I agree with a lot of points Connal Parr has made , especially regarding the aspect that SF know a united Ireland is as far away as us uniting with China !! I suspect by the end of the 1980′s SF/IRA knew that they couldn’t budge the British , militarily speaking , furthermore the jailing of many IRA men didn’t help their cause either : many from the next generation refused to follow thousands to go to jail from W/C Catholic areas and the volume of attacks carried out by the IRA became less frequent . They tried to cover it up by saying words like spectacular etc: , the truth was though , they lacked the manpower they previously used to have by the bucket load !! Furthermore , Loyalism and especially the UVF played a major part in creating uneasy tensions for the IRA within their own communities by attacking that community in retaliation for attacks on our Crown forces and our way of life in general . Yes they did change tactics , but only after their surrender/ceasefire was declared and dissent started to rise throughout the ranks of the PIRA. Hardliners wasted no time in showing their disdain towards the Adams inspired ceasefire (Canary Wharf and Manchester vouch for that) .
Once they saw an opportunity to engage in violence they used that , as seen with the shootings of Dougan and another Loyalist in Dunmurry and the DAAD operations . It is evident that Adams and his supporters won the battle for hearts and minds and peace swept through the Republican movement eventually , culminating with a well fought victory over the SDLP at the election polls with McGuinness put in place for Deputy First minister of a country he viewed as the enemy not that very long before. Changing to the cultural strategy it is without doubt something SF have been working on since around the ceasefires , the policies and agendas they took interest in didn’t happen overnight : parading for example were residents groups to oppose parading are headed up by hardline IRA men or redundant IRA men –whatever way you want to look at it . This alone set the trend for the years ahead , lets challenge Unionism/Loyalism at the very heart , and so they did !
I can list many things they’ve attacked from the RUC , Army , right down to the flying of the Union Jack over our capital city , all of which was done to massage their inferiority complex as they talk about being equals etc: but will try and strip away anything with a Crown or indeed anything that represents unionism. They talk about the symbols inside the City Hall being all Unionist and what’s the problem with the removal of Union Jack ?–Yet the Union Jack symbolizes the national identity to anyone visiting our great city . Tourists must wonder where they are when they see no flag flying , are they in the UK or not ? The answer is— absolutely !! SF think and try and bluff voters with false promises —Belfast is green etc: , yet they forget 75% of East Belfast is in Castlereagh Borough Council and that when it comes to Westminster , Unionism outvotes Nationalism by around 10% of the electorate in Belfast alone. These facts are all hidden from any Sinn Fein election pamphlet . I expect to see many more challenges to the Crown , to Unionism/Loyalism and our right to remain part of the UK in the next decade , but it will all be fruitless given SF know very well that they’ve misled their voters and the IRA men they promised a united Ireland to almost 20 years ago . The 20th anniversary of the IRA ceasefire is approaching yet there is still no sign of a united Ireland , not by a long shot ( excuse the pun ) . We must challenge their strategists and create the same environment for SF as they have for us —the cultural war is upon us and it is time we stepped up to the mantle and took the bull by the horns before the DUP cave in entirely to SF and give away concession after concession . As for the IRA trying to paint their cause as just and only their cause , we’ve far too many atrocities carried out against our community to let that happen . It is time for loyalism and Unionism to wake up and fight back . I suggest starting the fight with the Maze shrine —that would be an almighty spanner to throw into their works —lets cut their culture off at the head before it has even developed !!!
The Mad Monk