Gerry Adams on Hard Talk…

On BBC ‘s Hard Talk programme, Stephen Sackur grills Gerry Adams on his party’s performance in the last year… Adams does reasonably well, though Sackur clearly gets under his skin once or twice. I’ve clipped some of the most memorable bits… He argues strongly that there had always been a pro settlement line of thinking inside the Republican movement. He refers to a speech he made at Bodenstown back in 1977 arguing that his party’s fight with the British was a political problem and that it could not be solved by military means…

To connote the success of the process he described Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness as Siamese twins, although I suspect the real point he was driving at was the joint character of the two offices McGuinness is not a Deputy in the usual sense of that term…

Much of the rest of the programme focused on Sinn Fein’s poor showing in the May elections in the Republic… Although interestingly Adams admits that Irish unity is not inevitable, and that his party is engaged on more of a journey: “come back and talk to me in a decade or two and we’ll talk about it then…”

Sackur: “Face reality in Europe you are part of a tiny far left rump block with 7 national communist parties. There are 750 examples of Foreign Direct Investment, growth rates of 5%, some of the lowest taxes in Europe… SF policies do not match the reality of the Celtic Tiger… Ireland has changed unbelievably, SF has not…”

Adams: “SF has. What we have to do is to find a way to communicate our message.”

Sackur: “Do you think that the Irish people find attractive a party that affiliates itself with communist parties across Europe?”

Given the southern electorate’s abandonment of anyone but it’s historically strong parties, it’s an important question. Sackur then went on to quote (16.50 in) my own analysis from the Guardian’s Comment is Free…

Paradoxically for a party founded with the explicit purpose of getting rid of “foreign” political influence on the island, in this election at least, it came across as foreign.

It did not go down well. Although Adams went on, correctly as it happens, to point out that a lot of pundits got the election campaign wrong (including me: just scan this thread at Irishelection.com, in which I rated Adams best performer in the minor debate).

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  • An Lochlannach

    I hold no torch for Sinn Féin but there were genuine mitigating circumstances for their poor performance in the last election. Usually in a PR election ‘plumpers’ can vote for the party that best represents them ideologically. That space disappeared in the last election, whose dominant issue was which block was going to form a government, and with whom. The fact that Sinn Féin were effectively ruled out by all the potential coalitions made them irrelevant to the theme of the election. The issue was government and Sinn Féin were completely sidelined.

    The forthcoming local elections will tell us more about the longterm viablility of the Sinn Féin project. People will vote more freely. Even those not completely comfortable with Sinn Féin in government could vote for good local candidates secure in the knowledge that not much is at stake. The big question is do Sinn Féin actually have good candidates?

    I think that the real test for Sinn Féin is going to be the local elections

  • Mick Hall

    Mick

    Why do you keep up this pretense that you want SF to move to the right for its own good, you are well aware that ground is already taken down south and if they were to do so there only hope would be to merge with FF.

    . As to the follow quote,
    “Paradoxically for a party founded with the explicit purpose of getting rid of “foreign” political influence on the island, in this election at least, it came across as foreign.” How so or are you saying that equality, a decent Irish health care system free at point of use is some how foreign, if so that smacks of McCarthyism to me and the type of nonsense the US right use to deny their people universal health care, by claiming the British NHS is socialist etc.

    What do you base your claim that SF came across as foreign? that despite Mr Adams the shinners went to the electorate with a progressive program? Surly common decency does not make it foreign, simple unusual and different as far as the two main parties are concerned and anathema to big business.

    How you have the cheek to call SF ‘foreign’ when half the bloody cabinet and opposition are in hock to multi national corporations is beyond me. Before you say prove it, neo-liberal globalization benefits the multi nationals above all others including national interest [and that is without the dreadful brown envelope culture they poison the world with]

    If your multinational low tax economy is such a success why are more people falling into poverty than since the 1960s. Do you not feel you should get out more and look just a little at the have-nots amongst us.

    By the way, out of impartiality and as I am a long time Sluggerite why not link Organized Rage to Slugger, I have kept it going for some time now and I would be more than happy to do the same for Slugger O’Toole.

  • Nevin

    Adams “… and you see, all of the smart Alecs in the Sunday Independent, in the Irish Times or, indeed, this guy [Mick Fealty] whom I don’t even know …”

    Is he doing a St Peter/Arlene Foster routine, Mick? 😉

  • Nevin

    MH, surely the brown envelope culture is an ancient Irish tradition that long predates the globalisation that you refer to?

  • Mick Fealty

    Mick,

    “How you have the cheek to call SF ‘foreign’”

    Can you do me the kindness of not misquoting what I have written? What I actually said: “in this election at least, it came across as foreign.” In other words, it’s about wider perception: it has nothing to do with what I think the party should, or should not, do. Or, indeed, what the party is or is not.

    Nevin:

    No comment.

  • me

    I was soooooo embarrassed for adams!!! He hadn’t a clue. Imagine not knowing who mick fealty was???
    Sakur had adams on the ropes, no way did adams lead the republicans to where they are today alone. That man was led.

    MH we all have blogs, mick does his best.

  • Nevin

    Sackur: “… Paradoxically, he said, for a party founded with the explicit purpose of getting rid of “foreign political influence on the island of Ireland, Sinn Fein came across to voters in that election as foreign.” – and primarily he’s talking about you ..”

    ‘Don’t be silly’ Sackur invited Adams to tell the truth about his IRA membership but the boul’ Fenian man is still in denial.

  • CTN

    Unionism will take much heart from Adams’ remark that reunification is not inevitable.

    He can never again pretend that St Andrews has brought Ireland to the threshold of total freedom.

    His recent book launch in Dublin attracted almost no-one.

