Spotlight turns to DUP as Ard Fheis motion passes with ease

The rocky road to Dublin was travelled by more than 3,000 republican activists today as the date of the Extraordinary Ard Fheis on Policing and Justice finally arrived. In the end, the ease with which the Ard Fheis motion was passed today (between 90%-95% of the delegates voted in favour) was a remarkable endorsement of the Sinn Fein leadership, coming as it did after seven hours of contributions from delegates. During his rousing speech, Martin McGuinness returned to a theme he employed earlier in the week when he remarked that, though January 28th 2007 would be a significant date for Irish republicans, Monday January 29th would be an even more challenging date for the DUP as its time to put up on the issue of Power-sharing would finally arrive. I was amongst those arriving late to the RDS, wrongly expecting the event to run according to the traditionally tardy ‘republican time.’ I missed Gerry Adams’ arrival to the building, instead being informed by Radio Ulster when just outside the capital that a number of party opponents had heckled both Adams and McGuinness.

I did notice Willie Frazer standing on the lawn outside the RDS building hosting the Ard Fheis, and wondered as I passed would Willie be protesting outside a similar DUP meeting in the weeks ahead.

The introductory speeches by leadership figures were impressive, with each obviously conscious of the need to use this occasion to reassure the assembled grassroots activists that the path being charted was correct.

Having attended a number of the public meetings and party briefings on this issue, I didn’t expect to hear anything new in the many speeches, and in this sense I was not surprised. Gerry Kelly charted the history of the policing negotiations since Patten, whilst Gerry Adams sought to contextualise this issue in the development of the republican struggle, reassuring the party faithful. But it was Martin McGuiness’ impassioned speech which caught the mood of the thousands of party activists.

McGuiness launched a full frontal assault on the SDLP and dissident republicans, whilst being careful to distinguish republicans genuinely hurting over this development from the latter group, who he quipped hadn’t managed to even fight the British to a ‘start’ never mind a ‘stalemate.’

But it was in his outlining of the nature of the envisaged republican engagement with the PSNI that he drew sustained applause. He stated that republicans needed to confidently assert their position within DPPs, the Policing Board and the Executive (through OFM/DFM) to critically engage with the PSNI from a position of authority. He continued by claiming that it was up to the latter to gain the trust and confidence of the nationalist and republican community.

This issue was never going to be an easy one for republicans, and the numerous impassioned speeches in favour and opposing the motion illustrated the depth of feeling on this critical matter. But it was clear from very early in the day that the level of opposition to the Ard Comhairle motion was minimal, with Ogra delegates providing the liveliest speeches from a dissenting stance- contributions well received by the audience.

The level of opposition to the motion within the hall might have been minimal, but that probably doesn’t provide an accurate reflection of republican activist sentiment on this matter. As in the past, the party leadership has put considerable effort into bringing the grassroot opinion along during each critical stage of the peace process, and this proved no different. The level of engagement within the party within the past fortnight at all levels undoubtedly calmed many nerves and ‘won round’ many whose initial reactions were less positive.

In the past few weeks, it quickly became clear to most republicans that this was an argument that was being fought between the head and the heart- another theme alluded to by McGuiness in today’s speech. Whilst the media have been quick to pick up on the pronouncements of a small number of dissident/ disaffected figures, the reality was that the overwhelming number of republican activists saw this particular train coming down the track a long time ago and prepared themselves for it. The failure of the dissidents to articulate any plausible alternative to the stance being proposed by Sinn Fein leaders meant that they were always fighting a losing battle when attempting to battle for the minds of republicans.

Another crucial dimension not picked up by many was that republicans were confident that this development would not adversely impact on the party’s electoral fortunes in the impending Assembly election. Sinn Fein activists have maintained a constant presence on the doorsteps of the electorate from last Autumn right through to early January due to the party’s annual electoral registration drive. And through that constant engagement, the message from the nationalist/ republican electorate- as opposed to republican activist base- was a quite resounding endorsement of the Sinn Fein leadership’s proposals.

In the end, probably the most striking message was struck by the party’s Declan Kearney when, during his robustly delivered speech, he noted “dogma doesn’t win struggles.” The theme of the need to ‘grow political strength’ was a constant, underwriting virtually every contribution from those supporting the motion: a reflection of the pragmatic realisation by republicans at a leadership and grassroot level of the task ahead on the path to Irish unity.

  • wiseup

    translation of this stepford provo gobbledygook: mary lou mcdonald will lead us to the workers’ republic!

  • Stevo

    A good account Chris. Kearney is also right that “dogma doesn’t win struggles”. Unfortunately, supporting the PSNI doesn’t lead to a united Ireland either. The tedious “another phase in the struggle” dirge trotted out today failed to mask the scale of the climbdown. Adams offered to meet dissidents. Er won’t he have to be informing on them now, to demonstrate to the DUP that republicans (sic) are delivering?

