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The Adams Arrest

category national | anti-capitalism | opinion/analysis author Monday May 05, 2014 14:37author by Paddy Hackett - noneauthor email paraichackett at gmail dot com Report this post to the editors

Its significance

The essential point is that Sinn Fein/IRA betrayed its core principles many years ago when it officially accepted the existence of political partition and its two reactionary states on both sides of the border. This means it accepts the validity of the imperialist domination of the island of Ireland.

Sinn Fein claim that the recent arrest of Gerry Adams by the PSNI had a political character designed to damage Sinn Fein. It claims that there is a dark element within the PSNI. It also slanders Dolores Price and Ivor Bell.

The above claims are a further reinforcement of the reactionary nature of this political party. Its claims suggest that the PSNI as a necessary part of the British imperialist state is non-political. As an organic part of the capitalist state the PSNI is of necessity political. When the latter intervenes in demonstrations organised by nationalists or loyalists it is acting politically. Ironically for Gerry Adams and the stalinist like Sinn Fein the six county police are only political when they arrest Gerry. It is not being political when they arrest a "dissident" Republican but when they arrest Gerry it is. The point is that when Sinn Fein opportunistically accepted the establishment of the PSNI it was, ipso facto, accepting the entire force. Sinn Fein cynically want to see the PSNI like the parson's egg.

The essential point is that Sinn Fein/IRA betrayed its core principles many years ago when it officially accepted the existence of political partition and its two reactionary states on both sides of the border. This means it accepts the validity of the imperialist domination of the island of Ireland.

Furthermore it is highly unlikely that the arrest of Gerry was undertaken without the consent of the British government. Sinn Fein knows this but seeks to reduce the arrest to the level of an aberration caused by a cabal within the police service. This is because Sinn Fein supports both British and Irish capitalism. And this is why its opportunist economic program in the South is based on the absurd assumption that economic and social problems are solvable within capitalism. This assumption and the programme built on it means that Sinn Fein is not an anti-capitalist formation. Neither is its success largely due to its performance. It is due largely to the recent world crash and the consequent exposure of Fianna Fail, the Green Party, Fine Gael and the Labour Party. Sinn Fein is inherently a bourgeois opportunist party.

The party's denigration of Dolours Price, Brendan Hughes and others is an indication as to the degree to which Sinn Fein has descended into the mire. Incidentally it is an indication of the journalistic cowardice to which Ed Moloney has descended as evidenced by his comments on the recent arrest of Gerry Adams. In the interview on American radio he effectively accepted that the interviews with Price and Hughes had a dubious character.

Concerning the abduction, killing and disappearance of Jean McConville by the IRA let me say this: If Gerry Adams was seriously suspected of being directly involved in her killing then why did the British government, the Irish government, Fianna Fail, the PDs, Fine Gael and the Labour party negotiate with him or support such negotiations leading to the GFA? The British and Irish governments were prepared to negotiate an agreement with a political leader who was understood to be a leading member of the IRA and thereby responsible for killings and bombings including the McConville killing.

Given the establishment of the GFA it makes no sense to punish individuals who were members of the IRA. It makes no sense to hound them on the question as to whether they were IRA members. This problem should have been sorted out during the GFA negotiations. I would have thought that secret diplomacy by the involved parties would have covered this. Again the opportunism of Sinn Fein/IRA is again exposed if there was no settlement concerning this in this regard. It is now being hoisted by its own petard.

Overall the McConville issue is being venally exploited by sections of the bourgeois media and the political establishment to damage Sinn Fein. The foregoing no more care about Mrs McConville than they do the victims of HSE incompetence. To conclude: The Adams arrest may have been carried out as part of a plan to get an agreement on past actions of individuals from both the Republican and Loyalist camps. Such an agreement might bring to an end the arrest, trial and imprisonment of activists for their previous actions. This makes me wonder whether these recent events were choreographed by Sinn Fein and the British government. Gerry looked well for a guy kept in detention for four days and subjected to continuous questioning especially as he had not eaten for the first two days of his detention.

