Mountain? Molehill?

Pete has blogged on the deployment of British Army Special Forces in support of the PSNI and the assessment of a high threat level from armed Republican groups and Mick has covered what seemed like filibustering from Alex Maskey on H&M to avoid addressing the issue.

SF have attacked Hugh Orde over his presentation of the threat level from these groups and have recently been engaged in a campaign of presenting such groups as purely ‘criminal’ in nature and mainly a threat to the communities they comes from, a campaign supported by their most supportive newspapers the Belfast Media Group (Andytown News).

SF and the PSNI seem at loggerheads on this issue with SF trying to present growing anti- agreement republican groups as mainly criminal enterprises and British state forces presenting them as credible threats.

Could SF be misrepresenting the truth, downplaying what is going on within republicanism in an attempt to minimise support for voices that reject their analysis? Or are Orde, MI5 and the British Army making a mountain out of a molehill just to piss them off?

  • cynic

    “Or are Orde, MI5 and the British Army making a mountain out of a molehill just to piss them off? ”

    Why piss off their own client organisation?

    The problem is that SF have this high concept that they are the true inheritors of the republican mantle. It’s their flag and no-one else can play with it. That’s why the cling so tight to things like the Hunger Strikers. Having stolen nationalist history they cannot afford another group to pinch it off them. It’s all about brand management.

    So if other groups do emerge then SF will fight to prevent themselves being displaced. Behind it all they know that they have no real worthwhile policies in other areas and, if they lose the republican ticket, what is left?

  • joeCanuck

    I just hope that this doesn’t mean that we are going to have to put up with more balderdash from M.I.

  • Ulster Scots

    Thanks to the courage of the SAS, the British Army, the RUC and the 1,000,000 British citizens of Northern Ireland, the PIRA have been defeated and surrendered their weapons, and Sinn Fein have accepted British rule by signing up to the GFA.

    The defeat of the PIRA was only the first stage. The defeat of the RIRA and CIRA is the next stage. SF have nowhere to move on this, because they now have to support a British police force to defeat other republicans.

  • Cue…

    Rabid loyalists (Ulster Scot etc) salivating at the opportunity to stoke the communal fires and engage the enemy.


    Dissident republicans/republicans shocked, yes shocked, that their activity provoked a return of the SAS.

    and round and round it goes. I hope the good folk in the province ignore the idiots and move forward, not back.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    This is a propaganda coup for those who are supposed to be under surveilance and will probably boost their numbers by more than the numbers arrested.

  • Driftwood

    It’s not a return of the SAS, half a dozen of their close relations have been drafted in to help out a mediocre police service that is full of ‘Trevors’ and ‘Fionas’ who are, at best, AO’s in the civil service, only paid much higher for political reasons. probably paid heaps more than the Army ATO’s in bomb disposal or even SAS
    combat soldiers. Apart from the ‘Fire and rescue service’ the PSNI must be the ultimate high (very high) paid job for doing nothing. No wonder they get so many applications. And why the Army (a real job – for a pittance) get so few.

  • percy

    the dissidents are wetting themselves with excitement at the news, apparently they believe this is a step close to the goal of unity.

    there’s not much joined-up thinking though when you probe them as to how this is going to happen.
    They mumble something and slag off SF.

  • milkcans

    Are the SAS not here to protect M.P. Connor Murphy? After all, when he hid on the Quinn family in the Europa on Wednesday the excuse he gave was that he went in the back door for “security reasons”. Is Bin Laden after him?

  • Belfast Gonzo


    Do you think the Sinn Fein press conference last month – where Adams, Storey et al – labelled the dissidents as “criminals” and listed their “crimes” was carried out in the knowledge that army special forces were on their way back here?

    Seems very coincidental, although perhaps immaterial, since SF had agreed the deal at St Andrews. And, to be awkward, I’m sure SF were right about the crimes dissident groups are involved in.

    Funny thing is, Orde and other cops were bending over backwards lately to agree with SF that the dissidents were “criminals” (of the lining-their-own-pocket variety), while at the same time calling in help to deal with a “national security” issue (ie, “criminals” with a political agenda).

    Wonder if the PSNI shafted the Shinners, whether they were complicit, or whether they just didn’t tell them and hoped they wouldn’t find out? Cos SF look mighty daft right now.

  • Dave

    Well, perhaps we’ll have a hunger strike by a dissident republican to protest against the re-criminalisation of the conflict, thereby exposing the party of Bobby Sands as having adopted the security policy of Margaret Thatcher by insisting that those who are imprisoned for opposing the State are common criminals and not political prisoners.

    If that happened, it would just be a waste of another life to a sham hunger strike since nobody really cares how many political hacks and touts that a few hundred million of MI5’s annual budget will buy in NI, just as none of the so-called ‘republicans’ every cared enough about the principle of self-determination to study its meaning and thereby grasp that their sectarian murder campaign was in direct violation of it.

    Like the Shinners before them, this group of parasites will masquerade as republicans while lining their own pockets under the pretext of funding ‘the cause’ (never mind that the Shinners earned tens of millions per year to ‘buy’ arms that Libya gave to them free of charge along with 10 million cash or that the plebs who did the bidding of the godfathers were paid a pittance of the money earned from organised crime).

    There isn’t even pretence at ideology to claim that they are a ‘government’ and are thereby entitled to declare war on a foreign state and that they are therefore soldiers and not criminals. Still, the Shinners dropped the pretence long ago so, even by their own self-justifying and utterly deranged logic, there is no difference between them and those they now brand as criminals.

    What do folks think that a few hundred million of MI5’s money is spent on? Updating the office furniture every two weeks or buying enough surveillance equipment to equip the FBI despite the PSNI undertaking most operations on their behalf? Nope, most of it goes on buying control where it is most powerful: politics and the media. Annexe E of the St Andrews says:

    “The great majority of national security agents will be run by the PSNI, under the strategic direction of the Service, mirroring the arrangements the Service has with the police in GB. This makes sense in NI in particular because of the interface between serious crime and national security; the police also have the advantage of local knowledge. The Security Service will continue to run directly a small number of agents who are authorised to obtain information in the interests of national security as distinct from countering criminality, where the circumstances make that appropriate.”

    Sorry folks, but when you discard all principles due to ‘progressive’ expediency and support the unprincipled, then you shouldn’t be too surprised when those unprincipled folks you support sell you out for a numbered bank account.

  • the future’s bright, the future’s orange

    bit sad to see so many been trivialise the dissident threat. over the past year there have been a number of ‘near misses’. I have a couple of mates in the cops in rural areas and for a while they’ve been saying it’s just a matter of time before we have a murder, civilian or police.