Sinn Fein to meet Orde…

One last one before bed. A Sinn Fein delegation is to meet Hugh Orde, Chief Constable of the PSNI. Although the topic of conversation is to be fairly uncontroversial, it’s being seen as hugely significant move in some circles. Orde has already told the Belfast Telegraph that he believes the party will recognise his force at some point.

  • cg

    “Recognize his force”
    Recognize his force is totally unacceptable to the nationalist community.

  • Mick Fealty

    Under any circumstances?

  • peteb

    There’s a telling quote in one report on this, Mick.

    When asked why he was meeting Hugh Orde now, when Orde has always said he would meet with anyone at anytime, Adams is quoted as saying

    Because the British Prime Minister, who has the political responsibility for our part of the island of Ireland, has told us that demilitarisation is an operational matter for the Chief Constable.

    We want, as the Good Friday Agreement promised, to see speedy demilitarisation.

    It is a disgrace that republican heartlands are militarised with British Crown forces in the way they are.
    We are going to put that to Hugh Orde, to try and get a programme of accelerated demilitarisation.

    Doesn’t answer the question of why now and not before though.

    It also doesn’t answer the rather more important question of when will Sinn Féin join the Policing Board. Perhpas that’s the next hold-out to be used to frustrate the political process.

  • IJP

    You seriously expected him to answer the question, Pete?!

    Let’s look at this again:

    Because the British Prime Minister, who has the political responsibility for our part of the island of Ireland…

    Anyone who thinks SF hasn’t moved should read this one again. 10 years ago such a statement would’ve been unthinkable.

    It is a disgrace that republican heartlands are militarised with British Crown forces in the way they are.

    Interesting that it is only a disgrace that British Crown forces are in ‘republican heartlands’, but quite alright, presumably, for them to be in ‘non-republican heartlands’.

    A classic example of SF’s commitment to balkanization – ethnic nationalism at its worst (‘we’ control ‘our’ areas, ‘they’ control ‘theirs’), a million miles from true Irish Republicanism.

    Not quite how real democracy works, Gerry, and not exactly what Tone or Emmet were about either, to be fair.

  • peteb

    In a word, IJP, No.

  • willowfield

    The PSNI is not Hugh Orde’s force. Insofar as the PSNI is “owned”, it belongs to everyone.

  • Henry94

    IJP

    Interesting that it is only a disgrace that British Crown forces are in ‘republican heartlands’, but quite alright, presumably, for them to be in ‘non-republican heartlands’.

    I’m happy to reassure you that Sinn Fein’s objective is the removal of all British forces from Ireland.

  • Davros

    How about we replace them, until all the paramilitaries are a dim and distant memory, with US Troops Henry ?

  • Weapons Of Crass Instruction

    Agree with the sentiment Davros but bearing in mind the recent US record in Iraq disagree with the proposal. How about we replace them with UN troops?.

  • Davros

    Spoilsport WOCI – I have a lovely vision of how the USMC would react to the first lobbed half-brick or an Ogra SF invasion 😉

    To be serious,I wouldn’t have any problem with UN troops if and when PIRA have decom’ and SF are on the Policing boards so that the UN Troops could work with local Police.

  • Henry94

    You could always let the people of each area decide which army they wanted. Of course it would be the IRA in a lot of places.

  • Davros

    Are they planning to hang around then Henry? 😉

  • Henry94

    Davros

    I don’t want any armies hanging around.

  • Davros

    There’s a serious issue involved in this as well Henry. Even if the IRA do decom’, there will still be a need for a military presence of some kind until the various Loyalist and dissident republican groups are inactive. What do you suggest ?

  • Henry94

    Davros

    I suggest you update your thinking. The best way to ensure the dissidents win support is to keep the British Army where they are not welcome.

    We need an agreed and acceptable police service under the control of our own elected representatives. A police service with cross-community support will be enough to deal with any problems there may be.

  • Roger W. Christ XVII

    Henry94, could you explain to us what a “republican heartland” is ? Is it one of those areas which is full of crime, graffiti, and overrun by SF workers paid grant money by the (British) state to do absolutely nothing ?

