Thursday, July 13, 2006

Loyalism seeing the light?

Loyalism, that 'no surrender' brand of working-class unionism so courted by the DUP, has met the Éire taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, to see if he and Tony Blur really mean to impose joint sovereignty on Northern Ireland if the DUP don't pick their toys off the floor and enter a power-sharing Stormont government.
 
Apparently Ahern assured them there was no fallback plan to impose anything other than the terms of the Good Friday Agreement already set in stone.
 
Interestingly, Ian Paisley repeated, as recently as Wednesday, that he would never share power with Sinn Féin - a brave statement from someone heading a party with the word 'democratic' in its name - so November looks like being an interesting month for politicos and bloggers alike.
 
Even more interesting is the response to Paisley's utterances by David Nicholl, leader of the Loyalist delegation to Leinster House: "It is the same rhetoric we have heard as loyalists for the past 35 years ... What we would say in relation to that is: we've marched up the hill many's a time, and we've been let down many's a time ... But loyalism is not going to fill the grave or fill prisons for the next 35 years on anyone's behalf ... If there is blood to be spilled then let Dr Paisley spill his own blood, because it will not be our bodies he is climbing over."
 
Even two years ago I'd have fallen off my chair backwards if I'd heard this. But then a lot's happened since then. If I were Ian Paisley I'd ask myself some serious questions about what was threatening to happen to my biggest support base. I hope Paisley isn't too old to learn, perhaps for the first time, that a politician's role is to listen to the people, not to indoctrinate them with outdated diatribe.

11 Comments:

At 7:37 p.m., Anonymous Aileen said...

It's a pity "loyalism" hadn't refrained from filling graves full stop. I see they are still blaming everyone else for their actions. We all heard the rhetoric but we didn't all go out murdering.

The DUP has a mandate not to go into givernment with unreconstructed terrorists, (who still fail to condemn the murder of Jean Mc Conville. The biggest crime was her murder not the failure to return the body. The latter has exacerbated the damage but is not the prime evil). I for one hope that they stay true to that mandate.

Compulsory coalitions are fundamentally undemocratic. If every bugger is in power how do you vote them out?. A decision to forma colaition in a democracy and the result of that is something that the parties concerned need to be accountable to the electorate for.

BTW welcome back BU.

OT I had lunch today with Joan Wilson (Marie's mum) in the Manor House. She was reminiscing about her father who joined up for WWI when he was 15 and lost a leg. I don't know if you went to the Act of Remebrance at the Enniskillen War memorial, but I remeber his as a child, as part of the first load of veterans (the WWI lot wet first). He could nearly fly in those crutches .

 
At 8:26 p.m., Blogger B.U. said...

Hello Aileen, wouldn't disagree. The point about Jean McConville is quite right of course. I don't remember Joan's father, although I knew Gordon and Gordon Senior quite well. (Funny enough I was in the Manor myself last week ;-)

 
At 11:11 p.m., Anonymous Aileen said...

BU

Gordon and Gordon senior? Is that Joan's father in law?

Joan's son Peter, who was killed in the car crash was a lovely guy. He was a close friend of one of my brothers. His widow was at the reunion in May.

Re the Manor House, the surroundings are beautiful. tere is just nothing to beat Lough Erne.

 
At 11:38 a.m., Blogger B.U. said...

father in law? Yes. And the Lough's a big passion of mine too. Cheers.

 
At 6:10 p.m., Anonymous mike said...

Paisley has never wanted to learn anything from anyone. In his self-appointed role as the "protestant messiah", he has always believed that the protestant people were his to control, and he knew how to do it. He has used mysticism and fascistic fear-mongering to scare these people into giving him power and control over them. He has used the protestant community terribly down through the decades in so many ways. There must be many, many ordinary working-class protestants who joined up with the paramilitaries after listening to Paisleys violent rhetoric all those years ago, who feel a bit cheated upon hearing the same old words being re-heated, with a little bit of spin, in recent times. When the protestants get the "doc" off their backs, as well as the rest of the unionist elite, then they will be on their way to being truly free.

 
At 8:48 a.m., Anonymous Aileen said...

My heart bleeds for the poor wee murdering b*******s who feel cheated.

Paisley is now leader of the largest party as many voteres who would never have beleived that they would ever vote DUP feel that he is the only one who will take a stand against SF/IRA. He has not created that "fear" of SF/IRA. SF/IRA did it by murdering people and others added to it by appeasing them. In this case Paisley is not so much leading the people. He is being led by them. If the UUP had kept to its promises. It would still be the biggest party.

 
At 4:55 a.m., Anonymous Bill said...

When I lived in Belfast both on my leaves from Germany and after release from the army ( 1959-1963 ), protestants and catholics were actually getting along quite well most of the time with only a few lunatic fringers ( on both sides ) giving any trouble. The IRA at that time was virtually defunct. Along came the good reverend to tell people horrendous things about the mistreatment of protetants in Europe, things which didn't exist and no-one in their right mind would have believed, and generally rabble roused the naive and gullible in order to win a seat at Westminster. He got it. From that point on everything started to come apart. Regardless of whether you are catholic, protestant, muslim, jew, red, black or green, in my estimation, that man and his ilk are very bad news. From the Ulster Scot point of view, instead of working to maintain what is left of our heritage, he is responsible for letting it all slide down the drain to satisfy his own egalomania.

 
At 5:14 a.m., Anonymous Bill said...

oops. Megalomania.

 
At 5:42 p.m., Anonymous mike said...

Nice to see how you view the many working-class protestants who sacrificed so much all those years ago. Those sacrifices were of course called for by their unionist masters who have always known how to use fear to manipulate their electorate. The UUP used this tactic for decades before this conflict began but really brought it into full play at that pivotal time. Of course, it was only the ordinary working men and women who would suffer for generations to come because of the empty rallying cries of the parasitical unionist elite. Now the DUP have used that fear to destroy their unionist brothers when the UUP finally tried to go another way with the GFA. Now the DUP will keep using that fear and uncertainty to hold onto power at the cost of all of our futures. Even now, when SF have become the second largest party in Ulster, Paisley still uses the same old cliches of "traitors" and "treachery" and "blood" in his sad old tirades only to the faithful in line and going were he wants them to go. It is a measure of how little he thinks of his electorate that he has hardly changed his message in fifty years, a little "modernisation" now and then not withstanding. Only power matters to unionism. The UUP knew it, Paisley knows it and relishes it as his manifest destiny, and the ones standing behind him are ready to fight for it when the time comes. All the people of ulster must take this power back because it rightfully belongs to them. This fear-mongering must be confronted so that all people are able to chose a new destiny. That new destiny may have its difficulties, but it will be so much better than the past has been.

 
At 6:54 p.m., Anonymous Aileen said...

Mike if that was addressed to me I would not insult working class Protestants by tarring them with the brush of being terrorist. That (dis)honour goes to those who engaged in murder and maiming, whatever their class relgion or anything else.

How I view those who did do these things and instead of taking responsibility seek to blame others is utter contempt. As I have said we all heard the rhetoric but we didn't all start murdering.

 
At 5:49 a.m., Anonymous bill said...

Sometimes it's the people who incite the killing in the first place that are the most guilty even though (theoretically) their hands are clean.

 

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