Slugger O'Toole

Conversation, politics and stray insights

Sinn Fein and the south-where do they go from here? #SFAF

Sun 9 February 2014, 3:23pm

In September, I wrote a post about the rise of Sinn Fein in Northern Ireland not being all that it seemed. So, I thought with the party’s Ard Fheis being this weekend I would take a quick scan of the party’s electoral performance in the Irish Republic. (There are no in-depth databases on Irish elections as the main website is currently down so bits of this are patchy)

While I was critical of the party’s rise being based on fundamentally turning people off the political process in Northern Ireland,  in the south they have actually achieved real growth with a much more stable voter turnout.

Since 1997, turnout in Irish general elections has averaged around 69%. This is a big difference from Northern Ireland’s average of around 61% and in the last two elections turnout has actually increased in the Irish Republic while ours has steadily fallen.

What about the overall picture?

Since 1997 the party has gained 175,000 votes going from just 45,000 in 1997 to over 220,000 in 2011.

The party has also aside from 2007 enjoyed a steady increase in its number of seats going from one in 1997 to 14 in 2011 making the party the fourth largest in state.

At the last election the party made some solid gains in Connaught/Ulster and Dublin. At the moment 8 of the party’s 14 TDs come from these two places and most likely will be base of their next leader with Pearse Doherty in Donegal and Mary-Lou McDonald in Dublin Central.

In the Ulster counties the party saw a huge surge in their vote as they went from 19.5% in 2007 to 27.8% in 2011. This from my numbers makes the party the most popular in Donegal, Monaghan and Cavan which will be interesting as most pundits are predicting Donegal South West to become the first constituency to elect two Sinn Fein TDs to the Dail at the next election.

Then we have Dublin which is the key to winning any Irish general election as the city holds 47 of the 166 seats in the Dail. Since 2007, Sinn Fein have made steady increases within the capital city going from 7% to 10.7% of the vote in the 2011 gaining 3 seats.

The future?

The party at the next election will be seeking to outperform Labour and become the third largest party in the state. To this they will be ultimately looking at make some gains in places like Donegal but the real gains will need to be in Dublin as that is where Labour in particular did well at the last election and those voters angry at austerity measures will be ripe for the picking. At the moment there are 6 Dublin constituencies where Sinn Fein are polling above 10%-these areas are where they will be seeking to make some big moves at the next election at Labour’s expense.

The big problem Sinn Fein has is that due to its past and image it does not do very well in getting transfers from other parties-this means that despite huge vote increases they will make gains in handfuls rather than shovelfuls.

Should the current polls be believed the party could end up holding around 20 seats after the next election which if Labour implodes could see the party playing a role in the next government and establishing itself as the leading left wing party in Ireland.

 

 

 

 

Share 'Sinn Fein and the south-where do they go from here? #SFAF' on Delicious Share 'Sinn Fein and the south-where do they go from here? #SFAF' on Digg Share 'Sinn Fein and the south-where do they go from here? #SFAF' on Facebook Share 'Sinn Fein and the south-where do they go from here? #SFAF' on Google+ Share 'Sinn Fein and the south-where do they go from here? #SFAF' on LinkedIn Share 'Sinn Fein and the south-where do they go from here? #SFAF' on Pinterest Share 'Sinn Fein and the south-where do they go from here? #SFAF' on reddit Share 'Sinn Fein and the south-where do they go from here? #SFAF' on StumbleUpon Share 'Sinn Fein and the south-where do they go from here? #SFAF' on Twitter Share 'Sinn Fein and the south-where do they go from here? #SFAF' on Add to Bookmarks Share 'Sinn Fein and the south-where do they go from here? #SFAF' on Email Share 'Sinn Fein and the south-where do they go from here? #SFAF' on Print Friendly

Comments (63)

  1. tmitch57 (profile) says:

    “Should the current polls be believed the party could end up holding around 20 seats after the next election which if Labour implodes could see the party playing a role in the next government and establishing itself as the leading left wing party in Ireland.”

    @David,

    Thank you for the electoral analysis. My question is if a party runs in NI on the basis of irredentist nationalism how can it be considered to be a “left wing party?” Or, is it allowed to have a schizophrenic identity and be right wing in the North and left wing in the Republic?

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  2. Barney (profile) says:

    Tmitch wrote
    “irredentist nationalism”
    Spitting a thesaurus does not make an argument, you misunderstand either by design or malice the nature of partition. There is no point in discussing the distinct lack of mandate for creating the north or its lack of an ethnic minority.

    Labelling Irish nationals in the six counties as petty and right wing is not terribly bright and flies in the face of the political history of the place.

    I’m not getting into where or how nationalism fits on the political spectrum because you seem to have an undeveloped view of this area.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 1
  3. Politico68 (profile) says:

    I think the transfer problem is slowly becoming a thing of the past. In the presidential election of 2011 Mc Guinness won 14% of the popular vote and almost matched that percentage in terms of transfers he received from eliminated candidates before he himself was eliminated. For sure SF will make gains in Dublin at labours expense but what is more pressing at the moment is the upcoming Euro elections. If the shinners can get an MEP in every irish constituency (and it looks like they will) it will be a huge psychological boost for the party and it will be a clear sign to the establishment here and in Europe that SF cant be ignored as a contender for government.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  4. Politico68 (profile) says:

    tmitch57 – with all due respect to you mate, i think u are a little muddled on the definition of irredentism….

