Lately, the buzz word is “draft papers” and the fact of which draft paper came from whom, who seen and signed off, and how much solid standings these so-called draft papers had.
Now we all could be forgiven for falling asleep and turning off. It’s circus politics, we all know this. It’s about dividing the pounds, sorry I meant to say pie, and eventually when all the bluster is over the two pro-establishment parties will sit down and continue the sham up on the hill.
But while I was just having a cursory glance in the local media I stumbled across a sentence that I had to read over and over again. And it is this sentence that forms the bulk of this piece.
“During the course of those negotiations, draft papers were exchanged between Michelle O’Neill and I on an almost daily basis.
“I have a lever arch folder containing them. Some related to the Irish language, others related to the treatment of innocent victims and others to how Sinn Fein ministers would implement the military covenant”.
Yes, you read that correctly, we have heard all the sayings about SF being this and that etc etc.
This is a former Republican party that has gradually and happily eroded and abandoned all aspects of Republicanism to partake in and implement British power in the North of Ireland. Any link with the struggle that they were once aligned to, they spray their mist of revisionism in the air to hide and to shield the link from view.
The reality is this, it is a logical next step for this party to accept the British armed forces as the so-called national armed forces. And by even thinking and planning for British Sinn Fein ministers to “implement ” the military covenant, this is exactly what they are accepting.
The covenant states that the “armed forces covenant sets out the relationship between the “nation”, the “government” and the “armed forces”. It recognises that the whole nation has a moral obligation to members of the “armed forces” and their families and it establishes how they should expect to be treated.
While I expect these former Republicans to smooth things over by such statements as “there is only one army” or “the army is there when we need them.”
A serious question that needs to be asked. What army is this? The British army?
There comes a time when people need to be honest and tell the truth. Now, the Republican community may feel hurt and betrayed by this final casting off of Republicanism by former comrades but I say use it as a tool to drive forward. We are growing daily and the community is listening to our analysis. Use the anger, the hurt and galvanise it. If something is right, it’s right. It doesn’t have to be popular and it doesn’t have to sit with the status quo.
Sinn Fein may have swapped the standard of the true Republic for the scraps that fall from the butcher’s apron although they may pay lip service to the Republican dead and still shed crocodile tears to the neediest in our communities
Some of the actions directly coming from the “armed forces covenant” are;
- An introduction of a service pupil premium at £300 per child for children of service personnel.
- Setting up a fund of £3million per year rising to £6million per year to support schools catering for significant numbers of children from service personnel including children of reservists.
- The creation of a Defence Discount Card that offers members of the “armed forces community “a range of discounts on goods and services.
- The creation of the corporate covenant and this is basically to foster a strong and binding relationship between the community and business sector.
This is just a small portion of the ‘covenant’, and even from this no political organisation who would declare themselves as Republican would be even considering implementing such a covenant or should that be draft covenant..?
In lay-mans terms, it’s as easy as 123. A party sits and wields British power, they accept and support the RUC/PSNI as the acceptable armed police force that is run by MI5, so why wouldn’t they accept and support the British army?
It isn’t a million years ago that a leader of that party publicly accepted the Free State army as the legitimate army of the twenty-six counties.
So what’s next?