DUP intiated slide from the Union?

Slugger regular Michael Shilliday calls the DUP to task in yesterday’s Newsletter on some of the more contentious detail of what was apparently agreed with the two governments in the most recent round of talks.

  • jonty

    David Brewster are these the same Republicans your party were going to put permanenlty in government here?

  • jonty

    Chris Stalford said, “draw. I did not support the Agreement in 1998, I do not support it today. I oppose Martin McGuinness, Mitchel McLaughlin or any other member of Sinn Fein being in government until the IRA is totally disbanded and stood down.

    That is a much stronger position than the Belfast Agreement. Hardly a slight amendment.”

    Chris this is a much stronger position thatn your party, it is not a provision of the Comprehensive agreement.

    Looks like your out of step with The DUP once again remember your remarks 3 days prior to “Devolution Now”?

    Until the IRA decomissions all of it’s terrorist arsenal and Sinn Fein renounces the use of violence, I am not in favour of Sinn Fein being in any government – committee-style or any other style for that matter.

    This has always been the DUP position.

    Christopher Stalford on February 3, 2004 09:00 PM

    Then your party released the details of its corporate assembly, requiring no decommissioning, without even telling the members of its executive. Either that or you werent listening.

    Eithe way your once again out of step with your party. Sort it out Chris

  • Roger W. Christ XVII

    DB writes : “perhaps the Jews should have gone out for a pint with their SS guards after thre liberation of Auschwitz”

    It could have been a lot worse David – the Jews could have organized a rally and had SS members on the podium.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Chris opposed the Agreement since 1998, but the DUP couldn’t tell us what it wanted until 2004. Given the DUP’s tolerance of about 95% of the Agreement, it surely illustrates that the GFA could have been nailed down in 1998/9 if the DUP had not chickened out of the negotiations?

  • AndrewD

    Gonzo – I totally agree.

    The DUP wanted to wait around to see what way the wind was going to blow.

    The DUP never really decided where they were or where they were going next, until 2001, when they fiercly ate into the UUP and Trimble and played the blame game.

    They knew that if things didn’t work out they could make a major poltical advance after the 1st Assembly.

    Had they actually been serious about creating peace in N.I. they would have stayed in the talks for the sake of Unionism.

    One thing was clear in 1998, Sinn Fein where going to play a major part in the Government and politics of N.I. – Thank you Tony Blair!

  • Michael Shilliday

    Try as he might, not even Tony can tell the electorate how to vote. Sometimes I wonder if nationalists vote Sinn Fein just to be pedantic….

  • AndrewD

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/newspaper/0,,176-1423133,00.html

    – Good comment piece in the Sunday Times today by Alan Ruddock.

  • Davros

    Comment: Alan Ruddock: Would it be rude to mention terror at Sinn Fein’s party?

    David Burnside also had a piece The IRA laughs all the way to and from the bank

    The best secretary of state Northern Ireland has had in the past 30 years was Roy Mason, an Englishman. He did not try political initiatives; he got on with governing the place during a very tough period.

    The best chief constable of the RUC in the past 30 years was Sir Kenneth Newman, also an Englishman. He defended his force, providing it with backing, support and equipment when these were most badly needed and, above all, he resisted political interference. How different from the tireless efforts endlessly to put Humpty Dumpty back on the wall at Stormont.

    So prime minister, for me, no more peace summits. We will settle for boring, honest government, reform of local administration and a crushing onslaught from a rebuilt police service to destroy the criminal mafia of the republican movement and loyalist paramilitaries.”

  • unionist_observer

    “You don’t deserve to be at University if you can’t use your befuddled brain to understand the true nature of republicans- education’s supposed to help you acquire judgment and to develop character- time to open your eyes to your friends-especially if they send you to the bar with nice new Northern bank £20 notes”

    really David? You must write to Trinity and tell them that one of their students who by the way averages high 2:1s in her course is not worthy or intelligent enough to be there.

    By the way, did you not hear about some of the northern bank notes turning up in Dundonald – that well known bastion of republicanism!

  • Davros

    By the way, did you not hear about some of the northern bank notes turning up in Dundonald

    If we are thinking of the same notes, since shown to be legit.

  • unionist_observer

    Quite possibly Davros, I was away at the weekend so I have fallen behind with my news.

  • Roger W. Christ XVII

    The Dundonald notes did indeed transpire to be legit. It turns out that the Northern Bank had issued some notes from the same serial number group that had been stolen.

    It’s great hearing Burnside lecturing us about paramilitarism. Has he any more plans to have more exploratory meetings with loyalist paramilitaries or write articles for their publications (at least the UDR were honourable enough to do the right thing)..

