Robinson: a long time before the IRA is ready

Peter Robinson was interviewed on BBC News 24 after the Sinn Fein press conference and dismissed Martin McGuinness’ anger as ‘a comedy interlude and a farce’. He pointed out that the IMC was hardly a DUP body: the IMC being made up “a representative of Her Majesty’s Government, the Republic of Ireland’s Government and the United States. He further made the point that Lord Alderdice had been perfectly agreeable to Sinn Fein as speaker of the Assembly. With regard to the apparent clash between IMC and IIDC, he said ” John de Chastellain indicated that he had had a report that the IRA still had a range of weapons, but because the IRA with whom he has channels (as the IMC does not) denied it, and the Guards in the south had no reports of it, he would not confirm.

Robinson’s sting in the tail: “A lot of intelligence has come from people like Denis Donaldson. I’m very sure Martin McGuinness would like see were some more of that information came from”. He then pointed to his own party’s proposals to get politics back on track, suggesting that it would be a very long time before Sinn Fein were ready to resume executive government.

  • Henry94

    Robinson: a long time before the IRA is ready

    He must have got a positive medical report on Paisley.

  • lmao Henry…

    But seriously, more procrastination from the DUP, wouldn’t they love to go back to pre 1994, you can’t bomb the prods into a UI but the DUP are terrified of being talked into one…

  • Brian Boru

    “In its report to the two governments, also published today, the IICD said there was “no evidence” to suggest IRA weapons had been retained.

    The IICD, headed by General John de Chastelain, notes that “reliable” Garda sources suggest that there is “no intelligence to suggest any arms have been any arms have been retained.” The IICD also said an IRA representative had told the decommissioning body that “no IRA arms had been retained or placed in long-term hides.”

    “Reports” without evidence are just hearsay. The securocrats at it again…I heard on “The Big Bite” on RTE1 that they have a file of Blair’s radical days and may have a hold on him that prevents him getting rid of the anti-peace-process ones who are always stirring up trouble.

  • seabhac siulach

    Really is there anyone, anyone, out there who honestly believed that this IMC report would do anything but give more reasons to the DUP to refuse to restore power sharing?
    (Their report is even worse than the leaks suggested)

    Does anyone now seriously believe that the subsequent report in April will be any different? Surely, those phantom guns that the IRA holds will still be in their possession then…I mean, how do you get rid of what you do not have and which could not be found by the IIDC or the Gardai. In any case, if the IRA so desired couldn’t they always buy more guns…decommissioning was always a political gesture and one fulfilled…ditto the apparently honest attempts of the IRA to move to peaceful means, etc. (if you take the positive signals from the report)

    The IMC have scraped the bottom of the barrel to find all the negatives in between the huge mountain of positives. Must we really wait until every i is dotted and every t crossed before negotiations start? It is ludicrous.

    So…no progress then…and surely none before the summer and on until September.

  • J Kelly

    Heres the solution the PSNI are fit for purpose the guns are obviously in the North. The Policing Board should call an emergency meeting and instruct the PSNI to get the IRA guns that they brief the IMC about. Its time to put up or shut up. If they are not readily found they should put their knowledge in the public domain or otherwise the PSNI Special Branch will have a veto over political movement for ever and a day.

  • Mick Fealty

    If it was indeed a hatchet job, it was very subtle.

  • M. Gibbs

    What a ridiculous lot those Unionists have become. No group in history has ever made such a rapid transition from arrogant, self-righteous supremacy to whinging victimhood. They just can’t get it, can they, that the old days are gone for ever! No more B-specials, no more “Croppy lie down”, no more discrimination across the board, no more first preference treatment in every respect just for being born a Protestant. Of course the IRA probably have a few guns, just in case. So what! They only had a few in 1969 when the full force of the Orange state’s terror machine was unleashed on the decent Nationalist people of the Six Counties, but they did all right in the end. It’s time for the rejectionist Unionists to join their saner moderate brethren and get on with making the new dispensation work. The way that madman Blair is taking Britain, the Unionists may well be glad to have a United Ireland to go to when the artificial concept the UK goes belly up!

  • Mick,

    If indeed it was then it needn’t be anything but subtle…

    One bad word is all it takes, you know that!

  • M.Gibbs
    Yup,
    The problem is that although self-righteous supremacy is a crime by most educated people’s standards, it’s not in statute.
    The DUP play a smart move is ostensibly distancing themselves from crime and paramilitaries.
    If hate crime was a remit in the IMC report, they would be monitoring it, and members of the DUP would have to answer for it.
    There’s so much evidence over the years, of Paisley stirring up sectarian tensions, which did not exist prior to his ascendency.
    Just go through the speeches.
    “Incubators of Rome” + “Tell Bertie Aherne to get his dirty hands off.. ”
    Last summer talking about a fire that would ignite and never go away.
    Its sickening that we have to endure this.
    No-one has the skills to take him on, and expose him all the way on this, dare I say it, spirit level.
    Its a clever cunning disguise.
    Spiritual wickedness in high places; some of the rastas I’ve talked to and chilled with understand this concept intuitively.
    They know its CRIME.
    Its white man’s crime.
    It takes a king to defeat a king.

  • seabhac siulach

    “If it was indeed a hatchet job, it was very subtle.”

    Subtle or not, it has had the desired result for the DUP. Just enough negatives to hold up progress. Just enough postives to satisfy their (the IMC’s) political paymasters. Handy that.
    They have, in addition, pulled the question of retained arms out of the hat at the last minute. Is this an attempt to create a new focus of dispute? It was not mentioned in any of the many leaks beforehand. (Strange the rapid public disagreement with the IIDC, is it not, suggesting a level of official irritation at the IMC report).
    Notice that the issue of arms is also the one item of the report that the IRA took issue with in their statement. Why? Because it is likely not to be true. They appear to accept all the other findings of the report with good grace. These other findings show that the IRA leadership has moved to a purely political agenda…
    The issue of arms appears to be the one that will now cause the most trouble.

    In my opinion the report clearly shows that the IRA is no longer a threat to the democratic process in the 6 counties. Surely, that is all that can be asked of the organisation. If it is still involved in crime, then that is a matter solely for the police and not one that should be holding up political talks.
    In any case, tens of thousands of Sinn Fein voters voted for that party, irrespective of the question of IRA wrongdoings but on the basis of Sinn Fein’s political policies. They have the right to be represented by whoever they wish.

    In light of this report which shows the IRA as winding down, not using intelligence for anything other than political ends, etc., the govt. should take the bull by the horns now and force power sharing. The situation by September and onwards may not be so propitious…if McGuinness is anything to go by anger is rising…

  • Mick Fealty

    There’s a lot more than just one word in this report. I suspect it is going to get pored [sic] over for days. What I see/hear is a lot of jockeying for position.

    On the one hand it is incontrovertably true that the DUP sat (albeit with stated caveats) in an Executive government when the IRA was almost completely free to do what it wanted short of offensive ‘military action’. And that they ‘seemed’ ready to return to such 12 months ago last December.

    On the other it is also true that the Northern Bank robbery (whether by the IRA or not), the killing of Robert McCartney and the subsequent shutting up of witnesses has handed the DUP a whip hand in these latter stages of the process. They said then that as a result, the price would go up.

    We are (regrettably) in hair trigger territory now where the slightest touch will warrent further and further delay. But, politically, I cannot see a way around it.

    The bottom line is that Sinn Fein, if it is serious about a restart to politics in Northern Ireland, needs the DUP’s signiture on the bottom of the paper.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    ‘The bottom line is that Sinn Fein, if it is serious about a restart to politics in Northern Ireland, needs the DUP’s signiture on the bottom of the paper.’

    The statement by Dermot Ahern that failure to restart the Assembly will eventually lead to the two governments moving forward on a joint initative that includes greater co-operation is a prospect that will privately delight a lot of republicans.

  • Henry94

    The bottom line is that Sinn Fein, if it is serious about a restart to politics in Northern Ireland, needs the DUP’s signiture on the bottom of the paper.

    Mick

    That is only for as long as the British give the DUP a veto over the restoration of the institutions. Far from having the whip-hand the DUP are in the pathetic position of being afraid to take office for fear of being outflanked on their right or betrayed by their founder.

    That is why nationalists must come together here and in America.

  • Chris Donnelly

    The bottom line is that Sinn Fein, if it is serious about a restart to politics in Northern Ireland, needs the DUP’s signiture on the bottom of the paper.

