Revealing interview with Gerry Adams on Stormont talks (includes that ‘complete tube’ comment)…

This is well worth paying attention to. It’s Gerry Adams getting a grilling from an exceptionally well informed Cormac O’hEadhra of RTE on Northern Irish matters (here), the Stormont collapse and the lack of a senior voice for Irish nationalism in Stormont.

  • misrepresents the RHI losses from, at the very worst, a projected £500m over 20 years to £5billion (!!!!) “down the drain”. Given RHI is cited as the reason for SF collapsing the Executive, shouldn’t the President know the basic details?
  • says SF “haven’t left talks” – er, but did Gerry say on Sunday that the talks “run their course”?
  • seemingly confirms there’s been a talks agreement on a Brexit position?
  • appears to reveal that DUP Sunday no show was due to SF not having any new proposals.
  • calls Owen Paterson a complete tube [Respect agenda? – Ed].

 

,

  • So Nigel Dodds standing up supporting PM in her future talks with EU (pretty unequivocally) is based on the agreed position? Good news.

  • Korhomme

    Gerry said that the DUP and the UUP were both for Brexit (at 5.00). But surely, the UUP was for Remain? Yes, he said the cost of RHI might be £5billion. I understood that £500 million was the worst case for the overspend (over 20 years) beyond what had been agreed with the Treasury; that is, £500m must come out of the NI budget, money that would have been otherwise spent on other matters.

    Gerry might well be correct in his description of Owen Patterson as a ‘complete tube’, but that is what you expect to hear in the pub, not on the radio. And it’s a rather archaic term nowadays, isn’t it?

    I thought that his accent was much more markedly Belfast than I was used to hearing; perhaps it’s me, perhaps it’s the nature of a sound recording where many of the tones are clipped.

    But together with significant factual errors, it just makes me wonder…

  • andrewjohn

    No mention of millions or billions in that sound cloud although he is likely to have got that confused as he quite often stumbles when it comes to figures.

    Martin McGuinness – God rest his soul – gave a pretty comprehensive statement as to why the DUP failed to keep the institutions alive and RHI was a big part of that but not all of that. Confused people should look back and read what he said.

    Gerry said the talks had run their course in terms of the Monday deadline but also made clear that the party were up for further talks.

    He clearly states in the interview that both the DUP and UUP supported Brexit therefore “so your not going to get unity on it”.

    What he reveals is that the DUP did not show up on Sunday because they were either praying, or at family engagements, or were not interested in discussing Sinn Fein proposals unless they were new proposals, or all three. In any event it was the DUP who brought the talks to an end by not turning up.

    And he confirms that MoN is leading talks currently (I hope he wrote instructions down clearly).

    Owen patterson has tortured the Ballymurphy families. Only calling him a tube (empty vessel for those who are slow) is kind.

    So five accusations there and not one of them even accurate. Good Job.

  • mickfealty

    Yes, he’s made unionist Remainers disappear at a stroke and yet still calculates his sort of Remainers are in a majority.

  • Jimmyz

    Gerry and his fake news.

  • mickfealty

    Is Tube, like Balloon, just a Belfast thing? I remember trying to explain to a journalist friend what YouTube was, and for a moment he genuinely thought I was taking the Michael.

    Oh, he did say it. Can you imagine what sort of mess RHI might have been if Gerry had been in charge though?

  • andrewjohn

    Its often a helpful consolation prize to oneself to imagine how bad things could be if your opponent was in charge, instead of facing up to what actually happened.

  • andrewjohn

    ‘His Sort’ beat the leavers hands down in the recent election. Maybe that’s what he really means.

  • Gopher

    Am I missing something here? I would find it absolutely incredulous that any unionist party or any party with sense for that matter would collaborate on anything involving Gerry outside of government with regards Brexit.Can a unionist politicain respond on Gerrys assertion that the joint document is still “live”

  • Gopher

    The man is showing all the classic symptoms of mania

  • andrewjohn

    What has the daughter of the Innu Chief Mishte-nape got to do with anything?

  • Aengus Millen

    Come on it’s not necessarily Sinn Fein’s job to have new ideas if the DUP’s intransigence is the problem. Also they have explained that when they said they have left the talks they meant that they had given up on reaching an agreement by the deadline which was Monday not that they were unwilling to continue in talks at all.

