De Chastelain should be good enough…

Jude Collins believes that neither photographic evidence nor the witness of two clergy should be necessary suppliments to the good offices of John de Chastellaine.

  • Travis

    Good article, and he makes a very valid point regarding the doctoring (no pun intended) of images.

    Considering how Jesuitical the DUP behaved over the last report by de Chastelain – remember all the blarney about would ten rifles be considered ‘substantial’ – it would be fun to see how an old polaroid would play with their, shall we say, more ‘scepticised’ supporters.

  • willowfield

    I assume the DUP wants a visual aspect in addition to a report from John de Chastelain, not instead of – in which Collins’ argument is basically irrelevant.

    What Collins should be doing is exposing the hypocrisy of the DUP, who previously dismissed decommissioning, but are now set to accept it.

  • Keith M

    willowfield, the DUP have never in my memory dismissed decommissioning but rather feel like I do, that decommissioning isn’t an end in itself but rather a means to an end. The end being the end of the terrorist thread from SF/IRA.

    That end could have been achieved in several ways. Had SF/IRA been willing to follow the road of the republican side after the Irish civil war and simply let their guns go silent and rusty until such time as they were generally trusted to hold positions of power that may well have sufficed. They problem is that that period of trust building (aka a decontamination period) takes time. In the south this took a decade AFTER all paramilitary activity had ceased.(Save the odd unauthorised killing like that of Kevin O’Higgins).

    Decommissioning became the favoured route because SF/IRA did not have the patience to wait a decade and the SDLP did not have the courage to go it alone. I still don’t believe that decommissioning is the be all and end all of this trust building. What happens after all the weapons are decommissioneed and another abduction linked to SF/IRA occurs? Certainly transperancy helps as the previous nonsense of what is considered “substantial” and what access to the weapons SF/IRA had after decommissioning was so shambolic as to make De Chasterlain look like a terorists stooge as he was not willing to answer the most simple and basic questions.

  • willowfield

    It was the UUP who got decommissioning into the GFA. The DUP ran away from the negotiations! The DUP offered no solutions or suggestions – they would have been quite happy not to bother.

  • Snazzy

    Willofield, I sense that we have similar values and, much as it is unjust and unfair, for the benefit of ALL of our fellow citizens I am pleased that the DUP is spinning its way in to the centre, by both deed and action. Whether a leopard can truly change its spots remains to be seen (personally for a lot of bigoted rank and file I very much doubt it)but I have always worked on the ethos of Country 1st, Party 2nd and self No where and in terms of our great wee place it is great to see the extremes from both shades realising that Fair Deals mean Fair to both sides and that as a Unionist this entails more than Secterian negativity. I still believe that when there is a true referendum (I mean one were more than 50% excersise their right) that the people and parties who had the vision for what is now materialising will be justly rewarded. If not, then as long as Northern Ireland remains confident and stable, the job has still been completed.

  • George

    Can we not just ordain De Chastelain into some Church or other and get on with it?

  • The Devil

    If the war criminal General is good enough for Somalia he should be good enough for us.

    Can anyone tell me will the provos supply the photos themselves and will they use one of the digital cameras they stole from Makkro.

    The camera doesn’t lie but the bastard taking the picture certainly does.

  • fair_deal

    Willowfield

    The DUP did not ‘dismiss’ decommissioning. They attacking the meaninglessness of individual acts, the dragging out of the process for political gain and the pointlessness of the process if it was not connected to the disbandment of the organisation that had them.

    The UUP didn’t negotiate a good deal and messed up the implementation. Live with it. The DUP picked up the pieces and so far seem to have made progress in bringing some equilibrium into the peace process. Good for them. Live with it.

    I hope the progress continues and they don’t mess up the implementation end. If they do mess up the UUP will have to make the case why the mantle should return to them. “I told you so” will not be enough.

    Petty sniping is like self-justification and as a mediation trainer once told me ‘Justification is like masturbation. The only person it screws is you”.

  • peteb

    “Hey, don’t knock masturbation. It’s sex with someone I love.”

  • willowfield

    The DUP did not ‘dismiss’ decommissioning.

    They did.

    They attacking the meaninglessness of individual acts, the dragging out of the process for political gain and the pointlessness of the process if it was not connected to the disbandment of the organisation that had them.