    Mick

    How true you are. But you forget to add the caveat that, if the DUP are serious about a restart to politics, then THEY need Sinn Fein’s signature on the bottom of the paper.

    This will become clear in the days and weeks ahead, as the DUP attempt to reach for an Assembly talking shop without an Executive and active All-Ireland bodies.

    Personally, I believe republicans have less to lose from a prolonged period of political stagnation in the six counties than unionists.

    Next year will see a bouyant Sinn Fein double (perhaps treble?) its seat tally in Leinster House, a situation likely to trigger Fianna Fail/ Labour/ SDLP to move in a more concrete manner to develop themselves on an all-island basis, if only to arrest the growth of Sinn Fein.

    Indeed, it could be the case that the next Assembly elections – in 2008/9/10 (take your pick) will see more than one all-Ireland party on the ticket.

    Hardly an advance for unionism.

  • seabhac siulach

    “On the other it is also true that the Northern Bank robbery (whether by the IRA or not), the killing of Robert McCartney and the subsequent shutting up of witnesses has handed the DUP a whip hand in these latter stages of the process. They said then that as a result, the price would go up.”

    The price did go up…and was paid…
    with decommissioning and a clear move to purely political methods, neither of which were easy for the IRA to contenance.

    It is for the govts. now to make the DUP see that the price has been paid and to restore devolution. This IMC business is all pantomime. The Brit. govt., with this latest report, could, in full confidence and at no risk, now that it is dealing with an emasculated IRA, restore Stormont tomorrow, and merely wait to see if the DUP would deign to attend and take their executive positions…I doubt they would have to wait long. One may ask, why the reticence of the govt. to do this? Does it believe that strategically the IRA has devoted itself to politics or not? It should be supporting this difficult move by the IRA not pandering to unionist paranoia. I imagine in Israel they have wet dreams about Hamas fulfilling a fraction of the compromises the IRA have, and yet we are told (with straight faces) that these are STILL not enough by Robinson and others…amazing…

    “The bottom line is that Sinn Fein, if it is serious about a restart to politics in Northern Ireland, needs the DUP’s signiture on the bottom of the paper.”

    It does not. It needs only that the Brit. govt. acknowledge the rights of Sinn Fein voters…progress should not depend on when the DUP thinks Sinn Fein has, in some way, been ‘punished’ enough for past transgressions.
    When will pressure be put on the DUP to live up to ITS obligations, that is the question.

  • harpo

    ‘What a ridiculous lot those Unionists have become.’

    M. Gibbs:

    Indeed. Today there the unionists are saying the same thing today as every other democratic party in the isles. All the GB parties, Alliance, the SDLP, HMG and the ROI government are all on the same page. Asking for the Provos to stop the illegal activity that they are still engaged in. How ridiculous.

    You rant is aimed at the unionists, but they didn’t come up with the IMC report – the IMC did. If you want to have a rant, have a rant at the IMC. It’s not controlled by the DUP or UUP.

    Rant all you like. Every democrat in the isles and beyond can see the truth, no matter what PSF and their drone supporters claim about the PIRA being squeaky clean. The unionists may stick to their story about the Provos, while others waver in an effort to give the Provos the benefit of the doubt between reports, but when the report comes out it turns out that the unionists have been spot on yet again.

    It’s the Provos who look ridiculous, not unionists. And they are alone in that.

  • spot on seabhac
    The DUP have to be faced down, its indicative of just how scared they are, ( proof of lying )that they are hissing away in the face of reality.
    We have to find a way of calling their bluff.

  • harpo

    ‘It is for the govts. now to make the DUP see that the price has been paid and to restore devolution.’

    Says a Provisional supporter.

    seabhac siulach:

    Did you not notice all the democrats agreeing that the Provos have to give up all illegal activity?

    You can rant and rave about the DUP all you want but in the end all the democrats including the 2 governments are sticking to what has been agreed – that the PIRA has to give up all illegal activity in order for its political wing to be accepted as wholly democratic.

    This isn’t about the DUP, its about the Provos. No matter what you think, the price HASN’T been paid yet.

    ‘In my opinion the report clearly shows that the IRA is no longer a threat to the democratic process in the 6 counties. Surely, that is all that can be asked of the organisation.’

    Well in my opinion, and its one shared by all the democrats who have commented today, the report clearly shows that the IRA is still a threat to the democratic process in Northern Ireland.

    You have your opinion because you are siding with the Provisional position. You think enough has been done, but to democrats that isn’t true. What they have done so far is NOT all that can be asked of them. It is clear that they have to do more.

    When are you folks going to work out that the Provos actually have to stop doing illegal stuff, and not just claim that it has all stopped? So long as you remain in a fantasy world where everything is the fault of securocrats or unionists or the DUP, there is going to be no place for PSF in democratic politics.

    It’s all up to the Provos in other words.

  • Crataegus

    Mick

    “We are (regrettably) in hair trigger territory now where the slightest touch will warrant further and further delay”.

    Could become worse than that; this is deeply depressing, will we ever get out of this hole? The Republican movement have handed the high ground to the DUP. In the meantime the loyalist thugs are laughing into their pints.

    As for the PSNI and suggestion of hidden agendas and the Government and its sleazy little side deals will we ever feel confidence in what we are being told?

    In the end one has to ask does the findings of the IMC really matter? Are we all being more than a little sanctimonious? Have we lost perspective and any sense of an over view?

    SF screwed the UUP so suppose they are reaping what they have sowed, the problem is we are all the losers and this and related issues are destabilising.

  • harpo

    ‘The DUP have to be faced down, its indicative of just how scared they are, ( proof of lying )that they are hissing away in the face of reality.
    We have to find a way of calling their bluff.’

    spirit-level:

    You folks are beyond belief. It’s all a DUP plot, isn’t it?

    Did you actually read any of the comments today. The groups you have to face down are: all of the GB political parties, the DUP, the UUP, the SDLP, Alliance, HMG and the ROI government. In essence, they are all on the same page on this issue. They all expect the PIRA to stop all illegal activity before there can be any more movement.

    The DUP may be hissing in the face of your reality, but that reality is actually a Provo generated fantasy world, where the Provos are squeaky clean. Here’s reality – no one is buying it. All the other democratic parties are with the DUP on this now. Some may waver between IMC reports in order to give the Provos the benefit of the doubt, but when the report comes out, all the democrats band together.

    You can whine on about some DUP plot all you like, but again that’s just a construction in your fantasy world.

    It’s not about any DUP veto over anything. It’s about the choice that the Provos have to make. Provo illegal activity is what is holding up PSF being accepted as wholly democratic by everyone, nothing else.

    The DUP aren’t scared. They’re probably laughing, as every democrat is on their side on this issue.

  • TAFKABO

    some of the rastas I’ve talked to and chilled with

    Ouch, did you really say this?

    That’s a hairs breadth away from stating that You’re down with the kids
    Anymore comments like that and I’m calling in the cliché police.

    Carry on…..

  • harpo

    ‘The Republican movement have handed the high ground to the DUP.’

    ‘SF screwed the UUP so suppose they are reaping what they have sowed.’

    Crataegus:

    Are you noticing a common theme yet?

    It’s always been about a commitment by PSF/PIRA to democracy and nothing but democracy. The common theme is that the Provos always try to get away with something less than that.

    First they tried to get into power while still keeping the guns. That didn’t work, so now they are trying to get into power while still being involved in a bit of illegal activity as opposed to a lot.

    Thankfully all the democrats are holding firm on that. So it’s not about the UUP or DUP. It’s about all the democrats expecting that the PRM will give up all illegal activity. That’s what the GFA calls for and the PRM is being held to it.

    It’s their choice. Wholly democratic means wholly democratic. It doesn’t mean 90% democratic or anything else.

  • harpo
    you got it upside down
    No-one is saying the IRA ain’t sinners, but they’ve paid. The truth is its the liars and hypocrits in the DUP, that like to pretend to sit in heavenly places. Unforgiving, judgemental snakes.
    If the good lord came down tomorrow, he’s spew the DUP out of his mouth and comfort republicans, as he did on earth.
    That’s TRUTH,
    tafkabo
    I’m delighted and educated to have spent time with rastas, and all other kinds of folk around the world, as I ain’t scared of another mans colour, creed, or religion. Are you?

  • TAFKABO

    Spirit-level speak with forked tongue.

    Him big mighty heap proud of respecting all creeds and religions, but him mighty big judge when it comes to DUP and their religion.

