The carrot has been dangled…

PAT Doherty‘s interview in the Guardian is being interpreted as an offer to the DUP – permit the devolution of policing and justice, and in exchange the IRA army council will be disbanded. “I have no doubt, given all of the issues that we have resolved from the very beginning, all of the issues that you may have thought were insurmountable, … on the British side … the unionist side and the republican side, if we are serious about moving this whole process forward … then we can deal with any issue,” Doherty who was named as a member of the IRA leadership in 2002, said. “If you look at any of what were perceived as insurmountable issues some time back, all of them were resolved. I have no doubt that issues can be resolved if there is dialogue.”

  • Truth & Justice

    The DUP cant agree to policing and justice being devolved at the moment as they have argued there is not any confidence they would look extremely bad if they did. However that is not to say they could not agree it four years down the line if the condidtions are right and the IRA army Council has gone and been proven to have gone, the parades issue resolved for good and a better financial package from Brown and the complete stop to Water Charges would be helpful. It may be worth doing a referendum put it to the people take it away from the politicians?

  • slug

    Good to see that the IRA Council cnn be disbanded. The devolution of policing powers in return for its disbandment seems desirable and good to see it being brought up by Sinn Féin as it previously was only brought up by the DUP.

  • kensei

    Can someone explain to me how you can tell the Army Council has been disbanded and what, in any practical sense this means? Will MMG and Gerry Adams be no longer allowed to talk to each other, or something?

  • Reader

    kensei: Can someone explain to me how you can tell the Army Council has been disbanded and what, in any practical sense this means?
    It means that they *say* they have been disbanded. Forms of words, and claims of handed-down authority, matter a great deal to Republicans. Thats why even the dissidents claim to be ‘Real’, or ‘Continuity’.
    That the Provos are even contemplating such a statement says a great deal about a change of mindset.

  • fair_deal

    It seems any time any proposal has come up in the past few months the SF answer has been we will agree if P&J;is devolved.

  • x

    “The DUP cant agree to policing and justice being devolved” T&J;Am I living in a parallel universe – of course they can, and they will. if this secures Robo’s tenure as head honcho of course they will devolve it.

    T&J;you seem to still believe that the DUP are operating to some sort of principled agenda, the only agend they current work to is that agenda that secures power, money and jobs for the boys.

    So p&j;for the standing down of the illegal – invisible – unverifiable Army Council – No problem. where do i sign?

  • Dec

    It seems any time any proposal has come up in the past few months the DUP answer has been we will think about it if the Army Council is dissolved.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Truth and Justice:

    The DUP cant agree to policing and justice being devolved at the moment as they have argued there is not any confidence they would look extremely bad if they did.

    That would change, apparently, if the IRA army council has disbanded, and DUP politicians cite the ongoing existence of the council as the sticking point.

    Of course, this is a very easy concession for the republicans to grant. The IRA army council is nothing other than a policy-making body within the IRA. It doesn’t control what goes on within the IRA at a regional level.

    However that is not to say they could not agree it four years down the line if the condidtions are right and the IRA army Council has gone and been proven to have gone,

    Four years, my hole. Do you think it is in the interests of unionists to have someone in London controlling the police and setting policy in the courts ? We need this power devolved quickly. The recent issues with remission are an example of why this is so urgent. We should be able to fix these problems ourselves, not run to Westminster to beg someone to do it for us.

    the parades issue resolved for good

    Why are we poking that particular sleeping dog ?

    and a better financial package from Brown and the complete stop to Water Charges would be helpful.

    Who is going to pay for all this ? Why should we be allowed to continue our wasteful level of public spending ? Why should other people be required to bankroll the incompetence of the politicians we choose to elect ?

    It may be worth doing a referendum put it to the people take it away from the politicians?

    Why ? What are politicians for ? How would a referendum enable tough decisions to be made – what question would you put ?

  • Henry94

    The DUP have already agreed to the devolution of P&J;. Otherwise they wouldn’t be arguing about the timing.

    If Sinn Fein are in a position to offer the disbandment of the Army Council then it looks like a saleable deal. No Army Council, no army.

