Ian Paisley to retire as Free Presbyterian minister

Rev. Dr. Ian Paisley is to step down from active church ministry. The 85 year old former moderator of the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster has announced that he will be preaching one more sermon in the Martyrs’ Memorial at Christmas but is going to devote his time to writing his memoirs.

Dr. Paisley has always been a politically controversial figure and frequently also religiously. The Free Presbyterian Church was initially founded in Crossgar when there was a dispute over holding a gospel mission in Lissara Presbyterian Church to which Ian Paisley was invited as preacher. The denomination gradually grew from there especially in the mid 1960s and has 12,000 members in Northern Ireland along with churches in the rest of the UK, RoI and Australia and a sister church in the USA (it is not related to the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland).

Clearly Dr. Paisley has been a religiously (let alone politically) controversial figure who was briefly gaoled in the 1960s after protests at the General Assembly of the mainstream Presbyterian Church. Under Paisley the Free Presbyterian Church, although always relatively small, did have a profound effect on evangelical Protestantism within Northern Ireland. The FPC’s objection to the Presbyterian Church centred on the latter’s move towards ecumenism and membership of the World Council of Churches. These positions by the Presbyterian Church have subsequently been at least partially reversed (the Presbyterian Church is no longer in the World Council of Churches and ecumenism remains very much a minority position within the mainstream Presbyterian Church – albeit one advocated by some prominent Presbyterian ministers).

The Free Presbyterian Church is not, however, quite as simplisticly strict as it might appear. On the issue of “standards” it not the most hard line of fundamentalist Protestant denominations. Although it does not have women ministers, women do actively participate in leadership positions during services. In addition there is less obsessing about clothing (mainly women’s clothing) than there would be amongst the Brethren or in the Independent Methodist church.

Whatever about Dr. Paisley’s politics or his views on ecumenism he has always been a truly classic evangelical Christian preacher, combining booming denunciations and exhortations with wit and humour. In addition at funeral services he can provide a remarkable degree of comfort and can impress even some amongst mainstream Protestant church goers who would normally have little time for him or his views.

Dr. Paisley is also respected as a fundamentalist theologian. His Exposition of the Epistle to the Romans is regarded as amongst the best recent works on Paul’s book; itself one of the most fundamental building blocks of Christian theology which has been analysed at length by Luther, Calvin and very many other theologians. Paisley was given his honorary doctorate by the Bob Jones University in 1966 and although not specificly for his work on theology he has produced more serious theological work than most Presbyterian moderators who are also always given doctorates (by Queens University).

Dr. Paisley retires as an extremely complex individual: I have previously referred to his political retirement but religiously he has also been involved in controversy with some now claiming he has somewhat moderated his original religious positions. That is probably something of a misunderstanding: as mentioned above seeing Paisley and the Free Presbyterian Church as simply the most hard line Protestant denomination possible is inaccurate and betrays a failure to understand the evangelical subculture of Northern Ireland. Ian Paisley in religious terms has always been a man who believes in the central overwhelming necessity of individuals personally to make a Christian commitment and has always adhered to a standard fundamentalist evangelical position. Even some ministers I know who are highly critical of him (and have been for decades) regard him as amongst the greatest preachers of the gospel that Northern Ireland Christianity has ever had.

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  • Mick Fealty

    The famous preacher WP Nicholson once prayed that God would “give him a tongue like an old cow… and make this preacher a disturber of hell and the devil.”

    They just don’t make them like that any more…

  • His memoirs, if he finishes them and if he is truthful, will become an instant best seller. Actually, no matter what, will still be a best seller.

  • Mark

    I have posted these thoughts elsewhere today but I hope I will be forgiven. Some people on Facebook and other web pages are today discussing the retirement from his ministry of Rev. Ian Paisley. There are some very extreme views being bandied about.

    Do we really think that he was just a rabble rouser, do we think he was just a selfless patriot, do we think he was a true believer wanting to save people from sin or a controlling religious demagogue?

    I fancy that the answer is none of those (or perhaps all of them) – I have heard stories about Dr. Ian Paisley from both sides of the community that lift the veil on the caricature and reveal a complex individual. Like all of us Dr Paisley is flawed but all good or all bad? I suggest we all look candidly at ourselves, how might those that have no empathy with us describe us, would that be accurate? Dr. Paisley made mistakes, no doubt but like every large figure in a country’s history – the larger the influence, the larger the mistakes appear.

    However, I have heard tales of incredible generosity, kindness and love for people – I am reminded of an exchange from one of my favourite plays…

    “What do you understand of the sum of a man’s life? You see him as a saint, and so he must be right in everything he says and does. And then you see him as a devil, and everything he says and does must be wrong. Well he’s neither a saint nor a devil. He’s just a human being, and he makes mistakes. I’m defending the forty years I’ve watched him carry the burdens of people like you! If he’s been wrong, at least he stood for something!”

    I now live in Dorset. I moved here in 2001 but before that I was reasonably interested in politics and involved in some ways. I was a member of the Ulster Unionist Party and later was a press agent for the UKUP under Bob McCartney (notice how all my heroes are flawed?). I worked for the No campaign in 1998 and at the subsequent Assembly elections for UKUP.

    So as for Dr. Paisley – I do not share his religious certainties or many of his political opinions but in the words of Dylan Thomas, I truly believe that “we are not wholly bad or good / who live our lives under Milk Wood”.

    Just a thought! 🙂

  • Alias

    “They just don’t make them like that any more…”

    And for such small mercies may we be eternally grateful.

    And if I might squeeze in my favourite Paisley joke:

    Ian Paisley dies and is met by an unsmiling St Peter at the Pearly Gates. “You can’t come in here,” says St Peter.

    “What do you mean!?” thundered Paisley, “Why can I not enter?”

    “Well,” said St Peter, “You weren’t very nice to Catholics, were you?”

    “Of course I was nice to them! I gave one wee girl a pound for her holy communion in 1965, and I gave a wee boy a pound for his holy communion in 1972. I couldn’t have been any nicer to them! Now can I come in?” protested Paisley.

    “Well,” said St Peter, “I’ll have to have a word with G-d about this. Hang on a minute.”

    After a while St Peter returns and says “G-d has made His decision.”

    “And what is it?” asked Paisley.

    “He said here’s your £2 pound back, now f*ck off!”

  • BluesJazz

    Calling him ‘Doctor’ is a farce. Kenny Dalglish is also a ‘Doctor’ . At least ‘Dr’ Goebbels had a real doctorate. And that is where the comparison lies. I think Josef, despite wanting to be a priest, had a good adherent in this respect.

