“No act of violence will advance the cause of reunification by one millimetre”

In a reported speech on Sunday Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness ducked the opportunity to tell his former comrades-in-arms that he was in the wrong too, preferring instead to stick to his new party approved script.

“But we believe that we are in the countdown to a united Ireland.” [Added quote from a Mid Ulster Observer report]

It’s an improvement on his stated view at the time…

During Martin McGuinness’s early days as head of the IRA’s Derry Brigade in the early 1970s, he is said to have made the city’s center “look as if it had been bombed from the sky without causing the death of a single civilian”; while a decade later he sat on the IRA’s army council while it approved the bombing of the hotel used by the British Cabinet for 1984 Tory Conference and, two years later, he told delegates at a Sinn Fein conference that the party’s “unapologetic support for the right of Irish people to oppose …in arms the British forces of occupation… is a principle… it will never, never, never change, because the war against British rule must continue until freedom is achieved.” [added emphasis]

But as I said in that post

In the interview Danny Morrison also suggests, when asked about the difference between the stated “chief goal” of the Provisional IRA – a united Ireland – and the current situation, that now people “feel that they’re able to look forward to a united Ireland at some stage in the future” and that “in a sense, the guerillas fought and the guerillas are in government”. 

Neither of which points addressed the question.

And leaves another hanging in the air – what happens when that feeling goes away? 

Now that “the guerillas” are “the people in power”…

As I’ve mentioned previously, if “No one in this small, enclosed biosphere ever told them this project was never going to work in the first place…”

It looks like we’re beginning to find out the answer to that question.

And is that “good republican” now also a “dissident republican suspect”?

Both forces have increased surveillance on known dissident republican suspects north and south, including the former Provisional IRA chief of staff Thomas “Slab” Murphy. A Dublin-based newspaper reported that Murphy had been spotted in Trinity College Dublin last week with another man who was taking video images around the campus. Trinity, which is in the heart of central Dublin, is close to where the Queen will pass by during her three-day visit to the Republic next month.

, , , , , , , , , , ,

  • Carrickmoreman

    I have a hard time believing Ol’ Slab was bopping around campus videotapping vantage points for an attack. Sorry, but that just reeks of propaganda nonsense.

  • How many times did Adams and McGuinness stand beside IRA Volunteers graves and invoke the rights of Irish people to resist British rule? Praised the sacrifice and patriotism of those Republicans who made that resistance possible.

    Those young Republicans who stood and listened to their lead, believed and were inspired to heed their words. As the case of Gerry McGeough proves those same Republican Activists can now be arrested and sent to British Prisons for actions that took place decades ago.

    Now, Adams and McGuinness praise those who make the arrests and send them to gaol in the name of the English Crown and encourage others to inform on them.

  • pippakin

    I just can’t see Mr Murphy ‘casing the joint’ as it were. I’m pretty sure that anyone in a similar position of wealth and, er, wealth, would have minions (fall guys) to do that sort of thing for them.

  • Comrade Stalin

    pippakin,

    Indeed. I seem to recall in 1980s the IRA denying that they would ever threaten the Queen.

  • pippakin

    CS

    Oh well in that case the Brits may better start making funeral arrangements. Not sure it would please our new German masters though, after all the royals are German first.

  • Dec

    Hanging the STT (Single Transferable Thread) on a 25 year old quote and the Sunday World’s exclusive of Slab Murphy casing Trinity, Pete? Deary me.

  • Damian O’Loan

    Aside from the odd diversion at the end, the post benefits from the interest at Easter in comparing SF and its bastard children. It stops, as ever, before the interesting question.

    If SF is too compromised – or too politically uninspired – to define what constitutes ‘good’ republicanism, what do republicans left with no obvious effective representation demand?

    The SF version of republicanism, petty nationalistic and contradiction-riven as it is, has obvious starting points for improvement.

    A republican who feels little attachment to Catholicism or nationalism, which given NI’s relatively young population is probably not a rare occurrence, has to decide whether social conservatism is more integral to the SDLP or introverted nationalism more integral to SF.