  • kensei

    It means that they *say* they have been disbanded. Forms of words, and claims of handed-down authority, matter a great deal to Republicans. Thats why even the dissidents claim to be ‘Real’, or ‘Continuity’.

    That the Provos are even contemplating such a statement says a great deal about a change of mindset.

    So, to sum, then: it’s an absolutely meaningless precondition. I’m sure people will be all very happy the Army Council has disappeared and sleep sounder in their beds an’ all, but we we get right to the point it is literally meaningless.

  • baslamak

    Leaving aside the difficulties of Adams and co dissolving the Army Council due to constitutional reasons, they must be just about the worst negotiators in the world. They negotiate a deal with the British to devolve policing by a certain date. In the process of doing this as is the way with all negotiation they concede certain issues that they would rather have not.

    Yet when the British fail to keep their side of the bargain, what does Adams do, he attempts to re-negotiate the deal by giving even more away from the PRM bank.

    It is thus hardly surprising that the DUP has got wind of Gerry’s lack of a bottom line below which he will not go, the Brit-Unionist side have correctly concluded there is nothing Adams will not concede to broker a deal on policing.

    Paisley was not kidding when he said sack clothe and ashes, although it seems just for their own enjoyment the British have added a hair shirt.

    The problem for Adam’s is that his cupboard is almost empty; and once he has disposed of the Army Council, [and its departments lets not forget] for poor old Gerry the game is up, as he will have nothing left to concede.

    The Army Council will go, but the general staff of the British army will not, as to Gerry, he will have to learn to endure.

  • Steve

    LOL Baslamak

    You don’t get it. If they dissolve the army council then they dissolve any responsibility for members, former members or associates of former members. The DUP by their insistence are giving the Sinn Fein a get out of gaol free card.

    It all falls to the ruc/psni to control and take responsibility for not doing so.

    Practically brilliant, brilliantly practical

  • Ulsters my homeland

    [i]”The problem for Adam’s is that his cupboard is almost empty; and once he has disposed of the Army Council, [and its departments lets not forget] for poor old Gerry the game is up, as he will have nothing left to concede.”[/i]

    He could still ask for a few ‘Old Boys Clubs’ as a retirement plan for the ageing IRA members.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    This deal has been signposted for some time but improvement in TUV votes might be a problem. Enlglezes must know that not nailing down what is vital from Republican perspective may lead to bit of unravelling so will be interesting if they have carrot or stick to move DUP along. They might threaten to introduce some measure that could be avoided in Non Iron if devolution of P and J is introduced.

  • baslamak

    “He could still ask for a few ‘Old Boys Clubs’ as a retirement plan for the ageing IRA members.”

    I thought that was all settled with the northern bank, only kidding Steve.

  • perci

    SF may also be aware that the IMC report is due out soon, and they want to avoid a crisis over paul quinn’s murder.
    True steve it will absolve SF of any more trouble by IRA members.
    But also it’ll calm down unionist anxieties, leaving the TUV with nothing to crow about.

  • joeCanuck

    the IRA army Council has gone and been proven to have gone,

    If proof is necessary, then it can never happen.
    It is not possible to prove a negative. Same with the arms. Not a few unionists moaned after decommissioning – “But how do we know they are all gone?”

  • “‘It was unnecessary for Tony Blair to meet the army council'”

    Perhaps there was a quorum of the ‘Gang of Seven’ at that first meeting with Tony Blair when Pat Doherty was sitting across the table from the Prime Minister. Were the other members in Stormont in the lead-up to the signing of the 1998 Agreement?

    Why did Watt feel the need to trot out several times this: “I know that as Vice-President of Sinn Fein you can’t talk for the IRA”.

    As I understand it, the PRM AC manages all aspects of the movement: politics, shootings and bombings, organised crime and ‘civic justice’; it’s the ‘legitimate government’ of the island of Ireland. Why couldn’t a ‘minister’ of that Government express an opinion on its stance on any issues of importance to it?

