Sinn Fein’s second defection…

If one defection is unlucky; to lose two is downright careless. This column from the Southern Star almost anticipates the defection of Daniel Callanan, and reports widespread disaffection amongst Sinn Fein councillors with the directions from the top of the party to support Labour candidates in the Seanad elections. Not a disaster, but perhaps an intimation of the limits of ‘democratic centralism’?

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  • Jimmy Fleming is defecting to a right-wing Conservative party, so if that’s the price to pay for a closer relationship with Labour, then bring it on is what I say. The core rank and file of the party remain united behind party policy.

  • ummm

    Obviously Joan O’Connor won’t feel her feet on the fire if the above is anything to go by.

  • Garibaldy

    Having a coherent line and efficient organisation (rather than democratic centralism proper) is surely what got these councillors elected in the first place, and enabled the growth of PSF. The same is true of the DUP. One need only look at the disaster that is the UUP to see the need for discipline within a party. The attrition of a small number of discontented people is inevitable in any party, and now that PSF has expanded they are more likely to be elected.

    The two councillors seem to have left for different reasons. It still amazes me that anyone who thinks they are a socialist could ever have joined PSF in the first place but we are seeing the shedding of that element in the south. They are too isolated and disorganised to represent any threat to PSF’s growth. Rather the threat to that, as the article points out, comes from the bland policies and managerialist approach of the party as a whole. Why vote for them when there are bigger parties more likely to direct government policy?

  • me

    They are too isolated to represent any threat to provisional sinn feins growth.

    Err….what growth is that?

    PSF Rejected at the last election.
    Labour rejected at the last election.

    These has beens are a threat to nobody.

  • Risen Belfast

    “Responding to speculation on Politics.ie yesterday about him joining Fianna Fail, his response was simply “hell would freeze over” – Cllr Callanan said that many people who are leaving Sinn Fein are doing so not simply because of disillusionment with the party, but they are not going to other parties, more to activist groups such as Eirigi.”

  • Garibaldy

    Of course Éirigí is now a political party. Perhaps that message is not getting across.

  • fair_deal

    “However, Cllr Callanan made a point that if all SF councillors had followed the pact, Labour’s Alex White would have received 26 more votes than he actually got”

    I don’t know the maths that would substantiate or deny that claim but doesn’t that mean almost half of SF’s councillors in the RoI potentially didn’t follow the instructions?

  • slug

    Sinn Féin in disarray?

  • jim

    Fair deal, u halfwit, SF has a lot more than 52 councillors in the south!!! lordy lord…

  • Michael Shilliday

    I’m not sure of the maths either FD, but surely it could just as easily mean that not all Labour Cllrs followed orders?

  • fair_deal

    Jim

    I took the figure from elections ireland that says in the last local government elections SF won 54 seats.

    http://www.electionsireland.org/results/local/2004local.cfm

    MS

    Maybe.

  • ummmm

    Jim,

    SF had 58 Seanad votes – 4 TDs and 54 County Councillors.

    The combined SF(58), Labour(125) vote should be 183.

    Alex White received 161 first preference votes.

    The leaves 22 Sinn Fein votes unaccounted for.

  • Liam

    Thoses are 54 county council seats. The town council seats aren’t included in this figure.

  • fair_deal

    Liam

    Thanks, do you know what the figure is with town councillors?

    AFAIK it is only city and county councillors (not town councillors) that make up the senate electoral panels? Am I mistaken?

  • fair_deal

    Correction

    AFAIK it is only city and county councillors (not town councillors) that are included in the senate electoral panels?

  • ummmm

    FD,

    Only TDs, County/City Councillors and outgoing members can vote. (Panels is the term used to describe the candidates nominated in each section – http://www.environ.ie/en/LocalGovernment/Voting/PublicationsDocuments/FileDownLoad,3724,en.pdf)

  • fair_deal

    Thanks ummmm so my use of 54 was the relevant figure but the description of that figure as “SF’s councillors in the RoI” was mistaken.

  • ummmm

    The Gorey Echo notes that Cllr Maurice Roche is also a defection target for FF.

    http://www.goreyecho.ie/news/story.asp?j=27301&cat=news

  • The 26 figure is a quote from Cllr Callannan himself this avo.

    D.

  • Sean

    I bet old man paisley wishes his defectione were so slight

  • 22 out of 58 is around a third.

  • páid

    Callanan is an able young Galway solicitor, straightforward and honest, a potential TD, who is regularly tortured to within an inch of his sanity by the local Labour loonies.

    I think a combination of young family duties, a realisation that local govt. in the South is a really bad comic opera, and that 3 people are allowed to think in SF, has led young Danny to the conclusion that if the people of Galway get the politicians they deserve, they don’t deserve him.
    If so, he has a point.

  • redhaze

    Garibaldy,

    This is a bit cheeky but I wonder if you enlighten me as to your own brand of politics/party whatever?

    You seem to have it in for people who don’t fit your definition of being a socialist.

  • Rory

    Garibaldy is, Red Haze, a Pure Socialist. That means he would never sully himself by actually taking a position on any thing. His job is to sit back and point out to imperfect socialists, like me – poor deluded fool that I am, where they have erred. I don’t know how I’d get along without him and without his constantly putting me right I would probably get a swollen head and take over the world and create a workers’ paradise and make everybody happy.

    And that would never do.

  • Garibaldy

    Redhaze and Rory,

    I don’t think that was cheeky at all; it was a statement of my attitude, the reasons for which I’ll elaborate on below. As for pure socialism. Clearly in today’s world we must be flexible and adapt to realities. Pragmatism is important. However, so are basic principles. The first principle of socialism is workers unity. So I personally cannot square membership of or support for a movement that has consistently defined itself as representing the “Catholic/nationalist people”; or that intimidated and attacked the ICTU during the Hunger Strikes; never mind a movement that has carried out repeated murders of ordinary workers for their religion. And while we’re at it, nor could I ever support an organisation which, according to its chief press officer has no problem with capitalism, and whose President shows Jesse Helms round west Belfast and seeks approval and support from the White House, while implementing a at best centre-left agenda in government (left in some ways, but right in terms of PFI etc).

    I could go on but I think I’ve made my point. Personally I cannot reconcile any of these things with socialism. And hence the problem I have with Éirigí, the IRSP and such like. They all remain locked within a worldview that is fundamentally a tribalist one. I see this as a problem, because the presence of these groups has the potential to hinder the possibility of creating a serious socialist force in Ireland once again. In much the same way that the strength of Trotskyism in Britain damaged the possibility of mobilising coordinated and effective resistance to Thatcher.

    This isn’t, as Rory seems to think, a brand of ultra-leftist “my socialism is purer than yours” based on the interpretation of a scribbled note from Marx 150 years ago. Nor is it like an argument over whether the upper tax rate should be 40 or 50 pence. It is about people’s lives.

    Sectarian violence and tribal attitudes have cost thousands of lives, and pushed the possibility of a democratic, secular, socialist unitary state further away than ever. Confronting and opposing sectarianism in all its forms and from wherever it comes is not a matter of doctrinal interpretation but of fundamental strategy and responsiblity that a socialist must take in a divided society like NI. All my positions flow from this analysis.

    However, clearly you two see things differently. Perhaps we can discuss why. Cooperation on the broad left is more important than ever, and I have and will continue to work with people whose visions are far different from mine, from PSF to the PUP. But that still doesn’t mean I have to think their policies are consistent with how I interpret socialist and republican principles.

  • Rory

    Thank you for that manifesto, Garibaldy. I have no doubt but that you are right and I am wrong.

    I had always worked on the assumption that building socialism, like my old occupation of digging tunnels or building bridges was a human enterprise and, as such, that it was long and hard and dirty, with little reward and carried out in the company of other men, some of whom were not fully committed to the end goal, merely along for the ride, or the desperation of a need for the wages or others who just simply did not find the stamina and all overseen by greedy, miserable, incompetent bosses. But somehow we’d get the job done together and when people flushed their toilets the shit would wash away and traffic was able to flow over our bridges.

    Of course those tunnels and bridges need constant supervision and continuous repair, they ain’t perfect. But they are as good as imperfect united human enterprise was able to make them at the time and, as old Erich Fromm would have recognised, the idea was good.

  • Garibaldy

    Fair enough Rory. One of my failings is certainly not knowing when to shut up. I’ll take it that what you mean is that the stages you envisage are not unity of the people leading to independence but rather independence leading to unity of the people. And that therefore you can reconcile support for an organisation that has divided the people in pursuit of that independence.

    Couldn’t agree more about the long, hard slow struggle to build socialism, especially in current conditions. And the need for cooperation with people whose ideas are not all the same, as I said. But again, each of us draws the line as to what constitutes acceptable people to support according to our interpretation.

    And by the way, your references to inevitably imperfect human beings make you sound a lot like a certain Edumnd Burke. 🙂

  • mick hall

    Garibaldy

    Whilst we socialists differ on some issues our long term aims and hopes for the future seem much the same. I feel if working class people are to be represented in the political chancellories we leftist have to put what unites us to the fore, whilst attempting to find away to put our differences aside for the common good. Not easy but not impossible and increasingly the political situation demands it as do the needs of those we claim to represent..

