Adams: come and arrest us!

On Thursday evening Gerry Adams travelled down to Leinster House to put on a show of defiance outside (shades of the SF delegation’s photo op outside the gates of Stormont). He called on the Taoiseach to have him and Martin McGuinness arrested if he had evidence of their wrongdoing.

Adams told Daily Ireland:

I feel a particular sense of betrayal by the Taoiseach. I think the Taoiseach has crossed the line, and the line that he has crossed – and I took legal advice on this – was to accuse Martin McGuinness and I of conspiracy to rob and of withholding information. I feel particularly angry about that.

It also carries a picture of the Sinn Fein protests that cut off traffic temporarily that same evening.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    The election campaign for the Westminster and LGE has well and truely started with SF going for the knockout blow and the SDLP trying to get off the canvass.

    The aggressive streak that Durkan is now displaying is an indication that he now realises that the stakes are now all in. It is clear that the SDLP line of attack will be along the Northern lines. As the SDLP unambiguously support Orde they have thrust their political future into the hands of the PSNI. Also it remains to be seen if the new macho Mark strikes a chord with voters.

    I watched a recording of the Q& A programme from RTE on Monday and it was great craic. It was interesting to hear an aggressively combative Mc Guinness accuse the editor of the Irish Star of telling lies when he alleged that SF did not recognise the legitimacy of the Dail, Irish Army or the Gardai. That seems to undercut the charge that SF recognise the Army Council as the legitimate government of Ireland. It will be interesting to see if the editor sues Mc Guinness for accusing him of being a liar.

    If as the weeks progress and no evidence or arrests emerge it remains to be seen if SF can then use this to their advantage.
    The PSNI in a rather public display showed their hand at Beragh and that hand was a pair of deuces. The intelligence that they have at their disposal was shown to be flawed.

    If these types of raids progress and follow the same lines of fruitlessness the SDLP will be extremely vulnerable in this area. Homes will be invaded and SF will be able to state, ‘homes and reputations damaged courtesy of the SDLP’. The outcome will be inevitable.

  • Davros

    The outcome will be inevitable.

    Tactical voting ? If, in seats where Unionist candidates are unlikely to win, Unionist voters gave a first preference to SDLP candidates, The Sinn Féin Leasership’s standing in the broader community might be more properly represented.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Davros,

    at this juncture tactical voting is pie in the sky.

    The SF leadership’s standing is already properly represented in the broader community, that is why we have elections.

  • Keith M

    Davros “If, in seats where Unionist candidates are unlikely to win, Unionist voters gave a first preference to SDLP candidates…” Please tell me what incentive unionist voters have to vote for the SDLP under it’s under “leadership” (and I use the word loosely). Durkan has said that Blair wanted the SDLP to acquire a backbone and stop making a doormat of themselves by joining a voluntary coalition, which would restore local democracy to Northern Ireland. Durkan refused. There is absolutly no advantage for unionists in having SDLP rather than SF/IRA MPs while Durkan leads the party. The opposite actually applies; if the SDLP get wiped out in May, then a new leader should be put in place, who may be able to properly lead the party and not constantly keep looking over his shoulder.

    Unionist voters should vote for the Unionist party which has done the best job at putting SF/IRA under pressure, and it’s clear who that party is.

  • Davros

    Please tell me what incentive unionist voters have to vote for the SDLP under it’s under “leadership”

    I agree with Pat that it’s pie in the sky – the Unionist parties are too thick to see their opportunity. What incentive ? Wiping the smirk of The SF leadership’s face for one when they end up with LESS rather than More elected representatives.

    Think about it – would unionists rather be represented by a SF politician or an SDLP politician ? That’s the choice a lot of them will have – but they’ll vote for a Unionist who won’t win and allow the Shinners in.

    Think about it – what harm can the SDLP do if they get a boost from the unionist population for one election ? It would send a wonderful message round the world – killing the picture people have that our community won’t support anything except Orange .

  • alex s

    If the SDLP out poll the Shinners with the loan of unionist votes can they claim to speak for the majority of nationalists?

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    The SDLP did benefit from UDA voters in W Belfast, but it was only a temporary aberration as a number of Catholics discovered when those voters went back to what they did best. The SDLP in W Belfast has been in a tail spin ever since.

    The danger for the SDLP is that a call by unionists for tactical voting will lead to a counter call by SF to erstwhile SDLP to do the same. ‘Do you really want to elect somoeone backed by Paisley and Trimble at this time?’ Is a pretty good election war cry to help do down the SDLP.
    After the unionists return to their natural parties is the same going to happen to SDLP voters? At this time the SDLP could do without those type of friends.

  • Davros

    If the SDLP out poll the Shinners with the loan of unionist votes can they claim to speak for the majority of nationalists?

