Yes boss

When I last looked at Matt Baggott’s comments on armed republicanism it prompted Slugger regular Malcolm to have a few words (I appreciate anyone going to the trouble of adding colours in a response).

Despite this I’ll risk revisiting the issue.

Matt Baggott stated:

“I think to some degree it’s different but it is the same as, for example dealing with street gangs in Brixton”

However the gang soundbite was raised much earlier by none less than Deputy McGuinness:

2.45 pm
As my colleague Martina Anderson said in the House earlier, those people describe themselves as an army. It is not an army that we are dealing with but a gang

Of course I’m not suggesting they compare notes………

  • old school

    Singing from the same hymnsheet??
    Surely it ain’t so.
    All part of the joint criminalisation policy by PSF/PSNI.
    The PSNI assault Republicans in the street, jail them for spurious reasons, PSF meanwhile provide political cover by branding said Republicans “gangsters and criminals”, and the PSNI in return ignore PSF money scams.
    A member of the 32 CSM is currently on hunger strike in Maghaberry, in protest at this criminalistaion policy.
    PSF/PSNI are playing high stakes.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    Its not exactly plagiarism is it?
    I mean I think theyre a bunch of useless no-mark thugs as well. So does everyone with a sense of decency.
    And Ive not compared notes with either Bagott or Marty. I came to that conclusion completely without help.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    Oh not another “hunger striker” out to embarrass the Sinn Féin leadership by nearly dying on us in the run up to the Election.
    What was the last one called? Ill never forget whats his name. Crossan? Crossey? nah….its gone.
    Used to be one of those “dont let him die” graffiti at the Royal Victoria Hospital.
    I dont think he died…it would have been in the news.

  • old school

    Thing is Fitz, a lot of these Republcians languishing in jail on both sides of the border have family and friends.
    Some of these families are cradle to grave Republicans.
    THEY know their son, brother, father is not a gangster nor a criminal.
    THEY know Mc Guinness is being a lying hypocrite.
    THEY are insulted by the language being used by PSF spokespeople, considering only a few short years ago,they were hailed as “patriots” and “freedom fighters” for doing the same thing.
    Mc Guinness´s “traitors” remark probably lost more support for his own party than it hurt any “dissident” group.

  • padraig

    If numbers maketh you righteous;

    the Chinese Peoples Army shineth like the sun,

    The Yankees tread upon the right path and

    The British Army a rag tag bunch of thugs.

    as for the PSNI well…

    I would have thought that any proper idea of legitimacy rested on the propriety of the cause for which any body fights.

    If its just a question of numbers, well cockroaches and red army ants have us all beat to the ground.

    McGuinness is an imbecile. What else is news?

  • joeCanuck

    Mc Guinness´s “traitors” remark probably lost more support for his own party than it hurt any “dissident” group.
    Well, let the “dissenters” put up candidates in the next election and we’ll know for sure.

  • Mark, Marty and Matty will probably be repeating their gang line for some time so I’m afraid you will have to be grinning and bearing it.

    There are 2 appoaches SF may favour in order to deal with these ‘gangs’ firstly the formation of a special unit (thereby reducing the role of MI5)and secondly having greater cross border Garda involvement and although SF will hardly admit it the dissident activity does to some extent actually serve their interests without really threatening their support base.

  • old school

    The media and British referred to Martins Brandywell/Bogside crew in the early 70s as the DYH.
    Derry´s Young Hooligans.
    Now that was a gang.

  • coconnor

    There is hardly any difference between any group that uses violence to achieve its aims.

    Where are the justifying conditions for armed struggle in contemporary Ireland?
    “The British presence”, I hear them cry. Well engage in democratic republicanism and work to achieve a united Ireland through a referendum.

    It is much harder to suggest that the democratic will of the people is illegitimate, than it is to argue against a campaign of political violence.

  • Alias

    Just like all criminal murderers, the Shinners were released from prison on a life licence, so they like to claim that they were soldiers but they now administer British law which declares that they are criminals – a status and a verdict they accepted when they agreed the terms of their release with the state. What then is the difference between the defunct murder gang and the active murder gang other than size?

  • old school

    Coco,
    “democratic will of the people”??
    Is that when a minority Unionist population can veto Constitutional changes against the wishes of the majority in the island of Ireland?
    Partition affects both sides of the border.
    A No vote in an All Ireland border poll?
    I would accept that.
    Would the Unionists accept a Yes vote?

  • Damian O’Loan

    I don’t think there’s much more insight to be found in this post than to say, ‘SF and the PSNI CC are using the same argument’. No analysis of that argument, which is surely the point of Slugger. The last post at least ventured “indicates serious naivety or a penchant for media spinning over addressing the situation he faces.” Though an explanation of why it is naive to discredit physical force republicanism’s very status as an ideology was not forthcoming.

    If we have got to grips with the fact that totaliarianism is an ideology of sorts and that Nick Griffin should be debated, surely we can cope with the fragments of this branch of republicanism. I wonder if part of the reason Mark McGregor is constantly so coy on his own views is his confidence in such a debate.

    To compare physical force republicanism with street gangs in Brixton is far from foolish, particularly viewed strictly through the prism of policing. To deny either an ideology is clearly idiotic, and to say it’s an old argument we don’t need to keep having is a denial so counter-productive you might ask if it’s not intentional. It is, in effect, saying we’ll fight force with force wherever we find it. Which sounds like ‘normalisation’ to me.

    Such depth of analysis is acceptable from a policeman, but not from a politician, nor a journalist or blogger for that matter.

  • Mark McGregor

    To an extent McGuinness’ remarks and those of other SF members are an implicit recognition of the growth of these organisations.

    The long worked ‘micro group’ tag has clearly been dropped.

  • old school

    Not to mention Sinn -Feins continued hypocritical support for Basque militant groups, which is in even more dire straits than our homegrown militants.
    Why don’t they be consistent and compare ETA to the Yardies?

  • Alias

    “I wonder if part of the reason Mark McGregor is constantly so coy on his own views is his confidence in such a debate.”

    How is he coy? He has stated many times he does not support violence, so why do you feel it necessary to think that he somehow must support violence? It sounds like you have been brainwashed with the common propaganda that the only alternative to not accepting the legitimacy of British sovereignty and resigning oneself to membership of a non-sovereign nation is violence. Oddly enough, no other nation promotes this propaganda to argue that it should be subjugated by the sovereignty of another nation.

  • Damian O’Loan

    I am very aware that Mark McGregor has repeatedly stated his opposition to physical force republicanism. It’s not so clear that the party he is aligned with shares the same determination, nor is it clear exactly what brands of republicanism he, or these dissidents, represent.

    I’m not suggesting they’re the same. I am suggesting that Mark enjoys a certain grey area and it would be interesting to know exactly where he stands. Not on the use of force, on the role of republicanism.

  • joeCanuck

    old school,

    You (conveniently?) forget that the Daíl voted to accept the treaty. That ended the justification for violence. It was accepted that the two entities could unite (indeed, I think British politicians in general hoped for that).

  • Alias

    You know where he stands because he has told you where he stands. If you want to call him a liar as a means of undermining his message then do it without being so sweetly coy about it yourself.

    P.S. I like the “His Master’s Voice2 pic.

  • Michaelhenry

    surly when these so called micro dissident groups have not killed any armed british soldiers in over 20 years it is right to call them traitors

  • Damian O’Loan

    Rubbish. He opposes SF in Stormont, it appears. That republicans should be there seems natural to me because of the mandate of the GFA. The argument from that point on, and the effect on republicanism by dissident actions, is unclear.

    And in that void, these superficial posts are opportunistic.

