“Provisional IRA members believe the Provisional Army Council oversees both PIRA and Sinn Féin with an overarching strategy.”

The Northern Ireland Secretary of State, Theresa Villiers, has published the  assessment of “the structure, role and purpose of paramilitary groups focusing on those which declared ceasefires in order to support and facilitate the political process”.  Theresa Villiers’ statement to Parliament is here.

The letter to the Secretary of State [pdf file] from the independent reviewers confirming the completion of their assessment is also available.

We are satisfied that:

i) MI5 and PSNI have engaged fully with us, consistent with their duties and constraints:

ii) The assessments provided by MI5 and PSNI are the product of the methods and techniques described in the Annex to the public assessment:

iii) The assessments are fair and balanced:

iv) The assessments are evidence based, credible and supported by material collected and collated in accordance with the methodologies set out in the Annex to the public assessment.

Of particular interest will be the assessment of the Provisional IRA.  From the published assessment [pdf file]

12. Structure: The structures of the PIRA remain in existence in a much reduced form. This includes a senior leadership, the ‘Provisional Army Council’ (PAC), and some ‘departments’ with specific responsibilities. At a lower level, there are some regional command structures. At this lower level, some activity takes place without the knowledge or direction of the leadership.  We do not believe the group is actively recruiting. The group took part in decommissioning between 2001 and 2005 but continues to have access to some weapons. We judge PIRA has not conducted organised procurement of new weaponry in the period since the last IMC report of 2011.

13. Role: PIRA members believe that the PAC oversees both PIRA and Sinn Féin with an overarching strategy. We judge this strategy has a wholly political focus. PIRA members have been directed to actively support Sinn Féin within the community including activity like electioneering and leafleting. Some PIRA members are involved in gathering information of interest to the group including details of [Dissident Republican (DR)] activities and attempted identification of covert human intelligence sources [CHIS]. A small number are involved in the storage of remaining weaponry in order to prevent its loss to DRs. Individual PIRA members remain involved in criminal activity, such as large scale smuggling, and there have been isolated incidences of violence, including murders.  The investigation into the murder of Kevin McGuigan is still ongoing; however, we judge that the assessment put forward by the Chief Constable in his public statement on 22 August remains accurate. [added emphasis]

14. Purpose: The PIRA of the Troubles era is well beyond recall.  It is our firm assessment that PIRA’s leadership remains committed to the peace process and its aim of achieving a united Ireland by political means.  The group is not involved in targeting or conducting terrorist attacks against the state or its representatives.  There have only been very limited indications of dissent to date and we judge that this has been addressed effectively by the leadership.

And here is the general assessment of the ‘roles’ of all the paramilitary groups under review

v.  None of these groups is planning or conducting terrorist attacks.  Members of the UDA and UVF have been directed towards community engagement including conflict resolution activities.  Members of PIRA have been directed to become involved in the politics of the Provisional movement.  Most have nothing to do with dissident paramilitary groups. However, some INLA members have provided support to DRs.

vi. Members of these paramilitary groups continue to engage in violent activity, both directed by local leadership and conducted without sanction. Violence and intimidation are used to exercise control at a community level. The scale has vastly reduced from the period of the Troubles but still includes paramilitary-style assaults and, on occasion, murders; members of all groups have carried out murders since the 1998 Belfast Agreement. [added emphasis]

vii. Members of these paramilitary groups, to different degrees, are also involved in other serious criminal activity, which harms communities and damages the financial prosperity and reputation of NI. This includes large-scale smuggling operations, fuel laundering, drug dealing and extortion of local businesses. Although the majority of paramilitary weapons were decommissioned, some were not and individual members have since procured small numbers of firearms.  The IMC has already reported that some quantities of weaponry under the control of members of the UVF, UDA and PIRA may not have been decommissioned.

Interestingly, on the point about the Provisional IRA leadership and their roleat the start of September the Sinn Féin president, Gerry Adams, had been keen to emphasise that,

“There’s only one republican leadership, which is the Ard Chomhairle of Sinn Féin, which is duly and transparently elected at our Ard Fheis.”

