“Less than deafening roar of protest…”

MI5 Spooks HeadquartersNewton Emerson makes an ‘appearance’ on this morning’s Today Programme (sound file here, 10 minutes in) ‘looking into’ MI5’s new headquarters at the Palace Barracks. Today when MI5 only has to monitor a few small dissident groups, a building of this size is ridiculous.” Eamon McCann: “There is a widespread, and perhaps overly cynical belief in NI that Sinn Fein’s acquiescence has to do with confidential side deals negotiated between the British government and Sinn Fein, and it seems to me it is the most coherent explanation of the Irish Republican movement actually deciding not to take a stand against a big facility of its most vehement enemy, as it has been presented throughout the years.” And on ‘attempting to counter MI5’s activities, without being entirely sure what those activities might be’, Alex Maskey: “The issue for us is about how do we neutralise and remove MI5 presence from Ireland at all, or at the very least in respect of policing, removing their polluting hand out of policing.”

,

  • Mick Fealty

    Note: Try to keep the conversations here: 1, relevant, and 2, legal.

  • john humphries

    NO sign of the piece in that soundfile, it’s only 8 minutes long…?

  • Ahem

    ‘Monitoring things’ my ars* – it’s a back office processing all those pension payments for their loyal and trusty deputy ministers, erm, I mean, retired employees.

  • Mick Fealty

    My bad… fixed it now…

  • Sean

    Now Sinn Fein know where to look for the spooks

  • DK

    Newton Emerson: “Today when MI5 only has to monitor a few small dissident groups, a building of this size is ridiculous”

    Given that they were advertising recently for Arabic speakers I don’t think that the local security threat is all that this building is designed for. In fact, the local town-bombers are probably only a small part of what the occupants of the building will focus on.

    MI5 locating here is probably more to do with the UK Government trying to spread departments around the country – our advantage being a large number of security specialists they can recruit from (although probably not that many arabic speakers!).

  • Wilde Rover

    It is fitting that Northern Ireland falls in line with the rest of the United Kingdom, reflecting the new sense of unity within that great bastion of freedom, where the citizen can walk tall and proud, knowing that their movements are being monitored to protect them from the terrorists.

  • What armed conflict ?

    I suppose Johnathon Evans can now come over here in an official capacity, and the MOD won’t have to silence Ingram.

  • CTN

    This relocation is an affront to republicans- it will be interesting to see if any juicy side-deals which would have earned SF’s acquiescence for the move will unravel.

    Either that or its just another one of McGuinness’ blunders…

  • DC

    “It is fitting that Northern Ireland falls in line with the rest of the United Kingdom, reflecting the new sense of unity within that great bastion of freedom, where the citizen can walk tall and proud, knowing that their movements are being monitored to protect them from the terrorists.”

    What would Ireland do if it came under attack or was known to be under threat of attack from any such terrorists.

    Would it sit idly by when its foreign policy was being challenged? Would it not have a building commensurate to the size required to protect itself the best it could against threats to its foreign policy which ultimately is to bring benefits to the nation.

    If innocent lives can be saved fair enough even if it is to protect and save the face of a British government who need to bolster good propaganda for a war that clearly the British people didn’t want themselves with reference Iraq and probably pretty much the same re the Northern Ireland conflict.

    Innocents deserved to be protected against terrorist attacks on civilian installations that assist with life and work.

    So should innocents not have the chance to be spared from hurt and fatal acts.

    I imagine in Europe somewhere operating on behalf of the EU treaty obligations a similar building sits perhaps without the power for direct action in national legislatures, but there all the same without the label attached to it of seeming to operate in a prejudical and detrimental way.

    In this case the SDLP seem to be making out that this building is part of an anti-Irish campaign, which is obviously utter nonsense.

  • Wilde Rover

    “If innocent lives can be saved fair enough even if it is to protect and save the face of a British government who need to bolster good propaganda for a war that clearly the British people didn’t want themselves with reference Iraq”

    I don’t see how that is clear. The British people re-elected a government that went to war based on lies about WMD.

    There are over a million dead Iraqis and the only concern most British people have is that this megadeath might cause some blowback to go their way.

    And this is all in the same country where Britain invented terror bombing in the 1920s.

    Which begs the question, who are the real innocents and who are the real terrorists?

  • Dessertspoon

    If the only the world was as black and white as you’d like it to be Wilde Rover. Sadly it’s mostly shades of grey. I suspect the reason the building is in NI is simply a way of isolating it from a major target area – London. They could have built it in Scotland or Wales its true but as they have all that ground going spare in Palace Barracks now all the soldiers are leaving seemed like a good use of the resource. However I would question its obvious proximity to a major airport and flight path…..!!!!

  • Wilde Rover

    “If the only the world was as black and white as you’d like it to be Wilde Rover. Sadly it’s mostly shades of grey.”

    I see. Shades of grey. So what you are saying is that the British electorate didn’t reelect a lying warmongering government. They just sort of did.

    And the million dead Iraqis, are they sort of dead or are they just pretending to be dead?

    Shades of grey? Sounds like Stalin’s “one million dead is a statistic.”

    And the invention of Blitzkrieg in Iraq in the 1920s, the RAF only sort of carpet bombed villages?

    Next you will try and tell us concentration camps and eugenics are only sort of British inventions too.

  • mnob

    Wilde Rover – and the Irish government doesnt know about the rendition flights through Shannon ?

    and wasnt Ireland part of the UK that was bombing the Iraqis ? – what did the Irish do ? – they removed themselves from the UK rather than try to effect change. Was that the right thing to do ?

    … and just to prove the shades of grey – in 2005 the British people were not presented with a party who could form government who actually opposed the Iraq War – i.e. they had *no* choice.

    We can all rant and rave and take principled positions when its easy to do so.

  • lib2016

    For more than a decade the largest threat to peace has come from the unionist and loyalist sections of society. Now that Britain has been forced to redeploy it’s army and is engaged in gradual moves towards complete withdrawal from Ireland that threat continues.

    Obviously brute force isn’t the answer. Does anyone really wonder what the alternative government will do from it’s palace on the Thames?

  • Wilde Rover

    “Wilde Rover – and the Irish government doesnt know about the rendition flights through Shannon ?”

    The ignominious role of the hired stooge is even more pathetic than that of the crackpot inventor.

    “… and just to prove the shades of grey – in 2005 the British people were not presented with a party who could form government who actually opposed the Iraq War – i.e. they had *no* choice.”

    So what you’re saying is that Tory and New Labour are two heads of the same beast, and that the British public are hapless, powerless, consumer serfs who can no more affect change than King Canute could keep back the tide?

    Well, when you put it that way mcnob I suppose you’re right.

    Rant over.

    I only rave on weekends.

  • K man

    I think, Wilde Rover, he means what he says, you simply cant apply a set of principles to a situation or historical decision making process when the principles now are totally alien to those originally used. “One mans terrorist…”, and all that.

    I think its called “hind-sight”, and, I’m told, its a wonderful thing. : )

    “Given that they were advertising recently for Arabic speakers I don’t think that the local security threat is all that this building is designed for…”

    Posted by DK on Oct 09, 2007 @ 04:47 PM

    DK, while your point is a valid one, I’m sure Eamon McCann would disagree. Pausing from his usual business of throwing computer monitors out of second floor windows in Derry industrial estates, he would have you know the building is ALL MI5. That means its all part of the same global industrial war machine conspiracy etc.

    Whatever the morality of the situation, we are now locked is a battle with eastern religious fundamentalists hell bent on destroying our way of life. (Irregardless of who started it Wilde!).

  • Reader

    Wilde Rover: Next you will try and tell us concentration camps and eugenics are only sort of British inventions too.
    Well, Concentration Camps were a Spanish invention.
    Eugenics is a concept that has been around as long as selective breeding. But I think it was first formally put into effect under that name in the USA.

  • spot the delusional

    “For more than a decade the largest threat to peace has come from the unionist and loyalist sections of society. Now that Britain has been forced to redeploy it’s army and is engaged in gradual moves towards complete withdrawal from Ireland that threat continues.”

    Not even SF are pretending (publically) that the construction of an MI5 superfortress in the North of Ireland is part of a programme of withdrawal. If you’re getting nudge-nudge signals to the contrary from SF, then they’re obviously as trustworthy as those about ‘not a bullet, not an ounce’.
    The Brit army went because with the Provos wound up and their weapons surrendered, there was no point in keeping them here. Now the spooks have arrived en masse and barely a peep about it from the Shinners. If a private deal has been done as McCann suggests it obviously hasn’t got anything to do with MI5 or the Brits leaving this part of Ireland. All the available evidence and common sense points to the contrary. To suggest otherwise is utter doublethink.

  • Frank Sinistra

    Newt was funny today. Having to make a groveling apology to two SF Ministers, their husbands and admit his employer paid them damages due to his looseness with facts as he accuses others of similar in recent articles.

    I wonder how many of his other pieces have been based on nonsense. Another journalist on my possible lie spreader take with a pinch of salt list.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Reader: “Well, Concentration Camps were a Spanish invention. ”

    English, I was taught — Boer war… although the notion of simply collecting and imprisoning one’s problem children is not exactly a new one.

    The Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd ed. defines concentration camp as: a camp where non-combatants of a district are accommodated, such as those instituted by Lord Kitchener during the South African war of 1899-1902.

    Reader: “Eugenics is a concept that has been around as long as selective breeding. But I think it was first formally put into effect under that name in the USA. ”

    Sorry, wrong again. The field and term of “eugenics” was formulated by Sir Francis Galton in 1865, drawing on the recent work of his cousin Charles Darwin. The first of three International Eugenics Conferences was held in London in 1912.

  • DK

    Dread Cthulhu: “Reader: “Well, Concentration Camps were a Spanish invention. “

    English, I was taught—Boer war… although the notion of simply collecting and imprisoning one’s problem children is not exactly a new one.”

    So I thought, but the Spanish got there first with their reconcentration camps against cuban insurgents. Not that that excuses the British, but concentration camps are kind of out of favour now with their excessive use by Stalin, Mao and Hitler.

    And MI5 have also changed with the times with the re-focus on new threats… in fact I think that the only one who hasn’t changed might be Eamon McCann who is still fighting yesterdays battle against US cold war imperialism while overlooking todays’s threat of religious extremism.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    DK: “So I thought, but the Spanish got there first with their reconcentration camps against cuban insurgents. Not that that excuses the British, but concentration camps are kind of out of favour now with their excessive use by Stalin, Mao and Hitler. ”

    Sources are in dispute on the Spanish innovation — primarily Spanish one, just as the British sources on Slugger seem eager to move it off their plate — although, as noted above, more academic sources still grant primacy to Kitchner.

    DK: “And MI5 have also changed with the times with the re-focus on new threats… in fact I think that the only one who hasn’t changed might be Eamon McCann who is still fighting yesterdays battle against US cold war imperialism while overlooking todays’s threat of religious extremism. ”

    Always the way for some — look at what passes from French military history from the Franco-Prussian War to the French-Indochina War. They were one war behind, strategically and tactically, for that period.

  • Reader

    Dread Cthulhu: Sorry, wrong again.
    I used the terms ‘concept’ and ‘put into effect’, and I was correct. The Romans understood the concept, though I don’t suppose they created the modern (ancient) Greek term. And it was a couple of US States that actually did a bit of Eugenics under that name.
    Dread Cthulhu: although, as noted above, more academic sources still grant primacy to Kitchner.
    ‘primacy’ maybe (whatever that is), but not ‘priority’.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Reader: “‘primacy’ maybe (whatever that is), but not ‘priority’. ”

    *shrug*

    I can empathize with the desire to lay the blame elsewhere, but the majority of sources would seem unpersuaded. The sources I reviewed were nearly unanimous in their attribution to Kirchner and Britain, with the remainder being neutral / generic in their discussion of the camps.

    Reader: “I used the terms ‘concept’ and ‘put into effect’, and I was correct. ”

    Again, this desire to shift responsibility… “Modern” eugenics grounds out in Britain, Reader. Now, were some in the States persuaded to use what passed for science from auld Blighty? Yes. In fact, the legacy of that experiment still exists, primarily in Planned Parenthood, the brain-child of Sanger, iirc.

