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Is it historic?

Eddie Mair | 13:02 UK time, Monday, 26 March 2007


  1. At 01:07 PM on 26 Mar 2007, Phil wrote:

    It certainly is - the default page for the pm blog is Sept 2006

  2. At 01:22 PM on 26 Mar 2007, RJD wrote:

    No! It's hertoric.

  3. At 01:35 PM on 26 Mar 2007, Toby, Edinburgh wrote:

    Too many people have invested too much of their political capital to throw it away now.

  4. At 01:37 PM on 26 Mar 2007, witchiwoman wrote:


  5. At 01:48 PM on 26 Mar 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Hysteric perhaps?

  6. At 01:50 PM on 26 Mar 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    Historic? the Gerry and Ian Getogether (hereafter known as the Irish Gig)?

    Yes. Even just because, after so long, they were able to put aside personal animosity for the sake of the greater good.

    I somehow don't think we're out of the woods yet, but that they were able to go in together, and come out together unbloodied - Yes, a seismic shift indeed.

  7. At 01:54 PM on 26 Mar 2007, Simon Worrall wrote:

    History is judged after the event. To call anything 'Historic' contemporaneously is oxymoronic.

    But let's hope that future historians will look back favourably upon these events in Norn Iron.

    Unless you're referring to the Camp David acords, the launch of the Social Democratic Party, the first woman admitted to the London Stock Exchange, the first day of the Schengen agreement, the Melissa worm computer virus, Caxton's first impression of Aesop's Fables, the fatal wounding of Richard Coeur de Lion, the first Henley Regatta, Salk announcing the polio vaccine; A.E.Housman, Tennessee Williams, Leonard Nimoy were born; Beethoven, Walt Whitman, Lloyd George and Noel Coward all passed away; all of which happened on this day in history, and which are, therefore, historic.


  8. At 01:58 PM on 26 Mar 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    Well, I switched on the TV and said aloud to no-one in particular, "That is the first time I have ever heard Ian Paisley say anything sensible!" Then I cried. Then I said "Oh, today is a really good day!"

    This appears suggest that I do believe it is historic (nice try RJD, but it is all blokes in charge, so the trad word applies imo). Or perhaps I am just over excited because I had some very good news of my own this morning.

    Or were you talking about something else?

    Anyway, "WOOO HOOO!"


  9. At 01:59 PM on 26 Mar 2007, whisky-joe wrote:


    This is not the time for sound bites...but...

  10. At 02:05 PM on 26 Mar 2007, Stephen, Leader of STROP wrote:

    I'm 37.

    I grew up in England

    All my life NI has been on the news because one side spent most of its time trying to kill the other (and vice versa)

    It's not many years back that Ian Paisley would not speak to anyone connected with republican politics.

    Or that Gerry Adams was not allowed to speak to anyone (at least not on the air)

    Of couse this is Historic.

  11. At 02:12 PM on 26 Mar 2007, RJD wrote:

    Si (7)

    I'm afraid I was a bit of a prat a few weeks ago.

    I didn't agree with what you said but I could and should have found a better way to disagree. My apologies.


  12. At 02:14 PM on 26 Mar 2007, Eddie Mair wrote:

    In fact, I posted the historic question after prompting from Hugh, who called in from overseas. We were talking about how Northern Ireland would probably be the main news and we talked a bit about how historic was so often used in this context. And he laughed and suggested I post " Is it historic" to see what people said. And as ever it proved of interest.

  13. At 02:19 PM on 26 Mar 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    Judge for yourselves


    And, having listened to the joint statements, I personally think the word 'historic' is not to overstate the case.

    But your point about the (over)use of the word is valid, Eddie.

    Please wave to Hugh from us, won't you?

  14. At 02:26 PM on 26 Mar 2007, Stephen, Leader of STROP wrote:

    Simon (7)

    I think I can say that the moment Nelson Mandela walked out of prison, I thought that was a historic moment - and yes I believe I was in a position to make that judgement contemporaneously.

