Partitionism, self-interest and incompetence

That’s the charge levelled at the Irish government by Sinn Fein president, Gerry Adams. He went on to resist the (increasing popular) formula that the only substantial block on progress is the mere existence of the IRA. He went on to ask, “What about policing? Demilitarisation? Human rights and Equality? The political institutions?”

  • Everything Ulster (formerly Beano)

    The cheek of Sinn Fein criticising anyone for mishandling the education system is criminal! As for Gerry’s other points (I’m stealing this commentary from my own blog)

    Perhaps if Gerry could stop mope-ing for a second he’d find the answers.

    Well, Gerry, Sinn Fein were offered positions on the policing board, which they have yet to take up. Stop acting like the man who doesn’t vote and then complains about the government.

    Demilitarisation has been moving along quite steadily, at least on the side of the British government, and I’m not aware of too many people being killed by the British army in Northern Ireland lately. While we’re on demilitarisation though, how far along are the IRA on hanging up their guns for good?

    Are we not, now, one of the most over-regulated countries in the world when it comes to equality legislation? Has the government not set up a Human Rights Commission which is making recommendations for a Northern Ireland Bill of Rights. Have they also not set up a police ombudsman? On human rights, where do you stand on the human rights of the retired police officers, now under threat for their lives from republican ‘volunteers’?

    The whole reason they were suspended was because the provisionals proved unwilling to give up intelligence gathering, arms purchasing and other criminal activities. You can have your part in the political institutions or a private army but you can’t have both.

  • Whatabout

    In electioneering mode Gerry’s trying to refocus everyone on to his agenda. He’s trying to draw a line through the McCartney (and other) problems.

  • Liam

    Wow Beano, your efforts to even attempt any understanding of the concerns of the majority party of Irish Nationalsim are more than underwhelming!

    We have serious concerns on all of the above and negotiated very seriously on all these issues. However you would seem to prefer to ignore all of these and pretend that these issues do not exist.

    I would remind you that we still have an unaccountable policing service, we had a name change and little else. But then you probably don’t even read our policy positions on policing – go on admit it?

    I would also remind you that there are double the amount of British troops in the North (in the middle of a peace process) as there are in Iraq (in the middle of a war)!!

    If you think that there are no issues around Equality and Human Rights, then I’m not going to retype everything for you just to ignore it all (again)!

    But i would remind you that the Political institutions were suspended with a great deal of publicity about an ‘IRA spy ring’ at Stormont – all those charges were subsequently dropped! The institutions were suspended on a false pretext – but I bet you would stand over that – even though you and everybody else was treated to lies and were made a fool of at that time too!

  • Everything Ulster (formerly Beano)

    “I would remind you that we still have an unaccountable policing service,” So join the policing board and do something about it from there!

    I’ll admit I hadn’t realised that there are twice as many troops in NI as in Iraq.. have you got a source for this information?

    It didn’t take much research but I’ve found this little nugget in a … Letter from Paul Murphy to the Guardian

    “In support of his conspiracy theory, Stanage asserts that almost all the charges relating to the alleged IRA “spy ring” in 2002 have been “quietly dropped”. He is wrong. Three men face very serious charges.

    Perhaps you are aware of something I’m not, have the charges been dropped in the last 2 months?

  • Keith M

    Liam ” the concerns of the majority party of Irish Nationalsim” (sic)… that’ll be Northern Irish Nationalism. Of course if you are to believe John Hume, that isn’t much of a boast considering that he refers to the SDLP as a “post nationalist party”. So well done, SF/IRA is indeed the biggest (and possibly only) party in Northern Ireland that hasn’t moved on from the 19th century.

  • Jimmy Sands

    Liam,

    What exactly are these troops doing to offend you?

    As to Human Rights, what gaps are left after the incorporation of the ECHR that in your view still need to be covered?

  • Davros

    Jimmy – asking a chanter to explain the mantra is hard but fair ….

  • Everything Ulster (formerly Beano)

    keith, maybe I’m nitpicking, but to be fair I think “northern Irish nationalism” (small n, very important esp when dealing with the Sinners) or better yet, “Irish nationalism within the context of the artificial, sectarian, puppet statelet” would be the correct term, as Northern Irish nationalism would suggest a love for Northern Ireland, not something to which messr Adams and co. tend to subscribe 😉 I think the term Northern Irish nationalism would be more aptly applied to the Ulster Independence Movement (who would resent the use of the term NI anyway!! lol) Oh what a country we live in!

    I await responses to Jimmy’s questions above.

  • Keith M

    EU, I take your point. Perhaps the phrase should “be nationalist party in Northern Ireland”. As far as I’m concerned Fianna Fail and Fine Gael are both nationalist parties given their (albeit low priority) desire for a “united Ireland, however they have moved on the the 19th century, and both embrace European unity.

  • Roger W. Christ XVII

    Martin McGuinness is a former minister in a British administration created by the British government. It’s funny to hear SF complaining about partitionism.

    “your efforts to even attempt any understanding of the concerns of the majority party of Irish Nationalsim”

    It’s even funnier hearing republicans indulging frequently in majoritarianism. “We’re the majority, we’re bigger than you, so please go away and stop bothering us with your opinions or your silly little complaints about our agenda.” Where have I heard that before ?

    “about an ‘IRA spy ring’ at Stormont – all those charges were subsequently dropped!”

    No they weren’t, there are still people in custody facing charges. The least you could do would be to try to post facts instead of made-up rubbish.

    “If you think that there are no issues around Equality and Human Rights,”

    There’s people being stabbed and subsequently having investigation into their murders disrupted and blocked. Death, as they said on the Portadown News long ago, is pretty much the biggest human rights violation you can get – and there’s the republicans in the middle of it, shock horror.

    As for Gerry Adams’ comments, well policing could move on if SF would state in clear terms what needs to be fixed beyond glib comments about disbanding Special Branch. We could start with a manifesto outlining the circumstances under which SF would sign up. At least then the rest of us would have something to work towards. But the republicans refuse to state what they want out of policing in anything other than the vaguest terms. I wonder why.

  • Jovian

    While browsing blogs, I came across yours and reading the comments prompts me to say that, you guys seem to have found the secret of perpetual motion. The whole “conversation” resembles a ping pong ball, endlessly bouncing back and forth while the spectators watch glass eyed with boredom.

    From an outsider looking on, there is no difference between any of the people who live in your little corner of the world, the only logical explanation for your carry on, is that you actually enjoy killing and maiming each other, and to achieve this you perpetrate an artificial animosity.

    The rest of the world and particularly Europe, also had some vicious civil rights conflicts in the late 1960’s. Most of these issues have been addressed by EU legislation and people have got on with their lives, taking advantage of the prosperity, a unified Europe offers its citizens. All except NI; where these civil liberties also apply. In Northern Ireland you forgot to stop. The fact that you are moving into a third generation of people, who think that your type of conflict in the community is the norm, leads one to believe that you are all genetically defective. Exacerbated by the fact that the intelligent ones probably got the hell out of the place long ago. There is no other explanation for a community, who stood by and did nothing while grown men threw rocks at four year old girls, on the way to their first day at school, to mention just one of the things you idiots are famous for.

    It’s time you guys grew up and smelled the coffee.

  • beano @ Everything Ulster

    “Most of these issues have been addressed by … legislation and people have got on with their lives, taking advantage of the prosperity…”

    But not in Northern Ireland. Apparently human rights are still an issue, we’re just not told precisely which ones because then we might be able to fix things and the Sinners would have nothing left to complain about 😉

    Did I just illustrated his point…? Oops!

  • Dave

    Adams and McGuinness have been really annoyed of late with Irish Govt line (put about by Dermot Ahern) that;
    1. Provisional Movement are main obsticle to unity.
    2. SF Green Paper on unity idea is a red-herring designed to divert attention from fact that SF by refusing to deal with paramilitarism etc is holding up agreement and agenda of reform, human rights, all-island bodies, justice etc.
    3. That by opposing the 32 county mandate of the Agreement they are not Republican at all.

    Tactic seems to be working. Adams and McGuinness have (at least obliquely) referred to it in most speeches made in past week.

  • IJP

    What about policing? Demilitarisation? Human rights and Equality? The political institutions?

    Yes Mr Adams, what about them?

