By Adam Kula
A former Provo killer has told of how his view of Mr Hume had changed over time, from seeing him as a “traitor” to admiring him for the “consistent” nature of his non-violent views.
|John Hume in 1985|
During the Troubles I thought he was a waste of space, because we had this arrogant attitude and intolerance of difference. We were hostile towards people who were critical of us. By and large we bought into the kind of elitist, exclusive mentality, and we bought into the concept that John Hume was just like all the other traitors that had gone before him.
Mr McIntyre, who served a prison term for killing a UVF man, is today a strong critic of Sinn Fein, and his opinion of Mr Hume is quite different.
Our attitude to the SDLP was that they were spineless – when in fact they weren’t. Many of them took great risks. My view of Hume has changed over the years, completely evolved. I’d hold him in a large amount of esteem now.
He said that while he was in prison, his comrades “were advocating that we should shoot him”.
This was never carried out “because it was a strategically bad thing, not because it was morally wrong – that’s not how we thought in those days“.
Mr McIntyre added:
I think he basically held to a position and advocated a position that our leadership later took up. They took it up more for career terms, opportunist terms, and made a very radical change. Hume would be a guy who was pretty consistent in what he said, and pretty consistent in the values that he’d held to. And the Good Friday Agreement in many ways was the outworking of what he believed in. I’d look at Hume now in a way I didn’t look at him many years ago. I always felt that Hume’s problem was Sinn Fein were ready to vampirise his ideas and colonise his constituency, which they have done successfully. Adams sailed on the Hume ship, until he managed to become the captain of it.
⏩Follow on Twitter @AnthonyMcIntyre
Courageous Dr. Big Mackers at his best!ReplyDelete
Tá meas mór agam ar a thráchtaireacht.
We’ve discussed this before elsewhere, T, but the politics of Hume were the politics of the British state in Ireland. They were and are wholly in line with Britain’s strategic imperatives — which were and are to gain acceptance of her right to rule in Ireland. On my mother’s side, all of the uncles joined the Army and done their time in the various prisons of Britain here. Her father, however, was very much a ‘John Hume man’ and believed in non-violence. I always had a bit of respect for Hume, because of how he spoke about him, but for me the Stoops were and remain bedfellows of the enemy. Ultimately, the triumph of Hume’s politics and their embrace by Adamsite Sinn Féin reflect the triumph of British politics, not those of the SDLP. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal.ReplyDelete
Sean - Insofar as he viewed unity only by consent, that's right. But not just the British state - the vast majority of people in the country hold to that view.Delete
Unity only by consent was the dominant strain of Brit policy and securing an acceptance of that position was a strategic imperative for them. Hume was not a puppet of the British. His uniting the people of Ireland rather than the territory was more a wider European than a British concept.
The GFA made sense for him and he was consistent in driving for it because it was the outworking of what he believed. For republicans it was a mockery of everything they fought for. Hume's pre GFA politics made the GFA logical. Republican pre GFA politics made the GFA illogical.
Ultimately, the GFA was not worth one single death. Point is Hume didn't take one single life to obtain it.
I think the GFA is very much a triumph for the SDLP but also for the British.
"the Stoops were and remain bedfellows of the enemy" - there we have it in one clause, why Irish republicanism is such a failure, sad, parochial, us and them. If you'd followed Hume and not Adams we would all be living in much better 'unified' Ireland and thousands would not have died for nothing.ReplyDelete
'if my auntie had been a man she'd been my uncle'.
Recriminations are unlikely to create opportunities for insight or transformation!
Dare I say it ... off with you and on your bike!
Sorry for not intellectually stimulating you but when people fail to see the inherent good in people and call them enemies or lundys they need called out.
the campaign of violence, and all the previous campaigns within which it was nested, could only thrive to the extent that they did dependent upon the necessary conditions of domination and suppression already existing.
You'd do well to remember that part of the genesis for the last phase lies in the sectarian murders of the mid 60's in Belfast and the agent-provocateur operations of '69 on electricity and water services by Loyalists who saw their supremacist position threatened. Them cunts didn't want nor try to see any inherent good in their CRN neighbours.
Instead the PUL communities largely supported those who toppled a man who had greater potential, than any other PUL leader before or since, for seeing the good in others; one Terence O'Neill.
But hey, we all have blind spots!
Totally agree, I'm no fan of political unionism/loyalism, that's why I included the phrase 'lundys' but thanks for the useless lecture anyway.
Well, at least we're in agreement Peter.Delete
Apologies if it felt like a useless lecture. Possibly other readers may have found some value in my perspective?
(I know from previous comments and particularly from some mentions you made about those who went to defend the Spanish Republic that you're no fan of political unionism/loyalism).