More Questions Than Answers Following UUP Withdrawal

So the UUP executive met today and ratified Mike Nesbitt’s decision to leave the Northern Ireland executive, on Tuesday of this coming week Danny Kennedy will resign from his position as Minister for Regional Development – but what does this mean?

I have spent today discussing this at length and have concluded that I know as much about the potential ramifications today than I knew this time last year… So what questions remain open-ended?

  • What link is Mike Nesbitt aware of between current Sinn Fein and the PIRA? If he is aware of an existing link between the proscribed organization and the political party, he should surely morally (and legally) inform the PSNI of such a link – if however he is not aware of any existing link, then why is he essentially trying to punish Sinn Fein for an act that neither he nor the PSNI Chief Inspector can link to them.
  • Why resign the Executive? Nesbitt has stated that trust has broken down with Sinn Fein as a result of their denial of the existence of the PIRA – he referred to Gerry Adams’ “Single Transferable Speech of Denial.” The UUP leader has also suggested in interviews that until George Hamilton said that the PIRA still existed, he believed that they did not exist in such a format – and is now angry disappointed upset admonishing Sinn Fein for denying what Nesbitt himself apparently believed weeks and even days beforehand.
  • Why just resign the executive? If the UUP believe that Sinn Fein cannot be trusted, why remain in the Assembly with them? Why sit in the assembly chamber with a Sinn Fein speaker? Why sit in committees with Sinn Fein chairpersons and deputies? For example, Sandra Overend, as deputy chair of the Committee for Education, will have to work with John O’Dowd as Education Minister. Is Nesbitt completely ok with one of his party working closely with a party that he says “cannot be trusted.” What about councils? Why is Nesbitt accepting that party colleagues will sit in committees and council executives with Sinn Fein members, that they presumably can’t trust.
  • What does opposition look like? How can the UUP maintain their position in committees, and yet be in opposition. How can a committee chair of a party in government who is unable to attend a committee meeting, defer control to a deputy chair from a party in opposition? How can Mike Nesbitt himself as chair of the OFMDFM committee, leave control to Chris Lyttle of the Alliance party – a party in the executive with Sinn Fein, a party that cannot be trusted.
  • At what point will Mike Nesbitt see Sinn Fein and the PIRA as something different? In 10 years time, if a drug dealer in Ardoyne is beaten or shot in the knees and the 3 assailants are or are claimed to be in the IRA, will Mike Nesbitt hold Sinn Fein to any level of account for that? What about 2o years? What about in 30 years when Martin McGuinness, Gerry Kelly, Gerry Adams, Carál Ní Chuilín are all long gone? Without meaning to invoke Godwin’s law, how many years post 1945 was it ok to stop holding the sins of rogue neo-nazis against Germany?
  • What next? There’s a great outline here of what the legislative options are if the DUP follow the UUP out of the executive. And the short answer appears to be that there aren’t really any options. Yet. Legislation could be rushed through, but what that would or could look like may not be to the UUP’s taste. What then?
  • Can Nesbitt justify the hypocrisy? Mike Nesbitt has explained away his involvement in the Unionist Forum and his collaboration with paramilitary linked parties such as the PUP and UPRG as being part of his responsibilities, having to engage and speak with organizations who are linked with groups such as the UVF and the UDA, and to try and work with them, leading them down the path towards peaceful involvement… It’d a good answer but a politicians answer. Would he sit down with the PIRA and try to take them down the same path? What about 32CSM?
  • Mike Nesbitt has suggested that a referendum could be held for the people of Northern Ireland to essentially renegotiate the situation in Northern Ireland – what happens if the people of Northern Ireland return the same verdict as before – Nesbitt spoke in an interview with Slugger’s David McCann and suggested that this is something he would consider in the process of rebuilding the institutions and the trust required. Given how little real change in the political spectrum there has been in the last 8 or so years, is Nesbitt saying that if the people of Northern Ireland return the exact same decision that they took on the Good Friday Agreement, then he will return to the Executive with trust for Sinn Fein?