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 1
  5. redstar2011 (profile) says:

    They are hardly left wing in the North!!!!!

    Its a looooooong time since they were ” revolutionary!!!!!!”

    And its definitely fair to say they are schizo North/South on their economic policies, Belfast its implementing outrageous Tory policy cuts, whilst in Dublin in the safety of opposition its opposing cuts

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  6. Charles_Gould (profile) says:

    They need to ensure a painless transition from GA to MLM as overall leader.

    They need to adopt the politics of the left, standing up for womens rights, gay rights, and workers rights.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  7. socaire (profile) says:

    Maybe, Charles, you’ll join PSF when Mary Lou takes over. All your birthdays come at once. Join a party that’s moving forward.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  8. Politico68 (profile) says:

    Redstar – ur analysis can only stand up if there were an element of choice regarding fiscal decisions in the North. None of the parties in the North can really make any sort of radical departure from westminister policies simply because they dont have the powers to tax and spend as they see fit. In the south it is quite diferrent, the government there has the power to adjust taxation and spending as it sees fit but they are unwilling to do so, hence the SF argument regarding ‘choices’. The schizo claim is interesting and only shows a misunderstanding of federalised governemnt. the US, Germany etc. all have state governments within their federal boundary.State government policies can often differ from national ones from state to state on the basis of circumstance, even if the same parties are in power at both levels. In other words, SF can see Ireland as one political entity with the the North being a federal autonomous region with different dynamics so its not really schizo but more like mature contemporary politics.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 1
  9. tmitch57 (profile) says:

    “SF can see Ireland as one political entity with the the North being a federal autonomous region with different dynamics so its not really schizo but more like mature contemporary politics.”

    @Politco68,

    Yes and SF can also see murdering unionist politicians, threatening rival nationalist politicians and conducting a massive (im)personation campaign during every election as part of the armed struggle. There are many other parties in Europe, past and present, that also conduct “mature contemporary politics.”

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  10. tmitch57 (profile) says:

    “Labelling Irish nationals in the six counties as petty and right wing is not terribly bright. ”

    “My question is if a party runs in NI on the basis of irredentist nationalism how can it be considered to be a “left wing party?” Or, is it allowed to have a schizophrenic identity and be right wing in the North and left wing in the Republic?”

    @Barney,

    Where does the word petty appear in my post? And my question was specifically directed towards Sinn Fein, not nationalism. Maybe you are confused between the two.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  11. Barney (profile) says:

    OK it’s back to first principals; Every nationalist party on the Island wants to see an end of partition.

    You clearly labelled nationalism right wing when you said

    “If a party runs in NI on the basis of irredentist nationalism how can it be considered to be a “left wing party?”

    Your misuse of the term “irredentist nationalism” can only have been intended to paint Nationalism as somehow equivalent to Nazism. A description that implies nationalism is petty and right wing.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  12. derrydave (profile) says:

    ‘They need to adopt the politics of the left, standing up for womens rights, gay rights, and workers rights.’

    With all due respect Charles, where have you been for the past decade or more ?? Sinn Fein have been at the forefront of efforts to stand up for these rights for as long as I can remember – no need therefore to ‘adopt’ the politics of the left when these issues already form a central piece of Sinn Feins policy !

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  13. aquifer (profile) says:

    Political pyramid selling scheme? Revolutionary gang?

    They have built sectarian division and committed heinous acts. Voting for them looks like inviting the big bad wolf around to your house for a couple of slices of bacon.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  14. Politico68 (profile) says:

    tmitch57 – I wasnt aware that SF are currently murdering unionist politicians, threatening the sdlp and practising electoral fraud. You should really report this stuff to the authorities and get the guilty behind bars before the Shinners start murdering babies in their sleep, cannibalising methodists and spit roasting loyalists on the shankhill. u are probably very busy with your frequent trips to mars etc. but u have a responsibility to save this society in the face of such potential catastphic disaster !

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  15. streetlegal (profile) says:

    The Provisional Sinn Fein leadership have at least this much in common with the leadership of the DUP. That they are hungry for power – power without direction – power for the sake of power.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  16. Droch_Bhuachaill (profile) says:

    Liadh Ní Riada, SF candidate for Ireland South Euro seat, just said on the radio that they would go into a coalition with ANY of the current parties.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  17. FuturePhysicist (profile) says:

    While I was critical of the party’s rise being based on fundamentally turning people off the political process in Northern Ireland, in the south they have actually achieved real growth with a much more stable voter turnout.

    David, I’m an SDLP supporter but this nonsence about Sinn Féin turning people off politics and is not justified, likewise with the DUP. Even if people are turned off because of Sinn Féin and the DUP, the responsibility for that lies with the apathetic non-voter, not Sinn Féin or the DUP parties or the Sinn Féin and DUP electorate. Their mandates didn’t fall from the heavens, they grew them from building their own grassroots, from merging small parties and letting others leave.