  • old school

    Damian, if you don’t know where Mark stands, you’ll be even more confuddled next week.
    Next week, some members of the “N.I Government” and
    all the parties in the South will be reading the Proclamation.
    That Proclamation refers to Irish Sovereignty as a “fundamental right”..not an aspiration.
    It also defends the right to assert that right throught the use of arms.
    British Minister will utter those words above!!
    How you can find Marks position confusing and not find the same in Minister Mc Guinness’s absurd stance is 3A.M debating.

  • joeCanuck

    BTW, if anyone cares to watch UTV news at 10:30 tonight, they might hear about the dysfunctionality of one of the organs of the State. Roll on our own responsible Minister.

  • old school

    Michael is that the ONLY line you have. Really?

  • Michaelhenry

    truth hurts old school

  • old school

    Repeat.
    Funny how it’s those who are first to condemn IRA attacks, also berate the IRA for not killing more.
    Your Loyalist buddies in Stormont didn’t kill one armed PERSON in 30 odd years, yet you share power with them
    Truth hurts indeed.

  • Damian O’Loan

    old school,

    It’s not confusing, I just think it would be interesting to have it elaborated. Particularly in terms of this kind of post.

  • I appreciate the plug in the headline. My porn-stats need any help going.

    Cards on the table time. [Go on … you know what’s coming next!]:

    ‘Twas the crowning cry of a heart’s despair, and it thrilled you through and through —
    “I guess I’ll make it a spread misere”, said Dangerous Dan McGrew.

    My take:

    I’m the son of a London copper, who, invalided out, went on to be a civil servant. My later activities caused him some regular grief:

    — Where were you last weekend?
    — Holy Loch/Aldermaston/Red Lion Square/wherever
    [delete as applicable].
    — Thought as much.
    — How’d you know?
    — Had another security clearance done on me.
    — Oh, well … Another pint?
    — Thought you’d never ask.

    Equally, it was only because I had to get a job in England, to pay off my student overdraft, that saved me from Burntollet Bridge.

    Please accept, then, I try to see both sides.

    Which brings me to the crunch:

    Your take [accept “you” as an impersonal pronoun from here]:

    You’ve got rid of the RUC. You diss the PSNI. It’s still open season on them and the Garda (No, no: it’s not bank robbery! We’re supporting the Cause!).

    You know damn well that you’re not going to impose the ill-considered, politically-illiterate agenda of your micro-faction (notice how I avoided “gang”) on 99.9% of the people of the island of Ireland, regardless of their denominations or commitments.

    The bottom line:

    So, how, ultimately, do you keep Laura Norder an honest girl?

  • IRIA

    Damian: Spot on.

  • West Sider

    I am suggesting that Mark enjoys a certain grey area and it would be interesting to know exactly where he stands. Not on the use of force, on the role of republicanism.

    Don’t hold your breath, Damian. I think you hit the nail on the head in another post, when you stated the problem may be his lack of confidence in his own beliefs, therefore the post and run nature of his contributions.

    And btw – I actually don’t think he’s a bad person.

  • Michaelhenry

    sinn fein share power with loyalists who did not kill one armed person,how does this hurt old school

  • FitzjamesHorse

    old school,
    Martin McGuinness statement about th traitors to Ireland in the dissident movement (ie armed gangs of thugs) might of course cause offence to the families of the same thugs who are currently in prison cells north and south (hopefully to be joined by the handful that are actually left on the outside).
    Will that statement cost him the votes of those thugs and their families.?
    Hardly.
    They were unlikely to vote for SF-IRA anyway.
    On the other hand, many in the community that these dissident scum claim to represent will have felt like standing up and cheering the brave words of McGuinness.

  • slappymcgroundout

    Old school:

    What is the alternative? I can see a violent struggle to obtain one’s basic civil rights but on the national question that won’t work. Merlyn Rees was entirely correct when he said that it doesn’t matter what Her Majesty desires as the fate of Northern Ireland as what matters is the desires of the 1 mil Protestants that live there, and such is what SF/PIRA/Whoever has to ultimately deal with.