This one isn’t so much a question, more a case of me pointing out something I see as a bit unfair – d’Hondt – Danny Kennedy’s ministerial seat will go the DUP… I’m not widely read in this field (To be fair, I’m not even narrowly read in this field) but I’m an idealist, and here’s how I see it.

The DUP currently have 35% of the seats in the Assembly, but will have 45% of the ministerial seats. The DUP have 23% more seats than Sinn Fein (38 to 29) but will have 66% more ministerial seats than Sinn Fein. I’m just saying – that doesn’t seem totally fair.

  • notimetoshine

    You have identified some interesting structural and procedural problems that the UUP withdrawal might cause. However that is just a symbol of how did functional the whole stormont set up is. In some ways I’m really happy the UUP have stirred all this up, maybe it will be the straw that breaks the camels back and we can have a fundamental renegotiation of what the assembly does, how it does it and who does it.

    The assembly was only ever transitional in its current cross community format, it was never going to be particularly successful, its unwieldy and frankly even the best politicians would find it hard to govern effectively within it so our politicos had no chance.

    As for your mentioning the committees, well they aren’t a function of government as such more a legislative oversight of the departments and their areas of interest. No problem at all with an opposition party member chairing or participating in committees. After all that’s how it is done everywhere else.

    I look forward to vigorous opposition, though I doubt mike nesbitt is the man to do it.

    The assembly should be dissolved, direct rule implemented temporarily, while comprehensive talks and work is carried out to thrash out a new government and system in time for next years elections.

  • Belfast Barman(ager)

    I mainly agree, I’m glad Mike Nesbitt has taken action, things need shaken up, the assembly has been, at best, ticking over, at worse, holding back actual progress. i don’t agree with his rationale for it, but his morals, ethics and motivations are his alone – I think the ira link is just a handy stone to throw – but the end result is welcome – watch the world burn to see how Rome will rebuild.

  • notimetoshine

    True, though considering the regressive and uncreative politicians we have here, I don’t hold out much hope that they will come up with something better, but we can but dream. Only up aide is if direct rule is implemented we might equal marriage without the hassle of the DUP.

  • notimetoshine

    Though I am concerned about the whole IRA thing, maybe not its involvement or lack of with the two murders, but their existence in general. But you are right it’s just a convenient stone to hhrow. And who would have thought nesbitt would be the guy to do it, he’s a more astute player than I give him credit for.

  • Steve Larson

    If the UUP overtake the DUP next year by some miracle then Nesbitt will go in to Govt. with Marty and the rest.

    It will not take more that 5 minutes for the UUP council to agree to it.

  • Thomas Girvan

    How do you know?

  • mac tire

    Because they are politicians, it’s what they do.

  • John Fox

    Fab article. But as a journalist with a doubtless array of grammatical talents, what on earth made you think that a comma in that first paragraph could make any sense? Those two sentences deserve a bloody full stop.

  • peepoday

    Plain and simple the UUP are able to stand up and say that they cant sit in government with a party that may be connected to organised murder.I hope that this is a genuine stance and not an attempt to gain favour in the eyes of the electorate.The DUP have more to loose and will take longer to move.

  • Zig70

    Pure and simple cold war politics. The mindset that brought us the UUP logic is the same that justified internment.

  • Sergiogiorgio

    He’s a little man, running a little party that is, politically, playing his/it’s hand well. Sectarian headcount agreements with the DUP at election time – check. Invoking the name of Jean McConville as a justification for his political expediency – check. It gets him back in his favourite environment, with his holier than thou / sh*t eating grin pasted over the local news.
    However, I agree with you folks, at least it stirs things up.
    “May you live in interesting times”.

  • This has the smell of a pre determined course of action which was merely awaiting a convenient excuse rather than a principled reaction to an event

  • Sergiogiorgio

    Your hope is astonishingly misplaced.

