Kearney of Sinn Fein’s “reconcilation” pitch deserves a considered response

 The pitch made within the precincts of Westminster last night by Declan Kearney the up and coming Sinn Fein chairperson, for “national reconciliation within Ireland through  uncomfortable conversations” was more than the usual rally cry for exiles and republican sympathisers.  It was a pull-together of the Sinn Fein package for the future, carefully and not unattractively wrapped. Cynics will dismiss it as a cracked record and it can be pulled apart (and no doubt duly will be). But cumulatively and as a presentation it deserves to be taken seriously. Sheer persistence in politics is sometimes rewarded. There was more to it than the BBC’s coverage of it as knockabout suggested. Maybe Stephen Walker (no relation) is more jaded than I am.

When you think about it twice, it’s the only show in town,  and that’s quite a thought.

Also invited to speak at the Grand Committee Room meeting chaired by West Belfast MP Paul Maskey  – a new departure this for an SF meeting – were representatives of other parties, albeit from the Lords, Angela Smith a former junior NI minister for Labour, Lord (John) Alderdice the former Alliance leader, first Assembly Speaker and now a leading Lib Dem,  and the not so typical Doagh man Lord Glentoran  a former Conservative front bencher.  As was well noted, the DUP declined to attend.

I confess my heart sank when Kearney launched off with a fundamentalist republican analysis going back centuries. Nor did he improve quickly. He laid into the DUP for a sectarian response to parades unrest, refusal to share power in unionist majority councils, even the Third Force, whereas Sinn Fein  now robustly opposes  republican paramilitarism.

Now these were fair, telling points.  But as all the other speakers ever so gently pointed out, was this quite the way to enlist DUP cooperation?   Was Kearney placing an each way bet, quids in if the DUP respond and if they don’t, Sinn Fein will at least have made them look bad.

I needn’t have worried. This was a solo hard cop, soft cop speech, reassuring to his own constituency on the one hand and challenging to unionists on the other.

To summarise the concrete points buried in the rhetoric.

A national conversation on reconcilation should be leadership frontloaded by;

- * Firstly, concluding in the weeks ahead the Cohesion Sharing Integration strategy. This then needs built upon with a charter supporting anti-sectarianism, equality and mutual respect, sponsored and led by OFM/dFM. This initiative itself would contribute to easing the parading impasse; begin to ensure power-sharing happens across all councils in the north; and demonstrate to our communities in a very practical way the need for mutual respect.

- * Secondly, and building upon work already undertaken by some local communities, to take a lead in developing cross-community and multi-agency initiatives aimed at reducing segregation through the removal of peace walls, and actively promoting increased integrated community life, and cross-community social and cultural activity.

- * Thirdly, agreeing to take forward a united platform in opposition to anti-peace process militarists within nationalism, and against those unionist paramilitaries wedded to violence and criminality.

- * Fourthly, cross-party and cross community agreement on additional strategic economic and social interventions and capacity building in areas of objective need across the north.

 

High on rhetoric and low on specifics and more back- to- back separate development than true integration. But movement of a kind certainly, if anything like it were to happen. And the external measures?

 

- * The implementation of outstanding elements of the Good Friday, St. Andrews and Hillsborough Castle Agreements;

- * Committal of the previously agreed £18bn for much needed capital spend projects in the six counties

- *A disapplication of the Welfare Cuts agenda to the north and the lowering of corporation tax there;

- * A review of the Barnett Formula and the transfer of fiscal powers to the Executive.

Add to this;

- * the closure of the NIO,

- * withdrawal of the British Secretary of State,

- * the transfer of reserved powers to the Executive, and

- * the setting of a date for a Border Poll.

Well, you can see  the dynamic in the last bit can’t you? But look again. There is nothing essentially anti-unionist about any of this. It resembles  “devo max,” the favoured option for Scotland if they reject independence. The difference is, our referendum would come at the end. We are all, all integrationists now, if only anyone knew what we meant by it   But by the time Kearney had spelt out his programme, I had warmed to his criticism of the DUP.

Some have expressed fear, scepticism and suspicion of this Sinn Féin initiative on reconciliation. But those concerns can only be allayed through dialogue.

The refusal of political unionism to engage in this discussion is a mistake, because the alternative is to offer the politics of despair.

A policy on non-engagement validates the segregation which blights our society and helps perpetuate the ‘them and us’ mentality and all of the misunderstanding and abuses which have flowed from that.

