tv The Alex Salmond Show RT December 3, 2020 8:30am-9:01am EST
passing of joining him did not get the prominence it deserved john hume is widely regarded as one of the most important figures in the recent political history of ireland as one of the architects of the northern ireland peace process and he took of debbie he was a finding member of the social democratic and labor party the s.-t. o.-p. and served as a 2nd leader from 1989 to 2001 he also served as a member of the european parliament i'm to member of the u.k. parliament i don't so as a member of the northern ireland assembly today we look at the contribution of john hume by contrast in the position of disaster reached in the province and the early 1970 s. at the height of the troubles with the peace which still holds to be despite the intense strains caused by brics it 1st we speak to ward winning journalist david knox about his new book on the killing of thomas needham our manager of northern ireland factory and then we examine without stuart donal one of john hume
successors as leader of the s.-t. o.-p. about how northern ireland was pulled from tragedy to peace just after christmas in 1973 thomas needham i was bundled into his car i would say to school in west belfast he was never seen alive again by his friends or family it was in a deal of murder and tragedy in the province with $500.00 people a year dying as nationalist and loyalist paramilitaries mobilised against the power sheeting stunning deal agreement alex takes up the tragic story with journalist and author david blake knox who has published a new book on the killing. david yes this book where they get station of this book come from there you know the very height of the troubles 970 free this dreadful murder tell us a bit more about it. well i suppose part of the reason the crew moved to this story is as you say it was at the height of the troubles and i thought it reflected is
a very unusual case it was sort of because they only german national to die in northern ireland and the troubles and the only diplomatic representative of any country to die in northern ireland and what troubles what also drew me to this story was that it was it was a family tragedy as well as being a tragedy of this close and intimate it was a tragedy for it as well and his 2 daughters and all of them subsequently copayments of some of the aftermath of what is a killer so who was thomas niedermeyer or any of the business men but he was quite often described in the aftermath of his abduction just realist which kind of made him sound as if you were some sort of fat cat plutocratic in fact he came from a very humble or modest working class background being inducted into the german war economy when it was still
a child who was in turn finally was still a child after the war ended most germans at his age you didn't go back to school he went he learns a trade. and but the age of just 18 he'd already become a froman he worked his way up through the ground a company which was then one of the biggest manufacturing companies and europe and he eventually became a manager but he lived on in a modest 2 others who have a modest income and in many ways some other stuff for oceans he threw himself into his work and bowl accounts he was makes a. employee manager and also the fact troopers who stablished in west belfast or some of the 1st of last. the workforce was predominately councillor because it was relatively close to anderson's town which is the major catholic estates in both of us but there was also a sizeable number of protestants who worked there and neither one of the reputation
of being scrupulous in that is friendless and objectivity and his lack of any prejudiced thought it was you say that. was the only german national who. was killed and in the troubles it was therefore was unusual for people who were as it were walking living incidentally and then off of violent to become embroiled in where we're obviously innocent victims of bombings and carbon that told you so for people to be targeted to who didn't have a stake in the troubles well yes or no it was it was very as i said he was the only germ and i think there were 2 reasons why it was particularly targets that one was . as a diplomatic group isn't that as it was thought that he would carry additional weight in terms of around some sort of a state of mind was the other to console him and that made him
a target of hope why was the precise reason that this man was to be kept up for what was to be gained from the kidnapping of thomas needham or. hope to secure the repatriation of 2 leading our own members the processors the delors around him who are very highly regarded within our own circles so how did thomas to my end up being assassinated the fate. well he was they called of his house one movement and said that there be no road accident so this car and he came out it was bundled into another car it was taken as it turned out only about half a mile down the road crow's held prisoner for 3 hours on the 3rd day he tried to make or break a window and shot for help it was over hours and he was pistol whipped post-mortem eventual it established his skull had been fractured so it was in that sense
of a 2nd laying on the mud but it wasn't it would have wasn't meant to cause obviously there was no value for they are in and thomas niedermeyer being dead exactly it was a bungled it was a bungled effect look it has to be said that any kidnapping implicit is a is the risk that someone is being killed because otherwise there would be no point and i mean that's a form of extortion and if there is nothing at stake than that it's gone plus there was always the possibility that it would be code but they didn't in terms of killing 3 days after the kidnap them so you've spoken a bit about the family consequences of social many tragedy if the zoltan from the death of thomas niedermeyer this kidnapping tell us a bit more about the the why the impact the ripple through his family and their and their friends well what compounded the. anguish for his family it was that they are
all right tonight that they had kidnapped him and even though they had buried his body just a few 100 yards in a shallow grave just a few 100 yards away from this family home. they were rigorous and denying that they had anything to do with that so for over 6 years nobody knew what had happened and because of the and secure syrian and so of knowing what happened to them they couldn't agree it really they couldn't find any form of clothes. until his body was discovered and that was through an informant with him in past on the rolls on a trip motion a memo discovered so shocking that our internet is bothering not been lying just a few 100 yards from. us experience a dreadful human story tragic consequences as a journalist and producer david do what your way from a ball for the after party in dublin and the b.b.c.