  • chrisjones2

    Well you might ask how many of the (allegedly former) IRA members who investigated the murder of Jock Davidson

    1 were members of SF
    2 were paid SF staff
    3 were paid from Assembly money

    You might ask were SF aware that this investigation was under way and, if so, what steps they took to either

    1 stop it
    2 ensure that all information was immediately passed to PSNI
    3 prevent retaliation

    If SF were unaware of this can they please identify what toilet all their local members in the Markets and Short Strand were in at the material time on this occasion

    You might ask SF if:

    1 the recent report in the Irish News that after the McCartney murder they colluded with senior police officers to ensure that SF members involved in the clean up after the McCartney murder would not be investigated and would give evidence to police is true?

    2 if so when was that agreement made, who in SF made it and with whom in PSNI?

    3 as elected representatives committed to the rule of law, why did SF feel it lawful and right to collude with police to pervert the course of justice in this way?

    4 after the agreement was concluded, why in the end did the SF members involved not in fact provide the promised evidence?

    5 what steps were taken within SF against those who broke the agreement?

  • chrisjones2

    Its been simmering for months as relationships with SF have been eroded and destroyed by all the lies, murders, etc.

    Without the Welfare debacle it might have staggered through but Unionist sin general now really feel that the Assembly just isn’t worth it

  • chrisjones2

    I disagree. They like the money and because they employ so many of their family members there must be a huge financial incentive to milk every last penny before it goes

  • chrisjones2

    Have a little read at this

    http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/provos-launched-campaign-against-this-paper-for-exposing-criminality-31488101.html

    Personally I have no time for Cusack as I feel he’s often overblown. But this piece and the Indy’s investigation is based n hard facts.

    Then ask yourself why is SF – self styled champions of no water charges – happy to defend the pollution of the States water supplies with toxic and carcinogenic chemicals.

  • Zig70

    So I think most agree it’s a political stunt with incoherent motives. If the DUP don’t follow then the UUP have jumped on their own to a nonexistent opposition. What the UUP want is to force elections and make use of recent electoral gains from the Westminster elections. That logic you can follow. Really it is in the DUP’s interest to choke those gains, not to collapse Stormont but find some other way to dis SF. Especially when you take the prevarication over welfare and Stormont house, a new agreement could take years. It’s certainly going to be enjoyable to watch them spin from both the UUP and DUP and you have to hope for factional infighting. Cries from unionists that they don’t trust SF now? Now? Be honest, you never did. After 20yrs maybe it is time to bring up the hate. Put it on the table.

  • notimetoshine

    It is a risky strategy alright, but if it causes the total collapse of the assembly does he gain from it? If its collapse or impasse with a ‘muddle through’ compromise to get it going again he could play the I fought them and I won card. But can he translate that into votes? I would have thought that the UUP had lost so much credibility with their community and lost so many votes that they had passed the point of no return in political relevance, and no big bold step could fix that.

    Having said that I’ve always thought that nesbitt was trying to ‘out DUP’ the DUP. Though I never thought it would go this far. I’m impressed from a Machiavellian, student of political machinations perspective, like you I don’t rate the guy but he’s done well.

    Interesting times indeed.

  • Zig70

    Stormont isn’t worth it, but have you a better way if direct rule isn’t on the table? You need to take into consideration that FG has to watch it’s back on SF and joint authority may be encouraged. An agreement strung out to Easter next year sound good?

  • notimetoshine

    Really interesting article thanks for that. Have to laugh though, SF trying to get mentions of IRA removes from council motions on the fuel smugglers, as if any criminal beyond a kid stealing a chocolate bar from a shop could operate in the heartland without their express say so.1

  • Catcher in the Rye

    Chris,

    I love how you have that whole guilty before innocent thing going on.

  • Catcher in the Rye

    SF have significantly more cash – donations, “average industrial wage” and so on – than the DUP do, from the south as well as up here. Financially they can ride a collapse out for longer than anyone else.

