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The Guardian today: or the way Britain really views Northern Ireland as demonstrated by the Paisley and Adams meeting at Stormont. March 27, 2007

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Democratic Unionist Party, media, Northern Ireland, Sinn Féin, Ulster.

Yesterday something happened in Stormont. Something unexpected and unprecedented.

You may think that that ‘something’ would, even in this media saturated age, deserve a response on the front page of Britain’s leading left-liberal daily newspaper.

You might suppose that perhaps it would be entirely fitting for that photograph and the start of an article that would continue on pages 2 and 3.

That it would have sidebar articles with response and analysis that would delve into the path taken to this point and where events may take us next.


You might suppose wrong…

Instead we are ‘treated’ to disclosures regarding royal wills from the turn of the last century and enquiries into bullying. The former is a non-story, the latter of some significance.
And as to the interesting scenes up at Stormont, well they’re relegated to a tiny intro at the foot of the front page and then page 4. Spread, in the sense that Owen Boycott gives a fairly thin outline of the events and Michael White offers us a workmanlike colour piece/analysis.

Good for them. But not so good for us. And perhaps a telling indication of just where Northern Irish affairs, or Irish affairs sit within the scale of British public and policy opinion.

Perhaps Blair was an aberration.

Amusingly, or not, for those interested in subscribing to their pay as you go PDF version, what then is today’s specimen front page? Why none other than this.guardian20070313.jpg

I couldn’t make it up.


1. tulipstairs - March 28, 2007

If you look at the Irish papers, they generally have the same headlines. Recently, presumably to differentiate themselves, the UK papers have always had different headlines.

Perhaps the Guardian just assumed that other papers would have such headlines and front page photos…


2. joemomma - March 28, 2007

To be fair, the Guardian had gone to town on NI-related front pages recently, maybe they had exceeded some quota or other by the time the actual deal and accompanying image emerged. Their front page headline the previous day has been along the lines of “Paisley and Adams to meet”, a story most other UK papers carried on the inside pages.

There may also be a touch of “Not Invented Here” syndrome – as tulipstairs says, knowing all the other papers would lead with the picture they decided to go for something nobody else would dream of putting on the front page – royal wills.

And of course, any story that contributes to the overall impression of the monarchy as a corrupt, self-serving, and anachronistic institution is well within the mission parameters for a leading British left-liberal daily.


3. WorldbyStorm - March 28, 2007

Fair points, and yet… it still points up the distance from the metropolitan centre.

I even purchased a real copy of the IT for the photo – for posterity of course…



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