Friday, December 5, 2014

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Haw Haw & Hee Haw

Bobby Storey has given an interview to the Andersonstown News in which he faithfully parroted the party line about the rise of Sinn Fein while lashing out at the dastardly plotting of just about everybody else supposedly involved in a giant conspiracy to stymie the ascent. He also had a go at myself.

Nothing much to feign surprise about there. Every now and then the Andersonstown News provides a platform to my critics. In 2003 Freddie Scapatticci was allowed to have a pop and blame me for his woes in being unmasked as a British agent. This time the baseball bat has been passed to Storey so that he too might hand out a good hiding and seek to blame me as a means of deflecting attention away from the uncomfortable fact that the British police force he politically supports – and which I do not – arrested him. 

I never like to see people arrested by the British police on foot of republican related activity. For that reason I dissent from Gerry Kelly’s endorsement of PSNI recruitment of informers for the purpose of furbishing the British with information about republicans, even when my views and those of the arrested republicans diverge quite sharply. Informing the British police about republican activity is instinctively a loathsome act and no republican could find themselves in agreement with Gerry Kelly when he views the recruiting of informers as a meritorious activity. 

I am also quite uncomfortable when people are arrested ostensibly in relation to the Boston College project, whether it be Gerry Adams, Ivor Bell or Bobby Storey. It is not what the oral history project was about. Unlike Sinn Fein, I am never to be found in the line up calling for the British to be provided with the information they require in order to effect arrests of anyone involved in republican activity, past or present. No longer in possession of the slightest fidelity to armed republican activity it is just plain old fashioned conscientious objection.

The Storey conversation with his police hosts helps tease out a paradox at the heart of the Sinn Fein critique of the Belfast project.  Storey, a prominent figure in Belfast Catholic militia circles, (Peadar O’Donnell once caustically observed ‘we don't have an IRA battalion in Belfast, we have a battalion of armed Catholics') claims to have been allowed by his hosts to either listen to tapes, or to the transcripts of tapes being read to him by detectives.

This makes something of a nonsense of the very public Sinn Fein smear campaign fronted by Danny Morrison which was designed to cast the Belfast project participants in the worst possible light as informers.

If the people on tape were regarded as informers by the cops their identity would not have been made known to Storey unless this is collusion peace process style, between London and the people to whom they have subcontracted out the administering of British rule in the North.

After all the British state demonstrated just what lengths it was prepared to go to in the Sandy Lynch kidnapping trial by quashing convictions rather than reveal the identity of their senior agent at the heart of the case. It was not Freddie Scappaticci they were covering for, given that his role in the incident is universally acknowledged.

This was not the only clumsy contradiction that came to the fore as a result of Storey’s arrest. Via his wooden discourse vented in the Andersonstown News, the chair of Sinn Fein in the North prised open a window through which the strains in his party's position on policing can be viewed.

He accused the PSNI of political policing and promised to work to make them accountable. Which amounts to this: Sinn Fein signed up to politically driven unaccountable policing and withheld that information from those they had endorse the decision at a special ard fheis. As Christopher Hitchens might have said, rightly are the simple so called.

On a less sombre note, Storey's comment that what the police shared with him during their chat 'was like listening to Walter Mitty and Billy Liar being interviewed by Lord Haw Haw' titillates the mind with the possibility of endless permutations: Danny Morrison interviewed an interchangeable Gerry Adams; Jim Gibney interviewed both Adams and Morrison.  If Storey really meant Lord Hee Haw, we would just assume Tom Hartley had interviewed two of the other three.


Feel te love said...

Mackers I was unaware of there being another tout in relation to Sandy Lynch. I do remember the overwhelming feeling that Morrison was a tout when his conviction was quashed. I believe if he was a tout he was never supposed to have been caught and that would have been a headache for any handlers and of course himself.

There have always been situations when touts had to be jailed and they have just carried on touting while inside. Danny pobably knew he was going to have to do time or be exposed. On the plus side for him he would have been told to expect a big fat check for his sacrifice for queen and country. Did he recieve compo/wages for time served?.

