Some table you got there Dr. Paisley and Mr. Adams…or remarkable scenes at Stormont March 26, 2007Posted by WorldbyStorm in Democratic Unionist Party, Northern Ireland, Sinn Féin, Ulster.
This is going to be one of the defining images of Irish history in the early 21st century…that is if it all works out for the best. What to love? The Easter Lily on the lapel. The restricted cúpla focal. The stern expression on Paisley’s face. And then the almost tentative smile in the photograph above.
Perhaps they like each other. Perhaps not.
Anyhow, not sure if it’s just me, but I find the image almost unbearable to look at as if in some fetishistic way (and I mean that in the original sense of the term) it will all go horribly wrong. Actually there are those who would argue that for it to reach this point it already has. Roll on Channel 4 News which is always entertaining for it’s slight sense of bemused detachment when dealing with the North [most engaging gaffe by Alex Thomson saying to Mitchell McLaughlin and Sammy Wilson that this mean ‘power sharing was over’ – very possibly. Second most engaging gaffe, Mitchell McLaughlin being asked by Thomson if he liked Wilson and replying ‘yes, of course’ while Wilson was rather more circumspect…although equally telling was Thomson saying how the two men had been ‘joshing’ prior to the cameras coming on].
Attention has already been drawn to the diamond shaped table with Ian Paisley and his minions on one side and Gerry Adams and Mary Lou McDonald on the other (incidentally googling “Paisley Adams” for pics brought up some old Assembly material and some…er…highly pornographic ones too, so exercise caution if you go looking for them – anyway not entirely sure what that’s telling us one way or another).
What to make of it all? Being entirely cynical this was so well choreographed it’s hard to believe they didn’t have at least one run through already, like many a wedding. And the reports from RTÉ that both sides were well pleased afterwards would seem to confirm that.
But…choreographed or not it is something else. I had significant doubts that the DUP would jump over the weekend. Seems those water bills just gave it the edge required.
And from the Sinn Féin point of view this will be hard to beat if the Executive is up and running by May. And the fun we’re about to have. The regular meetings between the First and Deputy First Minister which are slated to take place over the next six weeks.
Speaking of Mary Lou McDonald, yesterday her canvassing in Dublin Central by the Fire Station on North Strand. This evening…why none other than Patricia McKenna.
All the stars – eh? I’m very much looking forward to the distribution of first preferences at the GE.
Two more thoughts. Hain saying that he hadn’t expected a public press conference with the two men. Don’t buy that at all.
But more significantly the absence during that conference of the British or Irish government representatives. That tells us something in itself.