“Whatever you say, say nothing, when you talk about you know what…”*

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Paul Duggan on the party whip being applied on the campus at UCC

Sinn Féin are bit touchy about Gerry Adams lately. This text, sent by a member of the Sinn Féin UCC branch, read: “Lads, off the back of the news about Gerry Adams, members of the Cumann are NOT to make any statement regarding the issue. Disciplinary action will be taken to anyone who does so.” 

Something there for other parties to learn from?

*H/T to the boul Colum Sands riffing off Heaney

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  • SK

    That’s 14 contributions about the same thing now by my count.

  • Mick Fealty

    I’m surprised at you SK…

  • nilehenri

    but we aren’t at you mick.
    we have been spoilt recently with more posts in one day about one subject than we’ve had about everything else in an entire week, and in the middle of super council eu election season. gerry will be most impressed when he finds that one out upon his release.
    in typical hilly-billy nornirn style and without a thought for the intricacies of what is essentially an international scandal, the pcni twaddelled on in and arrested Teachta Dála gerry adams, on flimsy evidence, without a thought for the due process of any future investigation/commision/call it what you want into the intriciacies of our shared and sometimes horrible past. the internationales are not amused.
    recently we’ve had ms. de villiers pontificate greatly about subjects of which she surely knows precious little, a taoiseach who does little more than stifle argument with oireachteas privilege and cheap insult, and england, who welsh on a promise, (why i wasted pixel space upon that is a conundrum to me.)
    ireland is on path to major change, everyone but the unionists gets it, even those that they profess union to. this country was based upon an illogical division, a prima facie fact in this case that no amount of revisionism nor dumb centenerianism will erase. our young choke on the fumes of car tyres and cheap alcohol vapour, kids picking through trash and ashes looking for something to burn is considered culture in east belfast. on a purely personal note i ask, i’m supposed to kneel at the altar of inclusion and accept all this?
    this is a pathetic spectacle, a cynical trophy victim hunt a la allister, clutching on to the most horrific story and trying to pre-feed it to a population who just don’t buy it, while our leaders play at who can be most scandalised and clever with their sound-bite at the same time. it’s not the first time they’ve played the man, remember just last year how we looked at the dirty adams and their dirty secrets, and a free for all was declared upon the man?
    maybe they could mount a petition of concern to secure gerry’s release. any politician who opens their mouth to comment should beware, there are precious few clean sheets in ulster and the clock is always turning. there was one soldier-politician of note, but he was carried from the kesh in 1981, and we haven’t had a decent nor honourable one since then.
    despite all pitiful argument to the contrary sinn fein aren’t going anywhere but further and further into the fabric of our society helping and healing the rift that runs right through us all. should mr adams decide to seek compensation i hope that his damages are in the seven figure region.

  • GEF

    “the pcni twaddelled on in and arrested Teachta Dála gerry adams, on flimsy evidence,”

    nilehenri, how do you know there is flimsy evidence? Are you another one who does not realise GM offered to meet the PSNI over the McConville murder. What did he and many of his followers expect, a wee cup of tea and confidential chat and after a couple of hrs he goes home again?

  • Granni Trixie

    I’m all for discipline in political parties but I would not like to be in a party where members did not rebel against a letter written to them In such threatening terms …but then SF have form I’m this respect, do they not? A norm not to be emulated.

  • Granni Trixie

    Also…why is the arrest of Adams being dumped on wee Jim? An easy target to deflect from the fact that the family of Mrs McConville have been campaigning for this plus the numerous republicans coming up with versions which implicate Adams. Allister shouting from the sidelines is the least of it.

  • cynic2

    SFs big problem is that this is a family affair. Its hard core PIRA former members implicating him. Not the police. Not informers.

    Hence they must be dismissed and denigrated. SFs comments must be rigidly controlled and the hands of the Securocrats (who steered and cajoled SF to the place it is today) are invoked to explain why the great leader is being besmirched, not the fact that old comrades (perhaps with twinges of conscience) have allegedly fingered him

  • nilehenri

    GEF your problem is that you deliberately fail to see the bigger picture. haven’t you heard gerry re-iteratng the same old mesage over and over throughout the years? the reason he doesn’t have his comission is because england can’t afford to have it, it is not the fate of some west belfast nobodies that is at issue here, it is the protection of the establishment at all cost.

    that fact is that 10 children were completely, totally and utterly lost in a completely rotten system and no-one cared about it until someone somewhere realised that this could be the perfect stick with which to beat the upstart fenians with.

    if gerry as an associate of ‘interesting persons’ during the troubles is deemed resposible for this murder then so be it, the law of this peculiar piece of land shall have spoken. the doors are then wide open for all ex service to come under the microscope. bring it on.

  • Kensei

    Don’t the student bodies have a bit more form in saying / doing something stupid? The only surprise here is the party doesn’t have a line here, and are just telling them to keep quiet.

    There *is* an election or two on Mick. Point mW to a party rewarded for poor discipline.

  • Granni Trixie

    Even with a systemic failure (which you link to “the establishment”) individuals living around Divis and St Peters parish have a lot to answer for in respect to the McConville family in the aftermath of their mothers abduction. It’s patronising not to expect more.

  • nilehenri

    gt the system is the establishment.
    on another note ms villiers looks a right mess over on the bbc. is it just her usual inptitude or have they been sidewinded?

  • Charles_Gould

    Intimidatory rally being held by Adams supporters near to where Jean’s murder took place. Purpose the further intimidation of her surviving children?

  • Kevsterino

    In all this I’m struck with the spectacle of how people who would not give Brendan Hughes, Dolours Price or even Nuala O’Loan the time of day believe they speak the gospel truth when they point a finger at Gerry A. but believe they are incapable of telling the truth any other time.

    What is that about?

  • Charles_Gould

    Kev – regardless of the others that you mention who I would have very little regard for Nuala O’Loan (who actually has done a great job as police ombudsman) is a highly regarded figure. She is of high reputation indeed.

  • Granni Trixie

    K

    Who exactly are “these people”?

    People from diverse backgrounds admire Mrs OLoane and there are people such as myself who though critical of BH and DP because of the lack of remorse in their narratives believe that one cannot just write off their testimony that GA was part of the IRA violent campaign in respect of specific acts. For all you know he is glad of the opportunity to clear his name, I know I would.

    Put it another way if you or I were named in such terms would we not expect the police to come calling to at least investigate? Or do you really believe that some ought to be above the law?

  • Son of Strongbow

    The BBC is reporting that at a West Belfast gathering McGuinness is accusing PSNI officers who have been previously been in the RUC of wanting to “settle old scores”.

    This is directly threatening language and sets up such officers for attack. It also exposes Sinn Fein ‘support’ for the police to be a thin dishonest veneer.

    McGuinness should be interviewed by the police under incitement to hatred legislation. Unionist politicians should immediately withdraw political association with this gang.

    As to who is believable and who is not; it is Adams supporters who are telling us what is evidentially what (and that’s no case to answer despite a judge having approved the police application for further time for questioning, underlying that the police have arguable grounds for detention).

    Others have simply agreed that the law should take its course (something that the Shinners themselves were calling for earlier in the week following the Judge Treacy judgement on the policing of protests).

  • Kevsterino

    Granni, in answer to your first question, the folks I’m talking about are unionists who, when Mrs. O’Loan was the police ombudsman treated her with poorly concealed contempt. Mo Mowlam received similar treatment in the same quarters.

    As far as Hughes and Price are concerned, the same people who insist that Hughes and Price are dead wrong about Mrs. McConville being an informer are just as sure they are right about Gerry A.

    Regarding whether you or I should be expect the police to come calling to investigate if we were named in such terms, I’d say of course I would expect to be questioned and investigated. I’m not above the law and nobody should be.

    It is just that folks cling to the bits that they expect to see and deny the bits that don’t mesh with their overall view or understanding of events of 40 years ago.

    Some people have expected the political downfall of Gerry Adams for their entire lives and every time it fails, their chagrin becomes palpable.

    In stock trading, when news hits on a particular company, the question becomes whether that news is already included in the current price of the stock. People seem to think that news like this is going to hurt Sinn Fein at the polls. But what about this story hasn’t already been known for those who wish to know? Isn’t it already part of public knowledge? Adams says he wasn’t in the IRA and has said that for many years. How many Sinn Fein voters believe that? Who knows? But it isn’t exactly new information, is it? The IRA did indeed do some horrible things in those years. This is one of them. But how can it have a new impact when it has been known for so long?

  • Niall Noigiallach

    “Intimidatory rally being held by Adams supporters near to where Jean’s murder took place. Purpose the further intimidation of her surviving children?”

    Charles you need to get out for a pint and enjoy yourself kid. I understand that the past few days have been like Christmas for you but you’ve entered into the twilight zone now. Firstly, were you at the rally yourself and how was it “intimidatory”? Secondly, what specifically about the rally could a sane person interpret as the intimidation of the surviving McConville children?

    SoS,

    “This is directly threatening language and sets up such officers for attack. It also exposes Sinn Fein ‘support’ for the police to be a thin dishonest veneer.

    McGuinness should be interviewed by the police under incitement to hatred legislation. Unionist politicians should immediately withdraw political association with this gang.”

    Jesus wept. That is all. Jesus wept.

  • Charles_Gould

    Niall N: the answer lies in its location so close to the incident. It was a point made by a victim earlier, that I thought had resonance.

  • Charles_Gould

    Niall N:

    The SDLP’s Alex Attwood made the following point today, which relates closely to mine. He makes this point more eloquently than I could , so I quote him:

    The very strong response of people across the community, including in nationalism, has been to stand in support and solidarity of the McConville family. This sense of things is very evident, although some are on the wrong side of where the great majority of people are.

    It begs many, many questions that a rally was held this afternoon in the shadow of Divis, from the very place where Jean McConville was taken and then murdered. How can any organisation think it appropriate to convene a rally around the arrest of a person in relation to Jean McConville’s murder yards from where she was abducted?

    “This is another example of Sinn Féin displaying fundamentally bad judgment, at the very least, around the recent arrest. Martin McGuinness has raised questions about support for policing. The new beginning to policing was hard won and no one should casually undermine it. The comments of Mr McGuinness are a challenge to Irish democracy, that somehow one person is bigger than peace or politics. As before, Sinn Féin are on the wrong side of the people of Ireland.

