Where's that bandwagon?

Call me cynical if you like, but Sinn F

  • Mark McGregor

    Adams said: “I was approached by campaigners seeking the release of Ken Bigley. I spoke yesterday to Paul, Ken’s brother. Mr Bigley’s mother is from Ireland and this gives us a special interest.”

  • peteb

    As I said Mark, “using someone else’s grief for self-publicity”

  • George

    Tough one but I think you are being a little too cynical here.
    Adams was asked to intervene and from the BBC piece, he appears to have responded in a measured and mature manner.
    There would probably be those who would slam him if he refused to intervene. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

  • Keith M

    Perhaps someone believes that blood-thirsty fundalmenalist scum might listen more readily to one of their own? It’s not as if SF’s political mandate (6th biggest party in Dail and 8th biggest party in the House of Commons) carries much weight.

  • Eddie

    Pete,

    I fail to see how being prepared to respond to the request from Mr Bigley’s family to intervene in a situation that is going nowhere fast is an attempt to use ‘someone else’s grief for self-publicity’.

    Considering that a number of other polticians including Bertie Ahern and John Hume have appeared in the media talking about this isue – this claim comes straight out of the anti-republican ditch. Yet it is only Gerry Adams who appears to have gone about this with any sincerity.

    He went on Al Jazeera – he spoke directly to Mr Bigley’s captors – and argued the same logic that has been the central argument that Sinn Fein have followed throughout the peace process.

    NOt only that but Sinn Fein have consistently opposed the war in Iraq. It has also expressed solidarity with palestinians. The fact is that whatever unionists or esblishment heads from the free state think, Gerry Adams does have credibility on the international stage And not just not just because of the contribution to the peace process.

    Keith,

    No harm to you son – but over 300,000 people throughout Ireland voted for Sinn Fein at the last elections.

  • Peter Reavy

    Mr Adams could offer to pay a ransom for Bigley’s release. Unlike the government paying a bribe, there would be no principle at stake.

    Alternatively, if can’t afford it, Sinn Fein could arrange a swap: Ken Bigley being handed over to Martin McGuinness, in return for the Islamists receiving the IRA’s guns.

  • Keith M

    Pete Reavy “Ken Bigley being handed over to Martin McGuinness”. Hasn’t the man suffered enough?

  • willowfield

    Here’s hoping Ken Bigley’s story has a happier ending than the stories of the victims of Provo kidnappings.

    I’m sure the families of the Disappeared are impressed.

    Unbelievable hypocrisy, but what else would we expect.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Keith M.

    “Perhaps someone believes that blood-thirsty fundalmenalist scum might listen more readily to one of their own?”

    Hmmmm. I feel a bit awkward here, lest I should defend a party I have no desire to defend. But here goes anyway.

    It is intellectually dishonest and morally wrong to be so careless with your pejoratives when attacking someone. It is not good enough to throw emotive claims at someone you don

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Pete,

    and the response of unionists has been exactly what?
    Imagine the scenario if Adams had have denied the Bigleys request. Pete would have wet himself trying to rush out, “heartless bastard Adams turns his back on British hostage.” Hovering like a vulture for such stories shows what a class act you are Pete.

  • Kevin Mc Kinney

    At a fundemental level what’s at work here, in my opinion, is this – Gerry Adams continues to see himself as being of the same political standing as the Irish Taoiseach or the British Prime Minister

    I dont agree with this analysis at all. Its not what Gerry thinks of himself but how world opinion views him. He has one thing that Mr Ahern and Blair dont have and that is respect from all sides in the Middle East and world wide . His was not a cynical gesture to gain publicity as he is probably the most recognisable person from these Islands on the world stage

  • Keith M

    Billy Pilgrim “It is intellectually dishonest and morally wrong to be so careless with your pejoratives when attacking someone”.

