Fire and Brimstone
The Democratic Unionist Party would prefer a Civil War to acquiescence in a role for the Dublin Government in the affairs of Northern Ireland after the Anglo-Irish summit. Fintan O'Toole spoke to DUP activists about the depth of their opposition to the Anglo-Irish deal and their willingness to resort to violence.
IVAN FOSTER, ERSTWHILE COMMANDER of the Reverend Ian Paisley's Third Force, believes he may be living in the Last Days.
An evangelical minister living in Fermanagh on rhe border with the Republic, he reads dark signs in his,:, bible these days. "I tum to the New Testament where in the words of Christ, of Paul and Peter, very clear predictions are made regarding the End of the Age times. And it paints a picture of increasing lawlessness, and I recognise thereefore that that which is prophesied in scripture is beginning to take place. Prophesying is a prediction, it's not a revelaation that must happen and therefore we need not bother fighting it. It is merely a revelation to me that this is the trend that is going to take place and if you wish to avoid the consequences of such trends in your generation, you resist every move that leads towards that." Ivan Foster is < Democratic Unionist Party member of the Northern Ireland Assembly for Fermanagh. In the Anglo-Irish agreement, as in the moral depravity all around him, he sees the signs of the apocalypse and hears the sound of marching feet.
Gregory Campbell, DlJP Assemblyman from the Waterrside area of what he always calls Londonderry, also takes his guid~ < from his reading of the Bible. "I look at the scripptures an'd see iii bible times what a people done where a government had forfeited the right togovern, where a people had been put in a position where they had no alternative but to take up arms, and I can only see that in those same scriptures that say you must love your neighbour, that having done all we can in a peaceable legitimate fashion, then there is no alternative but to resort to arms. I would look in the Old Testament where the children of Israel were put in a similar position. In the land where Pharaoh was king over them, they were told that there was no peaceable way out and the only option was to rise up and rebel and Moses led them out of Egypt though they were told by the Pharaoh that they were breaking his laws in doing so. They used physical breach of the laws in order to extricate themmselves from the position that Pharaoh had gotten them into, but they only did that after Moses went to Pharaoh and said 'Let my people go.' What we're doing is the exact same thing. We will not go outside the law if we can do it inside the law, but at the end of the day we will take that option of breaking the law."
For Ivan Foster and Gregory Campbell, the signs are not only in the political dealings of the Anglo-Irish summit, but also in the wickedness of man which is courting Armageddon. Ivan Foster sees the breakdown of law and order in the Northern state as linked to moral depravity. "I would be very concerned for the future of any country that continues to liberalise and liberalise and liberalise. Because it is an inndisputable fact that alongside recent developments, liberal trends, there has been an increasing social problem regarding law and order, in the home, in the marriage, in the schoollroom or just on the streets.
"It may be argued that there is no link, but I think there is a link. I recognise as a Protestant that if a Protestant loses his Protestantism, then he loses all motivation for opposing a United Ireland. It's immaterial to him who serves the Guinness as long as it's served. Under what flag doesn't matter, the political consequences of change don't matter. I see the danger of a population undermined by libertine trends that is gradually abolishing its spiritual heritage, its spiritual base, and since its spiritual base was always the source of its opposition to a United Ireland philosophy, that opposition will disappear.
"I think that we must take note of the fact that there is a great deal of coordination in all this. So I look for a coordinator. And as a conservative and orthodox Protestant . I look to find the coordinator revealed to me in scripture - namely the power of Satan is at work."
One of the signs that the Reverend Foster sees that the end may be at hand, that it may be necessary to fight on to Armageddon, is that homosexuality has been legalised in Northern Ireland. "As a Protestant, and not a mere poliitical Protestant, but as one who without apology believes the Bible, I come to portions of the scripture like Romans Chapter I where it indicates that society and mankind reaches the depths of decline and depravity when men turn from the natural use of women unto men. That's the pits, to use a modern phrase, you can go no lower. Paul at that stage speaks about the judgement of God corning upon a nation that doesthat. And whether we like it or don't like it, history indicates that when nations decline to those depths, they come to an end.
