MI5: “We have seen a persistent rise in terrorist activity and ambition in Northern Ireland over the last three years”

The Irish Times has some interesting quotes from the head of MI5, Jonathan Evans.  Worth looking back in the Slugger archive for a reminder of his optimism in 2007.  And checking more recently on what the Real IRA had to say.  From the Irish Times report

Mr Evans said the assumption in 2007 was that the residual threat from terrorism in Northern Ireland was low and likely to decline further as time went on and as the new constitutional arrangements under the St Andrews Agreement were put in place.

“Sadly that has not proved to be the case,” he said, adding that while the attacks primarily targeted the police they were reckless and often put members of the public at risk.

“Perhaps we were giving insufficient weight to the pattern of history over the last hundred years which shows that whenever the main body of Irish republicanism has reached a political accommodation and rejoined constitutional politics, a hardliner rejectionist group would fragment off and continue with the so-called ‘armed struggle.” [added emphasis]

And a somewhat related post – “No one in this small, enclosed biosphere ever told them this project was never going to work in the first place…”

Adds  A separate Irish Times report has some more detail

Mr Evans told security professionals there was a “persistent rise in terrorist activity and ambition in Northern Ireland over the last three years”. He said that so far this year dissidents had mounted over 30 attacks or attempted attacks on security targets in the North compared to over 20 attacks in the whole of last year.

Mr Evans said while dissidents were not as dangerous as the Provisional IRA during the Troubles – and tended to form separate groups based on “apparently marginal distinctions” – they could still be dangerous. “In recent months there have been increasing signs of co-ordination and co-operation between the groups,” the MI5 director general told the Worshipful Company of Security Professionals in London on Thursday.

“We have seen an increasing variety of attack techniques used, ranging from shootings to under-car devices to large vehicle bombs. At the same time we have seen improved weapons capability, including the use of Semtex,” he added.

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  • Pippakin

    MV

    “hise are the circumstances that an innocent poster such as myself merely attempting to convey a few innocuous historical facts have to operate in. I can only marvel at my own patience and optimism in attempting to deal with this impossible, baffling situation !”

    Oh my, the keys must have curled as you typed you rogue!

  • Greenflag

    pax

    Not a fairer repartition of Ireland -but of Northern Ireland by a neutral international organisation such as the UN and/or EU with the support of both governments . Given the relative success of the current power sharing agreement ‘repartition’ has been laid to rest generally , at least until such time as when and if the current GFA ever breaks down . The arguments against it raised by both Republicans and Unionists alike used to consume pages of threads . I never found any of their arguments -i.e it’s impractical , can’t be done , too complicated, convincing . The arguments from both sides were always much of a muchness – all or nothing .

    What has actually happened is that both sides have received neither all nor have they received ‘nothing’. What they now have is a kind of political limbo state which is hostage to both the Westminster Exchequer and each other’s traditions main party . The old unionist veto has now been replaced by a dual veto via mandatory power sharing . It’s not proper democracy but then how can you have a proper democracy in a State which was based not on ‘democratic principles’ but on force and a sectarian headcount . ?

    I never posted on the late Horseman’s site but I did read his well researched articles and I found his analyses and projections if they are to be believed would now render any possible ‘repartition ‘ almost impossible in another decade or two . Thus my last contributions on the subject were that if it were to happen it would be up to ‘Unionism ‘ to make it happen . There does not seem to be any public demand from any of the unionist parties at this stage for any repartition .Perhaps that’s because ‘unionists’ now feel safe in the ‘union ‘ and that the prospect of being outnumbered and thus outvoted in elections has somewhat diminished .

    I’m amenable to a number of solutions – a fair repartition – a continuation of the status quo or a UI . The decision on any of these is primarily a matter for the people of NI as was agreed in the GFA .

