Slugger O'Toole

Conversation, politics and stray insights

Wikileaks: “Another idea sporadically under consideration…”

Mon 13 December 2010, 4:56pm

It’s an idea that has, probably, been overtaken by events… for now…  But there is one more section from the US Embassy cables released by Wikileaks worth highlighting.  A short note on the possibility of Fianna Fáil contesting elections in Northern Ireland from a cable dated 04 February 2005

8. (C) Another idea sporadically under consideration is that Fianna Fail could start competing in elections in Northern Ireland. The argument is that Fianna Fail’s best way of confronting Sinn Fein in the Republic is to become an all-island party. Some think doing so could also give nationalists in the north an alternative to Sinn Fein, given the SDLP’s waning fortunes. Mansergh did not see this as a short term prospect, in part because the SDLP has not yet indicated an interest in merging with Fianna Fail. Derek Mooney, Fianna Fail’s political advisor to the Defense Minister, says the opposite. He said the bank robbery is rapidly changing the prospective and it is the right time for Fianna Fail to move north. He noted that most of SDLP’s former voters are not voting at all, and only a small percentage shifted to Sinn Fein. This, he said, leaves space for a nationalist party with a vision for the future, a space Mooney thinks SDLP will never re-gain because it is seen only as a peace process party. Mooney said Fianna Fail took a significant step in November 2004 when it changed its rules, allowing full membership for people not resident in the Republic. The rules also allow a person to be a member of both Fianna Fail and SDLP. Mooney provides campaign advice to SDLP.

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Comments (26)

  1. granni trixie (profile) says:

    I have often wondered as to the value of “political Advisors”? Mooney’s impression of the SDLP as irrelevent is in the context of 2005. Is this how the SDLP is seen or sees itself, 5 years on?

    What do you think?
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  2. fitzjameshorse1745 (profile) says:

    “Sporadically under discussion”……includes a lot of topics and really this leak is just dinner table gossip.
    And it was 2005 when SDLPs fortunes were clearly waning. They waned a little further in 2007 but I think most reasonable people (ie non partisans) would say that not only had the decline stopped in 2010 but there were tentative signs of a recovery. And certainly under Margaret Ritchie (and I wasnt a big fan) there have been few mistakes.
    Even an old dinosaur like me can see that the SDLPs outreach into unfamiliar areas is a step better than SFs bizarre back to the future choice of candidates like Pat Sheehan.
    I suppose its generational.
    But reports of vol au vent gossip……or is it Ferro Rocher (sp) at ambassadorial functions? in February 2005 seems longer ago than it actually was.
    In a peculiar way, Robert McCartney and Northern Bank seem more than five or six years ago.
    I suppose theres two kinds of “insider”…….networking in the Long Gallery over vol au vents or invited to the US Embassy. Personally Im available for the latter. Derek Mooney has certainly arrived. But is he STILL advising SDLP?
    As always the redacted names is the interesting stuff

    What do you think?
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  3. MichaelMac (profile) says:

    Derek Mooney, Fianna Fail’s political advisor to the Defense Minister, says the opposite………..He noted that most of SDLP’s former voters are not voting at all, and only a small percentage shifted to Sinn Fein. This, he said, leaves space for a nationalist party with a vision for the future,

    In the economic wreckage that is 2010 we can see what that future vision was. If they were as retarded on the counties as they were on the economy one has to worrry about the sort of info the Yanks were getting.

    What do you think?
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  4. fitzjameshorse1745 (profile) says:

    Granni Trixie.
    “Is this how the SDLP is seen or sees itself, 5 years on?”

    when you ask the question…..actually two questions……you will get inevitable responses. One from anti SDLP partisans will tell you that the “Stoops are finished” while the second answer will be more along the equally partisan “SDLP will sweep to victory”.