  • Garibaldy

    Mick Hall,

    As I say we do need cooperation, and some form of left electoral pact, however loose, looks likely at some point in the future, more perhaps in the north than south. I’m in favour of a wider, broadly progressive pact in the north. The European campaign provided a workable model.

  • redhaze

    Garibaldy,

    Thanks for that, but I did ask you in particular about party allegiance. Do you have one, have you had one in the past?

    See when other people expose their allegiances the easiest thing in the world is to pick holes in their history.

    Any chance we could benefit from this advantage as well.

    Got a history?

  • CTN

    Again the bungling McGuiness/Adams autocracy have struck with more human resource disasters abound- instead of defecting to Eirigi now its FF and an independant.

    These pair have such a ultra tight reign on all others that when their usually myopic projects misfire or are not explained properly and in democratic fashion grass roots members leave in despair as no alternative sanity is allowed to prevail.

    Either that or their members just can’t hack watching corrupt provie bosses living it up whilst the national question remains gridlocked in Stormont…

  • nineteensixtyseven

    Being in SF in the South seems like a bit of waste of time to be honest.

  • CTN

    19- you have hit the nail on the head apart from about 8 or 9 constituencies but if they don’t replace Dumbo Snodaigh that will shrink further and their attempts to gain a foothold in Dublin will have been totally reversed into the oblivion.

  • CTN, if you knew as much about Dublin Sinn Féin as you pretend to, you’d know that if Aengus were got rid of he’d take a huge chunk of the cúige with him.

    BTW, Mick, what happened to the “ball not man” rule?

  • CTN

    Hi Wed,

    You refer to getting rid of Dumbo, I only suggested he was replaced as a Leinster House candidate as he is such a poor public performer.

    In relation to my knowledge of DSF- I know they lost 27,000 votes in 3 years- in spite of new counilors and a new MEP.

    What about this eirigi group who sprung from DSF- now they have linked with Bernhard Fox- the man that Adams sent down to quell dissension by speaking at hunger strike and easter commemorations claiming that “the struggle was ongoing”- it looks like Dumbo would have less people to bring with him if he was like YOU say gotten “rid of”….

  • hib

    Wednesday- Why can’t ya see it’s because of talentless local leaders like O’Snodaigh that DSF are in electoral retreat?

    BTW the Sindo- perhaps not the fairest commentator on SF reckons more high profile defections are imminent.

  • CTN, I’m not going to get into a semantics argument with you over “replace” vs. “get rid of”. You know very well that if we did the former we would be widely accused of doing the latter. Not least by you, I’d imagine.

    It’s actually a bit funny – in the wake of the general election we were told that our poor result in Dublin Central was due to the perception that we’d REPLACED a hard working representative who commanded respect from local republicans with someone who would be more appealing to people who’d never voted for us to begin with. Now you and Hib are saying that that’s exactly what we should do in DSC. As I keep saying … damned if you do, damned if you don’t!

  • CTN

    Now that you’ve finished your semantics lecture- let me tell you I’ve no sympathy for a member of a party which sheds its membership on a constant basis rather than having a leadership election, unless that member is trying to overthrow which is now an incredibly incompetent autocracy.

    Indeed SF are damned at the moment- however your comparison with the lifelong Cabra resident Nicky Keogh and Dumbo Snodaigh who only moved into his constituency around 2000 is incongruous.

    These are the facts Wed- lets not PRETEND otherwise…

  • Here’s a fact for you, CTN. We have a leadership election every year.

    Now why don’t you go and ask your pretend friends in Éirigí what Aengus’s stature is within DSF, and what would happen to the local organisation if there was any suggestion that he was being pushed aside.

  • CTN

    I have no interaction with or pretend friends in Eirigi and would not regard them as sole authority on Dumbo.

    In general Dumbo is regarded as the worst speaker in the Dail- he clings on to a 5 seater with 69 votes after initially being comfortably elected with only a 2 year campaign as a mere unknown candidate he is also fancied to lose 2 councilors 1 in Ballyfermot after Smithers retired from Dublin Corporation and another co-optee in SWIC who has no local organisation to back her up as that cumman resigned en-mass- and could not be reformed to full functionality- not much of a builder is he?

    His position as the only elected SF TD in Dublin is injurious to DSF as he is such an appalling speaker.

    Regarding your annual election- it’s about as democratic as one from behind the old iron curtain…

  • hib

    I wonder will Sean Mc be at this years “democratic” election?

  • 1. Joe Higgins was regarded as the best speaker in the Dáil and that didn’t save his seat.

    2. The drop in Aengus’s vote this time around could be attributed to a number of factors, many of which have nothing to do with him personally.

    3. Fancied by whom. Nobody has a clue at the moment how the 2009 elections will turn out. There is in fact a local organisation in SWIC.

    4. The leadership election is as democratic as we could possibly make it, in view of the regular refusal of any leadership opponents to put their own names forward, as they’re perfectly free to do. How do you suggest we get around this, by forcing people to run against Adams, or what?

    5. I don’t see why Sean Mac Manus wouldn’t be at the Ard Fheis next year seeing as he is and remains a party member, Sindo shit-stirring notwithstanding.

  • CTN

    Common sense dictates the two councilors which are co-opted have less time to make a personal impact against the likes of Brid Smith anti-bin tax candidates.

    Many many people are leaving and have left SF claiming it’s not democratic- Adams is protected by a pretorian guard and many wouldn’t dare stand against him although now that some of his right hand men like Bernhard Fox as well as Darkie Hughes have turned on him this is changing.

    Your local organisation in SWIC is totally ineffective compared to several years back….

  • Justin Moran

    “Your local organisation in SWIC is totally ineffective compared to several years back….”

    Hmmm, as a member of the cumann in that area I’d take issue with this. In 2005 Andrew O’Connell, the councillor we elected in the Locals, had to stand down. Andrew had moved out of Dublin and was about to get married and felt he couldn’t stay on as a councillor.

    While there was a bit of a lull during the confusion of sorting out a replacement, we now have a situation where the cumann is stronger than it has been since before the 2002 election both in terms of numbers and quality of activists.

    We have an outstanding local councillor in Críona Ní Dhálaigh and we’ve shifted tens, and I mean ‘tens’ of thousands of leaflets since polling day informing people of local Council issues in our own ward.

    We had a very successful poker night as a fundraiser last Friday and all are welcome when we hold it again on the 28th. Just drop me an email.

    And with that shameless bit of advertising….

  • slug

    What is SWIC?

  • Risen Belfast

    Slug,

    South West Inner City.

    ————-

    And just to clarify: CTN’s analysis of éirígí and SF is his alone and would, to my knowledge, not be shared by members of either group. There seems to be a deliberate or accidental attempt to infer bad blood between the two organisations, this isn’t the case.

    Those that joined éirígí from SF, other groups or none did so for one reason – they agree with the positions, principles and tactics of the party. The internal issues of other groups or their strategies are an issue for them alone and of little interest or relevance to the growing band of activists endorsing éirígí.

    Checking the éirígí website will show the sole focus of the party is building its own brand of Socialist Republican politics and petty attacks on other groups aren’t part of that project.

    Also, the possible perception of an organisation only based in Dublin would be completely wrong.

  • Adams is protected by a pretorian guard and many wouldn’t dare stand against him

    Well tell us, since you know so much, who exactly are the SF members who wanted to stand against him but didn’t dare?

  • FRU

    Ivor Bell was the first and last to challenge him.

  • CTN

    Risen- I dislike SF and sympathise with eirigi any so called inference is entirely mispercieved by those who mispercieve it- I for one am aware that eirigi members still have good friendships with some SF members.

    Although the emergence of eirigi is hurting SF in Dublin- I have never insinuated anything else.

    Justin- perhaps if you stopped playing poker you wouldn’t be taking such a tankin of the electorate in Dublin- your vote is well down in your constituency and no amount of spin about bits of lulls can mask that fact.

    Wed- I believe FRU has answered you- we all know what happened to poor Ivor and that challengers to the McGuinness/Adams autocracy are smeared or sidelined- many founding provos have left that party stating this fact- it will be interesting to hear what Bernard Fox says at the eirigi Thomas Ashe commemeration….

  • redhaze

    I doubt Bernard Fox will put the boot into anyone. He left for his reasons, made them clear internally, and is currently doing his own thing.

    No-one should mischief make about him or eirigi.

    They are both clearly capable of speaking for themselves and what I personally like and admire aobut both is the positive way they have gone about their business.

    Neither put the ‘mix in’ rather they do work which they feel is worthwhile and that is their strength.

  • I believe FRU has answered you

    No he hasn’t and neither have you.

  • CTN

    Red- Facts are people are leaving SF of a high caliber like B.F. and the creators of eirigi because of the stance that organisation has taken.

    Stating facts is not making mischief and SF members would be doing the smarter thing by making their leadership more accountable, preventing disasters like Adams on Prime Time and the subsequent loss of members instead of shooting at messengers.

    It will be interesting to hear if Bernhard states the strategy he once endorsed now has republicans gridlocked as it would ratify a lot of doubts many have about griz & co to deliver real progress to a UI.

