Allister: IRA must go…

The Newsletter hasn’t put the Alister interview up on the net yet. But they have some of the interesting highlights:

Adds: Ah, here it is Hat Tip Mark!

Perhaps most notably, he (Alister) says that, if the IRA Army Council is not disbanded (by January, the time of the next IMC report) or the March 26 deadline for restoring government, the deal must be off. He said: “We cannot, for instance, even consider going into government with Sinn Fein in a situation where the IRA Army Council still exists and the IRA military structures are, therefore, still intact. “We cannot countenance government with Sinn Fein in those circumstances. That’s the litmus test. The IRA has to go. There can be no suggestion of government with people at the beck and call of terrorists.”

,

  • Steaky

    Its good to see the DUP can embrace change, the usual line is that Sinn Fein controls the IRA, by Gerry etc being on the Army council, or is intertwined with it.

    Now it seems that the shinners are at the beck and call of the IRA.

    I thought it was Sinn Fein/IRA, not IRA/Sinn Fein

    So its no wonder the Shinners want to keep the structures otherwise they will lose all direction???

    However it seems that Allisterwatch has been vindicated in his mutterings about dissatisfaction within the DUP much to the consternation of many on here who rebuked him.

  • Mark

    Mick,

    Do you not think the Newsletter piece will be the same as the piece I’ve already linked to from Jim’s website?

    http://www.jimallister.org/default.asp?blogID=524

  • Mick Fealty

    Thanks Mark.

  • Oilibhear Chromaill

    Behind all the bluster is the DUP man’s irrational objections to the Irish language and identity.

    How does enacting an Irish Language Act, in Northern Ireland, ‘sanitise’ it of ‘its britishness’?
    After all Irish is an idigenous language in Northern Ireland and, therefore, according to Mr Allister’s own lights, the Irish language is a BRITISH language, as British as Welsh or Scots Gaelic. Incidentally there’s a Welsh language act in Wales and a Scots Gaelic Act in Scotland – if there isn’t an Irish Language Act in NI, doesn’t that make NI ‘less’ like the rest of Britain? Less ‘British’?

    Perhaps he should pass on his misgivings regarding the use of Irish and the British identity to Councillor Ruth Patterson, Deputy Lord Mayor of Belfast, who greeted the city’s Irish language community at a gala dinner in Belfast City Hall on Friday night as Gaeilge. Her British identity didn’t seem one bit compromised by her use of Irish in an official context in the unionist bastion, replete with union flags, UDR windows etc.

    His other objection, to the removal of the ban on non UK citizens from taking top posts (why is he only worried about top posts?) in the NI Civil Service, is also puzzling. Why is he particularly worried about Republic of Ireland citizens getting top jobs in the Civil Service? As opposed to the citizens of other EU countries? No doubt MEP Alister is also opposed to the 50/50 recruitment requirement to the PSNI because it excludes meritorious candidates from the force – surely he should be against a similar recruiting restriction in the matter of the civil service, when it similarly has the potential to exclude the recruitment of meritorious candidates.

    Perhaps it should be Allister who goes first…and spare us his irrational and outdated prejudices.

  • Thrasymachus

    Oilibhear it is apparent to anyone who isn’t brain dead where Jim Allister’s concerns come from. However as you are too dim to see them, I’ll happily point them out to you.

    He is concerned that senior civil servants from the RoI moving to posts in NI would blur the distinction between the two states and possibly lead to the harmonising of institutions and services (an often stated goal of Nationalists).

    EU nationals from other states are less likely to trouble him as their government doesn’t have a territorial claim on NI.

    Do you see the great elephant now?

  • Steaky

    “EU nationals from other states are less likely to trouble him as their government doesn’t have a territorial claim on NI.”

    Either does the Republic, little cheeky to call Oilibhear brain dead when you havent checked your facts.

  • Oilibhear Chromaill

    What territorial claim? If you’re looking for elephants you’ll find them in the Zoo – but the territorial claim that used to be in Irish Constitution (the dreaded Articles 2 and 3) (Good Friday Agreement Class 101, doh!) is gone.

    So, like I was asking before I was so ‘dimly’ interrupted by a slow learner, what are Mr Allister’s objections to Republic of Ireland citizens applying for and getting ‘top posts’ in the NI Civil Service?

  • Thrasymachus

    “Either does the Republic, little cheeky to call Oilibhear brain dead when you havent checked your facts.”

    Er yes it does, if you had bothered to check the Irish constitution (before advising me to) then you will find that Article 3 commits the Irish government to seeking unity.

    You will also find that both Fianna Fail and Fine Gael are committed to advancing a united Ireland.

  • Steaky

    Thrasymachus,
    I also think that your (and Mr Allisters) view of these revolutionary Senior civil servants who would leave great jobs in their home country to infiltrate the North’s service is a little too James Bond.

  • Steaky

    Thrasymachus,
    Its gone but I guess you like Mr Allister are just living in the past!

  • Thrasymachus

    “What territorial claim? If you’re looking for elephants you’ll find them in the Zoo – but the territorial claim that used to be in Irish Constitution (the dreaded Articles 2 and 3) (Good Friday Agreement Class 101, doh!) is gone.”

    Well Oilibhear when I visit the Taoiseach’s website and look up Articles 2 and 3 I am not confronted with a blank space of where they used to be. In fact I see an amended version still committed to Irish unity.

    “So, like I was asking before I was so ‘dimly’ interrupted by a slow learner, what are Mr Allister’s objections to Republic of Ireland citizens applying for and getting ‘top posts’ in the NI Civil Service?”

    I guess only repetition of simple points works for.

    He is concerned that those employed by a foreign government, which has a territorial claim on Northern Ireland, may seek senior positions within our civil service and implement policies leading to harmonisation of institutions and services.

    Got it yet? If not write out 100 times :o)

  • Thrasymachus

    “I also think that your (and Mr Allisters) view of these revolutionary Senior civil servants who would leave great jobs in their home country to infiltrate the North’s service is a little too James Bond.”

    Then why not keep everyone happy and retain the laws keeping senior Dublin civil servants in Dublin.

  • Steaky

    The fact that it is on the Taoiseach’s website doesnt make it law, it just means they are useless at updating the website.

    That it still up on the site kinda backs up my point about these proactive revolutionary civil servants, dont you think?

    If Oilibhear is to do a 100 lines can I suggest you do some reading, try the belfast agreement first or listen to the news when major things are happening in your country.

  • Thrasymachus

    “The fact that it is on the Taoiseach’s website doesnt make it law, it just means they are useless at updating the website.”

    That’s odd as the constitution on the Taoiseach’s website has amendments from November 2002.

    Now as you obviously haven’t bothered checking Article 3 in the Irish constitution before repeating the same inaccuracies over and over again I will give you a link to it so you can read it.

    http://www.taoiseach.gov.ie/upload/publications/297.htm

  • Dec

    Thrasymachus

    We’ll make it simple:

    Old Version:

    Article 2
    The national territory consists of the whole island of Ireland, its islands and the territorial seas.

    Article 3
    Pending the re-integration of the national territory, and without prejudice to the right of the parliament and government established by this constitution to exercise jurisdiction over the whole territory, the laws enacted by the parliament shall have the like area and extent of application as the laws of Saorstat Éireann[2] and the like extra-territorial effect.

    New Version:

    Article 2

    It is the entitlement and birthright of every person born in the island of Ireland, which includes its islands and seas, to be part of the Irish Nation. That is also the entitlement of all persons otherwise qualified in accordance with law to be citizens of Ireland. Furthermore, the Irish nation cherishes its special affinity with people of Irish ancestry living abroad who share its cultural identity and heritage.

    Article 3

    1. It is the firm will of the Irish Nation, in harmony and friendship, to unite all the people who share the territory
    of the island of Ireland, in all the diversity of their identities and traditions, recognising that a united Ireland
    shall be brought about only by peaceful means with the consent of a majority of the people, democratically
    expressed, in both jurisdictions in the island.
    Until then, the laws enacted by the Parliament established by
    this Constitution shall have the like area and extent of application as the laws enacted by the Parliament that
    existed immediately before the coming into operation of this Constitution.

  • dec

    I should add that being committed to Irish Unity isn’t the same as having a territorial claim.

  • pith

    Is the DUP happy with the new (1998 Thrasymachus) version of Article 3?

  • Oilibhear Chromaill

    Seeking a United Ireland through democratic means is NOT the same thing as a legal claim on the territory, which if pursued, could be the grounds for an invasion (with considerable more legality than t hat unfortunate incursion into Iraq it might be added).

    Or perhaps T, like Mr Allister, doesn’t even want the pursuit of a United Ireland to continue by democratic means? Which is curious given the name of the party he is elected to represent contains the word ‘Democratic’.
    It’s amazing the trouble some people have with some words in the English language?

  • darth rumsfeld

    “I should add that being committed to Irish Unity isn’t the same as having a territorial claim. ”

    How exactly. Both seek exactly the same outcome. Neither respects the inalterable opinion of Unionists to decline the kind offer. Of course one was illegal in international law- as Dublin consistently refused to accept, but I presume you recognise from the nature of your point. So you’re a bit more polite in slapping down our aspirations. So what?

  • Oilibhear Chromaill

    It just seems to me, Darth, that you don’t want to allow us have aspirations either. I have no problem with your aspirations as long as you pursue them democratically (which isn’t necessarily the DUP way I know) and you shouldn’t have any problem with mine, as long as I pursue mine democratically.

    Isn’t that fair enough?

    It’s not a question of manners. Previously unionists imposed their aspiration on the rest of us at the point of a gun. Then they got a taste of their own medicine. The ‘war’ is now over. But that doesn’t mean the end of partition and the dawn of a new era of true democracy and true unionism (unionism between republicans and unionists I mean) can be pursued.

    DEMOCRATICALLY. Get it.

  • Oilibhear Chromaill

    Doh

    It’s not a question of manners.  Previously unionists imposed their aspiration on the rest of us at the point of a gun.  Then they got a taste of their own medicine.  The ‘war’ is now over.  But that doesn’t mean the end of partition and the dawn of a new era of true democracy and true unionism (unionism between republicans and unionists I mean) CAN’T be pursued.

  • Mark

    So after cracking up over the StAA and the partition hearing in the European Parliament, Jimbo will not get to blow another fuse as Mary Lou McDonald briefs the Diplomatic Corps in Brussels on recent developments. His fax machine must be close to breaking point countering the real activity of others.

  • pith

    Mark,

    You seem to be blowing a fuse yourself in your efforts to trail these rather insignificant events. Meanwhile back in the real world, one of Ian Paisley’s troops has finally broken ranks. That’s a story, not Mary Lou McDonald trying to persuade overseas governments to become interested in our little muddle.

  • Mark

    Pith,

    I’ve raised 3 issues.

    1. The statement on StAA that Mick couldn’t find
    2. Jim’s rant on the European hearing
    3. The Diplomatic briefing.

    2 of my supposed rants were sourced from Allister’s own site.

    Wind yer neck in.

  • pith

    Mark,

    My point is that you are using the nearest available thread on which to hang information about irrelevant events. If a thread appears on North Korea testing its weapons can we expect a contribution from you telling us that some unheard of MEP is holding a tea party at the European Parliament?

    However, not wishing to shatter the illusion for you, who came to the so-called diplomatic briefing? Numbers and rank will suffice. Was it wall to wall ambassadors? Were there enough Ferrero Rocher to go round?

  • Dec

    . I should add that being committed to Irish Unity isn’t the same as having a territorial claim. “

    How exactly. Both seek exactly the same outcome.
    Neither respects the inalterable opinion of Unionists to decline the kind offer.

    Depends how many of them there are, doesn’t it? 50%+1 etc.

    However in the meantime content yourself with the section of Article 3 I conveniently highlighted for those with reading difficulties. Or is Unionism only interested in democracy when it knows the outcome beforehand. who’d have thought?

  • tiny

    seems the tail (Alister) is wagging the DUP dog

  • slug

    A sharp analysis by Allister, on the strengths and potential weaknesses of the St Andrews Agreement.

    The issue of D’Hondt, and of the lack of means to exclude Sinn Fein if the IRA robs another bank, are important. The reason the IMC was established was to reassure uninoists that there would continue to be monitoring so that a watchful eye on progress could be kept.

    The possibility of side deals with Sinn Fein is there but if such exist – e.g on OTRs or Restorative Justice – they could destabilize the deal.

    Good to get a critical eye view.

  • 4thlanark

    Apologies for wading in out of sync, but if anyone is still interested, a certain north-south body is currently embroiled in a bullying and harassment case between a (former) senior northern civil servant and a (former) southern senior civil servant.

    Searches on web pages of the Impartial Reporter or the Belfast Telegraph will provide details.

    Is this the future unfolding before our very eyes….? (Hope not if these two are anything to go by).

  • darth rumsfeld

    “It just seems to me, Darth, that you don’t want to allow us have aspirations either.”

    Whoa there ollie. Of course you can have aspirations. I was never one of those hung up on Articles 2 & 3. They couldn’t hurt me, and were never enforcable. It was clearly a tactical mistake -starting with the McGimpseys- to regard their removal as worth trading for. I merely say that there’s no real difference between the new and old articles.

    BTW my aspiration is to score the winning goal for Northern Ireland in a world cup final six weeks after captaining Arsenal to the treble . Guess what? I’ve had to put in on the back burner, cos it’s never going to happen either.

    And be careful about the choice of democracy as the means to drive nationalist aspirations. Stripped bare , that really means “we’ll wait till we outvote them, and then they’ll have to give in”. That won’t make Unionists nationalists, anymore than the hundreds of elections we’ve won since 1921 made nationalists Loyal Sons of William. People who prance around with monikers like lib2016 seem unable to grasp that basic truth.

    “Previously unionists imposed their aspiration on the rest of us at the point of a gun.”

    Er, and what was the IRA campaign of 1919-21 then? Don’t get all high and morally superior on that basis. MOPE MOPE MOPE.

    “Then they got a taste of their own medicine.”
    Ooops. Now we’ve really opened a can of worms. So the prods implicitly deserved all they got.Tut tut. Hardly the new thinking of Martina Anderson and her soft focus “bore a Unionist to death with vibes of love” policy. You’re dangerously off message.

    Nowe- the points JHA makes about language.

    The problem a lot of Unionists will have with the measures in the Irish Language Act is exactly the same problem that people have in England when all of a sudden their High Street has a proliferation of Asian signs, halal butchers, veils etc.

    Of course rationally it shouldn’t make any difference at all, particularly since the community in question has been here longer than the Unionists.But the move to distinguish oneself as different is challenging- and we already recognise the existence of chill factors in the workplace, so why not the high street? Even in Scotland and Wales there is discussion about the way in which the national culture can be promoted without damaging relations with those who do not share that culture- heck they’ve had this debate in Dingle. And with the greatest of respect to Irish language speakers, there is a much larger proportion of them who have supported violent secession from the UK than the SNP or Plaid Cymru language supporters.

    The big advantage the Irish language has over Asian, Polish or other immigrants, is that we all speak some Irish, use Irish language idioms or structure in our speech, and there is no distinct racial grouping that can claim to be excluded or ownership. But this has – and will continue to be – frittered away so long as Sinn Fein is allowed to identify it as part of their strategy to “green” Northern Ireland. You can’t win converts by preaching to them that they are wrong to have an antipathy to Irish. You have to debate, inform, interact. How’s a bloody big Irish sign on the motorway to Lisburn going to make one more nationalist reclaim the language, or attract one Unionist to explore that part of our heritage?

  • EAGLEEYE

    WHY IS THE INTERVIEW WITH JUNIOR NOT IN THIS MORNINGS BELFAST NEWSLETTER

    HAVING SECOND THOUGHTS?

  • Nevin
  • Oilibhear Chromaill

    I don’t want to get into a historic argument with you but in terms of 1919/21, that was the end result of the formation of the UVF in 1912 which came about because unionsts opposed the Home Rule Bill (the third one).

    This mopery business also has no place in a rational argument. I made the observation regarding the coercive nature of the northern state and the inevitable violent response (in fact it wasn’t inevitable in the sense had unionists accepted the demands for Civil Rights in 1968, a great deal of what ensued would have been avoided. Perhaps there would have been no IRA).

    Of course the language issue and politics get mixed up. And there’s an amount of responsibility for this on both the British and Irish sides. If you want me to get into that argument I can – but let’s stick to what can, hopefully, move this on.

    I didn’t preach to people that they are wrong to have an antipathy to Irish. I observed in a previous post that it was illogical and unBritish to have an antipathy to Irish. And guess into who’s hands the Allister hare raising played – none other than Sinn Féin. But you would also be wrong to believe that this is a strategy for a monochrome green NI. I think it’s time that unionist realised that they should allow some green into their lives but they shouldn’t make the mistake of identifying Irish langauge as green merely because Sinn Féin and the SDLP advance it as part of their policies. It was a huge mistake for unionists to focus exclusively as some sort of alternative to Irish – they should have played on the links with Scottish Gaelic and Ulster Irish if they wanted a distinctive culture.

    There is no danger of high streets becoming transformed into Príomh Shraideanna – entirely as Gaeilge. There is a danger if there is resistance/hostility to what small gestures are made that this will exacerbate the trend.
    But there should be a place for Irish on our streets – be that Royal Avenue or the Shaws Road. The more resistance there is to Ascail Rioga (and its Ulster Scots equivalent), the more certain it is that Royal Avenue will disappear into the future and be replace by Ascail Uí Chonghaile.

    As for my reliance on democracy, it’s not, as some would feel, the 50%+1 argument that I rely on. If that were the case I wouldn’t be a nationalists – I would just subsume myself into the majority and get on with life. I think that it’s right that I use politics to persuade people to my point of view – perhaps I’m too pointed in my politics and I will never persuade people but I have to live with that and overcome it.

    This entire halal butcher and veils controversy over in England is something we have to come to terms with here in Ireland also – but I’m not going to become a little Irelander and think that the sky is falling merely because there’s more diversity on the high street. Halal and all the rest of it are welcome in my book – as long as Irish has a place in this melting pot also and its position as an indigenous language is recognised.

    What I see happening with some unionists is like what is happening in England – the English expect people who come to their country to become English and to speak English and to dress English etc.
    Some unionists expect the Irish to become Unionist, to speak Unionist etc. And I feel that Allister is among their number. It shows a profound ignorance of the history of the place and the people. I’m not going to force Irish on anybody – but I recognise that the Irish Language Act is a fundamental aspect of the St Andrews Agreement and I expect it to be enacted if the parties fail to share power or if they succeed.

  • darth rumsfeld

    “I think it’s time that unionist realised that they should allow some green into their lives but they shouldn’t make the mistake of identifying Irish langauge as green merely because Sinn Féin and the SDLP advance it as part of their policies. It was a huge mistake for unionists to focus exclusively as some sort of alternative to Irish – they should have played on the links with Scottish Gaelic and Ulster Irish if they wanted a distinctive culture.”

    thoughtful post ollie, but still wide of the mark.The Unionist tradition was quite content to embrace Irishness- “Erin go bragh” above the 1892 Convention building- “faugh a ballagh” as a regimental battle cry-Brian Boru as the regimental mascot of the R Irish- harps and shamrocks in the crest of the RUC, to cite the first few examples that spring to mind.
    But when the Shinners- and it was primarily them – stimulated the growth in the language as part of the subtext of the cultural leg of their campaign , what were Unionists to do?

    Of course there will be resistance to streetnames etc- often for poot reasons, and of course in our squalid little country that will result in more requests. “If it annoys the Prods it’s gotta be good” is still too often the justification for SF policies- look at the parades issue.And how is that going to encourage any Unionist to explore the language and the common interest we can all claim in it?

    If it was a serious effort to promote Irish to my community might the language movement be better going to state schools with presentations.

  • Oilibhear Chromaill

    The thing is Darth that it shouldn’t be about a ‘serious effort’ to promote Irish to your community in as much as it should be about a serious effort to promote Irish to all communities.

    The ULTACH trust was set up a number of years ago to promote Irish to ‘your community’ but it has been largely ineffective because it set as its agenda to politically vet the nationalist community, thus undermining its stated objective.

    The issue of the Irish language in this context is entangled in our history and as such it’s difficult to disentangle it. You say: But when the Shinners- and it was primarily them – stimulated the growth in the language as part of the subtext of the cultural leg of their campaign , what were Unionists to do?

    The growth in the language was there despite the Shinners for a long time – and they did take an interest – but let me assure you of this, most language organisations and projects that I am aware of are not Shinner creations, there are Sinn Feiners on board fair enough in the sense that they’re involved but they’re not the prime movers. It’s not as green and white as you might think. And that’s not to say that people haven’t got their own political ideologies and stances – but the language is above and beyond that.

    Too often the negative stance of the British Government vis a vis the language has meant that Sinn Féin and Irish language activists have appeared closer together in opposing this negativity and repression.

    There’s no apologies to be made here for supporting a united Ireland etc – that’s my own political stance. Still the language is above that in my priorities.

  • Mark
  • closing tag
  • Mark

    The Times is reporting the DUP Assembly Grouping statement being called as a rebuff to Allister.

    “Meanwhile, the DUP Assembly Group unanimously endorsed the DUP leadership’s handling of the St Andrews talks, which was interpreted by observers as a rebuff to DUP MEP Jim Allister’s criticism of elements of the agreement.”

    (maybe the tail has wagged itself off the dog?)

  • darth rumsfeld

    ollie
    I’ve no doubt you’re right about the growth in Irish not being entirely a SF inspired plot. I do think the failure of the Ultach trust is undeniable, but not sure that your explanation is correct. The perception may not be true, but the universal Unionist perspective of Irish is that is being used as a political weapon by their opponents. Oversimplistic, I’m sure, but until language activists can convince a sceptical Unionist community there is no hidden agenda an unbridgeable gap will remain-making everyone losers

  • Nevin

    Are SF activists expected to acquire a degree of competence in the Irish language?

  • Buterknife

    Appears that Jeffrey will have another playmate in his closet while he types up a follow up to his memoirs. It’s going to be a tight squeeze in that DUP broom-cupboard. I really do believe in karma now that I see what is happening!

  • Buterknife

    Who would win if Jeffrey and Jim were to fight over the use of the typewriter?

  • Mark

    Dungannon is one of the towns most blighted by racism in the north.

    Recently there were 7 racist attacks in one night.

    DUP MEP Jim Allister has decided to contribute to tensions by giving a strong anti-immigration message to local residents.

    Hopefully people will not react violently to his message in a town were newly arrived communities face regular brutal attack.

    Bad timing? Bad venue? Or bad egg?

  • rapunsel

    Bad egg and worse ego and no doubt about it Mark!

    Any idea of which residents group he was meeting anyone?

  • Mark

    Rapunsel,

    I have my own views on Jim and racism. As he is a barrister I am being very careful how I phrase them, for the sake of Mick I suggest you do the same.

    The residents group in question would be very relevant if it is in one of the areas that immigrants have been subject to regular attack.

    Anyone able to clarify?

  • McCleary3

    I am new to this blog, but after reading some of the posts on various topics, I really think that some people should do some research before they give their all knowing recommendations or solutions to the topics being discussed. I volunteer to help anyone with Irish history if they don’t know much about it or can’t seem to understand it- so, Thrasymachus and Darth Rumsfeld, I look forward to chatting with you.

  • Bushmills

    Mark McGregors comments about Jim Allister and a recent meeting in Dungannon are nothing short of disgraceful. What a dreadful little Provo toe-rag you are Mr. McGregor.

  • Butterknife

    http://www.urban75.com/Action/libel.html

    The link about explains a dummy guide to libal (the written word) however if the article by Jim has thought out there should be no room for ambiguities and if he wants to take an action for libal then it is up to him to prove how it has damaged him. He is unlikely to win if its fair comment due to the poor draftmanship of the article however.