Peter Robinson. Strongman or wimp? The spin continues

 

The headline” Robinson no pushover” doesn’t really fit Henry Patterson’s measured analysis of the first minister’s U turn from Florida in the Newsletter.

..It is remarkable how weak and undeveloped the DUP case was against those who argued that part of the Maze site would house a ‘shrine to terrorism’.

The weakness of the DUP case for the Maze was amplified by the fact that apart from occasional interventions by Robinson the only other figure of substance in the party who defended the project was the Lagan Valley MP Jeffery Donaldson…..

Robinson’s defence tended to be a negative one: his UUP critics were hypocrites as the party had originally given its blessing to the project and the other critics were the ‘usual suspects’ like the TUV rejectionists. There was little concrete evidence given as to how the future visitor to the retained buildings would absorb more than a justificatory narrative about the men who died there….

Although more sympathetic to Robinson than mine, Henry’s  analysis follows much the same course.  He makes the familiar point:

The DUP political dominance within the unionist electorate and the contradictions and divisions within its main unionist opponents seems to have encouraged a complacency – ironically of the same sort that decades in power produced in the once-dominant Unionist Party.

It ( the DUP) has proven adept at the messy business of keeping the Stormont Executive on the road but its focus on the politics of power at Stormont has led it to neglect the politics of support in the broader unionist community and the simmering resentment at what many in that community regard as the republican movement’s successful attempts to hegemonise the language and concepts with which the Troubles is discussed

Why has the “republican movement been allowed to “hegemonise the language”; in simple words, to win the war of spin?  It would have been perfectly possible to have spun the surviving H block as the place where “thousands of terrorists met their comeuppance”  or some such, rather than allowing themselves to be transfixed by the hunger strike and the “shrine” idea. And then balance out the   various emotional impacts of the Maze with the conflict resolution centre.  Are unionist politicians and their spin merchants really such nice people that they don’t like to say anything critical about the dead or the class of  surviving former prisoners?. Hardly.

It is true of course that the roots of unionist objection go much deeper than the spin war. Henry quotes Peter’s s salient point:

“  If we cannot yet come to terms and reach agreement in a more general context on how to deal with the past it is improbable that in advance of that agreement , we can reach a consensus on dealing with one of the most controversial aspects of the past.”

But this can be turned in its head.  If they can’t  even talk about a basic statement at the Maze when there are so many tried and tested models to follow,  what chance is there of agreeing on  the past as  a whole?  It’s hardly an unfamiliar subject.

The U turn vividly exposes one huge omission that  hadn’t really occurred to me . Outside the professionals and the sectors  – the victims, ex-prisoners, legal campaigners, the “coalition of the willing” if you will – there has been pitifully little dialogue apart from an exchange of slogans between the people who need to talk most   I should have remembered this from the reception that greeted Eames- Bradley   .

There must be a fear now that the EU money will disappear and the wider project will be cancelled.

Anyway the spin for Peter has started already. They’ll have to do better than DUP leader played a blinder. dredged up from nowhere,    But Sammy’s account of his call to his leader is as entertaining as you’d expect.

 

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  • Mc Slaggart

    Sammy

    “The former finance minister confirmed that £18m in EU funding for the centre, which was designed by New York’s Ground Zero memorial architect Daniel Libeskind, will now be lost.”
    ……
    “He believes that the DUP had put enough safeguards in place to ensure that the peace centre did not become what its opponents describe as a “shrine to terrorism”. But it was also clear that many unionist victims’ groups would not participate…….Negative Orange Order speeches ”

    Its not Peter who is a wimp its Unionism. “The Truth Is Out There” and Unionism is apparently scared of it.

  • FDM

    You cannot make a “one-eighty” in a matter of weeks and be accused of being “strong”.

    It also appears clear that Robbo issued a letter not of the content he would have liked. The story that Nolan discovered is that this letter was a second edition, being a massive volte face deviation from the first. Robbo being dictated the content by others, to which he put his name. “No surrender”? Surely Peter surrendered his own point of view for that of others? You can’t call that strong.

    Robbo broke his word. He made a deal and he reneged on it. You can’t call that strong.

    If he is admitting he was entirely wrong, then his thought processes have been proved incorrect. This brings into question his thought processes and decision making. This weakens him.

    To complete this “nuclear option” u-turn when the local press and media can’t get at you to give you the summary savaging you can expect in such circumstances smacks of cowardice in the face of the enemy.

