Provisional IRA or Sinn Féin: whose overarching strategy is it anyway?

Better out than in is what the English say when someone belches impolitely in company over food. So the IRA is still operational, and not only that the Army Council still meets, but it…

….oversees both the IRA and Sinn Féin with an overarching strategy, [and] it judges this has a “wholly political focus”.

[Ah, yer in the Army now boys and girls, and don’t you forget it Mary Lou. – Ed]

The BBC’s final main point crystallizes the main problem facing other democrats on the island, ie that “individual members of paramilitary groups still represent a threat to national security and are engaged in organised crime.”

But the real show stopper is paragraph 13 (which far exceeds the original analysis which kicked off this crisis):

PIRA Report

 

Which leaves the DUP on difficult ground (surprise, surprise).

We should also note that if the report is accurate then almost every Sinn Fein politician who has spoken about the non presence of the IRA has been hiding the truth behind a polite (and meaningless) theatrical metaphor.

Of course people are entitled to ask Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? 

The answer to that pre the McGuigan murder was Sinn Fein (and others) via the Policing Board. Since then, the whole matter has escalated. Perhaps that will prove useful, if some of the players can be dragged out of a fairly constant state of denial.

As Micheal Martin noted on Sunday of past patterns, without some form of pressure, that remains unlikely:

…last month they also said that they could guarantee that the Provisional IRA didn’t exist because they know everything that happens in republican communities in the North.

Yet the people who savagely beat Robert McCartney to death in front of dozens of Sinn Fein member’s years after the peace settlement remain untouched.  The people who covered up widespread child abuse continue to benefit from the silence of their movement.

Sinn Fein calls for people to cooperate with the authorities, but no one ever does.

Funny that…

  • “look more prepared for a campaign of violence than they are” but not incapable, where “unable to resurrect the capability demonstrated at their peak” doesn’t mean they are incapable of a significant and bloody campaigns, given that members’ nefarious activities could be described as ‘keeping their hands in”

    This is well worded, unsurprising, and enough to keep the gravy train on its tracks.

  • Nevin

    The Secretary of State delivers an oral statement to Parliament following an assessment of paramilitary groups in Northern Ireland – the link includes assorted documentation.

    The art of spin:

    The political settlement which sees people who were once enemies working together for the good of the whole community has transformed life for the better.

  • IRF

    P. O’Neill has left the building…

  • Zeno

    Nah, this makes it look like Sinn Fein is just a front for the IRA.

  • Kevin Breslin

    News just in … The DUP ministers have returned to office full time.

  • mickfealty

    You think so TD? I think it makes life incredibly tough for the DUP…

  • Nevin

    The following words from DCS Kevin Geddes put the DUP on the spot:

    “One of our major lines of enquiry is that members of the Provisional IRA were involved in this murder. I have no information to say at this stage whether this was sanctioned at a command level or not and I am not prepared to speculate about that.”

    The contributions by the Chief Constable and the Secretary of State IMO have been designed to relieve some of that pressure. This damage limitation exercise seeks to put clear blue water between the PAC management and the rank-and-file and to portray the PAC as the management of a peace and reconciliation movement.

  • Robin Keogh

    It is probably a genuine mistake on your part Mick but there is an error in your post, an error that would seriously throw the reader in a direction far away from the facts. The report has not said it believes the PAC oversees both the IRA and Sinn Fein with an overarching strategy. The report states that there are ‘Provisionals’ who believe ….etc. etc. Very different.

    The report is both clever and frustrating. It is clever in that it words its findings in a way that Unionists can save face. On the one hand it says that the Irish Republican Army exists which is enough to justify the reckless behaviour of the DUP taking their salaries during their one leg in one leg out charade,on the other it says that the Irish Republican Army has no actaul ‘Army’, and poses no threat to the state. Moreover, the Garda commissioner has come out today and said that the IRA are not present in the 26 counties in any shape manner or form, which is odd considering Gerry Adams is a TD in the 26 counties but apparently up to his trampoline in all sorts of the IRA’s armyless shenanigans.

    So the Irish Republican Army exists but with no Army and its alleged Leader (GA) is actually nothing more than a TD and President of Sinn Fein and finaly the Army with no Army, seems to be concentrated only in the North East of the Country.

