Is Fianna Fail running scared – in the North?

Question from the floor inquired as to whether the panel thought that the recent visits of Dublin politicians to the North had been because Fianna Fail was hemmoraging to Sinn Fein in areas in the South.

Of course, that still wouldn’t explain the visit of, in Brian Feeney’s colourful words, “Mister 3 Percent with the Rottweiler studded collar”.

Will Fianna Fail take over the SDLP? Or hang their own shingle out in the North?

Chris relayed that Bertie Ahern is the most popular politician in the North, because he’s the only one with any cross-community support.

Brian Feeney thought it really didn’t matter whether the SDLP would be taken over, asking, ‘who will Fianna Fail run up here? Some deadbeat SDLP candidate? Who will stand against Sinn Fein?’

Alex added, “the more cynical side of me says it’s like a corporate raid – from a practical point of view it’s important that the SDLP are seen as serious players North and South – I agree with rest of panel that there’s a great air of cynicism about it. On May 7th, Durkan’s and McDonald’s phone calls [to Dublin] won’t be answered anymore.

  • Friendly Fire

    Gorillas in the midst

  • freddiescapp

    i see brian feeney is still brown-nosing the provos – still hankers to be mp for north belfast, obviously, but will gerry kelly let the nomnation go without a fight? and boy, does he know how to fight dirty!

  • Young Fogey

    I just can’t see where Fianna Fail’s core support would come from in the North – especially in the Belfast area, where they would be massacred.

    FF aren’t used to playing opposition politics – which they’d have to in the North. Natural party of government and all that.

  • middle-class taig

    They haven’t the cojones for it. They’re all about licking the gardai, attending local funerals, taking backhanders, posing as republicans, screwing the working class and staying just far enough ahead of FG to keep their noses in the trough. The northern nationalist electorate is far too sophisticated to touch that crowd of cute hoors with a bargepole. To get a decent vote as a nationalist in the North you need to be an honest, catholic, middle-class father figure or a hard-working community activist. FF would be annihilated. Nonetheless, it would be good if they came, for the craic and the sleggin….

  • Shergarsauntie

    Listen up middle class taig. Fianna Fail has no interest in having a presence in the Sick counties. Like 95% of the rest of us: Soldiers of Destiny, Blueshirts, Trots,Carmelites, Sodomites, Stag drinkers, Cork winos, Carlow pig farmers etc etc we have absolutely NO interest in your “sophisticated” northern nationalist electorate or indeed anything to do with the land of political pygmies. We are too busy living our lives to give a toss about what happens in Norn Ireland. I have watched UTV twice. I haven’t been the same since. Sophisticated – give me a break.

  • Rebecca Black

    In fairness to Shergarsauntie, thats an opinion you hear fairly often in Dublin!! Its something unionists should try to take advantage of!

  • john

    shergarsauntie

    Increasing numbers within the 26 counties don’t seem to share your sentiments,if the continuing growth of Sinn Fein is anything to go by

  • Davros

    Increasing numbers within the 26 counties don’t seem to share your sentiments,if the continuing growth of Sinn Fein is anything to go by

    Why assume that the only reason for the growth of SF in the 26 is because more people feel more passionately about Unification ? Plenty of other reasons that could explain the rise if SF support.

  • Young Fogey

    Yes, a whole massive ONE IN TEN of Southerners who actually bother voting now ‘share Sinn Féin’s political analysis’.

  • Fraggle

    Young Fogey, the issue in question isn’t whether people share Sinn Fein’s political analysis, but whether ” 95% of the rest of us (southerners)……..have absolutely NO interest in the “sophisticated” northern nationalist electorate”.

    To have an interest in the northern nationalist electorate, sophisticated or not, does not nessessitate sharing Sinn Fein’s political analysis.

    Indeed, shergarsauntie would seem to contradict himself by his mere presence on this site. He obviously isn’t quite busy enough living his (self-satisfied – we’ve got our republic and we’re rich now, forget those poor sods in the north) life to avoid visiting a political website concerned with northern ireland.

    By the way, middle class taig, ‘sophisticated’ my arse!

  • beano; EverythingUlster.com

    Had to laugh at the “sophisticated” northern electorate, nationalist or otherwise. To suggest that the rampant tribalism fed by a steady stream of propaganda lapped up by the mindless plebs given the vote here is ‘sophistication’ is a bloody joke!