    Moreso than the coming anniversaries, it leaves a gaping void for a debate on what republicanism should look like in 2011.

  • perseus

    Is putting MmG and Adams’ POV in the Dock,
    (as is the bent of these STT posts) worthwhile?

    The people have already passed judgment.

    They vote for SF in large numbers; and continue to do so.

  • SDLP supporter

    “The people have already passed judgment.

    They vote for SF in large numbers; and continue to do so.”

    Ah, Perseus, a variation of the old Vox Populi, Vox Dei argument? Nah, that doesn’t wash: “The people” voted in larger numbers for SDLP compared to Sinn Fein from 1970 through to the late nineties and the Provos refused to accept that, no matter how many times Hume pointed to his mandate.

    Feeney, maybe for once, is right. The dissidents will hollow out the current Sinn Fein heartlands. The contradictions between the Adams/McGuinness line then and now are just too glaring and it’s going to drive them mad.

  • SDLP supporter

    Oh, Perseus, you can always try the old John Maynard Keynes line:

    “consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.”

  • perseus

    Emerson actually SDLP .. a foolish consistency.. 😉

    It adds up for me, as we didn’t know then if PIRA would be successful.
    However we do now know with certainty
    that a campaign of violence has no chance of success.

    Proof by induction, even if deduction fails

    http://www.socialresearchmethods.net/kb/dedind.php
    Deductive and Inductive Thinking

    You’ll find it doesn’t add up for non-SF folks,
    and that’s maybe because they don’t want it to.

  • SDLP supporter

    Perseus, touche on Emerson, its valifidty still stands.

    Your problem is that last Sunday Martin told the listening muppets that the IRA guerillas had fought the British to a stalemate.

    Lie piled on top of lie.

  • Jimmy Sands

    “It adds up for me, as we didn’t know then if PIRA would be successful.
    However we do now know with certainty
    that a campaign of violence has no chance of success.”

    And when do you say this conclusion was reached?

  • perseus

    oh dear SDLP your use of the term “muppets” means our chat is over.
    when you have to insult people it means you have “issues”.. to work out.
    and may I wish you all the best with that .

    Bye the way, re: stalemate: the British Army:

    “..concedes for the first time that it did not win the battle against the IRA – but claims to have “shown the IRA that it could not achieve its ends through violence”.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/6276416.stm

  • Pete Baker

    I’ve added a quote to the original post from a Mid Ulster Observer report of the speech.

  • SDLP supporter

    Perseus, you’re such a sensitive soul!

  • perseus

    Jimmy,
    “And when do you say this conclusion was reached?”
    That’s a much better question . I don’t know myself.

  • Cynic2

    “But we believe that we are in the countdown to a united Ireland.”

    And some people believe Gerry is the Anti Christ. Doesn’t mean they or you are not deluding yourselves

  • Cynic2

    Ardoyne

    “Now, Adams and McGuinness praise those who make the arrests and send them to gaol in the name of the English Crown and encourage others to inform on them.”

    ….and your point is

  • Cynic2

    “fought the British to a stalemate”

    Ah but Marty tries to cast the IRA as an Army winning battles. It wasn’t and he knows it. It was a guerilla force. The Army and Police didn’t eliminate them them – that was never the real aim. They just so painted PIRA into a corner that they gave up.

    Call it stalemate or what you like. At the end of the day we ended up with a 30 year campaign for a Republic and a deal with SF leaders sitting in cosy chairs and Ministerial cars in the hated Stormont.

    Now look at that and answer this – who won?

  • joeCanuck

    Lack of violence won’t, on its own, advance reunification either. And demographics won’t do it either given that almost 40% of Catholics seem to prefer the status quo. A large proportion of those and a considerable proportion of current unionists need to be convinced that reunification would bring about a positive outcome. That’s an enormous task.

  • Dixie Elliott

    The thing about Marty is, that he could tell his followers anything and they’d believe it. If he told them not to put their clocks forward at the start of the summer because it would make it British Summer Time, they’d believe it was another of his great strategies for advancing Irish Unity even if it meant they were a hour behind everyone else in the country.