    Me-um advise him to lay of the peace pipe, else we start to call him Dances with fools

  • Mick Fealty

    SL:

    Really, if you are going to say things like that: 1 you need to drop the ad hominem tags; and 2 you need to stump up something tangible to back up what you are saying. I’ve no doubt you feel what you say. But that’s not sufficient for debate.

  • Tafkabo,
    Wrong, I accept Luther and the victory at the Boyne. Suprise suprise.
    My condemnation comes from the way the DUP practice their religion, and use it to demonise groups in society, the narrow-minded, sectarian bile that spews from them that passes for spirituality is a fright to Christianity.
    They are fearful, spiteful, hateful and represent everything I depise about religion.
    No where else on the planet is protestantism so wretched and devoid of godliness and grace.
    Think about it.

  • acepted mick, hope the above is better

  • TAFKABO

    Spirit-Level.

    I’m not a religious man, so I don’t claim to be an expert, but I have to say that the DUP, or to be more precise, the Free Prebyterians do not strike me as in any way more extreme than many brands and flavours of fundamentalist protestantism in America and hardline Catholcism in other countries.
    And that’s just Christianity, we haven’t even touched on the crazies in other religions.

    Of course you are free to point out failings you see within the DUP and the church a lot of them associate with.
    but trying to argue that they are the worst examples of religious intolerance and extremism on the face of the planet rather belies your earlier claim to have travelled and gained experience in matters of religion and faith.

  • One example as my bona fides have been questioned. In Britian Bonfire night is celebrated once a year on November 5th. Perfectly fine thing to do.
    July 12th, victory at the Boyne, no problem, perfectly fine thing to do.
    What is totally objectionable and unacceptable is for the hundreds of marches to proceed every summer, to the insensitivity of the catholic neighbours.
    It speaks volumes about DUP style religion and intolerance, and backs up my earlier points.
    Tafkabo
    Fair point, but I was referring to protestantism, and Europe. USA is a different kettle of fish, lets no go there, also I think it kinda goes without saying as regards extremist Islam.

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    Well it’s not every night you watch the news on TV and find such splendid entertainment. Whether it’s Martin ‘education minister’ McGuinness shouting ‘bullshit’ in a childish manner or the secretary of state for Sinn Fein and Wales squirming in his seat so much he could hardly stay on it.
    The bottom line is that the shinners and their chums have had a field day with their smuggling scams, property empires and intelligence gathering exercises for years and they assumed that nobody would actually mention it, not even when they threw down the electoral gauntlet in the south. They’re having to play hardball now and need to prove that their ‘Make Partition History’ campaign shouldn’t really be referred to as ‘Make Democracy History.’
    Why do the richest party on the island need so much money? Why do they feel the need to gather information on govt ministers, security forces & civil servants if they’re democratic like everyone else?
    Do these people want democracy or a failed one-party republican state? And can their supporters on Slugger tell us what SF actually DO want (and spare us the ‘Ireland of equals’ nonsense).
    It’s about time we were all told.

  • lib2016

    The IMC report comes from the same people who brought us the ‘Save Dave’ campaign. Not a good omen for the DUP!

  • Gerry Lvs Castro.
    The problem is you’re focusing on the negatives.
    The other parties are focusing on the positives.
    A clue to the differing mindsets and approaches?

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    SL — from what Hain the apologist was saying the only real positives appear to be that the provos aren’t murdering or maiming anyone at the moment.
    And that is certainly a positive.
    But if SF really want to be treated as a democratic party both north and south, why do they still need criminality, intelligence gathering and weaponry? Why do they stifle debate within their own ranks?
    If they really want to appeal beyond their natural fanbase, they need to get rid of this excess baggage, think up some realistic economic policies and acknowledge the fact that Ireland ain’t going to be united anytime soon.

  • Henry94

    GLC

    But if SF really want to be treated as a democratic party both north and south

    In what sense are they not? Sinn Fein are treated in the exact same way as every other party north and south. They sit in Dail Eireann like every party in the south and they don’t sit in the Assembly like every other party in the north.

  • harpo

    ‘No-one is saying the IRA ain’t sinners, but they’ve paid’

    spirit-level:

    They haven’t paid enough though.

    Have you read the GFA?

    It demands democratic means only. Not ‘democratic means plus a big bit of sin’, nor even ‘democratic means plus a wee bit of sin’. It demands democratic means only and no sin.

    The Provos have a choice. Give up the sin totally and be included as democrats, or keep the sin to whatever degree and stay on the outside.

    You can keep on the anti-DUP rants, but they aren’t forcing the Provos to be sinners. The Provos choose to be sinners. They can of course choose to do whatever the hell they want, but the bar has been set and PIRA sin will not be tolerated with respect to PSF getting into government.

    It’s all very simple. Why can’t you get this? Give up the sin and you get in.

    The odd thing is that everyone got all worked up about decommissioning but it was a side issue to what is happening now. It was only part of the Provos giving up sin and using only democracy. THAT was the thing that was signed up to in the GFA. And the Provos aren’t there yet, no matter how much you bleat that they are.

  • Conor

    I want to know, how are DUP voters thinking? Are they sitting back enjoying Direct Rule like those they voted, or are they just as sick and tired as non DUP voters are with this blatant hold up of the institutions?

  • harpo, Gerry
    I don’t accept your premise. criminality is ever-present on all sides of the divide. This is something the Assembly needs to address.
    No more excuses, get yer bums on seats, stop nit-picking. You don’t set the bar.

  • harpo

    ‘I don’t accept your premise. criminality is ever-present on all sides of the divide. This is something the Assembly needs to address.
    No more excuses, get yer bums on seats, stop nit-picking. You don’t set the bar.’

    spirit-level:

    ‘I don’t accept your premise.’

    Tough titty. It’s not my premise. It’s in the GFA and the Provos are being held to it. Ranting and raving won’t change that. Nor will not accepting it.

    ‘criminality is ever-present on all sides of the divide’

    Yes, but so what? Is this one of those ‘everyone else is doing it so why can’t we?’ gambits. That’s pathetic. The issue is not criminality in general, but rather Provo criminality specifically. PSF signed up to the GFA and committed to no criminality – democracy only. They aren’t there yet. And the only reason for that is that the PIRA chooses not to be there yet.

    ‘This is something the Assembly needs to address.’

    Maybe, and it will be able to when one less group in society (the PIRA) does their bit towards reducing criminality by stopping their criminal activity.

    They stop being criminals, PSF become democrats, the Assembly starts up and they can discuss whatever they want.

    ‘No more excuses, get yer bums on seats, stop nit-picking.’

    It isn’t an excuse or nit picking. It’s what PSF signed up for. Democracy only or you don’t get in.

    ‘You don’t set the bar.’

    Indeed I don’t, but PSF helped set the bar during the GFA negotiations, and the bar IS set. You just don’t like the level at which it is set. The people voted for the GFA that PSF endorsed, so what are we to do? Ignore the bar that PSF and the people set, or demand that this part of the GFA be delivered?

    PSF is always demanding FULL delivery of the GFA isn’t it? So why not in this case?

    If your attitude is ‘well the Provos have come close enough to the bar to make no difference so let’s get on with things’, then can we do that in all cases?

    The PSNI is close enough to what Patten wanted so that’ll do. Right? No more excuses – let’s keep things moving along, and no more nit-picking.

    Would you be on for that in the case of policing?

  • harpo,
    I’m saying let’s sit down as adults, face each other and discuss our divided society, our identity, our police service, our crime.
    Yes lets get on with things as you say.
    There is nothing to fear, except fear itself.
    Lets be confident and stop fishing about in the cess-pit for rusty hidden guns amongst the turds.
    Or bogey-men. Lets build a better world today.
    It could be exhilarating.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Harpo writes :

    The DUP may be hissing in the face of your reality, but that reality is actually a Provo generated fantasy world, where the Provos are squeaky clean.

    The IRA’s criminality is a serious problem that needs to be dealt with. I remain hopeful that there will be progress on bringing to justice those behind the Northern Bank robbery and other similar incidents.

    However, I’m actually a bit more concerned about the lack of attention given to the fantasy world that a lot of people on here seem to occupy, where the DUP are a democratic party with no links to terrorists. DUP members – including senior members – are often seen in the company of loyalist paramilitaries, and Willie McCrea was shown on broadcast TV sharing a podium with Billy Wright. That figures of course – would anyone like to take a guess who loyalist paramilitaries and their supporters vote for in an election ? We know it’s not the PUP or UPRG, not in any significant numbers. It doesn’t seem likely to be the UUP (despite the active meddling they’ve been doing with the loyalist commission). So would anyone like to hazard a guess ?

