Northern Report… February 15, 2017Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
The first was the news coverage of Martin McGuinness’s announcement on January 10th that he was resigning as deputy first minister.
Because of illness McGuinness had not been seen in the media for several weeks, and his frailty in the footage was shocking.
It touched at the heart of conflicted views which many in the Republic hold about McGuinness – instincts of basic human decency intermingled with respect for his work as a peacemaker and rejection, even revulsion, for his history as a gunman.
Sure, but Whelan himself has been no slouch in casting aspersions on SF – not in a political sense, which is one thing, but rather in terms of their unsuitability etc to hold office – in his time. And that makes another anecdote he offers rather curious:
…on Monday last when, at the launch of the Democratic Unionist Party’s campaign, Arlene Foster was asked for her party’s attitude to the introduction of an Irish language Act in Northern Ireland.
The DUP leader replied that her party would never agree to the passage of an Irish language Act at Stormont.
She accused supporters of such legislation, including Sinn Féin, of “using the Irish language as a tool to beat unionism over the head”.
An Irish language Act, she said, would serve only a tiny minority of people who chose to use the language, and she went on to argue that if Northern Ireland were to have an Irish language Act it should maybe also have a Polish language Act since there were more speakers of the latter.
Then, raising her voice, she said that appeasing was not the way she did business, and then, paraphrasing and somewhat distorting a famous Churchill quote, she added: “If you feed a crocodile it will only come back looking for more.”
Foster was playing to her own tribal political audience, but to those of us in the Republic the clip exposed publicly the arrogance and antagonism which Sinn Féin and others had long told us they have had to endure in private.
Hmmm… arrogance and antagonism – eh?