Fianna Fail is constituted in Northern Ireland…

Politics.ie carries Bertie’s latest announcement: Fianna Fail is now officially a party in Northern Ireland. He remarks: “This marks a historic step in the road to developing a strategy for organising this party on an All-Ireland basis.” Hmmm… It is certainly a departure from the party’s past, but history is generally reserved for the historian’s judgement rather than that of serving politicians. We shall see in due course just how historic this decision turns out to be.

  • Mark McGregor

    Mick,

    The only reason I can see for registering is so you can use the party name in elections.

    Electoral Commission

    Have FF just laid down an elections marker? Something that puts their relationship with the SDLP on a new footing?

    (from the poster formerly know as Frank Sinistra)

  • Glen Taisie

    Votail Sean McCambridge 1

    .

  • Mrs Doyle

    Should prove interesting, today of all days when Jim Alister has announced his new party also.

    The next election could be a lot more interesting than the last one.

  • Mark McGregor

    Glen,

    Who is Sean? Where?

    This is really a declaration of electoral intent then?

    As it comes ahead of the findings of the FF committee investigating/consulting on how to proceed and without finalising consultations with the SDLP it seems like a very hostile maneuver.

    Would the stoops not roll over as expected so now FF are forcing the issue? This really seems like FF giving Durkan the finger.

  • The Dubliner

    According to the Electoral Commission’s website, the following words are prohibited from use as party names under The Registration of Political Parties (Prohibited Words and Expressions) Order 2001:

    • Duke
    • Duchess
    • Her Majesty
    • His Majesty
    • King
    • Prince
    • Princess
    • Queen
    • Royal
    • Royalty

    Shame; otherwise PSF could be appropriately renamed as “Her Majesty’s Loyal Lackeys.”

    “The only reason I can see for registering is so you can use the party name in elections.” – Mark McGregor

    Or to stop someone else from registering it.

  • rodenthabitat

    Logical dubliner, this has nothing to do with FF/SDLP internal consultation, a bit of a non blog

  • Truth & Justice

    Good news it spilts the Sinn Fein and SDLP vote and give Unionism scope for unexpected gains at the ballot box.

  • nineteensixtyseven

    “Who is Sean? Where?”

    Sean McCambridge is the SDLP’s candidate in the upcoming byelection in Moyle.

  • RepublicanStones

    good man Dubliner, you always seem to find a reason to slag Sinn Fein, ‘loyal lackeys’….is that the new one? so a party who is prepared to move and negociate has to run the gauntlet of bullshit from an a hungarian, anti-1916, anti-opression resistance (unless it was the soviets) mouthpiece, whose folks probably laugh him outta the dining room every time he claims there is a barometer of resistance that states when civilized people should resist.

  • Connolly’sGhost

    Unforunately, over the years too many have put methods first and principles afterwards instead of the reverse – that’s why FF now see the North as fertile ground.

    Connolly said, “’Educate that you may be free’; principles first, methods afterwards. If the advocacy of physical force failed to achieve success or even to effect an uprising when the majority were unenfranchised and the secret ballot unknown, how can it be expected to succeed now that the majority are in possession of voting power and the secret ballot safeguards the voter?
    The ballot-box was given us by our masters for their purpose”

    and in relation to FF, remember these words of Connolly:

    “We are out for Ireland for the Irish. But who are the Irish? Not the rack-renting, slum-owning landlord; not the sweating, profit-grinding capitalist; not the sleek and oily lawyer;; not the prostitute pressman – the hired liars of the enemy. Not these are the Irish upon whom the future depends.”

  • The Dubliner

    “good man Dubliner, you always seem to find a reason to slag Sinn Fein” – RepublicanStones

    On the contrary, PSF consistently present me with new reasons to disapprove of them: no searching is required.

    “We are out for Ireland for the Irish. But who are the Irish?” – Connolly’sGhost

    Connolly and his working class socialist state, eh? And the rest of it goes: “Not these, but the Irish working class, the only secure foundation upon which a free nation can be reared.”

    Shame the poor chap didn’t cop-on that there can be no jobs for the working class without those capitalists whom he detested so much that he would seek to deny them Irish nationality.

    Of course, the only reason unionists would even countenance the idea of Irish unity is because that capitalist class gave us the Celtic Tiger. Not that it really matters much now: the boom is over for another decade or two. Had PSF put Irish unity before their own selfish political interests and decommissioned a decade ago, Irish nationalists in the north wouldn’t have missed that boat just as PSF caused them to miss the economic boat of goodwill investment via the squandered ‘peace dividend.’ The Chuckle Brothers went to America a decade too late – too late for the people of the north, that is (but its never too late for a junket and a photo op for them).

  • dewi

    Good news I think – get organised and stand one candidate in every assembly constituency next time. Would not be surprised if all were elected – perhaps except Belfast East.

  • abucs

    Are they running in Foyle and South Belfast ? :o)

  • dewi

    Maybe not North Down either….but under voting system everywhere else would have a chance.

  • dewi

    McCambridge? What a very odd name – love to know history of that.

  • Mayoman

    Dubliner: so now the Irish working class are no longer cleaning toilets that makes Connolly wrong hey? It was the Irish working class that provided the basis on the Celtic tiger. Its just been continually thrown back in their faces by the same capitalists Connolly hated. That his vision didn’t come to pass doesn’t mean he was wrong. In fact, the Ireland of today, built on the back of the working class, proved his point. Massive poverty, an appalling health service, neanderthal legal service and a total disregard for anything that isn’t ‘business’. Still, those sitting in their D4/X Ivory towers, probabaly having ‘croissants’ at this very moment don’t bother much for such realities. In that sense, Connolly’s disdain for such ‘chaps’ will always ring true.

