Arms decommissioning over, what next?

Despite reports that the IRA have held on to a small number of personal firearms, Mark Devenport pronounces the decommissioning question now extinct. But that’s clearly not the end of the story.

  • David Vance

    Well, so long as the BBC pronounces the issue closed, that’s it, More fair and impartial commentary.Wonder how Mark feels about putting the Rafia into Government – slow progress?

  • David Vance

    Who but a fool or a knave would trust the IRA? {edited by moderator..)

  • Comrade Stalin

    David, is trust a necessary prerequisite in this place ? For example, should any fool blindly trust a cunning gent such as yourself, who criticizes the BBC yet accepts work from it, and who publishes his articles in dissident republican magazines such as the Blanket ?

  • aquifer

    The proposal for the de-rating of (Orange) community halls is a positive one, but in this zero-sum society I would be nervous that they would be bulldozed rather than be sold on to say, a creche or pidgeon club run by ‘the other side’ or no side. Why should sectarianism and institutionalised religion get a subsidy with no strings. In return for no rates, the sites should be protected for community use under planning legislation.

  • David Vance

    Thank you for both censoring my comment and then using offensive language to tell me what you’ve done.

    I’ll tell YOU what I’ll do – I’ll take your recommendation at face value and not come to Slugger…period.

  • Mick Fealty

    David, I’ve not seen your original comment so I cannot say whether it warrented removal or not. The moderator’s comment certainly did and I have removed it the instant it came to my attention.

    I’ll reserve my judgement on the degree to which it may or may not have been provoked when I receive a report from the individual moderator concerned.

    On the whole, whilst I understand the temptation to insert comments, moderators should try to facilitate easy communication between posters, and should only interpolate in extreme circumstances.

  • David Vance

    Mick,

    Thanks for that.

    I found both the tone and content of the Moderator’s comment way beyond the pale, civility costs nothing! As for being “provoked” -sorry, but my comment was in my usual idiom and I don’t like the suggestion that I need to be censored. I suggest I’m a little too experienced for that. I do appreciate your swift response and the deletion of the offensive comment – I hope whoever was responsible will have gained a little more knowledge.

  • Duncan Shipley Dalton

    “I’ll tell YOU what I’ll do – I’ll take your recommendation at face value and not come to Slugger…period.”

    Damn and IRA decommissioning as well! All my Christmases came at once!!! Probably too good to be true though I suppose.

  • Dandyman

    I don’t understand why David (Vance) attracts such vitriolic condemnation on this site. Is it just because he runs a rival blogsite or what? I don’t agree with much of what he says or thinks, but I don’t find his views or opinions any more offensive than the other pro-unionists who post here. And is he not, in some way, paying the site a compliment by coming on here to discuss topics with other posters?

    By the way that’s NOT meant as irony or smart-assism, and yes I’ve seen ATW and OK, it’s fairly right wing compared to Slugger. I just don’t understand why a lot of people seem to play the man as soon as Vance’s name appears on the screen.

  • David Vance

    Dandyman,

    Thanks for that. I have said on several occasions that I both respect and enjoy Mick’s site but have been put off from commenting by the vitriol that comes my way from spectacularly uninformed contributors – such as the October 4, 2005 12:53 poster. I could say more but what’s the point?

  • Comrade Stalin

    Dandyman,

    there is actually a salient point here. There are some people moderating on Slugger who post simply under the name “Moderator” which suggests they’ve something to hide. I think Mick should require the Slugger bloggers who are moderating to do so under their own names. People certainly should not be censored – it needs to be more than clear to everyone that their views are presented to the world in their unadulterated form.

    [Comrade, most unlike your normal high standard of comment. Play the Ball! – edited Moderator]

  • David Vance

    My My,

    Lucky you play the ball, eh Comrade?

    It’s this kind of infantile name-calling that creates an unhappy ambiance around Slugger and even in this short thread I believe some of my criticism is validated by the manner in which views have been expressed.

    ATW receives hundreds of comments each day from those who seem to be able to cope with a variety of views. It’s a pity others couldn’t show the same tolerance.

  • Alan McDonald

    To All:

    I have read every comment on this thread (including the non-sequitor by aquifer), and none of them touch on the subject or the question posed in its title.

    Yellow cards for the lot of you, me included!

    (signed) Not A Moderator

  • Mick Fealty

    David,

    I’m with you and DM. That’s now two moderators who have stepped over the mark. The first was sacked, and this one is going into volutary sabbatical.

