Trouble at FF mill?

Two Fiana Fail TD’s have annonymously told a journalist that if their party joined a future coalition with Sinn Fein, they would consider resigning. Interestingly Sinn Fein might not actually put them in that position anyway, with Mitchell McLoughlin arguing that it might support a minority FF government, but remain outside the cabinet. Regardless of how it pans out Senator Brian Hayes obviously feels his Fine Gael party now has a useful differentiator between itself and FF.

  • peteb

    Mick

    As well as the blatant manipulation of the press that Ahern and Gorman seem to have acknowledged (and what’s that all about?), it’s also worth noting the comments in that first article from anonymous sources –

    “Yesterday sources close to Minister claimed that there was pressure from both Dr Ian Paisley’s DUP and from Sinn Fein to make the comments to “advance the peace process”.”

    So, if true, after all the strutting, pouting, and spinning we’ve seen from those two parties, an Irish Government Minister makes a statement like that at the behest of SF and the DUP?

    More secret deals that we’re not allowed to know about?

    and “advance the peace process”? Could someone please decommission that hoary old chestnut?

  • Henry94

    It should be noted that this story was in the Sunday Independent. Therefore it has no credibility whatsoever. If someone felt so strongly about such an issue that they would consider resigning then why remain annonymous. Why not go on the record as opposing the idea. It makes no sense and the only reasonable conclusion is that the Sindo made it up. Again.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    From time to time the Sindo can be relied upon to come up with the ‘anonymous sources’ so beloved of many journoes here.
    It was as inevitable as it was predictable. The usual suspects were rounded up for a Sir Anthony special. As usual Sluggers very own blogger RDE led the charge.
    With the Sindo all you do is change the date at the top of the page and do re runs of past diatribes.
    One wonders are half of these journalists (sic) still alive or have they passed on years ago.

  • Davros

    Henry- what papers in Ireland will you allow have credibility ?

  • Liam

    I would say that the Sunday Business Post has some credibility in its political coverage.

    The Sunday Independent is operating to a very clear political agenda and is so over the top that it has no credibility whatsoever.

    The journalists at the Sindo discredit their profession.

  • Davros

    Not being Snarky here, or picking on you Liam, but when you say that The SBP has some credibility in it’s political coverage do you mean that you find them credible because their Political Agenda is one with which you feel more comfortable ?

    Does any “Unionist” Paper in Ireland have credibility for republicans and nationalists ?

    From my own point as a member of the unionist community, would I be doing myself any favours by dismissing anything with which I don’t want to acknowledge or deal by applying that same sort of value judgement – eg – ‘ATN is a Republican paper and lacks credibility’. Does that mindset lead us to the point where I can ignore any valid points made by a republican poster by denying him or her all credibility ?

  • slackjaw

    Davros

    Does referring to An Phoblacht as An Fleabite imply that it lacks credibility?

    Just wondering. πŸ˜‰

  • Davros

    LOL SJ – it’s a term of affection. I’m fond of plays on words. Sometimes people miss them eg the one I made t’other day about Ch

  • PS

    The Sunday Independent with an anti Sinn F

  • Davros

    I’ll ask you as well Pat- welcome back – what mainstream papers would you regard as having Credibility ?

  • PS

    Well I often dislike the pro-SDLP basis of the Irish News, but that doesn’t stop me buying it every day and I find the Newsletter a decent read on the odd occasion when I buy it. The Sunday Tribune is an excellent paper also.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Davros,
    newspapers are credible when they reflect our own bias.

  • Davros

    Thanks Patrick πŸ™‚
    I’m with you on buying the Irish News every day, but
    couldn’t bring myself to buy the Newsletter.

    Can we have an update from the “Irish Language Officer” on the ATM issue ? Have you used the Irish Language facility yourself ?

  • Davros

    Not sure I agree with you there 100% Pat M.
    I would call the Guardian Credible even though it’s coverage of Irish Issues doesn’t agree with my personal bias.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Davros,
    tongue in cheek there, I will read absolutely anything by anybody. It is near nigh impossible to establish credibility across the board given the polarisation of opinions (my own included). Agree with you on the Guardian and the Times (London) and Observer have had their moments.
    I also agree with PS, the Irish News does try (in my opinion) to be neutral though at election times it doesn’t leave anyone in doubt who its favourite is, also true of the newspaper of record.
    Though I disagree on the News Letter, to be quite frank I find it appalling. Even unionists must wince at it some days.

  • Davros

    “Even unionists must wince at it some days.”

    Some ? This unionist, MOST days.

  • Dag

    Davros – sorry to cut across lines here. In the topic “Jaysus what did you expect?” re: Peter Lennon’s 1960’s banned film I posted what I hoped would be a provocative comment. You asked others what they thought about it. I would really like to hear what others might think.

  • Davros

    I’m saying nothing as I’m already under siege πŸ˜‰

  • Liam

    Davros

    Of course I find some of the SBP analysis more comfortable. But the Sindo is just outrageous and as I said, it really discredits the entire journalistic profession.

    I for one would rather read objective analysis and objective reporting, and that applies across the board.

    Am not interested in paying good money to have my intelligence insulted by some of the crap reporting that we experience too regularly. Am sure that none of us are.

