Dissidents win small political battle…

IF one of the aims of dissident republicanism is to disrupt normal politics here, they won a small victory on Monday. NIO minister Hugo Swire was quite explicit that the reason the identities of donors to political parties would remain secret was the threat of intimidation.

It is possible he, and the unionists who called for a continuation of the status quo, could be right. After all, it wasn’t just soldiers who took bullets at Massereene – apparently Polish pizza delivery drivers can be British ‘collaborators’.

So the fear of providing a ready-made hit list of targets to dissidents has led to a decision that runs counter to the public’s appetite for greater openness and transparency.

If our unwillingness to publicly identify ourselves with political parties we support is not a risk worth taking, it means – whether we like it or not – that the dissidents have won this political skirmish.

  • Neil

    It might be a little bit oversimplified to state that the only reason is that dissidents might attack people donating to the DUP, Sinn Fein or anyone else. I know of Catholic people who operate shops in incredibly Loyalist areas, for example Harryville in Ballymena. These guys hang Union Jacks outside their shops over the 12th – not something I’d do myself – in order to prevent their shops being attacked.

    I would imagine that if the Loyalists in Harryville, Rathcoole etc, were to find out that their local shop owner was not only a fenian, but donating money to SF, or SDLP for that matter, they might find their security would also deteriorate.

    Moving on, if this is a dissident aim, something that they ‘battle’ for, they’re in illustrious company for once, as the DUP, SF and the dissidents all want the same thing. So viewed in that light, the people who won were SF voters, DUP voters and the dissidents supporters – i.e. about 70% of the population.

    Finally I’d suggest that if dissidents wanted a list of party supporters who were alligned to a party which didn’t support the dissidents a phone book would suffice. Given that the vast majority of Republicans, and all Loyalists and others don’t support them I would imagine a list would be of little use. They could just shoot randomly into a crowd and hit non-dissident supporters as that’s what most people are.

  • MichaelMac

    To be honest the excuse and that all it is, by Swire, does not ring true.

  • redhugh78

    Neil,

    ‘Moving on, if this is a dissident aim, something that they ‘battle’ for, they’re in illustrious company for once, as the DUP, SF and the dissidents all want the same thing. So viewed in that light, the people who won were SF voters, DUP voters and the dissidents supporters – i.e. about 70% of the population.’

    What utter lies,
    The DUP, UUs and SDLP (despite Ritchie’s promise to disclose all contributions by April 2010 – what ever happened to that ‘pledge’ ?) all support the non disclosure of corporate donations, Sinn Fein want all corporate donations declared from £500 upwards, the current threshold if I’m correct is around £7.500.

    Stop telling porkies!

  • “non-disclosure of corporate donations”

    Could the £25 million Northern Bank alleged ‘contribution’ to the SF ‘management’ be considered a corporate donation? Then there are the unspecified organised crime donations. It must all add up to a tidy sum.

  • redhugh78

    Nevin,

    Your qualified use of the word ‘alleged’ answers your own question don’t ya think?

  • There are many anonymous poltiical donors who, if they could get away with it, would remain anonymous. Here is one example

    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article507818.ece

    There are multiple motives for these donors keeping their affairs secret but I would seriously doubt that the threat of dissidents is one of them.

  • True Blue

    Maybe donor’s don’t what their names made public yet because Northern Ireland Politics is still shrouded in a midst of sectarianism?