“great bitterness..”

In 1985 the BBC controversially profiled Martin McGuinness and Gregory Campbell in a Real Lives documentary and recently a BBC 4 programme, What Happened Next?, revisited both men to see how things had changed. The following clip, from that later programme, begins and ends with their expressed hopes for a better future.. but the personal remarks made in-between [tighter edit here] suggest that the Northern Ireland Executive, which Gregory Campbell has just joined as Culture Minister, is in for some interesting times ahead..

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  • “Interesting times ahead”. Indeed, Three hundred years after the, Seige of Derry, ostensibly ended and these neanderthal’s appear to have got the message!

  • earnan

    Sinn Fein and there supporters were willing to put all the Loyalist and British security murders behind them, why can’t he let go of the PIRA’s sins? Does not talking to McGuinness help anything???

  • I don’t imagine Gregory plans to get through each and every Executive meeting not talking to the Deputy First Minister. Not if his last sentence or two is to be believed.

  • Pete Baker

    Indeed, Mick.

    It’s also worth noting that “not talking to the deputy First Minister” is a description applied by the deputy First Minister.

    Campbell was, for example, most recently involved in a 4-party discussion on Hearts and Minds.

    And, as deputy First Minister, it’s Martin McGuinness’ diagnosis of Gregory Campbell as harbouring “great bitterness” and “great hostility” that resonates from the clip.

    Alongside Campbell’s not unreasonable wish that McGuinness had made the decision to pursue politics earlier.

    Parnell

    “these neanderthal’s appear to have got the message!”

    Whilst they may make the right noises about the future, you seem to have missed what they say about the present.

  • Greenflag

    Parnell,

    ‘these neanderthal’s appear to have got the message! ‘
    Campbell will be following Poots soon enough . Chaps as thick as a plank and twice as dense . McGuinness is a rocket scientist in comparison.

    At the rate his MLA’s are shooting off their mouths ( not excluding his missus the gay ‘curer’) poor Peter FM will soon have to call an election simply to find ‘ministerial’ material.

  • Pete Baker

    Greenflag

    You have forgotten to include the ball in your comment.

  • Greenflag

    pb,

    ‘You have forgotten to include the ball in your comment. ‘

    I’m perplexed . Please feel free to insert the ‘ball’ in the above comment where you feel it’s needed .

    [edited moderator]

  • Pete Baker
  • Alongside Campbell’s not unreasonable wish that McGuinness had made the decision to pursue politics earlier.

    Normal politics wasn’t possible 30 or 40 years ago. It would be like asking the ANC to indulge in normal politics while Apartheid still reigned.
    It’s a matter of debate whether it’s possible now – given the obduracy of the DUP and the refusal to talk with (rather than at) their colleagus in Government. Any discussion I’ve witnessed in which SF and DUP have participated have involved the DUP not engaging at all on a human level with their partners in Government while SF come over as bending over backwards to be ‘nice’ to their partners. I wish that SF would stand up to the DUP bullies more, in the media studios and around the Executive table.

  • PeaceandJustice

    Con – “Normal politics wasn’t possible 30 or 40 years ago”

    Perhaps not in Eire where Protestants were second-class citizens. Gregory Campbell has every right to question the motives of death squad leader McGuinness. McGuinness shows no remorse for the murder, torture and ethnic cleansing he and his terrorist gangs were involved in. Yet, he demands inquiries into the actions of everyone else.

  • Billy

    “PeaceandJustice”

    ‘Perhaps not in Eire where Protestants were second-class citizens’

    Yeah right, there was institutionalised discrimination in votes, jobs, housing etc for over 50 years – oh silly me! that’s the well documented and proven discrimination against Catholics in the North!

    If you can provide any evidence of over 50 years in the Republic with Protestants being denied votes, jobs , housing etc I’d like to see it.

    I seem to remember the North was proudly declared as being a Protestant State with a Protestant Parliament by the ‘Prime Minister’ of the day. I don’t remember anyone in the Republic ever saying that they would have a Catholic parliament.