  • alex s

    Burnside’s plan to keep Sinn Fein out of Stormont by giving more power to the Councils has one flaw, how do you keep the Shinners from gaining control of the Councils west of the Bann?

  • davidbrew

    Rebecca
    I’m sure that by what pass for academic standards today you are very intelligent-just not very wise, which was my point, that you either couldn’t or wouldn’t understand. Isn’t it interesting how you are silent on the moral duplicity of your republican friends and instead your first reaction is try to pass off the blame for the bank robbery from the IRA? Why it’s almost like you’re giving them cover. So, a fairly typical UUP Nelson’s eye being turned there.

    Just because someone socialises with you doesn’t mean that he/she isn’t perceiving you as one of Lenin’s “useful idiots” -do you ever ask them about the spying on TD’s the running of Dublin docks smuggling,or even-at the risk of being thought bad mannered- the victims from your community which they created? Thought not

  • Little Timmy

    “My resignation came about because I and my colleagues felt that the DUP in East Antrim was being infiltrated by paramilitaries. We made the party officers and the executive aware of this on several occasions, but it would seem our worries and concerns fell on deaf ears.”

    “When I saw paramilitaries becoming involved in this Assembly election, helping to put up posters or standing at school gates, I felt that vindicated the worries that I and my colleagues had had as such I have no regrets for the stand that I have taken.”

    Cllr. Jack McKee, Larne Times, 18th December 2003.

  • unionist_observer

    David

    I am not trying to pass off the blame for the robbery, I just don’t think it is wise to make any assumptions about who did it. In all honestly it probably was the IRA but going by one of the corner stones of British justice, innocent until proven guilty.

    “Just because someone socialises with you doesn’t mean that he/she isn’t perceiving you as one of Lenin’s “useful idiots” -do you ever ask them about the spying on TD’s the running of Dublin docks smuggling,or even-at the risk of being thought bad mannered- the victims from your community which they created?”

    I think you are mistaking the concept of political allies with friendship. Most of the people I am friends with and socialise with are not my political allies. You don’t have to agree with someones politics to be friends with them.

  • Michael Shilliday

    Loyalist Commission don’t look quite so bad seeing your own members think your party is a paramilitary ridded group eh Chris/Brewster!

  • davidbrew

    Rebecca-I am quite clear as to the distinction- you can have political allies you dislike; you should not wish to have friends who are members of a criminal conspiracy, unless you have an amoral/non-judgmental view of their beliefs.

    Sillyboy
    be very careful about pointing fingers about paramilitaries, given your party’s history-particularly in Belfast. Yet again you seem incapable of advancing an argument beyond the usual “You’re just as bad as us” jibes, which is hardly a position to be proud of-but then that’s all you’ve got left.

  • Michael Shilliday

    I don’t remember saying you’re as bad as us, you’re quite clearly worse! McKee, Barnes, both roughly in the past 12 months. No smoke without fire.

  • unionist_observer

    I think you are showing your gaping holes in your knowledge of nationalists and republicans.

    Just because someone is a republican doesn’t mean they are pro-violence

  • Christopher Stalford

    Michael

    Let me make my position clear. I condemn paramilitarism completely and utterly. There is no place for politically-motivated/sectarian violence in a democratic society. You on the other hand, are on record as having said you would welcome David Ervine into the Ulster Unionist Party.

    Your party leader, not a councillor, not some local bod who didn’t know what he was playing at.

    Your LEADER – The “Rt. Hon” (as if he would know the meaning of the word honourable) David Trimble MP MLA (Nobel Lauraete, no less) appointed Gary McMichael to the Civic Forum.

    The connections between the Ulster Unionists and paramilitaries runs to the very top and I could talk a little about Belfast, but I choose not to (at this point anyway).

    Rebecca Black

    Speaking as someone who was left without a father because of the behaviour of republican thugs from the “Lower Ormeau”, I hope you will excuse my intolerance/ignorance/moral revulsion, by your luvving it up with a bunch of Provos down south. It’s a shame we can’t all be as urbane as you when considering these matters.

    David Brewster is entirely correct, it’s no wonder you’re pro-Agreement, you clearly have no sense of right and wrong whatsoever.

  • willowfield

    Christopher

    I condemn paramilitarism completely and utterly.

    Why, then, did you fail to condemn the Castelreagh councillor who invited loyalist terrorist representatives to her mayoral inauguration ceremony?

    I also note your failure to respond to earlier points that I made. Perhaps you missed them?

    I did not support the Agreement in 1998, I do not support it today.

    But you’re on record as endorsing the DUP, who signed up to 99% of the Agreement when they gave support to the “comprehensive agreement” or whatever it was called.

