The manner and speed  in which the new “IRA  Regeneration” has come to a head  begs a lot of questions.You might call  it a feeding frenzy by the  opponents of Sinn Fein . They want so much to believe in the existence of any bete noire that will somehow stop the rise of political republicanism that they would have done anything , even to the point of inventing a reason for tearing that movement  down. I suppose they’ll  soon  be happy to get a new bombing campaign underway  when the whole thing reverts to past form ,so that they can wallow in the nostalgia of times past.

The fact is that they really didn’t expect to share any power with Sinn Fein . They thought that the more podgy SDLP would better suit their idea of Nationalism. When enough voters put Sinn Fein into power  it didn’t sit too well with them and they obviously felt pressured into sharing any power at all.  This kind of democracy didn’t sit too well with them .They’ve tried every trick in the book to get out of that situation.They’ve done all they can to stymie any  radical reforms or progress that they could and the DUP especially has taken no amount of flak and abuse from the wilder shores of loyalism  for even talking to republicans. The Ulster Unionist never forgave them either for stealing their voters.Still, it seemed to make no odds .Sinn Fein kept doing politics and seemed to get better at it. They noticed  how that was developing  in the establishment corners  of the Republic of Ireland  and at Westminster .Then Jeremy Corbyn rose to prominence and seemed to be weeks away from leading the Labour Party. Wasn’t he the guy that sympathised with the republican ideal of a United Ireland? This whole situation was getting too out of hand for everyone .It was all moving too quickly. The next thing you know Sinn fein would be in Government in the Republic of Ireland and the Labour Party in Westminster  would be onside too.All of unionism’s enemies reading from the same script at the same time. Something had to be done ….and something had to be done right now……


Now ,the Ulster Unionist Party has decided to withdraw from Stormont in the wake of some very woolly revelations the Chief Police Officer  about the existence of the IRA and especially with a finger pointing at the Sinn Fein leadership  in the Executive as though they are completely involved . They want to form  an Opposition , although there has been nothing in place to make this work.. They could barely conceal the glee in their eyes when given this opportunity to go one better than their Democratic Unionist rivals. They obviously want to get the DUP voters back into  their fold or possibly pressurise the DUP into making the very same move and abandon the Executive .They see it as a way to stiffen Westminster’s concentration. Again , there’s the  dream of a united unionism . Why bother to wait for any hard evidence, they imply ?Get in there quickly before the DUP steals their thunder .They ‘ve made the rival  DUP look as if they ‘re more interested in hanging onto power at all costs  while  they are doing the right thing by  climbing onto the moral high ground and leaving the stage .

That’s really not good enough. We now expect something more than baby -kissing politicians  reeking of false sanctimony as though they had contributed nothing to the contorted politics we now find ourselves in. They played a part in getting us to where we are now too…right back to 1969 and further , so there’s no point pretending they don’t know how we got to this .

As far as I am concerned , I have no real problem if the Ulster Unionist Party want to hold their breath until their faces turn blue . That’s their choice .There used to be a family joke about a child who threatened to “let the pig eat me!” if she  didn’t get her  pretty little way. Blackmail , really.They are entitled to do that little thing, but let’s not make some song and dance about it if there is no proof .I certainly have little objection if they don’t want to lift their wages.Everyone has the right to up-sticks and leave their job if it doesn’t suit their temperament  . On the other hand , I wouldn’t mind seeing  the hard evidence that they haven’t just  made fools of themselves.  It’s all about the hard evidence , so what if they’ve jumped the gun….so to speak? If they’ve left the stage and there’s no hard evidence  , I wonder will anyone  really notice.The Chief Constable appears to hold the fate of the executive in his hands .Will he bring it down with his evidence or not?

The story that is currently dominating the national news is the shooting of a television journalist and a cameraman. The doings in Norneverland only make the headlines when the bombs are exploding . That kind of thing is always just a step away, of course . It always was.These  particular unionists seem to have forgotten just why we arrived in this situation in the first place.