    Wed- FRU and I referred an individual Adams completely shafted for standing up to him and it is this culture which exists in your party that I’ve illustrated in answering your question- again you would be doing the smarter thing trying to limit the excesses of a dated leadership instead of shooting at messengers….

  • FRU

    Wed,

    Do you deny Ivor Bell and the good old girl Annie challenged Adams when he began to manourvre the good ship IRA down the very long and winding British garden path to 3 houses, two business and a very thick wallet.

    Bell made it very clear to the PAC that Adams was not to be trusted and he was a very good friend of Adams and his tout ridden family at that time.Bell knew then what the world will eventually find out about the Hannaway clan and his very good friends, the worlds luckiest man, wee Martin and his very ugly brother.

    His punishment for that Challenge? well genuine Republicans with a genuine desire for a united Ireland know that answer!!

    Onwards to Westminster! Oh I meant the Dail, wrong turn.Sorry.

    Slan

    FRU

  • CTN

    Ive reiterated my position on this thread enough guys and girls so its toodle pip!

  • Mick Hall

    Red Haze

    Myself I feel that it is time for the comrades within eirigi and SF to go their own way and we will let the electorate decide. Although there can be little doubt the inability of the SF leadership to prevent a split in dublin SF showed there shortcomings and inability to compromise with comrades who have different ideas to their own as to how the movement can progress. But we are where we are as the saying goes.

    However, and I say this in a comradely manner, please spare us the mischief making spiel. You cannot be blind to the fact that this is just the language that was used to try and intimidate SFs republican opponent in the not to distant past and indeed it was one of the reasons that led to the split in the first place.

    As to Ivor Bell, there is little doubt that the events surrounding Ivor’s departure from the PRM have turned out to be a major turning points as far as the movements political direction SF is concerned. The very mention of the man’s name may well send a shudder down some prominent members of SF spine, however SF is now operating in the democratic arena and I am afraid within such an environment it is not possible to have ones cake and eat it.

  • DK

    What’s the difference between Eirigi and Sinn Fein?

  • it is this culture which exists in your party that I’ve illustrated in answering your question

    You mean in evading my question. You haven’t answered it at all, instead you’ve tried to move the goalposts. First it was

    “you have no leadership election”

    then it was

    “you have a leadership election but it’s not democratic because people want to stand against Adams but are afraid to do so”

    now it’s

    “OK I don’t actually know of anyone who wanted to stand against Adams, but hypothetically speaking, if such a person existed, they might be afraid to do so.”

    Which is quite a different thing to your first statement, isn’t it? I’m still wondering which people exactly you think these are?

  • FRU

    Wed.

    Care to comment upon Adams / Bell challenge ?

  • Risen Belfast

    DK,

    I’ll not go into differences, I’ll offer a quote from an Englishman, make of it what you will:

    “This above all: to thine own self be true,
    And it must follow, as the night the day,
    Thou canst not then be false to any man.”

    ‘Imperialism – Britain and Ireland’

  • hib

    SF don’t have democratic elections- people like Ivor Bell who stand up against Adams are shafted- I fail to understand why keeps Wed misses the point…

  • hib

    Sorry typo should be

    understand why Wed keeps…

  • FRU

    Ivor Bell’s time was well before mine and I have no personal knowledge of what went on there – although neither, I suspect, do most of the others commenting on this thread.

    Hib

    The point is that youse are assuming that the only reason there hasn’t been a leadership challenge in recent years is due to this so-called intimidation, and yet you can’t even offer a single suggestion as to who might have been intimidated out of making a challenge.

  • hib

    As you say you do not have any personal knowledge of the Bell precedent.

    What about all the people who have left- Darkie Hughes, John Kelly, Gerry McGeough, Bernhard Fox, Tony Gorman, Anthony McIntyre, Tommy McKearney and the organised dissenters- all of these people except Berhard who has not yet spoken publicly regard SF as an autocratic shambles.

    These were largely the provisional movement’s backbone nationally and the founders of eirigi its backbone in Dublin.

    I am not trying to smart alec you but c’mon- something is seriously wrong with a group that loses that amount of people and then nosedives electorally after the much hyped positive publicity around St Andrews after its leadership claimed it would treble its seats…..

  • DK

    Risen – seems from the link that the only difference is that Sinn Fein are in favour of St. Andrews and Eirigi is not. The rest of the anti-imperialism & anti-british stuff could be written by either of them.

    Maybe I should ask how does Eirigi differ from 32 county sovereignty committe & the other dissident republican political groups?

  • redhaze

    Mick Hall,

    “However, and I say this in a comradely manner, please spare us the mischief making spiel. You cannot be blind to the fact that this is just the language that was used to try and intimidate SFs republican opponent in the not to distant past and indeed it was one of the reasons that led to the split in the first place.”

