Devil's in detail of long negotiations ahead…

Good old Newshound. John has Frank Millar’s analysis in the Irish Times from Saturday. He’s not buying the Gerry has sold out on the revolution line. Instead he believes the seemingly never-ending process will continue, and make the next tranche of negotiations much more complex and problematic for all parties.

I have never been persuaded that Gerry Adams is lying to himself or to his own people. There have certainly been seismic shifts in republican attitudes and strategies. But there is no evidence of a republican willingness to invest in a process would either legitimise or stabilise the British state in Northern Ireland. That is why the DUP is making a huge mistake in thinking that it is only the actions of IRA volunteers (and they haven’t gone away, you know) which matter. As Michael McDowell grasped all to well last December, the language is vital too.

Past evidence shows that a deal based on a lie, or capable of being sold to unionists and republicans as wholly different things, will not hold. Which is also why the next negotiation, when it comes, could be infinitely more complex and protracted than the last.

  • BogExile

    There they go again snatching defeat from the jaws of tactical victory. Miller is right, Sinn Fein/IRA has committed a jaw dropping volte face. What have they achieved after 30 years of their grubby, nasty little war? Oh yes, the line border is a bit more faded on the BBC Weather bulletin. The DUP react as if An Postman Pat is delivering on Sandy Row. A godsend for the Shinners who must be nervously looking at their own constituents sullen reaction to this IRA ‘victory.’

  • slug

    The DUP should negotiate a powersharing deal that does not discomfort or unsettle their supporters too much.

  • Jacko

    The above proves once again that Frank Millar is consistently the most insightful commentator on NI affairs.
    He is, incidentally, saying a lot more than the above two posts would indicate.

  • Niall

    “…the most insightful commentator on NI affairs.
    He is, incidentally, saying a lot more than the above two posts would indicate”

    He’s very difficult to read as his argument chops and changes throughout. “Are they mad? Plain deluded?…” sorry FM but who are you asking this about? In the previous paragraph you talk about the Shinners take on the Agree, unionist (the UUP) gradually came to believe this take on the Agree or the DUP being asked to go down the same path? The only ones you left out were the SDLP but isn’t everyone ignoring them these days! Clarity please.

    “The demographics certainly do not support the republican assertion.” Assuming the republican assertion is “Adam’s talk of a transition to Irish unity” and “to end British rule in our country”. I thought the demographics were supportive. I thought the republican demographics were increasing as evidenced by the increase in the SF share of the vote. I thought that the latest census showed an increasing youthful nationalist population while the unionist population was aging. I thought that the increasing secular and prosperous RoI society was supportive.

    “…the debilitating effect of ongoing loyalist paramilitarism…” this sounds very softly, softly. I thought one of the leading lights of unionism (he was a candidate for leadership of the UUP – unsuccessful & therefore not mentioned) might have taken the ‘law and order” highground like the referenced McDowell.

  • middle-class taig

    “their own constituents sullen reaction”

    you’re joking, aren’t you?

    the strange thing is that nationalists aren’t seeing this in terms of victory or defeat.

    By and large, i think most nationalist people think along the following lines:

    – it’s astonishing that the RA managed to stand up against the BA for all that time, and emerge “undefeated” in battle.

    – the residual sympathy that most nationalists feel for the republican movement stems from the genuinely-held belief that there were wrongs which the IRA opposed which needed opposing.

    – much of the RA’s tactics were unconscionable, but the decision as to whether violence was justifiable was, for every person, a difficult and personal one. The personal courage of many volunteers is unquestionable.

    – people on all sides did things that were brave and cowardly, honourable and contemptible.

    – the state has as much blood on its hands as anyone.

    – the “concessions” motorcade is nice, but it’s stuff we’ve been scandalouly denied for years. None of them are really concessions. Speaking rights in the Dail would be. The political demise of Michael McDowell (a man who northerners view more with pity than anger after his shockingly begrudging response to Thursday) delivered by our fellow Irishman with a vote for the Dail would be lovely.

    – there were precious few “victories” for anyone over the period 69-97. Plenty of defeats. Since that, there have been solid advances for nationalism, but some good stuff for good faith unionists too.