    Indeed the next decade will prove Adams to be a hasbeen, flop and all round slink- not to be confused with the genuine article…

  • páid

    “Unionism will take much heart from Adams’ remark that reunification is not inevitable.”

    Not that they hang on his every word or anything, though.

    Continued partition ad infinitum is not inevitable either.

    The only thing that is inevitable is change.

  • Nevin

    Adams ” .. but what the Good Friday Agreement does and what the St Andrew’s Agreement does is start a process of deinstitutionalising sectarianism and eradicating it ..”

    Really? I thought the Chuckle Brothers were two faces of the sectarian coin – and I expect to see see loads of sectarian horse-trading … in this ‘sectarian statelet’.

  • An Lochlannach

    If Adams were to admit to IRA membership, never mind being Chief of Staff, would he be liable for prosecution?

  • Nevin

    An Lochlannach, to prosecute or not to prosecute is in the gift of the authorities. Presumably, there are various reasons as to why some folks appear to have and to have had immunity.

  • CTN

    Paid- “Unionism today is in the strongest position many of us have ever seen in our lives. After decades of demoralisation and defeat, unionism has risen off its knees and is standing tall again.

    The constitutional position within the UK is secure – with Dublin ministers forced to admit that the pursuit of a united Ireland has been parked”- DUP MLA Simon Hamilton.

    Adams’ ill-timed gaffe the day after the above quote was made that (in his view) “re-unification is not inevitable” has bolstered unionist confidence even further.

    Republicans are a long way away from the An Phoblacht headlines of ’76- Year of victory, ’77- Year of victory, ’78 Year of victory ad infinitum.

    There won’t be too many cars drivin around West Belfast today blaring there horns after Adams’ latest announcement unlike the one he made in Septmeber ’94….

  • Nevin

    Is Hamilton deluded? Didn’t his leader confess that the Chuckle Brothers marriage was forced on him [my paraphrase]? Wasn’t the choice between this hideous double act and, essentially, shared sovereignty?

  • CTN

    Your paraphrase or not- union secure…

  • Nevin

    Are you sure, CTN?

    Policing, justice and other non-devolved matters I understand are ‘managed’ by London and Dublin officials based in Windsor House, Bedford Street, Belfast. They deal with policy and with ‘sensitive’ day-to-day decisions.

    Aren’t major infrastructure decisions taken by the North-South Ministerial Council? Isn’t tourism marketing outside the island of Ireland carried out by Tourism Ireland?

    Where are the ‘balancing’ institutions linking NI to the rest of the UK and what major projects are they tasked with?

  • CTN

    Stormont is subservient to London not Dublin- check the flag on top.

    British sovereignty remains unfettered.

    UK law applied within state.

    The republic’s government is not involved in policing which will be devolved to a unionist minister under de hont- although some disarmed republican/nationalist british MLAs will have a say on the committee.

    North/south council feeble- all Ireland tourism is not an all Ireland state.

    Check a map of the world 6 co’s under UK jurisdiction….

  • hib

    Why did the PSNI not tell Michelle Gildernew which Loyalists were threatening her if all these Irish Govt. guys are busy at work in Bedford House?

    Why did she not contact Bedford House to complain instead of goin to Dublin?

    Sounds like yer crankin up the flop here Nev!

  • Nevin

    “The republic’s government is not involved in policing …”

    CTN, I’ve given you the where and what. As for the when, think AIA 1985.

  • Nevin

    hib, the bosses are in Dublin, not Bedford Street. I’m not privy to exchanges between MG and the PSNI.

    ‘Crankin up the flop”s a new one on me!!

  • CTN

    AIA 1985 replaced by GFA 1998.

    I reiterate the Irish Govt is not involved in policing- your ludicrous claims that they have been since 1985 if true would then implicate them in colluding or covering up for collusion with loyalists in the murder of hundreds of people since then.

    If your point had any merit then why not answer hib’s questions?

  • CTN

    The exchange was headline TV last week Nev.

    So who are these “bosses” in Dublin?

  • hib

    Nev I’ll ask again- if the Irish govt subservients are working in Bedford house so diligently then why are the PSNI not giving Michelle Gildernew the detail she requires?

  • Nevin

    CTN, where would you expect the bosses to be? Department of Justice? Department of Foreign Affairs?

    “AIA 1985 replaced by GFA 1998.”

    and Maryfield moved to, er, Bedford Street. The ‘ludicrous’ information came from an SDLP source many moons ago. Why don’t you question one of their MLAs?

  • CTN

    Neither the Department of Justice nor Foreign in the 26 co’s has no influence over the PSNI- your mystical SDLP source is a moonman alright.

  • Nevin

    hib, I can’t answer that question; I don’t have the requisite information. Remember that there are London officials involved too and there may be issues of ‘national security’. Also, SF is an opponent of the current Dublin administration. I can only shed a little light on this murky world.

  • páid

    Well I don’t believe NI is run from Dublin, not one little bit of it.

    Gordon Brown, an iron unionist, is the man in charge at the moment.

    As for the Union being ‘secure’, well that’s debatable. No one’s in charge of the future.

    Gerry Adams knows what he doesn’t know in Cheneyspeak – and that’s a strength in my book.

  • hib

    I’ll ask again if these guys in Bedford Street are so diligent why did MG make the complaint?

  • Henry94

    Sinn Fein should consider joining with the SDLP and Fianna Fail in a new nationwide constitutional republican movement. As thins stand they are not trusted by the majority in the south or by the unionists in the north.

    They can’t expect to unite the country while they are dispised by thoose two key groups and they must avoid having their supporters sidelined in the future.

  • CTN

    Paid- the contrived majority in 6 co’s are in charge if and when the prod unionist majority runs out then the taig unionist minority will give them a leg up for another decade or two.

