Adams: the place it takes us all to…

At risk of being slapped down for hubris, Gerry Adams captured something genuinely important probably for the first time in three years, when he said: “In calling upon Unionists to think beyond the moment, to think about the future, we are mindful that we need to do the same. We need to unite orange and green. We need to create a space that unionists can share with us on the basis of equality. That is a huge challenge for republicans.” And on the day itself: “…all us need to think beyond it. We need to think beyond the moment. It is not the leap itself but the place that it takes us all that is important.

  • Friendly Fire

    He must be taking rhetoric lessons from Blair

  • Mick

    The first part is certainly general. Rhetorical and open textured perhaps. But it’s a statement of intent that can be measured against future actions.

    But the second part is an important observation of what has happened to the political ground now the IRA has no weapons. It’s import should be felt right across the board.

  • missfitz

    I think that GA is making a tremendously important point here.

    It was brought home forcefully to me a couple of weeks ago on the occasion of the Northern Ireland match against England. While a part of me was rooting for the team, and indeed I watched the match, I felt very strange doing it. I think we need to start being honest and open about our feelings, and not expect a set of behaviours from a group of people that we fail to exhibit ourselves.

    No-one ever said this was going to be an easy process, but if we are to avoid the “cold civl war” Gonzo wrote about on another thread, we have to start warming up to each other, being patient and making an effort.

  • Henry94

    Getting the IRA off the stage may be the greatest political achievement in modern Irish history. An unarmed republicanism and a NI state that is not explicitly armed against republicanism is a real new context for us all.

  • Alan

    I’m sure that many republicans feel that a weight has been lifted off their shoulders, that chains they had been dragging behind them have shaken free. I am also sure that many republicans are wary of the territory they are now moving into, somewhere they have never been before. The important thing is to keep moving and be patient with the rest of us, because we will have to be patient with you.

    The very fact that Adams quotes Bobby Sands in the first piece rankles, drags up memories of old republican rhetoric. None of that will disappear overnight, but time may heal. Effectively, we are back at the start again, but where better to begin to move forward.

  • DK

    If only.

    Adam’s certainly made an attempt here to speak the language of reconciliation after an initial accusation that Unionist’s desire is to hold nationalists as second class citizens.

    “We have a clear message for unionists. The days of second class citizenship are well and truly over.”

    That of course is an insult and a lie. I guess he was playing to his crowd with that one.

    Generally the message is sensible and for my part appreciated. I would really like to believe that Adam’s intends to progress such an approach. However the majority of utterances that I have read recently from the PRM are all about demonising the Unionists population and calling for them to be ignored and bypassed. A number of nationalist contributors to Slugger have confirmed that they have no interest in persuading Unionist’s to consider a “new place”.

    Maybe Adam’s has had a change in heart and maybe he will be successful in passing the message down the line. I hope so.

    On a lighter note, his attempt to attach himself to the Corrib gas field debate is comical. “Lets grab an issue and make it into some struggle between the oppressed and the evil capitalists”. Never mind the facts such as:

    the proposed gas pipeline meets all international standards and gas to shore in this fashion is replicated all over the world, eg, UK, Norway, USA, Australia etc etc.

    The pipeline is for gas and not oil.

    There would be huge benefits for the Irish people through the tax levied.

    Almost student type politics.

  • missfitz

    DK
    I think you may need to check some of your facts on the tax levies on the Corrib gas line. Shamefully, it appears that there will be very little benefit to the Irish economy due to earlier machinations with Ray Burke and Shell.

    In addition, it has to be noted that Sinn Fein are not late additions to the Corrib story, but have been one of the few voices expressing concern and supporting the community all along.

  • spirit-level

    “It is not the leap itself but the place that it takes us all that is important.”
    If I was a Unionist I’d be delighted that with the threat of violence gone, the future is going to be about the republican “charm” offensive, to get yous guys into the voting booth and put a tick in the United Ireland Box.
    Expect a long serenade. Time for us to get the harps out. Maybe some of you will relent because the music is so unbearable. Others hopefully will soon be tapping their feet to the tune 🙂

  • Keith M

    Vacuous soundbites from a man that unionists will never trust as long as he denies his past.