  • Nevin

    Dewi, it’s supposed to have come from Mac Ambróis – ‘son of Ambrose’ – and the McCambridges were a sept of the Macdonalds of the Isles. Some may have changed their name to Chambers. [Scots Kith and Kin and Mac Lysaght]

    As there was a St Ambrose perhaps there was an earlier form along the lines of Mac Giolla Ambróis

  • dewi

    Thank you – of course – we have Pembridge in precisely same vein – Ap Emrys (w. Form of Ambrose) angliziced. Would people say the Cam as in the city or as in “camber”? (A minor digression sorry)

  • J Kelly

    This seems that Fianna Fail are not looking for a merger with the SDLP but a complete takeover. As far as I am hearing Durkan wants support and recognition of a partnership from FF but not a merger and this may be Bertie flexing a bit of muscle.

    The SDLP cannot afford any sort of split which could jeopardise seats. A dodgy time for Durkan. I am sure he doesn’t want to go down in history as the man who finished the SDLP. Since he took over they have gone from bad to worse and nothing he seems to do can turn it round. Even this FF merger talk he has failed to be decisive he doesn’t want a merger but wont say it. Leadership is about tough decisions not we quips and not so funny one liners.

  • Nevin
  • Oiliféar

    “Good news it spilts the Sinn Fein and SDLP vote and give Unionism scope for unexpected gains at the ballot box.” – Posted by Truth & Justice

    Still struggling to understand PRSTV, TJ? Fianna Fáil have already said that they will not stand in Westminister elections.

    Historic? If hay is made while the sun shines. If Fianna Fáil or, any other southern party, are going to influence the shape of Northern Ireland politics under the new assembly (and presumably the north’s relationship with the south) then they have to do so quickly, at the next election at the latest, before the dynamic of the new northern politic has solidified. That dynamic is still in it’s infancy (and rightly it is Northern Ireland that is learning to walk), they have to get in there before the die is cast.

  • Nathan

    Oh happy days

  • Briso

    Posted by Nathan on Dec 08, 2007 @ 02:19 PM
    >Oh happy days

    Amen, brother. This could get very interesting very soon.

  • Hunters

    Vótail McShane #1

  • The Dubliner

    Mayoman, and yet it isn’t the working class that PSF are seeking to import from America, is it? No, innocent, it’s the capitalist class he has gone there to import. Why? Because workers don’t create wealth: employers do.

  • Dewi

    “workers don’t create wealth: employers do”

    OK Dubliner – I got a bit of time.

    1) What does wealth mean ? – If we accept it means money then it’s created through winning competitive battles to get consumers cash for product.

    2) The competitive advantage necessary to get a more than proportional share of this wealth is based on constructing products in advance of competition.

    3) Thus inventors are the true weath creators.

    4) Have I done some dialectic ?

  • Tionol Thuaisceart

    A cairde, if anyone is interested in joining FF, or indeed is a member of FF in the North, please email us at the FF Northern Forum – time we all got together! We are an informal group of members that have been workin together for the past year or so, the more the merrier. Email us on tionolthuaisceart@gmail.com

  • Mark McGregor

    …or forget about the varying shades of centre-right populist Nationalism and consider joining a truly Socialist and Republican party.

    éirígí

  • Connolly’sGhost

    Dubliner:

    Irrespective of whatever political party you support, can you say that these objectives/vision were ever delivered by ANY party which claims 1916 as their starting point?

    “We declare the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland, and to the unfettered control of Irish destinies, to be sovereign and indefeasible. The long usurpation of that right by a foreign people and government has not extinguished the right, nor can it ever be extinguished except by the destruction of the Irish people. In every generation the Irish people have asserted their right to national freedom and sovereignty; six times during the last three hundred years they have asserted it to arms. Standing on that fundamental right and again asserting it in arms in the face of the world, we hereby proclaim the Irish Republic as a Sovereign Independent State, and we pledge our lives and the lives of our comrades-in-arms to the cause of its freedom, of its welfare, and of its exaltation among the nations.

    The Irish Republic is entitled to, and hereby claims, the allegiance of every Irishman and Irishwoman. The Republic guarantees religious and civil liberty, equal rights and equal opportunities to all its citizens, and declares its resolve to pursue the happiness and prosperity of the whole nation and all of its parts, cherishing all of the children of the nation equally and oblivious of the differences carefully fostered by an alien government, which have divided a minority from the majority in the past.

  • Poblachtanach Nua

    Northern Nationalism
    Majority are:
    Centrist
    Comparably mildly Conservative
    Non-Violent

    SF
    Leftist Marxist
    Comparably mildly Conservative
    Ex-Militants

    Those who at present currently uncomfortably vote SF would have a natural home in FF; FF in government north and south would be defacto Joint Authority – talk about a good selling point!

  • Poblachtanach Nua

    Sorry, that should be
    SF
    Comparably mildly Liberal (O’Snodaigh policy on gay marriage/adoption rights, abortion)

  • Danny O’Connor

    Look forward to seeing ff canvassers out on the streets of Larne at the next election then.

