Dear old Gerry, it never rains but it pours.

Poor man must be wondering what has hit him – Robberies, photographs, Calendars and now the Florida Arms-Smuggling resurfaces…
Four in court over US gun smuggling. To borrow a phrase he probably regrets ever saying- “they haven’t gone away, you know!”

  • Keith M

    December has really been a “mensis horibilis” for SF/IRA and that’s before any knock-on effects from the bank raid. However regretable the phrase “they haven’t gone away you know” must be for Adams, it pales in comparison to Seamus Mallon’s “Sunnningdale for slow learners” about the 1998 agreement. There’s a man who should be sitting out his life in the dunce’s corner.

  • Davros

    What I find so strange is that they played their hand so badly and misread the unionist community.
    Overconfidence or have they started to believe their own propaganda ?

  • mickhall

    Davros,

    You pose a very good question and due to the grip of Adams group speak on his party, it is difficult to understand what is exactly going on. What they seem to have underestimated is the anger of the two governments after SF failed to do a deal on decommissioning, Something Adams seems to have promised them if they (Blair/Ahern) continued to just say yes. I feel a media backlash may well come SF’s way as well, as journalist’s are becoming weary of holding their tongues and keeping the lids on their pens for what they believed was the greater good, i.e. the standing down of PIRA and the ending of the armed struggle. Something Mr Adams has not yet produced despite all his nods, winks and promises. People are beginning to wonder if the whole SF edifice is not a house of cards that is kept aloft by the sheer continuous momentum of the peace process and the ever present threat of the IRA on hold in the background; and some I fear are begining to ask is the PRM capable of life as a single entity.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Davros,
    what exactly was the misreading of thw unionist community?

  • Davros

    Pat, I haven’t finished working this out, but I suspect that Gerry et al thought that by making more and more extravagant promises and claims he would cause a tsunami of public opinion within the broader unionist community that would sweep away doubts and reservations among their political representatives, that the combination of Government and media hype would make it impossible for The DUP to say anything other than “Yes”. Something similar to the way that they tried to bounce Trimble into saying Yes at the last fudged disarmament, but on a bigger scale.

    I don’t think they understand the complexities of the relationship between my community and the politicians that end up representing us.

  • Liam

    Davros

    Would be interested in hearing your opinion when you have it worked out. Am being serious here, not hopping a ball.

    You see I don’t believe that it has been a ‘mensis horribilis’ for SF/IRA, but I do believe it has been a bad month for the peace process and for all of us. I do believe that the huge opportunity that was lost (hopefully not forever) was down to the inability of the DUP to honestly face into a power sharing mode.

    Yes, the 2 governments, Washington and large sections of the media will coalesce in the blame game. What is a huge factor in all of this is that Bertie Ahern is not an honest broker, he is mesmerised by the growth in support for Sinn Féin and first and foremost will act to protect his own electoral interests, even at the expense of the peace process.

    But none of this will impact internally on Sinn Féin – indeed it just might have been a greater challenge if the DUP had been willing to deal. The reality is that a truly momentous opportunity has been lost and for the moment, we are all losers.

  • Liam

    Mickhall

    “the grip of Adams group speak on his party”

    What is ‘Adams group speak’??

    “I feel a media backlash may well come SF’s way as well”

    Wow what a prediction – except thats like offering the winner of the Grand National on the Monday following the race!

    “some I fear are begining to ask is the PRM capable of life as a single entity.

    Well it’s been capable of life as a single entity for 100 years now – longer than any political party on this island. But then Sinn Féin stands for ‘Ourselves Alone’ – for the reality is that Sinn Féin is the only Republican party and were always going to have to ‘survive as a single entity’.

    Have no fear…..”Night gets darkest just before the dawn….”

  • lib2016

    Sinn Fein continues to grown in numbers and influence on both sides of the border and have nailed down the DUP to an eventual accomodation. It may take a little while but no-one doubts now that it’s on the table. That’s your idea of a bad year? I’d hate to see what your idea of a good year for Sinn Fein would be like – world domination, obviously!

  • David Antsinpants

    As the weird detachment from reality evident on this thread alone makes clear, the real bear-trap waiting for Sinn Fein is the complete inability of even its supposedly ‘educated’ supporters to acknowledge that things are falling apart. At this rate the perception of Sinn Fein as the mirror image of the DUP will need to be re-evaluated. Sinn Fein is looking more and more like the mirror image of the Ulster Unionist Party – too frightened of a split to take the necessary hard choices.