    Blood thirsty : I would accuse anyone involved in leading a campaihn of terror that went on for almost 30 years as “blood thirsty”. You may wish to wipe these actions from your memory. I’m not going to interfere with your obvious selective amnesia but my definition is certainly neither careless or dishonest.

    As for “fundamentalist” ; Adams is a self confessed Castro supporting socialist who’s party sits alongside other Communists groups in the EU Parliament. Adams may have made some progress in moving SF/IRA on issues like the principle of consent but there are still fundalmenalist principles guiding him and his party.

    Others here have mentioned “the disappeared” and given such hypocrisy by Adams I’m amazed that anyone bar SF/IRAs fellow travellers could defend Adams on this.

  • Christopher Daigle

    As for “fundamentalist” ; Adams is a self confessed Castro supporting socialist who’s party sits alongside other Communists groups in the EU Parliament.
    ——————
    And this makes Adams or Sinn Fein “fundementalist exactly how?
    ————-

    Adams may have made some progress in moving SF/IRA on issues like the principle of consent but there are still fundalmenalist principles guiding him and his party.
    ————–

    and what are these fundementalist principles?

  • Mario

    I fail to see what the problem is, if in fact this gentleman was asked to intervene by the family of the British hostage. After all, what is important is that he returns home safely and with his head I might add.
    I am not sure what Mr Adam’s sins are, but you must at times deal with the devil, and if it brings Mr. Bigley to his family, than it is worth it. I am quite certain that Mr Bigley’s family could care less about Mr. Adams’ past if his intervention helps the return of their loved one in any way.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    “Blood thirsty: I would accuse anyone involved in leading a campaign of terror that went on for almost 30 years as “blood thirsty”.

    You may make that accusation but it would be inaccurate. To say republicans are/were `bloodthirsty

  • Keith M

    Christopher Daigle “and what are these fundementalist principles?”. SF/IRA are a self confessed communist supporting group in an era where communism has been seen to fail everywhere bar despotic dictarorships like North Korea and Cuba (a regime avidly supported by SF/IRA). Anyone who ignores the lessons of recent history and clings to a failed political ideology is a fundamentalist in my book. I do not use the term “fundalmentalist” in a purely pejorative way but given SF/IRA’s way of imposing their ideas on those that don’t agree with them, they have a great deal in common with some groups which operate in Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East.

  • Keith M

    Billy ; the question of was is and isn’t “blood thirsty” is semantics. I would argue that anyone who randomly kills innocent people is “blood thirsty” irrespecive of whatever justification they choose to use for killing. Planting bombs aimed at killing as many civilians as possible (a favourirte activy of the Belfast brigade of the IRA when Adams was one of its leaders) is “blood thirsty”. A deranged need to kill as many people as possible is “blood thirsty” and regretably not simply the action of “ethereal beings plucked from the pages of bad gothic novels”. I have clarified what I mean by “fundalmentalist” in my reply to Christopher. Most paries do indeed have fundalmental princles, but most also know when certain ideologies have failed. Labour in the UK is a good example.

    I chose my words deliberatly and I stand by them. If you choose to use ridiculously narrow definitions, that is your choice but by your definition those that have kidnapped and killed in Iraq are not “blood thirsty” and I fear you would be in a very small minority on that.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Keith M.

    Like it or not, there are many who would dispute your claim that Castro’s version of socialism has `failed’ in Cuba. No doubt the quality of that country’s water, infrastructure, healthcare, education system etc has been pointed out to you many times. In fact, a hell of a lot of people support Cuba, though they oppose its lack of democracy. Even a lot of friends of the USA – hell, a lot of Americans – think the US policy towards Cuba is wrong.

    Point is, it is in no way self-evident that Castro’s revolution has `failed’ in the way, say, the North Korean state has. One might argue that, without prejudice to its unquestionable shortcomings, its achievements under the circumstances in which it has found itself are nothing less than extraordinary.