But political unionism’s refusal to engage on the development of an authentic reconciliation agenda is also duplicitous and contradictory.

The strategy for Dealing with the Past was a reworking of the Ard Fheis speech and is as  familiar as it is an unlikely outcome.

Inevitably we need to deal with the past and all the unanswered questions; and that should be done by agreeing to the establishment of an independent, international truth commission.

Some say that republicans are not serious when we advocate that option.

But what we say means everyone – governments, political parties, and British, unionist and republican combatants, and others – going into that arena together and at the same time; and to deal there with all the causes and consequences of the conflict.

That is Sinn Fein’s unambiguous policy position

But equally, there was no “unambiguous” republican nostra culpa for the armed struggle. Yet?

With the reservations noted earlier, the others on the platform  praised Kearney most sincerely. But then politicians at Westminster will commend the slightest move coming out of Stormont.

Can the DUP be teased or prodded into a response? After all they agree with much of it . Or will they continue to give it the dusty answer Liam Clarke  noted previously,  because the Shinners have grabbed an initiative?  Is stony silence to right way to keep treating a coalition partner?

What is the next step? Kearney didn’t say. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t know. I suggested SF could meet the DUP on substituting a weighted majority for the designations in the Assembly, thus at least allowing ad hoc different majorities to emerge for particular proposals. He didn’t reject this out of hand. But the DUP’s refusal to rotate mayoralties in majority unionist councils was a bad omen. “All we have is the Good Friday Agreement”.  But to get what they want, the GFA would have to be modified anyway as John Alderdice pointed out. Perhaps if hopes were raised for this Assembly reform, the trade-off could be the underpinning of a Northern Ireland Bill of Rights?

The effort of  setting  an inclusive platform at Westminster suggests that once again, here are  local politicians  making a barely suppressed appeal for outside intervention to kick start action. To guess whom? But this time, will it be heard?

 

, , , , , , , ,

  • BarneyT

    I guess you weren’t there.

  • Barnshee

    “I guess you weren’t there.”

    Au contraire -saw it all

  • galloglaigh

    Barnshee

    With one eye open ;)

  • HeinzGuderian

    So you can’t bring yourself to condemn,unequivocally,the pira death/murder/ squads Barney ?

    I guess,until you can go there,your opinions are as devoid of ‘reconciliation’, as Kearney’s are.

    Oh sure,fine words about fighting sectarianism.
    Noble sentiments about reconciliation.
    Yet,when we strip all the guff away,what do we find ?
    ‘I can understand why they did it’.

    I call that position morally bankrupt.

  • galloglaigh

    Again, I’m curious as to how, when I say that Sinn Fein has stronger electoral strength than the PUP/UVF (which is a fact, not an advocation), it’s seen as an avocation for voting for terrorism (SF/IRA).

    Humour me HG…

  • HeinzGuderian

    ‘With one eye open ‘

    pup/uvf…bad.
    sf/ira…good.

    Got ya :-)

  • galloglaigh

    Again, point me to the direction of my comment, where I say that SF/IRA are good?

    Go on, humour me!

  • HeinzGuderian

    ‘For a man who glorifies terrorism, you’d think butter wouldn’t melt. If the PUP/UVF were half the party Sinn Fein were electorally, we’d have safer Summers…’

    Your words,old dear………;-)

  • galloglaigh

    Yes indeed my words. But where does that statement advocate voting for Sinn Fein. Indeed where does that statement glorify terrorism? It states a fact. That’s all it does.

    You’re fond of being disingenuous with my comments. I’ve shown that time and again. But when confronted, as usual, you have no explanation.

    So… For the umpteenth time:

    I’m curious as to how, when I say that Sinn Fein has stronger electoral strength than the PUP/UVF (which is a fact, not an advocation), it’s seen as an avocation for voting for terrorism (SF/IRA).

    Can you also point me to the direction of my comment, where I say that SF/IRA are good?

    Go on, humour me HG!

  • HeinzGuderian

    ‘You mightn’t vote for terror politics, but I’d bet you vote for a party, who like as you said above, had clear connections to loyalism (DUP/UVF versus SF/IRA)? Somehow you don’t see that as wrong? That is part of the problem with our society – Loyalism/orangism can’t admit their own wrongs; Loyalism/orangism defend their wrongs by pointing out the wrongs of others…’

    FROM THAT WE GO TO…..

    ‘For a man who glorifies terrorism, you’d think butter wouldn’t melt. If the PUP/UVF were half the party Sinn Fein were electorally, we’d have safer Summers…’

    NOW WE HAVE….

    ‘Yes indeed my words. But where does that statement advocate voting for Sinn Fein. Indeed where does that statement glorify terrorism? It states a fact. That’s all it does.’

    So what you meant to say was,PLEASE DO NOT vote for pup/uvf OR sf/ira,as we might have ‘safer summers’,but that would not be good ?

    Ah yes,finally it all becomes clear………;-)

    If the pup/uvf were half the pary sf/ira are,we would have safer summers……….*this,in no way,(apparently)advocates a vote for either party…….

    I now see why you hold those 9/11 conspiracy theories so dear. ;-)

    I don’t know about humouring you mate,but you are brightening up my day trmendously !!! :-)

  • galloglaigh

    Point me to where I said:

    ‘You mightn’t vote for terror politics, but I’d bet you vote for a party, who like as you said above, had clear connections to loyalism (DUP/UVF versus SF/IRA)? Somehow you don’t see that as wrong? That is part of the problem with our society – Loyalism/orangism can’t admit their own wrongs; Loyalism/orangism defend their wrongs by pointing out the wrongs of others…’

    You’re mixing my comments with someone else’s. Perhaps a trip to SpecSavers?

    Now try again for the umpteenth time:

    I’m curious as to how, when I say that Sinn Fein has stronger electoral strength than the PUP/UVF (which is a fact, not an advocation), it’s seen as an advocation for voting for terrorism (SF/IRA). The difference between SF and the PUP/UVF, is that the former makes an effort to halt violence at interfaces, while the latter encourages it. That is a fact, not an advocation.

    Can you also point me to the direction of my comment, where I say that SF/IRA are good?

    Go on, humour me HG!

  • Mainland Ulsterman

    Neil,
    “Of course that self determination only applies to a gerrymandered state”

    You realise the phrase “gerrymandered state” is self-contradictory? You are *supposed* to draw borders so as to minimise minorities, otherwise how else are you going to draw them?

  • Reader

    Neil: Sorted in 68? Not really Reader, maybe to the satisfaction of Unionists. How many nationalists do you think existed in NI in, say 1969?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Ireland_general_election,_1969

    One would have thought if things were ‘sorted’ you would not end up with a government consisting of 41 Unionists and 8 Nationalists. How does that work out, or do you think that NI was 85% Unionist in ’69? That’s before one even looks at things like the RUC for example, 95% Protestant and not much change in the PSNI.
    You link to a site that shows that the nationalist party got 11% of the seats with 8% of the vote and you’re *still* not happy.
    There was nothing wrong with the election other than nationalists either not turning out, shredding their vote, or not even standing for election. But if you still think there was anything wrong with the election, then at least be specific. For starters, there was nothing the 1968 legislation could do to help Eddie McAteer to get the vote out, or to stand candidates in more than a small fraction of the seats.
    You might also consider that shredding the vote with PD, ND and Republican Labour was unlikely to help in a first past the post election. (Splitters!)

  • ayeYerMa

    Ann Warren:

    “the failure in London to properly defend part of its peripheral territory ” The NIState as it pertained right from the creation of NI was very, very different from Finchley. It was based on lack of civil rights for a significant minority, gerrymandering of electoral boundaries, discrimination in jobs, public housing etc, a militarized armed police force,internment without trial, a Special Powers Act that had no equivalent in the UK,USA or Europe. It could not and cannot be defended.

    “its population’s right to self-determination” Idon’t know what you mean by self-determination in this context. Perhaps you would care to explain?

    “when faced by an insurgent threat”, Any government has the right/duty to defend its population when threatened by an insurgent threat. If NI is to be considered UK peripheral territory the UVF, UDA, UFF, LVF etc. had no reason to exist. British people should have been happy and confident to leave the defence of their peripheral territory in the hands of their government and its security forces.

    “The root problem, however, remains insurrection without local democratic support” No it doesn’t. That root problem was resolved by democratic support for the GFA/Belfast Agreement. Now it’s time to move forward from that. Isuggested trying to deal with sectarianism. What do you propose?

    You seem to be getting things out of order. The complaints you have about “rights” are specifically a result of a situation whereby there was a lack of security when under terrorist threat — a threat that existed before NI even existed due to Michael Collins’ IRA & co. IRA attacks were everything to do with a United Ireland and little to do with “rights”. The Northern Ireland state simply was not backed with sufficient security resources from London right from its creation. Despite requests from Stormont in the early days to the only body with the powers to provide it — Westminster — London instead chose to treat Northern Ireland as different to Finchley and not provide the security resources necessary.

