Sinn Féin’s politics of delusion

Sinn Féin’s response to criticism of their refusal to sit at Westminster in the face of proposed cuts post-election has been to call on all the other parties “to unite with us against the cuts”, and even to press for an increase in the block grant.  At the same time the party’s manifesto, along with others, wants fiscal powers devolved and corporation tax reduced – whilst also refusing to agree to the introduction of water charges.  Balance those books.

The example Gerry Adams has cited in support of his call for unified opposition here is the negotiatons over the devolved policing and justice budget.

The problem for Sinn Féin is that, in that case, their objective of prompt devolution of those powers was shared by the UK government – It was the DUP’s consent which was being negotiated.

Post-election, without any votes in Parliament, what do Sinn Féin have to offer in any negotiation over cuts?

The SDLP’s Dolores Kelly calls it right in this Belfast Telegraph report

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  • Pete Baker

    The oath is a red herring.

    Sinn Féin have previously stated that even if it was changed they still wouldn’t take their seats. Policy subject to change, natch.

    Not forgetting the example Gerry Adams cited in support of his call for unified opposition here “under the tutelage of the First Minister (Peter Robinson) and Deputy First Minister (Martin McGuinness)” – the negotiatons over the devolved policing and justice budget.

    Where the DUP’s consent to the devolution of those powers was the actual objective of the negotiations.

  • Michaelhenry

    catholics are banned from the crown family JOHN, as for westminister elections it is up to all the people who they vote for, not just you.

  • chips

    They don’t really DO economics.
    I suppose most of their supporters are frightened of the rules on getting DLA will be tightened. And possible benefits cuts must be frightening their core electorate.

    Not to mention funding for ‘community projects’.

  • chips

    They don’t really do economics.
    I suppose most of their supporters are frightened of the rules on getting DLA will be tightened. And possible benefits cuts must be frightening their core electorate.

    Not to mention funding for ‘community projects’.

  • Michaelhenry

    I have never heard this question asked at any doorstep.

  • PaddyReilly

    If GA, the one who was never in the IRA, honest! cannot take an oath to help achieve a united Ireland, what is he good for.

    If you think taking an oath to the English Crown is going to help achieve an United Ireland, then I would suggest that it is not Sinn Féin which is suffering from the politics of delusion.

    No wonder he has the safest seat in Western Europe.

  • Alias

    No, I’m suggesting that you shouldn’t trust the word of a shyster who gives his word with his fingers crossed. But don’t let a little commonsense get in the way of your idolatry of those who declare solemn oaths in bad faith.

    The Stoops actually meant it when they swore an oath to the Queen (the constitution of the UK) despite their idiotic declaration that the oath was “just an empty formula of words.” Hence they led their supporters to endorse the legitimacy of British sovereignty and to formally renounce their own right to self-determination that existed in opposition to it.

  • Michaelhenry

    the safest seat in the world.

  • Alias

    Also, Pete Baker is spot-on when he says that the oath is a red herring.

    The issue is whether or not they accept that NI is a part of the UK. If they do then they should take their seats in NI’s mother parliament. They have already accepted that.

    Putting the focus on the irrelevant issue of a Queen as head of state allows the issue to be resolved at some future timely junction by changing the formula of words, with the effect being the exact same – an oath of allegiance to the constitution of the UK.

  • redhugh78

    ‘Dolores was great on the web debate the other day. An asset to the SDLP.’..
    Really? I thought she made a bit of a twit of herself to be honest, she could’nt answer dathai mckay’s question on Thomas Burns little visit to Afghanistan at the invitation of the brit MOD at the tax payers expense.

  • old school

    Is this the same Daithi Mc Kay who called for a specialist armed police unit to be set up to counter Irish insurgents??

  • old school

    Didn’t Mc Guinness also join in prayers with an Army Chaplain in Derry for the safe return of Brit soldiers in Afghanistan??
    You can’t collude with the Brits for over a decade, Redhugh, then hoist the greenflag in the weeks before an election.
    We’re not thick.

  • John East Belfast

    It would be totally unacceptable to change the parliamentary oath for a handful of MPs.

    They are either in or out which in my opinion means they either contest Westminster Elections or abstain from then. Not win seats and then disenfranchise their entire constituency electorate.

  • The deeper game of context? This is no game. All this bollocks about Ireland being a neutral country? WTF? The Celts were a warrior race, and a very successful one.

    I am deeply interested in the history of this country – all of it, not just the homogenized bits of it so favoured by the republicans. I find the selective amnesia of republicans at best misguided and at worst a deliberate attempt to fan the flames of tribal hatred.

    It seems all some of us have ‘learned’ is how to hate, and these people understand all right, they understand that murder makes some rich. How arrogant. Not one death in the last forty years has got us closer to a united Ireland, not one.

  • For goodness sake! We have the right to self determination: it is called democracy. It is our responsibility to persuade the electorate to join the nationalist vote. You guys have got to get over old hatreds. It is sad and depressing that some people cannot get over old hurts.

  • I see taking an oath no one believes in as a means to an end.

    Alias is right when he says its about accepting the north is part of the UK. Well call me a silly billy, but they are part of the UK! We want to change that so we must do everything we can short of violence to achieve our aim, and that can and should include taking an oath no one, not even the Brits, take any notice of anymore.

