Brendans Blog.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Forthcoming debate on policing in the Six Counties.

I think my attitude on this matter is well known by most Republicans who know me; I do not believe that the Brits should be in control of any aspect which affects the lives of people in the six counties. We have heard all this rubbish about supporting colonial police forces etc. so many times before, it is only a smoke screen used by people such as the RSF to hide their ineptitude and lack of support or indeed lack of any real cohesive strategy to bring about change in this country, the RSF position of keeping your eyes shut and fingers in the ears while pretending that the republic already exists is as pointless as it is laughable.

And the truth is, the re-branded RUC will never be an acceptable police force to me and I would hope it will never be accepted by any republican, the Gardai are not an acceptable police force either I should add, only a police force which represents a thirty two county Ireland will be acceptable. But we must recognise that significant change has taken place, and the removal of Whitehall will mean that even greater change can be affected.

Do I have concerns, of course I do. The primary one is something Sinn Féin argued for at the signing of the GFA, Ministerial privilege. If you all remember Martin McGuiness was able to abolish the 11+ because of this privilege. However, I have serious concerns that if such powers where in the hands of a DUP minister it would be open to such abuses and excesses that the days of direct rule and the Securocrats would be looked back on with fondness. In our briefings from the party leadership, I won’t discuss them here, we have been shown possible structures after powers are devolved, some options could work, and some are downright scary and should be opposed, I await to see the final plan before I make a decision on this part of the transfer.

I am also concerned about any enhanced role for M15 in the six counties; I am worried that any devolved police force will have its main powers devolved to another body rather than the assembly. Again, our leadership must oppose this and reject any deal where the role of special branch has simply been moved to another group outside the direct control of the Assembly.

Over the coming months the leadership has called for a serious debate to take place on this issue. I would hope that the reality that a police service is required and it is simply not acceptable for the largest nationalist party in the North to shirk its responsibilities in this matter would govern the discussions. I hope the pending debate will be conducted in a rational and comradely way free from emotion and instead grounded in the reality of what it is we are trying to achieve strategically.

The strategy of party has been for many years a recognition that change in the north will only happen incrementally, and can only happen if we build the political strength to make it happen, we are doing that, and not only in the 6 counties but through out the whole island. 35 years is a long time to struggle, and who knows there maybe 35 more to come, but in that time the Orange State has gone, majority rule and all its associated abuses will no longer be allowed to happen (no more a Protestant Parliament for a Protestant People), the military infrastructure of the Brit army has been dismantled, the wide spread inequalities in the 6 counties society are being addressed, republicans and nationalists have their heads high and are no longer prepared to be treated as second class citizens, a hell of a lot of this is down to Sinn Féin’s work in the peace process. Sin é.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

I am making my last response to the whole vicious inhuman atrocity they call H-Block. But, unlike their laughs and jibes, our laughter will be the joy of victory and the joy of the people, our revenge will be the liberation of all and the final defeat of the oppressors of our aged nation.
Bobby Sands Diary - Thursday, 12th March 1981

It does'nt seem quite so long ago, the last time that I saw you
But ain't it funny how the memories grow, seems they always fold around you
They tried to break you in a living hell, but they could'nt find a way
So they killed you in an H-Block cell & hoped that all would turn away
They thought your spirit could'nt rise again, but you dared to prove them wrong
And in death you tore away the chains, let the world hear freedom's song

But the heartache & pain linger on,
They're still here though it's so long since you've gone
But we're stronger now, you showed us how
Freedom's fight can be won...

I wish there was an easy road to choose, to bring this heartache to an end
But easy roads are always sure to lose, I've seen it time & time again
If you could stand by me like yesterday, I'd find the strength to carry on
So let your spirit shine along the way & our
day will surely come
Oglaigh Na hÉireann Guard of Honour escorts Oglach Bobby Sands to his final place of rest in Belfast's Milltown Cemetery, May 1981.

Monday, April 24, 2006

PD tax cut proposals.

In my opinion the PD’s are finished. They have mismanaged Health. And have done an absolutely terrible job when it comes to justice. This is a last desperate act by a shambles of a party to buy a few votes.

However, it is a great tool I think to beat Fianna Fail with in the lower to middle class areas come the election, because what does a tax cut mean? Does it mean more spending in Health, Education? Does it mean more affordable housing? Does it mean greater funding for public services? Of course the answers to these questions is no. and while the very wealthy, or the farmer classes, might be happy with an extra fifty Euro in their pocket I firmly believe that the majority of the electorate are worried about the state of our public services and will see through this very quickly.

The message should be clear on the doorsteps I would suggest from all the opposition parties, the tail is wagging the dog and so a vote for the current government is a vote for an even further deterioration of our public services under PD taxation.

