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ORAC
26th Oct 2004, 14:04
Washington Dispatch (http://www.washingtondispatch.com/article_10398.shtml). Anyone in Eire able to give any feedback on the reaction to this? First I have heard about it, and very surprising to hear about it from a US commentator!

OneWorld22
26th Oct 2004, 14:07
It's been in the news here for a week.....

It won't happen until the guns have been delivered. That has been made clear.

My names Turkish
26th Oct 2004, 16:16
It won't happen until the guns have been delivered. That has been made clear.

Agree with that OW22. Don't forget that you have the Unionists on the other side that will have to give it their say so. They know the score, they won't have the wool pulled over their eyes. I think its a good safety mechanism.

I must say I am not too pleased about either of the two men mentioned above being on any Government in my country. However the point that I think that is being stressed over and over again is that the alternative is that you go back to the bad old days. No one wants to see that. There have been wonderfull changes in the North since the good friday agreement. Of course its not perfect. We see the same flare ups every year like in Sept. at the Holy Cross Primary School. Somethings like that may never change.

Its a bit of a minefield discussing these things on a Website like PPRuNe, and especially Jet Blast with a predominantly British Audience. I remember reading a thread on the Release of IRA prisoners as part of the Good Friday Agreement. It was of the " 'Angins not good enough fer 'em" type. I understand that attitude 100%. I had a Father and have an Uncle in H.M Royal Forces and know the reasons for it. If I was in they're shoes I would have been the same.

Again the point I am trying to make is if you don't go forward with getting all the factions to meet together and form a Government then what are the options? Do you go back to the Days of the Troubles? For some the price of letting Sinn Fein/IRA into Government may be too high and very unpleasant, but thats seems to be the price of putting a permanent end to the Troubles.

Time will tell.

mutt
26th Oct 2004, 16:36
If this is true then Ireland will become the first independent English-speaking nation outside South Africa to have terrorists in its government.

I always thought that Bobby Sands and Gerry Adams were elected members of the British house of commons, so that would make England the first country to have terrorists in its government.

Mutt.

XXTSGR
26th Oct 2004, 16:50
Quite right, mutt.

Sinn Fein is a legitimate political party.

The Irish Republican Army is a terrorist organisation.

Can anyone spot the difference above?

Just because there is some duplication of membership does not make one organisation the same as the other. There have been Boy Scouts who have become terrorists. Does that make the Boy Scouts a terrorist organisation? There have been many members of the RUC and the Army who have assisted "Loyalist" terrorist groups in Northen Ireland. Does that make the RUC and the Army terrorists?

Just because "Rev." Ian Paisley consistently uses the phrase "Sinn Fein/IRA" does not make them one and the same. To insist they are is grossly insulting to the peaceful majority of Sinn Fein members and voters, and to attempt to invalidate their political preference and their franchise simply because you don't agree with it.

Now, if you want to condemn the IRA for its butchery, punishment beatings, intimidation, etc., please feel free to be my guest. But use some discrimination.

shortly
26th Oct 2004, 16:59
But surely what one does in ones life must count for or against you. If you have been a recognised leader in a group that kills and maims innocents then you are a murdering son of a bitch and should expect no support from the modest majority. Gerry Adams is a psycopath - a clever one to be sure but an arsehole nonetheless. He deserves our scorn, as does that fundamentalist fool Paisley. Us non Irish folk really are at a loss to understand the racist bigotry and bullshit that goes on in the fair country of Ireland.
Anyway what the hell is a neocon?

G-AWZK
26th Oct 2004, 17:18
If this is true then Ireland will become the first independent English-speaking nation outside South Africa to have terrorists in its government.

I guess it depends how you describe terrorist or freedom fighter.

Micheal Collins and Eamon DeValera were both regarded as terrorists by the British government of the day.

After the Easter Rising, Collins, officially acting as Minister of Finance under the newly erected Sinn Fein government, organized groups of volunteer guerillas to carry out assassinations, ambushes, and other strikes against the forces.

DeValera became a member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood. He was second in command to Thomas MacDonagh of the Dublin Brigade during the Easter Rising of 1916.