    I oppose Martin McGuinness, Mitchel McLaughlin or any other member of Sinn Fein being in government until the IRA is totally disbanded and stood down.

    Why, then, do you support the “comprehensive agreement”, which makes provision for any member of the Provos to be in government while the PIRA remains intact?

  • Christopher Stalford

    Ah Willowfield, loyal Trimble lap-dog, at least attempt to show some imagination.

    I do endorse the DUP, but we have not signed up to 99% of the previous dispensation. That is merely your opinion, and it is innacurate.

    If provision exists for Sinn Fein in government while the IRA remains intact why hasn’t an executive been formed? Oh yes, because the DUP has held firm to it’s committments.

    Of course it’s a bit ironic that you supported an executive being formed with a completely intact IRA three times in the past, but now see fit to attack others on the basis that you think it might happen in the future, which incidently, it won’t. Just how much of a hypocrite are you?

    The position is clear – until the IRA is completely stood down, violence given up for good and all arms decommisioned SF/IRA will not be in any executive.

  • Christopher Stalford

    Oh but of course, the Ulster Unionists were putting the Provos to the test. Please.

  • Michael Shilliday

    Wasn’t there some fuss about Ruth Patterson’s High Sherrif do?

    Gary McMichael is not and never has been a terrorist, David Ervine has renounced violence and expressed regret at his actions, which is more than can be said about the Barnes case and your East Antrim colleagues.

  • Christopher Stalford

    Shilliday

    The Barnes case? Who exactly are you talking about? Come on Shillers, nail your colours to the mast. If you dare.

  • Michael Shilliday

    And it worked didn’t it? You would have led us straight to joint authority in 1998.

  • Michael Shilliday

    If I had Parliamentary privilege, I’d be singing it, but I don’t. Nonetheless I know that you know who I’m talking about, and I know that you know its true.

  • unionist_observer

    Christopher

    I am very sorry to hear about your father, I hate paramiliiarism (on both sides might I add). However not all republicans are pro-violence and just as many republicans as unionists are disgusted by violence.

  • unionist_observer

    as for my sense of what is right or wrong, my family backround has brought me up to respect people of different backrounds

  • Christopher Stalford

    “You would have led us straight to joint authority in 1998.”

    Pathetic Empey-speak from Shillers. “If you don’t buy into this deal joint authority lies around the corner.” Continue like that and you end up negotiating one form of a United Ireland because it isn’t as bad as another one on offer. Even amongst the Young Unionists the defeatism that has corrupted the senior party is present.

    I happen to believe in the validity of the Unionist argument. Clearly Shillers you don’t.

    As for McMichael, I never claimed he was a terrorist, but he was associated closely with them. Just like Mitchell McLaughlin. I seem to remember your party getting very exercised over him.

  • Christopher Stalford

    “my family backround has brought me up to respect people of different backrounds”

    Even murderers?

  • unionist_observer

    excercised or excited stalford?

    This is all very ironic given the position your party is adopting recently – what about Garda McCabes widow and children?

  • unionist_observer

    so you reckon every single republican is a murderer then Christopher?

  • Michael Shilliday

    Your leader and terrorism have been very strongly linked Chris………

    The unionist argument put to the electorate is insumountable, put to HMG in 1998 DUP attitude is a very weak argument. Are we in joint authority because of the Belfast Agreement? Are we closer or further away from a united ireland?

  • Christopher Stalford

    Bertie Ahern has a decision to make on that one. I hope those reponsible for the McCabe murder rot in jail. Of course if it had been up to me they would have swung from the end of a rope.

    Given that your party supported the release of hundreds of terrorists onto our streets, I don’t think your in any position to lecture anyone.

  • Christopher Stalford

    “so you reckon every single republican is a murderer then Christopher?”

    If they are members of Sinn Fein they happily associate themselves with the murder of innocent people and have profited from it politically. Until the IRA disappears from the equation they are a different-class of political party. I view them with utter contempt.

  • unionist_observer

    I could respond to that by saying at least my party leader didn’t start the troubles…….making a song and dance about a tricolore displayed in a SF office on the Falls road? Alot more people might be alive today if he hadn’t.

    You’ve come a long way since then, haven’t yous?

  • Michael Shilliday

    and after they are respectable public representatives presumably?

  • unionist_observer

    they represent 26% of Northern Irish people, they cannot be ignored no matter how much we might wish to ignore them. Face reality.

  • Christopher Stalford

    Shilliday

    “Your leader and terrorism have been very strongly linked Chris………”

    Less so than yours. And please don’t start wittering on about the UWC strike, because every Unionist politician who opposed Sunningdale was involved in it.

