Adams barred from fundraising on US visit

The BBC are reporting that the US administration have refused to grant Gerry Adams fundraising privileges as part of his visa for a scheduled US visit – no statement from SF yet – and, as a result, he is not expected to will not travel to the US.. although an earlier report in the Belfast Telegraph suggested he would still travel to Canada. It’s a decision that comes after the statement, noted here, from Sinn Féin MP Martin McGuinness that “he [Adams] will not travel to the US” if he was not allowed to fundraise at events and that “Such support is entirely legitimate and indeed necessary in demonstrating that politics works.”.. it also represents a continuation of the restrictions on fundraising in the US, by SF representatives, put in place by the US administration in March this year. Updated to note SF statement in report.

  • Celtic Tyger

    Looks like the US gov’t has decided to make SF live up to the idea of “us alone.” Not sure if the Shinners should have been allowed to be the one UK political party allowed to fund-raise overseas in the first place.

  • Pete Baker

    Celtic Tyger

    The exception, on being allowed to fundraise abroad, applied to Northern Ireland – not to any one specific party.

  • Emily

    I don’t understand the logic of McGuinness that US money is “necessary” for politics to function in Northern Ireland. Would he feel that way if the majority of dollars were going to a different party?

  • Celtic Tyger

    Fair enough, Pete–but we all know the rule benefits one party far more than any other. I suspect this anomaly will be corrected before too long.

  • Pete Baker

    At best, Emily, it could be interpeted as over-blown rhetoric in an attempt to make the US back down [yeah.. I know].. interesting that SF decided discretion was the better course to take back in March.

    CT

    Yes.. but let’s keep it strictly accurate.

  • Comrade Stalin

    My understanding is that the exemption concerning Northern Ireland was actually granted as a result of lobbying by Sinn Fein, who all of a sudden decided that the border was quite a handy thing after all. So while the law doesn’t specifically exempt them, in practice the regulations stand as they are as a result of Sinn Fein’s requirements.

    The whole thing is just rank hypocrisy from start to finish. The party is supposed to be the champion of Ireland’s independence and neutrality, and here it is effectively saying that it is in the pocket of it’s American fundraisers.

  • Mick O’Tick

    As has been stated, the event will still raise the same amount of money, banning Mr. Adams from fund raising in a personal capacity in the U.S. is a “cosmetic excercise.”

    When all is said and done, what benefit is there in banning him? The U.S. administration is once again showing its idiotic and hypocritical judgement on foreign affairs.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Mick, I’m pretty sure this move is at the behest of the British authorites, and yes, they’re trying to embarrass Adams.

  • Emily

    Comrade,
    The ban is a result of the IRA’s alleged involvement in the bank heist and the murder of Robert McCartney.

  • Mick O’Tick

    Emily

    “The ban is a result of the IRA’s alleged involvement in the bank heist.”

    So you reckon that the U.S. feels it should ban Gerry Adams (even though Sinn Fein will still get their money) because of the alleged heist money? Yeah, I can see the U.S. saying to themselves, “why should we let Adams raise money when they have enough from the heist?”

    That’s absurd, Emily.

  • Emily

    No. I think it’s because of the alleged crime.

  • Pete Baker

    Actually, MO’T, what’s absurd is the attempt to portray this as a recent development.. or as a cosmetic exercise. It’s a continuation of the US policy since March.

    In March, when SF knew they would not get fundraising privileges with their visas, they didn’t ask.. and avoided being refused.

    Clearly someone thought that this time would be different.. and it was a judgement that has been proven wrong.

  • slug

    Mr Adams has described the US government as “amateurish” according to the BBC.

  • Emily

    “Amatuerish” in what context? Do you have a link by any chance?

  • Pete Baker

    Emily

    It’s a reference to Adams statement, previously carried more extensively, but still present at the first link in the original post.

    It relates to the theory that it’s all about pressurising SF on changing their policy on policing.. which is the preferred narrative of some at the minute.

  • Emily

    Thanks, Pete. That’s a bit of a self-important theory. Why would the US State Department care about Sinn Fein’s policy on policing in Northern Ireland?

  • Pete Baker

    Ah.. well now, Emily.. that’s where the Grand Conspiracy comes in.

    You see, it’s all the Brits’ fault really.. even though Blair is Bush’s poodle and will do his bidding.. but we’ll ignore that aspect for now..

    The US President would rather continue with a policy set down in March than mirror the overly-enthusiastic reception by the Irish and British Governments to the various statements of intent issued throughout the summer.. or something like that..?

  • Comrade Stalin

    I don’t think there is a grand conspiracy, Pete. I’ve always thought it was common knowledge that the words and actions of US politicians in recent years (including Presidents) were generally scripted up by the NIO. Remember how during the talks a few months back Bush got on the phone to a few party leaders to talk to them about doing a deal.. do you really think that he took the initiative himself ? Not at all. Jonathan Powell had a word and asked him to make a few phone calls.

    I do not think it takes a conspiracy at all for the British government to say to their US wartime allies that they really want SF to get behind the police, and how it would be nice for the US govt to “use their influence” to this end. I don’t imagine this is a big secret at all. I think Adams is probably quite justified with his suspicions.

  • TAFKABO

    I’ve always been of the opinion that the current administration is of a particular mindset, and once you cross them, you’re off the love list forever.
    I think some people may underestimate just how damaging the Northern bank robbery was in terms of trust lost.
    Sinn Fein were making all sorts of promises and noises to everyone, incuding the Americans, when it now seems the IRA were planning the bank heist.

    Now we can sidestep the argument about whether or not they did it, the point being that they are believed to have done it,and it is also believed that the leadership of Sinn Fein had wind of it when they were making peaceful noises to all and sundry.

    The GOP elephant never forgets.

  • Pete Baker

    Comrade

    You’re normally more cautious in your judgements.

    The phone calls you mention can hardly be used to re-inforce the by-now-surely mythical influence of Jonathan Powell et al on the US administration – how many strikes does that man have to have against him? – those calls proved entirely useless at the time.

    More logical by far to ignore SF’s current protestations.. and instead to focus on the change in policy brought about in March – reversing, partially, the decision made by Clinton in 1995 – and in doing so focus on a time when SF ducked the issue of fund-raising.

    Quite simply the US administration is not convinced that times have changed. SF clearly thought they could persuade otherwise. And have been proven wrong. No conspiracy, grand or otherwise involved.

  • Has the politics of exclusion ever worked?

  • Pete Baker

    spirit-level

    Try to use your own language, please – rather than using political slogans. No-one was excluded in March except those assessed as being connected to illegal activities.

  • McCracken 98

    It all points to the obvious fact since the Provos surrendered their right to wage war against the occupier and surrendered all their weapons, the gloves have come off. They have no leverage at all any more and the treats like fundraising in the states they were given to goad them along the path to that final surrender have now been taken away. See also the PSNI ‘suddenly’ arresting and charging those accused of the Northern Bank.
    I hope the Provo leadership can sleep at night when that kid goes down for 30 years so they can bankroll the further sell out.
    Given the betrayals they’ve indulged in over past ten years, I’m sure they’ll have no problem kipping in their Donegal mansions.