Backchannel denials

Brian Rowan writes of the DUP-SF backchannel, allegedly facilitated by a well known journalist, and warns that the denials made in the past will come back to bite in the future: “The danger in all of this is that the denial continues and the truth emerges.” Read about it in the Belfast Telegraph and the BBC. Thanks, Jone, for the link – I didn’t know it was made public. If true it places the journalist in a very compromised position, as how could he report on the peace process while at the same time being so integral to it? It raises a number of other awkward questions, too.

  • jone

    Why so coy? The channel has already been outed on Newstalk and the Sindo

    http://www.independent.ie/national-news/rte-journalist-silent-over-sfdup-linkman-claims-1325411.html

  • Junior……. Seriously

    So?

    Leave it alone it works!

    Someone somewhere had to pay a price. This is a perfect opportunity to wheel Jim “rent-a-quote” Allister out fo rhis monthly diatribe about a non issue in a desperate attempt to get some attention. Bless never was the image of a flute band bass drummer more apt!

  • fair_deal

    So the alleged channel/facilitator has denied being a channel/facilitator.

    “I did not facilitate meetings between Sinn Fein and the DUP last year.”

    As for the two reliable sources stuff, this story was pushed publicly by SF in 2003.
    http://www.4ni.co.uk/northern_ireland_news.asp?id=5785

  • Traditional Unionism

    Jim Allister is the one politician we still have speaking the truth! The crooks and liars of thre DUP/SF axis have been shown to be the dishonest suits they are! Once again Allister has been proven right.

  • Junior……. Seriously

    Truth?

    He’s a barrister for crying out loud what has the “truth” ever had to do with it?

    Its alot better than the axis of evil we had when the ‘Sour Grapes’ members of the new assembly formerly known as UUP/SDLP were in the driving seat.

    Lets face it the only ones that could did.
    Stories like this do nothing to serve the interests of the vast majority of people from Norn Iron……. and Poland.The best thing that Our Jimmy can do is quietly melt away.

  • Traditional Unionsim

    Junior –

    you’re now saluting the woeful UUP/SDLP coalition? How many shades of treachery can you see?! Trimble and his ilk only paved the way for further and greater lies. (Durkan may well have told the truth but I was too bored to listen).

    Only the Traditional Unionist Voice can provide the strong and honest leadership we need to return us to the days when justice prevailed.

  • Junior……. Seriously

    Where do I start?

    There was no saluting going on still as a TU i’ll try and keep this nice and simple….

    For the slow learners
    Past (3000 people dead) bad

    Now very few reportable events connectewd with die hard paramilitaries. – Good

    Jim will bring us back to implacable politics….. as will people of your ilk… just out of interests do you get sore knuckles when you walk?

    By the way justice prevailing thing….. Justice will only prevail when Traditional Unionists are all interned.

  • Traditional Unionist

    [i]For the slow learners
    Past (3000 people dead) bad [/i]

    For the completely thick – putting the people who killed them all into govt = EVIL.

    This is not the way the people of Ulster would deal with the legacy of the past 30 years. Lord Brookborough was right to have a zero tolerance policy on those who’d spread violence and chaos. As Ive said, as our society slips further into the gutter only Jim Allister can provide the leadership we sorely miss.

    Chearleaders for terror such as ‘Junior’ should shut up or go live in Iran.

  • Dec

    As for the two reliable sources stuff, this story was pushed publicly by SF in 2003.
    http://www.4ni.co.uk/northern_ireland_news.asp?id=5785

    Rowan’s claims refers to negotiations in 2004.

  • Steve

    Tragic Unionist

    In the golden olden days justice did not prevail! What justice did the Bloody Sunday marchers get? What kustice did the Omagh bombing victims get? What justice did the Miami Show Band get? What justice did the LeMon Victims recieve?

    How did justice prevail?

    You just want to go back to unionist triumphalism but that ship has sailed and the support you recieved from england to set up the sectarian state has sailed along with it.

    the days of the traditional unionist tail wagging the dog are over so learn to love your neighbour or atleast learn to work with them.

  • Steve

    Tragic Unionist
    For the completely thick – putting the people who killed them all into govt = EVIL.