    Where I believe the current arrangement falls down as it deed it must is that any possible NI Government has to be ‘two’ faced in it’s dispensation i.e one face directed towards a UI and the other directed at maintenance of the present Union . With the best will in the world thats a very difficult position to maintain for any power sharing government . Thus I don’t expect a whole lot from the current arrangement other than keeping the lid on the pot to prevent it boiling over again .

    To expect a whole lot more than that ,as some ‘unionist ‘ contributors here seem to expect is IMO putting the cart before the horse .

    As for the dissidents whom Munsterview and others seem to want to talk up ? Well there are and always have been conspiracy stories as regards who is pulling who’s string or strings in NI and I would not put it past either HMG or the Irish Government or any of the NI parties to spin events to suit their particular purpose .

    But can any of them change or divert the hand of history when it decides that it’s heading one way only ?

    Nobody in Ireland in 1911 would have predicted the Ireland of 1922 as it emerged . And the same is true today re 2020 !

    Events have a terrible habit of making smithereens of those crystal glass gazers and armchair generals and historians and yes even slugger bloggers and commentators !

  • Munsterview

    Greenflag,

    “……..But back to the facts . The ‘spooks’ can only effect events up to a point . The events that will determine the future constitutional status of NI will be decided in future elections in NI . The people of all of Ireland have accepted that in the referenda held in both North and South . I do not see any evidence that the people have changed their mind as regards their decision…….”

    Alende of Chile was told by elitist advisers that he should concentrate in the large Urban populations centers in his campaign and also to tailor his message to the more educated classes of these people.

    Allende disagreed !

    Allende said that
    “……. there is no universal idea, worthy of the name, that cannot be translated through the National and regional scale right down to the local l living conditions of each family unit…… ”

    In the words of Joyce Kimler, poet,…. ‘he carried in his soul the courage of his song’…..! He took his message to the ordinary people in the most marginalized areas where most had never see a national political figure before, much less one that cared for them and spoke to them in a language they could understand.

    The Northern Peace Process is, so far, mainly an absence of war.

    For Nationalists the every day British Army presence on the roads, streets and estates is gone, most of it from the Six Counties.

    Gone also are what were the mainly Unionist protestants in of the UDR who were regarded by most Nationalists as no more than sectarians gleefully dolling out harassment and targeting Nationalist /Republicans and Catholics while in State uniform .

    In this the UDR were seen by most nationalists, little different to the UDA bigots with whom more than a few UDA shared a dual membership and sympathy.

    For every Unionist that see Farmer Tom as a brave soldier that went out and ‘did his duty’ there are even more Nationalist / Catholics with unprintable views of UDR activities and that of his uniformed comrades back in that period.

    The RUC became the RUC mark 2….. the Gerry McGeough case shows just how close it is to old days and old ways in un-decomissioned mind sets and how far it is from a true police unbiased service as per best International practice .

    To most of the Sinn Fein voters and supporters the PSNI is at best, a tolerated force that has has yet to cross the acceptance threshold.

    “Translated through the National and regional scale right down to the living conditions of each family unit.’

    Every depressing day at Stormount yet again shows that power-sharing is just about tolerated by the Unionists, and not even that by some!

    The power struggles once acted out between Uniformed Unionists in the UDR and and Provos over the sights of rifles all across the Six-Counties are now carried on in civilian attire in across the floor of the Stormount chamber and the same taunts and insults that Nationalists had to endure from UDR at ‘security checks’ can still be frequently heard in full voice.

    Universal Ideas…National scale : there is still no great connection by or regard for Stormount by the mass of Nationalists. Sinn Fein now represent the majority of these but by the time McGuniess makes it in another election or two the tipping point may have been reached for permanent irrelevance.

    Universal ideas……Regional scale : tell me about it !

    Universal ideas……family unit level.

    How many working class family homes and areas are the better for the Peace Process other than having jailed family members home, who would not be imprisoned to begin with had the North not been the type of society that it was.

    And all of this before we get in to how the spooks are attempting to damage Sinn Fein and what the result of their ‘dirty tricks ‘ are.

    It is doubtful if politics, left to their own devices, can work in the accepted democratic sense of the term any time soon !

    If any poster in the Unionist or Nationalist side living in the Ghetto areas can disprove this bleak picture, then I will be very interested indeed to read it.

    Add in the spooks constant undermining of Sinn Fein and the republicans passive to begin with towards the GFA, but who were to ‘give peace a chance’ now having seen enough to decide democratic change is not possible, then there is a dynamite situation developing in every sense of the word.

  • Pax

    ‘But can any of them change or divert the hand of history when it decides that it’s heading one way only ?

    GF

    ‘Nobody in Ireland in 1911 would have predicted the Ireland of 1922 as it emerged . And the same is true today re 2020 !

    Events have a terrible habit of making smithereens of those crystal glass gazers and armchair generals and historians and yes even slugger bloggers and commentators’

    Too true, IMHO, and thank god for that! “Events dear boy, events” – MacMillan wasn’t it?

  • Munsterview

    Greenflag,

    “……..Where I believe the current arrangement falls down as it deed it must is that any possible NI Government has to be ‘two’ faced in it’s dispensation i.e one face directed towards a UI and the other directed at maintenance of the present Union . With the best will in the world thats a very difficult position to maintain for any power sharing government …….” Thus I don’t expect a whole lot from the current arrangement other than keeping the lid on the pot to prevent it boiling over again ……”

    Then you go on in the same paragraph to say

    “…….Thus I don’t expect a whole lot from the current arrangement other than keeping the lid on the pot to prevent it boiling over again ……”

    That in a nutshell is the problem with the current situation !

    We do not have peace per se in the North , we have an absence war !

    Even that statement needs to be qualified and re phrased as it do not convey a true concept of the reality of the current situation.

    What had been an obvious Low Intensity War with the officially acknowledged State Armed Forces, The British Army, The UDR Regional Army serving with and under the British Army, the Para Military Police Force, the RUC and the unofficial ‘deniable’ paramilitary forces, ( that have subsequently been shown to have also been under State control) The UDA, and the UVF.

    Then came the other F’ers such as the ‘Red Hand Commandos ‘ that fronted the latter two as the State required , when something so bloody or shocking or furtive was needed by the spooks, that even the UDA and the UVF could not be openly associated with the foul deed concerned.

    In most of those instances we got the usual ‘smoke and mirrors ‘now you see them, now you don’t ‘ but the individuals and groups, were and remained at all times under direct State control of MI5, 6, seven & a half or whatever!

    What had been almost daily violent war for most of three decades with a significant numbers engagement from both Republican and British participants, wound down to one of smaller numbers participation, but never the less a continuing Low Intensity War.

    Openness, played a big part, when it was necessary to show a State ‘strong hand’ Armed State Forces and ‘security’ was overt, once we had peace as in absence of war and a considerable disengagement on both sides, the State armed presence became ‘acceptable as in police’ or covert but none the less maintained as before at the scale the State required.

    This was especially so with the spooks who refocussed and considerably expanded relative to before, the attention and resources that they were able to pay to Armed Republicans not subscribing to the peace process.

    At the extremes of the Old Positions, those continuing Armed response have a strategy to expose the true nature of British State control by continuing armed acts while the State forces need to project ‘normalization’ and deny that there is a Low Intensity War operating clandestinely.

    While all other forces were disbanded or scaled back the Spooks got a bigger regional centre than they have in Wales, Scotland or Northern England. The smallest region, the biggest building and there is only a few caretakers there ?

    “…..any possible NI Government has to be ‘two’ faced in it’s dispensation i.e one face directed towards a UI and the other directed at maintenance of the present Union…..”

    Interesting……when you say that it is apparently a valid political observation but when I say the same thing and point to the stymying of politics by unionist politicians of whatever hue, then I am accused by you specifically and others of and others taking up the dissidents?

    in fact let me quote you exactly on this one also…
    “As for the dissidents whom Munsterview and others seem to want to talk up…”

    As for peace having a working class dividend like a true peace with justice should, as we republicans who sold it to our constituency assures them that it would have, it just have not materialized!

