Left Archive: Abortion Ireland – A Report by Sinn Féin’s Department of Women’s Affairs, October 1981, Sinn Féin May 6, 2013Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive, Sinn Féin.
Many thanks to Alan at Irish Election Literature and the person who scanned this document.
To download the above please click on the following link:ABORTSF1981
This short document, issued in 1981, addresses Provisional Sinn Féin’s approach to abortion at that time.
It starts by noting that:
An estimated 10,000 Irish women will have had abortions during 1981. It is precisely because thousands of Irish women do travel to Britain every year that a recent E.E.C. report called for national legislation to remove the need for such lonely and desperate journey’s.
It notes that SF’s policy document ‘Women in the New Ireland’ states:
There is a need to face up to the problem of abortion no matter what individual opinions are. We do not judge women who have had abortion but recognise that it is an indictment of society that so many women should feel the need to avail of abortion. We are opposed to the attitudes and forces in society that impel women to have abortions. We are totally opposed to abortion.
It outlines the legal situation as regards abortion in both parts of the island and provides statistics as to the geographical and occupational data of those seeking abortion in Britain.
It also outlines broader family planning law and the provision of contraceptives in the Republic and the six counties.
The overview in Section Two: Organisations Pro/Anti-Abortion is of interest.
Of the Women’s Right to Choose Group they note ‘They see abortion as the fourth viable option to a pregnant woman after the choices of keeping the child, fostering it or having it adopted. Their commitment is to ensure that women’s lives are controlled by women themselves. They believe that every child should be a wanted child and not a burden or a point of resentment.
Of the Society for the Protection of the Unborn Child (SPUC) they write:
Unfortunately they attract a great many reactionary types who would be extremely conservative on most social issues. Our research failed to find any of them involved with organisations who aid pregnant women nor have they protested at the limitations of the Health At whereby Medical Card holders – those least well off – have to pay for contraceptives.
The reasoning behind this report is to show that abortion is an issue in Ireland and will not end with a solitary sentence in a policy document. Any one of these statistics could be your wife, your sister or your daughter.
We believe that those who are ’totally opposed’ to abortion and those who see it as a tragedy and an indictment against society must work to improve conditions for and attitudes towards pregnant women.
Sinn Féin Ard Fheis 2013 April 12, 2013Posted by doctorfive in Irish Politics, Sinn Féin.
Gerry Adams was on with Pat this morning.
Left Archive: Provos – Patriots or Terrorists? Seán Ó Riain, 1974 February 11, 2013Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive, Sinn Féin, Uncategorized.
To download the above document please click on the following link: PROVS
In some respects this document is not a left-wing publication, and yet it provides a refutation of the two nations theory from the point of view of Provisional Republicanism. The author (who is later credited, as was pointed out to me, in a second edition of the pamphlet published later in 1974, under the byline of ‘G. Ó Danachair.’) clearly worked closely with PSF in writing the book, indeed in the Introduction he writes;
The author would like to express his gratitude to Éamonn Mac Thomáis and Joe Clarke for their kind help.
The Introduction also is clear in terms of the strong identification it establishes with Provisional Republicanism.
As your read this, the climax of the struggle for an independent and sovereign Irish nation is being enacted in the North-Eastern part of our country. Despite the gallantry of the beleaguered people of the Six Counties, gallantry alone cannot defeat the military and propaganda might of the Britain and her allies in this country. Only the entire people of IReland can achieve that. But the Irish people are not being told the truth about either the Northern situation or the I.R.A. campaign. it is in order that the truth be known that this pamphlet has been written.
It should be pointed out that all references to either the ‘Republican Movement’ or the ‘Irish Republican Army refer to the ‘Provisional Movement or the ‘Provisional’ I.R.A. – unless otherwise stated.
One notable omission is that of the concept of class. This is particularly evident in the first chapter which attempts to engage with the ‘Two-Nations’ theory.
There are certainly two traditions but no two nations. After 350 years there is no longer even a distinguishable dividing line between those of platner or native ancestry. there is no linguistic difference, or physically apparent racial difference. All share the same territory, the same history and the common name of ‘Irishman’. Their differences are based on religious conflict or to put it in its current terminology, they are only separated by sectarianism.