    – the departure of the IRA is a wonderful thing, partly because it reflects reality, partly because it frees us to pursue our objectives (a United Ireland, an increasingly “Irish” cultural backdrop to our society, the development of something approaching society in the north, a shared, equal future) without a pile of oul excuses about guns under the table (especially from the Republic), and partly because unionists of good faith needed it.

    – in any event, would many of us (even Shinners) really have wanted a united ireland bought at the point of a gun?

    But most important, I think,is this. The dignified, respectful departure of the IRA is a triumph for the nationalist people of the North. The Provisional IRA arose because we were a down-trodden, cowed, weak community, badly led, badly represented, badly thought of in society, North and South. We lacked confidence, lacked faith in ourselves and our own worth.

    For the IRA, the project of fashioning the Ireland Tone and Connolly dreamed of, betrayed as it was by Dublin, by the Church, by the State, could not be entrusted to us, the nationalist people of the north. It was too big for us. We could not be relied on, in moments of adversity, to defend the dignity of the nation, nor become its heart, its soul. The IRA saw the defence of our nationhood as a burden ony it could shoulder, and then only by force of arms. Its tactics, I feel, sometimes flowed from the fact that that burden was too big for this army of children, and they knew it. The Provisionals felt themselves alone, chained to their guns and the cult of resistance. They no longer do.

    The Good Friday Agreement is underpinned by the notion that a United Ireland WILL occur if a majority of the North’s people vote for it. The IRA has, by departing the field, accepted that the nationalist people are the proper vehicle for the achievement of that objective, by persuasion and agitation. They have recognised that we have the confidence, the strength of will, the sense of self to do it. And that we are a more effective vehicle than they.

    This reflects the confidence nationalists have today. Imagine the Feile an Phobail thirty five years ago? Of course not. Remember northern football in the 70s? – got laughed at once we got to Croke.

    The end of the IRA is a fitting tribute to that rejuvenation, and to our cultural renaissance. It would be nice if more southern media commentators, instead of always deriding us, would be happy for us, and maybe a little proud.

  • Henry94

    MCT

    I think you are spot-on. The whole victory and defeat argument is a minority sport within nationalism. We have known for years the IRA was going away and we think they were entitled to do so at a time and in a manner of their own choosing.

    Anyone who thinks they can cash in the goodwill built up by the IRA by starting another war will find they have another think coming.

  • Comrade Stalin

    MCT, throughout the IRA’s campaign it was opposed by the vast majority of nationalists, which is reflected pretty well in Sinn Fein’s electoral support which did not eclipse that of the SDLP until the ceasefire was well bedded-in.

    You might at least have the decency to suggest you are speaking for republicans, rather than nationalists or as you seem to imply in several places, “northerners”.

  • aquifer

    “- the state has as much blood on its hands as anyone.”

    How so? The IRA killed half the total directly did they not, but the state’s body count was not all the others. The police did not kill very many people at all. The vast majority of the deaths are due to PIRAs choice of armed insurrection as a means of change in a society already divided on sectarian lines.

  • middle-class taig

    Comrade Stalin

    I’m speaking of nationalists. I can only speak to my own experience. And I’d like you to retract the suggestion that there is anything “indecent” in my post.

    “MCT, throughout the IRA’s campaign it was opposed by the vast majority of nationalists, which is reflected pretty well in Sinn Fein’s electoral support”

    I’m sorry, but that’s utter tripe. Facile revisionist nonsense. Reduces John Hume to the tweedledum to Gerry’s tweedledee.

    A vote for the SDLP did not and does not equal opposition to the IRA. I think it’s boringly patronising of you to imagine that SDLP voters couldn’t keep two thoughts in their head at once.

    Moreover, I talked of “residual sympathy”, which may be something less than outright support.

    And don’t exaggerate – I use “northerners” where I refer to republicans only once. And I doubt northern republicans are alone in their loathing of a certain odious ministerial toad.

    Aquifer

    Because I don’t wear blinkers, as you do. I feel no obligation to see the IRA as the pantomime fiend.

    I don’t see the troubles in a 35-year-bubble.

    I don’t define “blood on the hands” in as narrow focus as referring merely to bodycount. I don’t see moral responsibility in crude biomass terms. I do however realise that I might be from Mars to your Venus on this. Maybe you might try to look through my eyes.

