What next? Gerry Adams in a bowler hat playing a lambeg?

A letter from Clive Maxwell:

Letter to the editor
Letter to the editor

As I viewed the antics of our politicians in the last few days I felt we had plumbed new depths.

Carefully choreographed, we had Michelle laying a wreath at the cenotaph in Dublin, then we had Jeffrey speaking on the Twelfth, telling his audience not to burn tricolours.

As you watch in disbelief, you have to pinch yourself and ask if this is further evidence of a world going mad.

Paul Givan and Michelle O’Neill attending a Somme Ceremony of Commemoration in Dublin

Being positive, you could welcome this as a gesture towards peace and reconciliation, and it could be, if it had even a ring of sincerity.

Some, more sceptical, might dismiss it as a cynical display of tokenism.

I can see this “window dressing” gaining momentum, and taking on a more competitive edge.

At the moment it has all the appeal of small town theatre at its worst – under-rehearsed, embarrassing and cringe-worthy.

In what used to be a clash of cultures there is now a sharing of cultures as each side seeks to gain an advantage in this “phoney war.”

Warming to this theme I imagined Gerry Adams addressing the media wearing a bowler hat, and with a smile saying ‘over to you Jeffrey’, indicating his party had bought a Lambeg drum.

Jeffrey might top that by saying he was prepared to join the Papal Nuncio to watch the All Ireland.

I could imagine the Ulster Unionists being non – committal, and merely saying they supported comic relief.

If the Protestant community is going to survive it needs to get serious, and not be drawn into the comedy of gesture politics.

It’s a battle they won’t win, and compromise them so much it will drag them down.

We need to get out into our community, roll up our sleeves, get our hands dirty: and work!

Having worked out who we are, we need to lay firm foundations: then get out there, and negotiate from a position of strength.

Without accepting prior conditions we need to challenge Irish nationalism to spell out their vision of a “New Ireland.”

We want to see the fine print! Rhetoric and slogans don’t pay the bills.

Boris has waved the green flag and set us on course for Dublin. He thinks we’ll go meekly and come cheap, but I have expensive tastes.

At the moment the Irish Republic can’t afford me, so Britain and the EU will have to foot the bill. Then, having shown me the figures: I’ll decide!

Clive Maxwell,


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