    Who Cares Alex ? The Shinners will be using the number of election victories to justify themselves.

    The people of NI have the power to deny them using tactical voting. The SDLP may not be able to claim they speak for a majority of nationalists after the next election, but they already don’t speak for the majority of nationalists, however the people of NI WILL be able to point to a reduced SF success rate and say – there’s the answer to the games you have been playing with the peace process.

    What would unionists rather see ?
    SF showing the world an increased head count or NI showing the world that although people across the divide might want many things, the one thing they don’t want is politics and crime going hand in hand.

  • Davros

    pat – we can make this into a single issue election, in effect a referendum – do the people of NI want Politics or Politics and criminality ?

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Davros,

    How do nationalists who disagree with the criminality that is rampant within the unionist community cast their vote? Given that unionist politicians have worked quite happily with the people behind this criminality your attempt to label this referendum on criminality is trite and to a degree sectarian.

  • Davros

    Pat – the party in the unionist community associated with criminality is in the wilderness. If The PUP was threatening the UUP in the way that SF is now threatening the SDLP, I would suggest that if nationalist voters had any sense they should vote tactically and destroy the PUP’s chances…
    The only one playing the sectarian card in our discussion is you pat.

    The divide I’m looking at is between the parties who aren’t associated with or making excuses for criminal organisations and those who are.

  • Davros

    How do nationalists who disagree with the criminality that is rampant within the unionist community cast their vote?

    That’s easy – they should vote SDLP.

  • abucs

    i agree with Pat.
    it worked in 1 election in West Belfast to unseat Gerry. That time has come and gone and the sdlp haven’t been sighted in West Belfast since.

  • abucs

    the only thing that can save the sdlp is to have normalised politics up and running and to attract votes based on their performance. this has been known for a long time now, but sadly politicians are chosen for their stated prerequisties for joining normalised politics instead of their performance in normalised politics. what a mess.

  • aquifer

    The particular form of voting and count used for PR elections here means that people who ‘plump’ for a middle ground party, and who would never vote for violence or perhaps sectarian intransigence, nevertheless find their votes transferred to the extremes. An interesting question is ‘whose votes end up not counting at all?’ Is PRSTV unsuitable for an electorate with a big binary split?

    Democratic Dialogue published an interesting paper on why first past the post instead could enable people to vote for ‘least bad’ candidates. Some chance?

    Do the potential benefits of tactical voting need to be spelled out constituency by constituency?

    Any gaming theory geeks out there?

  • tebzz3

    i think its a case of who the sdlp believe its safer getting into bed with, i remember joe henderson (i think) turning up to the scene of a shooting in west belfast (i think it was a ruc officer who opened fire on a bookies) and almost getting lynched by a mob, he was at the time rescued by senior sf people.
    should sf suffer because of unionists voting sdlp i would say its a safe bet that unionism would mess up their advantage and embarass the sdlp again and probably for the last time. remember republicans play the long game ……

  • Roger W. Christ XVII

    “The SDLP did benefit from UDA voters in W Belfast, but it was only a temporary aberration as a number of Catholics discovered when those voters went back to what they did best. The SDLP in W Belfast has been in a tail spin ever since.”

    Nice attempt at revisionism Pat. I’m no SDLP supporter but Joe Hendron took the seat in 1992 before there was any hint of any ceasefires from anyone. Following this, Sinn Fein launched a sustained programme of attacks on the SDLP there, including harassing them through the courts over electoral law matters and staging silly public demonstrations anywhere Hendron went (which miraculously Gerry Adams would turn up at to “calm the situation”). They constantly harrassed him and interfered with his constituency work. Adams’ re-election came on the back of the ceasefire politics where Sinn Fein promised silent guns in exchange for votes.

    Subsequently it came to be written in various republican publications that the SDLP’s audacity in running against Adams and actually taking his seat “damaged the peace process”. Such articles are insightful to how Sinn Fein does things – if you don’t vote for us you can’t have a peace process. They have a little way to go before they understand what democracy is supposed to be about. The North Korean leadership once threatening said “the world doesn’t deserve to exist without the DPRK”, I wonder if Sinn Fein believe the same way about themselves vis. the peace process.

  • Roger W. Christ XVII

    tebzz3, you see there’s one little problem with SF’s supposed policy of making partnership with unionists – it’s bollocks. (pardon me)

    The SDLP made partnership with unionists and Sinn Fein used that to vilify them, as though anyone who deals with unionists is a leper.

  • mogo

    tebzz3 it wasa young mother in a chemist shot by his political allies

  • mogo

    roger he didn’t lose on the back of the ceasefire but because twinbrook and poleglass were brought into west belfast and the uda/uff realised supporting him wasn’t worth the candle

  • Liam

    Roger

    you see there’s one little problem with SF’s supposed policy of making partnership with unionists – it’s bollocks. (pardon me)

    For crying out loud, get real. The reality is that Sinn Féin worked hard to reach a deal with Trimble in 2003 – he failed to keep his word, but only after republicans had already kept theirs.