The rest of the pamphlet is broken up into various chapters, including ‘The Northern Situation’, ‘In Justification’, ‘the Terrorist Myth’, ‘Criticism and Refutation’ and ‘The Republican Alternative’. There are also appendices dealing with various topics including ‘Torture’, ‘Repression’, ‘Discrimination’ and ‘Éire Nua in Outline’.
In relation to the last, there’s an interesting analysis of how that document provides ‘an ideal solution’, one which ‘has to… offer… something to both sides’ on pp.39-40.
All told a very useful document that provides a considerable insight into both the thinking of the Provisional Movement during that period and how it sought to be represented to a broader audience.
To download the above file please click on the following link: IRIS 1991
Many thanks to Jim Monaghan for donating this to the Archive.
This is an addition to the other copy of Iris published by Sinn Féin that is in the Archive. And being the Easter 1991 edition it commemorates the 75 years from 1916 to 1991. As such it contains a broad range of articles on 1916, and – as interestingly – the years subsequent to that date.
The introductory Viewpoint contextualises the issue.
Our celebrations are inevitably tinged with regret, however, that the programme of those revolutionaries, enshrined in the Proclamation, has yet to be implemented. We also regret the reality that nationalist Ireland as a whole will not be commemorating this anniversary and that the revolutionary successors of 1916 are themselves a despised and slandered minority.
And it stresses the radical nature of the conflict.
The Proclamation was a radical document in the Ireland of 75 years ago and it remains so to this day. it was considered subversive then and is considered equally subversive today. Yet the demands it makes are for basic national and human rights. Failure to active these demands has resulted in tragedy for all the people of this island.
Which it then seeks to place within a then contemporary context.
Small wonder that its establishment [in the RoI] prefers to ignore the message of freedom and equality of the Easter Rebellion, given their continued subservience to Britain and we see a society where more and more people are forced to exist on meagre welfare payments while others accumulate massive wealth. Lip service is paid to the notion of equality but nothing is done to bridge the widening gap between rich and poor.
The approach to Unionism is interesting.
For the unionist population of the Six Counties, partition and the denial of Irish self-determination mean that they have been locked into the carnival of reaction that James Connolly warned of. They continue to allow Britain to divide them from their fellow countrymen and women, and remain trapped in a paranoid and reactionary statelet, suspicious of both their British masters and hostile to their nationalist neighbours.
And there are notes of pessimism and optimism.
At times this task seems hopeless, but a week is a long time in politics. The Berlin Wall has gone and Britain’s border in Ireland will go also. But there is much groundwork to be done first, particularly in the 26 Counties, if the present climate of opinion is to change.
Other articles include ‘A Pictorial View of 1916’, ‘1916 – What did it mean for Irish women?’ and ‘The radical years – The Labour Movement and 1916’. Also it has ‘The Betrayal of 1916 – Revisionism exposed’. Indeed the emphasis is markedly on the left aspects of the 1916, including an article by Mitchel McLaughlin on ‘The 1916 Proclamation – A revolutionary document’.
Also in the magazine is the Armed Struggle section with a piece on ‘sustained guerrilla campaign’ and ‘War News’.
To download this document please click on the following link: UI RUC 1978
This edition of the SFWP United Irishman is the first addition to the Archive from that newspaper from the latter part of the 1970s. The United Irishman of this period was tilted somewhat more towards the North and this is reflected in parts of the contents.
The cover is striking in the context of broader material from the SFWP with the headline R.U.C. Hangmen. The article accompanying it references a young man who was found hanged in his cell and suggests that this was part of a broader range of suspicious deaths in custody during the period. The piece concludes that:
All these incidents are taking place at a time when the RUC have a lavish advertising campaign to improve the image of the Force. Also they are taking up a higher military profile throughout the north. Armed with Sterlin sub-machine guns, and Mark 1 carbines, the RUC recently have started to patrol areas of the border usually covered by the British Army.
The civilian policing service sought ten years ago by the civil rights marchers is still as far away as ever.
On the front page there’s another article that links to the Arms Trial, noting that the Irish Government had ‘dropped its attempts to recover money from German arms dealer Otto Schleuter’ which the German had been given for an arms cargo in 1969. It notes that ‘An anonymously published booklet called ‘Fianna Fáil and the IRA’ was issued in 1970 and claimed that Haughey and Blaney used funds [from the Exchequer] to undermine the Civil Rights struggle, buy traitors to split the Republican Movement and set up and arm the Provisionals.
