Quote of the Week…

Comes from Eddie Mair in a question to Gerry Adams on the PM programme just now, with respect to DUP demands that the IRA Army Council be disbanded before Policing and Justice can be devolved:

“Isn’t that a bit like saying your never going to drive for the rest of your life and then keeping the car in your garage?

  • billie-Joe Remarkable

    You reckon? No offence but I don’t see how that metaphor works.

    It seems to imply that having a functioning army council is comparable to the actual driving of the car. That in and of itself wouldn’t be that big a deal if there is no actual army or weaponry.

    Maybe it might work if he had said it’s like saying you’re not going to drive again having sold your car (the weapons) but keeping a set of keys in the house.

    I could be wrong, of course. I often am.

  • Big Maggie

    Mair’s analogy works for me, Billie-Joe. I thought it was rather good and hard to argue with.

  • Rory

    I too was listening . At first it seemed smart, but upon an instant’s reflection it was totally silly and meaningless question and Adam’s awarded him with the courteous mercy of not responding. The main thrust of the report was best summed up by Newton Emerson that it is time to leave this behind and move on and that is clearly directed at those to who demanded the IMC in the first place.

    I must say that I thought Gerry Adams sounded more weary than I have have ever heard him. I hope that it was the tedium of debate around this ridiculous demand that caused it rather than any underlying cause.

  • Big Maggie

    Rory

    Adam’s awarded him with the courteous mercy of not responding.

    Ah, so it was hard to argue with like I said. I didn’t hear the programme but it must have been interesting to hear Adams wriggling.

    (By an astonishing coincidence the code word I have to enter to post this is ‘drive’.)

  • OC

    “Isn’t that a bit like saying your never going to drive for the rest of your life and then keeping the car in your garage?”

    Caution: If one doesn’t drain the crankcase of oil before storing, one must start and run the engine occassionally, or one’s engine will become ruined.

  • There is no engine in the car

  • Steve

    So they want more ex-members and less of a control structure. Paul Quinn’s of the world live in fear

  • Big Maggie

    They’ve a cheek calling themselves an army council. Bunch of mafia capos would be more appropriate, or should that be capi?

  • Pancho’s Horse

    What is the equivalent governing body in the Great White Mother’s band of stalwarts?

  • ciaran

    maggie were did you get the idea that GA was wriggling? The quote from one who was listening gave no hint of that.

  • Big Maggie

    Ciaran

    I was basing that on Rory’s comment earlier about a ‘weary’ GA. Maybe I should have said ‘evading the issue’.

  • Pancho’s Horse

    Why should you have said ‘evading the issue’? Depending on your point of view, anything more than yes or no is ‘wriggling’ or ‘weasel words’.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    billie-Joe Remarkable

    “[i]No offence but I don’t see how that metaphor works. “[/i]

    It hit home, enough said!

  • billie-Joe Remarkable

    Ulsters my homeland:

    I was merely trying to understand the metaphor from a respected BBC journalist. I’m not sure what you mean by it hit home.

    I do know what you mean by enough said….
    http://www.theonion.com/content/news/local_idiot_to_post_comment_on

  • PaddyReilly

    Isn’t that a bit like saying you’re never going to drive for the rest of your life and then keeping the car in your garage?”

    No. it’s more like getting rid of your motorbike but keeping the license in your drawer. Which I did, two decades ago.

  • Mick Fealty

    It certainly caused him to falter momentarily, and then he clearly decided not answer it, and when on to answer a question that wasn’t asked.

    It was a classic slow ball delivery, and much more effective that the usual hectoring that passes for journalism on the Today programme.

    It had at least one useful journalistic virtue in that it forced the audience with little more than a passing in the subject to think.

  • Mark McGregor

    It’s a crap line, really crap.

    The car has been scrapped and the owner has lost his old keys down the back of the sofa. I doubt he’ll find an ignition they spark even if they are brought out again.

    Did a journalist really come off with that guff in the middle of a press conference? That’s only slightly more silly than Mick thinking it made any sense.

  • Mick Fealty

    That’s not a bad corrective Paddy. In line with Henry McDonald’s argument.

  • OntheOneRoad

    How can managing British rule be labelled as PIRA Army Council “inactivity”?

  • PaddyReilly

    The question is, why keep the council on? So that when a bomb goes off, it can deny that the IRA was responsible.

    But why did I keep the license? I am unable to think of a single rational excuse. I tend to keep documentation of this sort….umm…..just in case.

  • RepublicanStones

    No doubt there’ll be plenty ‘o cheap diesel to run her again if he fancies a spin, but the main worry here is that some young fellers don’t steal it and take it for a joyride….

