Since Pat McArt and I will be discussing this topic on Friday, I don’t want to get into it too comprehensively here. But there are a number of points I’d like to put up for consideration between now and Friday, regarding the Sunday Independent/Irish Independent assaults on John Hume during the period when he was holding talks with Gerry Adams.
- The Indo now is intent on playing the age-old trick, where the bully identifies him/herself to the public as the victim. The views of Eamon Dunphy and Eoghan Harris were the minority voice, and the Indo stood by their right to be heard. Can you think of anything that makes you yell louder for the bucket, quick?
- The Indo now claims that views opposed to Harris and Co were published in the paper at the same time. You cannot be serious, Indo people. I mean, FFS…
- Don’t think of the Indo’s assault as something isolated, a brief period of vitriolic madness. The southern media, including the Indo, have always been bitterly opposed to northern republicans and remain so to this day. The same goes for here in the north – the Newsletter, the Belfast Telegraph and, yes, the Irish News – all detest republicans/Sinn Féin. The Irish News would protest its innocence of the charge, pointing to Jim Gibney, a prominent Sinn Féiner, with his Thursday column ( my slot as was, before the Irish News decided I failed the loyalty test). But yes, Gibney’s column is republican. The newspaper publishes on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Which columns appearing on those days are by republicans>
OK, I’ll stop now and save some powder for Friday. But the core point I’m making is that the Indo was of course savagely opposed to Sinn Féin and Hume for talking to them, and the Irish media, north and south, to this day remain implacable in their opposition to Sinn Féin. And you’ll hear me shouting and swearing a bit on this topic on Friday. McArt better bring his ear-plugs….