    Peter is doing a better job for Irish unity than Marty is doing. Long may he stay as leader of the DUP. Bless his cotton socks I say.

  • Morpheus

    Wimp. He made the announcement from his bunker in the US rather then being here to face the music. He is entitled to a holiday but can’t drop a bombshell and run – it’s like sending a important email at 4.59pm on a Friday knowing you won’t get a response until Monday.

  • “there has been pitifully little dialogue apart from an exchange of slogans”

    So your reference to parapoliticians winning a war of spin, Brian, is something of a damp squib. When Gerry Kelly did his strong-man act at Castlederg he strengthened the hand of the opponents of the use of the listed buildings and the construction of a peace and reconciliation centre at the Maze, he provided Peter with an easy opt-out; Martin merely peered over the parapet. And it appears that the Peter and Martin New York junket in September is still on.

  • Mick Fealty

  • Alias

    If a ‘peace centre’ is to be built then it should be built on a site where the Shinners can’t continue to pimp Bobby Sands and ilk and on a site that may become a ‘shrine’ to the victims of the murder gangs rather than to their victimisers. La Mon, Kingsmills, Enniskillen, etc, are far more worthy locations for such a centre.

    Robinson traded one horse too many in agreeing to support the Maze project against the greater wishes of his community. As Trimble found out with decommissioning, you can only jump if you have the Shinners chained to you as you can’t trust their promises to jump with you or shortly thereafter.

    The questions for Robinson from his community are along the lines of “Why are you allowing the Shinners to glorify their squalid sectarian murder campaign and to re-write its history?” and “Why are you indulging the Shinners when they are seeking to destroy our culture?” These questions will doubtless be more vocal given the Shinners recent shenanigans over the flag and at Castlederg.

    Robinson, just like the Shinners, was elected by his community to deliver for his community at the expense of the other community. Blair made sure that “sweeties” were seen to given out to those to demanded them the loudest so both communities learned from this – as Blair intended – and elected the extremes. Neither of these extremes have a mandate for compromise or concession.

  • FDM

    Trevor Lunn APNI has an opinion about this now.

    http://allianceparty.org/article/2013/008131/lunn-robinson-has-displayed-weak-leadership

    I said most of that first above.

    Paraphrasing “weak”, “cowardly”, “avoid … dealing with … press” and some additional scoring points on how much we are out of pocket on this charade so far

    I feel somehow queasy now.

  • Mc Slaggart

    Alias

    “If a ‘peace centre’ is to be built then it should be built on a site where the Shinners can’t continue to pimp Bobby Sands and ilk”

    It is interesting that that you think that a change in location will change the history covered in any center.

    The current buildings that are left on the site can still be used by Republicans. Black Taxi Tours of Belfast will love this outcome.

  • poleyg

    Alias

    “Why are you indulging the Shinners when they are seeking to destroy our culture?”

    Who is trying to destroy your culture? Recently this “culture” excuse has become an excuse for expressing supremacy.

    http://www.newsletter.co.uk/news/regional/loyalists-boycott-own-art-project-1-5401455

    Who really wants to curb cultural expression? You never hear a peep out of Unionists when some group wants to ban public representatives from speaking an officially recognised language of NI, but the second anyone wants a march marginally diverted, the culture card comes straight out. Bushmills is a perfect example of who is really destroying PUL culture – fringe PUL groups.

    Respect is a two-way street. Look at Derry. Even though the vast majority of people (in NI and professional linguists) don’t consider Ulster-Scots a language, nor is it used in the city, the city has been festooned with Ulster-Scots messages this year. And you know what? People don’t care.

  • Unfortunately this will be seen as a victory for Sinn Fein, who I would imagine don’t want an objective discussion of the province’s history any more than many unionists and loyalists do. Sinn Fein will spin this into the unionists being opposed to peace and opposed to recounting the history of the province. A well-done center wouldn’t have been a shrine to republicans, but rather by showing photos of the results of their bombings and their murders would have shown why the prisoners had been locked up in the first place. The same is true for the loyalists.

    But now the blood is in the water and the sharks will start swimming around Robinson waiting to do to him what he did to Paisley. Who would have known that the Democratic Unionists were as adapt at getting rid of their own leaders who compromised as they were at getting rid of Ulster Unionist leaders? But Sammy and Arlene had better watch out–the taste of blood can be addictive.