  • BluesJazz

    Radovan Karadžić was also (unlike Ian Paisley) a real ‘Doctor’ . Why give this rabble rouser any intellectual credibility when he had none. He came from a long line of street preaching troublemakers (Cooke was another) who ran away when murders took place.
    Many unionists in NI regard him as a joke, and many others as a hatemonger. Joe, his memoirs may sell in Ballymena, but he’s just another snake oil merchant.

  • Ian Paisley is probably the greatest man ever.

    During the troubles he did nothing wrong and tried to get everyone together in the name of peace. Softly spoken many people thought of him as a Northern Irish Gandhi working for all to bring about a lasting peace.

    One Saturday afternoon Ian was knitting jumpers for the disadvantaged, when an Angel appeared and told Ian how the “Church of Ireland were basically rebels” and the Presbyterians were “in bed with the Roman Antichrist”. This visit made Ian realise that he needed to start a church for the people, a church where women could wear whatever they wanted (as long as it was a little hat and a skirt and blouse) and where anyone would feel welcome (as long as they voted DUP). That church originally started with just a handful of people but today the Free Presbyterian Church has grown, and now a F.P. Church can be seen from American to Zambia and everywhere in between. In fact the 13 billion members of the church were delighted to announce they have opened some new church buildings on the moon and hope that “Gravity Free Presbyterian” will be another success for them.

    A lot of people know Ian as the man who broke the enigma code, freed the slaves, defeated the Spanish Armada and brought peace to Northern Ireland as well as Israel… but that’s not all he is renowned for.

    No, Ian is also a highly respected theologian. His work has been described as “more important than the Bible”, “better than Calvin, Luther and Zwingli combined” and has actually been accepted into the Canon of Scripture. His work “Ian’s Big Bible Bashing Book for Beginners” was a New York Times best seller and Ian’s “How to be an MP, MLA, MEP, Councillor, Moderator and still have time to be a Minister” series have been a source of strength to those in the ministry for generations and was described by Martin Luther as “zimply ze best” and John Calvin as a “tour de force”.
    He was written more theological books than any other human being ever which is more than can be said of you.

    Ian retires to heaven in a golden chariot as a complex man.

    For you see Ian was white, but also black. Tall but also small, fat but thin, smart but stupid, rich but poor…

    He was you… He was me… He truly was all of us.

  • USA

    Dr. Paisley, get real. Everyone here in the US knows all about Bob Jones “university”. Not only is it a place for flat earth creationist nut jobs, but it is also the place that banned blacks right up to 1971 and even then would not let them date “good white girls” up to the year 2000.
    You mean this Rob Jones University (NY Times). Yes that is the same “university” that would rather go without government funding than give up it’s racist policies (NY Times).

    How much did that “degree” cost Paisley? Was it a “mail in” job? How many “classes” did he attend?

    A school by religious bigots and for religious bigots. I wonder how well the Rob Jones LGTG group are getting on?

    I’m sure Paisley and his followers would have been very happy to ban Catholics from Queens up to and beyond 1971 and ban them from dating “good protestant girls”. Heck they may even have tried to shut down the childrens playgrounds on a Sunday…… but nah, surely that would be going too far.

    Maybe when confronted with the truth you can see where Rob Jones fits into the educational fabric of US third level institutions.

    Dr. Paisley my arse….a self promotional sectarian opportunist (and i’m being kind so Mick doesn’t yellow card me for playing the man). But this can’t be playing the man, because the whole post invites us to discuss the man and his diabolical “career”.

    Dr. my arse. It’s an insult to those who have worked hard and earned their qualifications.

  • Mark

    Comparisons to Radovan Karadžić, Goebbels, Kenny Dalglish and under-graduate humour – welcome to Northern Ireland political and religious debate!!

    I should know better ………………….

  • BluesJazz,

    I didn’t comment on the man, himself. My thoughts are rather negative. Just that his memoirs will sell well. I’ll read them myself, when the book is discounted.

  • Mary Anna

    Is he writing his memoirs – or his he rewriting history!

  • anne warren

    Will Ian Paisley’s memoirs tell the full story of what happened to Maura Lyons in 1957?

    Here’s what Time magazimne wrote at the time

    Pretty Maura Lyons was 15 years old and a member of Northern Ireland’s Roman Catholic minority (34.2%) when she went to work a year ago as a stitcher in a Belfast garment factory. There she met several members of a splinter sect known as the Free Presbyterian Church, and soon she became a Protestant. Her father, a shipyard worker, and her mother were horrified; so was the parish priest. There were family conferences, prayers and tears. Then Maura Lyons disappeared.

    Abduction! cried her family and their Catholic friends, and they accused the Rev. David Leathern, who had converted Maura, of spiriting her away. Free Presbyterian Leathern denied any knowledge of the girl’s whereabouts, and so did Ian Paisley, moderator of the church. But Paisley eventually produced what he said was a tape recording of Maura’s voice, and played it to an audience consisting of all of Belfast’s 1,000 Free Presbyterians, Maura’s family and the police. “My Roman Catholic religion had been fear and dread,” said the voice. “The new religion to which I was introduced was simple and free from fear.” Three priests had been called in, and she was about to be carted off to a convent. “I took the opportunity to escape while the priests were having a cup of tea . . . I am in God’s hands.”

    But that was not Maura’s voice at all, said her father, and the Catholic accusations and Free Presbyterian counteraccusations went on and on in Belfast, The controversy bounded across the Irish Sea when Reporter Norman Lucas of London’s News Chronicle (circ. 1,252,778) wrote a story of a “secret rendezvous” he had had with Maura in northwest England, “to which I had been driven in a closed car—blindfolded for the last 20 minutes . . .” She had been flown to England and smuggled in and out of about 25 houses in 18 weeks, wrote Reporter Lucas, constantly changing her hair style and clothes. Maura told him that she would stay in “this Protestant underground” until May, when she would become 16 and in British law no longer a minor.

    “There is an underground method of dealing with this girl which rivals those operating in occupied countries during the war,” said Republican Labor M.P. Harry Diamond, a Catholic, in Northern Ireland’s House of Commons. “There have been evasion, lies, attempted blackmail and an obvious conspiracy.” While police of the United Kingdom searched for her, a Protestant leader said: “There is no official underground to hide girls like her, but because so many people believe in freedom of worship there are many families who would be willing to hide her.”
    Religion: The Mystery of Maura
    Monday, Mar. 18, 1957

    Read more: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,809217,00.html#ixzz1djBFJgvS

  • USA

    Anne,
    Here in the US religious sectarian nut jobs like that would be charged with kidnapping and child abuse.