    Got to go to college now. To study the real history of Ireland, you guys should study it too.

  • TheHorse

    There are too many old school republicans still around who wield influence in nationalist areas, Sinn Fein might have abandoned them but they cant silence them. They know taking their seats in Westminster now would be a step too far, but as old school said they will eventually take their seats and could possibly be forced into doing this earlier than they envisaged. Expect an Ard Fheis after these elections for that purpose.

  • barnshee

    Sigh There is no law preventing a royal marrying a “catholic” The” “law” requires that royal marriage to a (roman) catholic voids place on list to become king /queen
    This is because monarch is also head of the Church of England. Exactlly how could a “catholic” be head of a protestnat church?

  • Neil

    I find that one a bit hard to swallow. There’s no problem for Republicans taking an oath to the queen of England? Bollocks, utter shite. I don’t know a single neighbour of mine that wouldn’t actively hate SF forever if they countenanced the idea.

  • Neil

    You can honestly see no problem with this:

    I swear by Almighty God [or, I do solemnly and sincerely affirm] that I shall be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, her heirs and successors according to law [So help me God]

    Some people expected the IRA to stop the violence. Others it seems expect them to prostate themselves on the ground for a foreign monarch, whom they have only agreed a peace with. I.e. from what I can gather SF didn’t promise to be monarchists to a foreign government or pledge allegiance to a royal family members of whom they were trying to kill until recently.

    And you reckon ‘I do not believe the oath means anything much to anyone anymore.’ That’s the most daft thing I’ve come across on this site, ever.

  • daisy

    An oath is not something set in stone and inviolable. It’s something that someone somewhere thought would be a good idea to bond everyone together and control them. It’s a man-made construct and as such has no power whatsoever, unless for the eejits who want to give it power it doesn’t have.

    Why don’t people who don’t want to say it just stay silent? That’s what I always do if I’m in mass and they make you say your baptismal vows again. I haven’t been struck down yet.

  • Neil

    Sorry, posted it above, but I’ll re-post it here. I agree with you, it’s preposterous. The only way a Shinner could take that oath is if they were lying, and what would be the point. Wording below..

    I swear by Almighty God [or, I do solemnly and sincerely affirm] that I shall be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, her heirs and successors according to law [So help me God]

  • Rory Carr

    Yet another well argued post from the indominatble Pete Baker.

    I am sure that reading it will have convinced many readers that a vote for Sinn Féin is a wasted vote.

    Pity that they will all have been readers who would never have voted for Sinn Féin under any circumstances, unionists on the one hand and those nationalists on the other deluded by the legend of the mythical powers of wading in the sacred waters of Westminster participation – a favourite fairytale beloved by the SDLP.

  • Neil

    Exactly. The SF voters about have been voting in the understanding SF would not take their seats. The petulant whingeing from certain people who would no doubt make great hay of any Shinner saying the words that I shall be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, her heirs and successors is amusing. If you don’t like the rules, change ’em.

    Incidentally JEB, if the Tories win they suggest changing the oath, for SF’s benefit. So prepare to be outraged.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/northern_ireland/4690536.stm

  • Henry94

    There is a very important democratic principle involved too. The MPs are elected by the people and should be loyal only to the people. The British system is a backward one but that’s their own business. Where it conflicts with a republican position then progressive people should seek to change the system.

    We as Irish people owe no loyalty to the British Queen. Her sovereignty over the north has been effectively abolished by the agreement anyway. If the people can change the constitutional position then it is the people who are sovereign.

    That does not apply in Scotland where there is no mechanism to leave the union.

  • Cuchlar

    Durkan’s hardly ever there! SDLP didn’t turn up for last budget debate, why should this time be different?

  • daisy

    so you won’t be voting then, Rory?

  • daisy

    I only owe loyalty to my family and friends but I believe the oath should be changed to a statement that MPs will serve the people, not the queen and I would dearly love to see it changed. However, until it is changed I wouldn’t judge MPs who take the oath but rather I judge them on their actions when in the House.

  • daisy

    Not sure about petulant whingeing, but I agree that SF voters know they won’t be represented at Westminster so it’s obviously not an issue for them. It is an issue for those of us who could be swayed tho.

  • John East Belfast

    Neil

    That “suggestion” was made over 4 years ago by someone who is no longer the NI shadow spokesman. It pre-dates UCUNF as well – there would be no serious debate about changing the oath for people who dont even want to be governed by the Parliament. It is just silly.

    However as I said last night Nationalists are personalising the symbolism of the British monarch within the constitutional monarchy of the UK and illustrating their own immaturity of thinking by doing so.

    The Queen is the UK HOS as determined by the people because they say she should be.
    Expressing an oath to the monarch is your good faith in serving all the UK people and the UK constitution.

    We have Her Majesty’s Govt, Prisons, Revenue & Customs and navy – she deosnt actually own them you know.

    The issue for SF is they should stop pissing around and if they do not wish to serve all the people in the UK while in the UK parliament and declare allegiance to them via the UK HOS then they shouldnt stand for Westminster Elections.

    They have the NI Assembly and the NI Councils to represent their constituents on the ground and that should be enough for them.

