McGuinness: mandate cannot be set aside

Martin McGuinness points out that with a mandate from 340,000 voters north and south, his party will not be forced out of democratic politics.

  • smcgiff

    ‘McGuinness: mandate cannot be set aside’

    Nor can civilised principles!

    SF voters in the South are irrelevant as nothing has altered the value of their vote. So what have they got to do with anything?

    The northern SF voters have got what they paid for.

    And, SF has effectively forced themselves out of democratic politics.

    See my solution in the ‘Close: the onus is on Blair’ thread.

  • IJP

    Absolutely correct, Seamus.

    SF opted out. It’s time Mr McGuinness focused on forcing his party and its allies into democratic politics.

  • Henry94

    I would urge people to drop the fantasy of institutions without Sinn Fein. It’s simply not going to happen. The way forward is to wait until the elections are out of the way and get back around the table.

  • smcgiff

    ‘It’s simply not going to happen.’

    It’s not going to happen with them or without them. Therefore the status quo remains – direct rule.

    One could go further and state – A vote for SF is a vote for direct rule.


  • Henry94


    You should send that to the SDLP. It’s certainly lame enough to appeal to them. From a Sinn Fein voters point of view it is not as if the demand for exclusion arose out of the robbery. The demand is constant and it is absurd.

    What you are asking the British to do is to impose unionist rule once again on nationalists using the SDLP as a fig-leaf. When the SDLP got wiped out, as they would at the next election, we would be back to unionist rule.

    Square one.

  • smcgiff


    What I’ve asked for is for a representative from the ROI government taking over SF’s mandate until the next election or until SF come to an agreement with the unionist parties. This could allow for the devolved government to be set up and running

    SDLP would not be on their own. Certainly, it would not be a return to unionist rule.

  • maca

    While I certainly think it’s time SF moved on and got down to real politicsm, without the IRA, it’s not SF who would suffer by exclusion it’s the nationalist voters who would have no representation in government. SF certainly deserve a good kick in the testicles (IMHO) but excluding them is not the right way to do it (again IMHO)

  • Fraggle

    smcgiff, if “a representative from the ROI government’ wants to take over SF’s mandate, they can attempt to do so in the next election.

  • J Kelly

    People need to get real SF have 26% support at the last Election and for anyone to believe that they and more importantly their voters can be excluded is daydreaming. Just on a point of information SF are meeting Tony Blair today. SF are in for the long haul.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Perhaps more people will respect Sinn Fein’s democratic mandate when Sinn Fein respect democracy.

    I could also mention Hitler’s mandate was pretty impressive too, but we’ve been through all that.

  • J Kelly

    Well who respects democracy the British who change the rules when it suits, the unionist track record on democracy is a good one Belfast City Council and Castlereagh come to mind its our way or no way.

    Can anyone produce any evidence yet of WMD in Iraq or even a white van in Belfast but sure everyone knows who dunnit.

  • twinkilcooleywithcoxsdemesne

    Leave Sinn Fein alone – with 26% of the vote they have a mandate to rob banks.

    “The things that will destroy us are: politics without principle; pleasure without conscience; wealth without work; knowledge without character; business without morality; science without humanity; and worship without sacrifice.” Gandhi

  • J Kelly

    “Let those without sin cast the first stone” whoever

  • David Antsinpants

    Translation of J Kelly – “what about themmuns?”
    Sorry this won’t wash any more. It seems the best the shinner apologists around here can come up with is to ask why SF should behave when unionism is so evil. In other words, SF is no better than a unionist party, apart from an opposite tribal polarity. Well that’s just great, isn’t it!?!? The fact that the usual suspects around here are tying themselves up in knots to defend the indefensible reveals that for all their high opinions of their own intelligence they’re actually just cheering on ‘their side’ come hell or high water. Sad.
    SF have screwed up and they’ll never realise quite how much with a set of cheerleaders who never boo. The shinners are barrelling down a dead-end street just like every other party around here – only their self-righteous tripe makes them stand out any more in any way.

