manipulating public opinion

The Irish Times editorial today follows up on its, generally overlooked elsewhere, report yesterday in which Gerry Adams’ chief spokesman [Gerry’s on holiday dontchaknow] admitted that Adams was wrong when he claimed that the Taoiseach had given a commitment that “MPs elected in the six counties will be able to speak in the Dáil”.. a claim which Ahern corrected, as noted here.. they had to unspin the admission though – SF admits Adams wrong on Dáil speaking rights

“Perhaps Gerry wasn’t qualified enough in what he wrote or didn’t explain himself enough,” he [Adams’ spokesman] said

From today’s Irish Times editorial –

It is difficult to understand why Mr Adams misrepresented the situation, last week, in an article published in this newspaper. He may have been annoyed by a succession of statements from the Democratic Unionist Party that entering government with Sinn Féin in Northern Ireland represented a long-term option for the party. In that context, raising the prospect of special Sinn Féin access to the Dáil was likely to antagonise loyalists while mollifying republicans. And, of course, the “Colombia Three” were about to reappear on the domestic scene.

The fact that three days were allowed to elapse before Mr Adams, through a spokesman, acknowledged his misunderstanding of the situation suggests an element of political gamesmanship. Last year, when a deal appeared likely, the Taoiseach told the Dáil he was prepared to recommend that Northern MPs should be invited to attend committee meetings when they were discussing matters relating to Northern Ireland or the Belfast Agreement. It would, however, be up to the Oireachtas to make that decision. And there was no question of MPs being given a right to address the Dáil in plenary session.

This matter had been under discussion for years. And there was never any hint that those Sinn Féin MPs who refused to take their seats at Westminster would be granted an automatic audience in the Dáil. There was certainly no question – as Mr Adams had it – of their being given quasi-ministerial licence to speak on controversial issues such as major construction projects, drug abuse and social housing in this State.

Republicans are good at manipulating public opinion. They have demanded many concessions from governments while delivering as little as possible in return. It was instructive, therefore, that the Taoiseach was the one who found difficulty in convincing the public that no special deals had been done in relation to Sinn Féin MPs or in connection with the return of the “Colombia Three”. Mr Ahern should regard this development as a cautionary lesson in his future dealings with Sinn Féin.

He should.. whether he will is a different matter.

  • Kevin

    I don’t believe Ahern has, or has had for a long time, confidence in Sinn Fein. However, in trying to push for a solution in N. Ireland -because of their popularity and historic links – Sinn Fein and Mr. Adams will always need to be dealth with, will always need to be negotiated with. It’s a sad, but true fact that Sinn Fein can get away with such incidents.

  • middle-class taig

    Well ddone Gerry.

    Sets the benchmark for what SF’ll want for going into policing. Why isn’t Durkan out shouting about this as well? I want my representatives in the Oireachtas, and if they don’t start demanding it and making it a priority, I will be withholding votes, preferences, money and support.

    This is a SF initiative which the SDLP could usurp, soft-edge and win a big “concession” on. Come on SDLP, show us you still have some interest in the aspirations of the nationalist people. If you’re 100% for a United Ireland, prove it.

  • Acer

    It’s simple really. Adams and SF are destabilising Bertie, just as they they destabilised Hume and Trimble. Ever since the abortive McCabe deal, Ahern has a credibility problem. Whatever happens he is suspected of cutting a deal. The fact that Bertie is a compulsive deal-maker, that deal-making is in his DNA only aggravates the position. Hence the “private, not secret” meetings with Adams when we were under the impression he had sent SF packing after the Northern bank and Robert mccartney. Whether there was or was not a deal over the Columbia 3 or speaking in the Dail or other issues is irrelevant. It’s the suspicion of a deal that counts. Unless he reacts fast, Bertie is going to be Trimbled.

