“Like the Stickies.”

In the Sunday Business Post, Vincent Browne echoes Ed Moloney’s analysis of the power behind the expected Ard Fheis endorsement today and questions the Sinn Féin leadership’s rhetoric of a continuation of the “struggle” from within the PSNI.From the Sunday Business Post

They killed a total of 1,771 people (almost half of all those killed in the Northern conflict) and of these, aside from the 190 police officers they murdered, 149 were their own members.

They murdered 28 members of loyalist paramilitary groups, 176 members of the UDR, 23 members of the prison service and 636 civilians.

In all, they murdered 832 Protestants, including 350 Protestant civilians – and they wonder why the elected representatives of the Protestant community are reluctant to go into government with them.

Do they wonder what all this murder was about? Or even wonder what 293 of their own members died for?

The British presence is as much here now as it ever was.

Partition remains. There is no entitlement on the part of the Irish people as a whole to determine their own destiny. Indeed the Provos, along with the SDLP, the republican party in the south (Fianna Fail), the United Ireland party in the south (Fine Gael), have all abandoned not just republicanism but nationalism.

The central tenet of Irish nationalism for decades was that the Irish people as a whole had a right to exercise sovereignty.

That’s gone . . . gone in the Good Friday Agreement. Now the constitutional position can be changed, not by the sovereign will of the Irish people, but by the will of a majority in the partitioned north.

I suppose that, having abandoned the central element of republicanism and what it was the Provos were supposed to be about, capitulation on policing is relatively trivial. But, coinciding as it does with the publication of the Police Ombudsman’s most recent report on collusion between the RUC Special Branch and loyalist paramilitary murder gangs, it is all too duplicitous to ignore.

And on the new ‘struggle’ rhetoric..

If reform from within is now a good argument, why was it not a good argument when the 190 police officers were being murdered?

Gerry Kelly and Gerry Adams will talk about a continuance of the ‘struggle’ and this (support for the now discredited PSNI) is merely another way of going about it.

But what struggle? In what way does what they call the present struggle resemble what they said was the struggle when the IRA were murdering all around them?

In that 1986 ard fheis – the one that abandoned abstentionism – Ruairi O Bradaigh said the then leadership of the republican movement would lead it, the IRA and Sinn Fein into the same cul-de-sac (as he saw it) as the Cathal Goulding-Sean Garland leadership had led Sinn Fein the Workers Party.

Who can now say he was wrong? And you don’t need to be in favour of the killing of a single human being to make this observation.

The DUP has no reason to fear Sinn Fein – neither has Fianna Fail, Fine Gael or even the PDs. Indeed in a few years’ time they will be indistinguishable from any of them.

Like the Stickies.