Feeney: an ill-fated choreography?

Brian Feeney reckons that the next stages in the great peace process two step (okay, slow waltz then) (alright, dead fly anyone?) are predictable. The IMC report will provide there’s enough room for the two governments to pressurise the DUP into coming to the table:

It’s clear both Dublin and London have already decided that there will be enough in the IMC report to enable them to arm-wrestle the DUP to the conference table. Bertie Ahern’s response in India to the Policing Board leak made that obvious. Besides, Tony Blair is visiting Ireland tomorrow to start the ball rolling. Most bet it will have rolled into a bunker by St Patrick’s Day. All very predictable.

What is equally predictable is that all concerned will turn a blind eye to that part of the IMC report which will certainly state that the UDA and UVF are still up to their necks in murder, drug-dealing and racketeering. It will also confirm that there is no UVF ceasefire. Just as both the DUP and UUP paid no attention to the alleged remarks of assistant chief constable Sam Kincaid about continuing loyalist activity in his briefing to the Policing Board, so they will say nothing about the contents of the IMC report which relate loyalist terrorist groups.

It’s a perfect example of the despicable quality of unionist political representation. The UVF and their horrible little client, the Red Hand Commando, whose activities the security forces have always ignored, continue along with the ‘wee teams’ of the UDA to batten on the districts unionist politicians represent. There, extortion and violence ensure that no investment goes into those districts which sink deeper and deeper into poverty and dereliction. Yet not one word from unionists about loyalist gangsters. Instead, unionists remain obsessed with the IRA which now has no impact whatsoever on their districts.

  • Pete Baker

    A couple of points to note about Brian Feeney’s predictions.. and the basis for them..

    Bertie Ahern’s response in India was refuted by Hugh Orde, unnoticed by Brian Feeney, and he was reported as stating that they didn’t discuss that particular issue at the December meeting, which was, after all, a briefing on the Stormont spy-ring case.. The Observer report here

    Asked if Ahern’s account of his meeting with the chief constable before Christmas was correct, a spokesperson for Orde said the Taoiseach ‘is mistaken to say that the Chief Constable gave a different view’. The two men had not discussed the issue.

    The other point is that the IMC reports and recommendations on loyalist paramilitary groups, and some other recommendations relating to SF as well, have all been ignored by Peter Hain previously.. displaying that same “despicable quality” that Brian Feeney has noted elsewhere with apparent relish.

    The ball will, as likely as not, roll into the ditch alright.. and we’ll still be Waiting for Godot.. well spotted Brian.

  • martin ingram

    Feeney,

    Is once more wrong. He is not wrong about the position and activities of Loyalist Para militaries, he is wrong to suggest the Govt have the strength to force the DUP into Govt with people awho are still engaged in criminal activities. Paisely will not be rushed into playing his cards, he is sitting with the nut flush and he remembers only too well the day not that long ago when he ( DUP) was shunned and excluded from deals.This time he is the cetre of attraction, this process can not go anywhere without the DUP.

    The best that can be achieved this year is a “half way house” arrangement, a probation system designed to see us through to 2007. That said nothing will happen unless and until Sinn Fein fully enters normal politics and that means involvement in policing.

    I notice Feeney avoids this issue of policing but we all know this is the Rubicon for Republicans. Decommissioning is a relative red herring beacause it is a subjective subject. Involvement in Policing in the North is a real sign that Republicans are to be fully assimilated into Northern Society.

    Martin.

    PS. The time is fast approaching for those on this board who have suggested that policing for Republicans is a bridge too far? whats it going to be lads & Lasses wellies or the car.

  • seabhac siulach

    martin ingram:

    “That said nothing will happen unless and until Sinn Fein fully enters normal politics and that means involvement in policing.”

    Policing should only be discussed as part of a comprehensive package to put back the full power sharing assembly…
    That is, the issue of police reform should also be on the table in any talks, e.g., devolving policing powers to the assembly. It cannot be viewed in isolation or put as yet another precondition as Mr. Ingram suggests. If the assembly is restored and policing sorted out at the same time then perhaps everyone can ‘jump’ together into ‘normal’ politics…no need then for Sinn Fein to accept anything in advance.

    “…be enough in the IMC report to enable them to arm-wrestle the DUP to the conference table”

    Can’t see it happening myself. On all previous occasions the two govts. (or ‘IRA’ indiscretions at suspiciously convenient times) have let the DUP slip off the hook. It will be the same this time.
    Hugh Orde (that non-political policeman who just happens to keep interfering in the political sphere with his briefings and interviews) or others will give the DUP the pretext for causing further frustration…
    How long can the present situation continue? Surely any process that is not moving anywhere is susceptible to a breakdown caused by any number of unforeseen events. That is the danger of this drift at the moment.