  • “rather by showing photos of the results of their bombings and their murders would have shown why the prisoners had been locked up in the first place.”

    tmitch57, I’d have thought Martin would veto that.

  • FDM[1.45]You could hardly have executed that u-turn more clumsily than Robbo has done and that doesn’t look strong either. Robinson is going to retire with no achievements in his 35+ years in politics, other than internal DUP victories. He’s left unionism in worse state than he found it, and even there, the way he got rid of his former boss was underhand in undermining his son to achieve it the sly way. I hope the DUP replaces him with Gregory Campbell because that would show the true face of the DUP but I don’t think they rate him much.

  • Kevsterino

    The only real chance Robbo has of getting through this with his leadership intact is to convince people that his position on the MLK site is unchanged. To wit, that he never intended to allow the development of the Peace Centre to take place without constant reassurance of Sinn Fein’s sincere efforts at reconciliation. Then he can proceed to recite the litany of proof of Sinn Fein’s bad faith.

    I’m not sure how many unionists will buy that, but if he can’t convince them that he was not prompted by the loyalist street violence, I think he is finished as a leader of the DUP and Unionism.

  • FDM

    tmitch57 19 August 2013 at 4:19 pm

    Unfortunately this will be seen as a victory for Sinn Fein, who I would imagine don’t want an objective discussion of the province’s history any more than many unionists and loyalists do.
    —————————–

    Who, what, where, when, how and why?

    These are the questions visitors will want answered. The last one is where we often get most value. WHY did the troubles start, continue and finish?

    tmitch57 would have us tell a very blinkered, filtered and jaundiced “what” story which MUST NOT contain any reference to the state, army and police protagonists. He deliberately excludes them. Focus on the outcome of war, attrocities and death [which most people universally abhor]. Pin all the carnage on the insurgents and the counter-insurgents who the state controlled [who they also disavow any knowledge of].

    Unionism is frightened to death of the actual full depravities of the conflict becoming wider knowledge. Understandably so. The ego hit will be simply too much to take. Republican violence has been picked-over in well publicised case after case after case. Whereas the states agencies, the army, the ruc and loyalist paramilitaries have barely been touched upon.

    The reality is that the opposition of tmitch57 and co. is futile. The truth will out. Stick as many fingers in the dyke as you like.

  • FDM

    danielsmoran 19 August 2013 at 4:25 pm

    “no achievements in his 35+ years in politics”
    He did invade Clontibret and got a criminal record for it. Unionists probably see that as a victory, even though he coughed up lots of punts [17,500 ouch] for that one.

    “He’s left unionism in worse state than he found it,
    was underhand in undermining his son to achieve it the sly way.”

    It is why I want him to stay. He is about destroying unionism so keep him limping along as long as we can. Peter heads the DUP. MikeTV the UUP and Jimbo at the TUV helm, with David Vance as the executive officer. I mean come on, this is a field of gift horses! Huzzah!

    “I hope the DUP replaces him with Gregory Campbell”

    Now you are being greedy, we couldn’t ever get that lucky.

  • Morpheus

    Whoever the OO….sorry, I meant Caleb…sorry, I mean DUP decide to be DUP leader will be interesting. Would you accept the role of captain of a ship which needs to dramatically change course to go where it doesn’t want to go or face shipwreak?

  • Alias

    “Republican violence has been picked-over in well publicised case after case after case. Whereas the states agencies, the army, the ruc and loyalist paramilitaries have barely been touched upon.”

    I’d like to hear The Great Leader explain why he appointed a British agent to run his organisation’s Internal Security Unit and kept him in place for the full duration of the campaign despite universal counter-intelligence procedure being to put time limits on heads of security departments in order to avoid the type of long term infiltration that The Great Leader engineered. And given that British agents had a free run of The Great Leader’s organisation courtesy of The Great Leader appointing a British agent to the role of detecting British agents, and given that Internal Security Unit had a mandate (that could only be rescinded by the AC) to enquire into every PIRA operation and to vet every new member of PIRA (ensuring that only members that British security services wanted to join were allowed to join), I’d also like to hear The Great Leader explain why his organisation is any different from other state-sponsored murder gangs that have all signed up to the legitimacy of British sovereignty such as the UDA, UVF, etc.