    The frustrating thing of course is that the report goes on to say that there is serious criminal behaviour involving Loyalists and Republicans and the report gives no indication as to how these idiots might besnared and locked up.

    Ultimately the report finds zip zero and nothing to connect Sinn Fein to any of it. Now is the time for Unionism to step up and accept power sharing once and for all. Stop dithering and cowering because of Orange tantrums and electoral threats from the TUV and UKIP. Sinn Fein – similar to recent police findings on Gerry Adams – are in the clear and are never going away.

  • NotNowJohnny

    It is worth recalling the DUP’s 2001 Manifesto.

    “IRA/Sinn Fein Ministers were placed in government and given control of half the Northern Ireland budget courtesy of Mr Trimble and the UUP. In past elections the UUP has falsely said “No guns – No government” and “No hand in of guns – no hand in government”. These Trimble pledges, like so many UUP Manifesto promises, lie broken and dishonoured. The UUP leadership simply can’t be trusted any more. Without the handing in of illegal weaponry and the dismantling of the IRA terror machine, IRA/Sinn Fein must be kept out of government.”

    Then today, a short time after the DUP had gone back into government with Sinn Fein (full time) and resumed business as usual, the DUP’s Minister of Finance, who personally oversees the allocation of the Northern Ireland budget to Sinn Fein Ministers, gave an interview on Radio Ulster which included the following exchange.

    AF: “There are also those parts which disturb us and those parts relate to the fact that the structures are still there”

    Interviewer: “And the fact that there are still weapons available. They still have access to weapons.”

    AF: “Yes. And that is very disturbing as well.”

  • Ciarán

    I guess we can now look forward to months and months of links back to this article probably with the link [Hmm but who’s really in charge – Ed]. Can’t wait.

    In the interests of honest coverage I think it would only be right to preface that quote you have with the really important bit “some members believe….”

    On to the point, even if there are people who think that the army council is still the supreme authority then I would question just how intelligent those people are. Sinn Fein and the republican movement achieve their authority through the mandate handed to them by the people. If the history of Republicanism has taught us anything it’s that army council or no, a movement disconnected from the people and without popular support is a movement that will achieve nothing, has no authority.

  • TheHist

    Your disdain for the republican movement, Mick, is blatantly obvious here, when you use the report today and misquote it take a political shot (if that’s what it is) – the report states “PIRA members believe that the PAC oversees both PIRA and SF …” What does that really mean? Was there a survey sent out to PIRA members and their views considered … Who are these members that believe this? Do these alleged members speak on behalf of the republican movement? So, if these members do believe this, where’s the evidence to state it’s true? Quite an ambitious and ambiguous comment for a report that was commissioned to be factual and even worse, Mick, for you to use it in such a manner …

  • Only if the ‘agreement’ in two weeks is nothing new. This leaves time to regroup before the election in May. Robinson’s laudatory stepping down at Party Conference banjaxed. Still find it hard to see him heading into May as leader. New face(s) lineup, fresh start, yada yada; and the train keeps rumbling on, halting now and then, but no-one getting off.

    After the Iris debacle, heading into the next election it was still a matter of Robinson in charge, and his decision alone s to what next. While it is still his decision leading next steps in the weeks/months ahead, if he doesn’t see he is a drag on the Party at the next election (result of cumulative points, not just the past few weeks) then his tactical mind is clearly blocking strategic necessity. The future is no longer his to shape. Events.

    UUP has made current ‘opposition’ its entire policy. However, in the Alex Kane interview on Monday, rejoining the Executive was not ruled out. So how do you make a policy stance at the next election. A detailed policy is promised, but that would be a first. Needs to be more than a broad motherhood/apple pie manifesto – never seen that from any NI Party.

    So although incredibly tough on Peter Robinson (even if the Paisley clan weren’t out for his blood), not so certain that it is incredibly tough for the DUP. There is a way through this. Still the largest Party, holds the most political talent, and strength in electoral depth.

  • Robin Keogh

    It was a mistake, it turns out that the dissidents who said that PAC oversees both PIRA and SF and electing of the pope are actually British agents from the planet Orangeton in the fifth solar plexis working under cover and reporting back to Winston Churchill who in turn informs the cabinet at weekely meetings via Eddie Carson.

