Monday, 28 September 2009

Why is Mandelson derided for his role in Northern Ireland? Because he listened to two sides rather than one.

It is hardly every day that one feels compelled to defend Peter Mandelson. However, when he is accused of ignorance and obnoxiousness by a purveyor of sentimental Irish American drivel its hard not to feel a pang of sympathy for Labour’s ‘dark lord’.

Niall O’Dowd criticises Mandelson’s conduct as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, endorsing Bertie Ahern’s contention that he hampered the peace process.

If acknowledging the existence of a view which contradicted Republicans’ nationalist orthodoxies and recognising that Sinn Féin / IRA did not comprise a trustworthy group, comprised a road block to progress, then Mandelson erected that obstacle.

Actually the former Secretary of State helped build trust between unionists and the Labour administration. But no doubt the Irish American view is that he was guilty of encouraging ‘false consciousness’ by listening to two sides, rather than one.

4 comments:

Gary said...

Indeed Checkov. The old mantra, that the government should be neutral on the Union and that they must not support one "community" over the other still pervades, mind you, how this can be squared with their demands that the government should "facilitate" and persuade the majority into a united Ireland beats me. Whilst in the same breath it is not only acceptable but imperative according to Irish nationalism, that the Irish Government and the US Government or at least so-called Irish America must support and "defend" nationalist "rights" and "aspirations" in Northern Ireland! Double standards and special privileges for the Irish nationalist political movement seems the flavour of the decade in Northern Ireland.

Timothy Belmont said...

I believe that has really been the case since the prorogation of the old Stormont Government, Gary: HMG, the Honest Broker between two factions; and the Irish Government, Champion of Irish Nationalism. And remains the case, to my mind.

I think Mandelson wasn't a bad NI Secretary, as they go. As regards politics in general, I shouldn't trust him an inch since he has declared that he'd be prepared to serve under a new conservative government! Another indication of Brown's political weakness, that Scotland and Mandelson remain in the Cabinet, to my mind.

Is Mandie a man for all seasons? Perhaps he's thinking along the lines of some bureaucratic European role within the new Conservative administration. David Cameron ought to keep him at arm's length.

Tim

Anonymous said...

Osborne and Mandelson in the same room, what a thought.

We now have a Government that is not neutral on the Union, let us celebrate it.

Anonymous said...

Anon - should that be WHEN we have a govt that is not neutral about the Union lets celebrate it?