    This is not the way the people of Ulster would deal with the legacy of the past 30 years

    Two points the people who killed many of those 3,000 were already in government long before GFA

    And two the lagacy is 86 years old not 30 and this is precisely hiow the legacy should be dealt with

    Nationalists do not compromise a majority and unionists have proven they can’t be trusted with theirs. so until the unionist community can prove they can be trusted in government a mandatory coalition is well…. mandatory

  • Paul

    For the slow learners
    Past (3000 people dead) bad

    For the completely thick – putting the people who killed them all into govt = EVIL.

    You are obviously completely thick. Sinn Fein is in government simply because they gained enough VOTES.

    I don’t remember Sinn Fein killing 3000 people?

    Dolt

  • elvis parker

    IF there was a back channel I suspect the leader of Thran Unionist Voice knew all about it at the time

  • Turgon

    The current system is manifestly flawed. We now have a situation in which unrepentant terrorists are involved in policing whilst other unrepentant terrorists who were intimately involved in the murder of many of the 3000 people who died here are in government.

    Yet if someone raises this as an issue they are denounced. If Jim Allister were to win a majority of unionist votes that would only result in violence if terrorists went back to violence. To say a TUV victory would result in violence must imply that republicans are willing to go back to violence; which itself implies that republicans are not fully accepting of democratic politics which in turn means that the DUP should be having nothing to do with them.

    steve is quite correct that many people failed to get justice for loved ones in the past. The agreement, however, resulted in terrorist murderers getting out of prison after derisory sentences. Where was the justice for the victims of the Rising Sun macassre with Torrens Knight getting out so quickly or the Shankill Fish Shop?

    The agreement has simply added more injustice to the already manifest injustice of the extremely poor conviction rate which terrorist crimes have had here.

  • Steve

    Turgon

    We have gone over this before but since you like a good rehash here goes

    To the nationalist community the police WERE unrepentant terrorists and completely unaccountable as they were well known and never charged

    The people who killed many of those 3,000 were already in government, the only difference is that now the government includes terrorists from both sides of the peace walls

    And given the undeniability of collusion it could be argued that the government were the terroists from both sides of the community

  • joeCanuck

    Turgon,

    You keep using the word “unrepentant”.
    Do you have evidence that people haven’t repented (on all sides, of course)?

  • Junior……. Seriously

    Dolt/Paul

    I didn’t say Sinn Fein did kill 3000 (careful mate your bigotry’s slipped)

    *Heavy Sigh*

  • Junior……. Seriously

    Really as far as unrepentant goes he is without financial irregularities cast the first stone. Lets face it we are talking about politics here are any of them in any country going to be repentant? Why is this a pre condition for accepting them? Arms beyond use etc etc.

  • perci

    Turgon
    surely you can grasp that all sides need to be careful and approach each other with some grace and humility given the wrongs done to each other.

    Jim Allister has one purpose and that’s to re-open wounds scratch scabs,and drag us all back to instability or even worse. Not that SF would go back to war, but there are others to fill their boots.

    Allister is holding up to you a sign-post saying:
    “Heaven come this way”, but you need to be very astute, because that heaven is in reality a hell of bitterness, strife and unfulfillment.

  • Traditional Unionist

    Since when has standing up to terror been a crime? Or politically incorrect? Once again a tough line is needed to deal with those that prefer not to make commitments to democracy and justice.

    The disgrace of Stormont only pours salt on wounds. Jim Allister is right to condemn it and those who compromise on decency.

  • fair_deal

    Turgon

    “Unrepentant”

    I would also like this issue clarified. Please excuse my limited understanding of theology but here goes.

    In our tradition is repentance not generally accepted as an individual act rather than a collective one?

    Also within the broad evangelical tradition there is a difference on dealing with past sins. Some expect a full disclosure of past misdeeds to authorities as well as God (IIRC one Loyalist who became saved in the Maze then gave a full confession to additional crimes which he was convicted for) while others do not share that requirement.

    As far as I can see the key problem is that repentance must be voluntary, genuine and with a sense of humility with the expectation of reward in the next life not this.

    However, applying the theological principle to practical politics surely creates insurmountable issues. Can reprentance be described “voluntary, genuine and with a sense of humility” as you propose/accept an earthly reward (power) for this collective and public repentance?

    IIRC the PIRA did offer an apology some time ago. Although IMO the terminology dictated by its mindset made it of little value and it has been largely forgotten.

