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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

Official Secrets


Mick Hall • 5 December 2004

In a previous article for the Blanket, I wrote about how I found one of the most depressing and dispiriting aspects of the whole series of on-off negotiations around the implementation of the GFA to be Mr Adams and his leadership cadre's willingness to allow the British State to set the agenda as to the how and the where of these talks.… If one considers the history of negotiations between Irish Rebels and the British State, and the bloody consequences that have often been provoked by the bitter disappointments brought on by the deceit and trickery of the British Government, it is difficult to fathom Mr Adams' behaviour. After 34 years of listening to Irish Republican leaders, at the fore of whom was Mr Adams himself, telling the world's media that this was not an internecine sectarian conflict between the two communities in the north, but the tail end of a war and occupation going back eight hundred years, all such talk by the PRM has now suddenly been consigned to the past, publicly at least. These days we watch Mr Adams on our TV screens representing the Catholic/nationalists of the north, sparring with Mr Paisley, the chief representative of the Protestant/unionists community. As if this in itself was not bad enough, we then get Mr Adams demanding of the British Prime Minister that he force Mr Paisley to accept in full and implement the GFA in its entirety. As if the British State were some sort of independent broker, who have no responsibility beyond acting as such, for the sorry mess the North of Ireland state-let became. Are we now to conclude that Mr Adams' talk about Unionists being the British State's cats paws was mere pre negotiation sparring, all thirty four years of it? Is it any wonder the press is full of articles with headlines like the following from the Observer, When Two Tribes End War?

It is increasingly difficult not to conclude that Mr Adams leadership cadre has been drawn into the heart of the British State. Many politicians have, from a host of former British Colonies have before them, many of whom also started out, just like Gerry Adams and his chums, with the aim of destroying the link with the British State, or the home grown radical British politicians, whose main long forgotten aim was the removal for all time of the British ruling establishment and its replacement with a more equitable society, only to find themselves co-opted into it, all in the best interests of the big picture of course. It is no mystery how this is done, it is honey, honey all the way. A slow but steady process of corruption takes place. As we all know, there is nothing more enticing than to be let in on a secret; it is ego boosting, as you have suddenly become one of the few to be let in on this supposedly secret information and have been trusted to bear it. Never mind that common sense tells us the only way three people can keep a secret is if two of them are dead, thus in reality it is no secret at all.

Now imagine people who have been on the outside for years, always operating on the fringes of society, always in a minority, even of their own countrymen. How would they feel if they are let into the inner chamber of their enemies, not to be flayed alive but to be welcomed and pampered? Add to this that they have come from a world were secrets are what creates power and trust and it is hardly surprising they are ripe for the plucking. Is it an accident that the British choose for their main negotiations of this type places like Leeds Castle or Lancaster House, which are places of pomp and history? The participants of talks in these austere places are reminded by the very pictures that hang on the walls that they are sitting in the very chair that Gandhi, Mugabi or Mandela sat in.

Consider SF's behaviour in being led from one imperialistic pile to another with Fidel Castro's, when he first visited the USA to give a speech at the UN. The US State department booked him into the finest hotel in New York, with the best capitalism could offer close at hand and on tap. Just as the British have with the Sinn Fein delegation throughout the GFA negotiations. Privately Castro might have been impressed and would have loved to take advantage of all these goodies; but Fidel was out of there and up to Harlem, where he continued to stay throughout his visit to the city. Whilst of course this was a gesture on his part it was one of some importance, as he was saying to the State department, 'keep your bribes, I am my own man'. He was also making this clear to the dispossessed of Harlem and through them the world, 'I'm one of you, your struggle is mine'. So when Adams and his cronies passed the Napoleon brandy and puffed on the Havana cigars, it did not go unnoticed by the securocrats who were listening in on their every word at Leeds Castle or Weston Park. If only Gerry and Martin had stayed in a supporters terrace house in Kilburn and made do with a bacon Sarnie, would history have been different?

As I have mentioned history, it is an iron law of it that it is impossible to gain in the conference chamber what was lost on the field of battle.… That the Adams clique have attempted to do just this displays a certain naivety on their part and tells us how much their egos have been massaged by the British sponsored powder- puffs about the PRM leadership's ability. It also raises the question how many, if any, secret clauses and agreements has Adams signed away during these talks? Is it true that Sinn Fein's MLAs sign the British Official Secrets Act when they become Stormont Assembly Government Ministers? Despite having contacted the press office at the Northern Ireland Office, the British Home Office and all the various Government and Party offices in the north, I have failed to get an answer on this, although on more than one occasion, whoever answered the phone, after taking a deep intake of air, informed me they would have to check this out, never to return to my call.

If they do not sign the O.S.A. it would be unique, as all other UK government Ministers do. It is worth considering this issue for if they are exceptions to the British State's rule on this, then surely they can only be sham Ministers, as all Government papers would not be allowed to cross their desks. For example, a Health Minister would need security briefings to periodically prepare for a doomsday situation if Belfast was attacked by Al Qaida; otherwise they would be unable to prepare the allocation of health care resources if such a situation occurred, etc.

So, it is not unreasonable to ask if Mr Adams signed a secret protocol that either allowed SF ministers to sign this document, which has been used as an instrument of oppression in Ireland for centuries and then again to stop this oppression from coming into the public light of day. Or is there an opt out clause for the Shinners? If so would that not make them Ministers in name only, with the real duties of the State being carried out behind their backs across the sea in the Northern Ireland Office, as it has for decades?




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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

6 December 2004

Other Articles From This Issue:

The Fleece Process
Anthony McIntyre

Padraic Paisley
Anthony McIntyre

Revolutionary Unionism
Dr John Coulter

Official Secrets
Mick Hall

Kilmichael Controversay Continues
Liam O Ruairc

Turkish Man Beaten and Racially Abused by PSNI in front of Witnesses

Iraq is Not the Second World War
Fred A Wilcox

Dancing at the Edge of the Abyss
Karen Lyden Cox

2 December 2004

Questions - and Doubts - Remain
Tommy Gorman

Another Crisis for Trimble?
Dr John Coulter

No Gangster More Cruel
Anthony McIntyre

Love Your Enemy More Than Your Friend
Elana Golden

Mick Hall

The Biggest Mistake They Could Have Made
Áine Fox

Danilo Anderson and Condoleeza Rice
Toni Solo



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