Death of a Hatesman

When occurrences like the death of Ian Paisley take place an outsider might conclude that they are stage managed events, put in place to herald a ‘best bollix’ competition. And in this one, if it has not been served up already,  then stand by between now and the day of the funeral for guff to be churned out in copious quantities: extra-large falsehoods to mask the extra-large failings of an extra-large ego.  
Already the texts are flying as we are assailed by revellers urging us to party; pretty much like when Margaret Thatcher died. I don’t care if they arrive in my phone. I don’t care if they don’t. I took no joy from his dying. Nor did it make me sad. As was said about dying in the great novel on Rwanda, A Sunday by the Pool in Kigali, it is just something that we do someday. And almost everybody that died during the North’s politically violent conflict was much less culpable than Ian Paisley.  
The founder of the Free Presbyterian Church was no innocent. He lived to a great age, 88, and died in his bed. The overwhelming majority of those who died in the conflict from all walks of life, combatants and civilians, never reached that age. Many of them died very young, not even out of their teens, in some cases not yet into their teens. We might not hear much of it today but they ended their lives gasping for air amidst the toxic fumes of venom unremittingly pumped out with satanic energy from a web of hatred, at the centre of which, like a banana spider, poised for both prey and power, lurked Ian Paisley. This man of god preyed with considerably more vigour than he ever prayed. 
Martin McGuinness told us of the great “friend” (how the ‘r’ somehow got into the word, the peace process alone can explain) he had lost. Martin used to have other great friends who, unlike the one he lost this morning, did his bidding and killed members of Paisley’s congregation who happened to be members of the British security services defending the consent principle Martin now supports. Sometimes they were not even members of anything other than Paisley’s Martyrs Memorial Church. Their killers are not Martin’s friends any more, just traitors to the island of Ireland. Which presumably made Big Ian a friend to Ireland. With friends like that ... 
Paisley could no doubt tolerate McGuinness, whom he jokingly referred to as ‘the deputy’, pointedly reminding the former IRA chief of staff of his second class status in the “new” but not newly partitioned North. In the Derry Catholic, the Ballymena Protestant found validation and the path to his own political redemption, the midwife of the ogre-friendly language showered upon us this day. It was only after Sinn Fein had agreed to a new form of British policing for the North, did Paisley sup with the man he previously called a ‘bloodthirsty monster’. The ‘single greatest threat to the British state’ who had sworn to castrate the RUC, in the end came to suck its truncheon. Paisley, indeed had much to wax orgasmic about.  
When they take to describing him as a statesman, my one thought will be of Henry Kissinger being lauded as a peacemaker. But we are used to this type of dross. We just don’t have to abide by it, or remain silent in the face of it either out of apprehension about causing offence to contrived sensitivity or of being labelled unhelpful to the peace process. Spin it, spoof it, anything but truth it, no weasel words can dilute it: Ian Paisley was one of the great hatesmen of Western Europe. Bertie Ahern might well try to clog clarity in telling us that Paisley was a ‘big man with a big heart’ rather than state the obvious that he was a big man with a big hate, who loathed with a biblical fury. To no avail:  ‘I hate with a perfect hatred’ was heaven sent for the big man.
The death of Ian Paisley should not mean the death of our ethical language. For certain, it has been corrupted, not by having us speak English or Ulster Scots, but by inducing in us a desire to express ourselves in the vernacular of the peace process, Weaselanto, so that we might not find right words to describe wrong things. 
In this home there will be no gloating over the death of Ian Paisley. Neither will he be mourned or missed. It would be less than human to say there is not a tinge of sorrow, not that he died, but that he lived.
  • Ian Paisley born in partition 1926; died in partition 2014, 'after a long hard battle with hatred.'  Survived by more people living under partition than ever before. 


  1. Anthony,
    In your opinion why was Paisley never targeted. I never bought into the he was of more use to the propaganda war alive. Paisley was the biggest agitator for violence against Catholics and yet remained unscathed, I never understood that.

  2. David

    Martin McGuiness summed it up on c4 news earlier, "Paisley was a bigger recruiting tool for the ira alive than dead".

  3. David,

    the short answer is the religious cloak he hid behind stiffing him would have been purely sectarian and the loyalist reaction would have been too stiff priests.

    As much as I despise the mini Hitler and his anti-Catholic rhetoric along with his sectarian ethos stiffing the ungodly mouth-piece would have provided truth in his rants. Better to think that his anti-Rome rants went unheard by his god and all his religious claptrap was exposed as nonsense and lies.


    Marty Mc took to twitter and expressed that he had lost a friend.


  4. Paisley a musical "tribute"

  5. Tain bo

    I seen that but McGuiness knows exactly what he's doing, a very shrewd politician. Sinn fein is a very well orchestrated political machine with a very intelligent steering group in the background, whilst the unionists and others are light years behind.

    Do you honestly think McGuiness classed paisley as a friend?

    Its all part of the long game.

  6. Justin,

    he would need to put a bit more iron in his cornflakes if he believes even moderate unionists would buy what he is selling. I agree unionists are light years behind and are content to sit in the trenches of the past in some hope of avoiding a shared future.

    Agreed a well oiled machine but the teeth on the cogs are worn and growing older the real test will come with a changing of the guard. The skeletons’ in the closet prevent the machine from running properly and the long road strategy kicked off too late in the day the British will always have the upper-hand in the waiting game.

    Learning from the masters has its draw backs as strongly challenging the masters requires more than trying to pull the wool over people’s eyes greeting the Queen and even today’s we yarn on twitter in a game of showmanship I doubt if the party followers didn’t quietly cringe. You could argue that it is SF playing by their rues but essentially a meeting at that level is playing by British rules softening up nationalists and republicans before 2016.