  • Davros

    Liam, serious question – does your discomfort, and the discomfort of many republicans, with the Irish Independent not reflect that it it you who is out of Synch with what the broad mass of Irish people want ?

  • Henry94

    Davros

    Henry- what papers in Ireland will you allow have credibility ?

    For a newspaper to be credible you have to be confident that what it reports as fact is true. I would believe that of The Irish Times for example. In fact I would believe it of most broadsheets in Ireland and Britain. But I don’t believe it of the Sindo because of their record.

    I have no problem with the opinion pieces from Eoughan Harris, RDE, Eilsh O’Hanlon etc. Their views are as legitimate as anyones. But when you can’t believe what they print as news then they have a credibility problem.

    An example. A few months back the Sunday Independent led with a story that a star witness at one of the tribunals would claim under oath to have been intimidated by senior members of Sinn Fein. As an experienced Sindo watcher I saw the tell-tell signs of BS and I predicted on Sluggar that the story would prove to be baseless and untrue. So it transpired. No such evidence was offered.

    The best rule of thumb is to simply disgard anything that passes for news in the Sindo unless it is confirmed by another news source.

    i mean think about it. these alleged backbenchers feel so strongly about not going into government with SF that they are willing to resign their seats but not strongly enough to even express mild opposition on the record. It simply doesn’t add up.

  • Davros

    Thanks Henry πŸ™‚
    The feeling I get is that you regard The Irish Independent as ranking with tabloids like ‘The Mirror’ and ‘The Sun’. Next question- is it stung for libel damages as often as the afore-mentioned rags ?

  • Davros

    I should ask – do you regard the daily Irish Independent as better than the Sunday Independent , or do you use “Sindo” as a generic term ?

  • Keith M

    It’s great to see the usual suspects trying to deflect attention from the real story here by rubbishing the Sunday Independent. (Those who are not aware may like to know that the S.I. outsells every other newspaper, broadsheet or tabloid in this country and sells more that the SBP, Sunday Tribune, Ireland on Sunday COMBINED!).

    All yesterday’s broadsheets led with Ahern’s gaff (and anyone watching last night’s RTE news would see Bertie very publically distancing himself from his namesake). There is no question that there is unease in some FF circles about Ahern’s statement. He has created a stick with which the newly boyant Fine Gael will beat FF at the next election. And if you think FFers are upset, you should hear what Labour party people think!!!

  • Liam

    Quote: “Liam, serious question – does your discomfort, and the discomfort of many republicans, with the Irish Independent not reflect that it it you who is out of Synch with what the broad mass of Irish people want?”

    Serious answer:

    My attitude to the Independent News Group is informed by the fact that they knowingly print untruths, far too freqently for this to be any accident. By doing so they insult their own readers intelligence much more than mine.

    Of course I am not out of synch with what the broad mass of Irish people want. The broad mass of Irish people want Irish reunification. Even FF and FG admit that. Of course their great failing is that they have never actively encouraged or promoted this stated aspiration.

    I am also a member of the largest Nationalist party in the North and the 3rd largest party on the island. A bigger party than the Labour party, the DUP, UUP or SDLP – If that means being ‘out of synch’ with the broad mass of Irish people – then there’s a whole lot more people more out of synch than me a chara!

  • Davros

    Liam, I wasn’t specifically referring to your membership of Sinn F

  • Davros

    “Of course I am not out of synch with what the broad mass of Irish people want. “

    How come so many buy the Irish Independent then ?
    Much the same debate rages in respect of those buying the Sun and The Mirror. People obviously want what they provide , or else they would be out of business.

    There was a debate in the past over whether Irish speakers were Morally and artistically superior to English speakers and that restoring Irish would
    lead to improvements in the nation.

    Frederick Ryan countered with :

    ‘if Irish character is so untainted and pure why should it prefer English trash to good English literature? And what guarantee is there that a population with such tastes will not . . . create a supply of trivial and trashy writing in Gaelic?’

  • Moderate Unionist

    Liam,

    I like reading the Sunday Independent. It makes me think we are not ourselves alone.

    Those looking for the “truth” will have a along and futile search. For many people perception is reality and this is much easier to identify and analyse. Seeing the world as others see it is a very useful perspective, so I’m told πŸ™‚

  • James

    The Sindo and the SBJ are two sides of the same coin. I treat them about the same what I treat the New York Times and Fox News.

    I defer to the Irish Times. I will read the Independent as well but the IT has greater depth for my purposes.

    I read The Irish News and The Belfast Telegraph but defer to other sources because I’m wary of the tribal influences. I don’t even bother with that Andytown lot any more.

  • Henry94

    davros

    do you regard the daily Irish Independent as better than the Sunday Independent

    I don’t read it so I don’t know. I try to cut down on papers during the week (Irish Times, Guardian) but I indulge on Sundays.

    KiethM

    Your point about how many readders the Sindo has was made by Eoughan Harris on Q&A tonight too. If readers were votes we would be talking about The Reform Movement going into government rather than Sinn Fein.

    The Sun is the best selling paper in Britain. There are other ways to judge a paper and the most important is its credibility. The Sindo has a big problem there.

