“I don’t want to put the families through any more political trauma..”

Is the criticism by Northern Ireland deputy First Minister, Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness, of the DUP’s Gregory Campbell, and other unionist politicians, a sign of cracks in the NI Executive or a last-minute appeal to the base ahead of election day?

Or a not so last-minute appeal to the base.. [Don’t tell anyone! – Ed] Campbell’s certainly a more convenient target for Sinn Féin to take aim at than the NI First Minister – and others are ready to do that for them. But whereas now, condemnation is “not enough” for Sinn Féin, once it would have been enough for the Provisional IRA to issue a denial of involvement for Gerry Adams, MP, MLA, to state [Google cache],

“The IRA last Friday said that none of its volunteers or units were involved in the Adare incident. I accept that position”, and for Pat Doherty, MP, MLA, to declare, “I don’t want to put the families through any more political trauma by fighting over words like condemn. I abhor the politics of condemnation” – a view they shared at the time with David Ervine.

And, mis-remembering aside, condemnation remains a step too far for some within Sinn Féin when it comes to those legacy issues. But hatred, once tactically deployed, cannot be simply wished away because of political expedience. Better to see implementation of a strategy to deal with that legacy than more attendances at funerals.

That’s just part of the wider context in this top-down Process™ referred to on Stormont Live by the SDLP’s Alex Attwood and the Alliance Party’s Naomi Long. Additional comment from the UUP’s Danny Kennedy here and Sinn Féin’s Alex Maskey here.

None of which, by the way, negates the real need for what Michael Longley referred to as civilisation

It’s how we interact with one another, civilization. On the one hand, I’m interested in how we avoid tearing one another to pieces. Peace is not that, peace is the absence of that, peace is the absence of war: the opposite of war is custom, customs, and civilization. Civilization is custom and manners and ceremony, the things that Yeats says in “A Prayer for My Daughter.” We have a vocabulary of how to deal with one another and how to behave, a vocabulary of behavior, as well as things to say to one another . . . and out of that come laws and agreed ways of doing things . . . and that in daily life are a bit like form in poetry.

And, as the recent law lords’ ruling noted

It may well be that many, or indeed most, Northern Irish people would now feel able to overlook an expression of support for the use of violence, voiced long ago, in very different times, and long since repented of. But there are, unfortunately, many people on both sides of the sectarian divide whose lives have been blighted by the death of relatives or friends, killed in a politically motivated atrocity. Others have to live out their lives under the permanent burden of injuries sustained in such an atrocity. Some of these people may, indeed, feel able to forgive both the perpetrators and those who approved of what they did. But we admire such feelings, precisely because they cannot be commanded. Other people who have been similarly affected may, quite understandably, be unable to see matters in that way. This does not make them bigots; they are just people who have been deeply and immediately affected by the violence and who do not yet feel able to “move on” – to use the unattractive modern jargon.

There has already been a recognition of that wider context and the need for a civilisation process.

“That can only happen in the long term future. How long that will be I don’t know. If it is done by any means of coercion, or divisiveness, or threats, it will never happen. We’ll stay at a very peaceful Ireland and I think time will be the healer providing people, in a dedicated way, work for the better good of everyone on the island. If it doesn’t prove possible, then it stays the way it is under the Good Friday Agreement, and people will just have to be tolerant of that if it’s not possible to bring it any further.”

N.B. Global tours not required.

As you well know..

  • kensei

    Holy shit. Have you linked every piece you did and quote you liked for the the past year?

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Pete,

    quick bit of breaking news for you – the war is over and the insurgents are now in government – you will have to move on as will Gregory.

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    Here’s some news for you stuck-record Sammy – you slabbered for years and years and years that ‘da Brits’ *couldn’t* do dis, dat and da other, half because you like fibbing, half because you were too dim to understand basic constitutional law. *Now* you’re slabbering that ‘da Brits’ *shouldn’t* do all dese bad things wot you don’t like. Got to get those lies straight, otherwise you’ll be almost as laughable as Gezza. Otherwise, keep on running.

  • qubol

    L(T)U: Here’s some news for you stuck-record Sammy

    There’s only one stuck record around here L(T)U which unfortunately for us you appear to dim to understand.

  • fin

    Thank God normal service is resumed with LTU, New Blue and Seymours behaviour on here last night was the unacceptable face of unionism, ie trying to build bridges with nationalists.

    Hello LTU, give em hell and put him back in his place the dirty wee uppity Taig bugger, how dare he come out without his sackcloth and ashes.

    Pete, have you not had a holiday for a while, you seem to come back to Gerry’s trips abroad alot

  • Farmer Fred

    “there’s no point trying to talk me down”

  • USA

    Hyperlink Pete,
    Do us all a favor and get a life.

  • Mick Fealty

    Hey guys, any one actually read the post?

    Attwood is often a poor performer, but he hit that particular political football right out of the ground. Good performance from Long too.

  • An fhirinne gharbh

    I was surprised that McGuinness chose Gregory as his target. After all, Gregory did manage to unreservedly condemn the murder – and earlier than others on the Unionist side. I suppose that there’s not much mileage in attacking the local nobodies in Coleraine town.

  • Yesterday, I had a bit of a shock when I received a comment in response to a post that I wrote on 26th May
    http://torystoryni.wordpress.com/2009/05/26/mcdaid-murder-sectarianism-is-northern-irelands-common-enemy/
    asking why nobody from UCUNF had attended the victim’s funeral.

    I have no doubt that some would have felt genuinely upset about the lack of representation from the Unionists. After all, McDaid was somebody who was trying to do something to help community division and he deserves respect for that alone.

    At the some time, one wonders about the mindset of some of those political representatives that did turn up, noticed there were no unionists there and thought “Great we can criticise them for not turning up” I’m not saying that anybody thought that but it would be natural to think that they thought that.

    Those who are genuinely concerned about sectarianism need to think very carefully about what they say in response to it. I can take a criticism and absorb. There are many others who will throw it back in a person’s face.

    I totally agree with Naomi Long’s observations and comments.

  • Seceder

    there should be no surprise that gregory Campbell didn’t attend Mr McDaid’s funeral, No DUP Gov Minister was able to attend Const Carroll’s funeral. The MP for Upper Bann apparently wasn’t present in Const Carroll’s funeral service – so why the surprise?

    The DUP remain a deeply sectarian party and many good people tomorrow will close their eyes to this fact and out of fear – sectarian fear – will vote for the DUP candidate.

    Ce la vie – Northern Ireland style

  • loki

    Pains me to say it but Martin McGuiness is absolutely right. But we all know DUP isn’t interested in an end to sectarianism- they election campaign proves that.

  • kensei

    Mick

    Hey guys, any one actually read the post?

    I tried, really I did, but by the third sentence I was so confused as to what the hell Pete’s point actually was and so bewildered by the endless red links that I decided to invest my time in something more worthwhile. Like working.

    Then I had an epiphany, and realised what this is. This is blog posting as masturbation. I know Pete posts for himself, but somethings are really better left in private.

  • Dec

    Hey guys, any one actually read the post?

    Yes, and it’s a total self-referential mess.

    Good performance from Long too

    You must love AOR, Mick.

