Lord Eames and moving on

The Noble Lord Eames has kept a fairly low profile since the glitteringly successful launch of his personal credibility self destruction campaign (also known as the Consultative Group on the Past Report). One of the problems for Eames is that now that his brief period in the limelight (rather uncomfortable as it turned out) is over he has to go back to being a retired CoI prelate; one who is now rather unpopular with the overwhelming majority of his former flock. As such, I always suspected an attempt at a degree of revisionism on his report. Somewhat appropriately it was reported in 1st April’s News Letter.

Clearly there are bits which Eames will want the unionist community to focus on for him to “move on” from his personally disastrous report:

In a speech at the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly in Donegal, Lord Eames said: “Future generations will look back to the conflict in Northern Ireland and will read of fear and uncertainty.

“They will read of division and murder. They will read of great bravery and courage of those who kept the light of hope alive.”

“They will read of victims and of innocent people who carried scars of mind and body for the rest of their lives.”

“But they will also read of the bravery of those who sought to protect our society from terrorism and who paid a huge price, the ordinary ranks of the RUC, UDR, and later the PSNI and RIR.”

“Men and women who returned from duty to live with their families in homes which were always at risk.”

“Men and women who faced murder at their work and in their homes. Many of them still carry physical and mental scars of those days. As many of them asked us – does society really appreciate our sacrifice?”

It is unclear whether Lord Eames feels that they agree that he appreciates their sacrifice: not if the reaction of unionist politicians, victims groups or indeed the comments his group gathered are anything to go by. Of course at the time he found ways to dismiss all those comments but I suppose now a bit of rewriting of his previous actions is called for.

Unfortunately also his attempts at explanation for the report were as flawed as his attempts to air brush out equating the death of the innocent with those of their murderers.

“Our report looked at a time when united condemnation of murder and violence did not exist. It was a time when our society was deeply divided and suspicious.”

“It was a time when terrorism stalked our society. It was a time when any suggestion of shared responsibility in government was impossible.”

“Then came the ceasefires and the Belfast Agreement and the course of history changed.”

The noble Lord is again being disingenuous here. It is undoubtedly true that society here was deeply divided (just as it is now). However, he is again conflating two different things. The division is true as is the fact that shared government did not work (though it was tried at Sunningdale). However, there was pretty united condemnation of murder and violence. The reactions of the overwhelming majority of nationalists to Enniskillen, Teebane, Kingsmills and Darkley were disgust, revolution and unequivocal condemnation; the same reactions came from the elected nationalist politicians of the time. Yes there were a few dishonourable exceptions: but only a few. Equally the overwhelming majority of unionists were disgusted by and condemned unreservedly Greysteel, the Shankill Butchers, Sean Graham’s bookmakers and the Loughlinisland murders. Again there were dishonourable exceptions but not many

What Eames is trying to pretend, however, is that these facts did not exist. This is to allow him to gain some shred of an excuse for regarding the murders of the past as different to the murders of the present (just as I predicted he would). The only way he can carry off this deception, however, is to pretend that we were all, in some way supportive of, or in some way guilty of, the crimes of the past. A quote from Eames Bradley explains this: “A reconciling society takes collective responsibility for the past instead of attributing blame and avoiding responsibility.”

Again as I said at the time -”This sort of nonsense ignores the fact that in law and in most reasonable people’s minds ‘society’ has nothing to take responsibility for. Individuals committed very wrong acts. Lord Eames should remember that the Bible suggests that everyone is accountable before God for his or her sin, not for other people’s. ‘The Past’ in question here is actually the wrong, immoral and evils acts of the past. Any of us who did not commit crimes here is innocent. As such we have no responsibility for the actions of the past. If Lord Eames wishes to claim he is responsible for something in the past that is for his conscience: Mine and I submit almost all of ours should be clear on this matter. Let us leave Lord Eames to wallow in the self righteousness of his own self appointed guilt should he choose.”

Eames has brought to his latest comments the same intellectually lazy and dishonest attitude he brought to his whole report. Unfortunately for the noble Lord, it is not only Jim Allister who has called for his whole report to be binned. Opposition to his report seems about as united as opposition to murder always was. However, I am sure the noble Lord will not let such inconvenient truths get in the way of his campaign to rehabilitate himself: how successful that campaign will be, however, remains open to question.

As I said throughout Eames Bradley is not fit for purpose and had Lord Eames thought a little more about the true nature of the task in hand he would have realised that ages ago. That would, however, have required more lateral thinking and intellectual honesty than he has ever shown before and he shows no sign of gaining it now.

  • kensei

    FFS Turgon. If someone who has attempted to tackle one of the most incredibly difficult and divisive subjects that could possibly be put before anyone now has to “rehabilitate himself” for daring to try, then this whole placed is completely foobar and no mistake.

    Is it not enough to disagree with him, that you have to play the man?

  • Turgon

    kensei,
    You call it playing the man. I call it pointing out that the man (once a leading prelate) is being extremely disingenuous and in the view of many, not just myself, utterly dishonest.

  • ArchiePurple

    Well said Turgon….Eames is damaged goods and an outcast amongst his own flock in the COI and within the wider Reformed denominations.

  • PACE Parent

    Turgon

    Your critique of Eames and his intellectually lazy contribution to the report certainly resonates with me. It is too late for Lord Eames to rehabilitate his product and join those engaged in revisionist history writing. The damage has been done by Eames Bradley in particular with the attempt to establish an equality of victims and to equate murders of the past to murders of the present. The role of the various Christian denominational leaders in perpetuating the conflict must be examined in the same light as they currently attempt to bathe in over the police and military murders. My criticisms of Eames-Bradley are focused on the perpetuation of costly quango-like activity that invariably fails to deliver any measurable product. Dennis Bradley must also accept his contribution to this debacle. Closure cannot be ordered, forced, compelled or revised.
    Eames and Bradley choose to accept an assignment to deliver closure; they must accept that their publication failed to achieve the desired effect, quite the opposite.

  • Rory Carr

    When I first skimmed through Turgon’s rant above against Lord Eames I thought Eames must have done something really terrible in Turgon’s eyes – embraced the doctrine of transubstantiation possibly, or blessed the opening a Marian shrine – something really outrageous like that. But no, all Eames has done is pay tribute to the suffering and sacrifice of RUC, UDR and RIR victims.

    In order to understand his attack we have to see it through the prism of Turgon’s own political stance.

    Since such an expression of sympathy might find favour within the |Unionist community, Turgon takes offence. Why? Because Lord Eames is pro-Agreement and in Turgon’s eyes only those who are anti-Agreement are permitted to wrap the mantle of Unionist self-righteousness around their shoulders. Only they must be permitted to use the memory of Unionist dead and wounded to their political advantage. And of course matters are not helped by the small coincidence that not only is Lord Eames in favour of the Agreement, he is an Anglican, ffs! And you can’t get much worse than that. Unless you’re a Taig that is.

  • Brian Walker

    Turgon’s fundamental mistake, common enough in Protestantism, is that he appears blind to the fact that unionism bears part of the moral responsibility for the Troubles for its failure to reform when the time was ripe. For him, blame placed on the people of violence is the transcending, almost the only judgment that matters. Although he himself no doubt lives an ordinary moral private and professional life, he absolves him from any share any collective moral responsibility on the part of those who were unable to see what was needed to achieve a better society. After all these years, this refusal to accept wider responsibility for the communal breakdown leaves him open to moral censure, if that’s the game you’re in. This strain of Protestant individualism is simply not enough for rebuilding society. You don’t have to be a killer to remain a threat to society. Those who try to grasp the idea of collective responsibilty risk making mistakes like Robin Eames. It is a risk Turgon will never take, secure and complacent in his own view of the world, thanks to sacrifice of others.

