[Marxism] Crabs in Stormont (Juventud Rebelde

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Thu Dec 14 09:20:25 MST 2006

Crabs in Stormont
By: Luis Luque Álvarez
Email: luque at jrebelde.cip.cu
November 25, 2006 00:12:13 GMT JUVENTUD REBELDE

A CubaNews translation by Ana Portela. Edited by Walter Lippmann

Security agents arrest a pro-British paramilitary 
for throwing explosive devises into the headquarters 
of the Northern Ireland Assembly. Photo: AP 

Just about everything happened in Northern Ireland on Friday, both
surprises and expected events to keep us from being bored.

First, the surprise: a darkly clothed pro-British paramilitary,
Michael Stone, broke into the headquarters of the legislative
Assembly and hurled a bag with six explosive devices shouting “we
will never surrender!” before being controlled by security. Luckily,
the bombs were deactivated and there were no victims to lament.

Now what we expected: While the leader of the Sinn Fein Republican
Party, Gerry Adams, nominated his fellow party member, Martin
McGuinness, for the post of first vice minister of the autonomic
government. Reverend Ian Paisley, extremist leader of the Democratic
Union Party (DUP) whose favorite phrase, coincidentally, is “We will
never surrender”, said no to the possibility of being nominated as
first vice minister.

Six real bombs and one political bomb. Another one from Paisley.

November 24 was the deadline for the two parties —first the
independentists and secondly the pro-British— to give the names of
their nominee. It was also the date when, if not achieved, the
Assembly with shared powers between the Republican-Catholics and the
Unionist-Protestants would be dissolved and the legislators would go
home without salary. So that the pocket can complain…

In spite of warnings, Paisley denied nomination claiming that “when
Sinn Fein has fulfilled its obligations regarding the police, courts
and the law, when it completely puts an end to its criminal activity
and dissolves its terrorist structures then, and only then, can there
be progress”.

Did Paisley perhaps forget that, according to an international
commission and another British one, what he called “criminal
activity” — referring to the armed struggle of the Irish Republican
Army (IRA) — no longer exists? It would be wise to ask, on the other
hand, what is the political sign of extremist which threw bombs into
the Assembly hall of Stormont Palace on Friday?

Now, curiously, the refusal of the unionist boss to become a part of
the government was interpreted differently in London. For Prime
Minister Tony Blair, one thing was “clear”. “If Sinn Fein completely
accepts the responsibility of the Ulster Police to maintain peace in
Northern Ireland and the force of the law, then the DUP will share
power with them”.

In other words, setting aside the “all or nothing” condition and with
the capricious Paisley frontally rejecting any form of normalcy with
the Republicans was seen backwards. Even the British State Minister
for Northern Ireland, Peter Hain, who had warned against disrupting
the peace process, called for a session of the Northern Ireland
Assembly for Monday.

It seems that the importance of nominating two officials was
adequately understood, two who would have no power. The question is
which, according to the St. Andrews Agreement sponsored by the United
Kingdom and the Irish Republic, autonomy — suspended in 2002 — would
only be returned to the province on March 26. However, the Assembly
will be dissolved on January 30 and legislative elections will be
held on March 7. The new Northern Irish government will come from

Consequently although Paisley had a tantrum, in truth, had he
accepted the nomination he would not have taken up the scepter.

But the incident will serve, perhaps, to demonstrate to the voters
who want to take steps forward toward peace and who wants company
with the crab. Perhaps less violently than the little man with the
bombs in Stormont, but, in the end, moving backwards like the crab.

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