  • redstar2011

    Overall he will be seen rightly as shafting SF

    Lets be honest- for 99% of Unionist voters thats reason enough to vote for him again.

    As my dad always said- put up a pig with a sash around it , and they will vote for it

  • Neil

    He’s played the one card left in his deck, whether it works or not I suspect he doesn’t know. I will wholeheartedly agree with FDM though, the greatest threat to the Union has been Unionism. Long may it continue.

  • tacapall

    Well there you go Alias you just admitted that the British are responsible for most of the murder and carnage that has been inflicted on the Irish people. Why then are you so afraid of a peace center at the Maze/Long Kesh telling a different story than the one you’re bandying around. Those of the unionist loyalist persuasion can rejoice and have their short term victory but we all know that they will soon be wallowing in self pity as there will always be a retained H Block and no amount of stamping their feet or attempting to re-write history will change the fact that there will be a peace center at the Maze/Long Kesh site.

  • Kevsterino

    Loyalist anger is destroying Unionism. From good ole Mark Twain: “Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than anything on which it is poured.”

    When loyalist anger takes the form of assaulting policemen and setting roofs on fire and berating little girls on their way to school, well, the results are predictable.

    Fools.

  • FDM[5.02] It wasn’t a serious proposal as I don’t expect the DUP to include Greg in any leadership listrace. He’s there for throwing red meat to the baying hordes like Ruth, but not, alas with any hope. Best entertainment for nationalist this summer provided by unionism since a long time. The gift that insists on giving more.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Right

    I think the ‘what are unionists scared of’ card has been over played.

    See below for drudgery and pointlessness, but the bare bones is this:

    We don’t care how bad we or the Security forces look.

    In the world’s view we’re the bad guys, so what does it matter?

    We’re angered at the thought of the Provos coming out as the goodies with a small asterisk at the end of the exhibition stating “yes, we did bad things, but, it was a war after all”

    Maybe I’ve interpreted the view of the tribe wrongly, I’m open for correction, but that appears to be the the underlying theme.

    Maybe (hopefully) Unionists are wrong to think this way and they’re/we’re being paranoid.

    I’d go for the Centre myself, on final leap of faith as it were.

    See below if you’re bored…

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Right

    I think the ‘what are unionists scared of’ card has been over played.

    Given the endemic straightforwardness(?) of many of our political mouthpieces I would say we (in general, not necessarily as a cohesive unit) aren’t THAT scared of how WE look.

    Us looking bad we can deal with (seemingly, though it irks me greatly).

    It is the thought that those who made our lives hell may come out looking as ‘good’ or indeed in the eyes of many unionists, being seen as anything other than sectarian murdering psychos is perceived as an insult.

    That’s the bottom line, it’s not that we or the security forces will look bad (the world views us and the British as ‘the Baddies’ anyway) but that the IRA will come out looking impartial at best and ‘good’ at worst.

    This hell was justified for decades by a myriad of reasons, some strong (inequality, Bloody Sunday, internment) and some codswallop (800 years of oppression, potato famine ‘genocide’ (oops, that right genocide means a range of things blah blah, nice MOPEry Tim Pat Coogan!!!)) and let us not forget the overarching noble motive of trying to ‘free’ Ireland.

    Intended recipients of said freedom included towns such as 1970’s Belfast, Bangor, Ballyclare, Ballymena, Larne, Carrick, Ballymoney, Ballynahinch, Lisburn, Craigavon,
    Cookstown (?) and many others did not want to be liberated.

    Sorry that short sighted upper-class politicians focused only on stereotypical land-grab policies and a thirst for lebensraum forced other unfortunates into a party that they didn’t want to attend.

    The Boundary commission MIGHT have offered something regarding that but equally blinkered decision makers on the other side fucked that one.

    1 – 1 on the blooper stakes there.

    SPARE ME THE ‘WHO DID WHAT’ AND ‘WHO WAS WORSE’ ROUTINE AS IT JUST DESCENDS INTO A POINTLESS ROUTINE OF NIT-PICKING AND ATTRITION. Save that for UPC, not me.

    We hear a lot about the bad things that happen in ‘war’. What we seldom hear is the measures taken to reduce the likelihood of those bad things.

    I lived in Dalmatia, Croatia, way after the Yugoslav disintegration (yes AYM, thank you for counting), that WAS a war, rape, random mortar attacks, minefields, concentration camps (over the border), no quarter given…

    The Serbs never claimed to be the good guys (well, not properly, apart from a bit of anti-Pavelic propaganda).