  • Constable P O’Neill

    Can’t wait to get my plastic bullet gun. it will also be nice to see what an interview suite in Castlereagh looks like from the other side of the desk.

  • aquifer

    “supporting the PSNI doesn’t lead to a united Ireland either”

    Really?

    Would you not need a PSNI to manage protestant dissent as the great day approached?

    You lack ambition, or strategic nous.

  • The Dubliner

    Once the shinners go down the road of endorsement, there is no going back. If nationalists decide to join the PSNI as a result of endorsement, PSF can’t turn around at any future point and pull the plug on support, abandoning those they encouraged to join – or turning their ire upon them. Life and career goes into this.

    Since PSF were careful to ensure that MI5 fuck-ups would not embarrass the PSNI, all they have to do now is hope that the Ombudsman’s doesn’t publish anymore embrassing reports detailing collusion and lack of co-operation post-Patton.

  • joeCanuck

    Excellent report Chris.
    Thank you.

  • The Dubliner

    Aquifer, PSF do not hold the office of Chief Constable of the PNSI, so they won’t be managing any operations. You seem a tad confused about Policing boards and police forces.

  • parcifal

    Nice to see Gerry smile, and Mary Lou too.
    Good photo.

  • Yokel

    P O’Neill

    Sorry mate they’ll be withdrawn…you’ll have a whistle though and i hear sticking the rubber duck aerial on your walkie talkie up a felon’s nose is highly effective.

  • TAFKABO

    Is my memory failing me when I recall Chris telling us that he’s leave Sinn Fein if they supported policing?

  • TAFKABO

    He’s s/b He’d

  • BonarLaw

    “Would you not need a PSNI to manage protestant dissent as the great day approached?”

    ROTFLMAO

    I loathe and despise everything the republican movement stands for, their stated aims and goals but I have to say loudly “Well done Gerry”.

    Channel hopping earlier I heard News24 state that republican support for the police will allow for devolution and a stable future for Northern Ireland.

    I’m not overly keen on devolution but whereas it used to be a badge of difference for NI it is now de rigure for UK regions so I can run with it.

    I’m not overly keen on empowering my political enemies but if Sinn Fein morph into a normal, law abiding party are they any longer an “ememy”, merely an “opponent”? After all a stable NI is a unionist goal and Gerry is about to deliver it. I quite like the idea of Gerry Kelly advising the Queen on judicial appointments. I look forward to him escorting HM on a tour of a police station with the Royal Standard flying proudly above it.

    As I said above “Well done Gerry”. 2016 anybody?

  • Ingram

    Chris,

    As usual you are running way in front mate!

    This headline is sheer crass:

    Spotlight turns to DUP as Ard Fheis motion passes with ease

    The Spotlight will remain firmly on Sinn Fein to deliver and the CONDITIONALITIES of the Sinn Fein position is gift from heaven to the DUP.

    The 2 Govts have commited themselves to a position that is not reflected in the CONDITIONALITIES attached to Sinn Feins position.

    Sinn Fein need to deliver BIG TIME or they get shunted into the Culde-sac Vincent Browne suggested may happen in the morning papers.

    One little step along a very, very long and winding road.The first step is welcomed now keep walking on the straight and narrow and keep on the right side of the IMC .

    Ding Ding

    Ingram

  • Constable P O’Neill

    Ah well Yokel, at least we’ve got 30 day detention orders now if we need them, with that length of time you could shave off Gerry’s beard and it would grow back with no-one the wiser.

  • chrisadonnelly@hotmail.com

    TAFKABO

    I think you’ve mistaken me for another someone else.

  • Stevo

    Presumably Sinn Fein will have to raid their own offices at Stormont from now on?

    When is The Felons going to be renamed the The Peelers?

  • joeCanuck

    Tafkabo

    I don’t need to defend Chris. He’s well able to do that himself.
    But my recollection is that Chris said he would leave if SF ADOPTED A MOTION THAT HE COULDN’T ACCEPT.

    So stop the crowing/naysaying.

  • Rory (South Derry)

    Waiting to see how our darling friends the PROVOs prove their good intentions!

    Heres a few wee pointers for South Derry:-

    (1). Get all the dissidents rounded up in
    Maghera, Bellaghy, Dungiven.

    (2). All Deisel Launderers in Maghera rounded up.

    The Circus looked good today boys!

    LITTLE BRITAIN starts in the morning!

  • The Dubliner

    “The level of opposition to the motion within the hall might have been minimal, but that probably doesn’t provide an accurate reflection of republican activist sentiment on this matter.” – Chris

    Democracy not working well in PSF then? It sounds like they put on quite a show for what was a de facto rubberstamping of a decision made by the leadership in advance.

