Sinn Fein about to breach the DUP’s defences?

Martin McGuinness addressed the annual Blood Sunday commemoration march this year. There was much in his speech (covered on the Sinn Fein website) about seeking truth and justice over the events that day: maybe a little less about his refusal to answer some questions put to him due to his “IRA oath.” On the topic of devolution of policing and justice McGuinness has this to say:

“These talks were about equality. It was about rights. Your rights, my rights, our rights. These are not negotiable. They are entitlements.
The right to a proper policing service, the right to institutions which
deliver, the right to see poverty tackled. I am happy to say we have made
significant progress. Institutions which don’t deliver are worthless and
something I will not be involved in. I now hope we have a basis upon which
nationalists, republicans, unionists and loyalists will move forward
together on the basis of partnership and equality.”

The BBC are also reporting that John O’Dowd suggested: “I am glad to say that politics is slowly grinding forward.”

It is beginning to look as if Sinn Fein think a deal will be done. In addition with the discussion on “entitlements” it may be that Sinn Fein are preparing for the next battle in the process. If they win on getting P&J devolved what will the next target be: Irish language Act? the Shrine? As I said on Open Unionism the DUP’s Defence in Depth has been a good tactic. However, it is the last line about to be breached?

  • joeCanuck

    Much talk has been made of slow progress.
    Here is my report on where the parties currently stand.

    The DUP have agreed that P&J will be devolved in June (not May) but that it will only be effective on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
    SF have agreed that the PSNI barriers at Drumcree will be pulled back 840m to allow the Orangemen to set their feet on Garvaghy Road.
    The DUP have agreed that once a month the Speaker in the Assembly will open the session by saying “Dia duit”.
    Both agree that the site at the Maze will be sold to the GAA for a nominal sum to do what they please with it.

    Keep tuned tomorrow for further developments.

  • ardmaj55

    Joe Canuck I thought when i started reading that you were serious, you’re a bit early for april fools day. There’s no way, SF will be shifted from the date the Govts gave, May 4th, except in the bringing forward, so Campbell can dream on.The Pardes Commision will either survive intact [with a respectful figleaf for sensitive DUPPERS], or an equally restrictive one will be in place before PC is set aside. SF knows what they would get from voters otherwise.

  • Turgon,

    The DUP signed up to the devolution of Police in the STA, although of course, as they correctly pointed out, they did not agree to a deadline.

    Perhaps they failed to realise, as did most of the main bloggers on Slugger, that their position was only sustainable as long as they were backed by the British government. Whether Robinson was going to do a deal before the Iris gate episode is difficult to tell(I personaly think he was) but it will now look that when and if he does the deal he will, as Allister contends, have done so because SF held the metaphorical gun of the Assembly elections to his head.

    This will be extremely damaging to the DUP, as their rise to prominence was based on not being pushed around by SF just like Trimble seemed to have been. In reality this is totally unfair, as British support for the SF position gives them an easy negotiating ride with Trimble just like it does now, knowing as they do that if there is a breakdown the adjudicator will always rule in their favour.

    If Robinson emerges from the Stormont talks, waving a peace of paper and saying ‘Police in our time’ there will no doubt be the familiar taunts of Lundy, but any such abuse should be directed to the Northern Ireland office and across the Irish Sea.

    As to whether SF will demand and get more ‘concessions’ this will depend not on which Unionist party is elected to ‘smash’ them but whether the British govermment deems that these ‘concessions’ are an essential part of the Peace process.

  • Harry J

    if the parades comission doesnt go, the DUP wont be able to sell this

  • Medillen

    Turgon,
    I have read your linked piece ‘defence in depth’ and concluded that a bigger armchair general/spectator I have yet to encounter. Your military anologies expose you as someone who either, has too many toy soldiers, watches too much of the history channel or needs a lie down. But it does give us an interesting insight into your brand of unionism, laughable.

  • percy

    turgon,
    best to head for higher ground, or a ferry port 😉
    no seriously, the forces of mordor (TUV) will put up a last fight, but will be routed, or is that re-routed !

  • Kevsterino

    I don’t think the outcome of the negotiations will lead to the folks on Garvaghy Road being marched upon.

  • lamhdearg

    if the dup sign up to justice without (a)movement from sf on parades or(b)a pact signed and sealed with the uup,then the tuv shall do to them what they did to trimbles uup,and we shall all be back here talking about the same **** in ten years time.

