starring Karloff, Lugosi and Chaney!