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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

Judas 118 or DUP Strategy of Subversion?

Anthony McIntyre • 26 June 2006

Martin McGuinness attended the funeral of Denis Faul on Friday. Hours earlier in the Times of London, Dean Godson, author of the erudite tome, Himself Alone, claimed that five years ago Faul had expressed the belief to him that McGuinness was an agent of the British state. The timing was unfortunate for the Sinn Fein man, not only because it must have been embarrassing to walk in the cortege of a man who held him in such low esteem, but also because the previous evening McGuinness had robustly refuted similar allegations against him on BBC's Let's Talk programme. While Eoghan Harris in this week's Sunday Independent reported on the latest revelation it seems unlikely that the matter will be rekindled unless something substantive emerges. Still, a few uncomfortable moments must have been endured by the prominent Derry nationalist.

If ever one could have predicted almost verbatim a question to be asked on Let's Talk it was the one about McGuinness's alleged role as a British agent. On this occasion, in contrast to the opening days of the controversy McGuinness was on the balls of his feet, pugnacious and persuasive. His fellow panellists, in their own peculiar ways, offered comments that suggested they were no more convinced by the accusation than most other people. McGuinness dismissed the accusations as lies and his main accuser, Martin Ingram, as wholly discredited. Ingram, according to McGuinness was nameless and faceless, therefore unworthy of belief. This broadside against Ingram would probably carry more weight were it not for P O'Neill possessing similar attributes. Yet Martin McGuinness thinks he is credible kind of guy.

McGuinness denouncing Ingram as a liar must have the same effect as, say, Ian Paisley dismissing Willie McCrea as a Protestant. Ingram it seems is genuine in his belief that the substance of his allegation is true but he has an enormous amount of heavy lifting to do before others will come to share that belief. Because of its previous mendacity Sinn Fein has felt compelled to come up with novel forms of denial; fresh language, through such protestations of innocence do not prompt people to say, 'here we go again, tripe about securocrats.'

In one sense Martin McGuinness has been fortunate. By not insisting it is a securocrat plot - difficult enough to do when just about every securocrat has come to his defence - McGuinness has come up with an explanation that is plausible i.e. that elements within the DUP determined to ensure that a power sharing executive remains in cold storage, are spreading malicious rumours strategically designed to destabilise.

In identifying elements within the DUP, however, McGuinness is only partly right. Arguably, he has correctly identified the right party but the wrong elements within it. It is not those opposed to a DUP-Sinn Fein deal who are said to be have been behind the whispering campaign, but people situated at the heart of the DUP deal making lobby, the very people McGuinness thinks want to share power with him if they can only face down the 'Taliban' wing.

McGuinness has pointed to the Willie McCrea February statement in the British House of Commons to sustain his case. McCrea asked his party and parliamentary colleague Peter Robinson: 'will he ask the Secretary of State to look into the suggestion that one of the leading members of the IRA and the army council, Martin McGuinness, has been a paid British agent for a long time?'

Quite plausibly McCrea and the Free Presbyterian wing do not want a deal. Does this mean the rumours about McGuinness are being disseminated to prevent a deal? Far from it. McCrea here was only the messenger, not the source of the message. An alternative explanation would contend that the deal makers are intent on striking a deal but it is much easier to sell it throughout the party and the wider Unionist electorate if Paisley is first minister alongside a Sinn Fein deputy first minister who has no IRA pedigree. The DUP can then bellow that to all intents and purposes it has defeated the IRA. What unionist would really feel threatened by a Paisley-Ruane led government?

The intention of those within the DUP behind the slur is to undermine McGuinness so much within his own ranks that only the boldest would risk suggesting him as deputy first minister. Or alternatively, by forcing any defence of his integrity to be mounted on the ground of his military credentials, the DUP can proclaim that its electorate would simply not allow it to sit in government with such a figure.

It is not beyond the bounds of probability that it has already been signalled to the DUP from some of McGuinness's close colleagues that if Martin is an obstacle some way of removing him can always be found. If he has not realised by now that this is the house style of some close confederates he should seriously ask himself does he have the political nous to operate at such a high political level.

All of this may not augur well for McGuinness's political career. But, for a deal between the DUP and Sinn Fein, the signs are not ominous. Spreading the rumours against him is designed to make a deal easier not harder.



































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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



There is no such thing as a dirty word. Nor is there a word so powerful, that it's going to send the listener to the lake of fire upon hearing it.
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Index: Current Articles

2 July 2006

Other Articles From This Issue:

Anthony McIntyre

Salvaging History from Defeat
Forum Magazine Editorial

Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome
Dolours Price

Monsignor Denis Faul: Tribute
Ruairí Ó Brádaigh

Protest Continues in Maghaberry
Republican Prisoners Action Group (RPAG) statement

Where the Wind Blows
Dr John Coulter

What's Shaking
John Kennedy

Left, Right, Left, Right Wrong
Mick Hall

Irish Democracy, A Framework for Unity
Francis Mackey

The Peace Progress and the State
Davy Carlin

'The Church Brought to its Knees': Two books on Catholic Ireland's retreat
Seaghán Ó Murchú

Somme Battle Conspiracy
Dr John Coulter

March March March
John Kennedy

What's Good for the Goose is Good for the Gander!
Patrick Hurley

Sovereignty Movement Condemns Racist Attacks
Andy Martin, 32 CSM

Greens Propose Plastic Bag Tax to Help Fund Environment Watchdog
Green Party Press Release

The Framing of Michael McKevitt: Introduction
Marcella Sands

The Framing of Michael McKevitt: Garda Harassment & Eventual Sitch-up
Marcella Sands

Dolours Price

Judas 118 or DUP Strategy of Subversion?
Anthony McIntyre

22 June 2006

The Framing of Michael McKevitt
Marcella Sands

Foreward to 'The Framing of Michael McKevitt'
Fr Des Wilson

Demagogues and Demigod
Tommy Gorman

Getting It Tight
John Kennedy

The Restoration of Restorative Justice
Marcel M. Baumann

DUP Analysis
Dr John Coulter

Father Faul
Fr. Sean McManus

Aiden Hulme Repatriation Picket
Paul Doyle

Prison Protest Begins
Republican Prisoners Action Group (RPAG), Republican Sinn Fein, Newry

New Hero, and a Legacy
Dr John Coulter

Charlie's Angel
John Kennedy

The Letters page has been updated.

Profile: Mehdi Mozaffari
Anthony McIntyre

The Blanket, the Cartoons and the End of Left and Right
Gabriel Glickman

The Blanket and the Cartoon Controversy: Anthony McIntyre Interviewed
Martyn Frampton

A Welcome End
Mick Hall

Anthony McIntyre

Freedom of Speech index



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