  • I can’t speak much on Paisley’s religious views, but his politics was consistently self-regarding. The only thing Paisley ever wanted was to be Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, and every single thing he did in politics can be understood in that light. It was no surprise to me that he suddenly mellowed after we gave him his fondest desire on a plate. I often wonder how a supposed man of God could leave such destruction behind on his way to power, and the only way I can understand it is if he has no real comprehension of the magnitude of his personal responsibility. It sticks in my throat that he will probably go to his grave convinced he was doing God’s work, but it’s not half as bitter as the thought that history might be kind to him.

  • Jimmy Sands

    I always felt Churchill’s dismissal of Cripps suited him better: “There but for the Grace of God goes God.”

    And anyone who insists on being called doctor, unless he owns a stethoscope, is inviting ridicule.

  • galloglaigh

    Mary Anna

    Is he writing his memoirs – or his he rewriting history!

    That’s what memoirs do. Tony Blair portrayed himself as a peace loving hippy, who wouldn’t harm a fly. George Bush tried to write his, but hit a brick wall after ‘once upon a time’…

    I wonder will Paisley answer Gerry Kelly’s question: where have the Ulster Resistance’s weapons gone?

  • JH

    Paisley’s views would be abhorrent to me. When his oratories are played in documentaries remembering the worst of the conflict I can’t help but blame him for a lot of the worst parts of it. Not the bombing and killing and maiming, but the shame of two communities driven so far apart by hatred and suspicion that it became endemic.

    The responsibility for the decision to take arms lies with those that did so, but the sick and almost ubiquitous fear of each other can only lie with the righteously professed, biblically justified bigotry that was so readily given credence by Paisley. And in a way the damage will last so much longer than sporadic bursts of violence.

    But then it’s swings and roundabouts now. I often find myself voting for people who would have shot him dead given half the chance so it’s not really for me to judge. I’m sure his memoirs will sell very well, I’d be interested to read them myself.

  • Andrew has summed up my feelings about him. For a long time, to me and a lot of people, he was the unacceptable face of Northern Irish Protestant religious bigotry. The fact that somebody like him can be successful tells us something about the people he led. He could not have succeeded in a more developed, more politically mature, environment.

    He built his political career by using his very considerable oratory skills and tapping into people’s fears and prejudices. In that sense, he was similar to Adolf Hitler.

    However, I dont believe that he could have succeeded, as far as he did, without the political strategic and tactical skills of Peter Robinson. When history does come to be written, it will say that both men’s skills were crucial to the DUP’s success.

  • slappymcgroundout

    “I often find myself voting for people who would have shot him dead given half the chance…”

    Who would that be? Certainly no one formerly in the PIRA. As Tim Pat reports in his one work [The IRA: A History]:

    “There was the ‘Official’ Unionist party and a number of rival groupings, the more vigorous of these being the Rev. Ian Paisley’s Democratic Unionist Party. How democratic the organization is, is open to question, but it is beyond question that Ian Kyle Paisley, the fundamentalist Free Presbyterian with a doctorate from Bob Jones’ Bible Belt University, lungs like the Bull of Basham and a theology from the Apocalypse, has established himself as the leading political figure in Northern Ireland. Certainly in the early days of the Northern conflagration it was he above all others, including even William Craig, who was at the time Minister for Home Affairs, who incited opposition to the Civil Rights marchers. He would have appeared to have been a prime target for the Provisionals but they let him live for two reasons: 1. his onslaughts on the Unionist Party leadership had the effect of bursting the party asunder; 2. ‘he only says publicly what the rest of them say privately, he shows them all up,’ explained a Provisional spokesman.”

  • dwatch

    Ian Paisley dies and is met by an unsmiling St Peter at the Pearly Gates. “You can’t come in here,” says St Peter.

    “What do you mean!?” thundered Paisley, “Why can I not enter?”

    “Well,” said St Peter, “You weren’t very nice to Catholics, were you?”

    “Of course I was nice to them! I gave one wee girl a pound for her holy communion in 1965, and I gave a wee boy a pound for his holy communion in 1972. I couldn’t have been any nicer to them! Now can I come in?” protested Paisley.

    “Well,” said St Peter, “I’ll have to have a word with G-d about this. Hang on a minute.”

    After a while St Peter returns and says “G-d has made His decision.”

    “And what is it?” asked Paisley.

    “He said here’s your £2 pound back, now f*ck off!

  • Harry Flashman

    “Here in the US religious sectarian nut jobs like that would be charged with kidnapping and child abuse.”

    Actually USA, knowing now what we know about what went on in Catholic convents in Ireland in the 1950’s getting the young girl out of there would have been equivalent to freeing slaves through the Underground Railway. As a small point it’s worth noting that most of the people behind the anti-slavery movement would also have been considered, religious cranks and firebrand extremists and nutjobs.

  • Granni Trixie

    To me Ian Paisley will always be (Like GA and co) someone who has played a major role in sustaining the troubles. I found it interesting therefore to note that in an attractive thank-you-for-support-card circulated by President McAleece shortly before she left office,an image of Paisley is one of the many presumably representing the breadth of the President’s work. International leaders (Mandela,Obama),disabled people,OO, GAA,Sports etc etc.
    Significantly, there is no image of Jackie McDonald or anyone from SF/Republicans. Says to me that Paisley is well and truely mainstreamed. But not to me!

  • Cynic2

    “Here in the US religious sectarian nut jobs like that would be charged with kidnapping and child abuse.”

    Or elected President

  • Neil

    LOL Cynic.

    At least he chilled out in the end, Big Ian. Credit where it’s due there I suppose. I still think he played a massive role in helping the troubles get going and keeping it sustained for so long. As they say, best recruitment tool the provos ever had was big mad Ian.

  • Harry Flashman

    “George Bush tried to write his, but hit a brick wall after ‘once upon a time’…”

    Balderdash, this comment proves your own ignorance, in fact Bush wrote an extremely readable and thoroughly well-argued (even if you disagree with his conclusions) memoir called “Decision Points” which has been widely praised for its thought provoking candour by his supporters and political opponents alike.

    As Christopher Hitchens put it so well, there is no quicker way of identifying an idiot than someone claiming George W Bush was an idiot.

  • BluesJazz

    I don’t know if he was such a recruitment tool for the provos.

    But Irish nationalists probably realised how he was seen in the eyes of mainland Brits, and by successive British governments, going right back to his campaigns against Terence O Neill and his successors. How they must have cringed at his antics and tarred the Unionist populace with the same brush.

