Category Archives: north of Ireland-Polıtıcs

Statement from Raytheon 9 after their acquittal at Belfast Laganside Court


On 11 June 2008, by a unanimous verdict of the jury, the Raytheon 9 were found not guilty of three counts of criminal damage at the Raytheon offices, Derry Northern Ireland on 9 August 2006. All freedom loving people will welcome the juries decision.

Immediately afterwards, the defendants addressed supporters and press outside Belfast’s Laganside Court. Colm Bryce began:
“The Raytheon 9 have been aquitted today in Belfast for their action in decommissioning the Raytheon offices in Derry in August 2006. The prosecution could produce not a shred of evidence to counter our case that we had acted to prevent the commission of war crimes during the Lebanon war by the Israeli armed forces using weapons supplied by Raytheon.
We remain proud of the action we took and only wish that we could have done more to disrupt the ‘kill chain’ that Raytheon controls.

“This victory is welcome, for ourselves and our families, but we wish to dedicate it to the Shaloub and Hasheem families of Qana in Lebanon, who lost 28 of their closest relatives on the 30 July 2006 due to a Raytheon ‘bunker buster’ bomb.
Their unimaginable loss was foremost in our minds when we took the action we did on 9 August, and the injustice that they and the many thousands of victims of war crimes in Lebanon, Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan have suffered, will spur us on to continue to campaign against war and the arms trade that profits from it.

We said from the beginning that we came to this court not as the accused but as the accusers of Raytheon. This court case proved that Raytheon in Derry is an integral part of the global Raytheon company and its military production. This is no longer a secret or in doubt. Raytheon have treated the truth, peaceful protest, local democracy and this court with complete contempt. The most senior executive who appeared said that the charge that Raytheon had ‘aided and abetted’ the commission of crimes against humanity was “not an issue” for him. Raytheon should have that contempt repaid in full and be driven out of Derry and every other place they have settled. They are war criminals, plain and simple. They have no place in our society and shame on all those in positions of power or influence who would hand them public funds, turn a blind eye to their crimes, cover their tracks or make excuses for them.

These crimes continue daily and hourly in the Middle East. It is up to those of us who oppose those wars of domination and occupation to build a movement that matches the enormity of what is being done by Western governments. We hope that this victory gives courage and heart to all those involved in that movement and the many more who need to be for us to achieve our aim of stopping these wars. Until then, the very least we can do, to show solidarity with our brothers and sisters in the Middle East is to dissociate ourselves from the corrupt governments of the US and Britain. That means opposing the visit to Belfast of the world’s biggest war criminal, George W Bush on 16 June.

We feel totally vindicated by this decision and wish to extend our heartfelt thanks to all of those who gave us support, especially to our families and friends, to the members of the Derry Anti War Coalition and the Irish Anti-War Movement , to our excellent legal teams. Of course, we particularly want to thank the jury who listened intently through three weeks of evidence before ensuring that justice was done today.”

Eamonn McCann then addressed supporters and press saying:
The outcome of this case has profound implications.
The jury has accepted that we were reasonable in our belief that: the Israel Defence Forces were guilty of war crimes in Lebanon in the summer of 2006; that the Raytheon company, including its facility in Derry, was aiding and abetting the commission of these crimes; and that the action we took was intended to have, and did have, the effect of hampering or delaying the commission of war crimes.

We have been vindicated. We reject entirely and with contempt the statement by Raytheon this evening suggesting that the result of the trial gives them concern about the safety of their employees. This is an abject attempt to divert attention from the significance of the outcome. Not a shed of evidence was produced that we presented the slightest danger to Raytheon workers. The charge of affray was thrown out by the court without waiting to hear defence evidence. Our target has always been Raytheon as a corporate entity and its shareholders and directors who profit from misery and death.

There is now no hiding place for those who have said that they support the presence of Raytheon in Derry on the basis that the company is not involved in Derry in arms-related production. We have established that not only is the Derry plant involved in arms-related production, it is also, through its integration into Raytheon as a whole, involved in war crimes.
We call on all elected representatives in Derry, and on the citizens of Derry, to say now in unequivocal terms that the war criminal Raytheon is not welcome in our city.

We call on the office of the Attorney General and the Crown Prosecution Service, in light of this verdict, to institute an investigation into the activities of Raytheon at its various plants across the UK, with a view to determining whether Raytheon is, as we say it is, a criminal enterprise.

