My Goodness, my Guinness — 13 Comments

  1. Grandad, if I were a ” bloody bog trotting taig” I would probably feel like you, but I’m not. I’m a Brit who believes that people not killing other people or blowing the arms and legs off them, is worth almost any price and worth supping with almost any devil. “Dead” is a long time dead and maimed lasts a lifetime and often beyond.

    As I said over at Dioclese’s place, does any sane person want to go back to a time when going to the shop for a packet of smokes required kevlar and a Browning?

    Not I, nor anyone of my acquaintances from all sides of The Troubles.  Or as someone put it once to me ‘you can get used to not having to look under your car of  morning quicker than you think’. 

    I live in hope that one day no one will feel the need to march about to ‘celebrate’ the victory of some long dead Dutch king or sing songs about ‘brave boyos’ hung by Saxons. If McG did even just one thing to speed or aid that process then I mourn his passing.

    And you’re right about leaving the ‘RA…there is only one way I know of…and McG has just taken that road.

    • By saying that stopping people killing each other is worth any price, you are surely playing right into the hands of the terrorist?  There was a lot of sympathy Down South for the Catholics [not necessarily the same thing as Republicans] at the start of the Troubles but very very few condoned the violence.  Most of the support for the IRA came from abroad [Libya and America to name but two] where they were able to portray themselves as freedom fighters protecting the oppressed, whereas in reality they were a bunch of murdering thugs.

      Praising McGuinness for his peace efforts is like praising someone for fixing something they broke in the first place.  Personally I am delighted that the fighting has stopped and hope it never happens again but the credit goes to others, and not those who resorted to violence in the first place.

      • ” worth any price ”

        You missed the ‘almost’, it’s important. Were those Germans who tried to ‘buy’ Jewish lives playing into the hands of the people who started the Holocaust? If McG had been arrested and hanged (as he undoubtedly deserved, you don’t get to be Derry Commander by translating Kum-by-bloody-Yah into Gaelic) would the killing have stopped? I’ll wager good money it would have only have given the Boys another fucking martyr to sing about and The Wolfe Tones an album cover. Must it make every ‘right thinking’ person (I hate that fucking phrase) sick to their very stomachs that he died in peace surrounded by his loved ones, and feel like the worse kind of betrayal to every victim of terrorism’s kith and kin? You can bet it does…although I make no claim to being ‘right thinking’.

        Yet the Queen shook that blood drenched hand. It’s not often I agree with anything that woman does but that was one of the very few moments in my life i really felt proud to be British. I only hope the moment she was back in her car some loyal courtier offered her a cigarette.

        • The very least I would have expected of him is to help in the search for the bodies of his victims.  He was directly or indirectly responsible for the killing of dozens if not hundreds of people.  He has never to my acknowledgement offered any apology or remorse for those murders so any veneer of peacemaker just doesn’t wash in my book.

          Incidentally, I hear mutterings from the gubmint here about a proposal to unite Ireland as part of the Brexit negotiations.  I don’t know how serious they are, but if that presses ahead I can see guns on the streets of Belfast again?  I hope to God I’m wrong.

          • Well to be fair to the man, I would very much doubt- not having any inside knowledge of the workings of the PIRA of course- as a Senior Officer he would have known or wanted to know where the bodies where buried. The IRA was riddled with informers and MI5 agents and they adopted a strict policy of ‘need to know’ and compartmentalization. Infact if I had been him I would have ordered the shooting of those who had buried the body. Three can keep a secret if two of them are dead. By the end of the Troubles I very much doubt if McG could have been really sure of the loyalty of any his soldiers. More holes than a Swiss cheese, more leaks than the Titanic.

            And, assuming he truly did believe in the Righteousness of The Cause (however abhorrent), why should he apologise for actions he took/ordered to be taken? Would it have helped the situation any? Beyond bringing closure to the families (which of course is a noble, kind, humane thing but of limited ‘political’ value). Personally I would have welcomed something like a Truth Commission ie no punishment but fullest possible disclosure. But that was never going to happen , D notices all round and files sealed until the End Of Time.

