“In a speech billed in advance as significant by Sinn Fein sources..”

The long overdue search for more of those elusive truths about the past couldn’t be more timely. What with the Northern Ireland deputy First Minister, Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness, ducking those legacy issues again at a hunger strike memorial in County Londonderry, and choosing instead to indulge himself in yet more revisionism of recent history whilst prescribing “the best option for unionists..” Otherwise? “deadlock and stasis”, apparently. Fine. And how did that work out last time? Adds Full speech here.

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  • Ray

    There are incredibly serious legacy issues concerning the hunger strike. Mr. McGuinness has always been known for his coyness and ability to always tell half-truths.

  • Just what the DUP needs now – a speech from SF’s Martin McGuinness impllicitly confirming that the party is sticking to its guns on inequality and the likes. Just before an election, when people might be suspicious that the DUP and SF are getting too cosy. McGuinness should come clean and tell voters when the two parties are going to merge….formally…

  • DC

    ‘The alternative, he warned, is “deadlock and stasis”.’

    Relatively speaking unionists will look at that and think well it beats “murder” and “bloodletting”.

    On those relative terms alone many Unionists will settle for that simply because neither unionists nor republicans have ever used real politics and given leadership on public services, to business people, to consumers and to citizens generally.

    ‘Orange-card’ Unionists view republicans still through a murderous lens and will gladly settle for “deadlock” and “stasis” given what was previously on offer from SF was a fatal vision of motivating people to divide against one another.

    So I guess in Republican speak that can be viewed as the next best thing to a positive statement from McGuinness. There’s your unionist outreach in action.

    Now, as for me, I’m going back to try and find some real politics worth thinking about.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    I think its fair enough for Marty to remind everyone that they need to implement the GFA/STA -after all there have been funny Orangey noises from PoshBoyDC of late.

    But best to let the dust settle after all the elctioneering is finished before getting too excited.

  • redhugh78

    Mc Guinness is correct, unionists should join now from a position of strength because they are continually getting weaker.
    The times are changing…

  • Stem

    @redhugh78

    Mc Guinness is correct, unionists should join now from a position of strength because they are continually getting weaker.
    The times are changing…

    The problem for nationalists is that any concessions they gain now they will be morally obliged to give unionists as a minimum in any future united Ireland.

  • redhugh78

    Stem,
    how so?
    They will more than likely be garaunteed their British nationality and the same rights on equality and fairness as every other human being on the Island.

  • DC

    I’m not sure if national unity was going to seal the unionists handshake but for his own voters consumption it was all well and good.

    Anyway all things national have been taking a hammering recently to the point where i’m wondering if localism isn’t worthy of bit more attention than abstract debates on national unity. Joining up with the Dail for governance whenever locally no one knows about personal debt, or how to reflate or create a private sector in terms of identifying the right fiscal way to do so seems wishful thinking. I am aware of the fiscal straitjacket of NI but you create the ideas for better localism and better fiscal management regionally before even contemplating pulling away the public sector infrastructure with nothing in its place but unemployment, if we could, magically, tomorrow join up with the Republic.

    Local knowledge and getting things working together more closely to the electorate could potentially fill in the ignorance gaps. So despite not having fiscal levers, regional government should still aim to think about it not because of it but despite it, so as to argue in favour of getting more controls.

    In Britain the argument is turning fast into supporting intelligent decentralisation based on more accurate feedback of local circumstances.

    Having read McGuinness statement he isn’t even remotely near to having such an intelligent debate on costs and benefits of the old union or a new one. He is right about the failsafe equality and human rights checks and balances which unionists cannont ignore, nor should they try – same goes for Republicans.

    Unionists have a form of thought that respects the Grammar schools so in terms of human rights perhaps republicans shouldn’t expect the unexpected in an instance over post-primary schooling?

  • If Comical Marty’s speech was so significant you’d have thought it would have been on the SF website by now.

  • loki

    haven’t we already got deadlock and stasis? Thought that’s what 5 months of sulking was about, or transfer at 11, or P&J etcetc

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    loki,

    Stormo will either be run properly or not at all – I think the DUP have got the message now – though it took them 5 months to understand it.

  • Reader

    Sammy: I think the DUP have got the message now – though it took them 5 months to understand it.
    How can you tell they have got the message? A resumption of chuckling?

