East Dulwich (Mobile) Forum

Martin McGuinness

A man who spoke out against the abuses of a minority, who took up arms when talking failed, who killed horribly for a purpose he believed to be justified by abhorrent abuses by the state, who risked his life for a fair society and then risked his reputation for peace.

Perhaps it's a day to reflect upon why this man of Derry became what he was, the situation that existed at the time, and how a UK government abused it's own people arguably to the point of genocide. Why the UK government apologised for one of the terrible abuses and why, in peace Martin McGuinness was allowed, and wanted to shake hands with the Queen.
I'll get some popcorn.
McGuinness was still a teenager when fate propelled him into violent politics in his native Derry. Pictures in 1968 of Gerry Fitt, the Catholic MP for West Belfast, splashed with blood after being hit by police batons as he led a civil rights march, shocked him into activism. He took to the streets just as the IRA, having been stood down after abortive Border campaigns in the 1950s, was re-arming. IRA leaders saw him as capable of providing organisation in Derry to mirror what Gerry Adams was developing in Belfast. Within months McGuinness was second in command of the IRA Derry Brigade, the position he still held on 30 January 1972, Bloody Sunday, when British parachute regiment soldiers shot dead 13 unarmed Catholic demonstrators.

[www.theguardian.com]
Every report of this seems to repeat he met the British in 1972 - I'd guess talks were ongoing at all times - considering Thatcher said publicly she never would negotiate with terrorists - she secretly negotiated all the time - I remember the shouts of betrayal re the Anglo/Irish accord.

I'm not sure who did what and when in Northern Ireland at that time any more - we can only be thankful that the Good Friday agreement was agreed by all sides - and not let this go during Brexit.
We can play tit for tat if you like:

'Lord Mountbatten, his grandson and other members of his family party in Sligo, and 18 British soldiers at Warrenpoint'
steveo Wrote:

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> We can play tit for tat if you like:
>
> 'Lord Mountbatten, his grandson and other members
> of his family party in Sligo, and 18 British
> soldiers at Warrenpoint'

Not really an attempt at a deeper analysis steveo. Although if I understand what you mean by tit for tat, you are responding to my OP above by comparing the killings of innocent people by state forces, with the killings of a terrorist organisation? The latter is clearly an illegal organisation, the former is one all people of the UK should have been able to trust?
Martin McGuinness was guilty of many murders - only he truly knows how many he killed - and without trying to get to religious about it, he will have to answer for the path his life took. He lived a lot longer than many whose lives he stood in judgement over and summarily ended, and that should never be forgotten.

In the end he chose to talk and find some kind of peace. History will probably judge him kindly for that, as it does most people who end up choosing the ballot box over the gun, whatever rivers of blood they wade through to get there. I'm never entirely sure how I feel about that, but this morning Ian Paisley Jnr spoke of how "it's not how you start, it's how you finish". The cycle of revenge and violence destroys us in the end and maybe at some point all we can do is accept that there is blood on everyone's hands and move on.

I believe - and I respect those who disagree - that it's the only thing that ever allowed conflicts like NI to be unraveled. I was in too late to go on any Banner tours, but from what some older soldiers told me the place was a mess of recrimination, resentment, blame and an over-riding tiredness of the whole thing by the end of the 80's. There were children growing up who had only ever known the Troubles. Most of that society wanted an end to it, and part of the price for that is asking oneself how long you want to refuse to compromise.
No-one disputes that the Widgery Report was a whitewash, but the Saville Inquiry was not and ironically set up the same year of the Omagh bombing, 1998....talking of tit for tat....
True.

One of the key reasons the IRA started talking is that they were becoming irrelevant. I remember a story about a well known kneecapper who woke up to find that the local kids had vandalised his car. It wasn't political, they just didn't like him and weren't scared.