A third article engages with nuclear power and the position of SFWP against ‘the building of a nuclear power station’ in Ireland. The reasons presented against such an installation are strongly linked to economic rather than environmental concerns – in particular the fact that ‘uranium is a very scarce commodity’ and ‘a nuclear power station is very costly to build’.
Other articles of particular interest include ‘Why Republicans Oppose Federalism’, part of a series of three articles on the topic on page 4. This was directly oriented towards countering the then Sinn Féin policy based on the Éire Nua document which staunchly advocated a federal Ireland.
Notably the introductory paragraph notes:
For almost 200 years the objective of the majority on this island has been to unite all of the people in a single unitary Republican State.
This Republic is now being opposed by the Provisionals, Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the right wing of the SDLP.
Also of interest on page 5 is a critique of Dr. Noel Browne who had recently made what is characterised as a ‘sweeping attack on Irish Republicanism’. This was in the context of a meeting where Browne had delivered a ‘prepared script’. The UI also notes that:
The other SLP speaker at the same meeting, David Neligan, also was critical of Republicans, and in particular Sinn Féin, the Workers’ Party who, he said, ‘would have to prove their socialism’. This of course is true of everybody – including David Neligan.
The document also has a page devoted to international affairs, including Cuba’s Agricultural Revolution and the World Trade Union Conference in Prague.
A few queries…… August 16, 2012Posted by irishelectionliterature in Republicans, Sinn Féin, Ulster.
I was lucky enough to receive a quantity of scans of assorted mainly Republican material from the 1920s onwards. I’ve a few questions which I hope some of you may be able to help me with
Firstly a query regarding the address given on various leaflets/pamphlets (from the late 60s early 70s) as to were they both Sinn Féin or was one Official Sinn Féin ?
The Addresses were in Dublin,
One being 30 Gardiners Place the other 2a Lr Kevin Street.
I’m also still trying to date a few of the items.
“Sinn Fein Today”
“Republican Education -What We Need to Know to win”
“Peace In Ireland” by Gerry Adams (Long Kesh)
and “Know Your Rights -What to do if arrested in the 26 counties”
Sinn Féin and Irish politics, North and South… August 1, 2012Posted by WorldbyStorm in Culture, Economy, European Politics, Irish Politics, Northern Ireland, Sinn Féin, The Left.
Tom McGurk had some interesting points to play around with recently. In a column on how ‘SF will be sharply tested by a period of transition’ he makes some very thoughtful points, and a few that I’d take issue with. The latter can be dealt with immediately.
Of course is worth contextualising his ideas in reference to the Quinn issue and the way that has developed in the last week or so which points up problematical issues for SF in how it campaigns North and South and on an all island basis.
Anyhow McGurk argues that:
Sinn Féin is now facing perhaps the most difficult transition yet of the many it has faced: how to turn a party of radical protest into one of a realistic political alternative.
Problem is – for SF – that the orthodoxy is already splitting at the seams in terms of parties who have cleaved to it. Whether it is Labour, Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael, that side of the political spectrum is well provided for. And far too much in this contemporary period ‘realistic political alternative’ is short hand for aligning with orthodoxy, as those of us who read Stephen Collins will know (although I suspect that more or less whatever SF does would be insufficient for him).
On a slight diversion, per se I find nothing wrong with SF seeking state power. To be honest I expect parties that want to reshape this or any polity to want that, and in advanced (!) democracies electoral contests are the only way to achieve it. That said not at any cost, and here of course we enter into a different discussion.
Anyhow McGurk does not appear antagonistic to the idea of an apology from the IRA or SF.
But of the interesting thoughts he has consider the following:
The party seems to be politically untouchable in the North for the next generation at least. Don’t say it too loudly, but the peace process is rapidly producing a very different North. For the first time in my memory, there’s even a genuine public culture of tolerance for difference.
Is this absolutely true about it being politically untouchable? Of course defining a generation is a tricky thing. And I guess it is possible to say that SF may have fair weather for a decade or so. But the sclerotic nature of both the dispensation extant in the North and the broader political environment balanced between competing nationalisms makes me wonder whether now that the old power blocs have been broken, with both UUP and SDLP in precipitous decline, whether the churn we have seen in the South in party politics might not be experienced sooner rather than later. Of course the SDLP hasn’t at certain levels fallen as far proportionately as FF.