    Now with the North in ‘ an acceptable level of violence’, Cameron who never had any time for republicans to begin with and who is now probably even more pissed off with the UUP whose voters failed to deliver those vital extra seats, is likely to say ‘a plague on both your houses’ when faced with the swinging cuts that he intends to make.

    I fear in terms of what it will mean to the North, the bad old days of the nineties and this decade may prove financially at least to have the been the good old days.

    Because Sinn Fein have both probably gained more middle class voters to replace the other members and supporters the extent of the stalemate problem is masked. The new comers have all the cachet of being associated with rebellion without having ever known revolution !

    Are all the Veteran Republican Revolutionaries not part of the GFA who committed so much of their physical life’s and who see so many of their comrades commit all their physical life’s and deaths to real political change now supposed to just say ” Well played England, well accept your status quo and that of your convenient clients, we will see you in another generation ” ?

    Are all the working Class ghetto areas that were given hope and promised everything supposed to now settle for nothing ?

    Greenfag…….. my flag is up there for all to see, what you see is what you get ( embellished with the odd bit of spin of course, old ways die hard ) but there never the less. While these days I have the luxury of speaking for myself only, I do keep in touch with old comrades, I try to call the situation as I see it and hope that it registeres.

    You have made a lot of apparently athorative articulations of various positions, politics keep changing, could I respectfully ask you to define what constituency you would claim to speak for. It would not be the first time that a hack in the law library doing some minister of the day ( what the heck, lets try this one out before bed, see if it catches ? ) or The Drinking Peoples Party ( the DPP ) a favour.

    ( N America….over and out !)

    .

  • Greenflag

    Twas indeed . God btw has nothing to do with 😉

    One minute ‘ ‘You’ve never had it so good ‘and then ‘The winds of change are blowing ‘ and then ‘events dear boy events’ and Mac became part of Tory leader history.

    Had a short run did Mac about a year or so iirc.

  • Greenflag

    What constituency I would claim to speak for ?

    I would’nt claim to speak for any constituency but I would think I belong to that vast majority of people on this island North and South who have accepted GFA for all it’s obvious faults and limitations . I would be of the same mind as those both North and South who believe that further violence against the PSNI or against civilians in NI is not justified and will NOT bring any UI nearer but will drive it further away .

    The main problem facing Ireland -North and South in these times is economic and social not political . What we have is as you say an absence of war and an uneasy peace . As long as power sharing continues in its present format that will be it.

    The ‘limitation ‘ in Northern Ireland is the simple fact that over half the population prefer to remain part of the UK while less than half seem to favour a UI . Between these two positions the GFA has been constructed and don’t forget it took 40 years to even get that far .

    I’m afraid I’m not a member of any political party nor of the Drinking Peoples Party although I like a nice Burgundy now and again . My respect for the legal profession , and the bankers and ‘men of the cloth ‘ and politicians while never of a high order, is now at it’s lowest ever ebb . I’ve always accepted the fact that just as the passage of excrement is a necessary function in the human body so too the passage of laws, financial contracts, law and order and the provision of hope by our ‘priest politicians ‘ are necessary to the functioning of the body politic.

    It would be nice to look forward to a world without any of the above being necessary .Alas such a world would be even nastier -more brutish and shorter for everybody .

  • Munsterview

    Greenflag

    “…….Slugger can be a ‘tough’ environment for some ……”

    Try a Southern cop cell little bigger than your bathroom in size at 3 AM with six branchmen suddenly barging in shouting, roaring , shadow boxing, trowing punches, half there threatening to beat you up in such a way that you will never work again unless you agree …….” fuck off out of the country…..”

    Try the other half threatening to take your parents home apart ( who are known to have no political involvement whatsoever in anything ) while jeering as to what effect it would be likely to have on the remaining life of your father who had been send home from hospital with untreatable cancer to die ?

