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tv   The Alex Salmond Show  RT  December 3, 2020 2:30am-3:01am EST

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you're more likely to walk free if you're rich or guilty if you've. got 2 eyes 2 ears and one mouth. so you should be seen and hearing a lot more than you're saying if you don't take that advice easy going to do it yourself. welcome to the alex salmond shoo in this year of many tragedies perhaps the 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 the to the day he
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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 contrasting 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 bricks it 1st we speak toward winning journalist david blake knox about his new book on the killing of thomas needham our manager of northern ireland factory and then we examine with alice to mcdonnell one of john hume successors as leader of the s.-t. o.-p. about how the northern island was pulled from tragedy to peace. just after christmas in 1973 thomas need him i was bundled into his car i'd say to school in
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west belfast he was never seen alive again by his friends or family it was an idea 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 the gas 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
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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 that all of them subsequently cope themselves and the aftermath of what is a killer so who was thomas niedermeyer or of the businessman but he was quite often described in the aftermath of his abduction of austria list 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 he had been inducted into the german war economy when it was still a child who was in turn finally was still a child after the war 'd ended most germans at his age you didn't go back to school
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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 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 established 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 he you say that. was the only german national
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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 them in where we're obviously innocent victims of bombings and cartilage 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 but 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 on a console and that made him a target of hope why was the precise reason that this man was to be kidnapped what was to be gained from the kidnapping of thomas need
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a mum. i hope to secure the repatriation of 2 leading our own members the processors delors around him who are very highly regarded within our own circles so how did thomas to my end up being assassinated the fact. well he was there cold of his house when movement that there be no road accident so this car when he came out is bundled into another car it was taken as it turned out only about half a mile down the road crows 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 it was destroyed worked post mortem eventual it established his skull had been fractured so it was in that sense of a 2nd laying in the mud but it wasn't it would have wasn't meant to cause obviously
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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 doing because otherwise there would be no point and i mean it's a form of extortion and if there is nothing that story clone spawn plus there was always the possibility that it would be code but they didn't in terms of killing 3 days after the kidnap some so you've spoken a bit about the family consequences of social many tragedies resulted from the death of thomas niedermeyer and this kidnapping tell us a bit more about the there 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 his family home. they were rigorous and denying that they
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had anything to do with it so for over 6 years nobody knew him and because of the i'm secure. of knowing what happened to them they couldn't agree it really they couldn't find any form of closure until his body was discovered and that was through an informant with him in past on the rolls on a trip motion a memo discover so shocking my argument is bothering not been lying just a few 100 yards from their home for instance experience a dreadful human story tragic consequences that's a journalist and producer david you what your way from a bore for the after party in dublin and the b.b.c. in london i'm interested followed journalistic perspective was there a definite accent or in the way the the troubles were covered by the state
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broadcasters year there was that different periods there were those 2 from the emphasis there were also government more governmental restrictions and coverage of northern ireland in upland i'm aware of loans and are you saying there r.t.e. restrictions were even heavier explain a bit about that they were under section $31.00 of the broadcasting act it was impossible for us to intrude through members either of chanson or there are only you know obviously about restrict and it was a pretty blunt instrument. so that our coverage in my mirrors it's one of 10 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 say the thing 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 he hadn't. decision what was that well you know
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john well. i wasn't a close friend i'm sure 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 simpler as much as a political exemplar i mean he was absolutely fast on straight people 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 preserved because see he came 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 are a good john he was a parliamentarian parliamentary colleagues pretty well i've never regarded them as a great speaker selling on parliamentary terms happened to be with them in the west
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of ireland a conference in the aftermath of the bombing in 1988. and he delivered that may not the single transferable speech he delivered an extraordinary address spellbinding. which educated that sometimes people were. touched by greatness not uniformally but just at a moment and tame 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 that book about also remember when it goes from a night dinner with. spoke with that degree of control that are thunder extremely moving and the fact of. the matter goes so it is almost changed my understanding of charles it was a very passionate. there was a sense in which he in which you returned to look at times with certain points but
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i would never underestimate the sort of his 'd conviction or his potential tripling extremely eloquent so lastly that they would as a journalist living through and reporting on and arranging programs on nonviolent that you've seen in the night deer 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 if there were periods when people saw the troubles would go on forever i am sure there was no way out of this morass but political violence imo think that at the very least we have shown that there are ways forward for political dialogue and collaboration and accommodation are better ways of solving our problems on this island david blake knox the author of the killing of thomas
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niedermeyer thank you so much for joining me and they're like salman chill thank you alex going if after the break we're alex will discuss with alpha macdonald the former m.p. and leader of the democratic and labor party the contribution of the late john hume to peace in northern ireland with feeding. seems wrong. wrong just don't call. me the world yet to see how this thing comes to. and in again trying to trail. when so many find themselves worlds apart we choose to look for common ground.