  • Turgon

    Brain,
    Yes by all means wallow in a bit of the self righteousness of self appointed grief.

    Brian I was 1 when Stormont fell. As such I could not have had any part in reforming society pre the end of Stormont. Maybe you could apologise for the clear lie of accusing me of failing to reform.

    I never committed any crimes during the troubles (or afterwards). As such I am completely innocent of the troubles. Anyone else in Northern Ireland who committed no crimes is just as innocent whatever their politics. People like journalists (maybe including you) continually pointed out during the troubles that the overwhelming majority wanted nothing to do with the violence.

    Now are you trying to imply that I was in some way guilty for something or are you just playing the man. Alternatively by all means accuse me of something. Just remember the laws of libel. You have already tried hypocrisy and insult so I expect little better of you.

  • Brian Walker

    Turgon, there you go again. Narrowing the idea of moral responsibility to committing ” crimes.” Blindness towards the need to reform extends far beyond the fall of Stormont to the present day. Even Ian Paisley who bears so much responsibility for stirring up the communal fears that produced the Troubles very belatedly saw the point, but only after he was forced to deal with the physical force tradition.

    It’s no good thrashing around with words like “lies ” and “hypocrisy.” I may not be able to convince you of what seems to me your wilful moral blindness in these issues but I want to put on record there are other non-polemical views. The philosopher John Gray has useful insights in his book “Gray’s Anatomy.” He has commented:
    ” The search for a narrative which confers confers meaning on people’s lives and shows them to be part of a larger, meaningful picture, is a deep-seated human need..( but) the search for meaning is dangerous when it spills over into politics.Its’ not only dangerous when it produces Communists and Nazis.. because it creates a preference for policies which satisfy this need for meaning rather than have an actual effect”. In other words, you may prefer to be personally righteous in your own world of rather than take measures that improve society. This is very common in Slugger. Perhaps one day, you’ll have a go at these matters in a less exposed forum, in sympathetic but diverse company and have a rethink. There’s something about you that gives me hope!

  • Turgon

    Brian,
    I was one when Stormont ended: now try apologising for accusing me of responsibility for Stormont failing to reform.

  • Turgon

    Continuing Brian. Let us see: you feel that unionists like me by not reforming were partly responsible for the troubles: tell me have you read the blogs where I pointed out the corruption and wrongness of the old Stormont regime? I have done them and you should easily be able to find them.

    Your current line is typical of the Eames Bradley / liberal set. That is that everyone was guilty: except of course for yourselves, the liberal luvvies. The simple fact is that I am innocent of the murders of the troubles and all that the troubles entailed. I regard many nationalists as just as innocent. Anyone who did not commit crimes is innocent and anyone who opposed violence is actually on colossal moral high ground. That includes people for who I have absolutely no time politically such as John Dallat.

    One can oppose the current political dispensation without supporting murder or a return to violence: tell me Brian do you accept that Mark McGregor opposes violence? You see I do despite having diametrically opposed views to his.

    You need to understand that you cannot tar us all with the brush of evil violence supporting (or even partly complicit) bigots. I have a right to my views and I will not be accused of immoral or evil actions individually or collectively simply because it suits your narrative.

    I will also continue to denounce the intellectually lazy and morally bankrupt position of the noble Lord Eames who tries to tar us all with the violence brush to excuse giving an amnesty to murders and allowing them to wipe the slate of their vile crimes clean.

    Now by all means descend into the gutter with the murderers should you desire: I cannot for the life of me see why you want to. well actually I can: it is to further your own agenda. So do if you want: but you are not dragging the rest of us in Northern Ireland down there with you.

  • PACE Parent

    Which spcific part of unionism, Brian, responsible for reform are you identifying? It would be helpful to name names and give dates so that those of us who refuse to accept your guilty Prod label and liberal-unionist retrospective analysis know exactly who to hold to account. I can’t recall much from you during your tenure with the BT selling the idea at the time. Indeed take your collective responsibility and sell it to Caitriona Ruane – perhaps she’ll buy it.

  • Turgon

    PACE Parent,
    I suspect Brian has fled the scene: he may not like it when people challenge him. Unlike in his journalist days he cannot pontificate without the right of instant reply.

  • ed

    The fact that you can not even see his point means he hit the target dead on. But as you are completely obstniate in the face of the facts means there is little use in responding.

    But I suspect he will any way, you just over estimate your importance if you think people need to respond on your schedule

    Yeah Mick man not ball but hardly original on this thread

  • Brian Walker

    I have no problem at all in being challenged, but I have said my piece. Think about it all again Turgon, quietly, some time.

  • Turgon

    Brian,
    Now try apologising for accusing me of failure to reform Stormont. Or maybe you think I, at the age of one, was controlling it all from my mother’s arms in South Londonderry.

    Maybe you could also respond to PACE Parent and name the names: oh yes you are probably too much the coward.

    Oh yes you have said your peace: by which you try to be smug, condescending and run away: in reality the actions of a coward who will not stand up and defend the insults he throws at the vast majority of decent people in Northern Ireland. Unsurprising you did not say such things as a journalist Brian: I suspect your employment might have been very short and I doubt you would have had the courage to throw away your career by such remarks.

  • “its failure to reform when the time was ripe.”

    The language of reform was widespread but those activists who sought change IMO didn’t seek better conditions for all in a UK context.

    The language of rights was often used as a smokescreen by those who had all-island agendas of various hues. The language of responsibility didn’t get a look-in.

    Those who ignore the potency of the constitutional question will probably sleep-walk into 2016.

    Perhaps as much attention needs to be paid to the sins of omission as to those of commission.

  • kensei

    Turgon

    To be blunt, stop being a child. The question of collective responsibility and how attitudes and voting patterns far short of “crime” affect wider society in a positive or negative fashion is a difficult one, hard to define and full of grey areas but undoubtedly. Perhaps impossible for you to get that closed little brain around. Moral repsonsibility in any case extends far beyond “I have not committed any crime during the Troubles”.

    You have your opinion and your closed world view and I accept that. What I cannot accept is the level of vitriol and nonsense terms like “liberal set” being chucked at those who dare to transgress by attempting to grapple with some of these issues. They may not be right but the attack on character and motive is completely and utterly despicable. And you dare call yourself a Christian?

    Complete man playing and an attempt at intellectual terrorism that right wing Unionist seems so fond of. Please stop, or at least stop posting huge pieces on Slugger doing it.

  • dub

    Turgon,

    You really need to learn a little bit of humility. You may not be guilty of any indictable crimes but you sure as hell are guilty of staggering arrogance, religious bigotry, overweening self importance, an extraordinary ability to see the beam in others’ eyes and not the mote in yours… and intellectual dishonesty on a scale so vast that everest is nowt but a wee ant hill by comparison!!

    Nevin,

    er… why should activists have looked to a uk context? is there something wrong with an all-island context?

