Thursday, January 18, 2007

David Ervine is the New George Best

Following its tedious and interminable coverage of the passing of George Best last year, BBC Radio Ulster continues to wallow in its cult of celebrity death. This time, David Ervine of the Progressive Unionist Party is the subject of adoration.

Mr Ervine died just over a week ago and, as expected, BBC Northern Ireland's airwaves have since been awash with lachrymose eulogies. Yesterday's edition of Talkback dedicated its first thirty-five minutes to mewing over Mr Ervine, often plumbing the most moronic and laughable depths.

One commentator noted that Mr Ervine was an icon for Protestant youth and a leader akin to Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King. I restrained myself from falling off my chair at such comparisons, although I couldn't help my mouth falling open.

"He gave me hope for Ulster," said one caller. Another noted that perhaps a scholarship should be offered in Mr Ervine's name, or a college established to "help bring people together."

It was suggested that the new Northern Irish stadium should be called 'The David Ervine Stadium' or that a bronze bust be located in City Hall.

The mewling and rending of garments continued. Blinding light poured from the radio. Phrases such as "The other persuasion" and "The Province" littered the discussion. Presenter, David Dunseith sighed with remorse. A pastor, and friend of Mr Ervine, spoke about hymns.

A caller noted: "I wish there was another airport we could name after him."

At this point, I abandoned restraint and fell off my chair.

Such is the state of reasoned journalism at BBC Radio Ulster. There was no significant exploration of Mr Ervine's role as a representative of an armed sectarian organisation committed to ensuring Unionist privelage through the killing of Catholics. Dissenting voices were absent, doubtless excised at the switchboard. Those whose comments managed to get read out were described as individuals unable to move on. The airbrushed cult of celebrity prevailed.

I searched for an antidote to these exaltations and came across this rather stark post by Liam Mac Uaid. I suggest Mr Mac Uaid be given a slot on Radio Ulster sometime this week, preferably just prior to Hugo Duncan's inane twittering, when an entire nation races for the off-switch.

7 comments:

Liam Mac Uaid said...

I think that the combination of my politics and musical tastes would see Adams, Paisley and easy listening music fans demand my immediate dismissal. And I don't know anything about farming

The Great Wee Azoo said...

I never thought there was anything 'easy listening' about Radio Ulster. Queasy listening maybe, complete with cream buns, Bible-belt morality and a wicker man.

JC Skinner said...

The two of you are coming across as tremendous MOPEs, it has to be said.

Liam Mac Uaid said...

JC what an apt comment on the day that we shocked to discover that the RUC had been giving the UVF carte blanche to murder Fenians all over Belfast. And they would happily do it again. It's not our fault that Ulster is a squalid sectarian statelet.

The Great Wee Azoo said...

Can we have the George Cross back? Please? You know you want to.

JC Skinner said...

I dunno, Liam. Maybe it's everyone's fault the place is a squalid sectarian statelet. At least, it is the fault primarily of all of us living there.
And as for Ervine, I see no problem in acknowledging that he did more than anyone to attempt to bring the utterly disenfranchised Protestant poor into the process.
Your dreamstate UI would hit the rocks fairly lively if someone doesn't bring that community in from the cold beforehand, and without Ervine, that prospect is as far away as it ever was.

The General said...

JC what an apt comment on the day that we shocked to discover that the RUC had been giving the UVF carte blanche to murder Fenians all over Belfast

Coreeeect me if if I'm wrong here, the majority of the victims listed in the report were not from the er....*fenian* community....

Rooooole in that MOPEry and hypocrisy pleaaaaase...