“All can look back on their IRA involvement with pride.”

Historian, and crossbench life peer, Paul Bew writing at the Guardian’s CommentisFree

The problem in part lies with the brilliance of the Sinn Féin leadership. It has been superb at emoting and creating widely accepted personality cults of its dual leadership within its own community. No embarrassing revelation can dent the emotional investment which has now been built up. But superb as this exercise has been it has its counterpart in the equally dramatic failure to make any progress towards Irish unity. The very strengths of the current leadership are also its equally profound weakness when it comes now to the need to engage the unionist community.

Read the whole thing.As Paul Bew goes on to say

The IRA campaign has been cleverly described by Eamonn McCann as the pursuance of the civil rights movement by inappropriate means. In other words, a violent campaign whose effect has been to give the northern nationalist community a place in the sun within Northern Ireland. Gordon Brown’s multimillion handout to the Irish language this week is but the latest proof both of that place in the sun and the way in which it is underwritten by the Unknown British Taxpayer, the true hero of the Troubles.

McCann’s formula has the advantage that it explains why the failure of the IRA campaign to achieve its stated objective – British withdrawal and Irish unity – has nonetheless placed the political wing of the Republican movement in such a strong position within Northern Ireland, but also explains the great difficulty that Sinn Féin now has. Because it needs to reach out to unionists it cannot admit that the means were inappropriate.

Indeed. As Gerry Adams has just reiterated in his ‘dirty tackle’ of Dolours Price

From Adams’ statement

“There are lots of citizens who served in the IRA and they did so diligently and to the best of their ability.

“When they had finished that they went back into civilian life, and got on with their lives, and some continue to be involved in politics through community organisations or Sinn Féin or other organisations.

“Many of them suffered imprisonment injury or the loss of friends and comrades. All can look back on their IRA involvement with pride.”

Even those responsible for “human rights violations”?

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  • FitzjamesHorse

    Ah Mr Baker,
    I think Ive been making the same point that no revelation will cost Adams a single vote.
    But when Paul Bew “cross bench peer” (and former Trimble advisor) says it it carries weight.

    Bew…especially now in the House of Lords …is part of the OVERCLASS. Indeed he has been in the OVERCLASS all his life. Campbell College and doing the trendy lefty “I was at Burntollet too ya know?” in the 1960s…..and via the Henry Jackson neo con Society into the House of Lords.
    And of course part of the QUB Academic OVERCLASS.

    not really surprised that he is held in such reverence by you.
    And of course good ole Eamonn McCann……our very own National Treasure and I suppose a contemporary of Bews at QUB.
    Another member of the OVERCLASS.
    Good to see Bew tip his ermine hat in McCanns direction.
    But thats what the OVERCLASS does.
    Agree with each other.
    Meanwhile in the real world…..

  • Cynic2

    “All can look back on their IRA Involvement with pride”

    Including those who raped children?

    Those who murdered children?

    Those who murdered the mothers of children?

    Those who withheld information on a deal from men starving themselves to death?

  • John O’Connell


    I think Ive been making the same point that no revelation will cost Adams a single vote.

    The people will catch up on Adams soon enough. When it becomes apparent that he is not the saviour of West Belfast and that his views carry little weight in the real world, without the back up of armed struggle, the fuss will end. We’ll see if it costs him a single vote in May. I don’t think so either but you never can predict the direction of the electorate.

  • There’s a lot of information there about you, FitzjamesHorse, and none of it terribly bad. 🙂


    19 Feb 2010, 4:53PM

    Therefore, Sinn Féin’s new encouragement of dialogue is very generous, and perhaps a little foolhardy.

    You may like to consider that it is also IDiotproof and Failsafe Foolproof, Mr Bew.

    Things are A Fleet of Foot in Cloud Running Controls, Palace Barracks. ….. Decommissioned ParaMilitarised MODule … and CyberIntelAIgent Operational Conversion Unit.

    A Gift from GCHQ…… Seventh Heaven Brigade. …. with Grateful White Gum Deadheads Meme Plug Ins for JIC Entertainment and Sublime Edutainment.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/feb/18/northern-ireland-unity-progress [/quote]

    And with Lordly Assistance is not One Right Royally Assured and Guaranteed Rolls Royce Standards with Bounteous Potential and Perfect Performance.