    Sinn Féin have no power over the non-voter’s free will unless the non-voter surrenders that power by not voting for an acceptable alternative.

    People need Positive Politics to come out to vote, and the sucess of the DUP and Sinn Féin at lower turnouts does not mean that those who “didn’t win” deserve the mandate of voter apathy. I don’t see the DUP and Sinn Féin as the enemy, I see them as the competition. If there is not enough votes for a coalition of parties that can challenge Sinn Féin and the DUP on the democratic front, then we as a society do not deserve an alternative.

    It’s a naive elitism, to assume that your own vote or opinion matters more than one of your political rival simply because you don’t like them, indeed at its worst extreme it becomes facism. Literally “bundling together” a group of people around a negative is a poor substitute than the “aristocracy of the people”.

    It’s a naive delusion to think that peace process politics is going to be solved, and the constitutional question is going to be parked, through recuscant measures that have failed one side or the other for the last 400 years. There is 400 years worth of evidence that it doesn’t.

    In terms of the Republic, they haven’t parked the constitutional question, the matter of how much people can drive the agenda and forge their own nations is still driven by having fiscal powers.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  18. FuturePhysicist (profile) says:

    Thank you for the electoral analysis. My question is if a party runs in NI on the basis of irredentist nationalism how can it be considered to be a “left wing party?” Or, is it allowed to have a schizophrenic identity and be right wing in the North and left wing in the Republic?

    Is unionism not equally irredentist to those who don’t want to sign up to it, or does tyranny of the majority excuse that?

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  19. Dec (profile) says:

    ‘conducting a massive (im)personation campaign during every election ‘

    Ho-hum

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/northern_ireland/5385132.stm

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  20. tmitch57 (profile) says:

    “Your misuse of the term “irredentist nationalism” can only have been intended to paint Nationalism as somehow equivalent to Nazism.”

    @Barney,
    Pray, tell me how I misused the term irredentist nationalism. “Terra irredenta” is Italian for unreclaimed land. Is not the “fourth field” unreclaimed land in nationalist ideology? If you immediately thought of one of the IRA’s former allies, that is your business. I worked off the basis that in Western Europe irredentist nationalism is normally not considered to be left wing.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  21. tmitch57 (profile) says:

    @Dec,

    I’m glad to see that the DUP is also being held to account for election fraud.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  22. Charles_Gould (profile) says:

    SF in particular has been quite good at getting low-income people to the polls, compared to parties in other countries.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  23. Barney (profile) says:

    Tmitch wrote
    “Pray, tell me how I misused the term irredentist nationalism.”
    The north broke away from the rest of the country and was given military support by the British. There was no mandate or ethnic minority to justify this breakaway region, reversing this partition cannot be described as an annexation, we don’t know exactly how it will look but it will not be the Nazi imagery you conjured.

    You chose that phrase to be as insulting to Nationalists as possible. Not content with that you have resurrect the old Nazi slur. There were more people in the British cabinet sympathetic to Nazi ideology than any grouping of Irish people. You may wish to resurrect old tropes while forgetting that the genocidal maniac Stalin was armed and given vocal and political support by the allies. At this point it’s worth noting that William Joyce the great Irish unionist was a Nazi collaborator but only a bitter person would project his ideology onto unionism as a whole.

    You may wish to have your own definition of words but the world doesn’t work that way. There is nothing intrinsically right wing about Nationalism it doesn’t go hand in glove with advocating a free market. If anything national liberation is associated with left of centre ideology.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  24. BarneyT (profile) says:

    StreeLegal: whilst SF are playing a long game and taking a while to deliver (assuming there are functions in the executive that enable delivery), I wouldn’t say they want power for powers sake. I think they will use it given a chance, which may or may not be to everyone’s liking…but they wont idle.

    Tmitch: Your comments regarding SF are a bit dated, and whilst many may agree, that’s a long time ago. I’d hate to think that the SF\IRA of the past is a more welcome sight than that we see today but I cant help feeling many would prefer the old model to nourish their immovable hatred.. The political SF who offer and now encourage PSNI support and the rule of law, sufficient to go into power with the DUP should be recognised as the animal they are today, and not the monster they perhaps may have been in the past.

    What lies a head for SF? Mostly probably government in the ROI and perhaps the leading party in the north. As that leading party, I feel they will deliver more for all. I would not be classed as a classic shinner, but more someone that welcomes where they are today. However, success in the north, but governing for all and serving the British and Irish cultures will serve well in the ROI and they know that.

    I can see SF eating into many FF votes as well as Labour and indeed gaining many transfers from FF. They will become the third party and if they continue along present lines and manage to internationally attach a post Haass agreement to their ass, FF should watch out. They may even achieve this with Gerry at the helm, but the McDonald\Doherty ticket will launch a new level of acceptability for SF.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  25. tmitch57 (profile) says:

    “You may wish to have your own definition of words but the world doesn’t work that way. There is nothing intrinsically right wing about Nationalism it doesn’t go hand in glove with advocating a free market. If anything national liberation is associated with left of centre ideology.”

    @Barney,

    You might be correct as far as the Third World and the former Second World go, but for Western Europe supporting democractic methods is considered a sine qua non for definition as left wing. Both Ireland and the UK are in Western Europe.