  • middle-class taig

    shergarsauntie

    “we have absolutely NO interest in your “sophisticated” northern nationalist electorate or indeed anything to do with the land of political pygmies”

    what are you doing on Slugger then?

    Rebecca

    “thats an opinion you hear fairly often in Dublin”

    actually, it’s one you only hear in Dublin, and pretty much only in Dublin 4. There are self-absorbed people in every society.

    beano

    “Had to laugh at the “sophisticated” northern electorate, nationalist or otherwise”

    your slip’s showing mate

  • glasgow neutral

    If the majority of people in the ROI are against re-unification with the North, then why the hell would Fianna Fail run in the North in the future?

    If the FF leadership havent been the slightest bit interested in a united Ireland in recent years, then why now?

    To stem growth of Sinn Fein north and south?

    In any case, would it make much of a difference?

  • Rebecca Black

    “If the majority of people in the ROI are against re-unification with the North, then why the hell would Fianna Fail run in the North in the future?”

    People in the republic are bored hearing about the north, and the economic implications of a United Ireland tends to have a sobering effect on romantic nationalists in the south. They have got their country running reasonably well now, the last thing they want is having to deal with hoards of angry unionists and a country that costs a fortune to run.

  • middle-class taig

    “They have got their country running reasonably well now, the last thing they want is having to deal with hoards of angry unionists and a country that costs a fortune to run.”

    Oh, of course. The only thing they care about is their own economic well-being!! Do me a favour.

    Funny that’s never what my friends in the South tell me, save for the D4 “daddy likes Mary Harney” brigade and the FG farmers. Fact is, no political party in the South has the balls to say they don’t want reunification, so it’s hard to beleive theres some untapped well of support for that position.

  • objectivist

    As a southerner who has been around the block I would respectfully demur from Shargarsauntie’s precis of southern attitudes.

  • Rebecca Black

    “Funny that’s never what my friends in the South tell me, save for the D4 “daddy likes Mary Harney” brigade and the FG farmers. Fact is, no political party in the South has the balls to say they don’t want reunification, so it’s hard to beleive theres some untapped well of support for that position.”

    yes, but the majority of the people I have spoken to about this are from places other than Dublin. Their opinions may not correspond with yours, that doesn’t mean they are not valid and not shared by others.

  • beano; EverythingUlster.com

    MCT – pardon my ignorance, but what do you mean my slip is showing? What I said is that I don’t consider the electorate in NI mature by a long shot. Is that such a remarkable statement to make?

  • George

    Rebecca,
    having been born and bred in Dublin and now seconded to Cork for my sins, I agree with you when you say that some people in the republic are bored hearing about the north.

    However, MCT is 100 per cent correct when he says “no political party in the South has the balls to say they don’t want reunification.”

    Even Michael McDowell has said time and time again that he is a true Irish republican who wants unification while former FG leader Michael Noonan called Fine Gael a true Irish republican party when he ran against Ahern in 2001 because many thought his party was seriously damaged by John Bruton being branded “John unionist”.

    I might also remind you that not seven years ago 95% of Irish voters endorsed the following Irish national mission statement:

    “It is the firm will of the Irish Nation, in harmony and friendship, to unite all the people who share the territory of the island of Ireland, in all the diversity of their identities and traditions, recognising that a united Ireland
    shall be brought about only by peaceful means with the consent of a majority of the people, democratically expressed, in both jurisdictions in the island.”

    I think that says it all.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Rebecca

    “the majority of the people I have spoken to about this are from places other than Dublin. Their opinions may not correspond with yours, that doesn’t mean they are not valid and not shared by others.”

    Would it be fair to say though that the majority of people south of the border you have spoken to are at Trinity?

    For better or worse, do you think their views represent a reasonable cross-section of opinion?

    I think there is a tendency now to pretend that unification doesn’t mean anything south of the border now – which is more hyperbole than anything. There was a time when reunification occupied a damagingly outsized, emotional and unfocused place in political discourse south of the border.

    Because its significance has diminished, second-rate minds will declaim that it now means nothing. In fact, all one can say with reasonable accuracy is that the Republic’s growing maturity, prosperity and confidence has meant that unification no longer means EVERYTHING, but that’s not the same as saying it no longer means anything.