7 Responses to NOSTALGIA FOR THAT OLD CONFLICT by Harry McAvinchey

  1. ben madigan August 26, 2015 at 11:49 pm #

    “I certainly have little objection if they don’t want to lift their wages”
    As far as I know they are keeping their wages – they are abandoning the Executive not the Stormont Assembly.
    The only UUP minister (Transport?) will lose his job but not his seat. Like the rest of them he’ll keep his paypacket.

    It’s hardly a heroic Spartacus type gesture we are witnessing – just a worn out rattle out of a turn of the century perambulator

    • paddykool August 27, 2015 at 9:17 am #

      Someone should mention the money , ben! As far as i know there’s no mechanism for an “Opposition”, so how would that work? There’s been some talk about it i the past but it came to nothing. I wonder too , will the DUP just pocket that Transport seat , stick it in their back-pocket and simply roll on. That would be tempting , wouldn’t it? Now that would be interesting. I do believe TV Mike has jumped the gun , so to speak…

  2. fiosrach August 27, 2015 at 9:59 am #

    Well laid out post,Harry O. I don’t think that you missed anything.As another Harry that we both knew used to say when anybody asked him was there any news today, he would reply “No change”. I think, perhsps, that you are galling into the trap that you believe the RUC/PSNI are honest brokers. This is not the case. The first duty of the unionist police force is to defend the state, the status quo and the union.Don’t ever let us lose sight of that.

    • paddykool August 27, 2015 at 5:17 pm #

      No fiosrach..I just think it’s a stunt like the one Tony Blair pulled coming up to the Iraq involvement when he squealed to the rooftops about Weapons of Mass Destruction. There was a tranche of people here and in theUK who thought he was a snake -oil salesman selling them claptrap to make political capital{the same kind of stuff that Thatcher was doing with the Falklands}… who were not very impressed by his god-crazed antics. It was way too late when the bodies were piling up to find that the WMD were a figment of his over-egged imagination. We’re being asked to play that kind of imaginary game here . If the cops are part and parcel of the illusion we’ll soon see. As Harry would say “no change ” there.

  3. Emmet August 27, 2015 at 10:48 am #

    Just a meaningless stunt by the UUP. As always, the easiest way to get unionist voters to vote for a party is to whip up fear and then portray yourself as the hard-liners. I think it is laughable that unionists still think Sinn Fein needs to earn their trust. Trust is irrelevant, they must respect all democratically elected parties. I think Unionism is slowly on the way out and they are frantically trying to drag us back to the good old sectarian days.

    • paddykool August 27, 2015 at 6:32 pm #

      Aye Emmet …what about Sinn Fein and Nationalism trusting the DUP or the UUP? Everyone is supposed to believe that their dripping sanctimony is real when they are the very reason the whole bloody place exploded into mayhem in the first place .We’re all expected to trust parties whose depressing grasp on morality and even reality is in question .some of these guys are so out of the loop that they can’t remember the clouds of CS gas , the batons , rubber bullets, blackthorn sticks and live bullets, the interning of innocent people…for dear’s sake some of the buggers even think the world is 6000 years old. We’re supposed to trust them? …Really?

      They joined together for some kind of coordinated response , not a year ago with some very questionable characters without a hint of irony . They want us to believe that their agenda is spotless. Why are we supposed to believe their bona fides when they’ve twisted and turned at every chance and reneged on promises.

      We’ve given them every allowance and years of time to figure out how to do politics with a sense of fairness and equality and every time they’ve run away when it gets complicated .TV Mike is now leading them up a blind alley. They’re running away now….again! We are supposed to chase after these people and beg them on bended knees that we are very sorry for not understanding their fears . remind me …what was the Civil Rights movement about in the first place ?

  4. ben madigan August 27, 2015 at 9:43 pm #

    indeed emmet. their death throes may well be behind all that DUP talk about “excluding” sinn fein