  • saveus

    Mark a chara, good to see you coming out of the closet, so to speak, good luck to you with Eirigi, they are a good bunch of people but don’t think it will amount to much.
    A lot of the talk about FF coming north to merge with (more likely supplant) the SDLP are a bit premature. I believe FF natural partners in the north will be SF, to some extent they are usurping current SF strategy and could well be the first “republican “ party to hold ministerial office in both jurisdictions. This would present enormous opportunities for FF to rebuild their republican credentials (returning to their grassroots??) as they could maximise the “All Ireland” potential of the GFA in a way that SF could only have dreamed.
    The inherent problems IMHO are twofold, firstly they must strike now, before the current political partnership in the Executive between SF and the DUP beds in and secondly what do they do with the SDLP, if the SDLP become the northern wing of FF, then many voters, myself included wouldn’t even look at them. FF would be better off going up against the SDLP and decimating them, then carefully picking over their bones to hoover up only those radical and green in nature. This would be attractive to many who currently stay at home or vote SF for their republicanism (while unhappy at the militaristic nature of the party).
    In effect this would leave very little difference between FF and SF in either policy terms or strategy to re-unite the country, the main difference being FF will have the power to effectively deliver. 2012 could see the situation arising where FF are a minority partner in the Executive in the North with SF being the dominant force and the reverse being the case in Leinster House. If this doesn’t pave the way for an inevitable merger then….…..

  • Nevin

    Is éirígí a bit like the Connolly Association, the organisation whose activities acted as a catalyst for the Troubles?

  • Garibaldy

    Nevin,

    Surely it was the unionist reaction to requests for British rights for British citizens that was the catalyst for the Troubles?

  • Nevin

    There were several catalysts at work, Garibaldy. Those who sought a socialist revolution wished to sweep away the ‘conservative’ establishments in Belfast and Dublin; they cynically exploited rights issues.

  • Garibaldy

    That may be the case. But it took the rejection of reasonable demands by Stormont to turn legitimate requests into violence.

  • pfhl

    Is éirígí a bit like the Connolly Association, the organisation whose activities acted as a catalyst for the Troubles?

    Posted by Nevin on Dec 09, 2007 @ 12:31 PM

    How ignorant could they be? Campaigning for civil rights and an end to that great bastion of equality that was stormont. If only them taigs had knew their place, there would have been no troubles at all.

  • From the Connolly Association link:

    “there was a political aspect to this campaign. Achieving democracy in the north would unlock the situation that had prevailed for over thirty years. The nationalist population would have the restraints removed from them, thereby becoming politically more effective. In reverse, the unionist monolith could be ended. The nature of the six-county state could be exposed and this would place a question mark over its very existence.”

    The Connolly Association believed it was possible for nationalists to achieve equality in the North without abolishing Stormont. If anything that seems to me idealistic rather than cynical.

  • Nevin

    Tom, the Connolly Association sought a 32-county socialist republic, not equal rights for all across the UK. There hoped for revolution would have swept away the establishments in Belfast and Dublin, hence Dublin’s later efforts to ‘decapitate’ the socialist leadership of the IRA.

  • Nevin

    pfhl, rights issues were used as a smokescreen.

  • Nevin

    Garibaldy, reform was required in tandem, north and south. The Humite/Paisleyite encounter on the streets was unlikely to lead to peace, prosperity and progress.

  • Sir Herbert Mercer

    “dodgy time for Durkan. I am sure he doesn’t want to go down in history as the man who finished the SDLP. Since he took over they have gone from bad to worse and nothing he seems to do can turn it round.”

    I disagree that it’s Durkan who wrecked the SDLP.

    The party was dependent on Big names: Hume, McGrady, Rodgers Mallon, Neeson. All these people saw what way the wind was blowing in 2001 and cleared off, leaving the party in the pits. Mallon only had a majority of 3000 or so in 2001, and knew he wouldn’t stand a chance ever again. John Hume won Foyle convincingly in 2001 but has run away from every election since and wasn’t seen again until he attended a Dana reception in Sotrmont last Month

  • The Connolly Association believed that civil rights for all in the North, would create the conditions in which a united Ireland could be achieved by democratic means. They may have been wrong about that, but there’s nothing intrinsically cynical about it.

  • harry

    if ff did set up in the 6 counties. where would be the best place to but brown envolpes??

    i reckon trimprintin armagh

  • Garibaldy

    Nevin,

    I agree reform was needed in the south too. But there were no discriminatory electoral laws in the south. Nor was there part of the southern state that had different electoral laws than the rest of it, unlike the UK. And the justice of the request for civil rights was not affected one bit whether it was members of the Young Unionists or members of the Republican Clubs making it. In fact, both were.

  • Nevin

    Tom, the CA’s association with the then socialist leadership of the IRA was hardly an expression of it’s interest in rights issues.

  • Nevin, there’s more than one way of looking at that connection:

    [The Connolly Association’s Roy] Johnston was a physicist and a political activist who – as Thomas McGiolla, a former president of Official Sinn Féin – said, could have been making atom bombs but instead was making revolution. He was central to IRA chief Cathal Goulding’s mission to take the gun out of Irish politics and in Johnston’s words bring republicanism back to its Protestant roots. The intended revolution was not now to be violent but rather centred on ideas and, according to McGiolla, Johnston had many ideas. He might have a hundred ideas and they would run with one while he developed another hundred. McGiolla said Johnston stood out in many ways and was of great importance in moving the Republican Movement in support of civil rights. (Roy Garland’s review of Johnston’s autobiography, Irish News via Newshound)

  • Nevin

    Garibaldy, discrimination was practised by Unionists and Nationalists yet those who attempted to exploit rights issues somehow overlooked examples of the latter. I don’t suppose the Republican Clubs fka Sinn Fein sought the reform/removal of the RoI’s constitutional claim – or that the Young Unionists you refer to had read Garland’s analysis.

