Last night’s Thatcher’s Ireland from UTV has breadth, nuance, great editorial intellectual content and some of the most acute insight on Thatcher you’ll hear in the next week.
It’s a revelation of the machiavellian core of politics… Paisley, dismisses the Hunger Strike as ‘a purely political stunt’… Mrs Thatcher’s actions at the most critical of times influenced through a chain of allegiances through the United States..
You can watch the whole programme in the following chapters…
Denis Tuohy opens with a classic, “Margaret Thatcher’s strident views on Northern Ireland would bring her much soul searching…”
Or Paul Bew’s “particularly when viewed from a Scottish point of view, I essentially think that Margaret Thatcher was an English nationalist”
2. Hunger Strikes.
“…then there would have been a seismic shift and dealing with really determined future in the would have been undermined because they had demonstrated that they could roll over a British government and Margaret was not going to be rolled over…” – Brian Mawhinney
“Nobody goes on Hunger Strike to die. They go on hunger strike to create pressure towards a solution. There was clearly the makings of a resolution, and I don’t know if it was Thatcher or her Government but put quite simply, she wanted a security solution, she wanted victory and defeat…” – Gerry Kelly
3. Brighton Bomb.
“She was involved in all policies where she had the blood of Irish citizens on her hand, so that it is not surprising that moreso Margaret Thatcher than anyone else that republicans wanted rid of her” – Gerry Kelly
“That was a huge personal blow, but equally, the iron entered the soul…” – George Jones
4. Anglo Irish.
“The southern politicians are very persuasive as eh, I mean they put their way well as Irishmen…” – Ian Paisley
“… the State Department, which was upset by the Speaker’s criticism of US strategy in Latin America, said ‘we have got to do something to buy Tip off.. Being in Ronnie’s good books was why she did it by the way…” – Professor Paul Bew.
5. The Closing Years.
“It was a slightly defeatist thing to say they mustn’t be hear lest people believe them. I think it would have been better to make sure that people didn’t believe them…” – Norman Tebbitt
– “And you know, the silent witness of this service is very important” – Margaret Thatcher
– “Tremendous stamina. Tremendous intellect. But she hadn’t the most important thing that any politician must have, which is concern for other human beings…” – Seamus Mallon
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty