Sinn Fein and criminality

The TUV’s stance on refusing Power sharing with Sinn Fein is one of their most distinctive policies. To refuse mandatory coalition with Sinn Fein was of course a policy once held by the UUP and, until as recently as 2007, by the DUP. The DUP now claim that Sinn Fein have changed and as such they, the DUP, are willing to share power with them. The TUV dispute this and I would submit that a single word can sum up the reason for the TUV’s position: criminality and Sinn Fein’s attitude to it.

Sinn Fein is frequently proud of its links to violent republicanism as represented by the IRA. As recently as the latest leaders’ debate, Gerry Adams, whilst denying membership of the IRA stated that he was proud to be associated with it.

The simple fact is that the IRA, of which Sinn Fein and Gerry Adams are so proud, committed an enormous number of crimes. Even by the Sutton Index ,which grossly underestimates the IRA’s crimes, it was responsible for 1709 deaths during the Troubles and that is to leave out crimes which are accepted by practically everyone to have been committed by the IRA such as Kingsmills.

Senior individuals within Sinn Fein have been repeatedly linked to criminality. Gerry Adams himself has been linked to La Mon and possibly most notoriously to the murder of Jean McConville. Adams’s denials have to be taken alongside his other denials. Whilst various politicians have tried to make their lives appear more interesting than they are (a category into which Adam’s claims to have sung “Always look on the bright side of life” in gaol should be put): his lies about being in gaol when Jean McConville was murdered paint a picture of an individual whose word is utterly worthless.

It is of course not only Adams who seems to have blood not only on his hands but to be saturated in the stuff: Operation Taurus against Martin McGuinness appeared to have evidence of several crimes for which he could have been prosecuted and in 2001 Ian Paisley named Martin McGuinness as the one who ordered Frank Hegarty’s murder.

In very few countries would politicians be expected to share power with a party led by people over whom such serious accusations hang. It might be possible to argue that these accusations are exactly that, only accusations: however, there are also multiple Sinn Fein MLAs who have been found guilty of serious crimes. Gerry Kelly is a released life sentence criminal, convicted in connection with the Old Bailey bombing which killed one person and injured 200. Paul Butler was convicted of murdering a police officer, Martina Anderson is a convicted bomber, Conor Murphy was convicted of explosives offences.

Sinn Fein of course do not accept the IRA’s actions as remotely criminal. In a time of peace Jean McConville’s kidnap, murder and burial would be a crime: in a time of war it would be a war crime. However, as recently as January 2005 Mitchell McLaughlin, the then Sinn Fein chairman, claimed that the murder of Jean McConville was not a crime: a position which Sinn Fein have yet to reverse.

However, even if these crimes are regarded as political there are plenty of other examples of an attitude to criminality which would make it difficult for Sinn Fein to be accepted as democratic politicians in any other society. Gerry Adams’s attitude to his brother’s alleged paedophilia stripped him of any remaining moral authority and it is difficult to see how in any other society his cover ups and lies on this issue would make him an acceptable partner in political power.

Maybe that is the past and all pre ceasefire stuff though why exactly sexual perversion and covering it up is of lesser importance in a conflict situation has never been fully explained. However, there are multiple more recent crimes on which to judge Sinn Fein’s position on criminality.

The position of Sinn Fein on the Northern Bank robbery is of course that the IRA did not do it and as such presumably if they are to be taken at their word (a laughable concept) then indeed it is irrelevant. Again though to pretend for a moment to take that seriously.

When the infamous Thomas Murphy was arrested over tax evasion, Adams stated: “Tom Murphy is not a criminal. He’s a good republican and I read his statement after the Manchester raids and I believe what he says and also and very importantly he is a key supporter of Sinn Féin’s peace strategy and has been for a very long time.”
He also said:
“I want to deal with what is an effort to portray Tom Murphy as a criminal, as a bandit, as a gang boss, as someone who is exploiting the republican struggle for his own ends, as a multimillionaire. There is no evidence to support any of that.”

For a politician to dismiss out of hand alleged serious criminality simply on the alleged criminal’s word would be bizarre in any other society than ours and would call into serious question that politician’s views on criminality and support for the police: in this case incidentally the Garda. Nor is this treatment of those accused of involvement in serious crime unique. When Sean Hughes had properties confiscated at the request of the Serious and Organised Crime Agency, Conor Murphy stated:

“Sean Hughes is a sound republican. He has spent his entire adult life engaged in the struggle for Irish unity and independence. He has championed the peace process and the campaign to end political policing. There have been numerous attempts over the years to smear Sean’s character. The raids today on Sean’s home and those of a number of his relatives have caused deep anger in South Armagh. There is no justification for the deliberate targeting of Sean and his family today.”

On other occasions, however, Sinn Fein has been much less concerned about accusing people of criminality even when it was actually the victim of the crime whom they were accusing of criminality. When Paul Quinn was murdered, the same Mr. Murphy, explained the incident as a result of fallings out amongst criminals. When Robert McCartney was murdered Alex Maskey’s response was to blame the police for investigating the crime stating: “It appears the PSNI is using last night’s tragic stabbing incident as an excuse to disrupt life within this community, and the scale and approach of their operation is completely unacceptable and unjustifiable.” Eventually Sinn Fein did suspend several members (those apparently in the Tardis toilets) but later they were apparently quietly allowed back into the party.

Of course on other occasions Sinn Fein have taken criminal activity much more seriously. After Harry Holland was murdered Gerry Adams went with the family to see the Attorney General to complain about the length of the sentences imposed on the killers. Later when Patrick Crossan, one of those involved in the attack on Mr. Holland, was knee capped allegedly by dissident republicans, Gerry Adams did not seem to mention it.

The simple fact is that Sinn Fein’s attitude to criminality is not that of a normal political party. Sinn Fein cannot accept that the forty years of murder and mayhem were unjustified and that the (legitimate) quest for equal rights for nationalists, or indeed the desire for a united Ireland (a reasonable aspiration if perused peacefully) did not justify the murder of dog club members, people at war memorials, widowed mothers of ten, workmen on their way home, shoppers in country towns or Belfast etc. etc. In contrast Sinn Fein is greatly exercised by the crimes of loyalists and the possibilities of collusion, demanding answers and apologies for events chronologically synchronous with, or earlier than, others which they dismiss as past irrelevancies. When it comes to the past crimes of republicans, they are not crimes at all, and even if, by chance certain actions were unfortunate; they were in the past. The idea that so tainted are Sinn Fein by their support for the crimes of the past, frequently their members’ commission of those crimes and their current dubious and partial support for the rule of law, that they are unfit for government, is dismissed as unionist bigotry and a refusal to accept the rights of nationalists.

In the current dispensation the PSNI are to be criticized for excessive and heavy handed policing when they have the temerity to arrest those of whom Sinn Fein approve and equally to be criticized when they fail to catch those guilty of crimes Sinn Fein regard as of importance. The difference between police heavy handedness and inadequate police response is of course entirely predictable and dependent not on the crime but on the approval or otherwise by Sinn Fein of the supposed victim and more importantly perpetrator.

Some unionists and others may feel that in the current climate Sinn Fein have accepted the rule of law and should be accepted, albeit maybe with a heavy heart, into partnership government. However, it is still reasonable to say that Sinn Fein is extremely far from the norms of democracy and too far for normal parties to accept that. The criticism is frequently made that the TUV will not share power with any nationalists / Catholics. Jim Allister has repeatedly stated that he would enter a coalition with other nationalists. It is then alleged that the TUV are ignoring SF’s mandate: again that is untrue. The TUV may wish that nationalists did not vote SF but it recognizes that they have that right.

In actual fact the TUV is not refusing to allow Sinn Fein into power sharing: that might be characterized as undemocratic. Rather the TUV is stating that they (the TUV) will not enter into a power sharing government with Sinn Fein. The TUV are thereby simply depriving themselves of power. That is a completely different and entirely democratic position to hold. If the TUV gain a mandate in the next assembly elections not to enter power sharing with SF, then that is the mandate they have. They have excluded themselves and not SF from power.
The TUV’s aim is to deprive themselves of power by refusing to participate in this game of see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil. It is for the other parties to explain why all the above issues regarding SF’s attitude to criminality no longer matter.

  • Michaelhenry

    the T.U.V are a dissident party who can not get anyone elected, the people do not care about what the T.U.V thinks.

  • Anonin

    Even if they’re fair points, it rings hollow without equal length being given to crimes carried out by loyalists – probably most notably, the decades of sectarian attacks aimed specifically at civilians.

    Just saying, it’s really hard to take it seriously unless you point out that the people who’re suppose to accept coalition with ‘criminals’ are, themselves, ‘criminals’.

  • old school

    Sinn Fein Rule No. 436. Sub para 3.
    Guys who storm British Army Barracks with AK’s=criminals.
    Guys who smuggle diesel, cigs and fake vodka= Sound republicans.

  • Michaelhenry

    the REAL have never killed any armed brits or cops in there 12 years old school, peace will come soon to the hardliners still left.

  • TAFKABO

    Hi Turgon.
    You’ll appreciate if I say that your blog is too lengthy to go into on a point by point basis, so I’ll take one salient quote and work from there.

    In very few countries would politicians be expected to share power with a party led by people over whom such serious accusations hang.

    Upon what do you base this idea?

    It seems to me that just about every country that has tried to find its way out of conflict has either had to suppress one side completely, or in the cases where that isn’t possible, find some working compromise.
    what is happening in Zimbawe?, what happened in South Africa?

    Secondly, even if we take your argument as it is, it only stands as long as one side deludes itself that its hands are as clean as it claims its opponents are bloody.
    How can the TUV say they wont work with Sinn Fein but will work with the British government?

    Thirdly, and most importantly, the TUV have yet to fully grasp what democracy is. You take what the electorate gives you and you run with it, or you get out of the game.

  • Turgon

    TAFKABO,
    No it is you who fails to understand democracy. If the TUV gain a mandate to refuse to enter power sharing with Sinn Fein and instead go into opposition then that is their mandate. To force an elected party to enter into mandatory coalition is actually undemocratic.

    As to your analogies with Zimbabwe and South Africa: if you want to compare the situation pre 1969 with the position there it merely shows your somewhat limited grasp of history and complete inability to understand comparisons.

    Anonin,
    I have had multiple essays on my views of loyalist paramilitaries: here, here, here, here, here, here.

    I could go on with more blogs but I am illustrating that in actual fact I have done many more blogs on loyalist paramilitaries (all denouncing them) than I have ever done on SF and criminality. However, it is often easier to tell lies about what I say and smear me.

  • RepublicanStones

    and that is to leave out crimes which are accepted by practically everyone to have been committed by the IRA such as Kingsmills.

    Yip led that chap with the english accent, just like the gang who committed Miamai showband atrocity, strange……

  • RepublicanStones

    Miami*

    (wheres the preview button gone?)

  • Rory Carr

    Stormont itself was brought into being as a direct result of the criminal gunrunning of leading unionists, of the treasonous Curragh Mutiny, of the threat of violence from the UVF and the illegal (but officially sanctioned) terror campaign against northern catholics by the RUC and B Specials which included bloody murder like the slaughter of the McMahon family. So please, Turgon, give it a rest – the Unionist parliament that is your ideal and to which you look back in misty-eyed yearning was steeped in blood, terrorism and illegality and from such intimidation and terror a political system was set in place that cowed nationalists for 50 years but set the seeds for all that was to come.