  • Nevin

    Tom, I see we’ve managed to come up with two different Garlands!!

    Sean Garland: “This changes drastically our traditional line of tactics. There are no longer two different types of republicans; physical force men and politicians. We in the Republican Movement must be politically aware of our objectives and must also be prepared to take the appropriate educational, economic, political and finally military action to achieve them.”

    He went on to enumerate the burning of eight buses and the E.I. Shannon dispute as the sort of activities in which the civil wing should be engaged.”

  • pfhl

    pfhl, rights issues were used as a smokescreen.

    Posted by Nevin on Dec 09, 2007 @ 06:45 PM

    You do not seem to realise the point of view of those demanding these rights. The stormaont goverment was a joke that the KKK would have been proud of. Institutionalised discrimination was the norm anybody that campaigned for rights quite obviously will have wanted to end that administration. I do not see how the two could be separated. A goverment that supported religious discrimination was not acceptable. You seem to be suggesting civil right supporters at the time sit back and wait on stormont to catch itself on. I think we would still be waiting. To say this led to the troubles then unionism must look at their uncormfortable reality. This reality is if Northern Ireland had been governed in a proper manner the troubles most likely would have never happened. Support for republicanism came from the reaction to events like the the beating of civil rights marches and events such as bloody sunday. Events that would not have happened if there had not been a lack of civil rights. People would not have supported armed violence if they saw an alternative to it. It will be argued that there was, i accept this. The fact is many did not have faith in this when they saw the actions of the state. I am 22 i did not have this choice. I am lucky enough to have had an alternative thanks to men such as Hume and the thousands of others who refused to accept the status quo. This includes those few decent unionists who realised the need for reform as far back as the late 60’s. What a pity our current first minister was such a great speaker and his bigotry shone out upon NI at the cost of many lives. If only o neill had got his way and appeased us taigs with equal rights, how many lives could have been saved? I can forsee you saying the IRA done most of the killing, therefore it was republicans who are to blame. Nevin look at the root of the problem. Support for militant republicanism would have been small if it was not for the bad governance of the NI goverment. If you challenge this point, i would like you to look at where we are at today, where is the support for dissident republicanism. In our time we have equality as much as most countries in the west. No fighting. We have a police force who no longer beats nationalist en masse. No fighting. We have councils who do not openly carry out religious discrimination( A few are still unhappy, however it does not campare to the late 60’s). No fighting. Nationalists no longer show support for violence against the army, police or Britian( A very small proportion still do i accept but we have stupid people in every country).

    Back to that quote

    rights issues were used as a smokescreen.

    Rights issues are what drove the majority of republicans to take the decisions they did, they were not a smokescreen but the continuous denial of rigths and the actions of the RUC and Goverment which led to many wishing to end Stormont. Nevin wake up and accept the absolute failures of unionism in the period between 1921 and the start of the troubles. Discrimination will always lead to a reaction. It is a crying shame that this reaction was allowed to happen. Would a fair goverment not have been worth it in the first place.

  • pfhl

    The Connolly Association believed that civil rights for all in the North, would create the conditions in which a united Ireland could be achieved by democratic means. They may have been wrong about that, but there’s nothing intrinsically cynical about it.

    Posted by Tom Griffin on Dec 09, 2007 @ 07:07 PM

    Great point Tom. Hope nobody has a problem with personal beliefs and the person’s right to persue these democratically. I suspect some still do.

  • The Dubliner

    “You do not seem to realise the point of view of those demanding these rights. The stormaont goverment was a joke that the KKK would have been proud of. Institutionalised discrimination was the norm anybody that campaigned for rights quite obviously will have wanted to end that administration.” – pfhl

    Rather than perpetuating a MOPE myth sans supporting facts and figures, why don’t you present those facts and figures which you claim show that Northern Ireland was run by the equivalent of the KKK? Is it because all citizens had civil rights in NI and the actual issue was about minor discrimination in highly specific area, and not deniable of civil rights? Is it because the facts show that Catholics, far from being forced to sit at the back of the bus, were operating successfully in all strata of NI society, from doctors to lawyers?

    It is self-evident that those who perpetuated gross abuses of human rights – those sociopathic and socialist agitators within the NICRA – had no concern for civil rights. There methods make their disregard self-evident. Those sociopaths saw an opportunity to empower themselves at the direct expense of others and sized upon it. That is why the murder toll hit 1,000 by 1974. There was nothing ‘inevitable’ about that. Those murders were planned and executed by highly organised murder gangs with a specific agenda, and had nothing whatsoever to do with either civil rights or the myth of a spontaneous rebellion.

  • Nevin

    pfhl, IMO Nationalists of various hues sought – and seek – the unity of the national territory, not ‘fair government’ within the UK.

    The minority in the RoI had encouraged its members to support the new state whereas the minority here operated a society within a society, a form of self-imposed apartheid.

    And where are we today? Hume has left the stage after ‘colluding’ with Paisley in unleashing the mobs and our rights in many areas are now at the whim of the respective paramilitary godfathers.

    Militant republicans IMO are motivated by the spirit of 1916, hence my concern for stability in the years leading up to 2016.

  • The Dubliner

    Typo: “…highly specific areas, and not denial of civil rights?”

