Some questions arising…

As one commenter has suggested, the release of what Sinn Fein claims is a pre-agreed text with the DUP, appears to be Gerry Adams playing a joker. Indeed it will be interesting to see how the DUP counter it. But this is precisely what Slugger asked for over a week ago when this ‘crisis’ began. I guess late is better than never. But why has it been released now?

Possibly because it leaves journalists little time to check the provenance of the wording. There is no direct channel between Sinn Fein and the DUP. It must have been passed to SF through the NIO. As yet we have no idea of the conditions or the context in which this ‘deal’ was made.

It’s doubtful that it will cause much of stir within the DUP, since it doesn’t actually negate anything the party has said. In the end, conditions on the ground will dictate their consent to the devolution of policing powers, or otherwise.

That lack of substantial difference between what was promised, and what was delivered raises the possibility that it was released now, because it just might smother a rather difficult discussion on the party’s questionable deal (and questionable for everyone in Northern Ireland, not just nationalists) over MI5.


  • Crash Landing

    Easy to see why its been released.

    SF in turmoil and obvious tensions (right up to the top) within their party.

    They are clearly trying to bring things to a halt – and avoid any blame which may be floating around.

    Its all one long “not my fault, guv” from the Shinners

  • Glen Taisie

    Sinn Fein’s giant U-turn is proving difficult.

    Everyone from the concerned republican group to the leadership “loyalists” know there is only one destination.

    No-one is fooled.

  • J Kelly

    of course everyone knows the destination a United Ireland

  • overhere

    As far as I can see this would not have happened if the DUP had not of been so hypocritical and spoke direct to SF as they do in local councils etc.

  • seabhac siúlach

    “But why has it been released now?”

    It’s clearly for internal comsumption…possibly as a means to show that the leadership of PSF were not sold quite as big a pup as would appear from the recent negative statements from the DUP. Its publication (an unusual act in the context of ongoing ‘negotiations’) is perhaps necessary to steady the PSF ship which appears at the moment to be listing quite badly…defections, deselections, anonymous letters to the press, etc.
    This ironically titled ‘pre-agreed text’ may perhaps be useful to Adams in convincing waiverers that if they call the Ard Fheis all will still be well…as that wording is the one that was really secretly agreed with the DUP (and the basis on which they are all secretly working) but which the DUP, for whatever reason, cannot publicly admit to. All of this, of course, now requires an even greater leap of faith for the party activists…who will be asked in the Ard Fheis to ignore the constant negative comments from the DUP and instead believe Adams and his ‘text’. Adams will almost certainly call the Ard Fheis, he and PSF have no choice, having painted themselves into a corner, even if it risks splitting the party further.

    It is all a bit pathetic, Mr Adams and the rest of his cabal having to plead with Dr. No to say Yes. It is a curious brand of ‘republicanism’…

    If I am not too late with predictions for the new year…mine would be that Adams will not see out this one as leader of PSF…

  • Pat

    “of course everyone knows the destination a United Ireland”
    Posted by J Kelly

    Are you serious? Talk of a united Ireland is long gone. Talk of a good pension fund for the SF leadership, paid for by London, is more the order of the day!

  • Yokel


    Interesting angle that in releasing ths Gerry is looking to reassure the grassroots that there is a deal, just one that cant be spoken publically by the DUP.

    The only thing is, why couldnt he tell that to the members in private and have it spread that way? Maybe the problem is less the members and more the republican electorate?

  • JD


    I will look forward to talking to you on the other side of this phase of the process, say September. DUP excuses over, irreversably split, unionism in turmoil with little to coaless around. Sinn Fein advancement in a reconvened Assembly, removing the ability of the SDLP to provide cross community support to unionists, Sinn Fein in a political position in the twenty six counties to begin dictating the policy directions of the new Irish Government particularly in relation to becoming the drivers for unity that they have never been before.

  • seabhac siúlach

    “The only thing is, why couldnt he tell that to the members in private and have it spread that way? Maybe the problem is less the members and more the republican electorate?”

    Yes, you are probably right…when I mentioned ‘for internal consumption’ I was originally thinking more of the wider republican base…
    Perhaps publishing it publicly allows Adams to hit two birds with one stone, though…reassuring activists and electorate at the same time…
    Of course, the delay of one week since this latest ‘crisis’ broke and the release of today’s text may just have been the time necessary for Adams to privately brief PSF activists on the ongoing talks. That is, if we assume, that he actually keeps those lower down the food chain in PSF more informed on these matters than the common voter…I am not convinced of this…

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    “But why has it been released now?”

    Possibly to show that the DUP tried to deliver but that the actions of senior members scuppered any chance of a deal.

    Quite a few posters have commented on the internal(perceived) problems of SF without actually backing up what they say. Apparently anonymous letters to the press fall into this category.

  • middle-class taig

    Not a bad idea to bring to public light DUPlicity. Paisley can deny all he likes. Who’s to say Paisley agreed the words, or ever saw them? Who’s to say how in the loop he is? And it it didn’t come from the DUP, but from the NIO, and they’ve fabricated it, Gerry can point to them as liars.

    It’ll be interesting to see how this one pans out – quite fluid, and a dangerous dog for Gerry to let of the leash unless he reckons he’s in control.

  • ingram

    Middle class Taig.

    The person most likely to be lying is the one with a long record of doing so, not only to his own supporters but to the wider community also.

    You do have to work on past Behavour patterns.

    Any guess who that is?


  • seabhac siúlach

    “Quite a few posters have commented on the internal(perceived) problems of SF without actually backing up what they say. Apparently anonymous letters to the press fall into this category.”

    If we put to one side the idea of ‘anonymous’ letters (btw, there are a sizeable number appearing in the Irish News these days critical of PSF…strange that…if these are not evidence of internal problems, they certainly indicate trouble in the wider community), I also mentioned first the more serious matter of defections and deselections from PSF, which you have not surprisingly ignored. Are we to ignore the sizeable number of MLAs who are suddenly finding that a MLA’s salary is not for them…for, eh, personal reasons…how so very noble of them btw…

    These defections and deselections have been widely followed in the media and are clearly evidence of more than the usual practise of choosing the best (ahem) candidates available…as some on this site would naively have us believe…
    How much can I back up this widely held perception that internally PSF is in turmoil…I have only the abundant evidence that has appeared in the media to help me, e.g., the previously mentioned unexplained deselections of MLAs, etc. Recently there have also been letters published in the press from former high-ranking and well respected republicans criticising the leadership, etc. These letters from former high ranking republicans are clearly evidence of a wider dissatisfaction in the republican base which most certainly includes present PSF activists, etc. These letter writers can be considered as ‘stalking horses’…testing the support of the anti-Adams camp…

    If PSF is not in internal turmoil, then they are doing a damn fine impression of it. Something for the PSF PR/spin boys to have a think on…after all, in politics it is perception that counts and at the moment the perception is that PSF is in turmoil, and if not in turmoil then panic…
    Going back to your comments, it doesn’t matter what I think, or can prove or whatever, it is what the wider public, through the media perceive and believe to be the case…and in that PSF is in trouble.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    One of them sat down and plotted with the UWC while elements of that organisation and British Intelligence were murderering and intimidating throughout the place in 1974. All the time insisting he held no truck with violence

    One of them promised to resign from public life if the second UWC strike was a failure and lo and behold turned the truth and logic on its head by claimimg it a success.

    One of them told the police not to come running to him if violence was visited upon them (again by erstwhile colleagues from the UWC days) around the time of the AIA. Ironic given his insistence of support for the police now before devolution can be restored.

    Yip, a totem of integrity and the truth all right.

  • middle-class taig


    the most consistent liar in the piece is the British government

  • Pat Mc Larnon


    letters to the paper cannot be taken as a measurement of anything. Now I wonder who would be writing large numbers of anonymous letters at this time? I wonder as an election approaches who could be writing anonymous letters?

    The proliferance of SDLP letter writers especially is an indication of the approaching election. It is mainly used as a tool to indicate to their constituents that they are still alive. They try that old stunt every election with ever decreasing returns.

    The defections or deselections were not ignored just can’t see the the logic. All the deselections have been discussed before (only one claimed policing as a problem, even then after issuing a contradictory statement). As for defections how many has there been? The letters to the press from prominent republicans etc are from people who have not been members of SF or the republican movement for some time, hardly a gauge of internal dissatisfaction. Have you nothing more contemporary?

    You are right in the main about the media, they have always been available to spin the anti SF line and probably always will. Though I disagree that the public buy into it that much.

  • antobar

    Who is Pat Mc Larnon really trying to convince here? Face it Pat, SF are in trouble on this one. many of the waiverers who have lent their vote to SF in the past did so as a carrot. They didn’t realy endorse what SF stand for and now they are planning on returning their vote to the SDLP, who they know will get the Assembly up and running again. I personally know many people who feel this way and, quite frankly, are p****d off with the SF/DUP games.

    Let SF talk the talk but let the SDLP walk the walk.

  • middle-class taig


    Mate, you can’t be serious. People who switched won’t be back to the SDLP unless it does something dramatic which advances the nationalist cause to win them back of SF. Numerous opportunities exist. Carping at SF will get them nowhere.

  • qubol

    “Carping at SF will get them nowhere.”
    Yeah thats one thing I always found strange about the SDLP and their supporters – they just dont get it. Slagging Sinn Fein only plays well with people who would vote SDLP come hell or high water. For the ordinary Nationalist who switched to Sinn Fein its a complete turn off.

  • Nationalist

    I guess after this revelation the UUP can have a smile and get their own back on Paisley at the election.

    Can’t you just see the propoaganda poster slogans:
    A picture of Big Ian and the heading- “Vote DUP The Lundy Party”!

  • matt

    You haven’t responded to Pat…cat got your tongue!