    To stand for Westminster and then not fulfil your duties is dishonest.

    Henry

    The people in the UK are sovereign – this is a constitutional monarchy – she is Queen/HOS because the people have decided that is how it should be.
    Therefore as UK Sovereignty remains over NI then she is alos NI’s HOS – the Good Friday Agreement constitutionalised Irish Republicanism by estbalishing that she would only cease to be NI HOS when the NI people decide.

  • Alias

    “If the people can change the constitutional position then it is the people who are sovereign.”

    Northern Ireland had a seperate right to self-determination from Government of Ireland Act 1920.

    All the Shinners and the Stoops did is sign up to the legitimacy of constitutional status of Northern Ireland as declared in the Government of Ireland Act 1920, and as was demanded of them by the British state since partition.

    Here is the constitutional status of Northern Ireland as declared in the Ireland Act, 1949:

    “It is hereby declared that Northern Ireland remains part of His Majesty’s dominions and of the United Kingdom and it is hereby affirmed that in no event will Northern Ireland or any part thereof cease to be part of His Majesty’s dominions and of the United Kingdom, without the consent of the Parliament of Northern Ireland.”

    Here is the constitutional status of Northern Ireland as declared in the The Northern Ireland Constitution Act, 1972:

    “It is hereby declared that Northern Ireland remains part of Her Majesty’s dominions and of the United Kingdom, and it is hereby affirmed that in no event will Northern Ireland or any part of it cease to be part of Her Majesty’s dominions and of the United Kingdom without the consent of the majority of the people of Northern Ireland voting in a poll held for the purposes of this section in accordance with Schedule 1 to this Act.”

    Here is the constitutional status of Northern Ireland as declared in the The Northern Ireland Act, 1998:

    “It is hereby declared that Northern Ireland in its entirety remains part of the United Kingdom and shall not cease to be so without the consent of a majority of the people of Northern Ireland voting in a poll held for the purposes of this section in accordance with Schedule 1.”

    The only cosmetic difference is that the wording was tweaked to remove reference to His/Her Majesty’s dominions. The constitutional effect is the exact same dispite the con-trick for gullible muppets.

    A similiar con-trick will be used to tweak the wording to the oath when the handlers of the Shinners think the time is right to proceed with that part of the normalisation policy.

  • Driftwood

    I take it no SF member, supporter or voter works for the ‘Royal’ Mail, with that big crown on their emblem. Nor should they accept any packages from such a service.

  • Neil

    Why on earth would you think that Driftwood? Do people take an oath to their mail? Just to clear it up for you, yes we use sterling money too (we don’t swear an oath to that either) and many IRA men quite happily took benefits from your government (well why not, if your enemy is stupid enough to pay you while you attempt to destroy their state then fuck ’em) but at the same time none of them took an oath to sterling money, Royal Mail or any other product or service, but then even a retard would know that.

  • Neil

    That’s a long post saying nothing there JEB. The queen is not UK HOS as determined by the people, she is the UK HOS by accident of birth.

    Expressing an oath to the monarch is your good faith in serving all the UK people and the UK constitution.

    No, it’s not. The oath is there for you to see. It’s got sweet f.a. to do with the UK people and everything to do with the queen and her family.

    We have Her Majesty’s Govt, Prisons, Revenue & Customs and navy – she deosnt actually own them you know.

    You’ll note the absence of SF councillors in the aforementioned as well. SF don’t do oaths to the royal family.

    The issue for SF is they should stop pissing around and if they do not wish to serve all the people in the UK while in the UK parliament and declare allegiance to them via the UK HOS then they shouldnt stand for Westminster Elections.

    More BS. Pledging allegiance to the people of the UK is neither an option nor under discussion. It’s an oath to the queen. SF don’t do oaths to the queen. As to your decision that based on your waffle they shouldn’t stand for election, most surprising. You don’t want SF to stand for election at all, due to your expressed hatred of them. Still laughing at the ‘via the UK HOS’ line, that’s a real cracker. Do you actually believe this nonsense?

    They have the NI Assembly and the NI Councils to represent their constituents on the ground and that should be enough for them.

    King JEB decrees that that should be enough for them. Ah well that’s settled everything then. LOL. We’ll be not taking an oath to you next, (although according to yourself we already are ‘via’ the queen. LOL.

    To stand for Westminster and then not fulfil your duties is dishonest.

    To stand for Westminster on an abstentionist ticket and to then ignore the fact that your mandate has been given you on the basis that you won’t attend is what in your opinion? Honest?

    Telling lies to your constituents is honest you say? Again, BS. Their duty is to their constituents, who give them a mandate to do exactly what they have been doing. To do anything else would clearly be dishonest.

  • Driftwood

    I suppose when they deliver your giro and DLA cheque etc, its better to overlook such things.

    Must be a bit frightening for SF voters if that nasty Mr Cameron decides to curtail their lazy indulgent lifestyle.

  • John East Belfast

    Neil

    What you refer to as waffle is me trying to point out to you the importance that most democrats place in a chamber like Westminster, the same can be said of the Dail and the House et al.
    However your politics are obviously too crude to appreciate that so I wont try tro explain it to you.