  • sectarianheadcount

    Martin McGuinness’s speech this afternoon in full:

    ‘It’s a PSNI cabal’

    ‘It’s fine for that cabal to arrest any republican they want –
    but no-one a) in SF and especially b) if they are called Gerry Adams”

  • Niall Noigiallach

    Charles,

    That’s fantastic and Alex and others are more than entitled to their opinion. However I asked specifically what was it about the rally that could be viewed as intimidatory? And specifically what could be interpreted as intimidation of the surviving McConville children?

    “Martin McGuinness has raised questions about support for policing. The new beginning to policing was hard won and no one should casually undermine it.”

    I agree with Alex on this one however MMcG has a fair point also when he speaks of ex-RUC within the PSNI having an agenda. It happened in 2002 and there’s no reason to say it won’t happen again.

  • Charles_Gould

    Niall

    If you can’t see it then you shoudln’t blame yourself – it requires intuition that may be socially acquired rather than innate. It was a victim who suggested that the location just near to the Jean McConville murder could be seen as intimidatory, especially to those thinking of coming forward with data to the police.

  • Niall Noigiallach

    “If you can’t see it then you shoudln’t blame yourself – it requires intuition that may be socially acquired rather than innate.”

    I don’t blame myself for anything Charles, I doubt it requires intuition either. I notice that your snobbery has been socially acquired however. Your post earlier was quite clear:

    “Intimidatory rally being held by Adams supporters near to where Jean’s murder took place”

    I genuinely want to know what was intimidatory about the rally. There’s a Sinn Fein office literally up the road from where the rally was, one of the biggest in Belfast I think. I know that Sinn Fein members live in the area too, quite a few as well. The presence of Shinners, even lots of them, in that part of the lower Falls area wouldn’t be strange or out of the blue for anyone there so for their presence to be “intimidatory” something out of the ordinary would have needed to take place. I was wondering if you could shed some light perhaps on what exactly this was?

  • Politico68

    Mick, that post is do deliberately disengenous that u should be ashamed of yourself. The article itself is a cheap shot cashing in on the current tensions. The text in question was sent out by the young chair of the college cumann to his direct colleagues. He was trying to do the right thing but used poor language. There was no instruction. From SF on this as u well know. I understand your hatred of Adams leads u astray sometimes but this sort of rubbish drags Slugger into the gutter completely.

  • Politico68

    Charles your desperate clutching at straws here is nothing more than a reflection of desperation to try and present Sinn Fein and the people of west Belfast in as negative a light as possible simply because you don’t, can’t or won’t accept the simple fact that ma y people are not convinced that Adams arrest is anything more than a sop to those who have being riding on the back of the mcconville killing for political expediency.

  • Charles_Gould

    Niall –

    Alex Attwood said “it begs many, many questions that a rally was held this afternoon in the shadow of Divis, from the very place where Jean McConville was taken and then murdered. How can any organisation think it appropriate to convene a rally around the arrest of a person in relation to Jean McConville’s murder yards from where she was abducted?”

    I would argue that to hold the rally in that particular location – just yards from where Jean McConville was abducted is intimidatory. First off, the nature of the rally : not support in the rally for the victims, or to seek justice for the victims, rather there is support for the person that is accused of this murder. In an area where going to the police requires courage, the implication is not that of encouraging those who might give some information to the police; rather it is the reverse. It could cause a person of ordinary sensibilities fear of injury or harm if they went to the police to give information. The location chosen was – as Alex Attwood has pointed out – very questionable indeed, and many will think the insensitivity shown here is crass at best sinister at worst. Not to mention the vanity associated with such a huge Ozymandias-type leader-portrait.

  • Granni Trixie

    I’m the very one who often says to people tending to essentialise people in WB that it is much more diverse than portrayed in its media image and that I’m proud to be from there. However, I do think local people have a case to answer – they have not and are not covering themselves in glory over the McConvilles.

    Strikes me too that there is a class dimension not part of our analysis. We now have a glimpse of the impact of a crime of the troubles on a family which,as in the case of
    Punishment beatings, happens to WC children and young people.

  • Kevsterino

    Charles, much to the astonishment of Alex and your good self, it appears that Gerry A. enjoys the support of many people in the Divis area, and has for many years. That these people should gather in their own neighborhood to voice that support is not all that perplexing. In fact, it would be news if such a gathering didn’t take place this weekend.

    I’m a big fan of Shelley, btw. But to compare the ruin of Ozymandias with the mural in Divis is, imho, a bit far fetched.

    But here is where you are way off. Gerry Adams is not accused of this murder. He is currently being questioned, presumably ‘under-caution’. There is no institutional authority accusing him of this murder.

    That part of your post at 7:05 is absolutely false.