    All yesterday’s broadsheets led with Ahern’s gaff

    Gaff or not (I think not) it was right to lead with it. The problem is the making up of quotes from unnamed backbenchers.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    “(Those who are not aware may like to know that the S.I. outsells every other newspaper,”

    Much like The News of the World in the UK. An indication that quantity has nothing at all to do with quality.

    “And if you think FFers are upset, you should hear what Labour party people think!!!”

    Is that the same Labour Party that has many ex Offical Republicans among its’ ranks. The same Officials who never decommissioned as much as a bullet and are still known to pull out their guns during the odd bar room scuffle. Amazing given it’s a full 30 years after their ceasefire.

  • willowfield

    Funny how it seems mainly to be Provo supporters who have a problem with the Sunday Independent’s “credibility”.

    An Phoblacht, of course, is entirely credible.

    Oh, and the Sunday Business Post – which just happens to be pro-republican – is entirely credible too!

  • Robert Keogh

    Funny how it seems mainly to be Provo supporters who have a problem with the Sunday Independent’s “credibility”.

    Funny how certain unionists tar anyone who does not buy into the unionist perspective as a provo-supporter. If you can’t beat them on the facts, slander them.

  • willowfield

    If someone supports the Provos, they support the Provos. Fact. Pat McLarnon and Henry94 are Provo supporters.

  • peteb

    Willow

    you seem determined to stir things up today..

    Ball NOT man..

  • willowfield

    Take it up with Robert Keogh: he accused me of “slander”.

  • peteb

    willow

    Play the ball, such as it is. This thread has already spent too much time off-topic.

  • Henry94

    willowfield

    The Sindo credibility problem doesn’t come from its politics but from its reporting. Last Sunday Conor Cruise O’Brien claimed he was going to bring Ireland back into the Commonwealth with the support of Bob McCartney and Pat Rabbitte. Nothing wrong with believing that and promoting it if that’s what he wants.

    Nor is there anything wrong with the Sunday Independent/Refom Movement (inextiricably linked) agenda as a legitimate political viewpoint.

    The credibility problem arises from the reporting as fact things which turn out to be untrue. Of course it can happen to any paper but in the Sindos coverage of Sinn Fein it is clearly a policy.

    And it’s a policy that has rebounded because it has done far more damage to the credibility of the Sindo than it has to Sinn Fein.

  • Robert Keogh

    If someone supports the Provos, they support the Provos. Fact. Pat McLarnon and Henry94 are Provo supporters.

    Presumably you can direct me to quotes by Pat McLarnon and Henry94 that assert their support for the Provisional IRA?

    It is a pity you could not make your argument with facts and reason, resorting instead to character assassination.

    I have rarely found Irish Independent Op/Ed pieces to be credible or factual when it comes to Northern Ireland or Republicanism. The prime examples of this over the years are Conor Cruise O’Brien and Eoghan Harris.

    I am not a Provosional IRA supporter and I find the Irish Independent to be a foil of the right-wing catholic and business classes that pursues its partisan agenda with great gusto but little intellectual rigour.

    I percieve willowfields comments as falling under the Bush paradigm of “if you’re not with me, you’re against me”. Most of us left such purile assertions behind in childhood.

    We’ve seen the exact same logic played out here before. Anyone criticising the war in Iraq is immeadiately labelled as pro-Hussein. Mailicious and simplistic mis-characterisation whose only intent is to shut down discourse. Heavens forfend we actually discuss the facts and merit of a case.

  • Davros

    This thread has already spent too much time off-topic.

    Setting aside the question, no disrespect Pete, as to whether you have a right to rule on this, I consider it to have been very much on-topic.

    Mick started a thread based on an article in The Sunday Independent.It’s obvious that quite a few people here are less than happy with the honesty and journalistic standards of the Sunday Independent. Piers Morgan/dodgy pictures on a smaller scale. It’s entirely appropriate that we discuss the source for Mick’s Blog. We have had good posts from Henry, Pat M, Pat S, James and Liam – none especially prone to waffle. On a site which has a leaning towards interest in the media , I don’t think it has been an inappropriate discussion.

  • peteb

    Davros.

    It wasn’t a ruling, it was only an opinion.

    I wouldn’t want to be in the position of making such a ruling on any thread.

    However, the problem with repeatedly questioning the intentions of the source of a topic for a thread – not the topic or even whether the source happens to be correct in a particular case – is that the thread will always teeter on the edge of insults and, as we have seen, usually falls in.

  • Keith M

    Pat McL, I really wonder if you live on the same planet, let alone the same island when you compare the Sunday Independent to the News Of The World. As you (should) well know Independent Newspapers also owns the Sunday World which is Ireland’s version of the NOTW. The Sunday Independent is a highly respected populist broadsheet with a team of well respected and highly knowledable journalists and having SF symathisers trying to rubbish it just shows how it still can manage to influence thinking in this country.

    Henry 94 : “The credibility problem arises from the reporting as fact things which turn out to be untrue.” Perhaps you could give us a list of examples of things which have been printed by the S.I. which they have known to be untrue.

  • Henry94

    KeithM

    I hope I haven’t given you the impression that I’m the kind of person who keeps a scrapbook of untrue Sindo stories. I’m simply someone whose experience of that paper has led me to conclude that I can’t believe what they write.