    That was done in the South by a police force acting in your name and with your support but of course we were the only ones who did not keep the rules as far as people like you were concerned.

    At least heads rolled for the Guilford Four and the Birmingham six innocent Across The Water!

    How many did here for the Sallens set up ?

    How many did for the Donegall corruption ? How many gardai even lost their pension.?

    Since I know and have worked with Billy Flynn the Private Investigator, who broke the scandal wide open, I also know the scale of the police corruption up there and believe me or not, it was far more than the ‘ few rotten apples’ of Garda HQ spin!

    How much time and effort did it take to get Nick Kelly released and how long was this man , known by the whole country to be innocent, held in custody by a justice system ( or more correctly injustice system ) acting in your name ?

    Try going from doing a hundred meter journey from a to b in a Nationalist area of Belfast at the height of the Troubles at 2 AM, no lights , only to to have an APC come out of nowhere , engine switched off and free wheeling slowly and silently towards you a few pace up ahead, all soldiers guns on your side pointing forward to begin with but continually adjusting to keep you in their SLR sights until just the width of a footpath away, as it come level and likewise as it draws away all guns now pointing backwards, with all soldiers inside still chanting, die, Paddy, die !

    Try knowing that every pimpled faced half drugged youth in uniform behind those guns is capable of being your judge, jury and executioner if they take a second pressure on that trigger finger and will not have to answer for it to anyone !

    Try a bit of hunger and thirst strike while a guest of her Majesty across the water while detained on a business trip for no other reason than “something has happened Paddy, we need bodies right and you are high profile you will fucking do, right “!

    “……Slugger can be a tough environment for some……”

    Yeah man ! There have been nights I have so upset that I have not been able to sleep for the first two….sometimes even three minutes after going to bed because of what was written here in reply to one of my postings !

  • Munsterview

    Sorry for double posting, blame spell check, please,please bring back preview

  • Munsterview

    No problem with your viewpoint prima facie. Neither do I denigrate your views because you are not in a political party.

    In fact what is needed is more irate citizens coming forward as individuals North and South and saying ‘ enough, no more, not in my name you don’t’ !

    In the North we currently have political inertia….. in engineering terms inertia in, for example, a flywheel can only be maintained while no other forces strong enough to overcome that inertia are acting on it to change that stable state.

    To apply that metaphor to the Six Counties, there are forces acting and getting stronger every day that risk blowing the engine up before the flywheel turns.

    My generation of Republicans refused to accept second class citizenship and acted, they ended that situation.

    Can I demand that my children’s generation now accept a denial of a properly working political system indefinitely, because the same obstinate forces that denied their parents political equality, are now again using the State system to deny them full citizenship rights which includes a properly functioning democracy ?

    Can you ?

  • Greenflag

    When you put it like that you have a point .

    Your generation as you say ended that situation or at least helped get rid of the worst aspects of the ‘one party state ‘ that was in effect ‘Unionism’ from 1920 to 1972 . But we should not ‘demonise ‘the present generation of ‘unionists ‘ because of the sins or omissions of their fathers and I’m sure you are aware that there were far worse tyrannies at large in the world even in Europe in that period than NI ‘unionism’.

    As for your other points .

    ‘a denial of a properly working political system indefinitely’

    Northern Ireland is not a ‘proper ‘ democracy . It may get there someday . What has been constructed is a ‘compromise’ between two diametrically opposed aspirations .

    If your children’s generation are being ‘denied’ a properly working political system then they are sharing it with everybody else in NI young old and middle aged alike -male and female -unionist and nationalist and republican and loyalist.

    If I was a resident in NI right now I doubt if would be demanding anything. People have the vote -many too many ) choose not to use it . People are free to say what they like-within the laws of libel . People can come and go as they please etc etc . On the face of it mostly not too different from anywhere else .

