Hearts and Minds tonight

Hearts and Minds has Jim Alistair and one of Sinn Fein’s coolest performers, Mary Lou McDonald each fielding some of the key issues that will dominate politics over the next six months. Allister lays out some of the keynotes from his party’s 64 page dossier handed into Downing Street – “there is no going back to the agreement of December 2004”. For her part McDonald plays every screw ball very deftly.

  • Headmelter

    The ‘foreign’ politician was very articulate and assured on the show tonight.
    The local politician showed his partys brand of politics is outdated and they appear to have problems adjusting to the new arena.

    I thought Danny Morrisons piece was excellent. It does make you wonder why unionist politicians always focus on the negative, they are deliberately obstructive and resistant to change which would innevitbley pay dividends for their constituents. They really don’t seem to have a clue what’s going on in the communities they represent choosing instead to play at westminster and come back with nothing for their labour.
    Is it any wonder this small piece of turf has one of the highest rates of suicide in western Europe. The glass always seems half empty to unionist politicians who in turn infect their own electorate with negativism, depression and paranoia.

  • ch in dallas

    Nattering nabobs of negivatism?

  • Gonzo

    Morrison did kinda put it up to the unionists, although because he said it, it’s easily dismissed.

    Basically, he asked those unionists and loyalists who felt hard done by why they were hard done by.

    ‘Crap leaders acting on their behalf’ is the expected answer.

  • Henry94

    Jim Alistair appeared to believe that the biggest party “wins” the election even if 70% of the voters reject their position.

  • victor1

    Mary Lou showed tremendous composure in the face of Mr Alistairs undoubted rage, a future star on the political front IMHO.

  • darthrumsfeld

    Real politics isn’t the simpering of the provo poppet that made Violet Elizabeth Bott look driven

  • smcgiff

    ‘Jim Alistair appeared to believe that the biggest party “wins” the election even if 70% of the voters reject their position.’

    I was surprised no one picked him up on that point. Mary Lou seemed happy enough to point out they had a good election also.

    ‘Mary Lou showed tremendous composure in the face of Mr Alistairs undoubted rage’

    Gee. Do you think she might have been expecting it, and thus prepared?

  • slug

    Do people think she will be the next leader?

  • Ringo

    Do people think she will be the next leader?

    She’s a political lightweight who’s main value is that she softens the hard edge of Sinn Fein’s leadership – not a hope of her becoming leader in my opinion. From her generation, the likes of Pearse Doherty who ran in Connacht/Ulster appears to be far more talented. I’m sure there is more north of the border too.

  • Gum

    Apparently she may be their next leader in the Dail. The Phoenix had a huge report on her and the ‘new’ generation of Sinn Feiners about a month ago. It claimed that they were considering parachuting her in to a Dublin constituency and making her party leader in the Dail following the election. With 3 degress shes undoubtedly clever, but a political lightweight for the time being.

  • slug

    Doherty at 26 is possibly too young to be leader in 5 years, and his teeth are awful. McDonald is probably old enough to take over from Adams in five years. Adams will be 63 then so the party will be looking for someone.

  • fair-deal

    Conor Murphy will be the next leader

  • DerryTerry

    Fair-deal would be spot on in my book. Conor Murphy rather than either PD ot MLMcD next time out, but either would be well fit in 10 or 15 years time

  • Gum

    Baring a split, I dont see Adams being replaced. I think the job is his for life, at least in an honorary position. The only thing that might change that is if he runs for election in 2011…

  • Keith M

    Gum (on Mary-Lou McDonnell) “Apparently she may be their next leader in the Dail. The Phoenix had a huge report on her and the ‘new’ generation of Sinn Feiners about a month ago. It claimed that they were considering parachuting her in to a Dublin constituency and making her party leader in the Dail following the election.”

    Well anyone has to be an improvment of the Monaghan gasbag. I find it had to believe that there’s a seat into which she can be safely parachuted. In the two seats that SF are most likely to gain in Dublin (Central and North West) there are already candidates who would not eaily stand aside (although there are strong rumours of disquiet in the Dessie Ellis camp in NW). This leaves North East which is going to be a tough one if all the outgoing TDs stand. She certainly isn’t going anywhere in her previous constituency of Dublin West.