We believe that one day the world will look back on the arms trade as we look back today on the slave trade, and wonder how it came about that such evil could abound in respectable society. If we have advanced by a mere moment the day when the arms trade is put beyond the law, what we have done will have been worthwhile.

We took the action we did in the immediate aftermath of the slaughter of innocents in Qana on July 30th 2006. The people of Qana are our neighbours. Their children are the children of our neighbours. We trashed Raytheon to help protect our neighbours. The court has found that that was not a crime. This what the Raytheon case has been about.
We have not denied or apologised for what we did at the Raytheon plant in the summer of 2006. All of us believe that it was the best thing we ever did in our lives.

The Raytheon nine are: Colm Bryce, Gary Donnelly, Kieran Gallagher, Michael Gallagher, Sean Heaton, Jimmy Kelly, Eamonn McCann, Paddy McDaid and Eamonn O’Donnell.

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Filed under Derry-anti-war-coalition, E U, north of Ireland-Polıtıcs, Organized Rage, Raytheon-9, UK, US-foreign-policy, war-mongers

Obituary: Paul Patrick, teacher and gay rights activist.


One of the more unfortunately blow backs from the north of Ireland’s troubles, is that unlike the rest of western Europe, where many of the big societal issues were debated through and legislated upon from the late 1960s onwards. The North of Ireland, as far as the more prominent of these issues was concerned was passed by and they are only now coming to the fore.

In many ways the north of Ireland is still in the dark ages as far as Gay Rights, Comprehensive education and ‘A Woman’s Right to Choose’ is concerned. Whilst some legislation has been placed on the Statute book, the northern political elite’s attitudes on the aforementioned issues are very reactionary, at best even progressive political party’s like Sinn Fein prefer to side step issues like a woman’s right to choose due to there fear of the Roman Catholic church’s reactionary influence.

I therefor thought I would repost the Guardian’s obituary of Paul Patrick,* one of the pioneers of the English Gay and Lesbian rights movement.** For Paul was one of those political activist that worked tirelessly away from newspaper headlines to change societies attitude towards Gay people. By personal example, in his work place and by arguing and debating through the right of equality for all GLBT. Gay rights is one of the better examples that from small steps great change can be driven.

* http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/7/7c/PaulPatrick.jpg/180px-PaulPatrick.jpg&imgrefurl=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Patrick&h=246&w=180&sz=27&hl=en&start=1&sig2=81WPHgADvlqNp7QyNqg9zg&um=1&tbnid=Uw1fys32mgBaMM:&tbnh=110&tbnw=80&ei=RhdJSLzmGqbaeoqbuOAE&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dpaul%2Bpatrick%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26safe%3Doff%26client%3Dsafari%26rls%3Den%26sa%3DN

**http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/jun/06/gayrights

MH

Paul Patrick
He was in the vanguard of gay rights, especially in schools and colleges.
By Carole Woddis

