Tuesday, March 10, 2009

PSNI attack. Comment

After 23 years, but only 36 hours after the RIRA, the CIRA inflict their first casualty.

A 48 year old PSNI officer, it appears, was lured into an ambush in a nationalist housing estate in Craigavon Co Armagh.

This is quite different from the killing of the British soldiers as the target was a local man and a serving officer of a police force that was slowly becoming "everybody's".

As I outlined in my previous post, this should not change anything, the military capacity and political strength of the groups is at best an irritant. There is no threat to the political or civic institutions.

As such the response should be;

Sinn Féin. Need to continue to be clear in their condemnation of this killing. Continue to encourage people to work with the police. McGuinness should leave for the Washington meeting.

DUP. Need to start publically calling for no response from Loyalists and need to demand they decommission. They also need to realise that governing means a lot more than vetoing Republican projects. Robinson should also go to the Washington meeting as planned.

Hugh Orde. Need to resist any temptation or pressure to use any sort of military support to the police. The PSNI should be given further police resources and they should easily be able to contain this.

Irish Government. Need to ignore any calls for new legislative nonsense, such as internment as suggested by Senator Eoin Harris.

British Government. Need to stop overreacting. The visit by Gordon Brown was not necessary. It served only to confirm my unease that it's the dissidents that are driving the agenda. They also need to remove all British army personnel, including those garrisoned in the six counties, back to Britain.

Those in powerful and influential position have to stop, take a breath and reflect. The Island hasn't changed because of this and the only people who will ensure that these killings escalate are those in position of power and influence.

Steady as she goes is the wisest course at this time.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Cui Bono?

Incidents, events and actions are the ingredients of life, what dictates history is the response.

Last night killing of two British soldiers at a barracks in Co Antrim, has the potential to shift the politics of the Island. This likelihood is dependent on the reaction of, amongst others; the British Govt, the Nationalist community, Loyalist paramilitaries, Sinn Féin, Unionist Politicians and the spook/special forces shadow men.

There are a number of questions that look decidedly odd in relation to the specific incident itself. One of the most striking things reported about the attack is that it shows a level of competence and experience that hasn't been demonstrated in previous dissident republican operations. Reports would have us believe that three men in a car drove up to a heavily fortified barracks, opened fire at soldiers then got out the cars and fired a second burst before escaping unharmed. A small series of actions that outlines a pattern of capacity and ability never seen before with any of the dissident groups.

We released a statement earlier today and although it received some of the expected criticism on some blogs, specifically about it taking a long time, the reality is that our statement had to be worded correctly. It is.

As of yet no admission of responsibility has been claimed. I am not sure that signifies anything.

The deaths are tragic for the families and friends of those killed. However the reponse must be political and not military. Its vital that the devolution of Policing and Justice is accelerated and that those responsible are pursued only through official and legal judicial means. Hugh Orde needs to reverse the decision to utilise SRS/SAS units to assist in anything. These are shit stirring trouble makers who will add nothing but confusion, chaos and death.

The response by the pro GFA parties needs to be 'business as usual'. Political development should not be dictated by those most opposed to it. The attack changes nothing, the GFA is the agreed template, change can only occur by inappropriate reaction to last night events.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Like it, love it

A bunch of media today have an interesting poll done in Britain about books and reading habits.

One of the poll findings was around books that people claim to have read, but didn't.

Nineteen Eighty Four tops the list of non read books. The story caught my eye as I was recently in Dublin's best bookshop, Chapters in Parnell Street and was looking for a book to buy. I ended up buying Brave New World by Huxley a book that until I started to scan in the shop had always assumed I read. I hadn't.

A similar exercise can be done with bands.

I have found myself over the years agreeing with someone on the merits of some band - but really not being 100% sure clear what they actually sound like.

My favourite, not sure if I have actually heard them, bands are;

American Music Club.
Pere Ubu.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Look mammy I'm on the telly.....

It seems to quite an Irish habit, but this one is just, well a little weird. On the nine o clock news last night we had a live report from David Davin Power on the Fianna Fáil Ard Fheis.

He found himself delivering his piece with what looks like a bunch of minders, but in reality is a shoal of Fianna Fáil candidates. My favourite one is the guy on the bottom left with the burgundy tie. A thousand yard stare at the camera. He doesn't even blink once.

Politics.ie are calling them the David Davin Power Ten

Follow this link its the second report entitled David Davin Power said the Taoiseach's speech was well received at the Ard Fheis.