Not surprisingly, then, given the dimensions of its political achievement in the North, Sinn Féin’s political antennae have been turned southwards like never before.
There’s little doubt that SF sees the context as being all-island. How that is practicable in daily application remains to be be seen.
At the outset, there were significant signals of the new emphasis, with the decision of Gerry Adams to decamp politically to the south and by the Martin McGuinness presidential election campaign. I sense that the experience of that campaign taught Sinn Féin how much work is still required here.
That I think is a good point. I think there was considerable surprise amongst at least some in SF that the venom directed against them was so pointed. That’s a bit curious given that the southern media was never shy about making that plain. But perhaps beyond that there was a sense that they remained/remain a small enough force in Southern politics. On the other hand I think it’s also important to see the McGuinness candidacy as in and of itself ameliorating that perception to at least some degree. The simple fact that he got through that campaign, and came in third – albeit on a low enough poll rating – was an achievement in itself. And altered the perception of SF more widely. Look at the poll numbers. A jump of in or around four per cent from their election tally for the Presidential contest, and now consistent polling 3 or more percentage points ahead of that subsequently. So the Presidential campaign wasn’t simply a learning experience for SF but was also an important lever in changing perceptions and growing their vote.
The handshake with Queen Elizabeth II, followed by McGuinness’s RTE television performance last Saturday night, points to the growing importance of the southern project.
Hard to know. I still think it has as much if not more to do with the North. That’s where it’s more direct result will be felt, not in a mass rush of Unionists to apostasy, anything but, but instead a sense that SF is taking that engagement seriously and in a way which Republicanism hasn’t hitherto.
And it has also been lucky with the handshake of history. Who could have imagined a political landscape more ideal for the party than the one created by the economic crisis and the subsequent electoral disaster that has hit Fianna Fáil? How extraordinary that, no sooner had Sinn Féin become part of the recreation of one failed Irish state, than the other one failed too.
This is a most interesting point, and well worth thinking about. The effects of the Good Friday/Belfast Agreement has been considerable, and its effects on the North most particularly so. But what of its effects on the South? In parking, to some degree, elements of the nationalist project – at least in regard to FFs dominance of that particular strand – it removed a crucial aspect of the FF identity. The economic collapse has done similar damage to FF, albeit much more pointedly. Was the FF collapse inevitable? Well, perhaps not, although it is true that they vote share had been declining steadily, if relatively unspectacularly, during that period.
But McGurk is surely right that the ‘gaping hole at the traditional centre of Irish politics’ in the wake of the fall of FF is an enormous opportunity for SF. Thing is does that mean that SF should shift to the centre to do so, or is that even achievable. McGurk appears to hint at that idea…
Central to achieving this will be how it deals with the credibility and competence of its economic policy and management. Soon, it will also have to learn that – unlike the North, where political structures require its participation – down south, it’s a complex Irish political maze called coalition. But with whom?
For example, would it require a Fianna Fáil party heave for Éamon Ó Cuiv’s prediction to come true after he became the first to say the previously unsayable about the idea of a Fianna Fáil/Sinn Féin coalition?
But would such a coalition be viable, and what would FF gain from it? Particularly an FF that was – say – five or six TDs behind SF? I’m reminded of the competition between DL and the LP in the 1990s. The parties were actually quite distinct, but once in government there were those who argued that that distinctiveness was insufficient for them to maintain separate identities. Of course, as we know, DL carried on for some years after that, but the point wasn’t entirely without relevance. DL was unable, or unwilling, to carve out a clear left of Labour identity and so the logic (not one, by the way I agree with entirely) of a merger was strong. And a larger, more centrist SF would, at least from FFs perception, and in all likelihood too, be pulling votes from FF.
But it may be that that is moot. That the FF we now have, which appears fairly well centre right, albeit with some populist rhetoric once in a while (so no change there), is the one we will always have. And in that case why would SF find them a congenial partner.
What then of Labour? They’re arguably even more antagonistic to SF. And with good reason too. To be honest I can only see significant electoral defeat on a scale to pull the LP down into the teens or lower in terms of seat numbers allowing them to work with SF.
