It might be said of Anthony McIntyre that he is a dissent first and a republican second. Implacably opposed to the Belfast Agreement and Sinn Fein’s role in the peace process, he is also against any return to violence. Recently he watched the American docu-comic, and fellow dissident, Michael Moore performance in West Belfast. McIntyre was not impressed with Moore’s grasp of Belfast’s political complexities:
Moore gave me the clear impression that he was good on American domestic affairs but very vague when it came to Iraq and Israel, and utterly hopeless when addressing the conflict in Ireland. His lack of insight he conceals well with humour, but at the heel of the hunt it remained none the more insightful for that. Did we really need him to come here and play to our prejudices? He pretended to his audience that decommissioning of IRA weaponry had not yet taken place. And the audience in turn pretended to believe him.
It raises some interesting questions. Is Moore spreading himself too thinly, attempting to address too many questions outside his local experience? Or is his performance always simply about winging it? It may also be that whilst dissidence is a crucial ingredient of a healthy open society, in its purest form, it is not a engine for arriving at workable political agenda.