    Northern Ireland is a result of Ulster Unionist self-determination, just as the Irish Republic is a result of Irish Republican self-determination.

    That is my enitire point that people should have had confidence in their government to defend them, but ours failed to do that until it was far too late. No one should be expected to have to live with terrorists on their door-step (of whatever hue). If the government had done a good job then I doubt Loyalist paramilitaries would have came into existence in the first place.

    Yes, I got my tenses a bit out of place there, meaning to talk past-tense. It is a bit naive though to think that our root problem was solved by the Belfast Agreement itself, as it spelt out little different as to what there was before. Militias do not simply sign a surrender document due to waving a magic wand and throwing a few white doves at them. Things just don’t work like that in the real world, and I still find it extremely pathetic that numerous media commentators have become so blinded by the massive PR drive and propaganda of the Belfast Agreement that they rarely consider the scenario from a differing security perspective that made it somehow acceptable where virtually similar treaties were not.

    Moving on to the present tense, well your “tackling sectarianism” sounds all nice and fluffy on the surface, but you haven’t provided any specifics. The only specific and practical area where I see that this can be improved at present is a single integrated educated system. Other than that I see droning on about “sectarianism” to only make things worse — people should shut-up, have a bit more tolerance, stop bringing this nonsense endlessly to the forefront of conversation, and let the police and courts deal with any destructive manifestations. Additionally, not all “sectarianism” is bad and actually would be called “diversity” elsewhere — some do-gooding Alliance-types will call you “sectarian” for merely expressing a prefrerence or opinion after much considered thought — such do-gooding-types are part of the problem, not the solution.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Some of the responses here show that the Unionist siege mentality is still very much hard at work.

    Martin McGuinness conceding that there are decent people in the Orange Order is, apparently, all part of a devilish SF scheme to divide the order. You really couldn’t make it up. How on earth do we have a chance for proper reconciliation if we won’t take each other at face value ?

    The idea that unionism, or indeed Protestants, are a united monolith over the issue of what happened outside St Patrick’s church over the summer is ridiculous. Martin McGuinness is right – the OO need to sort out the badly behaved bands, and I believe that if/when they do they’ll get support right across the community.

  • anne warren

    Aye Yer Ma

    Many thanks for such a pleasant well-considered reply.
    I’ll answer each point separately

    “The complaints you have about “rights” are specifically a result of a situation whereby there was a lack of security when under terrorist threat — a threat that existed before NI even existed due to Michael Collins’ IRA & co. IRA attacks were everything to do with a United Ireland and little to do with “rights”.
    I agree NI was born out of fear of a Republic.
    I also agree that rights that obtained in the rest of the UK were achieved in an incremental process extending from the 1920s to the 1960s. They were not always extended quickly and appropriately to NI, as seen by NICRAs demands for civil rights.
    Indeed in the late 60s-early 70s Westminster tried to implement reforms along these lines as quickly as possible. There was a lot of resistance by the Stormont governemnt and people like Ian Paisleyfor example .

    “Despite requests from Stormont in the early days to the only body with the powers to provide it — Westminster — London instead chose to treat Northern Ireland as different to Finchley and not provide the security resources necessary”.
    Not true.
    Before the Government of Ireland Act Sir James Craig proposed to the British cabinet a new “volunteer constabulary” which “must be raised from the loyal population” and organised, “on military lines” and “armed for duty within the six county area only”. He recommended using the UVF. British Prime Minister David Lloyd George agreed and on 1 November 1920, the scheme for the Ulster Special Constabulary (USC) was officially announced by the British Government.

    “The Northern Ireland state simply was not backed with sufficient security resources from London right from its creation.
    Not true
    The RUC had around 8,500 officers with a further 4,500 who were members of the RUC Reserve; The USC consisted of 32,000 men divided into four sections, all of which were armed A specials, B specials , C and C1 specials. The force was almost exclusively Protestant.
    So there were about 44,000 officers to police about 1.28 million people.