  • tacapall

    1500s

    After Henry VIII’s death, his children, Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth I continued to try to increase English control in Ireland. Mary attempted to do this by using plantation – giving land in Ireland to settlers loyal to England. She seized land in central Ireland, gave it to English settlers and renamed the land ‘Queens County’ and ‘Kings County’. Elizabeth tried to establish Protestantism in Ireland by outlawing Catholic services and executing some Bishops and Priests. However, this only had the effect of uniting the Catholics more strongly against English rule.

    1610

    James I attempted to stop the Ulster revolts by using plantation. He gave land in Ulster to English and Scottish Protestant settlers and created a Protestant majority in Ulster. Catholics became worried as plantation increased fearing that they too would lose their land.

    1695 – 1728

    These were a series of laws passed against Catholics in Ireland including –

    Preventing Catholics from carrying weapons and owning horses worth more than £5

    Restricting the rights of Catholics to education

    Restrict their rights to education.

    Preventing Catholics from buying land

    Stating that on death property should be equally divided between all sons rather than inherited by the eldest.

    Banning Catholics from serving in the army

    Preventing Catholics from holding public positions

    Preventing Catholics from entering the legal profession

    Preventing Catholics from voting or serving as MPs

    1912 – 1920

    It was clear that the Ulster Protestants would not accept Home Rule so in order to avoid violence, the British government came up with a new solution. Home Rule with Partition. Home Rule would be introduced in the South but six predominantly Protestant counties in the north would stay a part of the United Kingdom. This solution is largely the cause of the problems in Ireland that exist to this day. Nationalist remain committed to the idea of a united free Ireland, while Protestants are unwilling to accept anything less than partition.

    Is these the days you want to go back to Turgon, you better get that Time Machine invented its 2010

  • joeCanuck

    we shall all be back here talking about the same **** in ten years time

    Lamhdearg,
    Possibility. But look on the bright side; the major players will all be different. Hopefully nobody can screw up as spectacularly as this bunch.

  • Medillen

    Lamhdearg,
    “Possibility. But look on the bright side; the major players will all be different. Hopefully nobody can screw up as spectacularly as this bunch.”

    Politics in Ireland is changing rapidly, those that cannot see are not watching. In ten years…less, things will be very different.

  • Drumlins Rock

    did you learn your history of the back of cereal box taca? itsa bit half baked to say the least.

    Anyways in the real world, does anyone think a deal will lead to any big names jumping ship to the TUV? you hearing anything Turgon?

  • joeCanuck

    The real reason that the unionists are resisting P&J is that they know that no Catholics can be trusted, ever, with anything. The TUV are the ones who believe that most fervently.

  • lamhdearg

    medillen
    politics in ireland maybe,but here in ulster i am not so sure.drumlins it all depends on the deal but we can quess at whom it would be, ie the people who are missing from the talks

  • joeCanuck

    Lamhderg,

    Do you think a double-ratter would be respected by anyone or would simply be seen as a self-serving opportunist?

  • JoeCanuck,

    “The real reason that the unionists are resisting P&J is that they know that no Catholics can be trusted, ever, with anything. The TUV are the ones who believe that most fervently. ”

    If someone had been shooting up your community you might not be too keen on them controlling the levers of law and order, this is an understandable position, though clearly not sustainable in the greater interests of political progress.

  • FriarsBush

    ….no sign of Jeffrey Donaldson at these talks … Him being a great wee talker and all that…so what’s the beef..?.does anyone smell a rat…?….is he
    not part of the inner gang as ex-UUP Arlene F. is….?..maybe he’s busy watching some home flics to kill time.

  • lamhdearg

    respect is not a word I associate with politians,but i dont think the wee man (j) would be on his known.

  • lamhdearg

    known strike that, own,its setting late

  • wild turkey

    McGuinness has this to say:

    “These talks were about equality. It was about rights. Your rights, my rights, our rights. These are not negotiable. They are entitlements.
    The right to a proper policing service,

    well, thanks for that martin. me and the family feel safer.

    I am sure the McCartney family are also re-assured that they have rights to a proper policing service…especially on the anniversary of bloody sunday.

    have to go. could have sworn i just saw an old brit police call box land in the bogs of the pub….piloted by dissidents or descendants no doubt. nothing to do with the process

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Robert_McCartney

  • slug

    Such simplistic analysis in some of the comments.

  • joeCanuck

    Slug,
    Don’t be so coy. Give us your analysis.

  • Ulick

    Gregory Campbell showed up on the Nolan show there to say that any date SF gets will not be binding.

  • Scaramoosh

    “If someone had been shooting up your community you might not be too keen on them controlling the levers of law and order”

    Moderate

    A simplistic analsysis and you know it. The “Dirty War” was dirty; who was shooting up what, remains a mystery to this day.