    UI of the agenda for a long long time- IMHO.

  • Nevin

    CTN, Jeffrey Donaldson and Peter Robinson are, or should be, familiar with non-devolved matters. I supplied them with lots of background information all those moons ago.

    You can read also the Common Chapter in Ireland’s NDP 2000-2006 for further enlightenment.

    I posted the Dick Spring July 1996 briefing earlier on Slugger; it was kindly supplied by the DFA in Iveagh House. It shows how the controversial rerouting decisions were proposed by Dublin and more-or-less rubber-stamped by London, after taking advice from the security people. Jeffrey Donaldson can fill in some of the blanks.

  • Nevin

    That’s a question for MG, hib.

  • Nevin

    Why haven’t the BBC and UTV informed us about the shared roles of London and Dublin post-1985?

    BTW, these actions are not subject to parliamentary scrutiny as they are intergovernmental.

  • CTN

    Your claim that Jeffery Donaldson will state that the Dublin Govt are involved in an internal UK security matter such as RUC/PSNI Scrutiny is beyond belief.

    Nowhere have the Dublin government stated that they have executive influence over for policing in the 6 co’s.

    Whatever recommendations they have made about marches have had no executive effect.

    The Dublin govt has no executive authority in the 6 co’s in any context.

    Areas of mutual co-operation are not a precursor to unity any more between the north and south in Ireland or any other jurisdictions in the world which share land or water borders.

  • hig

    Stop dodging the question which I have put to you!

  • CTN

    No-one would love a real role for Dublin in the north than me but fantasy futuring or spoofin up the toothless north/south council isn’t goin to deliver unity.

    Perhaps if FF venture northward and duplicate some services we might speed up the process but as it stands at the minute the arrogant and disconnected McGuinness/Adams autocracy have blown it of the radar for 40 years.

    Don’t believe me check out Paddy Powers the shortest they’ll give is 10/1 for 2027 although that was before FF started talkin 32…

  • I just can’t approve of any praise for Gerry Adams, and the way they opened up the program, saluting him for his role in what they call an extrordinary process. The process that led up to the restoration of devolved government in the past year is extrordinary. Extrodinarily drawn out, convoluted, deadly, costly, tramautising? For the same deal they coulda got in 76. Paisley and Adams should be in jail.

  • CTN

    Point there Ab but its time for me to vamoos- adios!

  • Nevin

    hib, I’ve already said I don’t know the answer; I’m not going to make one up.

  • Nevin

    “Whatever recommendations they have made about marches have had no executive effect.”

    Excerpt from Briefing given by the Tanaiste to Media,
    Wednesday 10 July 1996

    Enright[BBC]: I have to ask you about Northern Ireland and the current situation
    there obviously is a matter that preoccupies peoples minds during trouble. What’s
    your view of the current situation and just how dangerous is it?

    Tanaiste: The current situation is very serious. I think we have all seen over the last
    number of days the inherent risks in what is happening in Northern Ireland. My request
    would be the same as has been made by the British Government and indeed by the Chief
    of Police in Northern Ireland – a call for restraint, a call for I think recognition that if
    people proceed down this line certainly the future is very bleak. We were a very short
    time ago quite optimistic about the opening of discussions and negotiations. We have
    seen a possible return to Northern Ireland at its worst in the last number of days. Coming
    up to 12th July it would be I think very important that leadership is shown, that restraint
    is shown and that we avoid plunging back into the abyss.

    Enright: Are you satisfied that Unionist leaders have done everything they
    can to calm the situation?

    Tanaiste: I think it beholds leadership on all sides to ensure that nothing is said or
    that nothing is done that creates any further difficulties. The police and the security
    forces in Northern Ireland are working under extreme difficulties, have been for the last
    number of days and nights, and I think it beholds leadership now to ensure that the
    situation is not compounded or exasperated and restraint should be called.

    Enright: Do you regret that the Government here have taken such a strong
    view on the routing of marches, do you think perhaps it was a mistake to reroute
    this march?

    Tanaiste: No. I have to say to you that the view that we have taken and the view
    that is now supported by the British Government is that you have to have [balance?] –
    the test is reasonableness. We respect the right of people to engage in marches. They
    also have to respect the right of people who do not wish marches going through their
    areas and the balance was the British Government advised by the security forces set out
    to achieve a balance and obviously balance involves compromise. And there was a
    compromise sought and my view is that that compromise should be respected. There is
    tension, there are serious risks but one would hope that people would show the restraint
    that is necessary. And if there is leadership I think the ultimate compr[om]ises can be
    worked out.

    Enright: Do you support the Chief Constable’s view that this march should
    have been rerouted?

    Tanaiste: Yes we do support that, yes.”

    It’s a bit convoluted but the message is clear: Dublin proposed that the parade be rerouted and London, after taking advice from the Chief Constable and others, acquiesced.

    The briefing was broadcast that morning on the BBC but within hours a different version of events was given ie the briefing was rapidly buried.

  • DC

    Mick Fealty aka – A Smart Alec!

  • Mick Hall

    Mick Fealty,

    Respect is to be earned and in no way do I believe I misinterpreted the meaning of your wording and you know it. That you failed to answer to the meat of my post is par for the course as far as I am concerned. [I will email you off list what I feel about your failure to link O/R]

    CNT

    For Gerry Adams refusal to confirm he was a senior volunteer, I have no problems with that as we all know how governments behave when the wind blow in the other direction. It is just that many Republican feel he should say ‘no comment’ or why does the questioner asked Paisley about Ulster Resistance or ask George Bush about his time in a certain US military unit.