  • Jollyraj

    One wonders what will happen if Gerry does start ‘to lose his concentration’ (as happens to many of us eventually, sadly). Can’t see him being modest enough to step down, or any of the current crop of yes-men staging a coup….

  • Charlie Farlie

    “misrepresents the RHI losses from, at the very worst, a projected £500m over 20 years to £5billion (!!!!) “down the drain”. Given RHI is cited as the reason for SF collapsing the Executive, shouldn’t the President know the basic details?”

    Found this difficult to pick up from that but wouldn’t be the first time Gerry has had a mishap with figures, just as well his other assertions seem grand.

    says SF “haven’t left talks” – er, but did Gerry say on Sunday that the talks “run their course”?

    I’m assuming they had run their course on Sunday, but seeing its Wednesday and the onus was on the DUP to move – maybe they’ve moved! He did say ‘personal’ and ‘between party leaders’. In the age of technology they don’t need to be touching shoulders to achieve some progress.

    seemingly confirms there’s been a talks agreement on a Brexit position?

    I understood it to mean agreement that some recognition to be made but DUP still stuck over insistence of special status. For them to admit that, would be to admit they may have got it wrong on calling for Brexit and well, we all know how their electorate reacts to any sign of capitulation.

    appears to reveal that DUP Sunday no show was due to SF not having any new proposals.

    Because the only proposal is to implement what has already been agreed! Hardly rocket science now. And also, terrible bad faith on behalf of the DUP to renege on their word, not the best sign of a human, never mind a party.

    calls Owen Paterson a complete tube [Respect agenda? – Ed].
    I think when SF talk about respect they speak of it between Unionists and Nationalists. As far as the Tory Government is concerned, they couldn’t give one damn about what happens in this backwater beyond when they needed an extra vote or two. How does Theresa May show us respect when she stands at the dispatch saying she knows we signed the good Friday agreement principle of consent, but that her party wishes to keep the Union together so it doesn’t really matter what the electorate here think about the constitutional position? You would nearly think we elected her or something, how dare she! He is right about Owen Patterson though, flowery language will not disguise his vacuity.

  • mickfealty

    Gerry played very little part in the Remain campaign. UNionist Remainers were critical in FST, East Londonderry, North Down and other parts of east Ulster.

    In fact we can measure how little Gerry added to the Remain vote when we look at the addition of 17 percentage points on turnout in West Belfast between last June’s referendum and the latest election.

    All talk and no walk is our Gerry.

  • Stefan Gillies

    President Zuma school of counting?

  • Gingray

    Great summary andrewjohn

  • GS

    All talk and no walk is our Gerry.

    Is this not ‘playing the man’?

  • Korhomme

    Are you saying that all politics is local, and that TV, social media etc which are borderless don’t have much effect?

  • Jag

    What on earth is a “tube” in the context used by Gezza?

    I did a search on the Internet, and the usually reliable Urban Dictionary and these are the following definitions in order

    1. Television
    2. Noun: A derisive and/or derogatory term for a Woman’s vagina.
    3. Idiot, innocent fool — particularly a teenager.
    4. london underground/metro/subway
    5. What the internet is made up of.
    6. Medical shorthand. Totally Unnecessary Breast Examination.

    Did Gezza just call Owen a c**t (or woman’s vagina)?

  • Granni Trixie

    What would it take for Gerry and sf to be solution focused? That’s what will differentiate SF from say FF in their attitude to challenges of Brexit.

  • Jag

    Never heard the term before in Belfast, what does it mean? Definitions at Urban Slang

    1. Television
    2. Noun: A derisive and/or derogatory term for a Woman’s vagina.
    3. Idiot, innocent fool — particularly a teenager.
    4. london underground/metro/subway
    5. What the internet is made up of.
    6. Medical shorthand. Totally Unnecessary Breast Examination.

    You’d expect it would be 3, but Owen is not a teenager.

  • Granni Trixie

    To many it is SF/Gerry who tend to be intransigent. As I said above we need all parties to be solution focused. The two parties can chose to go forward on what unites or on what divides. Presently ones as bad as the other.