    As to Sinn Fein, controlling the levers of law and order; bollocks…and you know that too.

  • anne warren

    Moderate Unionist wrote “If someone had been shooting up your community you might not be too keen on them controlling the levers of law and order”
    That statement works both ways – given the potted history above and sectarian murders in NI, particularly Belfast, over the past 150 years?
    That mirror image again. As Baudelaire said “Hypocrite lecteur, mon semblable, mon frère!”
    The tragedy is neither side seems to acknowldege the mirror exists or the parts they all played in almost 4000 deaths and I don’t know how many wounded and maimed.

  • tacapall

    did you learn your history of the back of cereal box taca? itsa bit half baked to say the least.
    Posted by Drumlins Rock on Jan 31, 2010 @ 10:17 PM

    Turgon is a great historian ask him if Im telling the truth. Better still, why dont you look it up yourself to see if Im wrong, every history book about Ireland will give you those facts or maybe the TUV ones are different.

  • Scaramoosh

    “A simplistic analsysis and you know it”

    That is not an analysis it is a statement of fact. I didnt suggest there was no shooting in the other direction.

    “As to Sinn Fein, controlling the levers of law and order; bollocks…and you know that too.”

    I suppose you also believe the British Attorney general arrived at his decision on the legality of the Iraq war independently of the Blair government.

  • tacapall

    What about this one then Turgon.

    The basic fear of the Protestants in Northern Ireland is that they will be outbred by the Roman Catholics. It is as simple as that.

    It is frightfully hard to explain to a Protestant that if you give Roman Catholics a good job they will live like Protestants, because they will see neighbours with cars and TV sets. They will refuse to have eighteen children, but if the Roman Catholic is jobless and lives in a most ghastly hovel he will rear eighteen children on National Assistance.

    It is impossible to explain this to a militant Protestant because he is so keen to deny civil rights to his Roman Catholic neighbours. He cannot understand in fact, that if you treat Roman Catholics with due consideration and kindness they will live like Protestants in spite of the authoritarian nature of their church.

    Lord O’Neill Prime Minister of Northern Ireland.

  • joeCanuck

    That was Captain o’Neill, of course. Back then they were all keen to display their military backgrounds for some obscure reason, even though a Captain, or even a Major (chi chi) was a pretty insignificant army fellow.

  • Alias

    Turgon, Martin McGuinness also told those attending that commemoration that he supported their quest for truth and justice but the reality is that he, in common with the security establishment, did not support the Saville Inquiry, and duly showed his contempt for the families of the victims and their pursuit of truth and justice by committing perjury in his testimony to it.

    The point being that you should focus on the difference between his public statements (telling the Shinner supporters that he is serving a republican agenda) and his private actions (serving a British state agenda) for a better understanding of the bigger picture. You might find – to your horror – that you have more in common with Mr McGuinness than you think; and that if the TUV didn’t exist then the British security establishment would have to invent them.

    Now look at the statement you quoted from Mr McGuinness. He understands that a right, in direct contrast to an aspiration, is something that is not subject to the discretion of others. A right is, as he correctly states, a non-negotiable entitlement. Now in leading his party’s supporters to accept that their formerly inalienable right to self-determination should be subject to the discretion of others, he has led them to downgrade it from the status of a right to the status of an aspiration. Conversely, he also has led them to upgrade that now legitimised veto to the status of a principle.

    So, having led his supporters within that territory to discard their right to self-determination, he now leads them to focus their attention on their civil rights within the British state rather than on their renounced national rights. These rights as British citizens now include the right to fully support the British police, and, of course, some imagined economic rights about ‘tackling’ poverty.

    There is no alternative offered by McGuinness to administering British rule because, of course, there can be no alternative British sovereignty when they have declared that they have no entitlement to live within an Irish nation-state. This is reinforced in the last quoted statement wherein he declares that his political objective is simply to ensure that the Irish nation within the British state has the same set of economic and social rights as any other British citizen, thereby ensuring that they have a solid basis from which to develop their allegiance to the British state.

    Inside of the internal settlement (which is essentially just the Irish nation within that region accepting the legitimacy of British sovereignty as demanded of them by the British state since partition), the alternative to British rule being administered in one part of the UK, Belfast, is simply that it should be administered in another part of the UK, London. Outside of that, there is no claim made that the Irish nation has a right to a self-determination or a nation-state. The rejection of these rights is made explicit in the last sentence where sole objective of ‘republicans’ must be to ensure that British nationalism always has ‘parity of esteem’ with Irish nationalism.