  • Garibaldy

    Dubliner,

    Your version of pre-69 NI is totally wrong. All citizens did not have civil rights for the simple reason that not all citizens had equal rights to vote due to the business vote and the denial of council votes to certain groups. This is a separate issue to gerrymandering. One of those specific areas was after all the second city of the state.

    As for NICRA, in case it escaped your notice NICRA consistently proposed non-violent, peaceful protest and not violence. I suggest you go and read some of the stuff produced by NICRA from the period and you’ll see that.

    The reality was that the system at local elections was unfair, unequal, and in violation not only of natural justice, but of UK practice. In many areas, local government employment and housing allocation were distributed on a political and/or sectarian basis (including by some nationalists). Employment in the civil service, most particularly at the upper levels, was so heavily tilted one way that discrimination is the only reasonable explanation.

    So rather than blame NICRA for violence, put the blame where it belongs. On the governments in Belfast and London that ignored pleas for British rights for British citizens for many years before the Troubles broke out.

  • kensei

    Nevin

    “The minority in the RoI had encouraged its members to support the new state whereas the minority here operated a society within a society, a form of self-imposed apartheid.”

    Yeah, it was our fault Unionism created Prod utopia.

  • pfhl

    Thank you kensei and Garibaldy

    Garibaldy for pointing out the true state f northern ireland pre 1969. And kensei i was as shocked by that statement as u were but after all we did bring it on ourselves. We asked to be housed differently after all.

    Dubliner, I mind you saying how democratic politics was not open to Pearse et all in a previous thread. They had a fairer sysytem of elections than NI had. Please defend ur point.

  • pfhl

    pfhl, IMO Nationalists of various hues sought – and seek – the unity of the national territory, not ‘fair government’ within the UK.

    surely if this is done in a peaceful manner they have every right to do so.

    And where are we today? Hume has left the stage after ‘colluding’ with Paisley in unleashing the mobs and our rights in many areas are now at the whim of the respective paramilitary godfathers.

    You heard it here first, John Hume is responsible for loyalist drug dealers. How dare he get a Noble peace prize when he is really an encouragement to drug dealers.

    Militant republicans IMO are motivated by the spirit of 1916, hence my concern for stability in the years leading up to 2016.

    I take it you did not read my postor are still in denial about why the troubles happened. Nevin, wake up and smell the coffee.

    Those murders were planned and executed by highly organised murder gangs with a specific agenda, and had nothing whatsoever to do with either civil rights or the myth of a spontaneous rebellion.

    Quite clearly it was sat and planned for 50 years by anybody that opposed partition, those dirty plotting nordy bastards. It was no coincidence at all that the split in the IRA happened after the attacks on catholic areas( planned in advance cant u see). It had nothing to do with the reaction. Have you lived in D4 to long son? Forgot what the real world is like.

  • The Dubliner

    Galibaldy, do you know what civil rights are? They’re different from human rights, constitutional rights, natural rights, legal rights, implied rights, etc. You’re talking about voting rights. Civil rights are wholly dependent on local law.

    Voting rights are not natural rights, either. For example, you could not vote in the United States until 1965 unless you passed a literacy test. That condition prevented millions of people from voting. The National Voting Rights Act of 1965 removed the condition.

    Essentially, you had a group of people who were using non-legal methods to determine what they law should be rather than the appropriate method of consultation – inventing a bunch of so-called “civil rights” and confusing them with human or other rights which they then claim they were wrongly deprived of. What you had, at best, were very minor instances of discrimination that are no way merit the description that NI was run by the equivalent of the KKK.

    There were also a bunch of thugs, socialist agitators, sociopaths and assorted ne’er-do-wells who infiltrated the NICRA with the specific intention using it to engineer widespread violence (a gross violation of the human rights of others) for their own depraved agendas.

    “Dubliner, I mind you saying how democratic politics was not open to Pearse et all in a previous thread. They had a fairer sysytem of elections than NI had. Please defend ur point.” – pfhl

    Pearse and Connolly were dead before the 1918 elections, and 47 of the SF MPs who were elected campaigned from a prison cell, so the system was hardly fair, was it?

    The point you miss, child, is that the War of Independence was fought for the principle of self-determination, a sovereign parliament, ect. Do you know what self-determination means? One of the things it means is that the people of Ireland tell you to obey the law then you obey the law and if they tell you that it is their wish to united Ireland by exclusively peaceful means you honour their wish. Ignoring the principle of self-determination makes you a fascist – a thug who is the very opposite of what the War of Independence was about. I suggest you acquaint yourself with Article One of the OHCHR’s International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights – and pay close attention to self-determination being a collective right, not an individual right.

  • The Dubliner

    One other point, Garibaldy: the de facto constitution of Northern Ireland, being the Government of Ireland Act, 1920, specifically forbade Stormont from passing any law which discriminated on religious grounds. So there was no question of discrimination of religious grounds in local government elections: the discrimination was based on the ownership of property – a right that both Catholics and Protestants held (and a discrimination that affected both Catholics and Protestants who weren’t part of the properly-owning class). This ‘inequality’ was between the rich and the poor, nothing else.

    5. – (1) In the exercise of their power to make laws under this Act neither the Parliament of Southern Ireland nor the Parliament of Northern Ireland shall make a law so as either directly or indirectly to establish or endow any religion, or prohibit or restrict the free exercise thereof, or give a preference, privilege, or advantage, or impose any disability or disadvantage, on account of religious belief or religious or ecclesiastical status, or make any religious belief or religious ceremony a condition of the validity of any marriage, or affect prejudicially the right of any child to attend a school receiving public money without attending the religious instruction at that school, or alter the constitution of any religious body except, where the alteration is approved on behalf of the religious body by the governing body thereof, or divert from any religious denomination the fabric of cathedral churches, or, except for the purpose of roads, railways, lighting, water, or drainage works, or other works of public utility upon payment of compensation, any other property, or take any property without compensation.

