Motion 1: Political Situation
· Conference expresses its resolute opposition to all forms of continuing paramilitary and criminal activity.
· Conference stresses the importance of shared understandings of democracy, human rights and the rule of law to sustainable political progress.
· Conference calls upon the British and Irish Governments to ensure that the political process is no longer held hostage by those wedded to violence.
Proposer, Councillor Seamus Close MLA, will say:
“Violence and democracy don’t mix – ever.
“Over twenty years ago, I called for the proscription of Sinn Fein, and argued that Alliance, as a democratic political party, should endeavour to have proscribed those who, ‘abuse the democratic process, subvert the very institutions of Government and support, if not actively participate in, acts of murder and mayhem’. That was June 1983. What’s changed?
“I argued that Sinn Fein was hypocritical and that at a time when they had 5 members of the Northern Ireland Assembly and 59 councillors, they were abusing the democratic process in Northern Ireland.
“Today Sinn Fein have I believe 1 MEP, 4 MPs, 22 Members of the Assembly, and 108 Councillors. But, we do not have an Assembly. I stood as a democrat, I am suspended. I am being punished.
“Blair & Co. have drawn so many lines in the sand that we have run out beach.
“Sinn Fein leadership has toiled so hard, talking to mirrors that, quite honestly, they don’t know whether they are coming or going.
“I can see parallels between the last 30 years in Northern Irish politics and a time in ancient history.
“Sinon persuaded the unsuspecting Trojans that their wooden horse was an offering to their god Athena, and that if only it could be brought into the city, then Troy would become invulnerable.
“After so many years under siege, this was an offer they just couldn’t refuse. They turned a blind eye to the risks, and meekly brought the wooden horse into their city, where under the cover of darkness the hand of friendship, viz. Sinon, released the warriors from the horse, who proceeded to capture and destroy the city.
“Fast forward to the 1970s and 1980s, where the IRA were laying siege to Northern Ireland in their quest for a 32-county fascist state. They bombed, they murdered, but they failed in the butchery to destroy democracy. So they too devised a cunning and devious plan. If only they could get inside the ‘democratic process’.
“They sought their own Sinon who would help. They were brought into the democratic process by those who convinced us that this would make our democracy invulnerable. The wooden horse was replaced by the Teflon donkeys of Sinn Fein. Democracy was set upon from within.
“Michael McDowell tells us that Gerry Adams, Martin McGuinness, Martin Ferris and Slab Murphy are members of the army council, and that Sinn Fein and the IRA are a single entity, whose murders are mere executions, whose decisions are law, and whose tortures are mere punishments.
“The Green Book still rules.
“But have not the British and Irish Governments known this for years? Didn’t Bertie admit as much when he asked the pertinent question: Do they think we’re eejits?
“Regrettably, I think we are.
“Prime Minister, Tony Blair, fed up with the performance of the peace train, has now opted for a bus. This is the same Prime Minister who in 1998 told us all that the settlement train was leaving, and if Republicans were not on board, it was going to go without them. Well, Mr Blair, you let them hi-jack the train. It’s time you put the democrats back in control.
“I do not trust Sinn Fein. I do not believe Sinn Fein. Do you, Mr Blair?
“They have poisoned, polluted and perverted the democratic process. They must not be allowed to kill it dead.
“The colossal crime machine must be stopped. Tony Blair, Bertie Ahern, you must do it. You can no longer ignore reality. You must open your collective blind eye. Deal with those who have stabbed you in the back. Stop treating the democrats like eejits. Expose the hypocrites. Punish them.”
Seconder, Councillor David Alderdice, will say:
Republicans have failed to move from sordid criminality to fully fledged democratic behaviour.
They’ve had every possible encouragement over the last seven years.
The recent IRA statement mocks the ideal of justice and respect for due process, which we in Alliance hold dear.
A voluntary coalition must now be facilitated by the Governments. Total inclusivity is not essential, even if it was at one stage desirable.