    “In the end, probably the most striking message was struck by the party’s Declan Kearney when, during his robustly delivered speech, he noted “dogma doesn’t win struggles.” The theme of the need to ‘grow political strength’ was a constant, underwriting virtually every contribution from those supporting the motion: a reflection of the pragmatic realisation by republicans at a leadership and grassroot level of the task ahead on the path to Irish unity.” – Chris

    Nice spin by Kearney that “dogma doesn’t win struggles.” It sounds sweeter than what it really means “unprincipled opportunism bets us more votes.” And that’s what it is really all about, as you said “the theme of the need to ‘grow political strength’ was a constant, underwriting virtually every contribution from those supporting the motion…” There is nothing that the vote-whores of PSF won’t say or do to gain extra votes. Ironically, that is precisely why the people of the south will not support PSF.

  • bet on it

    i like how without any trace of irony whatsoever the vote count keeps going up, and up, from 80% to 90% to 95% and i actually heard a shinner claim 96.5% with a straight face

    c’mon 99!

  • joeCanuck

    Dubliner

    One person’s unprincipled opportunism is another person’s pragmatic politics.

    Are you saying that sticking your head in the sand and mumbling platitudes somehow is better than trying to obtain power democratically and effecting real change?

  • Damien Okado-Gough

    So they’ve abandoned a counter-productive armed struggle and decided to go the route of persuasion, anti-sectarianism and democratic engagement.

    And they’re damned if they do and damned if they don’t.

    I can understand traditional Republicans finding this development unpalatable, but those who have opposed the PRM for using political violence in the past should give credit where credit is due.

  • Red Mist

    In the end, probably the most striking message was struck by the party’s Declan Kearney when, during his robustly delivered speech, he noted “dogma doesn’t win struggles.” …

    Rich coming from Declan. He would do well to learn that spin doesn’t win struggles either. It may win some extremely weak votes but win struggles…no.

    Listened to Declan many times, ‘sites of struggle’, ‘lightening rods of the struggle’, yawn…..all spin methinks.

    I do believe that SF will take some hits this time round but it is over the next 5 years that their fate is doomed. It will be then that the republican core vote (whatever is left) will have concrete experience that the leadership can’t deliver on their promise. The working class wil tire of their attempts to look ‘responsible’ when attempting to manage capitalism better than the capitlaists a la De Bruin PFI Schemes for instance. And crucially it will be then that the remainer will relaise that there is littleto distinguish them from any other centerist party….enjoy it while it lasts lads.

  • joeCanuck

    So Red Mist

    I take it that you think there has been no change in the past 30 years in the ability of a certain section of the population to progress and have an equal opportunity to benefit from whatever the state has to offer?

  • dublinsfsupporter

    A great photo of Mary Lou and Gerry, the Sinn Fein Chairperson and the Sinn Fein President. They have worked very closely in all of this.

    Mary Lou has played a huge role in all of this, and strengthens further her position in the party.

  • Ingram

    Damien.

    Very True mate, credit is due to those who developed this strategy.

    Joe,

    Dubliner is coming from a position that has been crystal clear that the Old Sinn Fein/IRA policies were not working nor to the benefit of society for a very long time. Essentially an SDLP view point.

    You cannot blame him and the party from asking why it took so long to come to the party! especially now they are both fighting for the same air!

    Red Mist,

    I am not certain that this wont fizzle out! by may 2008 !indeed their is no guarantee the Big man will still be on gods earth by May next year! that would then expose Sinn Fein to political quicksand! and a period of defining their policies in the NEW environment of now standing firmly upon SDLP values.

    I have yet to hear Adams outline in detail the parties fundamental strategy for attaining a UI by 2016!he has been asked twice this past week and was unwilling to engage in the detail.

    Interesting times ahead. Not sure it amounts to very much but non the less a small step along a very long road.

    Regards to all and good night.

    Martin

  • Harris

    Red Mist

    “I do believe that SF will take some hits this time round but it is over the next 5 years that their fate is doomed. It will be then that the republican core vote (whatever is left) will have concrete experience that the leadership can’t deliver on their promise.”

    Did you ever think that this may be Sinn Fein’s strategy? They don’t know what the future holds, but are willing to take the risks that are necessary. For the future of their party, being percieved to be (and realistically) entrenched in peaceful democratic politics (north and south), gives them the edge in any future arrangement.

    If their core vote is down in five years time, so be it. What alternative would there be then? There’s only politics and physical force, and the latter has already served its purpose.

  • Red Mist

    joeCanuck,

    It is refreshing that you can actually infer my thoughts. It could actually save me a lot of time and effort posting if you would continue to suggest what I think in your posts…might even assist you in winning a debate or two.

