Politicians hermetically sealed from any blame…

Brian Feeney, caustic as ever, nevertheless has a wider frame for the issues arising from Nuala O’Loan’s report into the killing of Raymond McCord junior than most of the reporting. Not least the official stop put in place under the aegis of the Inquiries Act 2005:

Will anything ever be done as a result? Nuala O’Loan concluded that in dealing with the Mount Vernon UVF, “the most serious failings are at chief officer level particularly those chief officers who were responsible for Special Branch”.

Now do you imagine for one minute that if prosecutions were taken against senior police officers that they would not immediately point the finger upwards and show that even more senior figures at Stormont were well aware of the dirty war going on?

Lord Stevens felt he could trust the taxpaying public with only a tiny fragment of his 3,000-page report which showed military intelligence, Special Branch, 14th Intelligence Company, MI5 and the even more infamous Force Research Unit, all competing for agents. We know some agents were operating for two agencies.

Mrs O’Loan tells us that Haddock was paid “in excess of £79,000” of taxpayers’ money between 1990 and 2001. Who knew? Who was in charge? A policeman or a senior securocrat at Stormont?

Here Feeney is bang on. There is a huge amount of disgruntlement within former RUC Special Branch circles that the secrecy of this report is being deliberately exploited to enable serial attacks on them as a whole.

This lock on further inquiry would seem to keep that blame focused on the police and safely away from any political player.


  • Yokel

    Well done Brian Feeney for stating the obvious.

    Does he get paid for this?

    I’m in the wrong job. Pundit or sitting on a quango, thats the life for me. I’ll leave his appearances on Round Britain Quiz to him though…

  • Sam Flanagan

    “Now do you imagine for one minute that if prosecutions were taken against senior police officers that they would not immediately point the finger upwards and show that even more senior figures at Stormont were well aware of the dirty war going on?”

    That is exactly what is needed!!! A situation created where all the fingers start pointing upward, no doubt with the accompanying words, “he made me do it!”

    We shall not forgive, We shall not forget.

  • fuiseog

    Will anything ever be done as a result?

    Can someone explain to me as a Republican how this is a new era of progressive poltics, equal rights and parity of esteem when on a Monday the British Government publish a censored report that points to indemic collusion between the crown forces and Loyalist killers against its “own citizens” and on a Wednesday the unionist political base unites to deny even a debate on the horror of it all? Anywhere else this would bring down a government !!!

    Is this what we are being encouraged to embrace?

    Is this the new jerusalem?

    Can someone explain to me how that works for as Martin Luther King stated “He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.”

    Such is our political plight in the north of Ireland in 2007 that 16 people (I say Hundreds more)have been murdered by the apparatus of the state and Nationalist/Republican representives dont even have the political power to afford it be discussed in a “shadow” Stormount Assembly.

    So much has been written of late on slugger about how, to achieve our national sovergeinty objectives, Republicans ought to mould themselves and our ideology to become best acceptable to our unionist/loyalist counterparts in the north of Ireland. There is NO amount of moulding or acrobating or henry94 type wishful thinking will change the mindset of such people here. As Mr King also said “a man can’t ride your back unless it’s bent.”

    I say we rip it up and start again … beir bua !!

    Is mise

  • Sam Flanagan

    No republican support the AF motion after this weeks event. They must reject the leadership line.

  • seabhac siúlach

    Well said, Fuiseog! A glimpse of the probable near future…if the two unionist parties can so easily block a debate, a mere debate!, into state sponsored murder, what else will be blocked in the future, cross-border bodies?, Irish language act?, etc…
    This Provo Sinn Fein (PSF) road to a united Ireland (bitter laugh) looks rocky indeed. They have handed unionists a position of power in this assembly in Stormont, in the very moment of their historical weakness, and we can get a glimpse from this episode how they can going to use it…
    Why hand unionists this seat of power in Ireland?
    One can take the benefits of the peace process (RIR gone, RUC , Orange Order emasculated), without handing political power to unionism…why this Provo need to have Paisley as first minister?

  • Glensman

    I believe the only solution is the South African one of quick and very painful exposure of wrong doing form both sides… Of course we wont get this because it may harm the international view of British *cough* Justice *cough*.

  • true irishman


    What a blithering idiot you are, you wrote Quote:

    “I believe the only solution is the South African one of quick and very painful exposure of wrong doing form both sides”

    The South African truth and reconsiliation experiment was an unmittigated disaster, the white murders walked away scot-free with huge bank balances, most of them just ignored the process,
    “pissing up the back of the black”
    was the phrase the white wrong doers used and openly used.

