Another One Bites the Dust

The Belfast Telegraph is reporting that SF MLA Geraldine Dougan, Mid-Ulster, is stepping down. Suzanne Breen in the Sunday Tribune earlier reported that Dougan, a relative of Dominic McGlinchey, had voiced opposition to SF’s policing policy. like Kathy Stanton before her, is stepping down for “personal” reasons.

UPDATE:

Ding ding, Gerry! 😉

  • gerry

    Rusty, you are on the ball with the music, couldn’t you find the song somewhere and put it up, ‘another one bites the dust’.

    Now this really does merit a LOL.

  • gerry

    Brilliant song rusty!!

  • gerry

    gee thanks for that rusty. It wasn’t quite what I was expecting. LOL

  • fair_deal

    One is an accident (hyland), two is a coincidence (stanton) but three (dougan) is conspiracy.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    ‘One is an accident (hyland), two is a coincidence (stanton) but three (dougan) is conspiracy’

    What kind of conspiracy?

  • maura

    ‘One is an accident (hyland), two is a coincidence (stanton) but three (dougan) is conspiracy. ‘

    Or maybe one is deselection, ( due to a completely democratic process) two is disagreement with strategy and three is, has other committements to take care of?
    Just a possibility?

  • Crataegus

    And four would be? A sure sign summer is on the way? Five the end of civilisation as we know it?

    Seems clear enough there is a measure of disagreement and it will be interesting to see what effect that will have and if anything substantial materialises. Personally I doubt if it will amount to much, there is a big difference between complaining and deciding to seek election.

    As a matter of interest, if dissidents do stand against SF would they transfer to them and if not what other political parties would they consider voting for? Would they for example, in principle support a local independent? Also we hear there are problems in Tyrone and Derry what about the old differences in South Down? If there is a pattern of discontent it may result in a few surprise results.

    It is difficult for an outsider to get a handle on this and usually all the bluster results in nothing concrete. However if dissident Unionists and Republicans stand and contest with vigour, this election could become interesting.

  • dublinsfsupporter

    I think all republicans here would want to wish Geraldine well in future and to be fair to Geraldine she has not raised the policing issue as a reason – she raised personal issues, which is not an uncommon reason for people to take their careers and lives in other directions from time to time even in politics!

    Sinn Féin have a large number of people wishing to stand as MLAs for Sinn Féin and many good people are not selected when it comes for the local party selection process. Therefore it is a competitive business and I think all we learn from Sinn Féin’s procedures this time around is that there is no presumption that the incumbent will get the selection.

    Unlike other parties such as the SDLP, Sinn Féin do not pick people just because they have been in the job. Sinn Féin select on criteria for the job in hand: who would make the best MLA for the people of the constituency.

  • Comrade Stalin

    .. to be fair to Geraldine she has not raised the policing issue as a reason – she raised personal issues, which is not an uncommon reason for people to take their careers and lives in other directions from time to time even in politics!

    But it’s really weird when loads of them keep doing it at the same time, particularly when there is a degree of turbulence over the policing issue.

    Sinn Féin select on criteria for the job in hand: who would make the best MLA for the people of the constituency.

    Surely the electorate decide that. Like they did in South Antrim.

  • Henry94

    Crataegus

    However if dissident Unionists and Republicans stand and contest with vigour, this election could become interesting.

    Not least for the dissidents themselves. “What is your alternative?” is the question they would get on the doorsteps. We haven’t had much luck getting it answered here.

  • parcifal

    indeed henry all we’ve had is dirty looks, angry fists and beaks, and threatening gestures.
    I mean they complain about the unionist siege mentality, whilst adopting a kind of permanent guerilla movement mentality; its so adolescent!

  • dissident

    Our alternative is simple, Henry. We articulate republican principles and ideology. We are not caught up in the trappings of power. If dissident candidates begin to run then we will start building an alternative for republicans, to stop the republican community from being held hostage to the fortunes of a one-party state. We don’t pretend to have all the answers. We don’t need to. But we do know what is wrong: collusion with the British state, cover-up of that collusion, lying to each other, and lying to everyone else, pretending black is white and night is day.

    Policing is a distraction. The policies of SF and their negotiation tactics have led to the dismantlement of the Provisional IRA, not the dismantlement of the British State. They are now in the ridiculous position that they have to endorse the British police in order to have power in the British institutions. They give up too much for too little, without even being in power; what will they give up when they are in that power? Who and what will they sell out then? The poor, the downtrodden, the people of no property.