    To put it bluntly we would like Gerry to say none of your business, I served my country as I saw fit, I may have been mistaken in some of my believes but they were honorably held full stop!

  • Billy

    CTN

    I am no Sinn Fein (or Adams) supporter but his remark about a UI not being inevitable struck me as being extremely sensible.

    As another commentator said – the only thing that is inevitable is change.

    A UI certainly is not inevitable (personally I think it’s extremely unlikely for the foreseeable future). However, the maintenance of the Union is not inevitable either.

    I do have to laugh when Unionist posters claim that Unionism is in a strong position. It has very little support in the UK electorate (the vast majority of whom couldn’t care less about NI).

    It’s pretty obvious that successive UK govts (Labour or Conservative) are fed up with paying out billions to NI and are engaged in gradual disengagement.

    The Union is fragmenting anyway with Scots, Welsh and English! nationalism on the rise.

    The single big thing that seems to reassure Unionists that the UK “cares” is the new MI5 building. Has it occurred to you that it will be a major terrorist target? – if it was based in England, Scotland or Wales and was attacked, this would be a major issue for the UK govt especially if there were fatalities.

    The plain truth is that this wouldn’t have the same impact if it happened in NI – UK people are used to hearing about violence here and they tune it out – remember the Ulsterisation policy.

    I don’t know what the future holds and neither do you. However, with the growing Catholic population, the financial investment from the RoI being warmly welcomed by the UK govt and FF moving to organise in the North, it’s pretty clear that RoI influence in NI is only going in 1 direction.

    Given the control of NI that Unionism had 35 years ago and the state it’s in now, it beats me how anyone can claim that it’s in a strong position.

  • Mick Fealty

    Mick, I am not demanding respect. Accuracy though is a basic requirement, if you want to engage.

    The two quotes are side by side in plain English. I did not say what you claim I have. As for what I want SF to do, I have never asked any political party to take up any given position, even if as I may have sketched out difficulties that may lie ahead of them.

    As to why I believe they came over as foreign, some of it may have been as visceral as his accent; his lack of understanding of the economic ecology of the Republic; his status as a UK tax payer. All of these things, of course, came attached in the Comment is Free piece.

    There was, too, the perception that someone cannot simply go back and back to the common purse to pay for a given project. It just does not scan in a small independent country, like the Republic. But that does not necessarily equate with abandoning a ‘left’ position.

    Perhaps somewhere, from some place, some political project on the left in Ireland will articulate a practical vision for the kind of public infrastructure investment that Fintan O’Toole talks about regularly in the Irish Times in order to make it happen.

    But, I suspect, a little bit like Gordon Brown in Britain, Fianna Fail (or Fine Gael, since they are every bit as post ideological as their old sparring partners in government) will nip around the back and bolster their own political position with popular ideas fashioned for them by another political project.

  • páid

    Well at the risk of sounding like Teacher’s pet, that’s a perceptive post, Mr Fealty.

    Outside of the 3 Ulster Counties, Belfast accents sound ‘foreign’ in the South, and unless you live in the State, like the McAleeses did, you lose a lot of the nuances.

    The Republic’s voters are conservative. It’s easy demanding money from across the water. But south of the border, money spent has first to be earned and taxed. Come over as a simple spender, and you’ll be punished.

  • kensei

    “Outside of the 3 Ulster Counties, Belfast accents sound ‘foreign’ in the South, and unless you live in the State, like the McAleeses did, you lose a lot of the nuances.”

    It’s nonsense. In the US the [President might have to be au fait with the politics of 50 states. The accusation against Adams was that he didn’t have a grasp of the fundamentals, not the nuance.

  • The Dubliner

    It’s a mix of his personality and his politics that make him seem ‘foreign’ to southerners. The two are a deadly combination in Adams because his aloof and disconnected persona accentuates how disconnected and aloof his politics are from modern Ireland. To hear Adams bluffing his way through the party leader’s debate on RTE in response to a question concerning how wealth is to be created with a dogmatic sentence straight out of the bluffer’s guide to socialist rhetoric (“The people create the wealth”) was to hear somebody stuck in a time warp, knowing nothing of how to manage the complex economic issues that he was asking the electorate to recklessly entrust to his party. The electorate know that countries with a lot of people do not necessarily have a lot of wealth; and that there was, therefore, more to the dynamics of wealth creation simply conducting a headcount to determine the amount of correspondingly available wealth, as Mr Adams assumed. That ‘aloofness’ may wash when the British exchequer is underwriting your political career in the north, but it is alien to the south.

    Irrespective of his personality, his politics are utterly repugnant to southerners – and that’s without considering the ethics of the fascist methods that PSF applied to achieving power in the north, and before they even realise that the stated aim of PSF is to overthrow the Irish Republic and replace it with a quasi-communist state, or even wonder why they should entertain a traitor to the Irish state asking for their votes when his party doesn’t even recognise the legitimacy of the Irish Republic or the electorates’ right to freely elect their own government. I think PSF have led the northern nationalists down a path that takes them in the opposite direction to southern nationalists, making southern and northern nationalists more ‘foreign’ to each other than either have yet begun to realise.

  • Sean

    yeah dubliner we will accept your verbose analysis because we know your impartiality

  • The Dubliner

    I’m guilty of verbosity – no point in denying an obvious absence of precision. Impartiality in the sense of contempt for PSF? In common with the rest of the south, I’m guilty there, too.

    However, I think I’m spot on. Southerners and northerners of the PSF ilk will mix as well as oil and water. One group is subversive, seeing itself as a vehicle to force an unreconstructed socialist agenda on the south under the guise of a unity agenda, without realising that proffering the socialism as part of the unity agenda will cancel out any prospect of success for either agenda. The further PSF lead northerners to the left, the further they lead them from their southern counterparts. In the end, you’ll become a group of extremist wackos on the fringe of politics, having no relevance to anything outside the LaLaLand of British Subsidy that sustains you. The other group has embraced the free market and a pluralist agenda, and is prepared to offer unity on its terms – which, you will find, doesn’t include outdated Marxist dogma or using low-level sectarians to gain votes.

