Can you come back to us on that?

The Sinn Féin Ard Chomhairle is to meet in Dublin tomorrow when, according to the official statement, “Gerry Adams will brief the party leadership on the talks which took place at St. Andrews in Scotland last week.”.. and discuss the party’s consultation process.. Will they also attempt to answer a certain, quick, question?.. not if Gerry Kelly’s statement to the BBC’s Spotlight programme, broadcast last night, still stands – “We wanted to get to the point where we could put a proposition to an Ard Comhairle – we have not reached that.” UpdateGiven the rapid thread drift away from the actual topic.. here’s a reminder from Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

“Again let me be very clear about Sinn Féin’s position on policing. Sinn Féin is for proper civic, democratic and accountable policing. What we are against is bad policing and bad law and order. What we are against is political policing, counter-insurgency policing, policing as a weapon of war, which has been the norm in the Six Counties for generations. Sinn Féin is about changing all of this and we have made huge progress in recent years. The issue before is whether policing in the Six Counties has reached a stage where it can enjoy the support of all the community. Our job is to resolve all of the outstanding matters and to create a proper policing service. It will be the PSNI’s job to prove themselves to the community. But we want to see rapid progress made on this issue. We believe such progress is possible. When this happens, and in the right context, Uachtarán Shinn Féin Gerry Adams will go to the party’s Ard Chomhairle to ask them to call a special Ard Fheis on the matter. It will then be the membership of Sinn Féin that will decide our position.”

10th November, Caoimhghín.. tick tock

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  • we have not reached that

    That sounds reassuring

  • lib2016

    The best attitude for republicans to take at the moment might be to sit back and watch their rivals dig ever deeper. Still can’t believe that unionism is falling apart this fast. At this rate who are going to be left for Sinn Fein to do the deal with on Nov. 24th.?

    Was it Eamon McCann who used to talk about them exposing the contradictions of their own positions?

  • Yokel

    So, all the parties have asked the government to release all documentation from the Scottish talks.

    Paisley claims to have one re-assurance in writing and Sinn Fein clearly believes something else.

    SDLP warns DUP not to take government verbal assurances….

    Why do I get the feeling the UK government are about to get badly shown up.

  • Yokel

    Lib, you probably believed in the idea of one more push and one shot snipers at one time…..the great irony is that Unionism has been one of the great beneficiaries of the ceasfires and so forth.

    Just because some of them haven’t noticed or believed it…….

  • lib2016


    Glad to say that I’m one of those wimps who never lost faith in John Hume and backed the SDLP right into this century.

    Times have changed and Sinn Fein has the brightest and best personnel now, and are committed to the Peace Process. Well connected abroad and a source of pride to those of us at home.

    Unionism is about as relevant to the future as antidisestablishmentarianism. I think the best and kindest way to put it is ‘dead man walking’.

    It has no unity, no purpose in a modern multicultural Europe, and is led by a relic from the 16th Century who provokes derision wherever he goes, but don’t let me spoil your fantasies. Three cheers for Churchill and the British Empire which will live for a thousand years.

  • JR

    The Union is imploding!!

  • [i]no purpose in a modern multicultural Europe[/i]

    And Irish nationalism does?

    PS – are you so sure we’re going to be living in a multicultural Europe? There’s at least a danger of that particular project going badly off the rails in the next 10 years or so, and the élite that drives it don’t even seem to realise that.

  • mnob

    erm lib – why are there no unionists in England or Wales ? – Answer because there are no Nationalists and Republicans.

    Unionism is a reaction to Nationalism and Republicanism, if you say Unionism has no place in a modern Europe then ….

    Nationalism’s dream of a nation state died decades ago when the ROI awoke to realise that global capitalism was the future.

  • lib2016

    Sammy Morse

    “..purpose in a modern multicultural Europe”

    Sinn Fein has done it’s best to reach out to our new citizens although the other republican parties such as Fianna Fail, the SDLP and even Fine Gael and Labour have not been entirely dishonourable.

    You raise a good point though given the reaction in France and elsewhere to Turkish entry I might say that some of the elite are a bit too aware of the problems and insufficiently aware of the opportunities.

  • lib2016


    False analogy. Unionists are people who cannot accept the end of the British Empire, similar to many Anglo-Indians at the end of the Raj, or the Algerian ‘pieds noirs’ stranded by the end of the French overseas empire.

    They are welcome to be Irish or British as suits them best but there aren’t going to be any NI passports. A declining majority in two North-Eastern counties they are a quaint curiosity, especially in the light of their choice of leader, but hardly a credible political force.

    The Brits caused this situation and the Brits are dealing with it at last – pervideously as usual.

  • Yokel

    You miss the point lib, unionism is ultimately defined at the ballot box and its still the clear wish for the majority of the population of the area of conflict to remain part of that union with the UK.

    Thats not collapse, thats the democratic reality. What do we do, deny that?

  • lib2016

    The Northern Ireland frontier was deliberately drawn in a way to ensure unionist dominance. That dominance is being rapidly eroded and the British Conservative Party sees no political advantage in aligning itself with Paisley and his followers.

    It is your decision whether you read the writing on the wall or not. Most commentators seem to think that the important point is that NI has no economy but I’ve always felt that the most important point is that it has no real politics. Either way it has no future in Britain.

  • Elvis Parker

    Sinn Fein are glad to see the end of ‘counter-insurgency policing’ – but hasnt it come to an end because the insurgency ended!?
    Most of what SF wanted changed/has seen changed were actually symptoms of their pathetic war

  • Elvis Parker

    ‘Either way it has no future in Britain’
    Quite right Lib – but it does have a future in the UK – the majority want it.

  • Yokel

    Lib. I believe its enshrined that its future is decided by its people at the ballot box….which means that people can go on and on about no future, backwater and so on but if the majority vote to remain in a no future/bacwater situation then so be in.

    Ah the ballot box, its so easy to dismiss it when it doesn’t suit. Whats that called? Oh yeah, a dictatorship. Now no one would seriously suggest we overrule the ballot box now woudl we?

  • lib2016


    I am prepared to accept democracy and always have been – that’s the difference between colonialism and republicanism.

    I’m even prepared to accept democracy within a gerrymandered Northern Ireland framework as long as the gerrymandering stops now. The Peace Process begat the GFA and the GFA begat St. Andrews to put it in a way which might be more comprehensible for a DUP supporter.

    Strange that the British have had these dirty wars right around the world, isn’t it? Nobody’s democratic but the British, it seems.

  • Yokel


    What historically?

    You can blame the Brits for their history as much as you want but this is where we are and its clear, the majority want to stay within the union. It’s one man one vote out there these days.

    End of.

  • Yokel

    I forgot to mention 7 new super council…gerrymandered for whos benefit?

    This is the most green tinged PM and NI Secretary this place has had and both will be out on their arses shortly, if their efforts are the maximum then Unionists shouldnt worry themselves too much.

  • lib2016


    The peace process has been agreed by that very British institution the Establishment, which includes all parties, the security organisations and the Americans. There’s no going back.

    Republicans might regret the length of time the Brits have taken to get everybody on board but it seems to be happening at last and it certainly won’t be reversed by an embarrassing undemocratic bunch of outsiders from the provinces.

  • Yokel

    As I have pointed out, Unionists are one of the great beneficiaries of the political change without the vote, established.

    Just become some of them dont get it yet doesn’t mean they all dont.

  • given the reaction in France and elsewhere to Turkish entry I might say that some of the elite are a bit too aware of the problems and insufficiently aware of the opportunities.

    I agree wrt the Turkish entry.

    However, I think the Turks are being used by the EU élite as an excuse for growing Euroscepticism, when the reality lies somewhere else. The EU project has always been élite driven and has systematically failed to make its case to ordinary people in Europe.

    Also, the EU élite don’t want to deal with the fact that the constitution was basically crap. 300 pages of fodder for lawyers to make money out of. You can’t sell that sort of thing if you give away free air miles with it.

  • Wheels of Ire

    I watched that farmer last night threatening to take his vote away from the DUP,should they ‘betray’ him by going into government with the accursed Shinners.
    He took his vote away from the UUP because of their betrayal.
    So where will the votes of him and those die-hards who feel like him go? Hardly to the Women’s Coalition…

  • German-American

    Wheels of Ire on those “betrayed” by the DUP: So where will the votes of him and those die-hards who feel like him go?

    Well, they could also just stop voting, correct? But if the “garden center Protestants” stopped voting because they got sick of politics, and unionist “die-hards” stop voting because they feel betrayed by the DUP, who’s going to be left to vote for unionist parties?

    Maybe the analogy is flawed, but it sounds like many DUP voters are in the same place with respect to the DUP as evangelical Christian conservatives are with respect to the Republican Party in the US: most will suck it up and keep voting, but perceived betrayals (or simple lack of attention) may depress turnout somewhat in future elections.

  • Dan

    Wouldn’t they vote UKUP or NIUP?

  • Ronald

    Gerry mander, where historically?

    The biggest gerry mander of course was partition, not too mention multiple council votes, Derry city, and many other irregularities. When Irish people voted overwhelmingly for independence people were not prepared to accept the ballot box, what do you call that again.

    In any case I am not much of a nationalist, I am more concerned with human rights and equality anywhere in the world. My concern about partition is primarily how the ruling majority treated the minority. Possibly this is the only true test of democracy, how you treat the minority. This is why the Northern Assembly is so interesting. It may be, if it comes to be, the most democratic form of parlimentary democracy anywhere.

    Concensus is required, it would be truly amazing if such a thing happened. Out of the blood and the gore of 800 years of history a clean, clear, respectful form of democracy wast to emerge. History is what history is, we are all part of the problem and should all be part of the solution.

    I hope Gerry A, and Ian Paisley pull it off.

    Every vote counts we all get respect and cross community concensus might prove a model for other countries, or places around the world.

    In time there may or may not be an united Ireland, but the conditions on the ground are changing. People are empowered and want to make their lives and others’ lives better. C’mon Northern Ireland go ahead do it, embrace change, democracy, concensus, do it.


  • An Pluid

    I have just heard the remaining IRA prisoners in jail have voted to reject the St. Andrews agreement, could be very significant!

  • MoreInfoPlease

    An Pluid,

    Can you put more meat on those bones? If you are a blanketman from Tallaght and not a troll.

  • Yokel

    An Pluid. even if they did, would it matter? Quite simply there isn’t enough of them (a handful?) and the current prisoners do not have the emotional or practical hold of days gone by.

    Secondly, thats pretty quick to come to a decision, are you sure you are talking about the Provos?

    Ronald earlier. We can all go on about history the point is to stop going on about it.

  • German-American

    Dan: Wouldn’t they vote UKUP or NIUP?

    I’ll defer to those with more expertise, but I was under the impression that the UKUP was just Bob McCartney all by his lonesome, and that the NIUP is not much better in terms of core party membership. Any party that might wish to pick up disaffected DUP voters (assuming that they will exist in any number) is going to have to be large and energetic enough to field multiple candidates and run real campaigns.

  • Jonas Hemway

    The Shinners will never be able to outrun their past. At the St Andrew’s Talks Gerry spoke about a “moral responsibility”…, funny how he chooses to forget same when he glorifies the treasonous Provos who killed their fellow countrymen! SF has torn the Nationalist/Republican vote apart and this is what we ended up with! Now he is bartering with support for the PSNI; why would anyone be surprised?

  • Yokel

    The DUP will not split dramatically at all, McCartney or any of the other minor unionist parties may forget about capitalising because there won’t be too much for them to capitalise on.

  • mnob

    Ronald – the biggest gerrymander is the assertion of an Irish state based on geography not its people. Nationalists are happy to include and exclude ‘Irish’ people depending on their point of view alone.

    However I agree wholeheartedly that the best test of democracy is the treatment of minorities – small as well as large and the previous NI governments were hardly squeaky clean in this respect. However both states on this island have changed a lot since the start of the 20th century.

    If we’ve ended up with an exemplar as far as democracy is concerned then great. However I think we’ve got a beaurocratic nightmare which protects one large minority but not the smaller ones.

    It is time though – to just get on with it.

  • northern irony

    “What we are against is political policing, counter-insurgency policing, policing as a weapon of war, which has been the norm in the Six Counties for generations. Sinn Féin is about changing all of this and we have made huge progress in recent years.”

    Yes, of course we should legalise bombing, knee-capping, extortion, torture and murder, whenever they are carried out in the name of the Irish people. SF policing will mean that all such activities will be decriminalised and the perpetrators, instead of being sent to gaol, will given positions of authority within the police service. Anyone who objects will be bundled into a car, driven to a deserted back street, hooded and shot in the head. In other words, they will meet the full rigor mortis of SF Community Justice.