"It may have been their next door neighbour that put an end to them, and you may see no more to it than that, but I as a Christian see the moving of the neighbouring nation against the decadent nation as the judgement of God. Consequently I abhor the legalising of sodomy. I like that term, because if nothing else it annoys those who preefer to use modern euphemisms for what is nothing less than the sin which is associated with a city the doom of which is recorded in scripture."
Gregory Campbell shares this horror. "It's an evil, wicked, abhorrent practice. My opposition to that is based on the bible and also based on natural justice and I know many people who do not share my Protestant faith but who would share my opposition to homosexuality because they believe it is something which would corrupt society as a whole, and is something so radically awful as to merit total and utter opposition. You're not even talking about someething which is a run of the mill sexual practice but someething which is totally and utterly depraved, and to me anyyway the AIDS scare which is currently running through America is proof that homosexual practice is something which calls upon the curse of God. I would see homosexuaality as something which merited the curse of God. There are others who are not homosexuals, and I'm not saying that everyone who has AIDS has got the curse of God on them, but the basis of the thing is that AIDS came about because of sexual contact between homosexuals. Now that to me is something which shows in a small way that there is more than just human opposition to homosexuality. In the bible there is only one sin which called down literal fire and brimstone from God and that wasn't murder, it wasn't theft, it was homosexuality."
Fire and brimstone, the Last Days, Armageddon, the images are deeply ingrained in the collective mind of the Democratic Unionist Party. Politically, Ivan Foster has a certain sympathy with the embattled whites of South Africa. "I have never studied the reasons for apartheid, but I have to say this: it must be a rather frightening thing when you have watched other African states given into the hands of races that to say the least have been catapulted into the twentieth century over the last few years, and if I were a white there I certainly would be very concerned about giving power into the hands of a majority and then to find that all that I had done, and my forefathers had done, would just be destroyed in tribal warfare and general, unnsophisticated unintelligent attempts at governing the counntry."
JIM WELLS IS YOUNG, SMOOTH, A QUEEN'S graduate from the rich farming land of South Down, which he represents for the DUP in the Assembly. Now twenty-eight, he was in his last year at Queen's when he was elected to Lisburn Council for his home district of Moira, where the large family farm is situated. He joined the DUP "because I like my politics cut and dried. If I'm in a party which favours the use of capital punishment for terrorists, I don't want to find as you find in the Official Unionist Party, that half the party doesn't agree with that policy. I like to know exactly where I stand."
Where Jim Wells stands is with the planter stock he came from. He believes in a separate Protestant race in Northern Ireland and in preserving the purity of that race. "I'm desscended from settlers who came over from England and Scottland: my mother's side was Scottish and my father's side was English. There's been no intermarriage with Celts in the four centuries that we've been over here. There's been no intermarriage in any section of the family over those centuries. And that's the same for many Protestant families. So we're direct descendants of mainland British residents, who carry British passports, who regard the Queen as their sovereign, and regard parliament as the sovereign body of this province, who regard themselves as an integral part of the United Kingdom, no different from Scotland or Wales. It's a fact, not something to be debated about. We don't feel British, we are British. This is what Southern peoplecannot grasp.
"They believe that because we live on the island of Ireeland that we regard ourselves as Irish. Nothing could be further from the truth. I think we regard ourselves as more British than the British. I think we're the first to stand for 'the National Anthem and to show respect for the Queen, even more so than many mainland British subjects, many of whom have intermarried with Pakistanis and West Indians and allowed a dilution of their Britishness. That hasn't happened here and we remain militant British subjects. Here there's been very little intermarriage with immigrants or with native Irish. And mixed marriage is frowned upon; I only know of one mixed marriage in my experience. We at least have maintained our Britishness, even if other parts of Britain have wavered somewhat."