  • Granni Trixie

    Yet Gerry supporters on this site insist SF is a “progressive” Party (not a cult?).

  • Len Brennan

    Utterly delusional, Mick.

    I think Adams is probably a psychopath, but he didn’t put a foot wrong in what was a thorough interview by O’hEadhra (other than his ECHR / ECJ balls up).

  • Barneyt

    It’s not isolated to Belfast. Common Northern Ireland parlance I thought. Used in Newry for certain and hinterland. It sits somewhere between idiot and gobshite … but is not as cute as eejit. I heard it and thought pure Northern Ireland

  • Len Brennan

    You’re conflating the unionist parties (and their leadership) with the unionist people. Strange thing to do.

  • Barneyt

    That surprises me. Maybe the word is generational and has faded. It fits with 3 and the context or prefix determines how offensively it is intended

  • Ciaran O’Neill

    With the absolute greatest of respects here, to a lot of people the cult are those who have nothing but an unhealthy obsession with the man and Sinn Fein

  • Barneyt

    Might have been a bit of opportunism from republicans. It’s also a catch 22. The left ( which SF purport to be) should exit the EU, as free market economy, pfi, etc and the general centralist policies they encourage/enforce should not sit well. There are also matters of self determination in general and Irish terms. If SF voted to brexit, it represents an alignment with the union to some degree. They therefore abstain ( even though public face of SF says remain). Do they participate in a British referendum? Well that’s more acceptance of the regime perhaps. However there was always going to an Irish dividend from a brexit as it strengthens the argument for all Ireland cooperation, particularly in farming, infrastructure, services. So had republicans mobilised properly NI could have delivered a firm brexit had they gone with their political ( left agenda) principle. It was easier to abstain than sell their soul but it was a massive risk, and it paid off. I feel like I’m rambling here but I’m suggesting republicans were wildly conflicted in many ways.

  • Barneyt

    I’m shocked we are asking what “tube” means 🙂

  • Ciaran O’Neill

    Could the last line not be applied to yourself Mick, as far as politics is concerned surely?

  • Ciaran O’Neill

    It’s still used daily in Belfast Barney, don’t worry!

  • Neil

    Oh, he did say it. Can you imagine what sort of mess RHI might have been if Gerry had been in charge though?

    You mean would he have navigated to the cost control section after copying and pasting the regs from the existing British regulations, highlighted those cost controls and pressed delete? You know, I have a feeling he wouldn’t have Mick.

  • GS

    Fair enough if that is the case.

    It doesn’t seem to be balanced coverage of Gerry Adams anywhere though. Very rare anything positive is ever written about him. The sheer length of his career means he can’t be as bad a politicians as is portrayed by the media and political observers…

  • andrewjohn

    There was a fair amount of tactical non voting in for sure. Anecdotally i know of one person who encouraged his relatives in the north to abstain while at the same time advised his English relatives to vote leave. Result delivered as far as he is concerned 🙂

  • Karl

    3 from my understanding

  • SeaanUiNeill

    I remember it as very much a Belfast term from the 1970s, and it was certainly not limited to teenagers. The second definition was always implied.

  • SleepyD

    Not to “play the man” but Gerry is right. Owen Patterson was, is and will remain a “complete tube”.

  • Ciarán

    “Can you imagine what sort of mess RHI might have been if Gerry had been in charge though?”
    Mick, what insight are we to take from this other than your complete inability to pass fair comment on Gerry Adams? How do you think you are progressing insight and discussion into Adams by constant man playing and lazily regurgitating the lines of his opponents? It’s certainly not to achieve any form of balance, Slugger writers and the media in general are for the most part unfavourable, so anti-Adams balance is hardly needed. Sadly for you, at this point, you have zero credibility on anything to do with Adams.

  • GS

    I will say his legacy will depend on when he exits and what he does upon exiting though…

    As a nationalist form the Republic Gerry Adams was always a much bigger figure than Martin McGuinness. However the tragic circumstances of Marin McGuinness demise whilst basically still at the height of his power and capabilities has elevated him quite a lot in stature.

    If Gerry stays along for another 5/6 years before being ‘heaved” eventually then he may be seen similarly to Arafat who was quite isolated and almost perceived as ‘obsolete’ towards the end.

