SF and IRA

Paul Flewers paul.flewers at SPAMvirgin.net
Sun Oct 31 13:09:35 MST 1999

I notice that George P uses the term 'Sinn Féin/IRA', whereas the
Paisleyites and their British friends in the Daily Telegraph and the
right wing of the Tory party use 'Sinn Féin-IRA'. However, I don't think
that the differing use of an oblique or a hyphen makes all that much
difference. George has explained why he uses the term, so I won't repeat
his reasoning here. Nonetheless, I do not use either permutation because
of the implications here in Britain of physically connecting, as it
were, the two halves of the Republican movement.

The agenda of the Paisleyites and their pals here is to keep harping on
about the IRA and Sinn Féin's links with it in order to give the
impression that things have not changed, and that, unless they are
totally defeated and crushed, the Irish Republicans will launch back
into action with a renewed bout of shootings and bombings. The inference
is that the IRA ceasefire is just a tactical withdrawal before the
military campaign starts again. That is why they always say 'Sinn
Féin-IRA' when talking about just Sinn Féin.

I think that most Loyalist politicians, and certainly the right-wing
Tories and British press, actually understand that the Republican
movement has changed dramatically, implicitly accepted partition, and
that the armed struggle is over. However, they do not wish publicly to
say this, as they wish to grind the Republicans' noses in the dirt. They
don't want to see Sinn Féin getting any concessions, and they'd like to
see IRA prisoners stay in jail. This is why they're always banging on
about IRA weapon decommissioning, although they know that the IRA is not
using its weapons, and will not do so.

Paul F

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