Too little, too late

The Observer’s Henry McDonald, writing for the Guardian website makes a prediction of the IRA response to Adams’ latest speech, and he notes that we’ve heard similar versions before – “In all probability some kind of ethereal statement indicating that its “war” is over, possibly then backed up by some act of decommissioning albeit without photographs or any other recorded evidence.”

As he suggests, they are “bargaining chips” that have been proffered before, but this time they will be used for votes, not a deal with Unionists –

These two moves were bargaining chips the IRA wanted to use when Sinn Féin and the Democratic Unionists appeared to be inching closer to a deal to restore devolution last December. Now in the post-Northern Bank/post-McCartney murder world, these bargain counters are principally to be offered up in order to win electoral support. But, in addition, any new IRA initative (which will, of course, fall short of unionist demands) will be designed to put unionism under pressure. Stating the “war is over” coupled with decommissioning will paint republicans in a good light and force the British and Irish governments to hold negotiations after the general election. The impression that the IRA is moving will be an irresistible temptation for Tony Blair and his Irish counterpart, Bertie Ahern. Mr Blair and Mr Ahern will then urge unionists to get back into talks with Sinn Féin now that the IRA is moving in the right direction.

In the current circumstances, according to Henry McDonald, there is still no silver lining –

Short of disbanding (a highly unlikely scenario), no IRA statement, no IRA act of decommissioning, will suffice for unionists to re-enter government with Sinn Féin in Belfast. Regardless of whatever slant Tony Blair and his spin masters put on yesterday’s statement and the likely IRA response, there will be no deal on the other side of the general election, or for that matter for the next few years.

  • Dessertspoon

    Cheery soul that Henry.

    He is right about one thing though. Whatever the IRA or Sinn Fein do it will always fall short of DUP demands. Paisley Junior said as much on Evening Extra last night on Radio Ulster. The problem for the DUP is that if the RM really do this right and properly without any ambiguity it will show them up to be the exclusionists bigots many (myself included) fear they are.

  • peteb

    “Short of disbanding”, DS.

  • Stalford

    Dessertspoon

    Nothing other than complete, total and verfiable decomissioning, backed up with an inventory of what has been destroyed, photographic evidence and followed by a quarintine period in which the IRA engaes in no criminal activity – in order to demonstrate that it has disappeared – will do.

    Unionists will not be taken for a ride.

  • Circles

    Why are independent observers seemingly no longer acceptable in confirming arms destruction anyway? After all this particular titbit was (quite literally) thrown up by the good Dr who isn’t exactly known for his progressive attitude towards the peace process. Why should McDonald build this into his piece at all? Surely disarmament is disarmament – with or without a sunday world photo exclusive?

  • Davros

    Why are independent observers seemingly no longer acceptable in confirming arms destruction anyway?

    In part at least – the independent observers gave in to the IRA and refused to release details, which compromised their position.

  • Circles

    Excuse my impatience Salford – but would you be referring to the same unionist who actually were reluctantly pulled into a peace process they never actually wanted. Who at every occassion threw obstacles in the path of negotiations, and sought any means possible to stall and delay progress? Who have sought humiliation over reconciliation?
    Or is there another group calling themselves unionist that I’ve never heard of who actually have some kind of moral authority to dictate how the peace process should proceed?

  • Circles

    Davros – surely then there must be a way to provide credible independent observers who can report back all that is necessary without blocking any possibility of getting rid of the guns by making impossible demands?

  • Henry94

    Stalford

    If the IRA decommissions without taking pictures then the demand for them becomes redundant.

    Does that mean power-sharing can never happen? Good luck trying to hold that line.

  • Travis

    I would’ve banked on his happening too, but for Old McDonald – whose never been right about anything – chiming in with similar.

    Now, expect complete and transparent decommissioning and a statement saying they have gone away for good.

    And heart attacks in the DUP.

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  • Jim Bob

    To Davros:

    The independent observers didn’t give in to the IRA. They just refused to give in to Paialey’s extra demands.

    In common with much of the Unionist position they weren’t prepared to trust independent observers. It’s always suited Unionism not to trust independent observers, quite simply because the position of Unionism has always been one that no independent person could ever support.

  • PS

    In part at least – the independent observers gave in to the IRA and refused to release details, which compromised their position

    Davros

    Why do say “gave in”. Were the observers ever told that they had to release details for the initiative to be acceptable?

    Stalford

    How do you intend to verify that the decommissioning is total?