    All of which tells a little more about amfM HyperRadioProActive IT ……. and ITs Quantum Communications Control Systems.

    For Aficianado …….. Knights Templar AIdDomain and IT Dominion. Thus does IT not Suffer nor Entertain the Fool and Folly.

  • GFASupporterButRealist

    FJH: could you give us some info on your OWN class origins, socio-economic status, elite memberships, political party background, who-you-support etc It only seems fair if you are attacking Bew on those fronts. I know that both his Catholic Cork mother and NI Prod dad were physicians. Not exactly the Craigavon type “overclass” you would like to put Bew in. Full disclosure in the public interest please…..people in glass houses and all that.
    For the record, I was a teen enthusiast for the NI Labour Party as a non-sectarian dem socialist, I support integ education big time and the GFA with all its warts…..

  • FitzjamesHorse

    Oh I think Ive made my position clear that the OVERCLASS is the reverse of the UNDERCLASS.

    The UNDERCLASS is basically too alienated from Society so they dont get involved politically.
    The OVERCLASS (academics, journalists, Workers Party types, “civic society” types,etc) who believe themselves to be much too smart to be involved in our sordid political society.

    I dont think its a matter of socio-economic background.
    But I would have thought that Campbell College, QUB and Cambridge….and House of Lords was by most standards priveleged.

    Alas I cannot oblidge you with more information about myself.religion (if any) politics (if any)former employment, education, for the very good reason I am NOT a public figure. and not likely to be quoted as being authorative.

  • Greenflag

    ‘Because it needs to reach out to unionists ‘

    Remind me again why SF or the SDLP need to reach out to Unionists ?

    I’m not saying they should’nt but why would they have to ? or need to ? . The GFA is the deal , D’Hondt is the system and mandatory power sharing is the only game in town for another decade or two at least . Every NI nationalist or republican with the ability to count knows that there will be no UI possible until such time as , when, or if the ‘sectarian’ demographics within the present NI State change to favour nationalists and republicans .

    If any reaching out needs to be done it’s in the other direction and so far UCUNF have made a dogs breakfast of it . Why would SF want to follow the UUP example?

    Whatever posters may state about Adams he did deliver the ceasefire which made the peace process possible .

    As for looking back on their IRA involvement with ‘pride’ ? Had I been born in NI in that particular generation chances would have been 50/50 that I could have ended up behind the wire or 6 feet under . I know I’d never have made it as a ‘politician ‘

    And despite what some may think I have a grudging respect for ‘politicians ‘ like Adams and Paisley who are able to bring their supporters back from the brink of major civil war .

  • Alias

    Bew is right to point out that, unlike the reunification of Germany, there are two nations involved and not one. However, he seems unwilling to follow his own logic and declare that two nations mandates two states, making reunification not only impossible but destructive to both nations. I’m sure he understands that to be the case but, as a unionist, deems it better not to acknowledge it, thereby encouraging Irish nationalism to self-censor itself in order to make itself more acceptable to the other nation – which defines itself by not being the Irish nation.

    The British state led the Provos/Shinners to shift from their position of opposing the legitimacy of British sovereignty to endorsing it and from asserting national rights which challenged that sovereignty to renouncing them. In so far as a united Ireland remains in the equation, it is merely as a contingency to bring Ireland back into the United Kingdom rather than to take Northern Ireland out of it. MI5 are not Irish nationalists, and their sole remit in controlling the Provos/Shinners is to protect and to promote British sovereignty and national security and economic interests, not to enhance the wellbeing of its only English-speaking competitor for FDI in the EU. The foreign affairs aspect of it are looked after by MI6, and their principle interest is bringing Ireland into NATO and protecting the backdoor to the UK. The best way to do that is to have strong constitutional links to Ireland.