    Some events are (IMO) momentous enough that I feel that the Historic tag is justified, even before historians confirm that it remains of import to history.

  15. At 02:27 PM on 26 Mar 2007, Eddie O'Hara wrote:

    It'll be interesting how this works out. In retrospect Brian Faulkner only wanted to share power with the SDLP and have an Irish 'dimension' to his administration. Remember? he had to go.

  16. At 02:31 PM on 26 Mar 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    Well, there appears to have been a lot of shifting on the Irish front today, doesn't there, RJD? ;o)

    "The best part of breaking up
    "Is when you're making up ....."

    Who was it who sang that song?

    I'm beginning to feel like Appy.

    Oh happy day, oh happy day .....

  17. At 02:34 PM on 26 Mar 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    Oh Eric (12), you're such a tease.

  18. At 02:35 PM on 26 Mar 2007, Tom Harrop wrote:

    Is it time for the historic handshake?

  19. At 02:43 PM on 26 Mar 2007, Jean Allison (Mrs) wrote:

    Ian Paisley and Gerry Adams have met this morning and this must be welcomed. Dialogue leading to understanding and respect is the only way forward. It is the sectarian mindsets that need to be decommissioned now. You can only defeat the troubles by having a totally inclusive political settlement. There is no other way forward. I think everyone must support what is happening. The people of Ulster and the politicians must work together to ensure justice and lasting peace for the whole community.

  20. At 03:04 PM on 26 Mar 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Houb Salaam
    26/03/2007 at 15:08:43 GMT

  21. At 03:12 PM on 26 Mar 2007, Simon Worrall wrote:

    RJD (11);
    No need. No offence taken, most assuredly. But thanks anyway. Agreement to disagree on matter of fundamental importance is sometimes the only way forward in some semblance of harmony.

    Witness these happenings today in your neck of the woods. A case in point I think!

    STROPmeister (14);
    There is a tendency to hyperbole on days when this kind of news is announced. It is certainly *something*, that much is sure. But historic is surely the wrong word, speaking as a pedant. Besides, they haven't *actually* made it work yet. We are pre-judging future events.

    Maybe we should invite people to submit a word which they think best fits the sense of occasion and the possibilities it raises?

    BigSis has already used "seismic". I'd probably offer 'Hopeful', just to remain a touch cautious.


  22. At 03:13 PM on 26 Mar 2007, witchiwoman wrote:

    I am, quite frankly, amazed that a)they met b)appeared to agree to something....I'm not sure what as I have been inundated with work stuff and can't see my desk let alone read the news. But judging from the responses on here its all sounding pretty good. Will save myself for PMs coverage (now theres a responsibility Mr Mair!!)

  23. At 03:14 PM on 26 Mar 2007, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    I know this is pedantic, but history is any event that has been recorded in some way. (That's why I find the phrase "historical record" as annoying as "PIN number"!)

    So this blog is a history of the views of we Froggers (and big Froggers as well).

    It also used to mean any collection of recorded information, relating to the present as well as the past, hence "Natural History".

    Either way, the Adams-Paisley show counts as historic.

    Big Sister (16):

    Shouldn't that be "Oh Appy day, oh Appy day"...?

  24. At 03:18 PM on 26 Mar 2007, Member of the Public wrote:

    I've just listened to Mr Paisley's statement. At long last Northern Ireland has leadership that's working.

  25. At 03:19 PM on 26 Mar 2007, Gillian wrote:

    Well I heard the news at 1pm, so it is certainly historic by now.
    Like many others, I too gave a cheer and a long sigh of relief, at the same time knowing that there's still a long road ahead.

  26. At 03:21 PM on 26 Mar 2007, Fearless Fred wrote:

    I'd actually think of this as fairly historic. Like Stephen (welcome back!) I'm in my late 30s' and NI has been part of my life all that time. Even in the last few years, it's still been in a situation where things could still go completely "belly-up". Now, for the first time in a generation and a half, people across the region have a reason for hope, and for a peaceful existence. That's fairly historic, don't ya think?

