United we stand, divided we fall

I see that Gerry Adams has offered to meet the 'leadership' ( I use that word is the loosest sense possible) of the dissidents in order to try and convince them of the merits of the Sinn Féin strategy ahead of the controversial Ard Fheis on policing.

Gerry said

"I do not want to see any other people killed or imprisoned as a result of their activities,"

"I want to meet with these organisations to brief them in detail on current developments and impress upon them my belief that the current Sinn Fein strategy is the best way forward for our community and for the wider republican struggle."

This comes as dissidents organised a meeting in Derry to express concerns, some of which are genuine, about Sinn Féin's stance on Policing and to have a general bitch about all things Shinner.

This meeting was chaired by John Kelly and heard from representatives of the Irps, Coca Cola's and other 'Independent' republicans.

At this meeting any support for policing was ruled out but a return to armed conflict was not.

One of those who attended the meeting was Tony McPhillips who described the GFA as "treacherous" and an attempt to "disarm" republicans.

This is in despite of the fact that the GFA was endorsed by the overwhelming majority of the Irish people North and South in the first All Ireland vote since partition.

He said that "As long as there is any form of British rule in Ireland there will be Irish men and women willing to resist. And I as an Irish republican will do nothing in word or deed to discourage those brave people."

The key question though Tony is will you and others like you do anything in word or deed to encourage these people?

I have a real problem with those who call for a return to armed conflict, not because I am against the use of arms in principle but because I am opposed to it when it is counter-productive and will only lead to more young Irish men and women going to the grave and going to jail.

In this hypothetical return to armed conflict will it be the young men doing the dying and old men doing the talking?

Are these men and women who advocate a return to armed conflict prepared to so the same themselves?

Please spare me the usual rubbish of "what would you know, you are only 22, These men fought the Brits for years" because it is bogus bullshit!

Yes, I have deep respect and admiration for those who took up arms when it was necessary however I judge people on who they are now, not what they were.

The fact that you were once a Volunteer does not give you life long immunity to talk complete and utter bullshit. Nor does it mean that you are always right, it simply means that you were once a Volunteer.

As most of those who are calling for a return to conflict seem to be old men I wonder if they are prepared for their sons and daughters to go to the grave in the name of Mother Ireland?

We have a great opportunity to unite this country and end partition by the use of peaceful politics, when that opportunity arises it should be grasped with both hands.

As Republicans our principles must be set in stone however the methods by which we use to achieve those objectives must not.

When your methods are set in stone you risk losing your objectives on a point of 'principle', is that what these people want?

We are only as strong as we are united, only as weak as we are divided.

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