Tuesday 21 March 2017

So: Farewell Martin McGuinness

In his fighting prime Martin McGuinness was a seriously professional urban guerilla - and ruthless with it, not least in the business of enforcing discipline within his own ranks.  Many a Brit had reason to view him as the personification of the foe.

But the great genius of the British people is to be pragmatic to the point of magnanimity.  In the aftermath of the brutally-fought Boer Wars Britain's prompt practical and financial support for reconstruction in South Africa led to that new nation being a material contributor to our efforts in both World Wars.  Not for us the old, ahem, Irish game of bitterly nurturing grudges down the centuries.  Settle up and move on.

So when McGuinness converted to the cause of the Peace Process (and peace, too, after a fashion) he was welcomed on board as a constructive actor.  Doubtless it served his political purposes - which is fine: it was a settlement, and politics is generally better than fighting.  

We won't find out what position he'd have taken in the forthcoming argy-bargy arising from the implications of Brexit on British-Irish dealings (although Gerry Adams is clearly much enthused by the opportunities it presents).  What we can say - from across the water - is that he seems to have played the power-sharing game in a fair spirit, right to the end.

So, one way and another: fair play to Martin McGuinness, serious opponent and notable representative of Irish nationalism.



Dick the Prick said...

Crikey Nick, didn't expect that. I guess that's a good summary and just to take events at face value then it's all true.

Have just seen his meeting with the Queen.

MM - "How you keeping?"

Brenda - "Well, I'm still alive!"

Hee hee hee!

Lord T said...

He was a murderer and deserved to go to jail but we seem to forgive politicians for everything. They can do what they like and everyone sees the positive side.

I understand he was RC. If so he will be finding it rather hot atm.

Anonymous said...

I am with you Lord T. Murder is murder, whatever the motive. We have a code for war and a legal framework in which it is conducted. Intentionally killing civilians, or being a party thereto, is not within that definition.
I will not mourn his passing.

Elby the Beserk said...

Could do without the beyond predictable BBC treating him as if he was Mandela. Mind you, we've pretty much given up listening to the BBC radio (bar sport), as every time you turn it on, it's either Trump or Brexit. Had a left leaning friend stay with us last week, and she said exactly the same thing - that the BBC are obsessed with news which the rest of us are sick of. There is a clear disconnect between the BBC and 90% of the country, it seems to me.

Bill Quango MP said...

BBc Sport is awful now too.

They can't even manage to broadcast Sunday football. Having lost the radio rights to talksport.

The BBC, with £4 billion pounds of budget could not outbid a wireless company that was sold along with its other 16 stations and media interests for £250 million.
this affects me not at all. Talksport is fine, if a bit white van man.

Radio 5 will still be broadcasting whether anyone is listening or not. But they are already the weak BBC radio station.
Global radio group {Heart, Smooth, Lbc and Capital} are just 9 million listener's short of BBC radio national figures. And of the BBc national 31 million - 15 million are from radio 2.

dearieme said...

We should have ensured that the bugger was locked up in Guantanamo and tortured every day.

Matt said...

Loving reading the comments on Guido's website and ARRSE. No leftie sympathisers on there.

Sobers said...

Funny isn't, Ian Brady murdered 5 kids, and is (rightly) seen as the personification of evil. MM on the other hand..............

Scrobs. said...

As I mentioned a few days ago, 'How do you hate'?


You and I have conversed for several years Nick, (usually with great mirth), and your comments on my particular post stirred an alternative view, but only just!

Of course, the BBC have shot themselves in the kneecaps by bringing on Blair at quite the wrong time, but that's what they do these days, just interfere and get nowhere. That's really why they're a dying 'public service'.

estwdjhn said...

"15 million are from radio 2."

Which is currently going downhill faster than a lift with the cable broken. Over the last couple of years it's become increasingly indistinguishable from radio 1. Less decent music, ever more punchable Dr's engaged in ever sillier poor innuendo (Ken Bruce is still quite funny).

