Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Ian Paisley quits

Just one thing I want to mention before I sign off for the night.

The Reverend Ian Paisley, unionist firebrand in Northern Ireland and First Minister of said province, is to step down. His deputy, Peter Robinson, will now don the mantle of power in his stead.

I have respect for Mr Paisley for the extra-ordinary strength of his convictions. I am pleased he has stepped aside for a younger man - he will be 82 in April. To me, Ian Paisley is synonymous with intransigence. The only reason I found it tolerable is that this was fed by the atrocities committed by the IRA. Nonetheless, the Protestant side in Ulster is equally guilty of atrocities themselves.

I have respect for Mr Paisley for showing the extra-ordinary courage of stepping into an administration with Sinn Fein, which I never thought possible.

I hope that, with Mr Paisley's resignation, we will see a secularisation of politics in Northern Ireland. At present, a Roman Catholic party (Sinn Fein) and a protestant party (the Democratic Unionist Party) rule at Stormont. It is time this segregation along religious lines was taken out of the equation in Ulster. Whether it will be is questionable. If the question of reunification of Ireland has definitely been answered with "NO", then this should be possible.


  1. ceilisundancer5 March 2008 at 17:27

    Very interesting, and indeed newsworthy.

  2. Well, you knew i'd comment eventually <gg>. Well now...Mr P's erstwhile convictions kept the protestant heart holding the faith..until May of last year. In his home town of Ballymena of the county of antrim, feelings are running high, ranging from passive ambiguous comment to downright condemnation of the man who sat down with fenian IRA..how very dare he. And I think he eventually sat down with them as he's getting on and he wants history to remember him in the right light, despite his son's best efforts to scupper that (shady land dealings). There's also a suggestion that he was politely told to go..and the forthcoming elections in May are convenient. He is entering his 82nd year..his son has shamed him, he's lost the protestant moderator post...and his public are not altogether happy; he's turned his coat.

    NI has come a long way in that we now have both catholic and protestant representation in local government. I think it is asking too much of the last 3-4 generations to be ruled by anything less than an equal representation of religions given they have all suffered so much at the hands of their opposite faith. I doubt that road will come frankly. It's enough with what we have...and as the saying goes...it ain't broke yet...so don't try fixing it.

    NI is not unique in this situation. I look at every war in the world and it's the same story in different clothes.