Over the past few days, with the death of Martin McGuinness, only too late do some people seem to realise what he was trying to do and what he has done. I don't know. I don't know how bad things were at the height of the Troubles, but i can tell you they were pretty bad. People were terrified to go anywhere. Not just because of the IRA. The IRA was a symptom of a problem - the problem was the disgraceful way the Catholics had been treated by the Protestants. There was deeply instutitionalised and segregated sectarianism. And this was assisted by the State - the British State.
It is the same problem which is taking place on a global scale now. The state once again playing people - the poorest off each other. Soldiers sent to destroy civilians who have no protection. Civilisans then turning to violence to solve a problem born of violence because they have had enough of waiting.
The IRA and Sinn Fein waged war against the state and wonder of wonders they won. In this lifetime. The idea of power sharing was finally achieved in 1998. This is historic. Centuries of oppression and suffering finally to be given a chance. And this was possible because of men like McGuiness, like Irvine, like Hume, like Adams, like Trimble, even, and Paisley, who dragged themselves to the table and hammered it all out. What they said to all of us, and to themselves, is that it cannot go on forever - we can't go on like this. And that is what is so frightening that people - some people - do want it to go on like this.
Nelson McCaulsand, for one - who only has one tune, one record, and he plays it incessantly. Not only is he is straight out bigot, he is utterly incoherent. I told my sister, there is no such thing as a right-wing intellectual because their position is indefensible. It is borne up by prejudice, entitlement and privilege. They are idiots. They are the one which say, oh God told me to do this, oh the Bible says this, they are the ones who say, we are Aryans, and that's why we should be placed at the head of the queue. Because, you know, we are better than.
And this thinking is not reserved to right-winged Christian right. My first encounter with it was in Singapore with the Lee regime. Watching people dying to be in the club - the club of elitist pointlessness. That club which says, GDP at all costs, increase this... the small matter of a finite planet - well, who can say? That is what true stupidity is. Arguing with reality. You must NEVER argue with reality you will not win, and that is why you cannot have a right-winged intellectual because they for some unknown reason are perfectly happy to construct their own idiotic reality and then argue with the actual laws of physics. Seriously? And then they are prepared to idiotically sacrifice everything they have for the sake of their privileged position. Which will mean nothing when the pitchforks are at the gate, or when the planet goes down the tubes - or both.
They are arrogant. Somehow they think that they got there all by themselves. No, you did not get there all by yourself. Your parents, your social class, your history helped you. And instead then, of uniting with people whom they really do have common cause with, what do they do? they sort of manifest this Stockholm syndrome where they side with the oppressor.
I mean these people are responsible for how difficult your life is and they are often succeeding as a result of your suffering and you want to HELP them? C'mon man! Wake up and smell the coffee. The problem is that when self-interests are based on status and on stupid things which cannot be changed like the colour of your skin or your gender, it is sort of like being born with a lottery ticket, isn't it? Say if i was a bloke for instance, would i have been as interested in the horrible treatment of women? Could i have understood that?
Anyhow, how did i get side tracked? The point is now that this generation of politicians are passing, can the ones whom they have passed the torch to continue the peace process. And by gum, it is a process. I have watched and watched and watched how difficult it is to gain peace. Northern Ireland is a unique place. Few places have ever successfully put themselves on the path to peace as determinedly as Northern Ireland has. Few places have ever managed to recover so quickly from decades and decades of scarring. And Northern Ireland is doing this at a breakneck pace. And it is partly because of politicians like McGuinness.
His last act was to collapse the Assembly. This was because the First Minister would not step down while there was an investigation into the serious case of fraud. Step down, sort it out, clear your name and come back. But no. Not Arlene Foster. She is disgraceful. Not even for the sake of her party. How could she say she was a Unionist and then allow self interest to so blatantly get in the way. It is awful.
It is soo soo fragile what we have. So fragile. And to look after it we must be so strong.
Well I am feeling better. My nose is still running but i have stopped coughing. I am going to clean the house, do the laundry and then go and get some food. Cook some food.