    I think you will find that they did look for rights in a uk context at first but you might have noticed that british policy since 1922 has been to keep ireland out of the gentlemen’s sport of british politics. There was no federal govt who was going to come in and impose central control, to use an analogy with the deep south. The us govt saw the south as its own territory, the british have never regarded ni as being an integral part of the uk. rather they saw it as a useful bargaining chip with which they could control the roi govt. the fact that this policy has lead to the deaths of thousands has not cost them a moment’s thought. unlike the roi who have rightly agonised about the influence of their constitution and nationalist culture on politically motivated violence, noone in the uk has ever stopped to think whether the existence of a state religion (anglicanism) and access of this religion only to seats as of right in the house of lords and all the other antiquated mullarkey of mono protestantism at the apex of the atate.. whether all this might have influenced loyalist murder gangs. oh no such thought is not for them. ireland has nothing to do with them. And you wonder why the activists you speak of turned away from uk solutions?? maybe the deliberate murder by the british govt of 14 of their supporters in broad daylight had a small influence upon them. oh yes and we are still waiting for saville…

  • Turgon

    kensei,
    I will post on slugger whatever I want unless Mick tells me otherwise. I have never told you what to post or not to post and I will thank you to do the same. For you to tell me not to post on a topic and then accuse me of intellectual terrorism is a bit rich.

    dub,
    As ever any chance of commenting on the blog? No I guess attacking me is just too much fun isn’t it?

  • dub

    Kensei,

    Turgy baby pretends to be a pacifist. I have never met a pacifist who routinely uses such vitriol and violence in his/her discourse. This contradiction is at the root of his intellectual dishonesty. He sees what he calls terrorism as some kind of terrible disorder affecting those pesky proles. He also demands apologies and threatens libel when a patently decent man such as Brian attempts to get him to grow up a little. And he does not feel in “any way” Irish but apparently does consider himself “Northern Irish”. He has never managed to explain in what way that adjective after “Northern” differs from “Irish”. Doubtless they may look the same to us pope worshipping pagans. To neo Israelites like himself the truth is so apparent but at the same time so recondite that it would very blasphemy to utter it!!

  • kensei

    Turgon

    I don’t give orders, I merely request.

  • dub

    Turgon,

    Well i’ll accept your challenge.

    This notion of everyone in the six counties being responsible for the deaths, pain and suffering of the Troubles is a way of getting round the central culpability of the governments of Ireland and the UK who both allowed the monstrosity called Northern Ireland to be created and continue to exist outside the party politics of both sovereign states. They both allowed this buffer zone to fester on their doorsteps and constantly implied that any problems there were the inhabitants’ own fault. Britain has to take the larger blame as it has always been the sovereign power, but Ireland’s collusion cannot be ignored. Both states preached that western democracy would cure every ill but refuse to grant this (and still to) to the patient outside their door. Western democracy means electing those who govern you and spend your tax payers money. That has never existed in Northern Ireland and will not for the forseeable future. In default of this communalism is the only possible politics. Yet outsiders, especially ROI and UK look down on these people as backward although they have both (ROI and UK) deliberately prevented them from accessing democracy.

    Eames is much more right wing than he seems. He was utterly useless during Drumcree. He is a great fan of this undemocratic meaningless entity called Northern Ireland. Because he is he dare not utter the truth as to why the entity has been convulsed by violence and inter communal friction for the sum total of its duration. So he has to blame everyone. This is what the technocrats who are keeping NI on life support do. Read Marianne Elliott’s book on “Ulster” Catholics for the same approach from soneone from a nationalist background. Dennis Bradley loved that book by the way. Read his drooling comments on the sleeve.

  • Turgon

    kensei,
    Thank you for that. I will of course completely ignore your request.

    I do, however, like the idea of right wing unionists being guilty of intellectual terrorism. Would that republicans had only be able to be accused of intellectual terrorism: there would be a lot more people alive in this country.

  • Turgon

    dub,
    Good attempt. However, now you are saying that the governments are blaming us here for what happened. You seem to say that the governments are wrong in so doing. That seems to mean that you accept that the overwhelming majority of us had no culpability. So actually you seem to be reinforcing my point that it is a lying falsehood to blame us all for the troubles.

    Maybe on reflection you should stick to personal attacks as your attempt at reasoned debate agrees with my point that the vast majority of both unionists and nationalists have nothing whatsoever to apologise for.

  • dub

    Turgon,

    What i am not allowed to agree with you?? Just to make it crystal: there is no “seeming” about it. I do say that the govt’s of ROI and UK blame the people of NI for their troubles and I do indeed think that this is criminally wrong. Also the technocrats of the “new” northern ireland do the same. Read Marianne Elliott for a very sophisticated example (much more sophisticated than Eames).

    Why is it all zero sum with you?? Unionists and nationalists should be able to agree on many things, not the least of which is that this groteqsue charade of a statelet should never ever have come into existence and the peculiar rules which its custodians insist upon ensure that its inhabitants will never know the luxuries of living in an “ordinary” western democracy. Carson understood that. I think you do too.

  • Turgon

    dub,
    So you agree that it is wrong to accuse us all of being responsible for the violence of the Troubles.

    Good I take it you now see why I take grave issue with Eames for perpetuating that weasel worded lie and also why I took on Brian Walker for repeating it.

    At this rate you may yet try to understand unionists. Then again you ask why it all has to be zero sum with me. Well in your case this is what you published on this thread about me:

    “you sure as hell are guilty of staggering arrogance, religious bigotry, overweening self importance, an extraordinary ability to see the beam in others’ eyes and not the mote in yours… and intellectual dishonesty on a scale so vast that everest is nowt but a wee ant hill by comparison!!

    I think you can work out why I am not especially well disposed to yourself. I might also point out that unlike some I do not remove direct attacks on myself.

  • dub

    Turgon,

    Like Carson, i think you hinted once that you would prefer in some circumstances a united ireland to the grotesqueries of northern irelandism. The other “option” for ni, complete integration into the uk state and its party politics is simply not on the cards, and too “late” historically. The British tories may not understand this though and lead us all into further misery and bloodshed.

  • Turgon

    dub,
    I am sure with vitriol like yours even an all Ireland state would never be truly united. I think you can understand why I would never accept any meeting of minds with the likes of you. Just look at your comments.

  • dub

    Turgon,

    Not being well disposed to me should not prevent you from seeing merit in my arguments and the possibility of some kind of agreement between us. It certainly has not stopped me from doing same in relation to your good self.

    Unionists and nationalists have both played their parts in the stage allotted to them by the British. Both are entirely understandable. For them to grow into new parts a new stage is needed.

    The only thing i find hard to understand Turgon is the ruthless state craft and cold bloodedness of the British. I mean the word “British” in the same way that Paisley uses it so please don’t say i am talking about you. Just to make it crstal: i am not talking about you. I am talking about the mandarins in Whitehall, the Foreign office and the whole rotting lot at the top of that warmongering feudal monarchical monstrosity which we have the singular misfortune to have as our nearest neighbout.

  • Turgon

    Sorry dub you had you chances to have reasoned discussion and failed to take them but instead insulted me.

    Start by apologising for all the utterly inappropriate man playing you have done over months. Then I might try engaging with you in a few more months.

  • dub

    So you agree that it is wrong to accuse us all of being responsible for the violence of the Troubles.

    Turgon,

    You have already accepted that our minds have to some degree “met”. You can’t deny the area of our agreement just because you don’t like what i say about you. Or rather you can if you want but it would be rather silly wouldn’t it given what you have said above?? You know your reactions are your own, it is silly to believe that other people dictate them.

  • Turgon

    dub,
    Our minds have in no way met. I am actually a pretty fair minded individual and will debate with many people on this site. At the moment you are not one of them because, amazing as you may find it, I am not a disembodied entity but actually a person and repeated personal attacks do leave me not wishing to have a civilised discussion with you for the simple reason that I am fed up with being insulted.

    I could have had just cause to have your comments removed on many occasions and maybe had you red carded. However, I am not into that sort of thing. I do not, however, feel disposed to joint you little intellectual tete a tete.