    Furthermore, what place is there in a serious work for persisting with the legal fiction that Sinn Fein and the IRA are two separate and totally unrelated bodies? Mo Mowlam, as British Secretary of State is quoted, but not critiqued, on her meeting with republican leaders: ‘We sat down with Sinn Fein. We sat at one end and they brought in some people who were obviously members of the army council’. Is the serious reading public expected to believe that Mowlam had ever in fact sat down with any body other than the army council? The Blanket

  • Steve

    But also it’ll calm down unionist anxieties, leaving the TUV with nothing to crow about.

    Posted by perci on Mar 18, 2008 @ 01:24 PM

    It might calm their anxieties but it would stoke mine. You will have a profesional criminal/thug class with absolutely no loyalty to any one but themselves and no one to exert even an ounce of control over them.

    If anything this will likely increase the number of shed beatings because they will be acting alone with out fear of any one but the seriously incompetent psni.

    If I was of a criminal mind it would seem to me to be a growth industry with loads of opportunity for advancement. Sounds almost like a jobs advert doesnt it

  • elvis parker

    ‘He (Blair)asked if Adams could go back and tell his people there was no possibility of a united Ireland. Adams said the question was rather how he could bring his people along. He had to show them there was an alternative way forward.’

    What price the Army Council? Gerry’s last card and after that slow and inevitable decline.

  • perci

    but Steve, aren’t they already doing whatever they like. I hear you, and reckon that in distancing themselves from the PIRA, SF will circumvent any threats about Stormont collapsing.
    That’s priority No.1

    Of course with the P&J;powers devolved SF are going to have to find ways of dealing with ex-members who are “running aroung like little hitlers” according to Jim McAllister.

    Its a massive challenge. We await leadership.

  • Steve

    I never said they should or have to distance themselves from PIRA, it will appear to disapear absolving anyone in the republican movement from their crimes much the way unionist claim clean hands on the alphabet killers.

    Its brilliant it takes the whine away from the TUV, DUP, UUP, SDLP and Alliance. SF can simply hold up their hands and say “not us, nothing to do with us, don’t call us we will call you”

    PS. They wont go away you know this is a Pyric victory at bes lol

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    The Provos know that the only way SF can get elected in the South is when they have “gone away you know”.

    Quite clearly SF want a normal society as they think the North will be increasingly greened – the devolution of P and J allows them to argue with some justification that they are administering the Irish rule of law – not British – in Non Iron and continuing the greening ( with some Orange thrown in ) process.

    It is undoubtedly very uncomforatable for many ( most? ) Unionists to accept that the Republican movement is a political, and not a criminal organisation, but unfortunately for them the British, Irish and American governments also accept this.

  • Reader

    kensei: So, to sum, then: it’s an absolutely meaningless precondition.
    I disagree. Just because it’s not material doesn’t mean it’s meaningless. For instance, the first of the IRA’s ‘Acts of Decommissioning’ was described as ‘Significant’. As indeed it was, to the ‘Not a bullet, not an ounce’ faction. It wasn’t until third time round that the decommissioning acts became ‘Substantial’.
    Half of the GFA was based on symbolism, and it is not surprising that the StAA and the end-game are following in the same path.
    But if, from your perspective, the DUP are willing to allow devolution of P&J;in exchange for a meaningless gesture from the Provos, surely you have no complaint to make?
    From my POV, as a long-term pro-agreement unionist, with a sceptical eye on Chuckie mythology; I am pleased at how it is going so far.

  • kensei

    Reader

    I disagree. Just because it’s not material doesn’t mean it’s meaningless. For instance, the first of the IRA’s ‘Acts of Decommissioning’ was described as ‘Significant’. As indeed it was, to the ‘Not a bullet, not an ounce’ faction. It wasn’t until third time round that the decommissioning acts became ‘Substantial’.

    It isn’t just immaterial, it’s unverifiable and impossible to enforce.

    Half of the GFA was based on symbolism, and it is not surprising that the StAA and the end-game are following in the same path.

    But if, from your perspective, the DUP are willing to allow devolution of P&J;in exchange for a meaningless gesture from the Provos, surely you have no complaint to make?

