Bringing them in to hollow them out is a standard trick by the ruling bloc across the continents and the epochs: seduce the blood and thunder radicals into the machinations of government so that the axe of the rich can fall more easily on the neck of the poor.
The kings and queens of harem are content to have the cover provided by their new royalty loving eunuchs who will unfailingly claim that only for them matters could have been much worse. The eunuchs don’t say this because they actually believe it but because it allows them to camouflage what they know they should not have done.
There is no wrongful situation in the world, no matter how terrible, that cannot be rationalised by such a stance: war crimes, torture, murder, rape, slavery – the eunuchs can always be found to say, 4000 raped is better than 5000, the war crimes would be much worse if they were free to do them on their own: our participation lessened the effect. To the extent that it is not as bad, the rationale offered for it never quite explains the complicity of the eunuchs in the most horrendous of things. It does however reveal their limited strategic intellect, that can only allow them to be part of and not apart from. With such compliance the ruling bloc will always achieve its objectives on the basis of give a little to take a lot.
Martin McGuinness standing justifying the Tory cuts he is about to recommend was a snap shot of catastrophic republican failure. He lacked the integrity to tell the public that what his party was doing was terrible but all other avenues had been closed; that the British had snookered them, leaving them with nowhere else to go given that remaining in office was the overriding strategic priority. Nothing like that from McGuinness who instead chose to defend the assault on society’s most disadvantaged and vulnerable. He told those with serious reservations about playing Kapo to the Tories to 'to give themselves a shake': just shake the ethical thought that this is wrong out of your heads so that the real shake, the shake down of the poorest in society can go full steam ahead.
Much like the service rendered to Fine Gael by the Labour Party, the cutting edge of the IRA has become the condom of the Tory Party, something to cover the dishonourable member as it screws the poor.
Now Sinn Fein is reduced to painting a smile on the face of the rotten corpse of the republicanism it once proclaimed. The institutions could have collapsed, the public were told, even if the public have no memory of things being worse under direct rule. This is the same right-reformist logic that is at the heart of Brendan Howlin’s claim that ‘we needed a viable Government and we needed Fine Gael’s conservative instincts tempered. We’ve made difficult decisions undoubtedly.’
The excuses it seems span the continents and epochs as well.
There is no point in radicals being in these coalitions unless they can halt and then reverse cuts as a part of an uninterrupted redistribution – gradualist if there is no other way – of wealth from the top to the bottom. All that has happened in the North through the agreed draft budget is a redistribution of wealth from the poorest to the richest. Not, republican, not democratic, not radical, just obsequious kowtowing to the Tories.
The revenge of the Tories on the IRA will be the laughter of rich children. And we know who they are laughing at: the former Derry butcher boy their wealthy parents got to make the cuts they, and not the North's disadvantaged, wanted.