  • Michael Shilliday

    Protestant Volunteers, Ulster Resistance, Third Force…………..much less desireable people than Gary McMichael were in those collections.

  • Christopher Stalford

    Rebecca

    How surprising that a Unionist (supposed) activist would blame Ian Paisley for starting the troubles rather than the violent insurrectionists in the IRA. Pathetic. BTW, the law that made it illegal to fly foreign flags was passed by the UUP-controlled Stormont Parliament.

    “they represent 26% of Northern Irish people, they cannot be ignored no matter how much we might wish to ignore them. Face reality.”

    Oh I’ve come face-to-face with the realities of life in Northern Ireland and I didn’t do it by jumping on the first train to Dublin and sitting around hypothesising with a bunch of Provos. No mandate can legitimise the murder of innocent people. I’m sure Rebecca you would have fitted comfortably into the Weimar Republic ruling elite – “These Nazi’s are awful people but we must do business with them”

  • unionist_observer

    Right so Christopher how do you propose to get a settlement in Northern Ireland that will work without including 26% of the population?

  • Christopher Stalford

    Rebecca

    I’m not Northern Irish, I’m Ulster-British.

  • Christopher Stalford

    By getting one that will include 74% of the population. Sinn Fein cannot be allowed to hold the process to ransom. You clearly disagree.

  • Christopher Stalford

    Shillers

    I’m sure Gary’ll be pleased that at least one young Turk in the UUP thinks of him as “desireable”. Personally I don’t see the attraction myself, but each to their own.

    Au revoir!

  • Belfast Gonzo

    I am trying to work out what the DUP position on IRA criminal activity is, since Mssrs Brewster and Stalford appear a lot more concerned about it than the party leadership was last month.

    Peter Robinson was reportedly “unperturbed” about the lack of any statement in the ‘comprehensive agreement’ concerning IRA criminal activity (he and a party spokesman both seemed only concerned with decommissioning in the Irish Times article, which I blogged last month).

    If so, what reason does the DUP have for complaint now? After all, the DUP was party to these negotiations and has apparently agreed to give the IRA a license to rob banks without political sanction – the Northern job does not constitute a ceasefire breach and could have been easily carried out without real guns, for example (assuming it was the IRA, which hasn’t denied it, if you examine the unofficial statement it issued carefully).

    I can’t see how this could be interpreted in any other way, unless it was just poor negotiating.

    Do the DUP members regret not insisting upon such a provision now?

    I know many people would welcome Messrs Brewster and Stalford’s tough line on IRA criminality, so I’d like to ask them if they feel let down by the fact that Peter Robinson didn’t feel it worth nailing down in the talks?

  • unionist_observer

    did I say you were Northern Irish? I don’t give a flying fart if you consider what you consider yourself

    So you reckon a deal that discludes SF will work? What about the civil war that will ensue afterwards? The SDLP cannot be looked upon to represent the majority of nationalists anymore, you’ll end up back in a unionist dominated parliament like in the 1970s….and we all know all well that ended up? They are part of the problem, they have to be part of the solution.

  • unionist_observer

    hasty retreat by stalford

  • George

    Unionist Observer and Henry94,
    from your discussion earlier in the thread:
    Ed Moloney wrote that one of the general orders of the IRA is that no volunteer can sign up to any agreement which would refrain from the use of weapons to get rid of British rule in Ireland.

    “So it (GFA) was against the IRA’s constitution. Sinn Fein was given a special dispensation, but nevertheless the issue has been one which has caused caused enormous problems within the republican movement.”

    Davidbrew,
    why do you equate republicans with Waffen SS death camp guards. Is this how you view all republicans or just Irish ones? Does this explain the refusal to shake Bertie Ahern’s hand by the DUP leader? Are Irish people determining their own destiny so offensive to you and your ilk? I suppose when you cross the border you do so with wax in your ears and a peg on your mouth.

    I believe the last people on this island to be called fascists by a British PM were from the unionist community.

  • Christopher Stalford

    Guess again Rebecca.

    Your coment above demonstrates exactly what is wrong the the modern UUP. You don’t seem to think that negotiations should be characterised by attempting to advance the cause of your own community, but rather they should be concerned with placating your enemy (in order to avoid civil war?????). This is the problem – the UUP was in the business of negotiating favourable terms of surrender.

    Another possible up-shot of jettisoning the Provos from the political process could be that it persuades them to finally abandon violence in order to be admitted as equal partners.

    There is no doubt that appeasement has failed, maybe it’s time to try something different.

  • Christopher Stalford

    “Are Irish people determining their own destiny so offensive to you and your ilk?”

    No. People that murder in the name of Ireland are.

