Finally, two partners moving on…?

Whatever happened to the battle a day scenario? Once upon a time, if Sinn Fein had ‘provocatively’ appointed an ex bomber to a public body, there would have been the noise of collections of kittens being born amongst unionism… Not so now, it would appear… If the intention was to wind unionists up, Gregory Campbell is not taking the bait…

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  • interested

    Mick,
    Maybe its because unionists have finally worked out how to play the game.

    The shinners may have appointed Martina Anderson deliberately in the hope that they would get the expected angry reaction. And of course there would be nothing better than lots prods angry at her appointment to calm down any problems they were having on the other side – they’d just have to say, ‘Of course its good appointing people to the Policing Board, look how much its annoyed the unionists’.

    If they don’t get the angry reaction from unionists then maybe they have to answer a few more difficult questions from the republican backwoodsmen about just how easily SF have appointed people to sit on the Policing Board for a British Police Force, who uphold laws passed in Westminster over people living in part of the United Kingdom.

    For Martina Anderson, its no longer about the police being the legitimate targets, but about them meeting targets. Not quite the withdrawal of the British state in Ireland they sold to the boys not so long ago really.

    Angry prods would only have help SF distract their own supporters and malcontents away from the fact that they’re not ‘putting manners into the police’ or anyone else for that matter. They don’t even have a chance to say where the crown should be on the cap badge any more.

  • Ian

    This looks like taking the bait to me, Mick:

    The East Londonderry MP said: “Difficult as it may have been for Sinn Fein, I am sure it may have been possible out of their team of 28 MLAs to have found one person that did not have a serious terrorist and criminal conviction to serve on the Policing Board.

    “If they had done this it would have been at least a gesture of sorts to the rest of the law abiding community that they were not treating appointments to the board with utter contempt.

    Could it be that SF have appointed people that they feel have the most credibility within the Republican community, a community which I thought Unionists were insisting SF endeavour to win round to the idea of being policed by the PSNI? Anyway, it’s none of the DUP’s business who SF appoint.

    I wonder if someone from SF will “take the bait” of this “deliberately provocative” comment from Gregory Campbell and claim it as proof that unionists still haven’t got their heads round treating nationalists with equality, since they still take it upon themselves to vet nationalist appointees who have been put forward on the basis of their democratic mandates?

    Anyway, I brought this question up on another thread but to no avail – does anyone know if Daithi McKay actually has a “serious terrorist and criminal conviction”?

  • Unionist really do think highly of themselves, like Republicans would waste time and effort trying to wind them up.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Mick

    It’s perhaps a bit of a stretch to say that Gregory “refused to rise to the bait” here. Though I would accept that he was slightly less apoplectic than usual, which is probably progress of a sort…

    No, in fairness, despite his standard rant, he did actually take the unusual step of adding something positive (“time to move on”) and that is an encouraging sign.

    Also: “Difficult as it may have been for Sinn Fein, I am sure it may have been possible out of their team of 28 MLAs to have found one person that did not have a serious terrorist and criminal conviction…”

    Very good!!!

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    Unionist really do think highly of themselves, like Republicans would waste time and effort trying to wind them up.

    ROFL!!!!!

  • The Dubliner

    Why would he object? The two sectarian parties, PSF and the DUP, both need each other in-order to receive Her Majesty’s shilling and privileges in their roles as career politicians. The alternative to either party objecting to the actions of the other on points of principle that would require resignation is dissolution of the Assembly and an ending of salaries, returning their state cars, etc. The parasites that the electoral of NI have chosen to represent them don’t have any principles, so there is no conflict involved and such sentiments come easy. It’s purely business: the business of power, privilege and pure self-interest before the public interest.

  • Anyway, I brought this question up on another thread but to no avail – does anyone know if Daithi McKay actually has a “serious terrorist and criminal conviction”?

    As answered on the other thread – not to my knowledge and his CV on the Assembly website would hardly indicate time spent in… er… principled opposition to British misrule in the occupied six counties. FFS, he’s hardly old enough to have started shaving.

  • DC

    Sammy you’re starting to get on my wick, like your some bloody encyclopaedia of all things political almost like an online Ask Jeeves kinda guy.

  • Women Bombers into Politics

    “Unionist really do think highly of themselves, like Republicans would waste time and effort trying to wind them up.”

    I know the only things Republicans are good at winding-up are timers to detonate semtex and the likes, but it’s politics and not plastics that’s the study of the day and let’s welcome the little blonde-bombshell, car-splicer, by-stander maimer onto the Policing Board.

    Ah, the fun of NI politics and who said women aren’t keen on the knockabout aspects of such humdrum!

  • Rory

    jake – Your contribution does not make clear whether you applaud the failure of a bombing attempt or whether you disparage the failure of its success. You surely can’t hold both views – or can you?

    DC – Hands off our Sammy please! Whatever one’s opinion of Sammy’s opinions we all recognise his excellence in his chosen field and welcome it as one of the gems of this site. Dr. Johnson famously said, “When a man is tired of London – he is tired of life”.