    Just put these numbers in perspective;
    At the end of October 2011, the London metropolitan Police Service employed 48,661 (full-time) personnel, making the MPS the largest police force in the United Kingdom and one of the biggest in the world.
    In 2011 the London metropolitan area had an estimated total population of between 12 and 14 million

    With the Government of Ireland Act Westminster thought it had solved the Irish question. George V, when he opened the Ulster parliament in Belfast City Hall in June 1921 gave a famed address where he called for reconciliation between Irish people and for Northern Ireland to be free of discrimination against the minority
    This did not happen. The reason why it did not happen lies with the majority who governed in NI.

    “The result of Ulster Unionist self-determination” was hardly successful. Indeed Westminster had to impose Direct Rule in the early 1970s

    If the NI government had done a good job then I doubt Loyalist paramilitaries would have came into existence in the first place.
    I have fixed that statement for you!!

    “Militias do not simply sign a surrender document due to waving a magic wand and throwing a few white doves at them”.
    But should they not abide by the democratic will of the people who supported the GFA/Belfast Agreement and the Peace Process? If not, why not?

    “The only specific and practical area where I see that this can be improved at present is a single integrated educated system”.
    Not everyone agrees on this. So in saying it is “ The only specific and practical area” you are precluding discussion of any other options.

    “Your “tackling sectarianism” sounds all nice and fluffy on the surface, but you haven’t provided any specifics”
    Given the above are you really interested in exploring any other options?

    “Do-gooding-types are part of the problem, not the solution”
    I am unable to understand your objections to “do-gooders”. Perhaps you would like to explain them a little better

  • HeinzGuderian

    http://sluggerotoole.com/2012/10/01/respect/comment-page-8/#comment-1178473

    ‘You’re mixing my comments with someone else’s. Perhaps a trip to SpecSavers?’

    It’s that,’Always \Look On The Bright Side Of Life’ moment………;-)

  • Glenn B

    Any ‘unionist’ (and I am politically of that set) who doubts conditions in the new state of Northern Ireland 1921 – 69 should read “The Indivisible Island” by Gallagher which they should balance with “Factory of Grievances” by Buckland then contemplate.

    The end of sectarianism is in the hands of every person living here. How hard is it to stop being “I”? Lose the ego of “I”, “me” & “them”. Learn other political, religious or ethnic views in place (both here & beyond these shores). Honor and respect that rich diversity? This will deepen your own roots and secure a wide vision?

    Change begins within and there are growing number who have evolved beyond the bullshit of the past. Their viewpoint and changing perspective in society is inevitable.

  • HeinzGuderian

    ‘Change begins within and there are growing number who have evolved beyond the bullshit of the past. Their viewpoint and changing perspective in society is inevitable.’

    Not as long as the bullshit of religion,(whatever religion),holds sway overall.

  • Reader

    anne warren: Indeed in the late 60s-early 70s Westminster tried to implement reforms along these lines as quickly as possible. There was a lot of resistance by the Stormont governemnt and people like Ian Paisleyfor example .
    Can you account for the 1968 reforms passed *by* the Stormont Government?

  • galloglaigh

    HG

    Fair enough, that comment was mine, but again for the umpteenth time:

    I’m curious as to how, when I say that Sinn Fein has stronger electoral strength than the PUP/UVF (which is a fact, not an advocation), it’s seen as an advocation for voting for terrorism (SF/IRA). The difference between SF and the PUP/UVF, is that the former makes an effort to halt violence at interfaces, while the latter encourages it. That is a fact, not an advocation.

    Can you also point me to the direction of my comment, where I say that SF/IRA are good?

    Go on, humour me HG!

  • Comrade Stalin

    A cursory search through Google will bring up pictures of leading unionist politicians holding court with paramilitaries of various strains. Top of the list is Ian Paisley, but others are there too. As David Ervine once said, watching a video of Ian Paisley sitting in his living room condemning terrorism, “I’ve been in that house, I’ve seen that wallpaper”.

    Unionists maintain a public position which is that they’ve nothing to do with paramilitaries, but occasionally the mask slips, a recent example I can think of is when Pastor Kenny McClinton published emails he had exchanged with Ian Paisley Jnr and Jeffrey Donaldson.

    The distinction between unionists and republicans when it comes to paramilitarism is therefore not as black and white as it is suggested. Commenters here, and elsewhere, want to believe that the lack of a formal connection between unionists and paramilitaries means that unionists have nothing to answer for in this area. This is fundamentally dishonest. I agree with Peter Robinson, people should act like adults and own up to what I did, but it seems terribly hypocritical to hear that from the leader of unionism which still refuses to acknowledge that it had any role in fomenting the conflict.