    “The north broke away from the rest of the country and was given military support by the British.”

    Actually the 26 Counties broke away from the UK, which is the larger entity that they were part of until late December 1921. The Six Counties remained part of the UK.

    “There was no mandate or ethnic minority to justify this breakaway region,”

    Why is it that the 1918 election can be described as a mandate for Sinn Fein rule in the 26 Counties, but when most of the seats in the Six Counties were won by unionists or Redmondites you say there was no mandate? You are right: there was no ethnic minority–the unionists were an ethnic majority in the Six Counties.

    “reversing this partition cannot be described as an annexation,”

    The late Likud leader Menahem Begin used to make the exact same claim about the West Bank. The Likud is normally thought of as a right-wing party because of its nationalism. Begin also fought the British and considered himself to be a liberation leader.

    “There were more people in the British cabinet sympathetic to Nazi ideology than any grouping of Irish people.”

    Name one British cabinet minister who rode in a German U-Boat when it was still crewed by Germans.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  26. babyface finlayson (profile) says:

    derrydave
    “Sinn Fein have been at the forefront of efforts to stand up for these rights for as long as I can remember ”
    Out of curiosity can you or anyone tell me how many openly gay representatives Sinn Fein have?

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  27. Barney (profile) says:

    Again it’s back to first principals; Ireland gained home rule as a whole. The North broke away from the 26 counties supported by the British. Unionists had to reapply to join the UK, that is the historical truth.

    Mitch you are all over the place here, you don’t get to make up your own narrow definition of what is left or right wing. It’s simple, if you favour seizing the means of production and redistributing wealth in line with a centrally planed economy then you can be described as left wing. The means of achieving power has exactly no bearing on ones position in the political spectrum.

    The Country has always been seen as a single political entity and treated as such. The first democratic election resulted in a political defeat for Unionism. Nationalism won a mandate Unionism didn’t; In order to award themselves a mandate Unionism had to create partition a move that is the very definition of undemocratic.

    Unionism is a political ideology not an expression of ethnicity, there are no ethnic divisions in Ireland the only people who speak of true or pure blood people are ethnocentric racists like Begin.

    No British minister sailed in a Nazi U boat That is true however I didn’t say any did, but several British cabinet ministers and an ex King were sympathetic to the Nazis. Two IRA men were transported on German U Boats, several Jews fought with the Nazis as did a lot of Slavs. The point being that you don’t object to Britain formally allying its self with Stalinist genocidal murders and rubber stamping post war ethnic cleansing and murder. You ignored that and decided to throw up Frank Ryan and the other one ( name escapes me at the moment) obvious historical quirks in an attempt to support your position. I can think of several atypical historical quirks which though interesting ultimately mean nothing. My favourite is the accurate but coat trailing description “slave owners revolt”.

    The decline of traditional left wing parties in Ireland or Europe as a whole allows SF to step into that territory and claim the left wing mantel. In the scheme of things they are soft left despite your attempt to paint them as Nazis.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 1
  28. Politico68 (profile) says:

    Derrydave – I am a Gay shinner although not an elected official and I am not sure if they have any gay elected reps. However u will get more info on this if you contact the Sinn Fein LGBT.

    https://www.facebook.com/sinnfein.lgbt?fref=ts

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  29. Politico68 (profile) says:

    Derrydave – I am a Gay shinner although not an elected official and I am not sure if they have any gay elected reps. However u will get more info on this if you contact the Sinn Fein LGBT. You will find them on facebook, really good page.

    .

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  30. Politico68 (profile) says:

    …is there an echo in here? lol

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  31. tmitch57 (profile) says:

    “Again it’s back to first principals; Ireland gained home rule as a whole. The North broke away from the 26 counties supported by the British.”

    @Barney,

    Home rule was never implemented because the IRA couldn’t wait six months or so after the end of the war. Britain divided Ireland administratively into two parts in 1920. Southern Ireland became the Irish Free State in January 1922 after a peace treaty was signed in December 1921. Northern Ireland remained part of the UK–it never left it.

    “Mitch you are all over the place here, you don’t get to make up your own narrow definition of what is left or right wing. It’s simple, if you favour seizing the means of production and redistributing wealth in line with a centrally planed economy then you can be described as left wing.”

    So, tell me how is Sinn Fein any more left wing than any of the other four parties in the Executive according to YOUR definition?

    “Unionism is a political ideology not an expression of ethnicity, there are no ethnic divisions in Ireland.”

    John Hume would disagree with you here: he speaks of the people of Ireland being divided. Most unionists don’t consider themselves to be Irish by ancestry. In your trait of telling other people what they are and what their real interests are you are left wing–I’ll concede that.

    “The point being that you don’t object to Britain formally allying its self with Stalinist genocidal murders and rubber stamping post war ethnic cleansing and murder.”

    First, I was not around in 1941 to object. I merely mentioned that the IRA and the Nazis were allies. No one denies that Britain and the Soviet Union were allies from June 22, 1941 to May 1945, it is only Republican sympathizers who seem to obfuscate and prevaricate about the IRA-Nazi connection.

