The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent
Suspended Belief

J. Sean Burns • 24 February 2004

Indeed there we have it, the ‘truth’ straight from the horse’s mouth. We should perhaps pay no heed to the notion by those malcontents who suggest this man Tohill is under extreme pressure, fearful (rightly it seems) for his own life and is likely to accept ‘guarantees’ for his own safety in return for a retraction of his initial claims that the Provisional Movement were involved in said abduction.

Sorry to drop this soggy biscuit of cynicism into your Latte Grande which you’ll no doubt be sipping while pondering the shadowy machinations of British Security policy, but maybe as decent human beings we should reflect objectively upon the equally dirty business of propaganda and (as importantly) counter-propaganda.

Being the sensitive issue it is for SF, paramilitary policing does not quite square the circle in regards to the Good Friday Agreement (and its obligation to desist from such activity). It’s the kind of craic that may be accepted by your average Falls Rd Joe soap, but doesn’t go down too well with your expansion into the Malone Rd voter base – where UTV reports of knee breakers with baseball bats is guaranteed a gasp of bourgeois incredulity.

If every SF press release (followed by a next day seven page exercise in political head-nodding by the Andytown News) were to be taken at face value then it would be true that the Provisional Movement were not involved in the following: the murder of Joe O’Connor, the murder of Andy Kearney, Brendan Rice’s abduction in Co. Down, Stephen Moore’s abduction in Belfast; The abduction and possible murder of Gareth O’Connor. Or if we want to delve further back into the archives; the murder of Jean McConville (which some may remember was also initially denied) or the murder of an innocent postman in Newry during a PIRA robbery around the initial stages of the ceasefire. The latter was of course originally denied but then later accepted with the footnote that the unit involved was acting “without orders”.

Who is SF’s Press Officer up at Stormont now? I would guess that this person’s CV contains a period of employment as a second-rate side show conjurer who was sacked due to his inability to even vaguely mystify a gullible 6 year old.

I’m sorry, but a party that insists every so often that it’s members should ‘suspend belief’ in order to get it through the next crisis has already broken with any revolutionary credibility. “A revolutionary must stick to the truth like a finger sticks to the glove,” Che Guevara once said. Pay heed to that.

McGuiness’s comments that these accusations were an attempt by Unionists/Brits etc to have them ejected from the Agreement rang so very hollow around Stormont’s imperial halls. No doubt everyone was expected to make the same mental back-flips which created the image in ones mind of suited NIO ministers charging into Kelly’s Cellars to beat, bind and gag a struggling Bobby Tohill in the hope of embarrassing SF and ruining the peace process. I half expected McGuiness to make a desperate try at ‘jedi mind control’ by donning a cloak Obi-Wan style and casting a sorcerous hand across our screens whilst saying in a low voice; “the provisional movement had nothing to do with this alleged abduction….our stance is very clear on this kind of activity….”

Undoubtedly if said ‘operation’ had actually been successful then one can clearly envisage the news of an abducted and possibly ‘missing’ Mr Tohill featured along with the usual shrugs, denials and dismissals emanating from Connolly House.













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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

25 February 2004


Other Articles From This Issue:


Naming Bobby Sands Street

Pedram Moallemian


Suspended Belief
J. Sean Burns


Kelly's Cellars
Anthony McIntyre


Stop Press!
Jimmy Sands


PSNI/RUC Occupies POW's Family Homes
Marian Price and Martin Mulholland


Did the Black and Tans Run From the Rifles of the IRA?
Liam O Ruairc


Stevens, Inquiries, Resistance to Change
David Michael


Provisionals Attempt to Censor and Exclude RSF in Scotland
Seamus Reader


Provisional Police?
George Young


20 February 2004


A Malignant Menage d'trois

Anthony McIntyre


On the Record
Kathleen O'Halloran


David Lidington
Eamon Sweeney


The Buck Stops Here
Brian Mór


Loyalist Racism and Terror Attacks
Paul Mallon


Foundations for Development Laid as Sinn Fein Goes Unionist
Eamonn McCann


All Are Targets
Mohammed Omer


Calendar of Events
Belfast Anti-War Movement




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