Related Link: http://paddy-hackett.blogspot.com
author by fredpublication date Mon May 05, 2014 18:16Report this post to the editors

Paddy, will you be voting for right wing FG / FF / Lab this election? ;-)

I hope you understand that they will likely be merging under direction of the neoliberals in EU
to remove what's left of our "democracy" from the Irish people for another 5 years and thus finish their work
privatising what is left of Irish state utilities and subjecting the Irish people to even more
crippling and avoidable austerity and debt.

SF / selected independents / SP / SWP / PBP seem the only alternatives within the electoral system that are not already proven as complete willing tools of neoliberalism in Europe,

By undermining SF you are helping to bring us the even worse alternative of a FF/FG merger.

So given this scenario, I have to wonder what's your motivation writing this hatchet piece?

author by Paddy Hackettpublication date Wed May 07, 2014 09:55Report this post to the editors

Hi Fred

"FF / selected independents / SP / SWP / PBP seem the only alternatives within the electoral system that are not already proven as complete willing tools of neoliberalism in Europe"

You miss one of the main points of my short piece. The point is that things cannot essentially improve under Sinn Fein or these other political groups, This is because capitalism as an obsolescent and limited economic system cannot serve the interests of the working class. It is not possible for Sinn Fein or the left to improve the lot of the working class in a sustained way. This is why a revolution that replaces capitalism with communism is necessary. Just because Sinn Fein says it will improve the plight of the working class does not mean it will. It is easy to make promises while not in government. Sinn Fein/IRA promised that they would set a 32 county Irish Republic yet it abandoned this aim or promise. It capitulated to imperialism. SF, SP and SWP is basically saying it can manage capitalism better than FF, FG and Labour.

The GFA basically represents the defeat of militant republicanism.

Related Link: http://paddy-hackett.blogspot.com
author by Strollerpublication date Wed May 07, 2014 10:09Report this post to the editors

Clearly Paddy Hackett has a different political viewpoint to Sinn Fein and that is fair. He spells out his view of where they have gone wrong.

The author believes that SF have denigrated Dolours Price and Brendan Hughes. These are two former members of the IRA who both had a significant reputation in that organisation. When they left prison they both moved away from active Republicanism but when the ceasefire came about both wanted the war to continue. That is the war to be fought by other people rather than themselves.

So bitter were they that other people were deciding not to die or kill for the military fetish belief that Hughes and Price seemed to hold above any other viewpoint they decided to rubbish the oaths they took and gave information to the Belfast project - a project funded by a mystery foundation in the USA and suggested by arch Unionist Paul Bew. The information given by Hughes resulted in the arrest of Bell and Adams. By any meaning of the word both Price and Hughes are touts. They have traduced their reputation as they fumed from the side-lines drenched in self-medication.

Bew is safely in the House of Lords, Moloney is safely ensconced in New York, Boston College is washing its hands of the whole affair and the fall guy McIntyre is hiding out spoofing about how he was misled and he didn't know anything.

The grave robbers who continually dig up Jean McConville seem to have no knowledge of mother of eight Joan Connolly shot dead by the British army or Lisa Dorrian murdered and disappeared by paramilitary Unionists. Only those killed by the Irish resistance count as victims - those killed by the foreign occupier don't count.

author by fredpublication date Wed May 07, 2014 14:01Report this post to the editors

So while waiting for the socialist revolution (a long wait!), you diss and undermine SF, the party that the UK and EU are clearly nervous of having in power and you write an article whose biggest net effect will be to undermine SF and make make more people vote for the only other parties available, neoliberal parties like FF/FG/Lab thus doing the work of the neoliberal EU who want another 5 years to privatise everything and destroy what remains of the Irish commons and lock us into "free trade deals" such as TTIP

"I want a revolution, but meanwhile I'll facilitate the most neoliberal parties
by undermining their rival riding high in the polls"

Yeah. that's really tactical Paddy! Trotsky would be proud! (not)

Do you work for the state to undermine SF in the next election or are you just a "useful idiot"?

author by Paddy Hackettpublication date Wed May 07, 2014 16:03Report this post to the editors


"Clearly Paddy Hackett has a different political viewpoint to Sinn Fein and that is fair. He spells out his view of where they have gone wrong.