  • Steve

    Since when has standing up to terror been a crime?

    When it involves shooting lawyers at their dinner tables or bombing their cars!

    When it involves killing 14 innocent civil rights marchers many of them shot in the back!

    When it involves torturing prisoners and denying them their legal rights!

    When it involves providing false evidence in court!

    When it involves intentionally denying them the evidence of their innocence to ensure a conviction!

    When it involves unreasonable search and seizure!

    Shall I go on?

  • perci

    Trad Unionist
    “Once again a tough line is needed to deal with those that prefer not to make commitments to democracy and justice.”

    What are you talking about?
    SF are committed to the PSNI, the law and the courts.
    This is head-banger talk from you

  • Traditional Unionist

    It is sad to have to state this again as if it is a novel idea but surely there should be NO ‘powersharing’ while there remains army councils and while there has been no apology for 30 years of sheer terror.

  • DC

    TU

    and if you got an apology and the disbandment of the army council, what hoop would you expect Sinn Fein to jump through next? Maybe Gerry Adams crawling over broken glass at the door of Allister’s office and kissing his feet?

  • Steve

    TU
    Your calls for disbandment and apologies might have more weight if you went first

    Atleast then you could accuse the fenians of not holding up their half of the bargain

    Till then its just so much superiority complex and sour grapes

    And if you don’t think your community has anything to appologize for…. well that speaks more clearly to my point then anything I could post

  • Junior……. Seriously

    You say it like it is such a bad/unlikely/big thing?

  • Lord Brookborough was right to have a zero tolerance policy on those who’d spread violence and chaos.

    That’s right, a future Prime Minister publicly calling on people to refuse to employ Catholics is a great way to not spread violence and chaos.

    Which bit did I miss here?

  • Traditional Unionist

    Slugger’s shown its true colours today and they are green and gold. Allister is the one politican to keep his word and who offers genuine leadership – ie no powersharing until there is justice for the past 30 years of chaos.

    It is genuinely scary that the TUV are the only sane voices in our political discourse.

  • observer

    I think we are getting away slightly from the point of the original post. That would be a first for Slugger.
    was there or was there not a link, be it direct or indirect beTween the DUP and Sinn Fein in 2004?

    If it is proven so i don’t think it is the journalist who should be worried, but rather the DUP who have denied it since this story emerged.

    When the truth finally emerges (which it will) and documentary evidence (which there is) then the DUP is going to be in trouble.

    and Rusty nail, the journalist who acted as an intermediary should be applauded not sneered at and questioned.

  • Turgon

    fair_deal,
    I think you know full well that I am essentially secular in my political analysis. However, in keeping with the overwhelming majority of people I have an enormous problem with people who were involved in murder now being in charge of the country. These people have not changed their ideology and still seem to believe that their actions were entirely reasonable. That means that in any sense they are unrepentatnt terrorists and without massively more change I do not believe that democrats should be involved in governement with them.

    In terms of the IRA “apology” I am geuninely distressed that you even mentioned it. I believe you to be a man of honour and leaving aside your party politics; I never though I would see the day when you personally gave any credance to that supposed apology from those murderers. I thought better of you.

  • Boots

    This ‘unrepentent’ terrorist thing is puzzling.

    Heres a quick quiz question…

    Which current NI politician/ former terrorist/ freedom fighter said the following:
    “I make no apology for my past; people get caught up in the emotion of the time” (Bel Tel 31 Dec 03)

    and for a bonus point what political party is he an unrepentant member of???

  • dub

    Turgon,

    I have said this before and it pains me to say it again… you sound like a genuine human being and are certainly extremely courteous in argument and appear to have a brain capable of independent thought (e.g. your thoughts on the Irish language).. but but but can you not see that with your endless obsession with the violence of one side that you bascially appear to be nothing more than a foaming bigot?

    NI was set up by Britain in such a way that communal strife was inevitable. There is a strain within Ulster protestantism which seems to regard the catholic population as some ghastly aboriginal other which cannot be touched with a barge pole. Equally there is exists a defenderist nationalist catholic tradition which regards ulster protestants as foreigners and planters. Britain elected to hold onto northern ireland but refused to integrate it into the national party politics of its own state, assuring a situation of primitive commnnal politics and a situation whereby government would consist of one community (the majority one) policing the other. this intolerable situation has led to extreme violence, bigotry, and terrorism from all sides… yet you focus on one side not being allowed to join in an equally unnatural but at least equal situation due to their violence, thereby ignoring all the violence of the other sides (British state and unionists), and thereby implying that the whole mess is essentially the fault of those pesky fenians.

