THE decision by Sinn Fein to accept the north of Ireland law courts and the police service wholeheartedly (including the special branch) completes the package that signifies that the once-revolutionary nationalist organisation has become a 100 per cent bourgeois nationalist movement.
It is now completing its evolution.
It began with its acceptance of the Blair-Ahern plan to amend the Irish constitution to make it acceptable to Ulster Unionists.
It sponsored the change that deleted the historic claim on the north, and the declaration of the right of the Irish people to self determination, and replaced it with a recognition that Ireland could only be united when a majority of the people in the north was in favour of unity.
From there it moved to destroy its weaponry, and now it has accepted the British capitalist state apparatus in the north, and will encourage its members and supporters to support it, and even to join it.
There is now no reason for Sinn Fein MPs to continue their refusal to participate in the British parliament or even to take part in other British capitalist state institutions.
It is now full speed ahead! They know what has to be done to secure the deputy premiership in a coalition government with the Democratic Unionists.
Paisley has spelt it out. ‘Let no-one be deceived by statements from the secretary of state that there will be any move by myself or the DUP to enter into any government until Sinn Fein has delivered up front on policing.’
The parties have until November 10 to respond to the Blair-Ahern plan, then the first minister and deputy first minister will be nominated on 24 November. Then, following consulting the electorate either by referendum or by an election, there will be the establishment of self-government from March 26 next year.
Gerry Adams said the parties had a moral responsibility to reach a deal. . . ‘We have a moral responsibility to keep delivering, but it’s a collective responsibility.’
Empey, for the Democratic Unionists, said: ‘There appear to have been shifts from both parties. Sinn Fein will sign up to the PSNI being the only force of law and order and Ian Paisley or a colleague will share the joint office of first and deputy first minister with Martin McGuinness in a mandatory coalition. This, I submit, is the Belfast Agreement for slow learners. We have a lot of work to do in the assembly and we will go to that next week with enthusiasm to see the job finished.’
The job, however, will have just begun.
The government of the day will have the job of dealing with those Republicans who already have or will resolve to reject the deal and continue the struggle to expel Britain from the north, in order to unite Ireland.
Sinn Fein will have to play its part in the repressive operations mounted against such movements.
Then there is also the economic crisis, and the spate of hospital closures and privatisations that is due to be imposed on the north by the British government, for its regional administration to carry out.
The theory used to be that the way to the unification of Ireland was through having an armalite in one hands and a ballot box in the other.
Now the armalite has been dropped so that both hands are free to grab the ballot box of British imperialism.
This is the proof of the bankruptcy of the Republican theory that a heroic and militant minority, which has the support and sympathy of the nationalist population of the north could unite Ireland through its limited armed actions.
Only a united working class, throughout Ireland, led by a revolutionary party and having the support of the majority of the middle class can carry through this historic struggle.
In the days ahead, with the collapse of the Irish ‘economic miracle’, and also the rising tide of world revolution, the situation will be there for carrying out this historic task.
This is why Irish revolutionary socialists must establish a section of the International Committee of the Fourth International in Ireland.