in london i'm interested followed journalistic perspective was a definite accent or in the way the the troubles were covered by these state broadcasters year there was a different periods there were those 2 from the answer since there were also government more governmental restrictions and coverage rules of northern ireland in them there were loans and are you saying there r.t.e. restrictions were even heavier explain the bit about that they were under section 31 of the broadcasting act it was impossible for us to intrude through members of either of chanson or there are only you know obviously about restrict and it was a pretty blunt instrument tristrem to the dark of roots in my mirrors it's one of the things great rivals big competitors terms of fortson nonviolent was was john hume who died recently at the end it was john hume a probably more than anyone else who the sated that showed him had to be brought
back into the political process of peace was to guess the obvious they had dealings with john obviously over the years how i hope to hear a decision was that. well you know john. i wasn't a close friend of joe of john's but i did cover an overcard long career that views i think that in many respects human is a moral it's unclear as much as a political exemplar i mean he was absolutely stunned and show a couple in his opposition to political violence during some extremely difficult times and you know part of his legacy i think is really precious and should be because see if he can through a lot of very very hard times i think his legacy will be seeing. you know as i said in moral terms that david. did join him as a parliamentarian parliamentary colleagues pretty well i've never regarded them as
a great speaker or sell him on parliamentary terms happened to me were from in the west of ireland at a conference in the aftermath of the bombing in 1988 and he delivered that and they not the single transferrable speech he delivered an extraordinary address spellbinding. which educated that sometimes people were. touched by greatness not uniformally but just at a moment and pain and perhaps is that something of that you saw in john hume i couldn't agree more with your witness myself some of those moments sometimes when he was addressing large groups of people that also remember when it goes from a night dinner with them and he spoke with that degree of control caution that i found extremely moving and the fact of. the matter goes from that is almost changed
my understanding of charles it was a very passionate. there was a sense in which he in which he returned to exult to look at times with certain points but i would never underestimate the depth of his 'd conviction or his potential trouble in extremely eloquent. so lastly david what as a journalist living through and reporting on and arranging programs on nonviolent you've seen the night dear and 73 the peace process through what afflictions would you have for the next generation and ireland what lessons from not just from this book but from your journalistic career would you offer on the positive side and. do was there were periods when people thought that the troubles would go on forever and there was no way out of this morass of political violence and i think that at the very least we have shown that there are ways forward that political dialogue
and collaboration and accommodation better ways of solving our problems on this island they would wait knocks the author of the coming of thomas niedermeyer thank you so much for joining me and they'll examine show thank you alex. join us after the break where alex will discuss with allister mcdonald a former m.p. and leader of the democratic liberal party the contribution of the late john hume to peace in northern ireland we see that.