Paul Patrick, who has died aged 57 from a lung condition, was passionate, voluble, big-hearted and an inspired and inspiring teacher. In the 1970s he became almost certainly the first openly gay teacher in Britain to not only keep his job, but to get promoted. In 1986 he produced, for the Inner London Education Authority (Ilea), the first video to go into schools highlighting homophobia, A Different Story: The Lives and Experiences of a Group of Young Lesbians and Gay Men. In the 1990s he was one of the first single gay men to become the foster parent of a young male heterosexual – recounting the experience on John Peel’s Home Truths programme on Radio 4.
Paul was one of the country’s leading activists on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual (LGBT) issues. He challenged oppression wherever he found it, especially in schools, where his work focused on bullying and homophobia. His influence on the National Union of Teachers helped bring about a sea change in his union’s attitudes, and put it at the forefront of equality issues.
Paul came out in 1969, two years after the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality. In 1974, shortly after starting his teaching career at Roger Manwood school (RMS) in Lewisham, south-east London – where he became head of drama – he co-founded the London Gay Teachers Group. In 1981 this became Schools Out, which he co-chaired with a longtime friend and work colleague, Sue Sanders, from 2002. In 2004, with Sanders, he helped set up LGBT history month, working on talks and lectures, and touring nationwide.
Paul was born in South Shields, Tyne and Wear. He was educated at South Shields and Burnley grammar schools, followed by the Philippa Fawcett College, in Streatham, south London, where he studied English and drama.
RMS established his teaching trademark: after-school drama projects, pastoral care and training. Under his direction, school plays became legendary. By the mid-1970s he was on the teachers’ advisory panel for Greenwich Young People’s Theatre and worked with the group producing Ilea’s drama bulletin.
In 1983, when RMS had become Crofton school, Paul became its equal opportunities officer, advising on everything from the personal and sexual to the artistic. He also coordinated a project to bring into his school adults with learning disabilities.
Soon after that Ilea made him an adviser for equal opportunities in expressive arts, particularly drama and theatre studies, personal health and social education and the pastoral curriculum. Other Ilea posts followed until the authority’s abolition in 1990.
In 1997, Paul took a post with Accrington and Rossendale College in Lancashire, became a lecturer and then joined its performing arts department. He then taught – and directed school plays – for three years at the nearby Bacup and Rawtenstall grammar school. Increasingly, he found satisfaction in amateur theatre.
A prolific writer and a compelling speaker, he wrote for, and corresponded with, many papers, including Gay News, the Teacher, and the Times Educational Supplement. A frequent Guardian correspondent, in 2002 he responded to a feature by nominating himself as one of the people who had done most to shape Britain during the Queen’s reign. “I, too, have been a queen for 50 years,” he wrote, “although under somewhat less privileged circumstances. As Britain’s first openly gay teacher not to be fired or moved to a ‘safe’ position and as a campaigner for lesbian, gay and bisexual equality for more than 30 years, I feel I have contributed a lot more to Britain than that other Queen has. I am also,” he concluded, “more attractive and a lot more fun!”
Paul was loved and admired across a wide spectrum – from teaching colleagues and gay community workers to parents, students, artists and his family. He was determined not to leave the world as he had found it, and thanks to him, the lives of many people have been made more tolerable. He is survived by his mother, sister and brother.

· Paul Patrick, teacher and activist, born July 23 1950; died May 22 2008

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Filed under E U, equality, gay-rights, north of Ireland-Polıtıcs, Obituary, Organized Rage, UK

Many UK police forces refuse to dismiss officers who are convicted of drunk driving.


There is an interesting story in the Guardian today that is unlikely to gain legs unless it gets a lift from the bloggersphere.* It seems many of the UK’s police forces are refusing to dismiss there officers if they are convicted of drink driving. Despite Home Office guidelines that say they should be sacked due to the seriousness of this offense.

According to the Guardian who made a series of requests for the information under the Freedom of Information Act, there are wide differences in the manner in which the United Kingdom’s police forces deal with officers convicted of drink-driving, or related offenses such as failing to provide a breath or blood specimen.

Some, such as Nottinghamshire, Thames Valley and Essex, demand the resignation of every officer convicted of the offense if they do not volunteer their resignations, while others, such as West Midlands, demand the resignation of the overwhelming majority of those caught drink-driving.

The two worst offenders for taking no action against their officers who are convicted of these offenses are Northumbria Police and the Police Service of Northern Ireland in which the majority of officers convicted of the offense have been allowed to continue serving or to retire early on full pension. One wonders just how much has changed within the north of Ireland police, beyond changing its name from the RUC to PSNI.

So the next time a police care speeds past you with its blue lights flashing, give it a wide berth as its driver may have a conviction for drunk driving.

*http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2008/apr/21/police.ukcrime

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Ten years on: Time for the Stormont Assemble and Administration to be stood down and the building decommissioned.




Tomorrow is the tenth anniversary of the signing of the Good Friday Agreement and perhaps it is time we reassessed its effectiveness and questioned whether it can be a vehicle for progressive change. Whatever one may think of the GFA and its addendum the St Andrew’s Accord, if things stay as they are, there are real dangers that the ‘Northern Ireland Statelet’ will again become mired in sectarianism and political stagnation. By this I do not mean the Stormont politicians who live high on the hog at the UK tax payers expense, will revert to mouthing sectarian insults at one another. There is no likelihood of Gerry Adams crying “Up the Republic whilst Peter Robinson’s replies “No Surrender.” No; whenever a TV camera is to hand the political suits will continue to be sweetness and light itself. However unless there are major changes, the society they ‘govern’ on the UK governments behalf, will gradually return to the sectarian swamp, as the politicians and those they employ and service will increasingly become obsessed with defending there own sectarian fiefdoms.