    The IMC report makes much of the serious disorder which occurred in September. I would remind those contributing to this thread that Ian Paisley avoided condemning the rioting (which according to the IMC was orchestrated by the UDA) and instead blamed the Secretary of State. Characteristically, the DUP have completely avoided addressing the considerable part of the IMC report which deals with the ongoing criminal activity on the part of loyalists and even politely recommends that they should stop targetting nationalists. I suspect that the DUP cannot do this as they would ostracize their own paramilitary-supporting electorate. You know, the folks who came on BBC TV during September when their shop was burnt down and their business was destroyed, to say that what had happened was bad but that the people who set their shop on fire were justifiably angry. The shops and businesses were destroyed, they said, not by the UDA or the UVF but by the Secretary of State.

    The DUP is a party with over thirty years of tenuous links with paramilitarism and thuggery. When are we going to see some evidence that the DUP are completely committed to democratic and peaceful means ? When are we going to see some indication that the DUP will shun the terrorists and refuse to deal with those who are wedded to violence ? I’m not holding my breath.

  • Seano

    “The Provos have a choice. Give up the sin totally and be included as democrats, or keep the sin to whatever degree and stay on the outside.”

    People like Tafkabo and Harpo live by these stupid sayings.

    If you ask the average person outside of uninfluenced unionist circles, you’ll get that nationalists and republicans are completely democratic. It’s the unionist parties that have been living in their delusional state of democracy. Nationalists and Republicans have wanted to live in a real democracy, that includes equality and respect for years, but the Taf like big*ts just didn’t have a clue as to what that realy entailed.

    Oh well, they’re getting a good taste of it now.

  • TAFKABO

    If only you could understand the irony in claiming all opinions are valid, except those of unionists, in the same post you talk about being committed to democracy.

    I better spell it out for you once again.

    More people voted for Unionists than voted for nationalists in Northern Ireland.
    That means unionist opinion does matter, you can’t just dismiss it because you don’t like it.

    I hear all this talk about unionists using every excuse for not sharing power, but so far, every so called excuse has been handed on a plate to unionists by the republican movement.

    Oh,and if you could try to tone down the personal attacks, thank you

  • Seano

    “More people voted for Unionists than voted for nationalists in Northern Ireland.”

    Well yeah, simply because there happens to be a larger population of unionist/loyalist voters. Nothing hard to understand here.

    “That means unionist opinion does matter, you can’t just dismiss it because you don’t like it.”

    It only matters because the British govt has allowed it to. Of course, that is changing as well.

  • TAFKABO

    Well yeah, simply because there happens to be a larger population of unionist/loyalist voters. Nothing hard to understand here.

    You don’t get how the whole democracy things works.

    There are only voters, not Unionist/Loyalist/Republican/nationalist voters, just people with votes.

    You’re essentialy arguing that the vote be dismissed because you don’t like the result.

    Now please explain to me again why you think you are a democrat?

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    ”But if SF really want to be treated as a democratic party both north and south…”

    Henry: ”In what sense are they not?”

    Well let’s see now — they retain strong links with criminality — that includes fuel smuggling, cigarette smuggling and bank robberies. One suspects that being the richest political party on the island may not be entirely as a result of the odd whip-round in Boston.

    Their (supposedly currently dormant) military wing sees itself as the rightful govt of all Ireland and has yet to renounce that claim despite the conspicuous lack of any substantial mandate for such a premise.

    SFs party structure has been described on several occasions as being ‘stalinist’ — internal dissent is not something to be tolerated — just ask Francie Brolly.

    Their continued stated aim is a ’32-County Socialist Republic’ — by definition such a state is undemocratic.

    The Colombia Three were not exactly backing a group pushing for democracy.

    SF express a great deal of admiration for Fidel Castro and his system of govt. — not exactly a paragon of democracy — the bloke has been in continuous power for over 40 years.

    They are unique in Ireland in having a military wing (substantially decommissioned of weapons perhaps, but apparently still targetting, gathering information and otherwise continuing intact as a private army).

    They are unique in refusing to support the police force in the north and having a substantial animosity towards the police force in the south.

    The economic policies recently put forward by their president were described by the Irish PM as being ‘marxist.’

    They remain unique in that none of the major parties in the south consider them fit for govt.

  • Henry94

    TAFKABO

    You don’t get how the whole democracy things works.

    It’s easy enough. We all vote for people to represent us and they meet to make policy. Then the police raid an office but don’t search it, remove files from the home of one of their agents and the democratic institutions are closed.

    Then the same police tell an unelected quango what their supicions might be and on that basis we continue, without our institutions, to be ruled by people who were elected by people who don’t live here for a party that doesn’t stand here.

  • TAFKABO

    Henry

    I never said it was perfect.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Seano:

    If you ask the average person outside of uninfluenced unionist circles, you’ll get that nationalists and republicans are completely democratic.

    Bridgeen Hagens and the McCartney sisters do and did live outside unionist circles, and they found out quite quickly how republicans can happily throw democracy out the window. Their crime ? Their brother/fiance got murdered. On Slugger a week or two ago, several people here known for their republican point of view openly justified the exiling of suspected criminals.

    TAFKBO:

    I hear all this talk about unionists using every excuse for not sharing power, but so far, every so called excuse has been handed on a plate to unionists by the republican movement.

    The republican movement wasn’t around in 1974, the last time power sharing was nearly successful. Unionists had excuses coming out of their ears at that time – but it didn’t matter because they just phoned up the UDA and UVF to do the dirty work for them. Unionists have been coming up with excuses before then, and since. Furthermore, the excuses that unionists are using about democracy and peaceful means are, frankly, bullshit. When push comes to shove and we get down to the bare wire, unionist politicians reserve to themselves the right less than democratic methods should things not swing their way. A case in point would be the riots last September (“I blame the Secretary of State, I refuse to condemn the rioters”), but in general getting unionists to justify mass thuggery and paramilitary intimidation is straightforward – all you have to do is mention the words “UWC strike” or “Vanguard”. So much the better if the DUP are in the room, then you can mention words like “Clontibret” or “third force” or “Ulster Resistance”. Ah, they all cry out, the good Doctor distanced himself from all those things when they turned nasty. But why does the DUP seem to find itself constantly attracting the supportive attention of less than savoury elements ?

    This “ah, we don’t vote terrorists into positions of power” stuff is bull too. Hugh Smyth of the PUP, linked to the UVF, was voted in by unionists as Lord Mayor in 1994 – while the UVF was actively killing people. What was that all about ? It took until 1997 until the first non-unionist was a Mayor in Belfast – they’d rather elect a UVF linked man than a Catholic.

    Given all of this, you can see how people might be forgiven if they thought that this is less about unionists and their commitment to peace, love and tranquillity, and more about blocking progress, avoiding responsibility, and keeping taigs out of power.

  • Yoda

    There are only voters, not Unionist/Loyalist/Republican/nationalist voters, just people with votes.

    Oh please. Are you really trying to tell me that NI voters don’t vote along sectarian lines for sectarian parties in NI?

    Tell me another.

    It’s also worth noting that the smug self-congratulating tone of a lot of these posts can only harden attitudes.

    The “whip hand” and animal training/ cruelty rhetoric is straight off the first page of the DUP manifesto; I’m surprised to see those who I thought were moderate tossing it about so freely.

    Given the free amalgamation of “SF/IRA” you are effectively saying that the 23.5% of the population who voted for them “republican dogs” or “republican curs.”

    Very constructive.

    It’s also hard not to feel a little cynical when there is so much focus on the negative aspects of the IMC report regarding the IRA. It starts to seem like many don’t care if there is an assembly or not.

    Tellingly, there’s not much comment regarding the other aspects of the IMC report. Not a peep on loyalist paramilitaries, for instance.

  • Seano

    “You don’t get how the whole democracy things works.”

    But I do, Tafkabo. What I never got, is how unionists were able to use and manipulate their so-called “ascendancy” into one of the most disturbing and oppressive parties ever.

    Your conditioned responses to what you’ve been manipulated into believing, have seemed to have got the best of you.

  • TAFKABO

    Oh please. Are you really trying to tell me that NI voters don’t vote along sectarian lines for sectarian parties in NI?

    No, I’m saying that once you start labelling them Unionist/republican voters, before the poll has taken place, you have essentialy forgotten the whole point of having elections in the first place.

    Given the free amalgamation of “SF/IRA” you are effectively saying that the 23.5% of the population who voted for them “republican dogs” or “republican curs.”