  • dub

    Turgon,

    You already have “engaged” with me, as i pointed out in the last post. And you challenged me to deal with the matter at hand, which i have done.

    You are now trying to find reasons not to engage with me perhaps because you are terrified at this level of agreement between an outspoken opponent of NI and yourself.

    Are you going to apologise for all the rude things you said about Eames. No of course you are not going to do that. Nor am i going to apologise for anything i have said about you. It was all merited. I have never insulted you as a person. I have only attacked qualities you have exhibited whilst making your arguments and also your arguments themselves. If i have caused you any personal hurt or suffering by any comments i have made then yes i unreservedly say that i am very sorry about that. But I am not apologisiing for anything i have said. And i repeat that at the end of the day you and you alone are responsible for your feelings.

  • dub

    Turgon,

    No problem. It was you who challenged me to take up the debate and in the first few nano seconds of that you were up for it, as would indeed be logical. You are perfectly entitled not to debate with me if you please. But I suspect the reason is that i have come out with stuff that you were not expecting and you are not quite sure how to respond.

    This site is not about making friends whatever it is about.

  • Turgon

    dub,
    You say you have never insulted me as a person. Well let us see:

    “guilty of staggering arrogance, religious bigotry, overweening self importance, an extraordinary ability to see the beam in others’ eyes and not the mote in yours… and intellectual dishonesty on a scale so vast that everest is nowt but a wee ant hill by comparison!!”

    “Your cynicism and nihilism in this piece are truly breathtaking. Your mask is dropping very quickly now. All those silky smooth pieces in the nor so distant past are but a mere memory as you increasingly salivate as your long expressed fantasy of a return to violence seems to have come true for you… now real unionist politics can return, without the nightmare of a republican ceasefire… And you call yourself a christian.. That is some joke.”

    “What the fuck are you, just a white settler?”

    ” you really are a sickening little bigot. i’m personally so fed up with your nicey nicey guy image”

  • kensei

    Turgon

    Thank you for that. I will of course completely ignore your request.

    I do, however, like the idea of right wing unionists being guilty of intellectual terrorism. Would that republicans had only be able to be accused of intellectual terrorism: there would be a lot more people alive in this country.

    It’s nothing to be proud of, and it is painful to see how easily you walked straight into the predictable response. The point being, Turgie baby, is that if Right Wing Unionism wasn’t as guilty of intellectual terrorism there’d be more people alive all the same. Woah…. and we’re right back into the heart of this thread. Do you see what I did there?

    God but I’m good.

  • willis

    Turgon/dub

    I hope you don’t mind if I interject.

    Turgon

    I completely accept your premise that there is not an equality of victims.

    Can you perhaps suggest a differentiation between victims?

    I can accept that lumping all together is a mistake, but where do you go from there?

    Open ended question.

  • Turgon

    kensei,
    You see I am guilty of nothing, it is you who claimed I was guilty of intellectual terrorism. Try to address what I said rather than what you wish I had said. I liked the idea because it showed your moral bankruptcy in conflating an invented concept: intellectual terrorism with a real one; republican’s terrorism.

    Right wing unionism is no more guilty of intellectual terrorism than any other group: whatever your invented concept is. It is a nothing concept, merely a figment of your own pathetic cheerleader imagination which seeks to conflate the real crimes of your friends with pretended made up wrong doings of others.

    Even if intellectual terrorism did exist, it would have killed no one: real terrorism did.

    Even if unionists were guilty of it: they would be utterly blameless beside republicans.

    However, republicans were and are guilty of terrorism which is why so many people are dead. You may approve of that I cannot tell.

  • kensei

    Turgon

    Oh noes! Having walked straight into it, you are now all over the show.

    “Invented concept”. Well, yes. I thought about it and came up with something that works on a couple of levels. I have no idea if it is original or not, but that’s not the point, is it.

    The idea that only the act of physical violence is the only thing that cause or contribute to negative outcome is so flimsy as to not withstand even the simplest application of intellectual rigour. Such is the terrible power of idea and oratory. I shall leave it as an exercise for you to come up with situations where this is not the case; it should not be to hard, even for you.

    Having been caught out, you trot out the standard accusation of “Cheerleading”, despite the fact that I have not commented in any way shape or form on “Republican terrorism” or otherwise. Indeed you even admit that later on! Try to stick to the point at hand and avoid playing the man there. Like what I did.

    I know it stings but swallow the medicine like a good boy, would you? I’d prefer I provoked you to some thought rather than tedious flailing defense mechanisms.

  • “is there something wrong with an all-island context?”

    No. Did it not look strange to you that Nationalists of whatever hue should walk behind a banner demanding British rights for British citizens? Those who weren’t Nationalist appear to have been blinded by the smoke.

  • Turgon

    kensei,
    Listen to your self you have won nothing you have said that right wing unionists are “guilty” of intellectual terrorism. You decided that all on your own

    Which sort of terrorism were republicans guilty of: oh yes the real sort.

    Which sort of terrorism do you support? Or to put it another way are you a republican?

    As to me playing the man: who said this “And you dare call yourself a Christian?

  • dub

    Turgon,

    Well done you have dredged up some fairly spicy comments i made on a political website in relation to your political views, your manner and style of debate, and your views of your nationality.

    You have still not explained why, having rightly challenged me to engage with the subject of your blog entry re: Mr Eames, you have run away from engaging with me. You have also not explained why you initially engaged with me and then suddenly stopped. This moment of arrestation seems to have occurred directly that you realised that i was not agreeing with you by accident or through stupidity but through design. Why someone who has sharply and yes, perhaps in an ad hominem, fashion, criticised you in the past, should inspire such behaviour in you just because he should happen to agree with you on something is something difficult to understand. In the continuing absence of explanation from you forgive me if i read your mind (hell you can read the mind of deceased naval celebrities from Rathmines) and diagnose that such agreement disrupts your closed view of the world in which unionists and nationalists must disagree, preferably by the first lording it over the latter so that the latter respond violently, thus proving the unionists sense of moral superiority and confirming their view of nationalists’ inferiority. You seem to love that little british created stage in which we all play the part of hating eachother. Sorry if i seek another more worthy stage where we can all be allotted more worthy roles.

  • kensei

    Turgon

    Listen to your self you have won nothing you have said that right wing unionists are “guilty” of intellectual terrorism. You decided that all on your own

    I am not “playing” to “win”. I put some bait which you went straight for. I believe you “liked” the idea.

    Which sort of terrorism were republicans guilty of: oh yes the real sort

    You need to watch those universal quantifiers, Turgon. Some republicans were involved in violence. Quite a small minority in fact.

    Which sort of terrorism do you support? Or to put it another way are you a republican?

    One half: open goal. I don’t actually support any kind of terrorism. Second half: multiple fallacies in a single statement.

    As to me playing the man: who said this “And you dare call yourself a Christian?

    Maybe that skated the line, though no actual malice intended. Just pointing out the disconnect between your stated opinion and your claimed beliefs. WWJD, dude? Maybe I missed the bit where he started ranting about the liberals?

  • Turgon

    dub,
    “I have never insulted you as a person”

    Well we have disproved that little lie haven’t we?

  • dub

    No. Did it not look strange to you that Nationalists of whatever hue should walk behind a banner demanding British rights for British citizens? Those who weren’t Nationalist appear to have been blinded by the smoke.

    Er… dont know where to start there, Nevin. What surprises me most about that slogan is the use of the word “citizen” rather than “subject”.

