Sinn Fein invulnerable if Blair continues to protect them

Paul Bew, interviewed by Radio Netherlands, reckons that Sinn Fein is solid electorally. He sees no change in the future particularly if Tony Blair continues to protect the previliged position they have enjoyed in negotiations, courtesy of being so close to the IRA.

  • Alan McDonald

    Prof.Bew’s comments are the most sensible that I’ve heard this week. It is true that the “polarising dynamic” has and will favor the SF/DUP electoral extremes.

  • Napper

    Perhaps Professor Bew could remind the priviliged Sinn Fein party why there are only about four or five Catholic members of the RUC ?

  • DessertSpoon

    “We are still in the situation where Mr Adams and Mr McGuinness have more weight within the negotiations and the discussions than politicians from the non-violent side of politics. Despite all the shock-horror of the last day or two, nothing has substantively changed.”

    Always knew being good got you no-where. Sad isn’t it.


  • fair_deal


    “why there are only about four or five Catholic members of the RUC ?”

    Hope this doesn’t shatter your belief system but throughout its entire existence there were more than 4 or 5 Roman Catholic members of the RUC. The PSNI also have a discriminatory policy that favours Roman Catholics over Protestants and minority ethnic groups.

  • Napper

    What have you been smoking, Fair Deal? There are fewer Catholics in the RUC now than there were in 1968. Honest. And the scheme being hatched now by the Protestant ascendancy is to have a total of fifty more Catholic officers in the next five years.

  • fair_deal


    1. TI don’t smoke
    2. The RUC no longer exists. Are you the new Doctor Who?
    3. The 50:50 recruitment rule will result in more than 50 extra Catholic officers.

  • Napper

    Any Catholic Irishman in the six counties who does not demand a fifty fifty mix of Catholic and Protestant members of the RUC within ninety days, is not worthy of the name. Furthermore, they should treat this illegal police force with comtempt and refuse to listen to any commands from its officers.

  • aquifer

    “polarizing dynamic”

    And how.

    The silly Brits left agreeing the detail of a ratified constitutional settlement to parties with interests vested in sectarian division. British empiricism (muddled experiment) triumphs, hard thinking avoided, and the Brits still get to patronise the paddies as unreasonable afterwards.

    If they had not got the balls to follow through and implement the GFA over the heads of the historic parties, they could at least have learned from the more inclusive constitutional forum that resulted in the GFA.

    Whats the DUP SFPIRA plan now? repartition and a Bosnian war style contriband drugs vice gangsta & guns economy?

    Who voted for that Mr Murphy?

  • Belfast Gonzo


    I don’t know your politics, but do you feel there is an increasing number of NI Prods and Unionists who are starting to articulate a “Brits Out” attitude towards the NIO?

    Maybe the NIO is exploting Direct Rule to piss as many Prods off as possible to deliberately create a backlash of anti-Westminster feeling within unionism?!?!

  • Alan McDonald

    Maybe I’m slicing this too thin or my vision is poor from 3,000 miles away, but “anti-Westminster” makes a lot of sense. In fact, “anti-English” makes sense since it could include the thinking of the Welsh and snthe Scots as well as the Unionists in NI.

    I also agree with the failed empiricism analysis.

  • aquifer


    Unfortunately I don’t think that prods are critical in an analytical way at all. They probably trust the Brits to save them from the “worst that can happen”, like they stood against PIRA for a generation and more. Many are still raw from the PIRA campaign and just don’t want to co-operate with nationalists unless they have to.

    Direct rule is too easy for the Prods, letting them slope off to the garden centre or whatever. The ministers are very competent and are unlikely to depart from the mainstream of UK policy. Its British, ain’t it? We get to work and do the shopping. Thats enough for most.

    I always thought that the fallback from no agreement had to be something the Prods should want to negotiate out of, like random appointed international and cross border commissioners. Think ideologues of different hues, quangocrats, foreigners, catholics, women, and rabid capitalists let loose on NI departments.

    That would get them out of the golf club lounge.