  • fin

    “but he hit that particular political football right out of the ground”

    If he did Mick it was during a penalty shoot-out

    such old school ‘box of chocolates’ stuff from the SDLP. I get the feeling the Stoops are fishing for disgruntled UUP voters for tomorrow. Which fair play, however, pot, kettle, black

    And has anyone worked out Longs opinion, funerals are private, politicans impose by attending so they shouldn’t attend but you know they should be there, but its imposing on the private grief of the family, so they shouldn’t be there, but you know you need to be seen showing support by attending, geez compromise Naomi stand at the door with the DUP.

  • IRIA

    philly.com lead story.

    “Justice, community style. It’s a beautiful thing.”

    Guess it does work, sometimes.

  • One thing some people need to also appreciate is that anybody who is a member of either the Orange order or (in the case of Gregory Campbell) the independent Orange Order could not have attended the funeral otherwise they would be breaking the rules of their institution. By the way I am not inviting a debate here about the OO. There are plenty of other threads that have dealt with that.

    Perhaps this debate should not be about whether somebody went to a funeral but what other appropriate gestures were made to condemn sectarianism (see No. 9 above). Also, remember Naomi’s point about the privacy of the family.

    I wont be drawn into a discussion here about the wider aspect of sectarianism. This is about how politicians react to a sectarian murder. I do think people need to hesitate and think carefully before endorsing the criticism made by McGuiness.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Mick,

    Pete’s opener was “a last-minute appeal to the base ahead of election day?” Hence he got the reaction he presumably sought.

    Accoring to the linked BBC report this is what Marty said.

    “McGuinness said Mr Campbell’s refusal to speak to him at various events in Derry despite knowing each other for 20 years was symptomatic of a wider problem in society.”

    Pretty reasonable stuff considering the context of a shocking sectarain murder and given some of the disgraceful remarks coming from the DUP e.g. “tit for tat”

    re. The studio.

    It was refreshing to hear Atwood defend the UU politician rather than scoring points – but that came later with his bizarre atempt to link the attitudes of people to child abuse in the ROI to those of the killings in the North.

  • Mick Fealty

    Well, Pete doesn’t need me to defend him, the post does that well enough in its own right. But since I’m on here, where exactly was the self reference Dec? (Go on, mouse over the hyper links, I dare ya?)

    The reminder of Sinn Fein’s ‘politics of condemnation’ line is a useful one. If it was true then, what has changed now? Other than the shoe is now on the other foot?

  • DC

    “I totally agree with Naomi Long’s observations and comments.”

    He was a cross-community worker he was a public man, not a private one. So I don’t agree with her stance. Not thinking it through the consequences of not attending? Listen, my first instinct after the murder due to its sectarian nature was that a message of disgust be issued by FM and indeed dFM. I was completely disgusted by it. The message should have been sent out then at the outset, she should stop making excuses for unionists, for goodness sake. Weak, weak, weak.

    I can’t find leadership here:

    http://www.northernireland.gov.uk/news-ofmdfm.htm

    or here:

    http://www.dup.org.uk/default.htm

    “And, as the recent law lords’ ruling noted”

    That Law Lords ruling was a piece of crap, remember the Law Lords also hung Lord Haw Haw, the, by birth American and naturalised German, apparently because he wrapped a union flag around himself that was tantamount to him being British, and he held a lapsed passport via his time in Ireland when it was British ruled or something. Ergo Britain had the right to try and then hang him.

    The Law Lords scotched the McConkey appeal due to the outstanding issues which you correctly mention and want to let any potential changes that could be viewed as sensitive be taken up by ourselves (alone?) when more justice powers come our way.

  • Mick Fealty

    As for sectarianism, well, some people have principles that disallow them from going to requiem Mass. This doesn’t actually bind all Protestant faiths, so as Long and Attwood point out, it may not have been the right decision for no one to go… But some of inferences both here and elsewhere of what that absence adds up to are, frankly, insupportable…

  • DC

    Listen Mick leadership comes from the top, check out OFMDFM statements, there’s nothing there.

    End of. I’m more concerned about this going off the radar within unionism than attendance at a funeral but in fact neither happened and it pretty much is being swept under the passage of time.

    Frankly, as a party against sectarianism such a smoothing over of non-attendance or non-message by unionist leaders by the Alliance party isn’t acceptable in my view.

    Hence the Tory Seymour Major thinking it was great statement, even David Cameron would have loved that stuff coming of the deputy ‘leader’s’ mouth.

  • Dave

    “If it doesn’t prove possible, then it stays the way it is under the Good Friday Agreement, and people will just have to be tolerant of that if it’s not possible to bring it any further.” – Bertie Ahern

    But will they finally grasp that they have formally downgraded their former right to national self-determination to the status of an aspiration that is now legitimately subject to the discretion of another nation? No, even though Bertie spelt it out for them with multi-coloured alphabet blocks.

    “The Deputy First Minister said Mr Campbell refuses to speak to him, despite the pair working in government together, and claimed his stance was reflected in a lack of community dialogue in Coleraine.” – Belfast Telegraph

    This despicable specimen of psychopathology takes the prize. It obviously annoys McGuinness that Gregory Campbell treats him with the contempt he has earned so he tries to link Mr Campbell’s policy to being a causal factor the murder of Mr McDaid.

  • Mick Fealty

    DC,

    “check out OFMDFM statements, there’s nothing there.”

    Why the surprise? They have barely agreed on anything since the end of the lost 154 days. They could not even agree on the reception for the Irish rugby team.

    And yet the deputy FM was giving out about the strong message of solidarity the fact the he and the First Minister arrived in separate cars to the house after the murder and before the funeral.

    There is a vacuum of leadership. But what we are witnessing is a piece of crass spin to attach the blame in one quarter when it, at the very least, belongs in two…

  • fin

    This despicable specimen of psychopathology takes the prize. It obviously annoys McGuinness that Gregory Campbell treats him with the contempt he has earned

    fair enough Dave, but whats going to happen if nationalist politicans decide to treat unionist politicans with the contempt that they deserve, or are you saying unionist politicans are blameless for the last 50 odd years of conflict.

  • Pete Baker

    DC

    Peter Robinson’s statement is linked in the original post.

    Here it is again. [Added Released 26/5/2009]

  • Dec

    But since I’m on here, where exactly was the self reference Dec? (Go on, mouse over the hyper links, I dare ya?)

    I did I my head went numb 6/7 out of 17 or so were Baker self-links and much like Abraham begat Isaac, they beget (Is that a word, Turgon?) more self-referential circle-jerks.

    The reminder of Sinn Fein’s ‘politics of condemnation’ line is a useful one. If it was true then, what has changed now? Other than the shoe is now on the other foot?

    And it certainly isn’t whataboutery, is it Mick? It was interesting to note that Fintan O’Toole, no great cheerleader of SF, recently suggested O’Dea et al should finally drop the references to Jerry McCabe, and you know, move on.

    btw I’ve yet to hear any Brit or Unionist condemn the Bloody Sunday murders. Or the murder of Julie Livingstone. Or the murder of Kidso Reilly. And so on…

  • fin

    And yet the deputy FM was giving out about the strong message of solidarity the fact the he and the First Minister arrived in separate cars to the house after the murder and before the funeral.