  • middle-class taig

    Acer

    Interesting analysis – SF destabilising Bertie. Instinctively, I thought “rubbish”, then I thought it through and it began to sound plausible, albeit outlandish. My issue is this: if Gerry destabilises Bertie, he lets in FG, and it’ll be a cold day in hell before SF gets into government with a FG/Lab coalition. In fact, that would be a nightmare for the North. Also, to destabilise Bertie, Adams has to hurt himself, reinforcing the foundations fo the crumbling transfer wall.

    I think the Irish people like Bertie precisely because he’s a bit of a wheeler-dealer. In the modern political world it’s the best skill you can have. Policy wonks get nowhere now. Results are king. His time at the reins in Europe was a triumph for the fixer. Moreover, Irish people like a deal – there’s something of the agricultural trader in all of us – more than an absolute victory that shafts one side. We have too much of the latter in our history.

    Do you think Gerry’s trying to angle for Cowen (if Cowen it would be) to replace Bertie sooner rather than later?

  • Acer

    At the next election in ROI,which is what it is all about, SF will be gunning for FF seats. Assume Bertie is still leader but seriously destabilised. Why vote for FF if you can get the real thing with SF? There’s another aspect. Hume & Trimble are gone. Blair will be gone within 3 years. If Bertie goes that leaves Adams standing alone as the sole remaining GFA leader. He will be the keeper of the flame, and will portray himself as the unquestioned leader of nationalist Ireland. Very good position to be in to take a tilt at the presidency when that comes up.

  • Fergal

    Yeah i read that in the Times yesterday. Did his spokesman really say that maybe Gerry didn’t know what he was talking about? Or was that my imgaination??

    Anyway, I’ve linked to you and plugged you as well. Any chance of a reciprocation? Mine is considerably less serious though!!

    http://www.harpingon.blogspot.com

  • Jacko

    Acer

    You have it spot on. Hence raising the hare over secret deals on speaking rights and the timing of the Columbia 3 return. Bertie has been shown willing to do a deal on the McCabe killers. Even though he drew back after the public outcry, the damage was done.
    Adams and company are playing the long game with Bertie the next victim and the presidency and places in gov. the next targets.

  • circles

    “Adams and company are playing the long game with Bertie the next victim”

    As a political party is it not normal that SF act politically? I mean to portray them as scheming and planning to obtain power – surely that applies to every single party that has a political agenda to promote, and surely thats the basis of democracy. If you likt the agenda you vote for it. I don’t see the need for the slightly sinister vocabulary sometimes used – victim like?

  • Tom Griffin

    MCT

    This week’s Irish World has this comment from an SDLP spokesman:

    “The SDLP is in favour of speaking rights in the Dail – and totally opposed to unionist threats to refuse to work the North South agenda if speaking rights are given.

    “Even more important to us is the North South Parliamentary Forum provided for by the Good Friday Agreement. It would bring together all the representatives of all the parties of all of Ireland for the first time ever. It would, we believe, be the engine of the North South agenda. We want to see it too without delay.”

  • slug

    Still no decommissioning.

  • Dessertspoon

    How do you know that Slug? You know nothing !!

  • circles

    Slug: “Still no decommissioning.”

    I don’t know about that slug – it appears that the DUP have decommissioned all their mouthpieces as a protest at the increasing loyalist violence. I mean with all those pipe bombs and general aggressing of the nationalist population, you would wonder that the IRA wouldn’t just pack all the guns away in one big fire.

  • Fanny

    When did the IRA ever use its guns to defend people from loyalists?
    The Official IRA can lay claim to attempts at this in the early 70s. The Provos can’t – ever, to my knowledge.

  • Fanny

    Wow. Hasn’t it gone quiet.

  • G2

    Maybe the Colombia three have gone to ground in an IRA arms bunker in some bog in Co kerry.

  • JD

    Fanny,

    The formation of the Provisionals centred around a well documented incident at St Matthews Church in the Short Strand, were a small group of IRA men led by Billy McKee successfully defend the church from attack by a large mob of loyalists and B Specials. Billy McKee was badly wounded and at least one other defender died in this incident.