    AS far as the British state is concerned, the British nation remains intact and in sovereign control of Great Britian even if NI exists the union, whereas the Irish nation dismantles its nation-state and gives up its right to national self-determination and becomes a non-sovereign nation. So while the muppets think that the Shinners/SDLP/Irish government wrote the GFA to promote Irish national interests, the reality is that Whitehall, the Security Services, and the British government wrote it to promote British national interests. The others just signed it so that the British-controlled Provos/Shinners would not be instructed by their handlers start murdering people again until the union was secure, until competing national rights that challenged British sovereignty were surrendered, and until no other country made a claim to sovereign British territory – and of course the muppets were led to think that it was an Irish agreement between Irish people.

    In regard to the Shinners being militant versions of Martin Luther King… well, they have to lead the muppets to think that the renounced national rights are meaningless and that they can live happily as a non-sovereign nation within a British state, so it allows them to sell defeat to the defeated as a victory. The defeated don’t mind, since they wouldn’t have agreed to renounce their national rights if they meant much to them. Keep the trough full of swill and the pigs will grunt happily as programmed…

  • Turgon

    I know you are not a cheerleader but I think your above statement is inaccurate. There is very little evidence that we were at teh brink of a major civil war: certainly not from the mid 1980s onwards and not really before.

    Adams only delivered the ceasefire in that he stopped supporting (and many think helping plan or even take part in) terrorism. As such for him to be delivering the ceasefire is like a paedophile delivering no longer abusing children. It does not make them a saint or a peacemaker; it makes them no longer an active participant in or supporter of immoral and criminal activity.

  • Alias

    True, Turgon. But it’s rather pointless pointing out to the brainwashed that there is a conspiracy to brainwash them. They prefer to see you in a tin-foil hat rather than see themselves as dupes. The fact that 99% of the population took no part in the ‘civil war’ indicates that either (a) they didn’t read newspapers and therefore didn’t know that one was occurring, or (b) only a tiny minority were involved in organised murder gangs that were formed independently of non-existent support of the overwhelming majority for their activities.

  • granni trixie

    GFABR; I thought you WERE FitzJ!
    (and why does he do big shouty letters?)

  • GFASupporterButRealist

    Granni Trixie: you jest, surely ? I was thinking tht you and I had quite a bit in common such as a wish for fair play and open covenants openly arrived at ? Or are you just mixing it ? Ah, yes, probably the usual NI contrarian. That’s OK if you are. But as Wellington said in a different context, just because you’re born in a stable doesn’t make you a horse…..and FJH and yours truly seem pretty clearly to be different horses for different courses. Sounds like you are one of those fence-sitting horsies when it suits though….do fess up. Maybe you’re a push-me-pull-you ?

  • Framer

    Now girls and boys, Mick will come dowm heavily on all this chuminess and flirting.

    And FJH was born in a puddle.

  • joeCanuck

    All can look back on their IRA involvement with pride

    I wonder does he mean all or only those who haven’t abandoned the leadership, including leaders that weren’t even in the PIRA?

  • John O’Connell


    There is very little evidence that we were at teh brink of a major civil war: certainly not from the mid 1980s onwards and not really before.

    Maybe we’re there now if the parades issue is not resolved very carefully.

  • We do need to reach out to unionists, how else are we going to persuade them to change their voting habits.

    I think Sinn Fein are doing alright, Martin McGuinness in particular has shown it is possible to bridge the gap. He has won the respect of many unionists. I wish him luck and hope he is smart enough to put as much distance as possible between himself, the party (not that that seems to be happening) and the allegations of child abuse and rape.


    Do we need to bother about class, we are Irish, class is such a ‘British’ notion, and old British at that.

    We do know that some groups stick together, we see it even here on slugger, but so what. Its their choice and is so blatant no one is fooled.

  • Panic, these ones like it up em.

    I would hope that Gerry Adams is planning his retirement strategy.

    Sometimes its time to go and Gerrys time is near or already at hand.

    Leaders that choose their own time of departure always have a bit of an aura about them.

    Knowing its time to ge and then doing it is a worthy task for any leader.