  • martin ingram

    Seabhac,

    I agree with you. I was not suggesting in my post that it reflected my personal position but that of the DUP whom I contend are in the driving seat.

    For the record I would like to see the Assembly restored but only when all the outstanding issues are resolved . If that is not possible then I agree with Danny Morrison who suggested direct rule would be the better alternative than a DUP half way house.

    Quote”Policing should only be discussed as part of a comprehensive package to put back the full power sharing assembly…
    That is, the issue of police reform should also be on the table in any talks, e.g., devolving policing powers to the assembly.” Unquote

    I just dont see the DUP moving towards a Republican position without policing being resolved. In relation to devolving police powers to the assembly. I trust you understand that MI5 will be the lead agency in Intelligence matters come what may as they are in every other police force within the UK?

    Martin.

  • Pete Baker

    “Hugh Orde (that non-political policeman who just happens to keep interfering in the political sphere with his briefings and interviews)”

    Given the choice, in the example I noted, between a police chief who corrects the record when a politician attempts to mis-inform the public about what was said.. or a police chief who keeps quiet in such circumstances.. I know which one I prefer.

  • JD

    The core solution in this process remains the removal of the British crutch from unionism. Unless they engage in dialogue all talk of the resumption of direct rule by Britain must be over. At the very least their should be joint authority or the outline of plans for British disengagement. This I have no doubt would usher a speedy rush to thge conference table by the DUP and remove the fear of a perception of climb down. The question remains has Tony Blair got the b***s.

  • martin ingram

    Given the choice, in the example I noted, between a police chief who corrects the record when a politician attempts to mis-inform the public about what was said.. or a police chief who keeps quiet in such circumstances.. I know which one I prefer.

    Pete,

    I agree but he must be consistent in this approach and not cherry pick. Orde as the day to day commander of the old Steven 3 inquiry was in a position to solve many of the crimes of the past. Indeed he has a serving PSNI police officer working for him who is still on police bail for offences allegedly conected to his former FRU days( Ex Handler of Brian Nelson)

    This man appeared on National TV and admitted his involvement in a conspiracy to murder. He was arrested 3 years ago but todate no decision has been taken to lay charges. Yet Orde is content to allow this man to remain a police officer in his force on the beat today.

    Martin

  • elfinto

    Feeney has it spot on about the police and the courts. Nationalists need to be able to trust the police before they buy into the PSNI. That means getting rid of the ‘rotten apples’ who are protecting loyalist gangsters.

  • Pete Baker

    Martin

    I don’t disagree with the general point you’re making there, but it’s not a comparable situation to the one I noted… and, as I understand it, the decision to lay charges is now the responsibility of the PPS..

  • Keith M

    To keep the dancing analogy, for years we’ve been dancing to a parmilitary two-step. It’s time for the democrats to take to the floor, including perpetual wallflowers in the SDLP.

    For what it’s worth Blar’s visit is attracting little or no interest or coverage here. Interest in this country has long since moved on from the “peace process”.

  • Mickhall

    The problem with the GFA is it is all inclusive and far to ridged. I believe SF made the same mistake a couple of years ago that the DUP is now making.

    If the DUP is unwilling to enter into a ‘government’ with SF, then they should become the main opposition at Stormont and those Parties that can and wish to form an administration together should do so.

    I might add IMO if Morrison or any shinner called for direct rule from London they are clearly no longer Irish Republicans.

    Best to all

    PS interesting post[7] from ‘mi’.

  • topdeckomnibus

    Martin

    You seem to think that MI5 control intelligence matters in every police force in UK.

    But I wonder if you (or MI5) realise that such control has no containment to its effect.

    I have given the McGill case quite a promotion on Slugger threads and readers must be sick of it by now. But I will stretch nerves by using the case once more.

    The MI5 liaison arrangements of Special Branch unlawfully monitor and corrupt police inquiries into a care organisation.

    The death occurs of a nurse who had wished to raise a national care inquiry. An inquest sits within the care home HQ itself within three days. Relatives and friends are not told of the inquest. There is only a short autopsy procedure carried out. Cremation occurs before the relatives find out. Too late for legal representation at inquest and too late for full autopsy (with diatom testing etc)

    Protest now takes two forms … one into police handling of the sudden death investigation and one into the care standards issues the nurse was planning to raise.

    The care standards issues feature in a Commons question by the shadow minister. A care inquiry is ordered by DHSS. This is one phone call to West Suffolk Social Services “DO you periodically visit the care home as requitred by the Act” “Yes” .. Inquiry finds all in order.

    During the days between the Shadow minister question and the answer that the inquiry is complete there is another death at the home and yet another suicide verdict.