  • 9countyprovience

    “the proposed gas pipeline meets all international standards and gas to shore in this fashion is replicated all over the world, eg, UK, Norway, USA, Australia etc etc.”

    Well, the company who said that it met with international standards was found out to be a puppet company for Shell!
    I read that there was a case in the US where a simlilar kind of pipeline blew up, but thankfully there were few or no fatalities. Also Shell were asked not to carry out any welding and when a government inspector arrived for a suprise inspection, he found several hundred metres of piping welded.
    Anyhow back to the subject…..

  • Jacko

    Must say, I was impressed with Adams’ speech. Not least the points highlighted by Mick.
    On a point Missfiz makes about the NI team earlier: I have noticed how since the GFA many nationalists – and even an occasional republican – now use the term Northern Ireland. I think, obviously I suppose, that this relates to a new sense of belonging.

  • DK

    9county and missfitz,

    SF and the other parties objecting to Irish energy are engaging in misinformation either through ignorance, (not hard to believe from SF), or political opportunism, (even easier to believe from SF).

    I have spent the last 25 years working in the industry and am well aware of the stringent Health Safety and Enviromental controls that the industry imposes on itself above and beyond legal requirements.

    If the protesters manage to stop the development then Ireland will not only lose the benefit of Corrib, but other companies will look elsewhere to invest their money.

  • missfitz

    Jacko
    Just for the record, I am a blown-in contributor, so my use of the term Northern Ireland doesnt count as a seismic shift in thinking. I just find it handier than saying the North East corner etc.etc.

    Indeed, I might even say mainland from time to time, and use the term Londonderry, if I feel it appropriate to the audience.

    In essence, I dont think its all that important, and I feel people should relax a little about vigilantly guarding their territorial syntax.

  • missfitz

    DK
    I have nothing to do with the energy industry, and take my information from the press. My understanding has been that this kind of high pressure gas line is not normally brought inland. The information I have read so far, is that this is an unprecedented project, in that a longer line is being built closer than ever before to human dwellings.

    If this is not correct DK, perhaps you could set the record straight, as you have direct experience of this type of thing.

    Given the ambiguity over the whole project, and the cloud hanging over many of Ray Burke’s deals, I am not at all surprised that people questioned all aspects of this project.

  • fair_deal

    “We need to create a space that unionists can share with us on the basis of equality”

    Sharing public roads would be a very good start.

  • ulsterman

    How nauseating to listen to the like of Adams try and take the high moral ground. Forget it Adams. You were the man as leader of the IRA in Belfast ordered some of the most heinous crimes of the troubles.

    Nothing you say now will make one ounce of difference to the way you asre viewed. If the DUP negotiate with you which they never will, the DUP will go into oblivion like the UUP.

  • irishman

    Now wwe need to hear from Dr. Paisley some reciprocal reconciliatory language- and action. Sharing power at local government level would be a good start, as would acceptance of the legitimacy of nationalist identity.

  • frank

    “Sharing public roads would be a very good start.”

    Leave your paramilitary banners in the orange hall and it might be an even better start.

  • Biffo

    DK

    Contrary to what you maintain Shell are not to be trusted as the Sakhalin Island controversy reminds us.

    http://www.peopleandplanet.net/doc.php?id=2451

  • fair_deal

    frank

    There is one bannerette (not plural banners) and does not meet the legal definition of a paramilitary flag.

    However, conscious of nationalist concerns, the bannerette was not included in the 2004 parade on the Springfield Road, 36th Ulster Division battle honour flags were tied up and any other symbols covered up. On a previous Springfield parade a band (not part of the parade but kept trying to join the parade) carrying UDA banners was removed from the parade by OO marshals.

    In addition, dialogue was demanded by the nationalists of springfield road and delivered.