I would love to think all opposition parties would take this tack, but the problem is FG probably agrees with this proposal, and so by extension a party which calls its self “Labour” probably agrees also, what would Larkin or Connolly make of that I wonder?

I hope Sinn Féin stand by their proposals on public spending, and that means properly funding areas like Health, Education etc. through a truly progressive taxation system.

I will have no problem going on the doorstep and explaining why we wish to see first class public services, explaining to people that yes you might get a few quid extra in your pocket but it will be consumed by private health insurance because you dare not turn up at a public A&E, or that you must send your kids to a private school because the local school is totally under-funded and unable to teach your kids. Or maybe you are living in a new area which has been built without any educational facilities and you can spend your day in traffic driving your kids five miles to school and using your tax cut to pay for the petrol.

I think the vote that the PD’s have in this country is a fair indication of the level of support these types of policies have. If Fianna Fail allow is self to be blackened by this type of economics then it could do them serious damage in lower middle class areas where the average wage is a round fifty grand.

Monday, April 17, 2006

I was pleased that yesterday’s parade took place in Dublin. While of course it was a cynical act by Fianna Fail and has more to do with keeping people like Pat Carey in the Dáil, it may have caused people to examine why those brave men and women took the actions they did in 1916, and may also lead people to question why the Republic envisaged in the proclamation remains to still be achieved ninety years later. We in the republican movement know that the only real way to commemorate the rising is to see that vision become a reality.
I see an unbroken connection between those who took part in the rising and those who died in the struggle from 1969. In 1916 Pearse, Connolly etc. went out to challenge the legitimacy of British rule in Ireland, many died on that sad week, and people have died since continuing on the fight, brave Volunteers like Bobby Sands, Mairead Farrell or Martin (Doco) Doherty died doing exactly the same as those in 1916, resisting British rule in Ireland.
Tiocfaidh ar Lá.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Selling our history.

Fair play to the lads yesterday in Orga Shinn Féin for their protest over the sale of this countries history, this sale was a disgrace, however it was heartening to see this wonderful protest by young people who treasure the memory of the rising and all it meant. Orga Shinn Féin have become a truly resurgent organisation over the last couple of years, they could teach many in the party a thing or two about being an activist.
I was delighted that they took this direct action to highlight how inappropriate this sale was. The items which went on sale yesterday should be in the National Museum so as they can be viewed by future generations, the public should take inspiration from them. Instead they will no doubt lie in the safes of wealthy speculators who will wait till their value increases and then sell them on for a quick buck. Oh how Connolly would despair at the thoughts of this and how the memories of that glorious day could become a commodity for the rich to invest in and make money. For what died the sons of Roisin, was it greed?

Monday, April 10, 2006

Easter is of course a very important time for republicans, a time when we commemorate the great and heroic contribution the men and women of 1916 made in order to achieve Irish Independence. I am quite happy that 1916 is being acknowledged by the Dublin government this year after such a long period when it was ignored. I am very pleased at this decision, even if it is party political reasons that have led to a restoration of the commemoration and not a true recognition of the sacrifice made by these brave men and women on that faithful day.
If the government was truly committed to commemorating the memory of 1916 they would also be actively seeking the Ireland which the proclamation envisages, unfortunatley they are not doing this. Sin è.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Two Governments Statement

I think the statement was a decent enough one and now we need to see the outworking of it. I think a lot of people had come to believe that the statement and subsequent moves by the IRA last July had not been taken on board by the two governments and it was a wasted initiative. At the time many thought the idea of “Decommissioning to call the bluff of the DUP” was a step too far. I must say that I had mixed feelings over this myself and continue to do so. But it would appear that belatedly it is beginning to bear fruit, for years the IRA where blamed for stalling the process, the two governments have effectively yesterday pulled this comfort blanket away from the DUP and said that is no longer the case.

I personally think two very positive things could come out of this, firstly the DUP and the UUP will be intensely divided, and as such Unionism is weakened as a political force, which is positive for us on the republican side. And secondly if the assembly does go down the pan we get much of what we wanted, cross border bodies and greater all-Ireland involvement i.e. most of the positives found in the agreement, without having to take the hard decisions that we would have had to face in the coming months. We will not have to worry about the tag dissidents put on us with regard to administering Brit rule in Ireland, and we can effectively shelve the policing debate for another day. Now personally I want to see the assembly up and running because I want the power to make decisions for Irish people taken by Irish people, but folks I can take it or leave it quite frankly.

Finally I felt about a month ago that the governments where ready to jump on board with the DUP idea of shadow assembly’s and oversight powers and the such, I believe they where at that point up to a short-time ago, so I think our negotiating team needs a good pat on the back for the work they have done to turn this situation around. I think they deserve credit for finally getting the two governments to stand up for the GFA.