  • jamesquigley

    beano
    northern unionists must finally face up to the fact that nat/rep will not bow down to their demands… those who call sinn fein a party akin to the nazi’s should remember that for the best part of the last century (your best part)it was the unionists who did not allow the minority fair housing, voting rights, education, human rights.. the list goes on, so when you talk about the IRA remember who actually was the reason for their re-emergence into irish history and politics & why they still have a sizable level of support despite what the nio fed media and fearful coalition govt in the south say. Finally in relaton to the wrongful murder of robert McCartney and the comments about the perpetrators being brought to justice I agree they should and rightly so, you must also agree so too should those involved in tragedies such as bloody sunday, robert hamill, rosemary nelson, pat finucane.

  • Circles

    Roger and EU:
    Any more information on those apparently still in custody for the “spy ring”? Who are they? Are the SAF members?
    This really would interest me, because as far as I have been able to find out, nobody is in custidy for this. I read Murphy’s letter in response to the Strang editorial in the Guardian and admit it left me scratching my head a bit. If there are people in custody, why have we not heard more about it?
    Its not really like the PSNI (or the DUP, Irish Govt. etc.) to miss an opportunity to point these things out to us.

  • Circles

    of course that should be SF
    (always use the preview function Circles!!!)

  • beano @ Everything Ulster

    Sorry circles, no clue, I just googled it, finding it hard to believe the claims made above.

  • beano @ Everything Ulster

    “nat/rep will not bow down to their demands..”
    Is it just me or is republican terminology starting to resemble that of the DUP and the Stormong Unionists 1921-71?

    “those who call sinn fein a party akin to the nazi’s should remember that for the best part of the last century (your best part)it was the unionists who did not allow the minority fair housing, voting rights, education, human rights.. the list goes on,”

    Sorry I was only born in ’83 – living in the past really isn’t my forté, though judging from that post you seem to be quite well practiced in that field.
    Do you not now have fair voting rights? Education? Human rights? (I know nothing about housing, but I haven’t heard too many complaints lately).

    I grow tired of this boring mopefest. I have had nothing to do with the government of which you speak.

  • DXI

    Yup. We’ll see how “increasing popular” this line of spin is at the elections, won’t we?

    Mr Davros and Dr Christ – I cannot emphasise the imnportance of the word “process” in “Peace Process”. I detect an unwillingness to comprehend here.

    My guess is the IRA issue will not be addressed before the election, and rightly so. And when they are re-endorsed by the Nationalist population,well, they will no longer be the “only” problem. Will they?

  • spirit-level

    I vote that the following comment by the pipe smoker himself get the prize for saying the most in the shortest amount of words;
    “Jimmy – asking a chanter to explain the mantra is hard but fair ….”
    of course it cuts both ways.
    Quite brilliant.

  • IJP

    Beano

    I grow tired of this boring mopefest.

    And so say (nearly) all of us.

    Catholics (term chosen deliberately) never chose the British State and they were treated grossly unfairly for the first half-century plus of NI’s existence. Fact.

    However, if they think the IRA terrorist campaign helped their cause in even the slightest way, or that voting for apologists for that same case will help their cause in even the slightest way, they are completely deluded.

    I refer to my point above: what is Mr Adams doing about equality, justice and human rights? He was elected on a platform to deliver these, so far through his support for the IRA he’s delivered precisely the opposite. What is he going to do about it?

  • Alan2

    “I would remind you that we still have an unaccountable policing service,”

    No we don`t. We have the most accountable police force anywhere in the world. Please state how the PSNI is unaccountable and how other police forces are more accountable?

    “I would also remind you that there are double the amount of British troops in the North (in the middle of a peace process) as there are in Iraq (in the middle of a war)!!”

    How many US troops are in the US?
    How many Iraqi troops are in Iraq?
    Is it really rthat surprising the UK troops are based in the UK which it must be added includes the Home battalions of the Royal Irish Rangers and the various TA regiments such as the North Irish Field Hospital and Royal Irish Rangers. There may well be more in NI than in other parts of the UK because of the troubles but numbers have steadily decreased inline with the level of threat perceived. UK troops will remain in NI for as long as NI remains part of the UK. Simple fact.