  • DCB

    When will we stop seeing demands that our paramil’s go and f’k off as a victory for the other side rather than a benefit to the community that they operate in.

    It’s not exclusionist unionists who have been recently hacked to death by the provos, likewise protestants have the most to gain from the UDA being crushed. Something that probably won’t happen now that they seem to be doing the nec PR, and getting rid of those who attracted too much attention.

  • Davros

    Circles – Suggestions welcomed.

    Jim Bob – Point out the confidentiality clause please. The function of the IO was to provide such details as was necessary. if they had so done then we wouldn’t have had all the nonsense about guesstimates as to what HAD been destroyed and could have moved forward. Maybe this did play into the hands of obstructionists in the DUP. I suspect this was what was hoped for by the IRA.

    Paddy – The terms were clear. Secret deals were done later. These behind the scenes deals killed any hope of progress. That may have been the IRA plan – a subtle way of blocking progress yet the propaganda value of being able to point a finger at the Unionists.

    That’s how I read this. JMHO.

  • Davros

    p.s. Paddy – If I remember correctly – didn’t the IRA even break the rules during the last farce by holding the Observers incommunicado ?

  • Jim Bob

    To Davros

    The issue revolves around whether or not Unionism is capable of trusting independent and internationally respected observers.

    Unionism wasn’t trusting of them. So untrusting of independent people is Unionism that it is Unionism itself which has the questions to answer, as to why.

    You can see another variant of that Unionist game being played out in Stalford’s “never ending” demands

  • Alan McDonald

    FYI,

    Henry is no relation of mine. (At least, I think he isn’t.) (But, sure, aren’t we all just brothers after all.)

  • Davros

    The issue revolves around whether or not Unionism is capable of trusting independent and internationally respected observers.

    no Jim Bob, I was answering a specific question.
    The present I.Os lost credibility when they caved in to IRA demand for confidentiality. You were either mistaken or being deceitful when you wrote
    “They just refused to give in to Paialey’s extra demands.”

    The demand by Trimble was that they release details. When they refused the deal foundered.
    Paisley and photo demands came later.

  • Jim Bob

    To Davros:

    And I was dealing with the general issue of Unionism and why it has such problems letting the internationally respected independent observers just get on with doing their job.

    We saw the same thing in Unionism’s reaction to the Parades Commission for example, or in their continual request for resignation from every Sec of State who disagreed with any aspect of their program

    The point is that there’s a bit of a running theme here. The reason you get independent people from outside to deal with these complex and fundamentally disagreed upon problems is to take them away from precisely those politically problematic and contested areas where they will never be sorted out.

    What Unionism has continually done is sought to bring the problems back to where they won’t be sorted and away from the independent observers.

    It’s in that where Unionism can be seen not to be genuine, and repeatedly so.

    When you’ve got very fundamental disagreements you sometimes just have to let others sort them out. That’s common practice. Unionism doesn’t seem up to it and the question is why.

  • Alan McDonald

    Davros and Jim Bob,
    This argument is why this American despairs that anything can be accomplished in Northern Ireland. Not an inch on both sides gets nowhere, which is where you appear to be from my point of view.

  • Jim Bob

    To Alan:

    The whole point of having independent observers was to move beyond the “not an inch” mentality.

    I’m advocating that approach.

    It’s the same in all such disputes. You get independent people to decide. You go into arbitration etc.

    The difficulty is that Unionism seems to have problems accepting such independent arbitration, whether it’s the Decommissioning Body or the Parades Commission etc. That would indicate that either they’re deliberately trying to ensure that these problems aren’t resolved, or they don’t believe their position holds up well to independent scrutiny.

  • Davros

    Alan – The Independent Observers were nobbled. That is fact. They were also held incommunicado, against the terms of engagement. So an alternative has to be found. This is ALL down to dishonesty by the IRA.

  • tadgh

    I’ll boldy predict that regardless of what the IRA say, the Paisleyites will move the goal once again with additional demands – withess their photographic evidence demand killing the Dec 2004 power sharing deal.

    It seems to me that the Paisleyites fear going into government with Sinn Fein – not because of IRA activity or criminality but because in Stormont, SF would be able to work toward their stated objectives in a democratic manner, which is far more likely to be successful than armed struggle.

    Surely SF were holding out on IRA decommissioning as a barginning chip to be played when the time was right – when the deal was close. Events have changed – the time is right now. Total and independently verifiable IRA decomissioning will put enormus pressure on Unionism (from RoI / UK / US)to concede the inevitability of going in to government with SF.

