Ahern mustn't fall for the old 'SF/Blair' trick…

Eoghan Harris believes Bertie Ahern should be wary of being forced into positions in the upcoming round of negotiations that compromise the health and security of the Republic by the personal ambitions of Blair and Adams.

He believes the British hae been working first hand with Adams on this project for some time:

As David Trimble’s biographer, Dean Godson, points out, “as far back as 1972 British intelligence thought Adams had potential”. And they were right. Adams had the potential to abort an armed struggle aimed at the British mainland and morph it into a political-cum-criminal conspiracy aimed at the Irish Republic.

The story goes that in the talks before Christmas, when Dublin diplomats demurred that the deal might not dispose of the IRA’s mafia intentions in the Irish Republic, they were roundly rebuffed by Blair’s Chief of Staff, Jonathan Powell, who told them that Sicily had to deal with a mafia, too.

The Powell story may be apocryphal but it accurately catches the amoral mind-set of the Blair government’s slumming with Sinn Fein for the past ten years. This slumming is chronicled by the transcripts of tapped phone conversations between British officials and Sinn Fein in Liam Clarke’s and Kathryn Johnston’s biography, Martin McGuinness: From Guns to Government.

Any armchair republicans among my readers who are still taken in by Adams’s attacks on so-called “securocrats” should consider the cosy relationship between Sinn Fein and the Blair government revealed by the exchange of July 18, 1999, when Dr Mo Mowlam, former Northern Ireland Secretary, calls Mr McGuinness “babe”. Hardly the language of someone likely to lock Martin up.

But a lot more bothersome is the conversation between Blair’s Chief of staff, Mr Jonathan Powell, and Martin McGuinness two days earlier, on July 16, where Mr Powell appears to agree to Mr McGuinness’s demand for Downing Street to form an executive with or without unionists, or as the Sinn Fein MP puts it, for London and Dublin “to think about moving on over their heads”.

  • Betty Boo

    Was it not also stated in the same book, that the British Government never intended to deprive Martin McGuinness of his liberty or to get him killed?
    Handing over security information about his whereabouts to Michael Stone was sure a strange way of showing it.

  • Gum

    I liked the bit where Clarke describes McGuinness’ family. He got it completely wrong, finding bishops of Nottingam to be family members.

  • Betty Boo

    The book reminded me of the part in The Annals Of The Four Masters about Cahir Rua O’Dogherties rising in 1608. It started with gallant noble man and ended with audacious traitor being one of the nicer of the name-calling.
    It made it very clear in whose service the outraged chronicle writer was.
    And how dare rising against the English.