Archive for January, 2017

The UKSC Ruling on Article 50 and the Future of Northern Ireland

So the GFA and the subsequent agreements based on it were a way of guaranteeing (to the unionists) that NI would stay within the UK but also of guaranteeing to the Irish nationalist people that while they had to stay in (for them) the wrong country, their identity would be respected and NI would be linked to the RoI through a series of cross border talking shops and the role of the RoI state as a guarantor of the GFA.
So everything went relatively OK for a while. Martin McGuinness and Ian Paisley developed quite the bromance and later even Mc Guinnness recognized Peter Robinson was doing his best in spite of the backwoods element in his own party.
All this allowed
Sinn Féin to deal with its own internal tensions, centered on the fact that they had settled for administering British rule rather than overthrowing it. Fundamental to this was the increasing irrelevance of the border in the context of ever closer union between the EU nations. The border would still be there but you’d never notice it if you didn’t want to
But Arlene Foster is not Ian Paisley or even Peter Robinson. She has, either through conviction or necessity, reflected the views of the Protestant supremacist elements in her own party. The DUP is basically UKIP in its culture and attitudes. Not an inch! is its attitude to things of symbolic importance to nationalists like giving some sort of legal status to the Irish language. So gradually Sinn Fein tired of this.
And then came the referendum and then the as for cash scandal and then Mc Guinessess’s health problems. And Sinn Fein basically said, “Fuck this for a game of cowboys” and brought down the executive. When this happened the SDLP, the moderate nationalist party in NI called for joint administration of NI by Dublin and London. That’s the SDLP eh, which was probably founded with a helping hand from MI5, back in the day. SF are in danger of being outflanked on their green side by the SDLP.
And now the UK Supreme Court has ruled that regardless of the GFA or anything else, Northern Ireland can be yanked out of the EU without consultation with the NI Assembly, that from the point of view of Brexit it’s no different from Essex. So, all that talk about not reintroducing a hard border etc NI is being dragged much farther away from the rest of Ireland than it was before and the courts have confirmed that there’s nothing the NI Assembly can do about that. And
So what would you do if you were in SF or the SDLP? What would your argument for going back into government with in NI be, given that one of the central planks of the GFA had been kicked away and that the principal unionist party was doing an ever more convincing imitation of being a Protestant/Unionist supremacist movement?
As long as the bulk of the republican people continue to support SF there’ll be no major upsurge in violence. But we’re now in totally uncharted territory and there’s good reason to very concerned.

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“That guy has to be killed”: CFK and the intelligence service

In connection with an investigation unrelated to Nisman/AMIA etc. a judge ordered Oscar Parrilli’s phone to be tapped. He’s a long-term fixer/dogsbody for the Kirchners. When Cristina Fernández de Kirchner  fired Stiuso in December 2014  (Nisman collaborator, long-term strongman in the state intelligence service)  she put Parrilli in charge  of the officially recognized spies. Stiuso’s removal was probably the detonator that led to Nisman’s death two years ago. Anyway,   in the leaked call (made after she left office) she phones Parrilli about an interview given by Stiuso and says a couple of interesting things (apart from the comedy value of repeatedly addressing Parrilli as “idiot”:

  1. She tells him to look up the “ the stitch ups… I mean the criminal complaints we made against Stiuso. “
  2. “that guy (stiuso) has to be killed”
  3. She uses the phrase “armamos carpetazos”: intelligence leaks-ops designed to embarrass people opposed to the government

So even if we take point 2 as just a figure of speech, we now have  something we didn’t before; incontrovertible evidence of CFK taking a direct and pro-active role in intelligence matters at the operational level.

Nisman, the Iran Pact and Argentina’s Secret State

Good article this  on the Nisman murder and the pact with Iran. The writer says it’s a black hole which condenses the struggle between truth and lies which characterised the 12 years of kirchnerism in Argentina. It’s that and much more though. The Nisman murder was when the secret machinery of power in Argentina was forced to break cover for a moment and do its work in plain view. The machine is staffed by the state intelligence service and the constellation of legal and unofficial intelligence apparatuses attached to the various police and security forces with which the state is blessed, as well as those of the armed forces, obviously. But it extends beyond them and includes elements from the trade unions, judiciary, the media and political parties too. Its fundamental orientation is peronist and surveillance is primary mode of operation. You collect information on people with a certain level of power because you never know when you’ll need to put them on uder pressure.
This machinery functioned in a particularly ostensible form under the Kirchners but has always been there. Duhalde came to power with its assistance and it was a basic tool of Menemism, Alfonsín was never able to fully control it. And Macri’s administration may yet be fatally compromised by its failure to get to grips with it and his appointment of a corrupt playboy pal to run it.
Its existence is one of the principal reasons why Argentina has never made the progress as a nation that the extent of its human and natural resources would indicate it should have. Until we get to the bottom of who ordered the murder of Nisman and they pay significant personal costs for having done so, then we’ll be living in a significantly weakened democracy, with a class of people who can safely kill when its power is seriously threatened and who can negotiate impunity for the murder of 85 of its citizens.

Kamikaze Brexit

The kind of UK that will result from May‘s diamond-hard Brexit will not be kind to poor British people and British people perceived to be masquerading as British while really being something else. British Jews will not be immune from this. And the level of unkindness will ramp up as the economic shit hits the fan because it’s the actual or perceived non-British who will be blamed. And the EU will continue to be blamed too, for not conceding to Britain all the benefits of membership with none of the costs. And it looks like Sinn Féin’s decision to withdraw from the Northern Ireland Executive was predicated on this. What would have been the point of their struggling on with the DUP in the context of the UK going full nativist? And all for what?  #kamikazebrexit

Pajarita TW Nisman timeline thread

 

Farewell Martin McGuinness

So farewell then Martin. Your health seems to be letting you down and you’ve finally got tired of the DUP trying to turn Northern Ireland into  Protestant state for a Protestant people all over again. Small blame to you.  I guess your illness means you won’t be running for office again and that your political future, if you have one, will be to play the elder statesman in SF. No formal job but loads of influence, something like the role of Felipe González in the PSOE in Spain.

But maybe you’re for the high jump soon; we don’t know exactly what’s ailing you so it’s impossible to say. It’s been quite a life, you’ve had, no? You stood up for your people when it was extraordinarily difficult and dangerous to do so and were recognized a leader by all who came into contact with you. 22 was quite an age to be flown to London to negotiate with the Brits.

You kept faith with the armed struggle for far too long though and you countenanced horrible sectarian massacres. Unlike some others you did eventually see that it was  all leading nowhere, that it was impossible to impose sufficient costs on the Brits to make them rethink  their support for the Unionists and that the Unionists were not going to have their minds changed by killing any number of off duty UDR corporals. Some can’t get those facts into their heads even today.

There’d have been no durable ceasefire and no GFA without your personal credibility among the nationalist people to back it. And the devolved administration in NI wouldn’t have lasted until now without your pragmatic approach and personal humility, characteristics lacking in another top Republican whose name I won’t mention.

You probably won’t thank me for saying this but you remind me a lot of Arik Sharon: man of war and man peace, responsible for both foul and noble deeds, loved by (most of) your people and despised by those who’d like to see them go back to their previous condition of servitude.

So get well soon, and enjoy whatever time’s left to you.



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