    I accept fully that this is done in a comradely fashion and i’ll follow on in the same suit.

    I am a former member of the aforementioned movement and certainly will not attempt to silence nor intimidate anyone. The more peopel speak out the better.

    However, whilst I would normally be in agreemnt with CTN’s posts this time round there is the distinct smell of mischief or mixing, which is all the more unwelcome as CTN is speaking of people whom are not of his aquaintance (Bernard Fox)and groups he is not a member of (SF or eirigi).

    My issue with this is that Bernard Fox and eirigi do not indulge in this combative activity with SF. Indeed both still have friends and comrades within SF and have no axe to grind with SF on the ground.

    Obviously they both have disagreements with SF direction but they do not attack SF. They have engaged in new projects, which are positive and are not based around attacking or obsessing with Adams or SF. This is where other dissenting opinions have fallen down in my opinion.

    Furthermore one of CTN’s posts seemed to allude that Bernard Fox had joined eirigi which is patently not the case. He was asked to speak at a commemmoration for another Irish Republican Hunger Striker and agreed. Thats it.

    Whilst Bernard speaking at the commemmoration is quite a coup for eirigi CTN’s posts seem to go beyond this and this in my opinion adds to the mischief making.

  • hib

    DK- eirigi started of with 6 very talented and youngish ex-SFers from Dublin in April ’06 and were later augmented by more, although still small they are on the up.

    As they are unscathed by associations with things like the McCartney murder and assets recovery scandals inter alia this should lead to further growth.

    It seems they are coming good at the right time and only re-formed themselves into a political party a week or two before SF’s unsuspected flop also they are unified strongly on a socialist basis as opposed to being a broad church behind a socialist banner with all the problems that entails.

    Member for member in Dublin they are IMHO much more active than SF, recently they have linked with republican supremo Bernhard Fox- this should result in them continuing to grow in Belfast albeit from a small base…

  • hib

    Red- I too have mentioned that Berhard has linked with eirigi- this is fact- linking is not joining but both parties have agreed to facilitate each others viewpoint at a hunger strikers commemoration for one party to address- in fairness to CTN he stated that there were good friendships between eirigi and SF members.

    Bloggers are entitled to comment fairly and accurately on fissures and recalibrations within republicanism, neither I nor the absent CTN have claimed Bernhard or eirigi have maligned SF but that they have weakened SF by leaving it.

    I agreee that with CTN its possible Bernhard may criticise Adams’ gridlocking of the struggle at the said event and that this is no more than logical and justified speculation…

  • Mick Hall

    Redhaze

    I agree totally with what you have written and welcome any attempt the two organizations make to co-exist in a comradely and civilized manner. There is little doubt that members of eirigi and Dublin SF seem to be making a real attempt to do so. I feel at times it is all to easy to lose sight of who our main enemy is and we far to often direct our spleen against people whose politics are not that far from our own. [sadly I say this as some one who in the past has been as guilty as anyone here]

    Although it is only fair to add that for some people a lot of rough water has flowed under certain bridges, so in some areas reconciliation may not be that easy.

    Perhaps it is time we took a leaf from the ruling classes book as they are well able to co exist with one and another one when it comes to oppressing people. So we must do the same when it comes to resisting their dirty work.

    Best regards

  • peter

    Spot on Mick republicans should be gettin on with it without invective or false allegations of mixing- CTN and hib have not stated Bernhard has joined eirigi or Bernhard/eirigi have maligned SF so there is no reason for further dispute…

  • redhaze

    Mick Hall,

    Well said. Good luck.

    hib,

    What do you classify as Bernard linking with eirigi?

    Surely CTN indictated something more significant than merely addressing a commemoration when he/she stated:

    “The hard working Eirigi party will now further drain Dublin SF of its best activists, as Eirigi continues to poach republicans of the caliber of Bernhard Fox.”

    Poach? In my understanding this would seem to indicate fairly strongly that they have poached Bernard away from something. That Bernard now enjoys membership with them.

    This isn’t true. I just wish people would accept things at face value, welcome it as a positive development, but not attempt to make more of it that it is. Particularly when the people doing it are not acquaintances of Bernard nor are they members of eirigi.

    “Member for member in Dublin they are IMHO much more active than SF, recently they have linked with republican supremo Bernhard Fox- this should result in them continuing to grow in Belfast albeit from a small base… ”

    Republican supremo? Like come on hib…very Sunday World speak if I do say so myself. I think Bernard Fox would be first to kick you up the hole for that one.

    “I agreee that with CTN its possible Bernhard may criticise Adams’ gridlocking of the struggle at the said event and that this is no more than logical and justified speculation…

    Well thats what it is…speculation. Logical and justified? Well thats another story. For it to be logical and justified you would need to have something to base it on surely.