Jim Wells is one of those who does the frowning on mixed marriage. "I am totally opposed to mixed marriage. Of course I am. First of all because of the authoritarian attitude of the Roman Catholic church, which demands that the children must be brought up as Catholics, but secondly because I believe that anyone who indulges in a mixed marriage is betraying the Protestant cause. There's no excuse for mixed marriages in the North, not like in the south where the small number of Protestants means that to be blunt there's many a young man and young girl who wouldn't marry at all if they didn't marry a Roman Cathoolic. There's no problem such as that in the North where there are plenty of suitable Protestant partners. I would be against anything that would lead to a dilution of the Prootestant population of this province."
Gregory Campbell has no mythology of the planter stock. In the Waterside there are no family farms, no tradiition of property handed down over the generations. His legend of the Protestant race is different. "I think that the Ulster Protestant is a separate race of people from the rest of the island. In the general area that is now called Norrthern Ireland there has always been a separate and distinct type of people, code of ethics, morality. Everything about the way of life in the northern part of the island has been different to the southern part of the island, even before the plantation. There has always been a different race of people who inhabited the north. It happens at this stage to be the Protestant people who inhabit it. I have a different view from Gerry Adams as to how we came to inhabit this part of the island. He says we just came over as part of the planntation and usurped the Gaelic Catholics. I happen to beelieve that way before that, when the Picts came from cenntral Europe, there were a people here who were different, who were usurped at that stage." For a working class Loyalist like Gregory Campbell the mythology of plantaation becomes a mythology of dispossession.
But Gregory Campbell also wants to preserve the purity of the Protestant people and is against mixed marriages. "I make a distinction between integrated schooling and mixed marriages. I would be quite happy for my child to go to a school where Protestants and Catholics were taught togeether, but I would not be happy for my child to marry a Roman Catholic. I would be quite happy that the way I am bringing up my children would be sufficient to enable them to hold to their Protestantism no matter what their school environment would be. But that would be a different step from the child growing into a mature adult and then marryying a person who is not of the faith which she has been brought up to believe is the correct faith. If she chooses to do that, that's her affair, but it would not be with my blessing. I would hope that my children would grow up to be evangelical Protestants with a belief in the bible. That belief in the bible should preclude them from marrying someone who does not have the faith in the bible that they have. Also from a political point of view essentially what you are doing is asking a unionist to marry a nationalist and that is too much to ask."
THAT DEEP-SEATED EVANGELICAL PROtestantism is central to the DUP, and the fear of religious persecution is a large part of their fear of a United Ireland. Jim Wells sums up the obbjections to Catholicism: "We find much of Roman Catholic doctrine repugnant. I find repugnant the fact that any man has the right to forgive sins, that Christ can be recreated on the altar of the Mass Sunday after Sunday; that the Virgin Mary is regarded as a deity that can be prayed to, who can forgive sins and heal the sick and all that, that shrines which can supposedly move in Ballinspittle or wherever it is can delude thousands into believing that there are some magical powers. That is superstition of almost African tribal levels, which we fmd totally repugnant, and we just do not wish a situation to arise where we would find ourselves dominated by that type of system. If the priests can get twelve million pounds for an airport in the middle of a bog in Mayo, what can they not do to Protestants? Many Protestants would just have to get up and leave under those circumstances, they just wouldn't tolerate it.
"My view of the south is coloured by the experience of my relatives who refused to live in the south. My wife's mother was born in the Irish republic and all her folk lived in Cavan and Monaghan. And one hears the experiences that they went through as Protestants in the Irish republic, and the way that they were discriminated against overtly and covertly, and the way in which for instance they found it difficult to be educated except by nuns and priests and found it difficult to get teachingjobs because they couldn't speak Irish. Their civil liberties, in the form of birth conntrol, divorce, that sort of thing, were controlled by a Cathoolic-dominated state, and many thousands of them were forced to come up here and live in Northern Ireland. When we see the way they were treated in the south, then that is enough to convince us that we don't want to go there. But could I say that even if the streets of Dublin were paved with gold and even if Ian Paisley were allowed to write the constitution, and if Dublin was a state flowing with milk and honey and motorways - which you don't have by the way - and all the paraphernalia of a western civilised society, we still wouldn't be interested."