    “You ignored that and decided to throw up Frank Ryan and the other one ”

    I’ve already read your pathetic attempt to turn British ministers into Nazis when you argued with Harry Flashman previously. You decided to bring them up again. That is why I mentioned Ryan by inference.

    “In the scheme of things they are soft left despite your attempt to paint them as Nazis.”

    You were the first one to mention Nazis. I merely stated that Sinn Fein was an irredentist party. Seeking to recover historically lost territory as the main goal is the definition of an irredentist party. Fianna Fail also remained, at least rhetorically, an irredentist party until Albert Reynolds changed its policy on this. You chose to mention the Nazis and not Fianna Fail or Fine Gael.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  32. FuturePhysicist (profile) says:

    Seeking to recover historically lost territory as the main goal is the definition of an irredentist party.

    I thought irredentism was things like invading and occupying Iraq, invading and occupying Afganistan, ethnically cleansing the Chagos Islands but apparently wanting to be Irish on the island of
    Ireland is a much greater faux pas!

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  33. tmitch57 (profile) says:

    @FuturePhysicist,

    You are as much a linguist as you are a physicist. Look up the meaning in a dictionary.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  34. babyface finlayson (profile) says:

    Politico68
    I assume you were answering my question to derrydave?
    If so thanks. I had a quick look at that facebook page,but I can’t see any reference to any elected representatives who are gay.
    So, better than the DUP (I’m guessing they don’t have a LGBT facebook page) but still a long way to go, wouldn’t you say?

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  35. Charles_Gould (profile) says:

    I couldn’t pick up a theme or narrative from the SF conference on Sat.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  36. Barney (profile) says:

    tmitch wrote
    “Northern Ireland remained part of the UK–it never left it.”

    I would recheck the history books if I were you. It’s one of those quirky things that history throws up from time to time. The six counties had to petition the English King to return to the UK

    Your description of nationalists as irredentists conjures Nazi imagery Just as the term concentration camp automatically creates a link to the Nazis. Despite both not originating in Germany.
    To string this Goodwinism out a little further, using a quirk of history to promote an idea that Irish Republicans were allied to the Nazis is as silly as suggesting that the Western allies shared Stalinist ideology because they were in formal alliance with the Soviet Union. Equally the British cabinet discussions of 1940 can be read as a significant number (ie more than the two IRA men you mentioned) being some what sympathetic to the Nazis as the discussion was about a negotiated settlement with the Nazis.

    Using irredentism as an adjective is insulting and not a statement or description of fact, it’s not just inaccurate it’s misleading and deliberately so.

    There is no ethnic division in Ireland, not one sane person suggests there is, obviously a political division exists nothing more. The idea of a pure blood people just adds grist to the mill of those few extreme neantherdals who would cry planters go home.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  37. Barney (profile) says:

    Mitch wrote
    “In your trait of telling other people what they are and what their real interests are you are left wing–I’ll concede that.”

    I presume that you are again referring to an other thread.
    Its not my business how others describe themselves and I don’t care because self description is a personal choice. What I do care about is historical accuracy. A person born in Ireland to a family that has lived in Ireland for many generations is clearly to some degree Irish. They may want to self identify as British or Martian (for all I care), that is their choice but they are Irish and history has and will record them as such.
    There is no ethnic division in Ireland the dropping of Irish by a part of the Unionist community is interesting as there are very few examples of people doing this anywhere in the world. I’m fully open and willing to change my opinion if someone can demonstrate that there is an ethnic divide in Ireland.
    The previous examples that Turgon gave of (people changing identity) are clearly not accurate. The German inhabitants of Poland were either expelled, killed or sent to concentration camps to be “verified”. The Ethnic German population did not voluntarily change nationality.

    I have never told anyone what their interests are, on the contrary I have written that I am open to being convinced that Ireland’s best interests lie in maintaining some sort of link to Britain. Historically this has not been the case for the vast majority of people in Ireland be they Unionist or Nationalist.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  38. Tochais Síoraí (profile) says:

    tmitch wrote
    “Northern Ireland remained part of the UK–it never left it.”

    Not true. As Barney has alluded to, the 1921 Irish treaty delegation negotiated for all of Ireland and as such, NI was technically part of the Irish Free State after the Anglo Irish treaty was signed – under it, the Northern parliament was granted a right of secession if they used it within a month and a boundary commission would then be established.

    Barney- there is a type of ethnic division in Ireland, it mightn’t be pure ethnic in the sense of two distinct races but to describe it as political only might be a bit naive. It’s not like say, in Scotland where people will make a more rational choice as to their belief in the pros and cons of independence, it won’t be based on where their ancestors came from.

    Anyway, speaking of Scotland tmitch if they vote yes do you think the Borders should have the right to secede and remain in the UK?

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  39. Charles_Gould (profile) says:

    Ethnic does not mean racial it means cultural.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  40. tmitch57 (profile) says:

    “NI was technically part of the Irish Free State after the Anglo Irish treaty was signed – under it, the Northern parliament was granted a right of secession if they used it within a month and a boundary commission would then be established.”

    @ Tochais,

    Did NI ever leave British administration? Even though the Anglo-Irish Treaty was signed in December 1921, the handover of power did not occur until January 1922. So as far as NI was concerned the only real change was that the British government changed its stationery and passports to read “the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland” rather than “the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.”