As I mentioned at the time…

Of course, if he is wrong, again, then the crisis is not contrived, and he will have to explain the relationship between the leadership of the Provisional IRA and that of the other public leadership of his party.  But that’s his problem.  Not Somebody Else’s…

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  • Jag

    Yep, that sentence “Provisional IRA members believe the Provisional Army Council oversees both PIRA and Sinn Féin with an overarching strategy.” stands out like a sore thumb. But is it just PIRA members who think their army council is the boss of SF?

    No, apparently, because the next sentence is “we [PSNI and MI5] judge this strategy [the one PIRA members think is overseen by the army council] has a wholly political focus”

    This is quite damning stuff if – and that’s a big “if” – you accept the views and conclusion of the PSNI and MI5. SF in the South especially has succeeded in convincing a fairly significant part of the population that the IRA has gone away and that SF is now just another political party. Not so, says this report.

  • Jag

    And the other sentence that stands out is (MY EMPHASIS) “Members of these paramilitary groups [which include PIRA] continue to engage in violent activity both DIRECTED BY LOCAL LEADERSHIP and conducted without sanction”.

    MMG has come out quickly to assert the political credentials of SF, and that is fair enough but he doesn’t address these hooks which will stick in SF’s skin for some time ahead, rending skin from the organisation.

  • Dan

    The IRA remain in existence.
    SInn Fein should be expelled from the Executive.
    Sdlp need to show some integrity

  • bogball88

    Should PUP be expelled from Council committees or equivalent positions of power?

  • IRF

    As far as the DUP are concerned it all hinges on the role of Bobby Storey:
    “It confirms the chief constable’s August statement rather than the contradictory implications that flowed from the arrest of [Sinn Féin northern chairman] Bobby Storey, and on that basis ministers will be appointed to office later today.”

  • Robin Keogh

    Now that we have the report and now that the DUP have accepted there is no IRA threat, maybe politicians can get back to governing (or whatever passes for governing ) and the police can get on with arresting all those people who are involved in criminal activity.

  • submariner

    If that’s the case then why did they not do it as soon as Storey was released. I think it’s damage limitation on their part

  • Kevin Breslin

    PIRA members believe that the PAC oversees both PIRA and Sinn Féin with an overarching strategy.

    Why can’t these PIRA people believe that it is “the right of the people of Sinn Féin to the ownership of Sinn Féin and to the unfettered control of Sinn Féin’s destiny”?

  • IRF

    I think the bigger question is why they acted at the point of arrest, rather than wait for charges to be brought or indeed a conviction to be secured?

  • Brid Rodgers

    IRA no longer engaged in terrorism against the state. So that’s OK Ms Villiers et al!
    Robert mc Cartney and Paul Quinn, murdered 8 years ago today just ordinary citizens!

  • Kevin Breslin

    Agree, if Crime fighters fight against Crime, and Firefighters fight against fire, what do “Freedom fighters” fight against?

  • submariner

    Probably a reaction to Nesbitts move but they can all get back to the gravy train with the shinners and completely ignore the criminality of the loyalists.

  • bogball88

    Just read the report and at the end it states its various sources of information of which one is “Open Book (eg Internet)”
    Really guys?????

  • chrisjones2

    So

    1 the PAC still exists
    2 the PAC controls PIRA and SF

    Then

    1 if Gerry is the president of SF is he on the Army Council?
    2 if he isnt who is

    3 if the Irish SF elect SF members in the Dail who sets the strategy for those / instructs them?

    4 democratically who are those people accountable to?

  • IRF

    The PSNI appear to have rounded up Storey, Gillen and Copeland on the basis of them having been named in a Spotlight documentary the night before.

  • Robin Keogh

    Where does it say that the PAC controls SF?

  • New Yorker

    Paragraph 18 of the report states that the main paramilitary groups “will continue to exist and will continue to pose a threat to national security and engage in serious crime.”

    So, will that continue to be the case into the future or are there proposals to change the situation? And, if so, what?

  • Pasty2012

    The UDA and UVF remain existence and involved in terrorism, and according to the late David Ervine BEGGED by a DUP delegation lead by a DUP MP NOT to go on Ceasefire in the first place. What do you think the DUP wanted the UVF to do had they not have went on ceasefire and do you think the DUP should be expelled from the Executive ? or do you have a separate set of rules for the Unionists ?

