Where Were You When?

Sean Mallory has few kind words for Arleen Foster.

The weekend beginning Friday 09th February saw Theresa and Leo, both unusually and simultaneously free of government business, fly in to ‘norn iron’ to congratulate the appointment of Mary Lou as the new leader of SF even though she was in Dublin.

Mary Lou, having fought a somewhat at times bitter and brutal election campaign, just as Foster did, was radiant with delight at being elected on the second count and was graciously embraced and congratulated by one Northern SF leader, Mrs O’Neill.

Adams after many decades at the helm of a political movement that achieved not one of its original political objectives bowed out on a high to the tumultuous roar of the crowd in the RDS, or was that the crowd in the Aviva as Keith Earls went over the end line, who knows!

Unlike many of those who disagreed with him during his tenure, the term ‘retiring’ had a completely different concept back then than when it was used on that fateful weekend. But nonetheless off he trotted in to the wilderness of Donegal to write his memoirs, tripping over a few well-hidden truths poking out of the ground on his journey.....Truths composed mainly of decomposing human remains! But, another cure for insomnia is hard to turn down!

No, not for that did Theresa and Leo turn their backs on the international arena and sojourn to NI. No indeed, for ‘norn iron’ being without heads of state, they provided the substitutes required and arrived to announce the arranged and often quite strained and contentious ‘friendly’ football match between the two O’Neills that will take place in the Aviva stadium in Dublin, sometime later in the year, in October or was it November?

A match that quickly prompted one Gary McAllister, Press Officer and Chairman of the Amalgamation of Official Northern Ireland Supporters' Clubs, to inform all fans that wish to travel to the game that they are ambassadors for our ‘wee country someday to be free of Taigs’ and should behave as expected when visiting the capital city of that repulsive satellite of Rome.

Well, if Theresa and Leo had, and judging on their respective Brexit successes instead there would not doubt have be a few own goals!

No not for that either, disconsolately they both made the extremely banal announcement that the talks to restore Foster and the DUP to the anti-Catholic, anti-Irish, bigoted and unethical roles they held before were still on-going. Mary Lou, having just got rid of one political bigot, was taking her time to lie down with the dogs of the DUP. Their fleas being particularly nasty.

While the world's press, well the Belfast Telegraph at least, I think the world's press were there for I’m nearly sure I saw a press photographer or was that a groundsman from Hillsborough Castle taking selfies?

Anyway as they stood waiting on any titbits that should fall from the international negotiating table it became clear that Theresa who is being held to ransom by the DUP at Westminster was at odds with the DUP's ‘no surrender’ attitude. A recently resurrected throwback espoused in the House of Commons by Ian Paisley junior in reference to Britain’s capitulating stand against the EU, in the current Brexit negotiations. A statement heralding back to the 1600s where Protestant domination of the indigenous peoples first raised its sectarian and racist head.

Foster, taking time out from the ‘talks’ and unbeknown to the other patrons involved, informed the worlds press, all two of them including the grounds man, and in a scowling face too or is that her natural look, that in towing the line of her party faithful and aware of Nigel's snarling from the sidelines, made clear that there would only be an Irish Language Act over her dead body.

Still with the scowling face of that statement, she went on to conclude that the impasse this has created has led to the collapse of the talks which is Sinn Féin’s fault.

A view seconded by her right hand negotiator Simon Hamilton who went on to humiliate and berate the British Prime Minster Theresa May for having the audacity to visit this part of the UK!

Theresa, sensing failure through failing to copper-fasten any agreement between the DUP and Sinn Féin, and angry for being dragged to this remaining corner of the Empire on false pretences put on a positive demeanour and just as she does with the EU negotiations, quickly bid a hastily retreat back to Westminster and away from the Neanderthals of the DUP....much to relief of Hamilton!

Or so she thought until she discovered them sitting in her No 10 living room demanding more than the one billion and calling for a return of direct rule.

Having initially not come here to emulate or epitomise her idol, Margaret Thatcher, and vigorously stamp her authority on the talks process and ignoring Ian Junior's call to arms, she surrendered but has yet to announce what she capitulated to them.

Not one to rock the boat, Leo on the other hand, casually strolled back to Dublin, not on a horse mind you, to continue the vitally important government policy of checking on his popularity point's in the polls.

On hearing of the collapse of the talks Leo, agitated at being distracted from his vitally important government policy began to implement the process of Joint Rule as outlined under the 1998 Bilateral British-Irish Agreement separate from the Good Friday Agreement. Something the DUP no doubt will have ‘persuaded’ Theresa not to accept under any circumstances.

And so as Mary Lou and Arlene continue to land blows and recriminations abound, we can rest assured that Captain Foster Pugwash and her politically stale crew of sectarian miscreants attempt to keep the Black Pig afloat, that is ‘norn iron’, as she continues to bop upon stormy and turbulent Brexit seas ahead, we can thank our lucky stars that Mary Lou, never having fired a shot, has definitely put her guns away when she declared at the end of her inauguration speech, Tiocfaidh ár lá.

As for Arlene's future, a political leader without mandate or public office, “.......'Cause I'm leavin' on a jet plane, Don't know when I'll be back again, Oh babe, I hate to go....”

John Denver, Leaving On a Jet Plane

Sean Mallory is a Tyrone republican and TPQ columnist

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Anthony McIntyre

Former IRA prisoner, spent 18 years in Long Kesh. Free Speech advocate, writer, historian, humanist, and researcher.

1 comment to ''Where Were You When?"

  1. a few take home messages from the debacle!


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