Weighing the pen and the sword

Jude Collins and Ed Moloney have ended up in a bit of a public barney about an almost blog style debunking of Anthony McIntyre’s LA Times Op Ed piece on how he believes the IRA is morphing into a criminal gang.

  • tom luby

    game, set and match to moloney, no doubt about it!

  • Davros

    Jude is an OK guy in my book. I y=think Ed Moloney has got it wrong here.

  • sean west

    Mcintyre’s story is poorly written rubbish.
    “British Empire” there has not been one since 1945
    or even 1919.Always embarrasing to hear that old claptrap.

  • tom luby

    to davros:
    but you would, wouldn’t you? – you’re a provo and collins is your party’s latest pet hack

  • barney

    Ed Moloney’s letter to Jude Collins was well out of order.
    Reading Collin’s riposte to McIntyre’s LA piece, it is difficult to see what caused offence to Maloney. More telling, it is imposssible to read anything into Collin’s piece that could be interpreted as putting McIntyre in any danger. If Ed Moloney really wanted to do McIntyre a favour he would have been better served talking to McIntyre himself. It can hardly be his intention to despatch threatening letters to everyone who disagrees with McIntyre, that would be a full time job in itself. It’s quite clear that Moloney’s intention was to ‘soften up’ a fellow commentator for nor following ‘group-think’ doctrines. His despicable ploy was to make Collins feel in some way responsible for McIntyre’s well being, inventing a danger in the process.

  • tom luby

    to barney:
    see message to davros, same applies to you

  • barney

    “to davros:
    but you would, wouldn’t you? – you’re a provo and collins is your party’s latest pet hack”

    LOL. Davros, you’ve been caught out being reasonable. Don’t let it happen again.

  • barney

    tom,

    there was no need to put me and Davros in the same insult. We both have reputations to think of, Davros more than me.

  • Chris Gaskin

    I see Luby has started to crack again

  • Davros

    Ball not man please Mr Luby.

  • DerryTerry

    Given some of the material that Anthony McIntyre has written over the years I wonder if Ed has penned any letters to the Blanket.

    Much of the personalised abuse and allegations made by him would strike me as much more worrying than the piece written by Collins.

    And before tom luby says it, yes i did sink the Titanic, sell out Ireland 3 times a day and am currently rewriting Irish history.

  • Oilbhéar Chromaill

    TL is completely off the mark when he describes Davros as ‘a provo’ and his comment re Jude Collins is libellous. But then again, given that he thinks Ed Moloney got the better of that argument, his judgement is such that would land him a part in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”.

  • Mick

    Tom, see Chris’s remark. This site can only sustain dialogue on respect for the individual, if not their point of view.

    You’re playing the man here, indiscriminately and (as it happens) inaccurately. Have a go at what Collins says or any of the Republican respondents have to say, by all means!

    But simply accusing people of a political allegience, whether accurately or otherwise, is not playing the ball!

  • Jacko

    Moloney comes out of this with his integrity intact.

  • PaddyCanuck

    I do not see any menace in Judes debunking of what was a purely blog style article in the first place by mister McIntyre.

    Anthony has the right to write what ever he wishes, and Jude has the right to critique whatever he wishes.

    Ed Malony seems to be right of the richter scale here, to insinuate Jude Collins would be in some way responsible, if Anthony McIntyre, was attacked is scandalous.

    By the way does he call Martin McGuinness for comment every time he names him as being the Chief of Staff.

    Go and have a pint with your security sources Ed, and give the whinging a rest.

  • The Obscure

    What a ridiculous episode from all concerned. First Collins over-reacted to McIntyre (jealous, perhaps, of his LA Times gig?) Then Maloney over-reacted to Collins (what is a man of Maloney’s calibre doing even reading JC’s ceasefire-soldier witterings?) Then Collins over-reacted to Maloney’s letter (perhaps he’s just grateful to have received any response from anyone at all). Then Maloney over-reacted to Collins again, which clearly shows he has way too much time on his hands.
    Finally, Dreary Ireland over-reacted to the whole thing by treating what is essentuially journalistic office politics as a serious news event.

    Which only leaves one question for all concerned: how far up your own hole can you get?

  • JD

    Interesting exchange.

    Moloney is, I think, trying to point out that spinning things in certain ways in NI can result in reprisals (I also note he is now in New York). It’s a fair point.