    I don’t believe that all the responsibility for a given killing rests necessariy with the killers. Having said that, your last sentence suggests that neither do you.

    And I don’t accept your narrative about the how many people the state killed. I note they’re not yet prepared to tell us how many they killed.

    Henry94

    Agreed. All sectarian analysis has become a minority sport within nationalism. I think we’re in a healthy place, right now.

    Personally, I think the ceasefire opens up huge opportunities for both nationalist parties. Those for SF are obvious. For the SDLP, they’re no longer shackled to the self-imposed “moral” responsibility of holding the Republican movement to account. They can get the counselling they deserve for their obsessive compulsive badprovofetish. They can look to form alliances at national level. They can become again what they once were – advocates for national unity, with a big and a small u.

  • PS

    MCT

    Your first post is probably the best I’ve ever seen on slugger. Well done.

  • middle-class taig

    PS

    That’s very nice of you to say, and high praise indeed coming from yourself.

    CS

    Sorry for the tone of that reply, by the way – I was annoyed at something at work when I wrote it. Let the “facile tripe” stuff get away from me a bit. I hope you’ll engage with the less childish parts of the reply.

    Aquifer

    Similarly, sorry for jumping to accuse you of being blinkered.

    Do you see where I’m coming from on this?

  • Patrick P.

    MCT

    You conveyed precisely, in words, the thoughts and feelings that have been running amok in my brain for a long time now. Bravo. One of the best posts I have ever seen on Slugger.

  • circles

    MCT:
    excellent post. spot on and extremely well articulated. Nice response also to CS (A vote for the SDLP did not and does not equal opposition to the IRA).

  • la redoute

    MCT
    When i read your comments i shake my head,if this is what you believe my god.
    Firstly the ira was never able to defend its so called community from loyalist attack
    Secondly how was a bombing campaign defensive. If you represent the nationalist community god help us.
    Thirdly Your culture your having a laugh your as bad as the ulster scots making up your own culture!

  • iluvni

    MCT,

    did you have a ‘sneaking regard’ then for the activities of the IRA throughout the Troubles?
    Did the terrorism revolt you or could you ‘understand’ it?

    ..or did you support it?

  • middle-class taig

    iluvni

    I spoke of sympathy. Certainly there was regard. There was no sneaking invoved.

    I disagreed with political violence throughout. I still do. I could never accept, looking at the love with which my own family filled my life, that my political ambitions and desires could justify the creaton of a single orphan or widow.

    That said, I understood entirely what motivated people who took the other view. One would have to have been of stone to grow up where I grew up, see what I saw, be treated as I was, and not understand. And sympathise.

  • middle-class taig

    la redoute

    “the ira was never able to defend its so called community from loyalist attack”

    I did not say anything about the IRA defending the community. Try to think about what I wrote, not what you’d like to think I wrote.

    Notwithstanding that, as a matter of mere fact, Short Strand is still nationalist, is it not?

    “Secondly how was a bombing campaign defensive.”

    I didn’t talk of a defensive bombing campaign.

    “If you represent the nationalist community god help us.”

    I represent myself. I come from the nationalist community. Not all members of that community agree with me.

    “Your culture your (sic) having a laugh”

    What are you talking about here?

    PS and PP

    Thank you

  • darthrumsfeld

    Hmmm
    MCT- so you sympathise with the killers because of “where you grew up”, yet you proclaim yourself middle class. I don’t remember too many victims of the RUC dog of oppression on the Malone Road or Culmore in Derry. They didn’t go in for dawn raids in
    Perhaps you’re not really middle class- or perhaps your recollections have become coloured by green tinted spectacles.

    Not for you the recollection of living in a terraced house with an outside toilet chronic fuel poverty and rickets. There has always been a middle class type who compensates for his humdrum life by identifying with the revolutionary , and would be shocked to realise that the revolutionary holds him in contempt.

    Given your ambivalence on the unduckable moral responsibility of the Provos for the pointless killing of your fellow irishmen, I’m with the revolutionary

  • middle-class taig

    Ah, we have another candidate for the “I-can’t-decide-which-annoys-me-more;-the-taig-bit-or-the-middle-class-bit” prize. Why do unionists fixate on it so much? Is it such a threat that a fenian has a few pound in his pocket? Aren’t neighborhoods full republican C4s better than bunkers full of republican C-4?