    And as for the Queen being HOS by birth that is true but it remains that is the people’s choice.

    However you shouldnt try to be so noble with your republican credentials otherwise you will only make a fool of yourself.

    The bottom line is that SF once held to Brits Out and now they have accepted Partition. They are constitutional nationalists and the fig leaf of Westminster abstentionism is silly.

    If they have accepted that Westminster is sovereign over NI until the majority of people say otherwise then the logical conclusion of that is they play a full part in Westminster politics.
    If they want to play a full part in Westminster Politics then, like everyone else, they play by Westminster Rules.
    If they dont want to do any of that then they should leave Westminster to those who do.

    It is really quite simple

  • Neil

    I suppose when they deliver your giro and DLA cheque etc

    Lovely, nice to see you hit your level Driftwood. Sorry to disappoint but I haven’t had any benefits for more than 10 years, being as how I have a good job. But it’s nice to see your casual sectarian bigotry pop up just so folks know where you’re coming from.

    All skefflics are workshy, did your daddy tell you that back in the good ole days? P.S. we don’t wash either and we have funny eyes. I think we might eat babies.

  • Neil

    If they have accepted that Westminster is sovereign over NI until the majority of people say otherwise then the logical conclusion of that is they play a full part in Westminster politics.

    I have no problem with that, my problem lies with an oath of loyalty to a foreign queen.

  • John East Belfast

    Then if you think she is a Foreign Queen then Westminster is a Foreign Parliament so why be there ?

  • Driftwood

    Neil
    You were the person raising the issue of IRA men bombing and taking ‘benefits’ off the British state. You appeared to crow about this fact, as if it was a good thing.

    SF seem to be worried that the Government in Westminster (you know, the REAL Government) are going to curtail such behaviour.

  • Rory Carr

    HELP!

    Can anyone please advise me how I can italicise on this site?

    On the old site I used to simply type the words to be italicised between …and . Does this now work?

  • Rory Carr

    Well obviously it does. So no need, but thank you anyway.

    …and just to continue, quoting John East Belfast (in my brand spanking new italics:

    The Queen is the UK HOS as determined by the people because they say she should be.

    When did this happen, John? I don’t ever remember being asked to vote on whether or not Princess Elizabeth (as then was) should be crowned as monarch and Head of State, although I do remember her coronation – it was the first and only time I ever took umbrage at being obliged to have a day off school (I wouldn’t eat the sweets that were doled out either).

  • John East Belfast

    Rory

    A committed Republican that long – very impressive.

    You know what I mean – if anyone raised a serious debate about making the UK a republic it would lose and hence nobody seriously considers it.

    That is not to say it couldnt happen and there have been a number of times when the UK public got seriously peeved with the Royal Family but they have always managed to pull it back. A lot of that of course has to do with Queen Elizabeth but it could be a very different matter when Charles takes over the throne.

    However I can assure you I am no strong monarchist or royalist but I still think the benefits of it far outweigh the negatives and have no desire for change.

    Real power lies in Westminster.

    Anyhow I dont consider Irish Republicans to be true republicans anyhow.
    Irish Republicanism only arose because you couldnt be subject to a Catholic King.
    In the English Civil War the Confederate Irish were firmly behind Charles and then later James.

    Catholicism has a lot more in common with the trappings of Royalty than Protestantism ever had.

    Let’s face it if there hadnt been a Glorious Revolution then the Irish problem wouldnt exist and the Union would be being torn apart by Scottish and Ulster Protestants wanting a Northern British isles celtic republic. The Catholic Irish would be the great cheer leaders for the English Catholic King.

    Irish Republicanism did not arise like it did in France or like the pioneering Americans who were largely Scotch Irish.

    Irish Republicanism is all about anti Protestant Englishness and the ideals of republicanism were a convenient flag to rally behind.

    Any true Republic would never have allowed the role of the RC Church and the crimes it got away with because of deference thereto.

    I am probably a greater gut instinct republican than most of the Irish who try to claim that title

  • Lionel Hutz

    No theres a big difference. The first said that the status of NI within UK could not be chaged without majority support. The GFA means that NI will be changed with majority support.

    There is a clear difference. The first guaranteed no right to become part of the UNited KIngdon, it just offered protection against it. Under the first one, there was no mechanism to achieve a UNited Ireland

  • Lionel Hutz

    You assume far too much JEB,

    If there was any republican spirit in Britain then they would have a real democracy and true republicanism doesn’t have parliamentary soveriegnty. In terms of the the ability to express the democratic will of the people, Ireland will always be lightyears ahead of the British.

    Imagine a country were 28% of the vote could end up with the most seats, where 36% of the vote gave a healthy majority.

    I also have to laugh at British people asking why they dont have referenda on everything european, the answer being simple, that they dont live in a democracy

  • John East Belfast

    Lionel

    There are many types of democracy – if people want real electoral change and referendums then they can express it by voting Liberal Democrat next week.

    I am not a great believer in FPTP myself.

    However I think a republic and a constitutional monarchy can be both democratic so I am not sure what point you are making.

    I think being a republican is a mindset – ie a touch of rebelliousness and a desire to bend the knee to no man. I dont need or want kings, czars or popes

    I was just making the point that such a mindset is better suited to Protestantism of the presbyterian and methodist mindset than it is to Catholicism.