    As for the ‘obstinate ‘ forces ? and the same using the State system to deny others their rights ? I believe ‘obstinacy’ is a trait which crosses both sides of the political divide in NI .

    I’ve always found in personal life that when confronted with ‘obstinacy’ of a perverse or irrational kind what I’ve always found most effective is a punch on the nose of said ‘obstinator’ I’ve had recourse to use this method a few times in my life but only once on a ‘unionist’. He was never ‘obstinate’ with me again at least not to my face . Decent chap by the way -he just did’nt understand he had crossed a line 😉

    No political agreement or constitution can ensure that people stop being bloody minded , obstinate , stupid or sectarian etc etc . These are all part of the human condition .
    You may think that NI can become in time a properly functioning ‘democracy ‘ with all that that entails and I would wish you the best of luck. And it may in the course of time . But for now it’s a work in progress and very slow progress too . Many Unionists on slugger have complained justifiably that there is no proper opposition . They have a point too .!

  • Greenflag

    In short both traditions are stuck in a very deep rut and the only way out of it is to work together . Some of them still haven’t got the message yet but in time they will and if they don’t well they’ll not be going anywhere then eh ?

  • Munsterview

    Nope, not that simple. When the balloon goes up there will be no place to go !

    That balloon is as clear to everyone in the know, as the property bubble was to those who wanted to see it !

    People did not, we are living with the results of a financial disaster that came about from ignoring the first!

    Do we really need a political disaster on top of that to really put the ‘Caipain Bas’ on everything on this Island ?

    If not the time to stop it is very finite indeed!

  • Greenflag

    ‘not that simple.’

    Nothing ever is . If the ‘balloon’ goes up i.e the dissidents become more than an irritant -they will be dealt with by the authorities North and South and East if worst comes to worst .

    If the Assembly collapses then it’ll be another decade or more of direct rule from London given present circumstances -which may be followed by eventual demands for ‘devolution’ Mark IV or V ?

    Thus the limitations are there for all to see -the parameters within which NI politicians can operate or legislate are strictly circumscribed -to such an extent that many chafe at the constraints .

    As for their being nowhere to go ? In extremis there’s always somewhere to go and no we don’t need any more political disasters but they will be overcome too .

    The economic problem facing NI and ROI and even the UK could see a rise in the number of disaffected young people who will /may be attracted to those who are about violent revolution . Lets hope not for their sake .

  • Munsterview

    Greenflag,

    So your searing insights and political solutions amount this…..

    1) Stormount, Northern Republicans / Nationalists / Catholics must accept Unionist / Loyalist ‘silly bugger tactics for however long they wish to continue with that nihilist behavior stymying political progress on any matter !

    2) If anyone is so frustrated with that scenario that they do anything to ‘break the law’, apply the ‘security solution’

    3) So back to classical Brit policy and ‘Free Stateism’ for all the troubles ?

    Contain it, ‘ keep it all up there’ and ‘over there’, let it the nationalists and prod working class stew in it, and to hell with how long it can last !

    In a South Armagh a line from a poplar song about McVeriely, celebrating a successful IRA ambush against the British Army,

    “….. They left us rot for fifty years, it was the only way….”

    sums up what will sooner rather than later, be the response of ever more young Nationalists to that situation.

    I seldom resort to vulgarisms to make a point, but there are times when nothing else is appropriate.

    If you want to go North to any Nationalist moribund, crumbling estate, drop your trousers and bent over, I can think of a very appropriate place where most young Nationalists ( and quite a few not so young) would like to shove your greenflag and your solutions!

  • Greenflag

    I did not claim any searing insights -you did and I’m afriad you convinced nobody. Jehovah’s witnesses have received more acclamation for their comments on slugger than your obsessions .

    The political solutions have been seen and have been found wanting . The one party Unionist state for ‘unionists’ only failed which is why NI now ‘enjoys’ power sharing with nationalists and republicans sharing ‘administration with unionists . A United Ireland is not ‘democratically ‘ possible at this time because the numbers are not there within Northern Ireland nor is it economically feasible .