  • Dont Drink Bleach

    If you have evidence Peter Robinson spent thirty years planning, organising, committing and covering up hundreds of religiously-motivated murders, thousands of brutal Islamic-style ‘punishment attacks’ against his own community and ran lucrative crime rackets, brothels, drug gangs, bank robbery teams and covered up child rape by his underlings – please present it.

  • Dixie Elliott

    “This is the key to SFs success, as they are getting noticed at the ground level and they have made a difference. They are perceived more as “doers” than say the SDLP.” – Says BarneyT

    Typical Adamsite bull.

    PSF are doers in that they do as they’re told….

    They are liars who pretend to oppose Tory cuts yet behind the backs of the people they clearly push them through. Lets not forget Workfare as one example of their willingness to sell the unemployed into slave labour.

    They adopted a ‘hold me back from hitting him’ tactic in regards to the Welfare Cuts but “we are not interested in causing a crisis in the Executive..” Said Alex Maskey instead of pulling the plug by putting down a Petition of Concern.

  • Dixie Elliott

    In regards to all the bullshit that Republicans and us alone were to blame for murder and mayhem….

    While we can never excuse the killing of innocents whether accidental or deliberate, I don’t believe we should be seeking forgiveness from the very bigots who ensured that people had no other choice but to take to the streets in the late 1960s demanding Civil Rights.

    Those Bigots continued to stir the loyalists into doing their dirty work. They were no different to Adams and McGuinness, agitators who kept the pot boiling for their own political ends.

    They still insist in keeping the pot boiling even though they have the shinners on their knees. They insist on marching where it will cause the most offence, on parading British troops through our streets in celebration of wars in foreign countries where they are not wanted. The same hypocrites who call us murderers cheer those who kill in the name of Peace.

    Most of all they do it to rub our noses in it.

  • HeinzGuderian

    ‘Fair enough, that comment was mine, but again for the umpteenth time:’

    Game,set,and match,me thinks :-)

    Oh,btw,there’s aul Dixie……….perhaps you can get stuck into him,DDB style,for his unrepentant support of all things ‘dissident’ republican,death squads ?

    Go on fella……humour me ;-)

  • HeinzGuderian

    Pipe bomb thrown at Police in Poleglass,last night Dixie ?
    Chap murderd in North Belfast by ‘dissidents’…….over drugs,no less.

    No comment ?

  • BluesJazz

    Dixie Elliot

    Do you think Terence O’Neill was a bigot?

  • Dont Drink Bleach

    Dixie Elliott:

    Those Bigots continued to stir the loyalists into doing their dirty work. They were no different to Adams and McGuinness, agitators who kept the pot boiling for their own political ends.

    Utter tripe.

    Paisley and Robinson didn’t organise and conduct Hamas-style forced suicides, burn elderly pensioners to death because if their religion, abduct, torture, murder and ‘disappear’ innocent mothers, organise the ethnic cleansing of 15,000 people in Londonderry or oversee a crime/drugs/prostitution empire which funnelled millions into their back pockets.

    If you’re looking for a ‘green’ version of Paisley and Robinson – Hume and Feeney would be a valid comparison.

  • Dixie Elliott

    Heinzsillyname.

    Show me where I’ve shown support for such actions. On second thoughts I couldn’t give a monkeys what you think.

    Don’t drink Bleach [another silly name to hide behind]

    Who said the bigots organised? I said they encouraged, they preached hatred and more often they led for a while wearing berets and then scurried off to let the killers get on with it.

    The killings like the kids in a mobile shop or the showband, who one of the survivors said was lead by a British officer and contained members of the UDR. A mixed showband.

    Or British secret groupings like FRU who controlled loyalist murder squads.

  • Dixie Elliott

    If we want to get rid of bigotry then integrate all schools, let the kids learn together and we’ll have a better future for them.

    I’d be the first to admit that Catholicism is just as bigoted as any other religion. It’s leaders want to control the minds of our kids, just like the rest, therefore we must teach them to think for themselves before they decide what is right or wrong themselves.

    Wouldn’t that be the truly Christian thing to do?

  • BluesJazz

    so dixie…
    Captain O’Neill

    Bigot? Or patrician figure trying (to Paisley’s furore) to do the right thing?

  • Dixie Elliott

    Captain O’Neill a coward in the face of bigotry.

  • http://gravatar.com/joeharron Mister_Joe

    I think it is very ungenerous to call him a coward. He did try to make changes but was unable to bring the bigots in his cabinet along with him towards his vision.