The author believes that SF have denigrated Dolours Price and Brendan Hughes. These are two former members of the IRA who both had a significant reputation in that organisation. When they left prison they both moved away from active Republicanism but when the ceasefire came about both wanted the war to continue. That is the war to be fought by other people rather than themselves."

Because I claim that SF denigrated Price and Hughes does not mean that I support the latter's politics. Consequently there is hardly any need to devote space to what they allegedly did and did not do.It is politics that primarily concerns me and not the alleged details of an individual's biography.

These comments by you amounts to know more than a red herring designed to distract attention away from the fact that Sinn Fein/IRA betrayed its own republican doctrine and effectively surrendered its politics to British imperialism as evidenced by the Good Friday Agreement.SF/IRA ironically present this surrender as a victory. This fact transcends in importance the individual biography.

Many people died for this pyrhaccic agreement that was little better than the Sunningdale Agreement.Basically many members of the IRA died, such as Bobby Sands, so that an elite within SF/IRA could secure nice comfortable careers and the status that goes with them. SF/IRA simply bombed their way to the negotiating table for a few crumbs from British imperialism. If Hughes and Price were as you suggest touts this cannot compare with the monumental betrayal of the GFA.The SF/IRA elite led by Adams and McGuinness did not save lives. It was the cause, as with the British government and loyalist terrorism, of the casualty list.

What Dolours Price and Brendan Hughes did, as individuals, is neither here nor there.It is of no historic significance. But the Good Friday Agreement is. Whether they wanted the war to continue may have been an opinion of theirs which they have a right to have whether they were in or out of the IRA. Many activists within the undemocratic IRA were against the GFA too.Many too, over the years, were welcomed into Sinn Fein by the IRA leadership yet never joined its other component, the IRA. Yet many of them supported the armed struggle while not actively involved in the armed aspect of that struggle. So this judgement of Stroller's cannot be an issue for SF/IRA.

It is significant that you are not prepared to discuss the central feature of my piece and instead engage in a sustained questionable attack on a group of individuals.

Related Link: http://paddy-hackett.blogspot.com
author by Strollerpublication date Wed May 07, 2014 17:30Report this post to the editors

Thanks for your reply Paddy.

I picked up on what you wrote about Hughes/Price as you indicated they had been treated badly by SF. In fact you devoted whole paragraphs to defending them. Your description of ‘alleged’ or ‘whether’ they informed indicates you don’t believe this despite the fact that both have publicly identified people who they claim were IRA members. Also your continual use of the pejorative British term SF/IRA when referring to a political party indicates that you have bought into the British propaganda about the struggle here.

What you like to describe as the ‘central feature’ of your article – which is covered in half a paragraph – is that capitalism can’t be reformed and that SF believes it can be. Also that unless there is immediate, total revolution it is not worth bothering with any political activity. Therefore there is no need for Trade Unions to ameliorate conditions for working people, no need to oppose water charges or bin taxes as these only manage capitalism better.

This is the usual Trotskyist line that until the perfect conditions occur revolution will not happen. Any political party interested in revolution can only deal with the cards dealt to them. Lenin didn’t have his proletariat in a dominant economic position, which is what he wanted, but he dealt magnificently with a poor hand. I recall talking to a Trotskyist years ago and he told me he wouldn’t support the armed struggle until there were labour battalions ready to fight the British army. Good luck with that!

I paraphrase the comment by James Connolly (I can’t recall the exact words) – ‘we believe in constitutional action in ordinary times and revolutionary action in extraordinary times’.

author by Paddy Hackettpublication date Wed May 07, 2014 22:46Report this post to the editors

Hi Stroller

You miss the entire meaning of my political philosophy.

