Can you believe it? Gerry Adams is 63 years old and has an “old mans problem”. It should be nobody’s business but his own that he has decided to have the problem treated in New York City.

Gerry Adams lives in the Republic of Ireland and could certainly have had the problem treated in Ireland….north or south. He went “private”. Conall McDevitt, a SDLP colleague who I much admire….made an ill considered statement that going private was against SDLP values. Conall makes a lot of press statements. He has a record of calling things right….and has been at the forefront of the SDLP fight back in 2012…..but the problem with issuing a lot of press statements is that sometimes you just get it wrong.

Private Health Care is a difficult issue for a socialist.Those of us of a certain age will recall when Denis Healey, the old British Labour warhorse walked out of an interview with Adam Boulton, then of ITVs breakfast show……when Boulton asked a question concerning Healeys wife getting private health treatment.

Few of us….including Conall McDevitt would regard Denis Healey as anything other than a very committed socialist. Few of us would call him a hypocrite. And I think Denis Healey is fully compliant with SDLP values.

Of course Adam Boulton is now the Political Editor on SKY News. That morning he was simply another journal on the graveyard shift. That morning he was….lets be frank….a cheeky bastard.

Mick Fealty on Slugger O’Toole is no Adam Boulton. So disappointing that he chose to have a thread on Gerry’s wee problem. There seems no legitimate reason to broadcast Gerry’s medical history. …or the fact that he paid for treatment.

A reasonable theory might be that Slugger O’Toole has an agenda which including ridiculing Gerry Adams.

Most socialists advocate a national health service but nearly all of us have families and sometimes that means making difficult decisions if a loved one is in pain and a doctor presents us with an option of “going private”.

I am committed to the belief that some things….health….are just too precious to be bought and sold. More so, my wife who has been employed by the NHS for over thirty years. She is an active trade unionist. But all of us surely have in some way contributed to charities which are supportive of NHS. We tend to turn a blind eye to the fact that many are doing the work that a properly resourced public health service SHOULD be doing.

Conall was foolish to criticise Gerry Adams ……….on THIS occasion. Not least because it directly inspired a second even more risible thread on Slugger from an American-based contributor.

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26 Responses to Prostate-Gate

  1. factual says:

    Gerry is the wrong side of 64. Looking better than Hume did at 64.

    He will continue for another 10 years easily – if he chooses.

    Mary Lou will be the next leader, I hope.

  2. sammymcnally says:

    It may be a bit unfair but the boy Conal always gave me the impression that he saw a bit of an opportunity in the SDLP to make more of a mark than he might otherwsie make down South. He has the cut of an opportunist and this ill judged intervention which looks to have backfired only adds to that.

    Gerry, is a bit of ‘ligind’ and will hopefully wont over stay too long as leader of the party – he has been a little off the boil for a few years now and I think we would probably have departed by now (or soon) if there was more talent snapping at his heels.

    I think he is right to stay for the time being – Mary Lou, balls or not, aint no Gerry.

    • I think Conall would certainly have the contacts to get a safe Labour seat in Dublin.
      I cant really visualise him as a MLA (say) in West Tyrone or a TD in (say) Longford-Westmeath. He is a metropolitan.
      This was a truly awful mistake and made me cringe.
      I think youre right about Gerry Adams. He may just have held on two years too long but clearly he wanted to be a TD.
      I just cant see a (single) SF leader from the South. At best there would have to be a joint leadership……..tacitly at least.
      Effectively Gerry is the Leader in the Republic but Martin is the northern Leader.
      A Southern Leader would cost votes up north.

  3. sammymcnally says:

    Lets recap on what we have learned tonight.

    Gerry has balls, Conal is over interested in Gerrys balls, the aptly name SluggeroToole is both concerned about Gerry balls and outraged at the interest in Gerrys balls, Mary Lou does not have any balls and BangorDub could, if he didnt have any balls himself, have gone to the same school (where no balls are mandatory) as Mary Lou.

    • That just about sums it up LOL

    • bangordub says:

      I can confirm, for the benefit of Sammy, that it is the very fact that I possess the aforementioned orbs that precluded me from attending the same school as Mary Lou. Not that in my schoolgoing days attempts were not made to gain surreptitious access to that establishment on many occassions

      • sammymcnally says:

        re. “Not that in my schoolgoing days attempts were not made to gain surreptitious access to that establishment on many occassions”

        …with the aforermentioned glands undoubtedly bearing a considerable responsiblity for this shameful behaviour.

  4. sammymcnally says:

    Update on – lets recap on what we have learned tonight.

    Gerry has balls, Conal, who may well have his balls cut off by his own party, is over interested in Gerrys balls, the aptly name SluggeroToole is both concerned about the treatment for Gerry balls and outraged at the interest in the treatment for Gerrys balls, Mary Lou does not have any balls and BangorDub could, if he didnt have any balls himself, have gone to the same school (where no balls are mandatory) as Mary Lou.

  5. bangordub says:

    Just a thought. Some commentators must be mighty relieved that Conall has given them something else to write about if you gather my meaning. Not a single post on the NIHE for example

  6. Firstly, let me admit, I am a posses balls. I too am a socialist but if I had something seriously wrong and had to wait for treatment, I too would go private and to the best place I could afford. Socialism is about a changed society and that society does not exist in the UK nor Ireland. Now, if Gerry was Swedish and went to the states or whatever, there would be a case.

    Yesterday’s Talback happily ran with the story, inviting Jm Wells on to join the scoffing, even though they didn’t have the facts, resulting in the useless Austin having to read a statement fro SF near the end. It’s like the Slugger virus is spreading

  7. With my fondness for mixed metaphors, I’d say its a knee jerk brain fart. It is interesting how the BBC and Slugger jumped on the nothingness.

  8. factual says:

    Does the millionare SDLP leader have private patients?

    • No idea….have you tried looking at the declaration of members interests (house of Commons)…it should be there.

      • factual says:

        Well it seems that the millionaire SDLP leader owns several properties and a farm, as well as a medical practice. As to whether it takes private patents it does not say so I suspect so. No GP in NI earns less than £110k pa so I guess he will not have any difficulty paying for private care.

        Gerry Adams, who is not overweight at all, looks far healthier than the portly millionaire SDLP leader despite the latter being a GP.

      • It would be a serious offence if Dr Al misled colleagues by not making a full declaration of interests so I presume you don’t mean to imply that he has omitted anything.
        Working GPs might well be at the income level you suggest….as Dr Al is a MLAS/MP he is unlikely to be on that level….and you have absolutely no way of knowing.
        Regardless of his income level, I dare say it would not disqualify him as a socialist as that would clearly mean that some alleged friends of SF along the border might be disqualified as socialists.
        I have already stipulated that in regard to Adams, there is no inconsistency in advocating better health services and making the choices best suited.
        McDonnell might well be able to afford private health care…but neither you or I know if he has it.

  9. Erm, what in the name of Allah would a GP, a person without speciality by definition, be doing private practice in? Why the hell would a prospective patient pay to get something freely available to all?

    It’s specialists and surgeons who do private practice, either full time or as a bit on the side.

    I think you’re guilty of a lot of friendly fire Factual. No one here is backing Mc Devitt and if you want to try some shooting practice, do what I did and go and fire at Mc Devitt on Twitter, he’s freely available their and wriggling on the hook over this.

    It is your idol, fealty, and the BBC that jumped on to Mc Devitts rickety band wagon although interesting to see the understanding for what Gerry did for people from various shades.

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