    The dissidents are opposed to the agreement. They are driven by their ideological objectives which are to secure a British withdrawal from Ireland, and they have no qualms about doing so using violence. There is no way that troop withdrawals on any scale are going to change this.

    Using the police as cannon fodder is hardly an option. Even in the RoI the police are backed up by troops on certain patrols. Shouldn’t they be withdrawn too ?

  • IJP

    Despite SF’s undoubted movement, the idea here is simple: remove ‘British troops’ from ‘republican heartlands’ so they can be replaced by forces more amenable to Gerry and his friends (hence his lack of focus on areas where this is impossible).

    It might not be ‘British’, but the fact is there’s still a dominant military presence in South Armagh, Falls, Dungiven…

  • Henry94

    Roger

    There is no part of the south where the Irish Army is unwelcome so that is a completely different question.

    The think the dissidents lack is support. They can barely function now when people like me simply refuse to offer them any support help or money. If people like me had a police service we could support the dissidents could not function at all.

    What they want and what they are hoping for is to be able to point to watchtowers and British patrols and tell us that nothing has changed.

    We all need to move forward and armies have no role. You have a contribution to make. You can address what it is in your head that is responsible for the hate in your first paragraph.

    If you got that under control you would be making more of a contribution the future than any soldier in any army.

  • Davros

    I suggest you update your thinking. The best way to ensure the dissidents win support is to keep the British Army where they are not welcome.

    aren’t you forgetting something rather important Henry ?

    The dissidents already have support.

  • Davros

    A police service with cross-community support will be enough to deal with any problems there may be.

    Bomb- disposal ????

  • Davros

    Come on Henry, abandon the party-speak. This is one reason why unionists such as myself find it difficult to accord respect to SF. You want to close your eyes because of party dogma which gives the dissidents a free hand. Next time Dissidents deliver a 1,000 bomb to Derry who do you suggest we call to render it harmless ? Let’s go into your world. There’s a 1,000 lb bomb in town. The Police won’t go near it. They are not trained in bomb-disposal. You say No Army. OK – are you going to volunteer to defuse it ?

  • IJP

    You can address what it is in your head that is responsible for the hate in your first paragraph.

    Roger’s assessment in his first paragraph is entirely accurate and you know it.

    If you have a contribution to make, make it. But quit resorting to patronising claptrap and deal with the issues.

  • Roger W. Christ XVII

    Henry, this is of course rubbish; there are plenty of parts of Ireland (and other parts of the UK) where both the police and the army are unwelcome and you well know it. The reason why they’re unwelcome is because their presence interferes in illegal and criminal activity. We’re not idiots around here.

    There’s no hate in the first paragraph. The area I live in and several near to it have gone badly downhill during the past ten years. As if by coincidence, the level of support for Sinn Fein has increased dramatically in the past ten years. Sinn Fein aren’t living up to their responsibilities as community leaders. What do they actually do with the grants and finance they get ? Go to Newington some time and have a look at the end houses on some of the streets; they still have “Belfast City Council best kept street” plaques dating from the 1980s. You’d be surprised that was the case to see the state of the place now.

    The rest of your comments are drivel. The thing “the police force isn’t acceptable” without any hard points on what is required to make it acceptable, and how they can be implemented while those demanding those changes snipe from the sidelines, is a merry-go-round we’ve done plenty of times before. The dissidents have support among people who feel they are justified not just because of the ongoing British presence, but the fact that they feel their relatives would have died for nothing were they to sign up to a compromise. This point of view comprises entire streets and neighbourhoods, not simply pockets, and if The Blanket is anything to go by, perhaps part of the reason for this is that Sinn Fein and their “defence department” are rather efficient at keeping them quiet.

  • Henry94

    Davros

    This is one reason why unionists such as myself find it difficult to accord respect to SF

    I’m glad to see you coming out as a unionist. Your denials were never convincing. I would say levels of respect between our parties are very low. I don’t have much respect for unionist parties either. But I see the odd encouraging sign and it keeps me going.

    The Police won’t go near it. They are not trained in bomb-disposal.

    There is no reason why some the police could not be trained in bomb disposal. Or why some people already experienced in that area could not be join the police service if the conditions were right.

