RE-FIGHTING OLD WARS

alice 1

Yes , it’s a curious one. Everyone “knows” that Gerry Adams was the leader of the IRA but nobody has seen his membership card.I dare say that “truth” holds sway right across the Nationalist and the Unionist communities in Norneverland. It’s like the Oscar Pistorious trial .Most people believe that the Bladerunner murdered his girl-friend because he lost his temper , but nobody was in the room  to see it , so they will never know for sure.Then again , maybe the IRA never had anything so ordinary as a “leader”. Maybe Gerry was their top advisor or some such and refused point -blank to be a “leader”. He might have said ..”I will not be having it!” Everyone may have stood about shuffling their feet, looking sheepish …and then said “Oh, alright then ,Gerry, if you don’t want to be the leader, you’re not the leader!” “Now can we get on with the bloody meeting ?”

We discussed these semantic distinctions in law before, didn’t we? Most of the people who “really” know that Gerry Adams was the leader of the IRA are unfortunately dead and may have  been delusional or telling fibs. The law is very funny about stuff like this.Anyway , we lived through some very “Alice in Wonderland “times where logic was stood on its head for a generation so we shouldn’t now expect anything like perfection in our local government.

I hope we are not all collectively, forever,   to repeat  and refer back to the list of horrors and calumnies that certain people across the divided communities  did to each other . It’s a fact that it all ended with the Good Friday Agreement  anyway ,when we were agreeing to begin anew.  A brand new start .A brand new day.If  there was a “war” or a “social unrest” for us of  the previous generation, it was at that moment when we all agreed it was over and most of us were damned glad that it was.  Most of us were bored witless with it all anyway;living through it ;reading about it;getting nowhere fast as we just got older.

That said ,It seems that there are still many who want and require a conflict of sorts  to continue forever.A divided society suits them very nicely.Some people, no matter their Christian prattling, simply want a nice little bit of human revenge.They miss that old conflict.Some who never even lived through it are already nostalgic about it .Wee silly boys who thought it must have been   some great romantic time , like a hack’s version of the Wild West in an old  pulp magazine.

We have arrived at a flawed system that has caused the guns on both sides, for the most part,  to fall silent .That really should be an end to it but it obviously isn’t .There’s the carping about people who used to be members of  violent groups .Well ,everyone who carried arms whether legal or illegal were in violent groupings. There were many deaths on each side of the divide and many prominent politicians on every side encouraged that mayhem, if only by speaking rashly or foolishly. There were plenty of us who didn’t though.There were plenty of us who could see the blatant hypocrisy virtually every day .The violence, the manipulation and then the revenge  killing. That’s what most of it was of course . ..just old -fashioned revenge for imagined or possibly real wrongs. Revenge , all the same. Everyone lost someone from their community or their  wider family circle. Norneverland is such a tiny place that it was bound to be like this.

That was then. We have a system now where we vote in anyone we want. There was  a consensus that this new system would represent the majority views of the two communities and their aspirations. Unionism wants to maintain a union with the UK .Nationalism wants to unite with the rest of the country. That’s fair enough….  .If some of them were members of groupings,  illegal or not , there should be no argument . If you throw a stone here , you’ll hit someone you know or someone who knows someone you know who was either a security force member or in an illegal group..

All democracies have some horror in their origin story too. All  kings, rulers  or top dogs don’t get to that position of power by being nice guys.  They become leaders by walking over the bones of their rivals.That happened here too .When the smoke of gunfire cleared, the winners, for good or bad , walked out of it.

So we ended up with a group of politicians , some of whom we don’t like or who have a dodgy back-story, in our collective government.Well …what did we expect? Throughout the Troubles , these were the movers and shakers who were getting their names in the newspapers every day.

Was Gerry Adams leader of the IRA? Why should it even matter now . There is no IRA anymore and there will hopefully never be need for anything like it again. There are    no B specials  in the police force either, because it was a force, for  and mostly  from ,only one side of the community .There is no RUC or UDR and the army are gone back to the UK and to conflicts elsewhere.Did some nationalist politicians step outside the law in the past? Of course they did .The law was their enemy.. Did some unionist politicians step outside the law ? Of course some of them did .This state was founded on them threatening armed  insurrection after all .what did we expect.Let’s not beat about the bush here though…these are mostly all old men at retirement age now . That old world is all gone now. it is past tense.

The other thing is , you don’t need to be in a political party to be a rapist or a child abuser. Every  business and every grouping will have its share of these misogynistic bad apples.The fact that there was a rapist in the IRA should be  no surprise, given that if you are prepared to kill a person, you’d have little bother with a little immorality. There were plenty of  violent sex abusers in the RUC, too , I’m sure . There was certainly a macho-sexist cut to that force’s jib .In fact sexism a couple of decades ago was taken for granted across the board. Look it up if you didn’t live through it.  All these perverted Dee Jays were mostly taken for granted  back then.Actually , if you cared to upturn a few stones , you’d soon discover  that the extent of incest within families throughout Ireland and your own community would make your hair curl.Mental institutions are brimming with all sorts of damaged sexual goods.Damaged by their siblings or their father …sometimes their mother …or both. It’s not all clerics fiddling about either.

None of this is new in any case  .Should Gerry Adams be held accountable for one of the minions in his  {leaderless}”Hole in the Wall Gang” that existed as outlaws in their own little redoubts? …especially when he was not their “leader”, in law, and where the “law” was seen as the enemy in any case?.

Well that’s one for Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee or one of the many characters  in Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland”.

As i said somewhere before , Norneverland is a very close state  to  Alice’s Wonderland.There may not even be a border separating them.

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”

“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.”

“I don’t much care where –”

“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.” …Lewis Carroll.

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