A quite odd letter from Gerry Adams
surfaced in the Irish Times last Tuesday.
It dealt with the aftermath of the trouble on the
Twelfth in Ardoyne. In it Gerry informs us:
did protest to an Irish Times reporter about the
use of the term "Provisional Republicans"
in a piece in Tuesday's edition. This was before
the Ardoyne meeting. I have raised this issue in
the past, particularly over The Irish Times's use
of the term "Provisional Sinn Féin".
My position is straightforward and consistent. A
paper of record should be just that. There is no
such organisation as Provisional Sinn Féin.
Gerry Kelly is not a Provisional Republican. He
is a republican, full stop."
fear that the silly season has brought with it another
spate of Shinner-speak. It comes soon after Gerry
A's statement that he was never, ever, ever in the
IRA. (No, not at all, but there was a body called
the "Independent Residents Alliance"?).
One wonders if the insistence on there being no group
called "Provisional Sinn Féin" is
another step in the surreptitious retirement of those
pesky "Provos". After all, if Big Gerry
declares there are no "Provisionals" then
it must be so, despite any evidence to the contrary.
It is not a case of the party just being called "Sinn
Féin" either. Nope, looks like they are
seizing the generic term "republican" to
cover themselves alone. Or perhaps the party/movement/family
has actually been secretly renamed the "Equality
Agenda Republican Party"; all that is required
is a special Ard Fheis to approve it.
I have a better suggestion. We should go back to the
old early 1970s way of naming the parties after where
they have their offices. So we'd have Sinn Féin
(Parnell Square) and Sinn Féin (Parnell Street),
to the eternal confusion of anyone not familiar with
maps of Dublin. Problems might arise in Belfast too
as three different Republican groups roost on the
Falls Road. On the positive side though people muttering
in corners of pubs could conspire and grumble about
'the street' and 'the square' and any listeners would
think they were on about Corrie and EastEnders. There
has been a positive response to the proposal from
RSF types on the basis that in popular culture being
"street" is much cooler than being "square".
A cynic (one can always be found) suggested Coronation
SF (aka RSF) and EastEnders SF (aka PSF) to ease the
confusion, on the basis that the Corries are mostly
elderly and their language can be a bit difficult
to understand, while the Eastenders crowd lack any
principles or loyalty.
I'm off to check out the (used to be Sinn Féin)
The Workers Party (Hill Street). Not concerned about
joining or anything ideological like that. Just to
check if they are still alive and unwell, and also
to investigate the small matter of large numbers of
$100 bills. And yep, I always liked the name "Champagne,
the Workers Party".
* Mags Glennon is a member of Working Class Action
and a regular contributor
to Fourthwrite magazine.
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