For the moment then expect SF to ignore, and not mention, such hypotheticals. They’ll want to grow their vote as best they can.
And McGurk has two other points well worth airing.
Since the beginning of the Troubles, there has been a pervasive sense in the south that the crisis ‘up there’ instinctively threatened stability down here. Huge sections of southern opinion, therefore, find it difficult to accept Sinn Féin as a natural and authentic part of the southern political spectrum. Crossing that cultural and political divide is what will ultimately test the Sinn Féin political project.
I’d argue that that attitude of ‘up there’ predates the Troubles and by quite some length of time. And it will hobble the SF project. But, as the SF project becomes more and more normalised by exposure to it through the Dáil etc that will dissipate to some extent.
Ironically, too, despite Sinn Féin’s political growth, its principal project – Irish re-unification – is not enjoying a similar revival. Recent polls in the North suggest that fewer nationalists are interested and, south of the border, there is even less enthusiasm. Could it be that Sinn Féin might finally cross its long-awaited finishing line, only to find it had dropped the baton en route?
This is crucial too. It is a little like the situation in Scotland where the SNP is trusted to run government/administration but its core political project is if not quite ignored, regarded as less important to voters. Of course realistically we know that the work of unity will take generations and consist of many steps. The prospect of that is one SF had best prepare, if it isn’t already, its people for. And many more beyond its immediate membership and supporters.
But as Quinn demonstrates, before we get close to the fulfillment of that goal the nature of political activity will throw up contradictions between principle, rhetoric and electoral progress in unforeseen ways. Best prepare for that too.
The Quinn Issue August 1, 2012Posted by Garibaldy in Capitalism, Crime, Sinn Féin.
I was going to just stick a link to this piece from Sluggerotoole in the Open Thread, but remembered Joe’s point yesterday that if things continued the Quinn issue could do with its own thread. So here we are. Mick Fealty quotes the following from the Irish Times
Mr Quinn’s bluff and bluster attempts to convince a sceptical public that he is more sinned against than sinning have failed to impress. He has sought to cultivate a sense of victimhood in order to exonerate himself and to blame others for mistakes and misjudgments of his own making. In doing so he has managed to sound like a fool while acting like a knave.There can only be one winner in all this. And from what we have seen so far, it will not be Mr Quinn. Speaking truth to power can require moral courage.
Speaking truth to Mr Quinn is the best service that his friends who hold his best interests at heart – not least those in the GAA – can and should now provide.
An Phoblacht August / Lúnasa edition now out… July 29, 2012Posted by WorldbyStorm in Culture, Economy, Irish Politics, Sinn Féin, The Left.
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Interesting editorial in the above which makes a link between the Hunger Strikes and our current predicament. Available from usual stockists, here’s what’s in the issue.
ON THE EVE of the National Hunger Strike Commemoration in Dungiven, County Derry (2pm Sunday 5th August), An Phoblacht talks to the brother of H-Blocks Hunger Strike martyr Kevin Lynch from Dungiven.
Gerald Lynch talks about growing up with Kevin, the effect Bloody Sunday had on them, and how proud the family is of Kevin, standing by him after failing to persuade him not to embark on the 1981 Hunger Strike.
“The British Government was attempting to criminalise the prisoners. Margaret Thatcher failed and she failed miserably . . . I think republicanism is stronger now than ever before and we are closer to achieving the goals of uniting Ireland.”
Writing in An Phoblacht for the first time since Martin McGuinness’s meeting with Queen Elizabeth, Sinn Féin National Chairperson Declan Kearney says the event “made a big statement about the need for more change, greater imagination, courage, and really big thinking to bring that about . . . from everyone” – including unionists leaders.
Fianna Éireann member 18-year-old Tobias Molloy, shot dead by British soldiers at the infamous Camel’s Hump checkpoint on the Strabane/Lifford border in 1972, is remembered in a full-page commemoration report, as are Síle Fleming of Derry City and Joe D’Arcy of Galway in obituaries.
Ciarán Mac Airt reports from the Community Inquiry into the 2002 murder of north Belfast teenager Gerard Lawlor and his family’s ten-year fight for ‘Justice for Gerard’.
Marking another breakthrough for Sinn Féin, An Phoblacht interviews the new Mayor of South Dublin, Cathal King – the first Sinn Féin Mayor in Dublin since the Tan War.