    I also remember another arch bigot and ‘Prime Minister’ of the North telling people not to employ Catholics – oddly enough I don’t remember that happening in the South.

    I have no time for McGuinness or the IRA. Unlike you, however, I expand my condemnation to include ANY and ALL terrorism.

    Like you, the DUP have obvious double standards on ‘loyalist’ terrorism. Many DUP members have had associations with ‘loyalist’ terrorists and their ‘condemnation’ of “loyalist” terrorism is a sick joke in comparison with their vitriol towards Republican terrorism.

    You are a hypocrite and the worst example of a Unionist MOPE that I have ever encountered.

    It must really pain you that the days of Catholics being treated like second class citizens are long gone. Well , tough luck, they are gone and they won’t ever be coming back.

  • USA

    P+J,
    You consistantly only see one half of the equation which is why your contributions offer little. I’m sure there were plenty of reasons for the undeniable decline of the Protestant population in the 26 counties. Fiollowing partition ‘m sure many moved to Britain as that is where they felt a cultural affiliation; i’m sure many also moved north lured by jobs and the welcoming arms from thier co-religionists and marching men; i’m sure there were a lot of reasons and i’m sure those darn Catholics are not entirely or solely to blame.
    On the other part of your post, the IRA were not the only protagonists and there is plenty of pain and misery to go around. So get off your high pony – you look and sound positively unimpressive.

  • earnan

    ignorant comment, P and J.

  • “the Northern Ireland Executive .. is in for some interesting times ahead”

    My intray would suggest that that is indeed the case. One MLA last Friday looked at some of the material and went, “Jesus” – and he wasn’t answering a question on religion 🙂

  • Alan

    Peace and Justice IS Gregory Campbell. Bitterness lines his every word. Tut, tut.

    Campbell, like silly Sammy Wilson, are not helping NI move forward; they are bigots who belong to the past. But the DUP isn’t going to move into the 21st century quickly and the heartlands of Unionism don’t want them to.

    So we’ll have to tolerate their behaviour for the forseeable future until more cultured DUP people come through the ranks. It’ll be a while!

  • Billy, perhaps we need a Susan McKay tome on “Unsettled People on a Small Island”.

    “I suppose I am about as high up in the Orange Institution as anybody else. I am very proud indeed to be Grand Master of the loyal County of Down. I have filled that office many years, and I prize that far more than I do being Prime Minister. I have always said I am an Orangeman first and a politician and Member of this Parliament afterwards. … The Hon. Member must remember that in the South they boasted of a Catholic State. They still boast of Sourthern Ireland being a Catholic State. All I boast is that we are a Protestant Parliament and Protestant State.”

    [Sir James Craig, Unionist Party, then Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, 24 April 1934
    Reported in: Parliamentary Debates, Northern Ireland House of Commons, Vol. XVI, Cols. 1091-95.]

  • Alan, it’s rather sad that we have to tolerate bad behaviour at all but that’s been the price we’ve had to pay so that the rest of these these two islands could, in a manner of speaking, escape the ravages of the ‘revolution’.

    Now we have folks on Slugger using ‘liberal’ in association with the likes of the Brothers Grim and their cronies. [shakes head]

  • Nevin,
    I puzzled by the significance you attach to the Craig quote. Surely, if you’re trying to show that the ‘south’ really was intended as a ‘Catholic state’ then you should try to find the primary source to back this up, not a secondary (and highly partisan) one which is nothing more than an allegation. In other words: what member of the government in the ‘south’ made the alleged boast? The continued and unbroken presence of many protestants for the past 100 years and more, all across business, the professions and civil society throughout Ireland makes me doubt the validity of such a claim. Equally you cannot ignore the great contribution of protestants in the ‘south’, Douglas Hyde, the first president is just one of many examples.

