Is the Chief Constable sane?

Let us tease this one out .I would dearly love to understand the logic of a man who has  stood before the television cameras and stated that on  one hand the IRA is a  banned organisation and on the other hand it is now  only  like some” Old Boys Society” helping its old members along the line of peace…a sort of Old Felons Club. Then I ask myself …if that is the case why are they banned? You might as well ban the Girl Guides in that scenario. It’s a fact though , in Norneverland the IRA is a banned organisation.At the moment that’s about the only “fact” we can hang our caps on because we’ve heard so much non-sensible , creative ambiguity that language and logic  has been turned inside -out like a pillowcase. That ‘s not unusual here in this Wonderland of Madness.

Then in another breath the Chief Constable declares that members of the old IRA are working in cohorts with some Dissident republicans  and are involved  in criminal activity…..murder, in fact. How can a Dissident  or a Continuity IRA man who is opposed to the IRA and any politicians and political out-workings , which were in the past associated with that grouping, work in tandem with their  now professed enemies? …That is ,if Sinn Fein and the IRA is the same thing .Well,  if Sinn Fein and the IRA are one and the same thing , logic dictates that Sinn Fein are no greater threat than those Girl Guides. So what is the problem here?Why all this talk of removing them from government?

In the end , what has any of it to do with Sinn Fein,  as a political party?

Then our usually very quiet Secretary of State comes onstage from England  to tell  us all that we know and have long known , that the IRA is still part of the ongoing play. I didn’t know anything of the sort .Why was I not  told years ago ? Why weren’t the voters told about any of this before they cast their votes in the past  ? The people , closest to them in the past, who should know better than anyone , claim the IRA  have long -ago gone away. So how would the Secretary of State know better than someone like Gerry Kelly, an ex-IRA man who long ago took the political route.? I’d just like to know that if  our secretary of State is prepared to hold this kind of information from me and in effect, tell me a lie about it by saying nothing, what else is she capable of lying about? Well, she’s a politician and they like to call lying “creative ambiguity”.

I think we all want to know some answers but so far  we’ve had none . The radio is alive with argument , veiled threats to bring down the institutions of government and all the rest. It’s a fact that unionist policticians can barely hide their joy at these “revelations”. It takes the heat off the DUP  and the NAMA  property  scandal  and directs the flame at Sinn Fein. That’s fair enough in politics .That’s what politicians do .In the middle of it all there are two dead men, each murdered . To most people beyond the streets of Belfast, they’ll hardly even know their names or who they were. Their families and friends might mourn their passing , but  everyone else will just read about them in the papers  for a few weeks. something about rivalry and drugs or whatever.

Are they the two dead bodies that will consign local government to the dustbin? .I don’t really think so. Unionists obviously want to stick it to Sinn Fein . They’ve been looking for an excuse to get out of their Pushmepullyou  pact since they  were forced to share power with republicans.On the streets unionism will simply rub their hands together at the loss of  another couple of perceived  enemies but I doubt they’d know what to do with themselves if they thought the could bring the government down .What they’d really be hoping for would be to put a nail in the republican boot-sole. in the Republic of Ireland there’ll be those who will feel the same with elections looming and 1916 celebrations on the near-horizon..That would also suit those in London when they think of a powerful sinn Fein in a coalition Dublin Government. In London , the Secretary of  State , already on her way out to greener pastures, cares little and is already making light of this latest kerfuffle . She knows that most of it is all smoke and mirrors, like a mad dream from the “Wizard of Oz”, just about clinging to reality. Behind all the raving, ranting , lies and ambiguity ,we’ve still only got the bare clay and bones of our own wee selves here in Norneverland.

When it comes to local government , twist and turn all we like , but we’ll come up with the same old game with the same set of people, players  and politicians and that same deck of cards to play with. There’ll be no change there in the mirror  when the smoke clears.


  1. billy August 25, 2015 at 10:57 pm #

    notice you calling it a government three or four times there,

    • paddykool August 26, 2015 at 9:24 am #

      Well..I suppose that’s “creative ambiguity” too there ,billy …eh? What do you think ?

      • billy August 26, 2015 at 3:08 pm #

        well pk,looks like being in goverment on both sides of the border are over for now,

        • paddykool August 27, 2015 at 8:13 am #

          Somehow , billy , I don’t really think that is how it will all play out …Like it says on the tin

          …”twist and turn all we like , but we’ll come up with the same old game with the same set of people, players and politicians and that same deck of cards to play with…”

          The chief Constable will need to provide the proof of his “nuclear” statement in a court of law before anyone with any respect for the process of law will want to totally believe him. The Official Unionists have allowed their paranoia of things unknown to them …and to the rest of us pilgrims beyond these Belfast streets ,to dictate the pace of their politics. They’ve jumped only on the vague words of one man .It’s that one man who has pushed this particular button.

