Republicanism, the conflict within the six counties of Ireland led to the
strengthening rather than the weakening of the Northern state. It was the
ongoing strengthening of the six county state that shaped the conditions
facilitating the making of The Good Friday Agreement (The Sunningdale
Agreement dusted down). The IRA bombing campaign provided the reactionary
environment for the promotion of the growing strength of the six county
state. The Orange state, an integral part of the British state, constituted
a decisive obstacle standing in the way of the radicalisation of the masses
in the North, in Ireland and Britain itself. The Provos played a key role in
contributing to the fortification of that very obstacle. Instead of helping
to shrink and abolish it, the Provos helped make it stronger. In general
their theory, programme, strategy and tactics strengthened the six county
statelet, the 26 county state and the and the British state itself. Had the
North/ South talks between Lemass and O Neill been free to proceed in the
early seventies, who knows, there may by now exist an independent 32 county
democratic Irish republic. It has been the very strengthening of the
northern state, as an integral part of the UK state, that has facilitated
the reaching of The Good Friday Agreement and prevention of the
establishment of a formally independent 32 county Irish Republic. In that
sense the politics of the Provos promoted the sustenance of the Orange state
while preventing the evolution of a 32 county bourgeois democratic republic.
The strengthening of the two states North and South of the border rendered
the emergence of a formally independent 32 county democratic Republic
impossible. The result was victory for British Imperialism over the native
Irish bourgeoisie. The IRA had become so weak in relation to British
imperialism's six county state that it had no alternative but to surrender
in the form of TGFA. The Good Friday Agreement constitutes a definitive
defeat for the Provos. The only distinction between Trimble and Paisley is
that the latter was able to extract the maximum terms of surrender from the
Provos. What was a defeat for the Provos has been paraded as their victory.
The Provo movement had become so weakened and demoralised that McGuinness
and Adams were able, with ease, to win the vast bulk of its rank and file
over to a position of surrender. Indeed the Provos had become so weakened
that the British ruling class itself had turned the Provos into a colony
serving the class interests of imperialism.
What was imperialism's (the British state's) strategy for surrender of the
Provos was presented as the IRA's brainchild (TGFA). Indeed so much had the
colonisation of the IRA by the British ruling class progressed that it was
increasingly difficult to ascertain whether significant elements in the leadership of
the IRA were agents of British intelligence. The Donaldson affair is an indicator of
There is an entire history here that has yet to be made public. Indeed the
history of the Provos is the history of its take-over by the British state.
Her majesty's Sinn Fein/IRA has been transformed from a petit bourgeois
republican movement to a reactionary bourgeois party.
Incidentally I was once a very active member of Sinn Fein who believed Sinn
Fein could be turned into a Marxist party. However my experience of the
republican movement and growing political consciousness taught me that this
could never be. There were others, within Sinn Fein at the time, who had
entertained a similar utopianism.