    Isn’t Stormont all a bit like Goldilocks and the 3 bears, the Doc and Marty, oh don’t like the chuckle brothers they get on far too well, Robbo and Marty, oh don’t like that, they don’t get on enough.

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘but he hit that particular political football right out of the ground.’

    Mixing your sporting metaphors Mick (Football and baseball) unless your suggesting he has feet like Hub Hughes !

    Campbell’s non-attendance and lukewarm condemnation no doubt elevated his status among many of his consituents, would he be likely to admit he couldn’t attend due to his OO membership? Never. Was he busy with ministerial duties? I’d say the cynics may be closer to the truth on that one !

  • Mick Fealty

    Dec 6/17 is hardly self referential. I value Pete’s memory, if only because it prevents some of us less inclined to question the day’s headlines from falling for the Kenny Craig school of politics:

    Look into my eyes, look into my eyes, the eyes, the eyes, not around the eyes, don’t look around the eyes, look into my eyes… (snaps fingers) …you’re under!

  • Mick Fealty

    RS,

    Kicking a political football out of the park was intended as unmixed metaphor… But I see the confusion.

  • Rory Carr

    It is understandable that someone who belongs to a society such as the Orange Order or who might belong to a church which proscribes attendance at Catholic sevices, including funerals, might wish to offer sympathy and condolences to their neighbours’ bereaved but yet avoid attendance at the funeral itself.

    Strange indeed in this day and age, one might think, but understandable (or almost – my English friends find it appalling, but there you go, they are English and have a somewhat strange understanding of what might constitute civilised behaviour in the United Kingdom).

    But for the local assembly representative (and minister within that assembly) to fail to attend the funeral of one of his constituents who has been brutally murder in a most obscene display of naked religious sectarianism is almost beyond belief. If his obligations to his church or to whatever secret society he chooses to belong conflict with his clear obligations as a member of a government avowedly intent on ridding his constituency of sectarianism then he should choose one or the other. It is simply not possible to combat sectarianism while one openly panders to it so publicly. The man is a disgrace in any terms.

  • Chris Donnelly

    Mick
    How times change.

    Two months ago many threads on Slugger were dedicated to attacking Sinn Fein for taking several hours (mostly during the night) to issue a statement condemning the murder of two British soldiers. The significance of that condemnation, and forcefulness of subsequent pronouncements from the ‘very top’, was clearly an issue for many unionists- and others- on that occasion.

    That being the case, surely people are entitled to expect a similarly robust condemnation followed up with acts of support from political unionism (like attending the dead man’s funeral or criticising the base sectarian logic which saw a loyalist band go ahead with a parade in the town during the wake of the deceased) at the highest level?

    As Brian Feeney points out in a very strong piece in today’s Irish News, there was a significant difference in the manner in which McGuinness reacted to the murders of the British soldiers and PSNI officers just two months ago, and the less strident terms in which unionist political leaders, like Robinson, Campbell and McQuillan- have reacted to the killing of Kevin McDaid by a loyalist mob.

    Indeed, others- like Talkback’s Mike Philpot- have also spoken out clearly about the weak response of unionist political leaders to this- and previous- killings.

    There is an issue here, which mightn’t fit the ‘narrative of choice’ and therefore is doggedly evaded by many. The SDLP’s John Dallat, a considerably more talented representative than Attwood, correctly identified the problem as emanating from a section of unionism which continues to resent the growing self-confidence and assertiveness of many northern nationalists.

    This resentment is most pronounced- and has brought the most deadliest of consequences- in majority unionist areas like Portadown, Ballymena, Coleraine and Stoneyford, all of which have been and continue to make the news for killings and incidents which support the contention.

    It is entirely valid and indeed appropriate to challenge unionist political leaders to display the type of leadership which would encourage and foster a tolerance of a nationalist minority in predominantly unionist heartlands- this week, it would appear that the Protestant church leaders in the area provided a much more visible form of leadership than those political leaders.

    Of course sectarianism isn’t the sole preserve of people from within the unionist persuasion, but pretending there isn’t an acute problem in many majority unionist towns/ villages which is not being helped by a refusal of political leaders to preach an acceptance and tolerance of the Irish nationalist identity, is considerably more ‘crass’ than a press statement which is simply pointing out the obvious.

  • DC

    Sorry I missed it amongst all those links, it was made on the Tuesday.

    McGuinness made a statement on the Monday:

    http://www.sinnfein.ie/contents/16452

    And I’m entitled to judge our elected representatives in response to a sectarian murder before anyone tries to lob the old political football. I’m trying to establish a view on leadership and those political reactions.

    However, I am fully aware of Sinn Fein’s stance on a shared future (the policy document that is, but can that really be acceptable not to back the document, yet preach it in the political statements????).

  • kensei

    Mick

    Dec 6/17 is hardly self referential.

    On what planet exactly? And he has copied and pasted large bits that he has copied and pasted so many times before it is almost a trademark.

    We may not have look into my eye, look into my eyes….. but we certainly have “if you don’t follow this link, and this one, and this one… and this…. then you are not qualified to speak anyway”. That is assuming you can find the bloody point in the first place buried in the mass of red pain. And let’s not forget the condescending “You need to consider exactly what I said two seconds ago” habit that Pete has.

    My posts are not good, but this is an abomination. People have their styles an’ all but sometimes you have to reign it in to be anyway effective.

  • DC

    Yes Chris you are right but…hold on…..can you explain this apparent counter-assertive move:

    http://www.nowpublic.com/world/freedom-cork-while-union-jack-flies-high

  • Chris Donnelly

    DC
    I genuinely don’t get your point….please elaborate.

  • DC

    ‘As Major and Reynolds flanked by a large security detail were greeted by the Lord Mayor on the steps of the City Hall a chorus of ‘No’s’, ‘Shame’, ‘Brits out’ and ‘Not welcome could be heard. Members of the public joined the protest while one said; “McCurtain and McSwiney must be rolling in their graves at the sight of the Butchers Apron over our City once again.’

    Here we have a Briton an ex-leader PM visiting Cork at the powers-that-be-request and we have resistance to this identity, the Union flag was enough to set it off.

    Kinda reminds me of your diagnosis:

    correctly identified the problem as emanating from a section of unionism which continues to resent the growing self-confidence and assertiveness of many northern nationalists.

    We have British in Cork and an Irish state welcoming it as a confident new approach to British Irish relations and we get in response:

    ‘Let those who try to bring normalisation of British rule remember that the proclamation of 1916 remains unfinished business and we in Sinn Féin Poblachtach will not stand idly by, we will protest and highlight this on going collusion at every opportunity.’

    Hardly conducive to good relations and an assertiveness, supported by SF (correct me if I’m wrong), that can only be seen to motivate certain people to divide against certain other groups of people. No???

  • DC

    Or is that republican Sinn Fein, or is there a difference, you see it’s things like that which is hard to differentiate…anyway the problems with image and reputation and all things Republican like is that such actions become so difficult to disentangle from one apparent cause.

  • Mick Fealty

    Ken,

    When you take the time and effort to work out what they link to, come back to me.

    Chris,

    I know that’s the way it’s being presented. And I was quick in noting the delay in the condemnation, but I am not at all sure that that is what Pete’s actually saying.