    But it also makes clear that he thinks republicanism should be singled out for special scrutiny: he clearly doesn’t like a journalist “giving the Provos serious coverage.” (and exactly what does “serious” mean here?)

    So, the message does seem to be that even though one must be careful in spinning things certain ways in NI, whatever you do, don’t treat the Provos (presumably he means “SF/IRA” as some people like to call it now) seriously. Taking republicanism “seriously” warrants public and private rebuke from both Moloney and “lots of people” who have the ability to be “career-threatening” if they so choose.

    That’s the bit I have difficulty with.

  • The Obscure

    Except… that DI was using exactly the same tactic against its own critics before it was even launched. Didn’t they accuse their critics of setting them up for loyalist assassination?

  • Jimmy_Sands

    I can’t see that anyone threatened anyone here. The DI has now managed to spin three articles out of a handbag fight between two journalists.

  • Mick Hall

    I think ‘the obscure’ has got this about right, although all Moloney was doing was privately showing solidarity with a fellow journalist. On reading Judes article when he first mentioned the email, he did imply that it had more meat than it had. i e Moloney’s email was some sort of threat.

    PaddyCanuck posted the following,
    “Go and have a pint with your security sources Ed, and give the whinging a rest”.

    Paddy,
    I would be interested if you are implying something here. Ed Moloney throughout the course of the ‘troubles’ has been one of the better journalists covering the North. He only became persona non gratia with Mr Adams and his crew after he wrote his book. Prior to this he was so much in the loop VOs were sent to him to visit senior Republicans in the Maze. I just find it amazing and pretty pathetic that when a journalist writes something as he sees it, that is unflattering to a certain SF leader, all the other mini Shinners take it as read they have been given a green light to attack and smear the journalist. McIntrye was faultless in defending Moloney when this happened, as he saw it as his duty as a trade unionist to defend a fellow NUJ member when they found themself under attack for something they have written. Something we trade unionists call solidarity! long may it be so.

    Even the most dim witted republican should understand the work of people like Moloney has been vital down the years in exposing the British governments behaviour when they have over stepped the mark. To have turned on him as many SF members did is not only counterproductive but dishonourable. The more so for all there howling about Moloney telling lies, the main thread of the book has gone unchallenged. There is a difference between a party propagandist and a good journalist, some just do not seem to understand this.

    Lutta continua

  • The Obscure

    Quite. The real mystery is why they took Maloney’s umbrage seriously enough to print a full news page to undermining the only columnist they have that anyone has ever heard of.
    Clearly the thought of Maloney on the warpath worries the Daily Miller far more than pulling the rug out from under Collins. The man is now a complete laughing stock.

  • PaddyCanuck

    “but you are also contributing to an atmosphere in which violence against McIntyre.”

    A scurrilous and unfounded allegation from Mr.Maloney, that is deserving of publication.

  • The Obscure

    Over the top on Maloney’s part, I agree – although you can be quite sure that McIntyre is very near the top of the West Belfast brigade’s current shit-list.
    Still the point that Collins is out of his depth must be acknowledged. He is not tucked away in the bottom corner of the Vatican Beano any more. He is writing for the in-house daily of the republican movement and has thus been promoted from fellow-traveller to baggage handler.
    The Irish News had the right idea replacing him with Jim Gibney. If you’re going to hire a provo, hire a real one.

  • JD

    I can’t see that anyone threatened anyone here.

    It does have a ring of pleather handbags at dawn.

    However, Moloney’s letter explicitly links taking the “provos” “seriously” with “career-threatening” journalistic behaviour. The only place where he develops that point in in the last paragraph of his letter where he says that he and “a lot of people” won’t hesitate to blame Collins if/ when McIntyre is harmed.

    Schadenfreude awaiting political violence, then?

  • hensosn

    The same book which winks and nods it way through accusing adams and co of setting up the likes of the loughgall team.

    and then he has the gall to accuse another journalist of being reckless with his writing.

    1) by his view that his book would put him in danger and 2) by his email which is even worse than what collins alluded to.

  • Jimmy_Sands

    IIRC Moloney’s stated reason for abandoning NI was boredom.

  • Jimmy_Sands

    My recollection is that it was more the sectarian reductionism that bored him. I don’t think he expressed any nostalgia for cordite.

