“Michelle Gildernew was expressing her opinion and she is entitled to do that” – Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams on Spotlight’s election special tonight.. referring to the answer the Sinn Féin MP for Fermanagh/South Tyrone gave to a question on policing, and reporting “disaffected Provisionals or even a smaller republican group with guns”, during a recent edition of Radio Ulster’s Talkback.. when she was appearing as a representative of Sinn Féin. It is a shift from the ‘not answering hypotheticals’ answer but it’s unlikely to be a sufficient answer.

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  • john leonard

    did someone put something in gerry adams tea before he went on spotlight tonight? the sinn fein leader wasnt his usual self, very up tight and a bit insulting towards the audience. could this be the start of the fall for the new supporters of the P.S.N.I? tomorrow will tell.

  • We also had the classic from Gerry that the SDLP ‘got policing wrong’! Really? So how come you’ve come running with your tail between your legs following the SDLP’s lead on policing, albeit five years late?

  • Rory (South Derry)

    John Leonard

    Gerry A seemed to be struggling to cover up the fact that he and his laceys are puppets on a British string!

    The question on Michelle seemed to be very heavily avoided – she obviously forgot the party hymn sheet that day!

    As for the question on the Ardonye I would have made him answer the question so that he could tell everyone that his thugs were carrying out the shootings!

    As for building a United Ireland – Drivel!

    Gerry should have been pushed on:-

    (1). The disaffections from his party

    (2). Threats to other republican parties by the
    PSF gestapo?


  • Rory (South Derry)

    Just had a thought

    Sinn Fein – Now SDLP2 now means Severely demented liberal Provo!

    Mark Durkan seemed embarassed by being lablled in the same vain as the PSF

  • Newry Voter

    Thought that Adams put in a disappointing performance this evening, his rudeness to the audience was off-putting for this voter.

  • Rory-

    “Mark Durkan seemed embarassed by being lablled in the same vain as the PSF.”

    Of course- who wants to be compared to one’s weak tribute act?

  • gerry

    I expect this is how adams behaved that night towards gerry mcgeough when he insulted the families of the dead, and ended up having to write a letter of apology to the irish news to apologise to the families. If thats how he behaved infront of the cameras what was he like that night with mcgeough when there were no cameras?

    Gerry’s slip is showing.

  • Rubicon

    Pete – it may not be a sufficient answer but only if Gerry nominates Michelle for a ministerial office. You omit to mention Adam’s clear and uneqiuvocal response on reporting crime to police.

    Unionist members straying from their leaders’ party lines – including consorting with terrorists and speaking on podiums with them, or breaking from previous party policy by forming an alliance with an active terrorist group – doesn’t appear to warrant a similar level of concern.

    Are you concerned about Reg (who brought his party in to a formal alliance with the PUP/UVF) being sufficiently consistent to take a ministerial office?
    Will you howl if Paisley nominates McCrea to a ministerial office?

  • Pete Baker


    At the risk of answering to an example of whataboutery..

    Nonsense, in response to your first point. It’s either party policy or it’s not.

    The SF MP for Fermanagh/South Tyrone was there as a representative of her party.. she chose to duck the question in that role.

    Adams now excusing that performance doesn’t answer the question in any way.

    As for the UUP/UVF.. I think you’ll find, in the slugger archives, that I was among the first, with apologies to BVG, to point to the implications of that particular Faustian Pact

    On any other questions on this issue, or similar issues, I think you’ll find I’ve been entirely consistent.

  • Rubicon

    I thought my post might be criticised for “whataboutery” – before posting it. It’s difficult to deal with the issue you raised about “sufficient” without including an evaluation of being consistent – vis-à-vis other party positions. This is politics we’re discussing after all.

    Your refutation of my first point doesn’t deal with the point but establishes the manner in which you scrutinise one party. That’s fair enough but your rationale is not consistently applied – or correctly.

    Yes, you did start a thread on the UUP/PUP Faustian Pact. I agree – you have been consistent – consistently applying a focus on one party; eg, where is your concern about sufficiency elsewhere in NI party politics?