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what happens when people is trust in the family and the central banks and now that they're going to find out. john hume with korda sippin of the 1900 nobel peace prize the paper timbo and those received both the gandhi peace prize on 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. alistair macdonald also we've got a welcome back to the show thank you i guess always a privilege and a pleasure to work with here that wasn't what let's start in the early seventy's of this speaking to david blake not so but the the coming of thomas need a mile of the german business for him that was a period where we were about the effect of no idea of the troubles me $500.00
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people were dying a year loyalist part of motive violence nationalist party military violence i hope that that would be 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 sponsor it i'm sort of tobiah limbs on the violence just fed the violence you know you have been all sorts of tips for top margin and on crazy stuff we had a senator putting wilson was murdered for for instance an s.t.l. piece senator in the storm in parliament and then start 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.
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enemies on the door of the law and the start and just it's 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 of still further still preferred basic civilized to decent political negotiation despite no matter how difficult the circumstances where the self 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 threaten danger how did that approach that somehow the bridge could be could be crossed i know that that approach developed as you up to john hume and of those well loved lot of pro-choice of all their. you know what was happening almost of carlow
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a parallel universe to to the violence was the steady steady march of sensible politics of the were the worse you know i think we have to realize that in those days. people who are people's views and not each 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 prisoners were doing printed up to 2 union has a hard time with autism but they still let the last age soul the s.t.l. p. out of the party the 1st making sense so you know you'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 them or 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
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. 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 at a disadvantage by bringing a rival nationalist party into the suspectible politics were 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 it wasn't the overriding element though 'd 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
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seventy's that are broken dying and i think them that emotional response if you like tone from a lot of the s.t.l. p. who were uncomfortable with the hume 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 government's had been secret thoughts of shouldn't thin 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 in their p. well several painlessly that they had the hands dufty with secret thoughts well i
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mean nobody ever shops the british government they're always double dealing on their history and i are just been one of double dealing for those and years on there for you know the aware having of course back channels all the time and i think there was a conscious or so it there that there were back channels available all the time but i mean and there's also there's also a conscious a 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 the televisions security intelligence was handed over to loyalist paramilitaries. to amazon as a 5th column attacking. bender's of the national population that whole tragedy of
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it all was though that basically it constantly and assist people that the loyalists attacked 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 owner is clear that they were attacking members of the provisional ira but i don't think that lawyers ever killed one member of the provisional larry it was always a best 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 certainly 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
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peace process the context you got up. from the beginning of the seventy's that was constant a term addition by people who were. given to by a launch are people who want to support people given the 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 want to debate you know that i know 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 note 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
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combination of them selfs. tony blair bill clinton bertie ahern 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 ahern and hume were on the one page and with the 4 been on the one page the move towards peace was a battle almost 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 are you top of the agenda and effectively to all intents and purposes the gum has been taken out of irish politics dot as
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a tremendous achievement. and finally honestly dano given the all you've experienced for your political career i'm walking with john hume and the others who built the peace process what would you say to politicians anyway who would for other objectives for that be black that. whatever i would do anything i 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 whole practice of thing because our whole 'd 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 and got secure we have got economic uncultured progress and turn large
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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 za northern ireland were forced him a brit by tipping to england ironically it might have been to america made to be destroyed but we were forced to emigrate it 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 hope for the future are that progress will continue i'm a little bit disappointed that crittur progress and bitter grit are the cheap ones
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haven't been made of stormont in the last 20 years but the fact that the violence a 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. 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 817181920 watt prosperity they want opportunity. for complete when we have got the book 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 rugs that many of the economic opportunities of. ours to
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be done all i care so much for joining them they are examined show like you are like us always the kidnapping and killing of thomas needham our was one of the darkest i mostly forgotten episodes of the troubles however it illustrates the night made a spiral of violence i to which john hume and his fellow peacemakers eventually dragged their province by the part 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 to place it at risk again the troubles have cast a long shadow over generations of irish women and men but they have also cast a 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
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he rest in peace and i for myself alex and stacy good bye i hope to see you again next to. elwood forward to talking to you all. that technology should work for people. i
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