    Of course there has been change over the past 30 years. Some good and some bad by the way. Catholics not being victim to the same discrimination as existed here for generations – good. The attacks on the welfare system through privatisation and PFI – bad. The endorsement of the PSNI the storm troopers of the state – bad. I think you get the iead.

    You see there is a real danger in some of us talking past each other. I am a republican and thus no amount of reformism of the british state will suffice, I always thought that quite easy to grasp.

    And by the way I have always found this talk of us benefiting from what the states has to offer or what it gives us as wholly insulting. I have always worked. I have always been unable to find that section of my tax form where I can tick that I am an Irish Republican and would prefer my tax contributions not to go to the british exchequer. So it has not given me or many others anything, in fact we have usually got less than we deserve or were entitled to.

  • fuiseog

    Ian paisley junior is on RTE 1 just now and is laughing delightedly at Pat Doherty’s claim that SF supproting the PSNI is a step towards a united Ireland as baby Doc laughingly claimed “That’s a cracker.”

    For me that just sums up today’s momentous events(ha) perfectly baby doc brutish thug that he is wipes the floor with doherty on national tv. Both positions cant be right,

    Les unionists are delighted (and why not?) with today’s events as they have bullied, stonewalled and outmaneuvered SF (directed, aided and abetted by MI6/5 and their very influential agents in both parties) into this humiliating PRO PSNI – PRO BRITISH STATE stance.

    Shamefully sickening – I can only take store in the fact that they didnt convince the younger ones (fertile ground)and that eventually ex-prisoners (experienced activists) are sitting up and realising the glorious leader has morphed into a more treacherous version of Seamas Mallon who has just given his London master Blair his much coveted retirement present.

    Is mise
    Fuiseog

  • joeCanuck

    Red Mist

    I’m sorry, but i can’t figure out what your respose to me actaully means.
    I’m guessing that it is intended to be sarcastic.
    However, I haven’t been living in self-imposed exile for 25 years for NO good reason. I go back for a visit every 2 years or so and am always pleased to see the growth in self confidence of those people who, in the past, felt that there was no place for themselves.
    As to whether PSF are a socialist party, I have to confess that I have never been able to figure that one out. Will they look the same as other parties in 5 years time, again I have no idea.
    I am just pleased that the thought by some people that they could bomb or shoot fellow citizens into accepting a unified Ireland has finally been abandoned.

  • Rubicon

    Red Mist – as a Southerner (who has lived in NI 24 years) I’d have been all in favour of northerners opting to pay Irish taxes. Instead my parents paid 85% tax on the margin (they were both in the teaching profession), their 6 children had to pay fees to university, we supported Jim Kemmy (independent socialist), emigration from the states was several times that up north and northerners working south of the border constantly bitched about the tax rate, education system and health service (while at least they were paying to bitch – that’s all they did).

    People of my age up north had problems – some much more serious; like that of discrimination and violence – but they benefited from a lower tax regime and a far better welfare state. Even violence and discrimination couldn’t match the wrenching demands of independence. Emigration in the south broke families and communities much more effectively. It was a price southerners paid – through good, poor and bad government – but they’ve come through it.

    Now, with the south offering state money up north and with private money flowing north for some time – you want to pay your taxes to the south? Is it a state you recognise?
    I think you need to recognise that the world has moved on, the south has moved on and the longer that happens the more your idea of an Irish nation becomes no more than a wet dream. I may not agree with SF – but I see why they are doing what they’re doing. SF and the SDLP are keeping a sense of belonging alive. Your policy has achieved nothing, ignoring the border doesn’t make it go away and 85 years living in 2 different states is a long time in which to develop different perspectives of nationality.

    If you sense a little southern hostility to your views – you’re right. Think about it.

  • Garibaldy

    Damien,

    What evidence have you for PSF going the route of anti-sectarianism? They still look like catholic nationalists to me.

    Dublin supporter,

    I have to say I found Mary Lou laughing and applauding Martin Mc Guiness mocking the military inabilities of the dissidents sickening. She sat on her fat Fianna Fail hole in Dublin cheerleading on violence (or was she opposed to it being in FF) while ordinary workers were getting killed for their religion by sectarians on both sides. As long as it didn’t affect the price of her house her and people like her were happy to have the whiff of cordite. Not a very pleasant sight.

  • ballymenasham

    I saw Ballymena DUP Councillor William Wilkinson outside the Ard Fheis today protesting along with Willie Frazier holding ‘No terrorists in Government’ placards.

    Aside from welcoming the fact that the DUP are organising political activity on an all-Ireland basis, its clear theres a split ahead in North Antrim if Ian Senior does the deal.