Whilst there is a consensus amongst the Stormont clique of MLAs, it is not one that has emerged through argument and debate let alone by overcoming differences, it has come about through necessity. Thus it was perfectly logical for Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness when on camera to go around purring like a pair of Cheshire cats, but it meant little, for even the most dim witted viewer knows TV is far from the reality of life.

One only has to visit web sites like Slugger O’Toole and Politics,ie, that deal with the north of Ireland’s political scene, to understand that politics across the communal boundaries is still almost entirely based around sectarian debate. Threads become heated whenever Britishness or the ending of partition are put up, but only very rarely will there be threads that deal with the bread and butter issues of politics, education, health care, the economy, policing and foreign policy, etc, and that is not for the want of trying, for the owners of these web sites have attempted to steer there readers this way. It is a sad fact of life that when they do there will be few takers.

When the UK government negotiated the Good Friday Agreement they had only two thoughts in mind, to end the war with the PIRA and set the status quo in stone. There purpose was not to extend the political franchise nor bring democratic accountability to the north of Ireland. Thus they cobbled together a toothless Assembly and an administration that was made up of all the north’s political parties, whilst making sure it had no tax raising abilities, so it would be in perpetual hock to London; and so it is.

The British also made sure that under the GFA, the Democratic Unionist Party, Sinn Fein, Ulster Unionist Party and the Social Democratic and Labour Party leaderships who jointly make up the Stormont Administration, once in ‘power’ could never be voted out. There was to be no falling out over political differences of the type that regularly arise in the rest of the democratic world, as the funds available for such essential projects as the public funding for schools, hospitals, welfare benefits and the like, are set by London, and are shared out amongst the Stormont administration on a sectarian bases behind closed doors.

Thus at best all the electorate can do is periodically move the politicians they are asked to vote for up and down the greasy pole. The party who gains the most votes gains the Head Honchos chair, (1st Minister) and so it goes down the Stormont food chain. One does not need a Swingometer to know the makeup of any incoming administration, one simple counts the number of Protestants and Catholics who live in the North.

This being so, the over riding factor for these politicians is getting the vote out within their own community, a political program that improves the lives of all those they represent comes a distant second on their list of priorities. Thus it is hardly surprising that one in nine people in the North have their very own ‘community activist’ funded from the public purse. These people go under a variety of names and titles and some even serve their communities well. However as far as the Stormont politicians are concerned, they have only one real task, and it is to get the communal vote out on election day.

As there is no opposition within Stormont the local administration is never called to account in a parliamentary forum. Parliamentary committees operate at Stormont but they are a sham, as almost all of there members belong to the governing parties. The leading politicians at Stormont divide what spoils there are, favoring loyal aides and cronies with positions within Stormont or their constituencies, where they often work in the most sectarian way by stoking up differences and pork barreling the constituencies on the cheap. New schools, hospitals, policing, etc are not in their remit as London has the final say on such things, so they keep their supporters happy by pushing sweeteners there way, often financed out of Peace Process funding or central government regeneration projects and of course that old chestnut smoothing the way for planning applications, hence the glut of community workers in the north and an open season for new builds. These supporters repay this largess, as I have already said by getting the vote out on election day and between elections they are often used to smear their politicians opponents and to keep their man’s constituency clear of oppositional forces.

The end result of all this is whereas in the past the north of Ireland was a sectarian swamp in which the Protestants held sway at the expense of the Catholics, today it is becoming a sectarian swamp where the politicians hold sway at the expense of the population as a whole.

The GFA and the St Andrews accords, have out lasted any usefulness they may have once had, and if anything have become the main blockage which prevents the North from moving away from its sectarian past. If the last ten years has taught us anything it is due to the terms of the GFA/StAA, a vigorous multi party democracy can never emerge from within Stormont. It is time for the Stormont Assemble and Administration to be stood down and the Stormont building decommissioned. To be replaced by a new purpose built regional parliament, which has none of the sectarian baggage and trappings of Stormont and in which a fully democratic regional Administration might emerge; and before someone attempts to slap down the suggestion on the grounds of cost, the UK State was willing to waste millions of pounds to build a new regional headquarters for MI5 in the North, which is used to spy on the population of the UK and Ireland, so the very least they could do after decades of misrule is to provide a new parliament to replace the sectarian edifice at Stormont, or are the people of the north less worthy than the Scot and Welsh? The model of the Scottish and Catalan Parliament’s (Parliament de Catalunya) are there to be drawn from, as both seem to work well and the one thing one can say about the politicians who are members of these parliamentary assemblies, is they are not in hock to London or Madrid, but masters of their own house.

