the past week I have viewed with something approaching
amusement the rantings by Martin McGuinness that
I have been an advisor to the McCartney women as
they pursue justice for their murdered brother Robert.
A former minister of the British crown throwing
criticism at republicans is hardly a cause of great
concern. Needham, Mates, Concannon, McGuinness -
what should it matter which former Brit minister
has a poke?
months ago Joe Pilling was the subject of McGuinness's
ire when, desperately trying to plug a leaking credibility,
he flailed around in search of a convenient scapegoat
on to whom he could pin the rapidly depreciating
label 'securocrat'. Now to explain away his party's
failings in its handling of the McCartney murder,
he has cast his line again, this time in the hope
of hooking an 'advisocrat'.
would be absolutely nothing wrong with being an
advisor to the McCartney women. In fact it would
be an honour. Just, in my case, I have to forego
any misdirected praise because it would be received
under false pretences. The allegation by McGuinness
is nonsense. On a Radio 4 programme he must have
left some listeners under whelmed when he made the
outlandish allegation that I had stated on a Radio
panel discussion on the 13th of March that I was
an advisor to the McCartney women. There was as
much chance of my having declared myself a forward
with Manchester United. The only programme I featured
on that day was Seven Days. Perhaps the securocrats
have since wiped the master tape and beamed memory
erasing rays to anyone who listened to the broadcast.
The BBC has no record of the said confession, and
no one else can recall it. McGuinness made it up.
Comical Marty strikes again.
spinning nonsense it is important to have a kernel
of truth even as a fall back position for when the
spin boomerangs. McGuinness and truth seem not to
be on the terms of even a nodding acquaintance.
Frequently having accused himself of not being in
the IRA, it is small wonder that few get excitable
when the latest accusation shunts off from his lips.
As a journalist said last night, things are so bad
that when Sinn Fein do eventually tell the truth
about something, nobody will be there to believe
does McGuinness hope to achieve by churning out
porkies? Seemingly, he reckons that if the McCartney
women's campaign can be tainted with the shadow
of the 'anti-peace process' lobby, it might
bring a few much needed alms of sympathy his way.
Unfortunately for Sinn Fein, it has not been too
adept in manipulating a wider public into believing
that opposition to the peace process and violently
dissenting from it are essentially one and the same.
are lots of good reasons to oppose the peace process,
not least of all that the process subverts the peace.
In fact amongst those opposed to the peace process
can be found many who genuinely support the peace
and cannot therefore endorse the process. Their
dissent from the peace process is not violent, unlike
Sinn Fein and its militia who on occasion have sought
to violently impose the peace process. Moreover,
we would be fools to support a process that effectively
provides de facto immunity to those in the Sinn
Fein leadership who might seek to order our murder.
All should feel free to support Christmas - but
not the turkeys.
the real irritant prompting McGuinness's advisocrat
outburst is his anathema to the concept of autonomous
intelligent women operating under their own steam.
Women can indeed be seen on the Ard Comhairle of
Sinn Fein. Public opinion in modern Ireland would
hardly countenance an exclusively male political
leadership in any party. But in Comical Marty's
secret society, where the real decision making processes
function well beyond the range of any democratic
scrutiny, no woman has ever been accused of being
on the army council. A thirty six year life span
and not a woman about the place. A Cultra golf club
would get past an Equal Opportunities investigator
with a cleaner bill of health.
it is just too much for the great strategist to
be turned inside out by such 'lowly mortals' as
women whose real place, in his world view, is at
the kitchen sink. He must be acutely aware that
he has never once seized the initiative and at times
has been reduced to sounding like an incoherent
idiot, something borne out by his frequent appearances
on Hearts & Minds. When Noel Thompson
gets him in the hot chair it is like something from
Billy Smart's Circus where the call goes up to 'bring
on the clowns.' McGuinness never fails to put in
a performance which leaves viewers in no doubt that
he was born with a 'silver foot in his mouth.' The
humiliation is all the greater for the sexist/macho
character when women, unheard of in public life
eight weeks ago, come across as much more articulate
accusatory diatribe has added weight to the charges
levelled by the McCartney women that his party has
acted in bad faith in its dealings with them. He
has demonstrated that the women are not viewed as
allies in the search for justice but as hostile
forces who must be halted by foul means or fouler.
McGuinness, however, labours under a serious handicap
in his effort to label the women as pawns in the
hands of some external string puller. As his party
creaks under the weight of its own dissembling its
organised lying is not as organised as it used to