IRA needs to recognise the state

The Newsletter on Tuesday notes a rift in the British and Irish governments on Sinn Fein, with the Irish taking the more hawkish position. It cites John O’Donohue’s argument that more that resumption of government will require more than an absence of violence. In effect, the IRA would need to recognise the monopoly of state force.

  • Henry94

    I don’t think theoretical coalition negotiations should be taken too seriously. It’s only when the numbers add up that we’ll see what matters and what doesn’t

  • Keith M

    Henry, who mentioned “coalition negotiations”, O’Donohue like Ahern before him is simply stating that SF/IRa are not a party who could be allowed into government.

    I think this aarticle should be filed under “blinding flash of the obvious”.

  • Crasher

    But Ahern et al have no problem advocating the the DUP and other parties in NI should go into Government with SF

  • Henry94

    KiethM

    Who is “allowed” into government is exclusively a matter for coalition negotiations.

    The Minister is as entitled to his opinion as anyone else. We know that staying out of coalitions was once a “core value” for Fianna Fail. Until it wasn’t.

  • Henry94

    Fine Gael once ruled out Democratic Left until they didn’t

    Crasher

    Voluntary coalition is the system in the south so parties have a choice. It’s not that way under the Agreement which the people of the north voted for.

  • Keith M

    Henry, I’m fully aware of how governments are formed in this country. You mentioned “theoretical coalition negotiations”, which in the contex of this article is a complete red herring. Neither Fianna Fail (in 1989) or Fine Gael (in relation to D.L. 1992) expressly ruled out coalition in the same way as the democratic parties in this country are now shunning SF/IRA.

    “It’s not that way under the Agreement which the people of the north voted for.”. That agreement is dead, get over it. The people of Northern Ireland now support people who through their action (DUP) and inaction (SF/IRA) managed to bring that agreement to an end. Today a voluntary coalition in Northern Ireland is just a valid an option as any other option. (That’s not to say that I think it will happen).

  • Keith M
    I can only assume you’re trying out a bit of satire when you speak of DUP action. This is a party that for 35yrs has stalled and stymied political progress, ducked its responsibilities, denied its role in the conflict, and has fed its supporters a pack of lies.
    You’re having a larf !

  • Henry94

    I don’t think, KeithM, that it is too much of a stretch to describe as coalition negotiation what the Minister is doing.

    He is setting out his conditions for entering government with Sinn Fein

  • Ringo

    Did anyone hear Dermot Ahern’s reason last week on local radio why SF shouldn’t make government in the Republic? Because you couldn’t be sure that you didn’t have British Intelligence sitting at the cabinet table! LOL!!

    Anything is possible in the next government aside from the PD’s or FG in government with SF. As Henry says, until the votes are counted it is all to play for. I don’t think that SF will want to go into government badly enough at that stage anyway.

  • Henry94

    Ringo

    I agree. The ideal government for Sinn Fein would be Fianna Fail and Labour. They could win votes from each.

  • Henry94

    Because you couldn’t be sure that you didn’t have British Intelligence sitting at the cabinet table!

    Could he say for sure that it never happened?

  • Keith M

    Henry, given the recent statements by Ahern any talk of SF/IRA in government is nothing but deluded wishful think. If you don’t believe me, listen to it from the horse’s mouth. http://dynamic.rte.ie/av/2092467.smil

    spirit-level, I’m know that people are envious of the DUP’s success, but whether you like it or not, by their actions (and with the help of SF/IRA inaction and UUP stupidity) they managed to sucessfully bring about an end to an agreement which was foisted on the people of Northern Ireland by a mixture on lies, deceit and political expediency. I realise that this success has caused bitterness, but again you’d be better advised to look to the future than trying to live in the past.

  • Crasher

    Irrespective of the anit-democratic nature of the GFA, it is still hypocrisy to advocate an unreconstructed SF being acceptable governors of NI. This clearly demostartes a major flaw of what we call democracy. Votes of the electorate does not validate position. While the majority of Iran voted for the current president but his advocacy of nuclear elimination of a neighbouring country cannot be accepted.

    I think Ringo hits the nail on the head – SF don’t want to go into co-operative government (north or south). That requires being responsible for tough decisions. SF are only interested in autocratic control.

  • In theory, is hard to see, if Sinn Fein’s numbers work out how a prospective government could keep them out. But, 1, the numbers don’t seem to be there this time out, and 2 nothing I’ve seen recently gives the slightest impression that SF has any intention of going into government in the Republic.