    You seem to be inferring that the CRA was just a ghastly commie republican plot. Of course some of the prime movers behind it were communists and republicans but you need to look at the kind of communists and republicans they were. The modern liberal sort. And they fatally misunderstood the dynamics of northern life and politics. Something you could never accuse the provos of. Which is why they are now where they are and why the CPI and WP and PD are where they are.

  • dub

    Turgon,

    Er no “we” haven’t. I don’t know you from Adam so how on earth could i attack you personally? i have attacked you views trenchantly, aspects of your belief system and the arrogant and sneering fashion with which you put them across. And pointed out on innumerous occasions the disconnect between this and the lovey dovey butter would not melt in my mouth buddhist style innocence which is another one of your personas on this site. Get over it. You can sure give it but you cannae tek it.

  • Turgon

    kensei,
    You have accused me and indeed right wing unionists of intellectual terrorism, a concept you have dreamed up. I have no idea what this concept is: it is quite fun as it contrasts with real terrorism; you know the sort which republicans committed against people here and which resulted in the sectarian murders which we all know about. It also contrasts with the same sectarian terrorism which drove loyalists.

    Even if it did exist and it was true that unionists did this, it would be as naught compared with the crimes of real terrorism. Also to accuse me of it in a debate with Brian Walker is pretty pathetic. To try to conflate a fairly sharp exchange between two people on an internet debating forum with say the Rising Sun murders demonstrates a breath taking ability to compare like with unlike.

    So you do not support any form of terrorism? Do you support the IRA terrorist campaign which was waged against people here? Do you support the loyalist terrorist campaign? I can answer an unequivocal No to both those. Can you? If so good.

    As to man playing attacking my religion is pretty insulting to me: I doubt you have the intellectual honesty to provide an apology.

    dub,
    Back to man playing I see: you may now begin to understand my reluctance to “engage” with you.

  • Frustrated Democrat

    Turgon

    Don’t let them grind you down – it is people like Walker who just like Paisley are responsible for the mess here over the last 40 years not you, if he feels guilty then let him be he should.

    Murdering women, children and unarmed politicians is not the same as IRA terrorists being killed planting bombs and no amount of spin will change that. The only problem was we did not accept it was a war and did not have a shoot to kill policy that removed a lot more terrorists.

    I however have to accept they are in Government as a means of stopping then killing more innocents, it doesn’t mean I have to like it or accept them as being equal to the people here who had no thoughts of killing any one.

  • Turgon

    Frustrated Democrat,
    Thanks for that: sadly I have to go out now so I may be a while before I can resume.

    Regards

  • ArchiePurple

    Question for Brian Walker….Did you consult your relative Dessie Boal QC, former MP and Attorney General before writing the nonsense above against Turgon’s well written text?

  • kensei

    Turgon

    You have accused me and indeed right wing unionists of intellectual terrorism, a concept you have dreamed up. I have no idea what this concept is: it is quite fun as it contrasts with real terrorism; you know the sort which republicans committed against people here and which resulted in the sectarian murders which we all know about. It also contrasts with the same sectarian terrorism which drove loyalists.

    Come now, Turgon, you have at least been through university and you are not a stupid man. You know precisely what I was driving at by that particular term. The fact it also doubled up as a neat way to encapsulate the point that it contributed to the situation here and yes – in some sense contributed to people dying here was simply an added bonus.

    Even if it did exist and it was true that unionists did this, it would be as naught compared with the crimes of real terrorism.

    No. Wrong. You do not get to wash your hands in that case. If you accept the premise that the Unionism had a propensity to stifle new ideas and destroy anyone who tried to think outside the box then you have to accept the consequences of those actions. Which would undoubtedly include creating a vacuum in which both loyalist and republican violence could flourish and perpetuating said violence by making it hard to break the cycle. And that means that yes, it includes responsibility for deaths.

    This is the heart of the thread, right here. I am reluctant to say this because you’ll jump on it without considering it properly. Pay attention to the first bit, because I’m not intending this to be definitive or entirely literal. In some sense the people who actually go out and pull the trigger are the least important part of the chain. Individuals can be stopped. They probably aren’t using much original thought. The people who pushed the ideas and gave intellectual succour and the people who supported them, even against their better judgement, were the ones who helped create a stream of people, not just one, who went out and killed people. Ideas matter, society matters, and it can be lethal. And if you don’t believe that you need to sit and think how ordinary men and women who in other circumstances would have lived out perfectly mundane lives where involved in the systematic destruction of a whole race in WW2. And that’s hardly the only example.

    That involves some level of collective responsibility. I don’t know how you handle that. I really don’t. But I know that simply saying that because you can’t finger one person no one is responsible and there is nothing to be done is wrong. Does the idea that your prejudices and your beliefs are in some sense a chain or connected to things that wind up with people dead and injured make you uncomfortable? Do you feel a worrying touch of responsibility at the suggestion? Congratulations, you are a member of the human race. It scares the shit out of me. And maybe if we spent more time feeling that than arguing over how it isn’t my fault the world might be a better place.

    Also to accuse me of it in a debate with Brian Walker is pretty pathetic. To try to conflate a fairly sharp exchange between two people on an internet debating forum with say the Rising Sun murders demonstrates a breath taking ability to compare like with unlike.

    Just don’t. I did not do that, and that wasn’t my point. I will not have intellectual dishonesty of that magnitude.

    So you do not support any form of terrorism? Do you support the IRA terrorist campaign which was waged against people here? Do you support the loyalist terrorist campaign? I can answer an unequivocal No to both those. Can you? If so good.

    No, I’m not answering. My opinion on organisation X is irrelevant to the general debate we are having, and the type of red herring you use to shut down discussion. I have been on here long enough to have a consistent body of comment (including this thread!) and reputation and will not be involved in such perile childish games. Grow up Turgon, and stop trying to classify people into black and white boxes.

    As to man playing attacking my religion is pretty insulting to me: I doubt you have the intellectual honesty to provide an apology.

    If I thought I had anything to apologise for, I would do it in a second. I do not believe your comment towards the subjects of this thread have been in anyway Christian. I retain that view and would advise you to search your conscience. That is the only response I can give with any level of intellectual and moral integrity.

  • “The modern liberal sort. And they fatally misunderstood the dynamics of northern life and politics.”

    I think there was confusion all round, Dub. Hume himself seemed very reluctant to get too close to NICRA because of the commie and republican baggage.

    I’m not sure that those militants who had taken part in the 1956/62 campaign or those who anticipated a Cuban-style revolution could really be labeled liberals.

  • “Ideas matter, society matters, and it can be lethal.”

    Kensei, it might well be easier to decommission munitions than mindsets.

  • Turgon

    So kensei there we go from your own words to the question do you support the loyalist or republican terrorist campaigns we have the answer: “No, I’m not answering.” That just about sums you up: cheerleader is a good term.

    Then on to the rest of your comments you try to resurrect your idea of “intellectual terrorism.” It is interesting that if anyone did stifle debate etc. surely it was the republican movement: often by killing people with whom it disagreed, Roy Bradford and Edgar Graham for example, along with a host of nationalists.

    Anyhow you then try to suggest that unionism stifled new ideas: it did no more nor less than nationalism at times did. However, from that rather shaky premise you then get via a series of equally unlikely suppositions to the conclusion that unionists are as guilty as the murderers themselves: indeed maybe they are the most responsible.

    Sorry kensei but that is just utter nonsense: the political views of unionists only caused violence in that some people (republicans) so objected to them that they killed unionists in order to get rid of them. That does not make the victims the guilty ones.

    Then we even have a bit of Prods were Nazis: you avoid using the term presumably to look as if you are not saying it and to avoid Godwin’s Law: however, the analogy is clear and again utterly dishonest. It shows how desperate you are becoming in your attempts to blame the innocent for the terrorists actions.

    Then after accusing me of intellectual terrorism against Brian Walker you object strenuously when I point out that you are trying to compare a sharp internet discussion with actual violence: you were the one who invented the term of intellectual terrorism. You cannot really blame me if I point out how you used it.

    Then finally you suggest I search my conscience: that from the person who when asked if he supports republican terrorism says “No, I’m not answering.”

  • willis

    C’mon Turgon

    At the heart of the attack on Eames-Bradley is the reasonable idea that not all victims are the same. However there seems no appetite to spell out what this means in practice, just a denigration of those who stepped up to the plate.

    If all you want to do is complain, fair enough, join the queue.

    I just thought you wanted something better.

  • kensei

    Turgon

    As I said, even if I accepted that someone I need to pass some litmus test as a prerequisite for debate, I have enough material on here for you to make a judgement call. To be blunt, grow up. And if you can’t engage on a serious intellectual debate without fall back to the cries of cheerleading and repeating the same points without reference to what the other person is saying, do everyone a favour and just shut up.

    As for the “bit of Prods are Nazi”, how fucking dare you misrepresent me like that. To take what I said and to place in those terms is a dishonesty I simply cannot handle. Apparently we heard all you ever had to say in the space of five minutes, and the rest is a rattle in an echo chamber. That’s me permanently out of your hair, I have no desire to debate anyone whose only trick is to repeat the same thing while doing their best to twist what people say. Disappointed.

    Nevin

    Kensei, it might well be easier to decommission munitions than mindsets.

    I don’t think there is a debate there, and it was perhaps Hume’s most important insight. There is likely something in your tug-of-war sovereignty point but I am sceptical that serious trouble could erupt over 2016. I just can’t see where the support comes from at this point. And there is plenty of time to prepare a peaceful commemoration and dedication to those ideals.

    I think the dissidents probably have the ability to sustain some kind of low level campaign, with the occassional ability to something more damaging like the last few weeks. I just don’t see where the really big destabilising force comes from that pulls us into more serious trouble. No one wants to go back, and the mechanisms for moving forward in any direction are understood and accepted.

  • Turgon

    kensei,
    Don’t really like being reminded of what you said do you? You compared Prods to Nazis: it is up there. I must admit I was amazed at your stupidity. Still you said it, you can hardly fault me for pointing it out. It seems to be you who has trouble indulging in serious intellectual debate: after all your first contribution was foul language and you keep telling me I am acting as a child: you probably do not really understand the irony do you?

    On an answer to the waffle and nonsense that passes for your argument ie violence is really unionists fault because they did not reform.

    I simply deny that unionists were the sole people who held things back here: nationalists were also at fault. Also no matter how much anyone held things back, that does not excuse the sectarian murderers: the ones you refuse to condemn with your “No I’m not answering.”

    The reality is that your whole premise is built on the sole idea that unionists created the problem so they can hardly complain that the IRA indulged in a sectarian murder campaign against them: you take multiple paragraphs to say it but rest assured it is still a lie. What can I expect from someone who compares us to Nazis? Tell me how did Marie Wilson hold back change, or the people at Darkley?

    As to shutting up: No I will not. If you do not like debating just stop.

  • Turgon

    willis,
    Sorry in the middle of dealing with kensei and dub I ignored your question and I always intended to come back to it.

    I regard the vast majority of the victims here as entirely innocent: clearly the children could be nothing other than innocent victims; though I guess to some cheerleaders it was all their and their parents fault for being prods on Holy Irish ground. I suspect that was behind the attempted IRA mass murder of children at Tullyhommon.

    Clearly I also regard the murders of soldiers and policemen, prison officers etc. as murder and that they are victims. Many were of duty but off or on duty that were not actually fighting a war they were trying to protect the community and stop terrorist murderers.

    Also all the civilians were clearly victims although again the terrorists and their cheerleaders try to suggest that they worked for people or were related etc.

    I also regard most of the terrorists killed as victims: most died whilst at home in sectarian attacks by the hand of another lot of terrorists. As such I guess the IRA men killed by loyalist terrorists are sort of victims and vice versa. However, they were not in any way pleasant or decent people. However, no one gave the loyalists (or vice versa) the right to kill them.

    I also accept that it is sad that terrorists died whilst committing their crimes. However, I must admit at baulking at calling victims, the terrorists who died when they attacked an off duty UDR man and he fired back.

    I believe there are differences between the victims. I wish with all my heart none had died. However, I can see that the whole thing is very fraught and in honesty I think that there will never be agreement on some cases. The areas and severity of disagreement depend on who is speaking to whom.

    Another group all that omits of course is all the injured and Eames Bradley’s ignoring of them in the money was simply another example of the laziness and moral vacuity at the heart of their project. Just because people did not die does not make them victims. There are also the relatives etc. who were victims in a way too. However, I also completely reject this nonsense that we were all victims.

    Sorry not a great answer but an honest attempt.

  • Silverline

    Turgon

    I have to say I find most of your blogs and comments to be based on rumour; for example there was the claim about the Irish Language act it did not happen! There was the claim Sinn Fein would be in charge of policing and Justice did not happen! And the claim the new football stadium would be at the Maze it did not happen. I find it hard to believe your party also stated they would share power with Sinn Fein in a council styled model and your leader claimed that not all the St Andrews Agreement was bad, you really are contradicting yourself a lot on different issues. Your party leader also helped to negotiate the St Andrews Agreement and his finger prints are all over it. I believe your party will get around the 20,000 – 30,000 mark, if they do your party will be to blame for Sinn Fein topping the poll and the possibility of the SDLP taking the second seat.

  • Turgon

    Silverline,
    That is the same post as you made on my last blog. I do not usually remove comments but if this continues I will. The comments above have nothing to do with Eames Bradley or the discussion on this thread.

  • willis

    Turgon

    Thanks for that. Certainly you take a more liberal view than many other unionists.

    I think that Rev Eames was probably the wrong choice to represent “prods”, and it is interesting that he has attracted much more ad hominum abuse than Denis Bradley.

  • Turgon

    willis,
    I agree re Eames. I know there will be shouts of man playing but I honestly believe that Eames was chosen for a series of reasons:

    1) The government had recently ennobled him and had to a large extent bought him. They knew he would find roughly what he did which was what they wanted.

    2) He is a conciliator and a man to run away from hard debate: his stance (or non stance )on homosexuality in the Anglican church is a good example. As such they knew he would do as he was told and not stand up to Bradley who to my mind wrote most of the report.

    3) He wanted the job. Unlike other Protestant churches (except the Free Presbyterians) the CoI have a long term leader. I do genuinely believe that after so long in the limelight as archbishop, Eames was missing the importance. As such when this came along he thought it was a good way to get back into the spotlight. Unfortunately he was so blinded by his own self importance (helped no doubt by flattery from the NIO etc.) that he thought he was the man who could sell the report’s findings to the unionist population.

    4) Any other Protestant prelates whom the government could have chosen would have either not played ball (most ex Presbyterian moderators and almost all the smaller church leaders), were not well enough known (most ex Methodist presidents) or were so much in hoc to a liberal agenda that they would never have been taken seriously (John Dunlop, Ken Newell or Harold Good).

    As I said that is all supposition and is a bit man playing but for what it is worth I have always felt the above was why Eames was chosen.