    IJP

    There’s no point in ranting at me.

    Roger

    there are plenty of parts of Ireland (and other parts of the UK) where both the police and the army are unwelcome and you well know it. The reason why they’re unwelcome is because their presence interferes in illegal and criminal activity. We’re not idiots around here.

    There are members of the Irish Army living in every community in the country and their presence is uncontroversial and unremarkable. It is nonsense to suggest otherwise. And in relation to our own debate it a complete red herring. The British Army are not an acceptable force to the nationalist people. There is no role for them in our future.

    Nor is there any point in talking about the area in which you live. I don’t know where you live so how can we have a conversation on that basis.

    Sinn Fein aren’t living up to their responsibilities as community leaders.

    Yet their vote keeps going up. Maybe we are all idiots except you Roger.

    What do they actually do with the grants and finance they get ?

    Sinn Fein operate under the same accountability laws as every other party in each of the juristictions where they contest elections. They also have opened up their own accounts to journalists. It is quite obvious to me that Sinn Fein spends what money it has on building up the organisation and its skills at every level.

    The thing “the police force isn’t acceptable” without any hard points on what is required to make it acceptable

    Now I think that’s just lazy. Sinn Fein have made it clear time and time again what is required on policing and that is accountability. Nationalist voters support the Sinn Fein position and the British government will have to face up to the need for changes.

    The other side of the coin is that when the changes are made and we have a Police Service which is accountable in a real sense then we will all get in there and make it work.

    those demanding those changes snipe from the sidelines

    The sidelines are where the Policing Board is. The real issues on policing are being discussed between Sinn Fein the DUP and the governments. Let’s hope they get it right.

    The dissidents have support among people who feel they are justified not just because of the ongoing British presence, but the fact that they feel their relatives would have died for nothing were they to sign up to a compromise.

    They don’t have to sign up for anything. It is perfectly legitimate to oppose the Agreement and oppose Sinn Fein’s analysis

    This point of view comprises entire streets and neighbourhoods, not simply pockets,

    That’s not true. There is no street or neighbourhood in any part of the north where the dissidents have more support than the mainstream republican movement.

    and if The Blanket is anything to go by, perhaps part of the reason for this is that Sinn Fein and their “defence department” are rather efficient at keeping them quiet.

    I don’t think The Blanket is anything to go by. But I’m glad it’s there. It articulates an anti-agreement republican position which should be represented in political life. I was hoping they would put up canditates but at the last election they were complaining that they had nobody to vote for in Belfast so the step of actually running mustn’t have occured to them. Or maybe they know how little support they actually have.

    I have gone back over my post and edited those parts where I responed in kind to some of the strong words in previous posts. It’s very easy to slip into that mode but it’s boring. We can all do it and it never gets us anywhere.

  • Davros

    I’m glad to see you coming out as a unionist. Your denials were never convincing.

    How strange Henry. I have never denied being of the unionist community or that outside of my position on Europe, I would choose the union with GB to continue over a sovereign United Ireland. It’s dishonest of you to say otherwise. I’m NOT a Unionist.I am a unionist.
    I suspect that you are trying to avoid the below.

    If There is No British Army presence who deals with loyalist and dissident bombs Henry ?

  • Davros

    The British Army are not an acceptable force to the nationalist people. There is no role for them in our future.

    Your SF councillors don’t turn them away when they are sent bombs through the post or find bombs in thei gardens or under their cars.

  • Mario

    Surely the UN has ” serious wars” to tend to. Sudan?
    The conflict in NI would be best adressed by anti mafia advisors from Sicily and Palermo. The paramilitaries, it seems to me, are nothing more than mafias with some political muscle.

    SF needs to recognize the PSNI, it is a professional force and I do not understand why they are allowed to not recognize them. It makes no sense to me.

  • cg

    “I do not understand why they are allowed to not recognize them”
    And you have the cheek to talk about mafia.
    Sinn Féin will not be dictated to by anybody and nor will the Nationalist community. Nationalists will not accept an unacceptable police force for anybody.
    Arrogance in the extreme.