    I think cool analysis shows that all parties have a rough period……the UUP in 2010, SDLP in 2005, 2007, Alliance in say 2003.
    AP rode out that storm and now looks in good health (Naomi Long MP for example). I am inclined to think that the SDLP has bottomed out and is actually improving. It looks well motivated while a few years ago it looked…tired.
    I find that Sinn Féin looks a little tired at the moment.
    There is a generational aspect….SFs choice of City Hall councillors and Pat Sheehan is a very retrograde step. In comparison SDLP looks energetic..in part due to having so many young people who are media savvy.

    Not sure if this actually answers your questions better than the partisan ritual but I think most serious analysts would concur.
    For me………well I am a dinosaur……political advisors is something which needs to be taken in “moderation”. Politics has become unecessarily complicated with too many very intense and energetic young men and women about……with a clipboard in one hand and a “blackberry” in the other. They always seem to be saying “The Minister will be available……” or “The Minister is running 15 minutes late” and they are too wound up to enjoy the vol au vents. Presumably the Alliance Party has people like that.
    I am sure you will be muttering about them at the Dunadry.

    Deep down I think that ordinary party members get a raw deal. Canvassing fodder and they pay for the privelege with an annual membership fee. Inevitably some achieve a degree of local leadership…..a familiar path…..Branch Treasurer (failed) local candidate, (successful) local candidate, Party Executive member and well respected within the Party. And a certain familiarity with vol au vents in the Long Gallery…..which the rank and file party member cant (and possibly does not seek). And then along comes the newly appointed “Advisor” with slightly too much influence.

    What do you think?
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  5. Munsterview (profile) black spot says:

    Fitzj : “….a step better than SFs bizarre back to the future choice of candidates like Pat Sheehan……”

    First off to Republicans Pat Sheehan have more than proven himself a sound individual and an inspirational leader, the kind that have always been the core and backbone of the Moovement. In the context of Republicans and Sinn Fein supporters, there is no more to be said regarding his suitability to represent ‘his people’ !

    In the wider context of Northern Irish politics and indeed Southern Irish politics, the lack of qualifications and poor intellectual capacities of most elected public political representatives are all too obvious. Here we have a man who not only managed a forty day plus hunger strike, but also who collected a first class degree in philosophy and another in politics, who is still only in mid fifties and fully involved in community politics.

    Could there be a more suitable candidate to give leadership to his own community or to use his first class qualifications to give first class representation to his non Sinn Fein or Sinn Fein supporter constituency ? In just how many more ways could he be more qualified to have a seamless take over from Gerry Adams ?

    It is not a matter of having the ‘stature’ to fill Gerry’s shoes, it is a matter of one comrade stepping back and going where most needed and the next more suitable person available and willing stepping into the breech. I know that this is not the way the cronyism of conventional politics work, but Sinn Fein, thankfully is not still a conventional party !

    I have referred to this in previous postings, during the Hume / Adams negotiations I met one of the SDLP back room advisers and businessmen fundraisers in Dublin. He was stunned at what he and the SDLP had just found. The SDLP had a good ‘A’ team and a lesser quality but still adequate ‘B’ team. Sinn Fein, at the right psychological moment in the talks began to field their ‘B’, ‘C’ and ‘D’ teams etc. to negotiate with the SDLP ‘A’ teams.

    Of course it was game play but the full horror registered with the SDLP, there was not much difference between the caliber of negotiators, they knew they were looking at the majority political political future of the Nationalist People and the more savvy realized they in effect were negotiating their own political funeral with these people. My contact certainly did!

    I am not surprised at the Turgon type of analysis of Pat Sheehan, but I am somewhat bemused that those who should know better and who are sympathetic to Nationalist politics, and who should know the score, are not more objective or generous in their analysis.

    It is as if Pat Sheehan’s first class philosophy and politics degrees are in some way a handicap instead of an asset !

