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To Deal or Not

 

Martin Ingram • 8 October 2006

The coming weeks are going to be interesting and crucial for Northern Ireland. The DUP are difficult to read, the different strains within that political party make it very unpredictable. Sinn Fein, in contrast, is an open book and is very easy to read; the days of Sinn Fein being able to dictate are long gone. They rely to a small part upon the Irish Government for support, although this support today is muted by internal 26 county political considerations. Today, Sinn Fein relies almost entirely for protection and support in its attempts to become re-involved in a British administration upon the British Government.

In a recent newspaper piece Sean O` Callaghan makes the following point:

'If someone in the IRA had told me that in a decade the republican movement would be sitting in a Stormont assembly, effectively administering British rule, accepting the principle of no constitutional change without unionist consent and getting ready to sign up to recognize a Northern Ireland police force, I would have advised them to shut up because they risked being shot for treason. Yet all of that is about to come to pass. Unionists, whoever they are, would be mad to say no. "Deal or No Deal?" I would say grab with both hands'.

The mistake that O `Callaghan and others are making with this appeal for the Unionists to grasp the present deal with both arms is the DUP are not the UUP and will not be bullied or cajoled like O` Callaghan’s employer, the former UUP leader Lord Trimble. The DUP know that Sinn Fein and the Republican movement have been nothing short of a British Government inspired and funded terrorist organization for the last thirty odd years. The mistake O`Callaghan makes is one which the DUP are savvy to. They realize that the Republican movement is not at its knees today, begging to be allowed to administer British rule by a overwhelming willingness of the IRA to capitulate and totally decommission. No, they understand fully why the IRA was defeated and the cause of Irish nationalism set back at least one generation: the corruption of the Sinn Fein leadership and the fabric of that organization defeated those loyal and principled men and women prepared to fight and die for a United Ireland.

The DUP are presently teasing the British Government with requests for further information about the activities of both Adams and McGuinness. Ian Paisley Jnr has recently asked the Chief Constable to make a statement to the policing board about the revelation about Gerry Adams' fingerprints being linked to a vehicle used in the murder of two police officers. The interesting fact here is Gerry Adams was not even questioned about this forensic discovery for decades. The police sat on this material for over twenty years. WHY? Hugh Orde should be asked to account for this apparent oversight. The chances of the historical enquiries team mounting a successful prosecution against anybody, let alone Adams, is less than Chelsea being relegated from the premiership. Cast your mind back to the many people of all factions who were sentenced for offences during this conflict for much less than your fingerprints being found upon a murder vehicle.

This offence is many years old, but the DUP will tease the Government about this and other activities, like the human bomb strategies, and also about the decision to save Gerry Adams' life when the Loyalists targeted him on a number of occasions. The DUP are going to tease both Adams and the British Government but when the final day of reckoning comes, Gerry will be a honored DUP guest on the top table; after all, he and Martin have managed to do exactly what the DUP wanted and achieved a British administration in a sovereign recognized state, recognized by the IRA and the Government of the Irish Republic. Those of us who remember “Not an ounce not a bullet,” “The right of all Irishmen and women to bear arms against the British occupation will always be enshrined within Republicanism,” “We will achieve a united Ireland by 2016,” etc., well, what a load of codswallop that turned out to be. We could list a hundred false promises but Republicans can and do list them better than me. Only last week, according to the Sunday Times, Adams said this about a policing issue in the Ballymurphy area of Belfast: Gerry Adams, the Sinn Fein president, "advised people affected by a violent dispute in Ballymurphy last week to go to the police (PSNI). But his party officially says it will fully support policing only when powers are devolved".

It is no wonder many in West Belfast refer to Sinn Fein as the party of contradictions. I would love to have a front row seat at the special “Policing” Ard Fheis because I believe that will be an interesting event, as would the type of BMW and Mercedes motor cars parked outside.

In respect to Martin McGuinness. Ian Paisley Jnr made this point recently in the press about the forthcoming talks (according to The Observer): "More controversy will be injected into the talks this week when Paisley's son Ian junior raises a touchy subject for republicans with Blair. He will ask if it is true that Martin McGuinness is the British agent inside the republican movement known as 'J118.' The Sinn Fein MP strenuously denies the allegation, claiming it to be a work of malevolent DUP faction aimed at undermining him".

The issue of Martin McGuinness being protected by the British state is well documented and universally accepted primarily because we have the accepted leak of the secret documents. Operation Taurus is clear; McGuinness was a protected species at a time when McGuinness was winding the war down in areas he controlled. There are many other issues connecting McGuinness to his role in defeating the IRA from within. Now is not the time to dissect McGuinness—he can wait—the bigger issue here is the future of Irish Nationalism within the structures that we have in place today, and what we can reasonably expect to be in place for the forthcoming future.

Do I believe the DUP will agree to Sinn Fein re-entering the assembly this year, and do I believe Sinn Fein will endorse policing? The reality on the ground is Sinn Fein have already accepted and to a certain degree become involved in the PSNI policing of Nationalist areas. Not long ago, they were seen handing out PSNI literature and as Adams says to his followers and constituents, “ Go to the Police”. That deal is done, no matter how it is wrapped and presented.

The DUP question is not as clear-cut. My heart tells me the DUP will cut a deal, but my brain, based upon experience, says differently. After all, why should Paisley change his natural and consistent position in the twilight of life, except to occupy the seat of First Minister alongside Martin McGuinness? Why should he swim against many in his party who would find it difficult to share power even within a British administration with Catholics? No, on balance I think the ingrained bigotry will win through. Blair is in trouble and he and his Governments have delivered the IRA and Nationalism upon a platter to Unionism. The DUP will sit tight and play hard ball with the Government, after all the war is over, the IMC have made that clear recently, the IRA they say has been dismantled and any backward move would be evidence enough to say I told you so. This is a win/win situation. They will argue that constitutional politics free from interference and private armies should be the order of the day; Fianna Fail makes a similar position south of the border seem reasonable, and the DUP will continue to reflect the opinion and wishes of the majority of unionists in Northern Ireland who are, let's be honest, bigoted.

'The supreme irony is that if republicans, and more to the point their employer, the British Government, hadn't messed about when the last power-sharing government was in place they would have had the UUP lock stock and smoking barrel as the leading force in unionism, and one that would have done the deal with Sinn Fein, with or without Jeffrey Donaldson. Trimble was always weak and easily manipulated but they had the golden opportunity to slam-dunk this deal and they failed. Only time will tell if that becomes a real turning point in NI affairs. One thing is certain though, the long term future of NI will not be decided by Ahern, Adams, Blair, McGuinness or indeed Paisley. Everyone of those mentioned will shortly leave this stage, some permanently and some to a comfortable retirement. All in all, a job well done, lads, but please do not try to take the piss once more with a re-formed NI offences bill. Thank You.


 





 


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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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