    I gave the example already of their lead story about the tribunal witness who was going to testify that senior SF members had intimidated him. The point was not so much that the story was untrue but that you could tell it was untrue by reading it if you were used to the Sindo..

    So it is with the alleged FF backbenchers who we are asked to believe are so opposed to going into government with Sinn fein that they will resign if it happens but are no willing to go on the record as opposing before the event.

    That is not credible and I believe the Sunday Independent made it up.

    On a lighter note I also remember a review of a Bruce Springsteen concert by Barry Egan in which he said theat Springsteen ended the concert with a rousing version of a particular song. When people wrote in to say he never played that song on the night Egan explained that he had to have his review in before the concert ended so he made up the end.

    This “journalistic licence” defense was accepted by the paper. So you can’t believe their reviews either. Any of them. They set their own standards and they are simply not good enough.

    Nor would I believe anything they write about Eamonn Dunphy such is the personal nature of the vendetta they carry out against him. Brendan O’Connor is the usual mouthpiece for that particular obsession.

    Even the problem page is a problem. Read it (if you can bring yourself) for a few weeks and notice the similar writing styles of the housewife with the TV husband and the 30 yr old virgin Civil Servant.

    As they say themselves, open your eyes. Keep an eye on their treatment of the Olympic doping scandal too. Cian O’Connor is Tony O’Reilly’s godson so don’t expect any of the lynch mob approach that Michelle Smith got.

    The sad thing is it is close to being a good paper. Declan Lynch is very funny. Gene Kerrigan is top class. And even Harris, who I disagree with on almost everthing, is unmissable because you always think he might talk himself around. Again.

  • Davros

    Henry – I think it’s cultural output is reasonable to good. That it occasionally carries poetry impresses me.

  • James

    Well Sluggiepoos, the Irish Times just stirred the pot a little more. The lead editorial ends with

    “The time has come, as we approach the end game, to have a fair playing field for democracy. The two governments, in their interpretation that the IRA was prepared to stand down at Leeds Castle – without providing any of the necessary detail to satisfy public opinion – hoisted this particular petard. If the IRA is prepared to wind-up – and only the Taoiseach can make this assessment – the prospect of Sinn F

  • willowfield

    Robert Keogh

    Presumably you can direct me to quotes by Pat McLarnon and Henry94 that assert their support for the Provisional IRA?

    Both support Provisional Sinn F

  • Henry94

    willowfield

    Henry94 regularly defends PIRA.

    You should easily be able to find an example to back up this assertion if it’s true. As someone who supports the peace proces, the agreement and disarming, I would be surprised if you do.

  • Davros

    Not necessarily mutually exclusive Henry.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Keith M,

    Given the limitations on space travel I can assure you that I do indeed live on this bleak rock.

    Your defence of the Sindo is admirable, perhaps in the manner of Jimmy Guerin, Sir Tony will give you a job at Middle Abbey St for services rendered.

    “The Sunday Independent is a highly respected populist broadsheet with a team of well respected and highly knowledable journalists”.

    That quote sums up the thread from your point of view. Others myself included don’t have any respect for their journalists, view them as partisan with little or no in depth knowledge. It is remarkable how 3 or 4 columnists seem to write diatribes that dovetail together. Not many signs of independence. More a sign of coordination to drive home editorial policy.
    Much the same way Hume was slaughtered on a weekly basis in the early days of the Peace Process. The decision was taken at boardroom level and was conveyed to the pack.

    If you feel that such behaviour is worthy of praise, then pity you.

    Poor, poor willowfield. Exhausted, inept and now totally bankrupt.

  • willowfield

    Henr94

    You should easily be able to find an example to back up this assertion if it’s true. As someone who supports the peace proces, the agreement and disarming, I would be surprised if you do.

    As Davros says, supporting the peace process and supporting the PIRA aren’t mutually exclusive. The PIRA is part of the peace process.

    The archives are gone now, but I remember a long discussion about the justification for violence in which you argued in favour of PIRA actions.

    On many occasions you have talked about the right of the PIRA to “smash the Orange state”, etc, and the right of nationalists to “resist” “occupation”, etc., etc.

    Don’t pretend you’re not a Provo supporter. For a start, you support PSF – its political wing.

  • George

    Willowfield,
    I seem to recall Henry94 being an SDLP supporter but he now lives south of the border in the DMZ.

  • willowfield

    No. He supports the Provos and lives in south Armagh (according to what he posts here, anyway).

  • Henry94

    willowfield

    On many occasions you have talked about the right of the PIRA to “smash the Orange state

    I have posted a single comment here that could be open to such an interpretation. I do argue for the end of this state but by referendum and only by referendum. In fact I have gone to some lengths to describe how I think we should proceed in the event of a referendum decision for Irish unity.

    You should work for the Sindo.

  • Henry94

    That should read I have not posted etc

  • willowfield

    Henry94

    I have not posted a single comment here that could be open to such an interpretation.

    Assuming by “here” you mean Slugger O’Toole, you and me both know that is a lie. Conveniently for you, the archives have disappeared.