    What do you think?
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  6. granni trixie (profile) says:

    1.Yes, APNI have had low periods over the years but it always believed (with some justification) that it had a good product to sell to the public. Was thinking about about this recently re UUP as three UUP activitists I spoke to sounded so lacking in confidence that their project would ever be revived. Whilst wanting to encourage them I came to the conclusion that unless UUP get together a better “product” they are indeed done for. Better media savvy isnt necessarily the answer. Infact didnt we have a discussion on Slugger about the merits of UUP employing an experienced journalist (friend of Mick’s?,presumably with Conservative monies). That this didnt work proves my point.

    2.I was not referring to Alliance advisors – as far as I am aware APNI didnt ever have the dosh to employ anyone in such a role, Its “advisors” are more likely to be in leadership roles anyway and ofcourse there is more than one way to skin a cat if one seeks to influence internal decisions.
    3.Let me correct you on your assessment that “ordinary members” get a raw deal. Depends on the party ofcourse but canvassing,fundraising etc are not lowly activities, as you imply,infact in their own way can be v.powerful and empowering.

    4.Why obsess about vol au vents? Get it right – nowadays you are more likely to be offered smoked salmon on horseradish on ‘irish’ wheaten bread (retro with a twist,geddit?). But if you wait long enough vol au vents will be the new retro.

    What do you think?
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  7. fitzjameshorse1745 (profile) says:

    Munsterview…….as you yourself indicate Pat Sheehan is a well respected figure within the Sinn-Féin organisation. However notwithstanding his fulsome republican credentials, he is largely an unknown figure in the broader community…..the electorate.
    A degree in Philosophy is all fine and dandy. We can never have enough philosophers but just sometimes the voters in West Belfast need someone to just help them with a DLA claim. For all his talents, Sheehan has no record in this regard.
    His last major public contribution to the life of West Belfast was as a hunger striker in 1981.
    Most people in West Belfast have moved on.
    SF would do themselves a favour by promoting some younger “untainted” folks (not a good word to use….but there was atime when all the talent available to SF was compromised by the past…..this is no longer the case).
    As youve observed conversing with SDLP fundraisers in Dublin, SDLP were very slow to say a fond farewell to their old warhorses. These folks are now off the scene and a younger SDLP team certainly talks the talk. Can they walk the walk? The signs are good for them.
    As you observe I am certainly sympathetic to the republican/nationalist position. I am unashamedly both of those things.
    But if I have to call it like I see it.
    Sheehans co-option and choice as 2011 candidate is a bad sign for the party.
    Máirtín Ó Muilleoir as you will have noted me saying previously is a good choice.
    Incidently a good indication of the latters ability is the fact that the choice was so unpleasantly ridiculed by those not sympathetic to republicanism/nationalism. They frankly detest him more…largely because he will be effective.

    So its not lack of “generosity” on my part.
    A good candidate would have a record of public service as well as the ability to reach beyond the core vote.
    Sheehan cant do that.

    What do you think?
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  8. fitzjameshorse1745 (profile) says:

    Ah Granni Trixie I am very conservative in my buffet choices.
    Its vol au vents or nothing. This smoked salmon/horseradish/wheaten bread of which you speak is dangerously “new cuisine” for my tastes.
    anvassing and stuffing envelopes is NOT empowering. It merits nothing more than a pat on the head from a winning or defeated candidate at an Election. But the real movers and shakers in civic society are not canvassing, are not paying membership fees and still have better access to the politicians than party members.
    And of course there are no Alliance advisors. Alliance is…..different ;)
    I doubt if they even vote.

    What do you think?
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  9. fitzjameshorse1745 (profile) says:

    oops…bad editing……”I doubt they even vote” refers to the parasites in civic society (yes I know they are not ALL parasites) not to political advisors.

    What do you think?
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  10. granni trixie (profile) says:

    You know everyone is not ego driven.Canvassing (maybe not stuffing envelopes) can be very empowering and its all part of the social life of a party,something not to be underestimated. I also disagree about who the real movers and shakers are …but then maybe you know something I don’t (that’s meant as a joke!).