  • Rubicon

    When I say “broke families” I’m speaking in general. Very few things happened down south that compared to the individual family tragedies that happened here.

    Sorry if I caused offence to those bereaved – I’ll try to be more careful in how I phrase things in future.

  • The Dubliner

    “One person’s unprincipled opportunism is another person’s pragmatic politics.” – Joe

    Some things are a matter of fact, not semantics.

    “Are you saying that sticking your head in the sand and mumbling platitudes somehow is better than trying to obtain power democratically and effecting real change?” – Joe

    I re-read what I wrote (in case a pixel-clad fairy had re-authored my missive in ether) and nope, I didn’t see those words in my post at all. I’ve reposted it below. Try reading it again when you’re sober.

    [i]Nice spin by Kearney that “dogma doesn’t win struggles.” It sounds sweeter than what it really means “unprincipled opportunism bets us more votes.” And that’s what it is really all about, as you said “the theme of the need to ‘grow political strength’ was a constant, underwriting virtually every contribution from those supporting the motion…” There is nothing that the vote-whores of PSF won’t say or do to gain extra votes. Ironically, that is precisely why the people of the south will not support PSF.[/i]

  • Damien Okado-Gough

    Garibaldy said:

    [i]”What evidence have you for PSF going the route of anti-sectarianism? They still look like catholic nationalists to me.”[/i]

    Garibaldy,

    You’re right insofar as they are a sectarian party, as are all the others, including the SDLP. I’ve offered hefty criticism of them in the past on this forum, of some of the badly sectarian policies they’ve employed to garner votes in their race to out-poll the SDLP.

    However, Adams has repeated said that they have got to challenge sectarianism, and not just anti-Catholic sectarianism.
    Indeed, in his speech to the AF he said it again. Now some may laugh that I’m willing to believe what Adams says, but I see where he’s
    going with this one.

    It’s a logical and necessary step in the route he’s taking his party. He’ll have his work cut out for him, but he’s a very capable man. The endorsement of the PSNI convinces me that they’re on their way.

    Before leaving Ireland I was living on Derry’s Waterside, in a mixed area. A Sinn Feiner came canvassing for the last assembly election and
    when I told him that I hadn’t decided whether or not to vote he said to me,

    “You don’t want the fucking huns to get the seat, do you?”

    Sectarianism runs very deep in both communities in NI. It is the single most damaging factor in realising the dream of building a new nation on the island of Ireland.

    The principle of consent is necessary for any nation’s stability and success and is necessary in Ireland irrespective of whether or not it
    is required by law to bring about independence.

    Republicans must work to achieve that consent now, not after any unilateral declaration of withdrawal from the British government.

    It can only be achieved when Protestants feel that the option of Irish independence is more in their interests than the Union and that will not be achieved if they feel that they are going to be abused in an all-island state.

    While sectarianism exists within the Nationalist
    community they will always have good reason to be Unionists.

    Posting as Dualta on this site I have made these arguments on numerous occasions. Let them march wherever they please and make them welcome,
    even in the face of their anger and mistrust.

    Embrace the name Londonderry believing that in doing so we bring our people closer together and closer to independence.

    Have Protestants believe, with good reason, that it is in their best interests to join with the rest of us on this island in building a new
    nation together.

    This is the logical application of the principle of consent which SF has embraced. They may not take the specific policy steps which I have
    suggested here, but I have little doubt that they are heading in that general direction. And more power to their collective elbow.

  • páid

    observations:

    dublinsfsupporter is certainly ‘on message’ in Post 25. 2 sentences and 2 uses of the phrase ‘in all of this’

    I see a bright future for you in the party.

    Ian óg was waxing lyrical on RTE1 about delivery: – in a green jacket, white shirt, and gold tie. There’s the spirit.

    For Gerry and the Peacemakers, mission accomplished.
    Problem for the DUPers: your enemies have done what you asked them to do. Oh dear.

  • Paul

    Garibaldy where did you see Mary Lou having her snigger, is it on one of the RTE links ?

    She reminds me of Lucilita Breatnach several years back when she done some touring to sell the Mitchell Principles, where is she now ?

  • Garibaldy

    Damien,

    Fair enough. I agree entirely that virtually every part in the north is sectarian, including the ‘moderates’, all of whom bear responsibility for creating a climate were sectarian violence thrived.

    The thing about Adams is that he is president of a party that contains huge number of people with the attitude you outlined. In fact I suspect the majority is closer to that than is closer to Adams rhetoric. You can bet that PSF looked at the register, saw your name and decided to canvas you. Quite often in mixed streets they ignore the protestant houses.

    PSF is locked in communalist politics, and Adams has been at the heart of that strategy. That is the antithesis of republicanism. Whatever about his personal sectarianism or otherwise – and I’ve heard conflicting stories from people who know him – he remains the president and chief strategist of a sectarian party. The rhetoric is just that – rhetoric. Actions speaker louder. I asked here a while ago what more has been heard of Martina Anderson’s new post – haven’t heard a thing.