  • NotNowJohnny

    It is worth keeping in mind the DUP Statement of 7 September 2015. “The impartial advice that the murder of Kevin McGuigan involved members of the Provisional IRA who are associated with Sinn Fein brought about a watershed moment in the operation of the Northern Ireland Assembly. All the parties had previously agreed that it is inconsistent with membership of the Executive to be linked to those participating in terrorist or criminal behaviour. However the rules relating to handling this set of circumstances are deficient and a sanction could not be imposed on Sinn Fein for this breach. The UUP carried out its stunt of a single ministerial resignation that they knew would not impact Sinn Fein or the operation of either the Assembly or Executive. Then, inexplicably, when the DUP and Alliance Party voted to adjourn the Assembly to allow parties to focus on talks to resolve all the outstanding issues the UUP voted with Sinn Fein to ensure that the Assembly would carry on as normal.
    The DUP is not prepared to continue as if nothing has happened. A man has been murdered at the hands of those linked to a party of government. This is unacceptable. Indeed we believe that the association with Sinn Fein is much greater than that so far revealed. If further revelations occur it will be hard for those who want ‘business as usual’ at Stormont to justify their position …..”

  • Mister_Joe

    So, that’s what they call the dogs in the street nowadays.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    “After all is said and done, much more is said than is ever done”, so yes, business as usual………. so thank you for the timely reminder, NNJ.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Indeed, they need to show an unflinching comitmment to principal, oh, I just heard Peter Robinson’s expalination regarding DUP return to government………Dan,

  • Thomas Barber

    “This is unacceptable. Indeed we believe that the association with Sinn Fein is much greater than that so far revealed”

    We believe ! Who is we and where in any statements from either the Chief Constable, his detectives or the SOS did any of them state or claim that any member of Sinn Fein was in any way linked to the Kevin McGuigan murder ?

    Perhaps you based your opinion on assumption rather than fact.

  • mac tire

    As I said before Seann, there are no such things as principles, only circumstances. I assume Dan is well aware of that and is, as such, politicking.

  • NotNowJohnny

    I haven’t based my opinion on either. In fact I haven’t even given my opinion.

  • Dan

    No, same rules. If the DUP is controlled by a paramilitary army council, they should be expelled with immediate effect.
    Not sure they are though, no matter how much I despise them.

  • Nevin

    In a parallel report by the Garda Commissioner [pdf file]:

    While undoubtedly persons who had been linked with the Provisional Army Council continue to associate, there is no evidence of a Provisional Army Council, in the generally accepted sense, meeting or functioning in this jurisdiction. There is evidence that a type of’ “residual leadership”, committed to peaceful means, continues to exist and has become involved from time to time in dealing with ”legacy” issues. Engagement with the Smithwick Tribunal of Inquiry and the Independent Commission of the Location of Victims Remains (1CLVR) over extended periods are particular examples in this regard.

    The UK and Ireland documents have not been provided in searchable, cut-and-paste formats

  • Pasty2012

    I will go back to your original statement where you said, “The IRA remain in existence. then Sinn Fein should be expelled from the Executive”. The UVF who the DUP asked not to go on Ceasefire along with the other Unionist terrorist groups they share platforms and committees with still exist. There is nothing in the report to say that the PSNI or MI5 believe that any Political Party is controlled by an Army Council. Your original statement made the measurement for being expelled as the existence of an organization and that is the same measurement that should be used for all others not suddenly a change to suit yourself.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    I expect so, too, mac tire. All too much of this winner/loser faction mentality of scoring small points instead of any regard for the genuine needs of the whole community. But I suppose they do what the need to catch gullable votes, subject to what the “Senior Partners” over the water will let them do.

  • Reader

    Robin Keogh: Where does it say that the PAC controls SF?
    From Paragraph 13 of the Assessment, quoted in the original article:
    “Role: PIRA members believe that the PAC oversees both PIRA and Sinn Féin with an overarching strategy. We judge this strategy has a wholly political focus.”
    That sort of suggests that the role of the SF Ard Fheis is to act as a rubber stamp – how does it seem to you?

  • Dan

    I’d expel the DUP on account of them being money grabbing hypocrites who put the party and self gain before the country. You can make your own ludicrous reasons if you wish.

  • IRF

    I think he was addressing the DUP author of the statement you quoted, rather than you yourself?

  • Jack Stone

    If the party chooses to elect members of the Army Council (active politically or not) to their Ard Chomhairle then isn’t that their prerogative in a democratic society? I mean doesn’t FORMER General Secretary of Sinn Féin , Rita O’Hare still have an outstanding warrant for the attempted murder of British Army Warrant Officer Frazer Paton in Belfast in October 1971?