  • Dewi

    From Mick

    “some political project on the left in Ireland will articulate a practical vision for the kind of public infrastructure investment that Fintan O’Toole talks about regularly in the Irish Times in order to make it happen.”

    Practical example High Speed Rail Link Dublin to Belfast. If anyone is ever in York it’s woothwhile looking at the Bullet train display which shows pictorially the development of train line stops pre, and 10 years after bullet train introduction. Astonishing.

  • Mick Fealty

    With respect Dewi, there are a dozen ways you could drive a project like that, if the Irish left wants political purchase beyond where it is now, it needs to make a wider argument for public investment in such projects.

  • Nevin

    I tnink collaboration between these London and Dublin officials is fine if its goal is the public good; it’s diabolical if it protects London and Dublin at the expense of leaving decent folks here at the mercy of the loyalist and republican paramilitary godfathers and other parasites. Sadly, the lack of public scrutiny means there’s little or no accountability.

    QUB Institute of Governance has nothing on its website which would inform the Slugger debate.

  • hib

    Nev, you cannot answer my question and your spin that the Dublin govt have executive power in the north is risable.

    Mickhall you have directed a reply to CTN about Adams’ not claiming IRA membership- CTN did not make that blog claim and has since departed the scene.

    I think you should recalibrate your reply and address it to Nevin- (who made it) just to keep things straight.

  • peter

    40 Years of Adams have delivered Scappatici, Donaldson, decommmisioning, death and Stormont- what a prize imbecile…

  • Nevin

    hib, how can I answer your question when I don’t have the particular information? You can go for the man if you wish but you’ll be left floundering 🙂

    What else do you need to know about the collaborative work on policy and day-to-day decision making in the realm of non-devolved matters? I’ll do my best to answer. The Spring briefing gives you some insights.

  • hib

    Stop hiding behind semantics playing the victim, I asked you to answer a question and now because cant you are pretending that is unreasonable.

    The Spring briefing illustrates nothing other than an earlier claim that the Dublin govt may make recommendations but the brits can choose to do what they wish- big deal they agreed about 1 march.

    The point is simple- the north is under british rule and Dublin have no executive power as CTN has already stated.

    External recommendations are not executive power and your attempts to hype them as such are transparently daft….

  • Nevin

    I can see that this is going to be as difficult as I thought it could be!!

    Here are some pieces of the jig-saw from a range of sources. Imagine there was a loyalist problem in, say, Dungannon a few years back. The SDLP politician wants to sort it out. The politician doesn’t want to go to the police because that makes him a tout; he also fears the request might leak to the loyalists. So the politician contacts Dublin; this may well take the local police chief out of the loop. Dublin passes the request to Belfast and the London and Dublin officials there convene a round table meeting, including a senior officer from police HQ. A decision is mutally agreed and police action follows. I can think of one example where a local decision probably would have had a more favourable outcome than the centrally taken one. Sorry, I can’t be more specific.

  • hib

    No wonder so many loyalists have killed each other- probably waiting for the Dublin government/local round table meeting roundabout process to conclude.

    Ya’ve a heck of an imagination there Nev!

  • hib

    And on that note I’m headin of- probably to bed as this blog has bored me stiff…

  • Mick Hall

    Mick Fealty

    What ever I might personally feel about Gerry Adams, to suggest his accent makes him sound foreign to his fellow Irish men and women is really not on. Not least because he has been voted one of the most popular politicians in the RoI on a number of occasions in recent years. Different for sure and being so is the joy of accents. But foreign with all the connotations that can be drawn from that word, no.

    In truth I find this language tack just a tad hypocritical, for I doubt you would write that a Bengali who has lived in the UK for 40 years plus sounds ‘foreign’, because you would understand where that might lead to.

    True in the 2007 election campaign Gerry did not seem to have a full grasp of economic affairs in the south and to pretend he did was a mistake. But take a breath and remember FF, FG, PD and the LP have been within the heart of the southern state, whereas the shinners have not, so if the aforementioned politicos and their media gofers could not outwit Gerry Adams on the economy they would have been dumb boyos indeed.

    Remember also SF and the left in general still fish in a comparatively small pond for support and members, they do not have the expertise the other southern parties can call on to take advice etc. This however hopefully given time will be over-come. What Ireland desperately needs is a new left wing think tank that can service the left with progressive papers on such things as taxation, economic growth, immigration, reunification, etc etc.

    Of course whilst the common purse is not a bottomless pit it still holds a tidy wedge and if a country like the RoI cannot find a way and the means to provide a 21 century health care system, education, a fairer distribution of the nations wealth and infrastructure then it is a poor show.

    After all the Scandinavian countries most of which have similar populations that hover around that of Ireland manage perfectly adequately when doing so. Nor are these countries terrified, unlike some Mick ah,of using taxation to make sure those who are best able to pay tax, pay their fair share.

    Finally I’m tempted to do a John McEnroe and say “you cannot be serious Mr Fealty” when you wrote that Mr Adams not being a RoI tax payer went against him with the electorate. I have no idea whether he pays tax in the south but I sincerely doubt this effected how a single person cast their vote. Having said this what undoubtedly did go against Mr Adams and SF was the fact he led a party which was offering itself as a possible future government, yet Mr Adams as Party leader was not putting himself forward for election to public office. Not only was this strategy arrogant and foolish; but it went against the grain of democratic accountability.