    During the Seige of Short Strand 3 years ago, after weeks of bombardment of that area and during a sustained petrol bomb and blast bomb attack, it is alleged that the Provisionals opened fire into Cluan Place, wounding five attackers.

    These are two examples that are matters of public record.

  • slug9987

    Time to hear about the IRA having completely decommissioned its weapons.

  • Fanny

    Republican folklore overlaps with fantasy
    Letters (Irish News, today)
    By S McMurchada

    Republicans are renowned for their mythology and every Thursday readers of The Irish News have a further instalment from Jim Gibney.
    Last week he dwelt on the defence of the Short Strand (again) and listed the ‘volunteers’ who defended the district.
    Four of these – Steele, Bell, Magee and Dorrian – died on February 21 1972 on the Ballygowan Road when the bomb they were carrying exploded prematurely.
    They were on their way to bomb the Hillfoot Bar – owned and frequented mainly by Protestants.
    In republican folklore, they were defending the Short Strand and St Matthew’s Church.

    S McMurchada
    An Dun

  • Fanny

    Personally I think that if the Provos had used their guns to defend people against loyalists – and only for this purpose – there isn’t a unionist in Northern Ireland who could legitimately have criticised such an action.

    However it is patently obvious that the Provos were first and foremost a sectarian terrorist organisation which strayed well clear of any confrontation with loyalist sectarian terrorist organisations in case an actual ‘war’ broke out.

    Cowards.

  • Fanny

    *sound of tumbleweed*

  • middle-class taig

    Thanks, Tom. So do you think that was sdlpspeak for we support SF’s position on this one? I’d love to hear that occasionally; and just as much vice-versa.

    Fanny

    You appear to be criticising the IRA on the grounds that they didn’t engage in enough brutal sectarian confrontation. A bizarre position.

  • Fanny

    Oh why are you deliberately mis-representing my clear position, MCT?
    I’m saying that the IRA would have had a watertight case, at least in the early years of the troubles, for defending people against loyalist sectarian attacks. But they didn’t.

  • Jacko

    Fanny

    For God’s sake don’t attack the mythology. It’s what sustains the believers, there’s a myth to avoid facing every argument.
    What is true, however, is that at one stage a very senior provo commander threatened to resign from the provos and throw his lot in with another group if the provos didn’t stop mounting purely sectarian attacks.

  • slug

    They killed plenty protestants.

  • Tom Griffin

    MCT

    I can’t say I have any special insight other than what’s in the statement.

    It’s interesting that they use the phrase ‘speaking rights’, since the Taoiseach said in Monday’s Irish Times that what’s on offer (basically the Lenihane report) doesn’t add up to speaking rights.

    Sir Reg Empey’s press release about an embryonic all-Ireland Parliament, which basically started this whole furore, also used the same phrase.

    Perhaps, its simply a case of SF and the UUP having a common interest in talking up republican gains.

    In reality it looks as if the Taoiseach has just restated a previous commitment to implement the report of the Oireachtas Committee on the Constitution.

    I don’t see why that should alarm the same parties that were on the Committee, especially as most of them are supposed allies of the SDLP.

  • Yoda

    There is no question that the ‘RA indulged in sectarian targetting, and it is to their eternal shame. A number of observers (Ed Moloney included) have noted that these attacks were in response to the rampant sectarian attacks carried out by loyalist/ unionist paramilitaries.

    Paramilitaries on both sides killed their own in highest numbers: e.g., loyalist paramilitaries killed more loyalists than republicans and vice versa.

    Recent figures are as follows:

    Republican paramilitaries killed 713 civilians, 164 republicans, 31 loyalists, 1070 security forces.

    Loyalists paramilitaries killed 858 civilians, 65 loyalists, 26 republicans, 15 security forces.

    Security forces killed 208 civilians.