  • Christopher Stalford

    “discludes”

    For someone with a high 2.1 average that’s pretty poor!

  • alex s

    Christopher, unlike you I can remember Ian Paisley on TV ranting and raving about things that now are of no consquence, for instance the flying of a Tricolour inside a building on the Falls Road, I aslso remember him in the Ulster Hall sporting a red beret, I also remember the Third Force patroling the roads of Drumbo, I also remember him at Drumcree telling the mob that it was a matter of life and death, it was for one police officer, and I also remember the sometimes daily death toll, was it worth it given the position Paisley now adopts, remember if the Provos had provided photos he would be heading for power with Martin all mention of disbandment having been dropped

  • Christopher Stalford

    Mr. Swann

    “remember if the Provos had provided photos he would be heading for power with Martin all mention of disbandment having been dropped”

    I don’t believe that at all. I think the position of the DUP is very clear – complete disbandment and an ending of all criminal activity, the organisation stood down for good. Given that you supported Trimble jumping into bed with Marty three times, if you’ll excuse the expression, I don’t think you’re in any position to cast stones in the direction of Dr. Paisley on this issue.

    Furthermore, blame Paisley all you like for the lack of political progress in the past, but ask yourself one question: which party held a majority share in Unionism during that time? If anyone’s to blame on the Unionist side for a lack of progress it is the UUP, not the DUP who were very much the junior player.

    BTW, I was at Drumcree, and I remember a certain DT skipping merrily amongst the headstones gesticulating at the police! Of course that wasn’t blatant opportunism in order to get his grubby mits on the leadership of the UUP.

  • davidbrew

    Just because someone is a republican doesn’t mean they are pro-violence-Rebecca

    and just because one smokes doesn’t mean one wants to get cancer- it’s a risk you’re prepared to run. No member of the republican movement ( as opposed to a philosphical believer in a republic) has ever condemned its violence and criminality-nor can they; it’s their raison d’etre. Excuse it if you want; it’s still the truth, and gullible unionists like you are what gives them hope.

    As for the tricolour incident starting the troubles…well you’re obviously so bought in to the provo version of history you don’t even have a scintilla of Unionism in you, but even the Provos try to start off at Bombay Street, conveniently ignoring their role in the civil rights movement. Compared to you Rebecca, Sylvia hermon looks sound. Why not just become a Fianna Failer, since you obviously have no concept of the Unionist case.

    Sillyboy
    Is the West Belfast UUP association still honoured by its officer who was a convicted loyalist killer, I wonder? He had apparently been ok-ed because he’d “paid his debt to society” and it was pure coincidence that he and other pro-Agreement friends took over the UUC delegates at a time when trimble needed every vote to survive- in 2000 or thereabouts.

    “Davidbrew,
    why do you equate republicans with Waffen SS death camp guards. Is this how you view all republicans or just Irish ones?”

    it’s how I view any group which waged a campaign of murder against another group-including loyalist terrorists who would have a neck on them trying to buddy up to, -for instance- the victims of the Dublin/Monaghan bombings. And the analogy is appropriate-they are nationalist socialists whose links to Adolf are a matter of record- hence the squirming about Sean Russell’s statue. Because they waged an unjustified “war” (sic)-attacked civilians, destroyed property, engage(d) in crime , and have no remorse or repentance the IRA are simply morally inferior to those who did not-including believers in an Irish republic as an ideal, which presumably includes you, even though you have an alarming moral ambiguity when it comes to the identical actions of the IRA of the 1920s.

  • unionist_observer

    “and just because one smokes doesn’t mean one wants to get cancer- it’s a risk you’re prepared to run.”

    as a smoker myself, I am particularly mystified by that particular comparison. Putting yourself at risk of cancer is one thing, labelling 26% of the population of Northern Ireland pro-terror is completely different.

  • George

    Davidbrew,
    so I have it clear for the future: It’s only the IRA you equate with the Waffen SS or do you equate the whole of Sinn Fein and its supporters too?

    As for my moral ambiguity, I’d guess it is as ambiguous as your probable support for the mass bombing of civilian targets in Germany in WWII.

    In my view, if Ireland’s democratically elected parliament (Dail Eireann) is usurped by a foreign power (Britain 1919-1921) or terrorist grouping (as in today’s SF as they refuse to accept it as the legitimate parliament) force is condoned to protect it.

    I not happy that collaborators and foreign forces had to be engaged so ruthlessly and that many died but that was the price that had to be paid to protect democracy in the Irish Republic. If we were invaded tomorrow I’d support armed resistance.