    For were SF to have gained enough seats to enter into a coalition government, its party leader would not be in parliament to answer for his ministers actions. In truth it reeked of the old IRB which ended up bringing such disaster to the national cause and the Republican Movement.

    http://organizedrage.blogspot.com

  • Nevin

    It’s an interesting process, hib: no accountability and no Unionist input alongside apparent academic ignorance. Some imagination is needed but mostly it’s about asking questions and recording answers of a wide circle of contacts.

    PS Are you an SDLP supporter or are you easily DUPed? 😉

  • The Dubliner

    “Remember also SF and the left in general still fish in a comparatively small pond for support and members, they do not have the expertise the other southern parties can call on to take advice etc. This however hopefully given time will be over-come. What Ireland desperately needs is a new left wing think tank that can service the left with progressive papers on such things as taxation, economic growth, immigration, reunification, etc etc.” – Mick Hall

    The days of soapbox ‘man of the people’ politics so loved by student revolutionaries who’ve just read the manifestos of Marx or the novels of Tolstoy are long gone, just as the formerly ‘unwashed’ proletariat is now immaculately groomed and clad from Burberry-capped head to NIKE toe in designer labels. Times keep on a-changin’ – and you either adapt or die.

    One of the mandatory adaptations required by modern Ireland is that a political party should have – at the very least – a rudimentary command of the complex economic matters that it is petitioning the public to manage on its behalf. Asking the public to put you into a coalition government when you are devoid of the required knowledge and skills is akin to asking hospital patients to elect an ape to perform surgery on them – and while waiting lists may be long, no-one is quite that desperate in either medicine or economics.

    It’s true that people get the governments that they deserve, and if folks were dumb enough to vote utter incompetents into public office, then they would duly deserve to have their economy wrecked by the incompetent clowns they duly elected. Devoid of a set of “progressive papers on such things as taxation, economic growth, immigration, reunification, etc etc”, it is an immoral act to pursue power for its own sake, and it would be criminally irresponsible of the people to elect people who are not only unable to manage economies but who are fully aware of their inabilities and simply don’t care about the damage they do just as long as they get power. The people shouldn’t assume that such moral degenerates want power for a moral purpose – that is to confuse a paradox with an outright contradiction.

    In regard to PSF, they can’t be a proper party of the left within a social context where their professed unity agenda ensures that they will only fragment the nationalist community, drawing no support from the unionist community. For that party to proffer a left agenda proper, it would need to be removed from the sectarianism that sustains it. Likewise, they can’t proffer their unity agenda when their facsist left agenda ensures that it will not gain support from those who support unity but not crypto-leftism. While I know that you are a genuine beleiver in socialism, you’ve hitched yourself to a death star there.

  • Mick Hall

    Dubliner,

    If you took a little more notice and went over what I have written in the past you would know I have not hitched myself to any star and certainly not that of SF. But I will not sit quietly if SF is portrayed by Mick in what I consider to be a nonsensical and unfair manner.

    You use the most insulting language to describe SF and its activists; fascist, crypto-leftism, sectarian, etc. I cannot agree with you and before you insult people some of whom have sacrificed much for their believes, you might show more balls if you posted under your own name, you know sticks and stones and all that nonsense.

    If you seriously believe there was an opportunity to draw mass Unionist support to Republican socialism in 1969 you must be living in la la land. As with the white working classes in apartheid SA, only the finest and most politically conscious sons and daughters would even consider coming over to equality and socialism and unity. The rest had been indoctrinated by the oppressors ideology.

    By the way, having left school at 15 your snide remarks about Marx and Tolstoy do not apply to me, but on reading your middle class insecurity perhaps you could do worse than read these two fine writers, arrogance and ignorance is never an attractive combination in a human being.

  • Nevin

    “You use the most insulting language to describe SF and its activists; fascist, crypto-leftism, sectarian, etc. I cannot agree with you”

    MH, that seems a fairly accurate portrayal of the Provisional Republican Movement and its Loyalist counterparts. The leadership of each has sacrificed foot-soldiers but more significantly ordinary decent folks trying to provide for their families. It would also appear that some leaders were given immunity from prosecution.

  • Mick Hall

    “The leadership of each has sacrificed foot-soldiers but more significantly ordinary decent folks trying to provide for their families. It would also appear that some leaders were given immunity from prosecution”.

    Nevin

    In some cases sad but very true.

    mick

  • Sean

    It would also appear that some leaders were given immunity from prosecution.

    That wouldnt be the chap who stands in front of the camera every other week and admits that he is the leader of a proscribed organization that is currently involved in organized violence including the shooting of a police officers, is it???

  • Nevin

    Leaders, Sean, not just one. Presumably lots of lesser fry have had similar privileges.

  • Reader

    Mick Hall: only the finest and most politically conscious sons and daughters would even consider coming over to equality and socialism and unity.
    Equality? Of course.
    Socialism? Dream on!
    Unity? By leaving the Union?
    So I don’t agree with your definition of ‘finest and most politically conscious sons and daughters’, though you could name a few of them and see who agrees.

  • The Dubliner

    “You use the most insulting language to describe SF and its activists; fascist, crypto-leftism, sectarian, etc. I cannot agree with you and before you insult people some of whom have sacrificed much for their believes, you might show more balls if you posted under your own name, you know sticks and stones and all that nonsense.” – Mick Hall

    Firstly, if you want to see “more balls,” then I suggest you go look at your favourite porn site. Secondly, you may admire squalid sectarian murderers as you wish, but don’t expect others to share your warped appreciation of that demented ilk.