  • Los Lobos

    pippakin I follow your blogs from time to time and tend not to pass much remarks on them but on this occasion I feel it encumbent on myself not to let your comment pass “Do we need to bother about class, we are Irish, class is such a British notion, and old British at that”. That nationalist twaddle is at what is at the heart of deadlock in this country. Class does matter, it doesn’t matter if you are sitting with a tricolour or Union jack wrapped around you when you can’t move up the economic ladder because of the class you were born into. Being irish is of no relevance if your life chances are zero. You display a complete ignorance to politics with your utterances of Irishness and Identity in the 21st Century

  • DerTer

    Granni T: Thank you – I too find FJH’s “big shouty letters” a bit wearing.
    Alias: I also find your constant and ill-thought-out deployment of the notion of national self determination wearing as well. My simple question to you is – do unionists not have national rights?
    As regards Paul Bew’s piece it is, as one would expect, astute and insightful; the SF bind is absolutely as he describes it. But I think his welcome for Sinn Féin’s new “openness towards dialogue with the Protestant and unionist community” is a bit hasty. The link he helpfully provides to Martin McGuinness’ Guardian essay demonstrates that there is no depth to SF’s putative out-reach to unionists. He (or some geek from SF HQ) says, for example:
    “This is not a hollow ideological discussion. There are a number of identifiable trends leading to Irish unity within a meaningful timeframe. Ireland is too small for two separate administrations. Partition is costing communities across our island…There is a draw towards the greater integration of services, structures and bodies on an all-Ireland basis in order to deliver quality services and economies of scale.”
    Come on – “identifiable trends”, “meaningful timetable”, “costing communities across Ireland”, “a draw towards”! It occurs to me on the spur of the moment that the Scottish National Party would reject all of this stuff: “There are a number of identifiable trends leading to [a separate Scotland] within a meaningful timeframe. [Great Britain] is too [big to be governed by one] administration.. [The unity of the UK] is costing communities across [these] island[s]…There is a draw towards the greater [diffusion] of services, structures and bodies on a [differentiated] basis in order to deliver quality services and [local] economies…”
    In the end, the problem is that the traditional republican analysis requires/required (?) that Britain be understood as the only barrier to Irish unity whereas, if you weren’t burdened by that bit of dogma, it was as plain as the nose on your face that it was unionists who were the barrier, and that it was they that needed to be persuaded to change their minds. As someone who considers partition to have been a disaster (and who occasionally wonders whether the 1916 Easter Rising didn’t somehow seal the case for it), what I wait for are serious, coherent and thoughtful arguments to be made now to persuade unionists that a united Ireland would be to their advantage.

  • Los Lobos

    Gerry Adams started from nowhere, so did Martin McGuinness, so did many politicians of every political persuasion in every country.

    Doctors, solicitors, artists and entrepreneurs all started from nothing.

    Ignorance is not confined to people like me, who at least recognise that hard work and enthusiasm will be of more help in climbing the ladder than the old ‘Im at the bottom so its not worth bothering’ whiners. Class is a very old, very ugly part of British history. It has largely gone there, and so far as I am aware was never very strong here.

    It really says something sad and depressing about you. Follow or not thats up to you, but dont call me ignorant. If you want to see ignorance look in the mirror.

  • Greenflag

    Turgon ,

    ‘there is very little evidence that we were at the brink of a major civil war: certainly not from the mid 1980s onwards and not really before.’

    I believe many on both sides of the border and of all denominations would agree that had it not been for the ‘intervention’ of the British Army in 1969 that NI would have descended into a major civil war which would have dragged in the Republic with or without the ROI governments approval. Remember Harold Wilson had to be persuaded by senior Irish civil servants at the time that British withdrawal was in nobody’s interest and certainly not an immediate withdrawal .

    I’ll agree that after the mid 1980’s that that possibility reduced but then that came along with SF’s rise to strong political representation after the 1981 hunger strikes .

    What you see as immoral and criminal activity is your business and were I in your shoes I’d most likely think the same . But I don’t happen to believe that almost 30% of the population of Northern Ireland go out to vote for ‘immoral and criminal activity’ ‘. And when the people of the island voted on the GFA they voted overwhelmingly for a peaceful resolution to this islands political problems . I think Adams certainly deserves credit for SF’s role in bringing out that vote in NI .