    “Anyway, speaking of Scotland tmitch if they vote yes do you think the Borders should have the right to secede and remain in the UK?”

    Probably not because before Union Scotland was a united independent country that voluntarily joined the Union. Ireland was a country conquered over centuries, ruled for three centuries as part of the UK and as I mentioned before, and as Barney continues to deny, there is an ethnic split on the island of Ireland and there is not a real one in Scotland to my knowledge. But I don’t really know that much about Scotland.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  41. tmitch57 (profile) says:

    “Its not my business how others describe themselves and I don’t care because self description is a personal choice…They may want to self identify as British or Martian (for all I care), that is their choice but they are Irish ”

    @Barney,

    How generous of you–you allow people to think of themselves as they wish but want the law to determine them as you see them. How is this any different from Tacapail’s complaint about the Irish not having their nationality recognized in NI?

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  42. Barney (profile) says:

    “The six counties did leave the UK”
    Yes then they had to petition the English king to be readmitted.

    If there is an ethnic divide how am I able to change ethnicity by changing my vote? I don’t believe that Unionism requires anyone to produce kennel papers to prove how unionist they are.

    This ethnic argument is very dangerous it will lead to degrees of unionism a kind of cast system within unionism. Is unionism not capable of embracing all who wish to retain a link with Britain or is it much narrower than that?

    If, as Charles says Unionism is a cultural thing, I would like him to explain exactly what that is because it makes no sense to me.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  43. tmitch57 (profile) says:

    “NI was technically part of the Irish Free State after the Anglo Irish treaty was signed – under it, the Northern parliament was granted a right of secession if they used it within a month and a boundary commission would then be established.”

    @Barney, Tochais,

    I consulted Thomas Hennessey’s “A History of Northern Ireland,” and on p. 21 he writes that according to Article 11 of the Treaty of Dec 1921 the Irish Free State would not have control over NI for one month and according to Article 12 NI could opt to stay in the UK if done within one month by both houses of the NI parliament. So, possibly from the nationalist perspective NI split from the Free State–which never exercised power over it legally, but from the unionist perspective the Six Counties remained in NI. I’m a realist so I look at who actually exercised power in NI–it was the crown with the consent of the majority of the population. And this does not change the validity of the dictionary definition of irredentist applying to Sinn Fein.

    @Barney,

    If Provisional Sinn Fein was such a party of the left, why did it feel it necessary to break away from Official Sinn Fein in January 1970? And why did Ol’ Charlie Haughey bankroll this split with Dublin’s money? Was the Boss a leftist too?

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  44. Charles_Gould (profile) says:

    I didn’t say unionism was cultural, I said that the term “ethnic” means cultural it does not mean race. Unionism is the thought that you prefer union to separation/independence.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  45. Barney (profile) says:

    Tmitch wrote
    “How generous of you–you allow people to think of themselves”

    How nice of you to selectively edit my words, people can self describe as they like however everyone else thinks of them as Irish and they are recorded as such by their government. If you have a beef take it up with the British government. Now, if you would like to explain how someone born in Ireland to people who have lived in Ireland for generations is not Irish please make your case. The alternative is to join with those at the more exotic end of republicanism who don’t believe they are Irish.

    You really are a silver bullet job, the historical fact is that NI broke away from the rest of the country and had to beg the king of England to re enter the UK. The text of the petition reads……..

    ”MOST GRACIOUS SOVEREIGN, We, your Majesty’s most dutiful and loyal subjects, the Senators and Commons of Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled, having learnt of the passing of the Irish Free State Constitution Act, 1922, being the Act of Parliament for the ratification of the Articles of Agreement for a Treaty between Great Britain and Ireland, do, by this humble Address, pray your Majesty that the powers of the Parliament and Government of the Irish Free State shall no longer extend to Northern Ireland.”

    Note the words shall no longer extend to NI.

    There is no point in falsifying history, the fact is that the six counties broke away from the rest of the country while outside the UK.

    How or why SF split is neither here nor there, the fact remains that they are the closest Ireland has to a left wing socially liberal party. There certainly has been nothing remotely progressive to emerge from Unionism except unchaining swings on a Sunday and unionism was forced to make that move.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  46. tmitch57 (profile) says:

    “My question is if a party runs in NI on the basis of irredentist nationalism how can it be considered to be a “left wing party?”

    ” a territory historically or ethnically related to one political unit but under the political control of another

    a political principle or policy directed toward the incorporation of irredentas within the boundaries of their historically or ethnically related political unit
    — ir·re·den·tist noun or adjective”
    First Known Use of IRREDENTISM
    1883
    Merriam Webster Online dictionary

    Barney,

    You’ve spent the last day proving my use of the word correct, and accusing me of making accusations that I did not make on the basis of the use of that word. Don’t you feel foolish?

