FF totally ignorant of true situation in the North

THE column by former Fianna Fáil adviser Noel Whelan (Irish Examiner, September 15) is typical of the arrogance of that party concerning unionists and loyalists and their total ignorance as regards the situation in Northern Ireland.

While all paramilitarism is a cancer within civil society, and the thuggery of recent rioting must be unequivocally condemned, Mr Whelan lives in cloud-cuckoo-land if he doesn’t think the appeasement of Sinn Féin/IRA, the continual giving in to Green fascist terrorists and the endless chipping away at Northern Ireland’s position in Britain hasn’t precipitated the crisis - or at the very least contributed to it.

His only factual comment is that a supposed Labour government with a majority bigger than Clement Attlee’s should have renationalised Harland and Woolf as well as British Leyland, British Steel, and other major manufacturing concerns throughout Britain - that economic decline has also contributed to the situation in Northern Ireland.

But it’s humbug coming from the free marketeers of Fianna Fáil who discovered Thatcherism (via their chums in the PDs) a few years after it was officially ditched in Britain.

Besides, as I understand it, republicans rejoiced in loyalist workers losing their jobs because Harland and Woolf was seen as some kind of symbol of loyalist privilege.

That was about as stupid as describing Northern Ireland (not ‘the North’) as a British colony or calling for a united Ireland.

Tony Blair capitulates to Sinn Féin/IRA because he will do anything his American masters tell him and Washington wants British troops fighting the war on terror in the Middle East - not Northern Ireland.

Every utterance from American politicians and diplomats on the subject reveals how they see a peace process and a united Ireland as one and the same thing.

Just as worrying, a New Labour administration that has abandoned working class politics in favour of the free market is less scared of sectarianism and its consequences (Orange or Green) than of giving Northern Ireland what it really needs - a Labour Party that would fully integrate Northern Ireland into Britain on the basis of socially inclusive politics.

Instead, we are told that a coalition government between IRA murderers (who will never be fit to be in government or part of the political process) and the reactionaries of the DUP is progress. In short, a right-wing coalition of Orange and Green that attacks the working class through the free market and institutionalises divisions.

The problem with traditional unionism as represented by Paisley is that there is nothing British about it. It is a mirror image of the same ethnic identity obsessed nonsense that republicans have been banging on about for decades.

An Armalite is still all that separates Fianna Fáil from their cousins in the Green fascist IRA. They represent the same breed of gangster capitalism and the same Green sectarianism.

They have no more place or role in a political settlement in Northern Ireland than the now-moribund Good Friday Agreement.

Come the election, Fianna Fáil will no doubt blame its economic failures on the PDs and cuddle up to Sinn Féin. It’s in their nature.

Hopefully, Labour and Fine Gael will get in and Pat Rabbitte will shame Tony Blair with some kind of constructive advance towards Northern Ireland.

Roger Cottrell

Queens University

Belfast

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