    However, your neat “ignorance” of the British root of this ugly bit of pseudo-science, along with your swimming against the tide re: concentration camps, smacks more of a ham-handed effort to project British failures on other entities, than any sort of useful discourse.

  • Wilde Rover

    Whatever the morality of the situation, we are now locked is a battle with eastern religious fundamentalists hell bent on destroying our way of life. (Irregardless of who started it Wilde!).

    Posted by K man on Oct 10, 2007 @ 05:38 PM

    Yes yes, I know, “we” the “good guy” against whomever happens to be a halfway believable patsy with the usual suspects laughing their arses off at everyone from behind the curtains.

    Dread Cthulhu

    Hat tip for references for pedantic Pandora’s Box opened by yours truly.

    Reader,

    I might consider changing the description from “invented” to “perfected,” if it pleases you.

    DK
    “Not that that excuses the British, but concentration camps are kind of out of favour now with their excessive use by Stalin, Mao and Hitler.”

    Yes, I suppose the good old days of the concentration camps are gone forever.

    Alex Maskey: “The issue for us is about how do we neutralise and remove MI5 presence from Ireland at all, or at the very least in respect of policing, removing their polluting hand out of policing.”

    Verily, one can say politics is the art of saying nothing.

  • Ian

    “…smacks more of a [i]ham-handed[/i] effort…”

    Is there a term for selectively breeding humans until they develop meaty appendages?

    Like choriz-toes, for example?

  • wise up

    While the resident shinners engage in this fascinating history lesson, could they possibly take just a minute to tell the rest of us who remember what this thread was about:
    how is the construction of this MI5 superfortress consistent with the SF claim that the Brits are on their way out, when it is blindingly obvious to everyone that they are digging in?
    They don’t NEED troops on the streets with the Provos out of business and disarmed.
    If MI5 were one of the worst collusion culprits of the war, then why aren’t SF up in arms (at least figuratively) about them arriving in huge numbers, in a very public way, with NONE of them held account for the war crimes the Shinners have always claimed they committed?
    No wonder consipiracy theories abound: this absolutely stinks. MI5 are here in their biggest ever numbers and they are totally unaccountable to anyone but their masters in London. The border remains with no possiblity of removal, the currency in this part of Ireland is sterling and SF encourage young nationalists to join a British police force. Some victory!

  • republic for sale

    Cmawn SF MIGHT get an Irish Language Act from the DUP and if not from them then mabye as a consolation prize from the real government in London. It was all well worth it!

  • Reader

    Wilde Rover: I might consider changing the description from “invented” to “perfected,” if it pleases you.
    Hardly. The concentration camps during the Boer war were characterised by gross inefficiency and incompetence. The epidemics caused outrage in Parliament. You have a very strange concept of perfection.

  • sir spamalot

    I don’t know what you are all crying about, the boy’s ( IRA & UDA )have jobs,the British are throwing money at you, every man has his/her price. The Brits own you.

  • Wilde Rover

    Reader

    “The epidemics caused outrage in Parliament. You have a very strange concept of perfection.”

    Perfect: Lacking nothing essential to the whole; complete of its nature or kind.

    The plausible deniability afforded by epidemics seems part of the whole. I think you are confusing “perfect” with “good.”

    “I don’t know what you are all crying about, the boy’s ( IRA & UDA )have jobs,the British are throwing money at you, every man has his/her
    price. The Brits own you.”

    Very true, sir spamalot.

    As to the delicate question of who owns the owners, well, perhaps a question for another thread.

  • latcheeco

    DK,
    Language should be no problem. I was brought up to believe the branch were all dirty arabs.

  • Reader

    Wilde Rover: The plausible deniability afforded by epidemics seems part of the whole.
    I can no longer take you seriously. This didn’t happen on Mars. There were doctors, chaplains, reporters, officers and a largely literate army. Were all of them in your massive conspiracy to murder a percentage and call it an epidemic caused by their own incompetence? Get real. And the internees were literate too.