is and has been the defining issue for the Provisional
movement because it is the last obstacle on their
tortuous, deceitful, scheming and politically
unscrupulous journey away from the core valves
of republicanism to the values of constitutional
nationalism, values they derided in the recent
and distant past as being second class in the
context of this nation's struggle for its sovereignty
the Provos transformation from actively opposing
the PSNI to actively endorsing it was internally
painless and externally acclaimed in London, Dublin
and the White House.
while the new soldiers of the new De Valera's
'soldiers of the rear guard' at the provo ard
fheis waved their voting cards and cheered and
stamped their feet in a stupor of triumphalism,
the mandarins of the British securocrat establishment
were raising their glasses to celebrate another
victory over Provo republicanism.
problem for the Provo leadership at the ard fheis
was not about struggling with a republican conscience
but about devising a political sleight of hand
to make defeat sound like victory.
was a political device that is symptomatic of
a political culture that is driven by the pursuit
of political opportunism and expediency that is
underpinned by a narrow and selfish interest in
a self-advancement that feeds on the cult of personality.
is a political culture that is inimical to the
best ideals of Irish Republicanism.
with this political culture and with their political
deceits this Provo leadership have drained the
dignity from the sacrifices of the last 35 years,
and terminally degraded Provisional republicanism.
in the Provos' history of deceits their deceits
on policing are overshadowed by a more grievous
and damning deceit that in many ways makes their
deceits on policing a distraction.
it is their deceits around MI5.
St Andrews the Provos' much-vaunted negotiators
did a shabby side deal with Tony Blair. This sidedeal
marked a new low in Provo negotiations with the
don't know what the side deal entailed.
do know that without any explanation to the republican-nationalist
community this deal gave carte blanche political
and security control to MI5 over the PSNI.
and security control by MI5 without MI5 accountability.
This deal has such sinister political and security
implications for all the people of this part of
Ireland - and in particular for the PSNI - that
it demands from the Provo negotiators a detailed
explanation of how this side deal was arrived
when one adds to that the Provo negotiators' deafening
silence over the British securocrats establishment
constructing a £100 million-plus espionage
octopus at Holywood, Co Down the plot thickens.
when we recall that in November 1990 in another
piece of political choreography between the Provo
negotiators and the British security establishment,
the then British secretary of state, Peter Brook,
declared that 'Britain had no selfish or strategic
or economic interest in Northern Ireland', we
have to ask those same Provo negotiators why they
did not make the deliberate choice of Holywood
by the British to house MI5 a deal breaker.
can only conclude that in not making the physical
manifestation of MI5 in Co Down a deal breaker,
the Provo negotiators were conceding to the British
political establishment its right to assert political
and strategic control over this part of Ireland.
republican and nationalist community are entitled
to ask if the struggle wasn't about the removal
of the British presence from Ireland, the ending
of partition and the establishment of a sovereign
and independent state on the whole of the island,
what was it all about?