    Any law made in contravention of the restrictions imposed by this subsection shall, so far as it contravenes those restrictions, be void.[/i]

  • Nevin

    “You heard it here first, John Hume is responsible for loyalist drug dealers.”

    An unusual extrapolation, pfhl.

    Hume-Paisley street politics certainly didn’t encourage a positive coming together of Protestant, Catholic and Dissenter. They both must share part of the blame for what followed.

    I don’t suppose you’ve grasped the significance of Sean Garland’s remarks? They’re an early expession of the ballot box in one hand and an armalite in the other mindset. They also show that these (socialist and) militant tactics were to be deployed across the island.

  • Nevin

    Kensei, you don’t see a logical problem of sharing a bed – while you’re standing outside the house?

  • Nevin

    Garibaldy, NICRA was one part of the CRM. You might like to consider why Hume allegedly wouldn’t touch NICRA (#12)with a barge pole.

  • Tochais Síoraí

    Nevin – Is it not the bed that’s outside the house?

  • Nevin

    Our climate’s too cold for that, Tochais Síoraí.

  • Garibaldy

    Dubliner,

    I was waiting to see if you would bring up that arugment. Actually the distinction that has been traditionally made is between natural rights and rights acquired through the creation of society. Now in the 18th, 19th and even parts of the 20th centuries, an equal franchise might not have been regarded as part of civil rights. However, that had changed by the 1960s. Hence the fact that it was the demand for civil rights NOT political rights being made in America and Ireland. By that stage the two had become synonymous. Stormont was denying all its citizens equal rights, rights that every other citizen had in the rest of the UK.

    As you say, the poor suffered under the laws, regardless of religion. I never said the opposite. That’s why I noted the lack of an equal franchise was different to gerrymandering. What I did say was that in some areas there was religious discrimination. Including by nationalists when they had the ability to do it.

    As for NICRA, it doesn’t really matter who was in it, or who was making the demands for civil rights. Lots of the people involved were republicans and communists. But lots were also liberals, unionists, moderate nationalists etc. Again, the justice of the cause is not dictated by who is making the demand for civil rights. As for Nevin’s point about Hume, he was involved in NICRA activities on many occasions over a number of years.

  • Nevin

    “it doesn’t really matter who was in it”

    Garibaldy, militant republicans helped initiate NICRA and this demonstrates what a sham it was. According to O Comain IIRC, Hume wouldn’t let DCAC affiliate to NICRA because of the controlling presence of communists and militant republicans. As I’ve already pointed out, the small number of Unionists, young and otherwise, who participated in NICRA probably hadn’t read Sean Garland’s comments. Rights issues were the fashion of the times and those who initiated NICRA cynically exploited them.

  • kensei

    “Kensei, you don’t see a logical problem of sharing a bed – while you’re standing outside the house?”

    No.

  • Nevin

    The bed’s in the house, Kensie 😉

  • Garibaldy

    Nevin,

    Republicans were indeed central to the formation of NICRA – but mainly republicans commited to the transformation of the organisation in a peaceful direction. Anyway, even if the people demanding equal rights for all citizens believed in eating babies it wouldn’t make a difference to the legitimacy of the cause. And by the way, the RUC at the time said that despite the presence of republicans in NICRA it did not have revolutionary intentions, whatever about some of its members. It was a simple reform group. Rights issues were the fashion of the times – because in many places rights were denied.

    And by the way, what about groups like the Campaign for Social Justice, which was made up of solidly peaceful middle class people and which brought the issues of the voting system, gerrymandering and unfair allocation of jobs and housing to the attention of both Stormont and the British Prime Minister around 1963 and 1964? Its main activity was publishing pamphlets.

    The question is this – were demands for British rights for British citizens unjust or subversive? If they were either, then the problem lay not with the demand but with the NI political regime. It was unjust and needed replaced.

  • Nevin

    “it did not have revolutionary intentions”

    Read Sean Garland’s article and also ask yourself why these folks were holding protests in the south and why the Irish establishment sought to remove the Goulding leadership.

    Perhaps you can indicate when CSJ catalogued discrimination by Nationalist councillors. Maybe not. Con and Patricia McCluskey are two CSJ names. In 1993, in the Daily Telegraph, they finally admitted re. CRM: “The Republicans and Marxists took over. They spoilt everything”. Perhaps they’ll eventually acknowledge that NICRA was initiated by the ‘spoilers’.

    Those putting the demands were subversive; they said so long ago.

    The regimes, north and south, were in need of reform but the ‘reformers’ decided on confrontation even though confrontation previously had led to blood on the streets.

  • Garibaldy

    Nevin,

    Actually NICRA stewards tried to keep a lid on violence, and they were mainly republicans. I think there is some confusion here over the role of People’s Democracy, which took a more confrontational approach and NICRA. Many within PD regarded Betty Sinclair, the Communist Chair of NICRA, as a reactionary, and regarded the republicans as too moderate.

  • pfhl

    Pearse and Connolly were dead before the 1918 elections, and 47 of the SF MPs who were elected campaigned from a prison cell, so the system was hardly fair, was it?