  • Dan

    So, when Sinn Fein ‘activists’ stood outside my elderly parents gates during the last election with their little notepad after questioning them on their voting intentions, we are now to accept that these thugs may more than likely have been PIRA terrorists….and that’s all right then..

  • Zeno

    “Which leaves the DUP on difficult ground (surprise, surprise).”

    Someone explain to me why the DUP are now happy to go back into Government. This Report paints a far more serious picture than the one they “walked out” over.

  • TheHist

    Surely Mike Nesbitt is involved somewhere here too as he’s on “a different planet”!

  • Robin Keogh

    Mike was last seen back in his Wendy house fighting with Robbo over an Orange Barbie

  • TheHist

    It is interesting that the DUP ministers initiated a rolling resignation policy based on PSNI assessment yet reinstated ministers with a more damning independent assessment, which too many, was worse than was expected! Why? Power, fear and money – DUP want to be in power, they don’t want to hand the controls over to Westminster. They also fear an election that could potentially see SF as biggest party in north, and / or, UUP and TUV making any electoral gains. I feel also a deal may be in the pipeline on welfare, that will ensure Stormont limps on … How will this affect the DUP, that’s the big question – Jim Allister and to a lesser extent, Mike Nesbitt, will ensure the coming months, prior to May’s Assembly elections, are made very difficult for the DUP!

  • Robin Keogh

    Ha Brilliant !

  • Robin Keogh

    They were probably taking the garden measurements to see if they could land a spaceship to take your parents away to the planet POOP until the elections are over.

  • Dan

    .well, we know what happened when your people took many others away over the years, don’t we?

  • Zeno

    If they had those concerns they would have resigned and called an election from a position of relative strength.There is one not that far away anyway.

  • Zeno

    What’s Sinn Feins response? They have already said several times that the IRA don’t exist. Now the report says They do exist and they are armed and active. Are SF rejecting this report?

  • Greenflag 2

    Do any of the DUP or SDLP or UUP or Alliance Parties have Army Councils ? If not why not ? and what have they instead if anything ?

  • Zeno

    No they have a lust for power and good pensions.

  • Zeno

    Good response, Robin must be a bit rusty dropping that one in your lap. Penalty Kick………..GOALLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!

  • Skibo

    One simple comment, if DUP are prepared to re-enter the Executive using this report considering the PSNI statement that was good enough for them to step down then they must have something up their sleeve. They must have the deal done on welfare and a plan of work arranged to show they can govern successfully. This is the only way they could run for another seven months and be in a position to successfully fight an election.
    If not it would have been more advisable to pull the plug and go straight to elections, taking the high ground saying they tried to resolve the issue while UU walked away.
    We in the real world however know it was always a manufactured crisis created by Mike to get out of the Executive so he can take seven months to disassociate the UU from sharing power with SF and all the bad publicity of an Executive trying to budget on less money than it takes to run the place.

  • Skibo

    MMGs response is SF is governed by the Ard Chomhairle. Votes taken in public.

  • Skibo

    Dan! stupid comment! that is called electioneering and all parties do it. They collate results on the door to door knocking to see how they expect their candidates to do. What’s the problem?

  • Skibo

    Penalty kick? I dont think so! ever heard of sarcasm?

  • Skibo

    No actually it doesn’t. It states that some PIRA members think the PAC directs the PIRA and SF. Thats like me saying I think the DUP take directions from the head of the Presbyterian Church so it must be true now that I have written it down!

  • Zeno

    Did he mention the IRA? Or are we still going with they don’t exist?

  • Skibo

    SF are consistent in saying the IRA has left the stage. That has never changed. Tell me ex British Army who join the British legion, are they Army or Legion?

  • Zeno

    It doesn’t say that. You added the word “some”. Why?

  • Skibo

    Yes, I realised that when I went back up and read the print in red. One issue, how did MI5 interview all previous members of PIRA ( I say previous as SF says they left the stage). I assume they can only talk to their moles. They can’t all be moles can they?

  • Skibo

    Mick I also thought it was very disingenuous of you, the way you noted “controls both the IRA and SF”.