    I am merely reflecting that SF’s negotiating skills are perhaps better than I give them credit for, if this was really the deal in the background: something for nothing.

  • harry

    ‘He (Blair)asked if Adams could go back and tell his people there was no possibility of a united Ireland. Adams said the question was rather how he could bring his people along. He had to show them there was an alternative way forward.’

    Posted by elvis parker on Mar 18, 2008 @ 02:07 PM

    elvis… where does this quote come from??

  • Ms Wiz

    Disbanding the Army council is largely symbolic, after all what’s an army if it doesn’t have an guns? Granted not everything was decommissioned but I’m sure there are guns about in the unlikely event of a repeat of 1969. SF long ago accepted the need to pursue a non-violent path so this inevitably is where it ends up.

    Here’s a question though: why don’t SF link the ending of the Army council to loyalist decommissioning?

  • Reader

    kensei: It isn’t just immaterial, it’s unverifiable and impossible to enforce.
    Careful now – you could talk the DUP out of a possible deal with that sort of niggle! But not me – from my POV statements from P O’Neill and SF are the key components.
    kensei: something for nothing.
    Great – after 15 years of talks, a win-win scenario. Don’t knock it. You do realise that the DUP also wants the devolution of P&J;?

  • PaddyReilly

    But does this mean we can decommission the TUV now?

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Ms Wiz,

    1) the Provos dont consider the loyalist ‘death squads’ as their equal 2) never ask (openly) for something you may never get 3) that would give the loyalists a veto over whatever Provos want in return.

  • waffler

    Pat just throwing in another mix as according to
    Martin Mc Guiness, when asked by republicans who want answers to many incidents spanning back to the early 80`s has replied that he doesn`t know if there is an army council anymore and that he wouldn`t even know anyone to contact in relation to same.
    Very odd as Conor murphy was able to make contact within a very short time of the murder of Paul Quinn and now it appears Pat also has a line of communication at his disposal.
    Maybe the republicans with the questions should have another go via Brendan Duddy.

  • George

    Nevin,
    the PRM AC manages all aspects of the movement: politics, shootings and bombings, organised crime and ‘civic justice’; it’s the ‘legitimate government’ of the island of Ireland.

    Strictly speaking, I thought the CIRA AC was the “legitimate government” of Ireland.

    The PRM AC is merely a blow in.

  • T.Ruth

    It was, as many will remember, the removal of P and J powers back to Westminster that lead to Brian Faulkner resigning and the Stormont Parliament ending. .
    Unionists have a strong desire to have these p and J. powers returned when they are satisfied that sufficient confidence exists in their community for that to happen. The responsibility is on the Republican movement to create the necessary conditions.
    The Unionists will not be paying for any more concessions from SF/IRA. There is no place in a democratic society for private armies-Republican or Loyalist or for those who demand concessions for taking the actions that could be expected of any citizen..

    Gordon Brown can help.The confidence level of Unionists will be assisted by a better economic package than we have at present.It would also help to have the PSNI appropriately resourced. It would be helpful if there was an end to fifty fifty recruitment to the PSNI.

    Others have a part to play.It would help if those who racheted up tension at interfaces in the marching season would be more tolerant of Unionist/British culture; It would be helpful if we had the Parades Commission replaced by a more effective system of determination that assumes the right to process.Only a very few parades are contentious.Gerry Adams selected those deliberately to create instability. He could help also by following the example of Dr.Paisley and exiting the political scene. He could go to Australia and the USA and do the well paid tour thing.
    It is also time for the Republican people to embrace democracy freely because it is a good form of government and the right thing to do. They should demand an end to the mandatory coalition form of Executive in favour of voluntary coalition with an effective opposition system.

    We need the Republican movement to accept that in the Unionist eyes and in terms of Law and Justice their armed struggle was for the greater part,evil,sectarian and criminal.How can Republicans defend la Mon or Enniskillen?.
    The better future we all want will not be built on deceit;dishonesty;and denial or in trying to make the world and young Republicans believe that history started with the Civil Rights movement in the late sixties.
    T.Ruth

  • waffler

    And there we thought we had nothing left to conceed

  • DC

    “Others have a part to play.It would help if those who racheted up tension at interfaces in the marching season would be more tolerant of Unionist/British culture;”

    It’s heritage if anything and not really culture. And heritage is about taking an historic situation and contextualising it into the future or present to fit contemporary circumstances, which are obviously without the true conditions appropriated at the heritage’s origin.

