Dear cuddly old Gerry Adams told us a while ago that the IRA (Provisional, not to be confused with the Official or Continuity or Real or…) hadn’t gone away. Now there’s Gerry ensconced in Dáil Éireann (Parliament of the Republic of Ireland, for all you foreigners), while Marty McGuinness as our beloved Deputy First Minister is sitting not so far away from me, up the hill at Stormont (Northern Ireland Assembly, for ditto), and both of them are convinced that violence for political ends is a ‘bad thing’! They really are heavy into it! And, of course, they are right!
So when a bunch of so-called dissident republicans blow away a prison officer, they must be condemned immediately as vile violaters of our sacred peace process. Outraged, grim-faced, our Gerry and Marty – supported by the serried ranks of (now mainstream) outraged and grim-faced Republicanism – get the outraged heads on. And don’t forget wee Pete Robinson, the Dear Leader, outraged and grim-faced First Minister of Northern Ireland. He’s been out there, laying it on the line. He and Marty and the rest won’t be deterred from making Ulster/The Six Counties/Northern Ireland/Failed Entity etc. a place free from people who believe that violence is the way to resolve our island differences. How dare these folk think otherwise?
Here’s the problem! Starting wayyyyyyy back in 1970, there was a different tune in the air – ‘We shall overcome (them – insert the side you wanted to overcome)’ sung to the accompaniment of massed Armalites and AK-47s. Marty commanding the IRA in Derry, Gerry having absolutely nothing to do with the IRA in Belfast – he never was in the IRA, honest like, he was just like er… And wee Peter and Papa Doc running round the hills of County Antrim waving firearm certificates and wearing red berets and reminding us all how the UVF in 1912 saved us from…
You see, they all seemed to be saying that since they didn’t agree with the status quo, they had the right to change it. And since the self-appointed freedom fighters who agreed with their rantings felt unconstrained in deciding which laws didn’t apply to them (like the ones against killing people), they felt that they could justify any means to their ends. Like planting car bombs in crowded shopping streets. Like walking into a bar full of football supporters and spraying them with 7.62mm rounds. Using techniques of persuasion that even Tony Soprano would flinch from. The message to people on the island of Ireland was ‘We must have a United Ireland/Assured British Future. We’re on your side, defending you from them, so do as we say, not as we do. And, if we really want your opinion, we’ll give it to you.’
Forty odd years on, a new generation is at it. They don’t see why they should be bound by the same laws as the rest of us. A screw is a symbol of Brit repression. Kill him. Discourage the others. A peeler is part of the Brit war machine. Kill him, stop catholics joining PSNI. Unarmed Brits collecting pizza? Symbols of 800 years of English oppression. Cap ’em! Let’s bomb and bullet our way to a joyful United Ireland where all of the stains of Brit rule have been flushed down the gutters in blood! Oh and don’t forget the folk on the other side. There’s some of them who want to bomb and bullet our way to an assured Brit future, with all stains of republican terror flushed er… sounds familiar, don’t it?
So how on earth are we still here in 2012? Surely we were supposed to be at peace once and for all, once all of our gallant politicos had inserted their snouts in the trough, and wedged their feet firmly under the table that groans under the weight of allowable expenses, free trips abroad…?
Like the Meerkat says, ‘Simples! Tsk’. The new generation has learned from the old.
So Marty and Gerry and Peter, before you start slabbering on about how these villains won’t derail the plans you set in motion – just remember. You taught them all they know about hating, and just like you boys – they are quick learners!! They are the inheritors of those twisted ideas for which so much blood and suffering was spread around for 35 long, long years.
Haven’t we had enough?? Sensible folk think that we have.
But it’s like our Gerry said! They haven’t gone away, you know! It’s just the faces have changed.
PS Oh and Gerry has been sounding off about the Scottish devolution debate. He feels that we up here should be engaged in a similar soul-searching. Except does anyone up here want an independent Ulster? I think he means that we should be discussing Irish unity, in which case, Scottish devolution seems a wee touch er… irrelevant.
Personally, I don’t give a toss whether NI is governed from Belfast or London or Dublin or Disneyland. So, the day that our Gerry explains how a totally fucked-up Irish Republic economy ruined by incompetent gombeen men can
(a) absorb another 1.5 million odd folk, half of whom will be really pissed off and bolshie,
(b) pay for all of the services and standards that the wicked Brits underpin,
(c) persuade said wicked Brits to pay for said services until the Irish economy recovers on the Ides of Never, and
(d) provide cast iron guarantees that the day after reunification won’t see the start of yet another Irish civil war,
I’ll vote for Dublin.
Until then, I like my pension just at the level it is!!