    The British establisment stepped in to ensure that the whites still controlled the country only this time they have hired blacks who sold out for a few rand, a suit, and some power.
    An example of this is one Cyril Ramaphosa who had no arse in his trousers and got himself the position of head of the Miners union, now the miners are on WORSE PAY… WORSE HOURS.. WORSE SAFETY.. and NO JOB SECURITY…. the white bosses just love CYRIL RAMAPHOSA he is now a millionaire because of the increased profits for the mine bosses and CYRIL RAMAPHOSA a great friend of Sinn Fein

    Oh how it all falls into place…… a few grand a suit and some power

  • Realist

    “the most serious failings are at chief officer level particularly those chief officers”

    Could equally said that Gerry and Martin are responsible for all the collusion in Sinn Fein. How could they not know that Scap and Donaldson – esp Donaldson – were colluding?

    I think Ronnie Flanagan, former Heads of SB and the SF leadership should all resign!

  • lib2016

    We will have a united Ireland not merely because the British government is so manifestly ‘unfit for purpose’ but also because of the petty annoyances such as insisting on the name ‘Londonderry’ when the majority of residents clearly resent it.

    The only way to show the contradictions implicit in being governed by a foreign country is to show that the institutions don’t work and can’t ever work properly for all our citizens.

    That means having to take part. Abstention gains republicanism nothing except being made a scapegoat whereas engagement means that the blame for the inevitable failures will be placed where it should be – squarely on the Brits.

    Like it or not the international context has changed and physical force is self-defeating. It is up to republicans to win peacefully and democratically and the GFA gives a context however unfair for that to be done.

    The Northern entity was specifically designed to destroy Irish democracy but Irish democracy is what will end our divisions in the end.

  • DK

    Just wait until someone discovers that republican informers were allowed to get away with murder of soldiers and police while the handlers looked the other way. Then there will be an outcry!

    Or has that already happened?

  • seabhac siúlach


    “Like it or not the international context has changed and physical force is self-defeating. It is up to republicans to win peacefully and democratically and the GFA gives a context however unfair for that to be done.”

    Did anyone mention physical force? Still playing (perhaps cynically) by the rules of the GFA, while denying unionists a seat of power in Ireland by not sitting in Stormont, to my mind, would be the way to move forward. All of the gain, none of the pain…let the 26 county govt. negotiate on behalf of northern nationalists on any issues outstanding, cross border bodies, irish language act, etc. The idea would be to neutralise the politics of unionism, leave it without a home by not engaging in Stormont.
    The real aim should be to gain power in the 26 counties as a means of renegotiating the six counties position, push for joint-authority (at first), on the back of the strong 26 county economy. The road to the republic lies in first taking power in Dublin, not warming the seats in some unionist dominated talking shop in Stormont.
    A leftist, strongly republican anti-establishment party, not linked to a paramilitary past, would have most hope of taking seats in a Dublin, in my opinion. There is definitely space for such a party…a huge yawning cavern of space…
    Taking seats in Stormont might be good for the optics with an election due in the 26 counties, but it is a risk for PSF to hand their political enemies executive powers.
    We have seen a glimpse of this risk with the ‘debate’ on the O’Loan report. We will surely see more of this in the future with PSF in Stormont…

  • Jesus Christ

    The Provos sound so partitionist, a cross between CnanG and FF in the late 1920s. To be fair to the Provos, they were good on the issue of collusion and Jim Gibney and other Free Saters wrote good articles about it. Guess they should know.

    Of course, Omagh was the bomb to end all bombs. The Branch used the information and destroyed the RIRA and hteir INLA etc hangers on. The Branch have never been passive reciopients of information. They worked to an agenda and stil do, just like the SS before and after the fall of the Reich.

    I have to laugh at this fingers pointing upward. We are stil waiting on Bloody Sunday to be deliberated and the Dublin and Monaghan bombs. The basic plot remains the same. The British never had, do not have and never will have any right in Ireland and people are fully justified to use all means to oppose them. The fact that Ireland has been colonized by Poles and others, partly in an effort to defang Irish nationalism, does not change that. It just means right ndoes not always prevail.
    The 1916 commmemorations were interesting. Only Michael Mallin’s son, a Jesuit priest, survives of the first line of sons and daughters of the 16 leader murdered in retaliation. It seems most of his neighbours regarded him as an eejit for taking arms against the saxon. Kevin Myers might be on to something.
    The hsow was lost in 1969 when Cosgrave, Lynch and the others did not get their desserts.

  • lib2016

    “The show was lost in 1969…”

    It hasn’t even begun yet. All we’ve had so far is a little bit of foreplay. There seem to be some very strange ‘republican’ voices posting today – their accent seems to keep slipping.