    Your analogy with ‘paedophilia ‘is askew . Paedophilia is an incurable and non treatable character and psychological defect. Terrorism on the other hand has a long history of those afflicted by the ‘malady’ going on to becoming statesmen and in some cases becoming world renowned for the ‘freedom’ they won for their people . George Washington , Nelson Mandela , Michael Collins , De Valera , Jomo Kenyatta , Simon Bolivar , etc .

    Btw – I never suggested Adams was a saint . But he certainly was an effective political leader given the circumstances. It’s unlikely he will continue to be as effective in the future for obvious reasons.

    And yes I’m no cheerleader . What’s there to cheer about ? NI remains a basically dysfunctional state which will sooner or later stagnate into extinction . I’m more concerned with it’s replacement /replacements .

  • Los Lobos

    You are of course right pippakin name calling is juvenile and does not progress any debate but for what it’s worth I did not call you ignorant, that is not how I conduct myself whilst communicating with anyone. I did say however that you displayed an ignorance to politics with your comments on class, that still stands. Moreover you comments and tone could be lifted out of any speech Margaret Thatcher made during her term in office with regard to society. Your mask has slipped pippakin, your true Conversatism is revealed by your examples of Gerry Adams and Martin mc Guinness and in particular with referance to Doctors, Solicitors, artists and entrepreneurs. Fair enough, if you are a happy to be on the centre right you are in the majority in this country, just don’t try to dress it up with the ould green flag, that fools no-one

  • Reader

    pippakin: Do we need to bother about class, we are Irish, class is such a ‘British’ notion, and old British at that.
    Could be: certainly the conspicuous consumption that was displayed at the height of the Celtic tiger boom showed no class at all.

  • Alias

    DerTer, my definition of self-determination is flawless, whereas you have no understanding whatsoever of its meaning and accordingly spout utter gibberish such as the following: “…what I wait for are serious, coherent and thoughtful arguments to be made now to persuade unionists that a united Ireland would be to their advantage.”

    Good luck with that Godot-like wait, but I suspect that unionists will rightfully conclude that their “national rights” require British sovereignty. How could it be otherwise? Simply because one set of muppets have been led by the British state to renounce their national rights doesn’t mean that the other set will do likewise. Indeed, you might discover to your misfortune that while the British state used its media to indoctrinate one set of muppets with the propaganda that it should renounce those rights and endorse British sovereignty, it has no intention of allowing said muppets to use said media to indoctrinate the other set of muppets with the equivalent propaganda. 😉

  • Los Lobos

    I will tell you, in the spirit of open, honest debate, I am a Labour supporter.

    The only thing I respect about Margaret Thatcher is she was that rare breed: a conviction politician. As opposed to politicians like Tony Bliar who shaped his convictions around whoever his audience happened to be.

    I respect people who stick to their beliefs in the face of opposition, and even dislike. I respect people who argue for a cause rather than kill for it. I hope I have made myself clear.

    Oh and I dont care what work people do, very few of us get to spend our working lives doing work we actually enjoy. For most life is a daily grind of trying to get enough to pay the bills and feed the kids.

  • Reader

    I hope the Celtic Tiger returns soon. We will know better how to handle it next time around.

    Why pick on a particular time, sure we all have
    regrets, that in many ways, is what life is about.

    Irish people have been, and still are, amongst the friendliest, most generous people in the world.

  • Los Lobos

    Thank you for your frank comments pippakin but one thing puzzles me, perhaps you could help me out. How does one support Labour on one hand and at the same time describe “Class” as a British notion? Is not Labour’s very foundation class based politics? I know there has not been a Labour Party in NI of any worth for decades, if ever, even the Workers Party at their height in NI couldn’t describe themselves as a Labour Party. SF make no bones about their ideology, they sit firmly to the right on all the main issues of the day and as you rightly say people who kill for a cause deserve no respect, no matter the provication. The principals of Labour abhor any type of violence so that rules out the PUP, UDP, WP, SF and the plethoria of satalite organisations who were happy to act as sub contractors in nurturing sectarianism in this country. I contend that society is run on class lines and that that suits the likes of the DUP and SF as they can blur the lines at each election by hurling sectarian abuse at each other in the safe knowledge that there is no Labour Party to unite citizens under a common banner of class based politics where nationalism (British or Irish) has no place.