    Which leaves O’Donoghue’s question of the monopoly of force hanging in the air.

  • Keith M

    Mick “…if Sinn Fein’s numbers work out how a prospective government could keep them out”.

    For this to happen, SF would have to overtake Labour OR Labour would have to refuse point blank to enter government with FF. Now I’ve offered a straight bet with all and sundry on SF getting more seats than Labour, and no one is biting. Unless something completly unforseen happens Labour will be number 3 party in the next Dail.

    I happen to be close friends with some people in the Labour Party (hard to believe but some of my best friends are actually socialists!) and there is no way they would sit on their hands and watch SF go into government with FF. If the price that had to be paid was Rabbitte’s head, then no problem (indeed some would even welcome this).

    Both of these scenarios are still less likely than the following;
    FF/PDs
    FF with the support of independents.
    FF/PD with the support of independents.

    And don’t rule out the following either;
    FF/Greens
    FFG/Labour/Greens
    FG/Labour/PDs
    FG/Labour/PDs/Greens
    FG/Labour/Greens with the support of independents.

  • Henry94

    Sinn Fein will be in government in the south if they win a majority of TDs or form a coalition with others to make up a majority. They are in the exact same position, legally and constitutionally, as every other party.

    People can rule in or out whatever they like to their hearts content. It doesn’t change the reality one iota and none of it matters a damm until the votes are in

    It will only get really interesting if and when the fallback coalition (FF,Lab)can’t command a majority.

  • Henry94

    KiethM

    I happen to be close friends with some people in the Labour Party (hard to believe but some of my best friends are actually socialists!) and there is no way they would sit on their hands and watch SF go into government with FF. If the price that had to be paid was Rabbitte’s head, then no problem (indeed some would even welcome this).

    Rabbitte will serve in the FF/Lab government. He certainly won’t be giving up the leadership on the issue.

  • Ringo

    Could he say for sure that it never happened?

    Just as well we have McDowell watching out for us, isn’t it…. 😉

  • Keith M

    Henry 94 “Sinn Fein will be in government in the south if they win a majority of TDs or form a coalition with others to make up a majority. They are in the exact same position, legally and constitutionally, as every other party.”

    This shows a level of bewildering neivety which I’ve rarely seen on Slugger. When exactly do you think that SF/IRA will have a majority of seats in the Dáil?

    The coalition is not on, because every party that would be in a position to form a government has expressly and unequivically ruled it out. That’s not to say that it could never happen. After a sufficient period of decontamination it may well happen, and SF/IRA prove that they finally learnt the lessins of FF, SF/WP etc. It’s just shame it took so long (and so many lives) for the penny to drop.

  • George

    Henry,
    “Rabbitte will serve in the FF/Lab government. He certainly won’t be giving up the leadership on the issue.”

    Not a chance. You are living in cloud cuckoo land if you think that Rabbitte can hold onto the Labour leadership and go into coalition with FF.

    If FF/Lab is the only possible scenario, then you might have Enda Kenny proposed as Taoiseach, Rabbitte and Labour lose.

    Rabbitte resigns and talks begin with new leader over coalition with FF. That’s how these things work.

    You don’t seem to fully understand the southern Irish electorate or party divisions.

    Also, there isn’t a snowball’s chance in hell of SF being in power after the next election.

    A FF/FG coalition is more likely.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    The News Letter fails to recognise that the current Britsh Government is not in direct competition with SF for votes, as opposed to the current Irish Government which is. Once you understand that simple fact then the ramblings of O Donoghue et al become that bit clearer.

  • Ringo

    George

    Rabbitte resigns and talks begin with new leader over coalition with FF. That’s how these things work.

    Can’t see that happening – just too messy. When was the last time a party leader resigned to facilitate his party’s entry into coalition? There’d be war. Labour would be split from head to toe – and that is not the sort of party that you’d want as a coalition partner either. If numbers come up, Pat would have no choice but to swallow hard and say something eloquent about the choice of government made by the electorate being different from his own choice, but nonetheless he and his party won’t shirk their responsibilities to the nation etc.. etc…

    Actually the more I think of it FG, are the only ones who look like having relatively easy choices to make when it comes to any potential matchmaking. Unless there are a few ‘parish hospital’ hillbilly independents needed. Inda’s strategies to date (pres election, local & euros) have been spot on – still don’t know whether it is due to cuteness or luck.