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  47. looneygas (profile) says:

    I think the idea is that pure lefties believe that the workers of the world oughtta unite and no longer be divided and conquered by clinging to ethnic or tribal identities.
    That is, it doesn’t matter if ya get yer land back but still get the surplus value of yer labour stolen from y’all. Also, small isolated socialist states are more easily defeat by the insidious hand of the market. The revolution must be global.
    Therefore, petty tribal rivalries must be put aside before we can eat the rich, so to speak.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  48. Harry Flashman (profile) says:

    I recall when the SF vote surpassed that of the SDLP’s for the first time and a friend if mine commented to a delighted SF member, “You’ve replaced the SDLP”, the SF member was of course thrilled by this, to which my friend replied “No, you don’t understand, you’ve replaced the SDLP, you are now the leading constitutional Nationalist party in Northern Ireland.”

    I for one look forward to SF getting into coalition government down south, Fianna Fail have been looking a bit ropey of late, we need another constitutional “Republican Party” to replace them. I’m sure the Shinners will enjoy the government mercs and perks as much as their predecessors did.

    I wonder where we’ll find a radical, 32-county republican party when Sinn Fein get hoofed out of office by a Fine Gael/Labour/Green/Democratic Left/Independent/whatever yer havin’ yersel’ coalition five years later?

    Be careful what you wish for Sinn Fein, it looks like you’re going to get it soon.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  49. Barney (profile) says:

    Tmitch wrote
    “My question is if a party runs in NI on the basis of irredentist nationalism how can it be considered to be a “left wing party?”
    And you spent the day trying to falsify history.

    Your question made a number of assumptions which were incorrect, see above. As I said fancy dan language doesn’t make an argument.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  50. tmitch57 (profile) says:

    “the part of a political group that consists of people who support conservative or traditional ideas and policies : the part of a political group that belongs to or supports the Right”

    1con·ser·va·tive
    adjective \kən-ˈsər-və-tiv\

    :” believing in the value of established and traditional practices in politics and society : relating to or supporting political conservatism

    Conservative : of or relating to the conservative”

    Barney,

    Above are the Merriam Webster definitions for right wing and conservative. Provisional IRA/Sinn Fein broke away from Official IRA/Sinn Fein in December 1969 and January 1970 because the Stickies wanted to go for a political approach and abandon abstenionism by taking seats in the Dail. In 1975 the Provos got involved in a republican feud with the Stickies. As the latter was the weaker and smaller movement it is doubtful that they instigated the action. In October 1987 the IRA forcibly shut down the IPLO, a splinter group of the INLA, which was the armed wing of a proclaimed revolutionary organization. Several members of the IPLO were murdered in the process. Martin McGuinness is widely believed to have been the leader of the IRA at this time, although he of course denies it.

    This is a history over two decades of trying by force to preserve a monopoly of traditional republican values. If Sinn Fein today takes positions that are at odds with traditional Catholic positions it is not because it is liberal or socialist, but because it sees the Catholic Church as the main obstacle to its hegemony over the nationalist population of the North, and because these positions set it apart from Fianna Fail in the Republic.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  51. Barney (profile) says:

    Mitch, you are not making much sense here, SF are what passes for left wing in Ireland their policies are broadly left of centre. There is no point posting a dictionary here in an attempt to paint black as white.

    I’m not getting into republican feuds because it’s irrelevant to the topic as are conspiracies that pivot on the patronage of the Catholic Church.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  52. tmitch57 (profile) says:

    “Unionism is a political ideology not an expression of ethnicity, there are no ethnic divisions in Ireland.”

    @Barney,

    This is why the two leading American political scientists dealing with ethnic conflict, Arend Lijphart and Donald Horowitz, both use Northern Ireland as a case study. And why the numerous boosters of the Northern Ireland settlement see it as a model for societies torn by ethnic conflict.

    “there is, obviously a political division exists nothing more.”

    1eth·nic
    adjective \ˈeth-nik\

    : of or relating to races or large groups of people who have the same customs, religion, origin, etc.

    : associated with or belonging to a particular race or group of people who have a culture that is different from the main culture of a country”

    There I go again turning black into white by suggesting the words actually have meanings. Why do you think that so many people refer to Catholic unionists as unicorns (or Protestant nationalists)?

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  53. Barney (profile) says:

    Mitch, could you perhaps go into more detail of what this difference is, thank you in advance.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  54. IrelandNorth (profile) says:

    Erm, David! Sínn Féin (SF) are not just on the rise in ‘da south’ (ie Munster). IThey’re also on the rise in Leinster/E Ireland and Connacht/W Ireland too – ya know. Steady on the ‘ours’ and ‘theirs’ neo-provincialsm. SF during the Troubles would often have won many protest votes in the 26 from voters who wished to give a two-fingers gesture to the civil war/counter-revolutionary parties of Fine Gael (FG) and Fíanna Fáil (FF). Now, with alienation from centrist Labour’s repetition compullsion to coalesce with centre-right FG, habitual Labourites are seeking ideological refugee status in SF, after a betrayal too far by class-collaborationist Labour. Citizen Connolly must surely be spinning in his proletarian grave. But with SFs eleectoral franchise star undoubtedly in the ascendant, is their not a risk that SF may undergo a Fíanna Fáil-ification as to become accaptable to a curmudgeonly petit bourgeois constituency. A [paler] shade of [green], to paraphrase Procol Harem.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  55. tmitch57 (profile) says:

    “Mitch, could you perhaps go into more detail of what this difference is, thank you in advance.”