    It is frankly hard to believe that anyone who writes as well as you do can be so criminally stupid… perhaps you are not as nice or as intelligent as you appear?

  • Turgon

    dub,
    Back handed complements seem the order of the day here.

    I agree that the Stormont state was massively, colossally and immorally flawed and how unionists conducted themselves was frequently both immoral and of course utterly foolish from a long term perspective.

    I also accept entirely the shameful behaviour of loyalist paramilitaries and the collusion that at times occurred. I genuinely believe it was relatievly limited in extent but that makes it no less wrong.

    I am also highly disturbed by the whole Ulster Resistance nonsense and the UWC strike. Whilst not utterly opposed to strikes and civil protest those episodes did involve intimidation and illegality which is to be utterly condemned.

    I am also very annoyed by unionist politicians being involved with loyalist terrorists. I well remember refusing to believe it when I heard William McCrea had shared a platform with Billy Wright: that was until I saw the pictures. I would like to say I never voted for him after that but since I have never been in his constituency I cannot say I have ever had the opportunity before or since to not vote for him.

    I can just about accept SF politicians even those with IRA pasts in government but I would require more. I would insist that they are very clear that they will never under any circumstances go back to murder. I would also require proper support for the police. Although I have tried to avoid making political propoganda from Mr. Quinn’s murder; I do think SF’s behaviour on this matter has been illustrative of the problem. Yes I would also like a proper apology but I am not foolish enought to expect that. I do, however, remain to be convinced that SF are truly committed to democracy and the rule of law. In absence of that I personally cannot support their inclusion in government. Time may make me change my opinion on SF but it will take both more time and more actions.

    If that leads to Direct Rule even with Dublin involvement then so be it. If keeping SF out of power results in a return to violence; horrified by that and gaining no pleasure at all from it, that would prove my point.

    If my refusal to accept this results in people dangling the threat of a united Ireland over me then I would call people’s bluff. Remembering that even in a united Ireland terrorists would be most unlikely to be in government.

  • pfhl

    Turgon,

    At the start of your previous post you have admiited to the faults of the old stormont. You have admitted to the faults of several DUP politicians before the TUV was formed. You even accepted collusion has happened to an extent. Natioalists must put trust in the current institutuions that these things wont happen again. I can not say for certain if unionism will not go back to these activities. If it means peace i will trust and hope for a better future. If im wrong the institutions fail and i dont know where we will go. It could be violence though i hope not. My question to you is why not repay that trust? It may lead to continuing peace which i hope so. If it does not the institutions will fail and i dont know what will happen. Do you choose a likely peace under the institutions or a very uncertain future without them?

  • Steve

    Turgon

    this is not a personal attack but what makes you think that you or your community have the right to decide who is fit for government?

    You do have a personal right to decide who is fit for government and its called a vote, once you once you cast your ballot your right has been recognized and that is all you are entitled to

    You nor anyone else has the right to decide for other people who they choose as fit for government.

    Other people observed their rights and cast a ballot and elected SF because they felt they were fit for government. Your rights and their rights end at the exact same point

  • Inspector Cleauso

    Turgon,

    I detest what SF/IRA did in the name of their socalled “cause” more than I hate their ideology itself. However I am satisfied and pleased that they did not achieve their objectives and have to administer a right of centre PFG in a British devolved goverment after having significantly disarmed. They are also to some degree supporting British justice and policing on the Island of Ireland. Again I repeat I abhor what they did in the name of their ideology but Turgon they didn’t win. The reason for that is partly due to significant infiltration by British intelligence and Unionist Politicans accepting the reality of sharing power with whoever our catholic neighbours elect.

    The reality is with devolved institutions Unionists can have some say over their governance and do not need so depend on English(Scottish)politicans who have been willing to sell us out at least since the 70’s. By the way did you see the Brendan Duddy programme last night?

  • dupmember

    It is obvious that to continue this blog most of you are only giving the vicious and irrational tantrums of the TUV a platform to rant and rave. Jim Allister and the TUV think they are the saviours of the Unionist people in Northern Ireland, ask yourself what have they to offer us all only more bloodshed and destruction.

    I know a lot of the people who are answering the blog are from a nationalist background and it is your right to reply but all you are doing is giving the TUV accreditation beyond what they deserve.

    If you want to talk about the alleged links that the DUP had or not with a journalist depending on whom you believe then do that.

    Slugger has become nothing only a rant for lots of people who otherwise would be talking to the walls as no one would listen to their less than constructive conversation.

  • fair_deal

    Turgon

    I get the sense you think I am trying to catch you out. I am simply trying to get to the bottom of what will make the discontent content. Hence the number of detailed questions I ask below.

    Repentance is a religious term hence my emphasis on theology. Also my impression of the TUV is that theology does play a role in the thinking of a number of them. Unrepentant is also a key term JA emphasies and I desire to get to the bottom of what this means, to get beyond the power of the soundbyte.

    As regard the provo apology, I never said it was an acceptable one and I cannot understand how you have reached such a conclusion from my comments. As I said “made it of little value and it has been largely forgotten”.

    However, there is a potential issue with your position I would appreciate clarity on.

    In one paragraph you highlight this concern:
    “These people have not changed their ideology and still seem to believe that their actions were entirely reasonable.”

    When the past apology is mentioned you comment:
    “supposed apology from those murderers”

    This gives the impression that whatever they say is worthless. Fair enough but how does that square with your desire for a repudiation of the past? Is a repudiation of the past from the mouths of murderers of any value? If actions are required rather than words to repudiate the past what are they?

    As I erred in putting it in theological terms I will put it in what political terms, what constitutes political repentance? You mention ideology what does that mean? Is it abandoning the aim of a United ireland in word/deed/both and by who exactly? You mention breaking with past actions so what words/deeds/both are required and by who?

  • Turgon

    All of a sudden I am asked lots of questions. To answer some of them (answering all might result in various people dying of boredom):

    phfl:
    I am not prepared to be black mailed about “peace”. If terrorists start killing people because I or many people like me hold certain views: then I am not actually guilty of that. I also regard this “peace” as an utterly Faustian Pact made with extremely evil people on both sides which has condemned many in various parts of Greater Belfast and South Armagh amongst others to thralldom under various criminal gangs.

    steve,
    I do not have the right to decide who is fit for government. I would, however suggest that I have the right to decide not to be in government with certain people. That is a pretty fundamental tenant of democracy. As such if the TUV win a mandate that is a mandate not to enter government with SF/IRA unless they make many more concessions.

    Inspector Cleauso,
    I do believe that the IRA has not done enough and SF are still inextricably linked to them. Much as I think devolution is a good idea I think we need more from those quarters. The DUP improved on the UUP’s deal; just nowhere enough. I think a new negotiation is needed. One without the artificial deadline of a fading and failing Prime Minister’s need for a legacy other than the Iraq debacle. Also not having a Downing Street Chief of Staff who thinks IRA commanders are fit people to attend his wedding might be helpful.

    fair_deal,
    You still seem to put some store beside the IRA apology. Their words are of no value and I am frankly still amazed that you mention their nauseating “apology”. Of course what they say is worthless: do you now think those people’s word has some value. Truly you have changed. Yes I require actions of them. A good start might be not killing people; we could go on to not committing crimes, cooperating with the police etc. etc.

    The problem is that it is not a religious position to require some form of civic morality and opposition to arbitrary power and the use of illegal violence in the furtherance of political aims. SF are still wedded to both of these and in any other proper democracy other political parties would not share power with them.

  • fair_deal

    Turgon

    I am not attempting to make this personal and I would expect likewise. I am simply trying to get the fullest understanding of your position and get beyond the mantras and principles. I am searching for the detail, how the concerns are addressed and principles fulfilled in practical terms.

    I am sorry if this is tiresome but it is an issue I have been debating and trying to find out more from a number of people and as the topic came up on this thread that it seemed opportune to pursue it with you. Others have provided answers but most don’t, so that is why I am very focused in the questions I am posing.

    Murder/Crime – How is this to be verified? Is the Independent Monitoring Commission an acceptable mechanism for assessing that the IRA has ceased all such activities, if not who? How long a period of verification/demonstration that such activities have ceased is required?
    Co-operation with the police – What does co-operation mean to you? How is this assessed and by whom?

