But the content of the latest report, and the very fact that the IMC’s public statements are so heavily influenced by the two governments, means that both London and Dublin have finally decided to do something about intransigent unionism.
The IMC says it is abundantly clear that the IRA has wound itself down, and that any illegal activity by individual members is being carried out against the wishes of the leadership.
This removes the last excuse of Irish unionists for refusing to share power with nationalist representatives.
The report dovetails with statements by the British secretary for the North, Peter Hain, that unionists should no longer use the existence of the IRA as an excuse, an “immovable deadline” of Nov. 24 for reforming the power-sharing government, and talk of “joint authority” if no government is formed.
One sentence in the report, speculating that republicans will gain for political campaigning some of the IRA’s “discreetly laundered assets which were previously gained illegally,” will bring a smile to the lips of the more cynical Irish Americans.
Given the Jack Abramoff scandal here, the open auctioning of “lordships” by the British Labor Party, the routine corruption within Fianna F_il in the 1990s, and the questions about whether the large amounts of cash used to launch and fund the Progressive Democrats came from another jurisdiction, this is unlikely to be a fruitful election debating point for anyone.