  • Jack Stone

    Could it mean that the Ard Fheis has elected members of the Army Council to leadership positions? Or even that members of Sinn Fein who sit the Army Council carry great weight with the leadership?

  • mickfealty

    It’s clear from last night that Robinson accepts the report, but along with the SoS is giving Stormont two weeks to at least come up with a plan get this mess sorted out. I think that means SF will have to find some viable means of sheering off the Provos. Let them become party officers, accountable under law like other parties, or something?

    And like the Loyalists let them give up their criminal element to the law. (No more ‘private’ investigations by Bobby and Co?). This ain’t over, not by a long way.

  • mickfealty

    I think we are talking collapse rather than expulsion… That statement above points out it is not possible to exclude SF, so either the problem is addressed and sorted or Stormont is in the can… Simples.

  • mickfealty

    Yes, but if the Army Council is actually crafting strategy then the Ard Comhailre becomes a mere democratic confection, since the Council is not elected from or by the party. It presumably has some soft, consultative power, but little else…

  • mickfealty

    I initially thought that too Brid. But it seems she’s put Stormont on notice to sort this or quit in two weeks. Very few of us saw that coming. Certainly wasn’t my understanding….

  • Jack Stone

    That depends on who is a member of the Army Council though doesn’t it? For example, if members of that council are perhaps in positions like The President of Sinn Fein, The Leader of Sinn Fein, The Northern Ireland Assembly Group Leader, European Parliamentary Group Leader, Chairman of Sinn Féin in Northern Ireland and have reached those positions in a manner consistent with the rules of the party, could they then be actually crafting strategy purely in their democratically appointed or elected roles? The report does nothing to state that the Army Council is at all subverting the processes of Sinn Fein.

  • Jack Stone

    What I mean is, does membership in one necessarily preclude membership in the other? Does membership in the Army Council preclude one from membership in the leadership of Sinn Fein? Do all members of the Army Council have to be members of Sinn Fein for it to “oversee strategies in either group”?

  • SeaanUiNeill

    “I wish I’d said that”, Kevin!

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Indeed, Submariner, the emphasis on SF has pushed the steady level of criminality within Loyalist bodies into shadow for the present, they are mentioned certainly, but everyone is reacting to the loudest noise.

  • Reader

    Interesting interpretation – but it still assumes the existence of the PAC. What is its function?

  • IRF

    Or the can is kicked further down the road…

  • hugh mccloy

    That’s my old Carlin quote i use on here 😉

  • Reader

    However, even that rather loose interpretation of the report suggests that SF strategy is imposed ‘top down’. And that the strategy is being dictated both to PIRA and to SF, using goodness knows what channels.

  • James7e

    “Where does it say that the PAC controls SF?”

    Did you actually read it? Or dismiss it out of hand as soon as you realized it might be critical of The Party?

  • James7e

    Yeah. Who cares if Sinn Fein have a private army? Sure, what odds….

  • Jag

    Are any PIRA army council members on the policing board, directing PSNI strategy (as well as SF strategy, if you accept yesterday’s report).

  • Jack Stone

    Well, if some membership of the leadership of Sinn Fein also serve on the Army Council (again hypothetically) why would it mean that? Again, if we believe a British MP speaking under privilege, the Chairman of Sinn Féin in Northern Ireland is also the head of intelligence of the Provisional IRA. That is just one example. How else would you describe Bobby Storey’s position of the Chairman of Sinn Féin in Northern Ireland if not as one of overseeing the strategy of Sinn Fein in Northern Ireland?

  • Jack Stone

    Could be. Membership in the Army Council does not preclude one from membership in Sinn Fein. But that is what happens when you negotiate a ceasefire and a peace agreement. The other side gets stuff too.

  • Jack Stone

    Why? There was never an agreement to disband the Provisional IRA.

  • Jack Stone

    While the report doesn’t go into that specifically, it’s function seems to be leadership of the IRA (which still exists even if it has left the stage) keeping arms out of the hands of dissidents (which the report claims it does) and coordinating the IRA in actions political in nature because they are committed to the peace process and its aim of achieving a united Ireland by political means. At least according to the report. In reality, the IRA and the Army Council are the sword of Damocles to ensure that the peace process continues and the parties involved do not go back on the promises of previous agreements. (a bit like finding a unarmed but substantial and viable bomb near where a member of the Royal Family will be visiting Ireland).