    The Catholic middle-class is not limited to Belfast and Derry, nor is it restricted to the plusher areas of those cities. Plenty of middle class nationalists live in areas which wouldn’t ordinarily be described as middle class by their unionist neighbours. Plenty of middle class nationalists experienced first hand or very close second hand events in the troubles which arouse sympathy for republicanism.

    The only people who have ever obviously held me in contempt have been unionist on here, and it’s always been something to do with the middle class thing. Get over it.

  • lib2016

    I don’t agree with every word but by god it needed saying. Well said!

  • barnshee

    “Remember northern football in the 70s? – got laughed at once we got to Croke”

    lots of us still laugh

  • middle-class taig

    Do you like your football, barnie?

  • darthrumsfeld

    “The only people who have ever obviously held me in contempt have been unionist on here, and it’s always been something to do with the middle class thing. Get over it.”

    Nah- we hold people in contempt if they “understand” the Provos based on their pretend identification with the ghetto. Your justification for moral ambivalence is as convincing as Sasha Baron Cohen’s alter ego. “Is it because I’s middle class?”

    The real reason Southern media folk deride northern nationalists like you because you’re an embarassment. They’re quite at ease with being -to all intents and purposes- half-Brits. They don’t recognise the stalinist agitprop of Feile as their nationalism any more than the Home Counties recognise the Twelfth as their Britishness. And very few southern media folk, in their desperation to get a gig on Sky and move on to the bright lights of London , can understand why people like you, with the benefit of your middle class education and your middle class friends and your middle class holidays -in short the same aspirations as them- would be giving mental house room to the provo campaign. Look at your own evasion of the point about defensive bombing campaigns earlier on the thread. I’m I the south almost as much as the north, and the middle class people I meet would cringe to read your posts.

  • middle-class taig

    “Look at your own evasion of the point about defensive bombing campaigns earlier on the thread.”

    I wasn’t in the least evasive. I am never evasive. I answer peope’s questions honestly and forthrightly. I simply never argued that bombings were defensive. I don’t see why I should have to defend an argument I didn’t make. Why don’t you just make up a load more things I didn’t say as straw men for your attacks?

    “The real reason Southern media folk deride northern nationalists like you because you’re an embarassment.”

    Ho ho. You seem to see me as some kind of twisted krypto-communist plotting the downfall of Britain, capitalism and religion from the back set of my Volvo. Don’t you recognise me? I’m the guy doing the legal work on your cross-border merger, or the lady looking after your sick mother in hospital in Newry or Dundalk. Or I’m the fella running your kid’s hurling team, or soccer team, or swimming team. I’m the teacher staring back at you at the parent teacher evening. I’m all around you. I’m the average decent northern nationalist. I pay my taxes and my TV licence. I call the cops even though I’m afraid of them. I do my best for society and for those I love, just like everyone else.

    I’m delighted to be an embarrassment to the Southern media, with their sneering revisionism, holier-than-thou faux intenationalism and pseudo-intellectual west-brittery. As for their “desperation to get a gig on Sky and move on to the bright lights of London”, I wish they realised that I’m the guy with two kids in English universities cause they’re the best place for their course (and one hoping to go to Padua in a couple of years and one finishing his masters in Heidelburg, and another teaching at U Penn – Jesus they’re a drain all these kids), or the bloke that made a few quid as a professional in the City before coming back home for a more comfortable life.

    I’m the girl who can walk into a decent job in the bright lights of London anytime I want because my family and community made sure I realised how important education had been to them, and how it’ll give me and my community wiings. I can do London ’cause I know who I am. I have no desperation (Orlaith aside). For Londoners, the Dublin chatterati will always be lickspittle wannabes, useful idiots. Everyone can spot a psycophant, and the only trait less attractive than psycophancy is disdain for the people and place you’ve come from. Their face bears the bottom-print of the last bigwig who sat on them. It marks them out as jobbing try-hards.

    I’ll be here long after they’re gone.

    “I’m in the south almost as much as the north, and the middle class people I meet would cringe to read your posts.”