            Seriously the headline “McGuinness says SORRY” would probably have set back peace and led to more dangerous ‘Real IRA’ groups and their Proddy counterparts springing up-along with cat calls about ‘hypocrites’ from the entire MSM. If McG and GA did and do feel remorse for their barbaric acts, they would be well advised to keep stumm about it for all our sakes.

            I, too, hope to God you’re wrong. But I am painfully aware of just easily The Peace could turn back into the nightly blood bath of my childhood TV news. I get antsy every metre those bloody proddy bonfires grow, at every brit bigot’s jig on McG’s grave. It would, even after 20 years, take one well placed, well timed round..alright…may be a clip full… and the Daily Mail baying for blood…

    • Thank God someone has said something! Grandad & I were rapidly turning into those two auld men in the corner of the pub putting the world to rights and farting .

      And I could never drink quite enough to fully appreciate Behan, even at my most professional alcoholic.

  2. The Troubles were surely less about religion and more to do with drug-running, protectionism and extortion between two rival gangs.  Stick whatever labels you like on the two sides – it’s, as usual, all about the money.

    And M McG was a murdering bastard, but with the foresight to see that Blair was corrupt enough to compromise, and also knowing MI5 had penetrated the IRA to the point of destroying it – he took the only path left open for him.

    • I think Ed P has hit the nail on the head: no matter how (supposedly) “noble” the cause, it’s always a case of following the money.

    • Agreed, although it was Major not Blair that was in the firing line for starting the process. McG could see that the end was near and his only hope of escaping the inevitable was by buying his get out of jail free card. I was living in Warrington on that day 24 years ago when two schoolboys lives were taken away by the cowardly, murderous scum who called themselves heroes. Colin Parry, the father of one of the boys, devoted himself to making some sense out of the outrage by promoting a Peace Centre in Warrington. He met with, shook hands with and even invited McG to speak at the Peace Centre, but he says he cannot forgive the man for what he had endorsed – the murder of those two boys.

  3. Well, my dear fellow Raccoonista, Mr Stunted Troll :-), I’m afraid I’m with the Chingford Strangler on this one. And that’s as someone who used to drink with republicans back when and who’s most loved have all been of the Church of Rome.
    I’m glad the “Troubles” are (mostly) over and I hope we can move on. I fear however that “Troubles 2.0” might be on their way unless (if peace at any price is the thing) we all convert to the Religion of Peace (TM).

  4. ” but the credit goes to others, and not those who resorted to violence in the first place. “-Grandad

    As far back as I can remember, and as far as I know since forever, there have always been people, men and women (who can forget those Mothers For Peace in the 70s?) who have devoted-often bravely- their lives to making the Peace in NI happen. We all know their names. BUT the peace didn’ t happen because of them, at least not directly. The Peace only happened when the Killers on all sides signed up. All the marches pushing pushchairs, all the pleading, all the prayers meant nothing until the McG’s, Adamses, Blairs and the Paisleys came on board. Like them or not,loath or despise them,  they made the Peace happen.

    ” it’s, as usual, all about the money “– Ed P

    As I said over on Dioclese’s blog (and as I should have made clearer here-I was still angry at myself for not speaking up when I wrote the piece Monday morning), I -perhaps somewhat cynically- believe it wasn’t so much embracing the ballot box as the cheque book. I’m told most of the former terrorist leaders have done rather nicely thank you out of the Peace. But why they put down the guns doesn’t really matter in the end does it? Sure we can get all morally indignant about it , how their victims still live in poverty, but it doesn’t change the fact they, the terrorists, made the peace happen, not Pontiffs condemnations nor Politicians pontificating nor journalists condemning.

    ‘I fear however that “Troubles 2.0” ‘ -Gareth

    As do I and I’d guess most here. 

    Right , I’m off to bounce Granddaughter2 on my knee and ponder how there could have been a time when I seriously considered taking up the ‘armed struggle’ (not in NI, something else), using violence for -as I saw it- all the right reasons. I didn’t in the end, not because of any moral compunction about killing the ‘guilty’ as I saw them (and still do) but because I couldn’t see a way of not killing innocents…the plastique don’t pick and choose, and although I was a reasonably shot with a rifle you can never be 100% sure…people trip, wind blows.


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