    Then again a priest, Father Alex Reid knew what direction he and Gerry were taking the IRA years before the IRA volunteers did. And for that matter so did Haughey and Hume.

  • perseus

    see how residents SDLP & dissy dixie speak contemptuously of SF supporters,
    whose political analysis commands huge support,
    whilst SDLP will be lucky to make double figures in this election,
    and dixies only chance of a seat at Stormont would be a loo seat.
    The neck of it ..

    Joe, it’s do-able, observe the thaw
    measure the exponentials of warmth over ice.
    you’ve a nice little formula there.

  • Henry94

    If you could convince young nationalists that the agreement was irrelevant and that the position of Martin McGuinness prior to the peace process was identical to the position of the dissidents now, it would increase support for the dissidents rather than reduce retrospective support for the provos.

    The worst outcome is not that there is an element who now hate Sinn Fein and insist on dogmatic purity. The real disaster would be people having an each way bet by voting Sinn Fein but tacitly accepting the activities of the dissidents.

    The dissidents are in provocative mode now and nobody likes them. But what about when one of them gets shot in disputed circumstances or goes on hunger strike. Either we draw a line at the GFA or there is no line and the dissidents have every right to oppose in arms the occupation just as MMcG did in his time. Or Goulding, or DeValera or Michael Collins. Either the new narrative prevails or the old one does.

  • DC

    I suppose what has changed is the nature of both states – both Britain and Ireland have been modified by involvement in Europe and have adapted – somewhat poorly given the credit crunch – to globalisation.

    Also cheap technology – cheapened as a result of the spread of capitalism into former communist countries – has made things like cars and computers and the internet affordable to pretty much everyone. As a result people are habitually more individualised and they tend to want things personalised, perhaps a red ipod or in control of music on youtube, the read across is the same with newspapers and politics etc.

    Rising consumerism and individualism has gone together hand in glove and with that people tend to care less about the state as a nation state which tended to rotate around ethnicity and cultural identity – and would rather live in a market state, which is responsive to their individual needs and desires and tends to be more in tune with popular culture. And as a result hardcore republican violence I imagine is not up there in the list of sought after desires, unless you have sadist tendencies!

    Plus post GFA, republicans get to veto anything that smells of unionism at Stormont, which is utterly annoying to unionists and naturally deeply satisfying to nationalists / republicans.

    The end.

  • Jimmy Sands

    “Now, Adams and McGuinness praise those who make the arrests and send them to gaol in the name of the English Crown and encourage others to inform on them.”

    You’re quite right. It’s not all doom and gloom is it?

  • Dixie Elliott

    Ah perseus, being as you’re a hour late…My point is that the Catholic Church, the Free State government and the bold Stoops brought PSF to the place they are in today. Sitting their arses on the very Stormont seats that Marty said ‘Shame’ three times at the suggestion they’d ever sit their arses in. And all the while he and Gerry were sneaking behind the IRA’s backs looking for a way to sit their arses on those very seats.

    Oh and dissy indeed! I’d crap meself before I’d sit my arse in Stormont, either on the loo or with those who count votes like bankers count money.

    Why does everyone assume we all want to be rent collectors for Britain?

  • perseus

    where is the line? Henry sums up the thread.

    “Nothing to offer” Dixie, you mentioned sit & arse, 4 times,
    there’s a clue, as to your position, if you can find it !
    G’nite

  • Dixie Elliott

    perseus, I have nothing to offer but my opinion, but it’s still my opinion not that of a leadership and passed down.

    McGuinness and Adams have instilled a mistrust of leaderships in me and which also tells me that any strategy which follows closely that which has failed in the past is surely bound to fail again.

    Is another generation to suffer death and imprisonment before someone else decides that we can’t defeat the Brits militarily and sneaks off to make deals behind backs? Oh and before anyone says ‘Shame, Shame, Shame’ I see that there are those taking the first steps towards wanting their arses in seats. So shame on them if they think they can put my son or daughter’s generation through the same ordeal of waiting while enough arses have been placed on enough seats to say that electoralism must take precedence over the war.

    In the words of Rab C…Call me a cynical bastard if you want…..but I’ve been there and seen it all before.

