Soufflé La Mort

Anthony McIntyre on why he thinks Gerry Adams is cooking up an Aras recipe with his soon to be launched book on cookery. 

Norman Tebbit is not quite amused that Gerry Adams is publishing a culinary work, supposedly under the title The Negotiators' Cook Book. So unamused is Norman that he has expressed the view that he hopes Adams chokes on the book. I guess Gerry would have to try eating the book for that to happen. Which isn’t really the point of the book at all. Nor is cooking if my political instinct is correct.

Adams as a writer seems for critics to have a knack similar to Stephen King. The Maine writer turns the mundane into horror whereas Adams stands accused of doing the opposite, transforming terror into trivia: "one of the prime apologists for terrorism in the 20th century is writing a book about tasty things to eat."

Nevertheless, there would appear to be some convergence on the provenance of the idea for The Negotiators' Cook Book.

Adams told his West Belfast audience that during negotiations, "the British never fed us. They never had any food." Jonathan Powell in his book Great Hatred Little Room observed that the first item on the Adams menu was that the British had no menu: he persistently insisted on being fed. While Gerry might claim that was some sort of personal revenge for the famine, that should be treated much as his claim to have worn a Bobby Sands T-shirt beneath his outer garments during talks in Downing Street. 

Adams tells us that recipes in the book are what helped sustain the Sinn Fein negotiating team. But like hugging trees and bouncing naked on trampolines this is to be treated more as gimmickry and less as cookery.

Fionola Meredith, a cooking aficionado, is pretty much appalled at what is on the menu. Speaking of the erstwhile Provisional IRA chief of staff she asserts:

he has also convinced many people that he is, in fact, a cuddly, eccentric and genial old grandad who likes nothing better than playing with his toy ducks in the bath and bouncing in the nude with his dog on the garden trampoline.
He's just a harmless, caring, progressive, good-hearted man, who also happens to be a fan of the poet and civil rights champion Maya Angelou. What a darling.
This weird cook book is merely the latest episode in a long vanity process of revisionism, selective editing and blatant self-mythologising by Mr Adams, which often seems to be deployed strategically as a convenient distraction from awkward political issues.

While right, arguably there is a fuller explanation in terms of the purpose of the strategic deployment. Meredith tilts towards a reading of the past rather than the future.

Sinn Fein is putting up a candidate against Michael D Higgins in the forthcoming presidential election. Adams' name will not be in the hat this time around. A stalking horse will be put out just to keep the challenger’s seat hot. Adams remains much too toxic to have any chance of winning but  that might change in seven years time when the field will be more open sans the almost insurmountable hurdle posed by a sitting incumbent, and one as popular as Michael D. If the right to vote in presidential elections is extended to the diaspora, Adams must fancy his chances of coming up on the inside track.

Mary Lou’s role in this is to act as sanitiser: a clean pair of hands that have left no finger prints at the scene of the crime so to speak. If she manages to successfully clean up the party’s image, take a broom to the cupboard’s skeletons and its bullies, allow the image of the culinary chef rather than the military chief to marinade over the next seven years, then its is a tide that will lift all boats.

Adams for his own part will hope that in the public mind the mundane matters of cookery books will help displace the murderous, that the aroma of spices will mask the malodour of decomposition. Seven years is a long time in politics.

Anthony McIntyre blogs @ The Pensive Quill.

Follow Anthony McIntyre on Twitter @AnthonyMcIntyre      

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Anthony McIntyre

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

13 comments to ''Soufflé La Mort"

  1. enjoyed that. hope the book will be as good as the tweet book with him and the goat on the cover that he brought out on the 100th anniversary of the easter rising. theres no end to this pathetic rubbish. pity the 'republicans' in nordieland who go along with this embarassing nonsense. what next - celebrity come dancing? what a fucking plonker and what fools sf look like now. God bless o bradaigh & o connail.

  2. Re-imagining republicanism through fine dining, I cant wait. Release date December 18th? Just to compound the humiliation.

  3. Round about the cauldron go;
    In the poison'd entrails throw.
    Toad, that under cold stone
    Days and nights has thirty-one
    Swelter'd venom sleeping got,
    Boil thou first i' the charmed pot.

    Double, double, toil and trouble; (10)
    Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.

    Macbeth, Act 1V, Scene 1

  4. humiliation is the right word daithid. willy wonkas everlasting gobstopper is the only thing that flake shud stick in his trap.

  5. Hasn't Gerry got form for cooking up a few "brownie" s already!

  6. Another good reason to ensure that the Nordies, never mind the diaspora, would ever get to have a say in who our president might be.

    This is just yet another vain attempt by Adams to represent himself as the bonhomie skilled negotiator rather than the deceitful self-deluded prat that he truly is.

    (Watch out AM that there isn't a signed copy set aside for you).

  7. Grouch, for someone someone so praised for his abilities by even his ostensible opponents, this is an avoidable error. Republican strategies centered on food were at their most powerful in relation to forsaking it, not this. Adams almost seems to be trolling.

  8. "Fionola Meredith, a cooking aficionado...." seriously!!!!!

  9. goodcall Daithi. to be honest - ive switched off from him and them a good while ago - i shudnt even be commenting on their crap but the abortion ref pulled me back in for a while so i kinda got sucked back in. and when u hear about shit like this food book its hard not to say something. but im done with them now again and nordie politics too. very depressing spectacle now. at least there seems to be a reaction to all this open border tranny stuff in other countries so there is something to hope for. sf are traitors, plain and simple. and sf nordieland are a disgrace to the people associated with the party of the 70s 80s. tragic. i was in newsagent a while ago and saw front cover of phoblacht. felt like crying when i remebered the lads who used to go round selling it in pubs here back in the 80s. utterly depressing sight on the cover of two smiling trannyesque witches holding a placard proclaiming that the north is next. "was it for this the wild geese spread the grey wing on every tide."

  10. Provolova? Chicken ar la? A nice sirloin cut with a Steak knife perhaps?

  11. I eagerly await his books on gardening and interior design.

  12. Christopher, i think he mite avoid the gardening book - burying things underground etc...

  13. First the Great Negotiator, now First Chef, sure didn't his 'Sinn Fein Project' and recipe work out well for two-pensions Gerry?


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