  • Zeno

    The report is consistent that the IRA exist and are armed. Are SF still saying they don’t exist?

  • Skibo

    I don’t see Peter walking away yet. He will want to lead the DUP one more time to prove they have not lost their biggest party badge. Not sure he will do that though. I can see their vote splintering in all directions with UU picking up transfers where DUP would have last time out.

  • Zeno

    We aren’t talking about previous members.

  • Skibo

    Zeno, I do believe they do! did you not understand my previous comment? Well, when ex Army join the British Legion are they Legion or Army? When do PIRA members stop being members? Surely it is when the PIRA say they have left the stage is it not? How did MI5 interview all the ex members of PIRA?

  • whatif1984true

    Authority? Is Sinn Fein not a political party like any other? Is there not more than a tinge of ‘infallibility’ being attributed to SF? Their every pronouncement and diktat now has authority?
    Politicians are voted in not because they are 100% approved of by each and every voter who selects them but often as the best available which does not necessarily mean that they are wonderful just not as bad as the others, in certain respects.
    The % approvability of a vote given i.e. where does the politician lie so far as the voter is concerned on a range of 1 to 100% is not known but surely it is more than reasonable to consider that it varies and maybe by a significant amount.
    A voter never has a wide choice of politicians who range from 0 to 100% on the questions important to the voter so his preference is never clear except to the politician who will claim he has 100% authority for everything from every voter.
    Then again some voters are persuaded by strictly one single issue and some will of course believe in the infallibility of the Party.
    SF was once regarded as the IRA and disagreeing with them or criticising them was the same as saying the same of the IRA, that was not a position many people in certain areas would be very open about. If you aren’t for us you are against us……..
    SF may have more votes but they do not have sole Authority on Nationalism never had and never will. The same applies to the full gamut of other issues (in no particular order) like Unemployment, Welfare Benefits, the Economy, Health, Irish, Sport, Arts, Education etc.

  • Zeno

    Neither SF or IRA supporters should mention taking people away in debate and not expect anyone to put the ball in the back of that net.

  • Skibo

    How can we not? If PIRA has left the stage then they are ex members. I assume they have not left NI. There is no law that ex members cannot meet. There is no law that they cannot decide to assist SF in electioneering. There is law that they should not be involver in Criminal acts and even SF has stated anyone involved in Criminal acts should be dealt with by the PSNI. How much clearer can they be?

  • Skibo

    I’m not a SF member but I was thinking of taking my Mrs away for the weekend but don’t tell her in case I change my mind!

  • Zeno

    We are not talking about ex members. We are talking about current members. The one’s who look after the guns, collect intelligence and search for touts as specifically mentioned in the report.

    So SF are still saying the IRA don’t exist?

    “There is no current status of the IRA, there is no current IRA members – the IRA has gone… Where I differ from the chief constable, is there is no role for the IRA, the IRA has finished, the IRA has gone.

    Bobby should sue. They are calling him a liar.

  • Zeno

    That;s fine, I’ve no idea why your telling me but have a nice weekend.

  • Skibo

    Zeno one reason I think they have gone away is there is no fear of standing up the the authority of the PIRA within its community. While I dont live in those areas I have hear this from those who do. This is why you see the rise of unacceptable behaviour in those communities. have to go now so thanks for the discussion.

  • Zeno

    The report is not talking about ex members, no one is, except you.
    The report says
    The IRA exists.
    They have weapons.
    They gather intelligence.
    They search for touts.
    They believe the PAC is in charge of SF and the IRA.

  • Zeno

    Good luck.

  • Thomas Girvan

    Unlike Kevin McGuigan who has definitely gone away.

  • Jack Stone

    Well remember, it was a decade ago when a British MP said under parliamentary privilege that the northern chairman of Sinn Féin Bobby Storey was head of intelligence for the IRA. So, if it was Big Bobby then … probably.

  • Jack Stone

    You mean this report makes the Provisional IRA look like the armed wing of Sinn Fein then yeah. That’s exactly what it is saying. It also said that the army council has a “wholly political focus” and poses no threat to the British state or the peace process but don’t let the facts get in the way of a good argument.