  • Dixie Elliott

    I wonder could Fitzjameshorse tell us about this OVERCLASS of his?

    Is there a Upper Class Overclass and a Working Class Overclass, with an unemployed Overclass much too lazy to be involved in our sordid political society so they fiddle the dole?

    You should tell Gerry about that word of yours he likes new words to describe those who “disagree profoundly with the Sinn Fein leadership, for reasons of vanity and ego”

    You never know you might get a community job thinking these words up.

    Me? I’m one of the dissenting Underclass myself, but with a few courses at the Tech I could someday become as Overclass as Eamon McCann himself.

  • Los Lobos

    I support labour because they support advancement for all. I also like the way they approach the child abuse scandals (how sad that it does have to be plural) here.

    I think ‘class’ is an invidious and contagious thing. No sooner do we have some money than we start thinking we are better than anyone who has none, or less than we have. I suppose something like that will, to an extent, always be with us.

    I support any party that seeks to ensure everyone has, at the very least, the same opportunity.

    There has been talk of Labour opening up in the north. I believe they should. I think all political parties here should be represented in the north. It is no good saying we want a united Ireland if we sit back and wait for some maniac with a gun, or a pound of semtex, to get it.

    You know we have a lot to offer the north, far more than they get from being the resented rump of the ‘old UK’ which does not really exist any more.

  • Munsterview

    Los Lobos

    So ….. ” the principles of Labor abhor any type of violence ” ? In what way did Labor’s International war policies in recent decades differ from what Conservative one would have done ? If anything it would seem that budgetary constraints of the Conservatives, if not ideology, would have restricted the determined headstrong rush to war and International slaughter of third world peoples by first world killing machines costing more for a weeks operation than these same Western Governments were prepared to spend in a year on these same peoples in humanitarian projects.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    Ive referred to the Overclass in several posts.
    The people who by choice are alienated from the process.
    half assed Workers Party types
    Civic Society types
    People who want the Tory/Labour Party to organise here.
    The Usual Suspects

    People who believe they are much too intelligent and sophisticated for the likes of (especialy) SF and DUP.

  • Munsterview

    There you go, confusing Tony Bliar and new labour with the traditional Labour movement.

  • FJH

    My goodness what a list! Is there anyone left?

  • Dixie Elliott

    My goodness what a list! Is there anyone left?

    Posted by pippakin

    Classroom assistants perhaps? They once had a run in with Peace Processing Sinn Fein and they’re pretty smart.

  • Los Lobos

    Munsterview, if you were following the dialogue between myself and pippakin then you would have noticed the context of which we were speaking – Labour in NI and how the ideology of nationalism (British or Irish) prevents class based politics from taking root. Is that consept so difficult to grasp? Much and all as I would like to debate international war policies of Governments world wide my remit for tonight is strictly responding to the challange issued by pippakin that class was a British notion. I am still awaiting an answer from pippakin with regard to his previous statements supporting Labour but rubbishing class. Please feel to throw in your twopence worth munsterview if you have anything to contribuite.

  • I have to say this thread has seen some of the more surreal comments I have seen yet on Slugger.

    Firstly, as a matter of fact, the claim that Bew was at QUB is wrong. His university education was Cambridge, not Belfast.

    Secondly, the idea that an overclass has no connection to socio-economic background. Only in NI could someone clearly try and make this as a serious argument. As for the argument that The Workers’ Party is part of an overclass. I nearly spat my water all over the computer.

    Thirdly, the idea that The Workers’ Party couldn’t describe itself as a labour party. That may well have had quite a lot to do with the fact that there was already in existence a labour party. The idea that calling oneself a Workers’ Party rather than a Labour Party represents less advanced class politics is somewhat strange to say the least. As for the idea that the principles of Labour abhor violence. I’m not sure this is true at all; whether one defines labour in social democratic or revolutionary terms. As for the notion that The WP encouraged sectarianism. Plain wrong.