    Where’s de Chastlain? Is he available next week?

  • Jim Bob

    To Davros

    I suppose next you’ll be telling us that the Parades Commission were “nobbled” and all the rest of the independent people who’ve come to help us sort out problems in Northern Ireland down the years were nobbled too.

    The recurring fact is that Unionism has a funddamental problem with independent people scrutinizing its activities.

    All we need to know is whether that’s deliberate strategy on their part to ensure problems aren’t resolved, or is Unionism just incapable of squaring its philosophy with the views of independent outsiders.

  • Davros

    Please deal with the specifics Jim Bob instead of introducing red herrings.

    I have asked you to show where the Confidentiality clause can be found.

    The fact of the matter is that the I.O’s were to be able to release details of what had been decommissioned. The IRA demanded and got a secrecy clause which destroyed the process.

    It is also a fact that the IRA broke the terms of the process by holding the I.O’s incommunicado.

    This mess over decommissioning is ALL down to the IRA.

  • Henry94

    Davros

    The Independent Observers were nobbled. That is fact.

    No, that’s an opinion. If it was a fact the governments would have to fire them.

    They were also held incommunicado, against the terms of engagement.

    Can you show us these terms?

    So an alternative has to be found.

    Have you discussed this with the IRA because if they decommission under the agreed scheme then it will be too late for an alternative. If you were serious you would be calling on the Governments to relieve DeChastelain of his position.

    Unionist interference in the decommissioning process is no longer acceptable. They have casused it to be delayed for too long. This is now what it should always have been, an issue for republicans.

    There are plenty of weapons on the unionist side for unionists to give their attention to.

  • Davros

    OK Henry – show me the confidentiality clause.

    That is what has killed the decommissioning process and it is entirely down to the PRM.

  • Jim Bob

    To Davros

    The specifics are that Unionism has a recurring problem dealing with independent outsiders who wish to provide arbitration.

    Anyone can invent reasons for not dealing with independent observers on any particular occasion. And Unionism always seems to manufacture something or other.

    The fact remains that Unionism has had this recurring problem in dealing with independent people who are trying to resolve problems, just the latest being the Parades Commission and the Decommissioning Body.

    So the question then is, is this a deliberate Unionist strategy to ensure problems aren’t resolved, or is Unionism just embarrassed by having its political philosophy scrutinized and arbitrated upon by independent and internationally respected outside observers.

  • Davros

    Jim Bob – Please show me the confidentiality clause the IRA invoked. All else is an attempt by you and others to side-step this issue. The fact is that a comprehensive deal was worked out – and the IRA undermined it by refusing to allow the I.Os to provide details. The only way you can get round that is by providing the details which allowed the IRA to insist that there was confidentiality and show that this was agreed with ALL parties involved. But you won’t be able to as the truth of the matter is that the PRM ratted on the deal.

  • Henry94

    Davros

    OK Henry – show me the confidentiality clause

    The agreement reached between the IRA and the General must have been acceptable to the governments or they would have had to fire him.

    Here’s the Act

    Meeting the political demands of unionists has nothing at all to do with it.

  • Alan McDonald

    As a qualified independent observer, I observe that you two have moved not an inch.

  • Bufton

    “The recurring fact is that Unionism has a fundamental problem with independent people scrutinizing its activities”…….

    And republicans, presumably, have no problem with the IMC and endorse its reports?

  • Davros

    That’s not being honest Henry.

    We are realing with why Unionists no longer have confidence with the IO’s, so Unionists have everything to do with this. This was carefully negotiated as to satisfy all the players.
    AFTERWARDS a side-deal was done in an underhand manner. And since the Northern Bank Robbery and the McCartney Murder the Governments have had their eyes opened about rhe PRM leadership.

  • Jim Bob

    To Davros

    None of this has anything to do with Unionist demands and excuses.

    It’s quite simply about letting the independent scrutineers get on with their job. That’s what independent arbitration is all about.

    Unionism has a history of being unable to accept independent scrutiny. We saw the same nonsense from them with the Parades Commission as we saw most recently with the Decommissioning Body. It’s a recurring theme.

    Unionism is continually inventing excuses for not allowing the independent people to do their jobs without interference. Nothing will ever work if Unionism continues in that vein.

    So the question then remains, is this a deliberate Unionist strategy to ensure problems aren’t resolved, or is Unionism just embarrassed by having its political philosophy scrutinized and arbitrated upon by independent and internationally respected outside observers.

