Did they jump, or were they pushed..?

ED Moloney bumps into an old friend while giving an interview (downloadable in mp3 format here) to Democracy Now in America, in which he charts the movement of mainstream republicanism from an armed to an increasingly democratic position. Meanwhile, this left-wing analysis of the NI political situation post-Donaldson raises questions about how the mainstream republican movement (was) shifted.While Moloney pays tribute to the SF leadership in many respects, he argues that its authority should be measured on the basis of what it achieved. He sums up his thoughts:

Well, my own view, and I think it’s one that is shared quite widely, is that there is absolutely nothing in the power sharing deal which could guarantee or even suggest that the goal of Irish unity is achievable. And what Sinn Fein and the I.R.A. have done by signing up to the Good Friday agreement is to accept the constitutional status quo that Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom and that it will remain so as long as the majority of its population, in other words, the Protestants or Unionists of Northern Ireland say so.

And, of course, you know, given the demographics of Northern Ireland, that’s going to be a reality for as far as one can see in the future. And in return for accepting the status quo and in return for accepting the so-called principal of consent, Sinn Fein has been offered and presumably whenever this deal is revived, they will take seats in a power sharing government and become ministers.

So, I mean, in the last power sharing government that survived for a couple of years, Martin McGuinness who is now over here selling this deal was Minister of Education, and they had another colleague who was Minister of Health. Those were cabinet posts. If you had said 20 years ago that these people who were out directing a bombing and shooting campaign to get rid of the British presence in Northern Ireland would have ended up as Ministers of the Crown in the government of Northern Ireland, people would have thought you were mad. But this is exactly what has happened and is likely to happen again.

Steve James and Chris Marsden write on the World Socialist Web Site:

[I]t is inexcusable that Sinn Fein has refused to publicly take seriously the allegations of extensive, and decades-long, infiltration of its own organisation. Reports suggest that there are investigations taking place, but any agents discovered are likely simply to be quietly sidelined, rather than named and denounced, to avoid further damage to Sinn Fein’s credibility.

The Donaldson affair raises vital issues for all those concerned with the dangerous erosion of democratic rights and the ongoing conspiracy by the state forces against the working class. They must not be allowed to be swept under the carpet. The tactics used against Sinn Fein can and will be used again and again against all opponents of British imperialism. Indeed there can be no question that similar tactics are currently being deployed in British-occupied Iraq.

From this standpoint, to the extent it is possible without further compromising their security, it is imperative that Sinn Fein make clear:

* Who are the remaining British agents in their ranks?

* Given the central role of Scappaticci, how many of those apparently murdered by internal security were innocent of the spying charges levelled against them and were in fact fingered by the security services?

* What information was handed by Donaldson to his handlers, not only on the IRA, but on other organisations with which he was in contact?

* Which IRA terror operations were allowed to go ahead or were even instigated by British agents in order to foment sectarian tensions and legitimise state repression?

  • west belfast resident

    ”The IRA which once you know fought the British and bombed cities…is now more intent on smuggling petrol accross the Irish border peddling counterfeit dvds and cds, a lot of them from China, selling stolen cigarettes around the doorways in places like west belfast running protection rackets and so on and so forth..’

    What a shameful end to a once proud army. Molloney says Adams and McGuinness ”will keep the IRA going as a semi criminal organisation which has the potential to cause instability in the peace process.”

    Between them they have humilliated and trashed a peoples struggle. They are now ‘ministers of the Crown’ taking the Queens shilling.

    Quislings. Molloney is correct, the status quo will stay for the foreseeable future, and all that was got out of a 30 year campaign was death of our citizens and big houses for the leaders of Sinn Fein.

    It would make a person sick.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    If Moloney is so concerned about the well being od people in the six northern counties then why is he living in the USA and not trying to efect change?

    Lets have all the so-called republicans give a workable alternative instead of crawking from the sidelines.

  • I just had another e-mail – complaining about Moloney et al.’s cherry-picking when it comes to the struggle of The Troubles, and the reasons why things turned out less bright than the original Provisionals hoped – which I shall not go to the trouble of repeating for fear it too will be scrubbed.

    Moloney is just an irresponsible troublemaker.

  • I have been completely intrigued by the apparent absence of any challenge to my complaints about Ed Moloney’s work.

    I believe that Moloney deliberately raised complaints about ‘Steak Knife’s betrayal of the Eksund to harm Sinn Fein – indicating that its leaders really colluded with, and benefited by the tout’s work with the British in promoting the peace process – without any attempt to identify who ‘SK’ really is, or how the whole story played out because of his efforts during the early 1990s.

    ‘SK’, in sum, played a big role in making sure The Troubles were not a complete waste of time, but no one seems interested in discussing the matter.

    To make sure, I am posting this reply to my own e-mail.

  • oceallaigh

    I may be biased but over the years I have found the Worls Socialist web site articles to be very objective and reliable in their analysis check this article,http://www.wsws.org/articles/2006/jan2006/irel-j19.shtml

  • oceallaigh
  • While I am not that well informed about the World Socialist Web Site’s overall coverage, this article could just as easily have been written by the FRU or Moloney. It makes the strongest case against SF and its allies being tools of the Brits, instead of really talking about the struggle of The Troubles from both sides.

    In this particular case, the issue of spies in Republican ranks, it acts as if they were all simply working for Britain rather than talking about the whole process where double agents, disinformation agents, low level informers blackmailed into their positions, etc., are used.

    For starters, the article fails to mention that there was not only Scap aka ‘Stake Knife’ but also one called ‘Steak Knife’ apparently Padraig Wilson whose work, both pro and con the Brits, was far more important.

    Instead it just goes along with the disnformation ‘Martin Ingram’, the FRU’s most important disinformation agent, has supplied to make Moloney’s biased claims more believeable.