    However the flipside is if he can oversee a border poll that is successful enough to bring a United Ireland closer (or even win which i dont think is realistic in next 10 years) he will then be seen in the future as a heroic, legendary figure.

  • Ray Lawlor

    “Is Tube, like Balloon, just a Belfast thing?”

    Yes I think so… I remember, in my days as a below-par under-18’s goalkeeper my best friend and central defender called me a “tube” for letting the ball go through my legs.

    It basically means “you’ve made an eejit of yourself”.

  • Anon Anon

    When was Gerry not in charge of SF? Did he step down temporarily as SF President?

    You don’t think MMG and Gerry, you know, talked strategy and stuff?

    Gerry Adams ability to generate complete mania in commentators and opponents must remain his biggest strength.

  • Anon Anon

    Did he say both were or Brexit, or both are for Brexit. The latter is true afaik, the UUP being unwilling to support any special status for NI.

  • Old Mortality

    ‘Only calling him a tube (empty vessel for those who are slow) is kind.’
    I would interpret that as implying intellectual deficiency. A bit rich considering that Adams is not generally admired for his intelligence.

  • Anon Anon

    A cult of what?

    Have you come up with any right wing policies for SF yet?

  • Anon Anon

    There is a solution. Parties that signed up to already negotiated solutions can implement them.

    If you negotiate with them, you are just encouraging more bad faith.

  • Old Mortality

    Making up figures is pretty much normal for SF. Last week on the Today programme Jerry Kelly asserted to John Humphrys that the population of Derry was 95% Catholic when Martin McGuinness was growing up. It isn’t, even now and it certainly wasn’t then. Unfortunately, Humphrys didn’t have the knowledge or inclination to challenge it.

  • hollandia

    It’s northern thing more than a Belfast thing. As is “balloon”, as used recently by Naomi Long. A tenner on Arlene to call someone a “Buck Eejit” before the week is out.

  • Kevin Breslin

    I recall Spotlight last week when Owen Paterson’s single transferable speech about the Common Travel Area, when the real issue that the people across the northern part of the island Ireland want is the clarity over the implementation of customs and freight transport between neighbouring village they don’t recognize as crossing an international border.

    To compare the Irish border to Afghanistan and Turkey is exactly why the likes of Owen Paterson are doing Gerry Adams work for him.

    Maybe Irish nationalism doesn’t have a John Hume or a Martin McGuinness any more, maybe the likes of Colum Eastwood and Michelle O’Neill haven’t yet established their own leadership qualities as thirty year veterans. It hasn’t exactly put either party at a disadvantage.

    However the Collapse of Stormont comes from a sheer civic disgust at corruption by the Democratic Unionist Party which they have to rebuild.

    And in terms of the leadership of Irish nationalism, the “nationalist outreach” or indeed “Northern Ireland outreach” by Owen Paterson and co pretty much does Irish nationalist politicians job of winning hearts of minds for them.

    To be quite honest it’s a much easier job for Westminster Unionists to lose an Irish Unity referendum through their insensitivity and detachment to the real concerns of voters (RHI), than for Irish nationalists to win it through their ambition.

    The respect agenda is not about politicians respecting one another, it should be about respecting the voters and the constituents.The DUP’s Party comes First mentality is a bigger obstacle than any barrier that Sinn Féin is really mentioning in public. The DUP are largely, but not completely inept at reversing the tables here.

    Also Mick, stop playing the man.

  • Ben De Hellenbacque

    Come on Granni. There is only ONE problem that the SF universe is aware of and that is the partition of the island of Ireland. Removing partition is the only solution to um … EVERYTHING! If it happens I’m intrigued by Gerry’s subsequent corporeality: at the disappearance of the border I can only picture him physically dematerialising before our very eyes.

  • Ben De Hellenbacque

    To your first question: yes. “(He) can’t be as bad a politicians (sic) as is portrayed by the media and political observers.” Yes he can, but it’s all to do with perception: some people love a “bad boy” and others don’t. At the very least he is controversial and it is indeed naïve or disingenuous to suggest otherwise.

    “Why Middle Englander?” Aside from the intentional irony, middle englanders acquiesce to perceived tribal conformity even in moments of apparent dissent. The same phenomenon is found in other parts of the planet’s surface of course.