  • barney

    JS

    Perhaps the prospects of promulgating his own journalistic reductionism might tempt him back?

  • Jimmy_Sands

    I’m not sure I understand the hostility. My impression of his book was that Moloney was something of an admirer of Brownie.

  • middle-class taig

    Mick Hall

    “He only became persona non gratia with Mr Adams and his crew after he wrote his book.”

    I imagine you’re much better informed about this stuff than me, and you seem like a pretty smart lad, but I’m not convinced that you have the order of who fell out with who correct there.

    The Loughgall thing is simply too implausible for words – it’s a product of the fact that Shinners have no chance of getting libel cases off the ground, so you can write whatever pops into your head about them – shinner pipe bombs in Jenin, Bankovski Shinnerov in Bulgaria, Gerry Kelly and Martha Pope, etc, etc, etc, etc. I’ve never met a nationalist (including in East Tyrone) who believes the Loughgall thing for a second.

    I have to say that Moloney has dropped immeasurably in my estimation because of this. The McCarthyite/BigBrother approach is detestable? It smacks of a “we know where you live” attitude to people of other views. There are few enough journalists prepared to pen an article supportive of a republican analysis (certainly not McIntyre or Moloney) – it’s not fair that people be threatened for it. In the journalistic firmament, Jude is (I feel unfairly) out of Moloney’s league. He put Jude the position where he simply had to put this in the public domain (lest something did happen to McI). I think Jude is the only person who comes out of it with his honour and dignity intact.

  • middle-class taig

    Mick Hall

    As an aside, for the last three or four years, Jude Collins’ articles have been mirroring my views. I think he has his finger on the pulse of the nationalist electorate. He’s the funny man to Brian Feeney’s straight man. I think he’s a gifted communicator. I bet SF are gutted he left the Irish News, where he reached (and, I believe, helped convert) a huge number of constitutional nationalists.

    Moloney seems, to this ingenue at least, to now be wandering around in something of a journalistic wilderness. He panders obliquely and transparently to the overcrowded Harris/Cruiser/Dudley-E market. His stock-in-trade has now become thinly veiled smear masquerading as hagiography – (“Gerry’s so smart he’s shafted South Armagh and East Tyrone”; Gerry shoulda gotta Nobel for killing off the RA at the behest of the Brits”; Gerry’s beard is so nasty and disgusting that it’s actually contributing materially to Irish biodiversity, blah, blah). In intellectual terms, there’s no green grass there. In creative terms, what a cul-de-sac! How the mighty have fallen!

    Perhaps Adams’ call to the RA to “open up a space for movement on all sides” (“Thanks lads, but that’s yer lot!”) might rekindle Moloney’s objectivity again. Alternatively, he could become an advisor to the unionist parties…

  • middle-class taig

    One last point; am I wrong in thinking that Anthony McIntyre still lives in the heart of West Belfast, has done so ever since he started writing unkind things about SF and has not faced any physical attacks on his person? I only ask because this endless background drone about SF ruling nationalist areas “with an iron fist”, and “permitting no local dissent” and dealing harshly with those who “break from the tribe” is getting on my wick.

    It has to be seen as a pile of oul cobblers when you think that Alex Attwood, Anthony McIntyre, Malachi O’Doherty, and various other much-vaunted opponents of Sinn Fein sleep contentedly at night clutched to the warm and gentle bosom of Gerry Adams Your MP in West Belfast.

    As the single most criticised organisation in Irish print and other media, Sinn Fein obviously aren’t much good at this “stifling dissent” business. Not so much “iron fist” as “limp wrist”!!

    Or maybe, now go with me on this one, maybe the elephant in the room with us is that, (drum roll) SF don’t stifle debate at all!!! No, no, it can’t be that……

  • middle-class taig

    And while I’m at it…

    The obscure – (I’ve only just got that)

    “If you’re going to hire a provo, hire a real one.”

    Fascinating that you don’t consider the coiner of that celebrated bon mot, “armalite and ballot-box” to be “a real one”. I bet he wishes he’d had you on his defence team.

    Fact is, Daily Ireland don’t need to capture the republican consituency; they need to capture the soft, wet, candy-ass nationalists, the Good Friday soldiers, the “Truce-iliers” (as I think Mr McIntyre once said on H&M).

    That’s people like me. And sorry, but I’m diggin’ it.