  • Ciaran

    Personally I preferred Adams’ response, paraphrased as, that’s a bit like waking a patient to give him a sleeping pill.

    Logically it’s all ridiculous, how can the Army Council prove they no longer exist by making a statement which itself would prove that they still exist!

    Or as Adams put it, do the DUP want photos of the Army Council NOT meeting?

    (and the captcha for my post is appropriate too – “enough”)

  • WindsorRocker

    [i]”Isn’t that a bit like saying you’re never going to drive for the rest of your life and then keeping the car in your garage?”

    No. it’s more like getting rid of your motorbike but keeping the license in your drawer. Which I did, two decades ago.

    Posted by PaddyReilly on Sep 03, 2008 @ 08:42 PM”[/i]

    Well I’d rather not wait two decades for government to get normal here again.
    If the IRA are off the stage then just make a statement saying the Army Council are no more….
    That’s what pro-SA unionism needs to make this thing stable……. is it really that much?

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘Well I’d rather not wait two decades for government to get normal here again.’

    Ahem….govt in the north was never anything approaching ‘normal’ !

  • doctor

    “That’s what pro-SA unionism needs to make this thing stable……. is it really that much?”

    Given the inherent inability to prove something like the army council not existing, is it really just a nice PR statement that “pro-SA unionism” is looking for? In other words, are people really holding up stability over a few sentences to the media? Or is it just a convenient excuse for delays in the expectation that republicans won’t go through with it for whatever reason>

  • Rory

    All of the above many weary attempts at extending or explaining the car metaphor does, I think, rather explain my earlier point about its silliness. As I also remarked, it takes a heartbeat to consider that silliness which is about what Adams gave it before, politely I thought, ignoring it, (for which kindness I felt the over-searching Eddie Mair was relieved).

    I did, as I said, think that Adams sounded tired, as any reasonable man might well be faced with this tiresome DUP chicanery, however he did not feel any need to wriggle – nor did he. But then we will all hear what we will. Won’t we?

  • Matt

    Army council becomes the Gortahork wine club,and the DUP claim victory for conceding the last vestige of political unionism from NI…are unionists that stupid…or only loyalists!

  • Ulsters my homeland

    “[i]It certainly caused him to falter momentarily, and then he clearly decided not answer it, and when on to answer a question that wasn’t asked.”[/i]

    Adams was stumped, that’s for sure. It would have been good value if billie-Joe Remarkable was there, as he could have made a real pedantic ass of himself.

  • PaddyReilly

    Well I’d rather not wait two decades for government to get normal here again

    Let me assure you, after I disposed of the motorbike, I never used it again, even though I still had the license. How could I, when I had disposed of it? The roads, if my presence on them was deemed to be a danger, were completely safe from the very moment of disposal. I have never surrendered the license.

    The license was kept….I dunno….in case anyone should allege that I wasn’t entitled to ride a motorbike in the relevant period. But I think that the Army Council supplying photos of themselves not meeting should satisfy the DUP, but of course in this case should does not mean will.

  • Mick Fealty

    Rory,

    Not relieved enough to resist a crack about ‘rust’ towards the end. In truth it was probably the only memorable part of the interview.

  • doctor

    “It would have been good value if billie-Joe Remarkable was there, as he could have made a real pedantic ass of himself.”

    Coming from people demanding “conclusive” proof that a handful of people are somehow disbanded? Pot, meet the kettle…

  • Ms Wiz

    Or saying you’re giving up smoking but still retain the capacity to walk into a shop and buy a packet of fags. Of course you can purchase the fags but don’t have to smoke them.

    This analogy works if the fags are a metaphor for weapons. However the Army Council are a group of individuals who can only be judged on their actions/activities, not their intentions/state of mind. The former can be verified by the spooks who I presume know who they are and what they’re up to. The latter is quantifiable only in the realms of psychology.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    “[i]Coming from people demanding “conclusive” proof that a handful of people are somehow disbanded? Pot, meet the kettle… “[/i]

    I don’t believe anyone is asking for “conclusive proof” that the Army council are disbanded never to return. I believe there’s a need for public confidence, which is totally different that “conclusive proof”. Public confidence can only happen through the passage of time and a statement of assurance or goodwill to the Unionist people from P. O’Neill.

    surely this isn’t unreasonable ?

  • Congal Claen

    Hi Paddy,

    Imagine before you got rid of the bike you went to a bank and obtained a loan specifically for purchase/upkeep of the bike. For argument sake, say the Northern Bank on Donegall Square West for 26 hundred pounds. Then you sell the bike. But keep the license and decide not to repay the loan. Yer ma, not wanting you to be riding the death trap in the first place and sick of you terrorising the neighbourhood with your antics on the bike, asks why you kept the license/loan. What do you say?