    What do you think?
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  11. The Word (profile) black spot says:

    MV

    In regard to the SDLP source who suggested that the A B C D teams of Sinn Fein were all adequate to him/her. Are you suggesting that the SDLP A team negotiated with the SF A team and then with the B team and then the C team or then with the D team just so to know what they were all like?

    Or is this just more an expression of self endorsing logic that probably is related more to the hierarchical nature of the SDLP in their approach to negotiating than to any belief that Sinn Fein good old boy mediocrity is a superior force?

    What do you think?
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  12. The Word (profile) black spot says:

    MV

    I would add that it is widely accepted that Sinn Fein negotiate narrowly but focussed. That is why they went for the prisoner releases but failed to make much impact on the overall Agreement.

    In reality, the Hume-Adams process was one in which Adams agreed to the SDLP’s non-violence (albeit slowly) and to the consent principle, a revolution in republican terms.

    Sinn Fein may be endowed with many average thinkers, thinking big through the ideology, but if you sidestep the ideology there’s nothing much there. I’m sure the British and the recently positively flowering DUP think much the same.

    The British have an establishment full of strategically thinking heavyweights and the unionists are also very horizontally-focussed strategists too.

    It is not a little wonder that the SDLP three strand position held sway as all the others were negotiating strategically, i.e. in their own interests, while the SDLP had found a agreeable way.

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  13. aquifer (profile) says:

    The SDLP were locked in a dated model of elderly male authority that would sit on upcoming talent. The Shinners were developing their cadres systematically, building their confidence by placing them next senior SDLP types as equals. The SDLP were spooked by this as they could not match it without unravelling their own authority structures.

    And then the small matter of the missing socialist labour ideology.

    Small wonder the voters might have stayed home.

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  14. Munsterview (profile) black spot says:

    The Word, : “……In regard to the SDLP source who suggested that the A B C D teams of Sinn Fein were all adequate to him/her. Are you suggesting that the SDLP A team negotiated with the SF A team and then with the B team and then the C team or then with the D team just so to know what they were all like?……. ”

    SF negotiating strategy and tactics are I am afraid a matter for the people concerned to talk about. These skills as most other Sinn Fein’s political skills were got ‘the hard earned way’, taught by sympathetic professionals, some actually also party members. In my early twenties I was meeting on a regular basis with senior clerics, TD, Local government officials etc on prisoner and other issues of concern to Republicans.

    Most of that time I also had a shop stewards card and at times, a site conveners card in my pocket and had a dozen or so monthly meetings with managements under my belt, negotiating pay rates etc. Other young SF people of the period were doing likewise. Phil Flynn was a senior Sinn Fein official, A senior Trade Union Official and a director of a Bank among other things. Do you think that people like Phil did not share their skills and empower others ?

    As to your question, anyone farmilar with negotiations and strategies will know immediately what was done and why.

    What do you think?
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  15. fitzjameshorse1745 (profile) says:

    Granni Trixie,
    I am not suggesting that everyone or indeed successful politicians at any level are ego-driven. Far from it.
    People join political parties because they support a political agenda of principles and self interest. Its a great thing to do.
    But they also join…or many do……in the hopes of influencing the future direction of a Party. Again thats entirely honourable (with the proviso that the intention is not to reverse the direction).
    My point is that party loyalists are often mis-used by politicians and senior Party figures.
    Has a DUP party loyalist ever canvassed for a politician like Jim Allister?
    Has SDLP canvasser ever canvassed for Gerry Fitt or Paddy Devlin?
    Has a SF canvasser ever canvassed for Gerry McHugh?
    Has a UUP canvasser knocked doors for Jeffrey Donaldson or Paula Bradshaw?
    Youve canvassed for Alliance. Ever organised a canvas for a person who defected and rubbished the Party?