  • Niall Noigiallach

    Charles,

    There have been many, many, many rallies on the Falls Road over the years in support of seeking justice for victims. I am however willing to wager my life savings that you Sir, have attended none of them. This particular rally was not in support of victims you’re right, but your assumption that the rally means people should fear “injury or harm if they went to the police to give information” is nothing short of sensationalism and way way off the mark. Who is it exactly they should fear? Be specific please. In fact, Conor Murphy made clear that nothing should stop people from going to the police in relation to the McConville case a few days ago

    http://www.newsletter.co.uk/news/regional/sinn-fein-mcconville-family-should-feel-free-to-give-information-to-police-1-6035335

    The location I assume, was chosen because that is where a mural in support of GA was drawn, a stretch of road that has been made up of murals for quite some time. I’m not in favour of the mural personally and it’s a bit OTT if you ask me but as for the rally being intimidatory, I would have to disagree. Your posts over the past few days on many threads Charles have been the source of some amusement for myself and others. It reminded me of a great speech given once by a very smart and astute man. Have a jook:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQ_VWpJj0Dw

    GT,

    Like yourself I am proud to come from West Belfast and agree that the image portrayed by the media is far from the reality. We agree that there is a media image though and in my opinion, that image is being alluded to via Charles’ comments above and throughout the thread. How do local people though have a “case to answer”? And why should and why would anyone want to cover themselves in glory over the McConvilles? The McConville family are human beings in their own right who have been through hell. Do they need to be used as pawns – again – by any person or any group once more? It strikes at the heart of what has been debated all week – is this about justice for Jean McConville and her family or a bit of point scoring?

    West Belfast has suffered more than most areas during the conflict. Almost a quarter of those killed where killed there. The people of West Belfast have grown accustomed to having to take things with a pinch of salt. Reason perhaps why you feel they haven’t been “covering themselves in glory” recently. At the start of the week the people of West Belfast were informed that there would be no further follow-up into the Ballymurphy massacre, making null and void any possibility of the perpetrators being arrested and due process followed. They have then watched as someone from Ballymurphy has been arrested for alleged activity at around the same time. It’s not that West Belfast people don’t care about the McConvilles at all, they just know the craic when it comes to British “justice”

  • SK

    “I’m surprised at you SK…”

    Remember when you used you used to run a serious debating forum, Mick?

  • Granni Trixie

    My heart goes out to individuals and families who suffered not only because their loved ones were murdered in cold blood by soldiers but by slurs generated afterwards as if they somehow do not matter – perhaps because they are from Ballymurphy. I can only guess how disappointed they have been this last week to have their hopes dashed.

    But this is not a wattaboutery contest and I expected better from people in the lower Falls than that they went gung-ho to show how much they think of the bearded one over giving a public sign that at last they get it …that the McConvilles deserve understanding and support.

    It would be callous indeed to be using that family just to score points over SF/GA. Why can’t some do you above understand that for many
    this story represents mans inhumanity to man and is deserving of attention. Also, since around 1994 Helen McHendry herself has been trying to articulate their experience so now their day has come,

  • Granni Trixie

    OMG. It beggars belief. Have just clocked the posters at a rally In WB held by a SF minister and MEP saying ” save the peace process…release Gerry Adams” .

    So much for all the fine words about listening to victims.
    Do SF think everybody else is stupid? They need to get out more …out of their own wee bubble.

  • tacapall

    “I expected better from people in the lower Falls than that they went gung-ho to show how much they think of the bearded one”

    You know for a fact Grannie that all those people or the majority of them were from the lower Falls ?

  • Granni Trixie

    You could have something there – the Derry whan is sure to have brought some friends down to lend bulk to the occasion.

  • Charles_Gould

    “Save the Peace Process – Save Gerry Adams”

    What about the obligation that the PSNI have to investigate murder? Shouldn’t we save that?

  • Granni Trixie

    Sorry for mistake infact the wording on posters says “Defend the Peace Process…..Release Gerry Adams” .
    I suppose with mental gymnastics you can see what they’re getting at.

  • Politico68

    Charles, that obligation has to apply to all cases were evidence exists of potential wrongdoing

  • tacapall

    I was down by that way on my way into town lots of people and lots of cars, it would be surprising if people from the lower falls drove round the corner when it was a stone trow away from their homes.

    Charles you need to open your eyes wider, “obligation that the PSNI have to investigate murder” thats the problem thats what they’re not doing, they are on a witch hunt for certain republicans and those loyalists they can sacrifice while brushing their former colleagues murderous activities under the carpet and attempting to fool the world that justice is being served in an impartial manner.

  • Charles_Gould

    The SDLP believes all murders should be investigated; SF seem not to.

  • tacapall

    Is that right Charles well the electorate obviously dont agree with you they know the SDLP is too busy trying to cosy up with elements within unionism and loyalism who want a single narrative on the past an aggrred one between the SDLP, TUV, DUP and UUP not forgetting the British government.

  • Anaximander

    A pointed reply from Alex, en effet. Sinn Fein are playing a very dangerous game here. If they undermine support for the PSNI, the new dispensation is finished. No-one is above the law. If SF wish to critique the arrest, do it if and when GA is released. Maybe RUC holdovers are at fault, or maybe that’s mere fancy, but it’s not while questioning is ongoing that that will be decided. Right now SF look to have made their minds up and have decided that GA is innocent, a priori, whatever the police might say. In a liberal democracy that attitude cannot stand.

