been a long time since I put pen to paper. It's
also been a long time since I was in jail. Both
of those things are connected. I wrote because I
was in jail and after coming out, I'd no need to
be writing. Sure, I wasn't very good at it and there
were others much more eloquent in their prose than
I could ever be. I'm not even sure now why I am
writing because I'm certainly not naive enough to
think that my demonic scribbling will make any difference.
But recently I have thought that if I don't say
something, in writing, that my head will explode
ten years I have watched incredulous as the Sinn
Fein leadership have abandoned everything they ever
stood for. I have listened to them tell lie after
lie to the Republican community. I have watched
as they have been continually backed into corners
from which the only escape was to jettison even
more Republican principles.
have spoken to the poor deluded foot soldiers who
tell me that all of this was a tactic. They told
me, mostly straight faced, that Republicanism was
splitting Unionism. None of them ever actually explained
to me how this "splitting" would actually
benefit our quest for an Irish Republic. Of course,
the "splitting" theory doesn't seem so
sound now as instead of splitting we now see Unionism
resurgent and the prospect of the arch-bigot and
Ulster Resistance founder Paisley as our leader.
honest and sincere young man for whom I have the
greatest respect and who unlike so many recent Republican
converts actually found himself in Long Kesh told
me that the Republican Movement had NEVER decommissioned
anything and that De Chastelain had been conned.
Conning there may well have been but I don't think
it was the Canadian General who was conned. And
no doubt if there is another act of decommissioning
that the foot soldiers will be again told some outlandish
story. On arms its really quite simple. A victorious
Army do not relinquish their weapons. All the gloss
the Leadership wants to put on it cannot disguise
that. No amount of platitudes about "gestures
by the IRA to enhance the peace process" will
cover the ignominy of this act of surrender. Photographs
of the destruction of weapons are a side issue.
If the IRA leadership does not see that they have
been humiliated for 10 years then a few Kodaks are
going to make no difference.
thing that really made me angry was to listen to
Gerry Kelly say on TV last week that Republicans
had struggled for 30 years for equality. Gerry,
cara, I too was in the IRA like yourself, although
your leader wasn't apparently, and not ONCE did
anyone tell me I was struggling for equality. I
have spent years in jail. I have been at hundreds
of meetings, both of the conspiratorial type and
the open type and no one EVER mentioned equality.
Maybe I was just another dumb foot soldier who thought
he was fighting for a Republic.
don't have an answer to all of this and I don't
see many around who do. The Leadership did their
work well and their man-management skills have to
be admired. They conned some, bought off some and
scared off others. But that doesn't make them right.
They are the people who have stabilised this "failed
political entity". They have strengthened this
state more than the Unionists ever could have. This
"failed political entity" is in a better
position than at any time since 1921. So, well done
boys. It wasn't quite Victory 74, but what the hell,
you are in Government
.a British Government.