  • Korhomme

    I listened again; I understood he said both ‘the DUP and the UUP are for Brexit’. I did check up on the UUP before I posted above; their position was clearly Remain. Of course, this might be the ‘expressed’ position, while secretly their ‘espoused’ position was Leave.

  • Korhomme

    While Humphrys is usually a trenchant interviewer, I suspect he just doesn’t really know all that much about NI

  • GS

    OK if you mean morally bad versus political success then fair enough.

    On the second point I had just written an equally feasible scenario where is viewed with a mix of contempt and pity with no power…

  • mickfealty

    You should have got in earlier and sorted out an accumulator on it. I’d take odds on it being Gregory next?

  • mickfealty

    Sorry, but he is calling out for some kind of direct comment. SF have been pretty dishonest on this whole RHI stuff from the get go. But picking a figure which is probably already way over what the likely long term (20 year) cost and then times it by ten? I mean, didn’t he start excoriating the Garda Commissioner for them doing something similar?

    Gerry has kept a careful distance from ministerial roles, and giving his looseness on detail that’s probably been for good reason.

  • mickfealty

    We both know Gerry would not be caught anywhere near a ministerial brief.

  • mickfealty

    No. It’s a comment on his serial inability to deliver.

  • Jollyraj

    “he didn’t put a foot wrong”

    5 billion?

  • Ciarán

    “SF have been pretty dishonest on this whole RHI stuff from the get go.”
    That might be a fair point if you would judge everyone by the same measure but you don’t. Clearly SF said contradictory things, they had too, they fought as long as possible to keep the show on the road and were trying to coverup for their partners in government while managing their support. You can call that dishonest but if the DUP had done this, you’d probably be calling it shrewd politicking. As far as mixing up 500 million and 5 billion… well clearly a mistake unless you’re suggesting that he was deliberately trying to mislead listereners? If not, you’re scraping the barrel writing a post about a politician making a fairly insignificant slip of the tongue.

  • Katyusha

    Have to say I liked Daithi McKay and Malachi O’Doherty on Nolan. As Daithi put it “I have complete sympathy with someone describing any secretary of state as a tube, including the present incumbent”.

    The poor judgement with this type of playground language, as with Ms Anderson’s comments, is that it distractions from the point Gerry was making about Patterson’s behaviour towards the bereaved of the Ballymurphy massacre. Our media loves gossip, just like the playground. Meanwhile, I believe we had some high-level political negotiations, around both the assembly and Brexit, to be getting on with.

  • Fear Éireannach

    When the border is dissolved, Gerry will ascend to the Astral plane, his work done.

  • Fear Éireannach

    The UU voted for Brexit in Westminster, including voting against the amendment to respect the GFA. They are now “for” Brexit, even though they campaigned against it as threat to peace and prosperity in NI. They are gross hypocrites, quite apart from anything else..

  • Fear Éireannach

    The Protestants live in Londonderry.

  • Fear Éireannach

    He referred to Unionist remainers, not necessarily unionist ones who vote Alliance, Green etc. This is the majority.

  • mickfealty

    He also said the UUP was pro Brexit. *PUFF*

  • Barneyt

    Phew. I’d hate to be tubeless 🙂

  • Barneyt

    Uup were indeed remainers but are now full tilt behind the uk gov. Perhaps it was the sea change that has them branded brexiteers. I don’t think the SDLP, Alliance etc have changed to this degree? It’s a bit weak in my view to support brexit even to show loyalty to their big sister. Then again the uup have shown themselves to hitch a ride here and there unlike the more consistent ( good or bad) DUP and sf

  • Anon Anon

    They *were* for Remain? What’s their position *now*?

    SF are trying to orchestrate a, let’s be brutally honest, ultimately completely futile campaign against Brexit right now. Or at least special status.

    As far as I know, the UUP wouldn’t support that. So it’s accurate in that context.

    Brexit is now a process not a referendum.