  • Reader

    redhugh: They will more than likely be garaunteed their British nationality and the same rights on equality and fairness as every other human being on the Island.
    Hey – great. And the equivalent for nationalists now. Fair enough.
    As for your original point – why should unionists vote for a United Ireland now? Or ever?

  • Reader

    Sammy: I think its fair enough for Marty to remind everyone that they need to implement the GFA/STA -after all there have been funny Orangey noises from PoshBoyDC of late.
    I don’t think I have ever heard anything the least bit Orange from Cameron. Have you any quotes?
    On the off chance you meant something a bit different, have you any indications that, as PM, he would breach the obligations imposed on the British Government by the GFA?

  • Turgon

    I wonder what SF’s strategy to deal with Jim Allister and the TUV is.

    If the TUV are beaten in the election, no matter what the size of their vote, I suspect SF will say that the DUP need to ignore the TUV vote and “move forward.” However, if Jim Allister does win I wonder to what extent SF have thought through what will happen and what they would do.

    This speech implies they have no idea for that contingency but there are some very clever people in SF and I would have thought some of them should be thinking about it. A problem is, however, that SF has difficulties seeing any position outside their own narrative. They could yet be in for a shock regarding what happens within unionism, even if Allister does not win, let alone if he does.

  • Chris Donnelly

    Turgon

    A thought occurs. Does Jim Allister and the TUV have a strategy to deal with Sinn Fein ‘if’ they have a successful election?

    That would appear to be a more pertinent question.

  • Turgon

    Mr. Donnelly,
    I am sure if elected Jim Allister will continue with his strategy of representing his constituents. I do not see how SF’s getting elected will change that: after all he is currently a sitting MEP and there is, I believe, a sitting SF MEP. As such I suspect no change would be the answer.

    At least try to ask sensible questions.

  • Big Maggie

    Turgon,

    “Mr. Donnelly”?

    What’s with the formality? :^)

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Reader

    “Have you any quotes?”

    “I am passionate about the Union.” – or the equivalent.

  • latcheeco

    Turgon,
    I’d imagine that they (SF) would welcome the opportunity to have an even more extreme form of unionism than the DUP be forced to also inevitably do business with them at Stormont (if the TUV get there). Allister will eventually be turned Trimble just as Paisley was. Where else can unionism go?

  • GavBelfast

    That’s not “Orange”.

    He’s the potential next PM of the UK – all of it – and why wouldn’t he want to defend the integrity of the country as is.

    You’ll have to do better than that.

    By the way, you are aware of the Orange third in your flag? If it annoys you so much, get rid, lest the Orange bit be regarded a meaningless gesture.

  • latcheeco

    Turgon,
    The whole game is premised by the British govt. on the old idea that you buy off with a little bit of power anybody on either side who gets too uppity.Why would the TUV be different?

  • HeadTheBall

    “the Orange third in your flag”?

    When I was growing up the colours of the Irish flag were described as green, white and gold – green for Ireland and the other 2 for the Papacy. A lot of other people seem to think likewise (vide Elvis Costello in his “Anthem”). Have we any good sources for this inclusivist message nowadays written into the Tricolour?

  • Jimmy Sands

    Unless I misread him, Coco appears to have just accused Grisly of being in the RA. I wonder will he sue?

  • HeadTheBall,

    When I was growing up the colours of the Irish flag were described as green, white and gold …

    You grew up amongst some ignorant people, so.

    Have we any good sources …

    Yes. The Constitution!

    http://www.taoiseach.gov.ie/attached_files/Pdf files/Constitution of Ireland.pdf

    Try Article 7: “The national flag is the tricolour of green, white and orange.”

  • HeadTheBall

    Horseman,

    Yes, actually I knew that.

    The burden of my question, for those slow on the uptake, was has it always been so or has Bunracht na hEireann been amended at some stage?

    On your other patronising point, I did not have the privilege of growing up with Elvis Costello but he and I seem to be of a like mind (as are many others, in my experience).

  • The Third Policeman

    Well Jesus if Elvis Costello thinks it it must be true! I mean… Elvis, fucking, Costello.