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Sinn Fein: A Case of Circuses when what is needed is bread.


One does not have to be a clairvoyant to see where Sinn Fein’s response to the recent disquiet expressed within the core Republican working class heartlands might lead. The party intends to shirk its own responsibility for the rise in anti social behavior in places like West Belfast by placing the blame on the community as a whole. ‘Bad parenting’ is the most common words one hears from SF reps these days, followed by, ‘these young hoods need to be dealt with by the courts far more harshly.’ In other words the SF party has reverted to the standard right wing speak so beloved of the English middle classes, although there is one major differences. When the English middle class media parrot such unthinking rubbish to avoid getting to the heart of societal problems that have there roots elsewhere, they are demanding that someone elses children be punished, i e those of the working classes. One can only hope that wiser heads will prevail and this response by SF was a knee jerk reaction after the leadership were taken by surprise by the anger that erupted after the murder of West Belfast man Frank McGreevy.

The press are doing what they can to take the pressure off Gerry Adams, one former Loyalist who now writes for the Irish Times even told his readers that, ” It is hard to know what precisely Gerry Adams and his party should be doing”
Oh really, perhaps I can help him here, what Sinn Fein’s leadership should start doing is resisting and by this I do not mean a call to arms, but a return to the pavement politics SF once excelled at, instead of spending all their time at Stormont or traveling the world. To a man/woman all the SF speakers at the Easter 1916 commemorations failed to deal with the issues that their constituency prioritise, Jobs, education, anti social behavior and policing. Instead they prattled on about the bright sunny uplands of an Irish Republic and boasted that SF presence in the Stormont administration had brought massive gains to the Republican heartlands,

Take Pearse Doherty, an able and likable up and coming Sinn Fein politician who told a crowd of more than 1,000 people at an Easter commemoration in Derry that progress was being made towards a united Ireland, that he was “greatly moved” by the sight of 125 Tricolors over graves of republicans, including the graves of 45 members of the Derry Brigade of the IRA who were killed on active service.

“Much has been done in the last twelve months. We are now in government, leading a power-sharing Executive at Stormont. We set ourselves a series of objectives, all of which have been achieved. We have Irish politicians taking decisions on Irish affairs.

Doherty’s oration to my mind smacks of circuses today and bread tomorrow, perhaps someone should remind Pearse that it is Ian Paisleys Democratic Unionist Party that leads the Stormont administration, and SF merely holds the position of deputy first minister. He also failed to mention exactly what the objectives he and his SF colleagues achieved in the last twelve months, without being over critical, about the only thing that stands out is that SF reps have joined the PSNI committees in the North, which to-date has brought the republican heartlands diddly squat.

Across the island of Ireland, SF speakers spoke almost identical words and contained with in their speeches is the worm that is destroying Sinn Fein as a party for progressive change. If all that was required was for Irish politicians to make decisions on Irish affairs there would have been no need for 800 years of struggle. As sadly throughout history; the English have always been able to find Irishmen to do their bidding, and as James Connolly once wrote,

“If you remove the English Army tomorrow and hoist the green flag over Dublin Castle, unless you set about the organization of the Socialist Republic your efforts will be in vain. England will still rule you. She would rule you through her capitalists, through her landlords, through her financiers, through the whole array of commercial and individualist institutions she has planted in this country and watered with the tears of our mothers and the blood of our martyrs.” *

The Sinn Fein speakers boast that they have power and influence but it is an illusion, however from where they sit life might seem fine, a regular wage, the ability to gain a mortgage on a nice home, subsidized travel at the tax payers expense and god knows what else, British civil servants calling them sir.

Yet none of the aforementioned means power as Doherty claims, it is merely the widow dressing of power. For real power within the northern Statelet resides where it always has within Whitehall in the bosom of the UK State.

