Ah, only a few days into Martin McGuinness’ presidential candidacy and the Irish media establishment, those paragons of right wing, unregulated free market capitalism (Celtic Tiger? Nothing to do wiv us, gov’nor!) and wannabe English, Neo-Unionist types have gone into a frenzy of righteous indignation. The Golden Circle is imperilled!
From your super, soaraway Evening Herald we have commentator-cum-television reviewer Andrew Lynch (quality…):
“Nobody should be fooled. McGuinness’s friendship with Ian Paisley may have caused them to be dubbed the Chuckle Brothers, but in fact one of his main characteristics is a total lack of humour. In reality, he is a cold-eyed, stone-hearted fanatic — and, barring a personality transplant, a completely unsuitable candidate to be the next President of Ireland.
McGuinness has also put forward the fiction that he left the IRA in the early 1970s, shortly after being imprisoned in the Republic for the possession of explosives. All serious historians of the Troubles agree that this is a total lie. As recently as 2005, justice minister Michael McDowell claimed that both Adams and McGuinness were on the IRA’s army council — suggesting that they were the military masterminds behind a campaign that eventually claimed over 1,800 lives.
The McGuinness for President campaign is based on the notion that Irish people have very short memories. Maybe, but they are surely not that short. If his sinister past is dragged out into the light where it belongs, then the Shinners may start wishing they had run a fresher face such as Mary Lou McDonald instead.
Martin McGuinness has got away with an awful lot in his life. Let’s not allow him to get away with fooling the people of Ireland as well.”
Nothing like the moral high-ground! Especially when you can assume it from a hundred miles down the road, in (relative) safety and you never experienced living with a foreign army on your streets. Well, you sort of did but hey, that was nearly a century ago and we don’t have it down here any more. But of course if we did you’d be resolutely opposed to it, right? Wouldn’t you Andy? Out there, resisting the enemy to defend Ireland’s democracy and freedom? Hmmm…
Then we have the wisdom of Ireland’s bravest of the brave intellectuals, Mr. Fintan O’Toole. Well, brave until it actually came to standing up for his beliefs and putting himself on the line in which case it all sort of fell apart. Nothing like talking the talk, Fintan, but when it comes to walking the walk? Well some men walk away. Of course Martin McGuinness didn’t, in his home town of Derry: in an Irish city in Ireland. He stood up for his beliefs. He (whisper it) actually fought for his beliefs. But according to fearless Fintan:
“I would like to think McGuinness is haunted by some of the obscenities to which he was a party. But shouldn’t that private grief manifest itself in a certain tact, a reticence about pushing things too far? Shouldn’t he feel extraordinarily blessed to have been allowed to escape the consequences of the deeds he has been party to? Shouldn’t gratitude for that blessing make him think twice about the hubris of putting himself forward as the leading citizen of this State, the embodiment of its better values?”
Hubris? As in “excessive pride, presumption or arrogance”? Sure, nothing you’d be familiar with, Fintan?
While it is perfectly reasonable for Martin McGuinness to be quizzed about his personal history, in all of its many facets, there is no doubt that there is an agenda here, a nasty partitionist one. The media establishment, a golden circle of journalists and commentators who spent the last forty years subverting and skewing journalistic independence and neutrality in pursuit of their own political aims and goals, are now out to undermine our democratic presidential election and they will use any means, fair or otherwise, to do so.
A fact that Martin McGuinness has recognised, as reported by the online Journal:
“Martin McGuinness has blamed “West Brit elements” in the media and in political parties for consistent references to his history of involvement in the IRA.
Speaking to Newstalk’s Chris Donoghue at the National Ploughing Championships in Co Kildare, McGuinness said he respected that there would be people who would “try to muddy the waters” regarding his previous activity.
“My faith is with the people… there are West Brit elements, in and around Dublin – some of them are attached to some sections of the media, others are attached to political parties and were formerly involved in political parties.I say to all of them: I go forward on my record. My record as a peacemaker, I think, is unequalled. Anywhere.
McGuinness added that he would not have been invited to the Oval Office, South Africa, Iraq, Sri Lanka or the Basque Country “if there were any question marks whatsoever over my work as a peacemaker.”
His previous involvement in the IRA, he said, had been “said by people who are hostile to my candidacy.”
In a nod to Fianna Fáil’s decision not to field a candidate of its own, the Sinn Féin MLA said he would be appealing to voters “who previously supported other political parties to rally to my flag.
“They have got a very important choice to make about who presents the new Ireland,” he said.
“I certainly do represent the new North – and I think I can represent all of Ireland in a way that brings great credit to the Irish people.””
I have outlined before exactly who those “elements” are. These people, the true subversives, are still there, gnawing away at the sinews of our democracy and our nationhood. It is time for the people of Ireland to stand up and to give the real Golden Circle in Ireland, the lying, cheating, deceitful two-faced men and women of our national news media who are implicit in the economic ruin of our nation the political bloody nose they so richly deserve.
- Martin McGuinness – Uachtarán na hÉireann? (ansionnachfionn.com)
- Martin McGuinness has trumped Gay Micthell in Paddy Power betting. (politics.ie)
- Martin McGuinness as Irish president? You never know | Fionola Meredith (guardian.co.uk)
- Media ‘using victims’: McGuinness (bbc.co.uk)
- Charismatic candidates add spice to the Irish Presidential elections (leaderswedeserve.wordpress.com)
- Dublin: United Ireland Peace Broker Martin McGuinness To Run For President (lostchildreninthewilderness.wordpress.com)
- The towering hypocrisy of Fintan O’Toole (politics.ie)
- McGuinness lashes out the ‘West Brit’ media in Ireland (politics.ie)
- 5 reasons why I’ll be voting for Martin McGuinness (politics.ie)
- Martin McGuinness to run for president (independent.co.uk)
- You: Martin McGuinness to run for Irish presidency (guardian.co.uk)