“You can only judge a political career by comparing the starting point and finishing point.”

Alex Kane reckons that Dr Paisley comes out badly of any analysis that takes Enoch Powell’s dictum that all political lives end in failure seriously…

As early as the summer of 1998 – and I wrote about it at the time – the DUP knew that it could never go back to the drawing board and rewrite the Agreement. It pretended (and I use that term in its most precise sense) that it had a strategy for delivering something better and banked on the fact that the UUP would be put through the mill by Blair, Sinn Fein and general circumstance. All it had to do was wait until Trimble had taken the hits and Ian Paisley had arrived in the driving seat; then tie up a few loose ends and snatch the benefits.

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  • Kane starts from the premise that:

    Trimble had taken the hits – Paisley snatched the benefits.

    Fair enough: hardly an original observation. That’s the reality of politics, business, sports management, even the higher tiers of the newspaper world. Tough: get on with it.

    Nearly 1100 words later (such editorial generosity!) he deplores Paisley’s

    strategy as utterly, thoroughly, comprehensively hypocritical.

    As opposed to whomsoever else’s?

    By the way, I’m presently relishing Andrew Marr’s History of Modern Britain. Out of interest, I notice the score: Adams and McGuinness get two namings each (both linked), Trimble gets the one; but Paisley is conspicuously absent. Over 60 years and 600 pages: that’s one writer’s sum total of the relevance of such NI “faces” to Britain.

  • Alex may not want openly to call Papa Doc a hypocrite, but I am more than happy to do so. In fact I will go further and describe Paisley as a two-faced, cynical, shameless, egotistical Lundy, who sold out on everything he ever stood for in order to get the applause of all those who had hated him for half a century. I think of men who walked behind him like Alderman Belshaw of Lisburn or John Wylie from Ballymoney and wonder what they would have made of his surender to IRA/Sinn Fein.

    Don’t anyone stand on Captain O’Neill’s grave in Hampshire, you’ll only get giddy.

    Good riddance Ian, and if you have a shred of integrity left (which I doubt), never show your face on an loyalist platform again.

  • The Watchman

    I will go further and describe Paisley as a two-faced, cynical, shameless, egotistical Lundy

    Paisley is a little more than that. His name comes out at 666, just like Gerry Adams’.

    (From my book The Book of Revelation Revealed – click on my name.)

    “I cannot mention Gerry Adams without mentioning the fact that the second beast is Ian Paisley who, as a religious preacher, represents religious extremism. The second beast is coincidentally called ‘the false prophet’ (Rev 19:20), making him a flawed part of the Old Testament tradition of prophets. Would anyone deny me the right to define a man who has been for many simply a loudmouth bully who has regularly threatened violence if he doesn’t get his way as not being like Christ? Who actually believes that Christ is a loudmouth bully who threatens violence? Why then should any Paisleyite object to their leader being regarded as an opponent of Christ like Gerry Adams?

    “‘He had two horns like a lamb, but he spoke like a dragon,’ (Rev 13:11). Paisley is a religious preacher like the Lamb, or Jesus, but he has a roaring voice (akin to what the mythical creature, the dragon, would sound like, some would say). This is a significant coincidence.

    “Again, Ian Paisley’s name coincidentally comes out at 666 on my numeric alphabet (see Appendix 1) which makes the alphabet all the more credible in that there are coincidentally two beasts in the Book of Revelation and the number of the beast is 666; that is, the number of both beasts is 666.

    “Another prophecy was fulfilled at the reconvening of Stormont on May 8th 2007 with Ian Paisley being elected First Minister and Gerry Adams decided not to be part of the government: “[The second beast, i.e. Paisley] exercised all the authority of the first beast [i.e. Adams] on his behalf [i.e. because Adams remained outside government], and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed [Adams was shot and seriously wounded in 1984]” (Rev 13:12).

    “By remaining outside government, Adams has shrewdly ensured that his spirit remains to dominate proceedings. Paisley will govern with one eye on keeping Adams happy under government by the lowest common denominator (i.e. he exercised all the authority of the first beast on his behalf): the authority of the first beast depends on him appealing to the lowest common denominator in the population.

