A deal of sorts seems to have been cobbled out .It has been slipped out into the public domain on a news down-day, to a world cowering in the shadow of the latest ISIS atrocity in the City of Light.At another time it may have been slipped out on a Friday afternoon when no one was watching or listening.That’s what is usually done. There was much brouhaha about “terrorists in government “which seemed on the verge of collapsing the whole edifice of of local governance in Stormont. Sinn Fein have said that the IRA does not exist so it would be difficult for them to argue that they’ll do everything in their power to see them disappear twice. They ‘d have to somehow bring them back to life first…before getting them to stand down….Only in Norneverland , you might be thinking. Maybe in Alice’s Looking- Glass World of mirrors?
I have no idea why anyone would get themselves exercised by whatever it is the “IRA” is supposed to be doing.Never mind all that dubious stuff that unionism has always engaged in over the years. They’ve never been too keen on keeping the laws of the land all that sacred, themselves. Let’s face it…..All that ranting, raving and encouraging poor dumb fucwits out onto the streets to make fools of themselves about marching and flags and maybe even attempt to cull the odd policeman with a ceremonial sword, isn’t too far away from the more shadowy doings of the crucifiers working their skills on Belfast’s kitchen -worktops, the racist or homophobic hounding of Norneverland’s citizenry, or the killing of someone with a samurai sword or a machete. Come to think of it….. .who the hell in their right mind would have a ceremonial sword or a samurai sword at home anyway?Well some of these loyalist gang -members obviously have a ken for some of this well-honed hammered steel, don’t they?
No…all this old bollocks about the IRA being involved in this and that doesn’t make a lot of sense and sounds just a bit like bumphery dredged up to make anti-republican soundbites for the UUP and the DUP, to remind their members that they” haven’t gone away “on holidays… y’know ,and they’re still working on their followers’ case.Apparently the DUP and Sinn Fein have been beavering away behind doors these past weeks and months trying their hardest to save the Gravy Train before we all throw our hands up in the air and admit that we just can’t do politics in Norneverland….before we beg them to hand it all over to anyone who can save us from ourselves.
The thing is, the IRA is not really a functioning group some twenty years on, unless somewhere in the depths, someone, somewhere is actively recruiting young men and stockpiling weaponry and bombs.You have to ask why they’d ever want to do that when it would serve no real purpose in this modern world. Are they members of Sinn Fein or are they members of the Continuity IRA or the Dissidents…. who are not members of the IRA? Well if it’s Continuity or “New IRA” or “IRA Mark 3″ ,or whatever, then the police services have some work to do.Is the Chief Constable of Police only trying to justify his job? We all need reminding that he has still not produced anything like hard evidence to justify the political bombshell he exploded when he made his oblique “IRA in government “claims. Is this yet “more money for old rope” on his part?
If that isn’t the case ,what has any of this to do with the modern Sinn Fein party, exactly…many of whose members would be too young to even have properly remembered who or what the IRA used to be twenty years ago.Of course there are dissdents and continuities and all the rest , but essentially these are people who are not really “the IRA” at all and actively hate Sinn Fein for concentrating on a purely political path, which they consider condones the British involvement in Ireland . They don’t like the idea of actually working in any politics which involves the British Establishment , at all.They’d prefer the neat simplistic killing of enemies and cheering to the skies while singing rousing songs.Where that would ever lead , nobody really knows. It’s not unlike the attitude of those ISIS killers in Paris who believe that the nihilistic slaughter of the” kaffirs “…the Unbelievers , will somehow progress their agenda , sate their blood lust and rid the world of enough of their hated opponents..
The IRA gave up all of that military stuff many years ago when they consigned all that weaponry to history.That was the end of the physical force dream.It was a revenge dream against all the ills they considered that Britain had essayed on them. Of course there may be a few old IRA men who don’t get it and maybe still imagine that the situation is the same as it used to be ….and imagine that this kind of thing wouldn’t damage their ancient allies in Sinn Fein. They’d be wrong if they are still tight with the Sinn Fein leadership and the Sinn Fein leadership would be wrong to have them about the place if that’s the way they think ….so what is the truth of it all and ….who would need friends like that?…Again the police services have some work to do. We are waiting with bated breath.
Then there is the state of Loyalism .They started off at the same time as Sinn Fein at the moment of the Good Friday Agreement. They didn’t de-commision their armaments though. They also continued to expect their community to support them either by fear or by protection money.Do any of these people ever work? Their political machine seemed to grind to a halt very quickly. When their only really lucid and irreplaceable voice, in David Irvine , died, that was the end. There weren’t enough votes for them to give them any kind of political heft. They still expect a say in government though , just as the Orange Order expect to have an input . Both of these unelected groups appear to expect us all to listen to them even though they can’t accrue any votes. you might ask do they understand what democracy is supposed to be about.
It appears that there are sour grapes because the old foe , republicanism can get their hands on all that lovely money through the astute workings of politics, but loyalism cannot and resort to criminality instead.That seems to have been the case these past twenty years.sure there are smugglers working on the border , but are they republican criminals …or criminal republicans? That would be two interpretations.
In the end, it appears to be a tussle at times between republicanism and unionism as to who might have the best excuse to crash local government and create a breathing space…but I don’t think either of them really want to give up their seats on the Gravy Train anytime soon. they’ll always find a way back into the carriage.
This week the story continues with a “new deal” which appears to have still not solved all the problems which really exercise peoples’ minds ….all that stuff we thought they were actually really sorting out..; the things that have been causing all the chaos annually; the hatefests of bigotry and racism that are allowed; the burning of effigies . The poisonous bit about dealing with the mental trauma of the past has been shelved again too. All that stuff about victims and the shady dealings of Britain behind the scenes.The government’s collusion in the slaying of it’s own citizens. People might worry about the bread- and -butter issues and welfare but what they really want to hear is that all that poisonous stuff that constantly inflames our society on a cyclical annual basis has also been dealt with.
On a local level the project of finally installing those traffic lights just some ten feet from one annual bonfire site have been completed. The bare poles have been there for some eighteen months, but now the red , amber and green lights are installed and in perfect working order.It will be interesting to see if they are made of some new heat resistant anti-bonfire stuff or whether we’ll all be paying for the replacement of the metal and plastic puddles, left behind , sometime after the next 11th of July annual conflagration.Then again, maybe there will be those special Norneverland heat -shields installed in time for the festivities.
In the meantime the politicians might just have protected their jobs and salaries for another while . New elections beckon, after all.