    Here (well, there) the IRA and the ‘U-miscs’ did.

    NI couldn’t compare (spare me the ‘scale’ argument. yawn).

    To quote a former refugee Croat friend of mine “I piss on your pussy Ulster war…”.

    So whilst bad things happened in ‘war’ the IRA, in the ‘defence of Ireland’, did not HAVE to place bombs under the cars of scout leaders, they did not HAVE to bomb
    bakeries that sold buns to (their local family) policemen, they did not HAVE to kill builders trying to earn a crust by building for THEIR army, they did not HAVE to make sure Protestant businesses were destroyed to punish their ‘arrogance’.

    They implemented the ‘you’re with us or against us’ maxim.

    Hence very few Protestant Republicans.

    The ethos of Joy-McCracken et al was forgotten (except by propaganda HQ)

    Many nationalists and indeed myself are frustrated (or bemused) by loyalists seeing themselves as solely British.

    This is largely thanks to the IRA though.

    They turned Irishmen with British allegiances into ‘British’ men stranded in Ireland.

    Not only do I not want to salute or give praise to people who were careless with my or my family’s lives, I do not wish to give praise to murderous failure:

    i.e. 1950’s Northern Ireland – 65+ish % Protestant and 90+% of them were Irish VS now: 49ish% Protestant and most of them think they’re only British.

    What a waste.

    Have the centre if you want it, but be sure that each photo of a volunteer has ‘failure’ stamped across it.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Kevisterino

    Loyalist anger is indeed killing unionism.

    As is clutching to the same old Edwardian era crap that is flaunted by the PC.

    I vainly hope that Mad Willy Frazer and the PC can push loyalism to such a low extent that it might rebound some how and catch itself on.

    The OO don’t help either.

    Maybe the same could be hoped of the DUP, alas, my community’s appetite for doing more of the same is alarmingly insatiable.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Brian

    Apologies, went a wee bit off thread there…

  • Alias

    “Well there you go Alias you just admitted that the British are responsible for most of the murder and carnage that has been inflicted on the Irish people.”

    My view is that all of the murder gangs are under the indirect control of British intelligence agencies. It’s not a revelation and it’s not completely ‘tin foil hat’ territory… if you squint at the dots you can see them join up to that picture.

    What does it take anyway? All you have to do to control a ‘movement’ is control its leader. You can either put your own man in and move him up the line or say “Here’s all the evidence we need to put you away for 30 years. How do you like those apples? Alternatively, you can help us out and we’ll help you out.” Given the choice, a sociopath will always choose the option that best serves his self-interest… plus, they thrive on the duplicity.

    As always in history, it is paddies killing paddies for British pay. The murder gangs very kindly confined their squalid murder campaign to the island of Ireland, with 99% of all murders occurring here. That’s a result of the ‘enemy’ state… so-called ‘spectaculars’ on ‘the mainland’ were designed to disguise how few attacks actually occurred on enemy soil.

  • @FDM,

    Actually, as an outsider I have no say in what happens as far as concealing or revealing information about the past. As a curious person I would like to see some reliable information. But, excuse me if I don’t take the word of someone who defines the death of every republican paramilitary as murder as an impartial and reliable commentator. Or people who accuse others of lying over a difference of opinion or interpretation of facts. By reading the columns here over the last few months I’ve learned quite a bit about the unique meanings of words in Ulster/NI/the North/the Six Counties.

  • tacapall

    Im not disagreeing with you Alias, I would be of the same opinion but in this world we live in employing, training, arming, directing and controlling those who would use violence and murder to achieve their political goals sort of undermines your ability to lecture or convict in a court of law those same people you employed, trained, armed, directed and controlled to carry out your bidding, agent provocateurs entrapment and all that but I suppose thats what the British Diplock judge was for with his unique ability to be judge jury and prosecution.

  • Gopher

    Ill try to deal with this objectively quite hard when you loathe the DUP as much as myself

    Im still at a loss to understand why anyone thinks the DUP and Peter are finished. I’ve heard the 2010 census being quoted, we had an election in 2011 and the DUP have 38 seats plus a certain amount of slack in the system. Those seats were won under a worse cloud than hovers above them today. Peter actually polled 9,000 plus votes and he was deemed finished then.