    Brian Cowen, Minister for Finance, stood in Derry of all places the other day and spoke articulately, convincingly, and at length, about the need for an all-Ireland economy. That meant far more than cead mile speeches about the green flag.

    Unification is still important to most Irish people. The concept and the manner of its promotion are becoming more sopisticated and less grounded in juvenile emotion. That’s all.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    MCT

    Just have to add my voice to the chorus of derision regarding your statement about the northern electorate being sophisticated. I hate to put the boot in, but you cannot be serious?

    What compels the choices made by this sophisticated electorate? Health? Education? The economy? Business conditions? Criminal justice? The environment? Foreign policy? Taxation?

    Hmmm. Actually, it’s none of the above. We’re far too sophisticated for that. Now what colour sash is that donkey wearing?

    (Please God FF will organise here – not because of any intrinsic worth in that party, but because their presence would make the doings of Dail Eireann directly relevant to the north in a way we haven’t seen before. There would be movement on northern representation in the Dail if there were FF TDs to be accommodated. There’d be northern votes in presidential elections. You might have FF ministers in power north and south. Say FF ministers for finance, health and transport and education in Belfast and Dublin – both answering to the same party leader (ie An Taoiseach.) What would this mean? Well: the dissolution of economic partition; joint, all-Ireland strategies for the building of infrastructure, the siting of hospitals and provision of healthcare.
    We would probably even see a new Minister for Northern Affairs appointed – ending the running sore of the north being part of the Foreign Minister’s brief. You don’t think the sophisticated northern electorate would vote for that? I think I know a few who would.)

  • middle-class taig

    beano

    your dander was raised by my suggestion that the nationalist electorate is sophisticated – if you say your reaction wasn’t nationalist-focussed, I’ll accept your word

    BP

    My estimation of the nationalist community’s sophistication derives from extensive travel and political discussion with people from all over the world, both professionally and socially. It is entirely anecdotal, but then how could it be assessed on any objective basis?

    The fact is that the level of political activism and engagement in the nationalist community exceeds any I have seen elsewhere. The nationalist community makes its political decisions on a delicate analysis of its perceived interests irrespective of external forces acting upon them. Over the last few years, despite an overwhelming onslaught to try to force them to do something they had been doing for years, they continue to act in what they see as their long term best interests, notwithstanding the short term punishment they receive for it. They can determine political fact from unsubstantiated allegation, they don’t subsribe to the cult of personality, they don’t just vote with their pocket, and they have a keen sense of real-politik. The quality of debate in nationalist circles is, I find, very high, and not just on matters relating to NI. They understand their unionist neighbours in a way which is not replicated in reverse – thet’s why they can push unionism’s buttons so effectively (and I think unkindly). And look at their ability to effectively balance and participate in STV vote management strategies – to my mind unrivalled in Europe.

    Their political tradition is not unnuanced – socially conservative in a catholic sense, but progressive on many liberal causes célebres, radical on justice issues, open on green issues antagonistic towards capitalism, but prepared to hold its nose where necessary (PPP).

    I think you do them (us) a disservice with your simplistic donkey and sash comment. That may have been true of the unionist community at one stage. I do not believe that remains the case.
    It’s intellectually lazy to dismiss NI voters as tribal morons. What does Hilary say, something about “looking with better eyes than that”!!

    “(Please God FF will organise here – (and following text)”

    I agree 10,000%

    “You don’t think the sophisticated northern electorate would vote for that? I think I know a few who would.”

    Fair enough, but it would take them three elections or so to build to that, and they’d have to get a lot more left-wing.

  • Northern FF

    “The northern nationalist electorate is far too sophisticated to touch that crowd of cute hoors with a bargepole”

    Middle Class Taig, you really are a First Class Eejit. ‘Far too sophisticated’. Good God, no matter what has been said about us over the years, I never thought anyone who could string a sentence together could come up with that one.

    And what’s this about ‘they’d have to go a lot more left wing’? Your analysis following your meetings with nationalists around the world is that they want a choice of two parties competing to see who can be the most left wing?

  • middle-class taig

    “Middle Class Taig, you really are a First Class Eejit.”

    Cheers NFF. You’re the boy stringing for a party that isn’t even prepared to offer itself for election here. What did I say which so annoyed you?