  • Alan McDonald

    Yoda,

    I’ve never understood these headcounts. Could you give me or direct me to the definitons of “civilians” etc.

  • Fanny

    A civilian is someone not in uniform, I suppose.

  • slug9987

    Alan

    The 1070 security people that the IRA killed includes off duty police and army – often border protestants.

  • slug9987

    Fanny – I am assuming that the many off-duty security services people that the IRA killed were not included as civilians. Yoda?

  • Yoda

    “Civilian” is defined as person who is not a member of a paramilitary organisation or the security forces.

    Many of the civilians killed had “clouds” hanging over them: they were either accused informers or local “hoods” who were “punished.” The problem is that these charges are not only notoriously difficult to prove but that informers do not seem to be as easy to dissociate from, say, the security forces.

    And let’s not forget collusion in all its forms: something people tend to not want to talk about.

    I should also note that there has been some work done on the way in which the unionist community interprets the killing of security forces as sectarian because they are by and large drawn from that community.

  • Keith M

    “Perhaps Gerry wasn’t qualified enough in what he wrote or didn’t explain himself enough,” he [Adams’ spokesman] said.

    What an embarrasing climbdown by the SF/IRA leader. To paraphase it “Gerry is either stupid or a liar”. Now I don’t reckon Adams is stupid, which only confirms my beliefs on his ability to tell barefaced lies with a straight face is undiminished. Gerry will have us believe he was never in the IRA, let alone a leader of the group during its most bloodthirsty period.

    After the small bubble of goodwill that came from the recent IRA statement, it’s back to SF/IRA’s Annus Horribilis. Following the McCartney murder, the Northern Bank raid, the conviction of the Colmbia 3, the Foyle and Meath election results, the Ardoyne riots, dropping any plan for the early release of Garda McCabe’s killers you can now add;

    Ahern saying that a coalition with SF/IRA after the election as “impossible”.

    The return of the Colombia 3 only reminding people of SF/IRA role in international terrorism.

    Ahern slapping sense into Adams of speaking rights.

    Ruari O’Bradaigh outing Adams as a major figure in the IRA.

    Is it any wonder the DUP are standing back and laughing. The IRA’s statement was supposed to put Paisley and co. under pressure, but now it seems like ancient history.

  • Fanny

    I would assume so.
    ‘Civilian casualty’ in the NI context seems to have a very precise definition i.e. somebody killed by a car bomb while out shopping.
    Everyone else apparently deserved it.

  • slug

    Yoda – can you clarify whether off duty or former (but now retired) security force people would count as civians?

  • Yoda

    Figures do not distinguish between off-duty security personnel or off-duty paramilitaries.

  • Tom Griffin

    It has been confirmed to me that flowing from the failed December deal of last year, steps will be taken in September to implement speaking rights in the Irish Parliament for Northern Ireland MPs and MEPs.

    Sir Reg Empey. 30 July.

    Either the UUP leader is another bare-faced liar, or he must have had some reason for coming to a very similar conclusion to Gerry Adams.

  • Keith M

    “Either the UUP leader is another bare-faced liar, or he must have had some reason for coming to a very similar conclusion to Gerry Adams.”

    A UUP leader scaremongering, surely not? . “Empey vessels make the most noise”. (sic).

  • lib2016

    Barefaced lies! We need more of them!

    That’s how Gerry Adams got republicanism from ‘Not a bullet! Not an ounce!’ to total decommissioning.

    That’s how Paisley got unionism from’Never! Never! Never!’ to “Not for two years!’

    Hell! That’s how Blair pushed the GFA through.

    Lies are what make democratic politics work. They’re what makes diplomacy work. Our business lifes and social relationships float on a sea of them. Give us more lies if they can save a life or make someone’s existence a little more bearable!

    I feel better now, thanks for listening.

  • Alan McDonald

    Lib2016,

    Is that you, George DubYa?

  • lib2016

    Like every other politican he’s used lies because that’s what politicans do. I got tired of being on the moral high ground around about the time I realise that the Seventies weren’t going to be socialist after all.

