Monday 16 December 2019

Too hard on Trump, too soft on Sinn Fein

'Last week, the PC media failed to fully report that Trump has made a flying start in the only area that matters: the economy, stupid.'
'Last week, the PC media failed to fully report that Trump has made a flying start in the only area that matters: the economy, stupid.'
Eoghan Harris

Eoghan Harris

Aristotle said everything to excess is wrong - which also applies to attacking Donald Trump or selling the snake oil that is the Sinn Fein peace process.

Trump is right in saying the liberal left media are trying to delegitimise him. But it won't bother him.

Last week, a Pew poll showed only 14pc of Americans trust their media. And with good reason.

Most of the liberal left media are so biased they played down the fact that Trump's office was filled with supportive union leaders last week.

But they totally lost the plot when they unanimously denounced Trump's inaugural speech as "dark".

They were sharply contradicted by a Politico poll which showed a majority of Americans agreed with the speech.

Talk about being out of touch. Not to mention the lack of fair play. But why should Irish media toe the same shoddy liberal left line?

Why can't the Irish media see that most Americans think it normal for national leaders to put their country first. We would expect our leaders to do exactly the same.

In taking their line from media like The New Yorker and The Washington Post, Irish media are following an increasingly deranged and dishonest Pied Piper.

Last week, the PC media failed to fully report that Trump has made a flying start in the only area that matters: the economy, stupid.

I'm not referring to the Dow Jones reaching a record high. I'm talking about how Trump has carried out his campaign promise to put jobs at the core of his presidency.

No form of social welfare beats a decent job. If Trump continues his relentless focus on jobs, he will put the Democrats under deadly pressure.

How can Democrats credibly oppose Trump seizing the high ground on jobs without betraying their insular identity politics?

How can they cope with his promise to cut Chicago's appalling crime rate, which the Democrats - who have controlled the city forever - have failed to do?

Here's a prediction: Trump's firm focus on jobs and crime will get him a second term if his narcissism does not destroy him first.

Meanwhile, at home, the Irish liberal left media are as hard on Trump as they are soft on Sinn Fein. Again, talk about being out of touch.

By now, the broad strategy of the Provo IRA army council towards Northern Ireland and the Republic is all too clear.

They aim to create a state of constant tribal tension designed to draw the Republic into a pan-nationalist political front, leading somehow to Irish unity.

If you doubt who is in control of current Sinn Fein strategy read Brian Rowan's factual Irish Times report of a crucial Sinn Fein meeting in the Felons Club in Belfast last January.

The prominence of leading activists like Bobby Storey and Spike Murray left no doubt which wing of Sinn Fein/IRA was driving the event.

Rowan records that, in private session, the loudest cheer was in response to a call to "bring the institutions down".

They were duly brought down. Indeed, I believe an IRA army convention before Christmas ordered a hard line on the DUP and an upping of the campaign for Irish unity.

At this time Adams was on the back foot on many fronts: Sinn Fein was facing apathy in the North and stagnation in the Republic, thanks to powerful pressure from Fianna Fail.

But Brexit and DUP stupidity also helped Adams open the door for a return to the communal tension that has always worked for Sinn Fein in the past.

The new militant Northern policy caused confusion in Sinn Fein in the south, which tried to sublimate it by lashing out at Micheal Martin and Fianna Fail.

Finally, I believe Martin McGuinness resigned reluctantly under pressure from the 'base' fomented by the IRA leadership.

That's why, in relation to the peace process, I remain a revisionist - one of those vile but visionary creatures who way back as far as the 1970s challenged the Christian Brothers' take on Irish history.

We went on to call on Irish nationalists to stop trying to bully a million Protestants into the Republic, agitated for the removal of Articles 2 and 3 of the Constitution, and worked to bring in from the cold those Irishmen who died in two world wars.

But our greatest crime was to believe that Seamus Mallon was correct in saying the Provos "played John Hume like a trout" during the Hume-Adams talks of 1993.

The chief cheerleader of Hume-Adams was the Department of Foreign Affairs which believed that letting the Provos destroy the SDLP, and into our body politic, was the necessary price of peace.

But why, rather than pay that price, had every previous Irish government preferred to fight the IRA to a finish?

But in 1994, for the first time in the history of the Irish State, and thanks to Hume's saintly status, the entire republican movement, directed by a military cabal, got within the gates of both Dail Eireann and Stormont.

Even so, I, too, went along with appeasement for the sake of peace. In fact, I was one of the first journalists to welcome the Hume-Adams talks, in the Sunday Times in 1994. Later, at a UUP conference in support of setting up the Northern Executive, I called the Good Friday Agreement an "amazing grace".

But my support for the peace process has always been dialectical. This means I support peace but remain sceptical of the peace processors.

Above all, I worry about the long-term results of Hume-Adams in bringing Sinn Fein/IRA into our house.

So I was saddened but not surprised that the Irish Times' obituary for Ronan Fanning featured a lengthy apologia for Hume-Adams from former senior Department of Foreign Affairs diplomat Michael Lillis, along with this bit of anonymous score-settling:

"When knowledge of the talks became public, Hume was attacked from many sides but Fanning defended him in the Sunday Independent, for which he was criticised by fellow columnists such as Conor Cruise O'Brien, Ruth Dudley Edwards, John A Murphy and Eoghan Harris."

A small factual correction: I wasn't writing for the Sunday Independent at the time. But I'm happy to be counted in the company of those who prophetically warned that Hume-Adams would lead, not to a permanent peace, but to a permanent tension that benefits no party but Sinn Fein.

Having named and shamed Hume's revisionist critics, the anonymous obituary author added the following cryptic comment:

"What they did not know was that Hume had shown him (Fanning) notes of the meetings he had been having with Adams."

But how would Hume producing a few crumpled notes from his pocket have changed our minds?

We believed Hume was being fooled by Adams who would break any deal when it suited him. As it suits him now to damage the Good Friday Agreement.

Back to the ranch of the Republic. The bandits are not just riding around our home but opening doors inside.

We cannot control what Sinn Fein does in Northern Ireland but we should give them no help in stoking sectarian feelings.

And we should strain every nerve to put them out of business in our own backyard.

Sunday Independent

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