  • willowfield

    BILLY LIAR

    I seem to remember the North was proudly declared as being a Protestant State with a Protestant Parliament by the ‘Prime Minister’ of the day. I don’t remember anyone in the Republic ever saying that they would have a Catholic parliament.

    Funny how nationalists tend to have selective memories. Poor Billy Liar’s never been told about De Valera. Same applies to UlsterManIrelandFan.

    Slugger is often very instructive.

  • Fan, here’s a little bit of context for you to browse through at your leisure.

  • Willowfield,

    I think you need to be clearer in stating where DeValera or any other member of the Irish government ever boasted of creating a catholic state for catholics.

    Billy pointed out the explicit boast by Craig about ‘a Protestant state…’. Nevin helpfully provided the referenced quote when he did indeed make this declaration, in the Stormont parliament no less.

    Calling someone a liar doesn’t make it so, and I would think this breaks the ‘ball not man’ rule which is sometimes enforced on this site. While I usually don’t agree with you, I often find your comments here quite considered, but I couldn’t let that one go by.

  • willowfield

    I think you need to be clearer in stating where DeValera or any other member of the Irish government ever boasted of creating a catholic state for catholics.

    Your ignorance, and the general ignorance of nationalists, is very instructive.

    “Since the coming of St Patrick. Ireland has been a Christian and a Catholic nation.. She remains a Catholic nation.”

    Eamon de Valera, St Patrick’s Day address to the nation, 1935.

    Calling someone a liar doesn’t make it so,

    Indeed, that is true. But Billy is a well-known liar. His lies on this site have been documented. Hence his nickname.

  • Pete Baker

    Might this not be a good time to remind a certain someone of slugger’s commenting policy – the bit about not playing the man?

  • Nevin,
    Thanks for that reference -though not a primary source it’s very interesting and I will peruse at my leisure (as you suggest!) From a quick look, I think it highlights DeValera’s statement that Ireland was (in his view) predominantly a Catholic country and that he himself was a Catholic.
    The point I’d make is that this is different from Craig’s statement about having a Protestant Government and a Protestant Parliament i.e. an overt religious bias in conducting the affairs of state. DeValera made no bones about his own Catholicism, but does this mean he intended to govern only for Catholics? If this was his intention, why did he not make Catholicism the established church when he wrote the Irish constitution of 1937? Why did he clearly give explicit recognition to the various Protestant faiths and also (crucially in those times) to the Jewish faith?
    There’s no doubt that Dev felt the Catholic church had a special place in Ireland, and some including me are uncomfortable about that. However, I would submit that there is no valid comparison between this and the overt and institutionalised religious bias of the NI government. Again, I’d point to the fact that Protestants always have been and still are represented right across society in the south whether in politics, business or the prefessions. Their religion is (and always has been) quite simply irrelevant. This fact is impossible to square with the kind of ‘Catholic state for a Catholic people’ bogeyman that revisionists would have us believe in.

  • UlsterManIrelandFan,

    To add to your post: in the early 1970s, at the height of the early troubles, the southern electorate (at that time over 90% Catholic) in a referendum voted to remove the reference to the ‘special position’ of the Catholic Church from the Constitution.

    It took unionism until 1998 to sign up to equality, aand it seems that many of them haven’t really done it fully yet.

  • Horseman, I wasn’t aware of that referendum in the 70s, thanks for pointing that out.

  • Over Here

    Poor P&J;everytime I see a post from him/her I always think of Miss Haversham sitting in her wedding dress after being jilted while everything around her decays into dust, alone and bitter with the world. So in the past I fumed at the postingf now I just shake my head and sigh.

  • Democratic

    “Their religion is (and always has been) quite simply irrelevant. This fact is impossible to square with the kind of ‘Catholic state for a Catholic people’ bogeyman that revisionists would have us believe in.”
    To be fair when talking about the De Valera days as you were while leading up to the above comment it must be remembered what Dev stated about his views on the contempory Proddy librarian servicing the local good Catholic flock – I remember – though it appears you may not judging by your quoted comment where it seems that religion was not entirely irrelevant – no sir….

