I would have loved to have had the job of proof reading the Sinn Fein manifesto, although I doubt my comments about historical revisionism and unachievable dreams would go down well. I say again, let’s go through this for the less intelligent amongst us:
The Six-County statelet has been characterised since its inception by injustice, inequality, repression and conflict. (pg 13)
Quite so. From the opposition of the Nationalist community to Lord Londonderry’s proposed educational reforms in the 1920’s to the conflict created by Sinn Fein in the late 1960’s this statement is correct. I have this odd feeling that they don’t quite mean THESE inequalities and injustices though.
The Sinn Féin leadership has now asked the IRA to act. Doing so would:
» Remove unionist excuses for non-engagement
» Expose unionist intransigence
So Gerry Adams talking to himself the other week was about exposing UNIONIST intransigence. Not the refusal of the IRA to live up to seven year old promises and it was most definitely not prompted by a bank robbery and a murder. Excellent.
It is unacceptable that, eight years on from the Good Friday Agreement, more British troops remain in the Six Counties than are currently stationed in Iraq. (pg 14)
This is like saying that it is unacceptable that there are more British Soldiers in Aldershot than there are in Iraq. Also, is it acceptable that eight years after the Belfast Agreement the IRA is yet to disarm, disband and disappear? The Agreement by design means that there will always be British troops here and also by design, the IRA will go away for good. If anyone wants to disagree with me, go and read the Declaration of Support first.
Sinn Féin wants an end to second class citizenship and an end in the mindset of policy makers who despite equality legislation and equality mechanisms like the Equality Commission, pay lip service to eradicating poverty and undermine the equality agenda. (pg16)
I find it bizarre, but this kind of language will attract support to Sinn Fein. They feed off the inferiority complex of Nationalists and therefore it is not in their interests to shake off the victim mentality. The inequality spoken of here disappeared years ago, indeed there is much evidence to suggest that it has been reversed. Make no mistake, Sinn Fein have no notions of equality, they want affirmative action to the point of revenge. This mentality in the political classes of Irish Nationalism is not new, it is the reason Unionism exists and the reason we will have no part in their unobtainable dream of “unity and independence”. On the poverty aspect of this statement, how long has Gerry been an MP now? How come in all that time West Belfast is still one of the most poverty ridden areas in Europe? That the Brits fault too?
Every year hundreds of millionaires and thousands of high earners pay no income tax at all. (pg 17)
And we all know which council these people sit on don’t we! It will be interesting to see what Sinn Feins proposals to tax IRA petrol smugglers will be.
There is an onus on the Government to persuade the British Government to adopt a united Ireland policy and to engage with unionists at all levels of society towards this end. (pg 18)
Why? If there is some sort of intellectual responsibility on the Irish Government to peruse Irish unification (which they don’t want in the slightest), then it is surely the responsibility of the British Government to shore up the Union! Irish Nationalism does not have some sort of ideological dominance and Sinn Fein should wake up to this. Unionists are not simply misguided Nationalists.
When Martin McGuinness took office as Education Minster in December 1999 he set about the task of bringing our education system into the 21st Century. He took the decision to scrap the 11+ and began to undo the damage caused by decades of under-investment. (pg 21)
Vandalism. Competition brings out the best in people, remove competition in education and the system begins to lie to children, it will teach them that they cannot fail – life is not like that. This is not bringing education into the 21st Century; it is destroying the best basic system in the UK. The point in Costello and Burns is to shorten the distance between the top and bottom. They took the cheap and easy option though and elected to bring the top down; the real objective should be to bring the bottom up. McGuinness, Burns and Costello took the cheap, easy and narrow sighted view.
A radical education system is vital to changing the lives of individuals and for stronger communities and a society that can embrace diversity. (pg 21)
A radical education system? Anyone?
The Irish language is a central component of our culture, which belongs to all of us who live on this island irrespective of creed or political outlook. It enriches all our lives. (pg 44).
It does? How? All I noticed is the huge amounts of time and money that were wasted by Sinn Fein Ministers getting documents translated. I read in the Irish Times last year than the publication of an Irish Government report was held up for several weeks because it had to be translated! I have no problem with people learning and using Irish, but forcing it on people is wrong.
The rights of the Irish language speakers to be recognised, protected and promoted in both the proposed Human Rights Bill and the Single Equality Bill (pg 44)
Why do Irish language speakers need their rights protected? I am totally unaware of people being prevented from speaking Irish. Sounds like more Sinn Fein whinging to me.
Sinn Féin is opposed to Belfast Metropolitan Area Plan (BMAP) proposals to widen existing road infrastructure within the Inner City, including the widening of the M2, expansion of the Westlink and widening of the A2. (pg 49)
Sinn Féin is campaigning for:
» Creation of a unitary Irish rail system
We already have one don’t we? There is an Iarnród Éireann train at Yorkgate depot at this moment!
We want to see the transformation of the war economy in the North of Ireland and the elimination of the economic distortions created by conflict, partition, under-investment and policies of discrimination.
More meaningless republican waffle. What war economy? They make Northern Ireland sound like Dresden in the 1930’s. Mind you, if Sinn Fein want to get into this, perhaps a chicken and egg approach is needed (I again refer readers to the Declaration of Support in the Belfast Agreement).
We want to see the positive redistribution of resources
Failed tax and spend policies. A Sinn Fein economy would stifle innovation and bring economic growth to a halt.
I used to write and get paid, now I read and don’t.
Former UUP staffer, currently living in London. @mjshilliday