    Equality and human rights – this country is falling over with equality and human rights legislation, not only UK based but EU based laws as well. And quite frankly after the coverup of the McCartney killing and padre pio type punishment beatings and the disappeared Sinn Fein IRA have to be having a laugh to even mention Human Rights.

  • IJP

    Excellent points all, Alan2.

  • Jimmy Sands

    As to my questions, I’ll throw it open to the floor.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    IJP and Alan

    Excellent points? Hmmmm. Ian – your mask is slipping again.

    “We have the most accountable police force anywhere in the world.??

    Utter, colonial hogwash. The PSNI is ultimately responsible only to the
    secretary of state, who in turn is in no sense responsible to anyone in
    Northern Ireland. That?s a fact. The policing board and police ombudsman
    can carry out investigations and reports, but the actual power lies in an
    office from which representatives of the very people policed by the PSNI
    are effectively barred. It?s a typical colonial approach to try to obscure
    face-slapping reality with a bauble tossed down from the imperial massa.
    Doesn?t work for those of us unwilling to go along with the ruse though.

    “Please state how the PSNI is unaccountable???

    See above.

    “and how other police forces are more accountable???

    This is irrelevant, but I?ll answer it anyway. The Gardai may not have a
    police board or an ombudsman, but their boss is the minister for justice,
    and above him, the Taoiseach. His boss is the Irish people. That?s
    accountability,
    democratic-style. We wouldn?t know anything about that here, and pro-colonial
    unionism is positively opposed to it.
    “How many US troops are in the US???
    Irrelevant to the point made.
    “How many Iraqi troops are in Iraq???
    Irrelevant to the point made.
    “Is it really that surprising the UK troops are based in the UK???
    I can understand why a unionist would make this incredibly obtuse argument,
    but please: could you show a little less contempt to nationalists? We?re
    talking about British troops in Ireland, not local lads.
    But I?ll go with your point anyway, despite the sheer disrespect implied
    in it: the army considers the normal “garrison level?? in Northern Ireland
    to be 5,000 troops. There are still three times that number here, and just
    4,000 fewer than in 1994. How can this be justified, almost a decade since
    the last attack on a soldier here?
    “There may well be more in NI than in other parts of the UK because of
    the troubles but numbers have steadily decreased inline with the level of
    threat perceived.
    ?Steadily?? That?s an empty, civil service, weasel word. ?Steadily?? Yeah
    ? a couple of hundred a year, it seems to be.
    “UK troops will remain in NI for as long as NI remains part of the UK.
    Simple fact.??
    Of course this is correct, as far as it goes. The point is that NI is still
    a militarised society, in a way that England, Scotland and Wales are not.
    If you don?t think this is fair comment, I suggest you take a daytrip to
    Crossmaglen some time soon. Til then, please try to keep in mind that some
    things you consider to be self-evidently axiomatic seem to others like nothing
    less than calculated insults.
    (Incidentally, the detail about there being more British troops in Ireland
    than Iraq was flagged up by Sinn Fein recently after, I believe, a Freedom
    of Information request. The fact that Sinn Fein said it doesn?t make it
    untrue. The statement was not challenged by the NIO.)

  • aquifer

    The Brits delivered all they could on policing, equality, institutions etc.

    It is unclear that Gerry can deliver the RA.

    So expect more such flim and flam.

  • Jimmy Sands

    Take as much time as you need.

  • IJP

    BP

    There’s no mask to slip. If people talk nonsense, I’ll point it out. Nationalists happen to talk a lot of nonsense, as do Unionists, because their arguments are entirely biased and have little to do with the ‘other side’ and little to do with rational analysis.

    I suggest you take a daytrip to
    Crossmaglen some time soon.

    I enjoyed a daytrip to see the family of a friend only two weeks ago, go raibh maith agat. Indeed, I joined my aunt for the visit of other friends from Crossmaglen just last weekend. What’s your point? Not everyone there thinks the same as Gerry Adams and co, y’know!

    The point is that NI is still
    a militarised society, in a way that England, Scotland and Wales are not.

    That’s because NI harbours terrorist and mafia gangs in a way that England, Scotland and Wales do not. Extra troops are here because the ‘paramilitaries’ are, not the other away around. Do talk sense.

    I can understand why a unionist would make this incredibly obtuse argument,
    but please: could you show a little less contempt to nationalists?