  • Anonin

    Fair play, but you do acknowledge that it’s just as hard for Sinn Fein to sit in a Parliament with people who to their side of things are responsible for burning out a large amount of catholics and supporting all those people you dutifully denounce, yeah?

    That’s the essence of power-sharing, acknowledging that both of you are as detestable to the other and deciding like adults to overcome it for peace and your own laurels/position in society.

  • Just out of curiosity RepStones, have you read Voices from the Grave? Brendan Hughes certainly thought it was the Provisionals who carried out Kingsmills.

  • kells

    What can the TUVF not understand about the simple fact that the Irish people of the six counties are never going back to the era of a sectarian state.

  • RepublicanStones

    As did a few others Gari. Of course such recieved wisdom doesn’t make it true. And you have to admit the ‘english accent’ in both atrocities is strange. Unless of course you think Mac Stíofáin himself was involved? And to answer your question, no I haven’t read ‘Voices..’, don’t know when I’ll get round to it, currently in the middle of Andrew Wheatcroft’s ‘The Enemy At The Gate’.

  • Michaelhenry

    Bredan had a hangover during that mornings interview Garibaldy, he was promised a few beers for a good story, this is the best that he could come up with.

  • Seosamh913

    The people involved in the Kingsmills massacre were straightforward sectarian criminals. I’d take some persuading that at least the most of them weren’t Provos, whether they were acting under as it were devolved responsibility locally or whether it was officially sanctioned at a higher level, who’s to know. At a minimum, had the Provos been remotely genuinely revolted by it the matter would have been investigated by them and any punishment dished out. I have never read anything which suggests that this happened.

    Truly disgusting, whatever the truth of it.

  • Greenflag

    kells ,

    ‘What can the TUVF not understand about the simple fact that the Irish people of the six counties are never going back to the era of a sectarian state.’

    What do you mean never going back ? They still are in a sectarian state . The difference is merely that instead of NI being a one party dominated Unionist ruled sectarian state prior to 1972 – it’s now a two party Unionist/Republican dominated sectarian state . The result of the upcoming election will confirm the very high correlation between voting patterns and sectarian denomination.

    Turgon would rather that the Republicans would not be part of the present ‘solution’. Presumably he may also believe that the 300,000 approx Irish people who will vote for SF are also ‘criminals ‘ . If he also believes that the 300,000 plus voters who vote for Unionist parties are also criminals then I guess we can all except that he is genuinely NOT a hypocrite 🙁

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Turgon is of course right. IRA were heavily involved in what he and many others would call “criminality”.
    Alas their voters….about 1 in 4 of the people who will actually vote on Thursday next take a different view. Its unlikely 1 in 4 will vote TUV……

    When I say “a different view” I include those who consider that terrorism is not criminal or not “necessarily criminal” or that the State was at least responsible for murder….only this week we learned that an innocent person was killed by a plastic bullet in an incident where two policemen (now deceased) should have faced criminal charges.
    Oddly no thread on that in Slugger this week (a SF councillor in a brawl is bigger news).
    The different view includes people who think …..yes it was murder and mayhem……but at least its all behind us. And they believe that the IRA eating in the Members Dining Hall and sitting round the Executive table is a heavy price to pay but worth it.
    The UUP agreed to it.
    The DUP agreed to it.
    Arguably the People agreed to it in the Referendum.
    They endorse it at Election time.
    Will the TUV change minds? Quite possibly yes. They make good points. But selectivity on murder is not I suggest a viable policy.
    Earlier this week Workers Memorial Day function organised by ICTU took place in the Long Gallery. Paul Butler MLA would have been one of the hosts. He was away on “Quinn Insurance” business and his place taken by Jenny McCann MLA.
    Workers Memorial Day commemorates workers who have lost lives in industrial “accidents”. Much rhetoric about the right to leave home in the morning……go to a safe workplace …..and return home.
    But Ms McCann and Mr Butler know something of safety at work….Ms McCann served 10 years in prison for shooting a policeman. Mr Butler was released from a life sentence for killing a policeman.
    Work related Id say.
    Work related youd say.
    But nobody in the Long Gallery saw any irony.
    Not even the Minister Arlene Foster.
    She might have recalled that as a school kid she was on a bus, where a bomb was placed to kill the driver (work related as he was in UDR) or even that her own father had been ambushed in his capacity as RUC Reserve). She spoke about how good Health and Safety practice is economic sense…..joking that as a “lawyer herself” she should point out they cost a lot of money.
    Ah lawyers………at risk thru their work……Edgar Graham (he counts) and of course you and I would not have difficulty adding Pat Finnucane or Rosemary Nelson to the list.
    Or the building workers at Kingsmills, or the guys who worked on RUC stations or the greengrocer friend of my father, or journalist Martin O’Hagan. Or the Ulsterbus staff in Oxford Street.
    Like I say, no irony in the Long Gallery.
    But it seems to me theres a choice. And the choice does ot involve being selective.
    It DOES involve moving on.
    Alas the dissidents on the Republican and Unionist side cant do it.

