Enter Kyle, stage right


God, it’s getting crowded in here. (When I say ‘God’, this could be a reference to the God of Christianity, Islam, and any other faith you choose. Just thought I’d make that clear.)  First Anna Lo gave us a close-up of how banal and ugly everyday racism can get – and how frightening. Her description of being pursued to Connswater Shopping Centre car park by foul-mouthed throw-backs helped us all understand what a stupid and primitive  affliction racism is. Now Anna says she may leave here and go to live nearer her two sons in England, where people are a bit more civilised about these things. As Yeats said, we have disgraced ourselves again. 

Also nudging his way into the racism spotlight comes Rev Kyle Paisley, the other twin of ‘Dr’ Ian Kyle Paisley himself. The wrath of Kyle is mighty: “Condescending ignoramus” he informs Peter Robinson, knocking him for six. Kyle’s clerical boot is then put into Peter’s party, including, we’re told, his twin Ian. “It beggars belief that thus far not one within his [Robinson’s] party has the nerve to publicly challenge him. Sometimes silence is golden. In this case it is plain yellow.”

It’s always refreshing to hear someone blow away mealy-mouthed equivocation; even when I fundamentally disagreed with Kyle’s da, which was pretty much all the time, I had to admire the power and punch of  his pronouncements. The Rev Kyle makes it clear that he thinks not just Pastor Jack but First Minister Peter were completely wrong. However, there is one part of his sub-text in which he misdiagnoses the nature of the DUP. The Rev Kyle upbraids the party that no one could be found with “the nerve to publicly challenge him [Robinson]”. The reason, he concludes, is that they were yellow.

Hold on a tick, Rev Kyle. You’re right that no one in the DUP has come out to denounce FM Peter’s judgement on Islam; but are you right in your implication that the silence was due to cowardice? That would suggest the DUP ranks are heaving with people who believe FM Peter’s views are those of a “condescending ignoramus” but just are afraid to voice their own, different views. Different? I’ve seen no evidence that there is a phalanx of defenders of minorities in the ranks of the DUP. In fact it might it be less cowardice on the part of other DUP colleagues, and more the fact that they silently agree with Peter. Sammy Wilson and Edwin Poots have made clear they think the Peter way. I suspect the rest of the DUP are lined up behind Sammy and Edwin rather than bursting with dissent  held back only by cowardice.

So thanks for the “condescending ignoramus” bit, Kyle; but not  sure I buy that plain yellow diagnosis.

8 Responses to Enter Kyle, stage right

  1. Pointis May 31, 2014 at 11:56 am #

    As a Nationalist all this brazen bigotry has left me in a dilemma of competing allegiances.

    Like a hospital patient who has received a horrible diagnosis of a problem which has debilitated him for years there is a relief in understanding the causes of the problem and the solace of knowing that others will no longer believe that he is a malign whinger but this is offset by the devastating realisation that he will have to live with it and that it will probably hamper or curtail any pretence of optimism for the future which he may have harboured.

    So it is for me, that seeing the recent, unashamed, naked face of bigotry on the TV and Internet media. There is a sense of vindication in pointing out to the rest of the civilised world the nasty intolerant attitudes of those in positions of influence with whom we have to share this country and pleading with them “could you happily live in harmony with these people who generalise their hatred to whole swathes of the population”?

    OK, so for the short duration that it remains in the word headlines, those who care, know that their previous utterances of “oh they are all as bad as each other over there” are now void! What now are we left with?

    Does it really make much difference that the rest of the world know that the main reason for our troubles hear are that a significant proportion of the population adhere to or at least are ambivalent to small minded, backward, hillbilly concepts of prejudice and intolerance? And I include those who on the nationalist side who use the veil of patriotism to mask their own intolerance to anything British or even compromise. I think It does.

    And this brings me to my dilemma, I don’t want to see our international reputation damaged or companies to lose contracts or jobs because of this but I am afraid that that ambivalent part of unionist society (who would seem to be the only ones with influence over the quack pots) must wake up to the fact that these views are damaging our society and that unless they start standing up against this nasty aspect and begin to form a bulwark against it then it will continue to pervade and hinder everything we do here.

    Trying to disguise from your family or friends that your partner is an alcoholic and beats you behind closed doors ultimately does not help the victim or the alcoholic. Even though we may lose friends who will no longer visit, the most loving and kind thing to do is to remove the illusion that everything is ‘normal’ and try and help the alcoholic to accept that they really do have a problem which is affecting and damaging everybody, so that they can get help to change. Similarly I will not be apprehensive about the world seeing the nasty side of life here even if it costs jobs because ultimately if we love our fellow countrymen enough we should be willing to accept such a cost in the hope that it will help the decent people sitting on the fence to say “enough is enough, things are wrong and have to change”!

