<img src="PILLARS OF SOCIETY : MICHAEL O’ LEARY …….
From ‘Phoenix’ magazine , April 1986 .
The same element of calculation is clearly evident at present – Michael O’ Leary’s dogged pursuance of the divorce issue has made him further enemies in Fine Gael – and not only in Dublin – but it has given him a higher profile on a popular issue , which he also researched locally, after more than three years silence .
His more recent support for the renegotiation of oil-licences brings him into line with other Fine Gael ‘dissidents’ and , more significantly perhaps , would not be incompatible with a further transplant, this time to the PD’s . Contrary to some speculation , Micko did not apply to join the new party , though he did publicly welcome their arrival .
Perhaps he was inhibited by a severe local problem – of all the seats in all the constituencies of the State , he had to blunder into the bailiewick of Mary Harney : Tallaght is simply not Mick’s place .Though not as bad a constituency deputy as is sometimes made out, he has little stomach for the dreary round of grass-roots ‘chores’ arising endlessly in working-class districts…….
<img src="(Martin McGuinness , left , with Henry Kissinger , as usual , on the right …)
DISARMING MARTIN …….
All (P)Sinn Fein leaders have a series of mantras and mini-speeches which they seek to get into every interview , regardless of the question .
The task of the journalist is to avoid setting off these reflex responses : the problem with Martin McGuinness is that he does it so pleasantly that it seems impolite to interrupt him .
From ‘MAGILL’ magazine , March 1999 .
By John Waters .
Martin McGuinness’s in-built ‘programmes’ include , for example , the ‘scale-of-the-republican-achievement’ programme , the ‘real-issues-of-the-peace-process’ programme , the ‘decommissioning-the-injustice-of-the-past’ programme and the ‘what-people-don’t-understand-about-the-situation’ programme .
The journalist’s job is to prevent these programmes being activated . The problem with Martin McGuinness is that he does it so pleasantly that it seems impolite to interrupt him ! There is also the problem that there are a lot of people out there waiting for (P) Sinn Fein leaders to say something by which they could then justify the antipathy to Irish republicanism which has resurfaced in the wake of the ‘Good Friday Agreement’ (Stormont Treaty) . This would not contribute to the prolongation of peace . (‘1169…’ Comment – It is actually the ‘GFA’/Stormont Treaty itself which “contributes …. ” nothing to “…the prolongation of peace ” ! That ‘Treaty’ simply postpones conflict , whilst allowing former combatants to financially enrich themselves in their master’s parlour .)
But Martin McGuinness , like other (P) Sinn Fein leaders , makes few blunders * and says little or nothing that is not carefully studied in advance . (‘1169….’ Comment * – Not so ! When the man had republican principles he had to be careful in choosing his words , but not now . He can , and does [like others in PSF] come out meekly to plead with the British to introduce their policy in our Six Counties . And he [and those others] can , and do , do that because so little is now expected of them in relation to fighting for a British withdrawal.) Nor does he in any sense* fail to convey his meaning in quite explicit terms : (‘1169…’ Comment * – Again , not the case – ” We will lead you to the Republic…..not a bullet , not an ounce…. no New Stormont… ” ; explicit terms , but obviously NOT what he meant !) it’s just that he is , to say the least , cautious about telling you what he thinks about something ,tending to couch his strongest responses in terms of “…what republicans are saying..” or “…what people say to me in the street..” (‘1169…’ Comment – Martin will , soon enough , once again be able to use the ‘Expenses’ part of his Saxon Shilling to employ someone to tell him ‘what people are saying on the street’ )…….
<img src="EMPIRES OF DUST …….
Britain’s leaders talk about remodelling the world and its historians draw attention to the ‘good side of the old empire’ . But what about the reality ?
From ‘MAGILL’ magazine , March 2003 .
By Edel Brosnan .
If George Bush’s new-found interest in the Middle-East simply traded oil for democracy , I would applaud it . Freedom – like bisongrass vodka , or half-fat milk – is undoubtedly a good thing : but parachuting into a ‘rogue state’ and installing a more congenial leader is pointless .
I supported western intervention in Kosovo – but , in retrospect , that action left it even more lawless than it was before : regime change in Afghanistan just replaced the women-hating bigots of the Taliban with the women-hating thugs of the Northern Alliance .
There was lessons there for the British Empire . But they weren’t learned…….