Anthony McIntyre’s latest missive on the nature of the ‘revolution’ within Sinn Fein that set the party on the road to peace under the leadership of Gerry Adams is much more balanced than one might expect from a self confessed ‘hostile witness’.Along the way he makes the case for the need for peaceful dissidence in any free society. Not least by his quotation of Kapuscinski:
“Today one hears about noise pollution, but silence pollution is worse. Noise pollution affects the nerves; silence pollution is a matter of human lives. No one defends the maker of a loud noise, whereas those who establish silence in their own states are protected by an apparatus of repression. That is why the battle against silence is so difficult”.
He goes to make some sharp criticisms of his former colleagues, but he comes as near as he has done since leaving the ‘Republican Movement’, to acknowledging the positive change that Adams’ and shi colleagues have wrought:
“Adams is not to be criticised for bringing to a conclusion the futile campaign of the IRA. In some respects it can be said that he faced up to the reality that the Provisional movement had articulated impossibilist and totalising demands onto a struggle that was much more limited in terms of what was needed to bring it to a conclusion”.
Originally produced as a lecture, be warned it runs to 18 pages when printed.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty