"I can tell you all the things they’re against"

Both the Irish Examiner and the Irish Times note the comments of Taoiseach Bertie Ahern in an interview yesterday. As the IE reports, when asked whether he saw any circumstances in which Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin would form a coalition, he replied firmly: “No, I don’t.”

The Irish Times report the Fianna Fáil leader’s comments here

Mr Ahern said he believed Sinn Féin was on the way towards embracing totally peaceful means. But their economic policy was “the length and breadth of the country apart” from Fianna Fáil’s.

“I do hope that Sinn Féin finish the transformation to totally peaceful means,” Mr Ahern told Today FM’s Sunday Supplement programme. “I think they are on the road to doing that,” he added.

“I haven’t got a clue what their economic policy is, Éire Nua I think was the last one they wrote and that is a long time ago. But they are against inward investment and they are against multi-nationals.”

Additionally, from the Irish Examiner report –

In an address to Ógra Fianna Fáil on Saturday, Mr Ahern had said by the time the Government reached the end of its five-year term in 2007, he wanted “three enduring legacies” to remain: “lasting peace in Northern Ireland, irreversible economic and social progress, and honest and open politics in 21st-century Ireland.”

In an interview with the Today FM radio station yesterday, he indicated Sinn Féin had some way to go on the first and third of those ideals, and an even longer way on the second.

He said SF had opposed the Government on major European issues, including the Nice Treaty. But while he at least knew where SF stood on Europe, “I haven’t got a clue what their economic policy is. They are kind of against inward investment, they are against multi-nationals, and I can tell you all the things they’re against; I’m sure I’ll find out some day what they’re for.”

  • Keith M

    ” I can tell you all the things they’re against; I’m sure I’ll find out some day what they’re for.”

    I wouldn’t be so sure. SF/IRA are a party of opposition, they do not have the policies to become part of a government and they have not shown the kind of pragmatism necessary to be in a coalition.

  • Levitas

    I think it would suit Sinn Fein just fine to stay in opposition, there would be considerable opposition to joining a coalition with the spivs and graft merchants of Fianna Fail from within Sinn Fein in any case, see recent articles in AP/RN by David Cullinane, former SF Euro-candidate for Munster.Also FF are under presure because what is hinted at by Eddie Hobbs revelatory TV programme (last one tonight RTE 1-9.30pm!) is what everyone in Ireland knows anyway, is that Fianna Fail have presided over a huge amount of sharp practice in the past 10 years and more, and that they are nothing but an organised larceny, and being close to them is always compromising of your political ethics. By the way I have looked all through Sinn Fein’s policies and there is not one shred of evidence suggetsing SF is “kind of against inward investment”, unless supporting the idea that some of these multinationals should at least pay a modicum of tax to the state…along the levels suggested by CORI…

  • Gum

    This FF/PD govt has a long way to go itself to help achieve “honest and open politics in 21st-century Ireland”!

  • Chris Gilmore

    It would be really interesting if Sinn Fein were able to mature to the point where they could become a useful coalition partner for either the Fianna Fail and PDs or Fine Gael and Labour.

    They do have some innovative ideas when it comes to slowly including the North in the political system of the Republic; but when it comes to their economic policy they need to find their place. It would not do them a lot of good to embrace an ideological Marxist point of view and alienate middle class and conservative Catholic Irish voters like the Stickies did, though on the other hand they cannot allow themselves to flow far enough to the Centre that they alienate their current support base in both the North and the Republic.

    They need to adopt a pragmatic socialist or social democratic economic and political agenda which is nationalist and republican in nature, while being practical and puting the welfare of the working people above all.

  • Henry94

    Ruling out Sinn Fein is a political necessity for Ahern before the election just like ruling out Fianna Fail is a political necessity for Labour.

    After the votes are in the numbers game will be the only game.

  • martin

    I couldnt help noticing how desperate Ahernia must be getting when he resorts to nonsense like

    If you trust them with the economy they will lead you back to being a third world economy–does anyone actually buy this crap–it reminds me of the old smear of being a communist in the 30s,40s,50s,60s.

    whats the next line Bertie–Kenny and Rabbit will sell Ireland to Castro.