King Cuckoo

I wonder if Martin McGuinness ever casts an eye back over the devastation he helped to wreak in the North and further afield that culminated in his appointment to the British administration that now assists London in running the place.

The British state might be home to a strange lot but it sure does know how to co-opt and neutralise an erstwhile dangerous adversary. It can even use that one time aggressor as a stalking horse to draw the invective from republicans that would in other circumstances be lobbed directly at the British themselves.

A visitor to the country with little in the way of knowledge about its turbulent political history would be excused for believing that throughout the years of political violence Martin McGuinness was a colleague of David Ford in the Alliance Party. The visitor may even conclude that the partnership between the two has lasted to this day culminating in an active policy aimed at repressing republicanism.

McGuinness is nothing if not outlandish. He has labelled those currently engaged in armed republican activity against the British as ‘living in cloud cuckoo land … the disgraceful ongoing activities of those people that believe the use of guns and bombs brings solutions to problems.’ He called on the people involved to ‘go away and recognise, not only are they not making a contribution to making life better for our people, they're actually damaging it.’

It seems self-evident that armed republicanism is on the road to nowhere and that its guns and bombs are not solutions to the type of problems that republicans feel exist. But they never were. Armed republicanism failed because, while it may have been the answer to some things including British repression, it could never hope to effectively answer the question of British sovereignty over the North.  But Martin McGuinness fails to address any of this and behaves as if guns and bombs were something that he was never associated with. He refuses to acknowledge that guns and bombs catapulted his political career if not much else.

Those of us who have lived in the country and are not subject to visitor’s unfamiliarity nor press amnesia will take a different view. We can recall him castigating a previous republican leadership on the basis that it wanted peace and was willing to stop the war. He encouraged the anti-peace lobby with the promise of more war; a war that would never, never, never stop until British rule was ended. A year after that speech one of the actions in the war that would never end took the lives of many innocent people at Enniskillen.

In his recent outbursts McGuinness, without seeming cognisant of it, passes a damning judgement on the violent campaign he directed. His criticism of current armed republicans could as accurately be applied to his own band. The Provisional IRA’s armed struggle failed lamentably in its core objective. It produced an outcome that few republicans – apart from those who willed and helped secure it - envisaged and certainly none professed to desire while the war was in full swing.  The disparity between aims and outcome has never been addressed by Sinn Fein. Until it is done so with the bluntness it requires, current armed republicans are always going to feel they were cheated rather than defeated, and will carry on in the hope that somehow things can be turned around militarily.

The Provisional  IRA volunteers who died trying to bring solutions to problems with guns and bombs have now been posthumously awarded the order of the cuckoo by their one time chief of staff.


  1. SF should disband and return constitutional nationalism to the SDLP. They are unfit/unclean.

    Pitty for Gerry Fitt and the abuse he endured. How long before we see a Lord O'Dowd or such ilk, whilst Professing to be an Irish republican of course whilst sitting in the Lords?

    SF are pathetic.

  2. 2 SF members were on tv tonight [ one was Raymond McCartney ] defending the Apprentice boys and condeming attacks on their hall.

    SF now stealing DUP clothes too.

  3. Mc Cartney was also on the nolan show this morning defending them along with loyalist's

  4. AM
    Good points on McGuiness and on "current armed republicans are always going to feel they were cheated rather than defeated"


    Sectarianism is sectarianism and has been on occassions a two way street --not always -but throwing petulant tantrums and burning things was usually what Orangemen did when they didn't get their way.

    Meanwhile, we all listen in absolute incredulity as McGuiness's gag reflexes continue to fail him -his hypocracy is unencumbered by any natural inhibition.


  5. Sectarianism became like PC it was a straight jacket in a war of nationalities. The huns were slaughtering Irish [catholics] indiscriminately and the nationalists were supposed to kiss their arse and convince them they are Irish too.
    What a load of bollox, they should have been in the glens of Antrim awaiting the boat. Those who weren't happy to accept democracy and integrate.

    Watching McCartney defend the apprentice boys just deletes any regard I ever held for the man. Ex hungerstriker? So fucking what.

  6. Adams is quoted in today's Irish News as telling the crowd at a hunger strike commemoration in Camloch that "...the British government never had any right to be in Ireland, does not have any right to be in Ireland and never have any right to be in Ireland." Imagine that, he thinks the British government have no right to be in Ireland! Am I missing something here, Stormont? Administering the 'pravince' on behalf of London? Ah well.

  7. Larry

    I did not see or hear what McC had to say so I was not defending him. Many Loyal Lodges have already ceased to exist others have lost as much as 80% or so of their membership --while they are likeley not going to march into complete oblivion they are becoming more and more irrelevant to most Protestants -I see little point in giving them fuel or fodder. That is not to say that they should not be opposed from marching where they are not wanted just how they are oppsoed is what is important. In another blogg Anthony accuartely points out that new comers might think McGuiness is a long standing member of the Alliance Party and colleague to David Ford. Similalrly with the Orangemen more and more people may not understand their full significance but only see colourful bands and displined lines of sash bearers --while around them nationalist youths run amok --or at least that is one perception --as time passing that could be the enduring image of Orangemen? I dunno? But petulance and youths goading for a riot don't win many hearts or minds.


  8. I thought Republicans were supposed to be non sectarian. I think it is un fucking believable that you are condeming Sinn Fein for being critical of sectarian attacks.

  9. The apprentice boys and Walkers club have control of Derrys walls. To this day they exclude historical societies or interested historians from utilising the walls, performing re-enactments etc on the walls.

    Where's the parity of esteem, inclusiveness there in 2011.

    Nationalists should STOP bending over to be shafted by these fascists. The best tourist attraction in the north is the burnt out shell of an Orange hall.

    Like I say, non-sectarianism was a straight jacket. A refusal to face reality. Like black people calling each other nigger but don't you dare do that, 'whitey'.

  10. Ted ledy
    show me where it says that to be anti monarchist/republican you must defend the orange order?