Thursday, May 12, 2016

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Republicanism No Choice But To 'Stand Behind The Republic'

Sean Bresnahan responds to an interview with Dr Anne McCloskey hosted on TPQ. The author is a member of the Thomas Ashe Society in Omagh.

'A United Ireland will only come by consent.'

That short extract from a recent interview with Anne McCloskey on The Pensive Quill – as her election campaign to Stormont of itself – is instructive for republicanism going forward. The 'departure' of running Independents to take their seats in Stormont was originally sold by those behind Anne's campaign as some sort of anti-establishment, republican initiative that would reap a return for groups as our own, should we row in behind it. We would not even need to declare our hand – a clever 'get out of gaol free card' for all concerned.

Despite what were to prove mislaid assurances, doled out in an effort to procure support, reality soon interjected. The pressure the establishment brings to bear on the position of those seeking election to its institutions quickly becoming apparent. Those pressures made mince-meat out of any republican sentiment attaching to Anne's campaign as it rowed away from the republican position in an effort to become electable.





Within the short space of an election campaign, her team's position shifted from supposed support for an all-Ireland referendum to an endorsement on live radio of a border poll – and as witnessed above of the notion of consent as set out by the Good Friday Agreement. She also came to argue for Britain to remain in the imperialist EU, stated her willingness to work with the PSNI and spoke about 'Northern Ireland'.

All of that would seem a clear embrace of normalisation in the hope of boosting electoral appeal – the notion of an 'anti-establishment, republican alternative' consigned to the dustbin in pursuit of electoral gain. Where have we seen that in the past and where did it lead? In all of this we see the historic conundrum republicanism is confronted by when it seeks to move from abstention. In all of this are clear lessons – lessons that need to be heeded.

None of that is a reflection on Anne McCloskey or a criticism of a woman I've heard great reports on, who I'm sure is a very personable and an honest worker – attributes likely reflected in the strength of her vote. If she supports a border poll, the authority of PSNI or taking her seat in Stormont then that is her business and she's fully entitled to do all that. No-one has ever suggested different.

But for the republicans who fronted her from behind, wooing others towards what would have been unmitigated disaster, no such entitlement should proceed. There are questions to be answered. This should not be allowed to go forward as a precedent - with talk already of 'the next time' - and thus their actions cannot be quietly brushed under the carpet. There is a duty that this be challenged.

All of this requires frank and open discussion, a learning process that sets out to guard against another shift towards reformism. For we have already seen where it ends: the abandoning of the republican position. Partition and its institutions exist to usurp Irish national self-determination. Thus the need for One Ireland One Vote in the first instance – to supplant that which the occupier sets forth as the route to change, empowering instead the national rights of our people.

Republicans should be under no illusion that a long term process, with no quick fix, lies ahead. We will face many challenges along the way – not least efforts to steer what remains of republicanism away from its core beliefs and principles to a position that can reconcile with Britain's strategic aims as opposed to ours. One Ireland One Vote must be the bulwark against that agenda and be clear in its opposition to every strata of the occupation regime.

With the rise of nationalist sentiment in the UK, long-dormant forces are again becoming relevant and the state must adapt or die. The British state is thus changing to suit its needs in the modern era. We would be remiss to expect that Ireland doesn't figure in its thinking. Thus we hear Sinn Féin talk now of an 'Agreed Ireland' as opposed to a United Ireland - a United Ireland, as hinted at by Adams, that 'will not be as traditionally imagined by republicans'.

It's important One Ireland One Vote not be shifted towards this notion, as Britain moves towards a constitutional reconfiguration of the UK state. Stormont is the thin end of the wedge. A United Ireland must be a sovereign Ireland and our campaign must hold to that core principle. Rejecting the authority of Stormont, its Border Poll, the Crown Forces and partitionist agreements born of the Crown must be our steadfast position and that is the lesson of Sinn Féin's failure. We don't need another.

One Ireland One Vote, if it hopes to succeed, must stand full square behind the Irish Republic, insisting this same Republic, the Republic of 1916, go forward from our right to national self-determination. There is no other way. There is no path to the Republic through conceding that which stands to usurp national self-determination. We must stand behind the right to self-determination; we must stand behind the Irish Republic. If not we'd be as well to rejoin Sinn Fein.

20 comments :

larry hughes said...

