- Oh! what a tangled web we weave, When first we practise to deceive! – Walter Scott, Marmion, 1808
“Not only are they bastards, but bastards hurling yogurts!”
Just one of the many remarks I’ve overheard recently, spawned from the current furore over Campbell’s and Adams’ remarks. Both, it would seem, have lost their political senses and with their remarks rushed headlong, devoid of all political regard for their future, in to a political maelstrom of their own making.
Campbell’s attempt at humour amounted to a repetition of the same sectarian and racial slur of comedy that he dished out in the Assembly a few days before, hoping to extend the round of laughter and re-ignite its initial impact with the inclusion of a reference to Sinn Fein’s political wish list and a roll of toilet tissue. As in the Assembly, and as then, his efforts were richly rewarded with loud applause and polite guffaws from his DUP colleagues. His antics, best described as disgraceful were exasperatingly excused by his leader as a bit of light-hearted in-offensive comedy and for everyone to get over it. But then, this is coming from a man who sends Muslims down to the shops. Nor is he or they on the receiving end of this sectarian, racial humour and thus fail to feel the barbs of his remarks.
Adams, it would seem, temporarily has simply forgotten the rules of politically correct behaviour and allowed his train of thought to express his deepest feelings. Gildernew, believing that her Führur had given the nod of approval to publicly release her true feelings followed up with informing Campbell that he was sitting in the wrong camp and should move over to where the ‘bollocks’ sit.
Both terms, ‘bastard’ and ‘bollocks’, seem rather fitting and which actually, is what most Nationalist feel about Unionism and in turn what all Unionists think of Adams and Nationalism but they, unlike him and Gildernew, have more political sense than to utter it publicly. Irrespective who it is aimed at, there are much more eloquent ways which in turn is more palatable to the public, of describing someone or ‘some-ones’ as bastards or bollocks. For a publicly elected representative to use the language of the gutter in public is generally unacceptable to us all, even though we use it every-day and respectfully apply it with just as much conviction and vehemence to those as Adams and Gildernew did.
The Establishment’s response is one of horror. That a publicly elected representative should utter such expletives in public is tantamount to treason. His disrespectful abandonment of the Establishments protocols is the barb that is pricking their sides – not his actual words! Mo Molam and her use of her vast vocabulary of vulgar expletives never annoyed them as she didn’t utter these in public.
But what to make of such utterances and why now? Was Adams’ slip of the tongue a faux pas of a Freudian nature or was it a more calculated move – could he really have shot himself in the foot again? If it wasn’t a slip of the tongue then that would imply deliberation and design on his behalf and without Gildernew’s acknowledgement of course. There is no discrimination of gender in defining a pawn. But to what end?
Campbell has acted similarly with protocol abandonment but has restrained his sectarian racist ranting to language that is acceptable – no expletives from him which is more likely to do with his religious beliefs than a sound understanding of following the Establishment’s protocols. And this all from a man who believes the world is 6,000 years old and who once held the office of Minister of Culture! So, what was Campbell’s goal? Surely not the desired hope to be invited on to the TV satirical current affairs show - Mock the Week.
Both have achieved the same degree of polarisation of each from the other. Villiers, despite Mr Hart’s interpretation of how the talks are going, has stated that presently a resolution is as far away now as it ever was and any resolution is highly unlikely. But Villiers and the DUP have been in meetings long before Campbell’s sectarian racist outbursts and Adams’ public retort. The Tory’s know full well that their future in power cannot be dependent on the support of the LibDems. Their desire for power and blatant disregard for their election manifesto promises have numbered their days. What will remain of them will not on their own be enough to secure another term in office for the Tories so they, the Tories, will have to turn to other parties, no matter how small, to bolster their support. Hence the secret negotiations with the DUP to solicit their support. All done under the pretence of discussing local issues. If they were about local issues why were no other local parties present? A deal has been done between them and the DUP of which the contents can only be surmised upon but the transfer of control of Corporation Tax is already one sup in the public domain. But deals are about giving and taking and DUP support is not on its own a full payment.
Adams, feeling the pressure of Maria Cahill and all the baggage that comes with her, and tiring of running from pillar to post, has sought to distract and refocus the public’s attention on the ‘bastards’ and bollocks’ of Unionism. Given the history of this Island that wasn’t too difficult. His position regarding Maria Cahill has been debated extensively in the Dáil so no doubt that the Southern British will attack him on his remarks, but not with the same ferocity as before as they also recognise a bastard and a bollock when they see one too. Distraction is how magicians perform their best tricks.
And likewise, tangled in to the Tory deal with the DUP, is a deal that has been agreed between them (SF) and the yogurt eating bastards (DUP) who’s contents will not be made public before the elections as such that could spell disaster for both parties. The lumpen proletariat and the plebs are all about to get shafted but not before the DUP attempts to welcome the return of their prodigal East Belfast Westminster son. Old accusations, long repeated and hurled are once again defining the old lines of sectarian demarcation. The lines have been drawn but only for the duration of the election as it draws near.
And afterwards, elections over, the storm in the tea cup will have abated and we will have the bastard Arlene and the bollock Nigel to lead Stormont and Westminster respectfully, while Martin and the ‘curry yogurters’ will continue to speak in forked tongues but without the need for unequivocal words. The pantomime that is Stormont will continue and try and usurp the title as the longest running show in town ....Watch out Mouse trap!
But besides all of this, we all know that Unionists are bastards anyway!