    Now I believe in doing and saying whatever it takes to get the job done. Blair has helped the poor and the old and Clinton did a helluvalot for Ireland. They weren’t and aren’t perfect but who is?

  • Alan McDonald

    How can you tell when a politician is lying?

    You can see his/her lips move.

  • Mal One

    Fanny,
    Jim Gibney was hired as a lamentable replacement for Jude who had deserted to the daily provo bugle.
    Jude at least had the ability to challenge and annoy in equal measures but Jim does not play on the same football pitch ….if you get my drift.

    Anyway back to the topic. I also think that the Shinners will hold out for increased influence in RoI at Bertie’s and public expense in exchange for the drip feed of moves towards PSNI acceptance without ever actually going the whole hog.

    The only light at the end is that they are a personality based party and when the 2 leaders retire to write books in Donegal who knows what will happen.

  • bill

    “The only light at the end is that they are a personality based party”

    You wish.

  • Fanny

    The question of the importance of personality in SF is a good one.
    The party has had the same leadership since the mid-1970s (as has the DUP, for that matter).
    Unlike the DUP though, SF appears to be all talent at the top and all Barry McElduff near the bottom. When Paisley goes it’s likely to give the DUP a whole new lease of life, we can all see who’ll be in place for the top few spots and chances are it’ll be a vast improvement.
    Can you say the same for the Shinners?

  • middle-class taig

    Fanny

    “I’m saying that the IRA would have had a watertight case, at least in the early years of the troubles, for defending people against loyalist sectarian attacks. But they didn’t.”

    I didn’t misrepresent you, I took your argument to its logical conclusion.

    Your argument fundamentally misunderstands the republican psyche. The IRA sought to engage the British State. Sectarian engagement with the moronic loyalists was an occasional sideline aimed at securing popular support. (When they killed Bratty and Smallwoods I remember they rode a wave of popular nationalist goodwill, I’m sorry to say). I guess it was also self-preservation.

    Four points

    1. People of your broad outlook weren’t saying that “they have had a watertight defence” on those occasions when they were actually, objectively, defending nationalist communities.

    2. You forget that, in the IRA’s view, for long periods it was precisely the people they were attakcing most, the UDR and RUC, who were carrying out or assisting the loyalist sectarian attacks. If you don’t accept that, I understand. However, nationalist perception was that that was the case. That’s why SDLP did not accept either organisation.

    3. Engaging the loyalists was fraught with excessive risk of civilian casualties, which would unquestionably be considered sectarian. Frankly, I think the RA had its own macabre “collateral damage” scale, and most possible attacks against loyalist targets would have been unacceptably risky form that perspective. Who would dare suggest Frizzell’s wasn’t a sectarian attack? However, the IRA claim it was an attack on loyalist leaders upstairs which went horrifically wrong. Assume for a moment that’s correct, how do you feel telling Shankill-dwellers that the RA have a defence for murdering 9 of them? This is why I have always felt that the armed struggle was wrong.

    4. In practical terms, how would you suggest an underground militia should mount a defence against sectarian thugs under shadowy state direction (at whatever level) whose principal modus operandi was to drive into a nationalist area, walk into a bar or snooker hall and shoot as many people as they could?

    5. Why does it escape your notice that the republican/nationalist community considered them to be mounting if not an effective defence, at least what defence could be mounted, so harboured and protected them in return?

    And once more with feeling, I did always, do now and will always disagree with the armed struggle.

  • Fanny

    If all this is the case (and much of it undoubtedly was) then one can only conclude that Jim Gibney, and everyone else trying to retrospectively paint the IRA campaign as a noble defence of nationalist areas against loyalist incursions, is talking complete bollocks.

  • Jimmy Sands

    Small bugbear of mine, but civilian means non-military. For example, a police officer is a civilian. Orwell explained why totalitarians wish to manipulate language and why the rest of us should not collude in this.