    The shill’s and the commentators are getting carried away The DUP have most of the political personalities and most of the formidable debaters despite all the baggage they are handicapped with. The DUP and Peter now have the initiative if they care to use it. The unilateral petition of concern and the best ministries and Peter being first minister assure them of that. SF are running to a timetable for 1916, the UUP are finished (no unique personality) and NI 21 are not up and running yet. The DUP can call an election at any time and will still end up with at least 38 MLAs

    The other parties for a while had the DUP in trouble on open ground hitting them on gay marriage and abortion and the SF political carve up in government. The other parties were stupid to get involved in the secterian dogfight because that is the ground of the DUP choosing. Only they “can defend the union” the “Republic is a mess” The DUP “vote will hold” and Peters appeal “look I know you don’t like us but if you vote for them you might actually get a united Ireland so stay at home if your wise we wont bankcrupt the place”

    Yup the other parties have surrendered the political initiative I expect an election to be called for in the spring. I expect SF and the SDLP will oppose the motion.

  • Gopher[9.14] ‘I expect an election to be called for in the spring’ That’s funny, as they’ve extended the current assembly to 2016 and why bother doing that if they could call it short at any time and the FM hasn’t got that option for himself alone even if it’s legal..

  • Am Ghobshmacht[12.50 I believe all the trouble from loyalists/unionist politicians is the suffocating reality that theyre slowly running out of road in the entity their forefathers created and nothing they can do about except destabilise NI to the point of blackmailing Britain into altering the demographic arithmetic in their favour. If it could be done in 1922 who among catholic community would trust London not ‘fix’ it again?

  • Morpheus

    Gopher

    You talk at length about the strength of the DUP – obviously through gritted teeth – yet forecast them calling an election in the Spring? Why would they possibly call an election when they can carry on ‘as is’ until 2016 if Stormont decide to extend it by a year? Why would they give the UUP/TUV/PUP and NI21 *(being deliberately careful not to append them onto that list with a slash)* a chance to take seats from them?

  • Gopher

    I believe 72 votes are required to call and election. My thinking on the election is thus. The DUP are back at what they are doing best put there by the incompetence of the other parties because in hand to hand the DUP have pound for pound better politicians and more of them. The UUP are one more election defeat away from oblivion (merger) and they have no unique personality left. That is an inviting scenario with an eye on Europe and two candidates (solving the Diane Dodds problem). No matter what people believe the PUP have no support outside a small base and won’t figure at the DUPs expense, outside JIm Allisters signal performance no one in the TUV will get elected

    As for NI21 their hope lies with non voters the rump of the UUP, Alliance defectors and transfers. Until they reach a critical mass of MLA’s they are no threat to the DUP. potential NI21 voters tend not to vote DUP.

    From now to until 1916 we have deadlock. Presiding over deadlock allows the snipers to gather strength and be identified in the public mind. The bonus of upsetting SF’s timetable with a spring election would also be preferable. An election always has the added bonus of wiping the slate clean always an inviting option. If their political enemies refuse a spring election they look like cowards and that will be hard to spin.

    Nope the DUP are we’re they are happiest make no mistake

  • @Brian Walker,

    Wouldn’t this be a good time for Robinson to attempt to effect a merger or takeover of the UUP? It would both deal with that legacy issue and give him a better chance that his successor would be someone like Foster or Donaldson who is a former UUP member. If he is going to have to go, he might as well go in style.

  • ayeYerMa

    To repeat, the Maze will never be spun as where terrorists “got their comeuppance” precisely because the electorate do not believe this to be true. The criminals who were there got numerous undeserved concessions as “political prisoners” and were shamefully released early as such, even those on multiple life sentences left with a minimal sentencing. Now the electorate sees the same criminals from the Republican side smugly swanning about Stormont, with not and ounce on regret or repentance, as further evidence by numerous comments by SF spokesmen and their recent actions making it all the more clear that justice has not been done and prison did not work. There isn’t any remote chance of reconciliation or agreeing anything on the past on this basis.