    No one’s showing contempt for ‘nationalists’. I’m showing contempt for stupid arguments.

    We?re talking about British troops in Ireland, not local lads.

    There are NI (‘Irish’) troops at Catterick and Aldershot, and there are English troops at Lisburn. All UK troops in the UK. ‘British’ and ‘Irish’ don’t come into it. If there was a united Ireland tomorrow I wouldn’t expect Munstermen to be barred from Northern barracks on the basis they’re not ‘local lads’!

    Nationalists, in fact, are the ones who need to show some respect for NI’s position within the UK and for people’s perfectly legitimate desire for it to stay that way. Just as Unionists would have to show respect for a choice in favour of a United Ireland, should that happen. That means troops in bases, symbols in law courts etc etc.

    Like prisoner releases, police reform, and all the rest, that’s what the people voted for in 1998. Deal with it.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Jimmy

    “What exactly are these troops doing to offend you?”

    They are present.

    IJP

    Fair play, you have ascended to new heights of pomposity with that last post.

    You said:

    I enjoyed a daytrip to see the family of a friend “only two weeks ago, go raibh maith agat. Indeed, I joined my aunt for the visit of other friends from Crossmaglen just last weekend. What’s your point? Not everyone there thinks the same as Gerry Adams and co, y’know!”

    Now, if you read that again, you’ll see that you don’t actually specify if you’ve ever been to Cross, but I assume you were saying you have. Either way, you don’t deal with the point I was raising: that it is a highly-militarised place. You offered only the glib and ultimately meaningless platitude that “Not everyone there thinks the same as Gerry Adams and co, y’know!”

    True. But then you’ll struggle to find any two people who think identically. The point is that their opposition to the troops is pretty much unanimous. Your debating club-style fencing on this is insufferable.

    “That’s because NI harbours terrorist gangs”

    Yes but not to anything like the extent that was true ten years ago. Yet the troop levels aren’t that far off what they were then. Care to explain why you think the current troop levels are justified?

    “and mafia gangs”

    Issues of criminality are handled by the police. The army have a counter-insurgency role. Tackling “mafia-style gangs” is not in their remit, and would only become so under martial law. Perhaps you would advocate such a course?

    Besides, sadly, organised crime is very much alive in England, Scotland and Wales. And pretty much everywhere else too.

    “No one’s showing contempt for ‘nationalists’. I’m showing contempt for stupid arguments.”

    I’m sorry that, after all our many fruitful debates you feel it necessary to call me stupid. Are you drunk? You’re acting very unlike yourself.

    “There are NI (‘Irish’) troops at Catterick and Aldershot, and there are English troops at Lisburn. All UK troops in the UK. ‘British’ and ‘Irish’ don’t come into it. If there was a united Ireland tomorrow I wouldn’t expect Munstermen to be barred from Northern barracks on the basis they’re not ‘local lads’!

    They would be Irish troops in Ireland, as opposed to British troops in Ireland. Local lads in Aldershot are members of the British armed forces.

    “Nationalists, in fact, are the ones who need to show some respect for NI’s position within the UK and for people’s perfectly legitimate desire for it to stay that way.”

    We respect it by not taking up arms against the status quo. We respect it by arguing for change, rather than fighting for it. That’s the best we can do. You seem to think that simply being a nationalist and arguing our case is disrespectful. I respectfully disagree.

    “Just as Unionists would have to show respect for a choice in favour of a United Ireland, should that happen.”

    Unionists would owe only the same courtesy: to be peaceful in their political arguments.

    “That means troops in bases, symbols in law courts etc etc.”

    And nationalists will continue to argue against these things.

    “Like prisoner releases, police reform, and all the rest, that’s what the people voted for in 1998. Deal with it.”

    I voted for demilitarisation and equality in the workplace, which means garrison level troops and no symbols in courts, councils etc. It’s all in the agreement. Deal with it.

  • Jimmy Sands

    I suppose to be fair to you Billy, I asked for an answer. I didn’t ask for a good one.

  • Alan2

    “This is irrelevant, but I?ll answer it anyway. The Gardai may not have a
    police board or an ombudsman, but their boss is the minister for justice,
    and above him, the Taoiseach. His boss is the Irish people. That?s
    accountability,
    democratic-style. We wouldn?t know anything about that here, and pro-colonial
    unionism is positively opposed to it.”