    At the beginning of the peace process I had hoped that I would not have to explain to my children that there are people in our country who hate them and would like to see them harmed because they are Catholic or that other people are disliked or distrusted because they are, black, foreign or Muslim. Alas it would seem that such hopes are still a long way off!

  2. Iolar May 31, 2014 at 5:56 pm #

    It comes as no surprise that there is no universal demand for the resignation of the First Minister or that the proposed resignation of one M.L.A. is subordinate to vested political and economic interests. What will prove to be problematic for all fundamentalists is the ongoing debate on Christianity, Islam, colonisation, partition and racism. The silence of many church leaders and the utterances of others on racism leaves a lot to be desired. Can one be a Christian and a racist? There is an urgent need to question a false understanding of race based on skin colour, hair or facial shape and other stereotypes. Stereotypes may accommodate anxiety and fear they certainly do not aid analysis and acceptance of other cultures.

  3. ben madigan June 1, 2014 at 11:24 am #

    please do have a look at the video I published in my last post
    It cuts through so much of the confusion and guff!!

    • Jude Collins June 1, 2014 at 11:40 am #

      Oh hey – love it, bm! I must tweet it…

      • ben madigan June 1, 2014 at 12:32 pm #

        thanks Jude,please do pass the word along –
        I am ever more convinced that what NI needs, – particularly what Loyalists need, – is grassroots education in civics and civil rights to bring them up to EU/USA standards. Then a rational debate might be able to start.

        Anybody interested in drawing up a project, applying for funding and doing it?

    • paddykool June 1, 2014 at 12:48 pm #

      Ben : That video is so profoundly clear-headed. The message of religion is always about “control”. It’s usually men’s control of women but it is also extended to the church’s control of the immediate society , usually by means of fear or latent bullying.

      There may have been something of a cultural revolution in Southern Ireland in the last twenty years but a lot of its lessons have not filtered through to many in Northern Ireland.
      Religion should always be a private indulgence and not allowed to impinge on state laws……by law. That video should be shown and debated in every classroom at school.

  4. William Fay June 1, 2014 at 2:06 pm #

    When we hear Kyle Paisley referring to the lack of moral fibre in the other senior members of the DUP, I couldn’t help but giggle. Can someone advise me of how often Paisley senior was challenged by members of the party over the last forty years prior to the coup. I really can’t think of one, and if there were any challenges, I’ve no doubt they were soon removed from the party. It was senior who helped put us on the road to destruction, so I can only presume it’s another moment of forgetfulness from the Paisley family, senior was the biggest bigot of them all.

    • paddykool June 1, 2014 at 2:39 pm #

      William :

      I have to agree wholeheartedly. What always got me was the total “irony bypass” in his followers. There was always a mixture of hero- worship and fear though.

      . Maybe Kyle, like Junior didn’t see what dad did back when they were little kiddies. Dad always had that “hate the sin, love the sinner” lot of old guff , down pat. Anyone sentient , back when dad was in his bigoted , guldering pomp, would have no doubt how the fires of bigotry were being stoked by his every television appearance . For any of us that lived through it Pastor McConnell is only continuing on with the macabre and mean -spirited nonsense. It’s what really got the Troubles afire. The fact that most mindful people would put Paisley’s and McConnell’s behaviour in the same bracket as those “violent muslims ” and all the other ones”they couldn’t trust” seems to have passed them by. Their very nemesis is themselves in a mirror!!

      I imagine the Paisley progeny have a bee in their collective bonnet because Robinson has stolen what they see as their rightful inheritance and this is a really good time to give him a swift kick.. Robinson’s real sin is that he let the racist, bigoted cat out of the bag in an era of profoundly more intrusive communications. The horror and every move , is right there for the world media and all of us, to poke through the bones and dissect .

      We all know what his “non apology” really means. He’s just been found wanting in an unarguable position. No one can really believe that the First Minister of an administration of any kind other than say North Korea, would be so politically naive and outright foolish , to air such madly indefensible racist thoughts for all to see…

      Well he did …and we all saw it , so what is going to be done about it and all those mad , misogynistic, racist and bigoted buggers .

      Can anyone bear to be near all that horror?