    “Paisley’s often-heard oratory has contained considerable elements of bigotry, even hate, against his opponents, rather than forgiveness and love. He regularly called for an eye for an eye, in dealing with those who ‘sin’ against his community.

    “Much of the value system of the Bible-reading Unionists comes from the Old Testament. For example, their beliefs in a (divinely-ordained) nation state, in a God of severe Judgements, and in Hell, Fire and Brimstone have their origins in the Old Testament. When a unionist quotes the Bible, he almost always is referring to the Old Testament.

    “The emphasis of Ulster Protestants on the message of the Old Testament is well documented, and their contribution to capitalism is widely accepted. Ian Paisley may then be said to come from an Old Testament background. But, on the whole, he has not been a good prophet leading his people to the light but, on the contrary, he has led them away from it and deeper into darkness. In recent years his fire has dimmed and he has taken a more positive line such that he may in fact be the first unionist leader to lead his people on the Dublin road.

    “Therefore, one must ask the question: is Ian Paisley a false prophet? The answer can only be “yes”, contrary to what Ian Paisley has made his reputation on – saying “No”. We must further ask the question, is Ian Paisley “the false prophet” (Rev 16:13), or the second beast, as prophesied to come in the Book of Revelation? Given what I’ve said above, it is undoubtedly so.”

  • Re: John O’Connell @ 08:47 PM:

    So here was I believing kipper-flavour ice-cream was weird.

    Then I woke up, and it was all a dream.

  • Greenflag

    dave o’connell,

    ‘Therefore, one must ask the question: is Ian Paisley a false prophet or the second beast’

    Why bother ? He’s gone and taken the loot .

    It’s all about compliance i.e taking your medication so you don’t hear the voices 🙁

  • Lenny

    The Watchman

    “I think of men who walked behind him like Alderman Belshaw of Lisburn or John Wylie from Ballymoney and wonder what they would have made of his surender to IRA/Sinn Fein”

    And don’t forget all the UDA and UVF men who walked behind him also.

  • Greenflag

    Lenny,

    ‘And don’t forget all the UDA and UVF men who walked behind him also. ‘

    That was different because well because well because well because well because – I’m not sure but it might be because they are the ‘chosen people’ and therefore can’t do wrong in the eyes of the ‘watchers’ .

  • Dave

    Greenflag, or it might be because there is a salient moral and legal distinction between a person who murders another and a person who does not. Paisley, unlike the mass-murderers that the nationalists in Northern Ireland elect, has neither murdered, nor to conspired to murder, another.

  • Dave

    “… a person who has murdered another and a person who has not.”

    I apologise for murdering the Queen’s English. 😉

  • Lenny

    Dave,

    Paisley has associated with and allied himself for political ends with organizations which have murdered catholic men, women and children. If the Shinners are unfit for government then so are the DUP.

    To the TUVies, Paisley is a bollocks for sharing power with republicans but when he and fellow DUPers were sharing the streets with the UVF/UDA there was no problem. The new leader of the DUP is a convicted criminal. Do you think it was the boy scouts he led into Clontibret?

  • Dave

    Lenny, you’re welcome to show where Paisley sat on the ‘Army Council’ of a sectarian murder gang, organising the murders of thousands, and the maiming of ten of thousands, of people for his own ends. Apart from the warped logic that fits a murderer into the same category as a non-murderer, you need to pay attention to your moral relativism: even if Paisley was a mass-murderer, that still wouldn’t make mass-murder acceptable.

  • Greenflag

    ‘because there is a salient moral and legal distinction between a person who murders another and a person who does not.’

    At the risk of invoking Godwin’s law – I don’t believe the Nuremberg judges would have made use of this ‘salient moral and legal distinction’ had they been able to try Hitler after WWII. Hitler never personnally murdered anybody .

    While I agree with your statement re Paisley as an individual Lenny hits the right note with

    ‘If the Shinners are unfit for government then so are the DUP.’

    When enough people are denied their rights for long enough and when governments neglect their responsibilities to ALL of their citizens then there will sooner or later be recourse to revolution / conflict and ‘mass murder .
    It’s human nature -look around the world . Irish history north and south is replete with examples .