    “With 3 degress shes undoubtedly clever, but a political lightweight for the time being.” Perhaps she does a good version of “When Will I See You Again”.

    For what it’s worth I thought McAllister did a good job on her last night. I loved the bit about speaking for no one in Northern Ireland.

  • mucher

    Mary-Lou is reported to have been chosen to run against Bertie in the next general election. Bertie is assured of topping the poll but the aim is to reduce his majority and come second.
    The obvious person to run against Bertie is someone with a very high profile in S.F. but the Nicky Keogh team are reported to be very annoyed as he has worked v. hard and is now being passed over for a pretty face.

  • Gum

    Keith, whats the joke about ‘when will i see you again?’

  • MACSWINEY

    Mucher,

    Thats about as sexist and inappropriate a comment as I’ve read in a long time. Mary Lou was absolutely fantastic last night dealing with Jim Allister’s thinly veiled bigotry in a highly professional and ebdearing manner. Her ability is unquestioned and your comments belong with Jim Allisters – Consigned to the prehistoric era…

  • G2

    With a name like Mary Lou McDonald she might become a leader of the Ulster Scots movement instead of leader of the Dail. Is one of her degrees in Ullans or Ulsters Scots?

  • Jo

    I was very impressed with Mary Lou’s last evening and I have generally have little time for the Shinners. I thought she was calm collected empathetic and almost lulled Greaso into debate/agreement but then he had to gurn about foreign politicians…she was very good and a classy performer.

  • Visioneer

    I thought Allister spoke well in defending the Unionist position. Mary Lou would make you sick in more ways than one. She is not even from Northern Ireland and should instead focus on Dublin, where she represents.

    As for Danny Morrison, I think that he should instead stick to talking about his own Irish Republican Politics.

    Loved the way that guy (whos name I cant even pronounce or spell) who is editor or something of the Daily Ireland rag … notice how he talked as if he was representing Sinn Fein also?

  • Gonzo

    It was, all in all, fairly ‘party line’ stuff, with little new in it. It didn’t seem to move anything forward, just a statement of positions we all knew.

    The discussion afterwards involving Moloney and the Andytown News editor was more enlightening, I thought. O Muilleor admitted (in not so many words) that SF-republicanism wasn’t bound by any ideological baggage of left-right politics, and I believe him.

    A comparison was drawn between SF and New Labour, and I think it was fairly valid – both have dumped long-held principles in order to gain power, and both have a strong reliance on good presentation to spin their message.

    What’s wrong with that? some might ask. Well… both parties don’t seem to be well-trusted, and perhaps this comes from their use of ‘elastic’ language. Definitions suddenly take on new meanings when uttered by the upper echelons of SF or New Labour. Hence smuggling is not criminal and the UK went to war against an exaggerated threat.

  • barnshee

    “Mary Lou was absolutely fantastic”???

    Putting on someone who sounds as if she has just arrived from a travellers camp ( apologies if necessary to any traveller readers)-was not a good idea.
    Get the old elocution teachers out

  • Gum

    Whats wrong with being like the travelling community, Barnshee?

  • Jo

    Visioneer & Barnshee:
    Truly enlightening and interesting commentaries which have added a lot to this thread.

  • smcgiff

    ‘I thought Allister spoke well in defending the Unionist position.’

    Are Unionist standards of expectation in their politicians really that low?

  • barnshee

    Gum

    “The media is the message”

    don`t put on incoherent stumble bums with thick accents- whatever the party

  • Jo

    Dianne:
    You appear to have a slight problem spelling your own name. Try sticking to a nice brief one like mine.

  • Chris Gaskin

    All this talk of a new Sinn Féin leader is pretty silly.

    There will be no change for a very long time

    I do admit that Conor would make an excellent leader at some stage in the future

    Mick

    Is there a reason why woman not ball insults are allowed on this thread?

  • Headmelter

    “Morrison did kinda put it up to the unionists, although because he said it, it’s easily dismissed.”
    Posted by: Gonzo at October 7, 2005 03:20 AM

    “As for Danny Morrison, I think that he should instead stick to talking about his own Irish Republican Politics.”
    Posted by: Visioneer at October 7, 2005 03:58 PM

    Gonzo,
    where did you get your chrystal ball?