  • Scáth Shéamais

    Balderdash, this comment proves your own ignorance, in fact Bush wrote an extremely readable and thoroughly well-argued (even if you disagree with his conclusions) memoir called “Decision Points”

    Harry, maybe that’s because at least part of it wasn’t written by Bush…

    George Bush Book ‘Decision Points’ Lifted From Advisers’ Books

  • Harry Flashman

    I’m going to break this to you very gently Sheamais but all politicians from Winston Churchill to Bill Clinton have used ghost writers to help them in their memoirs, the style of writing is not what makes the book interesting but the actual content, which is Bush’s own thoughts and recollections.

  • pauluk

    Wow, Hitchens did put it well, …no quicker way of identifying an idiot than someone claiming George W Bush was an idiot.

    Thanks for the quote, Harry.

    Bush wrote a great book. It sold more copies in 6 weeks than Clinton’s did in 6 years. Now is paperback. Definitely worth a fiver!

  • Jack2

    “Theres only one answer when you leave the ballot box, thats a show of force.”

    “This may come to hand to hand fighting”
    Paisley 1986

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dt9VlUXWG1E

    Also that year:
    “At a rally in the Ulster Hall Paisley spoke of the need for the Third Force to fight against the aims of republicanism. He was then filmed dramatically placing a red beret on his head and standing to attention.”

    Given those words and actions it seems he was gearing himself and followers up for violence.
    ————————————-
    When Ulster Resistance was caught moving a large cache of weapons by chance he attempted to distance himself from the violent movement but his actions and words were very clear.

  • galloglaigh

    If I’m an idiot for seeing George Bush for what he is, an idiot, then let me be an idiot.

    But of course, if you think he wasn’t an idiot, then that’s up to you. Like I said before, he stopped at ‘Once upon a time’, and got others to finish the job…

    There’s an old saying in Tennessee… Fool me once… Shame on… you… Fool me… you can’t get fooled again… (or something like that)

  • unicorn

    @Seymour Major

    “He built his political career by using his very considerable oratory skills and tapping into people’s fears and prejudices. In that sense, he was similar to Adolf Hitler.”

    While obviously hyperbole I can certainly see how the comparison can be made.

    Adolf Hitler accused Jews of disloyalty to the state and accused many of them in being involved in conspiracies to undermine German national identity and to leave Germans with no capacity for self rule and self determination when they assume enough power to do so.

    Ian Paisley accused Catholics of disloyalty to the state and accused many of them in being involved in conspiracies to undermine Northern Irish / British national identity and to leave unionists with no capacity for self rule and self determination when they assume enough power to do so.

    Scary stuff in both cases but there is a crucial difference between Hitler and Paisley and it is this, what Hitler said was untrue and what Paisley said was true. Basically, not necessarily every piddly detail but the general thrust, and it’s still a valid defence, just as it is a valid defence in the most extreme and hateful libels that the objective content of what was said is factually true whatever the rhetorical form. You or I may not like the way Paisley said it but a large proportion of Catholics had no loyalty to the UK and were indeed committed to achieving Dublin rule, and many were involved in secret conspiracies in order to bring this about, not least of which being a clandestine mass murder campaign by hundreds of violent masked men in order to blackmail and intimidate the government and / or unionists to abandon self determination for Northern Ireland or else.

    You can see the same problems arising with someone like Geert Wilders. Many would like to accuse him of being a Hitler but then there’s the slight problem of all those bombings and beheadings and honour killings and wife beatings and gay free zone stickerings and British Muslims fighting for the Taliban and people appearing in mainstream mosques advocating gays and apostates be executed that gets in the way of that easy demonising narrative.

  • Granni Trixie

    Unicorn:
    You appear to be assuming that
    “Catholics” are the same as Republicans who supported the IRA, a minority.Where is the evidence for the “facts” as you tell em.? Would you accept that this is sectarian?

  • Zig70

    Paisley reminds me of my mum’s small gritted teeth, which were usually bared when he was mentioned in news items. She didn’t take kindly to the pope being called the antichrist or demonic nature it conferred on her. Did his views ever change or did he just decide dancing with the devil was okay?

  • Greenflag

    Alias ,

    Nice joke there re Paisley and the pearly gates . So good that Dwatch repeated it 😉

    I have a few of my own but not for this thread . Perhaps in honour of the Doc’s retirement from the pulpit somebody might start a thread of ‘jokes ‘ on the Ballymena Bible Basher with all or whoever sluggerites listing their favourites perhaps on Fridays? . I’m unaware if anybody has gone to the trouble of collating all the jokes re this ‘character’ .

    Slugger could be the ‘repository ‘ of a jokes file not just on the Doc but on all those NI politicians and even from the Republic who have given us much amusement . over the years ? CJ Haughey, Bert Ahern , Robinson , Adams , Mc Guiness , Molyneux , etc etc . Each ‘politician would be designated a Friday thread each week with a weeks advance notice to give contributors time to jog their memories . One or two Fridays could be designated for the less known politicians who could be lumped together . Each Fridays thread would be followed by a vote on the best joke 1, 2, 3 and when all the more jokeworthy pols have had their day in the stocks then a vote could be held on the best of all .

    Just an idea with the ‘winter ‘ setting in ? The collated ‘jokes ‘ could perhaps find a local publisher and the proceeds of sales could go to some deserving charity in NI say for children or old folk or even new immigrant groups ?

    Just an idea . I don’t know if there is enough material out there but it’s probably scattered here there and everywhere . We all know and appreciate that Belfast ‘black ‘ humour etc . It doesn’t look like there’s going to be anything like the current cast of political ‘characters ‘ in the future of NI .?

    As I say just a thought .

  • USA

    Harry,
    Sorry mate, you are trying to link Catholic convents, slavery, child kidnapping and religious bigotry. Didn’t make for a strong arguement.

    Cynic2
    We are discussing Ian Kyle Paisley, not George W. Bush

    Unicorn,
    Your vile bigotry is astonishing.

  • Harry Flashman

    “you are trying to link Catholic convents, slavery, child kidnapping and religious bigotry.”

    Catholic convents in Ireland in the 1950’s had each of those elements in spades.

  • Reader

    Greenflag: Slugger could be the ‘repository ‘ of a jokes file not just on the Doc but on all those NI politicians and even from the Republic who have given us much amusement . over the years ? CJ Haughey, Bert Ahern , Robinson , Adams , Mc Guiness , Molyneux , etc etc .
    Surely you realise that many of the jokes are recycled with only the change of a word here or there? And when Ian Paisley, the Queen and the Pope are standing on a balcony, it’s anyone’s guess which of them is going to be thrown off.