    The other way of putting the matter is, simply, note the Boston Globe piece cited by Mick in his one recent piece, wherein all those apartheid walls are mentioned. So posit that Her Majesty gives over the north. What is to then stop them from being the Nats-Repubs and you the Unionists? Again, why Mr. Rees was entirely correct, as Her Majesty won’t be the one shooting at you from the Shankill Road, and those walls aren’t there to protect you from her either.

    Lastly, since bombs in Omagh aren’t doing much to work the convincing that need be worked, Marty is right in saying that some are traitors to the cause. Your strategy, in three words: kill them with kindness. Well that, and offering them a better life in your other union. As some other revolutionaries have otherwise already understood, no one, repeat no one eats the apple all in one bite. So the veto gained via the Armalite and the Semtex can serve to protect your equality of right (one bite) while you work the needed convincing (next bite), and so on.

  • Rory Carr

    It would be difficult for any reasonable man to disagree with the measured reflections of Slappy McGroundnut above.

    I sometimes consider Irish Unity as being in the same position as the runaway slave, Jim in Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn where Jim is captured and held prisoner in Aunt Sally’s shed.

    In order to free him all that is required is for Tom Sawyer to force the lock and allow Jim to walk out. But that’s not good enough for Tom, no sir! It’s got to be done by the book. That is the book of the best adventure yarns of prisoner escapes. Jim has got to have a sheet smuggled in baked in a pie so that he can make a rope. He’s got to have his cell filled with spiders and snakes because that’s the way it is with prisoners in the books. Tom even proposes at one stage that Jim saw off one leg because prisoners in the books are often one-legged. The tunnel cannot be dug quickly with pick and shovel but must be done painfully slowly with case-knives….and on and on it goes.

    It won’t be a proper escape, freedom won’t be legitimate without it has been accomplished according to the myths and legends. Meanwhile poor old Jim languishes.

    So it is with the dissidents who would not be happy if Ireland were to be united by a process of first uniting the divided community of Northern Ireland and allowing the attraction of all-Ireland unity to develop as a reasonable and attractive idea for all free from any pressure of cultural betrayal or of being the butt of reverse one-upmanship.

    Only unity by force will work for them, forgetting entirely that this simply won’t work any better than Tom Sawyer’s madcap schemes – it’s got to be done by the book. And while pursuing this traditional route to freedom of course all the traditional scenes must be played out – a bomb here, a bomb there; a policeman killed here, a soldier there. Oh! and don’t forget informers. We must have some informers shot. It would never do to forget shooting a few of those. Or at least to brand some of those we decided to shoot to have been informers. Doesn’t matter whether they were or not – once they are branded – that’s it ! And nothing brands quite so well as a good torturing and stripping, finished off with a few head shots and dumping the remains on a lonely read. Tradition every time!

    Then there’s the more difficult question of hunger strikes. Of course we must have them. They are after all in the book. But there is the wee matter of brinkmanship here. Hunger strikes only work if people out there really care and if they really believe that your motives are pure, your intentions good and your determination steely. Then there is a chance that with enough support you might be able to call it off and even gain concessions.

    But if nobody cares…? No good crying and dying is it? Hunger striks are soon quietly dropped behind the cover of some ridiculous statement or other in the way that third rate screen actors, songsters and comedians in Britain quietly drop their decision to leave the UK “…if a Labour government is elected” after a Labour government is elected.

    Whether we call them traitors or gangsters, or both, or neither, I think we can all agree that they are blethering idiots. Nasty, dangerous blethering idiots no doubt, but blethering idiots nevertheless.

  • Whenever people start highlighting the symptoms instead of the cause of a problem, you know they are never going to be party to finding a solution. Such is history.

    The main failure of SF is it inability to set out a road map for change, instead it went in for navel gazing and started prattling on about the republic by 2116. Which might have seemed find to them at the time, given the contempt they have displayed for their core support base, but the problem for them is time does not stand still and thus this stupid forecast was always going to roll back over them.