The Rising failed and the seven leaders, MacDonagh and Pearse among them, were executed, along with 9 other rebels. DeValera was also sentenced to death as an organiser of the revolt but was to escape the firing squad because of the confusion surrounding his ancestry (the English authorities did not want to risk the execution of an American citizen).

DeValera was elected as the leader of Sinn Fein upon his release and set about the formation of an Irish parliament (the Dáil). He was arrested in 1918 for subversion and imprisoned in England in Lincoln prison. DeValera was Taoiseach of Ireland for much of the fifties and on 25 June, 1959 he was inaugurated as President of Ireland, a position he held for 14 years.

bjcc
26th Oct 2004, 17:22
Sinn Fein = Polictical wing of the Provisional IRA. They may be a 'legitimate' political party, but they still control PIRA. Remeber the expression 'Bullet and the ballot box'?

Oh and perhaps a look at the aims of PIRA/Sinn Fein may be an idea for some people, a united Ireland is not all they want. (will come as a shock to some of the American fund raisers, but these things happen!)


Being a member of the House of Commons does not make someone a member of the Goverment. The Goverment is President Tony and his not so equal mates. Sin Fienn does have elected members of Parliament, although I can't recall if they have ever taken thier seats, something to do with a problem swearing allegence to the Crown.

OneWorld22
26th Oct 2004, 17:32
How would the British at the time have viewed George Washington and co? How would they have viewed the Swamp Fox?

MadsDad
26th Oct 2004, 17:40
Couple of points:-

Firstly, as bjcc says, the members for Sinn Fein would not be in the government but in the opposition parties (probably taking their seats on the cross-benches, with the Liberals etc. I would think) except that

Secondly. None of the Sinn Fein members has yet taken their seat in Parliament. After being elected but before taking their seats there are some formalities, including the swearing an oath of loyalty to the Queen (as head of state). Sinn Fein will not do this so cannot take their seats in the house.

(They can, and do, however claim their pay, expenses and office accomodation at Westminster).

XXTSGR
26th Oct 2004, 17:40
bjcc, your information is just a little out of date. Before you start arguing, you may want to update it just a little. In particular, your first paragraph is wrong in almost every respect.

The British in "The Colonies" regarded George Washington, I understand, in exactly the same terms as terrorists are seen today. I don't think the word existed then, but if caught, he would have been hanged as a traitor.

G-AWZK
26th Oct 2004, 17:44
Francis Marion and his band of guerillas would probably be called "insurgents" today.

Caslance
26th Oct 2004, 17:45
but if caught, he would have been hanged as a traitor Since he was a British subject who took up arms against the Crown, that's exactly what would have happened.

From the British point of view what was he, if not a traitor?

bjcc
26th Oct 2004, 17:53
XXTSGR

Apparently no one has thought to tell Sinn Fien that either....So do expand...??????

XXTSGR
26th Oct 2004, 18:10
No, bjcc, you can do your own thinking and reasoning, plus a little research. Should stop the sort of lazy acceptance of the Unionist line if you do that. Otherwise it just degenerates into a "Tis!" "Tisn't!" row which isn't pretty.

Cas - as I say, the word "terrorist" I don't think had been invented in those days. However, from what I have read, that is pretty much how he was viewed. But then, the list of former terrorists with whom the British Government has discovered over the years that it can deal are really quite long. Apparently Winston Churchill and Michael Collins got on really quite well together.

Flying Lawyer
26th Oct 2004, 18:33
Some superb and well informed contributions to this discussion, but those who make them face a difficult if not impossible task trying to persuade those with entrenched prejudices and those who made up their minds years ago and have no intention of changing them now.
Whatever Adams and McGuiness did or didn't do in the past, in recent years they've played a major role in ending the bloodshed.
Are we to believe that no extremist unionist politicians have blood on their hands? Or that they have no connection with the 'loyalist' terrorist organisations?
Paisley may not have pulled a trigger or planted a bomb, but that evil hypocrite who claims to be a Christian minister has spent his life whipping up hatred and has indirectly caused many deaths.
Many people this side of the Irish Sea forget (or just don't know) how the unionists behaved when they were unchecked for decades, and also seem to think all the terrorist activity was on the republican side.
Like it or not, peace is ultimately achieved by negotiation, not by hanging on to past prejudices and hatreds.