    Sinn Féin worked even harder to bring forward an unprecedented and hugely historic deal in December 2004. This time, Paisley rejected it and refused to share power.

    Maybe you are proud of Unionism’s inability to keep their word or to take a leap of imagination that would bring us all into a new era?

    I can’t imagine why you would be.

  • Davros

    That has to be one of the best posts I’ve read in ages Liam. Cheers mate 🙂

  • ShayPaul

    Davros

    Ball not man.

  • Davros

    Shaypaul

    Catch yourself on.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    ‘That’s easy – they should vote SDLP.’

    Hardly Davros as the SDLP support the PSNI and that particular organisation has never left its sectarian past behind it.
    The targetting of an innocent family in Beragh shows that the SDLP are going to pay a price for their stupidity.

    Roger,

    before the election of Hendron the SDLp did meet the UDP at the same time as they were killing Catholics in W Belfast. Election results since then are evidence that the electorate have never forgiven the SDLP for their alliance with the UDA.

  • Davros

    “The targetting of an innocent family in Beragh”

    pat – you are losing credibility with this nonsense.

    “Targetting” ? Targetting was taking the families of 2 Northern Bank employees hostage.

    Bottom line – cops receive information . frsy thing is decide if info has any credibility …
    Info involves scrapyard, Case has a missing van.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Davros,

    with every friutless raid and every passing day without as much as a dud fiver showing up it is the PSNI and their much vaunted intelligence gathering capability that is losing credibility. I must say that it does look quite amusing from where I sit.

  • Davros

    Please address the issues pat … on the one hand you (pl) whinge at any suggestion that the RM is involved in the Bank Robbery and yet when the police check a commercial scrapyard for a missing van you exaggerate to the point where you make it sound like Waco or Ruby Ridge…..

  • Davros

    Pat – how many years did it take before arrests were made in the Great train Robbery of 1963 ? And then remember – that police investigation didn’t take place in a society where a major political party had
    a track record of telling the public not to assist the Police.

  • Roger W. Christ XVII

    “before the election of Hendron the SDLp did meet the UDP at the same time as they were killing Catholics in W Belfast.”

    A prime example in this post bank robbery world we live in. Is there any evidence ? Was anybody arrested ? If not how do you know the UDA were killing any Catholics in Belfast ?

    In any case you make it sound like you think that talking to people who are still actively engaged in terrorism is bad, which is a pretty severe case of the time-hounoured chuckie tradition of double standards. Hume talked to Adams for long extended periods while the IRA continued to kill people. I don’t remember many nationalists objecting to this.

    Your attitude about the PSNI and the search in Beragh shows your immaturity about policing and shows us all quite clearly that you aren’t remotely interested in ever having a police force that you will support, and it shows how much republicans are prepared to sacrifice policing in exchange for petty politics. No police force including the hypothetical future fantasy-land one that Sinn Fein say they might support, will have possession of 100% correct intelligence 100% of the time. Frequently they will get bum steers, frequently they will get bad intelligence and this will result in the disruption of someone completely innocent. Using this fact which is true of police the world over to score points is a sad indictment on how seriously you take building a stable future in this country.

  • Roger W. Christ XVII

    “For crying out loud, get real. The reality is that Sinn Féin worked hard to reach a deal with Trimble in 2003 – he failed to keep his word, but only after republicans had already kept theirs.”

    Liam, republicans pay lip service to building a partnership with unionists, but the truth is that many of them hate unionists. Witness the treatment Hendron got for – gasp – the heinous crime of acquiring votes from the Shankill Road. Apparently if you get unionists to vote for you, you’re a traitor. Is that what bridge building is all about ?

  • Roger W. Christ XVII

    By the way Liam, it’s really funny the way you seem to think I’m a unionist.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Davros,

    i don’t whinge at any suggestion that the RM was involved in the bank raid, I am simply taking people to task over the intelligence that is being quoted that they did.
    The PSNI are telling anyone who will listen that although they have no evidence at all they are acting on good intelligence, unfortunately for them when that intelligence manifests itself into police action it is shown not to be very good at all.
    Unlike the Great Train Robbery the intelligence assessments of the PSNI are having major political implications now, as shown by the IMC report and the quoting of Orde by the media and politicians.

    The police have a history of political intervention and lying. I think that there is every reason to believe that they are doing so again. Allegedly their warrants are handed out now only when their is reason for doing so. Very publicly this can be seen to be wrong and worthless. Is there any reason to believe the guff they are passing on to the IMC is any more credible?

    With every passing day the poor old SDLP must be wondering what they let themselves in for. The problem for them is the fact that they should have known better.

