The Stormont Elections: A Mandate For British Rule

Sean Bresnahan looks at the upcoming elections in the North. Sean Bresnahan is a member of the Thomas Ashe Society in Omagh and National PRO of the 1916 Societies.

With yet another election in the Six Counties around the corner it's worth stepping back and looking at its purpose in context. The reality is that all of the goings on around this election are nothing more than the meaningless outworkings of a game within a game, with ringmaster Britain pulling the strings from above, as ever in control of us all. The only game that matters is the one she plays and she plays alone with the rest of us mere pawns. That is the real context to this election.

It is a simple fact proven over and over, borne out by a record eighteen years in the making, that none of those standing – whether parties, Independents or whoever – should they get to Stormont will make the slightest difference to the lives of people in West Tyrone, Derry City, Belfast, Mid-Ulster or anywhere else. The system, with Stormont merely its regional hub, ensures otherwise as the real power lies elsewhere, with Stormont no more than a well-paid, glorified Council.

The place and its record of delivery are a farce. Yet bizarrely, everyone still dances to the same tune come election time – which in reality is the British tune. People would be far better served if they refused to vote in this election and brought the turnout below 50 percent. That, and the 'crisis of legitimacy' it would herald, would represent a much bigger statement and a far greater challenge to the status quo than anything that might come from the foolish notion we can somehow change the system from within.

The truth is that what we need in Ireland at this moment are not more pantomime elections – that do no more than uphold that same status quo – but a fresh start, where the people of this country are finally granted control of their own destiny in a reconstituted All-Ireland Republic. Stormont and its elections serve to frustrate that end and there is no root to the Republic through Stormont or its Border Poll. Indeed the reality is that Stormont is a bulwark to prevent the Republic being realised.

Its reputation could not be lower and with savage austerity and cuts to every budget conceivable ahead the likelihood is that this will only worsen – and considerably. Were the incoming Assembly to have a mandate from less than half of those on the six-county register that would have serious repercussions on its ability to push through its attacks on ordinary people. There would be a clear lack of support from the people it purports to govern for policies to be implemented on behalf of their masters in London.

The mind then boggles as to why some republicans believe it worthwhile to run candidates to Stormont through the backdoor. Worse though is the pretence it's not happening or that they're somehow not involved. Their dodging aside, can they not see they will help no cause here only the British cause – which is to entrench British rule in Ireland and bolster its perceived legitimacy? Whether they know it or not they are already on the road to doom. We should be careful they don't take us with them.

Rather than encourage people to 'play the game' and participate in this farce we should embrace instead a revolutionary analysis. Rather than give legitimacy to this useless and utterly servile institution we should instead be doing all in our power to undermine and expose it, in the process empowering our own institutions which proceed from the people themselves. These alone are what will serve us, as will no doubt be required, in the looming battle against corporate finance and its impending assault on us all.

Where republicanism should be, coming into this election, is not with those set on propping up the failing Stormont Assembly, its crumbling, undemocratic 'mandate' with it, but set on empowering a grassroots alternative capable of impacting on power and realising meaningful change in our country. We will never expose the facade of Stormont rule, which is British rule from behind, by helping prop up its collapsing mandate. That is what all intent on the Irish Republic should understand – now and not tomorrow or after this election. By then it will be too late.

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Anthony McIntyre

Former IRA prisoner, spent 18 years in Long Kesh. Free Speech advocate, writer, historian, humanist, and researcher.

16 comments to ''The Stormont Elections: A Mandate For British Rule"

  1. Electioneering has been the only game in town since the Hunger-Strikes. SF attempts to stand apart from the self serving career politicians they criticised for so long, but they are slowly getting sucked into the greed mill. The much lauded 'industrial-wage' is the latest 'principle' to get the bullet. People take it for granted now MPs/TDs/MLAs/MEPs and even local councilors are interested in nothing but lining their own pockets. Up there with banksters the political fraternity are loathed. Amazingly, they keep getting voted back in. There-in lays the problem. The perception that no one will be any different once intiated into the corruption and self interest that is career politics.