  • TheHist

    But, would it have been from a position of “relative strength” ? – if the DUP thought this was the case, they would have relished an election … To follow Nesbits lead, would have appeared weak

  • Ciarán

    Authority, yes but don’t misunderstand this… No more or less authority than other parties. The point about authority relates to the ridiculous comment in the assessment that some people believe the army council has authority over SF.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    But were you intending to question her with torture over the weekend and “disappear” her at the end of it? We are talking about a historic record from which many local people have life destroying experiences. I seldom agree with Dan, but being sarcastic about his point is in effect being sarcastic about the disappeared. It may simply be politicking, but if we are not to ignore those who have suffered, it is effective politicking.

  • Reader

    Robin Keogh: The report has not said it believes the PAC oversees both the IRA and Sinn Fein with an overarching strategy. The report states that there are ‘Provisionals’ who believe ….etc. etc. Very different.
    Your job is not done yet. These people only think they are Provisionals; a Johnny-come-lately southerner knows they are wrong about that too.

  • Reader

    When someone leaves the stage they don’t cease to exist. Even a pantomime audience knows that.

  • whatif1984true

    The madmen think they are in control of the madhouse. Are the madmen PIRA or SF? What if some of them are both or would only another group of madmen think that?

  • whatif1984true

    If Martin and Gerry have, since the GFA, attended meetings with members of the PIRA, could that mean that members of the PIRA might think that they M and G are members of the PAC even though M and G think they are only only guests or SPADs.

    The crux of the matter might be if either Martin or Gerry were at any time members of the PAC?

  • Zeno

    It wouldn’t be difficult to name 20 to 25 top Sinn Fein people who have convictions for IRA activity. If they are ex IRA then that is fine, but if they are still in the IRA then it becomes a different scenario.

  • Zeno

    The report says IRA Members believe that The IRA Army Council controls SF.

  • T.E.Lawrence

    Disagree Dissenter about DUP not being at Electoral Risk. Only takes a small Unionist Vote Swing and the following 10 Constituencies with 3rd DUP MLA is at Risk.
    East Belfast -1 Gain 1 PUP/UUP
    North Belfast -1 Gain 1 PUP
    East Antrim -1 Gain 1 UUP
    East Londonderry -1 Gain 1 UUP/TUV
    Fermanagh & ST -1 Gain 1 UUP
    Laganvalley -1 Gain 1 UUP
    North Antrim -1 Gain 1 TUV
    North Down -1 Gain 1 UUP
    South Antrim -1 Gain 1 UUP
    Strangford -1 Gain 1 UKIP

  • Greenflag 2

    NI politics has a chequered history . From local majority rule 1920 -1972 ) to voluntary coalition 1972 to 1974 -to a state of suspended animation (1974 to 1998 ) to states of intermittent animation ( existing and non existing ) 1998 to 2007 -to a state of almost certain but not quite certain mandatory power sharing existence 2007 to 2015 . Not quite sub atomic particle politics but getting there ;).

    With this report – the DUP’s antics and SF’s response – NI may have finally entered the sub atomic realm of Quantum Politics where it’s now possible to exist and not exist simultaneously .

    The PAC from what I read seems to be the political version of Schrodinger’s Cat in the box .

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schr%C3%B6dinger%27s_cat#In_popular_culture

    HMG and the local main parties appear to agree that it’s better to keep the cat in the box and not open it otherwise well otherwise ?

    .

  • Greenflag 2

    That would be a quantum political leap into an unknown known . Would the DUP continue to exist or non exist after such a result ? Would NI /the Assembly ?

  • T.E.Lawrence

    All would still exist : The Unionist Outcome in the Assembly would read
    28 DUP
    19 UUP
    2 TUV
    2 PUP
    1 UKIP

    SF would sit on 29

  • Reader

    Greenflag 2: HMG and the local main parties appear to agree that it’s better to keep the cat in the box and not open it otherwise well otherwise ?
    Actually, I think that the report comes as no surprise to anyone – The DUP pulled the plug for all of the wrong reasons and is being driven back to government through being told what they probably already knew.
    The whole thing would have been a complete waste of time except that the report has annoyed SF – hence the crowds of expendable, writhing, Shinnerbots. That’s fun, at least.