  • Henry94

    George

    Labour will vote for Kenny and against Ahern on the first vote. Nobody will have the votes to win (unless Sinn Fein vote for Ahern for the crack)

    Having discharged his obligation to Fine Gael Rabbitte will do business with FF. I

  • George

    Henry and Ringo,
    I stand by my belief of Rabbitte definitely having to go for Labour to go in with FF after Kenny losing the vote.

    He pinned his colours firmly to the FG mast and distanced himself so much from FF that he will be hoisted on his own petard if this situation arises. He also has a lot of enemies in Labour.

    A strategy document prepared by Fianna Fail revealed last month that the highest levels of the party secretly believes that Labour is open to forming a coalition government after the 2007 General Election, even though it may result in the removal of Rabbitte as leader.

    FF are the cutest of hoors and I back their judgement on this one.

    Socialist Bertie in with Labour rather than the PDs and Labour back out of control of the Democratic Left blow-ins. Everyone is happy.

    P.S. I said a long time ago here that I can’t see SF in government south of the border until the IRA accepts Mary McAleese as the head of Oglaigh na hEireann. Nothing has happened to change that view.

  • Keith M

    Can I suggest that rather than trying to speculate on the outcomes, you actually talk to people within the parties and actually get an insight into the real world.

    No party (with the possible exception of the Greens) will do a deal with SF/IRA. That’s it’s finito! As it happens, I agree that this suits the provos, because they don’t want to have to face the hard decisions that come with government. It’s far easier to sit on the fence and try to throw throw mud in all directions. Whether the next government has someone of the ability of McDowell to throw twice as much back at them will be interesting to see. If it hasn’t there’s definatly an opportuinity for landing some punches on the next government, but the Provos need a FAR higher calibre of TD than the current shower of non-entities. That’s why people like Mary-Lou are being parachuted into potentially winnable seats.

    As for Labour, George is bang on the money. Rabbitte has staked his political reputation on not doing a deal with FF. With thios in mind he has tied Labour into a closer relationship with FG, than at any time since the 1970s. He could not (and would not be allowed) hold his position, if there was a FF/Labour coalition.

    As it happens, I don’t think FF will need Labour, the recent giveaway budget, the SSIAs and a general sense of wellbeing will lift the current government. I think we’ll be back to 1992 with an FF/PD government, with the support of independents.

  • Ringo

    A strategy document prepared by Fianna Fail revealed last month that the highest levels of the party secretly believes that Labour is open to forming a coalition government after the 2007 General Election, even though it may result in the removal of Rabbitte as leader.

    Well it is hardly a secret now, is it?

    I’d be fairly suspicious ( – its the in thing in 2006) as to how and why that FF strategy document containing the ‘secret’ thoughts of those at the top of the party got into the public domain. Especially when by pure coincidence the document wasn’t in the slightest bit damaging to FF but quite useful for undermining the Mayolition.

    He pinned his colours firmly to the FG mast and distanced himself so much from FF that he will be hoisted on his own petard if this situation arises. He also has a lot of enemies in Labour.

    I agree on both counts. But having to undergo a fast-tracked leadership contest between a general election and a negotiation a coalition with FF would be even more unpalatable. Nobody and no party could pull that one off.

  • Ringo

    Keith –

    the point is that the outcome is fundamental to the possible combinations. It is irrelevant what people in the parties think until the votes are in. The posturing is the people in the parties you are talking about throwing shapes for the election.

    Rabbitte has staked his political reputation on not doing a deal with FF.

    Clearly he has. But that doesn’t mean that Labour will get rid of him prior to any prospective deal with FF. Better to have him lead them into coalition – forcing him rather than the next leader to take the blame for lying to the electorate.

  • George

    Ringo,
    if it means a party getting into power, then I can guarantee you, Labour will manage some way of sorting out the problem, even if it means a hasty leadership election.

    I don’t see FG being able to win enough seats to get close to a coalition so that just leaves FF.

    If the only option is FF/Lab then it will happen but without Rabbitte.

    They can paint it as ensuring Irish democracy isn’t held to ransom by Sinn Fein.

    Rabbitte has put SF in the position of being a potential kingmaker by ruling out a FF coalition.

    If this comes to pass, he will pay the price because the people who will elect the 150 odd TDs out of 166 who aren’t SF won’t want SF holding the balance of power.

  • Brian Boru

    This is just FF-electioneering. For them, staving off the haemorraging of votes to SF now has priority over the peace-process – especially since mid-2004 when they got 12% and took 25% of FF’s votes from them. Expect more hysteria from them until 2007.