    Check your own links in your intro above – your concern was about being fit to take the pledge of ministerial office. You quoted the legislation on precisely that issue.

    My first point stands – it applies if Adams nominates Gildernew to a ministerial office and it applies to other parties/members too.

    I simply don’t see your point of stating it’s “either party policy or it’s not” unless you exercise the same principle to other politicians.

    Where are your threads questioning whether Reg Empey (in cahoots with the UVF until the Speaker stopped him just a few months ago) is “sufficient” in his support for policing? Where are your threads questioning whether Paisley is “sufficient” given his party members’ support for terrorists?

    Why does a member of the SF warrant your attention as to whether SF has met the sufficiency mark – but not others? Yes, you may have criticised the UUP/PUP pact – but it hasn’t caused you to question whether the UUP is sufficiently in compliance with the ministerial oath. That pact was the UUP leader’s decision. Yet – when a member of SF is inconsistent with her leader’s position – that is an issue you bring attention to.

    The DUP, UUP and SF have all played fast and loose with their support for law and order – some worse than others. Only in regard to one party do you raise the question of sufficiency.

    THAT is not consistent – unless you are referring to your constant wont to take this approach.

  • Pete Baker


    I remain bemused by your accusation that I have not been consistent on this.

    But I’ll restrict my repsonse to the topic at hand.

    In your words

    it applies if Adams nominates Gildernew to a ministerial office and it applies to other parties/members too.

    Nonsense. Either it’s party policy or it’s not.

    The Ard Fheis motion was explicitly ambiguous. It requires the Ard Chomhailre to meet and decide on the issue… which hasn’t actually happened yet..

  • Rubicon

    No argument with you on SF’s conditional position that was passed by their AF.

    But – this thread started with you pointing to Gildernew’s statement and Adams’ statement about that on Spotlight tonight. Party policy didn’t seem to be the concern – despite Adams being unequivocal in his answer to reporting all crime to the police.

    Each party uses different machinery to set policy. So – the policy of SF is more formal and rests with their AC. What is UUP or DUP policy?

    Yes, they can say they support policing but withdraw that support when their marches don’t go the way they want, they can stand on podiums with notorious terrorists and even establish a political alliance with an active terrorist organisation seriously criticised by the IMC (whose latest report you regret isn’t published – and I do too).

    You look at party machinery Pete – one party’s machinery. Most others when they see feathers with a beak that quacks will call it a “duck”.

    Time you got your ducks in a row?

  • Irish Aussie

    Is Sinn Fein the only issue in this election, what they have/haven’t said or done. If you just read this site you could easily come to that conclusion.

  • Overhere

    I think I am with you Irish Aussie on this one. SF do seem to be getting the hammering on this site. Perhaps it is a sign of panic in the other ranks.

    Sometimes I wonder if anything SF do will ever suffice in some quarters notibly the more hard line evangelical planet it wont

  • big mick

    people who know the real gerry adams well will not be suprised by his performance last night that is what he is like in real life aggrogant and thinks he’s smarter than everyone else constantly talks down to people walks past comrades without uttering so much as a hello casts aside young people cause of the timeframe they were born they couldn’t possibly know anything that he doesn’t know. he’s the ultimate manipulater with a self obbsession to create a figure head movement with him as soul controller much to the movements demise. know one should ever put themselves before the struggle and i for one hope he gets a bloody nose today.

  • Red Mist


    Whilst pointing to Gerry’s unequivocal answer to reporting all crime you miss the most important point, one which should be glaringly obvious to the most elementary observer….Gerry has never embraced the idea that the actions Michelle Gildernew commented on are a crime.

    Hence he can feel safe enough sayign report crime to the PSNI as he can go back to those in his constituency who still mistakenly think the armed wing is still waiting in the wings and say well I didn’t mean the IRA because sure republicans being armed is not a crime.

    The minute he deems them all criminals then he has walked into another all out battle.