    There are problems there, plenty of black marks. But to simply put Cuba – which Sinn Fein has links with – with North Korea is enlightening only in one way – it shows how fundamentalist your opposition to Sinn Fein is.

    (I am not aware of any Sinn Fein links with North Korea. Maybe you could enlighten me?)

    “but given SF/IRA’s way of imposing their ideas on those that don’t agree with them, they have a great deal in common with some groups which operate in Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East.

  • Mark McGregor

    Pete,

    Your head is going to explode. Hume’s at it too.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Keith,
    your vitriol concerning SF, Adams et al is for you to defend and propagate at your leisure safely enconsed in the 26 counties. For whatever reason the Bigley family approached Adams and he has responded favourably.
    As pointed out by others he is well known in that region and because of his anti British stance the kidnappers may take his pleas that bit more seriously.
    Again it must be stated that if the Bigley family had publicised the fact that Adams had ignored their pleas to intercede you and youer ilk would have jumped through hoops to point out that Adams had left this British hostage to his fate.

    The question is what should have Adams done when approached by the family?

  • peteb

    Mark

    Of course, John Hume isn’t standing for further political office.

    But what got me particularly was the comment by Adams that Bigley’s mother being Irish “gives us [my emphasis] a special interest” when the reality is that the specialness of Adams’ position lies in his links to Arafat as evidenced by the report that “A Sinn Fein official has spoken to the Palestinian Authority on Mr Adams’s behalf and intends to speak with Jordanian officials later on Thursday”

    Phew.. made it without my hea…Boom!! **Splat**

  • Mario

    The question is what should have Adams done when approached by the family?

    Mr Adams did the humane thing. Why is he being attacked for this?

    For sitting next to Fidel Castro in a European Union meeting? Mr. Blair has sat next to Milosevic in the past. Perhaps a thread should be opened to discuss the person in charge of seating arrangements?

  • Keith M

    Billy I’ve seen the Castro regime first hand and I can tell you that it is only failure by any measure of freedom or democracy. It is a totalitarian regime where all opposition is repressed. There is no free speech and those with any intelligence have long since voted with their feet and left the place behind. Castro’s regime is indeedv extraordinary in that it managed to survive when the other communist regimes collapsed but that has more to do with the fact that the opposition was exiled than anything else. Personally I think it regreatable that the US has not liberated Cuba. Perhaps if it had oil or had used WMDs then things might be different.

    Of course people support Castro and his regime, many are the same people that supported the repessive regimes in Eastern Europe. Are you suggesting that these regimes were anything but failures or perhaps you would like to see their return?

    I have never said that SF/IRA have links with North Korea so please stop creating straw men.

    Pat McL “The question is what should have Adams done when approached by the family?” Such a naive question deserves a suitably naive answer. Adams could have said “as someone who organised abductions and killings for political ends I think it would be inappropriate and hypocritical for me to intervene”, obviously as likely as pigs flying or Adams ever admitting his role in the IRA terror campaign.

  • john

    Mark

    John Hume is a Nobel Laureate.

    Gerry Adams’ only claim to fame is that he once led sections of the IRA and led them badly. Why should anyone listen to Gerry Adams? Remember Jean McConville was a hostage of the IRA once.

  • Mark McGregor

    [b]’John Hume is a Nobel Laureate.'[/b]

    I know, he got it on the same day as David Trimble. At least John was too embarassed to keep the prize money.

  • Mario

    I am no fan of Mr. Castro, but I wonder how much time you actually spent in Cuba before giving simplistic answers to a complex question such as why there is support for Mr. Castro in Cuba.

    If one says that people leaving Cuba is an example of its failure than the rest of Latin American democracies have failed as well, since millions of Latin Americans leave daily due to the incredible inhumane conditions of the so called democracies here. As a matter of fact , less Cubans leave Cuba than say Mexicans, which as you know is a capitalist free market democracy.

    Cuba has many things that are wrong, and I spent 6 months there so I think I know it quite close. It is a closed society; it is a repressive society against the press and dissent.