    The Shadow minister asks for full public inquiry.

    The Islington MP says he has a care issue question about West Suffolk as well. Three child deaths in three incidents over a five month period at a private care home run by Hackney Social Services.

    The minister then refuses full public inquiry about the first matter and refuses any inquiry at all into the three child deaths. Maybe not wanting to set a precedent for the shadow minister to raise as an issue ?

    Only 8 months from the death of a nurse, a case in which MI5 wanted things covered up, and the effect of the pollution of policing had extended to denial of inquiry to three mentally handicapped children in Hackney Care.

    About 25 years later the Dircector of Cambridge Social services was called in to conduct retrospective care inquiry into Hackney Social services … these three child deaths in their care were ruled not “Germaine” (whatever that means) to his inquiry.

    So my point is that MI5 control of intelligence in police is misleading in the way being a little bit pregnant is misleading. There is no mild case.

    Once MI5 have entered then their cancer will spread.

  • topdeckomnibus

    Martin

    I forgot to ask will you comment on the use of charities and NGOs by the Secret Services ?

    I am thinking here particularly of the faith you seem to set by the registered charity British Irish Rights Watch ?

    Why do you think it is that, in their educational efforts and case considerations, they never weigh the Sean Garland Plan ?

    We have explored a little on this thread the control MI5 has over Intelligence dealings by Police.

    Oddly enough there is a charity (close to BIRW) whose policy is to support civilianization of coroners officer duties because police cannot be trusted to resolve the conflict between police requirements and the requirements of justice.

    This charity “Inquest” features on its committee law lecturers from De Montfort University I think.

    So the tea breaks there must be a laugh what with Professor Richard Card in charge being the author of the police law books.

    So the old Prof makes sure the police are too ignorant to know their duty. Then the Profs acolytes pop down to London and run a charity supporting civilianization of coroners officer duties because the police are too ignorant.

    Another conspiracy theory Fealty.

  • andy

    Hi Martin
    apologies for this being off-topic but I’ve been meaning to ask you for a while. Have you heard of a guy called Gayle Rivers who wrote a book called “The specialist” in the mid-80s?

    In it he claimed to be an ex-SAS member who tracked down and assasinated various ETA and PIRA members across Europe. I’d read somewhere that it was exposed as a tissue of lies but seemed to have some accurate details and I can’t find anything on the web about it.

    apologies again for this being absolutely irrelevent to the thread….

  • martin ingram

    Andy ,

    Sorry mate can not help. If you have further off topic matters contact me on the e mail Ingrammartin@yahoo.co.uk

    apologies for this being off-topic but I’ve been meaning to ask you for a while. Have you heard of a guy called Gayle Rivers who wrote a book called “The specialist” in the mid-80s?

    Pete,

    as I understand it, the decision to lay charges is now the responsibility of the PPS..

    Yes, that is true but Orde kept him on for the twelve months prior to that case being handed over to the PPS. That was wrong in my opinion.As you know the dropping of the OTR legislation will create a problem for the PPS. He will be forced at some point(Its two years now) to make a decision whether principally the Finucane case is in the public interest.

    Martin

  • martin ingram

    Top Deck,

    Sorry I missed your post.

    Quote”Once MI5 have entered then their cancer will spread”Unquote They have always been here, its just now they call the shots.

    Please dont confuse my personal position re: Box500 ( MI5) and the factual position.

    They are indeed the lead agency in all police forces in the uk dealinf with Intelligence , each force as a Special Branch but all come under the operational command of MI5.

    Martin

  • martin ingram

    Mick,

    Your quote” might add IMO if Morrison or any shinner called for direct rule from London they are clearly no longer Irish Republicans.Unquote
    Mick Hall,

    Quote Mr Morrison “The DUP needs to be chastened, needs to suffer a massive loss of face, and republicans should not balk at inflicting it on them by supporting the dissolution of the Assembly.Unquote

    Now a dissolution of the assembly in todays climate means the continuation of direct rule or am I missing something?. Your comments would be appreciated.

    Quote”If the DUP is unwilling to enter into a ‘government’ with SF, then they should become the main opposition at Stormont and those Parties that can and wish to form an administration together should do so.” Unquote

    Would the same go for Sinn Fein in any future negotiations ? is it Ok to go forward without all parties being present even if they are the majority party?

    Just a thought.

    Martin

  • aquifer

    MickHall

    “If the DUP is unwilling to enter into a ‘government’ with SF, then they should become the main opposition at Stormont and those Parties that can and wish to form an administration together should do so.”

    Spot on. Everyone is running scared of an outbreak of real socioeconomic politics.

    This ‘all in the executive, every time’ makes for political mush.

    We need some opposition outside the executive.