  • Dixie Elliott

    One reason for supposing that Paisley and his supporters condone terrorism is that they have been unusually willing to conduct funerals for loyalist terrorists. William McCrea and Ivan Foster conducted funerals for Wesley Somerville and Horace Boyle, members of the notorious Portadown UVF cell led by Robin Jackson. Foster gave a graveside oration for Sinclair Johnston, a Larne UVF shot by the RUC during rioting in 1972. McCrea buried Benjamin Redfern, a UDA lifer who was crushed by a bin lorry while trying to escape from the Maze prison. Robert ‘Basher’ Bates, convicted of a number of vicious murders committed by Lenny Murphy’s ‘Shankill Butchers’ gang, was murdered by a loyalist in June 1997 and was buried by Free Presbyterian minister Alan Smylie.

    More…

    http://www.irish-association.org/papers/stevebruce11_oct03.asp

  • Dont Drink Bleach

    So really you should be comparing Paisley et al with the Irish catholic church??

  • tacapall

    What would Western leaders around the world today think of a person who was leader of his own religion, leader of his own political party and leader of his own private army that he created, that he threatened would take the law into their own hands, but supposedly later washed his hands of, conspired with others, who he would call terrorists, to illegally import hundreds of weapons into his country that were then later used to murder his fellow citizens who where his political opponents and of a faith in which he preached from his pulpit were the followers of the Anti Christ.

  • Dixie Elliott

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Whats wrong? I included a link to the article, the same article as above as a matter of fact.

    Doesn’t Slugger want to accept its a historical fact that before even the Civil Rights Campaign, associates of Mr Paisley were committing acts of terrorism pretending to be the IRA.

    Yes pretending to be the IRA years before the formation of PIRA.

    Please justify this piece of censorship.

  • tacapall

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ulster_Protestant_Volunteers

    The Ulster Protestant Volunteers were a loyalist and fundamentalist Christian paramilitary group in Northern Ireland. They were active between 1966 and 1969 and closely linked to the Ulster Constitution Defence Committee (UCDC), established by Ian Paisley and Noel Doherty in 1966.

    The UPV launched a bombing campaign to destabilise the Northern Ireland government. There were bombings on 30 March 4 April 20 April 24 and 26 April. It also took part in most of the counter-demonstrations organised by Paisley in response to the Catholic civil rights marches of the late 1960s. One example of there many counter demostartions, was the Battle of the Bogside where the UPV along with many other loyalists were involved in throwing stones, bottles, and bricks at catholic marchers. The motto of the UPV was “For God and Ulster”.Many of its members also belonged to the Ulster Volunteer Force.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ulster_Constitution_Defence_Committee

  • BluesJazz

    I think history will judge Captain O’Neill (mentioned in dispatches at Normandy) better than his tormentor (who never fought , for reasons unbeknown-cowardice?)

  • BluesJazz

    Dixie
    Captain O’Neill tried his best. He was undermined by people who are now regarded as peacemakers.
    Whatever his ‘failure’, he was a lot better than what we have now.

  • Dixie Elliott

    BluesJazz I would agree on hindsight that the likes of O’Neill and Hume were better than our so called Peacemakers.

    I can assure you that a good many Republicans such as myself are now in agreement that the dirty secrets of our so called leaders need to be revealed as equally so on the Unionist/Loyalist side so that future generations can learn from the past.

    Dispite the claims, SF wants no truth commission and I’m sure neither do the British or Unionists.

  • Dont Drink Bleach

    Dixie Elliott:
    Doesn’t Slugger want to accept its a historical fact that before even the Civil Rights Campaign, associates of Mr Paisley were committing acts of terrorism pretending to be the IRA.

    Yes pretending to be the IRA years before the formation of PIRA.

    .
    Very convenient for you to try and convince us history only began at the formation of the Provos.

    You must be forgetting the hundreds of protestant families evacuated from border farms over Easter weekend 1966 – when the IRA claimed to be planning cross-border raids to coincide with the 50th anniversary of 1916. The threat was taken so seriously almost all cross-border transport was halted and most roads and railway lines blocked by heavily armed police.

    If only those stupid prods had only known it was just a wee geg, eh?

    Sure there was no IRA….. :rolleyes:

  • HeinzGuderian

    dixie,ermmm,land ?

    Whaaa ? STILL no comment ??

    Why not just fall back on your number 1 response to everything,non republican ?
    ‘it was the durrty Brits what done it’.