  • parcifal

    what’s missing from your analysis is that republicans can’t achieve their goal solely on their own terms.
    so the pragmatism in lib2016’s post is the best way forward. In fact its the SF strategy.

  • seabhac siúlach

    “…so the pragmatism in lib2016’s post is the best way forward. In fact its the SF strategy.”

    Yes, but my point would be that pragmatism in this case is not republicanism…sitting in and, worse, taking executive power in the assembly is absurd in terms of republicanism. It is reformism, not republicanism…a honey trap for greedy politicians eager to get their hands on some measure of local power.
    It is my opinion that more can be done for republican objectives outside, not in Stormont. Stormont, perhaps, will be beneficial in getting a better bin service or reducing water charges, but all of that will be mere window dressing, a sop to local sensibilities. It will still be an assembly, dependent on funding from London and therefore tied to the wishes of that capital.
    You say that republicans cannot achieve their goal solely on their own terms…I would argue that they have not tried to do so since the ceasefires, getting sucked early into the sideshow that is the GFA and Stormont. Why can they not advance their goals, no matter how slowly, outside and build power in the south…other reforms meanwhile can be implemented on a governmental level, in union with the 26 county govt…
    Why can they not be a strong voice on the outside pushing for joint authority, for example, while effectively preventing the functioning of the assembly (it could not exist without PSF…you cannot disenfranchise 25% of the population just like that.)
    I see no need for Stormont, none. Councils can perform the roles of the Stormont ‘ministries’ just as effectively…

    Anyway, I guess all of this and the above posts too are way off the point of this thread…

  • Don’t worry about it SS. At least you have the wit (not to mention the honesty) to acknowledge it. This is all really interesting stuff, but it’s yet another example of serial flight from the detail of this SB story.

    What’s the problem guys?

  • fuiseog

    The Spectre of Collusion has proven to be a fact by The British Governments own investigation. This Operation Ballast Report has been partly published. Sinn Fein counsel us to remain on track support the call to support the institutions and apparatus of the state. Arguing that progress can only be made from within the system, that much progress has been made and that its only by getting the assembly up and running that real political clout can be acquired and real change effected …

    Yet the combined power of the nationalist people is so marginalised in that framework that they cant even secure a debate on these issues never mind effect serious change and reasonably challenge the British establishment on their evil
    policies in the north of Ireland up to and including their death squads which incidentally they have seemingly exported to Iraq (Dispatches Ch4 Monday 8pm)What was that you were saying about a changed international context lib?

    We live in a sham of a state, a mockney of a democracy, shame on those who insist we support such charades. The Brits have this ‘insurgency’ well defeated ahh the books a la kitson they will write …

    Is mise

  • Red Mist

    True Irishman,

    Very useful for you to mention the South African experience. Must admit that I am not an expert in the ‘reconciliation’ process, but what I do know is that there has been a lot of reconciling going on. The ANC leaders reconciled themselves to getting fat whilst the ordinary blacks and mixed race citizens reconciled themselves to getting f*ucked.

    One contributor in the SF organised public meeting last night was stopped short of exposing this point by Alex Maskey. Alex asked him to be fair to everyone else in the hall as there were many waiting to speak (methinks someone should have asked the same of Barbara De Bruin).

    The South Africans (ANC) were always the close friends of us Irish Republicans of the SF & RM variety. We consistently helped each other and compared our struggles. Now the leadership dont seem as keen to do this. Granted they brought Ronnie Kasrils and Sean MacBride over to help them sell policing, but other than that…

    You see the problem is what we learn from the South African experience (those of us who care enough to learn a little) is that we are heading for very dicey territory. The ANC has the power (not total but almost). Their leaders have gotten fat off the land. They run policing. They run it in the time honoured western model fashion.

    While Sean MacBride enjoys BBQ’s with those who plotted to kill im (his words), the vast swathes of the poor areas have been abandoned. Crime is chronic. The poor feed on the poor whilst Sean feeds on sirloins with his former enemies. His former friends are left to twist in the wind.

    Privatisation is the new buzz word in SA. The workers strike. They get battered by Sean minions. This is hwta the glorious victory feels like to the majority of the black community.

    As the contributor offered last night…fast forward our situation when SF endorse the police…dire.

    Republicans, socialists, the entire working class in fact should not support ‘policing’ as we know it. There is not a police force of the western model in this planet that empowers the poor. Not one. Even Gerry Adams had to admit that last night, before offering that “does that mean we shouldn’t go for it?” Please Gerry…spare us.

    A bit utopian for Mr. Pragmatism.

    One question Mr. Pragmatism. How does SF pose to buck the entire western policing model with 3 lowly seats on the policing board?

  • Sean

    Well Red i would only guess but i would say by just doing it

    Funny just shining a light on them makes most roaches scupper away