Sean, do you not think a few candidates for OIOV in Stormont in the naughty corner and/or councils would do you more good and give you a far greater platform than standing in the Burren of Irish politics telling everyone else they are wrong? The 1916 Societies seem to be well spread out about the place. Even if figures/votes were minimal initially surely the activity and exposure is better than the 40 years in the wilderness option? I for one am delighted at the PBP result in W. Belfast and Derry and look forward to hearing those two MLAs inject something other than an Orange or Green head count into the debates. Who knows, it may encourage unionists and nationalists to come out of the trenches in future elections. Perhaps the closest thing to Catholic Protestant and Dissenter 'coming together' has a real possibilty of emerging inside the wee-six with a confident and secure feeling unionist population. Be a shame for you lads to miss the party coz everyone else is wrong.

Steve Ricardos said...

Sean,

Have you read Sun Tzu's The Art of War?

Its an utterly brilliant book about strategy, and is still used today nearly 3000 years after it was written.

One of the central tenants is 'Adaptation'. Standing your ground is fine, but not when you are on a rock in a river that is slowly rising.

pat said...

Sean
I’ve been reading posts online from you a while now, well it’s hard not to with you flat out on the internet talking shite. As you’re clearly full of theories here’s my theory, you are an online deviant for People before profit who has for months gone out of his way to try and dirty Dr McCloskey’s campaign whilst demonizing those supporting her. This was confirmed for me when you the super chuck on facebook posted the following on April 25th. When asked to call into McCann’s office in Derry by a BS family/People before profit member you had this to say,

“ I will. I'm in Derry on Thursday evening for a meeting at half 6 but could possibly come in beforehand, if you's are open that is. I like the sound of what was said in the article and agree that a broad-based and inclusive grassroots movement - not a vanguard - is the way forward. No doubt there will be some things in your policy that I wouldn't agree with but I'd still like to know what the policy is and whether there's scope for cooperation.”

Sean, why would you consider calling into the office of a Stormont candidate and please explain this “scope for co-operation” particularly when you claim to oppose Stormont? Furthermore why you consider co-operating with a party who support abortion on demand which you claim to be opposed to? People Before profit instructed their voters in the south to give their 2nd preference votes to Sinn Fein? Another thing, what was your opinion on the comments made by your mate McCann a few weeks back when he referred to the volunteers who carried out the attacks in Birmingham as cowards and murderers? Is this not criminalising the republican struggle?

Sean you seem to make it up as you go along which is why I’m surprised that the 1916 Societies haven’t kicked you into touch before now. Your intervention during Dr McCloskey’s campaign has been questionable as are your motives. Do you even live in Derry? All this shit about hearing great things about Dr McCloskey fools no-one I’ve seen your comments which have been nothing short of disgraceful.

Can I ask a few things about this one Ireland one vote you keep posting about as it's all very vague.

To carry out a vote on national unity will you not need to deal with Stormont, Westminster & Leinster house? If not how is it proposed to circumvent these bodies?

Any change to the current position of the six counties will need ascent from the British Crown, will the 1916 societies be asking the politicians in Stormont & Leinster house to bring this forward?

Who will deal with the logistics of organising the vote?

If the Irish people do not consent to unification, where do you go from there?
Dr McCloskey as any doctor has at times to engage with groups such as the PSNI. If you had a car accident would you not have to engage with the psni for insurance purposes, does this mean you will work with the psni?



On a positive note, your article has tonight has given me the impetus to post on this site which I love reading by the way.

larry hughes said...

The 1916 Societies to my mind are a re-run of O'Donovan Rossa's Phoenx Societies. Forward thinking rather than backward is needed but that argument has been done to death so I'll leave it there. The Societies should engage with everyone. They should also begin building an electoral profile and machine. Hiding behind a professed republican purity didn't work for the 1950s campaign or RSF. Republicanism is a tried and tested recipe for failure. It always ends up in constitutional politics. Cut to the chase with a more assertive, coherent and unashamed brand of Irish nationalism. Engage in the political reality of 2016. What do any of us know about life post famine when the Phoenix Societies were radicalising the nation? SF will sooner or later have to deal with the demise / retirement of Amdams and McGuinness. I can't wait to witness that. You guys are already busy on the ground Sean. It would in my opinion be a mistake to set yourselves up as a one issue outfit like an anti-H-Block campaign. What happens, when or if as Pat points out, any eventual vote goes against you? ENGAGE and be progressive and forward thinking like the SNP. To me that is the way forward and the challenge you face. Positivity and articulation of what is good about your case. Not lifting the wee 1918 1st Dail 'ball' as if that is some holy grail and huffing in the corner. Get into the 'naughty corner' with the radicals. As for Eire Nua, do it with what is available, Stormont and the Dail. Remould them rather than throwing the baby out with the bath water. Let the Brits fund things in the meantime, or do republicans not accept their dole? Nothing ever turns out as we plan, or very rarely anyhow. Work with what is there already and start by improving that.