It truly is amusing how things work out, in this place. I had to abandon long ago getting caught up in the detail of what happened between A & B, as the outcomes often dont match up with the evidence presented.

gerry Kelly endorsing the use of informants.. You know what they did to touts iside Mackers, the IRA leadership within the jails used this to subdue those in question and used them as to whatever end the IRA leadership required. More times than not they were used against those who displayed a willingness the think for themselves, the collective dont like thinkers, especially when you are thinking out loud.

You can bet any information gleaned from the castlereagh break in was used to subdue and steer. I wonder how many touts are now recieving the average industrial wage.

larry hughes said...

Scap got a bad deal and a bad press. Had he hung about a few extra years he would have been given a medal by Kelly-Storey and Co. Storey is now part of an agenda that has deliberately turned SF/Provos into a massive British pseudo gang. Kitson could never have dreamed of it.

marty said...

Bob the brains has said that "he will work to make the psni accountable" I,m sure his partner will be glad to hear this as she is indirectly employed by said force, Restorative Justice Ireland, not to be confused with Research Services Ireland another completely different con job by the usual suspects, their quality of leadership has been shown to be something else on two occasions following brutal murders by cronies of Gerry Itwasntme and Bob Doh Brains they called for people to tout on the perpetrators of those vile deeds but years later not a single person has been charged,I suppose its a bit like Pete the punt telling Irish to keep her knickers on ..

Simon said...

I find that constant referral to the leadership and others in Sinn Fein as being informers or sheep takes strength away from the arguments criticising Sinn Fein policy and practice.

Now, Gerry Kelly might support the use of informers but this doesn't make him an informer any more than any other person who supports the use of informers be they SDLP or Sticks or the ordinary man in the street. A better argument, as has been articulated, is that he isn't a Republican or is much less of one.

I support Sinn Fein but don't give them a blank cheque. I support policing in so far as it deals with crime and doesn't exploit crime like it did in the past to enable petty, vindictive prosecutions against the spirit of the GFA today for example.

I don't support the use of informers since it jeopardises people's lives, exploits individuals and turns a blind eye to serious anti-social crimes to pressure those perpetrators into a blind alley of a double life as well as other bribery, blackmail and pressure. Even if the informer is completely and enthusiastically a spy it exploits his right to life in a squalid intelligence war where grey is the colour of choice.

Every organisation is compromised to one level or another so there has to be informers in Sinn Fein. But blaming policy on this by exaggerating the extent of the infiltration is unnecessary, specious, and detracts from any valuable, worthwhile debate.

As for painting the others in Sinn Fein as sheep it is untrue as most of them are intelligent, aware people who have decided for themselves what political direction they take. They are just as intelligent as their detractors and accusations of blindly acting at the behest of a leadership again detracts from powerful, solid criticism.

I say this with respect for people who articulate opposing views but I have no respect at the times when the same people make baseless statements based on hearsay and rumour. Better to attack policy on the grounds of principle than character assassination based on wishful thinking.

I had no individual in mind writing this neither accuser nor accused as it is a current trend which has seriously hampered debate.

AM said...


it would probably have made a better article in its own right than a comment.

Simon said...

Sorry Anthony, I will delete it. I suppose it is a different argument than that at hand. I don't suppose many people get to the end of a long comment at any rate.

Dixie1916 said...

Mackers yet again a brilliant retort but don't expect the AN to carry it! If Storey et al didn't have you as the big bad wolf it would be somebody else. Next thing they will blame you for them having to impose their Thatcherite cuts across the wee six! Keep up the good work and as the old saying goes "dont let the bastards get you down"

frankie said...


It's not Gerry Kelly might support the use of informers..

Gerry Kelly is on record this week, live on air saying he supports the use of informers and on his twitter feed he call's in to question the use of informers during the conflict. It sounds like double speak..

My problem with Gerry Kelly on the issue of using informers is he's wrong on every level. He's an elected to represent North Belfast. He's a member of the policing board. With his ear to the ground. Why doesn't he do his own dirty work..? He's ok for a 18, 19 or 20 yr old to be faced with the police saying "hey tell you what, we'll drop the charges, give you a few sheckles every week and report to us". Then what... The person get's compromised or is expendable, then exposed as a 'tout' and one day at 9am the news breaks a body has been found in some alley or country lane and one of the PFR groups issue a statement saying "He was a tout"..

First thing that will happen is Gerry Kelly (who agrees with informers and encourages people to inform) will scream from the rafters about the killing...