    That is simply to consolidate the internal settlement since British nationalism has no relevance outside of Northern Ireland, and any attempt to ‘unify’ on that basis would, of course, come from the poison chalice of Ireland dismantling its nation-state and the Irish nation renouncing its right to national self-determination, replacing it with a replica of Northern Ireland.

    That’s why the Shinners are really unionists. Now it might have been unfair to say that the security establishment would have to invent the TUV, but who else would be declaring that the Shinners are hell-bent on promoting Irish nationalism if not the TUV? They’re not even nationalists. How can you be a nationalist when you declare that the nation has no right to self-determination or a nation-state? No can’t. 😉

  • Driftwood

    tacapall
    Terence wasn’t a Lord when he said that, merely a Captain, with a superb WW2 record in Normandy, mentioned in dispatches, and PM of NI before Paisley destroyed the province. Chi Chi also had an excellent war record, leading the Irish Guards ashore at Anzio.

    Now we have Peter Robinson, and his ‘invasion’ of Clontibret.

    Ian Paisley was of an age to serve in the forces WW2, anyone have a record of his service?

    Just wee Corporal Jeffrey and his sad record in the UDR. Speaks volumes about the DUP.

  • anne warren

    Lord O’Neill’s statement.
    What exactly underlies the basic fear of the Protestants in Northern ireland?
    Why are they so afraid of being in a minority?
    Answer:the militant protestant is so keen to deny civil rights to his Roman Catholic neighbours

    Is that why legally binding terms in 2 agreements are known as “concessions”?
    They aren’t. Thay are rights and entitlements which do not detract in any way from the rights and entitlements of “militant Protestants” except their mistaken belief they can ride roughshod over everyone who does not agree with them.

  • joeCanuck

    Ian Paisley was of an age to serve in the forces WW2, anyone have a record of his service?

    Shush man; don’t ask embarrassing questions.
    Where is the hero of Clontibret by the way?

  • lamhdearg

    why are they so afraid of being in a minority

    i would think that the reason protestants do not want to be in the minority is that the then majority would be able to transfer their goverment from london to dublin, and for reasons known only to the individual they do not want this to happen.to say that protestants (militant or otherwise)are only or all about denying civil rights to catholics is unfair and untrue.

  • joeCanuck

    From Wiki, an impeccable source:

    Chichester-Clark’s time as a soldier was, by comparison with some of his contemporaries, unremarkable. An Officer in the Irish Guards, he did participate in the Anzio landings; however, only briefly.

  • tacapall

    i would think that the reason protestants do not want to be in the minority is that the then majority would be able to transfer their goverment from london to dublin, and for reasons known only to the individual they do not want this to happen.to say that protestants (militant or otherwise)are only or all about denying civil rights to catholics is unfair and untrue.
    Posted by lamhdearg on Feb 01, 2010 @ 12:27 AM

    Here you go its the mindset you see, its what keeps the Orange Order in the position it is today with Protestants.

    ‘There was a great number of Protestants and Orangemen who employed Roman Catholics. He felt he could speak freely on this subject as he had not a Roman Catholic about his own place (Cheers). He appreciated the great difficulty experienced by some of them in procuring suitable Protestant labour, but he would point out that the Roman Catholics were endeavouring to get in everywhere and were out with all their force and might to destroy the power and constitution of Ulster. … He would appeal to loyalists, therefore, wherever possible to employ good Protestant lads and lassies.’

    Sir Basil Brooke, Unionist Party, then junior government whip, 12 July 1933
    later to become Lord Brookeborough and Northern Ireland Prime Minister

    Reported in: Fermanagh Times, 13 July 1933;
    Quoted in: Hepburn, A. C. (1980), The Conflict of Nationality in Modern Ireland, London: Edward Arnold (Documents of Modern History series). Page 164.

  • Alias

    Driftwood, the British Army’s FRU ran PIRA 100 active agents at any one time in Northern Ireland and Ireland. Considering that there were only 400 active members at any one time, than means that 25% of PIRA members saw more service in the British army than unionist politicians. 😉

    Now add in a similiar number for the RUC’s Special Branch and we’re up to half of PIRA members serving the British state. On top of that you can add in MI5, MI6, CIA, FBI, C2 (that’s the Irish security unit dealing with subversives), and you’re left with folks that are far more patriotic than the folks you vote for.

    David Ruppert, for example, was the FBI’s man in the RIRA who did most of the groundwork for the Omagh bombing, and Sean MacStiofain who set up the Provos was C2’s man. C2, incidentally, works [i]very[/i] closely with MI5.

  • danielmoran

    lamhdearg [8] ‘….we’ll be back here talking about the same **** in ten year’s time.’