    “‘Far too sophisticated’. Good God, no matter what has been said about us over the years, I never thought anyone who could string a sentence together could come up with that one.”

    You want to belittle your own, fine. I won’t be joining you.

    “And what’s this about ‘they’d have to go a lot more left wing’?”

    Northern nationalism is not like right wing nationalism elsewhere (incl the South). It is forged in the crubible of social injustice, and as a result leans to the left. That’s a simple objectively demonstrable fact. If FF want to break delph up here I think they’ll need to respond to that. I could be wrong. Hopefully we’ll get a chance see (I really mean that). Certainly they’ll get nowhere here if they’re still engaged in their sordid tryst with the execrable PDs.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    MCT

    Good post. I see what you’re saying, but still think your choice of words was way-off when you described the electorate here as sophisticated. I’d say you have a point when you argue that northern nationalists are more politically active, more politically literate and more interested in politics and political philosophy than most demographics. But for all that, even the most sophisticated political animal here is operating in a political structure that is utterly primitive, so to talk about there being a particular sophistication here is, well, quixotic.

    “it would take (FF) three elections or so to build to that, and they’d have to get a lot more left-wing.”

    You think so? Three elections from now is only about five years or so – hardly a prohibitive length of time.

    But I assume you mean it’ll take 20 years for Fianna Fail to get their house in order? I doubt it. There is a very large conservative Catholic constituency out there who vote for nominally leftist parties (SDLP and to a lesser extent SF) for the sole reason that they are because they are Irish, all-Ireland parties.

    You need to remember something very important – and with respect, I think you’ve forgotten it. The northern nationalist community is part of the Irish nation. We’re the Irish people who got stuck on the wrong side of the border. Given 80 plus years of separate development, I think we’re still remarkably identifiable as cut from the same cloth as people in the rest of Ireland.

    So it should come as no surprise that the dominant party among those of us in the north who are of Ireland and for Ireland is the party that has most successfully copied Fianna Fail’s one-in-every-parish strategy – ie Sinn Fein.

    The organisational structure that took Fianna Fail from prison to government worked because it addressed the needs of Irish people and Irish communities. Half a century later SF started putting together a comparable aparatus in the north, with similar electoral results.

    What does this tell you? That Irish people will vote for the guy they know, who’s doing his best for them. As a post-colonial nation surrounded by post-imperial ones, we’re different. We haven’t had the great struggles of left and right. We’ve had utilitarianism and democracy near the grassroots. Nationalists in the north are a prime example – they’ll vote for the party that they think will take the biggest eraser to the border.

    You think they’ll vote for an ineffectual leftist party before they’ll vote for a right wing party who might deliver unity?

    There is a wealth of classic Fianna Fail fodder just waiting to vote for Bertie all across the north.

  • fatbuster

    Hell, at this rate, I’d vote for them.

  • middle-class taig

    BP

    I agree with nearly everything you say.

    “you mean it’ll take 20 years for Fianna Fail to get their house in order”

    I was thinking Westminster election cyles of four years – so, 8-12 years.

    “You need to remember something very important – and with respect, I think you’ve forgotten it. The northern nationalist community is part of the Irish nation.”

    Let me assure you, I haven’t forgotten it. But i think FF, FG and PD have. I feel deeply excluded from that nation right now. That really hurts.

    “Given 80 plus years of separate development, I think we’re still remarkably identifiable as cut from the same cloth as people in the rest of Ireland.”

    I agree; I wouldn’t be a nationalist otherwise.

    “So it should come as no surprise that the dominant party among those of us in the north who are of Ireland and for Ireland is the party that has most successfully copied Fianna Fail’s one-in-every-parish strategy – ie Sinn Fein.”

    Hmmm – very recent phenomenon this SF dominance.

    “Half a century later SF started putting together a comparable aparatus in the north, with similar electoral results.”

    Yes, I can see that.

    “That Irish people will vote for the guy they know, who’s doing his best for them.”

    I’m not sure if the Northern electorate is similarly “localist”. When SF/FF start squaring off on immigration, healthcare, tax, etc up north, I guess we’ll find out. I think the Northern electorate, because of its own experience of injustice, takes a wider societal view than its southern counterpart.

    “they’ll vote for the party that they think will take the biggest eraser to the border.”