    There was no excuse for either occurance.

    But to be fair David, I do think you are being a tad disingenuous on the tolerance thing. You do ban people don’t you? What would your reaction be if a public figure were to threaten you with legal action for repeated and egregious use of the word bigoted, for an instance?

    We’ve had 85,000 comments in the last year. I could do without the cheap shots from a fellow blogger!

  • peteb

    Thank you, Alan.

    It would also be conducive to better and more interesting discussions on Slugger if everyone refrained from responding to comments that break the rule – of playing the ball – by playing the man themselves.

    Let the moderators apply the rule and ignore comments that break it.

  • martin

    Moderator,
    I don’t think my comments about paisley will be demanding the decommissioning of Mitchel mc Laughlins socks as a precondition to be any more farfetched than Paisley calling Rev Good a liar and a Sinn Fein puppet

  • David Vance

    Mick,

    Firstly, I appreciate your dealing with your maverick moderators. Quite why they seem unable to handle my type of Unionism is a matter for some contemplation.

    Second, just like Slugger, ATW has had a large amount of comments over the past year (and with only TWO moderators to handle these, Andrew and myself) and I have banned those who resorted to blatant abuse against other posters and the authors on ATW. There is nothing wrong in such decisions in my opinion. The lack of tolerance I refer to is highlighted by Dandyman. It is not Slugger I am having a go at – but a residue of Sluggerettes.

    On the issue of what I would do if “public figure were to threaten you with legal action for repeated and egregious use of the word bigoted, for an instance?” – my advice would be to ensure that such ill judged commentary was not printed on a responsible web site.

    Finally, the cheap shots you speak off emanate from those such as those you have censored on this thread. I’m not in the business of having cheap shots at anyone – least of all a fellow NI blog site.

  • Comrade Stalin

    I have to concede that I can’t contribute any opinions concerning Commissar Vance that are likely to avoid moderation, since in this case playing the ball and playing the man happen to be the same thing, and 95% of the time the moderation here is fair and justifiable. There’s nothing for it except to ignore. I wish blogs like this had a filter .. back in the old USSR days we’d have sent him to Siberia. I still think that moderators should use their name (as Mick has done) ..

    Getting back on-topic, the decommissioning question does seem to be extinct. The real question is why the unionists are effectively calling the witnesses and independent committee liars without providing any justification for their position.

  • David Vance

    The real question is why those Republicans and their fellow travellers who spent years disputing every word issued by M15 now embrace MI5 assertion that the IRA has decommissioned all its weapons. The next question is why has the IRA not disbanded. The further question is why has the IRA not desisted from its mafia activities? Questions that are avoided by the Provo-friendly brigade because they know the answers.

  • Licence-payer

    Back to the original point- the BBC reporter is just looking at the political reality, which is that the governments are keen to see a response from the elected representatives of unionism to the long-called for decommissioning by the IRA.

    They don’t look ready to accept unionist complaints about the decommissioning process or other IRA-related issues. They want a response, they want local politics to work and those British and Irish people that take a view on these matters I would imagine back their governments on these matters.

    This does not strike me as BBC “editorialising.”

  • David Vance

    License Payer,

    I understand your point but surely the issue is why does the BBC reporter immediately swallow the Government political line? Where is the reporter’s independence of thought, where is the journalistic challenge to the establishment line, and why does it not seem odd to the reporter that the views of the majority community do not matter?

  • Henry94

    David Vance

    The real question is why those Republicans and their fellow travellers who spent years disputing every word issued by M15 now embrace MI5 assertion that the IRA has decommissioned all its weapons.

    Republicans believe the IRA has decommissioned its weapons because the IRA say so. If we draw attention to British sources it is to encourage unionists to believe them.

    The next question is why has the IRA not disbanded.

    There is no reason for them to disband.

    The further question is why has the IRA not desisted from its mafia activities?

    Again unionists can look to the IMC who they have always believed for confirmation that there is no such activity.

    Questions that are avoided by the Provo-friendly brigade because they know the answers.

    I’m more inclined to avoid questions I don’t know the answers to.

  • David Vance

    Henry94,

    Thanks for that. I do understand that Republicans believe the word of an organisation that has lied for decades. I also understand that Harold Good swallows this line. And, in fairness, so does my old pal Danny Kennedy.

    It’s just that most thinking unionists don’t, and the rest of your answers explain why they shouldn’t.