  • freud

    soul controller – appropo

  • middle-class taig

    One cannot help feeling that those calling for a different answer from Gerry and Michelle are tickled at the idea of Sinn Fein leaders exposing themselves to assassination by republican dissidents. Gerry and Michelle should ignore them. And they should, categorically, stop answering hypotheticals.

  • Red Mist


    Would ye ever wise up to yerself, would ye?

    Seriously, MTC there is no possibility of any assassination attempts upon any member of SF and this drivel really needs to put up or shit up. There is absolutely no appetite for republicans shooting republicans and it would be the most blatant case of political suicide if any republican were to make an attempt on anothers life in this day and age.

    They cannot as you say stop answering hypotheticals. Well I suppose they can but when they find interviews being cut short etc then they will only have themselves to blame.

    The politico’s need the media like fish water my friend.

  • Red Mist

    oops put up or shut up…losing the run of myself.

  • middle-class taig


    For crying out loud, someone recently tried to bludgeon Father Bradley to death while he was sitting in a pub watching a match. Gerry’s high up the dissident hit list, and the venom directed towards him is terrifying – all it takes is one eejit with an excuse.

  • Briso

    Pete B blogged:
    “but it’s unlikely to be a sufficient answer.”

    Sufficient for whom? In the thread you linked to, I said that Marty would take the pledge and so would the other ministers (which seemed to kill the thread in its tracks for some reason). For whom will that be insufficient?

  • Red Mist


    Again, give me a break would you please?

    Where does all of this factual knowledge come from?

    “Gerry’s high up the dissident hit list, and the venom directed towards him is terrifying”

    Say’s who? First Gerry and then later backed up by his newly found friend Orde. This ‘threat’ is pure nonsense. It was an attempt to stave of criticism within his community by placing all critics into a conspiracy plot to kill the SF leadership. Many in our community could see right through it but then again I suspect you are not from the same community nor indeed political background as ‘us’.

    If you think the venom directed at Gerry A is terrifying then you want to sample a bit at the other end. People being shunned, fearing for their jobs in the community, people being accused of being involved in plots to kill Gerry, accused of setting up alternative armed groupings, etc, all for daring to object. These are not directed at ‘dissidents’ b ut people until recently onside with Gerry. That is terrifying, how your whole life and reputation can go up in smoke at Gerry’s behest.

    But then again you would have no knowledge of this would you? Nor would I expect Henry, Northsider of other recent SF supporters here who get their indepth political insights from the Irish News.

  • Briso

    Pete B, I’m sure you’re busy today, but what did you mean about ‘not sufficient’? Sufficient for whom? The Government? The DUP? And sufficient for what? The DUP to nominate? In the context of the potential SF ministers taking the pledge, I mean.

  • Pete Baker

    Sorry Briso

    I wasn’t ignoring your question.. I just got the impression it was more of a rhetoric one.

    I was suggesting that it was unlikely to be sufficient for all of the groups you mentioned.

    Unless you think it’s a viable position for senior SF representatives to take an oath of office which commits them to fully support the police in all areas of their activity – while also holding them accountable for that activity – but that other senior SF representatives could continue to withhold that support.

    I can’t see an Executive lasting long if that path is chosen by the party.

    Anyway, until the Ard Chomhairle actually meet to implement the Ard Fheis motion we’re unlikely to get a straight answer on this.

  • Briso

    >Anyway, until the Ard Chomhairle actually meet
    >to implement the Ard Fheis motion we’re unlikely
    >to get a straight answer on this.

    Posted by Pete Baker on Mar 08, 2007 @ 10:35 AM

    On the contrary, you will get a straight answer when SF say their ministers will take the oath. I am absolutely positive the governments will be happy with that. I keep pushing this because I was wondering if you had some insight into DUP thinking on this. They still won’t say if they’ll nominate or not and they’ll have to decide one way or the other when the government tries to create the executive.

    >I wasn’t ignoring your question.. I just got the impression it was more of a rhetoric one.

    Don’t worry, I often get that! 😉