The news has been announced that Ian Paisley has died, and as is usual when somebody passes away, he is being given a bit of a whitewash, for example the Guardian story about him being a peacemaker.
There are perhaps a few things we should pause to consider because they might not be the focus of such stories …
- He opposed the Good Friday Agreement and was only prepared to take a seat at the table when offered a position of power
- He is described as having gone on a journey from uncompromising violent bigot to realist and ultimately peacemaker … but I would argue that his entire journey was determined by his monstrous ego and desire for power. Only when he gained the top job did he become a voice for peace
- Let us also not forget that he was personally a major instigator of the Troubles.
- His hatred, bigotry and rabble rousing held back the cause of peace for decades and lead to the deaths and injuries of many,many people – he sowed the seeds of hatred and sectarianism far and wide.
- I truly choke on the concept of a guy who spent almost his entire life being an obnoxious bigot that inspired many to go out and shoot nationalists dead being labelled a “peacemaker”
- We should also remember that his role as “peacemaker” is very much down to a true hero, Mo Mowlam, a top politician who had the courage and strength of character to tell Paisley to his face to “Fuck Off” and dragged him to the table kicking and screaming.
- He was very much a man from a different time, a relic of the religious wars of the 17th century.
So anyway, as a tribute, I propose we hold one minute of shouting, and that is perhaps fitting for an individual who leaves the world a better place, not because of what he did, but rather by the fact that he is no longer here.