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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent
No News

James Fitzharris • 3 February 2005

It can hardly have passed unnoticed to regular Sinn Fein watchers the backdrop for the Adams/McGuinness press conference following their audience with the P.M. at Chequers. Sinn Fein publicity and propaganda guru Richard McAuley would have reasonably expected the stately home pile to be his backdrop as was Leeds Castle, Downing Street, Stormont, the White House, and all the rest of the prestigious venues to which Sinn Fein have access.

Throughout the last couple of years it is no exaggeration to say the most minor of statements have sent the Sinn Fein leadership scurrying off to the steps and confines of the favourite marble halls of Stormont in the belief that it creates an added air of sombre authority to their profound observations on the peace process and any other banal topic Richard deems could enhance the party's political prospects.

Contrast the heady days of prestigious backdrops with those of last week when the Sinn Fein leadership gave their post "we're up for a row" press conference in a Buckinghamshire country lane with a five barred gate as a backdrop. It struck me that in the choice of hedges and ditches the astute Richard was seeking to invoke the nostalgia for the old days when the Provisional movement were fighting for the fourth green field.

Times have changed; 20 years ago the presence of the Provisional leadership on a lane outside Chequers would have invoked the same response as a sighting of Osama in the grounds of the Whitehouse on the 4th of July. The windswept leadership, uncomfortable out of their milieu looked bemused by the wide open countryside. Ms Ruane, currently enjoying the 'joined at the hip' status for publicity purposes — a privilege bestowed on anointed candidates for public office, was conspicuous by her absence, hardly a surprise to the constituents of S.Down. Questions about the Northern Bank were as welcome as Ozzy Osbourne at a Paisley prayer meeting. Weary journalists were regaled with usual bullshit delivered in language designed to put a listening device to sleep.

Let no one be in any doubt about the Sinn Fein meeting at Chequers, what was at stake was an invitation to the St Patrick's Day party in the White House. Another interesting feature to watchers of Sinn Fein press conferences are 'who does what' for the cameras. Good news and no news, Gerry and Martin; gravely bad/difficult news, Mitchel and Alex does bollocks. On this day there was no news, what odds would Sean Graham give on the invitation?



















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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.
- George Bernard Shaw

Index: Current Articles

14 February 2005

Other Articles From This Issue:

An Ireland of Equals Will Not Be Built on Fear
Gerard Quinn

'Law and Order' From Behind a Balaclava
John Kelly

Where Are the Guards of Honour?
Sean Magee

Losing Hearts and Minds
Mick Hall

Protest? You're Having a Laugh
Michael Benson

Brian Mór

When A Leader Deserts His Men
Anthony McIntyre

No News
James Fitzharris

I Didn't Know Her, But I Did
Fred A. Wilcox

Parents Must Fight Bigotry
David Adams

9 February 2005

Oderint dum Metuant
Anthony McIntyre

Life Amongst the Proveau Riche
Brian Mór

Can Republicans Succeed Without Upholding National Sovereignty?
Francis Mackey

The Party or the Process
Dr John Coulter

Sean Russell and the Nazis
Mick Hall

Counting the Bodies
Liam O Ruairc

Elections' Aftermath
Ghali Hassan

What did Aeschylus write in "Daughters of Danaus"?
Toni Solo



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