    Nationalist concerns were addressed in 2004 and the demand for dialogue fulfilled. The nationalist response in 2005 was more demands.

    Unionists moved we’re still waiting for the reciprocation.

  • frank

    The orange orders response in 2005 was to re-introduce the paramilitary banner commemorating uvf killer Brian Nelson.

    Do you consider it ‘not paramilitary’ because the uvf killer is pictured in his orange sash, rather than his balaclava ?

    The banner reads –

    Late Brother Brian Robinson u.v.f

    “in the 2004 parade on the Springfield Road, 36th Ulster Division battle honour flags were tied up”

    Two of the uvf flags carried by the Shankill Protestant Boys band, relate to different companies within the modern uvf, so have nothing to do with the 36th.

    The Shankill Star F.B take part in many orange parades, they carry the emblem of Brian Robinson on their drum and uniforms.The band lead the Whiterock parade in 2003, with only Robert Saulters and orange leaders in front.

    During this years parade, orangemen openly attacked police with swords and missiles.

    Orangemen coordinated the violence with masked paramilitaries in clear view of the police and press.

    Orangemen scaled the gates at Workman Avenue and shouted sectarian abuse at the residents on the opposite side of the road, they then proceeded to lift the lodge banner of the Whiterock Temperance lol 974, to wave on top of the gates while continuing to shout sectarian abuse.

    The Old Boyne Island Defenders orange lodge(who also took part in the Whiterock parade) commemorate numerous members of the present day uvf, including mass murderer and shankill butcher Bobby ‘Basher’ Bates.

    If the orange order claim to be a religious organisation, why do they have so many paramilitary trappings at their parades and why do they honour mass murderers.

  • Jacko

    missfitz

    It wasn’t you I was referring to but various nationalist and republican politicians interviewed on TV as well as ordinary punters fron Catholic areas.
    You’re talking of mixed feelings regarding the NI football team merely reminded me of this.

  • irishman

    Frank

    Thanks for exposing the lies of fair_deal. Any chance of a riposte, Fair_deal or have you been sufficiently humbled?

  • fair_deal

    “The orange orders response in 2005”

    The Springfield residents refused to make an agreement. The nationalist refusal to accept the offer of four of their five demands had consequences ie the Unionist community did not act on any of the five. You cannot refuse a deal then demand the benefits of one.

    “Late Brother Brian Robinson u.v.f”

    No it doesn’t. I had not seen the banner and read that this was the wording on here in the past. I checked it and the letters uvf were not on the bannerette I saw.

    “Do you consider it ‘not paramilitary’ because the uvf killer is pictured in his orange sash, rather than his balaclava”

    Read what I said – it does not fit the legal definition of a paramilitary flag.

    “Two of the uvf flags carried by the Shankill Protestant Boys band, relate to different companies within the modern uvf, so have nothing to do with the 36th.”

    Shankill Protestant Boys do not always carry the same flags at all parades. I have seen them at parades with a varying numbers of flags from 3 to 7.

    “orangemen openly attacked police with swords and missiles.”

    Your claim of an attack with ‘swords’ is false. The PSNI footage did not show the sword bearer hit anyone. Video evidence shows three men throwing bricks whose dress would strongly suggest they had been part of the parade (two of the three film excerpts released by the police were of the same three men from different angles), they should be brought before the courts for their actions and if they are convicted they will automatically be expelled from the OO.

    “Orangemen coordinated the violence with masked paramilitaries in clear view of the police and press”

    No they didn’t you are distorting what Hugh Orde said. he said “I have seen them standing next to masked men.” He did not say they co-ordinated the violence he said OO members were standing in the street as the riot went on round them.

    I repeat an offer was made that would have dealed which each of the concerns you raise about the bannerette, flags and what is on a drum. The nationalist representatives in the dialogue said NO. Dialogue that the OO and others were told by Gerry Adams would open new possibilities. It didn’t and it makes stuff like this statement above from Gerry Adams ring hollow.

