[Marxism] Stormont Crabs (Juventud Rebelde)

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Fri Dec 8 14:01:51 MST 2006


Stormont Crabs

Nothing was missing on Friday 24, 2006 
in Northern Ireland. There were both surprises 
and unexpected events; it was impossible to be bored

By: Luis Luque Alvarez

2006-12-01 | 14:12:36 EST

First the surprise: an infamous pro-British paramilitary officer,
Michael Stone, stormed into the Northern Ireland Assembly
headquarters and with a bag with six explosives. He shouted "we will
never surrender!" before been subdued by security. Fortunately, the
bombs were deactivated and there were no victims.

Now the scheduled events: while the leader of the republican Sinn
Fein Party, Gerry Adams, nominated his fellow republican Martin
McGuinnes to be Deputy First Minister of the autonomous government,
the extremist Reverend Ian Paisley, leader of the Democrat Unionist
Party (DUP) -whose favorite phrase is, coincidentally "we will never
surrender!"- did not accept the nomination for McGuinnes to be first

There were six physical explosives and one political one, another
bomb by Paisley.

November 24 was the deadline for both parties -pro-independence the
first one, pro-British the second- to make these nominations public.
If they could not accomplish that on this date, the proposed
power-sharing plan between Catholic-Republicans and
Protestant-Unionists would be dissolved, and legislators would go
home without their wages.

Regardless of the warning, Paisley refused to be nominated, saying
that "only when the Sinn Fein meets its obligations regarding the
police, tribunals and the law, criminal activity must stop completely
and terrorist structures be dismantled; then and only then can
progress be made."

Has Paisley forgotten that according to both an international and a
British commission, what he calls "criminal activity" -referring to
the armed struggle of the Irish Republican Army (IRA)- no exists
longer? We should ask him; in return, what is the political sign of
the extremist who threw the bombs on Friday November 24 in the
Stormont Palace, the Northern Ireland Assembly headquarters?

Curiously, the refusal of the Unionist leader to form a government
was interpreted in the opposite sense by London. For British Prime
Minister Tony Blair, one thing is clear: "if Sinn Fein agreed to the
proper and full support of policing by the Police Service of Northern
Ireland (PSNI) and the rule of law, the DUP would share power with
them." So, the condition of "everything or nothing" was put aside,
and Paisley's capricious way of directly rejecting any agreement with
Republicans was taken wrongly. Even the British Secretary of State
for Northern Ireland, Peter Hain, who had already warned about the
derailment of the peace process, called for a session of the Northern
Ireland Assembly on Monday, November 27, 2006.

It seems that more attention was paid to the importance of nominating
two officials who, in short, will have no power. According to the St.
Andrews Agreement, promoted by Great Britain and the Irish Republic,
autonomy -withdrawn in 2002- will be returned to the province only by
March 26, 2007. On January 30 the Assembly will be dissolved and on
March 7 new legislative elections will be held to elect a new
Northern Irish government.

Therefore, even though Paisley had a tantrum on Friday November 24,
the truth is that if he had accepted the nomination to be prime
minister, he would not truly ascend that post. However, the incident
could help demonstrate to the electorate who want to go forward,
towards peace, and who wants to be like crabs, maybe in a less
aggressive way than the man with the six bombs in Stormont, but 
like crabs, in one way or another.

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