    There is a lot of anti monarchy stuff on here masquerading as republicanism when it is just old fashioned Englishness

  • Rory Carr

    Yeah, John I really was (as the McCarthyites might have it) a premature anti-monarchist.

    I see where you’re going with the loose protestant = republican/ catholic = monarchist identity (in other than Ireland) but you would I think be incorrect in saying that “Irish Republicanism did not arise like it did in France or like the pioneering Americans who were largely Scotch Irish” . After all the founding fathers of Irish Republicanism were Scots-Irish Prebyterians and their leader Theobald Wolfe Tone was appointed an adjutant-general in the revolutionary French army with a mission to lead an invading force to liberate Ireland (failed).

    Tone always said that his dislike of England was “rather an instinct than a principle” and it was, I have to say much the same with me. But acquaintance and custom have long mellowed me out and I rather like them now in spite of (and sometimes because of) their quirkiness and also because they have been generous in forgiving me my foibles.

    But still – the monarchy has to go! It would be disloyal to most of my English friends to say otherwise.

  • Lionel Hutz

    I think it is amazingt that you think that republicanism has grown from anti-englishness rather the other way round or atleast in tandem. Its a delusion that certain sections of a community in this country have.

    I myself have never been anti-english, they’ve done nothing to me. But I’m still republican so I’m anti-unionist i guess.

    I will accept that the type of republicanism espoused by Sinn fein is not true republicanism in the French spirit of egalitarianism etc etc. However that doesn’t mask the true republican spirirt of the Irish

  • JEB Is wrong when he says there is no republican feeling in England. Its there, held at bay by respect for a Queen who has seldom put a foot wrong in a life time.

    As you say it may very well change when and if Charles takes the throne. For that reason I would not be surprised if he did not get there. It may be William would give them a chance to hold the throne, at least for a while.

  • michaelhenry

    barnshee, ENGLISH law forbids the crown from marrying a catholic, know your facts.

  • Michaelhenry

    the 1920 GOVERMENT OF IRELAND is repealed ALIAS, says so in page 3 of the GOOD FRIDAY AGREEMENT.

  • Michaelhenry

    dont take an oath to royal mail DRIFTWOOD, KNOW YOUR HISTORY.

  • old school

    If Sinn Fein say they will not swear allegiance to a Foreign Queen, it follows then that they believe the 6 Counties is held by a foreign power.
    Question follows therefore, why do they administer foreign rule in Ireland?

  • Driftwood

    The NI assembly, like other UK regional assemblies, are subservient to the Sovereign (The Queen).

    Thus, de facto, all members of the Assembly are Crown Servants.
    All bills passed by the Assembly must receive Royal Assent to become law. If the Secretary of State believes that a bill violates the constitutional limitations on the powers of the Assembly, the Secretary of State will refuse to submit the bill to the monarch for Assent. If submitted by the Secretary of State, the monarch will, by convention, sign a bill into law. Acts of the Northern Ireland Assembly begin with the enacting formula: “Be it enacted by being passed by the Northern Ireland Assembly and assented to by Her Majesty as follows:”.

    Marty and Catriona etc are ultimately responsible to their boss- Queen Elizabeth 2- though Owen Patterson and then David Cameron are(shortly will be) her line managers in this regard.

  • Michaelhenry

    SINN FEIN do not administer crown rule old school, take a few minutes to work this out.

  • Michaelhenry

    nobody swears the oath to the crown at the assembly DRIFTWOOD, its been the IRISH way since 1998.

  • old school

    They swear to administer Crown Rule.
    They swear to serve it’s Institutions. Who owns these Institutions?
    They swear to uphold and defend law and order, Michael.
    Whose law and whose order?
    I can’t believe youre being as stupid as you pretend.

  • Michaelhenry

    english law is crown law, which SINN FEIN swear no oath to.

  • union mack

    you remind me of the wee chap Paul who was as blinkered a DUPer as you are a blinkered Shinner

  • Michaelhenry

    YOU REMIND ME OF NOTHING UNION MACK.

  • old school

    So Crown Law only exists in England?
    Well whaddayeknow!!!

  • Michaelhenry

    it does not exist in the assembly OLD SCHOOL.

  • wee buns

    Pip
    I like you better when you talk non prescriptively.
    Being interested in history is different from’ having’ a history, or being able to place yourself & your history, in a perspective. It is not a thing a person can learn from a book.
    The unfortunate situation here, or at least one aspect is, that violence HAS worked, at least has made a very large impression. Violence, like money, DOES talk, whether we like it or not.

  • wee buns

    Wake Up Michaelhenry!
    Smell the colonial coffee!

  • No Wee Buns violence has not worked, not in Ireland. I believe we are closer to a united Ireland now than ever before. It was not violence that got us here. It was the peace process. We need the young to grow up in a peaceful atmosphere. If that happens they can compare like with like and I believe Ireland wins hands down.

    All the violence has lead to is thousands dead and mini fiefdoms where the law was abandoned and abused by those we trusted.