    Now, as it stands, the irony of northern nationalists being led by PSF toward the loony left is that it accentuates that unionists have more in common with modern Ireland than northern nationalists of PSF’s ilk. Unionists are more or less of the same mindset as the southern Irish in regard to free market economics and the importance of encouraging investment, self-sufficiency, entrepreneurs, etc. They’d fit right in here and end up being a hugely successful addition to an enlarged Ireland, readily seizing the business opportunities that would arise from that dynamic, while PSF-spawned nationalists would still be looking for free lunches and subventions, burdened by an irrelevant sense of entitlement, and unable to adjust to new realities. The last thing the south wants is a few hundred thousand loony lefties injected into the body politic. But no-one would object to a group of people who are of the same mindset regarding hard work, opportunity, and pursuit of prosperity. PSF’s workaround for this divergence of northern nationalists from their southern counterparts is to pretend that the north will annex the south, not vice-versa, pretending that southern nationalists will simply vote away the Irish republic in some future referendum and replace it with a quasi-communist state with an English monarch that is to be negotiated by unionist and northern nationalists a la the GFA, and merely rubberstamped by the south. Pure fantasy, of course – but that’s all part of living in a cloud cuckoo land where anything is possible as long as MI5 works its voodoo behind the scenes and the British exchequer picks up the tab, making economic policies no more important a matter than writing begging letters to Alistair Darling.

  • The Dubliner

    “If you seriously believe there was an opportunity to draw mass Unionist support to Republican socialism in 1969 you must be living in la la land. As with the white working classes in apartheid SA, only the finest and most politically conscious sons and daughters would even consider coming over to equality and socialism and unity. The rest had been indoctrinated by the oppressors ideology.” – Mick Hall

    Would the reason that no unionists would “even consider coming over to equality and socialism and unity” have anything at all to do with the fact that PSF/PIRA was randomly murdering men women and children from the unionist community? Do you think maybe, just maybe, the two might be related? The “oppressors” were PSF/PIRA.

    You also misunderstood what I said. I said “Republican socialism” was a flawed concept because unionists would not support PSF because of its unity agenda and those who supported the unity agenda would not support PSF because of its socialist agenda. Hence the comment that PSF is “subversive, seeing itself as a vehicle to force an unreconstructed socialist agenda on the south under the guise of a unity agenda, without realising that proffering the socialism as part of the unity agenda will cancel out any prospect of success for either agenda.”

  • Billy

    Dubliner

    “you may admire squalid sectarian murderers as you wish”

    I can’t speak for Mick Hall. Personally, I find this comment from you grossly hypocritical and laughable.

    You may not admire squalid sectarian murderers. However, you constantly try to provide a degree of justification to the “loyalist” sectarian murders by implying that they were defending themselves and/or their community.

    When I think of the hundreds of innocent victims and the swaggering arrogance of their UDA/UVF/LVF murderers, your attitude makes me puke.

    For myself, I have no time for terrorism from any source. All terrorist murders are equally wrong and should be equally condemned by all right thinking people.

    Who are you to lecture anyone when you clearly believe in a hierarchy of victims and try to excuse the sectarian murders carried out by the “loyalists”?

  • The Dubliner

    “You may not admire squalid sectarian murderers. However, you constantly try to provide a degree of justification to the “loyalist” sectarian murders by implying that they were defending themselves and/or their community.” – Billy

    You don’t provide a single example of the alleged practice to support your claim because it is a complete invention on your part. I assume that you resort to lying because you’re unable to refute the points in the post. Isn’t it a shame, then, that your ad hoc edifice of lies was swept away faster than a sand castle in a tsunami?

  • Mick Hall

    “while PSF-spawned nationalists would still be looking for free lunches”

    Dubliner,

    You really amuse me with your twaddle about free lunches, you really are a victim of the 19th century ideas that have infected the first decade of this century. For a start when you have universal taxation [bar the very wealthy that is who seem to have concluded that the way of us ordinary mortals is not for them these days] State support, whether it is for health care, eduction or business grants is hardly free now us it, simply a sensible way to use the nations wealth.

    You seem to have little idea how capitalism works, viewing big business as white knights, when in realty the whole capitalist system is based on a ‘free lunch’ and I might add the meal is far to often stolen from another persons table.

    Free lunch my arse, you need to study some economics and try to catch up on how the greedy edifice works, I would recommend you start with Marx’s Capital.

    You really seem to have no idea just how rotten Ulster Unionism is, by saying this I do not mean the many ordinary people who support it, but the core of Ulster unionism is based on an exploitative and clientist idea, for despite all its chest puffing out as epitomized by Trimble and Paisley, Ulster Unionism can never be its own man/woman.

    You throw much bile at the Provos whilst you fail to understand how that organization came into being, it was not because god sprinkled looney dust over the youngsters within the working class nationalist communities of the north, but because of the society that was created in the north by those very same ulster unionists you write so highly of.

    In truth your politics appear to me to be based on supporting the man with the biggest baton and the most money.

  • Nevin

    “You throw much bile at the Provos whilst you fail to understand how that organization came into being,”

    As I understand it, MH, the Provos were the nationalist as distinct from the socialist wing of the militant republican movement. The latter had some grandiose notion that it could unite the working class and smash the conservative (and religious) establishments in Belfast and Dublin. Perhaps it imagined there could be a Cuban-type regime after the revolution. It was hardly surprising that Dublin nimbyism should come to the fore and that the then socialist leadership would have to be removed. The Provos, it appears, turned out to be much more lethal.

    Also google with ‘Derry riots’ to see how often the situation degenerates into mob rule when the blood is up. Perhaps our politicos don’t know enough local (and non-partisan) history; those based in London and Dublin have, at least, some excuse.

  • Nevin

    “Ya’ve a heck of an imagination there Nev!”