    But..

    It has the lowest infant mortality rate in Latin America, it has virtually no crime, it has one of the highest educated populations in Latin America, it gurantees college and secondary education to all. You can not say the same for any country in Latin America, not even my own.

    Latin America claims democracy but yet more than half the population lives in desperate poverty, unspeakable crime and complete corruption, but these societies have the blessings of Washington as democracies.

    And having lived in Cuba , I can tell you that yes there is support for a lot of those things, though I saw less and less support for Mr. Castro.

    I don

  • john

    Mark

    I know, he got it on the same day as David Trimble. At least John was too embarassed to keep the prize money.

    That the best you can do.

    What about Gerry Adams’ former hostage Jean McConville? Not much mercy shown there. If the Iraqi’s want to follow Adams’ advice, they’ll no doubt know what to do, and we can look for the grave for the next thirty years.

  • Mark McGregor

    “That the best you can do.”

    John,

    After your previous serious of nasty unsolicited emails, yes that’s as much time as I’m giving you.

  • john

    Mark

    You must be getting paranoid, or else you’re mixing me up with someone else.

    I’ve never emailed you. Of that I can assure you. So you can apologise now, little buddy.

    Or maybe this is the latest republican defence – to accuse others – when they have no real reply to my post.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Must take a look at A Tangled Web… Vance is going to have kittens over this.

  • Mark McGregor

    Sorry, I confused you with John (oakgrovebooks)D O Connell from Derry, author of a minor book on the SDLP who recently sent me a few rather nasty emails. My mistake.

  • Davros

    Did you see him on Hearts and Minds ?

    I’m looking forward to telling him he looks the spit of Jude Collins 😉 But He did surprisingly well IMO.

  • john

    Mark

    Have you got a good lawyer?

  • Mark McGregor

    John,

    Want to test him out? I believe I even sent a copy of at least one email (with the author’s details) to Mick at the time.

  • john

    Mark

    You’re obviously not firing on all thrusters.

    I recall months ago querying you for some background information, but it seems that you don’t, and you didn’t then, understand the purpose of your system.

    And I don’t write “minor books” about anything. All my books are major works designed to change the world in some qualitative way.

  • Mark McGregor

    “I’ve never emailed you. Of that I can assure you. So you can apologise now, little buddy.”

    “I recall months ago querying you for some background information”

    Can I just say before you see your ‘lawyer’. You are not always entirely honest, as witnessed above. You sent me unsolicited nasty emails, I barred you from sending any further.

    Bring on the court case.

  • john

    Mark

    Some of us have lives outside Slugger O’Toole. I can’t recall ever emailing you, other than once -months ago – querying your background information, to which the reply came, “E-mail me.” So I did, just so that I could see you in all your glory.

    You were very shy and defensive about it, I recall. You told me to go away.

    That’s a far cry from your slanderous remarks that I sent you unsolicited nasty emails. You should withdraw that remark or back it up.

    But we’re getting away from the point of our conversation which is to question Gerry Adams’ credibility in requesting that hostsages be released. Obviously he didn’t do that with Jean McConville.

  • Mark McGregor

    Are you suggesting that Adams should not use any limited influence he may have?

  • john

    Mark

    No, I personnally don’t see Adams having any positive outcome on Mr Biggley’s freedom.

    A rational Iraqi freedom fighter will rationalise that heroism comes with a price and that is to be unpopular with right thinking members of the public. He may see his rise to the top to be like Gerry Adams or even Saddam Hussein, and he may kill the hostage as they have both done in the past.

    Adams should have the sense to keep his nose out of Iraq, but he seems to think that he’s a statesman.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    “Adams could have said “as someone who organised abductions and killings for political ends I think it would be inappropriate and hypocritical for me to intervene”, obviously as likely as pigs flying or Adams ever admitting his role in the IRA terror campaign.”