  • Dixie Elliott

    Indeed they are, my sister in law is one I suppose when she gets her degree those who think youve got to be either scrubbing floors or unemployed to be acceptable will discount her contribution.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    Rather like in the Mikado “I have a little list”. What I posted was the condensed version. Basically its just people I dont like 😉

  • Los Logus

    Just read 10. what do you mean waiting for an answer?

    Why does an upwardly mobile person have to be associated with class?

    You know this leads into FJH view of an Overclass, an underclass, a god knows what class.

    We are just people. I prefer to think of us all that way, not as being part of a particular group. Class has been rubbished for years in the UK, but admittedly there are as everywhere, the diehards. Only yesterday some tory MP called Winterton, claimed all MPs should be allowed to travel 1st class because the people in standard class were ‘different’ and did not allow people to ‘work’ on the train.

    It may interest you to know his outrageous statement made front page news. Fortunate for the tories that he and his unattractive wife had already been persuaded to retire at the next election.

  • Los Lobos

    Garibaldy, didn’t the WP decomissioned last week or were those non sectarian guns specially adapted to shoot Capitalists? “Plane wrong” as an answer may need a little more meat on the bone to have cut any sort of ice on that one.
    As for your third point about the WP not being able to describe itself as a labour party, why not? there was no Labour Party in NI when the WP were standing for election here,unless you want to call the SDLP a labour party, although they describe themselves as a nationalist Party! Perhaps it was more to do with the fact that the WP were an all Ireland Party who believed that the prods would somehow wake from their daze and embrace the men of 98 in a similar revolutionary zeal? However you try and dress it up it was still violent nationalism, not fit for purpose then and dragged screaming into the 21st century, holding onto it guns to the last possible moment.

  • Los Lobos,

    The whole point of the transformation of the-then Republican Movement into The Workers’ Party was to get rid of the old militaristic narrow nationalism. And it did that. It also stood up for anti-sectarianism on the ground. Its political programme was defined as peace, work, democracy and class politics. It stood in the election in Fermanagh South Tyrone during the hunger strikes for example precisely to give an anti-sectarian socialist alternative to the sectarian all-class politics of unionism and nationalism. Such actions were not without cost. Anyone familiar with the development and actions of The WP knows that it played a leading role opposing sectarianism during the Troubles. And it continues to do so, including standing at elections. There is neither violence nor nationalism.

    As for the name. The name change began in 1977. The NILP was still standing for elections into the 1980s, and so even if it wanted to, it could not have adopted that name. As for the point about being an all-Ireland party; so are you saying that the only valid class politics is one that exists within the confines of the two states on the island? Isn’t the whole point of class politics internationalism? Certainly The WP takes internationalism seriously, and has done since the 1960s. Why shouldn’t we dismiss your attitude of denouncing all-Ireland parties as unionist? You’re not an old supporter of BICO are you?

  • Dewi

    “But we want to listen to unionism about why they believe the union is the best option.”

    That’s a quote from Martin M. Perhaps we read too much into sentences but if true that’s a move.

  • [b] Going IT alone as a Lead Pilot, releases one from Union with Millstones and Unnecessary Baggage holding up the Rear[/b]

    [quote][i]Alas I cannot oblidge you with more information about myself.religion (if any) politics (if any)former employment, education, for the very good reason I am NOT a public figure. and not likely to be quoted as being authorative.[/i] … Posted by FitzjamesHorse on Feb 19, 2010 @ 05:39 PM[/quote]

    What a most unconvincing cop-out is that, FitzjamesHorse. Be Bold and stand up like a man and say that you would prefer to not to reveal more than is necessary. The times whenever any great weight and belief in what public figures say or are quoted as saying [for most of them have everything written down for them to say by others] as being authorative, are long gone and have been forsaken for waffle and spin in most cases.

    Personally speaking, I would much rather know of your views than read or listen to some jumped up, newly suited, prima donna wannabe a political leader rather than public servant type rant from those who are not fit for the Purpose of Public High Office.

    And man …. is that an Overcrowded Pub/Club or is that an Overcrowded Pub/Club.

    [quote][i]Keep the trough full of swill and the pigs will grunt happily as programmed… [/i] ….. Posted by Alias on Feb 19, 2010 @ 06:48 PM [/quote]

    Alias, a change of program completely rearranges Animal Farmers, although nowadays they are more likely to be Programmed in Intensive Phorming.