    So, you’re saying I’m the first middle-class class traitor? Woe is me.

    How come your experiences are so different from Fanny’s on the “not with a bang…..” thread. You people just make it up as you go along….

  • darthrumsfeld

    Soooo MCT
    You despise the ruling classes in the country to which you aspire to belong.(About the only healthy statement in your last rant) You recognise that in many aspects British life provides advantages for you and your children. You respect ther laws of the land. If you’re plotting the downfall of Britain , you’ve a funny way of going about it.

    Typical bloody middle class revolutionary.You’d fit in well at a dinner party in Islington complaining about how Tony Blair betrayed your vote in 1997. The only difference, is your need to find a label to justify all this angst and midlife crisis. So you decide to become an “oppressed Keflic”, where every setback in life become part of some vast Proddie conspiracy.

    “How dare he aspire to be middle class like us” the Prods in the golf club say behind their hands as they oppress you by getting you a g & t- patronising you by treating you ,er, just the same as them. They’re all talking about you behind your back, you know -sly little digs like “wasn’t the test match exciting?”, knowing that you- a proud representative of an oppressed people- could never be part of such a foreign culture.

    Of course you could say to them “Weren’t Derry crap yesterday?” but then your worst nightmare might happen. Someone might say “Yeah” and before you know it, you’d find out that all the middle class has in common is-it’s class.

    Yes really. They all like golf, all want to own a Jag and all worry about paying for their kids to be educated in Padua or where-ever.They probably read the Sunday Times and do work for a charity.

    But the average decent northern nationalist generally would refrain from insulting himself or his colleagues by revelling in the term “taig”, implicit with the superirity of the victim of sectarianism which you have eloquently demonstrated you are not. Not because sectarianism doesn’t exist, or because it should be brushed under the carpet, but because wearing it as a hairshirt encourages futher sectarianism, as the moral ambivalence to the criminality at the heart of Sinn fein demonstrated by middle class people who vote for them has shown.

  • middle-class taig

    The Southern media is the ruling class? I’d hope to displace any ruling class. I don’t think any country should have a ruling class.

    “You recognise that in many aspects British life provides advantages for you and your children.”

    Read the post again. I think you’ve missed the whole point. I take what I want from Britain. If my kids benefit from going to University there, fine. If a couple of years on a decent crust there suits me for CV purposes, sweet.

    “You respect ther laws of the land.”

    Would you rather I didn’t?

    “If you’re plotting the downfall of Britain …”

    I’m not. I’m really, really not.

    “Typical bloody middle class revolutionary.”

    I’m simply not a revolutionary. I don’t pretend to be.

    “You’d fit in well at a dinner party in Islington “

    I’ve been to a couple. I did fit in.

    “complaining about how Tony Blair betrayed your vote in 1997.”

    The British Labour Party wasn’t standing where I voted in 1997. I think people in Islington knew exactly what they were voting for in 1997.

    “The only difference, is your need to find a label to justify all this angst and midlife crisis. So you decide to become an “oppressed Keflic”, where every setback in life become part of some vast Proddie conspiracy.”

    Oh dear, you’re losing it now. Any setbacks in my life have had little to do with any conspiracy. I don’t have that much angst, I do enjoy political discussion. I’m not yet old enough to have a mid-life crisis.

    “”How dare he aspire to be middle class like us” the Prods in the golf club say behind their hands as they oppress you by getting you a g & t- patronising you by treating you ,er, just the same as them. They’re all talking about you behind your back, you know -sly little digs like “wasn’t the test match exciting?”, knowing that you- a proud representative of an oppressed people- could never be part of such a foreign culture.”

    How entertaining to see the level of concern you imagine I have for whether other middle class people accept me!

    I don’t play golf and don’t really enjoy the company of people who do.

    I love cricket. Plenty of nationalists like cricket.

    “But the average decent northern nationalist generally would refrain from insulting himself or his colleagues by revelling in the term “taig”,”

    You obviously don’t know us then. A northern nationalist will often refer to himself and co-religionists as “fenian” or “taig”. This means catholic generally – nothing else. If we want to mean republican, we use other expressions.

    “implicit with the superiority of the victim of sectarianism which you have eloquently demonstrated you are not”

    It just means catholic to us.