    Roger,

    the fact is Hendron, Attwood et al can chat to who ever they like, but they have never recovered from the UDA pact as election results have shown. It was a marriage of convenience at the time and the SDLP suffered for it.
    Your points on intelligence are covered in my reply yo Davros

  • willowfield

    “UDA pact”

    LOL!

  • Nicholas Whyte

    On tactical voting:

    The Republican myth is that 3,000 Shankill Road voters in 1992 supported Joe Hendron because of a meeting the SDLP had with the UDA.

    The first interesting question is, did Republicans object to the SDLP meeting with their own leaders at a time when the IRA were murdering innocent people? Or did they in fact hail the SDLP’s dealings with the Republican movement as statesmanlike behaviour? I personally think the SDLP were wrong on both occasions, but I think you have to apply the same standard.

    Second, why do Republicans believe that on foot of a mere once-off meeting with the UDA, 3,000 Shankill voters were moved to vote for Joe Hendron? This at a time when paramilitary-supported candidates in local elections were getting only 2000-2500 votes across the entire Shankill in local elections, rather than the three fifths of it in the West Belfast constituency?

    And how would Republicans explain the fact that a similar number of Shankill voters appear to have supported Gerry Fitt in 1983? And for Joe Hendron again in 1997, though he lost due to the growth in the SF vote and the new boundaries?

    Isn’t this entire story one of the best illustrations of the way in which the Republican movement has never got to grips with the motivations of the Unionist population – how they simply cannot deal with the concept that Unionists might have come to their own conclusions that they would rather vote for Hendron (in 1997 and 1992) and for Fitt (in 1983) without having to be instructed to do it by anyone?

    There were a few more examples of tactical voting in the 2001 election, though none as dramatic as in West Belfast in previous times: I reckon the SDLP picked up votes from people who would normally vote Unionist in North and South Belfast, and the UUP benefited from Nationalits voters in South Antrim, North Down and almost certainly Strangford. Unlikely to be repeated this year, I should think.

  • Roger W. Christ XVII

    Nick, excellent points as always. What I find even more sinister about the republican analysis is that they seem to believe that votes coming from the Shankill in any case have something to do with the UDA, as though people living on the Shankill are somehow directly identifiable with loyalist paramilitarism. It’s unsurprising to hear Pat express the sectarian logic that led to the fish shop bombing.

  • Roger W. Christ XVII

    Fitt’s vote never did quite recover after the peace-loving pro-democracy free-speech supporting republicans burnt him, Paddy Devlin, and various other nationalists out of their homes.

  • Davros

    From Straight Left, p 285 :

    “When Sands eventually died in May 1981 our Andersonstown house was the immediate target of organised attacks by mobs of young people. They arrived at the door on a whistled signal and hammered it with hurling sticks. Petrol bombs were made up outside the house to frighten us. They shouted obscenities. ‘Get out to fuck you Protestant lover’ was one insult I particularly remember.”

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    ‘sectarian logic that led to the fish shop bombing.’

    Bit of a filthy lying statement there, best just to ignore you.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Did the SDLP meet the UDA before the election? The simple answer is YES.

  • objectivist

    ”Unionist voters should vote for the Unionist party which has done the best job at putting SF/IRA under pressure, and it’s clear who that party is.”

    KM,this is post I’ve been meaning to make for a long time.As a PD voter and former party member I find the notion of simultaneous support for the PDs and the DUP intellectually incongruous.
    ‘Paisleyism is a highly dangerous and pernicious political philosophy’
    -Michael McDowell 1998.

  • Nicholas Whyte

    Pat reasonably clings to the one solid fact at his disposal:

    Did the SDLP meet the UDA before the election? The simple answer is YES.

    Did it make a difference to the election result? I doubt it, for the reasons outlined above. (To recap: paramilitary vote not big enough anyway; Shankill voters also supported Fitt in 1983 and Hendron again in 1997, without Republicans complaining about UDA deals on either occasion.)

    Shankill voters in 1992 were perfectly capable of working out that voting for Joe Hendron was a good way of unseating Gerry Adams without being instructed to do so by the UDA, or anybody else for that matter. I don’t know who wrote the “vote for Cobain is a vote for Sinn Féin” graffiti, but I do know that the UDA are not the only people who know how to use a can of paint and a brush, and that they are also not alone in feeling that one can imagine worse tragedies than Fred Cobain getting only 4,000 votes instead of the 7,000 he hoped for.

    The remark about the fish shop is entirely apposite. “Sure, they all voted for Hendron on the instructions of their paramilitary warlords, let’s blow them all up.” Or is there a better justification for that action that I am unaware of?

    Finally, let me ask one last question: Can you assure me that no Republicans ever met with the UDA? If not, why are you complaining that someone else did?