The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent
"Some Animals Are More Equal Than Others"
Eamon Sweeney • 18 September 2003

I had the terrible misfortune to catch an interview with local MP Gregory Campbell last week on Channel 9’s “Agenda” programme. The interviewer, Danny Kelly, played an excellent devil’s advocate in grilling Mr. Campbell, and pulled some remarkable answers from the DUP man.

A large part of the interview centred on the thinking of Campbell, his party and the revival of the Good Friday Agreement. I have come to fully expect rancid sectarian drivel from Campbell and his ilk on any given issue. For this reason I have a sneaking political admiration for the DUP, in so much as that I know exactly what they think at any given moment on any any political topic. It also upsets me because I also have had first hand reports of the willingness of Campbell and colleagues like William Hay to provide excellent constituency support for people of all religions, in everyday life.

Predictably though, they toe their master's line when speaking to any public audience unfortunate enough to listen to them. Nevertheless, the vigour of Campbell’s historical, or should I say, hysterical political revisionism, was at once astounding and infuriating.

As ever, Republicanism was held to account for everything from the fall of Rome to the rise of Communism, and also of course all the ills of Northern Ireland.

Most pertinent was Mr. Campbell's’s obviously sincerely held belief that the GFA has been the genesis for a lack of “equity” in Northern Ireland, and since its signing the Protestant and Unionist section of our society have been the victims of startling discrimination in employment, education, lack of services in their areas, housing, the destruction of the RUC, and so on and so forth.

As usual this was a result of the willingness of London to sell the Union to Dublin. This no doubt, in Campbell's mind, will result in the capture of all Protestants in a sectarian Irish Republic and will see them all slaughtered in their beds by priests wielding razor edged Rosaries. This however is a realistic scenario compared to what followed.

As a result of his belief that the GFA had generated such unfathomable inequality for Unionists, the interviewer dared ask Campbell did he think that half a century of monolithic Unionist rule and abuse on the Nationalist population was the reason why we endured thirty years of war resulting in the GFA that was designed to redress the inequality suffered by Nationalists and everyone else?

Mr. Campbell replied by asking what abuse and inequality was ever suffered by Catholics or Nationalists?

After being pressurised on this point Campbell reiterated that he believed that at no point in the history of Northern Ireland did any Nationalist, Catholic or Republican suffer any discrimination or abuse. In fact he said the opposite was true.

Blaming this now on the GFA, he questioned why Nationalists should be getting jobs in front of Unionists and continued to complain on these lines on these range of issues.

Now, my instant thoughts and response to this insanity, I have to admit, did actually reduce me to the same level of Campbell. After several minutes of rabid screaming at the television I was at once thankful that I was at home alone and after this I quickly scanned through the living room window to check if any neighbours had witnessed what would have looked like one of Hitler’s Nuremberg rants minus the soundtrack.

To actually give a diatribe in reply to Campbell’s ridiculous and spurious remarks would be to justify them with some basis in reality. After considering what he said I chided myself and derived some comfort from the fact that he was doing simply what he and his party do best, create imaginary demons and scaremonger. The DUP as I said, is admirable to a certain extent. The predictability of their reactions serves only to entrench and perpetuate the virulence of their jaded and unstable rabidity, they are also the reasons why we can tell what they are going to say or do perhaps before even they think of it. They are the most hateful type of party in any so called civilised society, since they are inextricably harnessed to the narrowest of “Christian” outlooks primarily constructed by Ian Paisley to suit his sectarianism and bolster his self-righteous egoism. The unfortunate aspect of all this is that this is also why they are so electorally successful. It is also extremely unfortunate that people like Campbell, Nigel Dodds and Peter and Iris Robinson, who in any other arena would be highly able cabinet officers, are imbued with a spirit of naked hatred, if not personally, then they are smeared with the ugly idealism of their leader.

What in fact do the DUP want for Northern Ireland?

Having told their constituents and everyone who wanted to listen or not that this document was akin to signing a treaty with the devil or indeed the pope, they set out their stall to smash it. Whilst they are smashing it however they have willingly taken their assembly seats, cooperated with their inherent enemies at cabinet and committee level and have taken the money that this highly limited position and even more limited assembly has to offer. DUP representatives now even sit in radio and TV studios with Sinn Fein. Simultaneously they tell us that the GFA cannot work, but they will be prepared to go back into government with a Sinn Fein party that have left the IRA behind!!

Campbell’s and the DUP’S notion of “equity” is as limited as the scope of the GFA.

Based squarely on the Orwellian premise that some are more equal than others, it looks like he and his party will be dragged fighting into the eighteenth century.

It will take some doing, but people such as Gregory Campbell do not realise that the British wish to get rid of the Union is matched only by the Republic’s unwillingness to make a sincere effort to reunify this island. It is still evident that the unresolved National question is the root cause of Northern Irelands problems. Various unfeasible attempts to pacify the north by force from the British and Irish governments have failed miserably. The GFA is the latest in a string of diversions, that gives us political suppression in the thinly veiled façade of political consensus. It harnesses resources that would normally go to boost economic development, and as a consequence Catholic Protestant, Unionist, Nationalist, Republican and Loyalist, Man, Woman and Child are all equal recipients of discrimination in the very areas that Campbell has placed his own people. Yet Gregory’s fantasy has no room for such considerations. When he gazes out the window of his constituency office in East Narnia, sorry that’s East Londonderry, what does he actually see?

Will he ever see that in taking part in Stormont he is doing the dirty work of two governments in administering political rule to a divided people that will continue in perpetual division without geographical unity?

The notion of the Israelite in chains as the chosen comparison for perennially besieged Unionists is, I’m afraid, as outdated and as unbelievable as Campbell’s airbrushing of history.




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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



All censorships exist to prevent any one from challenging current conceptions and existing institutions. All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequently the first condition of progress is the removal of censorships.
- George Bernard Shaw

Index: Current Articles

18 September 2003


Other Articles From This Issue:


Some Animals Are More Equal Than Others
Eamon Sweeney


Members of 32CSM and IRPWA Physically Assaulted by RUC/PSNI
Andy Martin


Report: Belfast Anti Racist Meeting
Davy Carlin


The Shadows
Carrie Twomey


DHSS Lives
Liam O Ruairc


Freedom and Democracy in Cuba Depend on Support for Dissidents
Vaclav Havel, Arpad Göncz, Lech Walesa


Cancun - Whose Setback and Whose Opportunity?
Michael Youlton


How Do You Like Your Elections - Fixed and Murky?
Toni Solo


Armed Struggle
Anthony McIntyre


Republican Sinn Fein commemorates Robert Emmet


16 September 2003


In The Shadow of Fear
Anthony McIntyre


Derry's Disappeared
Deaglán Ó Donghaile


Bangers on the Blanket?
Kathleen O Halloran


Dialectics of Terror
M Shaid Alam


Prison Segregation
Republican Prisoners Support Network


Letter to the Chief Constable
British Irish Rights Watch


A Jackboot on my Presscard
Anthony McIntyre


The Letters Page has been updated.




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