  • cynic2

    “ma y (sic) people are not convinced that Adams arrest is anything more than a sop to those who have being riding on the back of the mcconville killing for political expediency”

    I have no political interest in this. I want SF to continue their roles as British Representatives in a British devolved assembly in line with the UK Government’s strategy and policy (aka The Peace Process TM). Its important for everyone in NI that they do.

    SF voters can convince themselves on whatever they like. They can convince themselves that Gerry is a saint. That he was never in the IRA and never harmed as much as a fly. They can convince themselves that the murder of 2500 of their fellow citizens was justified. That it was OK to blow up buildings, jobs, women and children in a fish shop queue and to incinerate dog lovers at a dance. That Gerry knew nothing about Liam’s activities and cut him off as soon as he realised

    Others can convince themselves that the earth is flat or was made 6000 years ago by a guy in the sky who notes all your ‘sins’ in a big book . They are entitled to believe that if they want and don’t harm others.

    In the meantime the rest of us will get on with our lives and leave the Peelers to get on with their jobs

    And if Gerry is charged and SF decide to withdraw and collapse Stormont , will we really notice? If they withdraw support for PSNI (for doing their jobs) what will they do – climb on a few more Landrover bonnets, organise white line protests? Wow…that’ll show us all wont it.

    But let me forecast wheat will happen. Whether Gerry is charged or not, in the run up to the election we will have the wounded martyr strategy – Bobby Sands II. Then having huffed and puffed and supported him he will get the final heave form the SF Modernisers who for years have seen him as a liability and want power

  • cynic2

    Tacapall

    “thats the problem thats what they’re not doing”

    Really. Lets take Bloody Sunday for example. PSNI say they have a large team working on that but strangely many Derry witnesses happy to talk to Saville now refuse to make statements in the criminal case. If thats true, why?

  • cynic2

    ” what specifically about the rally could a sane person interpret as the intimidation of the surviving McConville children”

    Naill

    If you don’t understand the psychology of that you don’t understand West Belfast. Speak out or cross any of the PIRA members and you are lucky if its just your dog that goes down the rubbish chute.

    Remember Robert McCartney? Or Andrew Kearney?

  • cynic2

    Niall

    “The people of West Belfast have grown accustomed to having to take things with a pinch of salt.”

    We all do that with SF statements

  • tacapall

    Cynic the world already knows those 14 people were murdered and who murdered them there’s mountains of evidence already in the public domain. Perhaps it would be more appropriate to actually arrest those who carried out the murders rather than play games stringing along witnesses and families for years until the guilty parties are all dead.

    Like yourself Im happy to see Sinn Fein just like loyalism and unionism sucking the financial life out of the British government, their just not doing it enough in my eyes, its like having a sugar daddy who just never stops digging into his pocket. Im fully supportive of Twaddle camp and loyalism annually burning and wreaking all around them every year during the 12th and the costs being paid for from the public purse and as the Catholic population rises and we have more parade flash points opening up over the six counties policing costs are going to rise even further and further and further. Keep up the good work im sure your sugar daddy across the Irish sea will always love you. But dont be fooled by the myth that theres such a thing as an unlimited purse.

  • Niall Noigiallach

    “If you don’t understand the psychology of that you don’t understand West Belfast”

    Cynic, stop sniffing glue. Your obvious ideas of West Belfast have no doubt been formed by the NIO view and what you hear down the “Rangers” with a few pints. I was born there, grew up there and live there now. I’ve heard throughout my life all the usual stereotypes and nonsense. The same I’ve heard about Derry, East Tyrone and South Armagh. Regurgitated English public schoolboy NIO press office guff, transmitted at the press packer Christmas parties at Thiepval barracks.

    You might want to brush up on your geography too big lawd. Robert McCartney was from Short Strand and Andrew Kearney from the New Lodge. Taig areas yes mate, but not the West unfortunately.

    “Speak out or cross any of the PIRA members and you are lucky if its just your dog that goes down the rubbish chute.”

    Oh aye, the “iron grip” stories again. Obviously you have been to the Thiepval Christmas get togethers then? You just need the word “godfathers” inserted somehwere and you’re proper NIO.

  • looneygas

    Since the title of this thread is sarcastic, let me offer my sarcastic take on this Gerry Adams questioning fiasco.
    What did Gerry Adams and his supporters think was going to happen when they entered into peace negotiations?
    Did they think they would be forgiven their crimes in exchange for peace?
    Did they think their crimes would be treated as acts of war or brushed under the carpet as some sort of grey area between crime and war?
    Did Gerry Adams and all the SF supporters not foresee that the plan all along was to get silly old Gerry Adams to lead his murderous minions to the peace table, wait 20 years or so, then lock the bastard up?
    Did they really believe that he’d get the Nelson Mandela treatment?
    What a bunch of suckers.

  • Niall Noigiallach

    Released without charge Looneygas, hard lines our skid

  • Kevsterino

    Well, according to BBC, Gerry A. is set to walk with no charges to address.

    So, who is going to be talking about Gerry A. for the rest of the campaign, and what will they be saying? Who will suffer from this arrest and who will profit, electorally?