    I cannot comment on why Bradley has attracted less abuse. Maybe the fact that he gave up being a priest a long time ago and has been essentially a quangocrat fro a number of years.

  • “I just don’t see where the really big destabilising force comes from that pulls us into more serious trouble.”

    Kensie, it only takes a ‘micro-group’ to set the tribes here at each other’s throats. Back in the ’60s it was a bunch of armchair and militant socialists, a grouping that may have been disliked/detested by unionists and nationalists in equal measure. Our history would indicate that the reactions are perhaps more significant than our actions.

    Hume’s three strand analysis reflected his failure to decommission his own mindset. Both aspirations IMO need to be accommodated and neither can be simply reduced to a tradition or ignored.

    Also IMO the constitutional settlement in the 1998 Agreement prevents our political leadership from moving forward. Outsiders might have imagined that Robinson and McGuinness were pulling together in their condemnation of the three murders whereas each placed their condemnation in opposing contexts: UK v UI.

    It might seem a strange proposition but I think those who are planning the various commemorations should brief unionist politicians at all levels well in advance. Better communication might make for a more peaceful outcome than we’ve seen previously. BTW this ‘advice’ applies more generally to all factional events.

  • PACE Parent

    @Willis and Brian Walker

    Help us out here. Define victim please.

  • T.R.O.H.V.M

    ‘Enniskillen, Teebane, Kingsmills and Darkley’

    Funny Turgon in his self-righteousness picks out several atrocities carried out (some only allegedly) by republicans. His peice reeks of the typical unionist ‘nothing to do with us guvnor’ bullshit which unionism has attempted to peddle throught the decades. Nevermind the fact that the troubles were actually initiated by unionists/loyalists, but to think you can seperate the last 30-40 years from the past generations of the british-irish conflict is utter bullshit. Unionisms refusal to accept the democratic will of the irish people for years post and pre-partition is the problem. they seem to blame the irish people for being left behind when Britains colonial ship had sunk. It wasn’t the irish people who used unionists as a buffer against the pesky natives. It wasn’t the pesky natives who brought violence or sectarianism to Ireland….for that he needs to look across east across the sea.

  • kensei

    Turgon

    Don’t really like being reminded of what you said do you? You compared Prods to Nazis: it is up there.

    It wasn’t a comparison, not simile or metaphor. The point goes beyond Unionism, and that is easily inferred from the full context of what I have written. Apparently you can’t read. Go away now.

    Nevin

    I think the context is different this time. The Troubles are too close and too raw, in the 60’s there was a big distance. Things have got better on the sectarianism front, at least on the institutional level — people are more than likely not going to be denied a job or a council house because they are a Catholic any more, and Paisley isn’t going to march up the Falls to take away Tricolours. That sucks out a lot of the rage. And a lot of the mistakes like internment and the rest won’t be made a second time. It doesn’t mean that there isn’t capacity of severe trouble but I can’t see what causes an explosive shift.

    As for the sovereignty issue, that ball is most definitely in Unionism’s court. It was Trimble who insisted that “internal affairs” were closed off, and it is Unionism who would have to take the initiative in pushing a change. Can’t see it, though maybe if the gap narrows further you might some reaching for some new thinking.

  • Turgon

    kensei,
    I am going nowhere (well actually we are taking the kids out soon). It was you who started the Nazi thing.

    Actually I can read rather well. You repeatedly tried to suggest by a series of increasingly tenuous steps that the reluctance of unionists to make a compromise resulted in their murder and that it was at least as much their fault as the perpetrators. That was the sum total of your argument which you repeated in increasingly tedious and irrelevant detail.

    Then after explaining that unionists were more at fault than anyone else for their own murders you refused to condemn their murderers. “No, I’m not answering.”

    Then you tried to conflate the reluctance of unionists to compromise in the fashion you feel they should with the way in which the Nazis managed to get the Jews murdered. Unsurprisingly I objected to it and pointed that out: you do not like that. Well maybe just maybe you should not have brought it up.

  • Kensei, it’s my impression that society here is possibly more sectarian than it was in the 60s. We’ve also moved into a new generation with maybe fewer ‘conciliators’ around.

    We also have the problem that many local communities are under the paramilitary thumb and the local paramilitary leaders still appear to have a lot of immunity from the justice system.

    I don’t see any ‘new’ thinking in either tribe. I don’t see the extremists on either side prepared to adopt my shared sovereignty proposals even though these proposals maximise the common ground that IMO is necessary for political and economic progress.

    You say that things are better on the institutional front. I think it’s ironical that not even the Equality Commission can ‘get it right’.

  • kensei

    Turgon

    Never argue with an idiot, people might know the difference. Goodbye.

    Nevin

    Kensei, it’s my impression that society here is possibly more sectarian than it was in the 60

    Myth. My grandparent’s generation wouldn’t marry someone of the opposite religion. My parent’s generation saw the complete breakdown of relations here. Things have got better, if only slowly.

    We also have the problem that many local communities are under the paramilitary thumb and the local paramilitary leaders still appear to have a lot of immunity from the justice system.

    There are clearly problems within some communities but people aren’t cattle and the paramilitary “control” is overplayed. Apparent immunity does strike me as an issue, though and I hope that wherever we get a justice minister we should start to see things move that forces a tougher line.

    I don’t see any ‘new’ thinking in either tribe. I don’t see the extremists on either side prepared to adopt my shared sovereignty proposals even though these proposals maximise the common ground that IMO is necessary for political and economic progress.

    I think you’d see moderate nationalism respond well to it. I cannot see anyone in moderate Unionism going near it with a 50 foot poll. And in that instance, it makes no sense for the SDLP to be proposing such a thing. There is a big difference between a possibility that is far short of what the other parties is dangling as a possibility, and the potential for concrete political outcome. It would require coordinated movement, or at least Unionism to take the lead.

    You say that things are better on the institutional front. I think it’s ironical that not even the Equality Commission can ‘get it right’.

    There is a big difference between incompetence and malice, particularly in fueling violence.

  • kensei

    Nevin

    I should have said Myth perpetuated by my parents and grandparents generations!

  • Turgon

    kensei,
    I thought you had announced your leaving once already “That’s me permanently out of your hair.”

    I suspect you will be back.

    I admit to almost admiring the persistence with which you perused the argument that unionists had caused their own murders. Almost admire the consistency: disgusted by the premise and of course your refusal to condemn the real perpetrators. Your true colours tend to shine through: between that and the Nazi analogy. It does provide an interesting insight into your views however.

  • willis
  • willis

    Turgon

    “4) Any other Protestant prelates whom the government could have chosen would have either not played ball (most ex Presbyterian moderators and almost all the smaller church leaders), were not well enough known (most ex Methodist presidents) or were so much in hoc to a liberal agenda that they would never have been taken seriously (John Dunlop, Ken Newell or Harold Good).”

    The problem here is that you do not believe that liberal Protestants and Unionists can hold their beliefs in a serious and genuine way.

    The clergymen you mention above are not in hock to a liberal agenda, they are not placemen, they are genuine liberals.

    The use of the word prelate is appropriate to Episcopal denominations but not Reformed.

    http://www.askoxford.com/concise_oed/prelate?view=uk

    Liberal Protestantism has a long history in Northern Ireland and is responsible for a lot more that is good in education and politics than its detractors will admit.

  • Kensie, I was using sectarian in its widest sense.

    The baton once wielded by churchmen in community ventures has been taken up by paramilitary leaders. Paramilitary control is not so much under-played as under-reported.

    Extremists are in the majority in the NI Executive so I don’t see them clamping down on those of a similar ilk.