  • slug

    Jimmy – agreed. A police officer is indeed civilian. The IRA specialized in killing these and therefore the IRA death tallies above are misclassified.

  • jemesouviens

    From the time that the RUC introduced guns to this conflict (Shoreland armored cars with mounted Browning machine guns at Divis Flats on the Falls Road in August 1969) until the day that they become an unarmed police SERVICE, these folks have been a paramilitary body. Civilians indeed.

  • Alan McDonald

    Thank you all for confirming my suspicion that there is no agreed definition of “civilians” killed in this conflict.

  • Yoda

    Those with the personal bugbears might ponder that their bugbears are simply just another way of reorganising the figures into a form that suits their politics.

    Orwell notwithstanding, I hardly think that those academics compiling the figures come even close to fitting the description of “totalitiarians.” That’s simply inflammatory nonsense.

    If anything, the figures are simply a recognition that NI society was/is an unusually “militarised” place. Even if one ignores the history of raising the RUC/PSNI, “paramilitary” would adequately describe the organisation of that body.

  • Alan McDonald

    Yoda,

    Let me try asking the question this way:

    When you say

    Security forces killed 208 civilians.

    does that mean that they killed no republicans, no loyalists and no security forces?

  • Yoda

    Alan,

    A good resource is: http://cain.ulst.ac.uk

    In addition to the 208 civilians, the security forces killed 135 republican paramilitaries, 13 loyalist paramilitaries, 22 security forces, and 4 “other.”

  • Alan McDonald

    Yoda,

    Thanks for the reference and the clarification.

    BTW, just looked up Irigaray. Very interesting.

  • Yoda

    No problem, Alan. Irigaray is much funnier than some po-faced feminists who read her give her credit for. She and Cixous are very interesting. Although, I should probably stop goofing around in the other thread. 😀

  • Keith M

    It looks like SF/IRA’s anus horribilis is continuing…
    http://www.rte.ie/news/2005/0811/flynnp.html

    Flynn was also one of those who was mentioned in connection with the laundering of money from the Northern Bank raid.

    What was that SF/IRA statement about “other activities”.

    I’m assuming that following the inital statement on the Colmbia 3, we’ll soon be told that Flynn’s hobby is collecting firmarms.

  • lib2016

    Sorry to disappointment you, Keith, but according to the Irish News this was described by a member of the Gardai as a minor charge. It apparently involves a ‘pen-gun’ capable of shooting a gas cartridge which was used as an ornament.

  • Keith M

    lib2016, RTE’s website currently has this as the top news story.

  • Jimmy_Sands

    “”paramilitary” would adequately describe the organisation of that body.”

    No it wouldn’t. As a general rule those who use words incorrectly either have an agenda or are unwittingly supporting one.

  • Yoda

    Jimmy, I suggest you invest in a dictionary, then.

    Shame about the poorly digested Orwell.

  • Jimmy_Sands

    Are you working on one?

  • Robert Keogh

    The pedants and their “the RUC are civilians” blather are easily shortcircuited if you employ the terms combatants and non-combatants.

    British government perspective on the RUC was that about 10% were engaged actively in collusion or turning a blind eye to collusion they were aware of. Those involved in the so-called “inner force” were drawn from all levels of the RUC up to and including one Assistant Chief Constable. The latter is the reason the british would not promote an RUC officer to CC during the 80s and early 90s. They knew one of the ACCs was involved in terrorism – they just didn’t know which one.

  • Jimmy_Sands

    Why would it help to exchange one incorrectly used term for another? Call them Betty if it floats your boat, but if you want to call a policeman something other than a policeman presumably you have motive for so doing.

  • Yoda

    Jimmy,

    *sigh*

    http://www.dictionary.com:

    Paramilitary means “Of, relating to, or being a group of civilians organized in a military fashion, especially to operate in place of or assist regular army troops.”