  27. At 03:25 PM on 26 Mar 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    Si: Hopeful, yes I'd agree to that.

    My use of the word seismic referred more to Paisley agreeing to be in the same room, let alone talk, to Adams. Thinking back over the years, the vitriole, the vehemence - Today, imho, is seismic. I suspect the Rev. feels the same, too!

    The closest parallel I can think of is when DeKlerk opened negotiations with Mandela. These events can seem quite small when we know there's a long way to travel, but the act of commitment to travel is the hardest. That journey has now really begun for Northern Ireland. Hallelujah!

  28. At 03:29 PM on 26 Mar 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    SSC: Yes. But it seemed too obvious. No dig intended!

  29. At 03:32 PM on 26 Mar 2007, Petrol Peter. wrote:

    'Peace and Prosperity ' in Northern Ireland 'Murder and Mayhem ' in Iraq.

  30. At 03:35 PM on 26 Mar 2007, RJD wrote:

    Si & Big Sister - When I first started to post on the Blog i resolved that I would never enter any discussion on N.Ireland politics. I'm going to stick with it.

  31. At 03:35 PM on 26 Mar 2007, Stephen, Leader of STROP wrote:

    Ha - Aunty Beeb agrees with us

    see here

  32. At 03:42 PM on 26 Mar 2007, Vyle Hernia wrote:

    SSC (23)

    Congratulations on having your poetry read out last week. They are also due to Frances O.
    I think Eddie is a bit hesitant about broadcasting too many unlikely-sounding names in any one programme.

    Now, I know this is pedantic, but if you had said "of us froggers" you could have distinguished American ones from others. Well, you see what I mean.

  33. At 04:00 PM on 26 Mar 2007, silver-fox wrote:

    Nation Shall Speak Peace Unto Nation.

  34. At 04:01 PM on 26 Mar 2007, Simon Worrall wrote:

    RJD (30);
    Fair enough. And understandable.


  35. At 04:01 PM on 26 Mar 2007, Sara wrote:

    Historic? I should say so.

    To all of you in your 30s: I'm in my 60s and I remember working in central London 30 odd years ago. Bomb scares were frequent. Selfridges had a lovely Christmas window display of scenes from A Christmas Carol which was smashed to smithereens by one such bomb. When I walked past the boarded up windows the next day someone had scrawled all over them "Dickens of a mess". London was like that then.

    But I'm not sure things are better now, although for different reasons. Plus ca change...

  36. At 04:09 PM on 26 Mar 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    RJD: I wasn't trying to draw you in, honest. But I was so glad you said what you did to Si today. That's all. A kind of Blog Amnesty.

    Now, I'd best make sure that foot of mine doesn't get any nearer to my mouth, hadn't I?

  37. At 04:12 PM on 26 Mar 2007, The Reverend Green wrote:

    I hope and pray that all will be well.

  38. At 04:19 PM on 26 Mar 2007, Otter wrote:


    Todays meeting is historic.

    Let us hope the leaders in Northern Ireland continue what they have started today and provide their people a stable and effective government.

    I think we should not become obsessed with handshakes; whether there was or was not one. Just seeing Paisley and Adams sitting next to one another and coming to an agreement, is more than enough for the time being.

    Best wishes


  39. At 04:22 PM on 26 Mar 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Controller of News 24, Kevin Bakhurst, defends the channel’s use of the term "Breaking News".

  40. At 04:24 PM on 26 Mar 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    Si, SSCat, everyone, an outbreak of good humoured pedantry! I love it! What an excellent way to celebrate this historic/seismic/hope-generating/notable event!

    Big Sis, if you feel like me at present you must also be perspiring more than is ladylike and have quite a thirst (been for a stomp up a hill in the sunshine). Is this so?

    SSCat, are you going to address the sex issue from a few days ago or are you maintaining a dignified silence in respect of this matter?