  • HeadTheBall

    I am not asserting that Elvis Costello is infallible (I am not RC and Elvis, at the last count, was not Pope).

    I am simply trying to tease out what seems to me a changed way of viewing the Irish flag.

    Sure, I grew up a Shankill Prod and may well have been ignorant but I worked for a time for Aer Lingus. Admittedly in London, but the staff was nearly 100% Irish and overwhelmingly from the RoI. When we (rarely) discussed the Irish flag it was always, only, as “green, white and gold”.

    I am sure that it is also often so described in song, although I cannot be arsed to seek examples at the moment. There seems to have been a more recent attempt, which I can only applaud, to describe the flag in more inclusive terms. (I have no difficulty with the flag, BTW, and would be happy to adopt it as my own.)

  • HeadTheBall,

    The burden of my question, for those slow on the uptake, was has it always been so or has Bunracht na hEireann been amended at some stage?

    Of course Bunreacht na hÉireann has been amended – 24 times (it’s all in the link I gave) – but never regarding the flag, which has remained unchanged since first proposed by Thomas Francis Meagher in 1848. It predates Irish independence, and is therefore not just the flag of the Republic (or the Free State before it), but is the flag of the Irish nation as a whole.

    It has never had ‘gold’ in it – that is just a deliberate myth spread by unionist bigots to try to give the impression that the flag pays homage to the Vatican, and therefore that home rule really is Rome rule.

  • … I am sure that it is also often so described in song …

    No doubt! Have you ever tried to find a word that rythms with ‘orange’? ‘Gold’ is so much easier.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    GavBelfast,

    re. Orange or not Orange

    “There are clearly some senior members of the DUP – and some in the civil service and British system – who miss playing the ‘Orange card.”

    In the context of Marty’s (correct) use of the term – PoshBoyDC remarks fall in to the Orange category.

  • HeadTheBall

    Horseman,

    I am obliged for the link and, of course, am happy with your explanation.

    A pity, though, that my Aer Lingus colleagues, sound republicans to a (wo)man, and Elvis Costello, fell for “a deliberate myth spread by unionist bigots”.

    Beir bua

  • Reader

    Sammy: In the context of Marty’s (correct) use of the term – PoshBoyDC remarks fall in to the Orange category.
    That’s beyond cryptic. It looks like gobbledegook. Apart from anything else, the gist of Cameron’s involvement has been to try to *stop* people playing the orange card. And his remark seems no more than the equivalent of what any RoI politician might say.
    Still, on your own interpretation of DC’s remark, you have departed from the usual position of slugger nationalists, who seem to think that orangeism looks grotesque and foreign to the English. Not that foreign and grotesque after all, then?
    Just don’t tell Grand Lodge that you have redefined Orangeism.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Reader,

    as I’m sure you are aware the term ‘playing the Orange card’ has nothing to do with the OO and everything to do with the British playing Norn Iron as it might suit their particular interests at the time. Marty was simply reminding everyone of Britain’s disgraceful historical record in that regard and reminding those, like PoshBoyDC making such funny Orangey, tribal noises, that they need to stay on the striaght and narrow as set out in the GFA.

  • latcheeco

    Headtheball,
    Here’s the most common one I think:
    My only son was shot in Dublin
    Fighting for his country bold
    He fought for Ireland, and for Ireland only
    The harp and Shamrock, green, white, and gold.
    (The Dying Rebel)

  • BonarLaw

    Horseman

    “It predates Irish independence, and is therefore not just the flag of the Republic (or the Free State before it), but is the flag of the Irish nation as a whole.”

    Who or what is the Irish nation and when was it consulted about which symbols it wanted to adopt?

    Sammy

    “they need to stay on the striaght and narrow as set out in the GFA”.

    That would when Northern Ireland was confirmed as an integral part of the United Kingdom. And now that kindgom is going to have a PM who cherishes the Union over which he is to govern. Seems pretty straight and narrow to me.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    BonarLaw,

    as long as he sticks to Norn Iron’s constitution – the GFA – he should be ok. But history teaches us the Tories need to be watched – and Marty was reminding them and everyone else just that.

  • HeadTheBall

    latcheeco,

    GRMA.

    I had forgotten that one completely, despite frequently singing it, years ago, in a pub in London’s Kentish Town.