    What about pre 1918, where was the vote for an irish republic? where was the self determination?

  • pfhl

    Hume-Paisley street politics certainly didn’t encourage a positive coming together of Protestant, Catholic and Dissenter. They both must share part of the blame for what followed.

    It is clear what a good job Stormont done to bring communities together. Hume did not cause the division in the north, he tried to correct the inequality and bring people together. People with a mindset similar to yourself did not like him doing this. This does not mean he caused the division. The division was there, the blame was not his. Nobody in Ireland’s history managed to bring Protestant, Catholic and Dissenter together successfully. Does that mean they all created the division?

  • pfhl

    The point you miss, child, is that the War of Independence was fought for the principle of self-determination, a sovereign parliament.

    Are you saying every republican since catholic emancipation until 1918 was a fascist thug? They never recieved the vote of the irish people. Don’t call me child you prick. I know that the majority of the irish people never supported violent revolution before 1918 whether it had been put to the vote or not. Those who founded the Irish Free state had mainly been members of the IRA pre 1918, hence not supported in elections, so by your reasoning they were fascist thugs.

  • Nevin

    Garibaldy, wasn’t PD essentially a rebranding of the Young Socialist Alliance that took part in the early confrontational marches? IIRC Sinclair opposed such marches but was over-ruled. Being from Belfast, she’d a pretty good idea what would happen when an IRA-marshalled anti-Unionist march came face-to-face with the Paisleyites. There’d be what A T Q Stewart called a sermon in stones – or worse.

  • Nevin

    “bring people together. People with a mindset similar to yourself did not like him doing this”

    People with a mindset like mine brought folks of all sorts of backgrounds together, not just PC&D;, pfhl, whereas the likes of Hume and Paisley put them at each other’s throats.

    At this time of year 16-18 year olds from schools around Coleraine would put on a party for children from ‘disadvantaged’ backgrounds. I provided co-ordination and encouragement. It was a great experience for all concerned; I can think of one party where we had 80 children and 100 helpers. One of our organisers was selected as Ireland Young Citizen in the mid 80s.

  • Garibaldy

    It depended on which marches you are talking about. Some, like the Burntollet march, went ahead without NICRA’s agreement. Others were succesfully marshalled so that no violence took place despite attempts by Paisleyites to attack them. PD was wider than the Young Socialists, though they were prominent.

    You might feel that the civil rights marches were irresponsible, and likely to lead to violence. Some people – including many within NICRA -felt that way about some of them at the time. Nevertheless we can’t forget why the marches were taking place in the first place. Nor can or should we forget the events of August 1969, and the role of the security forces within them. Had reform being carried through in a timely fashion, no violence. But the Unionist government refused to introduce reforms because of its determination to hold on to power, and London ignored the situation.

  • Nevin

    “Had reform being carried through in a timely fashion, no violence.”

    Except that rights issues were being used as a smokescreen, Garibaldy. Also, reform was required, north and south, but Dublin ‘sacrificed’ folks here in order to protect its own institutions – and London hadn’t a baldy.

    “no violence took place despite attempts by Paisleyites to attack them”

    Are you thinking of Dungannon? What did you expect might happen when a march designed to generate a confrontation met the Paisleyites?

    “Behind the police barricade, about 1,500 loyalists sang party songs, jeered and brandished clubs and staves, and an attempt by Young Socialists to break through was driven back by a police baton charge .. Gerry Fitt, ‘My blood is boiling – only that there is a danger to children I would lead the men past that barricade'” .. Bardon History of Ulster

  • Garibaldy

    Nevin,

    I don’t believe that the rights issue was a smokescreen to launch a new campaign, and neither did the RUC. The subsequent actions of the IRA leadership demonstrate that it was moving towards a peaceful political movement – it was their opponents within the IRA who would form the Provisionals. As for London, it certainly did have a baldy – both the Prime Minister and the Home Office new exactly what was going on, having met with delegations from their own party advocating civil rights, which were after all British rights for British citizens. But nothing was done.

    As for the Coalisland to Dungannon march, again the RUC did not expect trouble. It was reactionary unionism seeking to deny people their civil rights that turned that march into a potential confrontation. Ironic therefore that 30 years later many of these same people brought NI to a standstill defending the right to march. There were other marches were NICRA marshalls sought to prevent trouble afterwards.

    I find it hard to see past the justice of the NICRA demands. Given that several years of other forms of agitation had proven unsuccessful, peaceful marches for basic rights do not strike me as the worst thing that happened in the late 60s in NI.

  • Nevin

    Garibaldy, Sean Garland had spelt out republican intent prior to the Dungannon march and YSA poles and Paisleyite staves don’t create an image of a likely peaceful encounter. As for Brits-out folks using a ‘British Rights for British Citizens’ slogan …

    Let’s take another look at some of Garland’s words:

    “The function of the civil wing of all successful revolutionary movements has been to act as the mass organiser of the people to lead them in their agitationary activities. Therefore we should be leading the people by means of the civil wings in agitating for better working, living and social conditions, in agitating for land, showing them in all these fights that their enemies are their landlords, their bosses and their gombeen exploiters and finally get them to understand that all these opposing forces are banded together in an organisation called the establishment.

    This changes drastically our traditional line of tactics. There are no longer two different types of republicans; physical force men and politicians. We in the Republican Movement must be politically aware of our objectives and must also be prepared to take the appropriate educational, economic, political and finally military action to achieve them.

    He went on to enumerate the burning of eight buses and the E.I. Shannon dispute as the sort of activities in which the civil wing should be engaged.