    The reason the dissidents have a clear playing field is SF’s lack of an alternative. If you fail to offer future generations a viable alternative to the orange state, they are liable to get up and bite you, hence McG and his cop pal trying to introduce fear with talk of street gangs.

    By the way if Baggot, [could a policeman have a better name} means the young people who came on the streets of Brixton and Broadwater farm in the 1980s, they were political to the core, and achieved more in a few weeks with a box of matches and a few gallons of petrol, than the parliamentary politicians did in decades of talk. Not least they put some manners on the likes of Maggot and his chums.

  • I meant 2016, 2116 must have been a Freudian slip, whoops

  • old school

    Rory, thats a very long winded, and rambling post which failed to make any point.
    You suggest current Republicans (unlike past Republicans) are going to jail, losing jobs, enduring harassment, homes raided, facing death etc because they’re part of some “historical re-enactment group.”
    Pretty ridiculous, even by your standards.
    The current campaign is seen by those taking part as combatting the British strategy of normalisation, Ulsterisation and criminalisation.
    It is a response to the British strategy.
    They see the British presence as the cause of conflict, and the British military, paramilitary police, and secret services as the aggressors. A cursory glance at their propaganda would’ve told you that.
    The reason conflict is still ongoing is because the cause of conflict was not dealt with in 1998.
    It was dressed up, prettified, camoflaged with historical revisionism, and cunningly sold to the public as the End game. Republican goals were not achieved. Many would say British goals were certainly achieved.
    Therefore it was obvious from Day 1, some would continue where it was left off. any student of Irish history will be familiar with this scenario.
    Nothing to do with Tom Sawyer, thats for sure.

  • Reader

    old school: …current campaign is seen by those taking part as combatting the British strategy of…
    And yet you have also said – with some enthusiasm – that you expect a United Ireland to come about through demographic change. The dissident strategy is useless in advancing that – they ought to be at home impregnating the missus instead. The dissident strategy isn’t bringing a United Ireland any closer; it isn’t making Irish people any happier, wealthier, or more free. Combating a few abstract nouns isn’t doing anyone any good.
    Unless you’re afraid of those abstract nouns. Perhaps you expect them to prevent or delay a United Ireland? How?

  • old school

    “Combatting a few abstract nouns”?
    Did I say that anywhere in my post?
    I mentioned British strategies which are being used by the State in order to secure partition, and pacify the natives.
    Republican strategy ( and I’m not speaking for any particular group here) has ALWAYS been to oppose British attempts to normalise their presence.

  • Mark McGregor

    Damian,

    Thanks to you and others for making the effort to pin down my beliefs – its something I find impossible to do myself.

    However, as you’ve given yourself this momentous task I’ll help with correcting one misconception you are operating under – I do not support or belong to any group.

    The only thing I’m reasonably sure I believe (after a lengthy period of believing the contrary and a period of being unsure) is that nothing I probably believe in is likely to be achieved by participating in Stormont and/or supporting any other British political structures in Ireland or opposing same by use of violence.

    If you do manage to work out anything else do let me know. I’m personally toying with formulating a new branch of Republicanism possibly anarchoscatocontrosyndasociorepublicanism.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    Mr McGregor,
    Perhaps it would help Mr O’Loan and others if you excluded some beliefs….dissident republican violence for example…….from those beliefs about which you are unsure.

  • Mark McGregor

    FJH,

    Well I’m unsure what else I can do to help you and others with your disingenuity on that area after consistently rejecting it and calling their last killing a murder.

    The lazy inference from some here seems to be that because I clearly do not support British policing or state structures in Ireland and despite clearly rejecting those that use violence to oppose them that I somehow support those that use violence to oppose them.

    To be honest that kind of dishonesty is something I rarely even consider worthy finger movement.