    Ahh. I see. You mean it is the same thing except you don`t have District Policing Boards made up of LOCAL people and you dont have a policing board made up of LOCAL people and you dont have a police ombudsman who is a LOCAL person who all happen to be from the island of Ireland and in particular Northern Ireland.

    “We?re talking about British troops in Ireland, not local lads.”

    That`s the same thing last time I looked. There are three battalions of RIR soldiers you know. The Scottish Blackwatch are posted in England…their still UK troops in the UK.

    “The fact that Sinn Fein said it doesn?t make it
    untrue.”

    I never said it was untrue I asked wht is remarkable about that? We also have troops in Germany and around the world what is so surprising about having alot of troops in your own country?

    Wait. Wait. The Irish Defence Forces have more troops in wait for it…the Republic of Ireland than they do France. Gosh.

  • Jovian

    Last night I was a little intrigued, now I understand where the director of “Groundhog Day” got his script.

    The word “GOBSHITES” needs to be moved up an octave to describe you idiots, is there anything that would encourage you guys to do the world a favour by committing collective suicide?

  • beano @ Everything Ulster

    There is one thing Jovian, you first 😉

  • beano @ Everything Ulster

    To everyone else I apologise, that last statement was no more constructive than jovian’s.

    “They would be Irish troops in Ireland, as opposed to British troops in Ireland” Everytime we go to this nationality thing you know it’s going to go round in circles. To us they’re countrymen, to you foreigners, and vice versa with soldiers of the Republic that may or may not come here in some future utopian all-island state.

    I’m tempted to accept your point on troop numbers, but don’t forget there is still a threat (admittedly considerably smaller than there was 10 years ago) thanks to dissidents. The other qualm I have with your assessment of the legitimacy of troop numbers is simply that I find it hypocritical to complain about the *level* of troops when the only level you would accept is none.

  • Alan2

    It is quite clear to see the difference in troop levels in NI. Compared to10 or 15 years ago how many road checks have you had? Indeed how many troop have you seen walking the streets?
    I used to see them almost every day. I can only think of about 4 times in the last 5 years. Pretty good progress I would have thought. Look at Magherafelt Police Station and Cookstown too….ok they are still not quite the same as say a Scottish Police station but the fortifications have all come down in the last year….

  • Davros

    That’s the thing about the Dr Jekylls Alan2 – it’s not about compromise or incremental progress, it’s about getting what they want (or else).

  • Alan2

    Yes and that`s despite Sinn Fein IRA and dissidents being implicated (although it was almost entirely dissidents throughout the province mainstream IRA were implicated in cookstown) in intimidating Catholic and Nationalist members of Cookstown DPP….which sort of flies in the face of calling for accountabily of the police and also human rights and equality whilst at the same time abusing DPP`s members human rights and if they had succeeded in intimidating people also destroying the LOCAL accountability by making the Nationalist population unrepresented on the DPP`s.

  • Davros

    They have a problem with Local accountability. They cannot afford to have a forum in which members of the nationalist community can safely oppose the Hydes. Long time ago it was a reform demand that local control was abandoned because of problems with victimisation and bullying. Now the Hydes want local control back but only if they are in control. Victimisation and bullying is OK as long as they are the ones doing it – Rathenraw is a fine example.

    They cannot control the DPPs so they won’t participate. Inside and not in control they cannot compalin about being constructively excluded – that’s why a SF councillor refused an important position on a Council committee – he wasn’t in charge of it, but if he accepted the no 2 position he wouldn’t have been able to ‘MOPE’ about being excluded .

  • Alan2

    Forgot to mention Cookstown Army barracks was also demolished and now has nice shiny new apartments in it`s place. I can remember a time when Cookstown had permanent Army check points at both ends of the town with big barriers across the roads…now there is to be a new Police College and two new shopping centres, the barracks has gone and the police station been “demilitarised” into a more normal looking police station and we have a LOCAL DPP with LOCAL people on it from ALL communities except of course Sinn Fein who abstain despite their calls for accountability they refuse to participate in the accountability process mechanisms.