    But the SDLP was top dog for years.

    “You think they’ll vote for an ineffectual leftist party before they’ll vote for a right wing party who might deliver unity?”

    No, definitely not, on that I agree with you. It’ll be interesting to see how they decide between a strong left and a strong right. However, I wonder do you think you might be underestimating the “protest”-ant nature of northern nationalists. We like to vote for parties of protest. A radical left wing republican party versus a right wing republican natural party of governemnt would be a fascinating contest. I’d dearly love to see it become the norm.

    “There is a wealth of classic Fianna Fail fodder just waiting to vote for Bertie all across the north.”

    Maybe, but they’ll not roll over for a tickle and a song. FF’ll need to work for it.

  • Young Fogey

    When SF/FF start squaring off on immigration, healthcare, tax, etc up north, I guess we’ll find out.

    Sure when were these ever election issues in the North, MCT? You’ve been having too much of the oul’ Old Tawney. Catch a wise.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    MCT

    “Let me assure you, I haven’t forgotten it. But i think FF, FG and PD have. I feel deeply excluded from that nation right now. That really hurts.”

    Look, it isn’t written anywhere that everyone in any given nation has to love each other and do their utmost for each other at all times. We are of the Irish nation, and so are the establishment parties in Dublin. Our Irishness isn’t in their gift, and it isn’t in their power to exclude us from the nation. If you think that’s what they’re about, then tell them to f… off. Don’t lick your wounds and be a bloody partitionist “northern nationalist” about it. Yes we have suffered injustice and yes we have suffered neglect and abandonment, but no, that’s not going to change unless we force the pace. We should know by now that we can’t expect Dublin to bring about unity for us – but we can expect them to help us bring it about. But there’s no point in unity if we see ourselves primarily as northern nationalists, when in fact our primary identity is Irishmen and women.

    “Hmmm – very recent phenomenon this SF dominance.”

    Yes but it’s been coming for 20 years, and was held back for half the time by the IRA campaign. Now that it has arrived, it seems unlikely to be reversed in the next few decades.

    “But the SDLP was top dog for years.”

    Times have changed. People voted SDLP because it was the only real non-IRA choice. They also reflected an essentially partitionist people who would have settled for justice within Northern Ireland. That is no longer the case – these days the success of the Republic means that prosperous, ambitious middle class taigs (like yourself) have tangible reasons to support unification, rather than merely emotional aspirations, as was the case for most of the SDLP hegemony. The nationalist community now has something it hasn’t had since partition – confidence. The SDLP offer decency and a kind face when the new generation of nationalists wants results.

    “However, I wonder do you think you might be underestimating the “protest”-ant nature of northern nationalists. We like to vote for parties of protest. A radical left wing republican party versus a right wing republican natural party of governemnt would be a fascinating contest. I’d dearly love to see it become the norm.”

    It’s an Irish thing. Even after decades in government Fianna Fail still like to cling to the old image of being a “slightly constitutional” party. It’s all bollocks of course, and make no mistake – SF are on the same road. Truth is, none of the main Irish parties north and south (with the possible exception of Labour) can easily be labelled as left or right. We don’t really do left and right here, except on an individual basis. Our parties are more in the mould of the populist parties of Latin America and some of our other peers in the postcolonial world. The main party of government in Mexico are called the Institutional Revolutionary Party (I’m not joking). That’s the profile that Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and the Ulster Unionists have tried to create in the past, and the one Sinn Fein are working on at the moment.

    “but they’ll not roll over for a tickle and a song. FF’ll need to work for it.”

    That’s a given. But there is potentially a nationalist majority for them to tap into.

  • JD

    So, in order to curry favour with certain Dublin attitudes to the North, unionists should admit that NI is a failed state that is politically and economically a basket-case. Admit Ni is a state which cannot stand on its own two feet, is heavily subsidised, and artificially propped up. A state which no-one in their right mind would want to touch because its inherently violent people with their backward politics would sink any possibility of further political and social improvement and plunge all of us on the island into civil war?

    Yep, that’s something to take advantage of.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    JD

    “So, in order to curry favour with certain Dublin attitudes to the North, unionists should admit that NI is a failed state that is politically and economically a basket-case. Admit Ni is a state which cannot stand on its own two feet, is heavily subsidised, and artificially propped up.”

