The trouble with being a self-styled “joker” is that a lot of people just think you are a pain in the arse.
So…Barry McElduff MP for West Tyrone. He is either a funny man or a pain in the arse. I have always gone with the latter version.
A Sinn Féin MP doesn’t really have a big job. Basically the entire job consists of getting elected. And doing nothing (the seven MPs are abstentionist and like to put two fingers up to Westminster because they apparently have principles). His entire job consists of doing nothing and he couldn’t even get that right.
Over forty years ago this month, the IRA murdered ten Protestant workmen in a blatantly sectarian act at Kingsmill in County Armagh. It was an atrocity.
Of course there were a lot of atrocities during the Troubles…the Shankill Butchers, the Glenanne Gang (loyalist), Ballymurphy , Bloody Sunday (British Army). Claudy. La Mon (IRA).
Odd that Barry should tweet a video of himself with a loaf of Kingsmill bread on his head. It was coincidence in this anniversary week. But now he has been suspended for three months by Sinn Féin which means that he wont be able to attend any Party meetings. Just what the man who doesn’t have to do anything really needs….do even less.
Of course there was the usual qualified apology…
It is easy to slam McElduff. That is why Slugger O’Toole and Belfast Telegraph are doing it. And it is why I am doing it.
Most people in Norn Iron. We are not all sectarian. But most of us are tribal. We have all seen the graffiti “Paras 13 Derry 0” (Bloody Sunday). We have all seen the graffiti “IRA 22 Paras 0” (Warrenpoint). We have seen the murals commemorating sectarian killers, flags on lampposts to mark out territory and other flags and election posters on bonfires to show contempt.
Sinn Féin has apparently a “Respect” agenda. Demanding that DUP politicians like Gregory “Curry My Yogurt” Campbell respect nationalist and republican values. Barry McElduff has certainly let DUP backwoodsmen off the hook.
The Tribalism dictated that Sinn Féin circled their wagons in defence of McElduff. Pragmatism dictated that by the weekend, senior Sinn Féin figures were distancing themselves from him. And by yesterday afternoon at a special meeting, Tribalism and Pragmatism combined to suspend Barry McElduff from Sinn Féin for three months.
Welcome to the Real Norn Iron.