    Even the best oiled machines are prone to breaking down and in some ways today’s SF still depend on the old guard and have yet to completely move out of the trench.

    Being considered shrewd would reflect why many republicans don’t buy into SF the double speak doesn’t exactly work out too well as you say there are a lot of wise people in the back room but there is equally wise people outside the party.

    I am sure if Marty Mc gets the chance at a photo op he will kiss the heir apparent the problem with that is the amazing transformation of the former men of violence turned politicians does anyone truly believe the goody two shoes agenda?

    Even on the long road I wouldn’t count the Unionists out they have been playing British politics a great deal longer and will continue to go the distance to protect the Union.

  7. Tain bo

    I do not disagree with any of that. Where it does slip is the reaction when Adams got arrested, or the comments about paisley being a better recruiting agent alive than dead.

    Paisley being out of the game early on would of saved countless lives and endless suffering; keeping a war going and swelling the troop numbers seemed to trump all that.

    Sinn fein have a game plan and they are sticking with it no matter how far fetched it becomes to the layman.

    With regards to the unionists, they are drowning themselves and only a Tory government needing a majority will save them.

    Whether we agree with them or not, you can't help but admire sinn feins ability to of turned their image from the pyriahs to paragons of Irish politics.

  8. Tain,
    Good point you raised there, i never really thought of him as a religious figure, just a hate filled fascist old bastard.
    Justin, I understand that argument about the recruiting sergeant stuff and that's all very good and well in 2014 with the benefit of hind sight. I am just surprised that he lived through the mayhem of the early 70s with the poison that fell from his mouth.
    I disagree with Anthony, I am glad he's dead, the less people like him about the better. Too many brave young men died on the back of people like him's rhetoric.

  9. I am just going to stick to the facts of who Ian Paisley was to me.

    He was a an evil Cunt in life and now he will be a rotting Cunt in death.

  10. David,

    I thought the article is brilliant and spot on in truth compared to the dribble elsewhere. Personally, I couldn’t care if he had lived to 120.

    On the other side of the recruiting sergeant he was a big draw for young loyalists falling into the ranks of the UDA/UVF. His own attempt at creating the 3rd Force paramilitary group along with the other idiot Peter Robinson in his Frank Spencer Beret, failed. A rough time for the nut as London and Dublin continued to kiss and make-up and Paisley found out he was no Carson.

    I doubt the UVF/UDA had much time for the new 3rd Force as a Johnny come lately crew that could displace them I am sure they moved quickly to ensure Paisley didn’t gain a foothold on their Paramilitary ground.

    Sneaky Pete his not so loyal disciple waiting in the wings done what you think republicans should have done and literally stiffed the bigot in a political coup that worked out well as his downfall was brought about by his own not so loyal followers. If republicans had stiffed him he would be a martyr now he is just a corpse drowning in a sea of crocodile tears.

    I understand why people don’t see him as a religious figure but that is what he was a proud sectarian bigot with a unique seething hatred for Catholics and Rome. No different than any extremist religious loon.

  11. Justin,

    I don’t think Paisley being sidelined would have made a difference he incited sectarian hatred but kept his ungodly hands washed of the results even at that he believed in the only good taig is a dead one.
    I believe the British agenda was clear if they couldn’t pacify the rebel natives, crush them. In context the old world mindset was in place and that was just pouring petrol on the fire.

    It could be argued that the IRA had been on the defence since 1920 the courting with the Nazis in WW2 and the failed border campaign along with the rising of Marxist schools of thought taking hold around the globe influenced the IRA shift towards the left during the 60s usurped by the not so to the left more traditional IRA causing the split. The sticks took hell for calling a ceasefire in 72 and were put out to pasture.

    The Provisional’s got that one right in the broader sense of support and finance as their purse would have been very thin under a communist flag in a religious Ireland Marxism wouldn’t gain much traction. The civil rights movement had to be smashed as it was painted with radical communists in its ranks.
    Whilst Paisley and a litany of other ultra-right-wing old boys school of extremists railed against any political fair solution preferring the now established Brit agenda of wiping out the IRA.

    The now dominant Provos harangued moderate nationalists’ viewing the SDLP as propping up the State.
    Another example of the Provisional’s long term war was their willingness to try and smash the INLA that didn’t work out so well for either group senseless feuding INLA held their ground and the Provos begrudgingly semi-accepted them but never as equals.

    Neither group needed recruiting officers but certainly Paisleys protestant crusade under that political banner of a Protestant Ulster for a Protestant people without doubt shaped many early volunteers minds.

    Today the Provo dominance is still at play in SF now mates with the SDLP and enemies with non-SF-republicans. If anything the conflict would tell us not to rely upon game plans. Much like Unionists worshiped Paisley, SF worship Adams the political blunder at the Wailing Wall displayed how quickly the machine broke-down with a sinister message.

    I would believe if SF had not been in a rush or pressured to the peace table they could have had time to make peace with disenchanted republicans, choosing instead to take the loss of a large chunk of potential votes displaying dominance over unity.

    I don’t see a game plan it is basically sit about and wait and hope when the nationalists are the majority in the north that they vote to leave the union. Even if that date arrives the Brits will decide the outcome of how long in years it will take for them to withdraw so the UI is always far away.

  12. Wolfsbane,

    I will get back to you on both scores.

  13. On a different tact,I wonder what would of become of the Provisional struggle if they had leaders like Paisley , whose professed intransigence was the same in both public and private arenas. Maybe there is a lesson there for future republican consideration, not to make Unionist feelings central to developing republican theories.

  14. Very true article Anthony and maybe McGuinness is more like paisley than anyone every could imagine (ambitious, ruthless, egotistical). Neither personally suffered during the conflict yet caused others to suffer. As the saying goes "Know me by my friends".

    Sean Og