    I don’t feel any sense of superiority. I am as petty, venal and partisan as the next guy.

    “the moral ambivalence to the criminality at the heart of Sinn fein demonstrated by middle class people who vote for them has shown”

    Sorry, for a minute there, I thought you had a serious point to make. I should havbe realised this was just a rant about middle class catholics voting SF.

    I’m generally stunned at how my choice of moniker has unbalanced a lot of posters here. I had no idea just how deep runs the fear of the catholic middle class. What a strange group to fear.

  • darthrumsfeld

    MCT
    This is fascinating. So RC workmates address each other as “fenian” or “taig”- perhaps in a conscious attempt to imitate the Black ghettospeak, when the term of address seems to be “Niggah”.What next in your attempt to don the clothes of the MOPE- rap music from Rostrevor? Bling in Ballymurphy?

    The next time I meet my lawyer mate Eoghan in the bar at the Gresham, obviously he’ll be thrilled when I address him with a friendly ” Yo, fenian- whatchoo at? How’s it hanging, Taig? have y’all seen ma bitch?”. Perhaps he’ll show me his hurley bat as a reward for my atempts to adopt his culture.

    You say you don’t feel superior but then you revel in the alleged victimhood of your community to an unhealthy extent, even though you yourself still cannot share any personal experience of victimhood.

    Actually the support for SF in the RC community is just about the most serious point any Unionist can make. Even if you can bring your self by a tortuous series of moral blindspots to the view that the IRA was justified in its actions at some point in the past, no intelligent person can deny the totally negative impact they have on the community today. And its the way so many nice middle class RC people seem entirely oblivious of the past and present of Sinn fein that worries Unionists, in the way the nice middle class Nazi party voters concerned the jews, socialists etc in Germany. Your dismissal of that point as a rant shows that you clearly don’t have any concerns in that regard.

    So the Unionist victims of the IRA- and more pertinently the working class Catholic victims are an irrelevance to you. Well that’s certainly the genuine voice of the middle class speaking.

    Your puzzlement that anyone who believes SF to be a cancer in the politics of Ireland is all the proof an objective reader of these posts needs to see the real reason you provoke such responses.

    I’m genuinely stunned that such an erudite and educated person can be so unwilling to recognise the thundering great contradictions in his entire philosophy, and instead lives in a worldvision of caricatures..

  • middle-class taig

    “So RC workmates address each other…”

    I don’t think you’d necessarily use such words in a work context..

    “What next in your attempt to don the clothes of the MOPE”

    That’s not the intent. I think it probably began as part of a sort of esprit de corps among people feeling themselves to be outsiders. It’s not remotely a recent development. You’re reading into it much more than there is.

    “You say you don’t feel superior but then you revel in the alleged victimhood of your community to an unhealthy extent,”

    Do you mean by my choice of moniker? What a peculiar exaggeration.

    “even though you yourself still cannot share any personal experience of victimhood.”

    I don’t find personal shroud-waving of that nature remotely helpful to rational discussion, particularly in the context of the North where everyone and anyone has a personal “waddabout” to erect as an obstacle to genuine engagement.

    “Even if you can bring your self by a tortuous series of moral blindspots to the view that the IRA was justified in its actions at some point in the past.”

    I’ve said I was opposed to armed struggle.

    “no intelligent person can deny the totally negative impact [SF] have on the community today.”

    Ignoring this further gross exaggeration, I’m not convinced that’s their fault. I think they’re doing their part to move towards a just settlement/process. Honestly.

    I’d like to see a new climate emerge, in which unionists of good faith are more comfortable with the representation SF provide for nationalists. And in which I’m more comfortable with the DUP’s approach. I think that’s coming, slowly. I’ve been watching recent news and I reckon that there’s a move afoot to get all the trauma out of the way for unionists now – front-end it if you like – so that they have a few months without too much pain later before going into goverment with the shinners.

    I think some people will always see the bad in them, because to acknowledge the humanity of shinners would be the bitterest pill to swallow.

    “And its the way so many nice middle class RC people seem entirely oblivious of the past and present of Sinn fein that worries Unionists, in the way the nice middle class Nazi party voters concerned the jews, socialists etc in Germany.”