Henry JoY said...

Sean

if viewed from a perspective of a doctrinaire Irish Republican much of what you say is correct. Sure the republic proclaimed was sovereign and indefeasible. And partition flies in the face of the proclaimed republic; as does, of course, participation in elections to 'illegal assemblies'.

But here's your problem Sean ... there are doctrinaire republicans and there are cultural republicans. And the cultural republicans far out-number the doctrinaire ones. Think of it like this Sean, there are cultural Catholics and doctrinaire Catholics. We've just had a recent census in the South and there are people who don't go to Mass except for family funerals and such like and still will nominate themselves as Catholics. There are many Mass-goers, some of them who go daily, but don't hold with the family planning constraints of Humanae Vitae. There are many practising Catholics who favour abortion in cases of rape and foetal abnormality; just as there are cultural Catholics who oppose it. Theoretically, Catholicism is a dogmatic church but nonetheless, in a lived sense and in the real world, it functionally still remains a broad church. There are parallels here between Irish Republicanism and Irish Catholicism and you just don't get that nor do you seem to want to get it. You're like an old arch-deacon banging on the pulpit by day and crying in his whiskey by night!

The divergence between functional and dogmatic republicanism is an old story Sean (and one I regrettably participated on the wrong side of for far too long myself). In the past, brother literally fought against brother over it in a civil war and the idealists lost then too. In '26, '86 and a couple of times in between the pragmatists jettisoned the idealists, jettisoned the idealists and left them with their dogma and not much else.

You may self-righteously cling to your sterile theology Sean but alas save whatever comfort you guys glean from unflinching adherence to it, it no longer has significant appeal or purchase for most pragmatic people as they face the daily challenges of life. They don't see any viable or functional potency in what ye have to offer. In the same way as the people reject an out-dated catholic dogma they reject your offerings and relevance. They may express a preference for unity in some sort of ad hoc plebiscite in much the same way as they might record themselves as catholic on a census form but there's no more substance to any of the Societies' meanderings than that. And that's the sad truth of the matter.

sean bres said...

'Pat', the reason I said I would call into the Derry office of PBP was firstly because I was asked to by the woman whose thread you were reading, Kate Nash, and secondly for no other reason than to see what was meant by the claim in an article she shared, that PBP policy was for an all-Ireland republic and whether OIOV was compatible with their thinking on that. When I asked what was meant by the article she said to call in, there's nothing more to it. OIOV is something I'd cooperate with anyone on, for otherwise, as Steve suggested, it will prove 'a rock in a rising river'.

As for the idea I've demonised Anne's campaign or her supporters that's pure nonsense. What I've at all times said is that if republicans are prepared to endorse candidates to Stormont they should explain how they think it will benefit the wider republican project and be prepared to debate it with their critics. Hardly 'disgraceful' as you allege when it's precisely the lack of debate and people moving unseen from the public but pushing changes in direction that led the Shinners to where they ended. But Anne McCloskey of herself can do what she likes and embrace any policy she likes - including a border poll. It's her right, just as its the right of Sinn Fein or the SDLP to do likewise.

Maybe you think it wise for republicans to campaign for candidates to Stormont who will take their seats and endorse a border poll, that this is a move in the right direction. I don't - especially when none of the thinking has been explained - and see it as no different to supporting Sinn Fein. But do I have a gripe with those who actually support Sinn Fein - or even the members of their party? Of course not. I have an issue with their policy, as I do with that of SDLP. Look forward to hearing more from you.

sean bres said...

Larry, what you argue for may be well and good but for me it won't work - we only need to look at Sinn Fein. Why would we turn out any different? Personally, I'm not prepared to invest my time in a project guaranteed to end in the same failure. It's not politics I'm interested in but one thing alone: getting Britain out of Ireland. A OIOV referendum, if we could ever get one, could do that. The reformist route won't. Rather than waste our time even attempting it we'd be better just to vacate the stage for those already on that path. As I said in the article, we would honestly be as well to rejoin Sinn Fein. What you describe is exactly what they are doing, so that option already exists.

Peter said...

Larry
Sean is an ideological purist, but he is young and will learn the futility of such a position in time. We have argued and reasoned with him but remains 'unshakeable'. You are right in what you say about 'republicanism' it has become a word synonymous with failure and division. It is a similar story with the word 'socialism'. Somebody should tell the IRSP!!!!

larry hughes said...

Sean

I don't anticipate PBP being the same as SF. The puritan approach will get you very little in the way of support. But it is your call. On the bright side, there is a wee place called Skellig Michael and there are enough bee-hive huts there for you lads to have one each. Watch the world flow by overhead. Opting out only gives career politicians a free run. I hope PBP show some real initiative and let people see there is a better, less self-serving and less corrupt way in politics.

sean bres said...

Peter, I am neither an ideologue or a purist. If you read the article how it was intended it makes clear that once electoralism comes into the equation it brings its own set of pressures, which end up reshaping policy. That is my difficulty and not whether an action contradicts the Gospel according to Patrick Pearse. It's worth reading again an extract from John Crawley's speech over the grave of the Bold McElwain at Easter. He spoke of how Britain wants republicans playing her game, according to her rules, and will even pay you to secure that strategic end:

'The British can be quite practical. If you oppose the British state in what they consider the wrong way they may imprison or kill you. But the British will pay you a salary and expenses to oppose them if you agree to become bound by their terms and conditions.'

Now why would they do that? Because the British learnt that the best way to secure their rule in Ireland is to normalise the political environment. Co-opting Irish nationalists now represents best practice. As Ruairi Ó Bradaigh rightly spoke of in advance of the talks, 'we've had the coercion, now it's time for compromise'. That is the cycle of British state strategy. That republicans are there - at Stormont - in opposition matters not. In fact it suits even better at this point as it will help rebalance a flagging system. That is all Gerry Carroll and Eamon McCann will achieve and the same applies no matter who we elect.

That said, the campaign in question is only relevant to me from a republican perspective, despite the insinuations of 'Pat' last night that I somehow have it in for Anne McCloskey. Why would I, I don't even know her. What I do know is her campaign and how it developed offers solid evidence of the sheer futility of supporting Stormont candidates. When at the first hurdle they turn round and sign what amounts to a pledge of loyalty to Her Majesty’s government strategy there is simply no good reason why we should entertain this craic again - next time or any time. Let those who say otherwise lay out their strategy and challenge that thinking - instead of casting aspersions from the safety of an unknown profile. My comments - as has been the case throughout the articles I've written - relate to that and nothing more. They have never been aimed at Anne McCloskey.

larry hughes said...

Sean
SF 'took-out' the SDLP because they didn't want 30 years of jail, murder and mayhem to be a wave upon which the SDLP surfed to glory having played no physical part in the war. Are you consigning yourself to the political wilderness and confining your 1916 Societies to a mere pressure group for an Irish reunification referendum? Can you in all good concience not see that should you succeed you merely do the donkey work like republicans in the past who were then executed and interned by former comrades who in turn paved the way for reptiles like Charlie Haughey and Ahern? Politics is a filthy game and love, loath or care zero for SF, at least they attempted to make a venture into the political constitutional arena count for their members. Or those who remained loyal to the Belfast mafia in any case.

If you are republican then focus on the wee 6 and your Protestant brothers. I do think PBP have an oportunity to make a difference. If only in thawing the mindset a little. I absolutely do not think sitting huffing about 1916 or the 1918 election cuts any ice or mustard. The statement 'we have had the coercion now it's time for compromise' applies equally to the PIRA campaign in unionist eyes I imagine. The bottom line is for the wee 6 it requires life-support either from the UK or the EU. It cannot stand alone. Dublin doesn't want it. Those sewer rats in the Dail are gearing up to fleece the EU again as soon as they get the green light to do so.

Take a drive around your own town or any other North or South. Look at all the big houses. Good luck at those doors with the campaign. It is all about allocation of funds Sean the conflict is over. Dissos can dress up for holloween or a hundred drug-gang related fnerals, it matters not. PBP hopefully will give voters an alternative. It is an indication of exactly what the Adams strategy is that West Belfast voted the way it did. 'The people' aint stupid. West Belfast gave Adams and SF everything, he walked out on them for Louth and the Dail. Left them worse than ever. Republican ideals don't put food in the fridge nor supply a wage slip or P60 to anyone bar those in the security sector.

As for your input into the election. Candidates put themselves forward and are open to opinion good and bad. As on here we dish it out and take it. A lot of it is just flannel, sculduggery or personal opinion. I don't take it any more serious than a natter over a few pints in the local boozer and it has as much importance and impact. The political arena is a public space. Say as you see fit Sean. It is not a private club. Unless yer elected. Then yer 'in'.

sean bres said...

On the contrary Larry, what I've said throughout is that the historical record demonstrates where such ventures end. Those who argue we should try the non-abstentionist approach should spell out how and why things will be different 'this time' and how their strategy can further the republican project - if they seriously expect others to second what they're doing that is. They need to be clear and make a clear case, rather than politicking from behind the scenes. That has been shown in this election as nowhere near good enough. In the absence of the open and forthright discussion required any such initiative will almost certainly end up where the McCloskey campaign did, seconding the British means to achieve Irish Unity - which in fact serve to block it.

As I said above, it's not a matter of the Gospel according to Pearse, it's a matter of game theory and knowing where your opponent wants to take you and why. John Crawley has been driving at this in recent times and for obvious reasons. Any strategy to go forward must be conscious of that, the British strategy, if it hopes to achieve anything other than to further bolster the British presence in Ireland. Nothing should be ruled out but there must be rigorous debate with all criticism not only permitted but embraced. Without that it's a total waste of time. Allowing for it may well mean that the overtures are rejected but if it doesn't proceed in that manner we will only veer away from the project over time, as history shows us time and time again.

pat said...

Sean

I insinuated nothing you have had it in for Dr McCloskey whilst cheering on People before profit from the start of her campain. Have you friends in People before profit is that it? Where they making the balls as you fired them, as I saw a few photos of you and Eamon McCann on your facebook?

In your status above in relation to Dr McCloskey's intentions to stand again you say,”This should not be allowed to go forward as a precedent - with talk already of 'the next time' - and thus their actions cannot be quietly brushed under the carpet. There is a duty that this be challenged” Answer me Sean who are the they? Dr McCloskey stood as an independent, I voted for her as an independent therefore are you referring to the Sinn Fein' dirty propaganda that she has disputed? What is a joke is your suggesting republicans need to answer to you despite you considering co-operating with People before profit during the election even with their Mla's derogatory references to the volunteers involved in Birmingham.

In your response to me you say you wanted to “see what was meant by the claim in an article she shared, that PBP policy was for an all-Ireland republic and whether OIOV was compatible with their thinking on that”. Answer me Sean when checking out the “scope for co-operation” where you acting on behalf of the 1916 societies?

With you deliberately taking Dr McCloskey's remarks about the peelers out of context I asked you the following question, If you had a car accident would you not have to engage with the psni for insurance purposes, does this mean you will work with the psni?

If you were aware that someone had been raped would you encourage the victim to go to the peelers?

If the victim did go to the peelers would that suggest that person was “showing a willingness to work with the PSNI?

It's people like you who would stop victims from coming forward with your one size fits all attitude. I'm no supporter of the peelers but theres a difference between showing a willingness to engage with them and needing to engage with them. People in the real world recognise this.

Before I go what's People before profits position on working with the peelers? Did you ask when investigating the “scope for co-operation?

larry hughes said...

Sean

I'm fed up with a dolite lifestyle. But until someone hands me the Euro Millions win I know I desrve I'm fucked if I'll work ever again. Not much of a manifesto is it?

sean bres said...

Maybe you haven't grasped it yet 'Pat'. As I said earlier, my comments - both in this instance as with all the other articles I've written - are not and have never been aimed at Anne McCloskey. So to deal with your point, I don't care if Anne McCloskey stands again or not and it is of no concern to me. Should people running her campaign try again though to drag the 1916 Societies into it then that's another story and THAT'S the precedent that shouldn't be set. That is what has been the focus of my 'intervention' as you described it but I think we both already know that. Your aim is clearly to muddy the waters.

You can comment from behind an unknown profile to appear as though you're simply a watching bystander, who merely voted for Anne, but it's plain that this is far, far from the case. That you have taken the trouble to stalk my Facebook tells me you are more than a casual observer. Come out from behind the safety of your cover and debate openly. Otherwise no-one should take you for anything other than a troll - which you obviously are. For all I or anyone else knows of you you're sitting mixing from Palace Barracks - something others have already suggested elsewhere 'Pat'. My wife and family got our photo taken with Eamonn at a rally for Palestine by the way. I didn't realise that was a crime. Keep digging...

pat said...

Hi Sean,
So for asking a few questions based on your article I'm a stalker based at Palace Barracks? And if my aim was to muddy any water then your answers to the questions should blow me out of that water. I know little about the 1916 societies, and this one ireland vote thing you've being writing about. From being, to use your words, a casual observer it seems that there's not been a lot of thought given to this vote but please do point me to a link with more information on it. I've read this one you published on TPQ - http://thepensivequill.am/2016/04/one-ireland-one-vote-challenge-to.html but im still none the wiser on it.

As an independent I'm sure Dr McCloskey was running her own election campaign, unless you're now saying she wasn't an independent? This was among other nonsense being spread by shinners and was something she addressed in the derry papers.

Sean you and the 'others elsewhere' keep wearing them wee tin foil hats and if you as PRO of the 1916 societies aren't capable of answering questions in response to an article you have published on a public forum then can I suggest 2 things, they should either get a new PRO, or you should stop having articles published. I didn't realise asking questions was a crime, well unless you subscribe to the sinn fein point of view.

sean bres said...

'Pat', you are quite obviously in some way involved with Anne McCloskey's set-up, your earlier comments make that clear for the discerning reader. That you are mouthing about me is one thing - I don't really care when all's said and done - but that you cast aspersions and are attempting to smear Eamonn McCann and PBP is another story and very revealing. You and your insidious agenda are obvious and you've some neck to be calling anyone a 'disgrace'.

To go trolling through two years worth of my Facebook and to be paying such close attention to my comments on social media tells me and others reading this thread that you are no 'casual observer' and have something at stake. Why else would you go to that extent? No better than the Shinners - indeed there is every likelihood that you ARE the Shinners and up to the usual mixing we get on here from them from time to time. It's equally as likely you're at work for those who hope to protect their investment in that party - namely British Intelligence. And, of course for the same reason: to mix. One way or the other you're no bystander.

As with everything I've said previously, that connects to you and you alone - not Anne McCloskey. It seems that needs to be made clear. If indeed you are not a plant from Connolly House or Palace Barracks then you'll reveal yourself and stand over your comments. Otherwise debate the ideas and speak nothing further on my person - you forfeit that right when you choose to hide who you are.

goot said...

maybe his name is just - pat. i knew a bloke called pat once and that was his entire name - just pat.

goot said...

i wonder is it the pat i knew.

sean bres said...

'Pat' - or whoever he really is - seems to have disappeared but there is one thing I'd like to add. You seem to believe I had it in for Anne McCloskey and sought to undermine her, all to aid Eamonn McCann and PBP. That is the disgusting slur you attached to those involved in Eamonn's campaign - as if they would stoop to that low - something I'd venture would not be beyond the like of yourself. It is also pure nonsense. As I said earlier, your comments are quite revealing for those paying attention to their detail.

Read through my articles and read through my Facebook as far back as your heart desires. When you come to the part I attacked or attempted to undermine Anne McCloskey then get back to me. Anne McCloskey can run in any election she wants on whatever policy she wants. Why would it be of any more concern to me than would be the case say if it were Colm Eastwood or Martin McGuinness? Quite simply, it is not.

My comments and articles, both here and on Facebook, have at all times been concerned, not with Anne McCloskey, but with others who would have had people out campaigning for candidates to Stormont with no clear analysis of what they hoped to achieve and how it could advance Irish Unity. That is the long and the short of it and we can see where it would have ended if we'd partaken: with the border poll and 'consent' being advanced as the means to secure Irish Freedom and with ourselves linked into it all.

That is what I suggested cannot be allowed to go forward but Anne McCloskey, as an individual, an Independent or however we might look at it - as indeed anyone else for that matter - can do whatever they like. This is not about her nor them and it never has been. But something tells me you already know that and thus your disappearance.