  • New Yorker

    A political party with an armed military wing is not legitimate in a peaceful democratic government. It cannot be because of the use of, or the threat of, force against its opponents or indeed in the intimidation of voters. The report confirms both are possible.

  • Jack Stone

    If there is the use of, or the threat of, force against its opponents or indeed in the intimidation of voters then those things should be prosecuted in a fair and speedy trial with those accused afforded equal protection under the law. If there is evidence then they should be put forward in a public trial. If there is not though, then what is the problem? In my opinion legitimacy is bestowed by the rightness of one’s convictions and the will of their followers. In a peaceful democracy, legitimacy is determined by the voters.

  • Robin Keogh

    No james,the report made no such claim. Read it again

  • New Yorker

    The solution is not to have an armed military wing in the first place. There cannot be a “fair and speedy trial” when intimidation is involved.

  • Jack Stone

    Then try them for the intimidation. Clearly, Section 51 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 covers that kind of intimidation. If evidence exists of threats of force against witnesses of any kind then why not bring them into open court. The United Kingdom is democratic government and democratic governments have this thing called Due Process. America has it it too. It is the right to trial. If Sinn Fein is breaking the law like you say it is then they should be punished, but The UK is a democratic state and thus members of Sinn Fein are guaranteed that Due Process. Until that happens, voters determine their legitimacy.

  • New Yorker

    Intimidation prevents witnesses from testifying in court in such cases. Did you every hear of the late Paul Quinn?

    I understand you are new to the US, but how would you like it if the Mafia controlled the President and Congress? Do you think a case would be brought against the Mafia and witnesses would be willing to testify? Do you think the Mafia might arrange to become even richer? Do you think the Mafia might arrange to get their people elected? Do you see why it is not a good idea that political parties have armed wings?

  • Jack Stone

    Last time I checked, the Murder of Paul Quinn was an open case. If you happen to have evidence towards a murder of Paul Quinn (a person who had a violent history with the local IRA) then please make it known. At the time the the Independent Monitoring Commission could not say for certain that the members who attacked Mr. Quinn were active members of the IRA. The people you accuse are still owed due process of law. The right to a fair trial is enshrined in Common Law and can be found as far back as the Magna Carta. As for the IRA, you should also remember, it was a ceasefire, not a surrender. The IRA was never disbanded by agreement or treaty.

    Anyway, how well do you know your United States history? The Mafia was heavily involved in politics (Sam Giancana had helped Kennedy win the 1960 election, for example) but the Mafia was heavily involved with politics both at a local and national level. But ya see, even mobsters were given due process. They were defeated in court, many people who owned many politicians and law enforcement. How did George Remus end up in jail with his multitudes of connections and power. How did Don Vito Genovese end up in jail with his corruption of both the Police and the Government?

    Of course you forget, this is Northern Ireland we are talking about. A member of an active terrorist organization which was killing people in the streets was elected Member of Parliament April 9th 1981. Bobby Sands was legitimate Member of Parliament for Fermanagh and South Tyrone . He was also an officer in the Belfast Brigade of the Provisional IRA. The people bestow legitimacy in a democracy. That is what makes a democracy different. It always has.

    If members of a political party commit crimes then we have a system to deal with those crimes. That system includes right to a fair trial. If a party has (or doesn’t have) legitimacy is left up to the voter who vote for them.

  • New Yorker

    Are you being coy about the Paul Quinn murder? It is well known that it is because of intimidation that the murderers are still free. Is that good for society? It could happen to you if you get cheeky with the wrong people.

    It is well known that JFK’s father and Mayor Dailey got him elected. NI is no different than anyplace else in terms of good government. The principle is political parties should not have armed wings. It is a universal governing principle. Countries that do not observe that principle are pariahs.

  • Jack Stone

    The Paul Quinn murder needs one thing, evidence. You see, universal governing principles usually include the need to have evidence to convict someone of a crime. The “dogs in the street” know who did it but you cannot convict someone on hearsay and whispers. According to the Garda and the PSNI, the murderers are believed to had been members of the Provisional IRA in the past. Oh, and in any society if you assault a member of a criminal enterprise in a pub like Paul Quinn did then you risk getting killed.

