The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent
Belief in Santa Claus
Tommy Gorman • Irish News, 17.11.03

I apologise for any delay in replying but I am grateful for J. Riordan’s contribution, Irish News October 23. I am, however, at a disadvantage, as he/she claims to know me and be sufficiently acquainted to offer some value judgements on my politics past and present. He/she is wrong, however, on several fronts. To save space and time I’ll deal with that which is perhaps the biggest spoof i.e. that I fail to “get my head round the strategy of holding out the hand of friendship to Unionists”.

Since 1991 I have been involved in initiating and developing good working relationships between nationalists and unionists within the communities on the Springfield / Shankill interface. In the early days my work was not universally accepted, to say the least, within the Provo family. Indeed a senior Shinner dubbed me “half-a-prod” for my efforts.

Ten years later I was to come face to face with this same man, this time across an interview table when I was short-listed for a post in a cross community project that offered counselling to those who suffered trauma during the conflict. As it transpired he was Chair of this particular project. Needless to say I didn’t get the job as he adjudged me to be “too confrontational”. I wonder was the irony lost on him?

To finish I would to pose a few questions to J. Riordan “secular socialist” and anyone else still within the ranks who perceive the ‘Movement’ to be anything close to socialist.

Q: How do ye feel when Sinn Fein leaders “ready and willing to administer British rule in Ireland” are party to the closure of hospitals?

Q: In the face of the fact that Sinn Fein has accepted contributions from Coca Cola, do you support the boycott of this drink organised throughout the world?

Q: Where do ye stand on the issue of Public Private Partnerships and Private Finance Initiatives, where private companies are allowed to accrue massive profits from the education and health provision budgets?

Q: How many left wing parties has the U.S. administration supported and their leaders feted in the White House? Anyone receiving an endorsement from that particular source is most often termed ‘contra’.

Q: Where ye not in the least bit discomfited when Sinn Fein leaders attended the World Economic Forum in New York in February of 2002 where they were ensconced in $1,500.00-a-night suites at the Waldorf Astoria whilst tens of thousands of anti-globalisation protesters paraded in the street below their windows?

Q: Do ye agree when Gerry O’Hara tells the moguls of Wall Street that “we have no problem with capitalism”?

Q: In the face of all of the above, how come the number of ‘socialists’ is, according to Ms./Mr. Riordan, actually increasing within Sinn Fein?

Q: How many of these same people believe in Santa Claus?

What J. Riordan cannot get her/his head around is that the Provos, in all their guises, offer neither threat to the socio-economic or constitutional status quo nor hope to ‘those noble people of no property’.













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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



All censorships exist to prevent any one from challenging current conceptions and existing institutions. All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequently the first condition of progress is the removal of censorships.
- George Bernard Shaw

Index: Current Articles

18 November 2003


Other Articles From This Issue:


Interview with Eamon McCann
Anthony McIntyre


SEA Foyle Election Manifesto


Towards True National Liberation

Liam O Comain


Belief in Santa Claus
Tommy Gorman


Getting It All Wrong
Liam O Ruairc


Castlewellan Arrests
Green Party


Inductive Writing Doesn't Make It So
Marty Egan


All Animals Are Equal, But Some Are More Equal Than Others
Sean Smyth


Authentic Americans - US Martyrs Pose Questions for John Negroponte
Toni Solo


Call for Boycott
Palestinian Academics


14 November 2003


Belfast Agreement Postpones Cure for British Problem
Liam O Comain


Further Problems at Maghaberry Gaol
Martin Mulholland


Luis Eduardo Garcia Interviewed

Anthony McIntyre


Choosing Sides in Iraq
Mick Hall


The Taboo of Racism So Subtle
Davy Carlin


Left Unity Meeting


Thessaloniki Prisoners On Hunger Strike
Anarchist Prisoner Support


Death Fast in 4th Year
DHKP-C Prisoners’ Organisation




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