    Dissident republicans don’t have to have an alternative that is reduced or restricted only to the option of armed struggle. Most dissidents are not interested in that. What they are interested in is political representation that is not spin, or style over substance. They want the truth.

    The truth is that policing is already happening and will happen whether republicans “endorse” it or not. The truth is that we have to work with what we got. Republican, and all areas, need good policing to combat crime, anti-social behaviour, the whole lot. SF pretends its a seismic event to call that “civic policing” as if that is the magic wand to make it suddenly acceptable. Well, that has been happening anyway. It is that SF took the bait that it’s an issue – more than that, it is that SF was using it as a tool of negotiation, sitting it out and letting the areas they represent get worse and worse while they bargained for more power, and now, like decommissioning, where they used the same tactic, it’s too late and their movement on it has come back to bite them on the arse.

    Our alternative is simple. We don’t want ministerial positions or offices in Westminster or tricolours stashed in a city council broom closet as some symbolic ego-massaging point scoring chimera. We want to provide the best for our people while advocating a British withdrawal, a 32 county Republic. A Republic that is for all the people of the island – not just an elite few who know how and when to nod their heads, or who agree with us.

    If we stand candidates now, on an ad-hoc or organised basis, it is only a mere start. It’s not going to be an overnight change or even a minor victory. But it will be and is the evolution of politics. We will take the gains made by this era of peace processing and grow politically, instead of being mired in crisis and conflict. I don’t mean grow in the SF sense of more votes equating more power – all that has meant is that SF will say and do anything for votes. What I mean is that we now have the freedom and space to put our political minds to the task of advancing Irish Republicanism out of the past, out of the SF stranglehold and into today’s realities.

    We can’t offer anyone a plan or blueprint already written and finished, or present this “alternative” you keep demanding. This is something that we will come up with together, from the grass roots up. We aren’t and don’t want to be in the business of dictating “strategy”. We’ve had too much of it for too long and little to show for it but the loss of our dignity and history.

    At this point, our alternative is, Enough is Enough.

    Where we go from here we shall see. It may be nowhere; so be it. At least we will have gotten there honestly.

  • Henry94

    dissident

    Thanks for your reply and I do accept that a dissident political movement would develop ideas through contact with the grassroots in debate and in campaigning. But I believe that you would inevitably be led along the same road as Sinn Fein have travelled because that is what the people want.

    But for now can I ask if you believe you should take your seats at Stormont if elected. Would you designate as nationalists? Would you take seats in the executive?

  • Crataegus

    Comrade

    But it’s really weird when loads of them keep doing it at the same time,

    Weird as a description doesn’t do this justice. I think what we are witnessing is the periphery of an attempt to burry any trace of disagreement over this issue and bury anyone who may be problematic with it. I think it is indicative of a perception that the problem is either serious or could become serious. It’s a bad business when a political party falls on its own supporters and there is no dressing that up. Night of the long knives policies usually leave a political party weaker and eventually cause loss of support. Also on this issue I would prefer some of the disagreement in camp rather than dumped to ruminate. I would rather that some of them were elected and post election left SF rather than other avenues they might pursue. Personally I dislike political clones and yes men and much prefer a bit of divergence of views and a little honesty.

    We have had every angle chucked at this, the comrades in arms, mother Ireland morning her lost sons, the open democratic and competitive structures of SF, the political there’s no alternative but all the time it’s for personal reasons and frankly I for one just don’t buy the ditching of sitting MLAs and democracy argument. I think there is a problem.

    Henry94

    “What is your alternative?” is the question they would get on the doorsteps.

    Oh come on, you know that is irrelevant to political success, some of us have been saying that about the DUP for the last 30 years and look where they are. Ironically now that they have accepted the inevitable it may well be followed by decline when reality replaces myth. In NI politics success is seldom based on reality. The concept of the armed struggle was another misconceived policy that despite its inhumanity did those that preached it little political harm in this most Christian of countries.

    I don’t think the dissidents will amount to a hill of beans in this election. I doubt if they would have the finance or organisation necessary to run an effective campaign, which is a pity for I would rather that they were out running a vigorous campaign so we can all gauge the level of support and they themselves either succeed or come to terms with the changing reality.

  • dissident

    TBH Henry, at this stage, I do not know. It is not even known if there will be candidates; without knowing if there are candidates, who they would be or where they would be standing, I could not presume to know. I would imagine that this election would be a protest vote exercise, and the issue of what to do about Stormont, should it ever even be up and running again, will be hashed out later. What the answer will be then, I could not tell you.

    Would you rather I made something up?

    I do not think that we have to end up on the same road that SF has travelled, in fact I think that in many respects that will be impossible, as we will not have an IRA around our necks as SF has had. We won’t be affliated with any armed groups and no armed actions of any significance have been committed for quite some time. We won’t be beholden to criminals and gangsters as we won’t need the dirty money to fund an armed organisation. So for dissident republicans in the future we will be on a different road and will not have to bend into the same contortions SF has had to do.

    However the same road will be the question of loyalty to the state. Obviously, that is a cul-de-sac we can be driven into as SF are. Our choice should always be loyalty to the people. That is the essence of Republicanism.

    I believe that as time goes on Irish Republicanism will face different challenges, all coming down to the same root: the sovereignty of Ireland and who it resides with. How we choose to confront it, I don’t know. But confront it, we should.

    Can it be confronted by taking up oppositional seats in Stormont? That is something to be debated and decided. We are nowhere near declaring the answer to that – but we can get there!

    I also hold out much hope for the future, the younger generations. They will be the ones who benefit from all this politicking, and hopefully will be in a better position to maker wiser choices than what has been done before them.

  • reality

    “a guerilla movement mentality”

    I don’t have a problem with a mentality as stated above.

    I would never dream of killing someone for my political beliefs, but i accept the right of those who campaign to support the destabilisation of a failed entity.

  • Crataegus

    Dissident

    All good stuff and I wish you well. It would seem to me that what you advocate is good old class politics. A representation of the people by the people and an honesty of approach.

    Our choice should always be loyalty to the people. That is the essence of Republicanism.

    On this road consider perhaps ALL the people, for there are many working class Unionists who are constantly being sold down the river. You would be surprised how much in common you may have with them. The way forward is unity through consent and you may be surprised how much support you would get from the other community if you can strike a fair and sincere path.

  • I would be interested to hear whether anyone here thinks that SF support for policing, if it materialises, would open the door for them to enter into government possibly with Fianna Fail or at least to support a minority Fianna Fail government if that situation was to arise.

  • dissident

    Crataegus, I agree with you wholeheartedly, about the people, all the people. When I say all the people of this island, I mean all – unionists included. We should ditch the sectarian politics of tit for tat hand-outs and posturing, and work for the betterment of us all, together.

  • parcifal

    Seamus,
    apparently Dermot Ahern has ruled that out.
    which I think is most slippery of him.
    check this thread:
    http://sluggerotoole.com/index.php/weblog/comments/dont-worry-about-a-thing/

  • borden

    So all the PSF apologists out there. How may MLAs will be ‘de-selected’ or not choose to run for ‘personal’ reasons before the end of this month?? Timing is everything eh??

  • Chris Donnelly

    RN

    Geraldine Dougan and Kathy Staunton retire as MLAs for personal reasons- where’s the story?

    Didn’t Jim Wilson, Sean Farren indicate they will be doing likewise?

    I’ve got to admit to finding the dissident fixation with trying to reveal a groundswell of republican support for an anti-Sinn Fein position to be quite funny, particularly when they are ‘championing’ people they would have described as ‘sell-outs’ since 1998 and even 1986!

    I’m intrigued to see just how the dissident line-up will be achieved: are we going to have Continuity (post-86) candidates alongside ‘Real’ candidates (post-98)alongside candidates who became dissidents eight years after the Good Friday Agreement?

    The record of dissident candidates in the post-GFA period indicates why Sinn Fein will not be losing much sleep over any potential electoral damage that may come. Off the top of my head I can think of dissident candidates who ran in North Belfast and Antrim since 1998 and failed to achieve three figure votes.

    Like the dissident voices prior to previous elections, I expect to hear predictions of massive protest votes and desertions of party members and supporters, all of which will be exposed cruelly on Count Day, when Sinn Fein’s vote share and seat tallies will once again be on the rise, north and south.

    Like it or not, there isn’t any credible alternative within nationalism to the strategy being pursued by republicans at present, a strategy repeatedly endorsed with the broad republican and nationalist base at successive elections.

    The dissident strategy being pursued by some on this site of ‘exposing’ Sinn Fein dissidents would actually have some credibility if the individuals themselves were to support their own ‘outing’, rather than thwart the cunning plan by openly contradicting the spin being put on their deselections/ retirements by particular journalists.

  • Crataegus

    Dissident
    I mean all – unionists included.
    I am genuinely glad to hear that, and wish you every success. I am weary of the divisions and how they have been used by devils for their own purpose.

    Seamus

    I would be interested to hear whether anyone here thinks that SF support for policing, if it materialises, would open the door for them to enter into government possibly with Fianna Fail

    I would not hold too many lofty principles as barriers for FF accepting SF support. FF will do whatever FF finds necessary to remain in government. Certainly Policing would be hailed as progress (post the election) if SF were needed to make up numbers. At present I don’t see FF needing such support and they have other safer alternatives. The problem for FF is that SF are in places contesting for what they see as their votes and seats so you can expect little by way of congratulations or a leg up, indeed quite the opposite. FF have always impressed me by their resilience. They are one crafty bunch. I think they would prefer to continue with the PDs and independents or possibly Greens.

    I think there is a bigger question; in such circumstances would SF be wise to enter a government with FF at this point in time? It would give rise to all sorts of problems and expose all sorts of hypocrisy. Coalitions require a certain maturity and dependability and if I were in FF I would be reluctant to be a potential hostage to fortune. SF brings all sorts of potential baggage and there is no telling what may arise. That said I think FF would have them for breakfast.

    Chris

    They may need a good vote to show support, but in places they do not need much of a vote to do damage to SF. Also I wouldn’t be too confident it seemed to me that there was a fair measure of dissatisfaction in Republican circles which is wider than the Policing issue and pre-dates it. This dissatisfaction seems strong enough in some areas. As a very ardent Republican put it to me last Autumn we now only vote for them (SF) because there is no alternative. I think SF may be taking some of its support base for granted. If a dissident group got itself organised and ran a good campaign I think you may be surprised at the vote they may take.

    There is an interesting history of Nationalist parties, each generation seems to bring forth a new party.

  • BeardyBoy

    As a non-Republican I can see the only true Nationalist position is to use the State against itself – go into Stormont and destroy it sprocedures by, for example, sending the money to Darfur instead of here – imagine the rage and confusion, moving all administration to Strabane, that sort of thing – totally destabilise the state, the Brits will have to admit its position is untenable.

    This place only exists if the nationalist people help or aquiesce in their own demise, which is why the present representative parties are failing in their strategies and always will.

  • Gilbert Jeannon

    “Like it or not, there isn’t any credible alternative within nationalism to the strategy being pursued by republicans at present, a strategy repeatedly endorsed with the broad republican and nationalist base at successive elections.”

    Exactly Chris. The term credible is essential as the republican / nationalist base, sophisticated as it is, knows that sharing power with unionism in the six counties is a step towards unity, by challenging the inbuilt unionist veto as well as showing that Sinn Fein can represent the interests of those voters, failed by both the British government and the Unionist establishment.

    “Our duty is to hold ourselves responsible to the people. Every word, every act and every policy must conform to the people’s interests – that is what being responsible to the people means.”

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    dissident,

    ‘What they are interested in is political representation that is not spin, or style over substance. They want the truth.’

    the problem the dissidents will face is that when they themselves have difficult decisions to take then someone else will shout ‘spin’ and abouth wanting the ‘truth’.

    ‘The truth is that policing is already happening and will happen whether republicans “endorse” it or not. The truth is that we have to work with what we got. Republican, and all areas, need good policing to combat crime, anti-social behaviour, the whole lot.’

    Given that you accept this particular ‘truth’ are you endorsing young nationalists joining the present policing service so that they can help prevent this anti social behaviour etc? If no then who should do this?

    ‘But it will be and is the evolution of politics. We will take the gains made by this era of peace processing and grow politically,’

    So you admit gains have been made?

    ‘Where we go from here we shall see. It may be nowhere; so be it. At least we will have gotten there honestly.’

    You are asking people to put faith in people who don’t know where they are going or how to get there?

    ‘I would imagine that this election would be a protest vote exercise, and the issue of what to do about Stormont, should it ever even be up and running again, will be hashed out later.’

    So at this stage you are not ruling out entering Stormont?

  • Joe Romhar

    ‘What kind of conspiracy?’
    The conspiracy by Freddie Scap’s fellow touts to cover up for his touting.

  • Seán

    The “dissidents” will not be standing anyone in the forthcoming elections, its all grandstanding nonsense; they have absolutely nothing to offer the Republican community other than worn out rhetoric. In the last twenty years all these groupings put together have been totally ineffective in mounting any sort of challenge or alternative to Sinn Féin ,its put up or shut up time .

  • BogExile

    Dissident: ‘Policing is a distraction’

    No, dissident you and the dismal little rump of reality refusniks are the distraction.

    Policing will be accepted, of course. The majority of ordinary punters want it as a public service.

    I wonder about you lot, I really do – a line from a Derek Mahon poem springs to mind:

    ‘standing at street corners, kings of nothing under the sun.’

    Just go away with your tired delusional behaviour and give our heads peace (and our streets).

  • dissident

    the problem the dissidents will face is that when they themselves have difficult decisions to take then someone else will shout ‘spin’ and abouth wanting the ‘truth’.

    That is only if we become liars like yourselves, Pat. People are not stupid. They don’t need a spoonful of spin to make the medicine go down. We don’t need defeat continually dressed up as Victory, to pretend that day is night so that while we may have lost the war, we can feel good about it. That is what you and your party does, Pat. Dissidents are not interested in that whatsoever.

    Given that you accept this particular ‘truth’ are you endorsing young nationalists joining the present policing service so that they can help prevent this anti social behaviour etc? If no then who should do this?

    Personally, Pat, I don’t care who joins. All I care about is that if I ever need to use the police, that they show up quickly and do a professional job which nets credible results. I would wager at the end of the day that is what most people want. Making it an issue of a power struggle doesn’t help, especially when the core of that power struggle (consent, in SF’s case), was given away long ago.

    I can tell you this I most certainly do not want any quasi police force/CRJ that the Provos control doing anything about anti-social behaviour – been there, done that, no thanks.

    So you admit gains have been made?

    I’d be rather daft not too, Pat. Republicanism has been set back, but on a broader scale we are all in a different position than we were.

    You are asking people to put faith in people who don’t know where they are going or how to get there?

    At least I’m honest about it! LOL. Sorry, Pat, I do not mean to laugh at your expense. But I have (recently) heard SFers say that the PSNI is a tool they are going to use to achieve a United Ireland. I would prefer honesty to that sort of nonsense, myself.

    So at this stage you are not ruling out entering Stormont?

    As I said to Henry, Pat, I have no idea:
    (from my previous answer) “I do not know. It is not even known if there will be candidates; without knowing if there are candidates, who they would be or where they would be standing, I could not presume to know. I would imagine that this election would be a protest vote exercise, and the issue of what to do about Stormont, should it ever even be up and running again, will be hashed out later. What the answer will be then, I could not tell you.”

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    dissident,

    when you use the word liar in the first line of your response then i’m afraid you only strengthen the view that outside of name calling and serial negativity people like yourself have nothing to offer.

    Now, at each stage of this process SF and republicane taken initatives to take the process forward. SF have explained initatives and the reasons for doing so. That allows question to be asked and the strategy to be questioned. What is clear is that for inertia to set in or for lack of movement on the political stage simply allows the status quo to remain, a situation that suits unionism just fine.

    Your views on policing are simply just not good enough. So you don’t really care etc etc. It is policing today you don’t care about, what will it be tomorrow? Ignoring issues and burying your head in the sand is not an option.

    Your post seems to boil down to, we don’t have a strategy for anything but we are not SF (….) Fill in about Armani suits or whatever insult etc in the brackets.

    Please do organise and fight the elections, for too long hurlers in the ditch have been allowed to smear and yelp from the sidelines while themselves being immune from the hard questions. But a word of advice simply labelling people who disagree with you as liars and coming off with ‘I don’t really care’ when queried on the questions of the day won’t get you very far.

  • dissident

    when you use the word liar in the first line of your response then i’m afraid you only strengthen the view that outside of name calling and serial negativity people like yourself have nothing to offer.

    What else do you suggest I call people who tell lies? Am I supposed to pretend that they aren’t lying? Am I supposed to overlook the lies? I am truly at a loss here, Pat. To me it is very simple: you avoid accusations of spin by telling the truth. If you don’t tell the truth, you are lying. Ergo, you are a liar. I would rather offer truth than lies. If that offends your delicate sensibilities, well, sorry. But the lies and lying offends me.

    Now, at each stage of this process SF and republicane taken initatives to take the process forward. SF have explained initatives and the reasons for doing so. That allows question to be asked and the strategy to be questioned. What is clear is that for inertia to set in or for lack of movement on the political stage simply allows the status quo to remain, a situation that suits unionism just fine.

    Blah, blah, blah. Empty words that ultimately mean nothing. “Take the process forward” = ceasefire, endorse the principle of consent, decommission the IRA, endorse the PSNI, disguise what has been done as a “victory”, a transition to a United Ireland. The “process” may have moved forward, but what else? You go on to describe inertia and lack of movement, which apart from the concessions SF has given is exactly what we have had, isn’t it? The status quo is either direct rule or power sharing, both choices which mean that the six counties are part of the United Kingdom. Nothing SF has done has meant that will change, no matter how “forward” the “process” is moved. You say SF have explained initiatives and reasons for doing so – I say SF has given us line after line, spin after spin, whatever suits the moment – “trust the leadership”, “if it’s good enough for the families it’s good enough for us”, “there is no alternative”, and all the other doublespeak. Questions may get asked, but never satisfactorily answered. The strategy may get questioned, but never specifically laid out. People have left the movement over that. If you question too much or too hard, you get sidelined, maligned, pushed out. So don’t give me that guff, Pat. I see it for exactly what it is.

    Your views on policing are simply just not good enough. So you don’t really care etc etc. It is policing today you don’t care about, what will it be tomorrow? Ignoring issues and burying your head in the sand is not an option.

    I didn’t say I don’t care about policing. When you respond to what I have actually said instead of attempting to spin it as something else, I will engage with you on the issue. Your spin isn’t good enough.

    Your post seems to boil down to, we don’t have a strategy for anything but we are not SF (….) Fill in about Armani suits or whatever insult etc in the brackets.

    Hey, it’s a start. Not being SF can be quite a positive these days.

    Please do organise and fight the elections, for too long hurlers in the ditch have been allowed to smear and yelp from the sidelines while themselves being immune from the hard questions. But a word of advice simply labelling people who disagree with you as liars and coming off with ‘I don’t really care’ when queried on the questions of the day won’t get you very far.

    A word of advice to you, Pat – reducing what people sincerely say to you to deliberately misread/misquoted spin/soundbites designed to make you look better do just the opposite. Oh, and the likes of you is one good reason why I am fed up to the backteeth with the likes of SF.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    dissident,

    your posts are a great consolation to me. If ever have any dou aimed more at personalities than substantivebts about where this process is going I need look no further than your own contributions. A sorry mish mash of pseudo emotionalism.
    If you cannot work out that not caring who joins the policing service is central to the whole policing question and the provsion to policing to a community then you are akin to a political ostrich.

    I will give you benefit of the doubt about being sincere (just about) but if you are not prepared to get into specifics then all you offer is a bland version of bread tomoorow without any measure of how that will be provided.

    ‘Oh, and the likes of you is one good reason why I am fed up to the backteeth with the likes of SF’

    Good.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    ‘If ever have any dou aimed more at personalities’ than substantivebts about where this process is going’

    Should have been.

    If ever any doubt remained over dissident oppostion to SF it is clearly aimed more at personalities than substantive issues about where this process is going.

    Computer playing up re editing.

  • dissident

    About who joins the PSNI. As long as they do their job, do it well and do it professionally, what does it matter? I am not a subscriber to affirmative action being the cure for all discriminatory ills. And we both know that one factor for the lack of Catholic/Nationalists in the PSNI is SF’s attitude (which is of course changing). So don’t give me any nonsense about my being a political ostrich.

    What is important is that the police force is accountable and transparent and does its job. Which according to reports today, it is still failing miserably at doing with a terrible clearance rate. I believe the police are doing so terrible because our political representatives would rather play footsie over symbolic and empty issues than hold the police to account.

    SF is particularly dreadful in this regards, as they consistently employ a double standard with their approach towards holding the police accountable, some crimes are more worthy of police attention than others. This means for them it is all politics. When that is the case, we all lose. The police are then only held to a political standard and thus will not do their jobs, or will be constrained in doing their jobs as they are held back by political concerns. This serves no one.

    As to the make up of the police force. Far better to have an honest Protestant than a Catholic liar as a policeman, which is what you would fill them with. If it is a Catholic policeman beating you or a Protestant policeman beating you it makes no odds, you are still being beaten. So what, then does it matter, if young nationalists join the force? It only matters in regards to how they do their job.

    It is acknowledged that we need a police force. In this regard this is why I don’t particularly care who joins. The way things are they will always be joining a British police force. To pretend otherwise is nonsense. But I maintain that it is more of an issue than it needs to be because of the contortions of SF during this peace process.

    On a lighter note, Pat, you can’t even come clean about your disastrous typos, how can you be trusted on your politics! Computer playing up! Perhaps you need to feed the monkey you have typing for you!

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    dissident,

    a very relevant question, which SF is currently asking, is whether at this juncture nationalists and republicans should have a say in policing themselves. This deficit has long been at the core of why policing structures were by and large ostracised by the nationalist and republican communities. If you ever get along to do a bit of campaigning and asking real people you will eventually find that out for yourself.

    ‘SF is particularly dreadful in this regards, as they consistently employ a double standard with their approach towards holding the police accountable, some crimes are more worthy of police attention than others. This means for them it is all politics. When that is the case, we all lose. The police are then only held to a political standard and thus will not do their jobs, or will be constrained in doing their jobs as they are held back by political concerns. This serves no one.’

    Answered above, that is central to the ongoing debate that dissidents have absented themselves from.

    ‘As to the make up of the police force. Far better to have an honest Protestant than a Catholic liar as a policeman, which is what you would fill them with.’

    The recruitment procedure should be independent and above board subject only to the 50/50 requirement. Thus no politcal party or even my good self is in a position to fill it with anyone. I’m surprised you do not know this. But then again you come late to the argument,

    ‘If it is a Catholic policeman beating you or a Protestant policeman beating you it makes no odds, you are still being beaten. So what, then does it matter, if young nationalists join the force? It only matters in regards to how they do their job.’

    If you absent yourself from the debate then you are condemning future generations to beatings etc, again it is unfortunate that you are unwilling to try and ensure no such actions are part of any future policing service.

    By your own account you might advocate the fighting of elections or you may not. If elected you may advocate going to Stormont or you may not. All during this period you have no policies but you are in expectation that policies may evolve as the organisation you might form may somehow take shape. Have I left anything out?

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    dissident,

    on a lighter note don’t complain of being hit with soundbites when your first offering on this thread came from the handbook of pseudo socialist republican cliches. I stopped counting at a dozen.

  • I wonder if the salary arrangements for SF representatives play any part in the decisions not to run.

    Even if all three are being stood down by the party – *gasp* imagine a party requiring that it’s elected members follow party policy, nope, never heard of that at all.

    Of course, if SF was letting candidates opposed to supporting the PSNI run that would be used as “proof” they didn’t support policing.

    Anything to distract from the DUP moving the goal posts again:
    o Return the bank heist money (you mean the waste paper that was probably burnt?)
    o Require that SF members testify against those involved in the McCartney murder.
    o Another period of decontamination.

    I’m sure the demands for verifiable disbanding of the PIRA are on the way – unless I’ve already missed them.

  • Sean Og

    “gasp* imagine a party requiring that it’s elected members follow party policy, nope, never heard of that at all.”

    The funny thing is, they agree with current party policy. The policy hasn’t been changed yet. They are being stood down for supporting current policy.
    Now that is a case of man bites dog.

  • Fuiseog

    Henry, Pat et al …

    This is and has been for decades, centuries even, the Republican alternative to SF’s administering British rule in the North of Ireland and actively supporting the crown forces, the crown courts, their corrupt criminal justice system, and by default the crown security infra structure as represented by the touts, the spy’s and the ubiquitous ‘agents of influence.’

    “Armed resistance is the indispensable factor in our struggle for freedom. … Unless we were willing to fight for our nation, even without any certainty of success, we acquiesced in the doctrine of our national identity with England. It embodied, too, for us the spirit of sacrifice, the maintenance of the ideal, the courage to die for it, so that military efforts were made in nearly every generation. It was a protest, too, against our Anglicisation and demoralisation, a challenge of spirit against material power, and as has always such borne fruit.

    Captain M.Collins IRB

    Taking a jail analogy, it is simply not acceptable that you put on the prison garb and squeaky boots by deed while by word claiming with a nod and a wink that you dont agree with the regime and assert that you are as committed as ever to breaking the system from within. Your very actions betray what you stood and fought for over the decades and criminalises and degrages the very struggle you have pledged to uphold.

    Moreover, it is a blatant disgusting lie, the latest in a long list of lies, and well practiced publicly peddled self delusion and authoritarian self importance that somehow Gerry kelly and Connor Murphy sitting on some committee, somewhere in time, will countermand and bring to heel the English State’s security services malignant influence in Irish affairs.

    As can be seen by this thread even SF’s most loyal activists are beginning to see the bleak truth and dismal depths of their leadership’s de-volution from spirited, dedicated revolutionaries to … (fill in the blanks as I despair to identify what ideology SF represents these days)

    Is mise
    Fuiseog

  • wee dee

    There is now a very strong rumour circulating between Portadown and Craigavon of two more SF MLAs about to be chopped – namely Francie Molloy and John O’Dowd. Molloy (it is alleged) has had a major fall out with Gildernew and has been supposedly showing sympathy to dissidents in E Tyrone, while O’Dowd again allegedly has been keeping bad company in Lurgan again with dissident voices and his antics over bunting in Lurgan during July is said to have ‘not been lost’ on Belfast.

    Anyone heard of this?

  • slug

    “There is now a very strong rumour circulating between Portadown and Craigavon of two more SF MLAs about to be chopped – namely Francie Molloy and John O’Dowd. Molloy (it is alleged) has had a major fall out with Gildernew and has been supposedly showing sympathy to dissidents in E Tyrone, while O’Dowd again allegedly has been keeping bad company in Lurgan again with dissident voices and his antics over bunting in Lurgan during July is said to have ‘not been lost’ on Belfast.

    Anyone heard of this?”

    No. Where did you hear it and how reliable?

    Also have you heard any on the persistent North Antrim rumour about their current SF MLA?

  • Sean Og,

    yeah it’s pretty ironic isn’t it? Of course that’s IF policing is the reason, but you get the point I’m making.

    Fuiseog,

    the idealistic purity you outline has its allure but the significant difference between today and times past is that this is a british govt trying to extricate itself from Ireland not one intent on retaining its suzerainty.

    The days of a partitioned Ireland are drawing to a close, we are entering a period of transition which requires engagement not isolation. It is time to take ownership of the organs of state, including police and the justice system. Let’s give the british the help they want to leave.

  • DK

    ” the significant difference between today and times past is that this is a british govt trying to extricate itself from Ireland not one intent on retaining its suzerainty”

    That was also true in 1916. After all, they had agreed home rule in 1914 and only the sudden appearance of millions of heavily armed Germans put it on ice.

    Only the dissidents stirring up the pot can prevent the British from withdrawing faster than they already are. Just like the IRA before them.

    As it has been said before, the problem is not the Brits, it is the Ulster Unionists.

  • Slugger O’Toole Admin

    Robert,

    If any of those three were confirmed as hard and fast conditions on the part of the DUP, I’m fairly sure the deal would have broken quite some time ago. At the moment they remain in my ‘optics’ box.

  • Wilde Rover

    Fuiseog

    It’s interesting you quote Michael Collins.

    Of course, he was the only man in the 800 year conflict with the Crown who fully appreciated the need to root out paid spies and informants and the need to blind the “eyes and ears” of Crown forces in Ireland.

    As this was the time of the most important “Result” it is indeed comforting to recollect.

    Sadly, as drip after morbid drip of Provo collusion fester in the aftermath of the ceasefire it would seem that Collins was an exceptional case.

    And as for Realo and Conto, well, they don’t stand a chance because they don’t seem to have a neo-Collins waiting in the wings.

    And even if they did have a neo-Collins, the “friends in America” aren’t as keen on downing British Army helicopters with SAMs as they used to be, so not much luck there.

    Ultimately, any future military campaign would end up wet because it would be pissing into the wind and its leaders would, as always, find themselves either in jail or “skulking in their tents” on some foreign shore.

    So it makes you wonder, what’s the point?