    @Barney,

    Nationalists:
    1) religious denomination: Catholic.
    2) ethnic origin: Celtic Irish
    3) sports: GAA football, soccer
    4) labels used in paramilitary organizations: Irish, Republican, Socialist
    5) political mythology: United Irishmen, 1916 Republic, Irish War of Independence, Irish Civil War

    Unionists:
    1) religious denominations: Protestant especially Presbyterian, Church of Ireland (i.e. Anglican), Baptist
    2) ethnic origin: Lowland Scots, English
    3) sports: rugby, soccer
    4) labels used in paramilitary organizations: Ulster
    5) political mythology: Siege of Londonderry, Battle of the Boyne, Battle of the Somme

    Admittedly these are much smaller differences than those between Israelis and Palestinians who speak different languages and have different religions (not just denominations) or between whites and blacks in South Africa who could immediately be recognized as different and who spoke different languages. But Sigmund Freud spoke about the narcissism of small differences.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  56. Barney (profile) says:

    Now that is just ridiculous………..

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  57. tmitch57 (profile) says:

    “Now that is just ridiculous………..”

    @Barney,

    And such a puerile response does not an argument make. You did not even indicate which part is ridiculous in yho.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  58. derrydave (profile) says:

    Politico68
    ‘I assume you were answering my question to derrydave?
    If so thanks. I had a quick look at that facebook page,but I can’t see any reference to any elected representatives who are gay.
    So, better than the DUP (I’m guessing they don’t have a LGBT facebook page) but still a long way to go, wouldn’t you say?”

    Depends what you mean by a long way to go doesn’t it ? If you judge a political party by how many of their elected representatives are openly gay, then yes maybe there is. Then again it’d be a pretty idiotic way to judge any political party.

    If you judge a political party on what it’s policies are towards minorities including the gay community then I think you’ll find that Sinn Fein are the the forefront of the demand for equality for all and are in fact usually present and prominent in campaigns for gay rights, in gay pride events etc

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  59. Reader (profile) says:

    derrydave: Depends what you mean by a long way to go doesn’t it ? If you judge a political party by how many of their elected representatives are openly gay, then yes maybe there is. Then again it’d be a pretty idiotic way to judge any political party.
    And yet SF and its supporters seem quite keen to point out the number of female representatives within the party. Is that also an idiotic way to judge a political party?

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  60. Barney (profile) says:

    Mitch, my reply was brief because your descriptions of supposed ethnic parties are unrecognisable to me and I would suggest anyone who has been to Ireland.

    They dont work even as very broad descriptions; In terms of ancestry, how far back does one go or what percentage of the other pollutes each.
    At least “labels used in paramilitary organizations” as an indicator of ethnicity gave me a chuckle.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  61. derrydave (profile) says:

    Reader,
    ‘And yet SF and its supporters seem quite keen to point out the number of female representatives within the party. Is that also an idiotic way to judge a political party?’

    Yes, in my opinion, it is also an idiotic way to judge a political party. Policy, Policy, Policy – that’s what politics should be all about !

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  62. tmitch57 (profile) says:

    “Mitch, my reply was brief because your descriptions of supposed ethnic parties are unrecognisable to me and I would suggest anyone who has been to Ireland.”

    @Barney,

    I’ve been to Ireland and Northern Ireland. I remember vividly speaking with a nationalist professor at the University of Ulster. When I told him that objectively speaking the differences between nationalists and unionists were small compared with those in most ethnic conflicts his heated reply was, “With all due respect, you don’t know what you are talking about.” And he wasn’t protesting that I thought that there were differences. I also spoke with someone from Alliance who was from a nationalist background. He got involved and it wasn’t considered popular with those he knew because Alliance was considered to be unionist. He ended up converting from Catholicism to the Church of Ireland. I’m not claiming that he is typical, but if these things weren’t associated, why did he feel the necessity to change?

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  63. FuturePhysicist (profile) says:

    “My question is if a party runs in NI on the basis of irredentist nationalism how can it be considered to be a “left wing party?”

    ” a territory historically or ethnically related to one political unit but under the political control of another

    a political principle or policy directed toward the incorporation of irredentas within the boundaries of their historically or ethnically related political unit
    — ir·re·den·tist noun or adjective”
    First Known Use of IRREDENTISM
    1883
    Merriam Webster Online dictionary

    Barney,

    You’ve spent the last day proving my use of the word correct, and accusing me of making accusations that I did not make on the basis of the use of that word. Don’t you feel foolish?

    Not so fast, Iraq and Afghanistan are neither ethnically nor politically British nor even North Atlantan, so why isn’t NATO imposing political control over these regions not irredentist! Why is deporting a whole people from their homeland in the Chagos Islands not irredentist?

    Why is occupying India, or Palestine or Canada or the United States or Australia or several other nations against the will of their people not irredentist … And I repeat to you again how does the self determination choice of a resident in their own birthplace irredentist?

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Copyright © 2003 - 2014 Slugger O'Toole Ltd. All rights reserved.
Powered by WordPress; produced by Puffbox.
265 queries. 1.134 seconds.