    I made an offhand joking response to a comment I felt was slightly patronising to unionists.
    The MOPEs are going to town on it, seemingly forgetting just how often they use language which demonises the memebers of the community who vote for unionist parties.

    Dry yer eyes ferfuxsake.

  • TAFKABO

    Your conditioned responses to what you’ve been manipulated into believing, have seemed to have got the best of you.

    Well pardon my false consciouness.

    If you are going to persist with this rather sad and unfortunate series of personal attacks, in lieu of reasoned argument, I have no option but to ignore you.

  • Chris Donnelly

    “Another important step would be for loyalist paramilitaries, including the UDA, to stop targeting nationalists and members of ethnic minorities.”

    Your wrong, Yoda.

    Couched in the middle of praise directed at UDA men for removing tattered flags which were annoying unionists (though NOT removing flags erected to intimidate nationalists/ catholics) is this reference to the UDA’s campaign against nationalists and ethnic minorities.

    It really says it all about the IMC and the compliant nature of the media here: Loyalism, responsible for the overwhelming number of violent and sectarian incidents in the north of Ireland since 1994- never mind the last 12 months- is deemed only worthy of a wrist slapping by the well-paid (and well-heeled) horsemen of the IMC.

    Stopping attacks on catholics homes in Ahoghill, catholic schools in Ballymena and immigrants in Antrim would be just “another important step.”

    Comrade Stalin is, of course, right to point up the utter hypocrisy of the DUP regarding paramilitary associations. This very morning, the Irish News ran a story about LVF man/ now DUP Press Officer Gary Blair and his support for the Poyntzpass killers.

  • Yoda

    No, I’m saying that once you start labelling them Unionist/republican voters, before the poll has taken place, you have essentialy forgotten the whole point of having elections in the first place.

    Rubbish. People in NI have party loyalties outside of elections, and they vote according to them. It’s simply a fact.

    The MOPEs are going to town on it, seemingly forgetting just how often they use language which demonises the memebers of the community who vote for unionist parties.

    Please show me where unionists are referred to as animals needing to be whipped/ trained by posters here? The rhetoric seems to be more common than I had imagined.

    I’m sorry you don’t see anything amiss with your comments.

    My eyes are dry, thanks very much.

  • Yoda

    Your wrong, Yoda.

    The comment wasn’t mine, CD.

  • democrat

    Tafkabo,
    I think I understand how the democracy thing works. the people of Ireland vote for independence from England in an overwhelming majority, rather than accept this mandate, a new country is created–Northern Ireland. This new country must be accepted of course upon threat of an “immediate and terrible war”–terrorism perhaps? Is that how it works, you don’t like the democratic mandate of the voters so you just make up a border to create an artificial majority, backed up by a powerful and vicious army. Maybe that is when democracy broke down, or maybe when England, by force of arms created a world wide empire based on a hereditary monarchy.

    Sharing power with your enemies now that might be the best example of democracy anywhere. Open the assembly and talk to each other, it would be a new start to end the terrible past.
    Democrat.

  • TAFKABO

    Sharing power with your enemies now that might be the best example of democracy anywhere.

    Unless it is done according to the strict rules of everyone adhering to only peaceful and democraic means, it not an example of democracy.

    Open the assembly and talk to each other, it would be a new start to end the terrible past.

    No.
    It will only be a new start when people let go of the methods they have used in the past.
    The republican movement know the price of admission.
    If they don’t want to pay ths price, they are free to argue the point at elections and get the largest mandate.

    That’s democracy, not the majority bending to the will of the violent and criminal minority.

    As for all that history bollox, tell it to the people who did those things back then, I wasn’t alive and fail to see why I ought to be accountable for it.

  • Yoda

    No.

    Sounds all too familiar.

    What about the rest of the electorate who want to be represented? You know, those who voted SDLP/ UUP?

    74.3% of the electorate did not vote for the DUP in the 2003 Assembly elections.

  • 2050

    Unionist politicians and general media current position hypocritical as usual!

    What price have the loyalist paramilitary’s paid? – None.
    How far have they moved in the last 10 years? 0% and hardly a meaningful word about it.
    They are very much involved in, (the new no evidence required buzzword of “Criminality”).

    Unionist politicians have been inextricably linked to these murdering gangsters in past at various levels when it suited them.

    When this ridiculous political stagnation and negativity starts to cost and effect ordinary people financially and they get truly sick of the political and media game playing with their lives then their might be some progressive change such as a GFA 2 and another referendum.
    Meantime the rest of the world has moves on.

    Unfortunately big brother has the ordinary individual by the goolies as they have no collective organisation therefore no power so big bro can continue to pull the strings.

    Disappointing & really disgraceful the way the two governments are handling this.

  • harpo

    ‘The DUP is a party with over thirty years of tenuous links with paramilitarism and thuggery. When are we going to see some evidence that the DUP are completely committed to democratic and peaceful means ? When are we going to see some indication that the DUP will shun the terrorists and refuse to deal with those who are wedded to violence ? I’m not holding my breath.’

    Comrade Stalin:

    If all of what you say is true, then what are you advocating? No return to the institutions until the DUP get democratic?

    Listen, you can rant and rave all you want about the DUP, the simple truth is that if PSF were allowed into government tomorrow, they would sit happily with the DUP and all this fake outrage about the DUP would be dropped.

    This whole fuss is about PSF trying to get into government without having to fulfil their commitment to democracy. That’s what they signed up to and that’s all that matters. The DUP is irrelevant. There is nothing in the GFA that says any other party has to do anything else. Each party to the GFA signed up to a commitment and the Provos aren’t there yet.

    Pointing at the DUP and making accusations makes not one iota of difference. Each party is responsible for its own behaviour and that’s the end of it.

    BTW
    The DUP never did sign up to the GFA, so they made no commitment about anything. So even if all of what you say is true they can do whatever the hell they like. They can have the UDA army council as their leaderhip and it doesn’t matter. They didn’t commit to do anything. Now if it came to the position where PSF/PIRA became wholly democratic and the DUP went the opposite way and officially made the UDA their armed wing, then it would be up to nationalists to refuse to do business with them, if that’s how they felt. But I’d bet the Provos would be fine with a DUP/UDA combination, so long as they (PSF) got into government.

    Maybe that’s what unionists should do. Roll the UUP, DUP, UVF and UDA into one pan-unionist front and put it to nationalists – ‘here we are, do you want to do business with us?’.

    Then we’d see how much PSF really believe all this nonsense that they spout. I’d say yet another of their principles would disappear out the window in their rush to get into government with anyone.

  • harpo

    ‘If you ask the average person outside of uninfluenced unionist circles, you’ll get that nationalists and republicans are completely democratic.’

    Seano

    Nonsense. Haven’t you followed the media coverage today? Everyone except PSF are saying that the Provos haven’t got to the democratic point yet. That even includes fellow nationlists like the SDLP. If average people believed that, why are all the other democrats in the isles telling the Provos they have to do better if they want to be considered to be democrats? Or are they all brainwashed by the influential unionists into being anti-Provo? Is that the official story?

    You can live in this imaginary world where supposedly average people roll nationalism and republicanism (presumably that includes the non-republican Provos) into one ball and consider it democratic, but it is plain nonsense. Average people in the ROI government, HMG and the GB parties all differentiate between nationalism, Provisionalism and proper republicanism.

    Nationalists like the SDLP are considered to be democrats. The Provisionals are considered to be engaged in a process that is heading towards democracy, but they aren’t quite there yet, and proper republicans are still dedicated to getting their way via violence.

    Give average people some credit. They don’t accept the Provo fantasy that all nationalists are nice democrats and all unionists are evil and behind continual attempts to thwart democracy.

  • harpo

    ‘What price have the loyalist paramilitary’s paid? – None.’

    2050:

    And why would they pay? They aren’t looking for admission.

    I find all the whataboutery amusing. Whatabout the DUP, whatabout the loyalists, whatabout links between the unionists and the loyalists, whatabout the securocrats, whatabout partition, whatabout whatabout whatabout.

    This is all smoke designed to cover up the only relevant point. The Provos are not democrats because their illegal paramilitary wing is still in the criminality business. There is only one way to get to be considered to be democrats – to drop the criminality.

    It’s perfectly simple but obviously unacceptable to the Provos and their supporters.

    The route to political power is in their hands, but they would rather raise smoke to cover that up, and pretend that all sorts of other groups are conspiring to keep them out of power.