    How does SF cease to be wedded “to arbitrary power and the use of illegal violence”? I assume this is IRA structures disappearing, is that correct? Anything else? Again the verification and time issue?

  • Turgon

    fair_deal,
    I am not indulging in personal attack, I am merely surprised at (and I admit, disappointed by) what you said, if I misunderstood my apologies. If that offends you or constituents a personal attack my apologies. I regard you to highly to indulge in such.

    I am interested in principles. I think the principle of non violence, democracy and the rule of law is absolutely critical for any proper democratic society. Trying to evade admitting what everyone else knows: namely that the republican movement along with the alphabet soup are still disgracefully involved in criminality and that many including the DUP seem willing to turn a blind eye to this does not help.

    In terms of your questions one may not easily describe the elephant in one’s sitting room but it is quite easy to tell when it is there and indeed when it has left.

    Your questions are by no means tiresome they are a pretty reasonable DUP strategy to oppose the position of the TUV. We differ in the way forward: that is why we support different parties and indeed your party opposes mine and vice versa. The only point you have made I really object to is to say that you are not trying to catch me out. Of course you are; that is part of the nature of political debate. Neither you nor I are so wet behind the ears as to think otherwise.

  • fair_deal

    Turgon

    “Your questions are by no means tiresome they are a pretty reasonable DUP strategy”

    No strategy nor a party one (AFAIK). As far as I can see the DUP hasn’t got a strategy to deal with TUV. The concerns you outline are perfectly reasonable, it is how they can be addressed is of interest to me. Therefore I would genuinely like answers.

    The broad health of Unionism is not served by a large chunk of Unionists being disillusioned with politics so seeing if they can be addressed I believe to be of value.

    “I really object to is to say that you are not trying to catch me out. Of course you are”

    You are making a serious misjudgement. I would have thought my threads and comments on here would show I like both ideas and practical means.

    I don’t buy into the alphabet soup loyalty so common in Unionism. Organisations are simply a means to an end, it is the end that is the important thing not the organisation.

    Within the DUP I am of no significance so we are not engaging in a titanic struggle for our parties. I am sure you can recollect I have never been good at toeing the party-line – too much of an Ulster-Scot/North Antrim contrarianism for that. I have always found Mick’s descirption of me rather amusing “one of the most unclubbable people I know”.

    I consider this two old acquaintances late at night on a website debating a particular topic that is something of concern to a sizeable chunk of Unionists. Nothing more or less. I still believe it is possible for two Unionists of different parties to have a debate without feeling the need to look over our shoulders.

  • Steve

    TURGON
    steve,
    I do not have the right to decide who is fit for government. I would, however suggest that I have the right to decide not to be in government with certain people. That is a pretty fundamental tenant of democracy. As such if the TUV win a mandate that is a mandate not to enter government with SF/IRA unless they make many more concessions.

    True, but your own wording says that the only right you have is to not participate and since you are willingly opting out then surely it would be proper for those that will participate willingly to form a new government and go on with out you

    it does not confer on you the right to stop government

  • dub

    Turgon,

    Let’s cut the bull, what you are saying is violence from your community ok, violence from the nationalist community unforgiveable.

    Your mindset is irredeemably colonial and you are very much part of the problem in the north and not part of the solution. get off your moral high horse.

    i repeat that i find it impossible to believe that you can be quite as wilfully hypocritical and stupid as you make yourself out to be. are you some kind of unionist candide? or some bigot who learned the art of saying hateful things in dulcet tones?

  • Turgon

    steve,
    Entirely correct though if the TUV got enough support it would make the whole edifice collapse.

    fair_deal,
    Okay sorry too paranoid, too late at night. I am genuninely sorry if you took offense at any of the above.

    I think the elephant in the room is not an unreasonable comment, however. I think we will all know when SF has changed properly and I think they can and will change if we all (democrats of all sides) demand it.

    In terms of accepting government with SF I am realistic enough to know we may very well have to. I think, however, this would be too early to give them specifics we demand of them. Setting dead lines and demanding things merely allows the republican movement to give part of them and leave us (unionists in general) with further dilemmas.

    Currently I do not think SF are in a position where I would (even holding my nose) sit down with them. I do, however, accept that that day may come (except like you my lack of political ambition rather precludes me every having political power; in my case lack of talent, ugliness and several other disadvantages also sneak in there).