    When a man becomes annoyed by excellence he is in danger of himself becoming annoying to others. And in his chosen area of interest our Sammy is the personnification of the very phrase par excellence.

    On the topic: I am quite sure that Martina Anderson will prove to be a capable and valuable member of the policing authority and that her experience will only have served to hone her awareness of the necessity for fairness and impartiality to all sides within her remit (the stakeholders if you must – horrible bloody phrase!)

  • willis

    Well the joy of it all. It is like seeing two seasoned pros stepping into the ring together. A little jab here, a little feint there, nice touch, preserve the energy. The semi-finals are over, now it is the final.

  • Chris Donnelly

    Mick

    As Chris Gaskin has intimated above, I’ve always been amused by the high manner in which certain unionist political leaders hold themselves. It has been a recurrent feature of political life in the six counties for unionist leaders to interpret every action and decision of others as being driven by a desire to offend unionists.

    What drivel!

    It’s similar to the unionist mentality that views opposition to Orange parades in nationalist areas as somehow the product of Sinn Fein brainwashing of nationalist communities (in spite of the evidence of more than hundred years of confrontation at such parades, long pre-dating any Sinn Fein party!)

    If Gregory is moving beyond this insular approach, then that it to be welcomed.

    Still think you’re being overly optimistic about this suggesting we won’t have a battle a day on our hands soon.

    Just wait for the administration to kick off for real.

  • DC

    “When a man becomes annoyed by excellence he is in danger of himself becoming annoying to others. And in his chosen area of interest our Sammy is the personnification of the very phrase par excellence.”

    Oh I didn’t realise that Sammy knows Daithi McKay personally in order to speak on his behalf so coherently and with such conviction. I will be sure to address all matters regarding him and Sinn Fein to Sammy in future so that he can advise as to the goings on within that party.

    🙂

  • Sammy you’re starting to get on my wick, like your some bloody encyclopaedia of all things political almost like an online Ask Jeeves kinda guy.

    Happy to be of service, Mr. DC, Sir. Oh, and…

    Oh I didn’t realise that Sammy knows Daithi McKay personally in order to speak on his behalf so coherently and with such conviction.

    Japers! Look at the guy’s CV. He was born in 1982, which means he was 16 in 1998, which means he basically isn’t old enough to have any convictions for IRA activity. I don’t need to know him to know that.

    Rory – I’m flattered. Genuinely. Thanks.

    My only problem with DC’s Ask Jeeves comparison is that old Jeeves has got a bit coy these days when you ask “is Jeeves gay?” The folks at ask.com seem to have gone a bit too PC these days. Whereas if you ask “is Sammy gay?”, he replies, “as bent as a 7p piece”.

  • Nevin

    “driven by a desire to offend unionists.”

    So which member of the anti-OO or anti-Unionist or anti-Protestant or ‘Brits Out’ fraternities dreamt up the Athboy wheeze. If it wasn’t really designed to annoy ‘themuns’ what was its purpose? Was it just a palliative approach to the treatment of militant republicans suffering from ‘withdrawal’ problems?

  • susan

    Sammy Morse, don’t you realise Rory was speaking for most of us? And if you are bent as an S-hook that’s another bonus track on an album that was very good to begin with.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Nevin

    I’ve heard you talk about the “Athboy strategy” before – can you clarify what this is all about, for someone who is in the dark?

  • Nevin

    Billy, I coined the term ‘Athboy strategy’ to describe the process/tactic endorsed by Gerry Adams at Athboy in 1997:

    “Mr. O’Brien said that a crucial part of Mr. Adams’s speech read: “Ask any activist in the North did Drumcree happen by accident, and they will tell you ‘no’ ….. three years of work on the Lower Ormeau Road, Portadown, and parts of Fermanagh and Newry, Armagh and Bellaghy, and up in Derry”.

    “Three years’ work went into creating that situation, and fair play to those people who put the work in”. According to Mr. O’Brien, the Sinn Fein president concluded: “And they are the type of scene changes that we have to focus in on, and develop, and exploit.”

    The Irish Times 5 March 1997″

    It’s not clear from Adam’s remarks who dreamt up the idea but militant republicans provided the muscle as well as leadership of the so called concerned residents’ groups.

    Dick Spring involved his department in the process in the mid-90s, including having a official delegated to handling links with those involved. It was one of these officials who kindly supplied me with the Spring briefing of July 10, 1996, a briefing that now appears to have disappeared into the ether.

    I’m still in the dark as to how Spring came to be involved in the debacle. A request for assistance could have come from the Black North or Spring’s officials could have volunteered support.

    It did shed some light on how the Irish government was directly involved in day-to-day policing decisions even if the two Governments might deny such activity. The hapless Chief Constable, Hugh Annesley, was left to carry the can for decisions which were supposedly his responsibility but which he didn’t take.

    Philip McGuigan, the former SF MLA for North Antrim, appears to have been a casualty of the strategy. He failed to note that the strategy had been reversed/dropped and his ‘demotion’ will be a lesson to those who fail to stay on message, even when that message is turned on its head.