to come. and. equals betrayal. when so many worlds apart we choose to look for common ground. john hume was core disappearance of the 1998 nobel peace prize with david trimble and those received both the gandhi peace prize and the martin luther king award he is the only person to see the 3 major piece awards alex examines how he earned those accolades with former leader of the s.-t. o.-p. allister mcdonnell. donna welcome back to the show thank you i guess
always approach religion a pleasure to work with you now listen let's stop on the ellie seventy's of this speaking to david blake not some of the coming of thomas need a mile of the german businessman that was a period where we were not the effects of not deal of the troubles been $500.00 people were dying a year loyalist part of motive violence nationalist part of militant violence how did that would be the the the point to which the trouble seemed all consuming. well i think what happened was with the civil rights effort and movement in 196970 and. basically that was overtaken by people who spano i'm sort of to buy alarms on the violence just read the violence you know you had then all sorts of took for top murders and crazy stuff we had a senator putting wilson was murdered for for instance a nasty lp senator in the storm in parliament and then started how to be perot
because the unionists were so resistant to granting basic civil rights and human rights to to the nationalist population loyalist paramilitary groups that responded the previous provisional ira they to gun violence started killing those they so are perceived. enemies on down toward the lower start and just a split a control. you know what it was a great tribute to shoot him on to the s.-t. o.-p. at the time they basically started against violence so still further still preferred basic civil aced a decent political negotiation despite no matter how difficult the circumstances where i was itself as a young politician in these days as a constitutional nationalist as the town used to be and the s.-t. o.-p. with all this violence and mayhem going. on and people on the past will fret and danger how did that approach that somehow oh the bridge could be could be crossed i
did that approach develop a shoe up to john hume and of those well loved lot approach was of all there. you know what was happening almost of carlow a carload of universe 2 to the violence was the steady steady march of sensible politics and they were the worse you know i think we have to realize that in those days people who were people's views or not it should have the motions were all over the place on you know they were there were a lot of people who would have us maybe a stake in regard for what the pressures were doing printed up to 2 union as a hard line loyalism but they still let us stage sole the s.t.l. p. i was the party of the 1st making sense so you know we're not great muddle through
the politics of the time and people get angry and maybe. some lurched in the direction of violence after a violent absent a provoked are annoyed them but by and large they were still right through the early seventy's and even up until the late at the end of the seventy's the majority . approach if you like by people was that politics had to be made work as one of john hume successes as leader of the s.-t. o.-p. when john was making these over which were deeply unpopular with many many people the time to try and get the man of violence into constitutional politics to build these bridges was that of consciousness among you in the rest of the s.-t. o.-p. leadership that you might be politically putting yourself a disadvantage by bringing a rival nationalist party into the suspectible politics. what are you aware of that you could be creating the sucking stances where you'd be superseded by sion thing i
don't think it was you know that was one element that wasn't the overriding element though the overriding element was that there have been many. if you like blue grid approaches in the past there have been cease fires way back in the early seventy's that had broken dein and i think them that emotional response if you like tone from a lot of the s.t. r.p. who were uncomfortable with the human out of negotiations discussions talks was common we trust should be and can we trust gerry adams are the sincere about this or is this just 8 tactical move to buy themselves some time to regroup and of course it must have been aware as the s.t.p. were under attack for making over of tools to feign you must have a way out of the large element lives of hypocrisy because the british governments
have been secret talks of shin fein that there was an intimate connection between the loyalist possibilities and and the forces of government so these were the people who were attacking the the links with sinn fein and their p. will settle to mislead if they had the hands dufty with sic that those well i mean nobody ever trusts the british government they're always double dealing and their history and i are just been one of double dealing for a 1000 years on their 1st you know they wear harvey of course back channels all the time and i think that was a conscious or so it there that they were back channels available all the time but i mean a result of that was also conscious of very clear consciousness. security interests both army policing i don't flew into over lawyers part of militaries and particularly the army used loyalist paramilitaries i was if you like a 3rd force or a 4th force to do their dirty work and
a lot of television's security intelligence was handed over to loyalist paramilitaries. of the amazon as a 5th column attacking. members of the national population that whole tragedy of it all was the that basically it constantly and assist people that the loyalists attacked a soft targets anywhere they could find a soft target people working people leaving work and difficult derrius or are people coming home late at night walking along a lonely road song or the all risk liam that they were attacking members of the provisional ira but i don't think their lawyers ever killed one member of the provisional larry it was always a bust people and a lot of this was set up. and driven by british security interests and of course they asked to help the one of the rivals of should and fein and were