  • Ulsters my homeland

    [i][answer to Congal's question][/i]

    buy a bigger bike with the loan?, surely not!

  • Mayoman

    There’s millions of cars, in millions of gararages that will never be driven again. Just collectors items. But they remind of past times, in this case bad. Remind of why people must avoid placing the obstacles on the road that the car was bought to drive through, and why they should never be in place again. A quiet, dead relic, to look at, ponder on, that keeps a collective memory on a certain path forward, but that is never again to be driven. That car in the garage seems to serve a great purpose to me.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    Stop it Mayoman, before you have it Sainted and venerated. Very Irish!

  • Mayoman

    I’m no fan of the car UMH, believe me! Nor of similar models that are still driving clearly through certain areas. Do you agree they should all be in garages? Unequivocally? verifiably? With the engines taken out? If you do, please let ‘your’ politicians know!

  • Steve

    I have read this whole thread and I still can not make hide nor hair of this metaphor. Maybe its a difference between how we use the language.

    Can someone explain what they think he meant by this metaphor?

  • Ulsters my homeland

    “[i]Can someone explain what they think he meant by this metaphor?”[/i]

    If you agree the car was invented to be driven in, and you later decide you’re never going to drive again, you therefore should have no need for that vechicle, comprende?

  • Mayoman

    Steve: The Army Council is what ‘drove’ the IRA. If the IRA no longer needs ‘driving’, why keep the vehicle that ‘drove’ them. I think! 🙂

    ‘living’, quite an apt code word too!

  • PaddyReilly

    Buy a bigger bike with the loan?

    As I recall, I did not take out a loan for the maintenance of my soon to be non-existent motorbike. I don’t believe that banks issue loans for such purposes. I sold it and the money I obtained I either put in my pension plan or spent it on wine, women and song.

    Money always comes in useful: it does not have to be used for incendiary purposes. In Derry under the British occupation soldiers would search passers by and confiscate their money, on the grounds that it was going to used to support terrorism. Bad as they were, I do not believe these soldiers intended to buy more guns for the British Army. I think they spent it on wine, women and song.

  • Steve

    Then Paddy Reilly’s metaphor is much more apt for the army council

    The army being the car and the council the license then wouldn’t it make more sense to ask why retain the license if you disposed of the car?

    Why it even matters is a better question. Another event like Bloody Sunday and an IRA organization(not necesarily PIRA) would be instantly resurected.

    Irish nationalists have not surrendered they have just agreed to work with in the structures now in place for Irish Unification

    For all the deluded loyalist posters claiming that nationalists have agreed to being british they should know that what they have agreed to is to use the system put in place by the british for the removal of nIreland from the UK. Not to become citizens of the crown

    Code word: ball, how appropriate for a mick posting

  • PaddyReilly

    It’s a interesting question why these things linger one. Why did my bank not let me close my account, but retain £1 in it? Why are people awarded Membership of the British Empire? Why does the harp remain in the royal arms? Why did Captain O’Neill, former Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, call himself captain when he was no longer in the army?

    In some cases, I suppose, it’s because it makes them feel big.

    And, I might ask, since when were the Unionist punters of NI impressed by a statement from P. O’Neill? Is he a man from whom they expect reassurement and infallible veracity?

  • Big Maggie

    Oh hell, why not make this thread even more tedious by reminding every pedant here that a statement kicking off with “Isn’t that a bit like saying” is a simile not a metaphor….

  • Mayoman

    Can’t disagree with anything you say Steve.

  • Steve

    Big Maggie I defer to your superior knowledge of the language, simile it is

  • Never mind the semantics of the metaphor. Re the photo that Gerry Adams offered to take yesterday, how about one of an empty garage?

  • Ulsters my homeland

    “[i]And, I might ask, since when were the Unionist punters of NI impressed by a statement from P. O’Neill?”[/i]

    It’s not about impression, it’s the gesture offered by P. O’Neill which will give most unionists (not all) some type of assurance that the leadership are for real whenever there has been so much scepticism recently. Not only would a statement from P. O’Neill assure most Unionists, but it’s an opportunity for PIRA to become the ‘catalyst for peace’ as set out by Adams.

  • P O’Neill

    “Bye bye…….oops im not supposed to be here !”

  • Ulsters my homeland

    Is P. O’Neill registered as a legitimate trademark? Imagine the retirement money, GAA O’Neill might not be pleased at someone stealing their customers, but hey, who cares, it’s for freedom.

  • Big Maggie

    UMH

    I’ve read your post three times and still don’t know what it is you’re trying to say. GAA, customers, freedom? Me baffled.