  • Unicorn,

    But by your standards what Hitler said was “true”, too. It’s just that it’s very easy to go from “a few people, some of whom are Jews and some of whom are not” to “a few people, some of whom are Jews” to “some Jews” to “the Jews”. The question of proportionality is also vital. There will always be people opposed to the system, and there will always be some of them who will consider violence. But what threat do they realistically pose? You cross the line into demagoguery when you talk up that threat in order to present yourself as the solution.

    Greenflag,

    Did your quote key get stuck?

  • Greenflag

    @ reader,

    Recycled can still be ‘funny’ assuming one has a sense of humour to start with. Now here’s a 40 year old ‘joke’ which seems to have stood the test of time and nary a word changed ,

    Hitler dies and goes to heaven . He behaves so well for 30 years that ST Peter tells him he can go back to Earth again as a treat , for a week . Twenty four hours later , he’s back , hammering at the pearly gates to get back in .

    ‘What’s the matter, Adolf ? ” asks St Peter, ‘You’ve got six more days ‘

    ‘Let me in , let me in !’ pleads Hitler . So St Peter unlocks the gate , lets him in and sits him down.

    ‘Now , Adolf , he says , ‘what’s the matter ? Did’nt you enjoy it ?

    ‘Enjoy it ?’ says Hitler , ‘Enjoy it ? Everyone’s gone mad down there since I left . I come back and what do I find ?
    ‘The Jews are fighting and the Germans are making money .”

  • Greenflag

    @ Andrew Gallagher ,

    For all his bluster Paisley was more Goebbels than Hitler . In that Paisley was and is not alone . Virtually every modern successful mass marketeer owes a debt of gratitude to Goebbels for leading the way 🙁

    While it’s true that the former Unionist ‘regime ‘ 1920 -to 1972 did exhibit quasi fascist tendencies there was a huge difference between the German ‘jewish ‘ situation in the 1930’s than in that of the Catholic Irish in Northern Ireland at the same time . German Jews numbered less than 1% of the total population although they were much more heavily represented in the retail , academic and medical and scientific areas . The vast majority were also city dwellers being concentrated in Berlin , Frankfurt and other major cities . Even the traditional ‘anti semitism ‘ prevalent in central europe since the Middle Ages had almost disappeared with German Jews being assimilated at a rate that within a century would have left a miniscule number of religiously observant Jews in Germany .

    The fact that somehow Hitler & Goebbels were able to conjure up the Jews as scapegoats for their insane objectives has more to do with the state of the German economy in the 1930’s than anything to do with the remnants of ‘anti semitism ‘ still extant in the population at large .

    Hitler’s party got only 2% of the vote in 1928 . after the Wall St crash in 1929 the Germans gave up on the their traditional politicians and instead voted for both of the totalitarian inclined parties of the left and right . With capitalism in a shambles everywhere ( USA & EU 2011) the old order in Germany lost all credibility and they were left with the choice of opting for the Reds or the Nazis . They naturally chose that party whom they believed would be less inimical to their interests . The fact that 12 years later most of Europe would be devastated and 55 million people around the world dead did not concern them at the time . How were they to know that that would happen . Even the German Jews of the time could not believe that the Nazis would last long enough to .wreak their havoc on the world.

    I’m surprised none of our modern defenders of authoritarian financial capitalism haven’t referred to the 1933 -1945 period as just another one of those periodic periods of ‘creative destruction ‘ so that a ‘new ‘ world could be brought about .

    Deja vu time folks .

  • Greenflag

    @ reader ,

    ‘And when Ian Paisley, the Queen and the Pope are standing on a balcony, it’s anyone’s guess which of them is going to be thrown off.’

    Why not all of them simultaneously and if any of them manages to defy the law of gravity and float mid air will be accepted as the one true church ?

  • Harry Flashman

    “the former Unionist ‘regime ‘ 1920 -to 1972 did exhibit quasi fascist tendencies”

    Really? Care to elucidate this throwaway remark?

    Remembering that ‘fascism’ isn’t a schoolboy phrase thrown at anything you happen not to like but an actual recognisable political movement that bore no relation whatsoever to the provincial administration of a minor backwater in the UK.

  • And again, a limited invocation of Hitler by Seymour (who should have known better, as should I) has mutated into a compare-and-contrast exercise between pre-Troubles NI and the Nazi state. Somebody please invoke Godwin before this turns ugly.

  • Greenflag

    Paramilitary police B specials , One party government for half a century , Sectarian Government , Gerrymandering , Discriminatory laws against the culture of a large section of the population . There is a long list of Official British Government reports going back to the mid 1960’s and thereafter which should inform you that just because people don’t wear brown, blue or black shirts -doesn’t necessarily mean they cannot be fascists or quasi fascists . The reason I used the word ‘quasi ‘ was that while they the Unionist then government shared many of the inclinations of fascism -they were disallowed from becoming the fully fledged model by virtue of their ‘backwater ‘ status in the then Great Britain.

    Had Lord Halifax become British Prime Minister and had large sections of the then British military establishment had their way as well as significant elements within British aristocracy then said elements would have taken the same road in Britain towards Fascism as their counterparts did in Germany i.e acquiesced to Fascist and Nazi control of Europe .

    Today the corporate financial fascists don’t care who is in government Labour or Conservative or Lib Dem for they control all of them via the power of Wall St and the City of London . Just look around you at the dancing puppets in Washington , London , Dublin and Frankfurt . Rabbits in headlights would be too kind a description 🙁

  • Greenflag

    @ Andrew gallagher ,

    ‘Somebody please invoke Godwin before this turns ugly.’

    Ok God wins and the atheists lose ;)?

    But to end on a more jovial and less contentious note .

    A Nationalist schoolgirl is set an essay in which she must answer the question , ‘
    ‘Why do you love Northern Ireland ‘?

    She asks her father a rabid Republican .

    ‘Love Norn Iron !’ he shouts , ‘You can’t love these unionist fascists (it was 1972) .

    So she asks her mother .
    ‘Why do I love Northern Ireland ‘ ?

    ”You can’t love such a wicked province , dearie ‘

    So she asks other members of her family and her friends and they all give her the same answer . So she returns to school and answers the question :

    ‘I love Northern Ireland because no one else does ‘ !