  • TAFKABO

    The TUV are of course within their rights to refuse to work with any other party but if that happens it would be the TUV who were left out of power, they shouyld be honest and tell their voters that, instead of floating some la la land idea that their could in any way be a situation where they got elected and denied anyone else the reins of power.

    My comparisonss with Zimbabwe and South Africa are perfectly valid in as far as they point to places where conflicting sides found themselves working together despite serious allegations of criminality from one or both parties.

  • Alias

    “It is for the other parties to explain why all the above issues regarding SF’s attitude to criminality no longer matter.”

    It should be, but the reality is that it is up to those who think it does matter to persuade the public why it matters.

    The British state (Whitehall, the Security Services, and the government) manage the people of NI in accordance with their plans for it, and the people merely do what they are told to do while thinking that it is their own free will that makes the determination at the ballot box in accordance with a plan what was devised by their own political leaders at all-party talks rather than devised by the British state and simply signed-off by them with some cosmetic tinkering to give the illusion that they had some input.

    Indeed, the TUV only exist because the British state decided that the axis of powersharing should reside with a DUP/Shinner ‘coalition.’ Of course the people voted for that axis thinking that was an act of their own determination but the reality is that it was determined by the British state with the people merely being led to do what the state wanted them to do. Likewise, the state wanted its catholic tribe to endorse its security services and so it led the people to think that it was following their local leader’s agenda on that issue rather than their local leaders following the state’s agenda. The leader of the catholic tribe may have assumed that his democratic mandate determined that he would only agree to devolve policing powers at a time of his/their choosing but the reality, as we all observed, is that the time was of the state’s choosing despite “triple locks” and supposed autonomy.

    The real master of the local people is the British state, and the people merely do what they are led to do. NI isn’t sovereign by itself, but is part of a bigger sovereign power, so that outside force means that its people are all just puppets that think they pull their own strings.

    Can you persuade the public why it matters? Nope, because you are up against power that you can’t defeat. The media is servile to the state and will always proffer the state’s agenda on constitutional and national security issues, so your message will always be skewed by that medium so that it is discredited. At most, bypassing the media and getting up on a soapbox will bring you to the attention of a minority of the minority who can filter out state control but that will never be enough to work effectively against it.

  • Alias

    Typo: “The leader of the Protestant tribe may have assumed …”

  • TAFKABO

    Patronise much?

  • Cormac Mac Art

    So can anyone be suprised at why SF have attracted so little of the southern vote?

  • Greenflag

    Sound response Rory . Turgon and ilk don’t ever want to admit that side of the Unionist State 1920-1972 . When even the Tories were forced to abolish Stormont you might think some would have copped on – But not at all . I think Turgon is doing his level best to ensure SF win FST . He would not be the first nor the last ‘unionist’ to achieve the opposite of what he intended .