  • Chris Gaskin

    Exactly Davros ALL the players not just unionists

    For the last couple of months there has been little thought of what Nationalists wanted.

    Some Unionists just can’t let their Veto mentality go.

  • Davros

    Alan – one of us is correct and one of us is incorrect. It’s a simple choice. Was there confidentiality agreed by ALL the participants in the original deal ? I say no. You’ll notice that neither Jim Bob nor Henry has quoted anything disproving the Unionist claim.

    Jim Bob has introduced Paisley and photos to try and muddy the waters.The Confidentiality crisis long predates Paisley and Photos.

    Of course Henry or Jim Bob could- if it existed – quote the relevent confidentiality clause agreed to by the Unionists. They haven’t because it doesn’t exist. They are trying to pull wool over people’s eyes, to shift the blame for the impasse from where it belongs, The PRM.

  • Davros

    I’m glad to see you have the honesty to admit that the PRM reneged on the deal originally done Chris.
    They back-tracked after the deal was agreed. The fault is entirely theirs in this case.

    For the last couple of months there has been little thought of what Nationalists wanted.

    I agree – the whole thing should be renegotiated if the PRM does not want to fulfill it’s obligations.

    Some Unionists just can’t let their Veto mentality go.

    It was the PRM who vetoed the release of details that would have allowed the agreed procedure to be completed. Some republicans just can’t let THEIR Veto mentality go 😉

  • Chris Gaskin

    Let’s not be flippant Davros, I didn’t admit any such thing because it would be untrue.

    The problem is with certain Unionists who couldn’t care less about Decomissioning but just don’t want to engage with the Nat/Rep community

  • Davros

    You did say Exactly mate LOL

    The deal was done. The IO’s were allowed to give details. That was what was negotiated originally and Signed up to by all including the republicans.
    True or False ?

  • spartacus

    Davros

    1. There was no ‘confidentiality clause’ because all sides signed up to allowing the appointed international arms inspectors to oversee the process _independently_. Everything since–photos, lists of inventory, etc, is outside the agreement, and therefore a concession made to the most right-wing elements in this society by the British and Irish governments.

    2. Trimble raised the bar, and sealed his and the UUP’s demise, when he downplayed for propaganda purposes the significance of the first and second acts of decommissioning. This was all about ‘housetraining’ the Republicans, and while it bought him a temporary lift among his contituency, in the long run it played into the DUP’s hands and brought about the present stalemate. He is a victim of his own stupidity or brinksmanship, take your choice.

    3. He raised the stakes further when elements within unionism made loud complaints about the supposed ‘bias’ of one of the arms inspectors associated with the ANC. This is consistent with their historic identification with the apartheid regime and with the settler populations in Zimbabwe, Israel, etc., but it was also conceded by both governments.

    3. The DUP has been formally opposed to the BA since its inception. For someone who votes a ‘socialist’ ticket, you go awfully easy on the main source of sectarian bigotry in this society. The ‘a la carte’ approach to socialism, yet again.

    4. The demand for photos is part and parcel of the call for sackcloth and ashes. You can talk around it all you want, but for crissakes vote DUP next time if you want neanderthal politics, and stop pretending to ‘above all that.’ Talks like a bigot, walks like a bigot: have the conviction at least to now vote like a bigot.

    5. It might well be that the DUPs worst nightmare is a complete winding down of the IRA. Time will tell.

  • Chris Gaskin

    I said exactly and then clarified exactly what my exactly meant 😉

    As for your True/False question, Henry has it Right IMO.

  • Alan McDonald

    Spartacus,

    While I agree with your point #5, I am offended, as a member of the settler population of the USA, by your point #3.

  • spartacus

    I think that was point 4, alan. do you feel excluded? sorry about that. jump in if you want to.

    Perhaps if there was a movement of indigenous people in the US strong enough to push the government back and demand concessions, we would see the same siege pathology as we do in other places. But then you would have a choice, as did white South Africans: defend apartheid or throw in with the risen people.

    The same dilemma confronted white (US) Southerners a generation ago, and some responded with humanity and courage under difficult circumstances. I expect you would do the same. Or you could defend the Dixiecrats, as Davros spends so much of his time doing.

  • spartacus

    uhhh….sorry, there were two point 3s, weren’t there?

  • Alan McDonald

    Spartacus,

    The Dixiecrats are now called the Republicans and they are running the USA.

  • Henry94

    I think that unionism is in a blue funk at the prospect of the IRA leaving the scene. For them it will be a real crisis. Because decommissioning kept the unionist coalition united. Now those who want power sharing will be forced into a showdown with those who don’t. It won’t be pretty but it will be entertaining.

