Thursday, 26 May 2011

McArdle appointment. What it says about Sinn Fein.

No matter which way you look at it, the appointment of Mary McArdle as a Special Advisor to the new Culture Minister is offensive and incredibly disappointing.

Sinn Fein will make all their usual arguments about her being a former political prisoner, a prisoner of war and how she was engaged on a mission against a legitimate target. They will reference the Good Friday Agreement and point out that other ex prisoners sit in Stormont.

On the Unionist side, there will be outrage. There will be much stomping of feet and the strongest condemnation of the appointment. 

After all that, she will still be the Special Advisor and life on the hill will continue albeit, Mr Allister will no doubt continue to raise his objections long after any DUP/UUP objections have died down.

What is really the issue at hand though is the shocking and continued hypocrisy of Sinn Fein. Sinn Fein are happy to bleat on about disrespect and lack of consideration for the opinions of Nationalists and Republicans when an RUC memorial is planned in Lisburn or when Unionists want the RIR to have a homecoming parade. Odd then, that they are happy to disrespect the family of Mary Travers (McArdle's victim) and pay no consideration the opinions of Unionists through this appointment. Sinn Fein, of course, have form for this. Gerry Kelly is a particular bitter pill for Unionists to swallow but swallow they do, in the name of peace. 

Were Sinn Fein serious about showing respect to all sides of the community they would never have made this appointment and would already be trying to bring new blood through, untainted by past crimes, to replace the more divisive figures in their party. Only then, could they truly claim they wanted to govern for all. I'm not trying to comment on the validity or lack thereof of any past crimes. I understand Sinn Fein's argument, but it doesn't change the fact that they have been completely neglectful of their duty to represent all the people in this country, not just the ones that agree with them.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with this article. I am not aware that the GFA said SF could appoint unelected special advisers on senior civil service level packages. Maybe it did. If so, it is utterly immoral that a person convicted of murder should hold office in government in any capacity. This appointment is grossly disrespectful to all victims of IRA terrorists, to their families, and to many serving and retired public servants, police, prison officers, judiciary, military, who laid their lives on the line every day during the Troubles so that Northern Ireland could continue to function rather than implode. The heroic men and women who sacrificed their lives could never have envisaged that their sacrifices would culminate in unelected murderers being appointed to senior government posts. There has been rioting in Belfast because there is no sense that peace has been achieved, not true or lasting peace. What was achieved was a cessation of violence, greatly welcomed, but at the cost of conceding to the terrorists' demands and entrenching sectarian politics. The message is clear: if you are a loyal servant of SF and do its bidding then you will be 'taken care of' at public expense. If you disagree with it in any way you are told to 'move on' and 'we are all victims'. Every year a song and dance is made about the marches, how supposedly they trespass on other people's sensitivities. A small number of people feel this way, yet their voices are heard, whereas the bulk of the population are either pro-marches or indifferent to them on the basis of 'live and let live'. The culture minister, requiring the services of the murderer, has converted her name to Gaelic just to let everyone know that she is the right kind of Irish person not like the others, the ones with the flutes and bowler hats. SF is a selfish organisation that nurtures hatred towards anyone who won't do its bidding. It has intimidated the other parties to the extent that only one representative challenged the McArdle appointment. So we should all just keep our mouths shut and 'move on'. If SF was a peace-bringing organisation it would long ago have co-operated to have a Truth and Reconciliation Commission where all crimes could be got out in the open and victims could have closure. The HET can investigate all it likes but we know it cannot put all the pieces together as it lacks information. Such information exists in Northern Ireland. The leaders of SF know very well who killed whom. If they were people of peace they would provide this information. McArcle was not the only person involved in the murder of Mary Travers. There were two others (unknown). Many other murders remain unsolved. Who killed Edgar Graham, the young law lecturer, and why? Let's not say he was killed because he was a Unionist, a young man trying to make a contribution to political thought, much as this blogger is doing from Bangor. If we were even to raise the long-ago murder of Edgar Graham we will be told by SF to 'move on'.