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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

SF - Securocrat Fantasists

Anthony McIntyre • 10 January 2005

Once it became clear to both the British and Irish governments that the peace process was about bringing an end to the IRA campaign against the British state, enormous latitude was to be given to the Sinn Fein leadership. Both governments worked on the premise that the enormity of the leadership move away from its original anti-partitionist goals in exchange for greater power and privilege, North and South, was such that the leadership would be greatly aided by deception. A leading Irish participant at a meeting in September 1998 at Oxford University made it clear in relation to the Good Friday Agreement. He described it as 'a delicately balanced compromise which can be destroyed by truth ... honesty and straightforward talking must be avoided at all costs.' Since then Jim Gibney has argued that amongst the ever-growing range of legitimate targets in the sights of the peace process is truth.

If there is one big lesson coming out of the peace process over the last ten years, it is words like 'certainty' and 'clarity' are not part of the creative lexicon that conflict resolution requires if it is to be successful.

Is it any real surprise that things are at where they are today? Why the governments are smarting so much on this occasion is that it was not just the republican grassroots who were being lied to - the original intention behind the government facilitation of fudge - by the Provisional leadership. Both governments like everybody else were led along. As a sign of his fury Bertie Ahern did not go as far as to say that the Sinn Fein leadership ordered the robbery but came close to it with his comments that it knew about it. This is a far cry from three years ago when in the wake of the St Patrick's Day break in at Castlereagh, the Taoiseach stated that if the IRA made a statement denying something they could be believed. Now he has joined with those of us who believe nothing until it has been officially denied.

In a bid to bolster its bunkum about securocrats out to wreck the peace process Sinn Fein point to the absence of evidence presented against the IRA thus far. But lack of evidence has never prevented the party from making allegations against all and sundry from security force colluders to UDA pipe bombers. The Sinn Fein position is made all the more threadbare by Pat Doherty having appeared on BBC Spotlight a matter of weeks ago to tell viewers that the dogs in the streets of Strabane know which group is carrying out 'tiger' robberies in the town yet the police will not do a thing about it. In Strabane, seemingly, the knowledge of dogs is evidence enough to satisfy Sinn Fein. Likewise in South Down where Sinn Fein's Mick Murphy could complain, 'there is a lot of dissident activity in the area, but the PSNI has done nothing about it.'

Hugh Orde, whom the Sinn Fein leadership met recently in a calculated move to accrue moral capital to be used in the blame game once the party ensured there would be no deal with the DUP, is now being accused of being a securocrat by Sinn Fein. An indication that the party is prepared to sit until Orde moves on before giving its support to the police. A move which will help prolong the peace process, and Sinn Fein's fortunes, for another lot of years. Sinn Fein expects us to believe that Hugh Orde is lying about the robbery at the Northern Bank. There has been no shortage of lying chief constables over the decades for the party to point to by way of reinforcing its allegation against Orde. But is the current chief one of them?

The PSNI have been stung by allegations that it was asleep on its intelligence watch prior to the bank robbery. Hugh Orde is aware that a similar blunder by the force he commands would be a resigning matter. Having already failed to prevent the robbery going ahead, the effects of having 45 detectives pursue the wrong firm of thieves would be devastating; nothing short of a career suicide move. This leaves little room for doubt that Orde was absolutely certain before he put his head on the attribution block.

Orde has been accused by both Martin McGuinness and Mitchel McLaughlin of working to a political agenda. Both are right. But it is not the agenda they would have us believe. It is an agenda of bringing Sinn Fein more closely into the structures of the state. Had there have been any chance of a deal being struck Orde would have been under tremendous pressure to go no further than his under reported statement (referred to in the Guardian 22 December) that a republican group was responsible for the Northern Bank heist, without specifying which. By holding last Friday's press conference, Orde knew that his efforts to have Sinn Fein embrace the policing structures were dissipating each time he spoke. Presiding over the collapse of his own design was hardly what he wanted to be doing.

Sinn Fein's make believe world of securocrats undermining the police process is further shown to be ersatz by the party's attacks on Joe Pilling, the NIO permanent secretary, whom it was alleged oversaw a nest of British "securocrats". Pilling was the senior NIO official who at the time of the Good Friday Agreement ensured that prisoners would not be part of a deal that would see them released in exchange for guns. He blocked such a proposal - ensuring prisoners were released sans decommissioning - to the annoyance of many of his colleagues, as a means to facilitate both the peace process and Sinn Fein.

There is no doubt that there are members of the British security services who are deeply unhappy that Adams and McGuinness are not being publicly pelted with eggs and tomatoes at Vanguard rallies in the Ormeau Park. But they are not in the driving seat of British security policy. Those running the show know that there is more than one way to skin a cat. They are the type of people whom the Provisional leadership was meeting behind the backs of its membership and whose overriding objective was to ensure that Provisional objectives were never secured, even if it meant allowing them to become a green mafia in the process.




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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



All censorships exist to prevent any one from challenging current conceptions and existing institutions. All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequently the first condition of progress is the removal of censorships.
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Index: Current Articles

10 January 2005

Other Articles From This Issue:

SF - Securocrat Fantasists
Anthony McIntyre

Mick Hall

Merge Ahead?
Dr John Coulter

DPP Cover-up RUC/PSNI Malpractice Yet Again
32 CSM Press Release

RSF Are The Sole Inheritors of the Sinn Fein Mantle
Des Dalton, RSF

Óglaigh na hÉireann New Year Statement 2005

The Caged Men
Ruairi O'Driscoll

Changing Fortunes
Anthony McIntyre

7 January 2005

Northern Bank - Open All Day Monday
Anthony McIntyre

2005: New Year's Statement from the 32 County Sovereignty Movement
Francis Mackey

In the Underworld with the Trigger Men
Sean Mc Aughey

Racism as a Prelude to War Crimes
Ghali Hassan

Palestinian Elections: Charting the Future of Palestine
Haithem El-Zabri



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