  • Garibaldy

    Paul,

    I was watching both Sky News and BBC 24, but I think it was Sky News. The guy (Simon Nixon or Dixon I think) desctibed it as a “rousing speech”.
    McLaughlin was on another channel doing the same but looked slightly embarassed.

  • The Dubliner

    So, why do you think that someone you think is an advocate of third-way economics rooted in Rerum Novarum would be an ideal leader of an alternative republican party?

    “Embrace the name Londonderry believing that in doing so we bring our people closer together and closer to independence.

    Have Protestants believe, with good reason, that it is in their best interests to join with the rest of us on this island in building a new nation together.” – Damien

    Damian, that’s all pious and admirable, full of aspiration and high purpose, but isn’t the objective supposed to be removing British rule rather than cementing it by assimilating and integrating ever-deeper into the United Kingdom in a “more British than thou” manner? And if nationalists are to be encouraged to be British, wouldn’t be a tad confusing to then encourage then to be Irish again come the never-come referendum on Irish unity? Surely should a delightful status would not encourage anybody to change it. Why it sounds such a grand vision, I may move north and join the love-in myself.

    You may also find that those of us in the south (the other part of “this island”) as not overly keen (to put it mildly) about allowing PSF to dictate to any of us about how we are to fit into their little plan and will run the shinners if they overstep their mark. Prostituting Irish republicanism for party gain in the south as they did in the north isn’t going to happen.

  • Rubicon

    Dubliner – Joe interpreted your argument and posted his response. This is how debate is conducted. Your response hasn’t dealt with the points he made; that your views represent sticking your head in the sand and mumbling platitudes. Suggesting that Joe said that as a quote from you is a frankly pathetic reason to re-post your view. Repetition might work for you – but not for most. Either way it’s not debate.

    Accusing Joe of being drunk while you can’t engage in the debate he offered you is eloquence itself.

    Sorry Joe for intervening on an ad-hominem aimed at you – but this joker really needs to learn how the game is played. I hear GA is out to teach manners – perhaps Dubliner could enlist?

    At this point Dubliner – your posts shame yourself. Do try and deal with the substance of debate. You’ll need to learn its rules first.

  • ballymena anorak

    Well there goes a United Ireland.

    So what have the Republicans got left of their ideology?

    No United Ireland?

    Working inside the British System?

    Supporting the British police?

    3000+ dead?

    So what did they actually do in the last 40 years for the republican cause, that weren’t there before they started?

    Cross border bodies with little power?

    Sharing power with Rev. Paisley?

    Getting rid of towers that would not have there in the first place?

    Getting their members out of prison where they wouldn’t have been?

    Getting rid of guns they wouldn’t have had?

    Supporting the PSNI?

    Sad, when they would have acheived so much more by doing nothing at all.

  • The Dubliner

    “Sorry Joe for intervening on an ad-hominem aimed at you – but this joker really needs to learn how the game is played. I hear GA is out to teach manners – perhaps Dubliner could enlist?” – Rubicon

    Is ‘the game’ played as you just played it? Braying like a jackass about name-calling while calling names in the same sentence? I have to admit that your schizophrenia gives you an advantage there. 😉

  • Damien Okado-Gough

    Dubliner,

    I don’t beleive that SF is asking people to assimilate to Britishness. I see no evidence of that. Certainly, trying to ensure that our communites are properly policed does not equate to assimilating to Britishness.

    Policing is a not an exclusively British concept and if Nuala O’Loan’s recent report is anything to go by, the British are still trying to get their heads around it.

    Dubliner,

    Pious and lofty maybe, but necessary all the same and something that is required of all Republicans, not just those in Sinn Fein. The SDLP have been in the know on this one from their inception.

    With the armed struggle now in the past, hopefully, there needs to be real unity of purpose between the different parties in Ireland in generating the consent for independence. It needs to be radical and imaginative.

  • joeCanuck

    Rubicon

    Thank you.
    Best to ignore the troll from now on.

  • Rubicon

    Oh dear! I think I referred to your views as expressed in your posts.

    I’m not above having a go at a complete jackass (but may sometimes stray in to Mike’s grey area). I’m not moved by your attempts to reduce debate. My error (grey area) is that I used the word “joker” in your case. I shouldn’t have done that – you are quite correct. I thought I was being kind – but apologies to Slugger if that word broke the rules.

    Instead I’ll say your posts make explicit attempts to detract from the points given in response. Instead of engaging with the points you chose to repeat the same point while insulting the poster. This strategy insults the intelligence of those interested with the issues and brings the discussion down to pathetic accusations about drunkenness.