    He has a valid point re the undemocratic nature of mandatory power sharing but then he’ll never persuade most Irish people that NI in it’s format 1920 to 1972 was a ‘democracy’ in the modern understanding of that term . The NI State simply never had the level of constitutional support that could have justified such a claim .

    The present ‘mandatory’ forced power sharing comes close to being able to claim status as a ‘normal ‘ democracy at least in so far as only two small minorities do not accept it’s current status -one being the dissidents and the other side the TUV .

    The vast majority of NI voters from the DUP /SF/SDLP/UUP/AP electorates will be saying NO to the dissidents and the TUV come May 6th. At least one hopes so .

  • Greenflag

    tafkabo,

    ‘Thirdly, and most importantly, the TUV have yet to fully grasp what democracy is. You take what the electorate gives you and you run with it, or you get out of the game.’

    Good point . The ‘logic’ of the TUV position re ‘power sharing’ should have them painted as the pro repartition party . Perhaps they should come clean and tell the people of NI that TUV policies can never be implemented in the current pre repartitioned NI State .

  • Alias

    So, you think the British state didn’t decide that the axis of powersharing should reside with a DUP/Shinner ‘coalition’ but that the voters decided this? The state decided it and manipulated the voters to act accordingly. Puppets and their puppet masters.

  • Alias

    Each party receives it own mandate from its voters, and is not in any way bound by the mandate received by other parties from other voters.

  • Alias

    Just to highlight how ridiculous that argument is. If one party has a policy of charging for school dinners and other parties do not, it doesn’t follow that all of the other parties must change their policy on school dinners to be the same policy as the party of government. If it did, there would be no opposition since all parties would be obliged have the same policies as the elected government. Democracy is diversity, not synchronicity. Admittedly, you don’t have opposition in NI so these abnormalities are often confused with normality.

  • John Joe

    “…this game of see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil…”

    Were you thinking of people like Torrens Knight? It’s ironic that the only other non-TUV unionist politician you mention is Ian Paisley, yet you fail to connect him to the many acts of violence associated with organisations with which he had connections.

  • Michaelhenry

    why is the T.U.V to ashamed to stand for elections in BRITAN, no T.U.V election posters outside buckinham palace, the T.U.V hate the brits.

  • Belfast Libertarian

    Turgon,

    In the TUV manifesto, it says that a vote for any other party is an endorsement of turning a blind eye to the murder of Robert McCartney. Isn’t this rather offensive? Are you saying that everyone that doesn’t vote for your party endorses criminality?

  • Alias

    “Indeed, as we saw recently in Northern Ireland (and more than a decade ago in South Africa) bringing the most polarised parties to the point of agreement can be absolutely critical to ensuring that any deal sticks. I am confident that the agreement in Northern Ireland will stick precisely because it was brokered between the two most polarised positions held by Ian Paisley’s Democratic Unionist Party and Gerry Adams’ Sinn Fein.” – Speech by Peter Hain MP, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Chatham House, 12 June 2007

    Peter Hain isn’t even coy about the British government’s strategy of “bringing the most polarised parties to the point of agreement” but boasts about it and all of the other puppet management of the state-engineered process. You are where you are with the DUP/Shinner axis not because it is where you decided to be as voters but because it is where your puppet masters decided you should be. Having decided that the DUP and the Shinners should replace the UUP and the SDLP, they carefully engineered that outcome. The illusion of self-determination is precisely that. Every part of your ‘internal’ process was managed and controlled by external forces.

  • Michael Henry

    I am getting a bit tired of your constant slights upon republicans who disagreed with SF and in so doing apparently become drunks and wasters.

    Be a good, er boy? and stop it now. It does nothing to endear people to SF.

  • Greenflag

    above last sentence error ,

    ‘I guess we can all except that he is genuinely NOT a hypocrite ‘

    Should read accept not except .

    No preview function ? and still all that empty red space ?

