Ninth annual Joe McManus/Kevin Coen lecture
Adams slams faceless securocrats
Addressing the annual Joe McManus/Kevin Coen lecture in Sligo on
Sunday last, Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams attacked the
destructive and negative role of the `securocrats' within the
British system who have succeeded in undermining progress around
the key issues of policing and demilitarisation. He said they are
also frustrating efforts to get at the truth within the Saville
Inquiry into Bloody Sunday.
Those faceless men and women who for 30 years have shaped the
institutions and laws and security agencies to suit their needs
and goals, have a stranglehold over the process, and over British
policy within the process
``The reality, after weeks of intense and detailed contact and
discussion, is that the gap between what the British government
is obliged to do and what it has done on these issues is as great
as ever,'' he said.
``The British government has not moved to honour the commitments
it first made on these issues in the Good Friday Agreement or at
the conclusion of similar discussions last May.
``Why has this happened? The reason is obvious.
``Those within the British military, intelligence and permanent
government, those faceless men and women who for 30 years have
shaped the institutions and laws and security agencies to suit
their needs and goals, have a stranglehold over the process, and
over British policy within the process.
``Look at the issues that are at the heart of this crisis.
``Policing, demilitarisation, and decommissioning.
``It was the securocrats who introduced decommissioning as a way
of blocking progress within the peace process. It is they who
won't tolerate democratic accountability within policing or allow
for the past actions of this force to be open to scrutiny.
``It is the securocrats who won't demilitarise. Who are refusing
to implement an agreement that their government signed up to in
the Good Friday Agreement in April 1998.
``Look too at the growing level of criticism and cynicism by
relatives and the people of Derry at the way in which the Saville
inquiry into Bloody Sunday is being subverted. Who is it who has
succeeded in undermining confidence in Saville by destroying
crucial evidence and British weapons used on that dreadful day 29
years ago; who is it who succeeded in demanding and getting
anonymity for the British soldiers who killed people; who is it
who now can't find thousands of British Army photographs of the
period which would provide essential evidence? - the answer to
all of these questions is the securocrats.
``The dead hand of the British system - of the securocrats - is to
be found blocking progress across all of these issues.''
The Sinn Féin President concluded by calling on the British Prime
Minister to face down the rejectionists within his own system:
``The British government signed up in the Good Friday Agreement to
a new beginning to policing and to demilitarisation. It was the
right thing to do. It is still the right thing to do. Mr. Blair
should get on with the job and help us create the context in
which further progress across the range of issues can be made.
``Currently that progress is not being made. The British
government stance at present is still being dictated by the
``Mr. Blair has to face up to the rejectionists within his own
system. He has to face down the dissidents with his
establishment. The primacy of politics has to become the ethos
which governments the British government's management of this
process. This is the only way that a sustainable new dispensation
will be produced.
``Unless that change takes place there is little prospect of real
progress being made and a serious risk of deepening crisis and a
collapse of confidence in the Agreement.''