At a recent meeting in Tallaght , Dublin , Michael O’ Leary urged residents to pay their water charges – scarcely popular advice ! But , with characteristic inconsistency he has cleverly avoided taking sides on the travellers’ issue .
O’ Leary is quite highly thought of in the PD’s and the likelihood is that a formal application to join would be favourably received . Clearly there is no room in Tallaght for both Micko and Mary Harney , but that problem is not insoluble .
At the last constituency revision , some 8,000 voters from middle-class Templeogue were transferred out of Dublin South-West : this could provide Micko with a plausible pretext for moving to an adjoining constituency on the PD ticket . Ironically , there is now an obvious Fine Gael vacancy in Dublin Central following Michael Keating’s defection to the PD’s , but Micko’s chances of returning to his old beat in the North Inner City are just about nil…….
<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 .
Asked , for example , what he thinks of (Free State) Taoiseach Bertie Ahern’s rather erratic series of comments in recent months about the emphasis on decommissioning in the ‘Good Friday Agreement’ , Martin McGuinness leaves no doubt that there is , to say the least , a degree of puzzlement in republican (sic- PSF) circles as to what precisely Bertie Ahern is playing at : the word on the street is that the (P) Sinn Fein leadership (*recent picture here*) was ‘ incandescent with apoplexy ‘ ( before the suits and careers they would have just been ‘raging’ ! – ed) about Bertie Ahern’s recent interview with ‘The Sunday Times’ newspaper , in which Ahern at least allowed the impression to be gained that he believed there needed to be some decommissioning of IRA weapons before (P) Sinn Fein could be admitted to the Stormont executive .
There is no sense , from Martin McGuinness’s response , that this ‘unhappiness’ was not indeed profound , and yet , when one sifts through the entrails of the remarks which one imagined to be somewhat critical of Bertie Ahern , they yield nothing but the merest quizzical expression from McGuinness himself ; ” I think the only person who can explain the Taoiseach’s contributions to this debate is the Taoiseach himself …” , says McGuinness , fixing me with his most sincere gaze , ” …although he has told us time and time again that he is committed to the implementation of the Good Friday Agreement , that he’s opposed to , as he said in Armagh two weeks ago , any attempt to park it or rewrite it .”
Then Martin hits the ‘what-people-are-saying-to-me-in-the-street’ programme – ” If you go out into the streets of West Belfast or many other parts of the North , and nationalist Ireland , I think it is fair to say that there is concern among people about the mixed messages* which are coming from Dublin . I have met quite a number of people in the nationalist community who are seeking explantions as to why this is happening at this time . ” (* ‘1169…’ Comment – “Mixed messages…” from Dublin ? That is a “concern” . We mean considering the fact that ‘messages from Dublin’ have always been strongly pro-republican and vehemently anti-Westminster in the past……!)
<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 .
The British Empire imploded when the cost of fighting two world wars almost bankrupted the ‘mother country’ , but it might have muddled through if its ungrateful subjects(!) had wanted it to carry on . We did not – most of us broke free at the first chance we got !
No matter how noble the intentions are – and I have yet to be convinced that Pax Americana’s intentions are especially noble to begin with – it will backfire sooner or later . As Robespierre once put it – ” Nobody likes a missionary with a gun .”
[END of ‘EMPIRES OF DUST’]
(Next – ‘Guns to bread and butter’ – from 1983)