    One day when I have time I am going to sit down and count the number of people who do not like me, then I will have a glass of wine and count the number of people I dislike. I will be disappointed in myself if they are not the same…

    Being interested in history is not the same as having a history? Agreed, being interested in history means understanding all of it, not selecting which bits suit our cause. Our history is fascinating, all of it.

  • Driftwood

    The Union Flag flies over Stormont on designated days. Real power, Taxation, Pensions, Foreign policy , Defence (including the 5000 British Army garrison here) and a lot more reside in our Capital city in London.
    Stormont has less powers than Scotland. It has roughly the same powers as Yorkshire Council, or Wales.
    MI5 have their 2nd home here.
    The Assembly can be overruled by the National Government, anytime, . Actually the Isle of Man is much more independent.
    But that’s OK. Cameron will remind Ulster in a nice way, who has Control. All that murder for a few crumbs from the table, SF. But sure didn’t you get an Irish language programme on Radio Ulster for 30 minutes each weeknight.
    Evidence of the ‘Armed Struggle’ paying off.
    ‘Votail’ whatever ….The constitutional issue is over, just a matter of Nolan Show invective when the cuts really start to bite once the ‘community’ moneygoround is halted.

  • wee buns

    ‘violence has not worked, not in Ireland.’
    Unstiffled laughter.

  • You have a warped sense of humour. I find nothing to laugh at in the death of thousands of people. And what have those deaths achieved? an equality we have had for years. Its not funny, its tragic.

  • Michaelhenry

    I drink freedom coffee WEE BUNS.

  • Michaelhenry

    got the armed british army of IRISH streets Driftwood, watch out or those crumbs will choke you.

  • wee buns

    As per usual, you have got the wrong end of the stick.
    Tis merely the norn iron dark humour, but like sarcasm & irony, ungraspable by large swathes of the planet’s populace.

  • Are you having a go at a woman in the south? surely not!

    I know the north has developed a rich humour around the troubles, the old, six pack etc. It is classic: if you did not laugh you would cry. I admit sometimes I laugh, but never without regret, and never about child abuse or rapists, thats when my sense of humour entirely disappears. It must never happen again, and that Im afraid means we tolerate the Brits until we can persuade the majority to vote for a united Ireland.

    I hope I am not being prescriptive, again…

  • union mack

    the RIR homecoming took place on those same ‘Irish streets’

    I think Drift is safe from those crumbs

  • Michaelhenry

    the unarmed R.I.R home coming took place, you will never see the armed R.I.R patroling IRISH streets again, by the way which other persons country was the R.I.R in.

  • Wasted Ballot

    ‘you will never see the armed R.I.R patroling IRISH streets again’

    when did RIR occupy the RoI? news to me.

    well I hope that should the dissidents up their game and more people die you will eat humble pie and withdraw that comment. Or should people die to massage republican egos?

  • Munsterview

    John East Belfast
    “…. Anyhow I dont consider Irish Republicans to be true republicans anyhow.
    Irish Republicanism only arose because you couldnt be subject to a Catholic King.
    In the English Civil War the Confederate Irish were firmly behind Charles and then later James……”

    Not quite true John. First off radical Republicanism of the 1700’s cannot be separated from the agenda of a major force of International Free Masonry of the period and that of the Ancient Irish and Scottish Order in particular. To this day the ‘Ancients’ maintain their separate identity in the States and elsewhere in the world.

    Post the ‘ Glorious Revolution ‘ English State Free Masonry in as much as there was such a thing, was ‘reformed’, confined to working the lower degrees and emasculated of any radicalism. Meanwhile the Jacobite Lodges continued the radical tradition and this midwifed first the American Revolution in 1776 and later the French and other Revolutions.

    One of the problems of understanding exactly what happened in Ireland in 1798 is that there has never been a serious consideration given to the input of the Jacobite Lodges and the part they played here at home. These were the true meeting places for the leaders of Catholic, Protestant and Dissenter radical and alternative to the status quo opinion.

    The ‘Reformed’ Free Mason lodges in Ireland have always had a very uneasy relationship with the Jacobite Masonic tradition. Historically the Cromwellian and Williamite Planter stock and the Anglican Church embraced the ‘ Reformed Rite’ while the Great Irish Catholic disposed families and other upper-class of that ilk were ‘Ancients’ and Jacobite. So were the Continental Great Catholic families and Catholic Royal houses that sympathized with them and with whom they associated with in a Pan European intellectual and philosophical network.

    While the French Revolution was greeted with horror by European Catholic Royal Houses, most it should be noted stayed true to the Jacobite traditions per se, regarding the French Revolution as an aberration that should not have happened. To the present day most English ‘Reformed Rite’ chartered lodges do not recognize French Free Masons.

    The Continental ‘Ancients’ relationship with the French is more ambiguous, individual members do attend lodges as full and accepted members when in other European countries while their members do likewise when in France. Both the French and the Continental lodges of these traditions despite their differences, still have more in common with each other than they have with the English ‘Reformed’ Rite.

    Your analysis of the ‘strangeness’ of Irish Catholic/ Nationalists adhering to Republicanism rather than a Monarchial system of state is not as you suppose an accident of history, rather it is a product of a clearly defined evolution of Jacobite Masonic tradition as carried and cultivated by Irish Continental Exiles until it bore fruit in ’98 and again in Emmets Rebellion .

