I think I've mentioned before that when living in London I used to drink in an "Irish" pub called the Stags Head . Most of the Irish clientèle whilst sympathetic to the republican movement in the "Six Counties" were not supporters of IRA violence,but their were often perplexed with some of the Westminster actions one of these was the voice ban on Gerry Adams and other Republicans in the early 1990's which ended up with the riduculous situation where actors were employed by the BBC to give voice overs to Adams, which only played into Sinn Féin hands as portraying the British Government as been autocratic and undemocratic.
The ban was eventually lifted in 1984 as was the travel ban on some Republicans.
As an Irish Republican Adams refused to take his seat partly because he couldn't swear an oath of allegiance but also because to his mind the British Parliament is a foreign parliament as much as the US Congress is to Irish republican.
The London establishment have never understood this in fact they have never really come to terms with the establishment of an Independent Irish state.
For Christmas I was given Claire Wills book That Neutral Island (Faber and Faber 2007) a superb examination of Ireland during the Second World War. I recommend this to everyone because it helps in understanding much of Irish national thinking during this period but also shows that Britain still had colonial attitude towards Ireland. Which still exists today on the Benches of the British Parliament
With regards Adams and I in no way support any advocate for political violence. The British establishment have never come to terms with him and his charismatic appeal to Irish republicans. So when he resigned his West Belfast seat in the House of Commons by his mind by the simple means of sending a letter to the speaker which read.
‘A chara I hereby resign as MP for the constituency of West Belfast. Go raibh maith agat Gerry Adams.’
Naturally the British Establishment went into a flap claiming that he could only resign by the archaic parliamentary tradition, to apply for an Office of Profit under The Crown before he can stand down.
This may have been a bit terse but is the sort of letter thousand write when handing in their notice and seems to me a perfectly legal (Though perhaps rude) means of resigning by some one who never liked working in the place.
This appears to have led Mr Adams being appointed to the Steward and Bailiff of the Manor of Northstead although he as not applied for it.
The pathetic and misleading announcement of this by David Cameron and the reaction of his Public Schoolboys on the backbenches was meant to embarrass Adams but he (Cameron) and the rest of the establishment including the BBC's David Cornock's cannot realise that Adams and his Sinn Féin supporters don't give a toss what the British Establishment think ,or for its archaic traditions and probably never will.
But one wonders if Adams was to challenge this under the Human Rights Act what the result would be? Or what would the reaction be if the establishment thought there was any chance of Sinn Féin losing the subsequent byelection?
One night in 1994 I entered the Stags Head where the topic of discussion was the lifting of the Voice ban on Gerry Adams and other republicans only one person did not look pleased at this so I asked him why.
I'm an Actor" he replied "I've just lost a lucrative money spinner as dubbing my voice for Gery Adams for the BBC news".