Two wise men

Nick Garbutt

Davy Adams

It’s a bit like buses. You keep waiting and waiting, stepping off the pavement to peer up the road to see if the damned thing will ever come. Only when you’ve abandoned all hope do not one but two come chugging along. As for buses, so for worthwhile political articles in the mainstream media. I’ve been squinting up the road for ages, and here today two arrive, one from each side of the border.

Nick Garbutt whom I remember well from his time as editor of the VO ( that doesn’t make him a bad person, or at least not necessarily)…Where was I? Oh yes. In today’s Belfast News Letter,  Nick has an article which says two things: (i) somebody should bang the heads in the Orange Order together and tell them to wise up, and (ii) that the economic argument for a united Ireland should be examined. Since he’s addressing a unionist readership, Garbutt implies that there is no economic case. Maybe he’s right. Maybe he’s wrong. But the case does need to be assembled, in solid facts and figures, and then the discussion can proceed. Until that happens economic arguers are wasting their time and ours. Hats off to Nick.
Right now, though, focus is not on the economics of Irish unification but the case (not the race – please – can you see Michael D Higgins running?)  for presidential candidates. A couple of days ago we had Fintan ‘High Dudgeon’ O’Toole with an article in The Irish Times  explaining to us why Martin McGuinness was top-drawer for northern Executive work but totally unacceptable for southern non-executive work. Today in the same paper an article by Davy Adams, former UDA man, provides a balance to the highly-strung O’Toole, and long may such balance continue. In his article, Adams gives McGuinness an unequivocal thumbs-up.  He notes McGuinness’s equal ease in the company of world leaders and working (or more likely not-working) men and women, and how he has put into practice the rhetoric of reaching out to traditional opponents. But the point Adams really slams home is the hypocrisy of southern commentators who never tire of urging those in the north to draw a line under the past; then they’re faced with someone who might up-end their cosy cartel and the past is the only thing they can talk about. Odd, isn’t it, that men (and women) who were active participants in armed conflict are capable of an honesty and acceptance beyond those who condemned them as psychopaths? 
Anyway, it’s becoming clearer that those bent on destroying McGuinness as candidate through references to his distant past (as distinct from his annoyingly-positive more recent past) are running out of breath. Stand by, then, for that line of attack being abandoned and other, let’s hope more rational arguments being raised.  Naturally none of this applies to that failed politician from a failed party, the recently-resurrected Michael McDowell. He, I promise you, will be on a TV screen near you. Not once, not twice, but again and again and again. Maybe they could get him on with Nick Garbutt so he could explain how, with robust Fianna Fail aid, he helped bankrupt the southern state.  Still, think positive. We pesky northerners aren’t paying an RTÉ licence fee to look at him. 

10 Responses to Two wise men

  1. Anonymous September 22, 2011 at 10:01 am #

    We have yet to see the spectacle of a couple of ex sticky northern Journos, head off with their pens, Heaneyesque, to dig up the poor memory of Jean mcconville. Used and abandoned by the Army disappeared by Republicans and exploited repeatedly by the shameless hacks.

  2. Anonymous September 22, 2011 at 2:26 pm #

    Davy Adams: the unelectable in support of the unspeakable.

  3. Anonymous September 22, 2011 at 3:30 pm #

    I suspect RTE will change the usual set up for candidate debates, where no doubt they will facilitate people like Mc Dowell so thay can question Mc Guinness.

  4. Anonymous September 22, 2011 at 6:54 pm #

  5. Anonymous September 22, 2011 at 7:44 pm #

    Some Irish are hypocritical wussies. In the US, we only elect Presidents that are willing to slaughter thousands in war for freedom. If there isn’t a war already going, it behooves our President to start one.
    Martin McGuinness wouldn’t even get on the US election ballot with all his peace making and reconciliation nonsense.
    Wait a moment; Didn’t the Irish establishment recently give a great Cead Mile Failte to our latest freedom fighting President, Barack Hussein Obama, currently Commander in Chief of two wars?
    I guess it is true what they say; a prophet is never welcome in his own country. Shame on them.

  6. Anonymous September 23, 2011 at 11:50 am #

    Maybe Supporters of Senator David Norris should learn no means no and leave this poor woman alone.

  7. Anonymous September 24, 2011 at 4:00 pm #

    Sunday Business Post Opinion Poll

    David Norris 21%
    Michael D Higgins 18%
    Martin McGuinness 16%
    Gay Mitchell 13%
    Mary Davis 13%
    Sean Gallagher 11%

  8. Anonymous September 24, 2011 at 7:29 pm #

    RTE Online Poll

    David Norris 27%
    Michael D Higgins 18%
    Martin McGuinness 15% 
    Mary Davis 15% 
    Sean Gallagher 11% 
    Gay Mitchell 10%
    Dana 4%

  9. Anonymous September 26, 2011 at 5:31 pm #

    David Norris and Dana have two councils each.Norris has been rejected by South Dublin County Council an alliance of Fine Gael Labour and SF blocking him.