    For that,when you can be bothered to read through the reams of watery eyed,self pitying,MOPEry,is all it really boils down to.

    ‘So don’t give us the nonsense that the IRA as a whole have followed Adamsism down the ‘sticky’ path.’

    It even MOPEs about the MOPEs.

    ‘Most of all they do it to rub our noses in it.’

    Here’s a wee tip,dixie land,your dirty,little,sectarian,skirmish is over.
    YOU LOST.
    You were suckered in by gerry and marty,on the glorious ride to ‘freedom’. Now all you can do is bitch,(in an undoubtedly high pitched voice) about betrayal.

    SLAP IT UP YE BOY :-)

  • Submariner

    DDB A self confessed supporter of a sectarian murder gang like the UVF seeking to lecture others on sectarianism is a bit like listening to an alcoholic giving advice on quitting drinking.

  • galloglaigh

    HG

    I have no problem saying that the actions of armed republican groups were, and still are wrong. I have no problem giving ‘dissidents’ the same title as I gave DDB’s UVF: They’re scum of the Earth, who peddle death-drugs to both our communities. I’m no apologist for terrorism. Terrorism is wrong.

    The problem I have with the Orange side of the coin, is that its history is akin to the history of armed republicanism, and that the politics of Orange and Green are two sides of the same coin. Dress it up however you want, but loyalist/unionist terrorists, just like republican terrorists, were part of the British state’s sectarian skirmish in Ireland. That skirmish is one of many, and may continue for some time.

    Peter Robinson played his part in that sectarian skirmish, and has a lot of questions to answer in relation to unionist terrorism. Many other former and current DUP representatives are on the same boat. They know their past and they’re running scared – that’s why they’re trying so hard to deflect the limelight away from themselves. They’re trying in vain to hide their big elephant in the room – DDB’s UVF, and Jackie McDonald’s UDA, but shouting and roaring that Sinn Fein’s elephant is far bigger than theirs. The mask is slipping!

    The big house of cards – Ulster’s unionist power house, is gradually falling down – from the ace of heart’s to the two of clubs.

    Get over yourself, and SLAP IT UP YE BOY :-)

  • galloglaigh

    *by shouting and roaring

  • Dont Drink Bleach

    Submariner:
    DDB A self confessed supporter of a sectarian murder gang like the UVF seeking to lecture others on sectarianism is a bit like listening to an alcoholic giving advice on quitting drinking.

    Why don’t you play the ball instead of the man?

    I don’t attend parties celebrating religiously-motivated murder and hand out medals to those who killed grannies and children like Frank ‘Dipper’ Dempsey.

    Nor do I seek to ban the culture of dignified, law-abiding people simply because I motivated by poisonous religious bigotry.

  • Submariner

    “I don’t attend parties celebrating religiously-motivated murder and hand out medals to those who killed grannies and children like Frank ‘Dipper’ Dempsey.”

    Ever been to the Brian Robinson parade DDB

    “Nor do I seek to ban the culture of dignified, law-abiding people simply because I motivated by poisonous religious bigotry.”

    But you do support a terrorist gang who specialised in murdering people simply because of their religion.As I said just like an alcoholic lecturing others about quitting drinking.

  • Dont Drink Bleach

    Once again you’re comparing chalk against cheese.

    If I had attended a UVF ‘party’ and handed out medals and awards to religiously-motivated convicted murderers – and then appeared on the news demanding a ban on all GAA games and the Irish language because they are ‘offensive’ you might have a point.

    As it stands, you don’t.

  • Submariner

    So you dont attend parties celebrating the sectarian murder gang you support who specialised in murdering people simply because of their religion.But seek to lecture others on sectarianism. You really are an Uncle Andy DDB.

  • Dont Drink Bleach

    No I don’t.

    Next.

  • Submariner

    Which is it DDB ? You dont support a sectarian murder gang that specialised in killing people simply because of their religion. Or your not posting on here accusing others of being sectarian.

  • IrelandNorth

    A common characteristic between the Act of Union of Great Britain and Ireland, 1800/’01 and the Act of Settlement between England and Scotland, 1776 is that both were purchased by bribes and peerages of Anglo-Irish landed Protestant gentry and highland Scottish lairds. Why should border polls be taken on democratically challenged treaties. Benevolent dictatorship is not without merit. And a far better way to systematically deconstruct unconstitutional constitutions. A double negative can equal a positive.