There cannot be a social revolution (immediate, total revolution) independently of political activity.The point is that opposition to taxes and charges imposed on the working class is not necessarily concerned with the management of capitalism. Popular opposition must take place on the basis of destroying capitalism not on the basis of managing it. This means that popular opposition must take place within a revolutionary framework as opposed to a reformist one.It is the latter that is based on the assumption that in the epoch of imperialism capitalism is manageable. State imposed taxes and charges cannot be successfully opposed on the assumption that capitalism can serve the interests of the working class. The latter is a utopian and thereby idealist assumption disconnected from concrete reality.

Capitalism is making the working class pay for the current recession because this is the only way it can survive. The profitability problem underlying the crisis cannot be solved by reducing profitability further by providing concessions to the working class or abandoning the imposition of these taxes and charges.

A successful social revolution cannot be consolidated in one small country such as Ireland. Communist revolution must break out in the more advanced capitalist countries such as the US, Germany,France or Britain.

Neither am I a Leninist, a Trotskyist nor a marxist. I am a communist and thereby promote the abolition of the state.

Related Link: http://paddy-hackett.blogspot.com
author by fredpublication date Thu May 08, 2014 08:09Report this post to the editors

meanwhile paddy conveniently ignores my charge that by specifically undermining SF in the manner he has
while giving FG / FF a free pass, he is facilitating even worse forms of neoliberalism while
the working class waits (forever?) for his communist revolution to come about all over Europe.
As such he is effectively a "useful idiot" serving the interests of neoliberalism.

EU will likely have their job done on Ireland if they get another 5 years. It is also likely that FF/FG will merge to take power in the next election under instructions from their European puppet masters and their banking / investment friends., thus removing any semblance of democracy for another 5 years while they enact neoliberal policies, shock doctrine and complete their lucrative program of privatisation.

Paddy's hatchet piece on SF undermines the only credible alternative for Irish voters to FF / FG / Lab scum.

It's easy to see for somebody with any political insight at all. So why is he still doing this?

Surely you can keep working towards the communist revolution, while being politically tactful in the meantime.

Attacking SF while letting right wing neoliberal FF / FG off the hook at this time is just plain stupid.

author by brionOcleirigh - Republican Continuitypublication date Fri May 09, 2014 11:07Report this post to the editors

“I was told that the interrogations were an evidence-gathering process, and that the police would be making the case that I was a member of the IRA; that I had a senior IRA managerial role in Belfast at the time of Jean McConville’s abduction; and that I was therefore bound to know about her killing.
I challenged my interrogators to produce the new evidential material. They said that this would happen at a later interview but they wanted to take me through my childhood, family history and so on. Over the following four days it became clear that the objective of the interviews was to get to the point where they could charge me with IRA membership and thereby link me to the McConville case. The membership charge was clearly their principal goal. The interrogators made no secret of this. At one point the male detective described their plan as “a stage-managed approach”. It later transpired that it was a phased strategy, with nine different phases.

The first phases dealt with my family history of republican activism. My own early involvement in Sinn Féin as a teenager – when it was a banned organisation. My time in the 1960s in the civil rights movement and various housing action groups in west Belfast, the pogroms of 1969 and the start of the Troubles.

It was asserted that I was guilty of IRA membership through association because of my family background – my friends. They referred to countless pieces of “open source” material that, they said, linked me to the IRA. These were anonymous newspaper articles from 1971 and 1972, photographs of Martin McGuinness and me at republican funerals, and books about the period.
If any of these claimed I was in the IRA, then that was, according to my interrogators, evidence. They consistently cast up my habit of referring to friends as “comrades”. This, they said, was evidence of IRA membership. They claimed I was turned by special branch during interrogations in Belfast’s Palace Barracks in 1972 and that I became an MI5 agent! They also spoke about the peace talks in 1972, and my periods of internment and imprisonment in Long Kesh. This was presented as “bad-character evidence…”

Gerry Adams.

Related Link: http://irishblog-irelandblog.blogspot.com/
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