He knew at that moment that the game was up
JoeLeg Wrote:

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> Martin McGuinness was guilty of many murders -
> only he truly knows how many he killed - and
> without trying to get to religious about it, he
> will have to answer for the path his life took. He
> lived a lot longer than many whose lives he stood
> in judgement over and summarily ended, and that
> should never be forgotten.
>
> In the end he chose to talk and find some kind of
> peace. History will probably judge him kindly for
> that, as it does most people who end up choosing
> the ballot box over the gun, whatever rivers of
> blood they wade through to get there. I'm never
> entirely sure how I feel about that, but this
> morning Ian Paisley Jnr spoke of how "it's not how
> you start, it's how you finish". The cycle of
> revenge and violence destroys us in the end and
> maybe at some point all we can do is accept that
> there is blood on everyone's hands and move on.
>
> I believe - and I respect those who disagree -
> that it's the only thing that ever allowed
> conflicts like NI to be unraveled. I was in too
> late to go on any Banner tours, but from what some
> older soldiers told me the place was a mess of
> recrimination, resentment, blame and an
> over-riding tiredness of the whole thing by the
> end of the 80's. There were children growing up
> who had only ever known the Troubles. Most of that
> society wanted an end to it, and part of the price
> for that is asking oneself how long you want to
> refuse to compromise.

This is the best thing I've read about this today, including what's in the established media. Respect.
As I say, naming one atrocity after another by terrorists doesn't really equate to actions by the state against innocent civilians.

I understand that for many British people it's hard to face up to the realities of why the troubles began, or even want to understand it. And this means going back before any of the atrocities listed above.

Maybe reading the Guardian obituary above would be a good start. McGuinness himself was initially appalled by the beating of a local MP by the security forces at a civil rights march in 1968. [www.rte.ie]

As I said above, perhaps today is a day to reflect. But I'm not seeing a lot of evidence from the posts above, that this is likely to happen. The normal stubborn ingrained thinking always prevails.

Whilst the current protection of the rights of immigrants into the UK seems high on everyone's agenda, perhaps shining the light on the treatment of our own citizens in the past is still relevant.
Whilst not denying the prejudice, discrimination and near apartheid put upon the Catholics of NI by the Unionist Govt tin Ulster and shockingly ignored by the British government prior to The Troubles, I can't help feeling that if there been more people like Hulme and less like McGuinness and Paisley - thousands more people wouldn't have had their lives ended or wrecked.

Mick I really think you need to look up the meaning of Genocide up before you use it so loosely too....
Good post JoeLeg.
steveo Wrote:

-------------------------------------------------------
> We can play tit for tat if you like:
>
> 'Lord Mountbatten, his grandson and other members
> of his family party in Sligo, and 18 British
> soldiers at Warrenpoint'

You've no chance of winning that game. I could raise you 'The Plantation of Ulster' or indeed 'The Famine'. I don't think this thread will achieve anything with comments like yours steveo, if indeed it could achieve anything at all anyway.
his past was ultimately redeemed by his good work in the peace process. Respect.
It will achieve nothing, and I think Mick Mack is making mischief (try saying that after 10 pints of Guinness).


££££ Wrote:

-------------------------------------------------------
> Whilst not denying the prejudice, discrimination
> and near apartheid put upon the Catholics of NI by
> the Unionist Govt tin Ulster and shockingly
> ignored by the British government prior to The
> Troubles, I can't help feeling that if there been
> more people like Hulme and less like McGuinness
> and Paisley - thousands more people wouldn't have
> had their lives ended or wrecked.
>
> Mick I really think you need to look up the
> meaning of Genocide up before you use it so
> loosely too....

And ^^^ This


At the end of the day, he might have come to the peace table, but only after destroying many a life. I am reading countless "thoughts are with his family" posts from all sorts of people. But he went to his grave "proud" of what he did with the IRA, and offered no apologies to the families he destroyed.


None of that is excusing the actions of the British back in the day (although Mick Mack's "for many British people it's hard to face up to the realities" type comment is unhelpful. I wouldn't expect a German to apologise / feel guilt or "face up to" the actions of Hitler, because it was absolutely nothing to do with them), but when you've as much blood on your hands as McGuinness, it's difficult to excuse that and simply praise him as the peacemaker.
££££ Wrote:

------------------------------------------------------

> Mick I really think you need to look up the
> meaning of Genocide up before you use it so
> loosely too....