    So with that in mind, unionists need to open up discussions about relevance of walking up streets with changed demographics whose residents, if communicated with, may allow it to happen. After all that’s democracy and it’s not as if Orangeism is without a home in Northern Ireland, it is and can be expressed, but is circumscribed through its beliefs which places its own set of limits due to its own conditionality of membership.

  • New Yorker

    Have the records of the Provos, such as membership, financial files, intra member documents, communications with other organizations, etc., been handed over to the government? That would be a better way of assuring intentions than some guys saying we no longer belong to a council.

  • joeCanuck

    It was, as many will remember, the removal of P and J powers back to Westminster that lead to Brian Faulkner resigning and the Stormont Parliament ending. .
    Unionists have a strong desire to have these p and J. powers returned when they are satisfied that sufficient confidence exists in their community for that to happen.

    Things have changed beyond recognition since then. Prior to the removal of those powers, the Stormont Home Affairs Minister was the de facto operational commander of the RUC. That situation can never return. So some maybe hankering after the old days but are going to be disappointed when P&J;powers are returned.

  • WindsorRocker

    For months the TUV minded among the NI populace have been pushing the main point of the existence of the army council as their main argument against the DUP being in government.

    Suddenly when the disbandment of the Army Council is raised by somebody other than the DUP, therefore beginning to seem possible, the TUV’s are out telling us it is invisible, intangible etc. etc. and therefore it doesn’t matter…. so what’s the problem with government now then?

    IMO, the disbandment of the Army Council would be a momentous step. Those who were members of the Army Council may continue to “socialise” together but in a movement steeped in symbolism, this would be the ultimate symbolic step… winding up the body that they used to believe was the legitimate government of a 32 county Ireland. Once they issue the statement, the die is cast no matter what practicalities exist.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    T.ruth

    “We need the Republican movement to accept that in the Unionist eyes and in terms of Law and Justice their armed struggle was for the greater part,evil,sectarian and criminal”

    The first part should not be a problem after all it’s a free country ( apart from the residual Brtish presence ), but with the 2nd part if you will pardon the expression you are indulging in a bit of unionist political mastrurbation there as the 3 relevant governements share the Provo view of the ‘troubles’ being part of the overall politcal/historical difficulties between Britain and Ireland – hence Unionists being ecouraged/cajoled into accepting the GFA/STA.

  • George, Mitchel McLaughlin SF MLA agreed with Michael McDowell’s description and AFAIK Mitchell has no links to CIRA.

    I met the McLaughlins in Ballycastle on the day the lifeboat was brought back on a barge from Rathlin and I came away with the impression that it was probably the wife that shaved off his ‘tache!!

  • Steve

    New Yorker

    A clandestine guerilla army is hardly likely to have a bunch of inter office memos laying around.

    I would assume that there is little if any paper trail to be found so taking their word for it will have to suffice

    As for financial records, while there are undoubtedly some around I do not believe they will ever be turned over by any one to any one

    Thats why I don’t think they will ever go away except in name. The South Armagh Supper Club has a nice ring to it

  • New Yorker

    Steve

    We might be quite surprised what records they have. Some records can be reconstructed by involved individuals, such as a membership list. The point is that with such records the government can better judge and monitor their intentions: Are they fully in and part of a government that will uphold and enforce the law, or using government for ulterior purposes?

    A way to accomplish this would be for the government to draw up a list of required information and name the Deputy First Minister to head a task force to retrieve the information in a specified period of time.

    This thing has been dragged out for ten years when it should have been wound up in a year or less. Don’t you think it is time things moved on?