    “The real mystery is why they took Maloney’s umbrage seriously enough to print a full news page to undermining the only columnist they have that anyone has ever heard of.”

    Let me draw you a picture:

    “Top Gerry-Hating Journo Seeks to Censor Daily Ireland”

    “Why “THEY” don’t want YOU reading Jude Collins”

    “The nationalist the THOUGHT-POLICE tried to gag”

    “Hey Jude, the minute you’re getting under their skin”

    Undermine him? Au contraire, mon ami!

  • Jimmy_Sands

    MCT,

    So to sum up, the level of tolerance displayed by provisionalism should be assessed not by reference to those whom they have killed but to those whom they have not (correct at time of going to press – subs please check). The real threat to free expression lies in the fact that Ed Moloney sent Jude Collins a rude e-mail.

  • JD

    As a matter of interest, does anyone know how many journalists and politicians the PRM have done away with?

  • Jim Bob

    Or indeed, how many solicitors, journalists and politicians the British Army and their Loyalist friends have done away with.

    Stuff the politics. Let’s play the numbers game again.

  • JD

    Let’s play the numbers game again.

    I’m not interested in any numbers game (IMO no-one wins that one). I’m asking because I genuinely can’t remember if there were any.

  • Jim Bob

    IIRC there weren’t any journalists killed by the IRA but there were certainly politicians.

  • middle-class taig

    JD

    I know how many they’ve done away with since the first ceasefire.

    J_S

    My problem in all of this is I get the feeling that some people would be delighted if there was an attack on McIntyre, so long as it was entirely unsuccesful. There’s nothing so galling as being proved wrong every day.

    Much more interesting to me is whether you think that people such as McIntyre (and yourself? I don’t know) are lost to “the republican movement”, and whether there is anything a new generation of shinners could do to bring people of their energy and talent back into the broader family.

    Is it a problem of ideology, strategy or mere tactics? My concern is that some of those guys perhaps rather like writing for the Daily Telegraph, etc, and wouldn’t stop it now even if they agreed with Connolly House on every aspect of its manifesto. I just wonder if they haven’t now become what they formerly most despised. Useful idiots.

  • Jim Bob

    McIntyre complained of intimidation and people coming to his house and all around the time of the ceasefire IIRC

  • JD

    Indeed, MCT.

    Thanks Jim Bob.

    I ask about numbers because according to CAIN figures, there were 27 “political activists” killed by republican paramilitaries, 27 by loyalist paramilitaries and 3 by British security forces. I’m just not sure if any of them were journos or if journos are just included under the civilian category. The CAIN categorisation speaks volumes in itself.

    However, I can’t find a list of the political activist names.

  • hensons

    afaik there were only two jornos killed during the 30 years. one is the sunday world (o hagen?)guy shot by some loyalists a few years back – don’t know the other.

    MCT – well put.

  • aquifer

    McIntyre on Adams: “it shoulda been me”?

    Collins: “Anthony McIntyre deserves to be heard when he speaks of politics.”

    On the basis of having been an effective or enthusiastic footsoldier?

    Worrying that Collins could not or would not raise his analysis or humour up high enough to slap McIntyre down properly without “nationalist ireland”? having to get “fed up” with him.

    When speech is free some content must be dismissed, ridiculed, or ignored to conserve bandwidth, but when prose is paid for some words can come too easily.

  • The Obscure

    “That’s people like me. And sorry, but I’m diggin’ it.” – Middle-Class Taig

    What a shame MCT, you were doing so well until you wrote the above. The only Daily Ireland is ‘diggin’ is a £20k/week hole in the RM’s pocket.

  • Jimmy_Sands

    MCT,

    I’m not sure what your question is. Certainly a contempt for the provisionals is something which would unite a number of people who would have little else in common. I doubt anyone needs to have that pointed out.

  • DCB

    Didn’t the provos do in the bloke who, can’t remember his name, wrote Killing Rage and was also penning a lot of Blanket like articles in the papers. I believe his offence was speaking out and appearing for the Sunday Times in a libel case.

    With A Mct and others they won’t be touched because there would be far too much heat. Plus after a while the provos will have gotten bored with the indirect intimidiation when its clear that its not working.

  • Davros

    Eamon Collins, killed 1999 ( after GFA).