  • Kevin Breslin

    We should also note that if the report is accurate then almost every Sinn Fein politician who has spoken about the non presence of the IRA has been hiding the truth behind a polite (and meaningless) theatrical metaphor.

    As shameless as the PAC and PIRA might be in their control, sorry oversight over Sinn Féin, it’s reasonable to believe that the old veterans group amounts to a dying “ginger group” within the party with possibly scatterings of individuals that know no other means to resolving serious threats against them without violence abandoning all direction from party or constituents.

    This is still a case of innocent until proven guilty.

    Even if every interpretation of this report is completely true and there are some in the leadership still supporting a PIRA para-state involved with murder … this would be similar to the active support of PIRA by Haughey and Blaney, as I said before.

    If there is any collaborators find them and flush them out of Sinn Féin, this report barely mentions Sinn Féin as a whole organisation. Sinn Féin politicians who aren’t in the loop about any such activity cannot be accused for covering up anything, knowledge of PAC departments or their activities … the mechanics of such communications to all is questionable by itself as if they all have neural interfaces to a big PAC/PIRA hivemind with everyone knowing everything.

    Think about it, 200 PIRA people were killed by the PIRA, you really think any active PIRA organisation would abandon “need to know”?

    We can’t honestly expect justice for the killings allegedly linked to the IRA, if reason and logic are decommissioned for explosive outrage.

  • Greenflag 2

    Reader,

    ‘I think that the report comes as no surprise to anyone ‘

    True .

    “The DUP pulled the plug for all of the wrong reasons and is being driven back to government through being told what they probably already knew.”

    True . When you pull the grenade pin you eventually have to throw the grenade or you don’t get to throw anymore .

    “The whole thing would have been a complete waste of time except that the report has annoyed SF”

    Annoyed ? In the world of quantum politics that is NI random particles (parties ) may come in and out of existence but no matter they remain in the same political universe and more to the point in the same closed Schrodinger’s box . They can continue their existing non existence or existence for as long as they stay in the closed box that is NI politics . Outside that box neither SF nor the DUP nor the others can exist -at least not in their present clothes .

    Fun – It’s hilarious – at this point . On another level if one really thinks through the implications it’s not funny at all at all .
    I recall being in Budapest in 1995 when that country was going through the political and economic upheaval after 50 years of one party totalitarian rule . I asked a Hungarian what it had been like in the years before the Berlin Wall came down .

    His reply was ‘ ‘His ears were not hearing what his eyes were seeing and his eyes were not seeing what his ears were hearing ‘

    As I’ve said in earlier posts . NI post 1998 is a trainee democracy and still in training . At some point they may leave the closed box but the particles/parties will have to decide to do that together . The chance of that random event ever happening in this universe are remote ergo an exit from the closed box will rely on demographics and /or HMG’s exercise of it’s remaining power in the situation .

    And on that point they used to be indecisive but now they’re not so sure 😉 . They (HMG ) on those occasions when they were very decisive – Internment – The first suspension of Stormont – the Hunger Strikes being just a few which come to mind -they ended up with unintended consequences . One being the rebirth and growth of the Provos and Sinn Fein and the DUP and another being the 25 year political vacuum in NI 1974 -1998 .

    .

  • Mike the First

    The use of paramilitaries to do this “electioneering”?

  • MainlandUlsterman

    left the stage … but running the theatre?

  • MainlandUlsterman

    It says “PIRA members believe …”

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Why ridiculous? You seem very sure you know better than PIRA members themselves – and the security services – about that. Do you have inside knowledge?

    I’m making a more general point here about why the continued existence of the IRA is a genuine problem. If there’s even a slight chance that a party in government is overseen by a criminal gang, there needs to be a proper inquiry into what on earth is going on there; and that party suspended from government in the meantime.

    It won’t happen, but because the Westminster government believes that without SF in government, we risk going back to the Troubles. No other party gets this dispensation. The IRA’s murdering of hundreds of people has effectively given their political wing a guarantee of a place in government. Absurd and immoral. So it is that we can learn the IRA is controlling SF, without having any expectation SF will suffer any political consequences for that.