    Not very peaceful intent there, north or south, not even from the so called civil wings (eg NICRA)

    I presume the leadership of the RUC will have been aware of the change in republican tactics and would have seen through the smokescreen.

    How would the British government have had a baldy? I doubt if many of them would have had an in depth knowledge of our local histories and prejudiced partial accounts from reactionary socialists/nationalists/republicans were more to confuse than illuminate.

  • Garibaldy

    Nevin,

    The Republican Movement under Garland and Goulding did indeed want revolutionary change throughout the island. It never hid that. I would read that reference to military action as an ultimate revolution rather than any traditional campaign. But part of the reason there were only two republicans on the NICRA executive was precisely because the republicans did not want to leave the association open to accusations it was a conspiratorial front. Look at the political development of the Republican Movement under Goulding and Garland, and you can see that the commitment to peaceful politics was genuine.

    And the RUC did indeed know what was going on in the Republican Movement. But still it regarded NICRA as being a legitimate peaceful organisation whose goals were what they said they were. This is what the RUC told the Stormont government.

    The British government had a baldy because it recived information from Stormont, from campaign groups, from MPs etc. It is not that the British government did not know that there was a necessity for reform. It chose instead to ignore it, and we suffered the consequences.

    As for people who wanted a united Ireland – which is a perfectly legitimate political aspiration – using the slogan British rights for British citizens. Why shouldn’t they want the same treatment as everyone else? It’s basic justice. It’s unbelievable that even today people can allow their opinion of who was bringing the message to cloud their judgment of the message itself.

  • Nevin

    “you can see that the commitment to peaceful politics was genuine.”

    Apart from burning buses and a call to violence!!

    Garland had this to say about the planned revolution/conspiracy:

    “The next phase of the struggle must be one in which the Movement commits itself and all its resources to the full so that when the struggle is over we will emerge either successful or annihilated”

    You can probably see now why the southern establishment decided to have the then IRA leadership ‘decapitated’. It was quite prepared to protect its own interests even if that meant a return to more ‘conventional’ methods ie sectarian republican violence.

    As for the British government, here’s what Healey said to Crossman in May 1969: “The PM was always demanding active intervention early on, with this crazy desire to go over there and take things over, that we side with the RCs and the Civil Rights movement against the government, though we know nothing at all about it.”

    And from Bardon, History of Ulster: “The memoirs of Crossman and others close to Wilson indicate that Cabinet discussion on Northern Ireland was brief and often poorly informed.” In other words, they hadn’t got a baldy …

  • Garibaldy

    Cabinet discussion was indeed brief. But there had been lobbying on this situation going back years, particularly of Wilson and Callaghan. And they more than once pulled in O’Neill or other NI ministers and officials for talks.

    They knew that civil rights were being denied. They knew that if they really wanted to they could have resolved that. They knew enough to act, and didn’t.

  • Nevin

    Garibaldy, you’re still faced with the problem that rights issues were being used as a smokescreen. Healey acknowledges that Wilson was clueless and that the cabinet was divided; presumably neither London, Dublin nor Belfast fancied an all-island Cuban-style ‘utopia’.

  • Healey is not necessarily an impartial observer. Here’s what David Owen had to say about this period:

    “There as endless talk about Harold Wilson being a liability, but it was all talk. As so often, the Prime Minister’s position was protected by all the ambitions and jealousies of the contestants, Tony, Roy, George, Jim and Denis. If any two or preferably three had joined forces Harold could have been ousted in 1969.”

  • Garibaldy

    Rights issues were indeed seen as the first step towards creating the conditions whereby a united Ireland could be created by forging a greater unity among the people of the north. BUT they were also seen as legitimate goals in and of themselves. And that they were. Of course none of the governments wanted a socialist republic, as you point out. But implicit in you pointing that out is the assumption that any reduction in the unionist monolith’s power by the introduction of equality and British rights for British citizens would lead automatically to the collapse of the state. That because a demand for equality was made by socialist republicans, it should have been rejected. And that type of short-sighted thinking led to the lack of reform that produced the Troubles. Surely we’ve learnt more by now. After all, the GFA allows power to be shared by people who want a united Ireland. They presented it as a first step towards it. Do we write off progressive measures like a bill of rights because of who asks for them?

    The logic of your argument greatly troubles me.

  • Nevin

    “none of the governments wanted a socialist republic”

    Yet those who were promoting rights issues, Garibaldy, were promoting a ‘communist’ revolution using political and violent means, were seeking/inviting confrontation, north and south – to let the world see who the real aggressor was. And their mentality wasn’t just ‘Brits out’ and their sights were set on institutions of the churches as well as the states.

    According to T P Coogan, foreigners who owned land were the subject of verbal and physical attack, buses taking workers to an American plant in Shannon were attacked, buildings on German owned farms were set alight and an American owned fishing boat was bombed.

    The overall intent was not about forging a greater unity in the north but on the whole island. This from a document published in the News Letter circa 1966:

    .. university students are to be ‘indoctrinated’. The successful tactics to date in the Republic of roping in students to act as pickets in strikes and demonstrations, such as protests against lack of proper housing facilities, is to be emulated in the North. In short, wherever and whenever the excuse arises for a public protest, the IRA plans to capitalise on it .. well meaning people who join debating organisations like the Wolfe Tone Society and students debating societies are to be used to the advantage of underground movements”

    And as you rightly pointed out, quite a few gullible folks joined in the ‘process’.