    “The British Army are not an acceptable force to the nationalist people. There is no role for them in our future.
    Your SF councillors don’t turn them away when they are sent bombs through the post or find bombs in thei gardens or under their cars.”

    Davros
    There is no role for them.
    For the majority of the people on this island they are a foreign army of occupation. They have no role to offer in the peace process.
    There can be no role for any violence in our future now that peaceful politics can achieve people’s objectives.

  • Davros

    cg : I’ll ask you to consider this – there will still be bombs even after Paisley and Gerry settle their differences. Bomb disposal is a military task.
    Therefore there is at least one role for the British Army in the short term. It makes no sense to pretend otherwise when members of your party already avail themseleves of their services.

  • Harris

    Davros

    “If There is No British Army presence who deals with loyalist and dissident bombs Henry?”

    Dav, who deals with bomb threats in any other democratic country in the world? Right, the bomb squad, not the army. When the IRA were placing bombs in England, who saw to some of their dismantling? It wasn’t the British army was it? Your suggestion, that NI needs the British army in place to dismantle bombs is absurd at best.

  • Mark

    Would it not be fair to say that we need the British Army here simply because we’re part of Britain. What other country doesn’t have troops stationed within it’s borders to protect it’s citizens?!!

    It’s a shame that the Army isn’t acceptable to the nationalist communty, but they are acceptable to the majority. Until the terrorist threat from both sides has disappeared there is absolutely no reason they should go or be scaled back so that they become ineffective.

  • Ringo

    Roger W. Christ XVII –

    Even in the RoI the police are backed up by troops on certain patrols. Shouldn’t they be withdrawn too ?

    eh? The only time the army are seen ‘on patrol’ in the Republic is when money is being moved from a bank and they are providing an armed escort.

  • Weapons Of Crass Instruction

    “ I’m happy to reassure you that Sinn Fein’s objective is the removal of all British forces from Ireland.”

    “How about we replace them, until all the paramilitaries are a dim and distant memory, with US Troops Henry ?”

    “To be serious, I wouldn’t have any problem with UN troops if and when PIRA have decom’ and SF are on the Policing boards so that the UN Troops could work with local Police.”

    – Climb down from your initial position Davros, or in your opinion would local police not constitute a British force?.

    “SF needs to recognize the PSNI, it is a professional force”

    Mario, some of the things that prevents people like me from supporting the PSNI are the public admission from the then DC for West Belfast, Brain McCargo, that he had a policy of using [encouraging?] anti social elements from within the nationalist community as so called “ten pound touts” in return for minimal financial reward and, more importantly, immunity from prosecution. Now, whilst I understand that all police forces use these kind of tactics it has been argued that these low level anti social elements are not being used to grass on their crim mates but are actively encouraged to undermine the sterling work of the local community and spy on particular individuals. Hardly what you’d call ‘professional’ in a brand new, all singing, all dancing police “service” is it?.

    http://www.nuzhound.com/articles/Irelandclick/arts2002/short_message_to_hugh9-19-02.html

    If McCargo is prepared to admit this in public I dread to think what the Branch spooks in REMIT get up to in private.

  • Davros

    Harris : I don’t think you understand my point 🙂
    it is said that there is NO need for ANY British Army Unit NOW. There is – there is a need for The Bomb squad as there isn’t a Police bomb squad and even IF some PSNI volunteers were to volunteer ( as the Bomb squad is Volunteers Only) to be trained there would be a period of time, if the Army withdrew today, when there would be nobody to deal with bombs. That’s the reality. So it’s WRONG to say that there is no need for any British Army Unit.

  • Harris

    Mark

    “Would it not be fair to say that we need the British Army here simply because we’re part of Britain. What other country doesn’t have troops stationed within it’s borders to protect it’s citizens?!!”

    When you’ve got half (today) of those citizens against this percieved occupying army, I think there should most definitely be a compromise. I’m not saying remove all British troops today, but scale back the majority, especially in Nationalist areas. I’m pretty sure there wont be any future dissident bombs placed in those areas.

    “It’s a shame that the Army isn’t acceptable to the nationalist communty, but they are acceptable to the majority.”