    I say the Provo leadership is piss poor. All they have to do is sell their constituency on the idea of dropping the criminality, and make that happen. That is all within their power to do. But they would rather keep raising the bogeymen – the DUP, securocrats. Anything but actually clean themselves up once and for all.

    Why is this? Why don’t they drive on to the final stage and leave no doubt that there is no criminality? Instead of depending on invented bogeymen who have nothing to do with the issue.

  • heck

    Harpo,

    The problem is not arms, it is not the police, it is not criminality. The reason there is so much whataboutry is the unionists keep using excuses, which every nationalist knows are hypocritical. (For the British government to lecture SF about violence when they have been responsible for over 100000 dead in Iraq is offensive). Unionist politicians supported this illegal war also—so don’t take about violence.

    I have come to the conclusion that unionists will not share power with nationalists under any circumstances. They didn’t in 1974 with the SDLP. ( I remember someone telling me that they didn’t want Paddy Devlin in government because he was an ex IRA man!!!—And I think he was the most un provo guy you could find.) and they won’t do it now. It is sectarianism pure and simple. Whataboutry is just a polite way of pointing this out.

    This report made me angry this morning because it gave one more excuse to these people.

    The reason there is no power sharing is because of unionist bigotry –they just don’t recognize nationalist voters as legitimate. Everything else is just an excuse.

    I am sick of the unionist view that the will accept nationalists in government if their representatives are acceptable to the DUP. I don’t care if you like who nationalists vote for. They could vote for a party of one legged lesbian nuns and have a right to a share of power proportional to their electoral strength.

  • harpo

    ‘They could vote for a party of one legged lesbian nuns and have a right to a share of power proportional to their electoral strength.’

    heck:

    If that nuns party had agreed that the power was contingent upon them being a democratic party then what you say is correct.

    Look – the Provos signed the GFA and you can whine about unionists or anyone else but that fact remains. To participate you have to be democratic if you signed the GFA.

    So spare me all the whining about unionists not wanting this or that. The Provo’s fate is in their own hands.

  • Crataegus

    Comrade Stalin and Yoda

    Thanks for your comments I was beginning to think I had entered the twilight zone.

    Let me be brutally blunt. I am in contact with people who are on the receiving end of relentless criminality. If you are being targeted by ‘criminal elements’ it doesn’t really matter much if they are Loyalist thugs or Republican gangsters. It’s no minor matter to be told your movements are being monitored by thugs, even worse if it is also your wife and family. Some of you should imagine what it is like for people working in some areas. To have the weekly visit to your shop or office by thugs or to be told who can or can not work in your business, or to have good staff intimidated on way to work. Do you know in some areas they are so arrogant that they can’t be bothered collecting the money but expect the business owners to deliver it to them! This is anarchy.

    For any smug DUP supporters let me tell you unequivocally that, in my experience, extortion is much worse in Loyalist areas than it is in Republican areas. So there is dam all to feel smug about.

    When will our politicians get off they collective sanctimonious butts and start to condemn all criminals equally? When will they stop being apologists for the inexcusable in their own community? When will they effectively start to put their own house in order and stop whinging on about someone else’s?

    I agree with the basic premise of the DUP. NO we don’t want ANY politicians in government who are linked to criminals or who are up to their necks in money laundering and strange property deals. 10 out of 10 lads, but given the difficulties in your own communities and your less than fulsome criticism of past criminality your pronouncements start to sound insincere and even farcical. Next time someone’s business gets burnt down in your community stop making excuses for the criminals. I often feel utterly pissed off but I don’t go out and burn a few buses. Let me make it easy for you there is no excuse for crime, it’s that simple.

    As for SF where does one start, basically the same problem, but given the limited space best to stick to one point. I don’t particularly like, and have really severe misgivings about, the PSNI but standing around carping about them when you could get involved and try to do something about the issues you raise seems an odd approach. The PSNI has to be made to work and has to enjoy the support of all or we will never effectively sort out criminality, is that your objective, because that is the way it looks. A real good PR position.

    The press focus seemed to me to be on Republicans and seemed a tad unbalanced, but listening to the various politicians has convinced me that they are not worth the money their being paid. Stop the salaries and expenses, collective waste of money and an utter shame.

  • Reader

    magnus: show dissatisfaction with unionist intransigence by initiating an economic boycott of all unionist business
    How do you recognise a unionist business? Are you going to poll the employers, or the employees? Maybe you can just guess? Should the ‘Nationalist/Republican population’ be willing to employ unionists in their own businesses?
    I’m just trying to work out where you are coming from…

  • bo’shank

    magnus, you appear to live in a topsy-turvy world. It is not nationalist/republicans who have to face the reality of unionist intrangigence as you put it. Quite the reverse, i think it is unionists who have to face the reality that nationalist and republicans are quite happy to vote for and be happy to be represented by people who do the following – rob banks, deal drugs, launder money, steal fuel, murder people in bars, flog counterfeit goods, shoot people in the kneecaps or nail them to fences for misbehaving, spy, lie and deny at every turn. This is the reality. As a unionist i can say that i will never understand that tolerance or ambiguity towards your political representatives.

    The old charge is often levelled at unionism that ‘we don’t want a fenian about the place’. Just look back at events since 1998 and honestly and impartially tell me that statement or your own analysis really stacks up.

    This is not intrangigence, it’s about honouring obligations. We gave republicans every chance to move away from their past, 3 times we went into government, 3 times they f**ked us about. If they leave criminality behind them, stop all the old bull. You can pursue your republican/nationalsit agenda for a united ireland within a devolved power sharing government in Northern Ireland without the dodgy dvd’s, fenced fags and dvd’s and without all the crap that the imc, cops and everyone else but the shinners says they are involved with.

    Ah, i hear you cry, what of the loyalist paramilitaries. Simple. scumbags. Should be wiped off the face of the world and if anathing at least republicans have an ideology, loyalists are just a bunch of thugs who have sullied the name of the original uvf. One difference though. We are not being asked to share a government with them. If we were my answer would be the same. No thanks, stop your bull and then we can.

    Maybe i’m in a minority here, but that’s how i see it. Start your boycott if you like magnus, your mates in Sinn Fein can get you whatever you need on the black market anyway…

  • Realist

    “…if McGuinness is anything to go by anger is rising…”

    I wonder is it rising as much as amongst those of us who are totally pissed off at the republican movement’s inability to give up criminality, thus paving the way for saving us from the British ministers currently ruining this place?

    When will the penny drop with the republican movement?

    For being such “cute hoors”, their inability to grasp basic concepts is quite alarming.

    “he Nationalist/Republican population should just go about the business of building their own community and show dissatisfaction with unionist intransigence by initiating an economic boycott of all unionist business (most of them voted DUP)”

    Just what we need…a bit of good old sectarianism and polarisation. Brilliant.

  • Realist

    “Maybe i’m in a minority here, but that’s how i see it”

    I agree with every word in your post bo’shank.

    I think your feelings are akin to those of many, many people.

    I’m not convinced “magnus” is a native of Northern Ireland.

    If he/she were, he/she would be acutely aware that his/her cunning little plan to hit those nasty unionists and their families in the pocket, might just effect everybody.

    If magnus knows of any sizeable exclusively unionist businesses, will he/she please make the detail available to the Equal Opportunities people please.

  • TAFKABO

    I thought we had a system of secret ballots, and yet some people seem to know who others voted for.

    Where do they get their information from?
    And what message do they think it sends to threaten people on the basis of their electoral choices?
    The republican midnset of do what we say, or else remains intact.

  • darth rumsfeld

    ho hum
    Tere’s an old legal principle “case weak-shout loud. Case weaker- shout louder”. And how clearly we see that being put into practice by the Slugger Cumann of Shinners. Guys, you might convince yourself, but the rest of us see you wasting valuable time hunting for more spies in your leadership.

    Here it is in a nutshell.
    Unionists will share power, even in a flawed construct, with nationalists and republicans who can prove to the satisfaction of the Unionist community in general that they are playing by the rules the rest are bound by.

    TAFKABO, Harpo etc, are not-if their posting history is evidence-mad -eyed fundamentalists. But if even they, and arch bigots like David Ford- aren’t convinced,republicans will have to DO MORE. And no amount of screaming and throwing toys out of prams will budge us.

    In answer to Conor’s question-Peter Hain is just about the most odious arrogant politician in the House of Commons, presiding over an amoral, degenerate clique of civil servantsin the NIO. And yet 99.999999% of Unionists will say that they are prepared to tolerate this buffoon in preference to gerry Kelly in charge of police, or Martin MgGuiness in charge of education while they are connected to a criminal empire.