    I wasn’t at Workman Avenue so I don’t know what did or didn’t happen but considering the erros and distortions in your claims I’ll wait and see. If sectarian taunts did happen, they shouldn’t have, plain and simple.

    I was on the Springfield road were stones and bricks (and a spanner curiously enough) were thrown at us by nationalist protestors. I was the recipient of a variety of unflattering descriptions and watched and heard a number of death threats made (much to the disappointment of the PSNI officer who was filming me I did and said nothing in response – the appropriate response in my opinion. Neither did the officer take up my kind offer to identify the people who had thrown objects or made threats.)

  • frank

    “Read what I said – it does not fit the legal definition of a paramilitary flag.”

    Fair Deal

    You refused to answer the question i asked.

    Do you consider it ‘not paramilitary’ because the uvf killer is pictured in his orange sash, rather than his balaclava ?

    “Late Brother Brian Robinson u.v.f”

    “No it doesn’t. I had not seen the banner and read that this was the wording on here in the past. I checked it and the letters uvf were not on the bannerette I saw.”

    So you are saying that the orange order have changed the wording or you maybe did not get a good enough look at the banner in question.I can assure you that the wording is exactly as i have discribed.

    “Shankill Protestant Boys do not always carry the same flags at all parades. I have seen them at parades with a varying numbers of flags from 3 to 7.”

    So you are now not denying that some of the flags carried by the band are indeed paramilitary flags,which differs from your previous post when you claimed they were related to the 36 ulster division.

    The television pictures show the rest, you can try and defend the maniac with the sword or the orangemen openly coordinating events with loyalist paramilitaries, thats not important to me, the footage shows the reality.

    I stand be every word from my previous post, the orange order’s Whiterock parade was a sectarian parade with many paramilitary trappings.

    The reality of what the orange order stands for was witnessed on the Springfield road a few weeks ago. An organisation which is not only willing to commemorate mass murderers, fly paramilitary flags, mix with masked terrorists, have convicted terrorists within its ranks & march in front of paramilitary bands, but an organisation whose members will climb an interface gate to shout sectarian abuse at the catholics on the other side of the fence and be stupid enough to flaunt the banner of their lodge while doing it.

    The world is moving on, unfortunatly the orange orger and the uvf look destined to stick to their sectarian past.

  • Jo

    Frank:

    I find your last line all the more depressing because it is true. There are I am sure some like me who thought that the PUP could in fact do a SF-type job in forging a working class socialist party enjoying popular support. In theory they had a better chance of doing so considering the history of east Belfast Protestant employment in industry.

    I think perhaps they arrived thirty years too late and whatever opportunity they had to prevent another generation of Loyalist young cannon fodder to do the time as the DUP get the jobs is fading fast.

  • realible evidence

    I’d never think I’d see the day when fair deal lost an argument.But todays the day.Well done Frank!

  • Mick

    I’d be interested in people explaining what place they believe Adams is taking us to.

    The argument over the alleged wording on an Orange banner is clearly important to those who have witnessed some pretty awful events recently. But if it comes down to shouting ‘liar’ at your opponent, this conversation is going to get very dull very quickly.

    Besides that, it doesn’t exactly seem to be the kind of place that Gerry had in mind.

  • Betty Boo

    Does it really matter what sort of places politicians have in mind? Or should be the question; what place do I, you and anyone living here have in mind?
    After all comes election they want my, your and anyone else’s vote.
    And I have come to the conclusion that whoever does something for me before looking for my vote, gets it, no matter his/her party.

  • spirit-level

    Mick,
    He who pays the piper calls the tune.
    Adams wants to take us to Shangri-La.
    I don’t think he can do that, due to his past.
    However at times of great hope, you tend to find a michal collins type character emerging and taking on the mantle.
    Pure conjecture, but historically accurate.
    “cometh the hour cometh the man”
    We wait in joyful hope….

  • spirit-level

    … and meanwhile we go to mass!

  • fair_deal

    “You refused to answer the question i asked. Do you consider it ‘not paramilitary’ because the uvf killer is pictured in his orange sash, rather than his balaclava ?”

