No fundraising, no go

In spite of the headline on the BBC report, “Adams protest at visa restrictions”, it’s actually a statement by Martin McGuiness, also reported here, who has stated that Adams will not go to the US if he is not allowed to fundraise at events. But I’m intrigued by this part of his argument “These fundraising events allow supporters of Irish unity to contribute to Sinn Fein’s political programme to achieve this through peaceful and democratic activity. Such support is entirely legitimate and indeed necessary in demonstrating that politics works.“[emphasis added] So, Sinn Féin believe that collecting funds in the US is necessary in demonstrating that politics works in Ireland? Really??
The statement is a response to a report, in the Irish Times yesterday [subs req] which said –

The United States government is set to deny Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams permission to raise funds when he visits the country next week.

State department sources told The Irish Times that Washington is unlikely to drop its ban on visiting Sinn Féin politicians raising money in the US until the party makes a move towards joining the North’s policing board.

and noted the comments of Irish Government Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dermot Ahern –

Minister for Foreign Affairs Dermot Ahern told The Irish Times that the Government had made no representations to Washington on behalf of Sinn Féin.

“I don’t see it as the Government’s place to tell the US government what they should or should not do in relation to fundraising by another political party,” he said. “I think it’s a matter entirely for the US administration to decide who should or should not fundraise within their territory.”

It’s also worth pointing out that in today’s Irish Times Denis Staunton reports that [subs req again]

The US administration has told The Irish Times that a commitment from Sinn Féin to join the North’s policing board is not a precondition for Gerry Adams being allowed to raise funds when he visits the US next week.

Administration sources said that US officials cited in a report in yesterday’s paper did not accurately reflect official policy.

And carried these comments by Mitchell Reiss –

The US special envoy for Northern Ireland, Dr Mitchell Reiss, declined to comment on the visa issue but said he hoped Mr Adams would visit Washington.

“I hope that Mr Adams will come to the United States next week in support of the peace process. The confidentiality of individual visa applications prohibits us from providing details as to its status,” he said.

  • Henry94

    Not strictly relevent but interesting all the same

    “The sisters of a murdered Belfast man have refused to share a platform with Margaret Thatcher claiming she had “inflicted injuries” on Ireland.

    Robert McCartney’s sisters had been expected to collect an award at the Women of the Year Awards in London.

    However, Claire and Catherine McCartney declined to pick up the accolade due to Baroness Thatcher’s presence.

    Mr McCartney, 33, was stabbed to death outside a Belfast bar in January. Two men have been charged over his murder.

    Baroness Thatcher, a former UK prime minister, was at the ceremony to also collect an award.”

    Fair play to them

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    Interesting one Henry — not quite sure how they square this with attending the Sinn Fein ard fheis — I suspect that Gerry and his chums have inflicted more injuries on Ireland than Maggie ever managed, and still have a few more up their sleeve.
    Regarding the actual thread, it would be interesting to know where all the past SF funds have actually ended up, now that the prisoners are all out and there are no more expensive arms dumps to maintain.

  • Henry94

    GLC

    I’d like to see full accounting for all political donations over the past 30 years. But the best we can hope for, realistically, is full declarations going forward.

  • “Such support is entirely legitimate and indeed necessary in demonstrating that politics works.”

    The import of this is that if they don’t get to fundraise in America, it will demonstrate that politics doesn’t work- in other words, violence is the only way forward.

    Is he saying that if Americans don’t get to contribute to Spin Féin’s “political programme to achieve this [Irish unity] through peaceful and democratic activity” that it’ll have to achieve it through non-peaceful and non-democratic activity instead?

    Quite menacing. A bit like the veiled threat to the McCartneys from Mr. McGuinness.

  • Henry94

    EL Matador

    You have some imagination.

  • Betty Boo

    Be a matador, not menaced.

  • Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t there a law passed in the Republic forbidding political paries from using of monies raised abroad? If not there should be, and it should also be introduced in the UK. We are a rich enough country not to be depending on pathetically waving a begging bowl around the World.

  • Pete Baker

    Keith

    As ever, an exception was demanded, and granted, for Northern Ireland.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Keith, I believe that overseas funding in the UK is now prohibited .. except in Northern Ireland, where Sinn Fein lobbied hard for a (temporary) exemption.

    It’s funny how a political party which is supposed to be about independence and self-sufficiency will do its level best to keep the cash rolling in from overseas to sustain it’s political machine.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Hey Pete, any chance of entering a blog on the recent events wrt the Northern Bank robbery investigation ?

    [still can’t figure out why Slugger only lets me see up to 25 comments by the way..]

  • CS- there’s one recently up over on El Blogador.

    Betty- I am a Matador with a heart of steel, but lesser mere mortals may feel menaced 😉

  • Pete Baker

    I may do, Comrade, if I can clear some work away.

    As for your second point.. when I find out why I can’t see more than 25 comments on a thread I’ll let you know.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Pete, that’s cool. So I’m not suffering in silence 🙂

    I see some threads with in excess of 30 posts so I guessed that it must be working for some people. Either that, or different people are replying to posts within the first 25.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Holy shit – they’ve just charged one of those arrested with the robbery. Incredible.

    Story on UTV : http://www.utvinternet.com/newsroom/indepth.asp?pt=n&id=66798

    Come on Slugger, this is uncharacteristically late on the story!

  • Pete Baker

    I’m doing the best I can Comrade.. and I have to eat… occasionally.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Pete, is it just you holding the house together ? unfortunate 🙂

  • Pete Baker

    Looks that way, Comrade.

    I’m going outside now.. I may be some time.. 😉

  • Betty Boo

    Mick, Pete, anyone!!!
    Any idea yet what the story is with only 25 posts?