Tierna Cunningham, the new Sinn Féin Deputy Mayor of Belfast, talks to Peadar Whelan about how she joined Sinn Féin at the time of the unionist siege of Holy Cross Primary School a decade ago, and what an inspiration the late Marie Moore has been to Tierna.
Peadar Whelan reports from The Twelfth and the ‘Orange Order’s conflicting ways’, including the peaceful progress in Crumlin where the Orangemen held talks with their neighbours, and the conflict in Ardoyne where the Orangemen didn’t.
Ahead of September’s anniversary of the Ulster Covenant, Tom Hartley explains the history of the Westminster Tory/Unionist alliance behind the Covenant and how the signing was ‘Underlining Partition’.
Mark Moloney interviews Palestine’s Ambassador to Ireland, Dr Hikmat Ajjuri, who says, “In my younger years I was totally against even talking to representatives from Israel. There was no difference for me between Jews and Zionists but gradually I began to realise there’s a big difference,” but adds, “Israel is a rogue country. It has breached utterly all international law. Treating Israel as above the law sends the wrong message to both sides.”
In sporting (or unsporting) matters, Matt Treacy catches up with some Olympics cheats and Ciarán Kearney gives Cavan defector Seánie Johnston a rap over his move to Kildare in ‘Hurlers Who Can Stick It Out’.
Eoin Ó Murchú finds the Fine Gael/Labour Government’s ‘jobs stimulus’ not very stimulating at all, and Eoghan Mac Cormaic goes surfing to show how social media being used by former Belfast Mayor Niall Ó Donnghaile and newly-elected Clonakilty Mayor Cionnaith Ó Súilleabhain are using Twitter and Facebook to keep people informed with real-time information.
Dublin City Councillor Mícheál Mac Donncha is ‘Remembering the Past’ and 1972, ‘A Summer of Tragedy’.
And the past in IRA legend Tom Barry’s ‘Guerilla Days in Ireland’ is being brought to life in a theatre tour previewed by An Phoblacht.
As Gaeilge: ‘Todchaí na Gaeltachta’, agus ‘Gilmore ar bhóthar na Glasaigh agus na PDs?’
All apologies redux… July 13, 2012Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Politics, Northern Ireland, Sinn Féin.
I was a little sceptical about the talk of SF pushing towards some sort of apology from the IRA. And perhaps I still am. But that said, what to make of the following in the SBP?
One of the most senior figures in the Sinn Féin leadership has made a strong appeal to republicans to reach out to their unionist neighbours by acknowledging the suffering caused by the Northern conflict.
Speaking in Darkley, South Armagh on Friday night, Sinn Féin chairman Declan Kearney said that he and other members of the Sinn Féin leadership hoped for an authentic reconciliation process across the island of Ireland.
Again, much depends on the nature of such an acknowledgement. And I don’t say this as an SF partisan. But I’m always a little wary of the sort of rhetoric below:
Kearney referred to meeting of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth and Martin McGuinness last week as a ‘Mandela Moment’, and that there was a need for new risks and compromises for more of those moments to be achieved, and the “trajectory towards national reconciliation” maintained.
“The achievements of our process demand that we now complete that journey,” said Kearney. “We will have to keep stretching ourselves, taking bolder steps.”
It’s not that such events have no significance, and subsequent to that meeting I’m more convinced now that that was – far from the Southerncentric media’s spin on it being about attracting a Southern floating vote, more about the dynamics extant within the six counties. That’s fair enough. Northern Ireland is a primary focus both of activity and reconciliation on the path to broader engagement on unity. However long that may take, and as Joe – long-time commentor here notes, it’s going to take a long time indeed.
But even to frame it as a ‘Mandala moment’ is to frame it in an unnecessary way.
None of which is to deny that Sinn Féin appears to be doing something fairly unique in terms of Republicanism which is to simultaneously maintain its Republicanism while also seeking to engage seriously with Unionism in the North. That’s quite something, almost a step change.
It also raises many questions. What is the end point? Or even the transitional points? What sort of new relationships are envisaged? Taking an almost banal point, I’ve heard on good authority that the Executive functions in spite of rather than because of with much less communication between the parties, and in particular the DUP and SF than might be expected. Is this in part a way to rework that? If so no harm. But then what happens next?