    Similarly, I don’t find that grotesquely exaggerated analogies assist rational debate in this arena.

    “Your dismissal of that point as a rant shows that you clearly don’t have any concerns in that regard.”

    I don’t have any concern that SF threaten the rise of a new fascism and genocide.

    “So the Unionist victims of the IRA- and more pertinently the working class Catholic victims are an irrelevance to you.”

    Not at all. But go ahead and think that if it makes you feel better.

    “Your puzzlement that anyone who believes SF to be a cancer in the politics of Ireland is all the proof an objective reader of these posts needs to see the real reason you provoke such responses.”

    It’s not my fault that you react in this excessive way, but I do feel badly about it.

    “I’m genuinely stunned that such an erudite and educated person can be so unwilling to recognise the thundering great contradictions in his entire philosophy, and instead lives in a worldvision of caricatures.”

    I was trying to explain to you that the modern republican is not the beast of caricature you seem to imagine, but rather everyday men and women. I don’t think opposing armed struggle but finding attractive the political project of Irish unification reveals any contradiction, thundering or otherwise.

  • darthrumsfeld

    So where is this non violent republicanism then MCT? Show me a party opposed to the Union , responsibly using peaceful means to achieve that outcome yet making the instituitions of the state workin the interim. oh, and prepared to accept that they might never win that argument.
    Well there’s the Stoops but they don’t seem cool enough anymore.

    Aren’t you bothered by the links ( so often alleged and never elitigated that I think we can draw our own conclusions) between the Shinners and criminality- not just Northern bank and Mccartney, but the low level ciggie and fuel smuggling?
    Don’t you care that people who – by the grace of God, in spite of the disticntion Tony Blair chooses to make- were only a few years ago letting off no warning bombs that killed and maimed?
    Have you no worries about a police service answerable to people still in the IRA, which has a very cavalier approach to abiding by the law – north or south?
    Does it not give you a moment’s concern that- virtually without exception- every Unionist with whom you seek to do business has these fears and worries? Frankly the fact that you find such reactions “excesive” suggests a lack of insight into the opinions of even the most Alliance-ish middle class prod. He might not fear a new genocide, but he sure as hell sees rampant criminality and a trussed up justice system. let’s see how well community policing does in apprehending the Black’s Road rapists, subjecting them to due process and proportionate punishment- as opposed to a traditional nutting job.

    Oh you have indeed said you were opposed to armed struggle- but also that you understood it, based on personal experience which you now decline to share. That doesn’t hack it. Whatever may have been necessary in 1969( I would say nothing of the sort carried out by the IRA) was unnecessary by 1979, and has been criminality and evil throughout. Surprise me and tell me I’m right

  • middle-class taig

    “So where is this non violent republicanism then MCT?…..”

    I think it’s emerging out of the physical force tradition. If SF weren’t prepared to accept that there might never be a NI majority for UI, they wdnt have agreed to GFA.

    “Am I bothered by ….”

    – links between SF and criminality.

    I think they’re exaggerated, sometimes invented, by their opponents. Not every clime in Andersonstown is Gerry’s fault.

    – bombings, people changing, hard for unionists to accept.

    I think it’s in the nature of a conflict resolution process. You could equally feign concern for nationalists being asked to support or accept organisations previously involved in killing them. It’s about moving on and recognising that the past was something at least vaguely resembling war.

    – IRA involvement in policing

    I see that as very unlikely.

    – Unionist opposition; fears; exaggeration.

    I must expect unionists to act like unionists, and accept it. Do I think their opposition to a shared future is fair or reasonable? No. Do I think the fears expressed by their political leaders are genuinely held? No. I think unionism has to revisit the way it looks at republicans. Hopefully full disarmament will give space for that.

    “Whatever may have been necessary in 19…”

    I have no idea what was “necessary”? I wasn’t sufficiently old at either date you mention to judge. Did the armed struggle go on beyond when it should have stopped? On even the most generous
    measure, of course.

    My opposition to the armed struggle was not because I didn’t think it was necessary. Necessity played no part in my analysis. I simply saw it as wrong. There were many other wrongs being perpetrated at the same time, by pretty much everyone. I don’t accept that everyone who has done wrong in the past is incapable of doing right in the future.