That sense of a threat to Protestant faith by the southern state goes deep in the DUP. Jim Allister, the DUP's chief whip and former personal assistant to Ian Paisley, says that his own parents "had to move north out of the Irish repubblic where they were born." "I live in Fermanagh," says Ivan Foster. "I have always lived in Fermanagh. That's only a hop and a skip across the border. I know the Protestants across the border. And I know what they endured. Nothing visible, but what they had to put up with when they went to the mart, when they went to the shop, when they were looking for financial assistance. Whenever anyone else had a problem, they had ten problems. It was civilised behaaviour, it may have forbade the use of the scythe and the billhook, but it didn't stop the manifestation of that aniimosity towards them. And I think it has been subdued so much over the last forty, fifty years because there was still a section of Ireland that had to be retaken, as it were, and it was no good pretending to be the best of friends while at the same time you were openly hammering the life out of Protestants. So the very existence of the Protestant majoority in the north was the greatest guarantee that the Protesstants in the south were at least given some degree of freeedom. Even if that were not the case, you can't tell me that the people who are prepared to back murderers will not do me any harm if they get the chance.
"I have a dread in my heart at ever being under a Roman Catholic regime. I don't anticipate that if we were under a United Ireland tomorrow, that my house would be burned down and I'd be put out on the street and my children butchered, but without a shadow of a doubt, there are those who at this moment dislike me so much, not me as an individual but me as a being, that they are prepared to back those who would plan my murder and kill me, back them by their votes, back them by their support, back them by not turning them in. Have I not got grounds for fearing therefore a political change that will give greater freedom to those people who feel that way; freedom to express their opposition, to act out that opposition, act it out businessswise, social-wise, every way?"
GREGORY CAMPBELL, IN ANOTHER WORLD might have been a socialist. The Waterside in Derry where he has always lived is no bastion of Loyalist privilege. "My parents weren't members of any political party, and paid no heed or interest to politics. My father was a serviceman in the navy. We were just the average Protestant family in Northern Ireland. The thing that pushed me into involvement in politics was the whole Civil Rights scenario, and the whole nationalist complaint and agitation that they were getting a raw deal. That was the clincher for me because I saw on the television screens and read in the papers where people like John Hume and the beginnings of the SDLP were agitating for Catholic rights, and at the same time I saw the type of community that John Hume was from and the type of living standards that they had, which were veri similar to my own.
"Barry White's biography of John Hume makes great play of the fact that Hume was a working class Catholic, no bathroom, two up, two down, outside toilet. Well I had the exact same. I saw the nationalists were campaigning for better living conditions, jobs, voting rights, and yet everyything that they were campaigning for, I hadn't got either. 1 hadn't got hot running water, I had to go outside to the toilet, I had all the disadvantages that the urban Catholic had, and yet they were campaigning as if it were an excluusive prerogative of Catholics to be discriminated against. I felt the exact same way.
"Obviously I thought about their deprivation and I thought about what kind of political structures there might be to bring about a better society, but there continued to be an attitude on their part that they were the only ones being discriminated against, and that I was part of the group that was discriminating against them. There seemed to be a continual diatribe against me, against people like me. We were first class citizens and these people were sepaarated, were downtrodden and different. And it never seemed to get across to them that the people they were agitating against were in exactly the same position as them. Maybe in the early days there was a socialist ideology in the Civil Rights Movement, but it was always couched in terms of republicanism which obviously distanced me and people like me from it.
"I joined the Young Unionist Movement and I found myself campaigning for people that I was still socially oppposed to. 1 found myself campaigning for people like Robin Chichester-Clarke, brother of the former Prime Minister, and to me that person was on a different social scale, a different planet, to me. The guy was a highbrow Tory who
cared very little if at all for working-class Protestant people, who were the people who were electing him. And gradually I moved over to the Protestant Unionist Party, which at that time, 1970-1971, was just changing over to the DUP."