  • [i]”Lenny, you’re welcome to show where Paisley sat on the ‘Army Council’ of a sectarian murder gang, organising the murders of thousands, and the maiming of ten of thousands, of people for his own ends.”[/i]

    But, Paisley and the other unionist leaders did provide cover for the unionist mass murderers and Paisley, in particular, did openly encourage violence by his rantings. Sorry, Dave, but the people who support and send others out to murder are just as guilty as those who do the actual killing.

    And, as I have pointed out before, the security forces and the unionist murder gangs were far more guilty of murder and terrorism than the PIRA.

    If you are not going to hold HMG and the unionists responsible for their terrorism, then, in all honesty, you cannot hold nationalists/republicans responsible for their terrorism, especially when the nationalist/republican violence was responsible for half as many deaths as the HMG and unionist murder gangs combined.

    BTW, despite the biased and very self-serving definition of war by the UN which you cited, I’ve got news for you: The PIRA campaign and the HMG/murder gang campaign was, indeed, a war. Too bad!

  • Green Flag,

    I have already expressed my views of loyalist paramilitaries elsewhere so don’t talk bull**** about what I tolerate because I don’t. Although at least you haven’t got on to your repartition single transferable post.

    People, just ignore Bob McGowan, he’s either just a troll and not worth feeding, or a Provo sympathiser and equally not worth a response.

  • Dave

    “At the risk of invoking Godwin’s law – I don’t believe the Nuremberg judges would have made use of this ‘salient moral and legal distinction’ had they been able to try Hitler after WWII. Hitler never personnally murdered anybody .” – Greenflag

    Why did you bother? Perhaps you should have read what you were replying to before you replied?

    “Paisley, unlike the mass-murderers that the nationalists in Northern Ireland elect, has neither murdered, [b]nor to conspired to murder[/b], another.”

    “Lenny, you’re welcome to show where Paisley sat on the ‘Army Council’ of a sectarian murder gang, [b]organising the murders of thousands[/b], and the maiming of ten of thousands, of people for his own ends.”

    “When enough people are denied their rights for long enough and when governments neglect their responsibilities to ALL of their citizens then there will sooner or later be recourse to revolution / conflict and ‘mass murder .” – Greenflag

    Oh dear…

    Then why, dear boy, was there no uprising by the oppressed masses? Were the 99.9% of citizens who did not believe that there was just cause or that it was right and proper to randomly murder others in error in their moral and rational judgement, and the sectarian psychopaths who comprised a tiny fraction of the population correct? There was no uprising: there was a small number of sectarian murder gangs who organised and controlled the violence for their own respective ends.

  • Greenflag

    Watchman,

    What are you on about ? I was replying to Lenny . Have you perhaps read ‘Watchman ‘ mistakenly for ‘eyes of the watchers’ ? . I’ll take your statement re condemnation of all loyalist/ unionist/ republican paramilitaries as your position.

    ‘ People, just ignore Bob McGowan’

    I don’t . Doe’s not mean I agree with his entire viewpoint but like it or not Northern Ireland went through a generation or two of ‘troubles’ which in some respects may be longer term more damaging for the residents of that benighted state than a full scale war would have been .

  • Greenflag

    ‘Then why, dear was there no uprising by the oppressed masses?’

    You may have heard of the CRA. You may have read of mass demonstrations , marches , Burntollet , Bloody Sunday , Ulster Workers Strike etc etc . Perhaps you need to define ‘uprising’ ?

    ‘Were the 99.9% of citizens who did not believe that there was just cause etc etc —‘

    From where cometh the 99% figure ? Neither the IRA nor their Loyalist counterparts could have carried out their ‘terror’ for the better part of 40 years if 99% of the Northern Ireland population had been totally opposed to both.

    ‘there was a small number of sectarian murder gangs who organised and controlled the violence for their own respective ends.’

    Not that simple old boy . The majority of people will not vote for sectarian murder gangs which is perhaps why loyalist ‘politicians ‘ could never make a breakthrough in politics. The fact that SF command almost 30% of the NI vote can only mean that they (SF/IRA)are not perceived as ‘sectarian murder’ gangs by more than half the nationalist electorate.