    Posted by UlsterManIrelandFan on Jun 10, 2008 @ 10:16 AM

  • Slugger O’Toole Admin

    Billy and Willow.

    I’ve just banned Ahem on another thread. Like you two, good commenter occasionally given to forsaking the ball and getting stuck into the man. If I ban one of you, I’ll also ban the other.

    You are both long enough in the tooth to know the rules! PLAY THE BALL!

  • kensei

    Democratic

    To be fair when talking about the De Valera days as you were while leading up to the above comment it must be remembered what Dev stated about his views on the contempory Proddy librarian servicing the local good Catholic flock – I remember – though it appears you may not judging by your quoted comment where it seems that religion was not entirely irrelevant – no sir….

    It wasn’t entirely irrelevant, and there were certainly other more important things you could pull out. But that incident is unfair on Dev, I feel. It was a more or less isolated incident in a long career and he rowed well back from that kind of thing. Can’t remember when it was exactly but there was a fued that a resulted in a boycott of Protestant business that went on after that which he condemned strongly.

  • Robbie

    Willowfield,

    Your contributions are normally very facile. Wider reading would help, and not just quotes gleaned via Wikipedia. I’d recommend Conor Cruise O’Brien’s autobiography to start with on this subject, as a man who is actually a Protestant involved in the higher echelons of government in the South. He is also by the way – because you won’t know this kind of thing of course – a fierce critic of Irish Republicanism through his ‘doses of reality’ approach, as undercutting Republican myths and ignorance of the Unionist position in Ulster. He remembered his initial appointment in the Appartment of External Affairs under Frank Aiken. Now a few people around Irish government circles were irritated by Cruise O’Brien’s appointment as a Protestant, but he claims that de Valera ‘knew better’ and was not going to fall for this kind of discrimination. In other words, Dev overuled the minority of gnomic begrudgers and kept Cruise O’Brien his job, based on his merit and ability.

    There’s a lot of nonsense – gathered probably again from Wikipedia – of de Valera, but wider knowledge and reading would help oncemore. Other details would corroborate Cruise O’Brien’s favourable account: de Valera’s excellent relationship with the Chief Rabbi of Dublin and Ireland’s small Jewish community for instance. There are other examples, but I understand you must be overloaded by now.

    Willowfield, all this is history, and interesting. Read books and not Wikipedia to strengthen the mind.

  • Robbie,

    CCO’B a protestant? That’s news to me (and to him too, I suspect). He was, and still is, I believe, a somewhat lapsed/uninterested Catholic.

  • Robbie

    Fascinating, Horseman – are we referring to the same person or is there another figure with a similarly convoluted name? I suppose Cruise O’Brien’s education at Sandford Park and Trinity might indicate his religious persuasion, and not least his own political opinions representing as they do a formidable assault on physical force republicanism and, in general, any kind of Irish nationalist sentiment.

    In recent years this has seen him – not entirely distinguishing himself – joining the integrationist and now defunct UKUP, and denouncing the Bloody Sunday families as a front for Sinn Fein and general anti-British polemic. Then there’s the description of the aforementioned discrimination he faced when joining successive Irish governments in his memoir…

  • PeaceandJustice

    To Robbie – you’re wrong. Conor Cruise O’Brien was born a Roman Catholic. The terms Roman Catholic and Unionist are not mutually exclusive – I hope you get over the shock!

  • The Third Policeman

    Has anyone noticed how Dev’s ‘Catholic state’ thing comes after Craig’s ‘Protestant parliament’ speech. So Dev’s speech can hardly be the boast that Craig was on about.

  • manichaeism

    I resorted to the Wiki!

    Rather gives the impression that he was from a Catholic family.

    I don’t think he is really a unionist though!

  • Robbie

    Terrific Peace and Justice – what’s your source for that? (your own miserable sense of self-satisfied piety?)