    It would be playing the man to hope that you’ve gone to bed to sober up. Wouldn’t it?

    Do you prefer this form of debate? Unfortunately, it’s nor allowed.

  • Rubicon

    Couldn’t agree more Joe!

    Think I’d have still posted the above even if I’d read your post.

    Rejectionists and the “illiterates” (see earlier threads – it’s an attempt not to describe ALL persons rejecting the motion with the term “dissidents”) have surfaced en-force recently.

    What’s emerged is an inarticulate argument with nobody. The world has moved on. I’ll take your advice ;). Let’s continue with the buzzing in our ears 😉

  • The Dubliner

    “Rubicon

    Thank you.
    Best to ignore the troll from now on. ” – Joe

    Yes, Joe… it’s best to unwittingly (and rather amusingly) do what your first post address to me suggested i.e. “sticking your head in the sand and mumbling platitudes.” I love sweet irony, don’t you? By the way, I feel that your tone could have been more smug and self-righteous if you put more effort into it. For a good example of how to mount a three-legged donkey and mistake it for a high moral horse, see the three posts above belonging to one Rubicon. I suspect the he has perfected his risible technique through dedicated practice of such shrill e-squealing.

    “Oh dear! I think I referred to your views as expressed in your posts.”

    Oh dear, indeed. I think you should stop proffering lies in a shabby attempt to exonerate yourself when the proof of your duplicitous vice is in full public view (post #17), don’t you? Not only does the practice display a lack of intellect and a dishonest character, but it just digs a deeper hole for you.

    “Instead I’ll say your posts make explicit attempts to detract from the points given in response. Instead of engaging with the points you chose to repeat the same point while insulting the poster.” – Rubicon

    Aren’t you repeating “the same point while insulting the poster”? Yet, you are unaware that you are again doing what you falsely accuse others of doing. Ergo, that is further validation of my previous analysis of your risible behaviour.

  • German-American

    If Slugger had a contest for “anorak of the week” (and why doesn’t it, incidentally?) the following would be my entry:

    When the Ard Fheis motion was passed, news reports mentioned amendments to the motion; for example, the RTÉ story says “[The motion] was passed following a series of amendments, which Sinn Féin said would enhance the proposal.” However I couldn’t find any indication of what the amendments actually were. I thought about asking Chris Donnelly or other Ard Fheis attendees to address this, but then I realized I could just compare the original text of the motion with the final text. Based on a sentence-by-sentence comparison (and ignoring simple format changes and typos), here’s my take on what the amendments amounted to:

    1. In the sentence beginning “This Ard Fheis reiterates Sinn Féin’s political commitment …”, strike the phrase “full integration of political, economic, social and cultural life on the island” and replace it with “establishment of a 32 County Democratic Socialist Republic.”

    2. After the sentence beginning “This Ard Fheis supports civic policing …”, insert the sentence “We support and will work for the development of a routinely unarmed police service as envisaged in the Good Friday Agreement.”

    3. In the sentence beginning “The changes to policing secured in legislation …”, insert “all reforming” after “secured in”, and insert “including by Sinn Féin” after “legislation”. [There’s also a typo introduced here in the final motion: “needs” should be “need”, and there should be a comma after “Sinn Féin”.]

    4. In the sentence beginning “This Ard Fheis is totally opposed …”, add “and any form of criminalization of republicanism” after “repressive policing”.

    5. In the sentence beginning “The experience of nationalists and republicans …” add “and we will never endorse such policing practices” after “death squads”.

    6. In the sentence beginning “Resolutely oppose the use of lethal weapons …”, insert “, including plastic bullets,” after “lethal weapons”.

    So the bottom line is that the amendments do not appear to have affected the basic intent of the motion, including the contingency-related parts.

  • Jim Kemmy

    MaryLou should do something about that horrible double chin and Goofy smile. Might cost votes.

  • Sean

    i think it perfectly clear that Sinn fein has not promissed anything but to toe the line if the DuP do nows its up to little ian and the rest of sheep to come to the fight. Some how I dont think they have the stones to let it hang out so they will obfuscate, prevericate and remonstrate and their will be Plan B not devolution

    And the Sinn Fein win by omision

  • Tomas O’cadhain

    jesus

    the best post award goes to

    “When is THE FELONS gonna be changed to THE PEELERS”

    excellant

  • Tomas O’Cadhain

    MaryLou should do something about that horrible double chin and Goofy smile. Might cost votes.

    Posted by Jim Kemmy on Jan 29, 2007 @ 03:23 AM

    so that is why LondonGerry is winking at the cameraman?

