Disbandment logical outworking of SF strategy

Niall Stanage argues that the logical outworking of Sinn Fein’s long term strategy is the disbandment of the IRA. In his view, Adams’ statement is an extension of Morrison’s Armalite and Ballot Box speech of April 1981 during the Bobby Sands campaign in Fermanagh South Tyrone:

“Who here really believes we can win the war through the ballot box? But will anyone here object if, with a ballot paper in one hand and the Armalite in the other, we take power in Ireland”

  • Concerned Loyalist

    Obviously I would welcome any move by the Provos to disband and disarm, but I feel that it won’t be forthcoming in the immediate future.

    The main reason for this is simple…Sinn Fein/IRA are worried that the British and Irish Governments will not appease their every wish if the threat of violence is not there for all to see.

    It’s the sad but true reality of the situation. The Rafia are still recruiting and training new bigots and gathering intelligence on and targetting Loyalists, prison officers, the police and anyone else who doesn’t fit into their narrow-minded ideals of what “Eire” and her citizens should be!

  • Circles

    CL – whilst understanding your pessimism, I have to agree with Stanage’s analysis, and the accuracy of Blairs 2002 quote – “The very thing republicans used to think gave them negotiating leverage doesn’t do it any more” – as this is relevant not only in the inter-party dialogue but also with regard to the dialogue within nationalism.
    SF knows full well that the IRA are to a large degree a millstone round their necks holding down their high flying political ambitions and courting the broader nationalist electorate – and if the party can manage to be seen as the agent of change that did take the (IRA) guns out of Irish poltics and at the same time not lose its principals in the pragmitism of real politik they could very well achieve what the IRA never could with regards to making real progress to a UI.
    So I think they will certainly go (hopefully sooner rather than later).
    Hope this doesn’t make you more pessimistic!

  • Whatabout

    Well thought out article. I agree with Circles analysis and can see CLs genuine concern. As long as SF have great political ambition they will have to keep the machine well oiled with cash. Unfortunately, this is perpetrated with the consent of the community in whch they’re based who still see them ‘cocking a snook’ at both governments and don’t seem to mind the consequences.