  • Fraggle

    twinklewhatever, show me the proof!

  • J Kelly

    Translation of J Kelly – “what about themmuns?”
    This not the case at all. I was not for one minute saying that the Northern Bank was ok because of this or that. In this case SF have no case to answer but the lynchmob who are baying for blood need at times to be reminded that we all have memories.

  • David Antsinpants

    A lynchmob baying for blood? You mean, non-Shinners demanding that republicans abandon criminality? Spin, spin, spin that bottle until you’re dizzy pal but don’t twist everyone else’s words – especially with a ‘blood’ metaphor. If you wanna remember some blood, how about the 2,000 people your precious party murdered?
    Jesus. The hypocrisy.

  • maca

    “non-Shinners demanding that republicans abandon criminality”

    Or non-shinners wanting to blame SF for anything and everything. 😉

  • David Antsinpants

    Nobody, DUP included, wanted this bank robbery business and it is depressing that Shinners want to believe so badly that everyone ELSE wants the peace process to fail.

  • Davros

    Is this the same Martin McGuinness and the Same Sinn Féin who were arguing that the DUP mandate should be ignored and that all the other partries could go into business without the DUP ?

    Got to admire their cheek 🙂

  • alex s

    J Kelly.

    Why does a 26% share of the popular vote necessitate Sinn Fein’s participation in an administration, what about the other 74%, remember Maggie Thatcher ruled with less than 50%?

    Also you seem to be arguing that an electoral mandate is a blank cheque, not the case, its an entitlement to participate in the political life of the province however like every entitlement it comes with obligations, in this case not to rob banks.

  • Hector

    Posted by: smcgiff at January 11, 2005 01:59 PM
    ‘What I’ve asked for is for a representative from the ROI government taking over SF’s mandate until the next election or until SF come to an agreement with the unionist parties. This could allow for the devolved government to be set up and running’

    People are entitled to be represented by the people they voted for, whether their opponents like it or not. Unionists simply dont have the right to pick their own opposition and it really isn’t in their interest to do so.
    Unionists may not like or trust Sinn Fein, and they dont have to. But sooner or later they are going to have to work with them.

  • smcgiff


    I think it’s been admitted that there is no prospect of there being a return to devolved government before the next UK general election and not much prospect any time soon after that – The result is direct rule.

    It would appear as if direct rule would be a more preferable option for you than for Nationalists to be represented by members of the ROI government (admittedly, an indirect direct rule) until such time as SF become acceptable to the populace at large (HINT – Democracy 101 -Paramilitary criminal activity in its various forms is not acceptable).

    I think you may be in danger of taking your relatively newfound support (from the voters) for granted. They may not continue to share your view that a vote for SF and stalemate is such a clever idea after all. SF’s power has come from a perception that it could drive forward change.

    Guess what? Nationalists led by the SDLP achieved a time of devolved government, the same can not be said for SF. Because of its association with the IRA, SF have delivered only uncertainty and setbacks. A continued impasse, in political terms, is manna to the SDLP.

  • Hector


    For the sake of argument who would determine these RoI representatives? The SDLP? The British Government? The Irish government? the Unionists? or the people they would represent? Any of the first four would be fundementally undemocratic. In the case of the last, well a majority of them have chosen Sinn Fein. Are they to be told that their freely expressed choice is unacceptable and they must pick again? Who in NI voted for Fianna Fail or the PDs? How is that reconcilable with democracy?

    As far as your remarks about the SDLP are concerned, in my opinion anything that the SDLP achieved was actually granted by the British government, against the wishes of the unionist parties and most of their electorate, and for the purpose of undermining the IRA and or Sinn Fein.
    If I’m right, and maybe you can prove me wrong, the agents for change in Northern Ireland have in fact been the Republican Movement.