    The recent outcome of the Hillsborough inquiry and the unending pain and resentment of the Miners, particulary concerning Orgreave gives a UK wide complexion to the corruption endemic within the so-called British 'justice'system. None of that will faze DUP/UU candidates who seek out fractional advantage in the 6 counties under the guise of loyalty to Britain. SF and the SDLP are every bit as inward looking. It is all a petty little money racket right across the British isles including the 26 counties which is a disgrace beyond compare. Can you imagine the leader of a Latin American country attempting to explain owning property in the capital and large sums of money in brown envelopes he continually recieved in brown envelopes and which could not be traced or explained by stating in the nations courthouse, that at the time he had no bank account? AT THE TIME he was minister for finance! Bertie Ahern. Tom Murphy was jailed for tax evasion by these same people. Iris Robinson proved the DUP can 'mix-it' with the best of them.

    A return to abstentionism may be the principled option but at the outset of partition that strategy let loyalism embed itself as RCs obligingly shut themselves out of every state body. It was the Orange dream. Demographics today requires RCs/nationalists to be rite in unionist faces, not nosing their backsides like SF. The show is over for loyalism, Susan Boyle is already clearing her throat to sing. The 1916 Societies and OIOV are doing a great job in building for the final push that will come sooner rather than later. I anticipate SF burning themselves out politically like the stoops they were so desperate to become. When Adams and McGuinness bow out that party will implode or fall away. When that happens engagement in a fearless fashion rather than abstention will be the requirement.

  2. "Yet bizarrely, everyone still dances to the same tune come election time"

    Not that bizarre when the alternative is very possibly a return to naked aggression from both sides. Saying peaceful protest would happen instead of violence is exactly what was said before the Civil Rights marches or the Drumcree debacle.

    The truth is that what we need in Ireland at this moment are not more pantomime elections "

    No different than present in the South! Why would the North be better off joining that pantomime instead of running with their own panto? Gerry and the Finn's talk seemingly get nothing done pronto in their panto!

    I suppose in the North the DUP's Arlene Foster could play the part of Snow White and find 7 dwarfs called Bigot, Idiot, Muppet, Gibberish (one for you Mallory),Zealot,Arrogant and Entitled.

    Dear Leader Martin could star in the Disney remake entitled 'The Lion Bastard'!

  3. Great post Sean. The year 1981 and the Smash Stormont posters are a long distant memory others would now try and convince us didn't happen in the way we saw it happen.

    "We are where we are today because of Bobby Sands & his election. He opened another sight of struggle for Republicans"- Says former Republican and Hunger Striker Pat Sheehan now a British servant and Stormont MLA.

    Is this the path Republicans want to follow the Shameless Sinn Féiners down, twisting what our brave comrades died for in order to ease their consciences?

    Read what Sheehan said again and ponder long and hard.

  4. Dixie, I was down in Derry last night and seen that monstrosity on the back of Free Derry Wall. They are a disgrace to be at this carry-on in what is pure desperation. Paddy was saying at the meeting that they've organised some sort of Hungerstrike commemoration rally for May 1st to coincide with the election. They really are abusing that legacy now and it's very undignified. That they feel this acceptable is telling.

    Steve, in essence what you are saying is we should bow to the threat of violence. I don't think that's tenable with the notion of democracy. And I'm talking just as much of the South when I say the last thing needed is elections to failed bodies. What I'm saying is we need to wipe the slate clean first-off. Determining on a new and fit-for-purpose political system for the New Ireland and putting it in place is where we need to be looking - not more fake elections to a worthless system which serves no-one.

    Larry, as I was hinting at in the article the entire set-up is beginning to run aground as ordinary people realise their interests cannot be served at Stormont - regardless of who they vote in. The people in the South are starting to see this also. My hope is this will create its own momentum for real and meaningful change and that's where republicanism needs to aim at this time.