    It is a fascinating area of study and one that provides many interesting insights into some otherwise inexplicable aspects of Irish History .

  • Battle of the Bogside

    They call it the Queens rent, we have to charge her for illegally occupying our territory!!!

  • Battle of the Bogside

    Wasted Ballot

    A wee question for you: What were the ascendency/Protestant/non Catholic/Unionist referred to pre partition???

    The answer is IRISH!!!

    Just like they are now: IRISH!!!

    How can you be true British when you don’t live in Britain???

    You are British Irish!!!

    That is your master status and always will be!!!

    When you go to England, do they ask you if you are from Britain? No they ask you what part of Ireland you are from; they see you as you are – Irish!!!

  • Diluted Orange

    If I was a Tory/Labour government minister about to embark on a set of extreme public cuts where would I start?

    I think I’d probably choose the path of least resistance. I’m sure that out of all the hospitals in the UK the Erne, Omagh and the Mater are the safest from any cuts whatsoever.

    The Sinn Fein chickens are going to come home to roost, the result of this election and the precarious economic situation means that the days of wrapping yourself up in tricolour and pretending that a United Ireland is around the corner are over – that’s if you want anyone to vote for you come 2015.

  • johnno

    Aye, Pete, the public are pure ragin at the Shinners’ refusal to suck the Queen’s ass in Stoop fashion.

    Bet you regret starting that thread back in April, eh?

    What, were you going by the ‘pulse’ on Slugger? Aye, it really has the word on the street down, eh?

  • johnno

    Demented Orange ranted,

    “The Sinn Fein chickens are going to come home to roost, the result of this election and the precarious economic situation means that the days of wrapping yourself up in tricolour and pretending that a United Ireland is around the corner are over – that’s if you want anyone to vote for you come 2015.”

    Aye, becoming the largest party has really led to some serious soul-searching amongst the Shinners, eh Demented?

    The only chicken (or should I say cuckold..ouch) that came home to roost was in East Belfast. The dumb workers watched their jobs fade away like snow off a ditch whilst expense claims went in for Mont Blanc pens…oh dear.

  • Battle of the Bogside

    Really likes this!

  • John East Belfast

    Munsterview

    I must confess I know nothing about freemasonary in general and was not aware of any influence therefrom in Catholic Ireland

    But do you believe the post 1916 Republicans were the true inheritors of any idealism associated with those from the late 18th Century ?

    Or by that time was it just anti Englishness/Unionist and a desire for an independent State and – with no High King of Ireland available – Republicanism was the obvious choice ? The role given to the RC Church within the Free State and the deference clearly paid to it by the elected officials thereafter would suggest that to me ?

  • Diluted Orange

    johnno

    you mistake me for a DUPer. In fact I’m positively delighted about the EB result.

    Good to see that the principles of the electorate there has led to Swish Pete having the smile wiped off his face.

    Let this be a lesson to Gerry. You can direct a campaign of mass murder for 30+ years, or conceal the crimes of your paedophile brother on members of your own family, or personally demand the cold-blooded murder of a widowed Protestant women with 10 kids but the electorate of West Belfast are just as upstanding as their EB counterparts …

    Any similar financial impropriety on G Adams behalf will be punished by defeat at the ballot box I’m sure.

  • Diluted Orange

    “Aye, becoming the largest party has really led to some serious soul-searching amongst the Shinners, eh Demented?”

    Largest party – with 5 seats, same as last time then and with a lower number of votes cast than last time. What a victory – this must be why there are black cabs streaming up and down the Falls Rd as we chat – revelling in SF’s newest success.

    How do SF plan to wield their new found power?

    Also is it not partitionist for you to refer to SF as being the largest party, when you are referring to NI based results only? Where do they sit in all-Ireland terms – are they just as relevant?

  • wee buns

    Very interesting! Love to read this stuff late over a glass. Thanks.

  • Munsterview

    John / Wee Buns ( up late for a film so here goes)

    Please bear with me while I do a little contextualization. One of the things that seems to have been forgotten by in present popular Presbyterian Culture is just how much that religious belief was repressed and persecuted by the Anglican Religious establishment in the last quarter of the eighteenth century.

    Those who were oppressed as a community were among the most forward thinking and socially progressive on these islands. A combination of oppression and lack of economic outlets had established the emigration from Ulster to North America and to the North Eastern industrial cities of the states in particular. There they got the same reward and security for their work and genius as did the Catholic Irish from the South a century later.

    Anyone who has read Dan Brown’s latest book ‘ The Lost Symbol’ will know the part Free Masons played in the American 1776 Revolution. ( see also ‘ Secrets of the Lost Symbol’ by Dan Burstein for a detailed explanations of the book, well worth the price!) The Irish and Scottish regiments of the British Army in duty tours of North America chartered ‘Ancient’ Lodges where ever they went.

    One of the last Irish Regiments in Boston before leaving after the Revolution, chartered the first lodge of Free African Americans and from them come all Prince Hall Lodges down to present times. Martin Luther King was a member of the Prince Hall. I will return to this particular aspect later!