..a lot of people need to look up the meaning of genocide, including the British Army & other forces of the Crown who wreaked havoc all over the world in furthering the interests of the various city companies - through the theft of land from various populations, the likes of the East India Company & its derivatives that were actively supported by the British Army to enforce 'trade' [theft]. Harm was done on all sides - it is time to move on and develop a future that will cherish all equally.

The most important thing is that there is peace in Northern Ireland - even if it is a bit fragile - that children from all religions have access to a full education, ordinary people all have a free vote [only since 1968 for local elections] and NI are in dialogue & co-operation with the Republic of Ireland [common electricity & gas market, common tourism promotion etc] that can develop into whatever will be suitable to both sides & are now [belatedly] being supported by the British Government.

McGuiness was a man of his time & he contributed greatly to bringing about the positive environment that is the modern Ireland, both north & south. May he rest in peace.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit was march 21, 02:44pm by Lordship 516.

True 2 (Otta)

My 'tit for tat' comment was only to illustrate that it is un winnable, and both you and Mick seem to be showing a desire to have the last 'tat'



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit was march 21, 01:46pm by steveo.

Personal opinion - his role in the peace process doesn't cancel out terrorism, murder and torture.

Good riddance.
Jeremy Wrote:

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> Personal opinion - his role in the peace process
> doesn't cancel out terrorism, murder and torture.
>
> Good riddance.


Half the IRA were double agents.

The guy who was meant to to catch double agents was one - so were
half the rest - it's heartbreaking they just couldn't have stopped
it all in the 70s.

[en.wikipedia.org]
[en.wikipedia.org]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit was march 21, 03:15pm by JohnL.

Anyway, did he say anything about Shergar before he went?
steveo Wrote:

-------------------------------------------------------
> Anyway, did he say anything about Shergar before
> he went?


He said he was 'delicious'
Seabag Wrote:

-------------------------------------------------------
> steveo Wrote:

> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Anyway, did he say anything about Shergar
> before
> > he went?
>
>
> He said he was 'delicious'

Oooh
Otta Wrote:

-------------------------------------------------------
Mick Mack's "for many British people it's hard to face up to the
> realities" type comment is unhelpful. I wouldn't
> expect a German to apologise / feel guilt or "face
> up to" the actions of Hitler, because it was
> absolutely nothing to do with them)

QED.

German secondary education involves years of studying the Third Reich and the general awfulness of German behaviour during that period: the same is absolutely not true of British education. The sheer f'ing terribleness of every British colonial adventure, everywhere, is not a theme.
I am sure you're right. One of many holes in education here. Still doesn't mean that all British people should "face up to" and feel any sort of guilt for what was done in the past by other people. And still doesn't excuse anything.
Although when I was at school it was still taught as the British Empire was a benevolent empire.

My parents didn't disagree with that either - I think it was received wisdom up to the 80s - which became entrenched to some extent. The Germans never at any stage pretended the third reich was anything other than evil after 1945(as it was self evident)
Otta Wrote:

-------------------------------------------------
> I wouldn't
> expect a German to apologise / feel guilt or "face
> up to" the actions of Hitler, because it was
> absolutely nothing to do with them),

I think German kids spend a lot of time at school even now learning about this period of history, they even have a name for the process: Vergangenheitsbewältigung (won't let me post Wiki link to it, so you might need to google).

That seems like a good idea, i guess South Africans had their Truth and Reconciliation commmission too.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit was march 22, 10:18pm by miga.

Still waiting for an eulogy for the terrorsist who was shot outside the Houses of Parliament yesterday.....
Misunderstood
Failed by the education system
Radicalised by his dope dealer
Went to a mosque once
Unsuccessful with girls
Couldn't sit on a toilet the right way round...
...His ambition was to be a rapper

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