The only party to call to the door up to now in the election campaign has been Fine Gael. We chatted amiably to one of its canvassers as he tried to persuade us of the merits of casting a vote the way of Fergus O’Dowd. We were assured that it was the one way to ensure Gerry Adams didn’t top the poll.

Why he decided to impart that piece of opinion our way I don’t know. I doubt if he knew anything about us or our animus towards Sinn Fein. He presumably tells most of those he calls with the same thing. Perhaps he believes our neighbourhood is not a Sinn Fein redoubt and that any adversarial comments about Adams are unlikely to produce a ‘clear off from the door’ response. For sure we would rather have him at the door than Sinn Fein. Last time they turned up it was to lead a Belfast hate mob screaming that we were heretics for not believing their lies.

A few nights after the Fine Gael canvass something from Sinn Fein was found lying in the hall. Although I phrased that as if it was planted there, a la a booby trap bomb, it in fact came in the post. It was a brace of computer generated leaflets addressed to both myself and my wife. Her tolerance level for Adams and his party is even less than my own. Then again she was six months pregnant when the party led mob fronted by a prominent member of Ugly na hEeireann came to intimidate. As I was at a political conference in Cookstown, she had to face the brunt of the abuse alone. To her with the US origins she has, Sinn Fein might as well have been just one more LA gang vying to be top dog in the ‘hood.

She pushed the leaflets across the kitchen table to as if they were something that exuded a foul odour. I almost suggested, given the derision on her face, that she could have used a stick. Being a product of the H-Blocks no-wash protest I had developed immunity to handling shit so picked up the leaflet to glance at any crap likely to be displayed on its bright shiny surface.

Across its top in bright white stencils were the words ‘THERE IS A BETTER WAY.’ Pardon my German but Vat needs to be explained is how the better way is to be found by a man who on economic matters does not seem to know vat he is talking about. It appears that just about everybody in the country, excepting the writer Jude Collins, senses that Adam’s limited economic knowledge is the Achilles’ heel of Sinn’s Fein’s hoped for forward momentum.

When the day comes I might vote; haven’t made up my mind yet, there not being a lot to choose from. Sinn Fein, for sure, have some appealing things to say but under its current leadership what it has to say this side of an election will have no bearing the other side of it when the votes have been safely gathered and we are stuck with them for another lot of years. We have already seen its false promises on the Northern cuts. When push came to shove the party pushed and shoved the cuts down the throats of society’s most disadvantaged, cutting and slashing with the rest of the political class governing on behalf of Britain.

If I do vote it will be on the basis of who knows most about economics and is most likely to give tackling our economic debacle their best shot. That inevitably means invoking the ABBA principle - Any Bollix But Adams.


  1. Anthony this post is a reminder if needed how a party that once was proud to proclaim that it was grass root led,I often wonder how the late Maura Drumm would have viewed the actions of those who call themselves the leadership today, the tactics used against yourself and Tommy Gorman were honed in the earlier days when Paddy Devlin was run out of Andersonstown, and Gerry Fitt chased from his home,the nazis used the mob in the 30,s psf in 70,s 80,s 90,s they used and abused peoples emotions and anger , the nazis,s were fascist bastards. who ended up resposible for the deaths of would be a foolish people who let these bastards get their hands on any real power

  2. Marie thinks they should change their logo th CSF Champagne sinn féin,

  3. Mackers
    seriously enjoyed the directness and self humour in that article. Good stuff.
    Had no idea of the gory details of your and Carries experience, sick fuckers.
    i was thinkin of wasting my vote, then thought vote FG wat odds? i may get my last year of university out of it. if ye cant beat the cute selfish hoors, utilize em. Glad ill be outa here next year!!

  4. Enjoyed the sentiment, Anthony. Now ABBA has three meanings, A Swedish pop group, a familiar name for God the Father, and Any Bollix But Adams, lol!

    I remember reading about the way you were treated some years ago. I didn't like it then, and I like it less now. That is uncalled for. I seem to remember it was in the context of Joe O'Connor's killing, correct me if I am wrong.

    Anyway, at least you see what way these former Republicans are acting. They have long since given up on anything noble. We need to get back to basics in Republicanism. I don't expect you to share all my views, but there is so much that we can unite on.

  5. How can anyone seriously vote PSF when they advocate Tory cuts in the north and "burn the bond-holders" in the south!!!

    You cant ride 2 horses at the same time!

    Then again i'm not surprised with anything this leadership is capable of doing!

  6. Larry,
    'Glad ill be outa here next year!!

    Where you going?

    John McGirr,
    'I don't expect you to share all my views, but there is so much that we can unite on'.

    Yes there is John. Good point!

  7. Any Bullshit But Antony's- ABBA

    Vote for the All Ireland Sinn Fein
    or vote for partion party's or vote
    for no-one- next friday the choice is yours


    You say that Sinn Fein ride two horses at once but Sinn Fein ride the wind like the pony express-
    and they will deliver.

  8. Marty,

    I agree with that. They would be a dangerous band to put in. The economic woes mean nothing to Adams, just an opportunity for more a greater accumulation of power.


    they were not averse to using the heavy hand of intimidation.


    the mob visits to our home took place immediately after the slaying of Joe O'Connor. Tommy Gorman got the same treatment. It was a concerted attempt to set an example and silence all opposition. It failed. The Blanket started the following year and was filled with the type of critique they sought to silence.


    you are not my friend anymore! I will write one specially for you called IBA - I believe Anything.

  9. Michael,

    "Vote for the All Ireland Sinn Fein or vote for partion party's or vote for no-one- next friday the choice is yours"

    But Sinn Fein are a partition party. They are on the exact same page as all the main political parties in the South in that they are in favour of a united Ireland by the consent of both jurisdictions on this island. They are willing to work in the partitionist institutions north and south of the border. Sinn Fein's running in elections in both jurisdictions doesn't change that. Besides, the Workers' Party and the Socialist Party are all-Ireland parties too - will you be giving them a stroke in the next assembly elections?

  10. MichaelHenry,

    'Sinn Fein ride the wind like the pony express'

    The only wind yous are on is full of methane. Good luck as I wouldn't be getting overly excited.


    Your treatment at the SF hordes reminds me of that old Vincent Price movie The Last Man On Earth or Night Of The Living Dead. I was back in Belfast on holiday when Joe O'Connor was shot and recall your writing in The Irish News. Agreed with what you said then and now. Hounded for telling the truth

  11. Helen
    ABBI Anywhere But Bankrupt Ireland

    yer surfing a DUP fart.

    John Magirr
    Admirable sentiment.

  12. "It was a concerted attempt to set an example and silence all opposition."


    Another cunning plan gone down the tubes, much like a Republic by 2016.

  13. Michael

    I have to give you credit for that ABBA witticism.
    Antiquated Believers Believe Adams.
    If only Adams had paid attention in the math and economics classes his equation of 26 + 6 = Adams Eire or is that error, would still not add up to anything but another political disaster.

  14. Martydownunder,

    the Irish News piece kick started the campaign of intimidation. Harrowing times.


    and like so much else they tried

    Tain Bo,

    so true!!

  15. ABBA - A Beardy Bell-End Arrives; Anonymous Beach Burials Anticipated;
    Amoral Backstabber Buggers All.

    OK, OK, I've been drinking the whiskey again.

  16. Alfie
    my advice dont give the computer killed my last one.

  17. Alfie-

    Know your feud's-
    The workers party and the socialist
    ones would take the oath at westminister- they are not All Ireland catholic

    Maybe you should sit down some night and actually read the good friday agreement


    Joe fired no shots o'connor was hounded for telling the truth- thats a good one- well he was not shot for killing the hun


    You are right- the d.u.p are shit-heads and they will be shit on as long as the idiots are needed

    Tain Bo-

    Adams did do his maths at school
    Two tonne bombs in england equals 32- work that one out einstein

  18. Michael,

    If the oath was the problem, but sitting in a British assembly was not, why the hell didn't Adams and co. say that decades ago? Certainly the British would have accomodated them and an agreement like the one we have today could have been reached. The key difference is that the IRA leadership refused to countenance partition then but they are prepared to do so now. Pretending that the war was fought to remove the oath and end inequality just raises more questions than answers: Why didn't the leadership make clear in the 1970s and 80s that they were prepared to settle for less than a united Ireland? Why not call a cease-fire at that stage? Why inflict 30 years of war on the Irish people for an improved version of Sunningdale?

    Finally, Michael, I'd like to ask you one simple question: do you believe you are living in a united Ireland?

  19. MichaelHenry,

    I was talking about Anthony getting hounded. . .

  20. Anthony,

    I finally got around to finishing Richard O'Rawe's Afterlives. It's a great book and Richard makes a very good case which I'm inclined to believe, but there are a number of things that I don't fully understand:

    1) On pages 91-93, O'Rawe quotes an interview with ICJP member Hugh Logue, who claims that their offer was almost "word for word" what the Mountain Climber had communicated. However, in the BBC Talkbalk debate with Danny Morrison and Bik MacFarlane, O'Rawe said that "the ICJP had nothing... there was nothing really in the ICJP thing at all."

    2) Hugh Logue makes clear that he informed the hunger strikers about the ICJP offer and that they were willing to accept the offer if the British would send in a representative to present it. If this offer was in fact the "twin" of the Mountain Climber offer, what reason would Danny Morrison and Gerry Adams have had to hide the Mountain Climber offer from the hunger strikers? Wouldn't the hunger strikers still have insisted on verification by a British representative coming into the prison? Or would the fact that an identical offer had been passed on to Adams and the committee have been verification enough?

    3)What was on offer from the British in the 18th December 1980 document? If, as Gerry Adams claims, the British withdrew an offer before it was formally agreed as a deal or even if the British had promised to implement a more liberal prison regime once the hunger strike ended but then failed to do so, then the British had shown bad faith and it is understandable that the participants of the second hunger strike would have wanted some demonstration of British bona fides before ending the strike. Also, if it is true that the 18th December document didn't reach the jail before Brendan Hughes called off the hunger strike, then he and the other prisoners could well have believed that they had "got nothing" when that might not have been the case. It all depends on what the British said they'd do in the 18th December document and what they actually then implemented.

  21. Michael

    Are you saying Adams was a member of PIRA?
    2 bombs in England equaled a republican political meltdown.
    The funny thing Mickey, Einstein’s theory of relativity makes sense as for Adams political theory it does not have the mass or the energy.

  22. Had SF at the door last night. The only party not to stick in a leaflet through the local letterboxes and scamper away to be fair. Though they had no answer to my inclination to vote independant on the grounds Mc Guinness is a shameful disgrace...just silence. I asked how far down on their knees is there left to go? No response.
    I said if i thought theyd stick to their 'guns' sic on bondholders i'd be happier, but all the evidence proves otherwise.
    I did thank them for having the decency to ring the bell and the time for a chat.
    i'll tear the voting card up, the independents were on last night on vatican tv and apart from one or two and a guy called 'ming' they are emptyheaded oportunists by the looks of it after a wee job for life.

  23. Alfie,

    I asked Richard O'Rawe to address your comment. The following is his response.

    1. I was never at any meetings with the ICJP, so any briefings I received about them came from Bik, or from comms that came in from the committee, which were usually written by Gerry Adams. Based on these assessments, it appeared to me that the ICJP offer didn't amount to much more than the prisoners receiving their own clothes. In fact, I would have to say that during the period of the ICJP's involvement, I never had sight of a British 'offer' that came via the ICJP. It may be worth quoting Danny Morrison during his 28 February 2005 Talk Back interview: ' the way, the offer that we were being offered through the Mountain Climber was a bigger and better offer than what the ICJP thought they had'. My recollection, again based on Bik's briefings and Gerry's comms, is that Danny wasn't too far away on that assessment. On the other hand, I have interviewed Hugh Logue of the ICJP on several occasions and I found him to be a very honourable man, so when he's says that there was basically no difference between the ICJP and Mountain Climber offers, I'm inclined to believe him.

    2. a/ 'What reason would Danny Morrison and Gerry Adams have to hide the Mountain Climber offer from the hunger strikers?' Surely that's a question that would be better directed at the two men involved rather than me? What I do predict is that they won't answer it. As Robert Louis Stevenson once wrote: 'The cruelest lies are often told in silence'.
    b/ The hunger strikers took their direction from their OC, Bik McFarlane. Bik's authority had effectively been usurped when the committee rejected his/our acceptance of the Mountain Climber offer. The committee wanted the ICJP out of the way because the committee were dealing directly with the Thatcher government. So the big play wasn't going on in the prison, it was occurring on the outside. Were the committee to have visited the hunger strikers, or Bik, or even commed Bik to say 'The Brits and ourselves have agreed a deal. Call off the hunger strike,' then it would have been it called off. Of course, the committee hid the contents of the Mountain Climber offer from the hunger strikers, so the question of verification becomes somewhat superfluous. I think this answers both part of the question.

    3. a/ There was nothing on offer in the 18 December document (see All the allegations of the Brits showing 'bad faith' and 'reneging' on offers, deals etc was a smokescreen to save the blushes of the Blanketmen and the Movement -- and every Blanketman knew that. The hunger strike collapsed. Sin e. That was why Bobby wrote to the outside on the night of 18 December asking for a second hunger strike to commence on 1 Janurary 1982. I mean, 'bad faith'? Come on! The Brits wouldn't have had time to show bad faith!

  24. AM,

    Thanks for passing on my questions to Richard; I appreciate his taking the time to answer them. His account seems more consistent and credible than Bik's or the committee's. I must admit that I don't know very much about the blanket protest and the hunger strikes. Indeed, Afterlives is the first book I have read on the subject, but I'd like to read more, especially a book that gives a complete narrative of the protests from start to finish. Have you any suggestions for what I should read next?

  25. Alfie,

    Richard is so consistent and his adversaries have been all over the place.

    I think that is why there is no one book that does it all. Did you read Blanketmen? Nor Meekly Serve My Time and Ten Men Dead would go some way toward satisfying your curiosity