    Tell me: do you think the Provisional IRA had a right to exist? Do you think it should never have engaged in violence?

  • Henry94

    willowfield

    What’s this? Having failed to produce any evidence you’re hoping to get a confession. I have no interest in you games or your obsessions. I’m here to discuss the Sunday Independent. I have obsessions of my own you know.

  • willowfield

    Nice one. But we both know the score. πŸ˜‰

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Henry,

    just remember it was people of the ilk of willowfield who had their hands on the security apparatus here for decades.
    In his world his obsessions constitute evidence. The truth is not allowed to enter that domain, it’s his perceptions that takes on a life of its’ own. Unfortunately it is only a small step to the pipe bomb and what has happened at Donegall Pass and Whitehall Square

    In my own case, although coy, I am supposedly guilty in the willowfield world.

    Lets just recognise him for what he is.

  • Robert Keogh

    willowfield,

    When you use the term “provos” myself and vast majority of people familiar with the conflict take that to mean the Provisional IRA not Provisional Sinn Féin. Still your assertion that they are SF supporters really doesn

  • Davros

    Robert- Which senior SF Officer was a senior Provo in Derry at the time of Claudy and has been embarrassed by Rose Hegarty ? Which Senior SF Officer was named in the House of Commons as responsible for La Mon and was linked with the Founding of the “nutting Squad” in a recent book ?
    Which Senior SF officer was jailed for his part in a bomb attack on Civilians that killed one and injured 250 ?

  • Robert Keogh

    Davros,

    casting a ballot for Sinn Feins platform of implementing the GFA and ending the IRA makes one a bomber in Teebane, Claudy and Enniskillen?

  • willowfield

    Pat McLarnon

    just remember it was people of the ilk of willowfield who had their hands on the security apparatus here for decades.

    Good grief, you’re a looper! What on earth does that mean?!

    In his world his obsessions constitute evidence.

    Sorry? I don’t have obsessions and, if I did, I would not think they constituted evidence. A completely false statement on your part.

    The truth is not allowed to enter that domain, it’s his perceptions that takes on a life of its’ [sic] own.

    On the contrary, truth is paramount and perceptions are just that: perceptions.

    Unfortunately it is only a small step to the pipe bomb and what has happened at Donegall Pass and Whitehall Square

    I would request that you withdraw this apparent accusation that I am likely to throw a pipe bomb. Unlike you, I am fully opposed to paramilitary gangs and to such violence. It is outrageous that you – an apologist for the Provisional republican movement – should suggest that I – an opponent of all paramilitary gangs – would engage in terrorist activity. Retract the accusation, please.

    In my own case, although coy, I am supposedly guilty in the willowfield world.

    You do support Provisional Sinn F

  • Davros

    That’s a disappointingly puerile response Robert.

  • Robert Keogh

    WF,

    It is not naive to expect you to back your assertions up with evidence. You cannot and still won’t back down.

    I was unclear in my question, by “these people” I meant the 90K new voters SF has received. I can see how you thought I was referring to the elected members of SF. Even so, you are saying the De Bruin and McDonald are the same as those who perpetrated Teebane, Claudy and Enniskillen?

    Funny how it seems mainly to be Provo supporters who have a problem with the Sunday Independent’s “credibility”.

    Your first entry into the debate, is it meant to be a ringing endorsement of their analysis of the Independent or criticism? Is it your position that supporting Sinn Fein invalidates every other perspective one might have.
    If that wasn’t your meaning I don’t understand the purpose of your statement.

    The memory you rely upon to damn Henry94 is failing you. In a multitude of slugger posts we’ve discussed the overlap in membership between the IRA and SF. I’m not naive, I just don’t buy into your monolithic “Sinn Fein/IRA” juggernaut of implacable evil analysis. Why must you boil it down to two possible extremes? Why is it that if I don’t endorse your hydra analysis then I must be saying they are two unrelated groups?

    In the old print media day

  • willowfield

    Robert

    It is not naive to expect you to back your assertions up with evidence. You cannot and still won’t back down.

    What assertions?

    I was unclear in my question, by “these people” I meant the 90K new voters SF has received. I can see how you thought I was referring to the elected members of SF. Even so, you are saying the De Bruin and McDonald are the same as those who perpetrated Teebane, Claudy and Enniskillen?

    I don’t know who perpetrated Teebane, Claudy and Enniskillen. I doubt it was either De Brun or McDonald, but they belong to a movement that perpetrated those atrocities.

    Your first entry into the debate, is it meant to be a ringing endorsement of their analysis of the Independent or criticism?

    Neither. It was an observation.

    Is it your position that supporting Sinn Fein invalidates every other perspective one might have.

    Uh, no!

    If that wasn’t your meaning I don’t understand the purpose of your statement.

    See above.

    The memory you rely upon to damn Henry94 is failing you.

    It’s not.

    In a multitude of slugger posts we’ve discussed the overlap in membership between the IRA and SF. I’m not naive, I just don’t buy into your monolithic “Sinn Fein/IRA” juggernaut of implacable evil analysis. Why must you boil it down to two possible extremes? Why is it that if I don’t endorse your hydra analysis then I must be saying they are two unrelated groups?