  • DC

    So shame on them if they think they can put my son or daughter’s generation through the same ordeal of waiting

    Please, allow me to interject – your son and daughter can take the Enterprise train and place their bums on it for next to nothing and head to Dublin tomorrow if it is so shit hot.

    If the mountain can’t come to Mohammad, Mohammad can go to the mountain!

    Await no more!

  • Fearglic

    journalists love it. the slightest inclination of an explosion or shooting gets them buzzing. they clamour at the keyboard with their exclusives and insights and dodgy sources. articles are written. masked men with overweight jumpers are interviewed. oh aye we cannot reveal our sources. we’re in the know. we report whats happening. We also get paid mega bucks.
    the people involved in the bombings and shootings of course love it to . the press keep them going.
    good work all round. at the end of the day the puppet masters in Holywood or Whitehall or granny Murphy’s house in the murph tuck into their fry up and plan the next pawn’s move.

  • Alias

    Dixie, your post might indeed be cynical but it is by far the smartest one that I’ve read in a while. As Mr Zimmerman said, “If you need somebody you can trust, trust yourself.”

  • tacapall

    Violence is not the way forward – Iraq, Afganistan, Libya, yeah if you have enough natural resources then you can do what you like – just sign this contract.

  • Republic of Connaught

    Dissident violence in the north in this day and age is just pathetic. Threats against the Queen’s visit is pathetic. The world has changed and little Ireland has changed too, God bless her and save her. So why pretend we live in 1916 or 1921 or 1969 and not 2011.

    United Ireland or UK, the six counties will contain the same townies and culchies with piercing Ulshter accents living in the same boring towns and villages under the same miserabe skies that plague Ireland. And emmigration to Britain or Australia or America will still be part of Irish life whether we are a united country or not. Because this island can get claustrophobic. It ain’t big enough for so many Irishmen and we need to spread the madness to other shores.

    In summation then, my advice to the dissidents is to emigrate far, far away from Ireland and find happy lives elsewhere.

  • Alias

    “Violence is not the way forward – Iraq, Afganistan, Libya, yeah if you have enough natural resources then you can do what you like – just sign this contract.”

    True, so the lesson is buy a few hundred Cruise missiles and try again. Now how many litres of red diesel will have to be laundered to pay for it?

    Incidentally, Iran will learn a very good lesson from the regime change exercise in Libya: don’t give up your nuclear weapons. If Libya didn’t follishly give up its nukes, Gaddafi would still be laughing instead of looking at the same fate as Hussein.

  • Alias

    By the way, 97% of all murders that occured during the ‘troubles’ were successfully contained within NI. As long as it was Paddies murdering each other, the security services weren’t too bothered. The point of having an occasional ‘spectatcular’ in the UK was to conceal the fact that the British state had used its control of the murder gangs to successfully contain it.

  • Cynic2

    “No act of violence will advance the cause of reunification by one millimetre”

    A stunning admission by one who was so immersed in it.

  • pippakin

    On Friday like it or not, this island, all of it, will be watching the royal wedding. The women will mostly watch because we want to see the fashions, the jewels, we love a wedding and no one has seen the dress yet. The men will watch because the women will make their lives hell if they try to change channels, and anyway there’s always the pub.

    IRA or no IRA that is what will happen, more of us will watch it than will bother with the 1916 commemorations, and perhaps, considering we will be just a small fraction of two billion viewers, that’s as it should be.

    eirigi can play at amateur dramatics and no doubt a few will be misty eyed at the, hopefully, conspicuous lack of blood and gore. The rest of us, the vast majority, will watch the show. .Hello and OK magazines are going to make a fortune over the next several weeks if not months and bankrupt or not some of that will come from Ireland. Get over it.

  • RoC

    I will tell you what is pathetic, betsy windsor’s visit to Ireland, for this to happen whilst Ireland is still partitioned is pure triumphalism.

    Please spare me any talk of the GFA vote, for that was not an all Ireland referendum on the border, with the same wording throughout the island of Ireland.

    Until such a referendum takes place, the border will remain illegitimate, as it came into being by force of British arms and the threats of a terrible war. This being so, there will always be people who believe they have the right and justification to take up arms.