    Thanks, hib. Gather together a collection of the jig-saw pieces from a diverse range of contacts and sources and use your imagination to assist further research. The techniques are familiar to genealogists – and to investigative journalists.

  • Mick Hall

    Nevin

    Whilst you may be correct with the historical chronology, these things are often far simpler than that. The Provos were near to hand and offered the nationalist working class young people the means to hit back at those they considered to be the cause of the multiple injustices inflicted upon them.

    Just as today Hizballah and Hamas and to a lesser degree al-Qaeda fill that role elsewhere in the world. It is only much later that we humans intellectualize our political actions.

  • The Dubliner

    “You really amuse me with your twaddle about free lunches, you really are a victim of the 19th century ideas that have infected the first decade of this century. For a start when you have universal taxation [bar the very wealthy that is who seem to have concluded that the way of us ordinary mortals is not for them these days] State support, whether it is for health care, eduction or business grants is hardly free now us it, simply a sensible way to use the nations wealth.

    You seem to have little idea how capitalism works, viewing big business as white knights, when in realty the whole capitalist system is based on a ‘free lunch’ and I might add the meal is far to often stolen from another persons table.

    Free lunch my arse, you need to study some economics and try to catch up on how the greedy edifice works, I would recommend you start with Marx’s Capital.” – Mick Hall

    It’s actually quite funny that you classified my point regarding PSF’s crypto-leftism being a function of an abnormal statelet that provides “free lunches and subventions” relegating the matter of formulating the economic policies (which PSF’s president admits is a matter he is ignorant of – and demonstratively so after his RTE party leader’s debate) to be “no more important a matter than writing begging letters to Alistair Darling.” It’s funny because you unwittingly spewed pure twaddle in reply to it above, while mistaking said twaddle for a salient point. I think that’s what is called a PKB (kettle calling the pot black) – except this particular pot has a shiny metal ass a la Bender. 😉

    PSF has no understanding of wealth creation because it operates in an abnormal situation where it needs no such understanding in order to operate. Unionists, on the other hand, operate in the same situation but are not “burdened by an irrelevant sense of entitlement” rooted in crypto-leftism, making them “more or less of the same mindset as the southern Irish in regard to free market economics and the importance of encouraging investment, self-sufficiency, entrepreneurs, etc.” Ergo, “the irony of northern nationalists being led by PSF toward the loony left is that it accentuates that unionists have more in common with modern Ireland than northern nationalists of PSF’s ilk.”

    This is one of the primary reasons that PSF failed in the south. Wealth has to be created down here. We can’t simply rely on the generosity of the British taxpayer to subsidise our society or to finance our political careers, nor MI5 working “its voodoo behind the scenes” to move our political agendas along for us. 😉

    “You throw much bile at the Provos whilst you fail to understand how that organization came into being, it was not because god sprinkled looney dust over the youngsters within the working class nationalist communities of the north, but because of the society that was created in the north by those very same ulster unionists you write so highly of.” – Mick Hall

    Again the point flies over your head like an M16 at a PIRA training camp. Republican socialism could never have been anything other than sectarian socialism, which is an oxymoron to a true socialist. That’s one of the factors that make it crypto-leftism. Another factor is the use of fascist methods of violence to further what is a political agenda. Unionists didn’t form the murder gang known as PIRA that you revere so much: an elite group of sociopathic northern nationalists formed that murder gang with the specific intent of achieving political power within the British state by murdering those who opposed them. The demand being a rather rudimentary one of “do what we say or we’ll keep killing you.” Dress that vulgar pig up as you wish, put lipstick on her and kiss her, but she’s still a pig 😉

  • Mick Hall

    The reason the north is such a subsidized entity has little to do with SF and every thing to do with those Unionists whose resident groupie you appear to have become. The simply fact is the north demands an enormous subsidy from the British exchequer for its very existence. For without this subsidy it would be laid bare for what it is, a foolish sectarian stitch up originally designed to cripple an independent 32 county Republic of Ireland.

    When dear old Harold Wilson said the Unionists were a bunch of scroungers he was not only speaking his own mind, but also the majority of the people his party then represented. However he did not have the balls to do what he new was the only logical answer and withdraw.

  • Charlie Sheens PR guru

    Are you Mick Hall who went to ‘The college’ up to 2003?

  • Crikey, this thread’s been dragged out of the vaults, according to the date/timestamps on it. And nearly five years on and nothing much has changed except everything appears to be considerably worse for most everyone, and would prove the truth of that which is shared below?

    Adams: “SF has. What we have to do is to find a way to communicate our message.”

    Gerry might do himself a really big favour if he gets Mitchel McLaughlin to send him copy of an email I am told by another MLA/MLA’s office manager he has received, but you will hardly be surprised to hear, as it appears to be pathetic par for the political course in the UK, he and his office chose not to acknowledge even receipt of, let alone actually reply to it with a “Yes, we are interested, but can you explain it in more depth” or a “No thanks, it is not something we would be prepared to get involved in, and don’t even understand.”

    Thus can they try to plead ignorance to the media and electorate on matters which will surface and overtake them and render them in the spotlight and Harry Limelight proving themselves to be way out of their depth in a new transparent internetworking paradigm.

    “Virtual Reality Productions from TitanICQ Studios Cyber Division …. urAAAIRated Drawing Office” sent Tue, May 1, 2012 at 11:16 AM is all about Command and Control of Virtual Communications with SMARTR AIMessaging Systems, and a real heartache for Spooksville Holywood if they are not up to speed on what IT can do nowadays invisibly cloaked and HyperRadioProActive in Clouds and CHAOS.

    Things can only improve if you leave the past behind and do something quite different and constructive. To not do that, is to condemn everyone and everything to more of the same, and that is not progress in any language or land or domain.