  • Granni Trixie

    You know I was trying to work out my instinctive distrust of Nesbitt and you have nailed it for me – the experience of being a Victims Commissioner and presumably having to listen to the widest range of terrible experiences doesn’t seem to have impacted on his thinking about how to deal with the past one iota – he just seems to utilise victims for selfish reasons. How I long for all parties to agree that victims of the troubles are to be considered above party politics – it’s the least they deserve.

  • Catcher in the Rye

    Chris,

    During the course of the flag protests the unionists brought loyalist paramilitaries onto the streets over flags, resulting in a stack of death threats, riots, civil disruption and attempts on the lives of police officers. All to win an election. You’ll have to forgive me if I have trouble believing that the poor innocent peace-loving unionist politicians were genuinely shocked by ongoing violence.

    But the biggest problem overall is this ongoing perception, which seems to be impossible to correct, that unionism are granting republicans some sort of privilege by putting up with them in an executive. Nobody seems willing to explain the truth, which is that powersharing with SF is the least worst option – that is the only reason why the DUP went into it in the first place. The grass always looks greener on the other side. Crashing Stormont simply proves to republicans that the Northern Ireland state cannot be governed.

  • Catcher in the Rye

    I still think Nesbitt is a man out of his depth who has simply been lucky. The difference between him and Tom Elliott is presentation; he hasn’t brought any policy innovation to the table.

    I must say he has played this one well. After coming under criticism for allowing the DUP to lead the way over pacts, this withdrawal puts the DUP in the position where they are forced to dance to his tune.

    If there is an election the UUP will probably win a handful of seats – at most, three or four. The DUP are not likely to be severely electorally damaged; despite everything that is happened they are still a far better organised, managed and funded party, and their reputation for constituency work and other domestic representation will still allow them to easily beat the UUP.

  • Thomas Barber

    “If there is an election the UUP will probably win a handful of seats – at most, three or four”

    A handful of seats to where, what happens if Sinn Fein and indeed nationalism refuses to sit in government with unionism. Its a little presumptuous for the UUP to even assume Nationalism will like lapdogs re-negotiate the GFA for the benefit of Unionism. If power sharing is not an option for unionism then Joint Authority must be imposed it is the only lasting solution possible.

  • T.E.Lawrence

    And some might also say they have the street resources to fill such a political vacumm !

  • Steve Larson

    Murders?

    Chris, you sound like an angry little fantasist.

    Get over yourself and move on.

  • Granni Trixie

    Exactly. UUP/MN credibility is undermined by playing the outdoing- the -DUP card AND playing the “reconciliation ” card at other times. They need to make up their mind which way they are going.

  • Granni Trixie

    Don’t you think it possible, given the extent of sleeze allegations if proven will impact on DUP vote? Can’t believe that their voters don’t expect better.

  • chrisjones2

    39 in total. You seem to have missed McGuigan’s assassination and PIRAs role in it

  • Catcher in the Rye

    Chris,

    The 39 murders go all the way back to the ceasefires. During that period of time, unionists ignored the murders and entered devolved government.

    or is there some sort of magical standard that says 38 murders is OK but 39 is one too many ?

  • Catcher in the Rye

    didn’t impact last May ..

    and that isn’t just a DUP problem. Look at all the dirt that’s been turned up about SF, especially Adams. Yet limited impact ..

  • chrisjones2

    I agree completely re the flegs dispute.

    Disgraceful nonsense and all to recapture East Belfast. I would also criticise the Alliance Party in this. They let themselves be set up and when the storm broke their handling of it was utterly woeful

    As for “unionism are granting republicans some sort of privilege by putting up with them in an executive” that’s not what I have said. We are all in this because we signed up to the rule of law, democracy and peaceful methods.

    What Unionists see is not that – just look at McCartney where it is now alleged that there was collusion to protect SF members who covered up the murder. Then there are the allegations that the non-existent PIRA played a role in McGuigan’s murder.