    Please understand that I’m not stating the violence was justified . It would have been far better for all concerned if reform could have taken place earlier in the 1960’s and had the Unionist establishment been wise enough to both execute the neccesary reforms while keeping their supporters in check . Sadly Unionist political expertise had not been exercised or even challenged in any significant manner for the entire duration of NI history to that time . Thus the political implosion and the breakup of monolithic UUP which as we now see has been replaced by the DUP .

  • Lenny

    Dave

    You do not have to sit on an ‘Army Council’ to have blood on your hands. Paisley and other DUPers allied themselves with sectarian murderers on the streets of the north for political ends. They knew the people they were associating with and it bothered them not a jot.

    When the DUP were sharing the streets with the UVF/UDA, this didn’t bother Turgon, Watchman, David Vance or any other people who are now TUVies. But now that the DUP are sharing power with republicans, these moral guardians of all that is good are “outraged”. The hypocrisy, while not surprising is none the less sickening.

  • Greenflag

    Lenny,

    ‘The hypocrisy, while not surprising is none the less sickening.’

    I’d have put it differently

    ‘The hypocrisy while sickening should not surprise anybody who knows anything about the political ‘culture’ of Northern Ireland since that State was established’

    The ‘future’ beckons but not for the TUVies . For them it’s the past and past only that attracts . That is why they will lose.

  • Lenny

    “‘The hypocrisy while sickening should not surprise anybody who knows anything about the political ‘culture’ of Northern Ireland since that State was established’ “

    Well put Greenflag. I just wish TUV would be up front about their policy which goes something like

    “While we have no problem with the supporters of loyalist terrorism being in government, we are unequivocally opposed to supporters of
    republican violence being in government.”
    This is the TUV position and I wish they would just come out and admit it.

  • ZoonPol

    Malcolm (Jun 03, 2008@05:07 PM) I too relished Andrew Marr’s History of Modern Britain. It’s the second showing so I think it was made several years ago but I noticed last week it was about Harold Wilson – outbreak of, ‘The Troubles’. I did note how the Civil Rights marches were led by Catholics (sic) – those bad Protestants!
    Going back to the hypocrisy comment, I believe it’s a matter of folklore now, how Jeffery Donaldson would orchestrate the convening if
    the UUP’s Council as a means of demeaning her leader’s position and restating how he would never work with the, ‘Godfather of Godfathers’. With hindsight maybe clarification was needed to whether he meant Ian Paisley or Martin McGuinness but as junior minister he can claim the distinction of working for both. The only conviction this guy has is in his career.

  • Greenflag

    Zoonpol,

    ‘The only conviction this guy (Jeffery Donaldson)has is in his career.’

    I’m relieved to hear it . At least it’s a better bet for the future of all the people of NI than the conviction of a shared mass grave which is what the TUV appear to offer 🙁

    Lenny,

    The TUV position ? Bend over croppy -lie down croppy- we’ll pick the right sort of ‘catholics’ for our ‘voluntary’ power sharing plan as long as they agree to wave the jack and sing God Save the Queen with gusto.

    Complete shite of course and in time it will be seen to be just a rebirth of the same stale ‘manure’ that has characterised the lunatic fringe of unionism for the better part of a century 🙁

    We’ve seen manifestations of the same trend rise up several times in the past 40 years and will no doubt see more of the same in the future but as time passes the numbers will reduce until finally they will be reduced to the lone barking sandwich board merchant prophesising ‘the Unionist wuurrrrrrl is coming to an end ‘

  • ZoonPol

    At least we agree Greenflag that he only has one conviction: politics is not unlike a game of chess and Jeffrey set up his pieces well.
    As for the TUV I am sure you would agree with me that they have a right to assemble peaceably etc and others have the freedom not to listen. The DUP knows that the TUV is a threat to them for not only does it represent the convictions of the historical DUP but also with the ousting of the ceremonial leader, and due to its dictatorial makeup there is no one left to give a voice to their evangelical membership (that is if they have any left).