My names Turkish
26th Oct 2004, 19:00
Like it or not, peace is ultimately achieved by negotiation, not by hanging on to past prejudices and hatreds.

Thats exactly what I was trying to say. You hit the nail on the head FL.

People have moved on in the North. Even the hard-liners. No one wants to go back to the way it was. They know its just too high a price to pay. And if it means going into Government with former terrorists like Adams and McGuiness thats what its going to cost.

bjcc
26th Oct 2004, 19:12
Having spent an hour or so doing some research, I can find no breaking of the link between SF & PRIA. Thier aims remain the same, and the manifestos remarkably similar. Adams and co have all been self confessed members of PIRA and at no point have they distanced themselves not condemed the activities of PIRA.

SF's aim of a united Ireland, along with thier extreem left wing desire remain the same as they always have been.

Verious articals, writen by Southern Irish as well as UK people claim that that nice Mr Adams and co are still active in PIRA, in fact, Adams is alledged to be on PIRA's army council. No real need to be if he wants peace. As he heads up SF and is in a controlling position within PIRA I think it fair to assume that they remain one and the same.

The troubles in NI long ago ceased to be about politics. They are, and have been for years been rooting in crime. Protection and drugs are now the big money spinners. Please note I say both sides! Please note that these activities as well as 'punishment' beatings and secterian murders continue today.

Niether Adams nor Paisley will condem per say the violence of thier own sides, usualy hiding behind the 'we condem all violence' answer. They simply will not call for a halt of thier own sides sins.

Of course Adams does not control all republican groups any more than Paisley controls loyalists.

Solid Rust Twotter
26th Oct 2004, 19:19
...And watch how well the Communist leaders become slavering Capitalists at the first whiff of money.

Flying Lawyer
26th Oct 2004, 20:07
bjcc

You say the aims of Sinn Fein and PIRA remain the same.
Is the desire to see a united Ireland a problem? Surely it's the means which matter? Or do you think the aim is itself in some way objectionable?

Assuming you're right that Sinn Fein and the PIRA are one and the same, do you think it would be a good or bad thing in the interests of peace if republicans who favour trying to achieve their aims by political means (whether or not they did in the past) broke away from those who'd still prefer to use violence and terrorist tactics?
If they're one and the same, it seems that those who favour political means, whether or not they did in the past, have persuaded a terrorist organisation to cease fire and to negotiate by political means.
I agree there are still sectarian killings, but we've had a long period of relative peace. You may loathe Adams and some others for what they've done in the past, but do you give them no credit for what they've achieved more recently?

As you say, neither side will unambigously condemn violence by their own side. I remember waiting to hear if, following his release, Nelson Mandela would either apologise for his own previous terrorist activities or, more important, renounce the use of violence by the ANC. He didn't.
In fairness, he coupled it with a plea to move forward in a spirit of reconciliation and urged both sides not to waste time on recriminations about the past. Perhaps he had a point?

nosefirsteverytime
26th Oct 2004, 20:48
As an Irishman and a possible member of the Irish Defence Forces, I have to say that in this country, there will be one air corps, one navy, and most certainly one army representing this country, and any party to another armed force outside this state will not be allowed in Government. The people won't stand by and let this happen. You think the Shannon protests were bad? If Sinn Fein tried anything without the IRA being dead and gone, then the anti-war brigade will be up in arms.
And I'd be out as well, even thought I'm mostly anti-(anti-war protestor.)

All ye yanks out there, don't worry. We Irish know what Adams is/was/whatever. If there's an IRA, the there will be no Sin Feiner in Government.

bjcc
26th Oct 2004, 20:48
FL

The desire to see a united Ireland is one aim yes. While I don't see it as a problem myself, there are those in the Northern Ireland who would view that with as much horror as I would seeing Kent becoming part of France. As far as I am aware the majority in NI still do not wish to be part of the Republic, and until such a majority exist (Which will undoubtadly happen) the situation is not resolvable.


Yes relative peace is better than the previous state of affairs, but given that PIRA want something the Loyalists majority don't, then I can't see it lasting. A pessimistic view I accept.