    Just like Ireland, Free Masons in the North America English Army divided along Class lines, the Aristocratic Officers were ‘reformed rite’ the rank and file, especially the Irish and other Celtic area raised regiments were ‘Ancients’ often covertly so as Lodges also sometimes also acted as proto trade unions and spread liberty and equality ideas.

    Many of the Spanish Land Grants in what is now Texas and California given to emigrants from Spain went to sons of Munster and other Irish Catholic exiles in Spain. Many of the Mexicans who confronted Bowie and Travis and Co at the Almo were in fact of Irish Decent and see themselves being pushed off their lands yet again by Protestant stock of Southern Ireland descent, hence two generations later the Plantation of Munster battles were again refought on American soil !.

    These areas had the Jacobite Masonic Traditions also through their Irish Families from Spain ( many of the practices and degrees went back much further than James the Sixth, all the way back to the Celtic Church in fact) Both the Planter Irish and Old Irish from North and South of Ireland played a leading part in the American Revolution, General Sullivan for instance steeled George Washington in Valley Forge and drew his inspiration from O’Sullivan Beare in the Elizabethan Wars. It was his idea also based on Irish Tactics to raid the Brits for Supplies Weapons and other war materials on Christmas during the festivities.

    The Ancients were also behind most of the Revolutions in South America and the I.R.B quickly spread through out the Irish of the regions there. O’Sullivan Burke the Fenian Leader was sworn in to the I.R.B. half way down Chile and fifty miles inland when he accidentally met up with a group of Irish Exiles who were discussing Revolution at their evening camp!

    Post Independence the attitude of the Irish Army officers in the Continental Army was ‘America Freedom to Day, Irish Freedom to morrow’. This Masonic tradition and attitude was well established in West Point and superseded temporary political situations: during the American Civil War the head of the Ancients for all North America was the Confederate General, Pike. who is one of the most revered Masonic scholars known. He has a large monument in Washington to his memory and his remains are interred there.

    The Irish in the American Civil War flocked to the Northern side as Republicans to defend the Republic that was both sympathetic to Irish Freedom and in-keeping with their political philosophies. The South was interlinked through Cotton with English Industrialists!. By the time the War was over the Irish Republican Brotherhood,( formed St Patricks day 1858 ) a front for a section of the Ancients had over 25% of the Officer Class and it is estimated up to a fifth of the Northern Armies as a whole recruited. ( prior to the 98 rising the United Irishmen, another ‘Ancients’ front had possibly half of all Irish ( and a significant number of Scots) in the English armies of the day sworn into the U.I.)

    Post American Civil War, the first Grand Plan proposed by General Tom Sweeney ( Fighting Tom) of Dunmanway was to invade Canada and hold it as hostage for Irish freedom. This invasion took place on June Ist 1886, 15,000 battle hardened Irish Civil War Veterans assembled, 1,000 got across and the The Yanks stabbed that one in the back by then halting the Invasion and using the Invasion to settle unfinished business with Britain since the 1812 war and the recent Confederate war assistance issues. Among them was an all African/American Civil War Veterans unit who were ‘Prince Hall Free Masons, there in fraternity and gratitude to the Irish who had chartered their Lodge and were first to acknowledge them as true free men!.

    The I.R.B. post the Canadian invasion then adopted other tactics that included a bombing campaign in England and supporting all anti government agitation in Ireland. The raising of the Ulster Volunteer Force gave them the excuse to raise their own volunteer army, the Irish Parliamentary party first ignored it but being aware of the ‘hidden hand’ quickly moved to control it. They encouraged members to get into uniform and insisted on their own representation on the officer board. The I.R.B. had to go along with it but bided their time.

    On the outbreak of the first W.W. Redmond volunteered the services of the Volunteers to England’s War effort, the I.R.B. section split, and began to prepare for a war against England for Irish Freedom. Casement one of the Leaders of the I.R.B. procured 10,000 rifles and ammo in Germany, there was a Volunteer detachment ready in Kerry to take over the area and convey the weapons to various distribution points but the radio man that was to contact the ship took a wrong turning, drove his car off a pier and was drowned. The German ship was off shore awaiting contact, it was reported, a British Gunboat intervened, the ships crew scuttled it and the rest as they say is history.

    The lines from the military council of the I.R.B and the I.R.B. it self run clean back through the American Civil War and back past Valley Forge to the first shots in Bunker Hill. Wherever the Irish were, the clandestine Ancients were there and wherever the Ancients were there was trouble for England while England troubled Ireland! That is legacy and the true wellsprings of Irish Republicanism, the 1916 rising had a gestation of over one hundred and forty years and was generations in the making.

    To delineate what happened post 1918 and the First Dail is another matter and material for another posting if you are still interested. However one thing you do need to appreciate if beginning to explore this whole area; the term Free Mason is like that of Protestant; it includes a very broad range with a wide diversity of rituals and practices yet retaining enough commonality of beliefs to constitute a recognizable totality. It has also hi-jacked and appropriated other belief systems along the way and would need a separate posting all of it’s own to tease out some of the issues involved.

    Illustrations of what are now regarded as exclusively Masonic handshakes are to be found in the Book Of Kells. That of itself raises some very interesting questions indeed as it centers some of these practices in the Celtic Church prior to the latter’ assimilation by the Roman Catholic church in 1111AD.