Questions for Gerry and Mark

Gerry Adams and Mark Durkan of Sinn Fein and the SDLP respectively will be pitching their parties’ programme and perspectives in key note addresses at the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly in Swansea next Monday and Tuesday. The leaders will be heard by parliamentarians from across these islands including unionists and, in particular, several voluble critics of the Provisionals from both parts of Ireland. Perhaps Slugger readers would like to think of some questions for Gerry or Mark? I cannot be there myself but Mick is going in my stead and could suggest the best questions to interested politicians.

  • Why don’t they put the agenda on their internet site?

  • Guest

    Nevin,

    Probably for the same reason that on the “welcome” page it says that the Northern Ireland is currently suspended.

  • Guest

    Northern Ireland “assembly” is currently suspended,that should read above.
    Freudian slip,…

  • Kensei

    Durkan:
    1. What has he learned from his years as SDLP leader?
    2. GO ON YEEOOOOOOO!

    Adams
    1. Tone’s desire was to substitute the common name of Irishman, in the place of the denominations of Protestant, Catholic, and Dissenter; given that Protestant self description as “Irish” has fell to almost zero since the start of the Troubles, on that basis alone was the armed struggle a complete failure from a Republican viewpoint?
    2. GO ON YEOOOOOOOOO!

  • Thereyouarenow

    To Gerry Adams

    If Policing and Justice is devolved would this be a good time for you to step aside and let the next generation take over Sinn Féin.

    Would’nt a contested leadership election to decide your sucessor within Sinn Féin be a good way for the party to decide the future direction of Sinn Féin and Republicanism.

  • Mici Mac Aodha

    Any chance of nationalist unity on the question of a meaningful Irish language act?

  • Dave

    Good question, Kensei, but it is predicated on a basic misunderstanding of the rights to nations to self-determination.

    Article 1 of the UN’s ICCPR, the cornerstone of international law, declares that all nations have the right to self-government: “All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.”

    When unionists ‘designate’ as Irish, they do not seek to promote the “economic, social and cultural development” of the Irish nation but of the British nation. There is no claim made for self-determination on behalf of the Irish nation by unionists. The claim that is made is that the Irish nation does not have a right to self-government but must be governed by another nation and the government of its state. That is actually a rejection of the right to self-determination for the Irish nation rather than an assertion of it. The claim that is actually being asserted is the right to self-determination of the ‘British’ nation. That claim, of course, cancels the competing claim of the Irish nation – and that is the purpose of designating themselves as Irish.

    Not for all, of course. Those who do not deny the right of the Irish nation to self-determination can properly claim to be Irish within the meaning of that nation under the above international law.

  • Kensei

    Good question, Kensei, but it is predicated on a basic misunderstanding of the rights to nations to self-determination.

    No Dave, it isn’t and no need for the transferable rant. Whatever the current situation, Tone clearly wanted everyone under a single nationa dn nationality. Which, unless you believe nationality and citizenship is immutable and are therefore an ethnic nationalist of the worst kind, is achievable if difficult goal.

    But congrats on not mentioning the EU, anyways.

  • Aisghairfear an Acht (Éireann) um Riarachán Bhreithiúnais (Teanga) 1737?

    An bhfeicfear Acht Gaeilge ariamh?

    Will the Administration of Justice (Language) Act (Ireland) 1737 be repealed?

    Will an Irish Language Act ever be seen?

    http://tinyurl.com/LingvaPunaLegxo

  • Slugger O’Toole Admin

    Lads/lasses. can we stick posing questions rather than criticising each others?

    So keep them coming!?

  • “AN aisghairfear…?”

    (Sriosta atá mé tar éis oibre an tseachtain!)

  • Cuairteoir

    To both Gerry and Mark:

    Will you highlight the language of language legislation in NI in comparison with other parts of the UK?

    Scotland and Wales have language acts, plus bilingual road signage in their repective language areas – why not here?

  • Drumlins Rock

    spare us the bilingual signs, have the act but spare us the signs!!!!
    the welsh ones are so confusing.

    you should ask them can they produce policies that will attract left leaning but pro-union protestant voter?

  • Turgon

    To Gerry Adams,
    In view of your supposed committment to Republican participitation in a Truth Process what you know about the murder of Jean McConville? and why did you make the untrue cliam that you were in gaol when she was murdered?

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    What we all want to know is does Grizzly actually read Slugger – though it would sound a bit self-serving to ask him that – but Gerry if you are reading this, I’m a bit of a fan – but no cheating by reading the next bit.

    Would he accept that many aspects of the IRA campaign, for example shooting retired policeman, shooting people in front of their families and placing car bombs – even with warnings – in busy streets should never have been officaly sanctioned as part of their war against the British.

  • John O’Connell

    Gerry

    In using violence – armed struggle – the tactical use of human suffering – you imply that Christ was wrong to advocate non-violent embarrassment as his sword (Mt 10:34) in a similar situation as ours 2,000 years ago.

    Do you believe that you are wiser than Christ? If so, and it would seem that this is a true reflection on your values that still believe that armed struggle is better than Christian ways, how are we supposed to address you – wiser than Christ?

  • Do either still consider themselves to be left-wing? Why have both used P & J devolution as a fig-leaf for the devolution of more significant fiscal powers? Was the sacrifice of equality for assurances of basic human rights by the left internationally a short-sighted mistake, in that human rights protection in a context of neo-liberal globalisation is a contradiction in terms? What are their positions on blasphemy legislation? To whom would they have awarded the Nobel Peace Prize? Exactly what kinds of information will be transferred to the US under Project Kelvin, and it is related to Echelon? What restrictions or limits would they place on the cooperation of any United Ireland with the ‘war on terror’? If key elements of the GFA are not effected or are amended, how is its mandate by referendum to be sustained as an argument against dissident republicanism?