    Add all that to the Welfare empass anbd the sleaze around NAMA and other GOvernmnet contrcats and many many people simply think that on a practical level they no longer trust SF or the DUP and no longer think that Stormont – any of it – is worth the candle

  • chrisjones2

    Dream on

  • chrisjones2

    A free UUP is free to ask awkward questions of Ministers . And there are lots of awkward questions that noone on the Hill wants asked

  • chrisjones2

    So what are the answers?

    Was there or was there not collusion with PSNI on the McCartney investigation?

  • chrisjones2

    …perhaps but they cream millions our of Stormont etc and if that all stops they have lots of people to pay – at a time when benefits are being cut

  • chrisjones2

    You cannot be suggesting that someone might orchestrate street disorder in support of SF ‘s political objectives lest such righteous outpouring of the indignation of the Nationalist Community might be construed as evidence of why Stormont had to go

  • Catcher in the Rye

    Flags have been debated endlessly and I don’t want to start it again. Unionists made an active and deliberate choice to make an issue out of flags in Belfast.

    As for the rest of the point – as I said I find it really hard to take unionist concern with murders of nationalist civilians very seriously. Had McGuigan been shot by a loyalist, or had McGuigan been a Protestant shot by loyalists, unionists would have issued some sort of glib condemnation and moved on. None of this is anything to do with murder being bad; it’s to do with finding ways to avoid powersharing.

    The welfare impass has been going on for years. If the UUP had resigned six months ago citing welfare or the budget, it would be more difficult to criticise them. The cuts to Danny Kennedy’s DRD budget would have been a perfect excuse for a principled withdrawal. But they didn’t, because they wanted to keep resignation in their back pocket until they could use it to hurt the DUP.

  • Catcher in the Rye

    There’s no doubt that the PSNI went soft on certain investigations for political reasons. McCartney’s murder was one, but I’d expect there will have been others.

    This is nothing to do with the question of whether devolution should continue or not.

  • Steve Larson

    How did that work out for yis.

    One thing that Unionism always does is ensure that its pig headed ignorance gets itself a worse deal shortly after.

    This time will be no different.

  • Catcher in the Rye

    True of all the parties at Stormont. The point is that SF will weather the storm more easily than the DUP will, at least in the short term.

  • Catcher in the Rye

    Violent street disorder has been orchestrated many times over the past 20 years, and most of it was at the behest of unionism.

  • Steve Larson

    No SF will not, there is no benefit even if they could.

    I could see Unionism organizing street riots and letting the UVF stir tension up. Like it did over the flegs and Twadell, Drumcree and a dozen other times in the last 20 years.

    If need be, Unionist leaders will ask for favours, some things never change.

  • Steve Larson

    He is using this to grow in Stormont.

    Unionism always jumps to whoever presents themselves as “hammer of the taigs”, this time might be different, as most people don’t actually care and see it as a stunt. It will add a few seats to the UUP.

    Even the UUP do not seem that excised about it.

  • Steve Larson

    You think that direct rule will be left as is if Stormont collapses.

    Direct rule is Britain rejecting the peace process and a shared future in the North.

    It is them walking away from political progress in the North.

    Unionism needs to get in to its closed 17th C. head that things are not going back to the old days of Unionist domination or direct rule from London. Nor will the Tories accept that.

    There are structure in place such as those created during the Anglo Irish agreement and the East/West body under the GFA that could be used as a route to joint decision making.

    Direct rule for a few months might be a way to finish off implementing the last of the GFA requirements.

    The DUP will be slow to walk as they know that it will mean Unionism having to give a lot of ground and accept what it agreed to. There is no deferral when Stormont is gone.

  • Steve Larson

    There is no evidence that there is.

    That article said that the PSNI claimed to have said that they would go easy on the clean up crew if PIRA helped them with catching the killer/killers.

    So who was convicted of the murder?

    Like I said Chris, you are a fantasist.

  • Belfast Barman(ager)

    Arguably it deserved a semi colon – in my defence, it was gone midnight 😉

  • chrisjones2

    Unionists made an active and deliberate choice to make an issue out of flags in Belfast.