  41. At 04:39 PM on 26 Mar 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:


    Iraq Poll: Majority Say Things Better Under Saddam
    Call for regime change in U.S.
    France Opens Long-Classified UFO Files
    Everything from accounts of “flying baguettes” to “hovering berets” now available to public.

    Now thet's historic!

  42. At 04:39 PM on 26 Mar 2007, Peej wrote:

    I've lived in Northern Ireland all my life, and was just into my teens when the troubles started. Of course its wonderful that the two communities are coming together in government. But that hasn't been the issue for many years, what sticks in the craw of many unionists is not that Sinn Fein are Catholics but that their representitives are in most cases personally responsible for some of the 3,000 deaths. The parallel has been drawn before, but picture in 10 or 15 years time a coalition government in the UK which included people behind the July bombings. That said, if we're going to move forward we just have to swallow it and get on. What I find it hard to forgive Dr Paisley for, is that he has prevented such an accord having been reached on many occasions - on terms that were much more equitable for his community and didn't involve sharing power with (hopefully) reformed terrorists. It will be interesting to watch how this particular exercise in democracy unfolds with many of those around the cabinet table having as their declared objective the abolition of the state which they are participating in governing. Despite the above somewhat gloomy analysis - born of watching umpteen "historic" false dawns, of course I welcome it, I don't think the crises are over, but its only when you look back 10 years or so that you realise how far we've come, it really is breathtaking.

  43. At 05:01 PM on 26 Mar 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Brilliant opening, Eddie!

  44. At 05:03 PM on 26 Mar 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:


    As in Palestine, there have been terrorists on both sides.
    Houb Salaam
    26/03/2007 at 17:08:38 GMT

  45. At 05:53 PM on 26 Mar 2007, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    Aperitif (40):

    Eep! What sex issue is this? What have I missed?

    Slightly scared now...

  46. At 06:00 PM on 26 Mar 2007, Ben McCrory wrote:

    So Ian Paisley and Gerry Adams have appeared in the same room at the same time. There goes my theory that they were one and the same man. Unless, of course, special effects have reached a new high.

  47. At 06:07 PM on 26 Mar 2007, Roberto Carlos Alvarez-Galloso,CPUR wrote:

    BBC PM is Liberty. I also want to ask permission from BBC PM including the froggers to make the following historical statements.

    1. Let it be knbwn that this long time BBC Listener and listener of BBC PM is in solidarity with the people of Great Britain and the BBC over the fate of the British Sailors in Iran.

    2. I would like to express my solidarity with the family of Alan Johnston and with the BBC in the hope that Alan Johnston would appear.

    3. I would like to challenge those who may have played a part in the disappearance of Alan Johnston and the Seizure of the British Soldiers to release them unharmed.

  48. At 06:19 PM on 26 Mar 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    Appy: Feeling great, not yet perspiring though - but a walk with the dog is on the cards, so that will doubtless change.

    It's a sunny day in every way. Let's live for the moment and rejoice.

  49. At 07:50 PM on 26 Mar 2007, Anne P. wrote:

    SSC (45) I think it was your alter ego's gender that was in question, if you'll pardon the expression - the result of your contribution last Friday being read out by a female voice (if I remember correctly). Whoever raised the query had, like me, assumed you to be male.

    Feel free to leave the question unanswered if you prefer :-)

  50. At 08:30 PM on 26 Mar 2007, Peej wrote:

    Absolutely right Ed, the terrorists on both sides are a despicable lot. The difference is that the Sinn Fein bunch actually were terrorists whereas the DUP and UUP unionist assembly members and the smaller nationalist party, the SDLP, weren't. However we are where we are, and we must hope for the best. After all its hardly the first time, Archbishop Makarios, Jomo Kenyatta, Nelson Mandela, and less reassuringly Robert Mugabe have all trodden that path before - some more convincingly than others admittedly.