The daily lives of those who live in working class West Belfast, and a number of other similar nationalist communities are an abject lesson in just how powerless politically SF has become. Jobs are still far and few between, eduction is not up to scratch, streets remain unswept, an underclass element amongst the youth are beginning to prey on their own communities, not least because idle hands do the devil’s work. Plus for the overwhelming majority of working class nationalists the PSNI is a British police force which is still unaccountable to the local communities it is supposed to serve. [Dirty streets are always the first sign of political incompetence, for if MPs,MLA,s and Councillors cannot jointly get the streets swept they are hardly likely to be able to deal successfully with more serious issues that weigh heavy on their constituents]

Instead of looking at the core reasons that lay behind this list of failure, all we are getting from SF is talk of tougher sentencing, bad parenting and such reactionary crap, which in itself raising the question, if SF are running the northern statelet as they claim, how come sentences are not tougher and bad parenting is not a thing of the past.

* James Connolly, from Socialism and Nationalism in Shan Van Vocht, January 1897.    

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Revealed: Blair’s offer to meet masked IRA leaders is absolute crap!



One of the more nauseating things about the United Kingdom’s so called quality press is their willingness to publish extracts from the memoirs of former Prime Ministers and Cabinet Ministers. With the advent of New Labour this elitist group has been extended to include former advisers of the war criminal Tony Blair. We recently had to endure Alistar Cambell’s offerings and now due to the Guardians largess it is the turn of Blair’s adviser and gofer Jonathan Powell.

None of the newspapers who wave their cheque books so readily to gain the right to publish these political memoirs have a history of serializing non political books. So why do they inflict on their readers the dreary drivel of the type that the readers of the Guardian are currently being exposed to. Anyone who has had the misfortune to have read any of these self serving tomes, will know only to well that one is unlikely to read anything startling, new or enlightening, unless one is a visitor from outer space that is. Not least because they have all been closely vetted by the Cabinet office and security services. They mainly contain “ain’t I great”, “let me get one last kick at my enemies goolies,”and “what a great human being and clever sod the boss was and how lucky he was to have me around.”

To justify the decision to publish such self serving expensive crap the editor of the paper will insist on a front page exclusive, in the case of Powell’s memoirs it is a peach and would have made Kelvin ‘Gotcha’ McKenzie proud. The front page of the Guardian proclaimed; ‘Revealed: Blair’s offer to meet masked IRA leaders; Series of secret meetings and deals only now disclosed.’ Firstly there was no meeting and was never going to be one between Blair and the Army Council of Óglaigh na hÉireann, masked or otherwise and Powell and the Guardian’s editor knows it, although long ago the PIRA chief of Staff Tom Murphy did once suggest the IRA should booby trap any conference table they were invited to sit around in case the negotiations with the English went badly;)

As to an exclusive, I think not as the Irish Peace Process was a whole series of secret meetings culminating in the Good Friday Agreement and almost all of these so called ‘secret meetings’ have been on the public record for some time.

So why do rational newspaper editors pay large sums for such tosh, two reasons, firstly it is payback time, senior newspaper people and senior politicians live in each others pockets, often for years on end, they both sup from the same teat. So it is hardly surprising that they should help cushion a politico’s retirement and in the process also send a message out to the up and coming generation of politicians and their advisers that it pays to stay within the loop.

Secondly people like Powell never really retire, hence their willingness to allow the security services to vet and censor their memoirs. They are always on call to be of use to the State and its establishment, thus at times these type of memoirs are serialized to fire a shot across a politicos bows to remind them who their masters are. They are also used to help recuperate the reputation of some failed politician, which in many ways makes their publication in a liberal newspaper all the more despicable.

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Filed under memoirs, north of Ireland-Polıtıcs, Organized Rage, peace process, Tony Blair, UK

The British security services by outing their informers in Ireland are attempting to re-write history.


In an article published on the Guardians Comment is Free web site, Mick Fealty of Slugger O’Toole wrote that whilst the exposure of yet another informer within the SF hierarchy “will not upset any constitutional apple-carts [as] Paisley’s Democratic Unionists are committed to working with their former enemies almost come what may.” it does once again highlight “Sinn Fein’s: violent past” “That fresh start promised by the St Andrews Agreement, is no longer fresh nor the clear cut break with the past that many within Sinn Féin would have wished for. Each time another fragment of its “secret history” becomes public, its democratic credentials tarnish just a little bit more.” *