    Seems to me you’re trying to separate the two, as though PSF and PIRA are not part of the same “movement” (as they themselves describe it).

  • Davros

    Robert, you addressed the restated question to me not Willowfield.

  • Liam

    Of course SF and the IRA are part of the same ‘movement’. In the very same way that unionism and loyalism in all its forms are part of the same ‘movement’.

    But lets be honest here – the most crucial thing is that republicans are committed to the peace process and have demonstrated this in word and in deed.

    What are republicans campaigning for? The full implementation of the GFA. Why? Because it is about rights and entitlements. Republicans should not have to campaign for its implementation, both governments have a constitutional imperative to implement it.

    Who is resisting its implementation? Unionism. Why? Because Unionism has huge difficulty coping with equality and coping with change.

    Constantly referring to Teebane, Enniskillen etc is deliberately avoiding the present realities.

    We could all get into ‘whataboutery’ and waste years going round in circles….but then we already have!

  • Davros

    Of course SF and the IRA are part of the same ‘movement’. In the very same way that unionism and loyalism in all its forms are part of the same ‘movement’.

    Nope Liam, that won’t do. Nobody is suggesting or has suggested that any senior DUP or UUP figures Hold “Brigadier ” rank in the UDA.

    The issue is further clouded looking at the different emphases placed on ethnic and civic models between Loyalists and Unionists. one cannot even say that the DUP and the UUP agree let alone the UUP and the UVF. There is no political difference between SF and the IRA.

  • Davros

    We could all get into ‘whataboutery’ and waste years going round in circles….but then we already have!

    So you regard the Saville enquiry and all the Collusion whataboutery as nonsense, or does this only apply when the spotlight is turned on the Republican movement ?

  • Davros

    What are republicans campaigning for? The full implementation of the GFA.

    I would argue that they are campaigning for the full implimentation of their interpretation of the GFA. As seen recently in a reported interview that would seem to include the belief that there is only a British “Claim” to NI. Most of the world would rad them as having signed upto an acceptance that NI IS British and will remain British for as long as a majority of NI people wish it’s status to be unchanged.

  • Moderate Unionist

    Sorry Liam;

    Unionists are not resisting the implementation! We have demonstrated our willingness to form a government with SF/SDLP but

    The deal was – prisoners out, guns gone = Devolved Government.

    Others may have more sophiticated analysis but this is what ordinary unionist people voted for. (Those that voted yes that is). It wasn’t an easy decision, but a calculated risk. The failure to achieve decommissioning has been the real stumbling block not Unionist resistance.

  • willowfield

    Liam

    Of course SF and the IRA are part of the same ‘movement’.

    Amazing that Robert persists in his naivety, isn’t it?

    In the very same way that unionism and loyalism in all its forms are part of the same ‘movement’.

    Er, not at all the same! Assuming you mean unionist political parties and loyalist terror gangs they are absolutely not part of the same movement like PSF and PIRA!

    But lets be honest here – the most crucial thing is that republicans are committed to the peace process and have demonstrated this in word and in deed.

    Apart from the failure to complete decommissioning, the ongoing retention of the death squads, spying, gun-running, murders, riots, beatings, etc.!

    What are republicans campaigning for? The full implementation of the GFA. Why? Because it is about rights and entitlements. Republicans should not have to campaign for its implementation, both governments have a constitutional imperative to implement it.

    The GFA was being implemented. Republicans failed to live up to their obligations; unionists lost patience and good will and Trimble was ousted from leadership. That’s why the GFA isn’t being fully implemented. It was in republican hands for five years and they failed.

    Who is resisting its implementation? Unionism. Why? Because Unionism has huge difficulty coping with equality and coping with change.

    No. The reason unionists voted for the DUP was because the failure of republicans to play ball with the UUP undermined the UUP’s credibility with the electorate. But you’ll find that even the DUP is trying to implement the Agreement. They’re still waiting for republicans to commit convincingly to peace.

    Constantly referring to Teebane, Enniskillen etc is deliberately avoiding the present realities.

    Take your complaint up with Robert Keogh. He’s the only one who referred to those atrocities – although, in fairness, he’s hardly doing it constantly: he mentioned them once.

    We could all get into ‘whataboutery’ and waste years going round in circles….but then we already have!

    We’ve been wasting years waiting for republicans to live up to their obligations.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    willowfield

    Do you want to abide by the same rules as everyone else? You apparently want to bandy about accusations about myself but like the anonymous coward I have always recognised you to be you whinge like a scalped pup whenever the spotlight is shone on you and your tactics. The innuendo and dishonesty of the coward.

    You have abused the open nature of this board. You have abused it by making unfounded allegations about me while all the while hiding in anonymity. But then again, as you admitted there is no evidence you can point to, after all i’m too coy.

    You seem to confuse aggressive questioning of the unionist and British position with paramilitarism thus your use of the term,’traditional Provo line’. A refinement of the smear usually used by your ilk. Usually it’s Nazi or Fascist. You seem to have found a little niche for yourself.

    I agree that you are not the type to pipe bomb a house. You are more the type who whispers out the side of your mouth. You are the type all too common in this place. The type to spread rumours and innuendo. To hide in the shadows of anonymity while others do the dirty work that your language implies. Yours is an inherent sectarianism that you no longer recognise.