  • Barneyt

    Not so sure. I believe he still has iconic status within his branch of republicanism. He, for them, represents the struggle and revolution. He has the ability to intimidate in the dail when real issues of the day are on the agenda. In terms of political ability he is cute enough but in my view not of the calibre of McDonald and others. If they gain more support in the ROI and do form part of a coalition I can see him proposing Mary Lou for taniste. That will move him even closer to statesmanship with Sf and he’ll operate behind the scenes I feel and as a TD. He’ll then pitch for president when it’s nailed on with the Northern vote. If he does a paisley and upsets the faithful ( paisley got rough ride) he’ll be moved on but I can’t see that

  • Katyusha

    If they gain more support in the ROI and do form part of a coalition I can see him proposing Mary Lou for taniste.

    That’s an absolutely superb idea.

  • mickfealty

    About 50% of Leavers in GB have defaulted to reluctant accepters. And that includes the UK Labour party. See Carwin in the video round up.

  • mickfealty

    That last is just a class of this: https://goo.gl/NHCUKR.

  • john millar

    Not so many now and hardly any on City side

  • Mister_Joe

    The definition of an “empty vessel” referring to someone’s brain was the common meaning in the North West

  • Fear Éireannach

    As I said above the UU voted for Brexit in Westminster, including vote against an amendment to protect the GFA. They are not only in favour of Brexit, but have abandoned the GFA.

  • Ciarán

    you might wish it was but it isn’t. A more constructive way to take it would be for you to see this as a call to up your game – stop playing the man and work past your clear bias.

  • mickfealty

    There’s nothing highlighted in your post as being unfair comment. In my (long) experience when someone cannot bring themselves to highlight an actual problem the argument fails as ad hominem.

    So throw me a bone here Ciaran???

  • andrewjohn

    I think if you can ask yourself a question in private and give yourself an honest answer that does not necessarily have to be publicly shared it can give you a good indication of how helpful you are in a general debate. So, honestly and privately ask yourself this question; do you ever deliberately misrepresent Adams in order to frame an attack on him? If you can honestly say you have never done that, then fair enough. But in the privacy of your own thoughts, if you know you have deliberately misquoted, misrepresented and misled your readers regarding Adams; then you also must know you are damaging the very fabric of the society you wish to maintain and protect. So I will leave that with you.

  • mickfealty

    Andrew,

    But the point of these comments is so that readers can call the writer (whomsoever they may be) to account in public.

  • andrewjohn

    I would have thought the point of all and any comments would be to truthfully reflect one’s personal view and so if called on, then confidently publicly comment.

  • mickfealty

    If you are not going to cite content, then that’s pure ad hominem. Ad hominem doesn’t mean offensive, it means that you are focusing on the person rather than what they are saying.

    Most misunderstandings in the world could be avoided if people would simply take the time to ask, “What else could this mean?”
    ― Shannon L. Alder

  • johnny lately

    We’ll soon see if Gerry Adams avoids a ministerial post when Sinn Fein are coalition partners in the next Irish government Mick, seeing as we’re speculating rather than commenting on past experience.

  • Neil

    Can you imagine what sort of mess RHI might have been if Gerry had been in charge though?

    If Gerry had been in charge of RHI it would have been an exact copy of the Brit version and the problem wouldn’t have arisen. So I can imagine and it would have been no kind of mess. I can see where you’re getting this though, he misspoke with his figures. I wonder if he’s had his party leaning on the electoral commission to withhold embarrassing information from the public in the teeth of an election would you have felt that more or less comment worthy than him misspeaking a word?

  • mickfealty

    You’d assuming the Minister knew anything about this before it fecked up. There’s no evidence she did. That’s not to excuse her btw, but Hamilton is the only DUP Minister who’s shown any capacity to show leadership and grasp detail. Gerry don’t do detail.

  • mickfealty

    Let’s bookmark this conversation?

  • mickfealty

    The golden rule here (https://goo.gl/ozEVND) is to ensure engagement between commenters, and to discourage political mind-reading or ventriloquism.

    The tendency elsewhere (and here when people are doing their own thing) is the sort of Chekov dialogue where everyone speaks monologues taking little account of what anyone else says.

    On the whole its what makes the comments here worth reading.

  • andrewjohn

    This morning on newstalk. Mairead Farrell when talking about Brexit said, there was only ‘ two weeks’ to negotiate everything. Is she misinformed or just mis-spoke?

  • Jollyraj

    “No mention of millions or billions in that sound cloud”

    Uhm….have you listened to it??