    And Hain’s pathetic attempts to kick us into stomaching the provos in power by calamitous maladministration are not going to budge us.

  • barnshee

    “The statement by Dermot Ahern that failure to restart the Assembly will eventually lead to the two governments moving forward on a joint initative that includes greater co-operation is a prospect that will privately delight a lot of republicans. ”

    Laughable— Dermot will avoid like the plague anything that might cost the ROI euros. The celtic tiger is already limping badly –no more costs– PLEASE

  • Crataegus

    Magnus

    Business owners tend to vote similar to the community they come from. It therefore follows that a large number don’t bother to vote some vote UPP some Alliance, Green etc.

    It therefore follows that the majority probably do not vote for the DUP, but that aside they have a right to vote for the DUP just as Republicans have a right to vote for SF. Voting is not a crime, misguided perhaps but not a crime. So instead of proposing actions that increase the suffering of the innocent why not turn your attentions to penalising the thugs and racketeers. Why not propose boycotting dodgy DVDs, smuggled fags, cut price diesel, the businesses owned by paramilitary types. Why not suggest we need a system that enables Solicitors, Architects and other professionals to check on the sources of funds of their clients?

  • Cahal

    “Unionists will share power, even in a flawed construct, with nationalists and republicans who can prove to the satisfaction of the Unionist community in general that they are playing by the rules the rest are bound by”

    Unionists will share power – going by their track record, this is a highly dubious prediction.

    even in a flawed construct – flawed because it has fenians in it?

    can prove to the satisfaction of the Unionist community in general – so my vote doesn’t count until the unionist community say so….mmmm….sounds a bit like the good old days.

    they are playing by the rules the rest are bound by – as judged by a group recieving information from British intelligence. Yes, the enemy of Irish republicanism. Nice.

    I’d be quite happy today if SF declared its intention to NEVER sit in stormont again. Unionists will NEVER NEVER NEVER share power with republicans. SF is only wasting its time.

  • TAFKABO

    Unionists will share power – going by their track record, this is a highly dubious prediction.

    If you want to use this line of reasoning, then you have to accept that unionists have a perfectly valid pont of view in thinking that republicans can never be committed to soley democratic and peaceful measures.

    That’s the negative way of looking at it of course.
    The flip side is that if republicans can change, so can unionsists.
    Just because someone has a past, doesn’t mean they can’t have a future
    As one Nobel peace prize winner once said.

  • Realist

    “I’d be quite happy today if SF declared its intention to NEVER sit in stormont again. Unionists will NEVER NEVER NEVER share power with republicans.”

    Cahal,

    You’re memory mustn’t be so good.

    “SF is only wasting its time”

    What’s the alternative? Back to the “good old days”, as you would call them?

    I sense that this difficult choice for the republican movement between democracy or war, is proving a wee bit more of a brain teaser than what was first thought for them.

    Thinly veiled threats don’t work.

  • bo’shank

    No cahal, of course your vote counts. This isn’t about playing the victim. The point being made is that if that the people you vote for don’t play by the same rules as everyone else. ‘Enemy’ or not, you are living in great britain. Until the majority chooses otherwise this will remain to be the case (it’s in the agreement remember?)So i’m afraid that you are stuck with British police, intelligence and army, British money and a majority who are British for the foreseable future.

    While you are quite at liberty to pursue your legitimate wish for a united Ireland, you will find that your political representatives, because their mates in the IRA are still nicking stuff, beating people and holding on to weapons are not being made to feel welcome by the democrats who don’t do all of the above or have ‘volunteers’. So really it’s up to you as crataegus suggests. You put pressure on your political represenataives to get republicans to quit arsing around like gangsters and you will find unionists like me all over Northern Ireland saying game on.

    Ps we have shared power with Republicans, but gun running, spy rings and continued shenanigans put paid to that. Think about it Cahal. It’s not unionists who don’t want to share power.

  • Seano

    Harpo

    “Nonsense. Haven’t you followed the media coverage today? Everyone except PSF are saying that the Provos haven’t got to the democratic point yet. That even includes fellow nationlists like the SDLP.”

    Does it occur to you that, those parties/politicians who spoke out against Sinn Fein have a motive?

  • harpo

    ‘Does it occur to you that, those parties/politicians who spoke out against Sinn Fein have a motive?’

    Seano

    Of course they have a motive. The shared motive is to have a situation where no party in government in NI has an illegal wing that is engaged in illegal activity. At the moment the Provos do, and since PSF signed the GFA and commited not to be in this position, the others are standing fast and demanding that PSF meet its GFA undertakings.

    Or did you mean some dark motive like everyone else being out to destroy the Provos? That’s just your imagination.

  • bo’shank

    actually harpo, agree entirely with you except for one point…there is no record of sinn fein ever ‘signing’ the gfa…

  • harpo

    ‘Ps we have shared power with Republicans, but gun running, spy rings and continued shenanigans put paid to that. Think about it Cahal. It’s not unionists who don’t want to share power.’

    bo’shank:

    Dead on the mark.

    The executive was running in the past based on the promises by PSF that things would be dealt with later, but of course they had no intention of sorting things out. The institutions had to be collapsed to get them to move.

    As always PSF try to get things going on the basis of promises that THEY have no intention of keping, in the hope that no one will have the guts to stop things running if the promises aren’t kept. That’s been their constant tactic – they hope to have it both ways – power and the ability to keep on doing whatever it is they are doing in the world of illegality.

    So now they are complaining that expecting the PIRA to cease all illegal activity is just nit-picking and that they have done enough to justify them being let into power. But even here they are being hypocritical.

    If their position is now that ‘things aren’t perfect, but let us in to get society working’ why hasn’t that been applied to other issues like policing? They keep saying that only 100% of Patten is acceptable and there can be no movement until that happens. What happened to this principle of ‘it’s not perfect but it’s close enough’ in that case?

    They are hypocrites, and as usual it’s all about them. On policing only 100% delivery by others will do, but on the executive and assembly, 100% delivery is not required from them. Close is good enough.

  • GloryO

    Why does everyone assume that SF want to see a government in the six counties, especially with IP as first minister?

    SF are in a win-win situation. Either Unionists deal with them or direct rule continues. As it stands at the minute, direct rule is edging towards a British exit strategy.

  • Yoda

    They are hypocrites, and as usual it’s all about them. On policing only 100% delivery by others will do, but on the executive and assembly, 100% delivery is not required from them. Close is good enough.

    Okay, but they aren’t exact equivalents, and it is a smokescreen to suggest that. From a non-shinner perspective I see that one party wants an assembly up and running and disagrees with how policing policy has been implemented. The SDLP also wants Patten. SF and the SDLP disagree on how to go about getting it.

    Specifically, what parts of Patten does the DUP disagree with?

    The other wants to block the assembly which 74.3% of the NI electorate voted for. Nobody’s spun that point yet.

    As it stands at the minute, direct rule is edging towards a British exit strategy.

    Interesting. Care to expand?

  • Realist

    “direct rule is edging towards a British exit strategy”

    One small snag.

    Unfortunately for PSF & the British Government, they’ll not be exiting anywhere until the greater number of people in Northern Ireland tell them it’s time to go.

    Another small snag.

    800,000 British are not exiting anywhere, ever.

  • Yoda

    800,000 British are not exiting anywhere, ever.

    Fair enough, but that’s not what he said.

    I’m still wondering what the poster reckons such an exit-strategy would look like.

  • Cahal

    Realist
    “I sense that this difficult choice for the republican movement between democracy or war, is proving a wee bit more of a brain teaser than what was first thought for them.
    Thinly veiled threats don’t work. “

    Errrr, what are you on about?

    I was talking about Joint Authority or Repartition as possible ‘third’ ways. Not going back to a war I never supported in the first place. Please don’t put words in my mouth.

    Bo’shank

    “‘Enemy’ or not, you are living in great britain.”

    I think you need to take a look at a map. If you are making basic errors like this, well ….

    “You put pressure on your political represenataives to get republicans to quit arsing around like gangsters and you will find unionists like me all over Northern Ireland saying game on.”

    Why not just write this instead –

    “You put pressure on your political representatives to ‘ENTER CURRENT EXCUSE FOR NOT POWERSHARING HERE’ and you will find unionists like me all over Northern Ireland saying game on.”

    In the north, perception is reality (as evidenced by the IMC report). The perception in nationalist circles is that the unionist family will never share power with republicans of any hue. Nothing has ever been done to challenge this perception. There was a brief period under Trimble of course. And he paid dearly at the election box for cavorting with the fenians (or dogs as they have been called on another thread). This game of ‘jump!’-‘how high?’ is the biggest smoke screen in the history of this shambolic state.

    The utter glee with which unionists greeted the negatives in this report says it all.

  • Yoda

    I was talking about Joint Authority or Repartition as possible ‘third’ ways.

    I never gave repartition much play before: I’m beginning to warm to it now.

  • martin ingram

    Cahal,

    Quote”I’d be quite happy today if SF declared its intention to NEVER sit in stormont again. Unionists will NEVER NEVER NEVER share power with republicans. SF is only wasting its time.”Unquote

    Oh I do not think that would go down well in London ? do you. Are you a rare breed Cahal? you know a Shhhhhhhh Real Republican not a plastic Brit version.

    Martin

  • Cahal

    “Oh I do not think that would go down well in London ? do you. Are you a rare breed Cahal? you know a Shhhhhhhh Real Republican not a plastic Brit version. ”

    ? Too much wackybacky me thinks.

    yoda
    “I never gave repartition much play before: I’m beginning to warm to it now. ”

    Me too. Best of the worst choices.

  • martin ingram

    Cahal,

    Quote2? Too much wackybacky me thinks”Unquote

    Then stop.

  • heck

    Joint Authority is the way to go. The details need to be worked out but it can be done such that everyone gets what they want.

    I tried to propose details on this site but I think the idea frightens unionists. I got objections to details that could be worked out rather than objections to the basic principle.

    People need to think how it would work to make it a realistic proposal.

  • Yoda

    Joint Authority is the way to go.

    Again, I’m not opposed full JA either. But it’s often considered to be part of the “stepping stone” strategy.

    I’d never even considered the option of repartition before. Frustration has actually made me consider it.

  • Seano

    Harpo

    “Of course they have a motive. The shared motive is to have a situation where no party in government in NI has an illegal wing that is engaged in illegal activity.”

    Now you’re just being completley disingenuous by disquising the bluff. Sinn Fein does not have an illegal wing engaged in illegal activity. Sinn Fein is a democratic party who are accountable to themselves, and cannot continue to be held accountable for the few misdeeds (past or present) from IRA volunteers.

    Hell, everyone knows that unionists will continue to try and grasp at any loose strings that they can use to influence the PSNI/NIO and eventually the IMC.

    It’s a total disgrace! And unionsts wonder why nationalists and republicans continue to harbour resentful feelings toward them.

  • Realist

    “And unionsts wonder why nationalists and republicans continue to harbour resentful feelings toward them.”

    Seano,

    This unionist doesn’t wonder about that at all, I can assure you.

    It’s because we’re still here, and staying put.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Harpo, thanks for the reply. I hope you will reply again to my points below as I’m really keen to get to the bottom of the mentality that seems to pervade the unionist side of the power sharing debate.

    If all of what you say is true, then what are you advocating? No return to the institutions until the DUP get democratic?

    That is the logic of the DUP’s position. One of their party members is out backing the early release of some LVF prisoners. The DUP is not the political wing of the LVF so why does it feel the need to behave as though it is ?

    But that aside, what I am advocating is quite simple – the rest of us are expected to overlook the DUP’s past tenuous links with terrorism, so why can’t the DUP similarly overlook those of SF and start with a clean sheet ? They should drop these pointless objections to powersharing. As a next step, what I’d really like to hear is the DUP admitting that the UWC strike, their past associations with loyalists, the September riots last year, and so on were all bad mistakes. Republicans are quite rightly expected to admit that their armed campaign was wrong – they haven’t done so yet but maybe they will – so it is right that we should have a similar expectation of the DUP. I’d like to see them reaffirm their commitment to peaceful means, and know that if I decide to vote for a united Ireland they will not resort to military tactics to stop it – I want them to make the same commitment to the principle of consent that SF have. Is that fair enough do you think ?

    Listen, you can rant and rave all you want about the DUP, the simple truth is that if PSF were allowed into government tomorrow, they would sit happily with the DUP and all this fake outrage about the DUP would be dropped.

    My outrage about the DUP is not fake, it is very real. On several occasions the DUP have been closely connected to certain private armies which have subsequently armed themselves and carried out acts of terrorism. Only last September Ian Paisley said words to the effect that the rerouting of the Whiterock parade would “set in motion things that could not be stopped” in an already tense atmosphere where loyalists were busy orchestrating attacks on the police and business premises. Is this kind of thing acceptable ? Are the DUP really fit to govern in a democratic country ?

    People in this country right now are suffering from the effects of terrorism, criminality and everything else. But the DUP won’t address the loyalist contribution to that problem. What action have the DUP ever taken to get loyalist flags taken down ? When have the DUP ever assisted to bring the loyalist criminals and drugdealers who live among their electorate to justice ?

    This whole fuss is about PSF trying to get into government without having to fulfil their commitment to democracy. That’s what they signed up to and that’s all that matters.

    Name some parties that are committed to democracy ? Three out of the four largest have all been associated with paramilitarism lately. Let’s face it – most people in Northern Ireland think that paramilitarism is sort of OK or understandable. We must stop indulging in this fantasy that some parties are more democratic than others.

    There is nothing in the GFA that says any other party has to do anything else.

    The GFA requires a commitment to exclusively peaceful and democratic means. What evidence is there to show that the DUP have met that commitment ?

    Pointing at the DUP and making accusations makes not one iota of difference.

    I am merely hoping that you might address the issue of paramilitarism and criminality within unionism in the same way that you – quite rightly – expect it to be addressed within republicanism.

    Each party is responsible for its own behaviour and that’s the end of it.

    Indeed, so will the DUP be invoking it’s disciplinary procedures the next time a senior party member takes to a podium with a paramilitary leader ?

    The DUP never did sign up to the GFA, so they made no commitment about anything.

    Nobody “signed up” to the GFA except for the 71% who endorsed it. It is an agreement between the British and Irish governments and is enshrined in law. Following an overwhelming endorsement in a referendum, it defines the parameters upon which politics here will go forward. The DUP cannot change that.

    They can have the UDA army council as their leaderhip and it doesn’t matter. They didn’t commit to do anything.

    Do terrorists and/or their supporters have a right to a role in government or not ? It would be useful if unionists would take a consistent position on this issue.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Harpo, my reply continued :

    Now if it came to the position where PSF/PIRA became wholly democratic and the DUP went the opposite way and officially made the UDA their armed wing, then it would be up to nationalists to refuse to do business with them, if that’s how they felt.

    I thought this comment was revealing. I hope you don’t mind me reading between the lines, but you seem to imply that if the UDA were linked to the DUP, the only people who would object would be nationalists. I am not a nationalist and I find the DUP’s tenuous links with terrorism nauseating.

    Maybe that’s what unionists should do. Roll the UUP, DUP, UVF and UDA into one pan-unionist front

    It has been clear for decades that this is effectively the case. Unionism staged an armed coup in 1974, attempted to do so again in 1978 and 1985, almost pulled it off during Drumcree 1996 and threatened it again last September. When will this nonsense stop ?

    and put it to nationalists – ‘here we are, do you want to do business with us?’.

    What do you think would be a reasonable response to that proposal ?

    Then we’d see how much PSF really believe all this nonsense that they spout. I’d say yet another of their principles would disappear out the window in their rush to get into government with anyone.

    The logic is pretty straightforward. In case you had not noticed, the British government are hostile to do-nothing unionism and have set their faces against it. The do-nothing unionism that you are advocating will lead to joint authority by the back door and the destruction of the union. Don’t you think it would be better to salvage what you have left before Blair and Hain start selling it off chunk by chunk ?

  • Seano

    Realist

    “This unionist doesn’t wonder about that at all, I can assure you. It’s because we’re still here, and staying put.”

    That’s good that you don’t wonder. You’re just another good unionist heading in the right direction.

    As far as the “we’re still here” and “staying put”, that’s good as well. I think you’ve misunderstood my previous post. Nationalists and Republicans don’t want you to leave. They prefer to peacefully coexist with unionists/loyalists, but without the whinging.

  • Realist

    “Nationalists and Republicans don’t want you to leave. They prefer to peacefully coexist with unionists/loyalists, but without the whinging”

    Seano,

    That’s excellent news.

    Once republican whinging stops, reality is faced by the movement representing the greater number of nationalists/republicans in Northern Ireland, and the appropriate and neccessary actions are taken to get themselves into government,I’m sure you and me will get along just fine.