    As with Mr O’Hagan, may have been killed because of
    past rather than current activities.

  • middle-class taig

    The Obscure

    “revealed yourself as yet another bloody SF drone.”

    Hold one a second! That’s just not good enough. I certainly am not a SF drone. I happen to have been convinced of the bona fides of the republican movement after having previously voted SDLP. Isn’t that what political parties are supposed to do? I now find myself in agreement with much of RM’s analysis. If that makes me, in your eyes, “a SF drone”, you need to consider who really is dismissive of other people’s opinions.

    And if the republican movement willing to pay £20k/week for my online entertainment, fabulous!

    J_S

    I don’t see how my question could have been any clearer? “Much more interesting to me is whether you think that people such as McIntyre (and yourself? I don’t know) are lost to “the republican movement”, and whether there is anything a new generation of shinners could do to bring people of their energy and talent back into the broader family. Is it a problem of ideology, strategy or mere tactics?”

    You duck it, say “contempt for the provisionals is something which would unite a number of people who would have little else in common.” So, is it a case of simple, unthinking contempt for members fo the “provisional” republican movement – no matter what they say, what they do and how much they’re prepared to listen? That marks you guys out as pure contrarians, and justifies the shinners ignoring your concerns. I think the broad nationalist family should be able to do better than that.

    DCB

    “With A Mct (sic) and others they won’t be touched because there would be far too much heat. Plus after a while the provos will have gotten bored with the indirect intimidiation when its clear that its not working.”

    So you agree that this stuff about SF ruling with an iron fist and stifling dissent is nonsense?

  • DCB

    Davros

    I dissagree – he had been living openly for years in Newry, I think it probably had rather a lot to do with not keeping his head down and appearing for the Sunday Times in the libel case. Plus it was at a boom time for the peace process when Molan was in full flight so there was more scope to do away with people.

    MCT

    Not exactly, I’m not saying that its an Orwellian state but look at the whispering campaign against the McCatheys. What is very clear is that people who have been outspoken critics have been killed by the rupublican movement and that people who have looked the wrong way at individual members of the RM have been murdered by individuals with the institutional collusion of the RM.

    You don’t have to murder that many people to get people to not exactly live in fear but to think twice about doing things.

  • Davros

    So you agree that this stuff about SF ruling with an iron fist and stifling dissent is nonsense?

    The logic is flawed MCT. Just because DCB argues that visibility protects a few “celebrity” dissidenting writers doesn’t mean that Joe public isn’t under the jackboot. Flip side is it also dosen’t mean they are 😉

  • Davros

    DCB – I think we may be arguing at cross purposes. The point I was trying to make is that both writers/Journalists murdered were more than professional writers. They both had pasts.
    Hasten to add doesn’t in any way excuse their murders, but I’m not aware of an “ordinary” journalist having been killed because of their work here.

  • Jim Bob

    Jim Campbell was an ordinary journalist whom Loyalists attempted to murder.

    Marty O Hagan was investigating Loyalists at the time he was murdered.

  • middle-class taig

    Davros

    Just how many “celebrity” anti-republicans do there have to be before one arrives at the conclusion that the jackboot is in the imagination of the RM’s opponents and that people in republican areas are free to say what they want?

    Between McIntyre, Luby, Darkie, Price, O’Hanlon, Gorman, Malachi, and others too legion to mention the candidates for the role of pantomime hero to Gerry’s pantomime villain is stretching into thousands. I marvel at these people proclaiming loudly, forthrightly and regularly from the Irish Independent, the LA Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Irish News, the Belfast Telegraph, Hearts & Minds, Spotlight, Let’s Talk, Fortnight, Magill, the Irish Times, Sky News, the blogosphere and some of their own websites about how their voices are being silenced. I mean how long before we point out that the Emperor isn’t just naked, he’s a compulsive exhibitionist?

  • Despairing

    Martin O Hagan had been kidnapped by the IRA previously.

    Am I the only reader who thinks this conversation is macabre?

    Level of threat fluctuates with the political flow.

    McIntyre has been under varying threat as the politics have moved. He was threatened directly by the IRA, picketed by them, and has been physically attacked. Would those of you who dislike him feel better if he were actually dead? It is probably because he is able to highlight the level of threat he is under that he is not dead or has not been done worse than what he has lived with.