    It’s happening, and it’s real. People should be right across this, and it should be a reflexive action; not one that should need thinking about or careful mediation.

    But what Pete’s done here is to examine the past stance of the leaders for the ‘Opposition’ so to speak. You might say that in the context of recent events that that was mere ‘whataboutery’.

    I disagree, in the sense that Pete’s argument is an original one, and seeks to hold the party to account to it’s own past words and positions rather than to get in to unweighted and inapproximate comparisons.

    I keep going back to Gladys Ganiel’s model of transformational discourse:

    No Change: Use the old discourses. Risk alienation.

    Some change: Retain the old discourses, while simultaneously adopting new discourses that are acceptable in the new public sphere. Risks presenting a ‘contradictory’ stance but able to participate partially in the public sphere.

    Transformative change: Criticise and abandon the old discourses, while simultaneously adopting new discourses that are acceptable in the new public sphere. Able to participant in the public sphere.

  • fin

    lovely comment posted under the “Cracks in Northern Ireland Executive after loyalist mob murder” story in the Tele

    “Only in Norn Iron and the Belfast Tele could calls for ‘politicians to take steps to end division’ be reported as Cracks appearing in the executive. Can you tell me how calls for Unity can be construed as divisive?
    Please end the sensationalism.
    Complain about this comment
    Posted by Baffled! | 02.06.09, 16:06 GMT”

  • Chris Donnelly

    Mick
    I can recall having this conversation over Ganiel’s model with you on another thread many moons ago.

    I don’t see any party here moving beyond the ‘some change’ stance for a very long time.

    In fact, getting universal movement to that stance would be an advance in its own right on where we’re at presently- and I’d suggest a strong showing for Allister will likely entrench political unionism further within the ‘No change’ stage.

    I’d also point out that it’s extremely rare to find political parties adopting the ‘transformative change’ stance- just look at the diverse/ conflicting attitudes to events in history well beyond our shores; old enmities elsewhere have been allowed to fade without one side or the other consciously progressing to the transformative stage.

    The ‘whataboutery’ charge is always going to be forwarded; the passing of time and evidence of commitment to the ‘some change’ mode will lessen the efficacy of the charge.

    In this regard, I’d actually view Martin McGuinness’ leadership statements and actions in the context of the horrific killings of this Spring as being tangible evidence of a mainstream political republican commitment to steering a course committing the party to a new discourse.

    There have been other notable advances towards the ‘some change’ stance, not least the republican commitment to ‘equality or neutrality’ regarding British/ Irish flags and emblems on local council-owned property (which drives the proverbial horse and cart through republican orthodoxy.) And who can doubt the importance of defusing hostilities and developing a tolerance for the legitimate expressions of our respective National flags after the latest sectarian killing?

    Delivering a tangible sign of this policy in action would represent an interesting proposition, claiming for republicanism the discourse of equality (and mutual tolerance) between the traditions and leaving political unionism clinging to the ‘Ulster is British’ mantra which may sell in the heartland, but will never attract that cohort of non-protestant ‘unionists’ whom many unionist commentators tell us are out there…..somewhere…

  • dub

    Jesue wept, transformative discourse bla bla bla.

    How about we talk about the realities of this in English?

    Pete’s post is pathetic because it is whataboutery pure and simple.

    There is a 400 year tradition in the north or ireland of bitter anit-catholic hatred. there are lots of other problems in ni but this is a very big one and happens to be the subject matter here. a man is lynched by a supremacist racist militia and the local unionist representatives cannot bring themselves to condemn the murder propoerly and not one unionist rep attends the funeral. this means that after 30 years of the troubles a lot of unionists have learned nothing at all. and even more terrifying we have nicey nicey people like mick and seymour and naomi long EXCUSING this shit.

    cast your minds back to ireland of the 1950’s, dev and co having to stand outside douglas hyde’s funeral mass. they were acutely embarassed. a sign of how backward we were. oh well we moved on.

    the attempts to sanitise the poisonous bigotry emanating from unionism and pretend that both sides are to blame bla bla bla is frankly disgusting.

    remember david trimble went to the funeral of one of the children killed in omagh? the orange disorder lodge he belonged to talked about expelling him.

    rory carr says everything that needs to be said above. the fact that you cant see this clearly mick means that you are so far up the arse of unionism that you have lost all sense of what normal decency and civiliation are. that’s some achievement.

    you and naomi and seymour must be so proud of the role you have played in assuring that unionism will never ever change and the problems of ni will last forever because noone is allowed to talk about vicious degenerate rabid anti-catholicism unless the ira is mentioned first.

    shame on you all.

  • Pigeon Toes

    Mick re Post 15,

    It’s still all bull, and it’s still all about power, money and control…

  • Seceder

    Seymour Major No 17

    Sorry the orange Order excuse no longer works David trimble attended Catholic funerals and got hassle but was never reprimanded or disciplined, Reg Empey attended Const Carroll’s funeral as did other members of the Orange order and it was ignored by the Order because like talkingto Residents Groups and Sinn fein they have wised up – only those looking for an excuse, hide behind that

  • fin

    However Dub and Seceder Naomi and Seymour represent minority unionist parties, granted Seymours party use to be quite large but when Trimble had to do the touchy feely stuff with nationalists suchas share power and attend the funerals of murdered catholic kids half the senior people in his party walked to a ‘decent’ unionist party, that party is now in government with nationalists so now there’s the TUV Natsayers Party, so guess who everyone would be voting for next time round if Robbo showed up at a Catholic funeral.

    But all in all who is more useful in focussing nationalist attention on a united Ireland is it Seymour and New Blue or is it Reader and ??

  • dub

    Tuesday 16 September 1986
    item mark A number of Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) and Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) Members of Parliament (MPs) attended the funeral of John Bingham (33) who had been a leading member of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF). [Bingham was shot dead by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) on 14 September 1986 who claimed he had been behind the recent killings of a number of Catholic civilians.] (from CAIN site)

    if you insist on going back to the past.. we can see the kind of funerals unionist politicians feel no shame in going to, as opposed to no shame in not going to…

  • Mick Fealty

    Dub,

    “…the attempts to sanitise the poisonous bigotry emanating from unionism and pretend that both sides are to blame bla bla bla is frankly disgusting.”

    You can, and indeed it frequently happens in discussions here on Slugger, overplay this aspect of the Troubles. I know as well as anyone (having lost friends) just how bitter this can get. And I know that the feeling, if not the impulse to kill, is shared by some in the political classes.

    I don’t wish to gainsay Chris’s point about McGuinness’ leadership on Massereene. However it may piss off former activists, it will go down well with the voting nationalist base. It was a case of the party spending its substantial horde of political capital and it paying off handsomely.

    Even if it doesn’t get reflected in this election (and I have no reason to doubt it will), it will stand the party in good stead in the longer run, and gets it back on track for the future routing of the SDLP.

    But this is all back to pissy politics. The fact is sometimes, less is more. The murder itself (of a decent man honestly intervening in a very nasty little faction fight) was bad enough. The sectarian playing of it, is the precise opposite of leadership. Given the party’s recent record on ongoing murder and mayhem within its own core communities, it’s unremittingly crass as well.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    SM,

    I have heard some outrageous arguements on Slugger but apologising for Unionists non attendance at Catholic funerals because they belong to a sectarian organisations is up there with the worst. If you chose to belong to a sectarian organisation you CANNOT use it as as excuse for sectarian behaviour.

