Updated with Audio: Fracas in Fermanagh: Adams and the term “bas***ds”

So, Rodney Edwards decided to go along to a Sinn Fein public meeting tonight in Fermanagh where the Sinn Fein President, Gerry Adams TD was speaking. Social media was set ablaze tonight when he tweeted these comments from Adams

After the stir caused by Gregory Campbell over the weekend, it didn’t take long for the DUP to respond with their own condemnation tonight from the comments made. Speaking on behalf of the party Arlene Foster said

Respect is a two-way street. The hyperbole from republicans over recent days has been exposed as hypocrisy. Republicans use the Irish language as a weapon and tonight Gerry Adams confirms that they view equality as another weapon to attack unionists, or “these b******s” as he would term us.

Will Sinn Fein now unleash a tirade of outrage against their Party President or will they once again stand behind him as they have over his denial of IRA membership, his involvement in Jean McConville’s murder or the cover-up of sexual abuse.

On Saturday John O’Dowd told us that if any Sinn Fein member was disrespectful to someone’s culture they would be expelled by Martin McGuinness. Gerry Adams has been disrespectful to an entire community. We await details of the disciplinary hearing.

I understand that Adams made these comments during a Q&A section of the meeting (no idea what question was asked) but he has tweeted that his reference was not to all Unionists;

I doubt this will be enough to satisfy everyone, but there is a link to the audio of the remarks below, what do you think about his remarks?

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  • PeterBrown

    http://www.impartialreporter.com/news/roundup/articles/2014/11/25/407214-gerry-adams-in-enniskillen-the-full-transcript-/

    Funny that’s not what he actually said according to this full transcript but sure because he’s Gerry we’ll allow him to put the genie back in the bottle by clarifying what he meant and contradicting what he actually said in a tweet several hours later…Noel should have stuck to his guns because he was closer to the truth than O’Dowd who in fairness what relaying on what the Party President had told him

  • Morpheus

    So even though he names specific political unionists you think it’s acceptable to extrapolate that to ‘unionists in general’?

    Hardly

  • PeterBrown

    As above – let’s deal in facts not after the event tweets…

    Funny that’s not what he actually said according to this full transcript but sure because he’s Gerry we’ll allow him to put the genie back in the bottle by clarifying what he meant and contradicting what he actually said in a tweet several hours later…Noel should have stuck to his guns because he was closer to the truth than O’Dowd who in fairness what relaying on what the Party President had told him

    Funny that’s not what he actually said according to this full transcript but sure because he’s Gerry we’ll allow him to put the genie back in the bottle by clarifying what he meant and contradicting what he actually said in a tweet several hours later…Noel should have stuck to his guns because he was closer to the truth than O’Dowd who in fairness what relaying on what the Party President had told him

  • PeterBrown

    Or indeed questioned the parentage of their political opponents before requiring them to be broken – the only issue being how many of them were included in the remark and the transcripts now appears to show it was wider rather than narrower.

  • PeterBrown

    Repeating the same spin doesn’t make it true you know…as above

  • PeterBrown

    See the transcript reproduced above and see where he refers to these groups – (hint its nowhere – you’ll need to check his subsequent tweet for that reference)

  • Practically_Family

    Only for as long as the leader remained.

  • Gopher

    Parades is not an equality issue everyone is free to parade subject to the parades commission. As for the Bakery for good or ill it is now in the courts and language it’s more a practicality and expense issue. I’m wondering is Bernadette Smyth a “bastard”?

  • aor26

    Well Unionist politicians make sweeping insulting comments about large numbers of people pretty much constantly so you could hazard a good guess as to how I would react. Usually I roll my eyes in despair. Sometimes I get angry about it.

    Unionist politicians are constantly making tension raising insults. Tom Elliot and ‘sinn fein scum’. The D.U.P are constantly insulting huge swathes of people – homosexuals, Catholics, Muslims, immigrants, Irish language speakers, the Alliance party, the republic of Ireland.

    Should Adams’ have described the bigots in the D.U.P as bastards. No he should not have. Not because it isn’t true but because it fuels tension which is the last thing we need. He is not elected by people to engage in slanging matches and using curse words. He go it wrong last night and has not benefited himself or his party or any of us for that matter.

    So in the latest insulting public rant by a Unionist politician Gregory says he will treat the Irish language act as toilet paper. And shock horror Sinn Fein have responded with a vicious comment of their own – ”the strategy is to break these bastards with equality” said Adams.
    And here we go with the ever so predictable – ”’Adams is calling all Protestants bastards”’. No I do not think so- he is calling the D.U.P bastards. Most Protestants do not vote D.U.P. If he thinks of the D.U.P as bastards why must he therefore mean all Protestants?? The D.U.P does not represent all Protestants. The D.U.P have a significant mandate from a MINORITY of Protestants.