It is not in the interests of the terror groups of either side for full peace to be declared. There is too much money invloved and its a convienet cover for the normal nasty crime you get in most countries. Especialy when you can use it as a get out of jail free card....litterly!


Something else that should be borne in mind, is do the South want the North? They are currently a European 'Tiger' Economy, and the North while not exactly a waste land is not nearly as prosperous. Unemployment is still high, and of course NI unemployed get all sorts of Bennifits that the South don't pay out. Are the South going to want to pay the bill for those benifits, meaning an increase in already higher than the UK tax rates?

SF and PIRA both wanted what we would see as an extreem left wing goverment. Nothing I can find renounces that aim. In fact SF's web site, while using 'new labour' type jargon does seem to hint heavily at that end.

Assuming that at some stage Ireland does become united, will SF form the goverment of that country? No, so then what, will they continue the violance until they have taken power? Remmember thier own slogan...'The bullet and the ballot box'.

Personaly, I don't think it makes any differance in the great scheme of things if the North becomes part of the Replublic then my taxes will go down (well I can hope they give it back to me not spend it on something else). and I speak as an Irish Catholic.

Of course the ironic thing is having spent all that time wanting to become idenpendent from the UK, Ireland is almost falling over itself to become substervient to the European state.......

Turning to is it better to have Adams in the role of 'peacemaker'. I don't know, It depends on what his end game plan is. As things stand his desire to have united Ireland is a non starter. Given that he can't have what he wants at the moment, and probably not for a couple of decades at least, what is his game? I am not sure, but I can't see him as a benevolent Nelson Mandela type. Yes, your right, I don't like him. He is a murder, who doesn't give a s*** who he kills. I understand he was a good bar man though.


No, Mr Mandela did not appologise for his former terrorist acts, and as far as I know he has never mentioned them. Unfortunalty, rightly or wrongly it does show that you can wage a terrorist campagn and win.

nosefirsteverytime

Well summed up sir!

XXTSGR
26th Oct 2004, 21:28
bjcc - a very significant portion of the reconstruction of the Republic of Ireland has come from investment from the EU. Therefore, the "Celtic Tiger" economy of which you made mention is precisely because of their membership. Nobody has surrendered any sovereignty to "the European State" as you put it, and the benefits are there for everyone to see.

The North is very far from being a wasteland. In fact, the period we have had of relative peace has reaped many benefits in inward investment which people were far to afraid to commit during the height of the Troubles.

Ireland will become united again when there is a sufficient majority on both sides of the border in favour of it. The fact that some politicians in favour of it on one side were former terrorists will not stop it.

You say that you are an Irish Catholic, but I suspect you are either being economical with the truth or don't live in Ireland. If you were as au fait with the situation there as you lay claim, you would not use the term "Loyalist" as if it were interchangeable with the term "Unionist".

Gerry Adams is a very capable politician. That is not, necessarily, in my book, a compliment. Yes, I understand he was also a good barman. He was also a very wily and capable terrorist. Two of those occupations have no future at all, and as a clever man he appreciates this. So spot where you think he would like his future to lie. Yes, as far as I am aware (and my information may be out of date) he is still a member of the IRA ruling council. That is the only way he will have any influence over them at all, and bring them finally to renounce violence. If he walks away from them, he can achieve nothing. Similarly, if he tries to push them too fast, he will achieve nothing but a similar fate to that of Michael Collins.

As has been pointed out several times on this thread, the only way out is forward. That means leaving the past behind, and ensuring that bygones are allowed to be bygones. The process of reconciliation seems to have worked quite well in South Africa. The same needs to happen in Ireland.