  • Harry Flashman

    “Paramilitary police B specials… etc”

    As I suspected then, not a single shred of supporting evidence to back up the claim that the local administration of Northern Ireland bore the slightest relation to the fascist governments which existed in Europe and South America during the period in question.

    Trust me; a local police reserve made up of country bumpkins in ill-fitting ex-army uniforms do not fascisti or SS make.

  • Harry Flashman

    Forgive us Andrew if our discussion bores you but it is extremely relevant to the discussion of the life and times of Ian Paisley.

  • Alias

    “The collated ‘jokes ‘ could perhaps find a local publisher and the proceeds of sales could go to some deserving charity in NI say for children or old folk or even new immigrant groups ?” – Greenflag

    I like the idea of a collection of Irish political jokes (beyond Stormont and both Houses of the Oireachtas) but I wonder if a charity would want to be associated with something that would be politically contentious by default? I would think it a better way of funding Slugger (a charity of sorts).

    Also, most jokes are not original which is why web sites are full of them (copyright free content in most cases) so it would be a simple task to pick out the better ones and rework them, providing it is done skillfully. In that context, the joke would have to be very sharp and pointed to redeem itself.

    I like that Paisley joke because it is re-pointed at someone writing his memoirs and rewriting history in the process to redeem himself. It implies that, in the judgement of a credible party, the deception will not be successful – and that has a cathartic value that makes the joke a good one in the context.

    The format St Peter/Pearly Gates/Entrance permitted or denied and the reason stated is old, as is that particular joke. The wording usually changes with each teller because whoever tells its remembers the format but not the specific wording. That’s also why a lot of jokes ‘on the net’ would lend themselves to a project of re-writing and improving.

    I wrote (rather than compiled) a book of insults a few years ago which broke the insults down into main categories for generic use: intelligence, appearance, personality, sex, general scorn, and various categories, and then broke them down into sub-categories under the main categories. I never looked for a publisher because it was just a personal project and folks would think it mad to be interested in the concept and construct of an insult. If interested, pick a main category and I’ll email that category to you as I’d be interested in your opinion as to whether the project has any wider possibility.

  • Greenflag

    ‘a local police reserve made up of country bumpkins in ill-fitting ex-army uniforms do not fascisti make’

    Local they were but representative of just that section of the population that was Unionist so in effect they were the political paramilitary back up force for one party rule just as any fascist state would have had.
    .

    You may recall the ‘country bumpkins ‘ shot and burned their way through catholic neighbourhoods on more than one occasion-. If I recall the word ‘pogrom ‘ was used to describe their actions at the time . There was justifiable reason for their disbandment just as there was for the recall of the Black & Tans .

    Quasi btw means like or similar but NOT in all respects . I note you introduced the SS term in your response . You might want to omit it next time -Godwin’s you know .

  • GF,

    You may recall the ‘country bumpkins ‘ shot and burned their way through catholic neighbourhoods on more than one occasion-. If I recall the word ‘pogrom ‘ was used to describe their actions at the time .

    The fascists didn’t invent pogroms. Just because the fascists did X does not mean that anyone that does X can be called fascist or even quasi-fascist. What stance did the Unionist Party hold on the corporatist economic system or the value of warfare in building national identity?

    The term fascist has been so abused in the last 50 years that it is now little more than an insult, just like calling someone a bastard has nothing to do with parentage. It certainly should not be thrown around lightly.

  • Greenflag

    AG,

    ‘The fascists didn’t invent pogroms.

    I did’nt state they did .

    ‘What stance did the Unionist Party hold on the corporatist economic system’

    In the period 1920 -1972 I would not describe the ‘economic system in NI as ‘corporatist ‘ . Pre post industrial is about as near to a term as would fit back then . In 2011 it would be more accurate to term the NI economy quasi ‘socialist ‘ as so much of it indeed too much of it is public sector dependent .

    As to the ‘hold ‘ the old UP had on the economy such as it was back then ? Directly it might not have been apparent but indirectly via the OO -selective discrimination in recruitment etc -quite a hold in many sectors of the economy -banking, insurance , ship building etc .

    As to the value of ‘warfare ‘ in building identity or a separatist identity ? That’s only part of the story . The other part is identifying an enemy preferably a plausible one which could pose a threat to the State or the party in power and then by using ‘fear of the threat ‘ whether real or imaginary ‘ enact legislation and/or heighten security measures to ensure that such a threat is quashed or never sees the light of day . I think thats how the first ‘internment ‘ in the troubles succeeded in increasing support for a previous almost non existent IRA .

    I take your point re the term being abused . Bastard btw is thrown around very lightly in the Antipodes as a term of endearment as in you ‘ol bastard you’ accompanied by a slap on the shoulders. I’ve never yet heard anybody being called endearingly ‘you old fascist you ‘ Can’t even imagine the iron lady using the term the last time she sat down to lunch with former Chilean dictator Pinochet .

  • Old Mortality

    I’ll be interested to discover what Paisley has to say about his failure to serve his country during WW2.
    It’s astonishing that it never became an issue during his political career. Terence O’Neill, the first political target of Paisley’s invective, should have raised it since he himself had ‘a good war’, as they used to say. He was probably too much of a gent or maybe he knew that the sort of people who supported Paisley were just as likely to have avoided fighting themselves.

  • Reader

    Old Mortality: I’ll be interested to discover what Paisley has to say about his failure to serve his country during WW2.
    He was 19 when the war ended. He would just have been eligible for conscription if he had lived on the mainland, but probably wouldn’t have seen active service.
    And the medical classes for volunteers were more restrictive than for conscripts, apparently, so it’s possible that the age ranges for volunteers were more restricted too.

  • Old Mortality

    Reader
    Are you suggesting that Paisley volunteered but was rejected on medical grounds?
    You’re probably correct in assuming that he wouldn’t have seen active service in any case but the issue is whether he ever tried.
    In view of his subsequent career, it is very relevant and requires explanation. What is worse is that he was never publicly challenged on the matter.

  • Old Mortality

    Reader
    …and in case you think his age might have been an obstacle, I know of one man who was the same age and volunteered successfully.

  • 241934 john brennan

    In the mid 60’s, Ian Paisley was a figure of ridicule. I recall a fancy dress parade in Antrim town. A large fat fellow in a fancy dress parade wore nothing but a nappy. In one hand he carried a white enamelled chamber pot, strategically placed. In the other he held up a placard on a stick, which read PEEIN AISLEY.

    At that time Terence O’ Neil and jim Molyneaux were cocks of the walk in Antrim

  • Mark

    ” What is worse is that he was never publicly challenged on the matter ” ……..

