Not everyone is convinced of the Sinn Fein’s president’s bona fides. Jenny McCartney in the Sunday Telegraph notes how often Sinn Fein has advertised its own statements as being historic in nature, and how often they’ve come up short. However engaging the show, it’s just more of the same old, same old dissembling routine.It is, she argues, a piece with past instances:
Now and then – when Sinn Fein’s fortunes need a shot of adrenalin – Mr Adams has judiciously dangled the prospect of IRA disarmament or disbandment in front of the British and Irish governments, often to rapturous acclaim for this “historic breakthrough” in the press. But the very fact that Mr Adams is now making another “plea” to the IRA to give up violence, simply emphasises that all those other times – when he appeared to insist that the IRA had already given up violence – he wasn’t telling the truth.
Although she believes its cutting the mustard with fewer and fewer in a media that increasingly feels it’s been fed one too many ‘historic’ lines by the party:
The media applause for Adams’s statement last week was unusually muted, since the IRA’s extravagant disregard for the law has left even the most die-hard devotee of the “peace process” feeling like a chump. But as the election campaign gains momentum, young Sinn Fein canvassers will be pounding the beat in Northern Ireland, exuding their customary dynamism. They will be keen to gloss over the slaughter by IRA men of the 33-year-old Robert McCartney, whose protesting sisters have commanded the headlines for the last two months.
She finishes by noting:
The electorate – in both the north and south of Ireland – has been encouraged for far too long by the soothing pieties of the “peace process” to ignore systematic violence and corruption. When I watch the Sinn Fein rank and file celebrating their gains at election counts, it always brings to mind – unbidden – that chilling scene in the musical Cabaret in which the invigorated young Nazis come together for a full-throated rendition of Tomorrow Belongs to Me.
The Sinn Fein leaders really do believe that tomorrow belongs to them, and to their toxic and successful combination of street violence and political double-speak. The grim truth is that unless the voters can shake off their moral sedatives, one day Ireland could belong to Sinn Fein/IRA too.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty