Dissidents to get hammered at the polls?

Brian Feeney is not impressed with the premise on which Republican dissenters have based their case, nor for that matter the Voice for Democracy group on the Unionist side. Most importantly, he reckons they are going to get hammered in the forthcoming election.


  • Pete Baker

    Brian Feeney might have had the beginnings of an argument if the election wasn’t an election at all but, instead, a referendum.. but it’s not.

    And no amount of pretending that it is will change that fact.

    One more small, but important, detail.

    “the prospect of nationalist political control of policing and criminal justice in the north,”

    Is not the prospect ahead.

    Political control of policing? Isn’t that what we want to avoid?

  • gerry

    Considering the republican dissidents do not have a large election machine and no money they have done pretty well. Is this because people want to hear what they have to say. It makes no difference if they are hammered at the polls, there’ll be other elections. The dissidents are not reaping praise from tony blair, or peter hain, but they opened up a debate that the sf leadership tried its best to control or stop.

    IMO they’ve done pretty well, and hopefully will go on to do better. The anti-ruc platform even if they take one seat can score a victory. they’ve certainly made adams and his leadership answerable to the base, thats already a victory.

  • Red Mist

    Support from the likes of Feeney is the poisioned chalice. Support from people who should be opponents (Feeney – SDLP and Blair – British Prime Minister) will only convince those in opposition to Adams of the righteousness of their case. If the traditional enemies of republicanism are supporting the SF line then the likely hood is that Adams strategy is not that republican.

  • J Kelly

    Gerry this is there one big chance and even at this stage the cracks are begining to show. At the Derry meeting some were in favour of taking seats some were opposed. Some supported armed struggle some opposed it. So the glue this time is policing but when that is gone these groups will go off in their different directions. They wont be able to build a serious alternative to Sinn Fein. RSF, 32CSM, IRSP independent republicans too many egos and issues to stick together.

  • Red Mist

    J Kelly,

    I think you might be missing one important possibility. Whilst many of these groups may not be able to form any cohesive broad front in the future, for many of the reasons you have outlined, that may not be the right place to look for an alternative.

    SF and the PRM in general, have taken big hits over the past two years. People have left in their droves as a direct result of the direction Adams et al are leading the movement. Crucially, many of these resignations involve highly respected young people and very committed and experienced ‘aul hands’. None of these people are likely to ‘just go home’ (SF parlance) and forget their beliefs. I believe this is where the alternative will emanate from.

  • obwan

    you are an idiot if you think that this election is the end of the republican rebellion. this election is merely the start, like the peak of the sun as it begins to dawn. it is by no means something which will be curbed or ended by an election. no one is worried about whether the independent candidates do well or not, no one seriously expects them to and that is not the point. if you honestly think the point of the independents and the rebellion is to win seats at an election then you are seriously deluded and in huge denial about what is happening.

    just like they used to say, independents only need to get lucky once in terms of this election. and as gerry mcgeough said on hearts and minds last night, he is not going to turn into a crown force partitionist overnight just because he mightn’t win one election.

    all the people who are unhappy with sinn fein now are not going to suddenly wake up the day after this election and think, well, the majority voted, better go back to sinn fein.

    the cracks are beginning to show and they are not cracks in the rebellion. your wishful thinking about the rebellion is evidence of the cracks the rebellion is causing with the provos.

    it might be better to be honest about the rebellion, why it is happening, the legitimate grievances have with the leadership, and honestly deal with them, acknowledge them and respect them. but then again, the problems would not be what they are if the leadership had been honest all along. so it might be a bit much to expect them to start being honest and treat others with respect now.

    but it is a suggestion to consider.

  • heck

    “the prospect of nationalist political control of policing and criminal justice in the north,”

    As someone who normally agrees with Feeney this is nonsense, stupid, ill informed, fatuous nonsense!

    The chief constable and judges will still be appointed by faceless men in London. The special branch files on collusion will still remain closed and the unaccountable PSNI/UVF will still mouth the “most accountable police force in Europe” bull shit and Honest Tony’s useful idiots on this site will echo it.

    The prosecution service will continue to cover up state crimes by claiming “public interest” after a call from some London spook. Judges will still be appointed from those loyal to the great and good and take it as there role to defend the state (aka Widgery, Demming and Hutton) and Ingram’s friends will continue to get away with murder.

    Feeney makes fun of those who say they want policing but not the PSNI/UVF. Count me in that category. I also support the “rule of law”. The concept of the “rule of law” is as a check on the state, not having uniformed thugs dealing with people the state considers undesirable. Saddam imposed order in Iraq (and to allow you guys to shout Godman’s(?) law, Nazi Germany was peaceful and German citizens could walk the streets without having to deal with undesirables).

    The “rule of law” does not exist in Nor Iron and never has, (or Britain for that mater-look at the BAe bribery scandal.)

    When the “rule of law” exists in Nor Iron I will support it but not before.

  • Aaron McDaid

    There is no need for the disaffected republicans to be united in order for them to be successful. There could easily be three or more republican candidates on the ballot, and thanks to the electoral system the voters can transfer from one to the other. So basically the anti-PSNI republican voters get to decide which anti-SF republican they want, and there is little problem with the anti-SF vote being split. Of course, I’m not denying the advantages of being more united, just making an observation on the advantages of the transfer system – if a candidate loses then it’s almost as if he/she never took part.

  • SDLP to the core

    Would Brian Feeney like to use this site to deny that he has had several secret meetings with Sinn Fein in cluding one last August in a room in the Londonderry Arms hotel in Carnlough Co Antrim about standing as a Sinn Fein candidate in a future election to Europe

  • Rory

    “Independents only need to get lucky once in terms of this election….” asserts Obwan.

    With potential candidates such as that self proclaimed man of God, Gerry McGeogh, they will need more than luck. Divine intervention will be necessary. But even God Himself has not the power to persuade enough fools to support a IRPS candidate.

  • BeardyBoy

    Wait and see what happens when the first Orange Lodge forces its way through a nationalist area – if the locals resist and get battered by the police as is most likely what will happens Adams then?

    What a sticky wicket that will be

  • Crataegus

    The independents if they get their act together and stand on a wider platform than policing will do surprisingly well. This is a deep rooted problem in SF and has been there for some time. SF is not as popular as it believes, it gets votes because there is no alternative that sort of loyalty can disappear like snow of a ditch when the sun rises.

    As for Brian Feeney hardly impartial.

  • Jesus Christ

    Cast your minds back to the hunger strikes of 1980 and 1981. The Provos did the dirt on IRSP and other candidates but it was non Sinn Fein candidates who opened the opportunities for the chancers to move in. Back then, besides undermining the IRSP etc, Sinn Fein were laughed at along the very same smart ass lines Feeney is now doing.
    The mother of the Irish Republican socialist martyr Patsy O’Hara is a little old in the tooth to front a new outfit but she should poll respectably if a tad on the small side.
    Let’s face it. We are all delighted with the legs falling from under the Provo opportunists and most of us would not shed any tears if some of them suffered the fate earlier collaborators did.

    My verdict is Feeney is personalising this, the dissidents (such a Soviet era word) will do ok but not great as they lack a political machine and the Provos will probably beat up some of their leaders. But most decent people know that there is no room anywhere except Milltown for chameleons like Sinn Fein IRA.

  • sean

    you people are having some kind of bad acid trip thinking the republican vote is going to split into a million little fragments. people even those ones you consider the stupid little proletariate are pragmatic enough to know that splitting their vote is not in their best interest

  • BeardyBoy

    SF will remain the biggest anti-unionist party. The other parties will remain small as they are all socialist in philosophy.
    McGeogh has the best chance to grow. He has a large consistency which is pro-catholic teaching which is alienated by SF social policy. He has this on both sides of the border. It is likely to take at least 10 years for him to form any sort of impact.

    The positive side of this is it maximises the nationalist vote as some who would not vote may now do so.