    So don’t tell me he is talking about all Protestants in general. If Adams calls bigots bastards why are self-styled moderate unionists phoning the Nolan Show saying they are so personally offended. He is not calling you a bastard so why would these people be so offended??

    unless they feel a certain empathy with the Catholic hating, gay hating, immigrant hating, liberal hating, equality hating, freedom of speech hating, muslim hating, alliance party hating, irish language hating, hate hate haters of bloody everything in the D.U.P

    I don’t have an issue with people criticising Adams for this because I have already done it myself in conversation with people this morning. But it is the exaggeration of the comments by certain people into meaning all Protestants. To those people I say do not be so dramatic – catch yourself on and if you don’t well…….yawn

  • Neil

    Rodney’s tweet:

    on “bigotry” in unionism: “The point is to break these bastards – break them with equality. That’s the republican strategy.
    It seems the point is explicitly directed at the bigots within Unionism. The fact that the notion we should use equality legislation to deal with bigots, legitimacy aside, has caused such a reaction reflects more on Unionism than on Gerry.
    And I do love to see a bit of swearing.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    that’s one way of looking at it 😉

  • Bryan Magee

    He seems now to have issued a full apology – which is appropriate in my opinon as his initial remarks were inappropriate.

    Good local reporting.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    No

  • MainlandUlsterman

    like I say, that bit wasn’t the shocker. The Trojan Horse comment is the one we’re going to be quoting in years to come. Looking forward to it.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    wow that’s a lot of ‘up votes’ … who said Slugger had become a nationalist echo chamber 😉
    Robin, what did you make of the idea of equality being a ‘Trojan Horse’? Generally a Trojan horse is a trick, using the appearance of something peaceful as a disguise to enable an attack on your enemy. Is that what SF’s apparent support for ‘equality’ is then?

  • Bryan Magee

    I was right in making this comment – he now has!

  • Bryan Magee

    It is quite interesting that people are asking Gerry Adams “what is the point”. So he comes up with “break the bastards” to motivate people.

    It – the “what’s the point” seems to be a mood that could correlate with the low turn out in NI elections lately?

    I think Gerry Adams is making an argument that he actually has been making for years – back to the GFA in 1998: back then when speaking to audiences sceptical of SF’s approach, he liked to make the “Trojan horse” claim that unionism wouldn’t survive the GFA because the GFA was about equality. In a sense he is reverting to a stock reply that he has reverted to time and again when challened about SF strategy; its just that previously he didn’t use the term “b@$t@rd$” (or wasn’t on tape).

  • Bryan Magee

    I think that Catholic run schools are still exempt from some equality legislation?

  • Only if you accept Trimble as bigoted homophobe etc. Think the naming underscores the broad brush of Adam’s comments.

    Guess denial it is.

  • Practically_Family

    It’s a qualified apology though. And pretty much par for the course.

    Gerry is as Gerry does.

  • PeterBrown

    Neil
    Read the full transcript rather than the tweets from Rodney and Gerry and see if it was qualified like that – personally I don’t see it….

  • Morpheus

    Using specifics is a broad brush? Catch a grip. You are extrapolating a fallacy to an entire community – for reasons best known to yourself

    As for Trimble then I have no idea what his views are on homosexuality but he ushered through the GFA so he’s capable of rational thought but he had his moments…

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/olmedia/825000/images/_827903_trim150.jpg

  • Mike the First

    The end result will hardly be equality if a party wants to use a false-flag operation (to mix the metaphor a bit) in the name of equality to attack the other side.

  • Joe_Hoggs

    Rodney has a habit of stoking the fire and stirring the pot, he can be a naughty boy.

  • Joe_Hoggs

    Was John Major not responding to a question that referrred to his Conservative colleagues as bastards?

  • Neil

    Does anyone have a transcript with context? I stand to be corrected, but I also don’t see it, however the one reference regarding context seems to be that tweet. If that’s what we have to go on, and assuming Rodney is not a shinnerbot, then I have assumed that the comments were referring to the bigot subset within Unionism. Perhaps if he’d widened his comments to include nutters from my side of the fence as well, that may have helped.

  • Neil

    Fallen foul of the moderator in my response. Somehow. Seems to happen to me all the time also. Basically I had said that the only contextual info is that tweet as far as I can see. Rodney seems to think his comments were regarding the subset of Unionism, and I’ve seen nothing to contradict that. He probably shouldn’t have specified the subset of Unionism and instead referred to the subset of the community as a whole, i.e. both sides of the fence.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    So once again: what’s your best guess on what Adams’ real feelings are towards Ulster Protestants?

