Queen handshake makes talks impossible: RNU on the handshake, the SF leadership and republican talks

The following piece was written by the RNU site administrator and appeared there yesterday (June 26):

The decision of the Sinn Fein leadership to meet the English queen during her Belfast jubilee visit defies all republican logic.

Firstly, any presumption that a handshake with an unelected monarch is necessary to show goodwill towards the Protestants of the north goes against even the most basic original republican teachings, in which Tone, McCracken and other Protestant leaders identified fiercely with the principles of equality, liberty and fraternity.

Elizabeth Windsor is a privileged and pampered English aristocrat, apparently granted Sovereign power by God himself; to suggest that Irish Protestants can only find a sense of identity through loyalty to such a figure is an insult to both them and the generations of activists who have fought to reverse this stereotyped notion of the ‘Ulster Protestant’.

Let us not forget, in the midst of this state-sponsored feel good factor, that Elizabeth Windsor is the Commander-in-Chief of the British armed forces who continue to occupy six counties of Ireland using the most foul and underhand tactics.

Marian Price, Martin Corey, Gerry McGeough and many others currently languish in prison as a direct legacy of these foul tactics, crimes which Martin McGuinness is helping to paint over by performing his role in a royal pageant, an exercise in normalisation if ever we experienced one.

Martin McGuinness’ decision to give recognition to the English monarch’s place in Irish politics by shaking her hand deliberately puts clear blue water between his party and the feelings of all genuine republican and socialist activists. During this time of savage austerity, mass poverty, unemployment and homelessness, surely even Martin McGuinness would understand the protest value of a ‘first minister’ refusing to meet the monarch of the state he serves?

Nevertheless, in the name of Sinn Fein, Martin will push ahead and so give comfort to defenders of privilege everywhere. In doing so he will demonstrate that his party under its current leadership has embarked down an undeniable counter-revolutionary road.

This being the case, any remaining merit in speaking or debating with the Sinn Fein leadership regarding the way forward for political struggle has been lost.

RNU recently stated that they would speak to anybody genuine about perusing political struggle in Ireland; the Sinn Fein leadership, by their recent decisio,n have called into question the sincerity of that organisation in that task.

As a consequence there is now little or no appetite within Republican Network for Unity for holding future talks with the Sinn Fein leadership.

We will still, however, endevour to debate and discuss with the Sinn Fein grass roots.


Posted on June 27, 2012, in 21st century republicanism and socialism, Democratic rights - general, Economy and workers' resistance, General revolutionary history, Irish politics today, Provos - then and now, Public events - Ireland, Republican Network for Unity, six counties, Social conditions, Toadyism. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Queen handshake makes talks impossible: RNU on the handshake, the SF leadership and republican talks.

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