    Mine was his Memoir, in which he refers to being a Protestant in the Irish state apparatus and facing a small amount of discrimiantion for it. Which your bogeyman de Valera overuled. Hope you get over the shock of that fact.

  • Billy

    Willowfield

    I was well aware of the De Valera comment – my point being that he NEVER stated that Ireland had (or should have) a Catholic Parliament while Craig did say that the North had (rightly) a Protestant Parliament.

    Nor am I aware of any RoI leader advising people
    not to employ Protestants – as opposed to Basil Brooke who openly advocated that Catholics in the North should not be employed.

    The bottom line is that you were wrong and I was correct.

    Your jibes at me are totally pathetic – and when you abuse me and are then proven to be totally incorrect, you just make yourself look foolish.

  • Pete Baker

    Guys

    Put the handbags down and get back to the actual topic.

  • Billy

    Slugger O’Toole Admin

    I really don’t know why you’re having a go at me.

    Despite Willowfield’s attacks on me (Billy Liar) and constantly calling me a liar, I generally try to stick to the point.

    I think his childishness is irritating to other posters more than I.

    I’m not the one calling people liars and constantly raking up stuff from years ago.

    I’m quite happy to move on and try to do so. It is difficult not to hit back sometimes when you are being constantly abused.

    I fail to see why I should be punished because Willowfield is unable to move on.

    I think you should ban Willowfield until such time as he stops calling me Billy Liar and really reducing some very interesting topics to a childish level.

    As I have said many times, I’m quite happy to move on and leave things in the past.

  • Policeman, I noticed 🙂 Apparently some folks had been boasting about it for 1500 years and Dev continued to do so after Craig’s speech …

  • A bouquet of flowers. What an unusual prop for Comical Marty. Whose daft idea was this soft focus approach? Who would be fooled by such contrived nonsense?

  • barnshee

    “I also remember another arch bigot and ‘Prime Minister’ of the North telling people not to employ Catholics – oddly enough I don’t remember that happening in the South. ”

    Er at Devaleras direction prods were removed from public office

    “he went on to suggest that a Protestant librarian was not properly qualified to deal with Catholics, any more than a Protestant doctor would be qualified to deal with Catholic patients. ”

    Try #http://archives.tcm.ie/irishexaminer/2008/02/02/story54200.asp

  • Different Drummer

    Real Lives Edge of The Union

    That is what it was called and the other night we had a chance to see what all the fuss was about.

    There was a strike by broadcasters when it was banned originally.

    So what **was** all the fuss about and were the merits of this piece of television readable at this distance?

    Yes they were – doublely so.

    Why? Beacuse it is much clearer what the BBC film intended. It took a very difficult problem and made its point none the less strongly which can be summed up thus:

    The majority of people who live in ex-NI living as they do in a liberal democracy – have little or no idea that people like Martin MacGinness and Gregory Campbell exist and are part of the polity of the UK. These people are on the edge of our union for sure but you should know about them – here’s a film that will show their extremism and the reasons they give for being extreme.

    There was no terrible dour fake commentary that tried to balance one against the other. Indeed I found it shockingly effective. It was really in your face and made the most ardent nationalist cringe at how Sinn Fein supporters behaved after getting a few councillors elected – hardly a victory for the IRA – in fact we now know it was the beginning of the end for the IRA but to hear those men screaming IRA!! IRA!! was absolutely chilling.

    That went on for a good few minutes. Emanon McCann watching these hard men now running about the Town Hall must have found it ironic as these self same hard men who no doubt had told him to F—-Off a couple of times – put Gregory Campbell and the DUP into government… That was the end result of the IRA ‘victory’ in the film…

    As for Gregory C himself they pulled no punches some would complain that re-showing what appeared to be his fascistic excitement at the prospect of another marching season was not balanced but it had altogether less air time than the IRA celebration scene at the town hall and was equally chilling.

    A great milestone in television history.

    Thanks again Mick for pointing it up.