    And

    “adj : of or relating to a group of civilians organized to function like (or in aid of) a military unit n : a group of civilians organized in a military fashion (especially to operate in place of or to assist regular army troops).”

    The OED on my desk:

    “adj (of forces) organized similarly to military forces”

    Damn dictionaries and their ulterior motives.

    BTW, Orwell would smile at your attempt to make certain words mean less

  • Jimmy Sands

    Nothing there that seems to assist you, but you appear to read these things differently. On ewonders how your dictionary will read. Policeman – see target, legitimate.

    Until then I’m afraid you’re stuck with the language as it stands.

  • kitty

    Posted by FANNY:

    The question of the importance of personality in SF is a good one.
    ‘The party has had the same leadership since the mid-1970s (as has the DUP, for that matter).’

    Mid-70’s? Not true.The leadership of the Republican Movement has changed considerably since then. You need to read more.

    ‘Unlike the DUP though, SF appears to be all talent at the top and all Barry McElduff near the bottom.’

    Ha, you wish you had McElduff’s brain. Do you know what this man’s exact role has been in the peace process? Pray tell us.
    Did it ever occur to you that perhaps some people just don’t want a bigger role? Family committments- like young children etc.?

    ‘When Paisley goes it’s likely to give the DUP a whole new lease of life, we can all see who’ll be in place for the top few spots and chances are it’ll be a vast improvement.
    Can you say the same for the Shinners?’

    Fanny, I can honestly say, of all the people who blog here either you have the least grip on reality or FACTS or your intense hatred for all things republican skews your logic.

  • kitty

    ‘. For example, a police officer is a civilian. ‘

    In a normal society that is true. In Northern Ireland, the RUC was more of a militia than a police force.

    I do see however that this too is changing.

  • kitty

    Jimmy Sands posted:’but if you want to call a policeman something other than a policeman presumably you have motive for so doing.’

    And if you want to call an RUC member a police officer then presumably you too have a motive for doing so.

  • Yoda

    Well, Jimmy, you are certainly good at blinding yourself to what you don’t want to see, even when it is staring you in the face.

    Perhaps you’d regale us with an illustration of the categorical difference between the organisation of the RUC/ PSNI and military organisation?

    Have you ever heard of quasi-militarism (also known as paramiltarism). There are six generally accepted paramilitary characteristics:

    1 – centralized command structure
    2 – rigid differences among ranks
    3 – use of military terminology
    4 – frequent use of commands and orders
    5 – rules and discipline strictly enforced
    6 – creativity and change not encouraged

    Why not begin by disputing these for starters?

    Actually, I already know you won’t even try. However, you could have the decency to admit that you don’t know what you’re talking about.

    Here’s some late summer reading: Auten, J. (1985). “The Paramilitary Model of Police” In The Ambivalent Force by A. Blumberg and E. Niederhoffer (eds). NY: Holt, Rinehart & Winston.

  • Jimmy_Sands

    Generally accepted by whom?

    To pursue your argument that would make the Church a paramilitary organisation.

    Can we just call that para- quasi-bollocks instead?

  • Yoda

    Didn’t think you’d bother refuting the position.

    Accepted by those who study this stuff.

    Do I really have to go into Church history? The roles played by arms-bearing orders and ancilliary organisations? Popes as warriors? Really?

    Stop embarrassing yourself.

  • Jimmy_Sands

    [quote]Stop embarrassing yourself.[/quote]

    Whatever you say Mr. Bonaparte.

  • Robert Keogh

    Whatever you say Mr. Bonaparte.

    When you can’t play the ball, play the man.

  • Jimmy_Sands

    Find me the ball and I’ll play it.

  • peteb

    Jimmy

    Do you mean the original ball?.. because I think someone put it under their jumper and ran off-thread with it some time ago..

  • Yoda

    On tips for finding the (rugby) ball, Yoda says, “Do or do not. There is no try.”