And once the future can be decided only by the ballot box, then the voters will have the ability to decide whether or not they want Sinn Fein's other aims as well, or not. Apart from the fact that they are a socialist party, you don't say what other aims of theirs you particularly dislike.Sinn Féin seeks the establishment of a new Ireland based on sustainable social and economic development; genuine democracy, participation, equality and justice at all levels of the economy and society; and a lasting and meaningful peace with unity of purpose and action.
Specifically: Sinn Féin is an Irish Republican party. Its objective is to end British rule in Ireland. It seeks national self-determination, the unity and independence of Ireland as a sovereign state. Sinn Féin is committed to the transformation of Irish society and to a negotiated and democratic settlement. It knows that peace is not simply the absence of violence. Real peace - a lasting peace - is based on democracy, justice, freedom and equality. Sinn Féin has a vision that sees beyond the present conflict and beyond the present phase of Irish history. The party's vision foresees the unity of the people of this island. It is a vision for the redistribution of wealth, for the well-being of the aged, for the advancement of youth, for the liberation of women and for the protection of Irish children. It is a vision for a free Ireland and a free people. Sinn Féin is committed to its peace strategy. It has sought with honesty and integrity to construct a peace process which reaches out and embraces everyone on the island on the basis of equality. Its objective must be for an agreement that will earn the allegiance and respect of all sections of the Irish people.What out of that do you hate so much?

bjcc
26th Oct 2004, 22:27
XXTSGR

I'll go back to my original point, Sinn Fien is the polictical arm of PIRA. As such they share the same goals, and will try to achieve them wether that be by bullets or ballot boxes. The last bit is thier words and not mine.

Sinn fein/PIRA leadership's stated aim was a stalinist (or it may have been lenisit) Goverment of a United ireland. of which they were the ruling party. It's current aims may have moderated that desire, but from what I understand I doubt it.

Young jerry was not that good a terrorist, afterall he got caught. A good politician? No I don't think so. At the moment, he's getting his own way, lets see what the future holds shall we.

Is he only on PIRA's Army Council to influence them his way? That would depend on what position he holds within it. There are verring opinons on that ranging from heading it to being there in an 'advisory' capacity. Either way, he remains on it and therefore gives it Sinn Fiens support.

PIRA makes money, a lot of money, from drugs and protection. It has continued to do so in spite of the 'ceasefire'. It refuses to give up most of its weapons and explosives. OK, the loyalists are the same (and I use the word loyalist because thats what they call themselves) and I condem them as much.

Not surrendered anything to the EU? Have you seen the EU's proposed constitution? I would suggest that the aims of SF are at odds with what Europe is proposing.

I have no doubt that Ireland will at some stage become one country, at which point the terrorist problem will become Irelands. It will not go away. PIRA will want to remain active unless Sinn Fien gain power. In any event there will still be a loyalist minority which will fight for what they want. Both sides will continue to make money in the way they do now, because its easier than working.

Obviously I don't live in Ireland, or I wouldn't have made comment about my taxes going down. As for the terms I use, they are the ones in common use....You can suspect whatever you like regarding my origins....What you suspect is beyond my interest.

XXTSGR
26th Oct 2004, 22:53
Ok - thanks for that. We've now established that you know nothing about Sinn Fein or the IRA, nothing about the weapons stocks of the IRA, nor Gerry Adams, nor the economy of the South, and most definitely nothing about the political make-up of the Province. It is also very significant that you refer to the IRA as "PIRA".

There are a great many RUC officers who would disagree very deeply with you about Adams' abilities as a terrorist. And as a politician he's brought the Republican movement closer to acceptability and respectability than it has been in nearly a hundred years. Getting his own way? So far, very far from it. He's treading a very narrow path. I beg to differ. He is very able indeed.

Ther terms you use betray your ignorance of the situation there. They may be in common use, but only by the ignorant. If you wish to be precise about whom you are describing, you need to use the precise term. "Loyalist" does not equal "Unionist". To use them as if they were interchangeable shows sloppy thinking, analysis and total lack of understanding. Further sloppy thinking is shown by your willingness to accept that, because the IRA and Sinn Fein share the same aims (yet not the same methods) they are one and the same. That's the same sort of lax analysis you get from the Daily Express, and all the incisiveness and depth of thought in the leader columns of the Sun. Spare us.

And most significantly, like too many, you are too bound up in the past to make any significant contribution to the peaceful future of Ireland as a whole.

Bronx
26th Oct 2004, 23:12
XXTSGR

Folks have got different skills. You aren't going to get far using reasoned argument and analysis with someone who hasn't got the skill to do that and isn't going to change his mind whatever.

Caslance
26th Oct 2004, 23:32
XXTSGR - insulting those who hold a different opinion from you is no substitute for a decent case.