    Would it of made any difference ? Paisley was untouchable and he knew it . He was also a very dangerous man as he knew he had the ear of the loyalist boys . He has a few deaths on his conscience .

    No doubt about that ..

  • Ian Paisley to retire as Free Presbyterian minister

    Will anyone notice?

    What happens to the plastic buckets?

  • Harry Flashman

    “Quasi btw means like or similar but NOT in all respects”

    In your world “quasi”, means ‘not remotely like’, GF.

    You have mentioned things you don’t like about the Northern Ireland administration, fifty year one-party rule (Japan, Singapore anyone?), inter-communal strife (take your pick of hundreds of countries around the world), a police force made up of officers hostile to minorities (jeez, find me a police force in the world that isn’t), institutionalized petty bigotry (ditto), manipulation of local electoral boundaries for advantage of the party in office (ditto, ditto).

    None of this amounts in the least way to the actual definition of an identifiable, mainly Catholic be it noted, political movement that was present in Europe and South America during the period in question.

    Didn’t do so well in basic political science did we Greenie?

    As I tried patiently to explain to you at the start shouting “FASCIST!!!” at people you don’t like is an enjoyable undergraduate past time but not worthy of proper political analysis.

  • Greenflag

    @Alias ,

    Sorry for the delay in reply .

    ‘I like the idea of a collection of Irish political jokes (beyond Stormont and both Houses of the Oireachtas)’`

    So do I . It could even extend into the banking, financial and euro zone add ons or it should . The recent Kilkenomics festival with it’s mix of gravitas and comedy should have sparked off more than a few good ones . I link below festival participant Max Keiser with some of his comments on the Irish ‘transubstantiation’ of the economy’

    ‘ but I wonder if a charity would want to be associated with something that would be politically contentious by default?’

    I don’t see why it would be politically contentious by default . If all ‘comedy or parody worthy politicians and economists are included and the product was edited so as not to be seen as a mere Paisley or Adams bashing event why would it be contentious?

    ‘ I would think it a better way of funding Slugger’

    No objection to that.

    ‘Also, most jokes are not original which is why web sites are full of them (copyright free content in most cases) so it would be a simple task to pick out the better ones and rework them, providing it is done skillfully. In that context, the joke would have to be very sharp and pointed to redeem itself.’

    True . Timing and circumstance and context are the staple of really good political jokes . As you say most are not original but are old themes dressed as new clothes . And then there is the relatively limited audience -Ireland (ROI+NI) plus ‘diaspora ‘ -first generation anyway and maybe a small UK market -at least in those areas of UK life which have to do with Ireland so some prominent UK political figures could be included in ‘jokes’ -lets face it some of them have been a ‘joke ‘ for centuries . Such a collection could be an invaluable add on for etc-what better way to understand another culture in all its nuances than through it’s humour . This could be one reason why Japan despite it’s immense economy is other than through it’s ‘banzai ‘ screaming spectacled buck toothed demons of the comics -an unknown people . Americans , Germans , Brits , Italians ,Russians , Israelis even Hungarians not to mention Poles and Irish feature heavily in ‘joke books’ or used to in the days of less politically correctness.

    ‘I like that Paisley joke because it is re-pointed at someone writing his memoirs and rewriting history in the process to redeem himself. It implies that, in the judgement of a credible party, the deception will not be successful – and that has a cathartic value that makes the joke a good one in the context.’

    Indeed which is why I commented . Told a few years ago it would have been a good one anyway -its probably been doing the rounds since Paisley stood on two legs.

    But in the context of his ‘memoirs ‘ revelation it’s a cracker . I wonder though how many got it in that context ? Of course the ‘credible party ‘ was a bit miffed about Paisley as on another occasion when Paisley finally was allowed entry into the Almighty’s throne room it’s been reliably reported that his first words uttered were not in adoration or revernece of the Almighty but were to tell that ‘gobshite to get out of his (Paisely’s )chair.

    ‘I wrote (rather than compiled) a book of insults” a few years ago ‘

    I’ve seen several books of the ilk i.e focusing on insults rather than political jokes and my personal preference is for the latter . On the other hand if you’ve gone to the trouble of investigating the concept and construct of the genre then maybe it’s worth a try .

    ‘I’d be interested in your opinion as to whether the project has any wider possibility.’

    As a rule I don’t give out an e-mail address or indulge in e-mail with sluggerites or any other blog not because I would’nt want to but just because time wise I’m unable to -at this time . That may change in the future assuming there is one 😉 . But I’ve opened up this temporary e-mail address to which you can send some of your material and I’ll get it.

    hilts4496@mypacks.net

    I’ll keep it open for a couple of weeks . I’ll confirm receipt of material. Anything to do with the current world financial mess-international politics -politicians dictators etc . I’ll let you pick out a representative example of what you think are good and if you number them I’ll rate them out of 10 in a reply..

    As what I find humourous would not be seen by others as so -I suggest you send out your stuff to several of your contacts, friends , colleagues , family, relatives etc -contacts and ask them for feedback positive or negative as the case may be .

    As I’ll be relatively busy between Nov 20th through Nov 29th I would only be able to reply after the 29th.

  • Greenflag

    Here’s that Max Keiser report on Ireland , bail out, Kilkennomics, Constantin Gurdgiev is interviewed later .
    Not for the religiously sensitive or thin skinned

    http://maxkeiser.com/2011/11/08/kr207-keiser-report-the-fed-the-treasury-the-holy-troika/

  • Greenflag

    Harry ,

    ‘You have mentioned things you don’t like about the Northern Ireland administration, ‘

    I have but those references are mostly in the past tense . You’ll find that in more recent times I find even more things Idon’t like about several other administrations including ROI, UK, USA , Italy, Greece , China and some others that don’t come to mind just now .

    You are of course correct if you are suggesting that in world comparitive terms NI is well down the list of States that are inherently dysfunctional . The main reason for that is the fact that HMG is picking up the tab and prevented the inhabitants of that small province from what could have been a much worse experience .

    As to shouting ?

    Here’s someone who really shouts . You can almost sense he’s looking forward to the day

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sTbebWrj560&feature=related

    probably not a fascist though eh ?

  • Harry Flashman

    “other administrations including ROI

    Good thing you say that Greenie because I was just thinking that people from the Republic who criticise the Northern administration have in the words of the great Brendan Behan a neck like a jockey’s bollocks.

    Consider.

    The Republic had sectarian Catholic ideology actually written into its constitution. It treated its female population as second class citizens discriminating against them in public employment, health facilities and basic civil rights. It oppressed minorities ranging from gays, free thinkers, atheists, socialists and non-Catholics in terms of education and state employment and general civic amenities.

