The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

A Beginning Must Be Made



Fionnbarra Ó Dochartaigh • 30 March 2007

I find this article (The Cul de Sac Called 'Futility') very pessimistic, not least because it offers no way forward for people and groups who consider themselves to be 'traditional republicans'. Within that category remain some who falsely believe that a return to "armed struggle" is the only way to achieve Irish re-unification. Like him or hate him, John Hume's emphasis on "An Agreed Ireland" – with all that such implies- has been generally accepted [not least by Provo SF] as the 'best' or 'only' way forward. The primacy of politics is the key to opening the door to the presentation of alternatives to the Stormont Brigade, intelligently recognised, not least by the IRSP and its militant associates. Eventually, there has to be agreement within the electorates, both within the 'North' (Six and/or Nine Counties) and the rest of Ireland.

To advocate out-Provo-ing the Provos to me, and many other anti-partitionists, borders on insanity —who really wants a repeat performance of the last 35-40 years; only the as yet unincarcerated lunatics? Once the PSNI become more 'acceptable', no doubt under an authoritarian SF Minister for Policing & Justice, make no mistake about it, we'll have uniformed 'touts' in every nationalist district, and they may end up living next door to you, and watching your every move. Don't exclude phone tapping and other means of harassment. Even civil rights veterans have been targeted by ever-ready 'dirty tricks' elements within the tabloid press for taking a stand on the ill-treatment of prisoners [ e.g. 2003], and even death threats issued, by supposedly 'mis-guided republicans'. Even when some 'friends' were notified, they acted like the three 'wise' monkeys. Enough said. So much for the new era we find ourselves being encouraged to embrace, or at least pretend to rejoice at its birth – since a miscarriage was never on the cards, such is the lust for power, inflated egos, ministerial cars and high London-paid salaries to boot.

Comrade McIntyre should consider a less pessimistic analysis, for I and many others sincerely believe that anti-Stormont/anti-partitionist republicans should at the very least consider some form of co-operation in terms of issues and campaigns. I stress 'co-operation' because I believe that to speak of 'Unity' is totally Utopian. There are a list of issues and campaign on which co-operation is possible. To do nothing in the current political climate is to be guilty of giving the Adams-Paisley 'experiment' a fair wind. They do not deserve that and at the very least the vessel of a returned Stormont should be rocked, even occasionally, by inclement political weather conditions, from fellow readers of your journal of protest and dissent, as well as other progressive and/or radical forces within the Six Counties and beyond. To do nothing is a strategy for fools and defeatists — to do at least something positive is the only way to confront our current political realities, in the hope that a real new dawn does dawn.

Somewhere, somehow, and by someone a beginning must be made. At least The Blanket offers some comfort by way of keeping afloat a platform for protest and dissent. What about adding the term "Co-Operation" to that masthead?




































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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



There is no such thing as a dirty word. Nor is there a word so powerful, that it's going to send the listener to the lake of fire upon hearing it.
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Index: Current Articles

9 April 2007

Other Articles From This Issue:

Alternative Ulster
Gerard Gallagher

Back to the Old RUC Ways
Martin Galvin

Cross Border Co-Operation
John Kennedy

Statement from the Morley Family
The Morley Family

Time for Truth is Now
Mick Hall

Revising the Uprising?
Paul Maguire

Easter 2007 Oration
Francis Mackey

Stormont an Obstacle to Realising Ideals of 1916
Ruairí Ó Brádaigh

Destined for the Dustbin of History
Dr John Coulter

A Beginning Must Be Made
Fionnbarra Ó Dochartaigh

Vision for Northern Ireland
Ian Eggleston

House Trained At Last
Brian Mór

Bullies Top the List
Dr John Coulter

Niall Griffiths' antidote to the 'Vomit Novel'
Seaghán Ó Murchú

Two Looks Back in Time
Dr John Coulter

Blame It On The Shinners, Bono & That Freak Sir Bob
Brian Mór

Levi's Law
Eoghan O'Suilleabhain

Facing Up to Reality of Holocaust
David Adams

The Big Bribe
John Kennedy

Everywhere The Past
Anthony McIntyre

27 March 2007

Paisley and Adams: The Ghosts of Politics Past
Brendan O'Neill

Democractically Elected Musical Chairs
Mick Hall

John Kennedy

Bun Fights & Good Salaries
Dolours Price

No New Era Yet
Republican Sinn Fein

The Cul de Sac called 'Futility'
Anthony McIntyre

Pathetic Claims
Joe McDaid

Gerry McGeough
Martin Galvin

Gerry McGeough & Political Policing
Anthony McIntyre

Miscarriage of Justice
Helen McClafferty

Racism Bridging the Sectarian Divide
Dr John Coulter

The Prince of Darkness
Anthony McIntyre

What's All the Fuss About the Veil?
Maryam Namazie



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