Sammy Wilson, the DUP chairman of the Planning Commmittee of Belfast City Council, is also from a working-class background. "I've lived most of my life in East Belfast, which is perhaps in Belfast now the stomping ground for the DUP. It's a strongly traditional Loyalist area where there was a fair amount of social deprivation, far worse housing conditions even at present, and longer waiting lists for houses, than you have in West Belfast. I was attracted by the new dimension which the DUP introduced into Ulster politics and that was the radicalism which characcterises Evangelical Protestantism, and which can be seen for instance in the kind of people who left here and went to form the backbone of the American revolution, their dislike of the old establishment and the system. In the longer term it's the potential radicalism of the party which attracted me, representing as I do an area where there is terrible houssing and other social problems."
He does not, however, like to be called a socialist. "I think it's one of the problems with those kind of labels in Northern Ireland that the constitutional question has really overridden other considerations. Socialism is, mainly because of the actions of the Labour Party, identified with republicanism. Socialism isn't a term that people use very often in Northern Ireland and yet if you look at the things that they believed and the ideas they would put forward, I suppose if they lived anywhere else they would be sociaalists. I would prefer, because of the stigma which attaches to socialism, the term radicalism rather than socialism.
"One of the problems of Irish history is that the concenntration on the constitutional question by nationalists gave the excuse for not dealing with and not prioritising the social issues, which affected the Protestant people as much if not more in some cases, than they affected the Roman Catholic people."
With that view of the Protestant poverty, there is little sympathy in the DUP for talk of Catholic alienation. "Alienation?" says Jim Wells. "There's many who feel alienated all the way to the bank. Catholics in West Belfast have houses that would be the pride of Dublin and many of them have top jobs. How many Protestant barristers are there in Northern Ireland? Catholics have prospered and inncreased in numbers in Northern Ireland. They have retained their own educational system, the GAA gets more money for facilities from the oppressive British government than they get down south, in some cases they have their own hospitals, all funded by the state. I do accept that Roman Catholics feel that the old structure of Stormont did not give adequate expression to their viewpoint, and I am realisstic enough to accept that there will be no return to a oneeparty majority rule state. But the SDLP have been given a 'veto on all new arrangements for devolved government and until that veto is removed they have no incentive to come to terms with the unionists."
THE DUP IS IMPLACABLY OPPOSED TO any role whatsoever for the Irish government in the running of Northern Ireland. Even if that role is minor, "consultative" and cosmetic, they see it as the beginning of the end, the road to Armageddon. "While we're interested in the fine print of an agreement, and we will study it carefully, the fact that for the first time the Dublin government are going to be given an input in any way, that will be enough to trigger off all of our opposition, whatever the fme print," says Gregory Camppbell. "If Tom King were to say to us, 'Look, we're only consulting Dublin about the colour of the lamp-posts,' that is sufficient for us to say that for the first time Dublin has a toe in the door. It's only a few months or a few years from advising us on the colour of the lamp-posts, to telling us what way we will conduct the traffic, to what way we will dress the police, to what way we will arm them. If I Dublin is to have a say in any respect, if they are to have a say in that the Flags and Emblems Act is to be repealed, because Peter Barry and Garret FitzGerald have said it is offensive to nationalists and must be repealed, something that is regarded as small beer, then the British government will be sitting down and listening to the views of the Dubblin government. Sovereignty is sovereignty. You either are sovereign over a part of a country or you are not. You either have absolute control or you do not. If Dublin has a consultative role, that is the beginning of the end. I would see the final day had arrived whereby Ulster had finally been sold, and we would have no other option but to exxhaust the constitutional process and then proceed as quickkly as possible to arming ourselves and to fighting.
