Sunday, September 13, 2015

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Monsieur Butterfly

  • They're butterflies because...well, he thought it was cool. They eat humansKatsura Hoshino.
Bobby Storey at today’s press conference in Belfast with his IRA as a butterfly comment might well have created much merriment among a wider audience but he is unlikely to have persuaded it that PSNI chief constable George Hamilton called it wrong with his assertion that the IRA continues to exist.

Storey despite his ability to employ self-deprecating humour probably wants his statement to be afforded a certain gravitas.
Where I differ from the chief constable, is there is no role for the IRA, the IRA has finished, the IRA has gone. I think the chief constable and other perspectives out there see this in terms of the IRA being the caterpillar that's still there, where I think it's moved on, it's become a butterfly, it's flew away, it's gone, it's disappeared and they need to evolve to that as well.

Given the company at the top table, "disappeared" was an interesting choice of phrase, but the widespread societal scepticism is unlikely to suffer such a fate. The whole outing had an inescapable element of tongue in cheek to it, to be taken as seriously as Gerry Adams’ claim to have been bouncing around naked on a trampoline with his dog. The IRA turns up to say that the IRA has not turned up because the IRA does not exist. 

Storey would have enhanced his appeal by turning up without his party leader. It simply defies possibility to insert Gerry Adams into any setting and thereby hope to infuse it with the ambience of truth. Here’s the truth and Gerry can vouch for it. The one fitting retort, yeah right.

Today's words were little more than a discursive box ticking exercise in a by now well-rehearsed peace process routine in which everybody knows their lines by rote and nobody is meant to really believe what they hear. Sinn Fein’s organised serial lying is such a feature of the political landscape, that ten out of nine people don't believe the party's denials.

Conversely, Storey is in all probability telling the truth that the PSNI arrested him on the basis of nothing.

There was no basis for arresting me. At no time during my detention did the police present anything which, in my opinion or in the opinion of my solicitor, warranted my arrest.

It would not be beyond a force that never had the promised manners put on it. For that reason I am not one of those people shaken by his seeming arbitrary arrest. Yet he persists in a strange parodying of Voltaire: I disapprove of your arrest of me but will fight to the death in defence of your right to arrest me.

While Storey claims to have been livid at his detention, he seems not to be as livid as he was at the arrest of his party leader last year. Then, unlike today, they had not gone away you know. Which opens up the suspicion that the IRA truly is a presidential guard, there to protect the interests of the president, but no other.

And then he tried to Stick this one on the media.
The people who carried out these killings are criminals; they are enemies of the republican peace strategy and the Peace Process overall. They should face due process. The only way to deal with these killings is through the criminal justice system. I repeat calls already made by my party colleagues that anyone with any information should come forward and give it to the PSNI.

Like much else about the Provisionals' acquisitions the template for this subterfuge has been plundered from the vaults of the Workers Party. Group B was officially disowned and its activities dismissed as criminal and contrary to the peaceful actions of the party. 

Even when offering sympathy to the family of Kevin McGuigan, any claim Storey might have to being genuine is tugged in the opposite direction by memories of the IRA offering sympathy to the family of Joe O’Connor ... after it had murdered him and denied responsibility for it.

Ultimately, with these things there is always the denial of the reality of the peace process as a process that is not always peaceful.

I totally reject scurrilous allegations around my arrest and the suggestion that I would do anything to damage the Sinn Féin peace project or the Peace Process that we have worked so long and hard to build and advance.

The same sort of things that were spewed out about the Northern Bank robbery. The thing about the peace process is that acts of violence have often given it oomph. It acts much like a protection racket. Those offering it have to demonstrate the need for it, whether protection or peace.

Listening to Bobby Storey today, the thought occurred that he was trying to make real the George Carlin observation that the caterpillar does all the work, but the butterfly gets all the publicity.


DaithiD said...

The analogybBrings to mind this Blanket piece :

Gorman then draws on an analogy once made by George Galloway when the Respect MP riposted Christopher Hitchens. "The Sinn Fein leadership has managed to metamorphose from butterfly into slug."

If Adams said he was never a catapillar, would anyone believe him?

strand peanut said...

If Storey says the IRA is over..

If Republicans say the current leaders have abandoned their Republican ideals..

What is this IRA that's behind it? Many point to main stays of the Provisional movement, but are these really the actions of any Republican Army?

I'm an avid reader, infrequent commentator, and not a native.. but I feel like this is an unspoken question, within the current proceedings.

Some of the Sinn Fein comments may reveal more, openly, than immediately apparent.

Niall said...

The people I have spoken too have all rallied around SF because of their inherent dislike of Unionism...whether they, SF, is telling the truth or not, is really irrelevant to them.....I personally think that SF have come out of this one smelling of roses.

AM said...

The smell of roses is in the nose of the beholder - if what is being said about the executive has any substance then the entire edifice smells like a slurry tank, with few caring if they never hear of it again.

Wolfsbane said...

Almost prophetic, ;)

"Elusive Butterfly", by Bob Lind

You might wake up some morning
To the sound of something moving past your window in the wind
And if you're quick enough to rise
You'll catch the fleeting glimpse of someone's fading shadow
Out on the new horizon you may see the floating motion of a distant pair of wings
And if the sleep has left your ears
You might hear footsteps running through an open meadow
Don't be concerned it will not harm you
It's only me pursuing something I'm not sure of
Across my dreams with nets of wonder I chase the bright elusive butterfly of love
You might have heard my footsteps
Echo softly in the distance through the canyons of your mind
I might have even called your name as I ran searching after something to believe in You might have seen me runnin'
Through the long abandoned ruins of the dreams you left behind
If you remember something there
That glided past you followed close by heavy breathing
Don't be concerned it will not harm you
It's only me pursuing something I'm not sure of
Across my dreams with nets of wonder I chase the bright elusive butterfly of love
I chase the bright butterfly of love I chase the bright butterfly of love
Bu-bu-bu-butterfly of love bu-bu-bu-butterfly of love

Robert said...


That butterfly that Bobby so furtively described, looks uncannily like this moth and with all the symbolism that goes with it.