    As it was obvious that they would. SF set Alliance up too and the walked into it. Then their handling of it was appalling. But it would never have gained traction without relationships already having deteriorated to near the point of no return. It is a huge mistake to see the Loyalist reaction to flegs as some manufactured nonsense. It was a real and visceral anger. Stupid but real

  • chrisjones2

    “they wanted to keep resignation in their back pocket until they could use it to hurt the DUP.”

    Aw shucks Abner …they gone an’ done politics on us.

    Who would have guessed

  • chrisjones2

    Its been a progressive journey and after 15 years of the same and no progress all credibility is spent

    Think of it as living with an alcoholic partner who just cannot / will not stop …then one day you think, stuff this, there is a better life out there

  • chrisjones2

    “Britain rejecting the peace process and a shared future”

    How come? It can consult and act as a broker (with the Irish) and implement the reforms we need to see but cannot agree amongst ourselves

    That will undoubtedly be a two way street. Expect to see Casement Park built and built safely, the Maze resolved in a balanced way, welfare reform, health reform, gay marriage, gay blood in the blood banks, industrial development, better transport links to the NW.

    Hell John Lewis might even finally get a store here

  • chrisjones2

    Does that include the Catholic Unionists or was that just lazy sectarian thinking or do you see them as class traitors who dont count?

  • chrisjones2

    By the way, do you support this as well

    http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/provos-launched-campaign-against-this-paper-for-exposing-criminality-31488101.html

    Why would any political party support this? Answers on a postcard to ……….

  • kalista63

    Yeah, like what did Peter Robinson and Jim Allister do with their weapons?

  • kalista63

    So, why are the media indulging this cynical exploitative panto?

  • kalista63

    Yep. Dawn Purvis saw that the PUP were overtaken by the UVF and walked but the 3 unionist parties are in, at least, 2 groups with them

  • kalista63

    Well, if there’s a collapse and new talks, I suggest we send them to Siberia in late autumn for them, allowing them, only, to stay in a £10.99 tent from Lidl.

  • kalista63

    BTW. totally love the way Kyle Paisley has the unionist parties sussed. His Twitter feed is well worth a check.

  • eac1968

    The UUP have been ‘threatening’ to leave the executive and go in to opposition since Mike Nesbitt was a second-rate newsreader. Now that he is a second-rate politician it seems he has realised that this is the only way he can make the story be about the UUP for a few days. The difficulty with that tactic is that he can only do it once, and when folk realise in a few months time that the UUP not being in the executive hasn’t made a jot of difference, they will know that come next May they can give Nesbitt what he wants for real, by not giving the UUP enough seats to be entitled to be in the next executive.

    This pretence at principle has fooled no-one (or at least, no-one with any sense!).

  • Because certain media Kalista, have an agenda.

  • Robin Keogh

    Sinn Fein set up Alliance re the flag carry on? And what did the SDLP do? were they too stupid to see it was a big poke the prod exercise by the Shinners? And Alliance, they were so intellectually challenged they couldnt smell it either? Chris, is it even remotely possible in your mind that maybe Nationalism is using its increasing strength to try and balance the books in terms of politcal identity. Is it it beyond you to suggest that maybe it would have been a fair compromise to have the original suggestion accepted and have both the Union flag and the tricolour flying side by side? Those that condemn nationalism of working towards equal recognition on the basis of a fake anti prod argument are doinfg so to mask their inability to make room for Irish Political Identity sitting alongside and equal to that of Unionism, no more no less. POOP – permanently offended outraged people.

  • Robin Keogh

    Cusack is deliberately incorrect. The state can find no evidence or they would arrest, or do u like the idea of Independent News and Media running the country instead?

  • Zig70

    I’d agree but just saying what the worst case may be. The reality be will worse. Fudged agreement of locals

  • Robin Keogh

    You are deliberately incorrect, point us to the statement from Sinn Fein where they say itys ok to pollute the Staes water.