    Well, you know why they aren’t acceptable to Nationalists, so it’s not a shame. And as far as your majority goes, what happens three to five years from now when Nationalists are the majority? Mark, the strategy being implemented should be clear to you. Timing is everything!

  • Henry94

    Davros

    I’m sorry for not noticing that you make a distinction between Unionism and unionism. If you’re in the mood sometime you might even explain it to me.

    Mark

    The majority of people in the areas where the British Army are most visible don’t want them. Doesn’t it seem obvious that a situation like that suits nobody and we should be looking for an alternative we can all live with.

  • Davros

    Hmmmm Henry. I’m forever pointing out that I’m a unionist , NOT a Unionist.

    In brief- I might even do my dissertation on this –

    unionist: primary identification is with British Identity.

    Unionist – political term linked to Oppression of those not of the unionist community.

  • Henry94

    Davros

    So by changing the case of a letter you evade all the responsibility for past mistakes. Neat. Is there any differences going forward we should know about.

    What would a unionist and a Unionist find to argue about?

  • Weapons Of Crass Instruction

    ” What would a unionist and a Unionist find to argue about?”

    More importantly Henry what political party would a unionist and a Unionist find to vote?.

    A political party with a history of religious discrimination and one party hegemonic control of a state for close on five decades or a political party with a religious fundamentalist as party leader who would be considered right of Margaret Thatcher?.

    Or perhaps they’d buckle and vote for The Alliance Party : – )

  • willowfield

    Surely “Unionist” traditionally applies to the Unionist Party, while “unionist” just means someone who supports the Union, but is not connected to the Unionist Party.

    Similarly, “Nationalist” referred to the old Nationalist Party, but “nationalist” just means someone who is a nationalist.

  • Mario

    CG.

    I think you misunderstood my comments. It was not my intention to insult the Nationalist community of NI, it is certainly not my place. I was merely responding to an earlier post about calling on the UN to step into NI, and I suggested that perhaps their efforts would be better used in a place with a real war. Like Sudan. I beleive the paramilitaries should be treated as mafias, if they behave as such. I was calling the paramilitaries Mafias, I was not calling SF one.

    WCI
    Interesting points, however no one is suggesting that a Police force is perfect, but if you have problems with the way they handle Confidential informers then that should be part of discussions with a civilian comission which I beleive they have one that includes both Nationalists and Unionists. If those are your only complaints then, it appears to me that you make my case. They are fighting crime, and fighting crime is a dirty business because lets face it, the only people that associate with criminals are criminals and Confidential informers are a tool of police forces all over the world. From where I stand they seem to be a good solid police force, much better than ours here in Argentina. Why not work with civilian comissions to address your concerns? And I thought that a lot of Nationalists actually want to be part of the PSNI.

  • Davros

    God Henry, you don’t like admitting you got something wrong, do you ?

    Why should I accept ANY blame for the actions of a party for which I have NEVER voted ? You are no different in your attitude( davros is a prod/unionist therefore he’s Guilty ) than the Loyalists who regarded all nationalists/RCs as IRA members.

    It’s people like you that have us in this mess.
    Black and White. One’s either Orange or Green.
    Suggest you read that CRC article posted earlier about sectarianism and have a long and hard think.

  • IJP

    Well said, Davros.

    Deal with facts and stated views, not perceptions and assumptions. The former lead inevitably to understanding, respect and progress. The latter lead inevitably to ignorance, mistrust and conflict.

  • Henry94

    Davros

    God Henry, you don’t like admitting you got something wrong, do you ?

    It doesn’t bother me at all. You learn nothing by being right.

    I’m still interested in hearing the policy or ideological differences between a Unionist and a unionist today.

    For example yourself and willowfield appear to agree on most of te issues that come up here. I suspect he has no issue with the term Unionist so I wonder if there are any key disagreements. I can’t recall any.

    By the way now that I know about it I’m perfectly happy to accept your definition of yourself and I’ll be careful to watch out for the sense in which you use the word. I’m just curious about it.

    In brief- I might even do my dissertation on this –

    unionist: primary identification is with British Identity.

    Unionist – political term linked to Oppression of those not of the unionist community.

