Tuesday, May 08, 2007

'That was yesterday, this is today, tomorrow is tomorrow...'

The truly historic events in Northern Ireland today would have been impossible to even imagine just a short time ago: Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness and Unionist leader Ian Paisley, side-by-side, working together in a new power-sharing commitment at Stormont.

The only speech I heard in full from Stormont today were the wise, wise words from 80-year-old Ian Paisley who accepted office as First Minister as his sworn enemy Martin McGuinness was sworn in as Deputy First Minister.

Consigning the 'troubles' to history, Paisley said
'that was yesterday, this is today, and tomorrow is tomorrow.'
It was all the more astonishing, as I can't ever recall Paisley previously uttering anything that sounded like wise words in over three decades of conflict.

Just as astonishing today, was to hear McGuinness wishing Paisley 'all the best' as new First Minister...

Who would have thought we'd ever see the day when Sinn Fein leader shook hands with a serving British Prime Minister Tony Blair?

But the TV pictures I loved most today were those of Martin McGuinness posing for a snap with his mother and Tony Blair!

I'm sure we all wish that Paisley is right when he says:

I believe that Northern Ireland has come to a time of peace, a time when hatred will no longer rule.
I have to say my heart missed a beat later when I heard an unfortunate choice of words from one of the lesser politicians from the Province interviewed on 5Live.

He said local politicians were committed to peace, but went on:
we need the tools to do the job to be in our armoury...

I'm not sure exactly what he meant, but as long as he wasn't talking Armalites, there is hope!


Anonymous said...

No wonder Paisley laughs. The Union is saved, the IRA abolished, Home Rule restored and 51 billion quid on its way.

MyGuinness gets...a ministerial car. Even Judas held out for more.

Long live Paisley, long live the union. I wish MyGuinness and his ilk a fatal disease, and pray nightly to the God that killed Cain and squashed Samson that his followers suffer slow and painful deaths. Justice before peace. Well done Big Iain!

Anonymous said...

The union is only saved as long as the people of Northern Ireland want it to remain. I would suggest you read the Good Friday agreement. I am from NI and therefore do not share your views. I can tell you that the society I was brought up in was unequal with one section of the community continually oppressed by the state and its agents including the police force. Jobs in many of the major industries were given to those who were members of the orange order. (one could tell which section of the community one came from by residence and name). Electoral boundaries were continually changed to ensure unionism dominated. Moderate unionists who tried to improve the situation for all the people were quickly removed from power. The minority population had no rights and this started the ghastly violence.

Ian Paisley may now be more moderate but this is associated with age and yes, wanting power. If you had lived with his rhetoric and his whipping up of anti Catholic feelings you would not hold him in such esteem. Many communities were in fear of his rhetoric as he held power in working class communities. Violence often followed his speeches and he regularly misrepresented facts to gain support. The Catholic Church was also at fault by not permitting the state to fully control education. They gained much - was it Marx who said that religion was the opium of the people?

It is the people of NI that have forced Home Rule. At long last all sections of the community have equal rights. Laws have been changed to ensure that discrimination is removed and many sectors have targets (PSNI)to ensure that recruitment reflects society. I regret the demise of the moderate political parties such as the UUP and SDLP and hope eventually that religion will not influence how people vote.

I would suggest you read the blog of slugger o'toole who gives an accurate assessment of the situation. The regular Independent Monitoring Commission report also informs on sectarian crimes by organisations.

My understanding of the 51m from the treasury is that this figure includes grants which were outlined in the budget. Indeed, I heard one politician in NI complain about this figure indicating that the media assumed it was all "new money".

Whatever the rights and wrongs, at least Stormont is up and running. At long last we may see the North become as properous as the South of Ireland. Crossing the border is a bit of a shock. Not quite as bad as Berlin when the wall came down but it invokes the same response. I am no fan of any of the leaders or the parties they represent. However, I find it appalling that any person would wish a fatal disease to any person and a slow and painful death to those who support that person. Pure bigotry to also suggest that an elected politician cannot have the tools of the trade because one does not like the person or their party.

Well done to our wonderful PM. He has persevered to achieve this wonderful event.

Anonymous said...

I obviously don't agree with any of that rubbish. The principle of self-determination was all the Unionists ever asked. There was always, and I expect always will be, a majority of people there in favour of the union. I am glad the murderers have come to see this position. It ends their dream of a so-called United Ireland in the lifetimes of any of us or our grandchildren.

I have no intention of reading the Good Friday Agreement. The document released murderers onto the streets of the UK. I don't care what else it said. Treacherous lies which was never supported by the Unionist people(only their Judas Trimble - in the pay of the Nobel Peace Fund , now thankfully vanquished).

The society you grew up in was blighted by murders. I am not interested in Republican whinges and the downtrodden Paddy argument. If people like me had our way, we would have wiped the IRA and their supporters out over night. Alas we only had glimpses of this glory(Gibralter and so forth). Unionism dominated because there were, and indeed are, more of them. Tough luck. It's called democracy, the same thing that did for the Unionists who tried to sell their people out. Catholics didn't join the RUC(a nobel brave force) because they were murdered by their own community.

Paisley is very popular. You only don't like him, because he stood up to the murderers. What you call anti-Catholic was simply anti-Republican. I have never heard him make any statement that should offend decent Catholics(and I am fairly well informed on NI politics for a variety of reasons).

People always had equal rights. The rest were Republican moans. F*** them. I am not religious but I would vote Paisley. I know people in Northern Ireland who do the same. I have read the O'Toole blog. The IMC is a PC joke and this is acknowledged by anyone with a brain.

If Northern Ireland gets as much as the Republic from the European Charity basket, and is allowed to deal with the murderers(ie flush them down the drain with the other vermin) then I have no doubt they will be far MORE prosperous than the Republic.

I do indeed with all of the Republican murderers a fatal disease. May they die more painfully than the brave RUC men they murdered - men who died so that Northern Ireland could be a free country. May the RUC widows live to see the day where this scum go to hell forever.

Anonymous said...

Thank you anonymous for your thoughtful and well argued comments.

I agree that Slogger O'Toole is worth keeping an eye on.

As for Michael Oakeshott's comments, a sort of deranged, misplaced sectarian gloating.

Anonymous said...

Ian Paisley is the nicest person I have ever met and nothing will ever change my judgment on that - not even the Queen and Margaret Thatcher together!

In the meantime I am going to reserve my judgment on Tony Blair's legacy until after the alleged Cash for Peerages Debacle has concluded.

Given the fact that Mr. Blair once said "the buck stops here" I've got a funny feeling that he won't just be a witness.

Anonymous said...

Geoffrey, your hint about "The Queen and Margaret Thatcher together".

You're not suggesting..?

Anonymous said...

Brynley doesn't do serious debate. If he did he would probably be the worst in the world.