  • Robin Keogh

    Who are you asking Chris? Honestly man sometimes I think u are slighly losing the plot. The questions u pose are reasonable to ask…but you need to ask the Police no?

  • Robin Keogh

    The overwhelming majority of Sinn Fein activists including myself work completely free of charge

  • Sherdy

    There’s only so many full stops in a case of type, and as he was setting the story from bottom up, by that stage he had no full stops left, and he didn’t want to mix his type faces!

  • eireanne

    have a look at what Jude collins says about the media coverage of the issue http://www.judecollins.com/2015/08/hand-me-that-kitchen-sink/

  • eac1968

    Right. Tell me then, on which of the
    following points is Cusack being ‘deliberately incorrect?’:

    1. Diesel laundering is a huge problem in the border areas

    2. The toxic by-products of diesel laundering are contaminating water supplies and causing very serious environmental pollution and major risks to human health

    3. The IRA is a key player in diesel laundering in border areas, making £millions annually from the trade. This, of course, is in keeping with its historical role in the area of diverting as much money as possible away from the British exchequer.

    Now, let me guess. Not even you can deny 1 or 2. But you will deny point 3, won’t you? But the question has to be, given
    that 1 and 2 are real, and causing major issues, and people are dying of cancer, why is it that we don’t see the dominant political party in the area organising massive demonstrations against diesel laundering? They have never been behind the door in the past when it comes to demonstrating against issues
    that affect their constituents (think water charges, Sellafield etc.).

    The principle of omerta is alive and well
    in the border areas. What else would make the residents not only keep their silence, but keep on drinking the water?

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Does he have good Lundy potential?

  • Robin Keogh

    The criminal gangs operating along the border are not the IRA, they are lawbreakers and are not connected to SF. If the authorities know whats going on and know who is involved it is up to them to make arrests.

  • eac1968

    I simply don’t believe you Robin. Next you’ll be saying that ‘Slab’ Murphy is just a simple farmer, and that Gerry Adams was never in the IRA!

    If what you say is true, why do we never hear SF representatives condemning fuel laundering and smuggling? Could it be that they’d be laughed at for condemning themselves?

    Why don’t the locals pass the information they have on to the PSNI and HMRC? Could it be that they’re afraid to, as they know the consequences of being labelled a ‘tout’?

  • Robin Keogh

    Its your choice whether or not to believe whomever, but simply refusing to believe your opponents does not make your assertions correct.

    Secondly, a quick google there and u will find plenty of examples where SF have condemned the crimes you allude to.

    Thirdly, people can inform on criminals in total anonimity if they so wish with no fear of redress. Finally, the ballot box is private, it these people were so scared of local thugs and believed SF are up to their necks in it, why do tens of thousands come out and vite for them? Why not do the sensible thing and use the ballot to remove them? You are a fantasist when it comes to SF.

  • Granni Trixie

    Yes, the Teflon tendencies of SF and Adams in particular are a mystery. The only thing that explains this phenonomen in NI context (impacting in the South) is that SF personnel are entertwined in working class communities and SF reaches the parts that other political parties don’t. It’s up to other parties therefore to meet these communities needs.

    That said, I do not think that the DUP has the same community hold and people have voted with their feet in not supportimg the PUP in the past and so if allegations of sleeze involving DUp are proven it is indeed likely to impact on voting patterns.

  • barnshee

    Tried the police —a bit like SF they were unable to comment

  • barnshee

    So who was convicted of the murder?

    Nobody –SF suckered the cops

  • barnshee

    “Thirdly, people can inform on criminals in total anonimity if they so wish with no fear of redress”

    Suggest you take a Law unit
    (Hearsay is not evidence anonimity = no proof my god some people say St Gerard was in the Ra)

  • William Carr

    Tis a pity that all murders are not equal or indeed all terrorists.
    why if unionists are opposed to working with terrorists on principal does that principal not extend to loyalists.

    Mike and Jim are playing the same old sectarian game as unionists have always played.
    Please Chris open both eyes!

  • William Carr

    POOP, love it!