Just look at the "Rev" Ian Paisley - he's a prime example of what I'm talking about.

XXTSGR
26th Oct 2004, 23:43
Cas, I have insulted nobody. I have merely established for my own satisfaction at least, if not for the benefit of others reading this board, that bjcc is very far from being as knowledgeable about the situation in Northern Ireland as s/he would like to make out, and that s/he has therefore little or no ability to further the cause of peace in Ireland. His/her opinion, being based upon no understanding, is therefore of no consequence or validity whatsoever, since it is not an informed opinion. Comparing that to the "Rev" Ian Paisley is not valid either, since he goes significantly further than insulting those of a differing viewpoint to his, in inciting his followers to violence against them.

FWIW, I thought, as it appears to me did Bronx, that I was using reasoned argument and informed analysis with bjcc.

Entrenchment in the past and refusing to put the past behind us instead of allowing ourselves to be inspired by what is possible in the future is the only thing that is preventing Ireland being the truly outstanding, peaceful and prosperous country that it has the capability of becoming.

Heliport
26th Oct 2004, 23:55
XXTSGR

When something's established, it will be obvious to any objective reader and doesn't really need pointing out. Rubbing an opponent's nose in it not only risks distracting attention from careful analysis, but it can antagonise.
It's worth remembering that, as well as a broad spectrum of views, there's a broad spread of intellectual ability in this forum.

Heliport

XXTSGR
26th Oct 2004, 23:57
All very true, Heliport. I shall retire for the while and let others a look in.

Maple 01
27th Oct 2004, 00:27
Ah Bronx, a voice from America, always interesting - Interview with an Irish American NY cabbie shortly after 9/11

'I never thought of the IRA as terrorists before 9/11'

What did he think they were? The youth wing of the Christian Brothers? Little leprechauns brining succour to the poor oppressed sons and daughters of Ireland?

I'd suggest that most Irish Americans would be hard pressed to find their ancestral homeland on a map, never mind understand the nuances of its internal politics* – that’s not to claim I do,

Anyhoo

The IRA (or PIRA if you will) considered themselves (in the late sixties) to be a revolutionary Marxist-Leninist army (vague link to the '68s that gave us such charming people as the Red Army Faction) fighting for the independence of Ireland, the forcable joining of North and South and the creation of an 'All Ireland socialist republic' – what would have happened to any malcontents there one wonders? Perhaps the same things that happened to the Irish that remained loyal to the Crown in 1919-22?

Now unless they've had a conversion to democracy along the way, a one-party state is still their aim. Doesn’t Sinn Fein's name mean ‘ourselves alone?’ Do they mean Ireland for the Irish or Ireland for Sinn Fein? Don't tell me the Blueshirts are about to make a comeback as left-wing nationalists! Fortuntly the Irish are far too smart to fall for that*.

IMO the problem for them is the world has moved on. Ireland is no longer a backward priest ridden rural economy (not my words, pinched from a leading Irish historian), but a vibrant modern country with a high-tec economy based on well motivated and highly educated workforce - the vast majority of the south neither support or care about 'the glorious struggle' – When you're poor and oppressed you've got nothing to lose, when you’re not the fire Of ancient injustice goes out*

In the words of St Bono of Dublin - 'F**k the revolution'. (Live version of Sunday, Bloody Sunday – he was trying to point out to Irish-Americans that they didn’t know what they were talking about and should perhaps stop passing round the hat for ‘the cause’)

Interesting point - does the South want the North? Economically it would be a disaster. (Again, not my words, taken from a passing Irish economist – see the reunification of East and West Germany for more details)

XXTSGR - getting hot under the collar about the terms bjcc used , not sure why – seems he was using every-day terms and separating PIRA from the Old IRA which is good practice, just because PIRA clams its legitimacy as a continuation of the Old IRA doesn’t make it so. Also XXTSGR seems to believe that because bjcc is an Irish Catholic living in the UK his views are somehow discredited - perhaps he's crossed over to the dark side? – or perhaps sometimes the ones who leave home see the situation clearer…….

-nick

*sweeping generalisation alert

bjcc
27th Oct 2004, 00:45
XXTSGR

The term PIRA means Provisional Irish Repbulican Army. Its a term used to differenciate between the 'Official' IRA and the splinter group which now use the title IRA.