    Furthermore it used horrific violence in its government institutions against children, the poor and marginalized. State employees routinely and with impunity used sexual violence and physical brutality against those people put into their care; rape, buggery and pedophilia were endemic in state organizations. Knowing what we know about Irish orphanages and care homes we can only imagine the horrors perpetrated in the prisons and mental hospitals, by comparison with Mountjoy and Grangegorman, Long Kesh would have been like a holiday camp.

    On top of that the Irish state oversaw appalling standards of poverty and deprivation of a kind largely unknown in Northern Ireland post 1950. This was of course combined with absolute, total government and business corruption which was rampant and continued unchecked until recent times when it virtually bankrupted the state.

    And the “Staters” have the nerve to criticize Northern Ireland’s failings.

  • Harry Flashman

    Oh and while I’m on a roll here, as regards Paisley’s anti-Catholic ‘bigotry’.

    Just to remind posters from the Republic back when they were good little Catholic altar boys and their parents were kissing the bishop’s ring, Paisley’s “Protestant Telegraph” was luridly and in detail exposing the sexual depravities of the Catholic Church (and given that Paisley knew what was going on in Catholic institutions it begs the question why the Irish establishment didn’t know, or more likely didn’t care).

    Now like I say, at the time all good faithful Irish Catholics condemned Paisley, well since the Irish Times liberals have since gone all Cromwellian on the Catholic Church you think they’d have the decency to congratulate the old geezer for his visionary foresight.

  • Greenflag

    @Harry ,

    ‘I was just thinking that people from the Republic who criticise the Northern administration have in the words of the great Brendan Behan a neck like a jockey’s bollocks.’

    And vice versa Harry 🙂 BTW I believe I did in earlier threads on slugger put in a complementary word for the old geezer on his life long perspicacity in the matter . I would here and now recomplement the old geezer for his unrelenting exposure of the failings of the RC Church and it’s less than transparent structures .

    Dev however was not a quasi fascist to be fair but the Blueshirts certainly were .

  • Harry Flashman

    Actually not to be a nit-picker but the Blushirts were actual fascists.

    Dev’s (not a fascist but hardly a fully-committed democrat either) constitution certainly has the whiff of corporatist, paternalist, “family, faith and fatherland” governance favoured by people like Franco and Petain, I think you’d agree.

  • Greenflag

    True they were indeed fascists but unsuccessful ones mainly due to Dev . The 1930/40’s was a period in which democracy was snuffed out of existence in Germany , Italy, France, Spain and Russia . The only major European country to avoid being submerged by anti democratic forces was Britain . Yet even there the ‘Blackshirts’ under Oswald Mosley were a threat . In 1931 with tens of millions unemployed in the USA, Britain , Germany and elsewhere it seemed to many that ‘capitalism ‘ was doomed and the only alternative other than communism was fascism .There was another one but that had yet to climb to power over the prostrate bankrupt body politic of the Weimar Republic.

    Fast forward to 2011 and look into the cul de sac which financial capitalism has dug for itself around the world most of all in the USA and UK and you can see similarities with the 1930’s although now there appears to be no alternative to banksters rule . But alternatives are always there and they come in forms which neither you nor I would like or ever vote for.

    The new ‘corporatist ‘ financial capitalist world cares not for faith except of course in those sectors of the economy where ‘religion ‘ is big business and God wants people to be prosperous by giving their local God consultant as much dosh as they can afford so that it may be returned unto them tenfold 🙁 Neither does the financial capitalist led world care for family or to be more accurate family values as they have constructed the work world for so many that parents scarcely ever have time for their children and are forced to use corporatist TV as their affordable child minder and/or baby sitter so that they the children can be brainwashed with the eh ‘right ‘ consumerist values. And as for fatherland or indeed motherland these ‘reborn ‘ children of the Almighty Hayek and his incarnate son Milton Friedman and the unholy mother Ayn Rand have contrived to deliver the entire world to another 1930’s and another road to serfdom .

    If you are into nit picking Dev was considered to be a virtual communist by the RC Church hierarchy, Here’s the best link I could find that’s not too long for those interested in that period of time .

    http://struggle.ws/freeearth/fe2_ireland.html

  • JR

    Harry,
    I don’t know whether your view of Ireland is a misinformed characture or bigoted prejudice. Are you seriously suggesting that Irelands human rights record is majorly different to anyone elses?

    To rake over 70 years of any states history there is abuse of power. Britain’s record in Kenya, India and Ireland. Belgium’s record in the Congo, Germany’s holacost, Italy’s Fachism. I could go on.

    On Paisley and the Catholic Church. The Catholic church did not have a monopoly on Child abuse also paisley’s views went beyond the instiution of the Church and catholics in general were often targeted.

  • Harry Flashman

    “Are you seriously suggesting that Irelands human rights record is majorly different to anyone elses?”

    Of course not JR, I’m pointing out that there was institutionalized bigotry, violence and corruption in the Irish Republic just as there was in Northern Ireland, indeed in many respects the state abuses in the Republic were much worse than anything comparable in Northern Ireland. This was the case in most countries around the world at this time as you rightly point out.

    So therefore, to turn your question back to you, why is it that Northern Ireland is singled out as if it alone was a pariah among nations, apparently comparable to Alabama or South Africa, when in fact NI was pretty much as poorly or as well administered as any other society in western Europe, including its nearest neighbour to the south?

  • Alias

    “I’ll keep it open for a couple of weeks . I’ll confirm receipt of material.” – Greenflag

    I just emailed two subcategories to that account. And just to make you extra-nervous, the ones I sent are under the headings of “Sex Appeal” and “Gay”.

  • Jimmy Sands

    “Actually not to be a nit-picker but the Blushirts were actual fascists. ”

    Not really, they just dressed like them

  • Greenflag

    Alias ,

    You should be embarrassed already if this is your own material.

    Not the categories I’d have chosen but then I left that to yourself. Had a quick glance . Not being gay or homophobic I can’t comment on that category but some of the appeal ones might have potential to be politicised . This is just confirmation btw . Will reply after weekend but not on slugger.

    Greenflag nervous? The only thing that makes me nervous is the gobshites who are trying to expedite the next world war and/or world recession or both simultaneously 🙁 and thats not a joke !

  • Alias

    Fortunately, I don’t embarrass easily. However, they are definately not for conversion into any other use, political or otherwise. Just a couple of non-PC categories for your private amusement. And no review need… 😉