    So it goes…

  • Charles_Gould

    A well-regarded blog, written by victims of the conflict, points out intimidatory nature of SF’s Adams rally

    http://vixenswithconvictions.com/2014/05/05/jean-mc-conville-the-dogs-on-the-street-know-who-did-it/

  • Niall Noigiallach

    “A well-regarded blog, written by victims of the conflict, points out intimidatory nature of SF’s Adams rally”

    Vixenswithconvictions Charles is most definitely not an objective or balanced blog, it is very much anti-republican and anti-Sinn Fein and is viewed by many as such. There’s nothing wrong with that at all but to attempt to pass it off as an impartial source or viewpoint on anything political never mind Sinn Fein related is both foolish and desperate.

    Maybe they would have had a fair point to make had they not made their minds up about the people of West Belfast a long time ago, before the Adams arrest and our latest pathetic little fiasco.

    http://vixenswithconvictions.com/2014/02/17/west-belfast-its-criminal-to-repeat-the-myth-that-its-everyone-elses-fault-but-ours/

    The ladies over there have a specific dislike for the West and weren’t afraid to tell us all what they thought of the place in their insightful piece linked above. Contaminated with deliberate lies, falsehoods and misrepresentation of facts, the article was designed on purpose to present both West Belfast and the people who live there as either criminals, alcoholics or people addicted to violence. It remains one of the most vile, disgusting and biased pieces I have ever read on any area in the North.

    The sweeping generalisations, obvious prejudice and complete absence of any external sources to back what they say up are the same ingredients, the exact same ingredients, that you will find in naked sectarianism, racism, homophobia, sexism and class snobbery. There is absolutely no difference whatsoever. Both the article itself and the person(s) who wrote the piece represent precisely what is wrong with this country. Blind ignorance with a touch of snobbery and a desire to paint those who are different as either dangerous or somehow inferior. The irony being that while the writer gives it stacks about the West,
    they exhude all of their own intellectual shortcomings, insecurities and inabilty to “think outside the box”.

    “The only puffs of smoke to be seen, are the burnt out wreckages of cars in places like Divis, where, children as young as seven can be seen taking their turn at doing doughnuts in the grounds of St Peters.”

    Seven. F*cking seven. We are being told by the “Vixens”, with an entirely straight face I might add, that seven year old children are now capable of breaking into, stealing, hot-wiring and then driving cars. Seven years old. Primary 3. They can also do “doughnuts”. It has escaped the attention of the national media and social services apparently but not our foxy chicks at Vixens. That the grounds of St.Peter’s are hardly big enough to swing a cat in as anybody who has ever been to mass, a wedding or funeral there will testify need not matter, the article was written for consumption by those who need their own narrow world views fed and watered. When seven year old children are not even exempt from the most shocking form of lies, I’m afraid that all bets are off.

    There’s an ironic and funny quote on the upper left hand corner of their website, “they have no respect for the status quo”. Nah love, you ARE the status quo.

    I shared their article with some old school friends before we returned to our old school a while back to give a careers talk to some of the sixth-formers there. Software developers, engineers, solicitors, psychologists and even a college professor from a well respected Rhode Island university. You know what the overall consensus was? “Why would anyone want to read that sh*te?” And why would they Charles?

  • Charles_Gould

    Niall

    Vixenswithconviction is in my opinion very well worth reading – there are many insights there that are worth reading.

    It’s written entirely by women. In a world too dominated by men I think it is a resource to be admired and praised rather than dismissed.

  • Niall Noigiallach

    Charles,

    A resource that bestows upon seven year old children the deliberately false and vindictive characterisation of criminal and joyrider. Seven year old kids. Let that sink in for a minute

  • vixens

    Thanks for the comments, both positive and negative. Vixens is a collective of women, some with no political viewpoint, some with, some unionist, some nationalist, some republican and some other. All have an interest in writing from their own viewpoint. It’s good that it makes people think, and reaction has been mostly extremely positive. In our first three months, we’ve had 40, 000 views, carried blogs from different areas, including once excellently written one from relatives for justice regarding violence against women, and also the piece above, which you have taken issue with.
    Our writer was on sound ground when she wrote about children as young as seven partaking in so called joyriding. You may find it hard to believe, but a simple call to the local primary schools in Divis, should confirm for you that car crime groups were previously specifically brought in to run programmes with young people aged 6 and upwards because reports had come back that young children were tagging along with older children and adults and playing in burning wrecks of cars, and were also, in some instances being given lifts by older drivers. A Sinn Féin councillor last week issued a public statement with regards to what he termed “feral” young people engaged in criminality – does he have a vile and disgusting view of West Belfast?
    A few years back, the Andersonstown News wrote a piece where they used the term “feral” also and specifically referenced very young people in the Divis area engaged in anti community behaviour. In your view, do they have a biased negative opinion of Wet Belfast.
    The article on West Belfast was researched, the writer provided us with material which back up her claims of the IRA siphoning money from community projects, and we are happy to stand over it. She also points out that the specific article dealt more with republican control in the area, and how taking money away from good projects meant that ordinary people there were not being reached in terms of resources. It also deals with people blaming everyone else for that ill and refusing to take responsibility.
    Your “foxy chicks” comment demonstrates more about you than it does about the site – nevertheless we will take it in the spirit that was meant – or not, as the case may be. :)
    There is a comment facility on http://www.vixenswithconvictions.com Niall, we are happy to engage with you through that facility. You have demonstrated through taking the time to write at length about us that you read the blog, and we welcome you to do so. Happy that it has made you think, even if we have ruffled your feathers a tad :)

  • Neil

    As our mucker Charles likes to say, compare and contrast:

    where, children as young as seven can be seen taking their turn at doing doughnuts in the grounds of St Peters.