  2. sarah m August 26, 2015 at 6:16 pm #

    how do you know when a politician is lying? when you see their mouth moving of course. this is just fascinating to me from where I sit because it really does seem like Ireland is stuck in one of those fun houses with all the crazy mirrors that distort perception – tall and thin, short and squat, squiggly and blurry. So Sinn Fein and the IRA were linked at one time same as were/are the PUP and UVF, the difference between the two now is PUP are pretty non-existent as a political party in spite of having at times, some relatively interesting thinkers. Both would make statements in support of actions/activities of their “paramilitary wing” when necessary. Of late, I read more about SF condemning this action or that rather than justifying any kind of violence. As a political party, they would be crazy to say or do otherwise and I think they have matured enough as a political party to know that. It’s just not in their interest and keeping the IRA in “reserve” for lack of a better word is crazy thinking.

    I can see where any and all political parties will try to take advantage of the situation but for the police or for a British official to say anything without proof or substantiation of any sort is mind boggling but I guess they don’t have to be held to account for what they say in Ireland.

    • paddykool August 27, 2015 at 9:06 am # ‘ve hit the nail on the head. That’s why I refer to the place as Norneverland. It’s no accident that it bears a resemblance to Alice’s Wonderland or her Looking Glass world of absurdity. Gulliver’s Lilliput also springs to mind. This current situation is possibly one of the finest absurdist scenarios we have all had the dubious pleasure of studying. I’ve lived through some sixty plus years of this but for sheer black humour, this one “beats the band” as they used to say.
      If it was children playing imaginary games or possibly talking to imaginary friends , you might be able to understand it but what we have here are grown -up adults …our political representatives …acting out little plays with no real basis in reality. It’s as mad as the Red Queen screaming “Off with his head!” Behind that distorting mirror she didn’t need logic or evidence either. If we wanted evidence that politicians on every side had flirted with paramilitary elements right down through even recent history, we’d have no problem providing examples. You might say , for example that it’s a bit rich for the Ulster Unionists to bring any of this up when their own history provides plenty of evidence of their flirtation with violent elements.Only recently collective unionism declared a kind of unity in association with many men of dubious paramilitary connection.
      Now we have a situation of power-playing where one unionist party is attempting to out -do the other in their virulent hatred of all things “republican”. Their less sophisticated followers don’t really need “proof” to sustain an age -old hatred , but they do love to see a “Big Gesture”, no matter how foolish. TV Mike Nesbitt has provided them with a little frisson of drama…just to let them know he exists at all. The DUP will probably have to attempt to top that one .Logic has nothing to do with any of this.

  3. sarah m August 27, 2015 at 4:51 pm #

    It is a given that paramilitaries exist regardless of flag they fly or allegiance. Yet if the north, south, whole of Ireland are to ever move toward real political representation without the crisis of the week holding them back, don’t they have to treat the criminal element like a criminal element, regardless of whether they used to be or still like to call themselves, IRA, UVF, UDA?

    I honestly don’t know how the citizens of your wee island can stomach this week in and week out without everyone rising up and screaming enough!. how are the British papers treating this? I can tell you there has been nary a peep yet except on strictly Irish media

    • paddykool August 27, 2015 at 5:53 pm #

      You are absolutely right sarah. Criminals are treated as criminals when they are caught and there is enough evidence prepared to convict them. That works if the police are skillful enough to gather that evidence. The evidence has to be transparent and stand up to scrutiny. It’s possible that they might bend those rules at times .They certainly have done in the past and have been found guilty of consorting with the same criminals that they are supposed to convict. What does a criminal do when he has no “cause” to hide behind anymore? There hasn’t been a conflict here for the best part of twenty years really. it scaled down gradually ubtil the IRA stopped targeting the British Army and the old RUC . They stopped bombing economic targets too. There was a realisation that there was no point anymore so they it was pointless to continue like that . Most saw that the way forward was to grow politically . Some didn’t and basically left the arena. Others were better suited to politics.
      At the moment we are being asked to believe in some evidence that none of us has seen .That’s how simple it is.You’d imagine if the information was there we could have a look at it, wouldn’t you?
      The same can be said of the poiticians across the board .They consort with criminal elements when it suits a political purpose. We all know this and have watched it happen down through the years. It has to be said it has built up an acute cynicism in those of us with a sceptical bent. As for the press.The press always has their own axe to grind . You read what you want to see written…just as you read the books you want to read.
      .In Norneverland, even though there may be local editions of popular UK newspapers on sale , they bear little resemblance to what a reader in say, London or Liverpool will be reading. It would be asking a lot to believe that an average reader in the UK would be up to speed with the minutiae our local events.They are mostly not really interested so whatever local political parties do or don’t do is of little interest to them generally.Sometimes our politicians get a very inflated idea of themselves , thinking that they are very important in the scheme of things .Usually they are not.

  4. sarah m August 27, 2015 at 6:48 pm #

    On the other hand, the rational would envision an announcement such as:, there will be a hearing at such and such o’clock at which time evidence by the PSNI will be presented as the ALLEGATIONS (since that is what they are no?) of the continued existence of the IRA
    These allegations are so serious and we would hope all will hold onto their hats and wait to hear/see what is presented. but that’s too easy isn’t it?

    I know in the past investigations have been, what’s the word?, non-existent for many crimes and why would one expect this to be any different or would the investigation lead to a pre-determined result?

    just wondering – whatever happened to the bank robbery that really big one (not to be confused with the banks robbing the people of recent years) where the IRA was blamed for that?