    I’m sure you justify the 100,000 deaths in Dresden alone on similar grounds that these deaths of mostly refugees from the east helped protect Britain from a foreign power.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Christopher

    Where is the evidence in the DUP-negotiated comprehensive agreement that the DUP want “an ending of all criminal activity”?

    Or are you avoiding my questions? :op

    Last week, Steven King wrote:

    [quote]You will recall though, earlier this month before the Northern raid, that sections of the DUP were reticent to latch on to the absence of a commitment from the IRA not to engage in criminal activity.

    While the PDs in Dublin were in open rebellion on the point, the DUP were reportedly “unperturbed”. Their focus was entirely devoted to a worthless snapshot of decommissioned arms. No doubt, the point was not lost on the IRA high command.

    Then, last week, The Irish Times reported statements of concern about the Northern raid from the SDLP and the UUP. It pointedly noted that DUP headquarters had, up until that point, maintained an ever-so-diplomatic silence.

    At the weekend, The Sunday Times’ front page lead last weekend read: “Last night Peter Robinson, the deputy leader of Ian Paisley’s DUP, said that, if the IRA were responsible for the raid, this could slow down the peace process, but did not say it ruled out a deal.” At the same time, Ian Paisley, jnr., has been taking a much more robust line.

    We are now entitled to ask: what is the official position of our largest political party on Ulster being turned into a mafia society? Will the real DUP please stand up?[/quote]

    Still waiting for an answer…

    I get the feeling the DUP simply cannot answer though.

  • davidbrew

    so I have it clear for the future: It’s only the IRA you equate with the Waffen SS or do you equate the whole of Sinn Fein and its supporters too?

    Sinn Fein IS part of the IRA, Rebecca & George, unless you can show different. And their voters are-to use your term- collaborators in its criminality, because they know the IRA is SF and they support it and confer their mandate on it. They’re not pro-terror in the sense of actively advocating it, but they are perfectly content to ignore terror and crime if the right consequences flow from it-whether that’s a United Ireland, or cheap ciggies at Jonesborough market.

    “In my view, if Ireland’s democratically elected parliament (Dail Eireann) is usurped by a foreign power (Britain 1919-1921) or terrorist grouping (as in today’s SF as they refuse to accept it as the legitimate parliament) force is condoned to protect it.” -George

    And since George hereby rightly recognises that SF are an undemocratic movement opposed to the RoI government in its present form he will no doubt support the same measures being used against it as were used on the pro-British people in 1919-21 who by this logic were an equal threat.
    So… thanks to George’s helpful test, we can expect the random shooting of SF members as “spies”, the burning of their homes, the injuring of their livestock, the seizure of their properties and assets, and the boycott of their goods. Perhaps old age pensioners will be made to disappear in bogs and IRA members thrown alive into burning furnaces in order that “the will of the Irish people” should prevail.

    Steady on George, you’re outdoing even Kevin O’Higgins there. Or isn’t that what you meant? Some threats to the Irish state less deserving of sanction than others perhaps? Oh- just the British ones- how silly of me to have expected consistency.

  • unionist_observer

    Sinn Fein and the IRA are part of the same movement David, I thinks thats the best way to define it.

  • George

    Davidbrew,
    war isn’t a pretty thing. One could pick out hundreds of atrocities in every war, most much worse than anything carried out in Ireland 1919-1921.

    The question is whether the war was justified. In 1919 I believe it was as the democratic parliament of Ireland was usurped.

    Just as you are probably not happy that a quarter of all Belfast Catholics were forced out of their homes and hundreds killed in this time but justify it on the grounds that it was the democratic wish of the people that the union was maintained, I am not happy but can live with the excesses of the war south of the border.

    I ask from consistency from you Davidbrew. Don’t twist it the other way around. I have never equated the A,B and C Specials to the Waffen SS or the unionists who condoned these mass pogroms. I have called them thugs but most soldiers are. Where is the difference between the two? Why is ok to force 23,000 Catholics out of their homes in Belfast and kill hundreds while it’s not ok to take on a foreign army and its collaborators (they did most of the burning down south by the way not the IRA) using any means necessary?

    As for SF today. Until such time as they recognise Dail Eireann and Mary McAleese as the head of Oglaigh na hEireann they are not fit to be in government. What you boys and girls do up there is your own affair.

  • aquifer

    While on the subject of things military.

    The DUP wish to exclude and marginalise catholic UK citizens is not sustainable in security, if not military, terms, if N.Ireland is to have an economy beyond a shrinking public sector and gangsterism.

    Arson and sabotage, even passive resistance or just bad PR, will be enough to sabotage a globalised, communications and culture-led residual fragment that is the growing real NI economy. There are plenty of young nationalists who are not yet part of this economy, and who could be available for actions that might stop short of terrorism, but which would render NI a failure for good.