    I want a full renegotiation of the agreement. I accept the DUP might well be quite keen on that; but I do think that now being in government their room for manoeuvre is too limited.

    In general terms I would want more time with no IRA crimes to elapse. If (and sadly I suspect when) they do next murder someone I think we need to see a very different response than we saw from Conor Murphy et al. after the last murder. I also think that proper engagement with the DPPs etc is needed rather than sniping at and insulting the police is needed. Not that I think republicans (or any others) should fail to hold the police to account. We do have significant problems with policing in many areas in Northern Ireland.

    So just some thoughts, no specific plan for government. I do think the TUV need to start to put together a plan and progress forwards. In fairness to them, it is a very new party and has very few full time staff which I think impedes the process.

    Incidentally if the DUP do change and achieve what I would like I will be very happy and will be happy to accept that I should support them again.

    I guess neither of us were ever cut out for being proper politicians.

    Regards

  • Turgon

    dub,
    I am sorry: think of me as you will. I do not regard myself as that intelligent. I guess I can write things with long words and can appear quite reasonable. Maybe I am not: such is not really for me to judge.

    In terms of being a good person or a bigot or whatever. I guess I have some bigotry. I regard it as a sin and try to battle against it with the help of God. Indeed there are times when I wonder if I am being un-Christian by being on this site. I am undoubtedly a most poor Christian. If I am saved through grace and by no merit of my own I can merely be eternally grateful to my Saviour.

    Turning to politics. I want a power sharing government here. I would like SF to be part of that if the nationalist / republican community elects them. I would, however, require additional movement from SF before I personally would support sitting in government with them. As it is the majority of unionists do not support my position; hence, the DUP are in government with SF. If I can attract a majority of unionists to my position then indeed SF would not be able to be in government and I suspect they would be willing to make additional compromises.

    The alternative is indeed Direct Rule with indeed Dublin involvement. I am not especially keen on said Dublin involvement. However, that would be recognising the will of the nationalist population and as such would be democratic. If there is in the future a majority for a united Ireland; I will peacefully and democratically object but I will have to accept this as I am not prepared to fight in any violent way against the democratic will of the people.

    I regard loyalist (or if you wish unionist) violence extremely seriously. I have sadly seen a little of it and it abhors me. I find it more abhorrent than even republican violence as in some perverse way it is claimed to have been done for me and my community. That makes me feel dirty and unclean and ashamed to be a Protestant and unionist. Incidentally I also gain no pleasure at all from events when the security forces killed terrorists. They were someone’s sons and they were souls for whom Christ scorned not to die. As such I would be much happier had they been arrested.

    I am indeed disgusted by the violence of loyalists including the Third Force or any other grouping. I am greatly disturbed by the fact that many initially peaceful protests by unionists (and indeed nationalists) have resulted in violence. I do not go so far as to say that peaceful protest is wrong but I admit to being uncomfortable due to the frequency with which violence has ensued.

    Maybe I do sit on some high moral horse. That is wrong and sinful and I can only ask for forgiveness and say that I will try not to do this. I make no apology, however, for saying that we all (of all sides) need to try to ascend to a higher moral ground in politics and leave aside the grubby sectarianism and indeed corruption which has characterised politics in Northern Ireland essentially since its inception.

    I am not a unionist candidate. if I am a bigot with dulcet tones I will try to stop. Maybe I am stupid. I like to think that I am trying to argue for a more idealistic form of power sharing government than the current nonsense. If that is colonial then again my apologies.

    I think it is important that I try not to be a bigot with dulcet tones and as such I thank you for your candid remarks. To quote one of the founders of the French revolution: I have done badly, I will do better. Except in my case I will pray that I might do better as I believe that even my righteousness is as filthy rags.

  • Steve

    Turgon

    What is this murder you speak of?

    If it is Mr. Quinn then you are off base as there is nothing to connect SF or the IRA to this murder

    Except the opinion that “a member, former member or associate of a member or former member” was involved which is approximately everybody so its meaningless.