  5. Sean

    I have come to personally feel that the very buildings local government are located in, be it 26 or 6 counties, has a huge part to play in the problem. Leinster House is a Colonial relic and it seems once a TD walks in there they become detached from the country. The focus becomes parish pump politics and self preservation. Get enough cute hoors around you locally and bingo, you are Travelyan in Dublin for life. There are TDs in there 20-30 years and never got things right yet!! Stormont is Colonial in essence too. The unionists built it with that in mind.

    Remove the political running of the place/s from these museums and perhaps we can have a political system which operates for the people instead of in spite of them. A modern council office block type building might help take TD and MLA heads out of their arses.

  6. Sean, no, what I am saying is that in essence the people want to be governed and as much as the status quo is fucked, its less fucked than the alternative of either your idea of abandoning it for an as yet unproven political mechanism, OR back to the days of mass murder and people generally being cunts to each other.

    I admire your passion, but I can't help feel you are a touch blinkered by anger. No offense meant. But NOTHING will change without the consent of the wee 6, that is blatantly obvious. Worshiping a document from a hundred years ago won't change anything.

    As somebody once said 'you can't eat flegs'. The vast majority have also worked that out.

  7. great article and comments. would like to read a review by sean bres of - strangers at home, by murt mac garraidhe - may God be good to this great unknown servant of gaelic artist with a passion for history who finished his only book on a cancer ward at a young age. i am not a great reader as you know, but this is the greatest irish book ever written. i have given as gifts about ten copies over the last few years, and those that read it are stunned that this book is not being talked about. id send a copy up to u bres but i gave away my own copy. i imagine u have read hundreds of books. i guarantee u u will remember this book when the others are forgotten. there isnt a book like it. Murt Mac Garraidhe r.i.p.

  8. Larry

    architecture in most cultures is generally a manifestation or a reflection of power and control whether in public buildings, universities and places of worship.

    I think you make an interesting point though and muse as to the impact of a more functional and egalitarian architectural input when providing venues for our public servants and elected representatives to work from.

  9. larry, i read a while ago that leinster house was built on the back of the slave trade.fitgerald made billions in todays money shipping africans to america. would like to know more about this. the freemasons are across the road and supposedly there is a tunnel linking the two buildings. would like to know more about this too. steve, putting the proclamation of 1916 into action will change things. and what do u mean nothing will change without the consent of the wee six. it could change over nite the way the world is now. eire nua is the best thing the republican movement came up with, and it PROTECTS unionists, but this was shafted by the adams faction because it was a 'sop to unionists'. ha fuckinha. liars and deceivers the lot of them. if he does go at least he has a holiday home of the back of bobbys writings to retire to. first get rid of eire nua, then get rid of abstenionism, then embrace the two biggest political dumps in europe. what a shower of.... the american war of independence was known as the war with the british at the time. their constitution was shaped by the iroquis confederacy. russell means, the lakota chief once said he loved the american constitution because it was indian law. i love the proclamation because it is the pinnacle of the gaelic revival (remember, that tribe that was near wiped off the face of the earth by any means necessary) and cherish it, as it should be.

    "… you can’t trust the Irish, they’re all liars’, she said, ‘liars, and that’s what you have to remember so just don’t forget it’, MAGGIE THATCHER.

    when i look back over my own forty plus years on this island, i regretfully have to agree to a certain extent with old tin knickers. i am gombeen and sleeveened out at this stage, and am glad i am part of a small TRUTHFUL bunch of backwoodsmen. brits out. and take the gombeens with u. on a more philosophical note - maybe life is supposed to be cruel and shite.

  10. A new, modern, open-planned, publicly-accessible and fit-for-purpose National Assembly now!

  11. Henry Joy

    The populations are so small in both political jurisdictions (if correct terminology) I think these grand old buildings give teachers and other elected representatives of a similar social standing a false and super inflated notion of their own self importance. A severe grounding is badly required and probably a limit on the number of times an individual can stand for election. Churches and other institutions were deliberately designed to impress the gullible. Our elected representatives seem to be only too happy to swallow it all endlessly, like the financial benefits they give to themselves once elected. I saw McNarey on tv last night criticising the pay off/golden parachute MLAs get when leaving office. Hid defence for taking his pay off....? IT IS THERE!

  12. Sean

    "A new, modern, open-planned, publicly-accessible and fit-for-purpose National Assembly now!"

    That's a sound bite, nothing more. How would you hope to convince the people? How would you facilitate the mythical transfer if it ever happened?

    Go for your life but soundbites don't mean shit. Make inroads with the working class across the divide and that would really throw the Shinners a curve ball. Would put the wind right up them.

    If ignoring them and going for OIOV then who is really threatening forced coercion?

  13. Steve Ricardos

    Unionists / loyalists could take your advice regarding RCs in the wee 6. There could be two 'states' on this island soon, if not already, with a nationalist/RC majority and the wee 6 still wanting nothing much to do with the 26. Question is can the loyalist leopard change its spots in reaching out to northern RCs in a genuine way? I notice Arlene Foster said when Ireland play England at rugby she is Irish. THAT was a good statement on her part, better perhaps than she realises. Also a W. Belfast loyalist was recently talking about taking back that seat after 'years of SF failure to deliver'. Is that on a sectarian basis or a broader political platform I wonder? With the SF project having seemingly flatlined in the 26 counties perhaps the ball is in the unionist / loyalist court in the north. SF have UNITED nothing by 2016 and since its 1981 venture into constitutionalism the exception is FF-FG who are UNITED and now about to unleash more austerity and water charges in the 26.

  14. Larry,

    Regardless that some will scoff, there is a deep curiosity about Gaelic culture within 'loyalism', and this can be encouraged and grown to better sell the notion of a 'united people'. The problem is that the PUL community look at it as something hijacked by the shinners and ergo nakedly sectarian against them, but this can change.

    As I've said before, some radically different thinking is required. There are already gaelic language classes in loyalist east Belfast, imagine one on the Shankill, The Pass et cetera!

    Or a present day gaelic body reaching out to the Orange Orders or Apprentice Boys, considering it was gaelic that most people spoke during their inception?

    Once the fear of the 'otherside' is gone, there is hope of a UI. But the very things i've outlined are the very things the shinners would sabotage as it threatens their hegemony.

  15. Far from something to be scoffed at I think that is brilliant Steve. In terms of your earlier comment, I'm not interested in coercing anyone as it's hardly a recipe for peace. I would encourage the idea that Ulster can self-determine but only within a broader all-island framework that proceeds from the right to Irish national self-determination. For me, this can best be realised through the Éire Nua programme, where the concept of a 'Greater Ulster' within a sovereign Ireland is the alternative to the failed arrangement we have now

  16. “The Great Unmentionable Evil At The Center Of Our Culture Is Monotheism. From A Barbaric Bronze Age Text Known As The Old Testament, Three Anti-Human Religions Have Evolved–Judaism, Christianity, Islam. These Are Sky-God Religions. They Are, Literally, Patriarchal – God Is The Omnipotent Father – Hence The Loathing Of Women For Over 2,000 Years In Those Countries Afflicted By The Sky-God And His Earthly Male Delegates. The Sky-God Is A Jealous God, Of Course. He Requires Total Obedience From Everyone On Earth, As He Is In Place Not For Just One Tribe But For All Creation. Those Who Would Reject Him Must Be Converted Or Killed For Their Own Good. Ultimately, Totalitarianism Is The Only Sort Of Politics That Can Truly Serve The Sky-God’s Purpose. Any Movement Of A Liberal Nature Endangers His Authority And That Of His Delegates On Earth. One God, One King, One Pope, One Master In The Factory, One Father-Leader In The Family Home.” - GORE VIDAL


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