    That behaviour is the type that does lead to Donegall Pass and Whitehall Sq. But then again all you do is say a few words and can try to convince others that you are against all violence. I simply don’t believe you and will not withdraw any comments I directed at you.

    You are simply unworthy of further debate.

  • willowfield

    Pat

    Do you agree that there was no justification for the PIRA to exist or to perpetrate violence?

  • willowfield

    Pat

    I agree that you are not the type to pipe bomb a house. You are more the type who whispers out the side of your mouth. You are the type all too common in this place. The type to spread rumours and innuendo. To hide in the shadows of anonymity while others do the dirty work that your language implies. Yours is an inherent sectarianism that you no longer recognise.

    You couldn’t be more wrong. Unlike you, my opposition to paramilitaries is total. You might not like my opposition to paramilitaries because that includes staunch opposition to nationalist paramilitaries, but you shouldn’t confuse such opposition with “sectarianism”. Indeed, my opposition to paramilitaries is inextricably linked to my opposition to sectarianism.

    That behaviour is the type that does lead to Donegall Pass and Whitehall Sq.

    Maybe it is, but then I don’t exhibit such behaviour, so your veiled accusation is false.

    But then again all you do is say a few words and can try to convince others that you are against all violence.

    My opposition to paramilitary violence is clear and consistent and always has been. You can try to misrepresent me if you want, but what I write is plain and clear and no-one can be in doubt of my opposition.

    If you believe statements in opposition to violence are in fact coded statements in favour of violence, maybe you should think again.

    I simply don’t believe you and will not withdraw any comments I directed at you.

    That’s your choice. Others will judge me on what I write, not on their prejudices. Nobody believes your claims that you oppose Provisional republicanism.

  • Liam

    Senior Unionist politicians sit with Loyalist paramilitaries on the Loyalist commission and on the Parades Forum and have issued joint statements. Yes Unionism & Loyalism are part of the same broad ‘movement’and always have been, there is little point in denying this.

    Just because they have their political differences does not mean that they do not share the same philosphies and the same platforms.

    Yes, there is very little political difference between SF and the IRA – but that is a good thing in the context of the peace process. Think about it!

    The GFA was being implemented. Republicans failed to live up to their obligations; unionists lost patience and good will and Trimble was ousted from leadership. That’s why the GFA isn’t being fully implemented.

    This is a nonsense. The reality is that republicans are the only ones to have lived up to their obligations. The reality is that a comprehensive deal was agreed last October and republicans were the only ones to keep their bond while others demonstrated that they could not live up to their word.

    There are 2 important realities on the decommissioning issue and we should all know these very well:

    Firstly, read the text of the agreement on decommmissioning – it says that it ahould be completed “in the context of the full implementation of the agreement”.

    Secondly, the IRA has decommissioned 3 times.

    These are the plain facts.

    The fact also is that decommissioning is not even the issue any more.

    The bottom line is that Unionism has huge difficulty in accepting change and the notion of equality.

    Of course Republicans have their interpretation of the GFA, so does Unionism. And it is obvious that unionism has concluded that the GFA is more than they are prepared to give, otherwise why would they continue to resist it?

    But the reality is that it is not in the gift of unionism to deny peoples basic rights and entitlements. Equality is not a ‘concession’, fair and proper policing is not a ‘concession’, human rights and justice are not ‘concessions’.

    Republicans are clearly up for a deal on all of the issues. Unionism is clearly still resisting this.

    They cannot keep standing on the shore telling the tide not to come in.

  • Davros

    Liam SF are constantly tinkering with the GFA –

    OTRs

    Clearing of criminal records

    Most importantly – THEY added a confidentiality clause to decommissioning that made their gestures worthless.

  • willowfield

    Liam

    Senior Unionist politicians sit with Loyalist paramilitaries on the Loyalist commission and on the Parades Forum and have issued joint statements.

    That doesn’t make them part of the same movement in the same way that PSF and PIRA are. Sorry.

    (Senior Unionists sat with nationalist paramilitaries in Stormont, but that didn’t make them part of the “republican movement”.)

    Yes Unionism & Loyalism are part of the same broad ‘movement’and always have been, there is little point in denying this.

    You could argue that if you really wanted. But they aren’t part of the same “movement” in the same way that PSF and PIRA are. That is indisputable fact.

    Just because they have their political differences does not mean that they do not share the same philosphies and the same platforms.

    Sharing “philosophies” and “platforms” is not the same as being inextricably linked as part of the same cohesive movement. Sorry.

    Yes, there is very little political difference between SF and the IRA – but that is a good thing in the context of the peace process. Think about it!

    There is no political difference.

    This is a nonsense.

    It’s not. On the contrary, it is correct.

    The reality is that republicans are the only ones to have lived up to their obligations.

    That’s not reality. It’s patently untrue. You’re living in cloud cuckoo land if you believe that!

    The reality is that a comprehensive deal was agreed last October and republicans were the only ones to keep their bond while others demonstrated that they could not live up to their word.

    That’s not the reality. Republicans clearly failed to keep their bond! The only people who dispute that are republicans themselves!