    Yet…….and Im sure AP is……..as always……different……the further people go into Party Executives, Associationof Party Councillors or whatever, the greater the disconnect from the envelope stuffers……and the greater the connexion to other political insiders……..whether from other political parties or the press pack.
    If one of our distinguished journos knows more about Party policy or tittle tattle than a rank and file member…..theres a problem.
    Just how many rank and file members are on professional politicians “speed dial”, I have no idea. Just how many journos and politicians are tweeting each other……….see my point?
    But of course AP is different ;)

    What do you think?
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  16. granni trixie (profile) says:

    All I know about is how one party runs so cannot altogether judge if it is different to others…but if you say so…

    Just remembered – did get a peek into how SDLP works ,Lw Falls style, when on one occasion (still an Allince member), I canvassed for Joe Hendron.

    What do you think?
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  17. The Word (profile) black spot says:

    Aquifer

    “the SDLP were spooked”

    I think you’ll find that that wasn’t because of their talent but because they were perceived as getting things because of the gun. The SDLP are less spooked these days.

    MV

    Yes, I think that it’s fair to say that others knew that Sinn Fein were getting instructions from the Professionals, as you admit.

    Your admission is frank in this regard. There is of course a risk in this path of becoming used poddles of a certain class who might give the sort of help that might really imply a controlling interest.

    Indeed it is clear from the collapse of the republican position in talks that those negotiating were taking an altogether inconsistent path from the words and deeds of the great leader, for one.

    I certainly would like to see these “sympathetic professionals” on the ballots sheets to enable the public to see who really runs Sinn Fein and what kind of people we’re dealing with.

    I think then that the SDLP might be fighting on a level playing field.

    What do you think?
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  18. Munsterview (profile) black spot says:

    The Word : “…….I certainly would like to see these “sympathetic professionals” on the ballots sheets to enable the public to see who really runs Sinn Fein and what kind of people we’re dealing with……..”

    From the very start of the seventies and the reorganization of Sinn Fein an Audio-Visual educational course was prepared with the assistance of two University professors. Their input concerned packaging and presentation only, Sinn Feins own party people provided the content.

    The educational and training courses that emerged from that were all done in house after that initial assistance.

    It must also be remembered that The Republican Movement from those early days, also produced their own newspaper and all the allied skills associated with with press work were hot housed there in Parnell Square as they were likewise in the Republican News production office in the North.

    Sinn Fein did have some people of their own with significant skills and experience, Phil Flynn was a case in point. Once SF councillors got elected PR work became the norm and every area produced it’s own few people who were naturals in that sort of work. SF hot housed and produced its own talent, ‘sympathetic professionals’ may have been available for advice as needed but the production talent was in house.

    I can recall a conversation with the late Steve McDonough after he had become au fe with some of the Movement and it’s activities. Steve was a man that knew his way around PR machines and he was very impressed with SF and especially the lack of qualifications other than experience of the lads and lassies pulling the levers that provided a level of sophistication far more effective than the PR machines of other parties with far more ‘professional’ resources.

    Bit like Turgon, and the yacht episode a some weeks back, people need to upgrade their thinking of Republicans and where they are coming from. The media perceptions formed by a hostile press bear little resemblance to reality.

    On the Friday night of Pearse Doherty victory I see a bunch of youngsters celebrating, the following day we had trouble getting the car out on the main road and up Stranolar, yet by noon the following day the celebrations were over and some of these young lads and lassies had braved the ice and snow, were sitting down analysis the election and planning their next campaign. I headed South happy!

    It is that dedication and hard work is what tipped the balance in Sinn Feins favor. ‘Sympathetic professionals’ may be there for the victory but it is the hard graft like we put in in our day and those youngsters were putting in within hours of Pearse’s election that produced and will produce the results!

    What do you think?
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  19. The Word (profile) black spot says:

    MV

    I think you’re back-tracking somewhat from your original post. You suggested that Sinn Fein were taught their political and negotiating skills by “sympathetic professionals”.

    I think that is the accurate position and your last post was therefore a realisation that you said too much. Isn’t that it?

    In any case I have no doubt whatsoever that “sympathetic professionals” both during the war you fought and in the peace had ways of making their views known. That being the case the issue of control arises. Was their influence a controlling influence?