"Let's not forget that Haughey is waiting in the wings and if FitzGerald were to put his toe in the door, Haughey will be coming through the door. Fianna Fail aren't going to be content with the colour of the lamp-posts or of the police uniforms or with the Flags and Emblems Act. They are going to demand a more meaningful role and subseequent summits will increase that role. What they are beginnning is a process. John Hume calls it a healing process. Well, as far as we are concerned it is to open a wound, to fester the wound and to rub salt in the wound. We will find ourrselves at the very end of the constitutional road and we will find ourselves in the very same position as Carson found himself in at Balmoral in 1912, where we will have to get every able-bodied man in Ulster armed as best we can, whether it is with guns or with sticks. Once the ink is dry and the unionists acquiesce in any way to Dublin involveement, then we are fmished."
"You don't give a consultative role if it doesn't mean anything," says Sammy Wilson. "Once that role is conceded nationalists on both sides of the border would want to work on it and develop it, and what might seem innocuous initially could be the embryo for a huge monster which would eventually gobble us up. Our case is this: that when it comes to the internal arrangements in this province, to the devolving of powers, the government requires that there be widespread acceptance of any changes. Yet when it comes to a much more major constitutional change, that is giving an outside government a role in Northern Ireland, the government is not prepared to concede that it requires the measurable Widespread acceptance of this community."
According to Jim Allister, the DUP Chief Whip at the Assembly, unionists have a carefully planned strategy of opposition to the Anglo-Irish package. "If it gives a role to the Dublin government, it is unacceptable, no matter how innocuous it may seem. Assuming that that is the case, then we set ourselves on a course of seeking to undo that proocess. Our first bounden duty is to exhaust each and every constitutional and democratic facility we have. We may not have much confidence that we will achieve that end by these methods but we have the avenue of trying to thwart and destroy the agreement through parliament, and that can go out into the avenue of seeking to disrupt the parliaamentary process, even to the nitty gritty of seeking to dissrupt the government's timetable.
"Then there is our task of seeking to demonstrate that the community has rejected the agreement, through petiitions, by-elections, a referendum, or whatever means we think appropriate. After that we begin the process of making the. province ungovernable, both through learning the lesssons of the 1974 Ulster Workers' strike and through pulling out of even lowly. local government. The day Dublin civil servants arrive in any shape or form to administer this proovince, that is the day that we say 'Right, do it on your own, we're pulling out of every tier of government.'
"If we have done all that and we are still rejected, then they would have rendered me redundant as a politician, but they would not have rendered me redundant as an individual Loyalist, and then I would act in concert with hundreds of thousands of other individual Loyalists in arming ourselves. No self-respecting individual is going to do anything but resist. In those circumstances there are no lengths to which Ulster men would not go to stop it. None."
According to Gregory Campbell, the Loyalists, having obtained what they regard as a mandate in a referendum or in by-elections, and having failed to stop Dublin involveement in Northern Ireland, would "say we must form ourrselves into a provisional government; that provisional government must have a defence; and that defence must be armed. The Protestant people must be armed. That is my own personal view of how the situation lies ahead.
"In the setting up of a provisional government there would be so much community tension, that, well, I hesiitate to use the words civil war, but there would be so much community tension that we would certainly have the kind of violence that we haven't seen since the early seventies. Even then it was contained to North Belfast, the Bogside, West Belfast, Armagh, Fermanagh, but in this instance the whole province would be embroiled. And there would be much more numerous deaths. That's the logical concluusion of what I'm saying. I realise that. I see that as going very near to the edge of the Protestant faith, of what I have held dear for twenty-five years. Obviously I'm not going to do that lightly, and it's not something that I would relish. But knowing Margaret Thatcher as we all do, as Arthur Scargill does, it's not likely that she's going to back down and we have to prepare ourselves for the inevitable.
"Dublin and London are slowly coming round to the position of blackmailing the Protestants, of saying 'you either have your country and you have your peace, and you have your guarantees or else the alternative is that you have civil war'. Now, given that option we will not have Dublin rule. We cannot have Dublin rule. And I know how terrible, how horrible, how awful the consequences of me going to the logical end of my argument are. But I will have to act in my community as a safeguard, as a safety valve, as someebody whom the community can use for letting off steam, and try and channel the paramilitary activities in the best way yossible. And I will have to try and minimise the effect it will have on the country in the event of that type of Armageddon situation coming about.
