The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

Out of the Ashes arose the Um, Ah, Equality Agenda

'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, `it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less.'

`The question is,' said Alice, `whether you can make words mean so many different things.'

`The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, `which is to be master -- that's all.' - Alice Through the Looking Glass, Lewis Carroll

Mags Glennon • 18 July 2004

A quite odd letter from Gerry Adams surfaced in the Irish Times last Tuesday.
It dealt with the aftermath of the trouble on the Twelfth in Ardoyne. In it Gerry informs us:

"I did protest to an Irish Times reporter about the use of the term "Provisional Republicans" in a piece in Tuesday's edition. This was before the Ardoyne meeting. I have raised this issue in the past, particularly over The Irish Times's use of the term "Provisional Sinn Féin". My position is straightforward and consistent. A paper of record should be just that. There is no such organisation as Provisional Sinn Féin. Gerry Kelly is not a Provisional Republican. He is a republican, full stop."

I fear that the silly season has brought with it another spate of Shinner-speak. It comes soon after Gerry A's statement that he was never, ever, ever in the IRA. (No, not at all, but there was a body called the "Independent Residents Alliance"?). One wonders if the insistence on there being no group called "Provisional Sinn Féin" is another step in the surreptitious retirement of those pesky "Provos". After all, if Big Gerry declares there are no "Provisionals" then it must be so, despite any evidence to the contrary. It is not a case of the party just being called "Sinn Féin" either. Nope, looks like they are seizing the generic term "republican" to cover themselves alone. Or perhaps the party/movement/family has actually been secretly renamed the "Equality Agenda Republican Party"; all that is required is a special Ard Fheis to approve it.

But I have a better suggestion. We should go back to the old early 1970s way of naming the parties after where they have their offices. So we'd have Sinn Féin (Parnell Square) and Sinn Féin (Parnell Street), to the eternal confusion of anyone not familiar with maps of Dublin. Problems might arise in Belfast too as three different Republican groups roost on the Falls Road. On the positive side though people muttering in corners of pubs could conspire and grumble about 'the street' and 'the square' and any listeners would think they were on about Corrie and EastEnders. There has been a positive response to the proposal from RSF types on the basis that in popular culture being "street" is much cooler than being "square". A cynic (one can always be found) suggested Coronation SF (aka RSF) and EastEnders SF (aka PSF) to ease the confusion, on the basis that the Corries are mostly elderly and their language can be a bit difficult to understand, while the Eastenders crowd lack any principles or loyalty.

Me, I'm off to check out the (used to be Sinn Féin) The Workers Party (Hill Street). Not concerned about joining or anything ideological like that. Just to check if they are still alive and unwell, and also to investigate the small matter of large numbers of $100 bills. And yep, I always liked the name "Champagne, the Workers Party".

* Mags Glennon is a member of Working Class Action and a regular contributor
to Fourthwrite magazine.




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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent


Historians and economists {subsidized by governments} are very good at creating and perpetuating myths that justify increasing the power placed in the hands of government.
- Reuven Brenner

Index: Current Articles

23 July 2004

Other Articles From This Issue:

I Once Knew a Boy...
Dolours Price

Out of the Ashes Arose the um, ah, Equality Agenda
Mags Glennon

New Sinn Fein and the Schomberg Society
Martin Cunningham

A Few Questions for a Hollowed Guest
John O Farrell

Support the Vacumm
Pauline Hadaway

The Rwandan Holocaust and Western Indifference
Anthony McIntyre

Empire-Speak: A Primer in Practical Translation
Toni Solo

19 July 2004

The Paravisional Alliance
Anthony McIntyre

Attack Against Antrim Bandsmen reports "Flawed" say Community Representatives
Sean Mac Aughey

A Firm Part Of The Labour Movement - The ‘Belfast SWP’ (Part 1)
Davy Carlin

Israel Builds Another Wall
M. Shahid Alam


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