For your info they split after the 1972 'Official' IRA ceasefire. This seems to have done little for the cause of peace in Ireland. Young Jerry joined the PIRA after the split and that opertunity for peace. As I recall the UK Goverment was perfectly willing to talk with the Official IRA once they declared a ceasefire. However the PIRA kicked it all off again (perhaps realising they were not going to get what they demanded)....Now perhaps you will understand why I am suspcious of Mr Adams and his motives.

I can't see your reason for being upset as to its use...By the way, by RUC do you mean the PSNI?

Yes, I do read the Sun (read? Well, I sometimes read some of it), The Express, never. On occations I do glance at the Times. However my choice of Newspaper does not influence my thinking. I can read (although I'm b***ered if I can spell!)and do read, on this and many other subjects. I am perfectly able to make my own mind up about this and any other subject.

As to moving foreward? Well the writing is probably on the wall for Ulster/Northern Ireland/the Six Counties (or whatever term you prefer for its use), It will probably at some stage vote for unification, however as I asked much earlier will the Republic/Southern Ireland/Free Ireland(Again not sure what you consider the proper term) want it? I doubt it. In any case, Ireland fully embrasses the EU, the EU plan to have much closer intigration of policy and a combined economic structure. If that happens will Ireland be a sovenign state at all or will it have swapped one master for another?


Maple 01

Thanks for that, a much better way of putting what I, a sun reader couldn't.

aidanf
27th Oct 2004, 07:30
If I might pull this back to the original report on which this thread is based for a 'mo

The article, to the best of my knowledge, is seriously flawed. What Dermot Ahern (Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs) stated was that it was inevitable that at some stage in the future Sinn Fein would be part of an Irish government.

To understand the above you must also understand the context of the statement. Namely, IRA finally deliver on full decommissioning and renounce violence in all its forms. Sinn Fein receive elected mandate and enter coalition government with no connection to any active terrorist organisation.

In N.I. politics it's all to do with minutiae. To some it seems a game, to others a dance. The 'you do this and we'll do this, but you must do that before we do the other' kind of shennanigans can seem confusing to those who don't see what's between the lines.

In this case the backdrop was the recent Leeds Castle talks. At this it is now clear that Sinn Fein could deliver a full IRA decommissioning. Paisley went far that weekend but not far enough. Hovering overhead was an argument that could be made - 'why should we up here in N.I. entertain going into government (Northern Assembly) with Sinn Fein when you lot in Dublin wont?' - A fair point, but one addressed by Dermot Ahern in his statement mentioned above.

It's a big jigsaw puzzle and these are all just pieces of same. Contrary to some of the previous posts, I believe some of the finest and most disciplined politicians in the world inhabit both sides of the nothern political arena - regardless of their past. Speaking of the 'past', just how far back to some people want to go? Bloody Sunday? Cromwell? People, we live in the present, we can only change the future. The retention of baggage only holds us back.

I'm not a supporter of Adams in any way, but am an Irish republican (before you flame me, I'd advise you understand exactly what I'm saying). I'm Irish, live in Ireland and am married to an English lass.

One of the main arguments made in the 'Washington Dispatch' piece was that "Ireland will become the first independent English-speaking nation outside of South Africa to have terrorists in its government" - had the word 'former' been inserted before 'terrorists' then it may have been true - as it stands it's inaccurate. There are many, many nations out there that had at their inception 'former terrorists' in Government

Taildragger55
27th Oct 2004, 09:53
Funnily enough, a major proportion of the "Celtic Tiger" did NOT come from the EU.

About half a percent of our growth came from the EU, the rest from reversing the stupid economic policies of our governments for the previous fifty years, better education, low taxes etc. (per "The Economicst", last week)

Most of us despise Sinn Fein, for it's sectarianism, leftist economics, repulsive history of murder, and links to organized crime. Nevertheless, it is better to have the [email protected] in parliament, where you can see them.

"Jaw, jaw is better than war, war" as your Mr. Churchill put it.

ORAC
27th Oct 2004, 10:06
Keep your friends close, but your enemies even closer.

Niccolo Machiavelli, "The Prince"