    Keith,
    I think you are deliberately being as obnoxious as possible over this subject. By following your rather limited thinking Mr Bigley should be left to his fate and no attempt should be made to help the family.
    Who should intercede for him? The British Government given their sordid history of torture and murder. One could go on giving example after example. Few are clean in this life, at least few with any influence.
    It is great to adopt such a twisted moral position from your armchair, safely at home.

  • Keith M

    Pat McL “Who should intercede for him? The British Government given their sordid history of torture and murder.”. Firstly the UK government has not tortured or murdered anyone in Iraq. The last person to make this ridiculous clai (Piers Morgan) is still licking his wounds. The UK government (along with the Irish) has already appealed for Bigley’s release. They have done what they can, but as I have objected to previous UK governments negotiating with the terrorists in SF/IRA it would be hypocritical of me to advocate negotiating with a similar group now.

  • maca

    Good posts Mario, good to hear a more ‘local’ view.

  • dave

    I’m sure Mr ken Bigley doesn’t give a damn who speaks on his behalf to secure his release?

    If Adams was asked to intervene by the bigley family, can you blame them?

    As for Adams motive for doing so, only he can answer that question.

    Remember this, during the 1970s the IRA and those who were in command did not offer mercy or reprieve to their kidnapped victims.

    If Gerry Adams is in the mood to help people, then maybe he could also help the family of Captain Robert Nairac who was kidnapped by the IRA his body has never been found, for all we know he may still be in the same position as Ken Bigley.

    Birth: Aug. 31, 1948
    Death: May. 15, 1977

    On the night of 14/15 May 1977 Captain Nairac was abducted from a village in South Armagh by at least seven men. Despite his fierce resistance he was overpowered and taken across the border into the nearby Republic of Ireland where he was subjected to a succession of exceptionally savage assaults in an attempt to extract information which would have put other lives and future operations at serious risk. These efforts to break Captain Nairac’s will failed entirely. Weakened as he was in strength-though not in spirit-by the brutality, he yet made repeated and spirited attempts to escape, but on each occasion was eventually overpowered by the weight of the numbers against him. After several hours in the hands of his captors Captain Nairac was callously murdered by a gunman of the Provisional Irish Republican Army who had been summoned to the scene. His assassin subsequently said “He never told us anything”. Captain Nairac’s exceptional courage and acts of the greatest heroism in circumstances of extreme peril showed devotion to duty and personal courage second to none.”

    Burial:
    Body lost or destroyed

    Well, I’m asking Gerry now can he help the family of Robert Nairac G.C.

  • maca

    Robert Nairac was an SAS officer and an enemy of PIRA. Ken Bigley is a civil engineer, an innocent caught up in an ugly war. A comparison doesn’t work in my opinion.

  • Ciarán Irvine

    Despite his fierce resistance he was overpowered and taken across the border into the nearby Republic of Ireland where he was subjected to a succession of exceptionally savage assaults in an attempt to extract information which would have put other lives and future operations at serious risk. These efforts to break Captain Nairac’s will failed entirely. Weakened as he was in strength-though not in spirit-by the brutality, he yet made repeated and spirited attempts to escape, but on each occasion was eventually overpowered by the weight of the numbers against him. After several hours in the hands of his captors Captain Nairac was callously murdered

    Oh, so that’s what happened that night then? Extraordinary level of detail there for something that’s been a bit of a mystery to the entire country all these years. Were you there Dave?

    *rolls eyes*

    This entire thread is stupid. Lots of ranting, hyperbole, ludicrously over-egged high-flying hyper-emotionalist rhetoric, and pretty much no solid analysis (apart from Mario’s contribution on Cuba)

  • Mario

    So what I take from this discussion is that some of you are of the opinion that since Mr. Adams is of questionable character and has a dark past, than he should abstain from attempting to secure the release of Mr. Bigley, and to spare him from a horrible fate.

