Q and A

Did anyone catch Questions and Answers tonight? The McGuinness vs Durkan, O’Dea bout was pretty interesting. Am I the only one that feels that the Sinn Fein itself is imploding? I have never seen McGuinness so much on the defensive, and so much under attack. He seems like he may be buckling under the pressure. His refusal to answer certain key questions was pretty lame too, but then any politician would have done the same, one would guess.

8 thoughts on “Q and A”

  1. Yeah it was an interesting show and McGuinness made a bit of a fool of himself telling the host not to take his words literally.Sinn Fein are being backed into a corner right now.

  2. Overall comment on the site: Glad to see you’re so high up in the Google ratings. Ireland needs an unbiased media outlet that tells it like it is. Good job.

    We can’t rely on the State Broadcaster to expose corrupt politics and Irish newspapers certainly don’t tar and feather the bastards like they do in other countries.

  3. I think it depends on your point of view. If you’re anti-Sinn Fein then McGuinness might have looked under pressure, if you’re pro-Sinn Fein he probably sounded brilliant.

    He was given an awful lot of time to make his case. I think John Bowman (who seems to lose his usual balance when it comes to SF – he impatiently dismisses many valid points and concerns) and the other panellists stampeding for the moral high ground may have played into McGuinness’s hands. They assumed that spouting the usual buzz-words (McConville, McCabe, criminality etc.) would suffice and they left the floor to McGuinness who got a huge amount of free, mostly unchallenged party political broadcasting.

    To a naive or uninformed viewer (i.e. the majority of the great unwashed youth of Ireland who are Sinn Fein’s target audience) McGuinness probably came across as reasonable and logical while his opponents sounded emotional and irrational. Willie O’Dea was remarkably quiet, I’m guessing Bertie has the muzzle on him so as not to make things any worse before they all go crawling back to the negotiation table.

    McGuiness seems to have thought through his arguments (however outlandish they may be) a lot more than his opponents who relied on their moral superiority to get them through but who said very little of substance.

    I worry that moral superiority may not be a good enough substitute for proper political debate. Unless Sinn Fein opponents come up with a more coherent, logical and thought-out argument they will not stop the rise of Sinn Fein.

  4. On the not taking his words literally I think that although McGuiness looked foolish initially and the big audience laugh confirmed this, I think he did turn it around and left John Bowman looking a little bit foolish and pedantic, going on about the “last die-hard in Crossmaglen” (can’t remember the exact quote).

    I guess that is where perspective comes into it. To one person McGuinness looks like he’s squirming, to another he looks like a picked-on underdog.

    I wonder what that great-unwashed under 25’s think…

  5. Best moment of the programme had to be when McGuinness was asked to whom he would recommend anyone who knew the “real” culprits (kinda reminds me of OJ) should give their information. The gardai? The PSNI?

    When McGuinness trotted out some finely-nuanced and meaningless language to the effect that “people should talk to whatever authority they’re comfortable with”. When that line is uttered by McGuinness or Adams or any other republican spokesperson to a print journo, it’s written down with deadly seriousness.

    But something fascinating happened amongst the panellists when they heard it.

    They laughed. So did most of the audience.

    And suddenly McGuinness didn’t seem so tough. Even his supporters had to be squirming. Force couldn’t defeat the hard men. Farce has a lot more potential to do so.

  6. Richard, the problem is that there is a sizeable constituency who will see merit in McGuinness’s ‘finely nuanced and meaningless language’ and answering it with laughter, mockery and moral superiority won’t do a lot to convince them otherwise.

    This is why I would have preferred the PSNI to have stepped back a little rather than pointing the finger at the IRA without backing it up with evidence.

    The PSNI is still only establishing its credibility and it must be seen to be fair and objective and beyond politics. Their handling of the Nortern Bank robbery episode muddies the waters and in many ways allows Sinn Fein off the hook in relation to support for the police.

    Farce alone will not defeat the IRA. We must practice what we preach. The PSNI (and the gardai to a certain extent) have to be seen to be fair, objective, responsible and accountable and above the fudge and ambiguity that permeates the peace process.

    That is the only way we will pull people away from the paramilitaries.

Comments are closed.