    Unlike Walker, or the dire journalism in the BBC or the Belfast Telegraph etc. the Unionist electorate values the truth over spin. When we have a media like the BBC whose first priority on any story seems to always to broadcast the mendacious propaganda of everything McGuinness & co. say completely unchallenged and uncorrected for factual accuracy in many cases. Any “analysis” over any recent event from the likes of Mark Devonport etc. always seems to be focused on how Sinn Fein will “spin” it rather than on facts of the matter or how it will be viewed morally by the wider population, and as a result have learnt to ignore most of what media commentators say. The fact is that if the electorate had ever remotely listened to most of the “spin” coming from the BBC or Belfast Telegraph then the anti-GFA DUP would never have remotely ended up Northern Ireland’s largest party.

    ‘Why has the “republican movement been allowed to “hegemonise the language”’. I can understand why it takes the Newsletter to point this out to a BBC/Belfast Telegraph man. Look in the mirror Walker when you and fellow middle class “liberal progressive” media types are obsessed with presenting in your analyses the notion that SF/IRA is a respectable and normal party, constantly obsessed with overlooking their lies and nature. It is the media’s job to present reality, but instead of presenting things as they are and are viewed by most, they are more interested in primarily presenting the UK government’s morally corrupt appeasement process as the be-all-and-end-all of everything right and proper.

  • ayeYerMa

    The electorate will also view it positively that the DUP had the confidence to change its mind, and listen to them instead of out-of-touch media commentators.

    I also think that some of these media commentators must actually think comments on blogs like this one are representative (where it’s rare to hear ANYONE in support of Northern Ireland’s largest political party!)

  • Kevsterino

    ayeYerMa, so, in summation: The historians have it wrong. The journalists have it wrong. The clergy have it wrong. HMG have it wrong.

    Truth can only be found at fleg protests, band parades and effigy burnings.

    Anyone who contradicts the most loyal loyalists are useful idiots following a Republican agenda of ‘rewriting history’.

  • FDM

    £18m in euro funding lost by DUP because of their failure to keep their word on the Peace Centre, so says Sammy Wilson I understand.

    I am sure the boys and girls who maybe could have done with a job out of that in the current economic climate will fully understand the DUP and their deeply held beliefs come election time.

  • Morpheus

    ayeYerMa I think it’s time you stepped away from the keyboard to preserve your own sanity and get some perspective. Your message is being totally lost in those tedious, pointless “everyone-is-out-to-get-us” rants.

  • Tir Chonaill Gael

    “Now the electorate sees the same criminals from the Republican side smugly swanning about Stormont…”

    You do realise that it was the electorate that put them there, like? Almost 30% of those who voted, in fact.
    Just so you know, according to the most basic premises of democracy and proportional representation, the electorate do have a way to remedy their displeasure.

  • Comrade Stalin

    ayeYerMa,

    But none of that would have happened had the centre gone ahead. Let’s go through some concrete examples.

    The term “political prisoner” would not have been permitted because it is not acceptable to anyone outside of Sinn Féin. I certainly do not accept it and I think even some in the SDLP would have trouble with it.

    Sinn Féin would probably veto the term “terrorist” or “criminal”, so we’d end up coming with a standard way to refer to the people who were incarcerated there. Merely “prisoner” would probably be the compromise.

    Also, it is not necessarily the case that the story at the Maze would have been left to Sinn Féin to write. The rest of us could have insisted that the story of what those “prisoners” were doing in the run-up to their incareration would be an essential prerequisite to the story of what they did after they arrived in jail.

    As I pointed out before – who really believes that the DUP would have sat back and allowed Sinn Féin to have exclusive control over the Maze and the peace centre within it ? This is merely a lie, concocted and peddled by folks like yourself for whatever reason in order to, as you see it, block Sinn Féin’s agenda. Why are you lying ?

  • Comrade Stalin

    One more point ayeYerMa, although I already know it is a waste of time.

    Since 1998, in excess of 70% of those who have turned out in any given election have endorsed parties who are prepared to share power with Sinn Féin. This was true under Trimble and it was true in 2006/07 when the DUP took over. You lost this argument 15 years ago.

    By continuing with this “terrorists in government” thing you evoke the impression of someone who would rather fight the battles that are long gone and long since irretrievable, rather than taking an interest in fighting the battles that are still not resolved. The Maze is an example of one such unresolved battle that could have been brought to a conclusion that would have been acceptable to most people. Flags is another one; marches is yet another one. We’re probably going to have further battles in future over flags on lamposts, and over bonfires. If you keep running away from these rather than facing the challenges you are going to lose every single one of them.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Is anyone else having a problem posting?