    Other people as was noted by DCB are not so lucky or do not have the ability to highlight the intimidation and threats they are under. Should McIntyre or others like him not highlight their safety? Does their highlighting of intimidation when it occurs help or hinder others who are also threatened? I am inclined to believe it helps others. Light shown in darkness gives pause to those who operate better in obscurity.

    It is gruesome in the extreme that the prevailing logic is that as someone has not yet been killed the threat does not exist.

    A moral compass has been smashed somewhere and people are adrift from their humanity that they can hate so much.

  • Davros

    Marty O Hagan was investigating Loyalists at the time he was murdered.

    Doesn’t alter the fact that he had a past Jim Bob.
    That may or may not have been relevent.
    I don’t know and neither do you.

    As far as I know no “ordinary” journalist has been killed.

  • Davros

    MCT- your logic doesn’t hold. I’m not saying that you are wrong in what you write, just that you cannot say that because people like AM haven;t been killed doesn’t mean that Joe Public aren’t expected to bow the knee. The McCartney case is yet another horrible example. The McCloskey/McBrearty case in Derry was another one.

  • Jim Bob

    His “past” wasn’t worth talking about in terms of this.

    He was investigating Loyalists at the time he was murdered by them.

    Jim Campbell was an “ordinary” journalist whom Loyalists attempted to murder.

    Their lack of success on that occasion doesn’t undermine the intent.

  • middle-class taig

    Davros

    “your logic doesn’t hold. I’m not saying that you are wrong in what you write, just that you cannot say that because people like AM haven;t been killed doesn’t mean that Joe Public aren’t expected to bow the knee.”

    With respect, I believe my logic does follow. These people claim that they are under threat, but their actions suggest otherwise. Are they crying wolf or are they all simply toweringly, superhumanly brave?

    Your logic, on the other hand, is essentially that the fact that these people proclaim themselves to be under threat (while taking none of the actions one might expect from someone genuinely anticipating imminent personal harm) is to be taken as evidence of the existence of the threat not merely to them, but a generalised threat against every member of society outside the RM (your notional Joe Public).

    Again with respect, logic is anathema to that analysis.

    Joe Public doesn’t bend the knee. If he’s “expected” to, he’s clearly unaware of that fact.

    The McCartney case wasn’t a case of the RM stifling debate. It was a barbaric murder after a pub fight. It is an example of nothing other than that, and should be prosecuted as such.

  • Davros

    MCT – the McCartney Murder as with the attacks on McCloskey and McBrearty illustrate perfectly what we are discussing. The IRA/RM attacks ordinary people who don’t accept their authority. That’s been going on for 30 years. Another illustration- Rathenraw.

    Solzhenytzin wasn’t killed. Does that mean that the average Russian wasn’t living under a repressive and murderous regime ?

  • middle-class taig

    This is the problem Davros. You can’t accept that there can be rows and crimes and murders committed within catholic and nationalist communities without the guiding hand of Gerry being behind it all.

    Had SF been the most open organisation in the World, would it have prevented the row that killed Robert McCartney? Was he murdered over some point of abstruse republican doctrine? Was it a row over revolutionary strategy? No. It was a pub fight.

    How does Rathenraw differ from the recent unionist branch dissolutions? People fall out over politics.

    “Solzhenytzin wasn’t killed.”

    He was imprisoned, ostracised and exiled for life to Kazakhstan. Anthony McIntyre lives in West Belfast.

  • Mick Hall

    No one should gain any credit for not killing or assaulting journalists going about their work. This is how it should be in a civilised society. The fact of the matter is far to many journalists are murdered around the world for practising their trade. The UDA/UVF and the PIRA could kill any working journalist in Ireland tomorrow if they so wished and nothing could stop them. Thus it is imperative, even if we disagree with what some journalists write, we defend their right to do so with the utmost vigour. We may well be approaching a period when the PIRA is to be stood down, history has taught us (SA etc) this can be a very dangerous time for some journalists, as old scores may be settled. I have no doubt the leadership of the Provisional Republican Movement will do their best to maintain discipline to stop this sort of thing happening. However every organisation has its loose cannons, plus there may well be outside organisations who may wish to disrupt the process. We should all be conscious of what we say and defend the right of all journalist to go about their work without fear of interference of violence.