    On the old slugger there also seemed to be a longer list of was a longer list of threads so that if you were’nt able to reply to a thread immediately due to time considerations you could be sure to find the thread still in place although maybe lower down on page 1 . Now they seem to ‘disappear ‘ faster ? Perhaps I’m mistaken but so it seems to me ?

  • An Phoblacht Abu

    The TUV live in the same dreamland as Republican Sinn Fein, a land where there view and only that one is correct, Jim Allister was shown in tv the other evening to be quite a pointless character, a relic of the old sectarian days of one party rule.
    The TUV vote was high in Europe as people often vote in protest in European elections, they will i believe embarass themselves at the poll’s this coming week.

  • Re-engaged

    While Turgon may be right – the TUV have been very selective – their botched / unplanned / unauthourised support of Torrens McKnight highlighted this.

    Would the TUV have opposed David Ben Gurion in 1940’s as he fought for a Zionist state – now internationally recognised – he was a terrrorist wanting to break British rule?

    FJH – your second last line is crucial – moving on is vital – we do not let those who died go unforgotten but this persistent trawling of the past does what?

    A TUV vote is a wasted vote – it is for a single issue party on an issue a larger majority than when GFA was signed agree is in the past

  • Anonin

    I was actually referring to the DUP when I was talking about those who supported what you’ve denounced in the past. It’s no secret, just as SF’s IRA ties aren’t.

  • John East Belfast

    Turgon

    You are absolutely spot on with your analysis if SF – there is a core rotteness to the party. That so many northern nationalists vote for them is a source of constant shame.

    This – combined with their far left credentials – is why the 26 county electorate have so clearly rebuffed them.

    As for the comparisons with 1914 gun running or the murderous British State – if that makes them feel and sleep at night then that is their delusion.
    I note Adams religious utterances – I think he will be in for a shock if he has to answer to a Higher Court

    However the fact of the matter is that bar odious regimes like Gadaffi and Cold War Communist countries PIRA was regarded under international law as criminals – Germany is still trying to extradite them and the very country with which they were trying to unite has been locking them up for years.

    Yes to some they were freedom fighters – but to the vast majority they were criminals as they tried to overthrow a legitimate state which had been subject to an international treaty. Indeed the very fact that they now administer that same state and denounce dissident republicans who are only carrying on what they did means they either accept they were wrong or they lost.
    Otherwise the murder and mayhem was all about achieving power sharing at Stormont.

    I disagree with you on Mandatory Coalitions – this is mandatory power sharing and that is not the same thing. We are not responsible who nationalism delivers as its political leaders.
    Unionism is not in partnership with SF – although Paisley’s Chuckle Bros routine was nauseating. We have to deal with what is thrown up by the nationalist electorate.

    If anything our job should be to bolster constitutional nationalism and I would be very off the mind that UCUNF should have a joint strategy with the SDLP at the next Assembly Election encouraging their supporters to vote tactically for both parties to deliver a voluntary power sharing coalition.

  • daisy

    Why don’t we just wait til Friday to see how much the public grasps the importance of the TUV to the democratic process? If they suffer defeat will Turgon accept the outcome and admit that people have the right to vote for whomever they see fit, regardless of whether he agrees with them? This type of elitism really makes me want to vote in a way I wouldn’t normally consider.

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘Throughout our operations as pseudo gangs our greatest fear had always been meeting a Security Force patrol.’

  • RepublicanStones

    That so many northern nationalists vote for them is a source of constant shame.

    Spare us the ivory tower routine John ffs. Mr Carr has it nailed at 09:31am. This ‘ our hands are clean’ self portrayal of unionism is laughable. One need only examine the frequency or lack thereof, of unionist demands for investigations and prosecutions into state terrorism, without even delving into how much wallpaper was seen.
    Can you provide us with a list perhaps…then maybe your routine wouldn’t seem so ridiculous.

  • Alias

    Excellent post.

  • Cynic2

    Rory

    Oh dear oh dear. Your grasp on history is somewhat loose

    ” the criminal gunrunning of leading unionists”

    It wasn’t actually a crime at the time to bring the guns in in that way. So they didn’t break the law.

