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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

Hail The Messiah

When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty - George Bernard Shaw

 

Anthony McIntyre • 9 October 2006

Less than a year ago in the immediate wake of the outing of Denis Donaldson the now defunct Daily Ireland asked in an editorial:

Does anyone really think now that there is any possibility of Sinn Féin being able to form a working relationship with Hugh Orde? Surely not unless, of course, Mr Orde can prove he didn't know about Denis Donaldson's double role.

The question was not unreasonable but had little to do with whether Orde knew about the role of Donaldson as an informer. Of course he knew. Following the Northern Bank robbery Sinn Fein, not prescient enough to foresee the imminent change in its fortunes, took to accusing Orde of being a securocrat. It was a declaration of intent by the party to wait Orde out and deal with his successor.

Before the collapse of the December 2004 talks and the subsequent bank robbery the party was riding high. Whatever blame may have accrued to the DUP for the failure of those talks quickly dissipated as Sinn Fein landed in the dock. The Adams led body had lost the establishment-assisted Midas touch in direct proportion to its procrastination losing it friends. The peace process would no longer effortlessly open the doors it once did. The killing of Robert McCartney, while not the party's fault, transformed the political landscape from tennis lawn to obstacle course on which the most jutting trip wire would be policing.

Unable to move without detonating some booby trap from Capitol Hill to Strasbourg Sinn Fein found it ever more difficult to delay the inevitable. It cleared the hold of excess ideological baggage in order to stay afloat like a cork in a choppy sea. That the party is where it is today, begging and pleading for the theocrat Paisley to be first minister and allow its leading lights to serve under him, is a direct outcome of it being boxed into a corner by circumstances less propitious than they were this time two years ago. Methodically, the British state has grinded any vestiges of republicanism left within Sinn Fein into the ground.

Policing is the last real issue on which any pretence of republican opposition can be sustained. In a bid to avoid the occurrence of any sour notes fouling the recent mood music strummed by Gerry Kelly, Hugh Orde has begun harmonising to the same tune by offering to speak at the Sinn Fein special conference so that he may reassure party members that the police are serious about building new relationships with the nationalist community. These days his republican credentials are as solid as Gerry Kelly's given that both believe in and are prepared to administer essentially the same thing including pursuing and imprisoning those former comrades and other physical force republicans opposed to British rule. Orde knows that if he speaks from the podium at the Ard Fheis, amongst those reinforcing his argument in the audience - and probably on the platform to his rear - will be more than a few who for years have been on the payroll of his force. Their attitude will be 'ah, the Messiah.'

As Sinn Fein and the PSNI grope towards each other, Gerry Adams is eager to narrow down what it is about the police he is actually opposed to. In the Irish News he has been claiming it is not the police per se but the political police that provokes the ire of his nationalist party. In time that will become not the political police but one or two 'securocrats' with political policing functions. The British government by effectively removing overt political policing from the PSNI and placing it in the care of MI5, is actually easing Sinn Fein's entry into the police.

But it was never the ordinary role of policing within the North that defined Sinn Fein as wholly oppositional to the police. It was the issue of political policing which the British control as tightly as ever and from which any Sinn Fein influence will be excluded. Few in the DUP or elsewhere are likely to make a song and dance if Sinn Fein decide not to support MI5 or utter the odd ritual condemnation of Whitehall securocrats.

While in public Sinn Fein will press to have MI5 involvement in policing removed, in practice the spook body will not be an obstacle. Some formula of words will be cobbled together to cover for the party abandoning that position. The public will be informed of a new strategic initiative which shall see the revolution move from going toe to toe with the 'political detectives' to going ankle to ankle with them, then shin to shin … all transitional phases of revolutionary struggle, of course.

In terms of timing, it is unlikely that Sinn Fein will want to be holding the poisoned chalice of policing until after the CAB and ARA between them destroy any Provisional power base in South Armagh. That makes a November deal virtually impossible. But once the Sinn Fein leadership has South Armagh safely corralled it will find it an easy matter to endorse the police. The party will proclaim that as nationalists are in government and powers of justice and policing have been devolved, the PSNI should be viewed as no less legitimate than the Gardai. The new revolutionary duty proclaimed by party drones will be to support a British police force in anticipation of Red Hugh Orde completing the journey to a socialist republic.


 



 

 

 

 


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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



 

 

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Index: Current Articles



10 October 2006

Other Articles From This Issue:

Hail The Messiah
Anthony McIntyre

HET: History of Whitewash Continues
Martin Galvin

To Deal or Not
Martin Ingram

One Small Step for Paisley, One Giant Step for Ireland?
Dr John Coulter

The Haunting
John Kennedy

Subversion of an Irish Peace Plan
Brian Wardlow

Working Class Hero
Mick Hall

Federal Unionism—Early Sinn Fein: Article 15 - 22
Michael Gillespie

Ryanair
John Kennedy

Racism: The Social Cancer
Dr John Coulter

Forced Out
Anthony McIntyre

The Letters Page Has Been Updated.


2 October 2006

Delusions
Anthony McIntyre

Reply to Andytown News on Republican Family Meeting
Martin Galvin

Lights Out
John Kennedy

Creating A Viable Alternative
Dr John Coulter

Teflon Kid
John Kennedy

When Fear Trumps Reason
David Adams

Stay Out of Neo-Con Mire
Mick Hall

Who really is the Biblical Anti Christ?
Dr John Coulter

Serving Judas, Not Justice
Anthony McIntyre

 

 

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