    Even if it wasn’t just an unjustifiable opinion the description is so vague as to be less than useless

  • Steve

    in fact it could be just as true that

    a member, former member or associate of a member or former member of the TUV was involved in the murder of Paul Quinn

    substitute TUV with any of the alphabet organizations and it could be equally true

  • dub

    Turgon,

    Candide (Voltaire) not candidate…

    You reply is all right and dandy but you still seem to fail to grasp that you are asking more from the nationalist community’s elected representatives than from those of the unionist coommunity. that to me is the colonial mindset, if you like. asking more of one set of people than another because of some assumed moral superiority. if you are so high minded (and i am not necessarily doubting this), why not ask for a complete end to the current arrangements and ask for ALL parties and both governments and all the main churches to admit to their respective guilts and atrocities and sectarian name calling, rabble rousing, collusion with terrorism, murder, setting up of a communalist political backwater with no links to normal national politics in either state, censorship and stifling of freedom of speech, deliberate oppression of people based purely on their religious background, prolonged maintenance of a state with a state religion, negligent fusion of irish nationalism and one particular religious sect etc etc… perhaps an agreed joint statement from all, a solemn avowal of repentance before God, and one year suspension of all normal political activity after which a year zero starts where all have committed to never going back to the ways of the past…

    Am i being too high minded now? not necessarily…

    regards,

    dub.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Traditional Unionist,

    If Jim Allister is against terrorism and violence, then why did he (twice) join a party led by a man who was associated with Third Force, Ulster Resistance, the UDA’s Andy Tyrie (in the late 1970s strike) and who marched people around waving gun licenses ?

    Turgon:

    I never though I would see the day when you personally gave any credance to that supposed apology from those murderers.

    If giving credence to an apology from the IRA is reprehensible, then why do TUV people keep bringing it up ? Isn’t it dishonourable to ask for an apology, and then turn around and refuse to accept it when it is given ?

    On this “fitness for government” thing. Let’s face it, unionists are not fit for government. In an ideal world we wouldn’t be governed by lunatics who are elected by the supporters of loyalist paramilitarism. However, I’m prepared to back off on that in the interests of the greater good. I don’t see why it is a certain specific section of almost exclusively unionist opinion is incapable of understanding the need to compromise within politics in order to get stuff done. And please don’t say “unionists don’t compromise when it comes to terrorism” – yes, they did, and the people who are voting for the TUV today supported that compromise when it suited them.

  • fair_deal

    Turgon

    Cheers for that. On republicans bowling short concern you just ask for more than you’d settle for.

    I agree TUV will have to start providing some meat on its bones. Although I fear some prefer talking about high principles but not doing anything to achieve them.

    BTW direct rule is not British rule and has not been since 1985. It is British rule with varying degrees of Irish involvement with the serious risk it become de facto joint rule in the medium-long term.

    “neither of us were ever cut out for being proper politicians”

    LMAO. Indeed.

  • Turgon

    fair_deal,
    Without being too controversial or insulting to some of our mutual friends, both of whom we do respect: I do sometimes wonder, however, if we did actually had that much less talent than some of them. After all there were some remarkably odd people around that Cloisters coffee table. Then again what is the old saying “All the world’s a little queer save thee and me, and even thee’s a little queer”. Clearly although I am not being homophobic I am not using queer in its current usage.

    Regards

  • fair_deal

    Turgon

    “we did actually had that much less talent than some of them”

    I don’t think it is necessarily a case of talent. Some made the conscious choice to go in particular career directions, some wanting a full-time role others as voluntary participants. I seriously doubt that I have the necessary people skills for a front-line role.

    Also I must admit the negative impression/relationships I made/had with a number of those people has dogged me since (a problem almost entirely of my own making) although I have learnt a degree of self-control I lacked in my younger angrier days.

  • tiberius25

    i fear for Turgan and like-minded when that time comes (envitable nationalist majority) what will you do?

    please dont leave the country but improve it from within. as the statement says ‘all the children of the nation WILL be cherished equally’.

    what a great nation we could built together, orange and green, together at last.

    aidan.

  • yingyangsang

    ‘Remembering that even in a united Ireland terrorists would be most unlikely to be in government.’ Turgon.
    So you’ll be voting Fianna fàil then?

  • Turgon

    Aidian or tiberius as you chose,

    I will probably do a blog soon on what I would do in a united Ireland. However, you may not like what I say. Whilst I will never be killing anyone I think Darth Rumsfled’s recent description of the Brave and Thran Unionist Voice is a remarkably good description of what you would end up with.