    If all you are basing it on is the fact that he left the movement then its pretty weak. Bernard has not engaged in anything like this yet and i’d say he would be more likely to talk about Hunger Strike and its importance within Irish Republican history seeing as its a commemmoration for a Hunger Striker and he is a former Hunger Striker himself.

    Other than that who knows?

    And why speculate. I like the direction eirigi is going in and I have an immense amount of respect for Bernard Fox and thats why I leave them to explore their project without speculating, raising emotions, expectations, etc.

    I would prefer that sympathetic people allow these people space to develop in their own way and in their own time.

    Thats all.

  • hib

    Red you are over-reacting – “Poached”- to the commemeration probably and away from retirement, thats for the absentee to address if he comes back and doesn’t find you a little pedantic.

    Have you got authority from Bernhard to threaten me with a boot in the hole?

    We speculate because it is a democratic right- it’s benign to speculate someone who formerly spoke in favour of a strategy as a member of one party and then left might explain why they left that party to speak at a commemeration of another party which offers an alternative strategic emphasis- you could be right about his speech or perhaps he will mention the need for a St Andrew’s alternative but I don’t think its worth bringing the Sunday World into…

  • redhaze

    hib,

    really your explanation of what CTN may have meant by ‘poached’ is reaching just a bit. I do not believe it can be construed as being pedantic by challenging the use of such a loaded and misleading term. But sure…

    “Have you got authority from Bernhard to threaten me with a boot in the hole? ”

    Haha fair enough.

    “We speculate because it is a democratic right- it’s benign to speculate someone who formerly spoke in favour of a strategy as a member of one party and then left might explain why they left that party to speak at a commemeration of another party which offers an alternative strategic emphasis”

    Well i’m not sure that ‘democratic rights’ specifically cover unfounded speculation but there you go I suppose.

    Bernard may speak of many things, none of us knows but if you would be sympathetic towards him or eirigi (sorry I’m assuming that you are) then why load events with speculation. Why not let it develop as it will and celebrate any positive outcome. I feel the speculation only feeds the detractors and causes friction. You may disagree but i’m fairly sure the people involved wouldn’t disagree at all.

    BTW Bernard didn’t leave any party to speak at this commemoration…might want to re-read your post there.

    And I still stand over the criticism of the ‘Republican Supremo’ talk…wild boy, totally wild.

  • hib

    Red- “Bernhard may speak of many things” how speculative of you to say so- earlier you only stated it would be the hunger strike, although your second piece of speculation is not as wild as your first that he would “boot my hole”.

    Why bother whingeing about CTN’s earlier blog as everyone knows Bernhard left SF a year before choosing to speak at this eirigi event, indeed CTN could be equally as touchy and claim you were misquoting his blog- eirigi have poached Bernhard to speak at one event whether he joins them or speaks occasionaly for them or returns to full retirement none of us know- in terms of loading the event Bernhard Fox wont be dictated to by some blogger on Slugger O’Toole to see what he should or shouldn’t say at this upcoming event.

    Clarification- Bernhard left SF and feels compelled to speak at the eirigi commemoration.

    I never stated that was his SPECIFIC reason for leaving SF….

  • FRU

    Wed,

    quote Ivor Bell’s time was well before mine and I have no personal knowledge of what went on there – although neither, I suspect, do most of the others commenting on this thread.unquote

    At least you admit to being a ceasefire soldier!

    Next time engage brain before spouting.

    FRU

  • redhaze

    hib,

    “Red- “Bernhard may speak of many things” how speculative of you to say so- earlier you only stated it would be the hunger strike, although your second piece of speculation is not as wild as your first that he would “boot my hole”.”

    Give me a break. Your not even passable at the semantics game.

    Saying Bernard may speak of many things is not speculative but a statement of fact. He may speak of many things. But I can assure you that he will speak of Hunger Strike which is more than an informed guess as he is an former hunger striker asked to address a commemoration of a hunger striker.

    Pretty straight forward no?

    “Why bother whingeing about CTN’s earlier blog as everyone knows Bernhard left SF a year before choosing to speak at this eirigi event”

    No shit? Where have i disputed when he left the movement (I don’t believe he was in or left SF) try to keep up.

    I never ‘whinged’ about CTN saying that Bernard had lef tthe movement but I did object to bystanders speculating and generally putting the mix in.

    If CTN or yourself are so excited by the development don’t confine yourselves to speculation why not get involved?