    Are Sinn Fein being used to subvert the SDLP, for example and keep Ireland out of the hands civil rights generation of new centre-left?

    Was the army used to fight other people’s battles? I know that certain things happened after Bloody Sunday. That was when the British said that they preferred to fight Gerry Adams than John Hume. Did some people oblige them?

    I say again that these “sympathetic professionals” need to seen now that the Irish people are being told that populist solutions to their problems have no unimtended consequences.

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  20. Munsterview (profile) black spot says:

    The Word : “…..I think that is the accurate position and your last post was therefore a realization that you said too much. Isn’t that it?…..”

    You are also a player and can of course put whatever connotations that suits your arguments or prejudices on anything I write. I use these posts to put some of the ethos of Republicanism out there for a general readership and also for a younger generation of Republicans that need to know their own past.

    The success I have had in putting a ‘human face on Republicans can be gauged by the determined opposition that I have had from certain Unionist quarters who have resorted to ridicule, abuse and insult. They have not gone away you know, they have not changed one iota, they are just too much clever clogs to engage in diminishing returns that expose their prejudices.

    The fact that I have openly said what I had to say here while some of these had to resort to pseudo creations like the one unmasked by me to push views and project images that they know are unacceptable to the broad ethos of this site speaks for itself.

    ‘Sympathetic Professionals’ this is as sinister as you want to make it ! Fifteen years ago I was with a German Friend, we met another person at a social engagement and she was listening in to a hour long detailed political conversation. She was amazed as the same person, a Fine Gael minister had given a ‘Fire and Brimstone’ response to republicans on TV some nights before, yet she could see for herself the friendship of our exchanges.

    In one particular area while on SF business, I always stayed with a FG family. I have also constantly pointed out here that there are quite a few decent people in FF at all levels that I know socially and culturally. As to Labour I never meet one I know but it is immediately ‘talking shop’ within the context of what the current situation means for the Left generally as we recognize our common purpose supersedes party politics.

    The person that taught me election tally skills when I was on my twenties was then in his sixties and FG. He did this because he considered that it was the right thing to do. There were and always are such decent people and ‘sympathetic professionals’ out there.

    As to the innovation and intelligence of some Republican, as an old Kerry Republican was fond of saying, the same intelligence used to rob a bank could also be used to fill one ! There is no shortage of successful Republican and ex-Republican business men and women to bear that out.

    There is nothing strange about you latching on to ‘sympathetic professionals’, how often during the Low Intensity War did stories surface when the IRA pulled off something extradionary, that they were hiring in ex America Marine ‘Hit Men’ who were being paid on a bonus system for hits. The fact that Green took the war to the SAS like Tom Barry did the Auxies and beat them at their own game was not inkeeping with the ‘mindless terrorist’ that the Brits wanted to propogate.

    Why then should it be any surprise to you and people like you that Republicans, when free to channel such energy and effort into politics, as the majority now are, should not develop top level expertise very quickly, or that the ground work for this should have been laid down as early as the need for these things became evident? One of my greatest satisfaction visiting old friends in Derry and elsewhere is to see the third level graduation photos on display.

    The parents and grandparents of these fine young people were none less intelligent or inovative, they did not have that opportunities or outlets thats all ! Republicanism and The Movement gave an outlet for their talents in a war situation as it now do in peace for Republicans who have taken that path.

    In suggesting that Republicans or Nationalists do not have innate abilities or capacities without relying of ‘ sympathetic professionals’ or that once advised, that they are not capable of developing and improving these various areas of expertese once advised on it, is but giving credence the supremacist views of certain Unionists towards ‘wood-kerns’ You are doing neither the SDLP, Sinn Fein or Nationalists generally any favors by pandering to such prejudices !

    Progressive Republicans and Nationalists should be attempting to move such people away from these prejudices, a difficult proposition at the best of times, and they most certainly should not be doing anything to reinforce these views.

    What do you think?
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  21. The Word (profile) black spot says:

    MV

    I’m not pandering to such prejudices. I am interpreting your words about “sympathetic professionals”.