  • T.Ruth

    Steve
    “South Armagh Supper Club has a nice ring to it”
    Tell that to the Quinn family.
    It is time for Republicans to have a real hard look at how and why those of us who are Irish and British hold fast to our Britishness.Time for Republicans to study a little of their pre 1966 History and justify their commitment to the physical force tradition of getting your political point across to your neighbour.Time to stop feeding Republican youth on myths and legends..
    What part of a war was the incineration of the Irish kennel club at La Mon.?
    T.Ruth.

  • ciaran

    t. ruth you seem to have a very one sided view of what has been going on and until you wise up you can not be taken seriously.

  • Pancho’s Horse

    T.ruth, here comes the blanket bombing of Dresden again! Surely you are familiar with that collie club wipeout, nach bhfuil?

  • Steve

    New Yorker
    Either you are being willfully stupid or you just dont understand how Guerilla armies operate and in particular how insurgencies work. There will have been as close to 0 paper recordsd as possible simply because paper records can fall into the hands of the enemy, So not surpisingly there are no records available. Secondly you can not compel these people to bear witness against themselves so regardless of who you apoint there will be no information to come back

    T. Ruth

    You show me a single spec of evidence linking the PIRA to this crime and i will condemn them to the roof till then its just so much unionist wet dream. As for pre 66 they shouldnt look to close at it as it is perfect justification for physical force republicanism. You got used to them living on their knees wo when they chose to die on their feet instead you were unprepared. Unionism is the root cause of republicanism
    What part of war was Bloody Sunday, what part of war was Omagh, what part of war was the Butchers, what part of war is shooting toddlers with plastic bullets? Give off on the whataboutery

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Steve,

    are you suggesting the Provos didnt bomb Le Mon? or are you talking about the Quinn murder ? Although there is no proof the Southern and Northern intelligence reports suggest former/current IRA member involvment in the Quinn killing. The Republican movements reaction to this has been denial and trying to widgery the victim i.e. blame him for his own death.

  • Pancho’s Horse

    Bad luck, Steve. Provisional Alliance admitted responsibility for La Mon and said warning was inadequate on 19th Feb 1978.Also have to disagree with ‘Unionism is the root cause of Republicanism’. Republicanism is not a disorder/disease but a political tradition in Ireland with a long and proud history.

  • Dewi

    “I would assume that there is little if any paper trail to be found so taking their word for it will have to suffice”

    Strangely enough according to Moloney the IRA pretty meticulous at minute taking at Army Council and Executive meetings.

  • Pancho’s Horse

    “according to Moloney” certainly has a ring of truth to it. Who took the minutes? Were they in Irish?How did the OIRA Army Council become the Provisional Alliance Army Council? Isn’t it all great crack? And to crown it all the W(elsh)RA has our guns.

  • New Yorker

    Steve

    There are records that need to be turned into the government. Those missing should be reconstructed. I already said who should lead the effort.

    They can be compelled to do anything by the government, they lost and capitulated – remember? There are consequences to loosing an insurgency, that is the way of things. This instance is no different.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    New Yorker,

    sometimes people who are far away from their subject matter compensate for this by acquainting themselves closely with the facts. Not a route you decided to take.

    It is not customary for insurgents who have lost to get their prisoners out of prison, get into governement, get reform and disbandment of different wings of the state forces they opposed and achieve constitutional change.

  • Dewi

    Very interesting interview – claiming local government reorg as a massive success of DUP SF co-operation.Personal view is that it’s more important to link AC disbandment with a huge radical effort to de-intensify the Twelfth than with devolution of P and J.

  • Steve

    Okay some corrections to make the pendantic happy

    You show me a single spec of evidence linking the PIRA to the Quinn murder and i will condemn them to the roof till then its just so much unionist wet dream

    As for this statement
    Although there is no proof the Southern and Northern intelligence reports suggest former/current IRA member involvment in the Quinn killing

    I believe the correct phrase is ” member, former member, associate of a member or former member” that what narrows it down to 25 or 35 thousand people in nIreland alone?

    Also have to disagree with ‘Unionism is the root cause of Republicanism’. Republicanism is not a disorder/disease but a political tradition in Ireland with a long and proud history.