  • Rory Carr

    The reason conflict is still ongoing is because the cause of conflict was not dealt with in 1998.

    Frankly, Old School, that is absolute nonsense. The cause of conflict was addressed in long negotiations leading to the Good Friday Agreement which was subsequently overwhelmingly endorsed (whatever of Alias’s turgid opinion to the contrary) by the people of the whole island of Ireland.

    Those dissidents now in conflict are in conflict with that expressed will of the people of Ireland and in so being in conflict they expose themselves for the selfish, blind, arrogant egotists that their every utterance and action further confirms.

    Your argument really boils down to saying that these people can go around maiming and killing whoever they like because they feel like it, because they have given themselves permission to so do. That really is a licence for sociopathy on a grand scale and no amount of spurious political justification can change that nor lessen the increasing likliehood of these elements degenerating even further as all political cover is stripped away and they stand naked as the traitors and gangsters they have already been labelled with, it seems, quite some justification .

  • West Sider

    Fair points, Mark.

    Good on you for coming back with a response.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    So Mr McGregor……youve described their last killing as “murder”.
    And the killings of last year?

  • Michaelhenry

    we were the brits first of island visit, regrettably for the brits we were not the last, never could learn,another two invaders lost today in the land of the muslin,republicans sought peace many years ago,but the war loving british army just keeps on killing and being killed.

  • old school

    Rory, tut-tut.
    The cause of conflict for Republicans for centuries has been British interference in Irish affairs.
    If you believe this was addressed in 1998, I’m all ears, as are the Unionists I’m sure.
    Branding those who disagree with you as “criminals and gangsters” just exposes you as the arrogant egoist.

  • Reader

    old school: I mentioned British strategies which are being used by the State in order to secure partition, and pacify the natives.
    So this has gone circular – the purpose of dissident violence is to achieve more violence. No wonder dissidents are so unpopular. Meanwhile your only actual hope for a United Ireland does not depend on dissident activity at all.
    So, dissident republicanism kills like Orangism marches – to show that they still can.

  • old school

    Michael, why don’t you try and persuade the Taliban to accept British Rule for the foreseeable future, legitimise their presence, and advise them to join Karzai in administering the “invaders” writ.
    Maybe even suggest they join the Afghan poice, then declare victory.
    That was your strategy in Ireland wasn’t it?

  • Mark McGregor

    FJH,

    You get an answer the second you stop doing anything other than trolling.

  • Michaelhenry

    the armed british army is of our irish streets old school,is this the reason you want to be seen as hardline

  • FitzjamesHorse

    Mr McGregor,
    and the answer is…..?

  • old school

    Bad spelling, lack of commas,lack of capital letters etc is often deliberate and used by trolls to appear non-descript and common.
    The Brits are still on the street, M.H.
    They are just covert these days.

  • West Sider

    Bad spelling, lack of commas,lack of capital letters etc is often deliberate and used by trolls to appear non-descript and common.
    The Brits are still on the street, M.H.
    They are just covert these days.

    And here we have impeccable copy – you must work for one of the big London firms.

    Space. Give yourself space.

  • West Sider

    ADDS: and “common” – oh dear, old school, we are most frightfully common.

  • Michaelhenry

    they are just covert these days,thats a good one old school,next youll be saying that you are afraid of ghosts

  • West Sider

    oldschool is on late because there’s noschool tomorrow.

    That’s my benign take.

  • old school

    Whats benign about that?

  • Alias

    Next he’ll tell you that MI5’s new HQ on the outskirts of Hollywood is just there to monitor Muslims and that it has nothing whatsoever to doing with protecting its selfish, economic and strategic interest in Ireland.

  • West Sider

    @oldschool

    Not too smart, are you? Have you not homework to be getting on with?

    And, tut tut, you most common troll – there should be an apostrophe in there, and you should know that if you want to pass your English Language exam.

    You silly boy.

  • Michaelhenry

    alias is to used to watching spooks,come on you are giving the brits a brain