So Ian R K Paisley, aka Lord Bannside – what was it that first attracted you to the creature we call Democracy? Was it a vision you had on a hillside about twenty-five years ago when you took the salute from several hundred men displaying (no, don’t laugh) their rifle licences? Was it that time you posed with a sledge-hammer, quite like but of course seriously different from the loyalist death squads who used to sledge-hammer down front doors before storming in and killing their unfortunate victims, except you merely vowed to ‘Smash Sinn Fein’, a legal political party? Maybe we do best to leave your mind a mystery, for in that place there are dark corners and twisting ways which would leave most of us gasping for breath and wishing we’d never come.
Whatever it was that led you to this moment, Your Lordship, it is indeed good news to hear that you would accept Martin McGuinness as First Minister, if the voters should decide to make Sinn Fein the biggest single party. It’s a bit less good news to be told, as a number of DUP politicians have informed us, that the unionist people would not accept Mr McGuinness in that role. That is to say, having spent about thirty years urging republicans to leave the path of violence and commit exclusively to democratic ways, unionists (according to their politicians) will simply reject the decision of the ballot box if it doesn’t produce the result they see as their God-given right – viz, to have now and always a unionist First Minister.
Of course, this anti-democratic unionist stance may change, now that IRKP aka the good Lord has decided that he is a man who respects the decision of the electorate. Especially as those unionist politicians who’ve said a republican First Minister simply cannot be will probably be so impressed by the purity of heart displayed by the former DUP leader, will know that he speaks only for the welfare of the people of the six counties and not at all with any notion of damaging the present DUP leadership – overcome with this realisation, they will very likely fall on their faces, heap cinders on their heads and call upon God and the electorate to forgive them their wrong-headed ways.
By the way, isn’t it odd how in common with other Protestant fundamentalists, IRKP cannot call any man Father but God, and yet he experiences no pain, physical or spiritual, in having other men and women call him Lord?