    ‘Let the nationalist and prod working class stew in it ‘

    You words not mine . I assume you would much prefer that the ‘catholic’ and protestant working classes kill each other by the thousands in another decade long or longer orgy of destruction only to emerge once again with another mandatory power sharing government ?

    There are moribund , crumbling estates all over Britain and Ireland and not just in Northern Ireland . The difference being that in Northern Ireland the ‘residents ‘ still somehow believe that they will be ‘rescued’ if only the piece of coloured cloth they prefer flies all over and the kerbstones are painted appropriately.

    BTW

    You never did mention what your ‘solution’ to the NI problem was if any ? What was it again ? Listen to the dissidents and do what they say even if they haven’t received a single vote in any election ?

    Perhaps if you get up off your throne and pull up your pants being careful not to catch your brain in your zipper you might have a warm glass of milk to restore your nerves and relieve your frustration . It’s not good for the heart all this excitement particularly in one of advancing years .

  • Munsterview

    GreenFlag

    ”…… I assume you would much prefer that the ‘catholic’ and protestant working classes kill each other by the thousands …..”

    Wrong !

    Firstly : I supported the GFA and despite everything still do……… at this time !

    Secondly : If I wanted a return to political violence why would I bother with the thankless task of continually attempting to get appreciation of the frustration in Sinn Fein supporter circles at the ineffectiveness of Stormount politics across ?

    Thirdly : If I supported dissident armed force politics, why would I have warned at the time of the prison conditions struggle some months back that conditions invoking sympathy could easily turn to support and engagement ?

    In regard to stymied politics I do no more than warn that nature abbots a vacuum, if one remains in constitutional politics, then unconstitutional politics and methods will fill it. Is that so difficult to understand !

    “……Jehovah’s witnesses have received more acclamation for their comments on slugger than your obsessions ……”

    I am not concerned about that, unlike the Mormons who baptized all the past Irish who died and who provide a much appreciate genealogy service, the Jehovah’s witnesses have never shown a particular interest in Irish history.

    In these circumstances any poster giving them ‘ acclamations for their comments on slugger ‘ are probably equally uninformed or just plain mischief making and I would not be too worried about their views !

    As to your closing remarks, I hope that they have now bottomed out !

  • Greenflag

    ‘the thankless task of continually attempting to get appreciation of the frustration in Sinn Fein supporter circles at the ineffectiveness of Stormount politics across ?’

    Yes that must be difficult . But I would think that the frustration in SF supporter circles is equally matched in DUP and UUP and even in SDLP circles . Basically the Brits (HMG) the Irish (ROI) and the USA (the ever patient Mr Mitchell) had to devise a system which would prevent or reduce in intensity the political stand off in Northern Ireland between the two diametrically opposed positions .

    I’m glad to hear you support the GFA at this time . Power sharing was not inevitable . Indeed several bales of wool had to be used on all NI participants to get them to agree .

    When the British withdrew from India in 1949 the power sharing talks between the Hindud and Moslems failed and 1,000,000 died . In Rwanda in the 1990’s power sharing failed and 800,000 people died .

    Northern Ireland is very lucky in it’s location in that it’s unlikely that if power sharing ever fails that violence on the scale of a Rwanda or India will ever take place . I believe both HMG and the ROI Government would intervene probably resulting in a de facto ‘repartitioning ‘.

    To be a Jehovah’s Witness is to be a cock eyed optimist -for their central tenet is that only 144,000 of humanity will join the Big Boss come judgement day . So if you happen to be one of the other 88, 999,856,000 members of the sapiens species who are estimated to have inhabited the earth to date you chances of making it past the pearly gates are slim and fat and about as likely as being struck by lightning .

    As for the Mormons they mean well and help each other out and it’s only the ultra orthodox members who live in the mountains and practice polygamy and sex with minors 🙁

  • JJ malloy

    My boss is a mormon. Do not cuss around him!