3/05/2008

Et tu Peter!

Ian Paisley is no longer a force in Irish politics, this long time demagogue and newly ordained member of civilised society has been shafted by his own people in the end.



After Ian Óg was caught with his hand in the till it became clear that the campaign against junior was merely by proxy in order to damage the father.

"I am not a fool, people who thought that they could get at me, got at him. They thought they could damage me by the damage they sought to take out on him"

I have my own views as to who was responsible for this sustained campaign against Dr No and Junior No and that leads us to the Punt, Peter Robinson.

He is the only one to benefit from this political fallout, after decades of being the Bridesmaid he wasn't prepared to let it go on, not after Paisley announced that he was staying in place for the full term.

It would appear that Robinson reads Niccolo Machiavelli, a man who argued "If an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared."

After this "Et tu Brute" moment between Robinson and Paisley it isn't surprising that Paisley refused to crown the heir apparent

"This is not Apostolic succession and I have no right to say who will succeed me, the person will succeed me when the mark is on the paper and the ballot is cast."

So the question many now are asking; who is to be the new leader?

Robinson is the man to beat and that may not even be possible considering the fact that it will be the Assembly party which decides the new leader. On Spotlight last night Dodd's refused to rule himself out of any future leadership contest but I would be quite surprised if we had any contest.

Dodd's comes from the Free P wing of the party and that side has been decimated from the St Andrews fallout, Robinsons moderate (DUP notion of moderate) wing are now firmly in control.

I expect to see a carve up of power between Dodd's and Robinson.

Paisley reminds me a bit of Tito with so much of the DUP built up around him. Will we see the DUP begin to crack and crumble now that he will no longer be there to steer the ship?

Many people, my own party included, will all put out the nice platitudes about how much this man has changed. For my part I believe it's best to judge a man in the whole and its there that Paisley falls.

He has been a stirrer and a mixer all his life, a splitter and a divider and he has done all of these things for his own personal ambition.

How many Catholics would not have been killed but for his poisonous rhetoric?

In 1956, Paisley was involved with the abducted 16 year old girl, Maura Lyons, who was in a dispute with her parents about joining the Free Presbyterian Church. He attempted to use her as an anti-Catholic propaganda stunt and would not inform police where she was. Paisley was later ordered in court never to go near the girl or her family again.

On June 17, 1959, at a Belfast rally, he publicly chastised "the men of the Shankill for allowing papists, pope's men, and papishers" to live on the Shankill Rd. Angry crowds went to the addresses called out by Paisley, burned out the occupants and looted their homes.

In May of 1968, during the height of the Civil Rights movement in the North, Paisley addressed a mob of 500 loyalists and burned a photograph of O'Neil who was shown to be visiting a Catholic convent the week before. After inciting loyalists to burn Catholic families out of their homes, Paisley explained the problem to the press

"Catholic homes caught fire because they were loaded with petrol bombs; Catholic churches were attacked and burned because they were arsenals and priests handed out sub-machine guns to parishioners; and the massive discrimination in employment and shortage of houses for Catholics were simply because they breed like "rabbits" and multiply like "vermin"

In 1981, he appeared on a hillside in the dead of night with 500 men brandishing firearms licences and declaring a Third Force.

On the 10 November 1986 Ian Paisley, Peter Robinson and Ivan Foster formed Ulster Resistance. Following a rally in the Ulster Hall, other rallies were held in towns across the North. The group was organised in nine 'battalions' and members wore a red beret.

Ulster Resistance then worked alongside the UDA and the UVF. A bank in Portadown was robbed of £300,000 and weapons bought with the money. The guns were divided equally between UR, the UVF and the UDA.

The guns that were bought we used in the murder of innocent Catholics in the Sean Graham Betting shop and countless other atrocities.

In effect this attempt by some to paint Paisley as a democrat could not be further from the truth.

I accept that he did show change in the last 12 months but that was only when he was forced and had no where else to go.

Many will mourn his passing from the political sphere; I just sit back and think about all the political opponents that Gerry has seen off.

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