    Okay my bad inionism is the root cause of physical force Republicanism

  • Steve

    New Yorker

    While its hard to argue they won I don’t believe they lost and they sure never capitulated.

    You can’t reconstruct records that never existed though lots around here seem to be able to make up facts as they go so maybe they can dream up these documents you so desperately seek

  • New Yorker

    Steve

    There is no 32 county socialist republic and that was the objective. Many are employees of HMG. That’s capitulation due to loss to superior power. When they finally realized it was stupid to try to take on the UK, they tried a political strategy and last year they were gutted in the Republic and that proved their political approach was as stupid as the military one. They lost totally but you have not realized it yet.

    As to provo records, what do you think they carted away from the sheds in Ballybinaby? The Slob’s dung boots!

  • kensei

    New Yorker

    We haven’t reached the end of history. Nor have we even reached the end of SF; for all their “gutting” in the South their total loss was one seat. Their vote has remained fairly stable at 7-8% in the polls, and I’d expect it to stay there for the foreseeable future. They might gain a couple at the next election, might lose a couple. So it goes for small parties. The Dail might fall in such a way where they have leverage with 2 seats. We don’t know, but it’s certainly not unknown.

    A few years ago Republicans in the US were talking of a permanent majority. And yet it looks like irrespective of the Presidential election Democrats will have further gains in November. I’d caution against proclaiming finality and inevitability, but enjoy your wee rant anyway.

  • harry

    when could SF have hoped for better circumstances for postitive election that the last free state elections.

    they were touting for at least ten seats, and lost one.. with significant damage being done to the republicans structures in dublin with the parachuting in of Mary Lou.

    they had decommissioned, joined the cops etc.. if there was ever to be a bounce in votes in was in the last election.

    but it didnt happen.

    i think they will continue to be a small fringe party in the south and as their drive to capture the middle classes continues it is driving away the people who did the grass roots work for them.

    look at the growing strenght of eirigi to see how workers for sf are leaving.

  • kensei

    harry

    when could SF have hoped for better circumstances for postitive election that the last free state elections.

    Prior to the McCartney killings and the Northern Bank robbery. That reimposed their glass ceiling and they have been at 7-8% since. They had a rise in polls at the election but not a huge amount.

    they were touting for at least ten seats, and lost one.. with significant damage being done to the republicans structures in dublin with the parachuting in of Mary Lou.

    I agree on the latter.

    they had decommissioned, joined the cops etc.. if there was ever to be a bounce in votes in was in the last election.

    but it didnt happen.

    You see, I believe that sustained growth only comes from developing local parties and producing intelligent policy. Big publicity in the North can remove stigma and give you a little push, but they won’t do nearly enough on their own. SF lost because day-to-day baggage of their policy outweighed anything they’d done North. Exactly as it should be.

    i think they will continue to be a small fringe party in the south and as their drive to capture the middle classes continues it is driving away the people who did the grass roots work for them.

    I think they’ll stick around 7-8% for the foreseeable future and 2-7 seats. Which might be enough, if an election fell right. A lot depends on how they modernise. I think there is a left politics that can carve out a niche with cross support from working class and middle class, especially because Labour has been ineffective for so long. They might will lose Communists, but that would be returned ten fold if they could find the right ideas and policies, and most importantly end transfer repellence. I don’t know if they have the talent.

    It look at the growing strength of eirigi to see how workers for sf are leaving.

    Limited to Dublin at the moment. May damage SF, but will achieve precisely this: 0.

  • New Yorker

    Kensei

    The dream was to rule in the Republic and the North and that dream was smashed by the voters in the South as the great majority like the way things are for them. 7-8% certainly shows how out of tune they are with the voters. There is not going to be a revival, the dream is dead and everyone knows it.

    How would you ensure the provos are fully complying with the law? Do you favor an effort to retrieve records? Do you agree that would be a major confidence building measure for those who desperately seek P&J;powers?

  • ciaran

    New yorker , why would the provos need to comply with the law? Bertie seems to be able to get away with ignoring the law . Maybe cab should investigate. And I would say the provos record keeping was as good as berties aswell.