2011 Irish Presidential Elections
Being 100% apolitical, my decisions on who should be our next President are based solely on gut instinct, and have absolutely nothing to do with politics, parties or manifestos of any variety.
I think the President should be an ideological position, and so my choices are currently limited to the only two candidates I feel have enough character, charisma or conviction to do the job justice.
Granted, I’m an idiot when it comes to decisions which should be well thought out, logical and future-proof, but unfortunately for Ireland, my vote still counts. And, unlike previous Presidential elections, I’ll probably use mine on this occasion.
So here are my thoughts on these two lads:
Clearly, I’m a fan.
What a guy. Really. Imagine sending him out into the world, like a slightly shorter Stephen Fry, to represent us? Unless Stephen Fry himself fancied the job, I can’t think of anyone better. He’ll never be boring, and will never commit the gross negligent foot-in-mouths that a lot of people fear so much. Intelligent, witty, well dressed (most of the time!), at the moment he gets my vote.
If people are still clinging on to the “letters scandal”, they’re missing the point. You can read my thoughts on that bit of nonsense of you like.
“Oh No!! But he was in the IRA!!!!”
If I were born in Derry in 1950, I’d have been too. He was 22 when the atrocities of Bloody Sunday occurred, and here in our very own leafy Dublin, the British Embassy was destroyed.
How can us comfortable Southerners react in such a patriotic and instinctive way, and now, almost 40 years later turn our backs and claim this man to be a terrorist? Does 40 years change things that much? What if a similar slaughter occurred only 10 years ago?
McGuinness is no longer in the IRA. He was, and still is, instrumental in the peace process and has earned his right to be on the list of candidates.
I’m no hardline Republican, but still couldn’t dream of separating myself from the era and location into which I was born – 1970’s Derry was a very different place to anywhere in the Republic as it now is. We have no idea what it’s like to live under such tyranny, and to simply dismiss this man as a terrorist or a murderer is to serve a great injustice on all those who have died for this country, not just in the last 42 years under the guise of the Provisional IRA, but in the preceding centuries too.
Our history is a dirty and sad history, and if we’re to share the pride in our nation, we must also share the shame.
Martin McGuinness will never be a war hero, nothing like it, but if he’d been born 200 years before, he may have ended up somewhat different in our minds.
Still, David Norris gets my vote!