  • spartacus

    and how does THAT feel?

  • Alan McDonald

    Baaaaaad!

  • Davros

    Davros

    1. There was no ‘confidentiality clause’ because all sides signed up to allowing the appointed international arms inspectors to oversee the process _independently_. Everything since–photos, lists of inventory, etc, is outside the agreement, and therefore a concession made to the most right-wing elements in this society by the British and Irish governments.

    That is untrue Spartacus 🙂

    The provisions released in June 1998 were negotiated during and as part of the GFA negotiations…..

    here’s what the irish Gov’t released :

    5.The Commission may provide a person who seeks information from it in relation to the decommissioning of arms or the application of these Regulations such information as it considers appropriate.

    and :

    “16. (1) Subject to paragraph (2), the Commission shall ensure that all information received by it in relation to the decommissioning process is kept confidential and that any records maintained by the Commission are kept secure.

    (2) The Commission may disclose information received by it where such disclosure is necessary –

    (a) for reasons of public safety,

    (b) to confirm the legitimate participation in the decommissioning process by those eligible to so participate, or

    (c) to discharge the duty of the Commission to report to the Government and the Government of the United Kingdom.

    GIVEN under my Official Seal, this 29th day of June, 1998

    John O’Donoghue

    MINISTER FOR JUSTICE, EQUALITY AND LAW REFORM

    EXPLANATORY NOTE

    These regulations make provision for the decommissioning of arms and for the functions of the Independent International Commission in relation to such decommissioning in accordance with sections 2 and 4(2)(g) of the Decommissioning Act, 1997.

    (my emphases in bold )

    There is NO IRA veto on release of information at this stage. That was a side-deal done later under the table without the agreement of all the parties who participated in the GFA negotiations.

    The only veto here is one where the IRA refused to allow the Commission to release details… details were after all released about the LVF decommissioning.

    It’s there in black and white. The commission MAY release details. Negotiated before the GFA.

  • Henry94

    davros

    May implies may not. It’s not an obligation. The proof of the pudding is in the fact that Dechastelain is still in his job. If you were right he would have been fired. He was not so you are wrong.

    QED

  • Mark Baxter

    Actually, unionists will be happy when the IRA go away because then we can get to work on providing what the PRM fear the most, a NI society that is moving towards normality and working to provide for all it’s citizens.

  • Davros

    Nope Henry. May where necessary means that when details were requested, quite legitimately,details should have been released in order to make progress.
    The IRA insistance that no details could be released are nowhere to be seen in what was negotiated.

    The blame in this case lies 100% with the Republicans. IF they had allowed the Commission to do it’s job and release details -as happened with the LVF- then NONE of this mess would have happened. But as we both know the IRA didn’t want
    to move forward, they merely wanted to be able to pretend to the world that they were trying to co-operate and be reasonable.

    We are, I repeat, discussing the reason why Unionists have no confidence in the I.O’s and the Commission. That the Governments cut a dirty deal with the IRA is why de Chastelaine is still in his job. So that attempt to side-step whether or not it was valid for some parties to the agreement to change things without agreement of ALL concerned is yet another red herring.

  • shaypaul

    Davros

    Show us the clause that says that Dr NO and the dupes are not obliged to dance naked in the diamond in Derry for decommissioning to be validated.

    Jesus can’t find it …..

    Somebody must have nobbled De Chastalain.

    Smoke and mirrors ….

  • Henry94

    Davros

    The IRA insistance that no details could be released are nowhere to be seen in what was negotiated.

    If there was anything in the conditions of his appointment that made it impossible for the General to agree to the basis under which the acts of decommissioning took place then he would have had to refuse to become involved in them.

    Are you claiming that he acted outside his brief and that the governments didn’t notice? I don’t know why you persist with this untenable position.

    You’re simply wrong. Get over it. It happens to us all at some stage.

  • spartacus

    Davros:

    Pathetic:

    ‘details after all were released about the lvf decommissioning.’

    List:
    1. one replica handgun
    2. two non-working slingshots
    3. two litres petrol

    How reassuring, especially as it preceeded directly the uda/uff/lvf pipebombing campaign.

    ‘none so blind as those who refuse to see.’

  • Alan McDonald

    Oh, dear. I think I’ll have to mark you for -1 point, Spartacus. Davros’ argument was not about quantity but about tranparency, which you have conceded.

  • Davros

    Henry – a simple question for you and anybody else who wishes to defend the Republican movement.

    They signed upto the GFA knowing that they were NOT guaranteed confidentiality. Why didn’t they demand that an absolute of confidentiality be inserted ?

    (I suspect that either there was a mutiny in the ranks or that Adams and Co realised afterwards that they had conceded too much.)

  • Davros

    List:
    1. one replica handgun
    2. two non-working slingshots
    3. two litres petrol

    Well, Well Spartacus, it didn’t take long for you to start telling blatent lies.

    LVF Decommissioning :

    20. Contact with the LVF through their intermediary led to a decommissioning event on 18 December 1998. That paramilitary group decommissioned four sub-machine guns, two rifles, two pistols, a sawn-off shotgun, 348 rounds of ball ammunition, 31 shotgun shells, five electrical detonators, two pipe bombs, two weapons stocks and five assorted magazines. The items described were destroyed in accordance with Commission procedures the day they were received and the residue was disposed-of the same day also. At the LVFs request the event was covered by the media. A report on this event was provided to both governments in accordance with the Commission’s SOP.

  • gary

    Oh yes, i remember , they decommissioned then started killing catholics again.

    McCrea’s boys one and all.

  • Davros

    That doesn’t alter the fact that Spartacus was being untruthful Gary.

  • Henry94

    Davros

    They signed upto the GFA knowing that they were NOT guaranteed confidentiality.

    Do you remember Jeffery Donaldson waklking out because the Agreement didn’t guarantee decomissioning at all let alone public decommissioning.

    After the deal David Trimble signed up to unionists could consider congratulating the General for turning their sows ear into a silk purse for them.

    But the real problem is not just that your position is factually wrong but that it is politically absurd. In effect you and those who think like you are tying themselves to a policy with an IRA controlled expiration date.

    Because if the IRA decommission their weapons the demand for verification other than the agreed scheme is also put beyond use.

    Instead of winning over weapons you will be losing over photographs. This is such an obvious pitfall that I find it hard to believe you are going to let yourselves be walked into it. But then again it is your traditional route.

  • Davros

    Henry – please address the point rather than whataboutery involving Donaldson.

    Factually I am correct.

    SF signed upto the agreement knowing that the Commission were allowed to disclose details. If it was totally unacceptable, why did they not object and/or refuse to sign up ?

    It’s factual that the LVF decomissioned and allowed media presence, It’s factual that an inventory was released.

    The PRM signed up – why did they not refuse to sign if complete confidentiality was a must ?

    This mess is entirely of the PRM’s making. Photographs were NOT an issue, as you well know, when David Trimble walked away because the PRM failed to deliver. Nothing done recently is relevent to the central point I am making. The PRM signed upto something it either could not or would not deliver.

  • Henry94

    Davros

    None of your points in that post make sense. If I was to guess I’d say you know that but maybe you don’t. Either way I have already made the point I wanted to make a few times and I don’t see any point in staying up all night playing political remedial teacher to an insomniac.

  • Chris Gaskin

    Wrong Davros

    Republicans did deliver but Trimble couldn’t bring his party with him.

  • spartacus

    Davros:

    Yes, I admit: I pulled the list out of thin air. What amazes me, though, is how close I was to the truth. Nine functioning weapons decommissioned. Well, that wraps up the LVF, then.

    Except as everyone else has noted, it wasn’t.

  • aquifer

    The UU in their understated way say it all:

    “Republicans made a promise to Ulster Unionists in May 2000 that they would disarm completely and in a manner to maximise public confidence.”

    The PRM messed up the last bit, very obviously.

    They seem unfit to deal. Sad. They have to do better or shuffle off the political stage, leaving the police to clean up the rackets and sectarian trash, with an awfully big apology owed to the Irish people.

    Was the GFA just too republican too soon?
    What has gone wrong when being called ‘anti-republican’ has become a progressive badge of honour.

    The first person I saw ‘disarmed’ (it turned out to be an imitation weapon) immediately turned into a whining snivelling cur. People giving up weapons voluntarily are much more impressive. Shows character.

    Non violence is absolutely about equality.

    Zeros or Heros? PRM

  • Davros

    Henry – I’ll ask again – if confidentiality was an absolute why did the PRM not demand that it be written into the agreement ?

    Spartacus – we have no way of knowing if the IRA have even decommissioned that much. And how many people could over 300 rounds have killed ? Would you arther the LVF still had those weapons and ammunition then ?

    Chris: They didn’t deliver. That’s why we are where we are today. If the first IRA decommissioning had been itemised I doubt if it would have mattered by number three. The agreement was clear. Details could be released. So, if it was unacceptable then why did SF and the PRM sign up ? Decommissioning was a vital part of the negotiating. How come your negotiators accepted the terms ?

  • Davros

    Either way I have already made the point I wanted to make a few times

    Yes, there’s a veritable shoal of red herrings 😉

  • Chris Gaskin

    Davros

    Have you ever actually read the part of the agreement regarding decommissioning?

    I presume from these ramblings that you haven’t so I will tell you what it says

    “DECOMMISSIONING

    3. All participants accordingly reaffirm their commitment to the total disarmament of all paramilitary organisations. They also confirm their intention to continue to work constructively and in good faith with the Independent Commission, and to use any influence they may have, to achieve the decommissioning of all paramilitary arms within two years following endorsement in referendums North and South of the agreement and in the context of the implementation of the overall settlement.”

    You will see that it is EVERYONES responsibility to achieve decommissioning and not just Sinn Féin’s.

  • Davros

    Chris –

    how does that in any way answer my question ?

    My “ramblings” are aimed very specifically at the issue of confidentiality.

    In 1998 the commission “may” release details…. Your party agreed to that in negotiations.
    Then suddenly SF and the IRA announced that it “may not” release details. Now, your party made a HUGE fuss about sticking to what was agreed.

    so – The agreement was clear. Details could be released. So, if it was unacceptable then why did SF and the PRM sign up ? Decommissioning was a vital part of the negotiating. How come your negotiators accepted the terms ?

    If you admit they messed up we can move on.

    If you accept that changes were possible after the
    GFA was signed then your party struggles considering some of the rhetoric from Martin and Gerry over the years about the GFA not being in any way renegotiable.

    I can see some ways forward-

    restore confidence in the IO’s by allowing them to give details of what has already been decommissioned.

    renegotiate the deal.

    But you cannot reasonably expect to have your cake ( the original deal cannot be altered ) and eat it ( except when WE are the ones calling the tune ).

  • Chris Gaskin

    “The agreement was clear. Details could be released. So, if it was unacceptable then why did SF and the PRM sign up ? Decommissioning was a vital part of the negotiating. How come your negotiators accepted the terms ?”

    I have just told you what the agreement said in relation to Decommissoning, there is no mention of details.

  • cladycowboy

    Mark Baxter,

    ‘Actually, unionists will be happy when the IRA go away because then we can get to work on providing what the PRM fear the most, a NI society that is moving towards normality and working to provide for all it’s citizens.’

    Like back to the 60’s with no PIRA, when these counties were run on apartheid philosophy and deep-rooted sectarian bigotry, sorry deep,deep,deep, rooted sectarian bigotry

    Davros,

    ‘Oh yes, i remember , they decommissioned then started killing catholics again.

    McCrea’s boys one and all.

    Posted by: gary at April 8, 2005 09:47 PM

    ——————————————————————————–

    That doesn’t alter the fact that Spartacus was being untruthful Gary.

    Posted by: Davros at April 8, 2005 09:56 PM

    In your valiant and unblinkered quest for truth you will sidestep the sectarian killers who are ‘truthful’ and hunt down the ‘untruthful’ hoarde with no sectarian killings. Priorities all wrong methinks

  • Davros

    LOL – you missed out quite a lot Chris! Is cherry-picking a legal term ?

    DECOMMISSIONING

    1.Participants recall their agreement in the Procedural Motion adopted on 24 September 1997 “that the resolution of the decommissioning issue is an indispensable part of the process of negotiation”, and also recall the provisions of paragraph 25 of Strand 1 above.

    2.They note the progress made by the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning and the Governments in developing schemes which can represent a workable basis for achieving the decommissioning of illegally-held arms in the possession of paramilitary groups.

    3.All participants accordingly reaffirm their commitment to the total disarmament of all paramilitary organisations. They also confirm their intention to continue to work constructively and in good faith with the Independent Commission, and to use any influence they may have, to achieve the decommissioning of all paramilitary arms within two years following endorsement in referendums North and South of the agreement and in the context of the implementation of the overall settlement.

    4.The Independent Commission will monitor, review and verify progress on decommissioning of illegal arms, and will report to both Governments at regular intervals.

    6.Both Governments will take all necessary steps to facilitate the decommissioning process to include bringing the relevant schemes into force by the end of June.