    Vs.

    young children were tagging along with older children and adults and playing in burning wrecks of cars, and were also, in some instances being given lifts by older drivers.

    You do see the difference? Primary 3 aged child ‘taking their turn’ doing donuts, as opposed to getting a lift. Just a spot of hyperbole then?

    A few years back, the Andersonstown News wrote a piece where they used the term “feral” also and specifically referenced very young people in the Divis area engaged in anti community behaviour.

    Feral:

    adjective
    1(Especially of an animal) in a wild state, especially after escape from captivity or domestication:
    ‘a feral cat’
    More example sentences
    ‘The electricians will have to watch out for snakes in the water, wild animals and feral dogs.’‘The impact of both domestic and feral cats on small native animal wildlife and birds is a controversial issue in Australia.’‘If, however, the cat and kitten are feral, you might consider keeping the kitten.’Get more examples
    Synonyms
    wild, untamed, undomesticated, untrained, unused to humans; unbroken, not broken in; British not house-trained; North American not housebrokenView synonyms
    1.1Resembling or characteristic of a wild animal:
    ‘his teeth were bared in a feral snarl’
    More example sentences
    ‘Max, with his feral sensitivity, was the first to hear someone approaching from the street.’‘Sturges was also quick to spot the feral intensity of Lee Marvin and Ernest Borgnine’s brutal boorishness, using them to give Bad Day At Black Rock its seething core of twisted hatred.’‘He struck a match and the stranger came closer for a moment, bringing with him a feral smell.’Get more examples
    Synonyms
    fierce, ferocious, vicious, savage, aggressive, tigerish, wolfish, predatory, menacing, threatening, bloodthirstyView synonyms
    1.2(Of a young person) behaving in a wildly undisciplined and antisocial way:
    ‘gangs of feral youths’

    http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/feral

    In your view, do they have a biased negative opinion of Wet Belfast.

    No, seemingly not.

  • vixens

    Ah Niall. When a young child sits on an older persons knee while joyriding, we would respectfully say that that would be taking their turn, yes.

    Semantics. BTW, the Andersonstown News had to issue an apology to the president of SF after that particular article about West Belfast – it would appear he didn’t like its assertion that as then sitting MP, he had some responsibility,

  • Neil

    Ah Niall

    No, Neil.

    When a young child sits on an older persons knee while joyriding, we would respectfully say that that would be taking their turn, yes.

    Hmm. So from ‘taking their turn’ doing donuts, to ‘getting a lift’, now the child ‘sits sit on another persons knee’. All of the above being basically the same thing Right you are.

    Semantics

    Yep. The meaning of words. And how they can be manipulated.

    BTW, the Andersonstown News had to issue an apology to the president of SF after that particular article about West Belfast – it would appear he didn’t like its assertion that as then sitting MP, he had some responsibility,

    Yes I recall, thanks for that relevant point though. Clearly you guys (and the majority of your commentors) have no axe to grind.

  • vixens

    Neil, we at vixens HQ (come on, have a smile) think you’re being just a tad childish. You can’t rebut any allegation of ira control in w Belfast. Because, it happens to be true to anyone outside of the North Korean mindset.

    The only reason we mention the Atown News article is that one of our writers made the very same point in hers, only unlike the Andersonstown News, we’ll stand over it.

    We respectfully say that far from grinding axes, people write from their experience. You either agree with it or you don’t. You don’t have to read it :) But, once again, we’re happy if it also ruffles feathers, that means that the writing challenged on some level. That particular piece had 4572 views in its first two days and was later quoted in a leading newspaper. Not one person can deny the fact of the IRA strategically taking over some community resources in an effort to control. We’ve seen figures and a report from funders in two instances which show misappropriation of funds and we tracked it against changes in the management committees at key points. We may publish that material in the near future. But for now, we’re happy to let people who enjoy writing, write.

  • Niall Noigiallach

    Vixens,

    “You can’t rebut any allegation of ira control in w Belfast. Because, it happens to be true to anyone outside of the North Korean mindset.”

    Because someone happens to disagree with your world view doesn’t mean that they have a “North Korean” mindset. Neil and myself have challenged you on a very threadbare article that presents little by way of factual evidence to back up what you are actually saying. That seems pretty “North Korean” to me. As you mention above the main reason for the article was to “ruffle feathers”, normally the best way to do that is to lie. Your article is by all accounts, filled with lies. The number of views your site and article has accumulated over the past while is irrelevent, I would point to the mere six comments your piece generated. People don’t debate tripe, they ignore it. Since you’re fond of stats, put some up showing the average length of time a visitor spends on your site and how many pages they visit on average. What’s advertising revenue like? Any prospective investors? That’s the 21st Century way of guaging how well you’re really doing.