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Yup it’s always qualified with him

  • MainlandUlsterman

    I like swearing too. Really it’s fine to criticise bigots on either side. It was the idea of using ‘equality’ as a Trojan horse that was so troubling. Suggests he has some kind of hidden agenda, does it not?

  • Neil

    It was unwise. However I also feel that if no one should have anything to fear from equality legislation, so if it’s a Trojan horse then surely the target would be those who would fall foul of equality legislation? But I’ll admit that, not for the first time, Gerry’s comments (re: Trojan horses) probably weren’t well enough considered prior to deployment.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    the thing about the Trojan Horse was, it wasn’t what it looked like – it was a gesture of peace that was actually a mode of attack. So was he not suggesting he was using equality as a tactic for attacking people? Even as a tactic for attacking bigots, the most positive interpretation of what he said, it’s still using an equality agenda to hide another intent. It’s deeply undermining to the credibility of the equality agenda, which is a disaster not so much for Adams but for the decent people working in that area. He’s set our cause back about 20 years. Thanks Gerry.

  • Neil

    I essentially agree. Not for the first time recently believe it or not. The main problem as you say is that it casts doubt on the bona fides of the equality agenda. It probably wouldn’t hurt for Gerry to avoid militaristic metaphors also.

  • Bryan Magee

    “If people were treated equally, what value would there be in the union?” Gerry Adams, UTV News tonight.

    I think this sentence is interesting as it shows Gerry Adams is out of touch in his understanding of why people favour the union.

  • Barneyt

    That doesn’t follow. If an event has been hi-jacked or distorted to cause offence, or assert dominance, then it is not a fit thing to do. I would also argue that nationalists might want to examine the level of offence they take from the event too. When you exercise a right that is perhaps not appropriate in terms of time and place, then that is some privilege you are exercising. No side, body or organisation should be able to stir another like this. I don’t decide what is or is not right for others to do but I have the right to an opinion.

  • Barneyt

    the trojan horse is to reach out to people with equality…or do you see this as, a strategy to just break unionism (via equality or not). What’s you interpretation?

  • chrisjones2

    Ah..the Bart Simpson defense …big boys made me do it

  • chrisjones2

    What about parts (not all) of the Feile?

  • Practically_Family

    Exactly the same point could be made in reverse regarding Irish reunification.

    I suppose it depends on the expansiveness of your equality.

  • chrisjones2

    If a protest has been hi-jacked or distorted to cause offence, or assert dominance, then it is not a fit thing to do.

    same coin.Two sides – equally nasty on both

  • chrisjones2

    So Nationalists automatically claim superior rights to speak Irish over those who object?

  • chrisjones2

    This all reminds me of Harold Wilsons ‘spongers’ remark.

  • mac tire

    So now it’s Nationalists and not just SF?
    Chris, you asked if SF using Irish in the Assembly is bigoted. I replied that speaking Irish, in Ireland, is not bigoted. How could it be?
    Your reply has gone off into “superior rights” which simply makes no sense. Nobody is claiming superior rights over anyone. Where do you get these ideas from?
    All I can take from your reply is that you believe Nationalists should stop speaking Irish (in fact, all they have been doing is using a few Irish words) in the Assembly because some have objected to it.

  • Guest

    What a nasty, prejudiced, contemptible troll this Adams provo creature has once against show itself to be!

  • mac tire

    Well, it has certainly got people talking, communicating and exchanging points of view. It has even made you turn up with your usual thought-provoking nasty, prejudiced insight.
    5 Days ago Mr Vance wrote: “Slavs, almost as detestable as oirish catholics, asians and negroes.” and “Any young white female seen with a black man should be tied to a lamppost to be tarred and feathered!”
    Check out the rest to see how shallow his post here is.
    Here David, found that Lost Tribe yet?

  • Tacapall

    What nationality are you Chris ?

  • Guest

    In case some thing I’m being unfair to Mr Vance – here are some of his views. You should read them, most are hilarious.

  • Practically_Family

    Here’s be me, wha?

  • Practically_Family

    It works.

  • Practically_Family

    He could care less.

    What are his opponents going to do… Oppose equality agendas on the basis that they favour SF & the broader Republican agenda politically?

    I don’t think that dog will hunt.

  • eireanne

    @Kalista 63 who wrote “If NI was a person it would be sent to a self harming group.”

    Allow me to introduce Miss GFA Northern ireland!
    Pity it has to be on the day she fails her driving test!

    https://eurofree3.wordpress.com/2013/08/02/miss-gfa-northern-ireland-fails-driving-test/

  • Zeno3

    Talkback about an hour ago with William Crawley and he (Gerry) was probably sorry he agreed to the interview. Crawley is head and shoulders above every interviewer on this island.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04ndjkq

    From about 3 minutes in. You got that right Alan

  • aor26

    Well as I said above I do not think he hates all Protestants.