    Mick,

    Having promised us that Pete did not need your assitance in defending himself after another poor/confusing/deflecting thread – you rush to his assistance and defend him. Surely he can suffer/enjoy the ‘customer’ response to his threads. He may be an annoying fecker to many but he’s not dull.

    I’m not sure your ” intervening in a very nasty little faction fight” is the right form of words to describe a loyalist mob entering a Nationalist area and beating someone to death.

    Also “The sectarian playing of it” remark is surely a deflection away from the substantive issue underlying this thread – the less than fullsome response of Unionism to THIS dreadful event – rather than the ‘whataboutery’ of SFs behaviour in relation to OTHER events.

  • IWSMWDI

    I am sorry Sammy but if you want to get into an argument about sectarian organisations. The OO may have a rule about attending Catholic churches but they have another one which is to be neighbourly to Catholics.

    You may not realise it but ALL churches are sectarian because they ALL have exclusion rules of some kind about other churches.

    Your argument does not hold. Another day, I will discuss sectarianism within institutions but it is not reasonable to expect somebody to dump their religion or cease being a member of a club over a funeral.

    I repeat that there are other ways in which a person can express their revulsion or express their support for the victims without going to a funeral.

    Lets keep religious bigotry out of this.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    SM

    “You may not realise it but ALL churches are sectarian because they ALL have exclusion rules of some kind about other churches”

    You may not realise it – but the OO is NOT a church it is a POLITICAL oranisation with SECTARAINISM at its core.

    You simply cannot defend individual actions of people because of the sectarian rules of Political organisation they choose to join – if they are the wrong type of RULES then they are the wrong type of ORGANISATION.

    Just how the Tory party accomodate this appalling sectarian reality within their image of themselves as a ‘modern’ party is beyond me never mind their totally spurious, contradictory and laughable claim to be a non-tribal-unionist party.

  • Mick Fealty

    Sammy,

    Are yoo asking me to ‘butt out’ of the conversation? 😉

    As for what happened, we know very little for certain about that. My suspicion is that the more that comes to light, the less secure your preferred narrative will hold water. I would like to hear a lot more about the circumstances before I sign up to the Kenny Craig (‘Look into my eyes, not around the eyes’…) bandwagon.

    What I do know is that SF is on very weak moral ground to be lecturing others about their response to intra- and inter-communal violence.

    And that’s entirely beside the question of which Sinn Fein should we be listening to at the moment? The one that abhors the politics of condemnation, or the one that believes it is the yardstick of good and moral politics.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Mick,

    you suggested Pete did not need defending – I was simply agreeing with you.

    re. my “preferred narrative” – I dont have one – it is widely reported that a loyalist mob came inot a Nationalist area and beat a man to death. You are the first person I have heard suggesting otherwise – have you a source for your “suspicion”?

    re. SFs arguements should be taken on whatever merit they have not based on ‘whataboutery’.

  • DC

    The sectarian playing of it, is the precise opposite of leadership. Given the party’s recent record on ongoing murder and mayhem within its own core communities, it’s unremittingly crass as well.

    Mick, you must have overlooked Daithi McKay getting assaulted by dissidents in Dunclug…

  • Dec

    Campbell’s certainly a more convenient target for Sinn Féin to take aim at than the NI First Minister…

    And more logical given that Campbell is the MP/MLA of both victim and killers.

  • Mick Fealty

    That’s what the first report say. It’s pretty spare. And I am certain there is much more enlightening detail that could, but may not, emerge into the public space.

    The first reports of Robert McCartney’s killing was that man was attacked by a knife in a Belfast bar. We were told by SF elected reps that it was the result of a growing and dangerous knife culture. In fact it was an ASU of the IRA on a drunken murderous rampage.

    Until those conditioning facts do emerge, I’m not buying the Kenny Craig act.

  • Mick Fealty

    Neil,

    “So can we expect the media to have their shit in order by now? Or is it that you want there to be more to this, but there isn’t, however it’s ok you’re prepared to disbelieve the media on this occasion as their reporting isn’t what you want to hear?”

    No to the first. And yes but no, but… to the second.

    I want there to be more to the reporting of this, because there always is more to report. For starters, I want to know why the mob descended on a mixed housing estate baying for blood (call me a sceptic, but atavistic folklore about a group lust for Fenian blood just doesn’t cut it for me). I’d like to know how the mob started? Who their intended targets were? I want to know about the role text messages played; who sent and who received them? And why?

    That said, I am realistic. There may be no more reporting; resources are finite, and in any case it is the media habit to focus in on the undeniable pain (and utter brutality) of the killing. And then move on…

    In a presentation I gave to one day seminar at USC in LA two years ago, I gave two quotes which contrast two approaches to journalism (generally, not in this case related directly to Northern Ireland). Nick Robinson’s (the more dominant) ‘I report what people in power think’ view of the job, and Richard Kapuchinsky’s view of his more more nuanced and penetrating role as a Polish foreign correspondent in post colonial Africa:

    “I’m interested in the structures of power, and what I’m interested in is the situation of the structure of power. The country is the theater but the play is universal.”

    This second should be of interest to politicians and journalists alike. But in the case of the McDaid murder, we are unlikely to know what the bottom of this story is; but it has, I suspect, already been played out for its intrinsic political value.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Mick,

    the comparison, if you wish to make it, best lies with Robert McCartney’s sisters who bravely stood up to SF and anyone else who wanted to distract from those who sought to dismiss or minimise the horror of the attack – as in this case, in the absence of alternative “enlightening detail that could, but may not, emerge into the public space” I will take them at their word.

  • Neil

    What I do know is that SF is on very weak moral ground to be lecturing others about their response to intra- and inter-communal violence.

    Essentially, whataboutery. We all know that Loyalism has been in a poor position to lecture us all from the moral high ground, but that’s made little difference. If you want to roll back the clock and rehash your perceived Republican crimes, I reserve the right to roll on back 40 or 50 years to the pogroms and the black and tans.

    That’s what the first report say. It’s pretty spare. And I am certain there is much more enlightening detail that could, but may not, emerge into the public space.

    Kinda sounds like throwing mud there Mick. What your saying is you have no reason to believe anything other than what you’ve read, you probably generally believe stories in newspapers why is this one likely to be different? Capped with the statement that hey we may never know.

    The first reports of Robert McCartney’s killing was that man was attacked by a knife in a Belfast bar. We were told by SF elected reps that it was the result of a growing and dangerous knife culture.

    The first reports, lol, what were they saying two weeks afterwards? The first reports are long gone Mick, they tend to be vague. It’s the following day the detail comes out, that woulda been over a week ago Mick. So can we expect the media to have their shit in order by now? Or is it that you want there to be more to this, but there isn’t, however it’s ok you’re prepared to disbelieve the media on this occasion as their reporting isn’t what you want to hear?

    In fact it was an ASU of the IRA on a drunken murderous rampage.