  • Henry94

    George

    I don’t know if you are old enough to remember Dick Spring’s relentless attacks on Fianna Fail while he was in opposition from 1987 to 1992. I can assure you that they were far more strident and more effective than anything Rabbitte has managed so far.

    And what did dick do after the election? He went into government with Fianna Fail.

    I have no doubt that after a suitable period of soul-searching Pat Rabitte will conclude that the country needs him in government.

    But time will tell.

  • Kathy_C

    Hi all,

    I think the Irish Gov’t is trying to get Sinn Fein to do for them what Sinn Fein did for the brits…get the IRA to state it will goaway…

    and…why did the PIRA make a New’s years statement anyway….didn’t Sinn Fein have them not only decom their weapons but also stand down…I’ve never heard of an army that has stood down…make statements…..

  • Crataegus

    Keith

    I am inclined to agree with your assessment the favourite has to be FF + PDs but I wouldn’t rule out FF + Labour. Pat could use his sartorial skills, for the good of the country and all that. Either way I think Labour will change leader. How could Pat stay as leader if his tying them to FG cost them the opportunity to be in Government?

    The Greens clearly prefer FG and I can’t see them forming any part of a coalition with FF, though stranger things have happened. It would probably mean a new leader for them also.

    Your comments about the quality of SF TDs is spot on, dismal bunch. No one is going to form a collation with SF and SF will breathe a sigh of relief.

  • Ringo

    Henry
    I don’t know if you are old enough to remember Dick Spring’s relentless attacks on Fianna Fail while he was in opposition from 1987 to 1992.

    There few people in Labour not old enough to remember that – it will just make Labour party divisions a little wider if repeated . Now if Pat does the highly unlikely and pull a – sorry about this – Rabbitte out of a hat and deliver his equivalent of a Spring Tide (a Rabbitte Warren ??) then like Dick he can do what he wants. But everything at present suggests that it will be Labour and not FG that won’t reach the targets.

    BB
    haemorraging of votes to SF

    You’re getting taken in by the hysteria yourself. As ever, FF’s main threat to seats comes from FG. All indications are that FG (coming off a very low base for them) are going to be the big gainers, not SF. Nevermind the percentage gain spinning that SF go on with – SF look to gain in or around 5 seats – not all at the expense of FF,
    FG will look to gain maybe 3 or 4 times that with even the slightest increase in votes – with a fair proportion coming from FF.

  • Ringo

    George

    Rabbitte has put SF in the position of being a potential kingmaker by ruling out a FF coalition.

    If this comes to pass, he will pay the price because the people who will elect the 150 odd TDs out of 166 who aren’t SF won’t want SF holding the balance of power.

    Ya there is a whole lot of shit just waiting to be flung around after this election – can’t wait! 😉

  • Brian Boru

    “I am inclined to agree with your assessment the favourite has to be FF + PDs but I wouldn’t rule out FF + Labour. Pat could use his sartorial skills, for the good of the country and all that. Either way I think Labour will change leader. How could Pat stay as leader if his tying them to FG cost them the opportunity to be in Government?

    The Greens clearly prefer FG and I can’t see them forming any part of a coalition with FF, though stranger things have happened. It would probably mean a new leader for them also.

    Your comments about the quality of SF TDs is spot on, dismal bunch. No one is going to form a collation with SF and SF will breathe a sigh of relief.”

    No the favorite isn’t FF/PD. Their combined vote share is around 38% compared to 44% for FG-Lab-Greens and 40% for FG-Lab. The latter will definitely need the Greens but I can’t see the current crowd getting another chance to make false promises to the people about an end to waiting-lists in 2 years or promises of funding for specific schools which then don’t happen. And anyway, this was the first government in 30 years to get a second term. People – including me (myself traditionally a loyal FF voter) – are getting fed up with them at this stage. Time to give someone else a try.

    I am particularly miffed by the Irish Ferries affair and the Governments support for the EU Services Directive, which would extend the right to reflag beyond maritime companies to all companies except the audiovisual and healthcare sectors. This would mean that a company registered in Eastern Europe could pay workers throughout the EU according to Eastern European labour law. As Irish workers will not accept 0.98c an hr (60p sterling), Estonians and Poles will be parachuted in to do the work instead. This coming from a Taoiseach who condemned Irish Ferries’ “sharp practice”. One thing for the camera and another thing in Brussels.