    , of the treasonous Curragh Mutiny

    Utter nonsense. ION being given the order to move and aksing whjat vtheir orders were when they got to the North, the orders were confused, The officers made it clear that, if so ordered into what they feared might develop into a bloodbath of the civilan polutaion, they would be forced in conscience to resign their commissions. At that point the PM relaised what was going on and backed down.

    In doing tshis theyw ere exerciusing teh right of any officers who is given an order he believs is fundamenetally wrnong. War had not been declared. There was no question of treason and every officer behaved impeccably

    “of the threat of violence from the UVF ”

    Yes …agreed … and the danger of civil war as the threat oif violence was two sided

    “and the illegal (but officially sanctioned) terror campaign against northern catholics by the RUC and B Specials”

    Well not quite Rory because the state of Northern Ireland was formed in December 1922 and the RUC came into being at about the same time. So the period up to partition was policed by the Royal Irish Constabulary – a force that was over 80% Catholic.

    You are absolutely right about the McMahon’s but you need to put this in context. Have a look at Wikipedia and you will find this:

    ” The polarised political climate in Northern Ireland resulted in violence from both sides of the political and religious divide. The lawlessness that affected Northern Ireland in the period of the early twenties, and the problems it caused for the police, are indicated in a police report drawn up by District Inspector R.R. Spears in February 1923. Referring to the situation in Belfast after July 1921 he states: “For twelve months after that, the city was in a state of turmoil. The IRA (Irish Republican Army) was responsible for an enormous number of murders, bombings, shootings and incendiary fires. The work of the police against them was, however, greatly hampered by the fact that the rough element on the Protestant side entered thoroughly into the disturbances, met murder with murder and adopted in many respects the tactics of the rebel gunmen. In the endeavour to cope simultaneously with the warring factions the police efforts were practically nullified. They were quite unable to rely on the restraint of one party while they dealt with the other”. About 90 police officers were killed between 1920 and 1922 in what would become Northern Ireland. The security forces were also reportedly implicated in reprisal killings of Catholics, notably the McMahon Murders on March 26 1922, in which six Catholics were killed and the Arnon Street Massacre on April 1, where another six were shot dead in retaliation for the IRA killing of a policeman.” Bear in mind too that, while this was going on, hundreds were murdered in the Civil War in the Republic as factions fought for power

    With the McMahons I think that you will find that the officer strongly suspected to be responsible was dismissed from the RUC (there was no evidence on which to charge him) and later went to a career in politics!

    Plus ca change!

  • blackbook

    Fortunately it is not up to the TUV to decide who sit in government but the people who, so far, have not endorsed the TUV.Unless the TUV envisage a return to a ‘Protestant state for a Protestant people’ they must accept that the majority of Catholics are voting for Sinn Féin and must take the mature decision to engage with this fact rather than refusing to enter government with the party.Like republican dissidents the TUV can offer nothing other than a return to the past.

    Re: “it is still reasonable to say that Sinn Féin is extremely far from the norms of democracy”- Do you really believe that we live in a society which resembles a ‘normal democracy’. Sinn Féin was born out of circumstances which did not resemble a normal democracy.

    Pippakin- I take your point about people who disagree with Sinn Féin and I think it’s important to make a distinction between dissenting voices in republicanism and ‘dissidents’ who endorse such activities as Massereene.

    Alias- i accept your point regarding the manipulation of the situation by the British state (and in fact the Dáil) however i think it is too simplistic to make this point without acknowledging that for there to be any credible or lasting ‘settlement’ here the so-called exteme positions needed to be involved. The two governments recognised this. However neither government forced people to put their mark next to the DUP or Sinn Féin. This shift among the electorate is not uncommon in a society such as the North.

    John East Belfast- I disagree with your point completely. Sinn Féin do not ‘administer that same state’. It is a VERY different state and a completely different context.