    Firstly, read the text of the agreement on decommmissioning – it says that it ahould be completed “in the context of the full implementation of the agreement”.

    And it wasn’t!

    Secondly, the IRA has decommissioned 3 times.

    But it still hasn’t finished!

    The fact also is that decommissioning is not even the issue any more.

    If you believe that, you’ll believe anything!

    The bottom line is that Unionism has huge difficulty in accepting change and the notion of equality.

    Everyone has difficulty with change. As for equality, unionism has no difficulty with the notion of it. You’re just pursuing the Provo line of pretending that “equality” is an obstacle. It’s not: paramilitarism was the obstacle. It remains an obstacle along with the DUP’s need for cosmetic change to the institutions.

    Of course Republicans have their interpretation of the GFA, so does Unionism. And it is obvious that unionism has concluded that the GFA is more than they are prepared to give, otherwise why would they continue to resist it?

    They resisted it because the Provos failed to commit to peace which was unionists’ condition for supporting it.

    But the reality is that it is not in the gift of unionism to deny peoples basic rights and entitlements.

    Of course not. And no-one is denying people’s basic rights and entitlements. Red herring.

    Equality is not a ‘concession’

    No-one said it was. Red herring.

    fair and proper policing is not a ‘concession’, human rights and justice are not ‘concessions’.

    No-one said they were. Red herrings.

    Republicans are clearly up for a deal on all of the issues. Unionism is clearly still resisting this.

    Don’t think so. The DUP just needs to get a fig-leaf change to the way the institutions work so that they can hide the fact that they signed up to an Agreement they spent six years opposing.

  • Liam

    Its easy to accuse someone of living in cloud cuckoo land – but thats just hiding. Examine the realities:

    The UUP, SF and the 2 governments agreed a comprehensive deal to restore the institutions 12 months ago. That is a fact.

    This was an historic arrangement as Trimble had sight of Adams speech, Adams had sight of Trimbles speech, likewise both governments, and the choreography/timetable was agreed.

    The fact is that Republicans met their commitments to the letter while Trimble buckled and ‘put the process on hold’. The governments then reneged on their commitments.

    Trimble then went to the electorate with a mixed message, split Unionism and suffered at the election. Republicans went with a clear message and gained at the election.

    These are the facts. If I am going to post on this board I will deal with realities only and I make no apologies for my politics. They are as valid as anybody elses.

    Do you agree that there was no justification for the PIRA to exist or to perpetrate violence

    I was not asked that question, somebody else was but I will make a response anyway:

    I absolutely do not agree with that. The existence of the IRA is a result of the political mess that was created on this island – the IRA is a consequence of the political mess here – not the cause of it. In much the same way the Loyalist paramilitaries are also borne out of the political mess that has been made.

    The political situation that has existed has not been formed by us but by others who went before us. History is not our responsibility, but the present and the future is.

    Now I repeat, Republicans are up for a deal, are up for a comprehensive settlement and are up for making positive moves to bring the entire Republican constituency and the entire situation forward.

    Of course change is difficult for Unionism, but they have got to embrace it at some stage. Why not now?

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    “Do you agree that there was no justification for the PIRA to exist or to perpetrate violence?”

    Unable to substantiate your lies you crawl under the jargon that I must now prove my innocence. Put up or shut up.

    As stated you are all to common of the snipe and the coward who feeds prejudices and by their language encourages others to do the dirty work.

    Devoid of any argument or basis for your smears you expose yourself as a worthless sectarian bigot.

  • willowfield

    Whatever, Pat. Post your hysterical accusations all you want. My opposition to paramilitaries and sectarianism remains clear and consistent.

    Your failure to state opposition to the PIRA is noted. Thanks.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    You failure to produce evidence to back up your original charge despite repeated requests to do so is noted yet again.

    What was that denial again about perceptions?

  • Davros

    Liam, you argue that Republicans met their commitments. I would argue that they have only met what they feel are their commitments on Their interpretation of the Agreement. And therein lies the problem. The agreement had to be fudged in order to get people to sign up. Even now we have Gerry Adams disputing that NI’s status when he talks of a British “claim” to NI.

  • willowfield

    OK, Pat, we’ll call you a Provisional sympathiser rather than a supporter. Will that do?

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    willowfield,

    Your failure to produce evidence to back up your original charge despite repeated requests to do so is noted yet again.

  • willowfield

    So you accept you’re a sympathiser?

    That’ll do me. I’ll happily withdraw the charge that you’re a “supporter”. The difference is sufficiently slim not to alter the essence of the original point.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    willowfield,

    Your failure to produce evidence to back up your original charge despite repeated requests to do so is noted yet again.

  • willowfield

    Um, I withdrew the original charge! See above.

    Doh!

    The difference between a supporter and a sympathiser is so slim as not to alter the essence of the original point, so it’s no big deal.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    So you admit that the original charge was a lie. Given that is the case, it follows that what came next can be dismissed in a similar vein.

    It’s not often a person comes on line and admits to being untruthful, for that you are to be commended.

  • willowfield

    No, I don’t admit it was a lie. I still believe it.

    But you won’t admit it, so the best I can get from you is that you are a Provo sympathiser, which is sufficient for to validate my original point.