subjected to a great deal of thought out right violence and 7 intimidation and many other black ops how could you how could you manage and how can john human protect the man is to through that to one side as he tried to embrace people back into the peace process the context she got up. from the beginning of the seventy's that was constant a term addition by people who were. given to buy a lunch or people who wanted to support people given to violence on our countless hours of times are beaten up by i can recall many instance where canvassers were beaten up across the city a belfast i was until it is many a time myself and i was formerly formed by one individual that i knew very well that he was going to shoot me but i was sick so all of this all might adopt the pressure was there but we always had a vision that there was a brighter future somewhere out there and we always had the vision that the real
politics would ultimately win aren't so how would you assess then john human no he's gone on his contribution to getting people to cross that bridge and to solidify a peace process. been chong's contribution was unique and was most of the combination of them selfs. tony blair. and bertie ahearn and double m b shared a vision over time but you know they weren't always in the same space but gradually over time clipped and blair bertie ahearn and hume were on the one page and with the 4 been on the one page the move towards peace was a battle all the most because you know it was just a resistible force. that was the school were and it was he was a unique individual at a unique pivotal point in our history we ship future generations will forever be
indebted to him for moving us for moving our politics out of violence and the human legacy is that politics are not top of the agenda and effectively to all of tents and purposes the gum has been taken out of irish politics dot as a tremendous achievement and finally honestly dano given the all you've experienced through your political career what can we join him and the others who built the peace process what would you say to politicians anyway who would for other objectives for that be blacks that. whatever would do anything are told that the jeopardize that prize which has been so hard won well i have been very angry over the last 23 years over the who practice of thing because our whole peace process was to turn large extent and door stronger written by the european union and what happened was that that nationalism and northern ireland was able under the umbrella
of the european union to accept. part of the deal that the aspired to. secure we had got economic uncultured progress and turn large extent a lot of people were prepared to accept not in the short to medium term that we had we had the breathing space to live and prosper in our own country and that we weren't been big marginalized or of poverty by the system that existed previously i mean the problem with hob was the previous to the seventy's a lot of those who saw themselves as irish or a show spiration xah northern ireland were forced them a bit by dipping to england ironically it might have been to america made to be destroyed but we were forced to emigrate and thus unionism kept
a majority if you like politically and then and they still do that today in some places and your hope for the future. my hopes for the future are that progress will continue i'm a little bit disappointed that critter progress and bitter grit are the cheap ones haven't been made of stormont in the last 20 years but the fact that the violence are stopped or the vast majority of it there are still a handful of people out there who do not they know some who feel they want to go back to violence but 95 percent of it is gone. people are talking to each other they made out like each other they may not even tolerate each other but they're forced to talk to each other. thus maybe a bit short of making advances we do need a much more coherent system of government that will bring economic prosperity the young people today 17181920 watt prosperity they
want opportunity. for complete when we have got the bloat the violence stopped and got a great degree of stability over the last 20 years we haven't reached the promised land we haven't we haven't robbed that many of the economic opportunities that are out there out of a doll thank you so much for joining me in the i'll examine show i.q. are lakers obese. the kidnapping and killing of thomas needham are was one of the darkest on mostly forgotten episodes of the troubles however it illustrates the night major spiral of violence i to which john hume and his fellow peacemakers eventually drag their province by the pride of patience just taking and force of will it seems extraordinary that was northern ireland having travelled so far towards a civic society that any politician in london would place it at risk again the
troubles have cast a long shadow over generations of irish women in maine but they have also cause to cloud over the politics of england for generations and indeed for centuries. peace in our land is not just a precious thing but it is a tender flower it would be best to cherish it isolate john hume to it so well may he rest in peace and i for myself alex and stacy good bye i hope to see you again next.
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going to find out. russia says its covert job will cost less than $10.00 per dose as a present sputnik the 2 un member states. i am determined to protect our election system which is now under coordinated assault and she. brands the us election a total catastrophe as he pleads with the supreme court to overturn the results. also the french interior ministry announces raids on more than 70 mosques and warning it will shut down any found to be influenced by radical islam. and a most unlikely venue looks.