    I have my own awareness of such things. I’m just attempting to open you up about such matters. How much do ordinary Sinn Fein members really know about the influences on its negotiating positions? Who was controlling the army when Gerry Adams was calling their actions “wrong” in the late 1980s? I’ve never heard McGuinness say that.

    And the reason you irk the unionists so much is that you have this “Mormon-like” gullability about the central goodness of the struggle in the face of such realities as the Mormons might have about the background of Mr Smith.

    We need to see these professionsal names on ballot papers.

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  22. Munsterview (profile) black spot says:

    The Word,

    When I was released after my brief hunger and thirst strike in the Uk I was again detained before going up the gang plank as I gave my name in Irish. The Politicos immediately took over and told me I was free to go.

    As I turned to go the Intel idiot scoffed and said ” Well mate we have fucked up your business good and proper, we got you anyway ” I walked away laughing, I knew my people.

    When I got home I found letters with cheques for every bill owed piled up behind the door with dozens of new potential customers who requested I contact them. Most new ones came from the broad Republican family but also had FG and Labour people. When I checked in to do a debrief the person concerned greeted me with ” Why could not go away and pay for ad in the paper for business like any other Bo***x, you had to had to get the Brits to do it for you”?

    Any and all of these new customers could be called ‘sympathetic professionals’ they and others like them were and are decent people, we do not need to sell Sinn Fein to them, they know what we stood for then and now. These people have had enough and will hopefully will give SF enough in the coming election to do the business.

    To those of like ethos, who know this reality, no words are necessary, to those who do not no words will suffice or convince !

    I have tried to convey some of this ethos, no more, no less and if that can give non Republicans some appreciation of this and other ethos also and broaden their perspectives in the process, all the better.

    What do you think?
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  23. The Word (profile) black spot says:

    MV

    I reckon you’re deflecting the argument away from my point.

    But I agree with your point that SF ethos is a good business ethos in that it has low morals and strong work ethic and it doesn’t tolerate dissent.

    But, you know, that is not the argument they present to the voters. They at least make a strong suggestion that they are “socialists” and that the SDLP are “middleclass”.

    In the south they are positioning themselves on the far left.

    But the “sympathetic professionals” are certainly not going to let them get away with that orienteering. That’s why they are little more than a menace to a people who are hurting. They have no solutions, only promises. You know what they say about “empty promises”.

    What do you think?
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  24. Munsterview (profile) black spot says:

    The Word :”…..I reckon you’re deflecting the argument away from my point.

    But I agree with your point that SF ethos is a good business ethos in that it has low morals and strong work ethic and it doesn’t tolerate dissent……..”

    First off if you are the SDLP then you are also a player and therefore not giving dispassionate opinion or comment. There is no point in entering debate on the matter; when the time is right and you have collapsed below the viability threshold as a party, you will be coming to SF En Mass anyway so these discussions are somewhat academic.

    Tolerating for the moment that you are who you say you are, what from a pan Nationalist viewpoint is to be gained by getting down and dirty about the merits of demerits of both parties? This can only benefit Unionism.

    It is foolish and naive to think that these things are not noted by people who take these things very seriously indeed. Loose lips sink ships and all that ! No need to give unnecessary political hostages to fortune.

    What do you think?
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  25. The Word (profile) black spot says:

    MV

    The point is that the very strong political advantage Sinn Fein have over the SDLP is based on a lie Sinn Fein tell about their debts to the right.

    I’m sure some people think that they can drive the juggernaut from the back seat, so to speak, to victories in the south and somehow help the North. But the unintended consequence is that the lies take hold.

    I feel it appropriate to let you know that that will not be allowed to happen. I would simply predict that the outcome will be considerably different to your predictions.

    What do you think?
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  26. andnowwhat (profile) black spot says:

    Strange how no one is claiming to be responsible for the appeal against Assange being awarded bail.

    Nice work bythe judge though

    What do you think?
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