You can tell the direction a radio station is trying to go by who they use to sit in for DJ's who are on holiday. When it's Sara Cox, and some idiot who made Steve Wright (who used to be the worst of the bunch) feel like a breath of fresh air when he's came back, you know it's days are numbered.

Oh and they've just moved Saturday mornings round so they can now have an irritating idiot doing a breakfast show (instead of sounds of the sixties which was usually listenable) before three hours of Graham Norton (a man whose smarmy voice exactly no-one would miss if he was to be bludgeoned to death by an enraged listener on morning)

Only good bit left is the weekday evenings slots for particular music genres. Doubtless it's only going to be a matter of time before they swap them for an hour of Paul O'Grady enjoying the sound of good own voice (I'm sure no one else does).

CityUnslicker said...

No great loss to humanity today all in all.

Timbo614 said...

Timbo is with Tebbit and Thud on this one. I found it hard to beleive the ease with which he ingratitated himself with those within the peace process. I didn't see how they could even talk to to him about peace. Nothing comes for free so maybe it was price that had to be paid. It's not a price I would have agreed to.

Electro-Kevin said...

Unlike Thatcher he was not a divisive figure (according to the BBC)

He was no coward. He had balls. To lead a gangster organisation, keeping his own nutters in check was probably even more life threatening than taking on the British army and its special forces.

No. Where the BBC has got it wrong (yet again) is in calling him a peace broker.

Not because he was a terrorist but because he was crap at achieving his stated objective.

Had he not resorted to violence in the first place then the reunification of Ireland would have been decades ahead of where it is today:

- The British wanted rid of this colony long ago
- Attacking the British drew them into the six counties rather than allowing them to just fade out as they wanted to

Look at all the places where peaceful means were used to far greater and earlier effect in evicting colonialists/occupiers:

East Germany

Unless McGuinness wanted gangsterism and loved violence then he failed miserably in his objectives and caused a lot of futile death and suffering.

Anonymous said...

" pretty much given up listening to the BBC radio (bar sport), as every time you turn it on, it's either Trump or Brexit."

Every time I turn it on, it's music. Try Radio 3. (They do have discussion programs from 10pm to 11pm, and these are often very interesting.)

It would be a tragedy to lose the various BBC orchestras.

Radio 2 has a few good programmes. Clare Teal's jazz and swing programme at 9pm on Sundays is good fun, and I have heard good features on various artists and styles.

Don Cox

Anonymous said...

The Mau Mau didn't use "peaceful means", and their violence was met with equal or worse violence from the British.

Don Cox

Elby the Beserk said...

I guess I wonder who those who lost loved ones to these bastards (and I say this as one who has a father raised in Dublin, I have deep sympathies towards Ireland) feel about the BBC lauding Kneecaps to the high heavens. I know how I feel about him, and have no need to say it here - Norm said it for me. Whilst the ensuing peace from the talks is of course desired, that bastard Blair needs hounding now over the amnesty given to the IRA murderers, yet denied to our soldiers.

AndrewZ said...

"The British wanted rid of this colony long ago"

There is also the question of whether the Republic of Ireland would really have been willing to accept Northern Ireland if it had been offered to them, especially once "the Troubles" started. If the Irish government had been faced with the prospect of sending most of the Irish Army to Belfast to put down a Protestant insurgency that might last for decades and to disarm the Republican terrorists then they might well have decided that the cost of re-unification was more than the country could bear.

Anonymous said...

I must admit when I turned on Radio 4 yesterday lunchtime I thought Bono must have died!

Anonymous said...

While we're talking about terrorism, this picture tells a story.


Injured body on pavement, 2 women kneeling to assist (one with phone clamped to ear, presumably talking to medic), 5 more people standing around for moral support in the British way that 5 people will stand round 2 people digging a hole.

One young, headscarved Muslim lady strides past this scene, eyes on her phone.

Anonymous said...

Well, anon, the situation seems to be in hand, so I'd probably have walked past too.

Electro-Kevin said...

A picture doesn't tell a story.

AndrewZ said...

"A picture doesn't tell a story"

With the appropriate framing, a picture can tell any story you want it to.