    My definition is the same as the legal one, if it doesn’t refer to an illegal paramilitary organisation then it is not a paramilitary flag. The Sam Maguire Cup is named after an IRA member but there is no mention of the IRA on the cup. By your definition the Tyrone team should be arrested.

    “So you are saying that the orange order have changed the wording or you maybe did not get a good enough look at the banner in question.”

    I don’t know if the wording was changed or not but when I viewed it the reference you claim was not on it. I got a good enough look. If it was there previously it is good that they removed it. If they have removed it then they have addressed a nationalist concern.

    “So you are now not denying that some of the flags carried by the band are indeed paramilitary flags,which differs from your previous post when you claimed they were related to the 36 ulster division.”

    On previous Springfield parades I have only seen SPB carry battle honour flags.

    “defend the maniac with the sword or the orangemen openly coordinating events with loyalist paramilitaries”

    I did not defend him I simply pointed out you made a false and exaggerated claim about his actions and twisted an Orde comment to make an erroneous claim. If you can’t make a case without falsehood, exaggerations and erroneous statements that is your problem not mine. No television footage showed ‘co-ordination’ of the riot, if it existed it would have got full coverage.

  • frank

    “My definition is the same as the legal one, if it doesn’t refer to an illegal paramilitary organisation then it is not a paramilitary flag.”

    So as an orange order member, you are happy to commemorate a senior member of the uvf who died after pumping 13 bullets into a Catholic man walking along the street.

    Is that because he was an orangeman first and a sectarian killer second ?

    Will you condemn those from within your order who celebrate this sectarian murderer ?

    Would you agree that bands such as the ‘Shankill Road Protestant Boys’ and The Shankil Star flute band should br banned from orange parades ?

    Should the members of the Whiterock Temperance lol 974 be thrown out of the organisation for acting in such an un-christian way.

    Is sectarian murderer Brian Robinson, convicted Shankill butcher Eddie McIlwaine and mass murderer Bobby ‘Basher’ Bates what the order is about ?

    When orangemen dressed in full regalia layed a wreath at a mural dedication to a murdered uvf man in west Belfast, county grand master Dawson Baillie, when interviewed about the event said –

    “The Orange Order is a very broad church and it’s not my responsibility to say to people they can’t be members of various organisations,”

    ‘Variuos organisations’ like the uvf or uda.

    The orange order are clearly married to terrorism when so many links appear at orange order parades and by the words and actions of the leadership.

  • troy

    Interesting question regarding flute bands and loyal order marches.

    Why would a lodge pay a band to accompany it on its walk when the band uses paramilitary related emblems

  • fair_deal

    I repeat addressing each of the concerns you have raised in these posts was offered and rejected by SCRAG. If these are the genuine objections why was the offer to deal with them rejected?

    I personally do not commemorate Brian Robinson. The Lodge he was a member of does, not the Orange Order.

    “Is sectarian murderer Brian Robinson, convicted Shankill butcher Eddie McIlwaine and mass murderer Bobby ‘Basher’ Bates what the order is about ?”

    No. If this is what the Order was about and considering it has ten of thousands of members then the death toll in Northern Ireland would have been huge.

    ‘Variuos organisations’

    That is your definition of various organisations.

    “in full regalia”

    I can go to Mick’s house tomorrow in full regalia and punch him that doesn’t mean the OO believes, supports or endorses what I did.

    “Should the members of the Whiterock Temperance lol 974 be thrown out of the organisation for acting in such an un-christian way”

    The display of a banner is not an unchristian act.

    Bands

    The rules of the OO are that a band should not carry paramilitary flags when participating in its parades.

  • frank

    “I personally do not commemorate Brian Robinson. The Lodge he was a member of does, not the Orange Order.”

    Would you agree that uvf man Brian Robinson was a sectarian murderer.?

    Yes or No will do

  • jim

    The orange order seem to have a problem with condemning and ostracising those members who celebrate terrorism.