    What the current armed republican groups have failed to do, is set out why they believe they can complete the Irish revolution by force of arms when the Provo’s failed to achieve this after 30 years of war.

  • Henry94

    pippakin

    At the risk of sexist generalisation, women would have watched the Hitler/Braun wedding if it was televised. It’s the wedding part that interests them and not the royal part. Why do you think the series on traveler weddings was so popular? It’s their Champions League and we shouldn’t draw political conclusions from it because it ain’t political. It’s just mad.

  • pippakin

    Henry94

    Completely agree, that’s exactly what I was trying (not very well) to point out. We really are very normal. Politics and ideology will not get in the way of a good show, or at least it won’t get in the way of the interesting bits!

  • vanhelsing

    Right 🙂 One of the interesting aspects SF will have to deal with is if the dissident violence continues they will have to add some moral justification to their ‘campaign’ of thirty years.

    How is murdering Ronan different from murdering a Protestant RUC man? Maybe because Ronan might have voted SF allegedly – I think not?

    At the moment they can just make the case that it’s ‘different circumstances’ but whilst that might assuage some it will not change the morality of their actions. In my book murder is never ‘ok’ under any circumstances. I’ve argued it out with MV about the nature of Ghandi’s campaign in India – moral and justified – the provos clearly never thought that way and it cost all sides dearly.

    It will be sad and horrific if the dissidents actions continue but at some point I’d expect some from the nationalist community to ponder the difference.

  • “The IRA by its nature was of the people and for the people.

    “It could not have survived and fought the British state the way it did if it was small and unrepresentative.” .. BelTel link

    I thought the IRA, often with more than one strand, has been around for well over a century. Presumably part of the reason for survival for some of its senior members from the ‘Catholic Ireland’ faction during the course of the past forty years can be put down to the possession of immunity certificates and the associated protection from the ‘securocrats’. The decision by these members in the late 1980s to opt for the alternative ‘Catholic Church’ Stepping Stones strategy proposed by Alex Reid and the Redemptorists would appear to be out of kilter with SF’s anti-EU stance as the Vatican has been an EU advocate.

    If the socialist/’commie’ IRA leadership had prevailed and progressed a successful revolution in the late 1960s then the island would have had a Cuban-style administration with Jimmy Sands as (more-or-less) lifetime president and it would not be part of the EU. Presumably Jimmy would not have permitted Shannon to be used as a stop-over for US ‘rendition’ flights.

  • streetlegal

    Did anyone hear Gerry Kelly losing his head during a radio interview with Martina Purdy yesterday? Most amusing! Sinn Fein is experiencing huge discomfort on the dissident republican question. Certain questions need to be addressed to Martin McGuinness directly, given that he is aware that many of his old provo comrades in arms are now active in the dissident campaign. The problem is that Martin McGuinness took an oath that he will never give evidence or assistance to crown forces against another volunteer. Regardless of the public statements he has given advising everyone to co-operate with the PSNI, he has not stated that he himself would be prepared to provide information on his former comrades.

  • “What we can say with certainty is that they are not the IRA; the IRA is history,” he [Adams] said.

    Does Martin believe what Gerry said? If he does, is he no longer bound by the IRA code of honour? Has he crossed the Rubicon or is he still straddling it?

  • Cynic2

    By the way, isn’t it just great to see how far PSNI have moved from the bad old days of the RUC.

    Now the cops carry bombs into their own stations and pack them neatly in storerooms

  • Dixie Elliott

    DC states…

    “….Please, allow me to interject – your son and daughter can take the Enterprise train and place their bums on it for next to nothing and head to Dublin tomorrow if it is so shit hot….”

    Well thank feck you’re nothing more than a member of a make believe party, playing politics on the internet or we’d all be standing at train stations clutching our worldly belongings.

    Mickhall…

    “…..What the current armed republican groups have failed to do, is set out why they believe they can complete the Irish revolution by force of arms when the Provo’s failed to achieve this after 30 years of war…”

    My point exactly. How are we expected to believe they are any different from PSF? Especailly, as I said, they now are looking at the sign post which says electoral route. The Provos have already gone in that direction and like the old Norman / Irish thingy, they become more like the SDLP than the SDLP themselves.