    Nationalist consent is therefore a requirement, not an option to be granted, if the warlord economy already starting around drugs and contriband is not to become a pivot for a return to violence. At school children now learn to be subservient to their paramilitary connected classmates. I would not offer that future to a dog.

    The DUP has no right to expect the UK exchequer to provide security funding to maintain protestant privilege and instransigence.

    Can they take real responsibility for anything?

  • alex s

    aquifer, that’s the problem, when the DUPes talk of ‘the people’ they are only referring to their people, that’s why speaking rights in the Dail are of no importance to them, they won’t be there!

    My worry is that with the DUPes and the Shinners in the driving seat we are heading to balkanisation, and they won’t mind a bit.

  • willowfield

    Christopher

    Christopher Stalford

    I do endorse the DUP, but we have not signed up to 99% of the previous dispensation. That is merely your opinion, and it is innacurate.

    So what would your assessment be? 90%? 80%?

    If provision exists for Sinn Fein in government while the IRA remains intact why hasn’t an executive been formed? Oh yes, because the DUP has held firm to it’s [sic] committments.

    No, it’s because the Provos didn’t agree to a photograph.

    Of course it’s a bit ironic that you supported an executive being formed with a completely intact IRA three times in the past, but now see fit to attack others on the basis that you think it might happen in the future, which incidently, it won’t. Just how much of a hypocrite are you?

    I’m not a hypocrite. It’s not me who is demanding total PIRA disbandment as a condition of power-sharing on the one hand, and then supporting their inclusion in a power-sharing arrangement without total disbandment on the other hand! That’s you!

    The position is clear – until the IRA is completely stood down, violence given up for good and all arms decommisioned SF/IRA will not be in any executive.

    So why are you supporting the DUP position, which allows for the PSF in government without PIRA disbandment?

    I condemn paramilitarism completely and utterly.

    Why, then, did you fail to condemn the Castlereagh councillor who invited loyalist terrorist representatives to her mayoral inauguration ceremony?

  • willowfield

    George

    The question is whether the war was justified. In 1919 I believe it was as the democratic parliament of Ireland was usurped.

    War cannot be justified while peaceful avenues remain open.

  • jonty

    chris stalford,
    where in the agreement between the Dupes and the IRA
    does it state that the provos are going to disband?

    Again you are out of touch with your party leadership. The DUPes should really inform their executive of what theyre up to (remember DEVOLUTION NOW)

  • davidbrew

    “As for SF today. Until such time as they recognise Dail Eireann and Mary McAleese as the head of Oglaigh na hEireann they are not fit to be in government. What you boys and girls do up there is your own affair.”-George

    dear me, how partitionist of you George-I thought you would have wanted us to sing from the Dublin hymn sheet. So when we judged the IRA a threat to our security it was obviously right to intern them

    Interesting how you implicitly accept the right of the people of NI to express their democratic wish to remain in the UK at the same time as you bluster about the so called mandate of 1918 (” it was the democratic wish of the people that the union was maintained” is your phrase, not mine).Or perhaps you’re just a bit confused by galloping inconsistency.

    Unfortunate, though entirely understandable from your perspective that you then choose to identify sectarian outrages perpetrated against innocent RCs as the outworking of that political wish-after all it’s how nationalists justify 1919-21, and 1969-date.

    But to refer you back to the question you so obviously ducked- just what is the difference between the evil British and the Shinners, if both threatene(ed) the “legitimate” dail? Why is it ok to shoot one lot yet not the other? You made the comparison- so tell us the reason for a different response. It’s the key to your view of Adams and co.
    And what is your response to the advance of SF to the door of government in Dublin? Po-faced criticism of a threat to the legitimacy is hardly enough.

    acqifer
    you are of course correct in a large part of your analysis, but I don’t believe you can legitimately say the DUP is ignoring nationalists-at least no more than SF and the SDLP have always ignored Unionists.
    If both sides are playing round the “obstacle” -which is what politics has been here since 1972-they at least recognise its existence (OK -hardly a visionary stance, but all parties here have large blind spots), and the DUP have addressed nationalism arguably much more genuinely than SF has addressed Unionism, and the larger, law abiding community generally.

    If it’s ducking responsibility you want, what about the UUP planning to go into opposition in the event of a DUP/SF executive? A totally unprincipled move showing how superficial the commitment they have to inclusivity-it’s only justification is to provide electoral ammo.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    I’m with Jonty here.

    Christopher’s demands for the IRA to disband and end criminal activity etc are simply not DUP demands – at least if the ‘comprehensive agreement’ the DUP negotiated is any indication.