  • Jimmy_Sands

    I think you may be right Pete, although from the manipulation of opinion to the manipulation of language is not such a great leap. Lewis Carroll’s Humpty Dumpty claimed the right to ascribe to words any meaning which suited him. It is an interesting concept but makes debate almost impossible if one has to constantly redefine terms whose original meaning has been bent beyond recognition by fascist apologists. They would rather not, for example, have to justify the murder of a police officer, so some dehumanising epithet, such as “paramilitary” is used to make the crime somehow more palatable and the definition of the word is expanded to fit. Ideally this usage becomes part of common parlance. Meanwhile because some clown gets a publishing deal it can at least be passed off as the definition of “those who study this stuff”, and therefore somehow binding on demotic speech.

  • peteb

    Yeah, Jimmy, I agree that that particular leap is not necessarily such a great one. But there is an increasing tendency among some commenters [not yourself btw] to attempt to divert every thread into overly-familiar cul-de-sacs.. where a new ball is produced and hoofed out onto a different pitch.. and this thread got diverted some time ago.

  • Yoda

    Oh, now I see.

    Disagree with Mr. Sands and you’re a “fascist apologist.”

    Natch. Gotcha. Yup. Why, you’re absolutely correct, sir! The compilers of dictionaries and academics must be fascist apologists also.

    It’s all rather funny. You’re lecturing me on dehumanising tactics?

    Every point in your intemperate diatribe applies equally to your own use of terminology.

  • Jimmy_Sands

    Pete,

    You’re quite right. I’ve had a heavy week and I’m cranky today.

    Yoda,

    I take back “bonaparte”. I don’t see that this conversation however is going anywhere.

  • peteb

    I’ve had a heavy week and I’m cranky today

    Yeah.. tell me about it.

    ANYway.. I, for one, appreciate your honest attempt at debate/discussion.. we need more of that on Slugger.

  • Yoda

    With the greatest of respect (and I mean that), Pete, I hardly think labelling me, dictionary compilers, and academics as “fascist apologists” constitutes anything like “honest debate/ discussion,” regardless of what happened to whom IRL this week.

  • Jimmy_Sands

    Have a wondeful weekend Yoda

  • peteb

    Yoda

    of individual slights not think.. the wider force feel.

  • Yoda

    Here I am, brain the size of a planet…

  • FARC U

    people are being asked to decide between what they know and what they believe. they know loyalisim is sunk, but they belive loyalisim is strong and undefeatable. loyalisim needs some new strong leadership. I suggest a team of crack psychotherapists, about 1,000, should attempt to resolve the post-colonial neuorsis that tethers the loyalist psyche reactionary and violent expressions of their rotless fear

  • FARC U

    people are being asked to decide between what they know and what they believe. they know loyalisim is sunk, but they belive loyalisim is strong and undefeatable. loyalisim needs some new strong leadership. I suggest a team of crack psychotherapists, about 1,000, should attempt to resolve the post-colonial neuorsis that tethers the loyalist psyche reactionary and violent expressions of their rotless fear

  • aquifer

    Yes Bertie is being fitted for his new anorak.

    Do SFPIRA feel they may prosper when they are equalised with FF, as opposition to a government of FG et al?

    The excluded victims both sides of an unjust border, oppressed by FGDUP.

    Poor Pets.

    “Republican paramilitaries killed 713 civilians, 164 republicans, 31 loyalists, 1070 security forces.

    Loyalists paramilitaries killed 858 civilians, 65 loyalists, 26 republicans, 15 security forces.

    Security forces killed 208 civilians.”

    It seems that about 360 police and prison officers were killed, including former officers, and some British Mainland and Guards.

    http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/sutton/tables/Status.html
    Cain

  • martin

    Aquifer,

    It could be argued that British military intelligence killed more civilians due to the information that they passed to Brian nelson.

    Also in running the informer stakeknife they could be held responsible for the deaths of republicans wrongly implicated as informers by the above mentioned in order to cover his own tracks.