    It is completely beside the point whether unionists are prepared to admit any of these points or not. If unionists refuse to admit them, then they’re simply denying reality – and reality doesn’t care who denies it.

    Northern Ireland is a failed state in economic, political and social terms. (If there are any other significant terms, I’d say it’s a failure on those too.) It is politically a basket case – our locally-elected representatives are trusted with nothing more than taking out the bins. It is economically a basket-case, consuming (by various estimates) anything between £4 and £14 billion more than it produces every year. It is a state that cannot stand on its own two feet (if indeed it can be called a state). It is heavily subsidised and it is artificially propped up.

    All of these things are facts, whether unionists or anyone else wants to acknowledge them or not.

    But the second half of your paragraph is a non-sequitur.

    “A state which no-one in their right mind would want to touch because its inherently violent people with their backward politics would sink any possibility of further political and social improvement and plunge all of us on the island into civil war?”

    There is nothing inevitable about post-unification civil war. Northern Ireland is the way it is BECAUSE of partition and the union. The solution to its problems is to join with the rest of Ireland in independence – to join the rest of Ireland in standing on our own two feet.

    But you’re wrong about currying favour with Dublin. Neither the Dublin government nor most Irish people want an act of contrition from unionism. They want an Ireland that unionists can wholeheartedly throw themselves into. They want to see the natural talents of Ulster’s Protestants – so long shackled by the attachment to the dead-end of enclavism, colonialism and unionism – released by the emancipation of unity and independence.

    (You think unity would be freedom for nationalists? It’s unionists who will enjoy the greatest emancipation when unity arrives.)

  • JD

    There is nothing inevitable about post-unification civil war. Northern Ireland is the way it is BECAUSE of partition and the union. The solution to its problems is to join with the rest of Ireland in independence – to join the rest of Ireland in standing on our own two feet.

    Indeed, Billy. NI is a failed state.

    I also don’t believe there would be such a civil war as I said on another thread yesterday.

    You’re taking what I wrote too seriously. I’m parodying all the unreasonable knee-jerk reactions to a UI I’ve ever heard by puitiing them into one paragraph. I did this to illustrate how stupid it would be for unionists to use a strategy that would try to harness the belief that NI doesn’t work and then try to sell it in Dublin to preserve the union. And why would unionists care what Dublin people think?

    But I do think there is an attitude among Dublin people that really wants nothing at all to do with the North.

    To back themselves up, they will give you any/ all the reasons I crammed together in the above paragraph: too expensive, new wave of terrorism, etc., etc. I’ve heard them all before. They really want nothing at all to do with it.

    I should probably add that I’m not one of them.

  • D’Oracle

    …and neither am I. The shergarsauntie view is out there in the South County but like someone said about 20 posts back, we’re all Irish and dont need to get a licence for that from anyone ..at least not yet.

    My sense of things would be close to Georges or BP’s

    PS Doesnt anyone miss TypeKey or whatever it was called?Not me-right pain in the butt

  • Fraggle

    “we’re all Irish and dont need to get a licence for that from anyone”

    McDowell is probably working on one as we speak!

  • Keith M

    Fianna Fail reflect exactly the opinions of the vast majority of people in this country. Their main interest in Northern Ireland is to make sure that the place remains quiet and that both factions don’t (as they’ve done in the past) disgrace the profile of the Irish throughout the World. Unification would be ok, but it’s so unlikely to happen, it’s not worth thinking about.

    FF have no interest in getting involved in N.I. internal politics. As I’ve said earlier this week, the threat posed by SF/IRA in this country is completly overhyped. The impact they have made on FF has been negligable. The main impact has been to further fragment the opposition, making it easier for FF to hold onto power. Look at the four gains made by SF in 2002. Not one was at the expense of FF. Mark my words FF will be back in government in 2007 and the PDs will most likely be with them.

    Gerorge, congratulations on the best bit of foot shooting I’ve seen on Slugger for a long time ; ” former FG leader Michael Noonan called Fine Gael a true Irish republican party when he ran against Ahern in 2001 because many thought his party was seriously damaged by John Bruton being branded “John unionist”. True Noonan tried to change FG from being a unionist-friendly party which it had been under Bruton. The result was of course the worst in FG’s recent history, and Noonan’s immediate resignation. It’s interesting to see Kenny is always among the first and loudest critics of SF/IRA. He won’t make the same mistake as Noonan.