"But I have to say that if these are the options, to have a greater degree of peace and stability than we have had and to have guarantees within the United Kingdom, if we let Dublin have a small role in a consultative way in Northern Ireland, or to have an opposition which will result in wideespread violence, then I am going to be pushed into a posiition where I have to adopt the second role."
"Unionists are not spoiling for a fight and we are not itching for a civil war," says Sammy Wilson. "We've got to live in this country and I hope I have a long time to live in this country. Personally I would like to be as comfortable as possible and to live as long as possible. I don't want to be warring and fighting and living in a Lebanese type situation for the rest of my life. If I was sixty-five maybe I could tolerate it for a few years, but not when you're fairly young. So no one is going to embark on any course of action unless we're sure that there's a real threat. But regardless of how innocuous it looks in the immediate term we'll be asking what lies behind it. If it does give a toehold to the Irish government, then we'll be seeking by all political processes that are available to us to oppose it. Once that IS exhausted, I think people will quite rightly say 'We've done our best, and no one has listened to us'. At that stage the role of the politician is going to change.
"I don't like bloodcurdling speeches, to be quite truthhful. I don't like issuing bloodcurdling warnings, because we have to live amongst this, so I'll be quite careful in what I say. But all that I can say is that once we as a Unionist population feel that our future is under threat and that no one else is listening to us, and we've done all the political things we can do, there will be a turning to other methods. And my fear would be, and we've already seen this in small measure to some extent, that once that process starts, it's not the kind of thing you can tum on and off like a tap.
"Once you start along that road, people start to look to all of those they imagine to be enemies, for example among the nationalist community in Northern Ireland. People will <'. say 'Well, they're the ones who've been harbouring the terrorists'. Large sections of the nationalist population would then be open to the kind of retaliatory action which years of frustration would bring out. I imagine the republic. would be seen as the threat, the ones who are pushing the constitutional claim, and you're not too far away either, so people would say 'If we're suffering, you'll suffer'. How it all ends I wouldn't even want to start dreaming about.
"I would no longer be a politician in that kind of situaation. People would have to opt as to whether they just wanted to drop out of everything or whether they wanted to maintain some degree of input and control. I myself would look for a role in whatever extra-parliamentary acctions were available. I wouldn't be a very good general, so I would hardly imagine that they would sign me up for that, but I'm sure there would be something I could do in a situation like that. I wouldn't relish it, but I would imagine there are other people and that's their forte. I can imagine that there are people from the border areas, political reppresentatives who have been going to a funeral a week at times, who might not be as restrained as I would be."
One man from the border is Ivan Foster. As a minister, his theology does not prevent him from wielding a gun. "Modernism has equated Christianity with pacifism, which is a load of rubbish. It is useful to throw in here that title which is given to the Lord in the bible where it says of him that he is a man of war. These Anglo-Irish talks are enterring a phase where it is very possible that the state will beecome a tyrant and say to me as a British citizen that I am. going to lose a part of my citizenship because a foreign state is going to be given a role in the running of a part of the United Kingdom. It is a Presbyterian doctrine, ground out in the hard mill of the days of persecution in Scotland, that when the government, or the king as it then was, forrsakes his lawful role and begins to enforce his will on the people contrary to the contract that exists between him and the people, then the king is no longer the lawful head of state, he has become a tyrant. And it is a Christian's duty to resist a tyrant.
"I would have no hesitation. I wouldn't be joining the army of Ulster as a chaplain. I would be joining it as Joe Bloggs, an ordinary foot soldier. I would not be infringing my conscience or the word of God, but acting in complete obedience to both. I would have no compunction, not in the least. I know how to use a gun. There's no good carryying a gun if you don't know how to use it. There's no good carrying a gun if you don't intend to use it. And if! am ammbushed, I have one prayer: 'Lord, let him miss the first time!'" _