  • DMCM

    FUNNY!!!!!!!
    I had to laugh at Adams and McGuinness slamming the SDLP about policing.
    It’s even funnier when they have a former RUC man in their party now in East Derry. Hypocrisy at its best!!!!!!!!

  • Reader

    Red Mist: I have always worked. I have always been unable to find that section of my tax form where I can tick that I am an Irish Republican and would prefer my tax contributions not to go to the british exchequer.
    It’s not a political survey. But Q9 on the self assessment form offers you the chance to say you aren’t using the infrastructure, so you have a moral and legal case for not paying the tax.

  • Yokel

    I note some comments about the lovely the picture of Gerry & ‘Say Hello’ Mary Lou.

    I think there is some significance in that image.

    Gerry’s tie was particularly fetching and Mary Lou, well whoever co-ordinated the jewellery with her outfit oh they deserved a medal……

    Bowled over though Pat Doherty was looking a bit scruffy later. Clearly the urban types have much to teach the yokels. Now where’s my Duinne’s shirt & tie combination pack………

  • Dan

    Anyone know who actually made a speech opposing the motion?

  • Percival

    Did anyone see Gerry Kelly getting heckled on News 24? I actually thought he was going to thump the guy – to be fair I would have cheered if he had – he (the heckler) sounded like a Ruari O’Braidaigh wannabe!

    PS. Where’s Ciaran Damery, I would like to hear his take on this! LOL!

  • Crataegus

    Now we have the after conference euphoria, mutual pats on back, photo opportunities and all that. A step towards normality, long overdue.

    Somewhere along the line the Unionists will insist on implementation and eventually there is going to be cases against former colleagues. There are some hard times ahead and it will be interesting to see how SF responds. This could all turn very sour (from a SF perspective).

    It will also be interesting to see if Republicans stand against SF and just how well they do.

  • brendan,belfast

    Is the McGuinness speech avialble in full anywhere? i would like to read the bit where our future Deputy First Minister boasts about ‘taking the war’ to the Brits. how many did the IRAS take war to…..1,700+?

    hope it was worth all those lives.

  • Jocky

    Question for SF supporters now you’ve fnially passed the motion. (like you werwen’t not gonig to pass the motion you big kidders)

    When (if) SF signs up to policing boards are we going to witness a justice revolution? SF always bash the SDLP with “what have you achieved the past x years on the polciing boards” Well that same citicism can now be levelled on Sf if they do not perform.

    But seen as SF are wonderful at eveything they do I’m sure they’ll make a big impact. The question then becomes why didn’t the join earlier?

    Either the useless a la SDLP, or they’ve just wasted everyone time for the past few years.

  • Ernest

    So much speculation. Only time will tell if this will move NI to a transitional state before a United Ireland, or whether it is a certain kind of cementing of the Union, or indeed a long-term evolution of Northern Ireland into a province somewhat apart, a bit more comfortable with itself, with its own unique flavour (I would not go as far as to say identity), but noticeably distinct from the Republic and Great Britain, and within the Union for the long term.

    The ominious signs are there however for the new devolved NI governance: the motion to debate the RUC collusion allegations, an issue of some importance for all one would think, was defeated by the combined Unionists and that will probably be the sectarian, tribal veto-style politics there for the long-term

  • Levitas

    One can not help noticing that the majority of begrudgers and nay-sayers are posting on here from the safety of their principled ‘ivory tower’ of political purity…Surely its obvious that Sinn Féin have grasped the nettle and fair play to them for doing it. The dissident groupings and their cyber warrior hordes ( nearly all sock puppets- yes it is possible to trace the ISP’s lads) are working overtime here and elsewhere to detract from what is widely regarded in nationalist communities as inevitable. As Bradley said on RTE1 this morning the communities are if anything ‘ahead’ of SF’s political decision,a feeling I would suggest is probably correct in most areas. I do not think that any major influx to the RSF/32 dinosaurs is remotely likely. They will simply continue to bore everyone with their whinging whilst despite their moaning the world moves on, well done to Sinn Féin for keeping in touch with the feeling on the street…Something the micro-groups have failed to do, they now increasingly resemble the various Trot paper sellers that infest most British city centres on a Saturday, ie completely ignored by the majority of ordinary folk they purport to represent.

  • civil rights

    ballymena aronak,
    Civil rights.

  • Red Mist

    Reader,

    Red Mist: I have always worked. I have always been unable to find that section of my tax form where I can tick that I am an Irish Republican and would prefer my tax contributions not to go to the british exchequer.

    It’s not a political survey. But Q9 on the self assessment form offers you the chance to say you aren’t using the infrastructure, so you have a moral and legal case for not paying the tax.

    Posted by Reader on Jan 29, 2007 @ 09:09 AM

    I would love to know how you would win or even argue that case. I don’t use the street lights, or the roads, or the footpaths…time to get real folks.