    Shared sovereignty makes the same or similar demands so that rules out any group taking the lead. Moderate unionism and nationalism is currently in the minority. It remains to be seen whether or not some common ground can be reclaimed.

    My friends and I who’ve been exploring the Rathlin ferry saga have met with incompetence and malice and it’s come from public servants rather than politicians. The latter have turned out to be relatively impotent. Perhaps input from the European Commission will jolt them into action.

  • Turgon

    willis,
    I deliberately use the term prelate regarding Newell and especially Dunlop, they always seemed to want bishop like powers and always seemed annoyed that their position was and remains a minority one with Presbyterianism.

    I think you are correct regarding them being liberals. The problem is that because they are liberals they would have been seen as in hoc to the liberal agenda of which they are indeed part.

    Eames was always a little bit different. However, that difference was I am afraid because he was all things to all men. I agree wholeheartedly about Drumcree. Actually I know a bit about it and what he said to the people in Portadown was very different to what he said elsewhere.

    Hence, I think Eames is willing to bend to the prevailing wind. He did what the governments and everyone wanted him to, had his time in the spotlight and thought (erroneously) that he could sway unionists to agree with him in significant numbers. On that he was gravely mistaken.

  • Turgon, I find liberal clerics so much more attractive than conservative ones, especially if they are female.

    It seems to me that the conservatives ‘don’t want a woman about the place’. Jesus seemed to be very effective when it came to tearing strips off the conservatives – and the moneychangers, or as we now call them, bankers.

  • willis

    Turgon

    Sorry to be a pedant but the expression is “in hock” meaning to be in debt to a pawnbroker. You can be in hock to a liberal agenda if it has a financial power over you, you cannot if you are actually a liberal.

    When did I mention Drumcree?

    I think you are probably right about Eames’ capacity to sail with the prevailing wind. He grew up in a more deferential age and has an understanding of duty and place which is more in keeping with the Queen than mere mortals like you and me.

    I’m glad you were actually trying to make a point by using the word “prelate”, but I think you have picked on the wrong two boys.

  • Willis, dub mentioned Drumcree.

  • willis

    Nevin

    Do you know any conservative women clerics? As rare as hen’s teeth.

  • Willis, I suspect many if not most conservative females would eschew the clerical dress.

    PS I wonder who is the ‘prelate’ in the Turgon household 😉

  • Turgon

    willis,
    I did not know where in hock came from: thank you.

    In terms of picking the wrong two: I do not know Newell may be not but Dunlop has tried to exercise excess influence over the PCI for as long as I can remember. It is a bit less now that he has retired but I really think he saw himself as the one who should be leading the church and actually telling it what to do before, during and after his moderatorship.

    Anyhow in a way it is irrelevant to my argument. I think you would agree that had the Prod clergyman been Newell, Dunlop or Harold Good the Consultative Group would have been dismissed before it began. I think the calculation was to use Eames and that he could carry a critical mass of Prods. That was a mistake mainly because the report was so unacceptable to unionists but also because of the leaks etc. beforehand which were I suspect designed to make the final recommendations more palatable. Actually they had if anything the opposite effect, stoking anger before the thing even came out. When it came out it was almost as bad as everyone feared and Eames’s credibility was utterly shattered.

  • Turgon

    Nevin,
    My wife has told at least one lie in her life. She promised (before God I might add, not that I wanted her to but in the Indies we were given no choice) to obey me. I think she loves and honours me but the obey bit: er no.

  • Hmmm. That wasn’t quite the question I posed, Turgon. You’ll be familiar with the term, “She who must be obeyed” 😉

  • Turgon

    Nevin,
    No I did answer it. She in general must be obeyed indeed. Actually I have been getting special dispensation to blog a bit this bank holiday as Elenwe and the boys are painting.

  • willis

    Turgon

    Haha

    I see what you are getting at, although I would still disagree about Prelate. If you had said Doctor or Professor you would have been bang on the money.

    One of the disagreeable features of some learned liberal presbyterians is their tendency to be condescending to their often less educated conservative peers.

  • So, Elenwe is the ‘prelate’ in the ‘parish of Kiljoy’ ….

  • Dave

    “A reconciling society takes collective responsibility for the past instead of attributing blame and avoiding responsibility.”

    Collective responsibility is nicely inverted here to mean accepting responsibility rather than avoiding it, and it is also inverted to mean blameless. So, you can be held responsible for crimes that you did not commit while, paradoxically, becoming blameless by accepting that you are, as accused, responsible. In other words, the pursuit of justice is trivially characterised as a mere ‘blame game’ played by political children, while the political adults realise that “reconciling” between victim and victimizer is best accomplished when the victim accepts that he is just as guilty as the victimizer. So, everybody is a victim, and since all cannot be punished, none must be ‘singled out unfairly’ and punished. Ah, yes, that infamous non-announced amnesty.

    This is great because if the organisers of the murder gangs are on the same social level as the victims of the sectarian murder gangs, then society need worry not that the organisers of the murder gangs have been rewarded for their crimes by being granted political power over their surviving victims and the families, friends, and fellow citizens of their non-surviving victims.

    Validating this despicable concept of collective guilt also validates collective punishment. Therefore, those innocent (sorry, guilty) civilians (legitimate combatants) who were murdered at random by loyalists, or vice versa, by shinners by in retaliation for retaliation were not innocent of crimes they did not individually committed because, under collective responsibility, they committed them as members of their respective tribe. Ah yes, that infamous non-announced policy that the conflict was between Catholics and protestants and cantered of theological differences, reinforced here by a catholic puppet (Bradley) and a protestant puppet (Eames) attempting to reconcile the warring religious bigots.

  • PACE Parent

    Just checking Willis. You see Eames/Bradley used a different definition, the one contained in Statutory Instrument 2006 No. 2953 (N.I.17)
    The Victims and Survivors (Northern Ireland) Order 2006.
    The interpretation follows:

    Interpretation: “victim and survivor”
    3. —(1) In this Order references to “victim and survivor” are references to an individual appearing to the Commissioner to be any of the following—

    (a) someone who is or has been physically or psychologically injured as a result of or in consequence of a conflict-related incident;

    (b) someone who provides a substantial amount of care on a regular basis for an individual mentioned in paragraph (a); or

    (c) someone who has been bereaved as a result of or in consequence of a conflict-related incident.

    (2) Without prejudice to the generality of paragraph (1), an individual may be psychologically injured as a result of or in consequence of—

    (a) witnessing a conflict-related incident or the consequences of such an incident; or

    (b) providing medical or other emergency assistance to an individual in connection with a conflict-related incident.

    The real hierarchy created by Eames/Bradley is that of time, given the methodology proposed to investigate the past . Those considered victims from early in the coflict may recieve the full benefit and resources of the historical enquiry investigation teams while later victims may find themselves with nothing useful.

    There is quite a difference Willis from your OED definition and that provided for Sir Ken Bloomfield. As ever the devil is in the detail.

  • willis

    Stephen

    Do you have an issue with the OED, Eames/Bradley or me. Your post does not make this clear.

  • Frustrated Democrat

    Dave

    We are all bloodthirsty murdering scum and should therefore all be punished with seats in the executive and chauffeur driven limos.

    I love this perverted logic which will twist everthing 180 degrees in order to appease murders of women, children and innocents.

    Reconcilation is a waste of time we should move on and provide for the real victims who never lifted a finger in anger.

  • dub

    Turgon,

    It was me who made the point about Eames and Drumcree. Another “meeting” of our minds!!!!