    As someone said, I think his family could care less whether Mr. Adams is of questionable character due to his actions in a war, what matters to them is that they do not see their loved one

  • Fraggle

    well said mario

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Fair go Mario.

    The only question is, would Gerry have said anything if it wasn’t in his or SF’s interests to, and the victim was his sole concern?

    Course not. Let’s not kid ourselves.

    But if it saves a life…

    …why not do it every time?

  • Davros

    HADITH OF THE DAY: ACTS OF KINDNESS

    The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “The first of those who shall enter Paradise are the people who do acts of kindness.”

    Fiqh-us-Sunnah, Volume 3, Number 97B

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Davros

    Are you insomniac too?!

    ;o)

  • Davros

    LOL Gonzo 🙂
    It’s a beautiful night here. Cold and crisp.
    Diet Pepsi, chocolate and menthol ciggies …No Coca Cola in THIS household!

  • willowfield

    Mr Adams did the humane thing

    Makes a change. Pity he hadn’t done the humane thing 35 years ago.

  • Mario

    It appears that Mr. Adams is a person that raises a lot of wrath in some, and support in others.

    To answer macas question, I think that if he in anyway helps in the release of the hostage than his shortcomings are of little relevance at this time. Is he behaving like a politician and trying to get political mileage for his party? Of course, he is a politician, that is what they all do.

    I do not know what Mr. Adams is accused of, nor as an Argentinian am I qualified to give an opinion on his past actions. But, regardless, he seems to have quite a bit of respect outside the United Kingdom and Ireland so why not use it to help secure this man’s release.

    Question.

    Was Mr. Adams convicted of terrorism in the past?

  • willowfield

    Whether or not he was convicted of terrorism does not alter the fact that he was a leading member of a terrorist death squad (which he refuses to admit), he is the leader of the political wing of those death squads, and he still defends the use of terrorism by those death squads.

  • Mario

    “he still defends the use of terrorism by those death squads.”

    I was not aware of that. My understanding of all this ( very limited, I admit) is that after the peace agreements, all parties agreed to renounce terrorism and work towards peace and become part of the political process. It is similar to what happened here after the terrorist junta goverment was given amnesty for its terror war by the Alfonsin goverment in the 80’s and they became part of the political process. There is still justice being sought against those convicted of murder and hineous crimes, but however we as a society understand that we can not go after all of them if we want to live in peace. Hard pills to swallow Mr Willofield, I agree.

    So if I understood you correctly, Mr Adams is a criminal that should be brought to justice? If this were to happen, would it mean an end to the peace process? Or is everybody who was part of that nationalistic(?) movement a criminal in your opinion?

  • dave

    FAO Cairain.

    Details were obtained from John Parkers book Death of a Hero.

    Having read the details of what IRA thugs did to this man, I suppose in a way I was there.

    Lets not forget John Parker could have (made up the details)I doubt it somehow.

  • dave

    Forgot to add (sniggers)

  • willowfield

    Mario

    I was not aware of that. My understanding of all this ( very limited, I admit) is that after the peace agreements, all parties agreed to renounce terrorism and work towards peace and become part of the political process.

    Parties were supposed to commit to exclusively peaceful means in order to take part in the Mitchell talks. It didn’t stop the Provisionals bombing Canary Wharf, murdering policemen in Lurgan, beating people to death, shooting drug dealers, collecting intelligence information on potential victims, gun-running, etc.

    Even apart from that, Adams still defends the “armed struggle”, even if he says it is no longer appropriate.

    So if I understood you correctly, Mr Adams is a criminal that should be brought to justice?

    Anyone who commits a crime should be brought to justice. Mr Adams should be no exception.

    If this were to happen, would it mean an end to the peace process?

    I don’t know. Only those threatening violence could answer.

    Or is everybody who was part of that nationalistic(?) movement a criminal in your opinion?

    The only people who are criminals are those who commit crimes. Members of the nationalist movement who didn’t commit crimes are obviously not criminals.