    Whatever has been agreed now, LD, we’ll be back in talks just after the next assembly elections next year regardless, because during the next assembly term, SF will be eligible [as will DUP for the Justice ministry chief post, before nominations to executive. The current deal btwn SF and DUP on standing aside runs out in 2012.

  • USA

    “Sinn Fein about to breach DUP’s defences?”

    As a possible deal draws slowly closer it looks like Turgon and the TUV are already sharpening their knives in preparation for any announcement. Their sound bites and blog pieces will already be nearing completion despite the fact that the parties are still talking. For we already know what the TUV position will be on any deal. Basically the DUP will be playing the role of “Lundy”, with the TUV portrayed as the last bastion of true blue Protestant Ulster. This posturing will serve the TUV electorally as they stand to gain some votes from both Neanderthal man and the Orange Order, with the fundamentalist Ballymena Taliban also falling in behind the TUV banner.
    But will this serve wider society in the North? Who in the DUP, if any, will jump ship following a deal? Wee corporal Jeffrey? Dodds? Personally I think it will be Gregory Campbell. If Robinson survives I don’t see a future for Campbell after his public statements giving Robinson a week to sort out his “affairs”. This was a power grab against a badly wounded Robinson, but Gregory took his shot and missed, now his cover is blown.

    During that period (Irisgate) there were open discussions in newspapers such as the Sunday Tribune about Iris having numerous affairs over the years, one allegedly involving a leading DUP figure. I don’t see the wall to wall coverage you guys see, is it just because I am in the US or has Jeffrey Donaldson been conspicuous by his absence from the DUP team during these negotiations? I’ve seen Robinson giving camera time, i’ve seen Sammy Wilson, Edwin Poots, Arlene Foster but not Jeffrey Donaldson. Is Jeffrey in front of the cameras as usual? Is he part of the team? He is a front bench DUP guy, a British MP for Lagan Valley, right?

    Marty McG should perhaps get a better speech writer as words like “entitlements” tend to allienate some middle class voters.

  • doflan

    SF may or may not be about to breach the DUP’S defences. Gerry Adams and Martin McGuiness should remember that when making concessions on parading that unlike them who live in safe nationalist/republican areas,a lot of us do not. On this basis I would hope that they have acheived concrete assurances on the annual flying of flags and solved the general sectarian abuse that Nationalists, Republicans and those with no political leanings have to put up with year after year. The level of this abuse where I live in the Finaghy area of Belfast for example is nothing short of a disgrace. It impacts on the lives of many residents and business owners simply to pander to the desire of a small number of sectarian neanderthal thugs. I am not against unionism and the Loyal Orders celebrating their culture but they should do it in a responsible and respectful manner. Flags should be allowed to be flown for one week around the 12th July with a reduction in the numbers flown and none to be flown in areas that are designated business areas.

  • Turgon you comfirm the view that no one does “snatching defeat from the jaws of victory” better than the prod.

  • Alias

    Typo: “C2 (that’s the Irish security unit dealing with subversives)”

    That should be C3. G2 is military intelligence.

  • ardmaj55

    ‘campbell just popped up on Nolan, to say that any date SF gets will not be binding’

    Greg keeps putting out statements in the knoweledge his credibity is about to take a sharp dive among unionist voters. if he feels better thinking that, maybe he should be left to do that. Instead of listening to what he comes out with, people are listening to the fear and desperation in his voice. A cry for help possibly.

  • Battler

    Is anyone covering the large number of people that walked away when McGuinness began to use his Bloody Sunday speech for SF party propagandising? The SF hijacking of the commemorations is nothing new, but the willingness of significant numbers of people to turn their backs and walk away from our Marty certainly is…

  • anne warren

    Why should we not accept the validity of Alias’s statement ?
    “British rule being administered in one part of the UK, Belfast, is simply that it should be administered in another part of the UK, London. Outside of that, there is no claim made that the Irish nation has a right to a self-determination or a nation-state. The rejection of these rights is made explicit in the last sentence”.

    Consequently, there is no justification or rational basis for the atavistic fear expressed by Lamh Dearg “the reason protestants do not want to be in the minority is that the then majority would be able to transfer their goverment from london to dublin”,

    Could blind prejudice be among the ” reasons known only to the individual” who does not want this to happen?
    Again with reference to Lamh Dearg
    “to say that protestants (militant or otherwise)are only or all about denying civil rights to catholics is unfair and untrue”. If you read Lord O’Neill’s statement again, you’ll see it’s what he said with reference to militant protestants.Don’t you think he understood the people he was governing who were ultimately responsible for his resignation?