  51. At 09:47 PM on 26 Mar 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    Ed (44), I wholeheartedly agree.

    SSCat (45), there was some discussion about whether you were a boy or a girl a few threads back, after your verse was read out in a female voice on the programme.

    Roberto (47), nice sentiments.

    Indeed Big Sis (48), indeed.

  52. At 10:23 PM on 26 Mar 2007, Annasee wrote:

    Aperitif - I always assumed SSC was a bloke. I'm sure I referred to him as "him" not long ago, & "he" answered, not correcting me, so I still reckon he is.

    Mind you, I was completely wrong about nikki noodle! (and still can't get the right tone of voice in my head - must be because all the Nikki's I know are female...

  53. At 11:19 PM on 26 Mar 2007, Gossipmistress wrote:

    It's a bit late but I'll add my two pennies' worth..

    It's about time and it remains to be seen if it's historic. But thank whatever the process has come as far as it has.

  54. At 11:48 PM on 26 Mar 2007, Val P wrote:

    It's a step in the right direction.

  55. At 06:03 AM on 27 Mar 2007, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:


    Ah, I see (That's a relief!)

    Let's see if this photo helps:


    That's me, but I don't know who the bloke holding me up to the camera is...

  56. At 08:22 AM on 27 Mar 2007, Gillian wrote:

    SSC (55) Thanks for the photo...really cute!

  57. At 09:37 AM on 27 Mar 2007, Anne P. wrote:

    SSC (55) What a sweet face.

    I leave you to decide which one :-)

  58. At 09:39 AM on 27 Mar 2007, Gossipmistress wrote:

    SSC (55) what a lovely wet nose....

  59. At 10:01 AM on 27 Mar 2007, Annasee wrote:

    Gorgeous photo SSC. Both of you, I mean.

    Fantastic strapline Penny. (Are you "Lady Pen" ?) Of course, Eddie might now be fretting in a slightly paranoid way that maybe it was the truth when he got the job?

  60. At 10:09 AM on 27 Mar 2007, Simon Worrall wrote:

    On this day in history;
    Florida was first sighted by a European
    Charles I became King
    Crimean War broke out
    First international Rugby match
    Kruschchev becomes USSR Premier
    Beeching Axe was published
    Tenerife air disaster

    Hausmann, designer of modern Paris
    Roentgen, discoverer of X-rays
    Mies van der Rohe, architect
    Msitslav Rostropovich, cellist

    John Bright, statesman
    Arnold Bennett, novelist
    Yuri Gagarin, cosmonaut
    M.C. Escher, artist of impossible constructions

  61. At 10:32 AM on 27 Mar 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    Thank you SSCat. I recall you have presented that image before and I for one was never in any doubt about your sex, but, as some were, I thought it only right to prompt you into a response. You are so cute! And fluffy!! And so's the kitten... ;-)

  62. At 11:13 AM on 27 Mar 2007, Val P wrote:

    SSC - that'll be the stainless steel cat in the furry glove? Other interpretations of well-known cliches are available - and probably work better than that one :-(

  63. At 12:16 PM on 27 Mar 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    Busy day in W.14?

    No posts, slow responses.


  64. At 03:27 PM on 27 Mar 2007, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    Thanks ladies! I'll pass those kind comments on to my pet human... ;o)

  65. At 06:34 PM on 27 Mar 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    I forgot to say "BRILLIANT!" to Sis & Cat., and it was.
    Malicious warning! Grrrr!

  66. At 07:26 PM on 27 Mar 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Peej (50),

    You forgot to mention the bulk of early Israeli politicians, including numerous Prime Ministers, and that, although the unionist politicians may not have been, they had strong contacts with UDF, etc. One man's terrorist is another's freedom fighter.
    Houb Salaam
    27/03/2007 at 19:26:55 GMT

  67. At 02:21 PM on 19 Dec 2007, bcaderij bualwyq wrote:

    rlnzu axwiyztqv aego phlce hnvdzyafi ktipwndo wvkey

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