    Pat Rabbitte’s calls for work-permits for immigration from the new EU states is the clincher for me to vote Labour. I won’t vote FG as they also support the Services Directive and mass-migration. Despite all the utopian language about the “enriching” affect of “multiculturalism”, their true motives for supporting open-door immigration is to drive down labour costs for their fatcat benefactors – despite the displacement affect on Irish jobs. We are continually told of how we “need” immigration but with French and Germany unemployment and non-native populations both at 10-20%, can it seriously be claimed that immigration has benefited them?

  • Crataegus

    Brian Boru

    I hope you are right I detest the current government, they make Blair seem sincere.

    However I quite like seeing people come here to work. In the North I think it helps but also I have spent some time in poorer countries and anyone who has the get up and go to get here from there deserves a medal. I agree with your point about being used to force down wages which is regrettable, but up here many of them are high earners and skilled workers who we need, and many are doing jobs no one seems to want to do. I wish some of our own had the same get up and go. I also have doubts about the EU Services Directive.

    The next election.

    It never ceases to amaze me how FF manage to pick up as the election approaches. I am almost sure FF will be part of the next government as one of the problems with the alternative rainbow is that FG will in many places gain from Labour and Greens and not FF.

    For a bit of a laugh I have listed out the constituencies with predictions. Now it is probably way out in some places as it is difficult to know how some of the councillors are performing and how the smaller parties are targeting. For example Greens could gain in Galway West or Wicklow instead of FG or Labour or they may hold Dun Laoghaire but this will not affect the overall numbers of the rainbow coalition.

    So I would have
    Greens down 2 at 4
    FG up 11 at 42
    Independents down 7 at 6
    SF up 4 at 9
    FF down 6 at 75 plus the speaker who is re-elected.
    Labour up 1 at 21
    PDs down 1 at 7
    Socialists remain at 1

    This would give FF plus PDs sitting with 83 but needing independents and all that nonsense. FF + Labour would be home and dry. The alternative Rainbow just don’t have the numbers. For them to get in would need a disastrous election for FF and when it comes to elections FF are fly boys and are well dug in.

    Carlow Kilkenny:- Green Gain from FF with SF transfers
    Cavan Monaghan:- Possible Ind loss to FG
    Clare:- No change
    Cork East:- No change
    Cork North Central:- No change
    Cork North West:- No change
    Cork S Central:- FG or Ind gain from FF
    Cork SW:- No change
    Donegal NE:- No change
    Donegal SW:- No change
    Dublin Central:- SF gain from FF
    Dublin mid west:- No Change but possible FG gain from Greens
    Dublin North:- No change
    Dublin North Central:- Labour Gain from Ind
    Dublin NE:- FG gain from FF
    Dublin NW:- SF gain from FF or Labour
    Dublin South:- Probably no change but could be Lab or FG gain from Greens
    Dublin S-Cen:- Possible Labour gain from FF
    Dublin SE:- Pos SF gain from Lab or FF but tough one.
    Dublin SW:- No Change
    Dublin West:- No Change
    Dun Laoghaire:- FG gain from Greens
    Galway East:- Possible FF gain from Ind
    Galway West:- Possible FG gain from PDs or Labour
    Kerry North:- No Change
    Kerry South:- FG gain from Ind end of Healy Rae?
    Kildare North:- No change
    Kildare South:- Pos FG gain from Labour
    Laoighis Offaly FG gain from FF
    Limerick East:- No change but possible FG gain from Labour.
    Limerick West:- No change
    Longford Roscommon:- No change
    Louth:- No Change
    Mayo:- No change
    Meath:- Possible SF gain from FF If this is being split into two 3
    seaters???? If so it will favour FF
    Sligo Leitrim:- No change
    Tipperary North:- FG gain from FF
    Tipperary South:- No change
    Waterford:- No change
    Westmeath:- No change
    Wexford:- Possible FG gain from Independent but FF could also gain.
    Wicklow:- Labour gain from independent but it will be a tough one.

  • Kathy_C

    Hi all,

    Specualtion is a grand thing to do…but no one is factoring in some of the issues that might really tip the scales in politics of Ireland both north and south-
    a) political damage caused SF with the outing of donaldson
    b) this years marching season with members of the orange order being on the parades commission and what will happen when the orange order gets to march wherever they want including Gavahy road…
    Those are just 2 issues that will change the dynamics of politics….I don’t really think that it will ever again be politics as usual after this summer