    [quote][i]Indeed, you might discover to your misfortune that while the British state used its media to indoctrinate one set of muppets with the propaganda that it should renounce those rights and endorse British sovereignty, it has no intention of allowing said muppets to use said media to indoctrinate the other set of muppets with the equivalent propaganda. ;)[/i] …. Posted by Alias on Feb 19, 2010 @ 09:41 PM[/quote]

    The Present British state muppets are not either Intellectually nor Electronically Equipped to be able to Steer that ESPecial Intelligence Cloud in any Particular and Non Peculiar Direction and thus will they always be sad delusional reactionaries to ITs Greater Game Players aka Non State Actors.

    Which should have you asking who is Running Intelligent Media Supply for Global Governance …. for of course, IT is all Inextricably Linked to the Big Picture Machine.

  • Reader

    FitzjamesHorse: Rather like in the Mikado “I have a little list”.
    And that’s just the Overclass (alienated from the process). Add the Underclass (unengaged) and the rest (engaged, but half of them on the wrong side), and it’s no wonder you can be a bit snappy in discussion.
    But if the overclass – people who spend a lot of time thinking – are alienated from the process, couldn’t that be a problem with the process, not with the thinkers?

  • FitzjamesHorse

    Reader….thats exactly my point. The Overclass believe that their “thinking” makes them superior to the Process itself.
    While the Underclass are often parodied as living in run down estates waiting on a giro or joyriding, the Overclass may be parodied by anxious hand wringing in coffee shops in Botanic Avenue or the best bars in Dublin Road, finding common cause with other intellectuals.

    As for Garribaldys point about the Workers Party (a source of amusement for years) not being part of the Overclass..well they are yet more “thinkers” and “community activists” and “part time socialists” who never actually get a vote…..John Lowry 432 last time out at Westminster. Thats one vote for every TEN WP Posters on lamposts.

  • So the overclass are those who apply an intellectual approach to politics, and reject the tribal assumptions of politics here. It also involves a certain lifestyle centred around the most middle class part of the city. But at the same time, standing in elections and not getting elected means you’re also part of the overclass too. So does being based in working class areas.

    Or to put it another way, the overclass is a load of contradictory nonsense spouted by someone who has already demonstrated on this thread a rather loose grasp on facts, and a less sure grasp of logic.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    No Garibaldy,
    In some cases (academics and some journos for example) we could perhaps call it an intellectual approach to politics.
    Obviously this is not the case with John Lowry and the Workers Party who like to think they are intellectuals.
    While the academics are nestled around Botanic and the BBC types in bars on Dublin Road and print journos in Donegall Street, I have absolutely no idea where the remnants of the WP hang out. A telephone box perhaps.
    As I put it a loose coalition of whingers who feel the real successful politicians are intellectually and morally inferior….which by extension means the voters who actually put these people in Stormont are intellectually and morally inferior to the people I call the Overclass.

  • So intellectuals are only people who write things for a living? Where does your analysis leave say teachers? Can one be an intellectual and not work in a university of as a journalist? (not that the idea of many journalists as intellectuals isn’t rather entertaining).

    Can you point to any statements accusing the voters or indeed the politicians of being intellectually inferior? Or are you just making this all up? Let me think about that for a minute.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    Alas Garibaldy if you had been to University you would quickly discover that not all university lecturers are intellectual or even intelligent….some are remarkably stupid.
    Intelligent people are people who really do more than most people.
    Intellectuals are people who think that they do.

  • Cormac mac Art

    “The truth is that Ireland is not defined by a shared imagined community of one people but two.”

    There is a third community – that of the republic of Ireland who have never actively support unification, because they do not want it. Bew is wrong to imply that the Dublin government want it as much as SF.

  • Paddy

    Serial posters, why not give your spam a rest?

    Gerry Adams claims he was never in the IRA. Then he should STFU about the IRA. Going on about Price’s trauma is a diversionary tactic.

    Killing people traumatises. Few armies put women into front line positions. Ms Price saw things best not to see. Adams’ capitalising on that summarises Adams.