Indeed, but surely due to this continuos drip, drip of allegations about informers within Sinn Fein, it is time the debate was moved on to question just why the British Security Services, with the North of Ireland peace process securely bedded down, would wish to continue to out its own informers who worked within the Provisional Republican Movement. A practice which seems to go against all known procedures that have been used by security services worldwide. For anonymity must be the single most important factor when an individual decides to become an informer and if MI5 can no longer guarantee that, only a complete idiot would agree to freely tout for them

How ever the British Security Services have been known to squeeze every last drop of advantage out of their informers and assets before agreeing to pension them off; up to and including at times their life’s blood. For example a low level tout was said to have been sacrificed to protect the informer Freddie Scapiticci who at one time helped run the Provo’s security department; and there are those who claim that Scapiticci himself was finally sacrificed by the Security Services to protect an informer within the leadership of SF. Could it be a variation of this tactic we are witnessing here?

We should also not loose sight of the fact that whenever a high profile informer has been outed in recent years they have in the publics minds eye become closely associated with Gerry Adams. Never mind that Republican informers like Denis Donaldson and Roy McShane would have also been associates of all who are members of the tight northern PRM leadership clique, but in the public mind due to the way the media has handled the story they were Adams men.

For it is this aspect of their work within the PRM above all others that the media have concentrated on. For example it is general knowledge that Roy McShane was a member of the Provo’s security department, his membership of which could have lead to a far bigger can of worms than him being merely Gerry Adams driver, but it is the latter the media has concentrated on.

I have written before about the similarity between the Good Friday Agreement and the Oslo Accords, both of which in my opinion were designed to shut an insurgency down whilst maintaining the Status Quo* and in the process over time discrediting those who had the temerity to rise up against the British and Israeli States.

Both the PLO and the PRM had a charismatic leader who was susceptible to flattery, however both men were only willing to go so far in compromising their cause. In Arafat’s case he refused to sign away the rights of the Palestinian Diaspora to return home and for this he was destroyed both politically and physically. Has Gerry Adams reached a similar fork in the road over policing/whatever, and if so has the British State decided to destroy him and remove him from the political scene to be replaced by a more pliable fellow. One only has to witness the way the British media has been portraying Martin Maginness of late to understand he has become the flavor of the month.

Is Gerry Adams about to get the Arafat treatment, after a decade of invites from the great and good and being welcomed in the worlds political Chancellories are Mr Adams powerful political ‘friends’ refusing to return his calls.

That the British Security Services main priority during the long war was to recruit and infiltrate informers into the PRM is taken as read, as is the fact that they had considerable success in doing so. Although it should not be over looked for every informer there were thousands of volunteers and members of SF who were totally loyal to the struggle. Now that the war is over it is hardly surprising that MI5 wish to portray there own role in the war as noble and just; and that their ‘all seeing tentacles’ stretched into every corner of the Republican Movement. What better way to discredit the PRM than to create in the public consciousness that the man who was at the centre of that Struggle for four decades [Gerry Adams] was surrounded by informers who reported back his every thought and move to their masters in the security forces.

Whilst there may or may not be some truth in the aforementioned it is clearly far from the whole story, for if the security services were all seeing and powerful how can they explain that the war went on for almost four decades and it was only towards the latter years that informers began to undermine the struggle. By saying this I am not suggesting that Adams coterie and the wider Provisional movement were tout free, for we know that was not the case. But before progressive minded people whether Socialists or Republicans start tut tutting and join in the disapproving chorus when yet another informer is exposed, we would do well to ask ourselves who gains by outing such a sad, unfortunate specimen of a human being.

Increasingly the British are attempting to rewrite the history of the north of Ireland and not without some success, take the recent commemoration of the NICRM, people who really should know better have portrayed this organization through rose tinted spectacles. Almost totally ignoring that it was the British and their Unionist acolytes who first introduced violence to the street of the north, not the PIRA. The implication being every thing was going fine until those dastardly republicans gave the nationalist working classes the means and opportunity to fight back, a point Brian Kelly made powerfully at a recent NICRM meeting. **

* http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/mick_fealty/2008/02/driving_the_agenda.html
** That status quo in Palestine was the continuation of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and in the six counties to set in stone the British presence in Ireland.
*** http://ie.youtube.com/watch?v=TPWD0WW7Jmo&feature=related

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Filed under Gerry Adams, informers, MI5, north of Ireland-Polıtıcs, Organized Rage, PIRA, Security services