    But support for the Union is a political position known as unionism. You don’t need the union to have a British identity.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    The British Army are stationed and patrol in nationalist areas despite the fact that for years most violence emanated from within unionist areas.
    They were kept in nationalist areas simply as a bargaining chip and that day seems to have arrived.
    For years they have been a malignant force more in the business of harassment than protection. A year or two in Mosul would be a welcome change for the lot of them.

  • Davros

    You don’t need the union to have a British identity.

    Bingo ! Now you are getting it. As a member of the unionist community I treasure the British component of my heritage and my British identity ( while neither denying NOR denigrating their Irish equivalents) that I will keep within the United State of Europe that is to come. I would prefer that for NI to being part of the UK, which in itself (membership of the UK) I would prefer to being part of a 32 county Nua Éire.
    So, there’s a difference between this unionist and
    Unionists.

    Of course with your polarised vision , you can only deal with Orange or Green, so as I’m not green , I MUST be Orange in your book.

  • Weapons Of Crass Instruction

    Bueno Mario has puesto algunos puntos buenos. Pero no estoy diceiendo que hay alguna perfecta fuerza de policia en cada citio de todo el mundo estoy hablando solo sobre el citio donde vivo y la policia alla.

    He dijo que hay tacticos, en el contexto de chipatos, que estan comon a todo la policia en cada citio y esto es sin contestacion pero que vamos a hacer quando la polica [ en una sociedad divedido politicalimiente] estan trabajano a descontinuar la obra buena de una communidad?.

    Puedo hacer un “ rant” sobre los semanticos de que es criminal y no es criminal en el contexto historical antes del Primero de Marzo 1976. Pero me imagenes que tu sabes algo de esto historia penal en nuestro historia political, no?

    Bueno, finalimente Mario, No se mucho sobra la policia Argentino pero si estas diceiendo que hay nacionalistas que quieran ir a la PSNI quizas que esto esta verdad. Pero la cosa mas importante es que la PSNI pueden attractar Republicanos y no solo nacionalistas y en su forma presente no pueden hacer esto.

    Lo siento para mi Espanol malissimo y la falta de accentos in mis parlabras pero mi computer no tiene facilidad para hacer les. Espero que tu intiendes.

  • IJP

    Pero WCI es mucho más complicado, ?no?

    Las fuerzas armadas irlandes-republicanas existan todavía como ‘ejercito del pueblo’ en sus barrios. Quieren su propia continuación así. ?Como podrían decir tanto, si hay también reconocimento del ‘ejercito del estado’?

    Por eso la preparación de Adams del reconocimento del PSNI, pero también del reconocimento de ‘barrios republicanos’ donde para él y su apoyo no hay que respectar al PSNI, sino a sus propias fuerzas armadas.

    Y WCI, !para mi los argentinos y los chileanos no hablan castellano, es otro idioma!

  • Mario

    Salud Che, y gracias por haber elaborado tu respuesta en Castellano; y si entiendo tu punto de que hay ciertos antecedentes históricos en Irlanda del Norte y estos antecedentes sigan guiando ciertos temores dentro de la comunidad Nacionalista.

    El punto que yo estaba tratando de enfatizar es que a mi parecer el servicio de policía de Irlanda del Norte a mi parecer se esta comportando procesionalmente, y no perfectamente por que vos y yo sabemos que es un servicio policial relativamente joven.

    Yo había leído que habían muchos Nacionalistas que formaban parte de un cuerpo de consejeria civil y que muchos de ellos habían sido amenazados por terroristas republicanos en sus áreas.

    No seria mejor que la comunidad Nacionalista se uniera para que puedan atraer mas Nacionalistas? No es mejor cambiar el sistema por dentro de si mismo?

    Sobre la situación policial en Argentina, yo te cuento que es uno de las fuerzas policiales más corruptas de Latinoamérica y todavía tienen elementos de la antigua policía represiva de la década de los 70. Muchos de la policía están involucrados con bandas de secuestradores.

    Te felicito por tu Español/ Castellano, lo escribís muy bien.

    Y WCI, !para mi los argentinos y los chileanos no hablan castellano, es otro idioma

    ICJ – gracias por tu ignorante comentario. Para comenzar se dice, CHILENO y no CHILEANO. Y se escribe existe y no exista. Si quieres hablar del idioma, primero aprendelo.

    Segundo, El castellano fue el idioma que se hablaba en Castilla y fue el que los colonizadores llevaron a America, y alli absorvio otras influencias. En La Argentina hay influencia Italiana, Alemana y en mi caso Irlandesa ( Mis ancestros son de Atrim).

    No seas ignorante Che!

    Salud

  • Young Fogey

    Allah Allah! Hispanyolca herkes niye kullaniyor! Slugger’de Ingilizce ve Irlandaca günlük kullanan diller oldugunu zannettim. Yani, söylediginiz seylerden hiçbirsey anlyamam! Ama özel karakter kulllanmadiginizi için bir özer dilerim söylenmemeli, çünkü Türkçe yazarken, ben de her özel karakter kullanamiyorum. Bence, emin olarak, buünkü Küzey Irlandali terörist gruplar Mafya’ya dönmüs.

    In other words – stop showing off and speak English boy! Two can play at that game, you know.

    PS – about this UN peace keeping stuff. Could we send a joint RIR/Free State Army unit off to Ukraine, and some Ukrainian peacekeepers to Northern Ireland. You know, like, fair exchange is no robbery and all that.

    And Roger Christ is right, it is sad to see what’s happened to Newington these days. Glad I come from the Lodge.

  • Davros

    Is that Turkish YF ?

  • Young Fogey

    gracias por tu ignorante comentario

    Oh, yes, does this mean what I think it means?

  • Young Fogey

    Yes, it is indeed Davros.

  • Davros

    It’s a wonderful sounding language 🙂 Love the music. Lot’s of links to Ireland as well. Irish dancing was “borrowed” from Turkey, as was some of the “traditional” garb 😉

  • Davros

    Where is “Newington” ? I used to know someone from Stoke Newington who bred chow-chows 😉

  • Young Fogey

    Believe it or not, I never knew that about Irish Dancing, despite being deeply Turkophile. I’ve been learning the language for about five years now, and also trying to pick up some rudimentary Kurdish as I travel a lot in the East. Love the music – the traditional folk music is fantastic, as is a lot of the Turkish/Rock crossover stuff, especially from the period of military dictatorship in the early ’80s – why is it that political repression brings out the best in the arts. I’m currently really into a contemporary rock band called Duman (Smoke) who are kind of like The Pixies crossed with Arabesk. Great stuff.

    One of the things that impressed me about Turkey as opposed to some of its neighbours was how strong and alive the native music scene still is, and how well it blends with influences from other countries. Compare it with Georgia or Greece where all you hear on buses or in pubs is shite like Snoop Doggy Dog and Eminem and a few really cheesy local pop bands. Georgia, to be fair has a really alive folk tradition which is out of this world (the number of people who can sing 4/6 part harmonies a capella in the pub is amazing), and Armenian music is also great. I’ve never been to Armenia proper, but there’s a surprising amount of the music still around in Eastern Turkey, and a lot of it acknowledged as such.

    All of which reminds me I’ve got the first part of my Turkish Diploma exam on Thursday, and I shouldn’t be playing around on Slugger at 2 am!

  • Young Fogey

    Newington is the area on the other side of the Antrim Road from the Water Works, around Newington Street (funnily enough) and before you get to Tiger’s Bay. Big scary peace line before that.

  • Davros

    Cheers YF- Good luck with the exam. I got to know quite a few Turkish people in London. First Turkish song I heard was Nick the Chopper by the late and great Baris Manco… One of my friends is married to a Turkish bloke – was at their house when Turkey won the Eurovision 🙂 Turkish food is wonderful!

    Galatasaryyyyyyyyyyyyyy!

  • Young Fogey

    Oh, for God’s sake, you’re not a Jimbombom scummer! En büyük Beskitas, daha büyük yok!

  • Davros

    Hmmmm – I’m sending that to my friend Ismael for a translation 😉

  • IJP

    Oh did someone touch a raw nerve? Playing the hombre and not the pelota is only indicative of someone unwilling to deal with the facts of the argument!

    Gute Nacht wuensch’ ich allen.

  • Henry94

    Davros

    Of course with your polarised vision , you can only deal with Orange or Green, so as I’m not green , I MUST be Orange in your book.

    I don’t know why you feel the need to respond to genuine interest in your position with another round of abuse. I didn’t in any way dismiss or denigrate your point of view. I just asked you about it.

    So why the defensiveness?

  • Davros

    I didn’t in any way dismiss or denigrate your point of view.

    Wow, that’s breath-taking. Bollix. Henry retreats into Gerry mode- “who ? us ?”. It might work in the USA, but it doesn’t work here.

    “So by changing the case of a letter you evade all the responsibility for past mistakes.”

    “I’m glad to see you coming out as a unionist. Your denials were never convincing.”

  • Mark

    Harris

    Do you have any facts to back up your claims that there will be a nationalist majority in the next 3 – 5 years? I dont mean to be rude but it’s just that it’s the first I’ve heard of it! 🙂 Also I never claimed it was my majority, I was talking about the majority of people in NI, this can include nationalists, ethnic minorities etc..

    As for normalisation, I suppose you’re right. It would be nice if NI could have similar troop levels to an equivalent area in the rest of the UK. I dont think though, that people’s lives should be put at risk by reducing the security level when a serious threat still exists just to suit “timing” and “strategy”.

    Henry

    I think you’re getting it wrong when you say that the situation suits nobody, as it evidently suits people who disagree with you, myself included. It would be good to reach an agreement that would suit everybody would be happy with, but the idea of reducing troop levels and THEN getting rid of the terrorists is definitely a case of putting the cart before the horse.

    What alternatives would you suggest? And how would you realistically control terrorists from both sides of the community from taking advantage?

  • IJP

    Davros

    Keep it up!

    Mark

    Did you not realize that disagreeing with ‘Republicans’ automatically makes you unreasonable?!!

    Funny how if a deal ‘isn’t acceptable to Republicans’ that means it must be changed, whereas if it isn’t acceptable to everyone else, that means everyone else is ‘afraid of change’.

    Republicans right, everyone else wrong, but heh, they don’t want to denigrate our view of course…

  • Mark

    Oops apologies for my grammar and all that, I meant to say.

    It would be good to reach an agreement that everybody would be happy with, but the idea of reducing troop levels and THEN getting rid of the terrorists is definitely a case of putting the cart before the horse.

  • IJP

    Mark

    Stop being sensible and just agree with those nice ‘republicans’!

    You’re right of course. Acceptance by all that there is only one legitimate armed force in NI is essential prior to any further progress on security, or indeed any further progress on anything.

    If people want to explain precisely what aspects of the PSNI they are unhappy with, go ahead. But I can’t help noticing their inability to do that.

    Who’s afraid of change now, then?

  • Mark

    Just when you mention it there, about aspects of the PSNI that the republicans are unhappy with, what are the reasons?

    Is the PSNI too similar to the RUC in terms of staff working for them and in organisational structure?

    Has the PSNI been involved in collusion?

    Is it because the religious/political make up of the PSNI is still skewed towards protestants/unionists?

    I’m just plucking reasons out of the air but I’d be interested in hearing people’s opinions and any relevant facts if they have them.

  • Davros

    One can hardly claim to be reasonable if one is still complaining about under-representation while one is supporting a boycott. Crivvens, that would be like criticising the UDA for criminal activities while defending the IRA’s criminal activities 😉

  • willowfield

    Mark

    The only stated reason seems to be that the PSNI is not “accountable”, i.e. policing is not devolved to a functioning Assembly.

    This seems to be the fig-leaf for ongoing opposition. Once policing is devolved, the Provos will join the Policing Board (or maybe even once there is a commitment to devolve it).

  • Henry94

    Mark

    If there were no British troops in the north there is no way the current level of paramilitary activity would justify the deployment we currently endure.

    There are more British soldiers in Ireland than in Iraq. They are here for political and not military reasons.

  • willowfield

    If true, they must have taken a leaf out of the Provos’ book, then! And so the Provos can hardly complain!