    Your negotiators were involved in reaching agreement on this here – see my 7.43 PM 8th April for Link ….

    “The provisions released in June 1998 were negotiated during and as part of the GFA negotiations…..

    here’s what the irish Gov’t released :

    “5.The Commission may provide a person who seeks information from it in relation to the decommissioning of arms or the application of these Regulations such information as it considers appropriate.”

    and :

    “16. (1) Subject to paragraph (2), the Commission shall ensure that all information received by it in relation to the decommissioning process is kept confidential and that any records maintained by the Commission are kept secure.

    (2) The Commission may disclose information received by it where such disclosure is necessary –

    (a) for reasons of public safety,

    (b) to confirm the legitimate participation in the decommissioning process by those eligible to so participate, or

    (c) to discharge the duty of the Commission to report to the Government and the Government of the United Kingdom.

    GIVEN under my Official Seal, this 29th day of June, 1998

    John O’Donoghue

    MINISTER FOR JUSTICE, EQUALITY AND LAW REFORM

    EXPLANATORY NOTE

    These regulations make provision for the decommissioning of arms and for the functions of the Independent International Commission in relation to such decommissioning in accordance with sections 2 and 4(2)(g) of the Decommissioning Act, 1997. “

    Why didn’t they object Chris ? Why didn’t they insist that it read :

    5.The Commission may NOT provide a person who seeks information from it in relation to the decommissioning of arms or the application of these Regulations any information .

    poor negotiation or bad faith?
    mutiny behind the scenes ?

  • Davros

    More red herrings CladyCowboy ? This place is getting like a Danish Deli .
    And a rather unpleasant little lie from you as well – ALL the paramilitaries committed sectarian murders.

  • cladycowboy

    Davros,

    and being Danish, it’d be unacceptable to unionists to independently view dis-arming;)

    ‘And a rather unpleasant little lie from you as well – ALL the paramilitaries committed sectarian murders.’

    Sorry, thought we were referring to post-GFA when the only sectarian murders were committed by unionists…?

  • Davros

    Ah, that wasn’t clear in your post. Fascinating bombshell. When you specify sectarian murders post GFA You are surely in effect saying that It’s OK for the IRA to kill Roman Catholics – what was it Mo Mowlem said ? Internal Housekeeping or some such ? No wonder the Provos are so upset at criticism. How dare anybody get upset when they Kill a Roman Catholic. Non-sectarian murders are OK then CladyCowboy ?

    And yes, I’m in an argumentative mood today which has been especially shitty. So I’ll bid you all goodnight and thank you for an excellent and good-natured discussion even though I have been deliberately difficult.
    God Bless.

  • cladycowboy

    ‘Ah, that wasn’t clear in your post. Fascinating bombshell. When you specify sectarian murders post GFA You are surely in effect saying that It’s OK for the IRA to kill Roman Catholics’

    Yeah just like when i said Zidane was the best footballer in the world and inadverdently meant that Didier Drogba was responsible for global warming….

  • Mark

    CladyCowboy

    “Like back to the 60’s with no PIRA, when these counties were run on apartheid philosophy and deep-rooted sectarian bigotry, sorry deep,deep,deep, rooted sectarian bigotry”

    If the PIRA go away, how will the country go back to the way it was in the 60’s? Or were you just indulging in useless speculation that totally disregards the progress made in terms of equality and the willingness of people to work together when terrorists aren’t holding a gun to the country’s head?

  • aquifer

    CG

    ‘You will see that it is EVERYONES responsibility to achieve decommissioning and not just Sinn Féin’s.’

    I don’t see it at all, and not in the text, which obviously relates to those with links to armed groups:

    “They also confirm their intention to continue to work constructively and in good faith with the Independent Commission, and to use any influence they may have, to achieve the decommissioning of all paramilitary arms within two years”

    What You are saying that it is everyone else’s responsibility to be politically blackmailed by those in possession of deadly weapons.

    Everyone’s general responsibility with regard to blackmailers is to prosecute them, expose them, or to call their bluff.

  • Chris Gaskin

    “I don’t see it at all, and not in the text, which obviously relates to those with links to armed groups:”

    You don’t see it aquifer, perhaps this will refresh your memory

    “3.All participants accordingly reaffirm their commitment to the total disarmament of all paramilitary organisations. They also confirm their intention to continue to work constructively and in good faith with the Independent Commission, and to use any influence they may have, to achieve the decommissioning of all paramilitary arms within two years following endorsement in referendums North and South of the agreement and in the context of the implementation of the overall settlement.”