    Night does not get darkest before the dawn, Liam old twerp. Night gets darkest around 2am, just after everyone falls asleep.

  • Fraggle

    David, care to explain what exactly is ‘falling apart’?

  • mickhall

    Liam asked,
    What is ‘Adams group speak’

    Liam

    This is an example of Adams group speak,

    “Well it’s been capable of life as a single entity for 100 years now – longer than any political party on this island. But then Sinn Féin stands for ‘Ourselves Alone’ – for the reality is that Sinn Féin is the only Republican party and were always going to have to ‘survive as a single entity”

    Now apart for the first few years of its existence SF has never been a single entity, but the political wing of a section of Irish Republicanism. Nothing wrong with this, needs must, but that you choose to deny this fact despite knowing it to be true is, ‘Adams speak,’ black becomes white and all those who fail to recognise this are either enemies, or in the pay of these enemies, hence all the nonsensical rubbish about Republicans who disagree with SF being dissidents and tools of the British.

    As to your other comments on my post, I feel that you have suffered enough at the hands of David Antsinpants so I have no wish to add to your misery.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Davros,
    I understand what you are saying, but believe that commentators, like yourself, are experiencing the same ‘misunderstanding’ re the nationalist community.
    Adams can go before the nationalist electorate and claim that he was only trying to tease out whether the majority of unionists were ever serious about power sharing or were simply more comfortable with the tried and tested ‘not a fenian about the place’.
    He can wax lyrical about how far republicans have went and how much further they were prepared to go, but yet it wasn’t enough for the bigots and begrudgers. An election winner I think.

  • David Antsinpants

    Comments removed- name calling and abuse

    You are pushing your luck. This has been an interesting debate. Ball not man please. A.U.

  • Davros

    Pat and Liam, times-are-a-changing, but the fundamental difference between the two sides remains. For convenience I’ll Refer to P for Prod and the unionist community, and C for Roman Catholic and the nationalist community. Very broad brush-strokes follow, and I hope nobody is offended.

    The C side is used to acting and reacting communally compared to the P side, and is also used to a more authoritarian and centralised way of political life.

    There’s no doubt that the C side is drifting away from the acceptance of religious authority, in effect becoming “Protestant” – as seen by the attitude that birth control is None of the Church’s Business etc. Similarly I suspect that while SF try to maintain discipline, being far more authoritarian and centralised than the UUP or even the DUP, they are losing the battle.

    I think that P’s are slowly losing their hostility
    and as such the DUP attempt to maintain an ostracism of SF and republicans is failing. Not because of a weakening of any authority , as they never had that sort of authority in the P community, but because the P community is changing. Hence my faith that the answer will be found in “bottom-up” politics rather than Top-down as negotiated by Paisley and Adams.

    Eamonn McCann commented in 1999 that he reckoned the change on your side was that Adams and Co realised that they were out of step with what the majority of their supporters in the community wanted and moved towards what they favoured rather than as portrayed it being the case that Adams and Co dragged the whole body of community opinion with them to a new position. That, as well as good social policies and excellent community work, is the secret of SF’s success over the SDLP IMO.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Davros,

    once again a good riposte. Surely excellent community work on the part of SF is the epitome of bottom up political philosophy.

    It is unfortunate that some have went the road of personal abuse, while of course tempting, having been there myself, it does drag the site down.

  • Davros

    Surely excellent community work on the part of SF is the epitome of bottom up political philosophy.

    Pat- I agree entirely. It’s one of the “Jekyll” aspects of SF which I have no problems applauding.

  • Davros

    It is unfortunate that some have went the road of personal abuse, while of course tempting, having been there myself, it does drag the site down.

    I have written some dreadful things in the past myself Pat, things I didn’t believe in, but wanted to offend for revenge. There’s a “cycle of abuse” that can easily occur unless the site is well moderated.

  • Liam

    “…the real bear-trap waiting for Sinn Fein is the complete inability of even its supposedly ‘educated’ supporters to acknowledge that things are falling apart.

    Interesting – well one considers that this year saw Sinn Féin overtake the Labour Party in the 26 counties to become the 3rd largest party. When SF elected 2 MEP’s and more than doubled the number of Councillors in the local elections…..to state that ‘things are falling apart’….is obviously wishful thinking on your own behalf.

    Long may things continue to fall apart!!

    Happy Christmas!!