    Seems they’re about to accept decommissioning without disbandment!

    The UUP didn’t negotiate a good deal …

    It’s good enough for the DUP now!

    … and messed up the implementation.

    The DUP is simply finishing off what Trimble started.

    The DUP picked up the pieces and so far seem to have made progress in bringing some equilibrium into the peace process. Good for them. Live with it.

    Exactly. The DUP is picking up the pieces of the GFA and putting it back together!

    Hypocrites!

  • Snazzy

    Fair Deal,
    You have just made Willowfields point for him, which because I do not know him I will reiterate.

    “I hope they dont mess up the implementation”

    Neither do I but it is exactly that. “The implementation” OF THE GFA. If you had of worked for a “fair deal” along these lines in 1998 instead of sniping from the sidelines, destabilising the Unionist community specifically and Northern Ireland in general, then we would have been well past the “Acts” you refer to a long, long time ago. It is precisely because of the right wing on unionism not realising the real prize on offer (which they look like they are starting to) that the GFA could not have been implemented earlier. You know and I know that there are still going to be Terrorists in Government. On both sides!! If you march young people up to the top of the hill and then with rhetoric and vitriol and then leave them to rot as “terrorists” in jail, then you are equally culpable as the foot soldier. The most sickening thing about recent DUP protestations has been that the “Unionists community has real confidence for the first time in the process” comments.

    The whole reason why the confidence was never there before was that half of the Unionist Politicians were going on about the negatives of the agreement, all day, every day. Now because they realise as they were told all along that it is the “only show in town” we are now getting the positive aspects. AND THE UUP ARE NOT SNIPING FROM THE SIDELINES TO UNDERMINE THEM.

    What has changed from those bad days. Is Martin McGuiness not going to be a terrorist next time around? Are the prisoners going to be put back in jail? Have the Provos got their United Ireland?
    Has the 12th of July been cancelled? Has the Garda appointed the Chief Constable of the RUC?
    Has the RUC really been destroyed or have we had a name change (scandalous though it was) and are the same friends that I went to school with still doing their jobs, protecting life and property and facing down scum, green or orange?

    Which part of the “fair deal” on these core issues that you fought the election on are going to be reversed?

  • fair_deal

    Willowfield

    As you are still trapped in justification mode I will leave you to it. I’m away to the pub.

  • willowfield

    Apparently those were non-issues for the DUP: their real gripe with the GFA was the accountability of ministers!

  • fair_deal

    Snazzy

    1. I’m not in the DUP. i was a member of the UUP during the relevant period.

    2. A key factor in all negotiation theory and practice is the importance of timing. The timing was bad for Unionism in 1998 and we got hosed. The new dynamic of the Assembly election results means it is an improved time for Unionism to get a better deal.

    3. As a person who did not subscribe to the GFA I would love to be able to claim the credit for the process messing up. however, i am realistic and give that credit where it is due, the pro-agreement parties. They messed it up fine by themselves.

    4. To be blunt if it looks like a pile of dung, smells like a pile of dung and feels like a pile of dung I would go on your instincts and not taste it. The Unionist community chose to taste it and didnt like so want something better. The DUP have been given that mantl

    PS if I dont reply to Monday it is because I have now definitely gone to the pub.

  • Christopher Stalford

    “I assume the DUP wants a visual aspect in addition to a report from John de Chastelain, not instead of – in which Collins’ argument is basically irrelevant.”

    Correct.

  • Henry94

    KeithM

    They problem is that that period of trust building (aka a decontamination period) takes time. In the south this took a decade

    Nonsense. It took Fianna Fail time to win an election but there was nothing else, no legal or constitutional bar, to stop them taking office other than their own objection to the oath.

    You should also be honest enough to admit that the DUP will go into office on the basis of a deal negotiated by the UUP. If they were honest they would congatulate david Trimble for doing such a good job that they are hard pressed to come up with anything to change.

    Electing the ministers in one go instead of one at a time is the must substantial change they appear to have got.

    And they are now going to sign up for Trimble’s old deal on decommissioning but this time twith a witness from the Church of the Anti-Christ present along with one of the moderate Protestants paisley hates so much.

    I suspect (but don’t really care) that Unionist voters will in the end give the credit to the party that did the real work rather than the latecomers.