For over two decades now the use of phantom threats by Sinn Féin to distract and deflect from policy changes, the abandonment of ideological principle and political mistakes and miscalculations has become a tried and tested tactic. Likewise, they have often been used in the run up to elections in order to garner sympathy, galvanise their membership and/or distract from unfulfilled promises from previous campaigns. The past few days have seen the phantom threat utilised yet again. There are several reasons for this.
Firstly, there is an onus on Sinn Féin to further distance themselves from their revolutionary past. Ironically this pressue emanates from parties that Sinn Féin now seek to emulate, those that the party has spent months and years begging for a seat at the establishment table. What better way to do so than by pretending to be at risk of attack from those upholding the revolutionary tradition that they have abandoned?
Secondly, several Sinn Féin members have made it known to Saoradh that both Michelle O’Neill and Gerry Kelly have faced internal criticism over their recent Crown Force recruitment attempts. This was voiced at their “Cuige” meeting at the weekend in Belfast, and also behind closed doors at what the party terms “Republican family meetings”. What better way to pull these members back into line than by suggesting they are somehow empowering those who seek to attack their own leadership?
Thirdly, phantom threats allow the Sinn Féin leadership to cynically use the sacrifice of members previously assassinated by Crown Forces and their proxies. They maliciously draw parallels between themselves, people who now administer British Rule and recruit for Crown Forces, with Sinn Féin members that were killed for opposing that rule and defying those forces. Sinn Féin do so deviously and grotesquely, using our martyred dead in the full knowledge that they are at no risk of harm from Republicans or anyone else.
Saoradh National Executive member Alan Lundy, whose own father was a Sinn Féin member and IRA Volunteer murdered by a Pro-British death squad in 1993, commented;
“These threats are non-existent and totally bogus. It is quite clear to anyone with an ounce of sense that they have been collectively manufactured by the MI5-directed PSNI and Sinn Féin. Ordinary people, and more importantly the Republican base, see these public announcements by Gerry Kelly and Michelle O’Neill for what they are – pure fabrications, devious deflections and bogus allegations directed against Republicans generally and the IRA specifically.”
Saoradh note that Sinn Féin also now accept the word of the PSNI without question. No more “dark sides” for Mr Kelly as he supposedly checked under his car this morning, such is his trust in the utterances of people he once deemed “securocrats”. In fact, while others are notified of threats against their person regularly, to the best of our knowledge this is the first time MI5/PSNI have went into such detail about how an attack was to be launched – unless this is another lie that Sinn Féin have told in the full knowledge that the PSNI do not comment publicly on such “threats”.
The truth is that Sinn Féin do genuine Republicans a favour when they recruit for Crown Forces. When they administer British Rule. When they announce that they support Free State military tribunals and non-jury Special Courts. When they dine with British Royalty. When they implement austerity and poverty policies. When they publicly defend drug dealers. And other similar deviations from their once proud revolutionary position. We welcome that because it exposes Sinn Féin for what they are – a party of collaboration, acquiescence and self-interest.
Saoradh, and the wider Republican Movement, will continue to challenge and expose all establishment parties, including Sinn Féin. We make no apologies for doing so as we go forward in struggle.