    So what I might ask is different this time?

  • Zachariah Tiffins Foot

    It’s not surprising to (again) have it highlighted that Irish Republican delusions exist at all levels. I caught a snippet of the ‘Derry Brigade Commander’ interviewed on Radio Ulster saying that he wanted a border referendum within the next five years! It’s bad enough to spin a yarn but when you start (seemingly) believing it yourself you’re in big trouble.

    I blame it on a diet of myth. If you sheep-chorus ‘British Occupation’ in mantra-like responses it’s going to dull your senses to the real world.

    But here’s the rub the British are the people living in every county in Northern Ireland, they are the people you meet on the streets and in shops. Going to the cinema and taking their children to school. No amount of myth-making, wishful thinking or, God forbid, dead police officers is going to change that.

  • SDLP supporter

    I heard Martin McGuinness being interviewed on Talkback. While the Brett woman was more incisive than Wendy Austin would have been, I thought the interesting thing was that while he received favourable comments from a Protestant woman from Larne etc. , there were no supportive comments from either Sinn Fein or “former” SDLP types telling him he was doing a great job.

    Is Connolly House press office losing its edge? Time was they would have had plenty of favourable questions planted. Could it be that MMcG’s “Peter and I” and “Sinn Fein and DUP working together” stuff isn’t going down too well with the grassroots?

    The problem with MMcG claiming that Robinson is his second bestest ever new mate (sorry, Iris), after Paisley, is that when a row comes in the next Assembly term he has given a hostage to fortune, particularly if relationships fray as they will under pressure of the financial cuts. Also, it seems to me that few from the Irish tradition would like someone as waspish, bullying and plain unlikeable as Robinson as their best chum.

    I will now do something I have never done before and acknowledge that McGuinness’s answer to the “foreigners coming over here and taking our jobs” question was impeccable. This is one that must be faced down. If there are, what, 30,000 mostly Eastern Europeans happy to come here and work in Moy Park or wherever, there is no excuse for local people sitting at home and continuing to draw benefits. Interesting that Joan Burton has drawn the same conclusion.

  • “But here’s the rub the British are the people living in every county in Northern Ireland, they are the people you meet on the streets and in shops. Going to the cinema and taking their children to school.”

    Indeed they are, but that does not make the six counties any less of an abnormal statelet. In Apartheid South Africa, exactly the same argument was used when the ANCs MK carried out armed actions.

    The fact is like the apartheid state in 1948, the six counties statelet came into being by undemocratic means, thus it has no real democratic legitimacy, simply because it exists does not make it right. Unless this democratic deficit is dealt with there will always be Irish people who will oppose it with arms. All this darting around the edges will not make an ounce of difference to this fact.

    (I found it interesting like the white elites and their patsies in SA back then, Nevin used the old cold war terminology about commies etc.)

    It does not take a rocket scientist to understand why there has been no all Ireland referendum, despite the signing of the GFA offering a good opportunity to hold one. It is because the British government and its Irish allies fear they will loose it.

    There is much talk about democracies these days in the arab world, but little mention of it when it comes to the north of Ireland, much better to stick to the tried and trusted sectarian stitch together which is the GFA.

    The problem for Republicans, is neither the armed groups nor SF are offering a road map to reunification, hence they both retreat into failed territory.

  • Zachariah Tiffins Foot

    Ah, the abnormal statelet of mind makes an appearance. LOL.

  • Cynic2

    Mick

    Enjoy the wedding tomorrow. In 30 years time they will be your king and queen, God Bless them

  • NoAttachmentToDust

    Mickhall

    Why do you believe that the British (and their ‘Irish allies’), other than those already living in Northern Ireland, would want to hang on to NI today?

    (Cue Alias mithering on about sovereignty again)

  • Alias

    That’s like asking why he believes that an old married couple, having recently renewed their vows on their golden wedding anniversay, would still want to ‘hang on to each other.’ He’d believe because that conclusion is supported by the evidence.

