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Thursday, March 06, 2008

Big Ian leaves: compare and contrast


Martin McGuinness of Sinn Fein, his fellow Chuckle Brother, said:

"Obviously there's a lot of interest in the work I have been doing with Ian Paisley in the course of the last ten months," he said at Stormont. I think I have to say it's been a remarkable and unique experience."
"I think many of you will know I had a very dim view of Ian Paisley prior to the 26th March last year (when Sinn Fein and the DUP agreed to share power) and I suppose he even had a dimmer view of me if we are to be truthful about all of this."
"But we managed to work together on a deal brokered by Ian Paisley and leader of my party Gerry Adams and we developed a positive and constructive working relationship within the Office of First and Deputy First Minister."

Bertie Ahern, of Fianna Fail, and Taoiseach of the Irish Republic said:

"I'm not going to say I didn't spend most of my political life taking a different point of view (to Mr Paisley), I did."
"But when it came down to making the Good Friday Agreement work and to having an inclusive executive in Northern Ireland and to have North-South bodies, he made the big moves. We've worked hard to get the stability, we've worked hard to build a relationship with Dr Paisley."
"We've achieved that, it was not easy, and now the main player in a few months' time will go off the stage. We have to now work to see if that harmonious relationship can continue. Obviously, I hope so but time will decide that."

Only Seamus Mallon of the SDLP had the balls to say:

"The paradox is that it was the Good Friday Agreement, which he set out to destroy, that allowed him to be inside in terms of influence for the first time in his whole political career. Those are two of the areas that historians will look at and people will be assessing from now on."
Mallon, who once watched Mr Paisley during the famous Civil Rights march at Armagh when he took over the city said "it was that desire for dominance that many people in the nationalist community will remember."
And he also pointed out that the fact that among Paisley's first moves during serious negotiations with the Governments was for seats in the House of Lords and a Privy Councillorship indicated "his desire, not just for power, but for the trappings of power."
"Yes he brought unionism into a power-sharing arrangement with Sinn Fein, but to do that he had to destroy, as he had destroyed Terence O'Neill, as he destroyed Faulkner, as he destroyed Chichester Clarke, he had to destroy the unionist leader David Trimble."
"It tells you about the paradox of all this, that the creativity which he undoubtedly gave the political process in Northern Ireland in his later years, was achieved as a result of the destructive element in his approach to politics and this type of political atavism which demanded absolute and total power."

Correct, Seamus.

Additional useful perspectives on Paisley from Trimble and Ruarai O'Bradaigh can be read here, at Best of Both Worlds.

4 comments:

Missing Neighbour said...

Never could stand Ian Paisley myself. He has done absolutely fuck all for his community (as can be said for the majority of unionist politicians) whilst getting incredibly rich and trying to found a political dynasty (a la Peter Robinson. I wonder who in his family isn’t involved in the lucrative business of bigotry and politics?) It always astounds me why people from the unionist/protestant community vote for these bunch of greedy bastards. They are all millionaires whilst the position of the working class protestant has steadily declined under their leadership. They didn’t push education when they should have, instead relying on heavy industry, the security services, its ancillary businesses, bigotry and nepotism to keep the boys in jobs and where has that got them? So whilst east Belfast and most parts of protestant north Belfast look like a lunar landscape in terms of waste ground, derelict crumbling housing, a poorly educated populace and rampant antisocial behaviour and gangsterism (is that a word?) these cunts continue to maintain the fa├žade of not giving an inch. It would have been better for all if they had earnestly tried to build an inclusive society thirty years ago. I fear history will not be kind to Paisley and his ilk. Sunningdale for slow learners anyone?

JC Skinner said...

As Best of Both Worlds says in the piece I linked to, Paisley was king of the slow learners.

JC Skinner said...

And gangsterism is indeed a word. A very apt one in that context too.

Informer said...

He did get rich, but he risked his life for every penny to get where he is now. He preached fire and brimstone in every corner of the country and caused many a death, but he is still with us! It is because the puppet masters boulstered him up with finances and security and allowed him to rant and rave without setting him up. They know to protect their own, can't say that for the nationalist side, they kill off their mouth pieces.