  • objectivist

    ”Certainly they’ll get nowhere here if they’re still engaged in their sordid tryst with the execrable PDs.”

    MCT
    I am a PD voter and former party officer and I’m a bit taken aback at being delineated as ‘execrable’ and (implicitly) hostile to Northern nationalism -just as I was when my erstwhile sparring partner,Willowfield, dished out paeons of praise in our direction.
    Don’t let your opinion of us be purely based on KM’s politics which would certainly not be the mainstream PD worldview.

    Incidentally,a question for all you experienced Sluggerites:
    When you are responding to a posting how to you get quotes from this up in italics?

  • Davros

    Objectivist – to italicise put quote between two >.
    in front put i between the >
    behind put /i between the > so that it looks

    If you forget the / the rest of the post will become italicised.

    to place in bold use b and end with /b instead of i and /i.

  • Davros

    Curses – it cuts out the

  • Davros

    Try again using brackets – you use the two >

    [i] and [/i]

    [b] and [/b]

  • George

    Keithm,
    on what do you base the assumption that Michael Noonan’s poor performance in that election was down to calling his party republican, especially since the majority of the votes seemed to have Fianna Fail the Republican party?

    Most analysts base their decline on FF-PD moving into their centre-right position in Irish politics. Yu might note that these voters moved back to FG from FF in 2004.

    You are the first person I have ever heard say the 2002 meltdown was because they called themselves a republican party. Don’t forget the PDs also call themselves a republican party and that hasn’t hurt their votes.

    Reasons please for this novel analysis or otherwise I fear it will be yourself who has shot himself in the foot.

  • spikslow

    The people of the North do admittedly have to struggle against a certain degree of apathy from their neighbours on these islands. It’s a cliche at this stage, but all that the people outside of NI want is peace. British/Irish it’s all the same, nobody really cares what happens in the six counties or who rules it so long as there’s peace. This is both a blessing and a curse, but it is the situation which many in the North still have to adjust to.

  • shergarsauntie

    Middle Class Taig asks what I am doing looking at this website. To be honest I am going to confession tomorrow to purge myself of the overwhelming guilt I have for visiting a website dedicated to the political/cultural affairs of the sick counties. There I feel better already.

  • shergarsauntie

    Middle Class Taig asks what I am doing looking at this website. To be honest I am going to confession tomorrow to purge myself of the overwhelming guilt I have for visiting a website dedicated to the political/cultural affairs of the sick counties. There I feel better already.

  • Keith M

    George, what I’m saying is that Noonan (a genuinely nice and honourable man in my personal experience), lost out because he made FG indintinuishable from FF. Under Bruton, there was a clear difference between the parties on things like N.I. (Bruton was far more accomodating to unionism), Europe (Bruton was far more pro-Europe) etc. Noonan tried to turn his party in FF-lite and who wants that when you can have the real thing for the same price. This is a lesson which the SDLP has also yet to learn wrt SF/IRA.

  • Keith M

    objectivist ” Don’t let your opinion of us be purely based on KM’s politics which would certainly not be the mainstream PD worldview”. I have never aid that the PD’s represented my views on NI, although it has to be said the McDowell is doing a pretty good job of saying now what I’ve been saying for almost 10 years.

    I believe that one of the parties in this country should break the cosy little consensus that exists on NI policy. Bruton gave me a little hope that it might be FG, but they reverted to type with Noonan.

    I would be delighted to see a party in this country actually was honest and tell it like it is;

    1 : There isn’t going to be a “united Ireland” in the forseeable future.
    2 : If Northern nationalists are serious about wanting it they need to convince a huge portion of the currently unionist population. Why are they not trying this? Badly thought out document like the SDLPs reacent one only self to convince those who are already convinced.
    3 : The one way of making Unionists even more hostile to a UI is to vote for a party that has murdered it’s way to the negotiating table and who’s financial p[oolicies would turn us into a European version of Cuba.
    4 : Even if Unionists could be convinced the whole idea with be such a financial disaster that it would substantially reduce living standards in NI and the Republic.

    Instead of telling it like it is, we get platitudes and aspirations. It’s time someone down here got real.