    To Gerry Adams, what is the economic future of a single European nation that isolates itself from its allies. and was your opposition to Lisbon influenced by your American support base?

    Enjoy the session..

  • URQUHART

    Mark who?

  • J Kelly

    Mark before you retire would you give us an insiders view, Paddy Power is laying Margaret Rithchie @ 5/4 and Big Al at 11/8 making mags slight favourite who would your money be on?

  • Only Asking

    To grizzly:

    What did violence actually achieve?

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Damian,

    re “fig-leaf for the devolution of more significant fiscal powers? ”

    I presume you mean – for the non devolution of significant fiscal powers.

    And on that subject what debate if any has taken place on this? I may have missed it, but I was always slightly puzzled why such powers were not pursued by both SDLP/SF/UUP in the GFA as limited tax raising powers are avaialble in Scotland.
    Also if the Plain people of Ireland North and South had wanted such powers then there should be no objection from Brtiain – if you can decide your constitutional future then why not your fiscal future. Perhaps we could ask Gerry and Mark that – provided the answer is not already in the public domain.

  • Slugger O’Toole Admin

    I’m tempted by that one J Kelly… But keep them coming…

  • jimmy

    to gerry did u let the hungerstrikers die to further ure political ambitions

  • RepublicanStones

    Gerry, do you plan on ruling forever, through a medium or cryogenically freezing yourself?

    Mark, in the context of the purported alliance between the Hunky Tories and the Hermon unionist party, if Cameron attempts whilst in power, to adjust Britains stated position from Brooke’s decleration that Britain has “no selfish strategic or economic interest in Northern Ireland” to something less neutral, what action if any, will the SDLP take?

  • shorty

    Given that Martin and those he consulted within SF have now agreed to, and accepted the new P&J budget of £X00 million pounds, perhaps Gerry can explain why they, as a “socialist party”, did not hold out until they also achieved similar increased amounts for housing, health, education, etc. Concentrating on P&J sounds like SF is only interested in financing a police state. Now, there’s a turn-up for the books!!!

  • shorty

    From the BBC website regarding MLA’s expenses:
    “Other claims of interest include a phone bill in 2007/08 from Sinn Fein’s Micky Brady in Newry and Armagh.

    His phones cost the taxpayer £12,000 – three times more than his bill for the following year.

    Sinn Fein said that the figure included a bill of over £5,000 to install a telephone system.”

    Perhaps, someone could explain exactly what kind of phone system and who installed it? Must be the bee’s knees.

    For everyone else’s info, I did a quick google and came up with this, which most people would agree is more than sufficient for any small or medium-sized office: –

    The Panasonic KX-TES824 Phone System is a great choice for small business users that require a low cost phone system for connection to analogue telephone lines.

    This bundle provides a telephone system, with 7 extension telephones, an answering machine for out of hours calls and full installation by our panasonic telephone system engineers.

    The System is configured for 3 standard telephone lines and 8 extension telephones, but can be expanded to a maximum of 8 telephone lines and 24 extension phones.

    KX-TES824 BUNDLE 3 INCLUDING INSTALLATION IS JUST £999.00 + VAT

  • Skeg O’Neill

    Now which one of you guys never murdered anyone?

  • DerTer

    Let’s try to distill all this to the essentials. Gerry, it is still a running sore – an unresolved issue if you prefer – that yourself and several other leaders of the the then Provisional movement failed to take action that would have ensured that fewer people would have died on the final hunger strike. There is, however, an issue of at least as much – perhaps even more – significance in terms of the loss of human life. Why, when you and, as we understand it, several other leading Provisional figures, concluded in the late 1980s that the IRA campaign of violence was going nowhere did you not do what deValera did, and stand up and say so – and thus save many hundreds of lives?

  • barnshee

    “And on that subject what debate if any has taken place on this? I may have missed it, but I was always slightly puzzled why such powers were not pursued by both SDLP/SF/UUP in the GFA as limited tax raising powers are avaialble in Scotland. ”

    Its simple the only power available is the power to RAISE taxes ( watch your rates bill)

    Cant touch VAT
    cant touch Excise duties
    Cant ouch Corporation Tax
    Cant touch income tax
    A Fiscal unity means just that -in the the words of a senior uk civil servanr
    Raise taxes and you are fucked

  • shorty

    I pose these questions in the hope of explanations from posters who are actual SF members.

    “When will all the parties in the big house on the hill admit that they are all hiding the true extent of unemployment in the North? They continue to use the same methodology for counting the unemployed which the Tories first introduced in the 80’s.

    “53,800 were this month officially classed as unemployed and the number of those classed as ‘economically inactive’ who are seeking work is now officially put at 54,000. That means 107,800 people in total or just over 14% of the population seeking work. Only Spain at 18.5%, Latvia 17.4% and Lithuania 13.3% have higher unemployment rates.

    Not a great vindication of any party’s (let alone SF’s)economic strategy.”

    Added to the above, there is this following point for which I would also like to see actual SF members state the official party position – if there is one.

    “Given that Martin and those he consulted within SF have now agreed to, and accepted the new P&J budget of around £900 million pounds, perhaps Gerry can explain why they, as a “socialist party”, did not hold out until they also achieved similar increased amounts for housing, health, education, etc. Concentrating on P&J sounds like SF is only interested in financing a police state.”

    Like many others, I’m waiting on answers or explanations of the formal SF party position.

  • Sean

    Pragmatism and idealism can not exist in the same place like matter and antimatter

    Idealism is for when you are outside the tent pissing in

    Pragmatism is for when you are inside the tent trying to stay dry