    Hold the phone. An ASU? Shit mick, you better get in touch with the cops ASAP. You know stuff no-one else has ever heard. It was no ASU, it was an IRA man with his IRA mates, you attempt to paint it like an operation. You should get in touch with the IMC they’d be interested in your information, which is technically disinformation.

    You worry about the media not telling the full story (only when inconvenient to SF btw, i.e. now – the media were spotty dog regarding the IRA and McCartney), then you put up shit like it was an IRA ASU. If we’re dealing in rumour and inuendo I could start on a few men in the DUP straight away. Plenty of unproven allegations there, though they do tend to be censored by that pesky mod. Wonder who that is.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    re “I will take them at their word.”

    “them” being Kevin McDaid’s family.

  • DC

    All well and good Mick, but I put it to you then, what role politics and political leadership than reporting of the facts and a deeper understanding of those motivations, political leadership is quick to know the motivations of bias and prejudice, leading to hate then murder.

    Judgement calls can run on a combination of instincts and considered thoughts, my instinct when the wife was on the telly pretty much pleaing for no retaliation to the murder was one of disgust; I think an emotional plea of sincere disgust would have done it for me from all leaders, not this dancing around on the nuances, like ill-considered thoughts of the consequences of not going to the funeral yadda-yadda-maw-maw-yadda Alliance maw-maw Party. Clear off.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Mick,

    We all want to know more, but that does not stop us listeing to the family who witnessed their father/husband beaten to death by a loylaist mob – like many of us were prepared to do in the case of Mc Cartney sisters.

    Are you actually saying that you have doubts if it was a sectarian attack? Straight answer please?

    Surely those other questions you have raised, although important, do not stop us describing this event in what you strangely referred to as my “preferred” view as – Loyalists coming into a nationlaist area and beating a man to death.

  • Mick Fealty

    Sammy,

    But the area is not wholly nationalist. From what I understand there is generally good relations there (no doubt thanks to the work of people like Mr McDaid).

    My understanding is that the Loyalist mob came from elsewhere in the town. There are currently no explanations about why they came over, or the role if any of text messages (other than they came from cops???)…

    Here’s Mairtin on Tuesday, with his take of the text message thing:

    “Now that it’s emerging the PSNI instigated the murderous attacks in Coleraine by texting loyalists, the question is will this be even more of a stinker than Robert Hamill.”

    So which source was he relying on? Presumably the member of the local UDA (ie the organisation who actually committed the murder) quoted in the Sunday World.

    Was the source telling the truth, or a providing a convenient deflection for both Sinn Fein and the local (eminently deniable) UDA?

    As I say, we are being treated to an easy (ie, ‘look into my eyes, not around the eyes‘) narrative based on an very early (premature?) line from the local SF councillor that the cops watched and did nothing. And that has NOTHING whatsoever to do with what the family had to say.

    This story only stacks up if you don’t question the detail…

    DC,

    It is absolutely crucial to know and understand what this incident was really about before we start crowing about the reaction of other public figures… If you don’t know that, then you have no idea what you are condemning…

  • Neil

    I want to know why the mob descended on a mixed housing estate baying for blood (call me a sceptic, but atavistic folklore about a group lust for Fenian blood just doesn’t cut it for me)

    Having been on the recieving end of sectarian violence a few times the group lust for fenian blood does cut it for me, especially with the background of tricolour bunting being erected. Having grown up in Ballymena I have seen the direct result of foisting a single flag in a >95% catholic area, on a largely catholic road, in the catholic end of the town.

    I put it to you again that you require there be more to this story because you wish to believe that this is not simply motivated by animal sectarianism – a trait present in both communities no doubt, but which appears to enliven a more brutal tendency in certain sections of the Loyalist community.

    Personally I see no difficulty, no contradiction in anything I’ve seen so far regarding this murder. I have seen a certain amount of denial, there have been numerous attempts from Unionism to distance themselves from this, as has been the tendency throughout the troubles whereby a large number of Unionists claim that their community never supported murder etc. So once again Loyalists murder someone while the average punter on the street gets to say, and I paraphrase from a thread on the subject: these guys weren’t Unionist, they weren’t even Loyalist.

    How wonderful. Robert McCartney suffers a similair horrible crime years ago, the court case is over, the IMC reports are in and no-one is convicted – to be fair we all know the craic there – and the IRA are deemed not to be centrally involved. Years later, we still hear people posting about this as a reflection on how we should view SF. Contrast this with the murder of a nationalist by a Loyalist mob containign a few UDA men (the situations are almost identical except for the religion of the murderers), and Unionists can say: these guys weren’t Unionist (thought they were) they aren’t even Loyalist (though they were).

    Once again, Unionism’s hands are clean, they don’t have a major problem in the back garden with respect to sectarianism. But the Republicans, well, different matter. We get to hound them years later for crimes they were never convicted of.

    The double standards are blatently obvious. And IMO similair to the situation where our elected reps feel it’s ok to make public stamements dehumanising homosexuals then wring their hands when you find out that you are more likely to recieve a kicking by a factor of ten due to your homosexuality; on the flip side McQuillan and his ilk feel that by knee jerk defence of the indefensible emanating from his community helps matters when all it does is legitimise sectarian violence. Owning up to having a problem is the first step of curing it. All nationalists really want is acceptance of the fact that there is this problem within the Loyalist community, instead of the attempts to paint the perpetrators of this crime as somehow being disconnected from the Loyalist community (not to mention the murderers of other catholics for purely sectarian reasons such as McIlveen and Divine, only young children killed solely for being born catholics in post cease fire NI).

    Again I reitierate I’m not suggesting each and every Loyalist in NI is motivated by base sectarian hatred, I know there are as many decent Loyalists as there are decent catholics, and as many wankers too. But it’s high time to confront the fact that Loyalism is not blameless in the troubles, your hands aren’t clean, and all the denials just serve to drag this issue out. But I expect that this will fade from memory only to be talked about again when next someone, catholic or protestant, loses their innocent life yet again.

  • dub

    What I do know is that SF is on very weak moral ground to be lecturing others about their response to intra- and inter-communal violence.

    AS you seem for once incapable of not engaging in whataboutery, please clarify if the Irish Times was amiss in pointing to the complete lack of unionist politicians at the funeral?

    Why are you making this abuot Sinn Fein? It has nothing to so with them. Are you saying that becausae of the past deeds of their private army and their own previous reluctance to condemn republican violence that they cannot now raise legitimate points?

    Mick it is really very simple. When anyone says anything the morally and ethically right thing to go is to take the statement purely on its own merits. I thought and many others thought that you got that. Now you have to waffle about lectures in America, Kenny Craig whoever the fuck that is and write some really gross ugly meaningless philosophical shit to actually say, no you don’t accept that. Especially when republicans are talking. Or only when republicans are talking?

    Not content with abandoning you long held commitment to non whataboutery (a commitment which has made this site possible, i’m not sure where you can go after this), you seem to want to insert some little innuendo and smear. How lovely. That ain’t there no MURDER, that be a KILLiN’ of a darn do gooder gettin’ involved in things he darn well should keep his self away from, boy! Does that sum it up?

    Perish the thought that a local MP should show leadership by going to the funeral of a constituent of his murdered by a supremacist militia. Perish the thought that proper statements of condemnation should be expected. Perish the thought that the local cheerleading band of the same supremacist militia containing many of the murder suspects in its ranks should be expected to cancel their parade a couple of days after the killing.

    Aw god no you would rather talk about sinn fein’s crassness. You honestly showed more moral outrage about the Irish Gymnastics tricolour incident in Newry than you have about this awful murder in Coleraine and the behaviour of unionism in its aftermath.

    You have actually gone over to the Conor Cruise school of moral and ethical nihilism whereby you use entirely different moral rules to judge unionism. In fact you, as he did, abandon all commonly accepted moral rules when contemplating unionism. You are so in awe of it and its bloodlust and right to power that you are reduced to a mute admiration.

  • DC

    “It is absolutely crucial to know and understand what this incident was really about before”

    No, its about the means to that sad end, it’s called violence and a lot of drink. On that note if I were a public figure and elected my instinct would be one of disgust at it all. It’s violence underpinned by a driving motivation of identity bias and prejudice which can come across as provocation whenever it shouldn’t, causing hate leading to violent murder.

  • qubol

    Mick you’re getting lost in unnecessary detail, it almost sounds like you’re deliberately deflecting the argument. Police watching or not, text messages, bebo, whatever; it doesn’t change the basic facts – in a row over an Irish flag a loyalist mob beat a man to death, attempted to murder another and assaulted 2 women. This was pure naked sectarian thuggery against a Catholic man in Coleraine’s minority Nationalist community. Spin that as you like, but they are the facts.

    A ‘very nasty little faction fight’ is stone-throwing or people being put out of their homes Mick, but I very much doubt that if your wife or children watched you being beat to death in similar circumstances they’d use anything like those words.

    On another point – you and Pete seem to want to hide behind attacking Sinn Fein on this which is all very well, it could equally go the other way (not that Pete would ever write 700 words, do 26 links and upload a video for that) but you’re attacking the messenger, it’s pure whataboutery. It doesn’t change that SF have a point and Gregory Campbell is fair game.

  • Mick Fealty

    Neil, we crossed, I hope my last sufficed. If not, let me know?

    Dub, I take stick from all sides, mostly because I try not to pull my punches with anyone. Take the example of a UDA bridagier putting up UUP posters in North Belfast, we reported the story (here and Brassneck), but also that the OFMdFM were also okaying the European funding of certain members of the UDA. If you can’t stand the heat etc..

    People don’t tune into Slugger to get another bland party processed take on politics or the news… they look (amongst other things) for the teasing out of hidden contexts (http://url.ie/1nd4)… And the opportunity to contend openly with opponents…

  • Mick Fealty

    Qubol,

    “You’re attacking the messenger, it’s pure whataboutery.”

    I’m trying to open up the detail of this story (which has been several things at several times), and it just doesn’t add up. Tell me where I am going wrong?

    This messenger has been getting his stories mixed, and shifting the target of his ire when a given line doesn’t stack up.

    Kenny Craig: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khnHPJUdjb8

  • kensei

    Mick

    When you take the time and effort to work out what they link to, come back to me.

    Actually, nah. Aside from anything, I’ve read a lot of them before and could guess the content of the rest. The point remains obfuscated behind self referential bullshit.

    In any case it is as improper to expect someone to trawl for what — an hour? two? — in order to find out what soemone is saying as it is to expect citizens to run a state by direct referenda on every issue. This bamboozling by science, every bit as effective at shuttering debate as “Look into my eyes, look into my eyes, look into my eyes”. Overload people with (selective) information and you can prove anything. What’s more is that you know perfectly well the truth of that.

    This isn’t detailed, dense, clever, revealing or whatever. It’s just poor. There are any number of bloggers that present complicated stuff with clarity, without sacificing detail. Pete’s posts would be immensely improved by reigning in the excesses. I just wish someone with more clout than me would actually admit it.

    As I say, we are being treated to an easy (ie, ‘look into my eyes, not around the eyes’) narrative based on an very early (premature?) line from the local SF councillor that the cops watched and did nothing.

    Are members of the family SF councillors, Mick?

    Ryan McDaid, one of the dead man’s sons, claimed that police stood by and did nothing during the attack. “The police sat and watched as Dad died, they never moved,” he said.

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/crime/article6364252.ece

    Scepticism is healthy. Certainly the loyalist links need a lot more detail. But the allegations against the police are severe and I think I’ll treat their denials with the same scepticism at the moment.

  • barnshee

    ” All nationalists really want is acceptance of the fact that there is this problem within the Loyalist community, instead of the attempts to paint the perpetrators of this crime as somehow being disconnected from the Loyalist community (not to mention the murderers of other catholics for purely sectarian reasons such as McIlveen and Divine, only young children killed solely for being born catholics in post cease fire NI)

    Accepted– totally –now nationalists accept that the fundamental problem is the nationalist refusal to allow the protestant to refuse incorporation in a “united Ireland” –every problem stems from this refusal- 400?? years of murder and answering murder all rests on this basic fact. Catholic ireland has every right to insist on separation from the UK –you have my wholehearted support. Protestant ireland has the same equal right of separation from catholic republican ireland -accept it and get used to it

  • dub

    I’m trying to open up the detail of this story (which has been several things at several times), and it just doesn’t add up. Tell me where I am going wrong?

    You are going wrong in criticising sf’s statement re: unionists not doing enough to combat sectariamism not on the basis of what they said but on the basis of who was saying it. NOW WE ALL THOUGHT THAT WAS CALLED WHATABOUTERY NUT YOU SEEM TO HAVE SHIFTED THE GOALPOSTS. Now without mentioning Kenny Craig or conferences you have been to in America, but just using plain simple English can you please explain where i am going wrong here in condemning your whataboutery. Your very commendable reporting of the tory uda love in has nothing to do with this so yes well done for that but it has nothing to do with the point i am making about your whataboutery. Shooting the messenger rather the message is another way of putting it. Opening up the detail of this story also, which is very commendable, has nothing to do with not criticising sf statements on their merits alone. You could open up the details of the story all you want and still engage in shooting the messenger and whataboutery. By the way it was the dead man’s son who made allegations about the police, not sf.

    Now when you have answered as to why you have engaged in shooting the meesenger and/or whababoutery perhaps you could THEN tell us please what details of this story you have opened up. Or are you going to just persist with innuendo that there is more to this than meets the eye and basically go down to the moral level of a knuckledragger from Glasgow on the PULSE site. Funnily enough at the moment i have a lot more respect for that type than i do for you.

  • Mick Fealty

    Dub, I only mentioned the UDA/UUP story in response to your suggestion I was only being tough on Nationalists/Republicans.

    I have also dealt with the view that this is all about ‘whataboutery’ earlier… But for now I am out of time on this, I’ll come back later…

  • DC

    I dunno Mick, maybe you and Naomi Long are having problems expressing yourselves properly to the public because the picture I’m getting is a ponderous one, standing coin wanking while chin stroking….while a violent and aggressive sectarian attack has happened, pondering the nuances over outright violence.

    Bit bizarre, regardless of whatever sectarian quarter you may have issues over, like most of us indeed.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    DC,

    re. coin wanking while chin stroking ???

    Is that a prod only kind-of-thing?

