NOW that politicians up the north have resolved ‘Kingsmillgate’ in a mature, reasonable fashion which appeased both sides of the community, it’s time for elected representatives to learn as much as they can from the tweet sent out by Sinn Fein MP Barry McElduff, specifically how they can get incendiary digs in at their opponents before playing it off as ‘banter, not meant to insult or offend’. Here’s a few dates they might want to keep in mind:
1) Paisley’s anniversary
Republican MPs should keep the 12th of September free, as the anniversary of the death of Ian Paisley is the perfect time to tweet a picture of themselves with a patterned shirt, a washing machine and the slogan ‘this was a great Paisley, but now it’s dyed!’. It’s ideal for stoking sectarian tensions, and they can easily fob it off by saying they didn’t know it was Paisley’s anniversary and that they just happened to put a paisley shirt in a too-hot wash that very same day.
2) Bloody Sunday
It’s almost the 30th of January, the date that British soldiers opened fire on a Catholic demonstration in Derry, killing 14. It’s also just the right day for a Unionist politician to tweet his opinion about the 1983 U2 smash hit, maybe something along the lines of holding up a copy of the track and posting ‘Always loved Bloody Sunday. Should have got more of them!’. Again, just a coincidence that they posted it on the anniversary date of the massacre, absolutely no reason for months of back-and-forth bickering. There’s work to be done!
Who doesn’t love going to a rock concert in Slane? Any Sinn Féin TD who attends the concert should be sure to not tweet a photo of themselves with an elderly male relative with the caption “Just enjoying Slane at Mountbatten’s house with my uncle unlike some people LOL’… that would surely be seen as a reference to the IRA bombing that killed Lord Louis Mountbatten in 1979. Once again, this would plunge the north into another round of whattabouttery, with Loyalists screaming for resignations and Republicans stressing that it was all blown out of context, and then Loyalists screaming ‘what did you just say, BLOWN out of context?!’ and the the Republicans would say to not be so sensitive, and… you can see how this would continue. Best avoided, but then again we’re not a N.I politician so what would we know.
4) Shankill Road
“Just here on the Shankhill Road looking for a steak, anyone know any good butchers?”… look, if any Unionist MPs want to tweet this, there’s plenty of plausible denial. They could have been talking about Shankhill butchers, not THE Shankhill butchers. They might not HAVE to resign. It might not TOTALLY derail the slender grasp on peace the North still has a hold on.
5) Miami Showband
Look, if you’re a Unionist MP, and you need to ask your Twitter following for a decent showband for a wedding or whatever, just do it any day other than the 31st of July. Maybe go do some actual political work instead. Just to be on the safe side.