    “CTN could be equally as touchy and claim you were misquoting his blog- eirigi have poached Bernhard to speak at one event whether he joins them or speaks occasionaly for them or returns to full retirement none of us know”

    No CTN couldn’t. CTN made the following statement (which I posted for you to read before but it appears you can’t read won’t read) …

    ““The hard working Eirigi party will now further drain Dublin SF of its best activists, as Eirigi continues to poach republicans of the caliber of Bernhard Fox.”

    Seeing as this refers to draining SF of activists and then claims to have ‘poached’ Bernard the inference is clear. Simply that eirigi has ‘poached’ Bernard, which is heavily loaded and misleading in my book.

    Thats all CTN said on the matter the rest of your above ‘explanation’ that CTN may have meant by the term ‘poached’ is entirely your speculation nothing more and nothing less…getting quite handy with that aren’t we?

    “in terms of loading the event Bernhard Fox wont be dictated to by some blogger on Slugger O’Toole to see what he should or shouldn’t say at this upcoming event.”

    True. I never suggested that Bernard would take any notice of what you guys speculate on, however, my objection was to bystanders putting the mix in.

    “I never stated that was his SPECIFIC reason for leaving SF….”

    Yes you did…

    “it’s benign to speculate someone who formerly spoke in favour of a strategy as a member of one party and then left might explain why they left that party to speak at a commemeration of another party which offers an alternative strategic emphasis”

    Granted that statement doesn’t read the best but it clear that you stated that “they left that party to speak at a commemeration of another party”.

    This may have just been sloppy work on your behalf but its your sloppy work nonethless.

    I had wanted to know why, if you are sympathetic to eirigi or Bernard, that you feel the need to speculate (which I know they feel is unhelpful) and why you just don’t let things develop in their own way but alas there has been no answer forthcoming.

  • hib

    I’ve lost count at how many of your “counterpoints” are speculative or conjecture most of which I already dealt with and the rest are just pathetic.

    For all your sermons from the mount against speculation and in favour of republican unity your blog is just an unconvincing rant of petty invectives and attempts to split hairs.

    It is unworthy of a full reply except your last point re Bernhard’s potential speech, again for the blind I will state it will be interesting to see if he outlines a need for a St Andrews alternative- I state this as I wish to see an alternative to the bungling McGuinness/Adams autocracy dominating republicanism and believe a new axis of republicans outside the PRM like Bernhard and eirigi could help bring this about if they syncronise- that however may not occur.

    Next thing you will be pulling blogger us up on their typos Red- chill out…..

  • peter

    Redhaze – Are you a headmaster?

  • hib

    Your a terrible man peter

  • redhaze

    hib,

    Not so much sermons on the mount more annoyance with bystanders trying to stir that of which they are not a part and that which will impact upon them in no way.

    Hopefully we’ll be seeing you in Dublin then seeing as you are so keen on this potential alternative dynamic developing.

    “Next thing you will be pulling blogger us up on their typos Red- chill out…..”

    Wow thats too easy, next time when you are attempting to be smart maybe you should check that the sentence makes some degree of sense old friend.

    peter,

    No unfortunately I am not currently nor have I ever been a headmaster although if I was I’d have sent hib for crash course on the three R’s.

    Thanks for your intervention though it was very useful and enlightening.

  • Hib

    What about all the people who have left- Darkie Hughes, John Kelly, Gerry McGeough, Bernhard Fox, Tony Gorman, Anthony McIntyre, Tommy McKearney and the organised dissenters- all of these people except Berhard who has not yet spoken publicly regard SF as an autocratic shambles.

    Come on now. There’s quite a difference between that and “I wanted to run against Adams but I was too afraid to”. Obviously, they aren’t too afraid of him to criticise him publicly, as you yourself note.

    FRU

    Sorry. We can’t all be as ancient as you.

  • hib

    Red- Can’t believe ya fell for it and pulled me on a typo- ya sure your not a headmaster!!

    Wed- Your problem is they couldn’t criticise him on the inside or they would have been smeared/sidelined…

  • redhaze

    hib,

    I believe ya but a million others wouldn’t.

  • peter

    Fair cop Red- hands up!

  • hib

    Gotta go here guys the din dins are ready and I’ve said all that has to be said.

    My detractors are welcome to try and outwit me in my absence- Adios…

  • peter

    I’m off 2- hopefully the next thread will not wander of the subject matter and be so petty;- look before you leap next time Red!

  • FRU

    Wed,

    FRU

    quote Sorry. We can’t all be as ancient as you unquote

    Age is no barrier to knowledge mate, that said very pleased to educate you.

    FRU

  • jim

    Hey Redhaze- maybe hib will squeeze in between all you tough guys with the big graveyards!

  • jim

    Now that the aptly named “Redhaze” has been successfully smacked down I’m of too….

  • redhaze

    yawn……..