    The UK has never wavered in its absolute committment its ownership of NI as stated to the Goervernment of Ireland Act, and that absolute committment is again restated in the Northern Ireland Act 1998. Since the UK parliament is sovereign, it can ask for a divorce any time it likes. The fact that is has never asked for one, and has just renewed its vows, indicates that is has exercised its right to self-determination to stay lovingly within the longlasting union.

    Of course, lunatics would believe otherwise….

  • “Nevin used the old cold war terminology about commies etc.”

    MH, I did indeed use the word but I put it in quotation marks. A whole range of such epithets were used to describe the then IRA socialist leadership at the time it was involved in the initiation of NICRA. The two words I used give an indication of that range.

  • NoAttachmentToDust

    Hehe – right on cue Alias,

    That’s why I asked Mickhall what he believes, because I’m quite clear what your viewpoint is, thanks.

    You’ll also notice I haven’t made any comments about what I think or believe, but please feel free to restrict yourself to making assumptions or speculating wildly if it makes you happy.

  • Dixie Elliott

    Cynic2

    Ah the ole royal wedding, where foolish people wave flags and remember their places as commoners, even if they have more money than the royals themselves.

    As far as I’m concerned they’re nothing more than tourist attractions that move about. I was in London a few years back and preferred Madam Tussauds myself.

  • Alias

    “That’s why I asked Mickhall what he believes, because I’m quite clear what your viewpoint is, thanks.”

    Well, clarity is usually good in a debate.

    That’s probably why certain folks try to obscure reality by superimposing a bogus impression over it. For example, by creating the impression that the UK has no selfish or strategic interest in NI when the reality is that it does. It is British sovereign territory, and the UK has expended great resources in maintaining its selfish and strategic interest in its sovereign territory. Indeed, it even cited a headquarters for its national security agency in NI so that that agency may better protect the UK’s selfish and strategic interest national interests, as is its primary function.

    The propose of the bogus impression is to undermine support for those who seek to undermine the UK’s selfish and strategic interest national interest in NI, by making them think that all they have to do to acheive their aim is sit on the sidelines and wait for the ‘inevitable’ British withdrawal. Why bother working towards something that you are told will happen anyway?

    Another deliberate bogus impression is that NI has a right to self-determination. In reality, it has no such thing. It is not sovereign, and therefore cannot by definition have such a right. That right in fact remains with the UK parliament, which reserves the right to repeal all Acts of Parliament (such as the Northern Ireland Act 1998). The ‘self’ in self-determination does not therefore refer to the people of NI.

    And how could the people of NI have a right to self-determination? What, for example, if they voted to remain in the UK but the rest of the UK voted to expel them? Who would argue that the minority could veto the majority and that the people of NI could then stay in the UK against the will of the majority? If you did have a right to self-determination, which you cannot, your right would cancel out the right to self-determination of the rest of the UK. So you would think you alone have this right? Nope, there is only ever one right to self-determination per sovereign state. As as you’re not sovereign, you have no such right.

    How about that for clarity?

  • “like the white elites and their patsies in SA .. the old cold war terminology about commies etc.”

    MH, do you include John Hume in this list of luminaries? I think you’ll find that latching onto a word to make a point may shed little light.

    Liam O Comain – “John Hume and the Republican Objective”: “In response to a question that I put to John Hume in later years as to why the DCAC never affiliated to NICRA, he replied that he knew that the republicans controlled the latter with the help of the Communists and some independents, and for the DCAC to affiliate it would find itself under the control of the republicans, which he strongly opposed.”

  • NoAttachmentToDust

    “if the wish expressed by a majority in such a poll is that Northern Ireland should cease to be part of the United Kingdom and form part of a united Ireland, the Secretary of State shall lay before Parliament such proposals to give effect to that wish as may be agreed between Her Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom and the Government of Ireland”

    Are you saying that such a poll will not take place. Or, alternatively, that if such a poll were held and a majority returned in favour of a UI, that subsequently the UK would renege on the agreement?

  • NoAttachmentToDust

    … or do you just not answer questions that undermine your agenda?