    However, Gerry Adams said that the statements in the comprehensive agreement amounted to an end to IRA criminal activity.

    I do find it strange that the DUP is willing to accept Adams’s word on behalf of the IRA though – as this is almost exactly how the previous attempt by Trimble to deal conclusively with the IRA fell apart. The PDs clearly didn’t believe that the IRA statement in the comprehensive agreement was clear enough, yet the DUP was “unperturbed”…

    What assurances has the DUP received from the IRA that the coalition partner in the Irish government – or indeed anyone else – hasn’t?

    Anyone? I’d genuinely love to hear an explanation.

    From the Irish Times, Dec 11, 2004:

    Adams claims IRA had ruled out further criminality

    The Sinn Féin leader, Mr Gerry Adams, has insisted that the IRA has agreed not to engage in future criminal activity, while refusing to sign up to a specific wording on this matter sought by the two governments, writes Mark Brennock, Chief Political Correspondent and Dan Keenan in Belfast.

    Mr Adams’ comments last night came after the Progressive Democrats said that this was the “key issue” for it, and that without the required IRA commitment the PDs would not support any deal.

    The North’s political parties said yesterday that this was a side issue in the current political deadlock, as efforts continued to resolve the dispute over whether photographs should be taken and published of IRA decommissioning.

    Publicly, the Government parties insisted yesterday that they were united in their efforts to secure a deal to restore the North’s power-sharing institutions.

    But there was deep irritation among Fianna Fáil elements of the Government at the PDs’ surprise statement on Thursday night that the IRA had “failed” to sign up to a “no criminality” pledge, and this now presented a major obstacle.

    The Taoiseach and British Prime Minister said this week that while several issues remain unresolved, the dispute over whether photographs of IRA decommissioning should published is the only issue causing difficulties.

    However the Minister for Justice, Mr McDowell, yesterday continued to focus on the criminality issue. Speaking to reporters he reiterated his party’s demand that the IRA commit itself to a specific statement that it “recognised the need to uphold and not to endanger anyone’s personal rights and safety”.

    A party source stated on Thursday that if this was not signed up to, the release of the killers of Det Garda Jerry McCabe – which is highly unpopular among PD members and voters – is off the table.

    An IRA statement issued on Thursday outlining what it would sign up to in the event of a deal left out the pledge “not to endanger anyone’s personal rights and safety” that was sought by the two governments. It did say that all IRA members had been given “specific instructions not to engage in any activity which might thereby endanger the new agreement”. Mr Adams insisted last night that this meant the same thing.

    While making demands yesterday on the IRA to sign up to the extra form of words, Mr McDowell did not say the organisation had actually refused to do so. “They haven’t done so yet”, he said. “I don’t know if it is reluctance or if it is a timing issue.” He said this undertaking had been under ongoing discussion and had not been the subject of “explicit agreement”.

    The North’s political parties were surprised yesterday at the PDs’ injection of this issue into the public discussion.

    The DUP deputy leader, Mr Peter Robinson, said that the key issue was “the modalities of decommissioning” rather than criminality. He said he was unaware of any suggestion that the IRA was refusing to sign up to a commitment not to engage in criminality. The UUP leader, Mr David Trimble, also said it was unclear as to whether the IRA had refused to do so.

    Sinn Féin negotiator Mr Gerry Kelly accused the PDs of “politicking of the worst kind”.

    Mr McDowell and the Tánaiste, Ms Harney, separately said yesterday that there was no division between the Government parties on this matter. A spokeswoman for the Taoiseach said the Government was united behind the effort to reach a deal.

    Mr McDowell also told reporters yesterday that there was “nothing of substance” in the deal that had not now emerged into the public domain. “Not every scrap of detail is there or thereabouts, but there is nothing of substance. People have the gist of the agreement now.”

    …and the Irish Examiner reported (16/12/04)

    Clear IRA statement required on criminality, says McDowell

    By Harry McGee, Political Editor
    JUSTICE Minister Michael McDowell yesterday laid down the Government’s strongest marker on republican links with criminality, asserting there was no possibility of an agreement without a clear statement from the IRA on this issue.

    “This is an issue on which we cannot budge and the provisional movement cannot fudge,” Mr McDowell told the Dáil yesterday.

    “There will be no deal if there is not clarity. I acknowledge there was a time when constructive ambiguity moved people together.

    “However, we have reached the stage where ambiguity on that issue is destructive. We have reached a moment of truth where the prize is huge,” he said.

    Mr McDowell, in a wide-ranging contribution during the debate on the North, strongly emphasised there were no differences between the PDS and Fianna Fáil on the issue of criminality.

  • willowfield

    See how Christopher Stalford has run away from this thread.