    The people deserve proper democracy, not that garbage. Getting elected is fine – but in a healthy democracy, that isn’t a licence to flout the law, ally with armed gangs or indulge in corruption. Politicians have been hauled over the coals for the Expenses Scandal. Is this not 100 times worse?

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Kevin,
    You say “Even if every interpretation of this report is completely true and there
    are some in the leadership still supporting a PIRA para-state involved
    with murder … this would be similar to the active support of PIRA by
    Haughey and Blaney, as I said before.”
    Which was wrong, wasn’t it? And didn’t they have to resign from government? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arms_Crisis

  • Greenflag 2

    All would still exist

    Of course . The Assembly’s continued existence is not guaranteed . As long as Secretary Villiers permits the farce to carry on all the lads and lassies will continue to feed at the public sector trough . But they HAVE to make it work or at least pretend to work ?

    So the 5 unionist parties would total 53 seats and the rest SF/SDLP / AP / would total 55 .

    Fascinating

  • Kevin Breslin

    And I agree with the inference that any SF member or one of any other party in Stormont were to be found guilty of the same thing thing, while in office should be forced to quit: MLA, minister or SPAD.

    Likewise in terms of British politics or elsewhere and the funding or support of illegal organisations over the regions they get elected in.

    Why SF being kicked out of government wholesale, and FF not being kicked out of government wholesale for each party’s “rogues and renegades” is a double standard.

  • Jack Stone

    “That further information is that the IRA Army Council is still in place,
    and that the IRA Army Council oversees the IRA and Sinn Fein’s
    overarching strategy” I must have missed the word controlled.

  • Don’t think he wanted another election, but agree he may end up feeling he needs to, but that would probably lend more strength to what TEL outlines below. Even then, it would have to be a perfect storm to lose 11 seats.

  • Those swings incredibly hard to engineer, and even harder to hold certainty in all coming home.

    As above, not suggesting the is no electoral risk, but think there is a way through for the DUP, and months before the election. Addressing the risk probably requires more than the tactical mind Robinson brings, especially where ‘tactically’ everything suggests that Robinson still in place at the election would most likely do more harm than good. It is a dilemma certainly for ‘the DUP’ mostly Robinson, but wouldn’t describe it as incredibly tough.

  • Zeno

    Get yourself dictionary.

  • T.E.Lawrence

    In 5 of them constituencies the TUV/PUP/UKIP will run only won candidate which should get them a 3K fpv base which should be enough to knock out that 3rd DUP candidate ! The remaining second UUP candidate running in the other 5 constituencies needs to get enough fpv and transfers to overturn the 3rd DUP fpv.
    Traditionally the DUP policy was vote 1-2-3 only and Fk the Rest ! They may have to change tact at next elections and request the Unionist Voters of all persusions vote down all their preferences down the Unionist Card Ballot Paper.
    This might limit some colateral damage for them and save maybe 1 – 5 MLAs for them !

  • Ciarán

    M.Ulsterman “You seem very sure you know better than PIRA members themselves” The verb here isn’t know, it’s believe as in “PIRA members believe”. My knowledge comes not from any inside information but from the safe assumption that stating as a fact that you know what members of a secretive underground organisation believe is well… how do I put this… not that believable.
    I don’t discount that maybe some members might believe they run the show (and let’s not forget these are the kind of people that talk to spooks or are double agents or whatever else) but just because you believe in something doesn’t make it true.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    I get the difference between ‘believe’ and ‘is’, but that isn’t the end of the story. Because the people who believe the IRA is in charge of the Republican show are not random people with no knowledge of the situation, but IRA members. Given the clandestine nature of the IRA and of intra-Republican machinations, it’s very hard for outsiders to know what the power structures are. Information like this from the inside is naturally seized upon, because the IRA themselves won’t tell us anything and Sinn Fein have a long history of lying about the IRA. It’s all we have to go on. It really shouldn’t be like this, in an open democracy. Can’t you see this, at the very least, is a huge problem in terms of the public accountability and transparency of political parties?

    At the very least, it begs the question, are there grounds for IRA members’ account of how the structures work? Or have they got it badly wrong? We need more information. What we can’t say is “it’s only a belief, so everything must be OK.”

  • James7e

    Or to a beach in Ireland, perhaps.