    Plenty of countries have had parties with armed wings in the past 50 years like Portugal, Hungary, Spain and Turkey. Even more like France have had parties with unofficial relationships with armed groups. Those countries are not pariahs. I know you are trying to win the argument but perhaps you should reconsider your stance. You could say that you would never vote for a party with a military wing no matter what’s it’s amount of activity is. You could say it violates your personal principles due to a potential corrupting influence fair and free elections and Sinn Fein’s relationship with the IRA leads to the potential of voter intimidation but without convictions, those are just potential scenarios or unfounded accusations. Again, if members of Sinn Fein are breaking the law then they should be convicted. If you do not have evidence which would hold up in open court then what gives you the right to overturn free and fair elections?

  • New Yorker

    They are not fair and free elections when there is an armed wing involved. No major party in Western Europe or North America has armed wings like SF/PIRA. Parties in Africa and parts of Asia probably have armed wings. Should NI be considered just like them?

    The Garda and PSNI know that the witnesses that could help convict the murderers of Paul Quinn will not give evidence because of intimidation – they know they could end up like Paul Quinn. But, things will change and eventually charges will be brought against those responsible.

  • Jack Stone

    What evidence do you have that The IRA has been involved in the use of intimidation or violence for votes? Any arrests for tampering with an election? Any attempts at conviction for any crime involving a ballot? Was it in the recent report on Paramilitaries and i missed it? Or are you just making an accusation that you cannot back up with fact?

    No Major Party? Thats not true. You are wrong. For example, The Hungarian political party known as The The Movement for a Better Hungary or Jobbik is the third largest party in Hungary’s National Assembly. It has an armed wing known as Magyar Gárda. They have 3 seats in the European Parliament. Show me how Hungary is specifically treated as a pariah state. The Spanish party EH Bildu is considered to be political wing of the ETA (Basque separatist paramilitaries) and a successor to the banned Batasuna party. Is Spain not in Western Europe? EH Bildu holds a seat in the European Parliament. Is Spain a pariah?

  • New Yorker

    Paragraph vi of the recent report states: “Violence and intimidation are used to exercise control at a community level.”

    You appear to think that these are matters in a legal court rather than in the court of public opinion. When it is in the court of public opinion people decide what it is reasonable to believe. And, actions will be taken on that basis.

    Hungary is not in Western Europe. The Spanish minor parties you cite are not in the executive of their government and that is the difference. SF is in the executive of NI as well as on policing boards, etc.

  • Jack Stone

    Oh, I thought you said ” The principle is political parties should not have armed wings. It is a universal governing principle. Countries that do not observe that principle are pariahs.” I seem to have found two countries, both with major representations in government with armed wings and those countries do not seem to have become pariahs. in Spain, Bildu has elected representatives in a third of the seats in the provincial parliaments in the Basque Autonomous Community (which is a higher percentage of representation than Sinn Fein holds). Spain is not a pariah in Europe. Your argument does not represent facts in the real world. You are entitled to your own opinions. you are not entitled to your own facts. Hungary also reflects this. You are just wrong.

    Now according to the report, it states: “We judge this strategy has a wholly political focus. PI RA members have been directed to actively support Sinn Fein within the community including activity like electioneering and leafleting.” And “lt is our firm assessment that PIRA’s leadership remains committed to the peace process and its aim of achieving a united Ireland by political means.” I must have missed the part where it said voter intimidation, tampering with elections and affecting the outcome of elections. If you would please quote that section then I will gladly concede the point. But unfortunately, as it currently stands, I will have to agree with the observations of The PSNI and MI5 of the Provisional IRA’s commitment to the peace process and democracy. Your claims lack even the thinnest veneer of evidence.

  • New Yorker

    Paragraph vi of the recent report states: “Violence and intimidation are used to exercise control at a community level.” You ignore this statement which supersedes what you chose to cherry pick.

    The Basque area is a pariah just as NI is. Spain and the UK are not, but they both need to rectify their pariah areas.

  • Jack Stone

    So where does that talk about voting or democracy? In order to read it as you intend it a person would have to read it without any context within the report. If you read the report’s context, then it is clear that those actions have nothing to do with political activity. And please, if you have any evidence which makes Spain a pariah then I love to hear it, but your points lack evidence.