    Mick,

    re. I’ll come back later…

    I wouldnt bother as the old but trusty metaphor of the hole in the ground and you busying yourself inside it with a shovel spring to mind.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    If Mick can defend Pete, then I can argue kensei is absolutely spot about about one thing…

    As someone who spends his working hours trying to make other people’s writing more readable, submission of an article like the one at the top would result in a quiet word about style and retaining audience attention. Above the fold at least, it is incomprehensible.

    I am sorry, but having to click a link to find out what the subject is, only to be confronted with another post where the (not-always) related issue is wilfully concealed in yet more links is self-referential bullshit.

    It makes reading a post in one sweep impossible, and the experience of waiting for links to load to discover more arcane references is taking post-modern discourse to absurdity. And annoying in extremis if you have a slower connection.

    When the point – no matter how brilliant – is lost, then what IS the point of writing the thing?

    Anyone who forgets their reader will lose the reader.

    Here endeth the rant!

  • DC

    coin wanking

    February 8, 2009 Urban Word of the Day:

    the act of jangling change held in a suit trouser pocket, usually performed by male office workers whilst stood chatting to colleagues
    to stand near someone, chatting to them, but simultaneously coin wanking by caressing and fondling the change in your pocket

  • Kensei

    BG

    Hurrah! That’s what I wanted to say, but better.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Belfast Gonzo,

    ….and why does he always say ‘indeed’ and edit his own threads – with(Ed say/adds blah-de-fucking-blah)…. it may even be as annoying as people using……all the time and putting – in between phrases – as I admit – I really like doing – for some reason….

    DC,

    dont get the wanking bit – moving money around in your pocket? Perhaps its an abstinence thing “boys go off now and do some coin-wanking but remmber none of the real thing” or “heres your pocket money son now a way off with you and do some healthy coin-wanking. ”

    No – its a silly phrase – and I caution you not to use it in future. Indeed…….

  • DC

    Sammy whose sounding very conservative now with your ‘caution’ either that or you’ve just no street cred.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    bounder

  • Big Maggie

    Sammy’s fallen victim to the cred crunch :^)

  • Brian MacAodh

    honestly, next time you blog skip all the links and just explain what you are blogging about. I don’t want to work to figure out what the heck your post is about.

  • Dave

    “I want there to be more to the reporting of this, because there always is more to report. For starters, I want to know why the mob descended on a mixed housing estate baying for blood (call me a sceptic, but atavistic folklore about a group lust for Fenian blood just doesn’t cut it for me). I’d like to know how the mob started? Who their intended targets were? I want to know about the role text messages played; who sent and who received them? And why?” – Mick Fealty

    I think the media are sticking to the official line that the murder was sectarian, while ignoring the political aspects of it – probably because those political aspects were, we were all assured, resolved by the GFA.

    The PSNI Assistant Chief Constable Alistair Finlay was keen to minimise any organised involvement of loyalist paramilitaries, pointing his finger at “a maverick group of people” but acknowledged that flags were central to the dispute in that the mavericks arrived “in response to flags having been put up around about the Heights” and with the “intent [of] removing flags.”

    Those flags were the Irish national flags. Since flying a national flag denotes an area of sovereign territory, flying the Irish national flag on another nation’s sovereign territory is tantamount to making a claim of territorial ownership. Since both nations formally agreed in the GFA that Northern Ireland is the sovereign territory of Her Majesty, flying the Irish national flag is a political statement regarding national sovereignty that is contrary to what was formally agreed the GFA. Since loyalists would see their community as having made substantial concessions in return for that formal agreement on sovereignty, they would feel aggrieved if nationalists took those concessions but did not honour the agreement. Of course, that is purely perception because the constitutional document is signed, sealed and delivered, so the bell can’t be unrung, but perception is a powerful dynamic in its own right.

    The key problem is that the Shinners sold the GFA to their community as a means of securing their right to national self-determination as members of the Irish nation rather than being a formal renunciation of that right and its formal replacement by a right to national self-determination as citizens of the Northern Irish. So the Shinner supports are acting like they’ve secured their national rights rather than renounced them, and flying the Irish national flag and territory which they think is Irish territory. Unless the Shinners tell the truth to their supporters, you’re going to have situations with flags as the central symbols in them. As the Shinners can’t tell the truth without collapsing their own support base, they’ll maintain the lie and try to cover up the unresolved dynamics of two nations competing for control of one state by portraying it as sectarianism, thereby covering up its political aspect. That will only last for as long as the media play along, and the media will only play along for as long as they are led to beleive that everything will be fine and dandy when things “bed down” and time heals all wounds, etc.

  • dub

    dave,

    ni is not a state.

  • Mick Fealty

    Okay, on editing. I am the editor, and I suspend my judgement on the prefered ‘style’ of posting. I am much more interested in posts which offer reall value.

    I value Gonzo’s impactful tabloid style, and Pete’s investigative style. I wasn’t, as I said at the beginning of this thread, defending Kensei’s idiotic criticism of Pete’s style. That needs no defence, since boul’ ken freely admits he hadn’t even followed them. And yes, that does make him a fool.

    I was expressing a free view on the substance of the story. There is a lot of b/s and distraction (as anyone who takes the care not just to investigate Pete’s link, but to probe the Kenny Craig style nonsense currently being served up to the public through the MSM will discover). Pete’s backlinks demonstrate memory and sustain attention. And that is one of the most powerful offerings of the Slugger site.

    There is a delusion going round that if you make the same nonsensical personal attack on someone that it will somehow carry the day. The profound shift in Unionist sentiment we are witnessing in the current election is a perfect example of how playing the man rather than the politics, is a dangerous game to play.

    And that is all I have to say about that. Let’s wait and see what comes out in court.

  • kensei

    Mick

    I value Gonzo’s impactful tabloid style, and Pete’s investigative style. I wasn’t, as I said at the beginning of this thread, defending Kensei’s idiotic criticism of Pete’s style. That needs no defence, since boul’ ken freely admits he hadn’t even followed them. And yes, that does make him a fool.

    I haven’t followed them becasue I am a regular vistor to the site and have read the vast majority before. I still found it difficult goign as to what the hell he was actually getting at. Which is what I said, but obviously you didn’t read my post. But if I wasn’t, then it is arduous on a new reader to attempt to navigate the labrinth that is Pete’s post. If you are interested in increasing your readership, or your ad revenue, or generating debate then you have to have an at least outside concern about accessibility. Of course, you could just organise another conference in the middle of the day; that’ll draw in the casual audience.

    Second, “idiotic”? I think you’ll find there is a black man in the white in large part because he is able to put his arguments both forcefully and eloquently. His speech on the Middle East yesterday carried real substance but it was delivered in a way that reinforced his message. Had it been a cludge of obfuscated points and intellectual snark, then the reaction would have been wholly negative and all the substance in the world would not have mattered for toffee. Style and substance cannot be divorced, and there is a reason professional organisations have editors, subeditors and enforce style guides.

    So, yeah, I freely admit I am an idiot. I never had you down for a complete muppet. But, turns out you must be coming off with stuff like that. And I’ll not be lectured by one, thankyouverymuch.

  • Big Maggie

    kensei,

    I’m in fullest agreement with you on this one. I prefer plain speaking. Links are just too easy and therefore lazy.