    As for the article being quoted in a leading newspaper, well “Ruthless” Ruth Dudley Edwards did not actually quote your article in the Sunday Independent I’m afraid. she made a passing reference to it and you guys were not mentioned by name. Impartial as always, Ruth also tweeted the link to your article, that’s probobly where the majority of the articles views came from. So we have a generalised, untrue and anti-Sinn Fein article being re-tweeted by Ruth Dudley Edwards, a visceral opponent of Sinn Fein and republicans. Wow. What imagination. What depth. How original. Why did the Sindo’s lawyers not allow a direct quote from the article? Why did they not allow “Ruthless” to name the blog in question? When the Sindo won’t even help you Shinner bash, something’s up.

    Gerry Adams wrote into the same paper the next week challenging both Ruth’s comments in her column and also the main crux of the article itself. I have yet, although I may be mistaken, to find any type of rebuttal from yourselves. He contends that in fact your section on “West Belfast has the highest” is not in fact true, it is indeed the Foyle constituency that experiences those levels of deprivation, crime etc. You might want to hoke that issue of the Sindo out and respond accordingly. I doubt you will though.

    “Not one person can deny the fact of the IRA strategically taking over some community resources in an effort to control”

    Let’s talk about facts and evidence, anybody can do hearsay. Anybody can do it with anonymity behind a wee keyboard. Put the stats, links, figures and whatever up that back your article. Any evidence of wrongdoing or criminality then give it to the PSNI to investigate. Your article begins with the line “In the early days in West Belfast it was neccesity to set up innovative community groups”. Really? In the 18th Century community groups were set up in West Belfast? The 1700′s? Seventeen? Hundreds? Oh right. Oh right, aye, aye, I see, I see. You mean the “Early” days, I get ya, I get ya. You need to define West Belfast and it’s people, it’s history and overall influence on how the City has been shaped against the backdrop of purely the conflict. I get ya. Why didn’t you say so will ya wee scallywag ye :)

    “We may publish that material in the near future.” We wait with bated breath for that one. Something tells me it ain’t gonna make an appearance though, is it? Is it really? Nah.

    I have to tip my hat at the sheer comedy value of your site though in all honesty. For anyone who wants a proper laugh and proof that the Vixens indeed do not have an axe to grind against the people of the West, take a butchers at the article on their site and in particular the links on the “Recent Posts” section on their West Belfast article.

    A link to an article entitled “Happy memories of East Belfast”. You literally could not make this s*it up lol.

    http://vixenswithconvictions.com/2014/02/17/west-belfast-its-criminal-to-repeat-the-myth-that-its-everyone-elses-fault-but-ours/

  • Niall Noigiallach

    Apologies Vixens, as I recall Ruth did mention you guys by name. As you were :)

  • vixens

    Niall. We could go on and on all day. You may wish to ask the main community centre in the Upper Springfield about our assertion that a legal case was taken in which it was then explained a candidate was appointed over another because interview scores were ‘added wrongly’. You could have a look at the make up of a community arts festivals management committee for 20 years and assume who holds the balance in decision making there. Ask Sinn Fein MLA Jennifer Mc Cann was she ever asked to go in and sort out a financial mess in a community centre close to her constituency. Take a look around the Woodburn area and a project near there where similar problems developed. Look at those residents groups specifically set up for the purpose of getting a vote on the local community fora for control. The figures from Ninus were correctly quoted, by the way. A simple Google search will bring those up. Legality may present a difficulty at present from naming individuals, however it wouldn’t stop us printing redacted funding letters, or solicitor letters or minutes of meetings, all of which we saw anourd made a judgement call on. Our understanding is that CID did indeed investigate one particular project for money laundering, and the four named figures closed down a project as the investigation was digging deeper.
    But really, if you really cared about the depiction of West Belfast, you would be taking those people who clearly do control the areas, and who do engage themselves in criminality, deflection of responsibility, and swallowing up resources meant for ordinary people on the ground, to task.
    Sometimes, when people touch a raw nerve and start exposing

  • vixens

    ..Things, people become hostile. Like we say, read it or don’t read it, it won’t keep us awake. All of our articles, including the most recent one, are giving those who are not necessarily qualified writers, the opportunity to write.
    With regards to advertising revenue, we don’t offer it, and nor do we pay our contributers. Not a penny. That way, we attract those who write, simply because they wish to. We don’t ask that people agree with everything written, and we would worry if they did, due to the range of viewpoints. But, we also don’t publish material unless we will stand over it.
    We absolutely stand over the West Belfast piece, which actually isn’t critical of people in West Belfast, quite the opposite, it states that ordinary people there suffer as a result of community control. And anyone with a titter of wit will recognise that. We are quite sure it happens in East Belfast too, and if we get a Vixen who wishes to write about their experience of that, and if we can stand over it, we would have no hesitation in publishing. None whatsoever.
    It’s interesting that you are so much ‘on message’, maybe you should fire an article sluggers way about your experience of growing up in West Belfast. We may not agree with it, but we would defend your right to say it.