    Well I’ll give it a go

    I’ll give it my best guess and I imagine he does not see Ulster Protestants as a mere homogenous entity. Presumably he recognises that they are made up of different shades of opinion on all aspects of life. He will be aware that a large swathe of Protestants do not vote and he will be aware that few Protestants vote for his party. I imagine he is disappointed by this but struggles to find ways to change it given Sinn Fein’s emergence from the provisional IRA

    He probably recognised too late in life that the IRA campaign of shooting and bombing U.D.R and R.U.C officers was perceived as an attack on all Protestants by most Unionists. As a republican Adams will be disappointed at the almost ‘sanctification’ of Edward Carson by huge swathes of Protestants while by contrast the lives and times of the much more impressive Irish Protestants like Wolfe Tone & Henry Joy McCracken or Charles Stewart Parnell are largely omitted from the classic unionist narrative of history.

    I have never got the feeling that hostility from Adams directed toward Unionists has any theological basis. According to Roy Garland he once gave an address to Presbyterian clergy and laity where he contrasted the democratic and transparent nature of church organisation with the hierarchical, rigid, ultra conservative organisation and ethos of the Catholic Church.

    He is hostile to large sections of the Protestant population (D.U.P TUV UDA etc) He will view them as political foes and probably finds it impossible to reach common ground with them on anything (hence ”bastards”)
    Like most republicans he dislikes Gregory Campbell, edwin Poots and Nelson McCausland. Not because they are Protestants/ Not because they are Unionists. Because they are bitter and close-minded. They are a major obstacle to progress in our society and he will view them as using fear to garner votes from the Protestant population.

    Like many republicans down through the centuries he will likely view a Northern Unionist population that has often been treated like ‘a pawn on a chess board’ by perfidious albion. He is likely unhappy that so many Protestants view their relationship with the U.K in more positive terms. He may think they are kidding themselves and they would actually be better in an All-Ireland system of government where they would be a large percentage of the population.

    I do not believe his raison d’etre in life is to make live for northern protestants as miserable as possible and he does not see things as a zero-sum game between the Catholics and the Protestants. He thinks the D.U.P view the world via this prism.

    I guess that he would be happier if more Protestants would vote for the Alliance party or the U.U.P or the S.D.L.P or even the P.U.P or Green Party because he would find it easier to work constructively with these parties.

    That’s a guess at how he feels about Ulster Protestants

    how does Peter Robinson feel about irish Catholics ?

  • aor26

    Yes Major called several cabinet colleagues bastards and years later when asked about he said, i’m paraphrasing here but something like, ‘i’m sorry I used language like that but they really were bastards”. 🙂

  • Superfluous

    Fair enough – but then Arlene is saying that being disrespectful to the DUP is being disrespectful to the entire community.

    Either way this is a form of surreptitious conscription, designed to suggest that “we” are all agreed on “our” interests and identity and an insult to one of “us” is an insult to all of “us”. The natural defense to this accusation will be a shot at Sinn Fein no doubt, as if I’m with “them”.

    What a silly little place we come from.

  • Thomas Girvan

    A day is along time in politics. (That is deflation for you.)
    The big story changes from day to day..
    Gregory Campbell’s hilarious joke about Yoghurt, (so good he told it twice), was trumped by Gerry’s shot in the foot, only to be trumped by the expose that the Shinners have been defrauding us on an industrial scale.
    I look forward to seeing the shots of them slammed up behind bars, a la the Mafia round ups in Sicily a few of years ago. Some hope!
    Unfortunately, due to public funding shortages, the PSNI, will not have the resources to pursue prosecutions.
    I look forward to the Nolan show in the morning.
    Poor old John O’Dowd, has to be trotted out to make a silk purse out of it.
    Don’t worry John, the normal standards of politics don’t apply here!

  • sk

    “SF is in favour of equality except in public appointments where its ministers rig them against anyone who is politically opposed to them”

    Eh…

    I take it you’re not familiar with the famous discrepancy between the number of Prod mayors appointed to nationalist councils versus the number of taig ones appointed to unionist councils then?

    Or the whole Assembly Speaker debacle where DUP openly admitted to going back on a deal to nominate a shinner?

    Or the refusal to allow the SDLP to hold the justice ministry (even though they were entitled to it) on account of them being, in the eyes of Reg Empey, unloyal to the state and therefore untrustworthy?

    Or the previous 70 year policy of “Protestant employ Protestant” that found favour both inside and outside of Stormont?

    Glasses houses, a chara. Go away off and educate yourself.