AM said...


best not deleted as it would only render meaningless the responses following it. But it is a thoughtful comment and in my view merits a wider airing. So I think you should submit it as a piece with whatever tweaking or adjustments you might feel necessary.

Tain Bo said...

My take on the interview and what was really played.

The Provo sing along with PSNI "Backing" vocals Sing along

1:41 in Adams forever blowing bubbles

larry hughes said...


Just more chasing of ones own tail in ever decreasing circles to justify continued support for SF. Mind you don't vanish up your own arse soon.

If SF form a government in the Dail, Mi5 will be running the 32 counties. Ever consider that?

Simon said...

Larry, I didn't once justify my support for Sinn Fein in my comments. I mentioned it as an honest indication of where I was coming from.

I am not a member of Sinn Fein and never have been. I have serious difficulty with much of what they say and do.

They are the least obnoxious of all the main parties and I would balance chance of success and a party's closeness to my position when considering my vote.

However, with comments like Gerry Kelly's for example I struggle with the basis of my support and have to admit it often feels as you say like I am chasing my own tail and about to vanish up my own arse.

larry hughes said...


we were all initially in a permanent tail spin trying to make sense of the wee gang at the top of that outfit. Not being able to differentiate if SF are calling people touts or calling on people to become touts is them in a nutshell. They do it with a straight face whilst denouncing historical research as touting. Johnny English was never THAT funny. Stop trying to figure it all out and just enjoy the comedy value.

marty said...

Simon a cara if we examine the evidence from a rational and calculated point then Provisional $inn £eind has traveled from a revolutionary socialist republican organisation to a royalist/loyalist capitalist establishment party a full three/sixty degree turnaround, castle catholic in short, the problem that I have with your analysis is I dont know your stating point ,what I do know however is that all the true revolutionary socialist republicans that I know have long since departed company with those carpetbaggers to whom you show a degree of fondness for , I think in time you will find them to have feet of clay and as bad as any of the corrupt shit that went before them .their programme and record for government alongside their cronies in the dup is a fucking disgrace by any standards ,their corruption is the envy of all south American banana republics,

Simon said...

Cheers for that Larry. I wish I could take your advice on board and just appreciate the comedy value. Hell, life would be easier. I might prevent myself turning myself inside out if I try to analyse things, though. You're right that it hasn't worked so far.

Marty, I wrote to Sinn Fein saying that the changes to planning law were the last straw. Ie. Allowing OFMDFM the final say in planning applications. That stank of corruption. I promised to withdraw my vote. The change was blocked though. It depends on how this story of accepting informers plays out whether I will be getting out my stationary kit again. Old voting habits are hard to change.

larry hughes said...

The contradictions in SF are becoming more exaggerated as they move further into the fold of gravy train partitionist politics. The fact they fear dumping all semblance of a republican image is probably due to a fear of a genuine unashamed advanced nationalist movement finding its feet.

frankie said...

Hee Hee Haw Haw

Made me laugh

"SINEAD O’CONNOR HAS announced that she’s applied to join Sinn Féin.
The controversial singer announced on her blog that she plans to join the opposition party as she would “like to see a proper socialist Ireland”.

larry hughes said...

Jesus wept. She sure knows here socialism then.

Simon said...

Frankie, does this move by Sinead O'Connor improve my support for Sinn Fein or weaken it? Hard to tell. ;)

larry hughes said...

Really hope the independents can show some solid evidence of an ability to work together otherwise SF may force us to go through the inevitable process of allowing them to prove to the gullible and desperate what we already expect is coming. Namely them in a partnership in the Dail possibly with FG (says it all really) before the electorate accepts that SF are clueless self servers too, just like the people we are fed up with already.

Masochistic race the Irish at home.

frankie said...

Simon I've managed to stop some people giving their support and votes to PSF.

I'm still trying get my head around what you said and hopefully in a day or two I'll get a reply in an article to TPQ...

I'm seriously struggling why anyone would vote PSF today.. The logic is lost on me

Niall said...

I suppose another angle to view Storey's remarks from is that all those characters he used to describe what he heard on tape are all well known characters known to have been liars or people who stretched the truth to unbelievable limits.....if that is the case, then how was Storey able to discern that they were lying?