    MCT,

    To answer your question about former Provisional Republicans returning to the fold, one of the tactics which has created much bitterness is when the Shinners find argument and debate is not getting them anywhere, smear and innuendo to often kicks in. Myself I have never heard McIntyre or any of the other people you mentioned complain their voices have been silenced, indeed what most have done is to go out and find another avenue to get their point of view across. Even their opponents would admit they have been quite successful at doing this.

    As to any of these people returning to the PRM, myself I would like to think this is still possible. Almost all of them still regard themselves as provisional republicans, with a small p, which is why the debate is so sharp, when families fall out it often is. Whether any reconciliation is possible only time will tell. I believe this group are honourable people as to are the majority of people around Mr Adams, (I agree with you on Tyrone) I just find it sad, some Republicans cannot disagree with each other politically, without one side or the other calling their opponents turncoats, etc. Still at least things have moved on from what often happened in the past and long may it be so.

    Best regards.

  • middle-class taig

    Mick Hall

    Thank you.

    Do you think that the (inevitable if not imminent) change of leadership will help?

    “No one should gain any credit for not killing or assaulting journalists going about their work.”

    Just to be clear. No-one is suggesting that they should.

  • Davros

    Joe Public doesn’t bend the knee. If he’s “expected” to, he’s clearly unaware of that fact.

    What happens to those who don’t bow the knee disproves your case. McCloskey/ McBrearty that you pointedly refuse to acknowledge.

    How does Rathenraw differ from the recent unionist branch dissolutions?

    Crikey! if you are going to be this disingenuous I’m off for my siesta.

  • middle-class taig

    McCloskey/McBrearty – dunno enough about it to comment. But clearly, you’re picking and choosing which individual case studies suit your purposes, without looking at the broad thrust.

    Nor do I know much about Rathenraw. Storm in a teacup I thought.

  • Jimmy_Sands

    MCT,

    I’m still not entirely clear. You seem to be making the mistake of assuming that all opponents of the provisionals fall into a simple monolithic group. I would not for a moment presume to speak for Anthony McIntyre. Not having been in the movement to begin with, your question probably doesn’t apply to me.

    Your intimidation point is silly. Very few of the people you list claim to be intimidated. There are those who say they have and given the history of the organisation these claims are hardly implausible. You have a deep seated wish to believe that these claims are fabricated but provide no reason for this claim save the fact that in some cases the attempt to intimidate has clearly failed.

  • DCB

    MCT

    How many individual cases do you need before it becomes a broad thrust?

    Fact is the Provos have a virtual licence to kill or engage in what Mowlan called “internal housekeeping”.

  • middle-class taig

    “You have a deep seated wish to believe that these claims are fabricated but provide no reason for this claim save the fact that in some cases the attempt to intimidate has clearly failed.”

    Jimmy that’s just not the case. The truth would do me. Fat chance of that. I would, however, like to cast the light of realism on this “iron fist” nonsense about nationalist areas. I’ve personally witnessed no such intimidation, nor have I heard of any other than through press sources I distrust.

    Isn’t the fact that a number of the people who complain about censorship haven’t themselves been intimidated kind of proof of my point?

    “You seem to be making the mistake of assuming that all opponents of the provisionals fall into a simple monolithic group.”

    My mistake. So many axes; only one grinding stone.

  • middle-class taig

    “How many individual cases do you need before it becomes a broad thrust?”

    DCB, Frankly, one clear one would be persuasive.

  • Jimmy_Sands

    “Isn’t the fact that a number of the people who complain about censorship haven’t themselves been intimidated kind of proof of my point?”

    I’m afraid the logic of that proposition completely escapes me.

  • middle-class taig

    oh dear

    they’re the ones complaining loudest about SF intimidation of critics, but nobody’s intimidating them

    it’s not rocket science

  • Jimmy_Sands

    It certainly isn’t. The fact that A is not intimidated is not proof that B is not.

  • middle-class taig

    When A is doing what she says B is being intimidated for doing, but A acknowledges that she herself is not being intimidated for it, it rather takes the wind out of her sails.

    And frankly, if this level of abstraction characterises the argument on intimidation, people in nationalist areas will make their own sensible judgment on the veracity of the claims.

  • JD

    Jimmy, so MCT’s suggesting that the critics of SF who claim intimidation have been left alone, and you’re saying some haven’t been.

    Which ones have you in mind? Are you talking about Eamonn Collins?