    Visioneer,
    Did Danny touch on some sensitive areas last night?

  • Denny Boy

    I think Mary Lou is excellent leadership material, although in debate she comes nowhere near Gerry. There again, who does in the island of Ireland?

    Oh, and I wouldn’t worry about her looks as far as the Dáil is concerned. Don’t forget that this is a country whose Minister for Health is a size 30 😉

  • Jo

    Chris:

    A plethora of posts regarding the physical appearance of Mary Lou, MEP would appear to represent the limits of certain posters political analysis. I could of course divert discussion into how a certain non-SF MEP (married with children) made determined efforts to pick up this poster and other young women on successive weekends in the Welly Park some years back, but that would of course, be equally irrelevant.

  • Keith M

    mucher “Mary-Lou is reported to have been chosen to run against Bertie in the next general election. Bertie is assured of topping the poll but the aim is to reduce his majority and come second.”

    Given that SF would only need to take less than 400 of Tony Greogory’s votes to come scond, that’s pretty low level of expection.

    “The obvious person to run against Bertie is someone with a very high profile in S.F. but the Nicky Keogh team are reported to be very annoyed as he has worked v. hard and is now being passed over for a pretty face.”

    I imagine that compared to Kehoe, the back of the number 10 bus would be a “pretty face”, but I could understand the frustration. Kehoe has worked every angle in Dublin central, but even if you can get over the Shergar abduction even his closest supports must realise that Kehoe makes O’Snodaigh sound articulate.

  • Keith M

    mucher “Mary-Lou is reported to have been chosen to run against Bertie in the next general election. Bertie is assured of topping the poll but the aim is to reduce his majority and come second.”

    Given that SF would only need to take less than 400 of Tony Greogory’s votes to come scond, that’s pretty low level of expection.

    “The obvious person to run against Bertie is someone with a very high profile in S.F. but the Nicky Keogh team are reported to be very annoyed as he has worked v. hard and is now being passed over for a pretty face.”

    I imagine that compared to Kehoe, the back of the number 10 bus would be a “pretty face”, but I could understand the frustration. Kehoe has worked every angle in Dublin central, but even if you can get over the Shergar abduction even his closest supports must realise that Kehoe makes O’Snodaigh sound articulate.

  • southern observer

    McDonald-angel face,devilish politics.

  • G-man

    Having fairly recently returned to NI, the H&M discussion was the first time I had seen MLMcD “in action” and one of the first times I had seen JA.

    JA comes across as being very unpleasant : a rude, aggressive and abrasive personality. His outdated DUP rhetoric is depressing. For example, the way that some DUPers dismiss the Republic as a “foreign” country is just stupid and ignores reality. It is clearly not foreign in the sense that, for example, France is foreign. 35% of the poulation of NI would like to belong to this “foreign” country and this “foreign” country used to be part of the UK. A bit of realism from DUP and a more positive and constructiuve attitude to our neighbour might actually be in the interests of their constituents. Anyway – “foreign” politicians are perfectly entitled to express an opinion on NI affairs in the same way that Jim Allister MEP no doubt expresses an opinion on the affairs of other EU countries when he is in Strasbourg/Brussels. Get real DUP and stop being stupid.

    As for MLMcD – I am no fan of Sinn Fein (quite the opposite) but there is no doubt that she is an attractive and articulate politician with a very pleasant speaking manner. Such qualities do appeal to voters – Clinton in the US and New Labour in the UK prove that point.

  • G-man

    Having fairly recently returned to NI, the H&M discussion was the first time I had seen MLMcD “in action” and one of the first times I had seen JA.

    JA comes across as being very unpleasant : a rude, aggressive and abrasive personality. His outdated DUP rhetoric is depressing. For example, the way that some DUPers dismiss the Republic as a “foreign” country is just stupid and ignores reality. It is clearly not foreign in the sense that, for example, France is foreign. 35% of the poulation of NI would like to belong to this “foreign” country and this “foreign” country used to be part of the UK. A bit of realism from DUP and a more positive and constructiuve attitude to our neighbour might actually be in the interests of their constituents. Anyway – “foreign” politicians are perfectly entitled to express an opinion on NI affairs in the same way that Jim Allister MEP no doubt expresses an opinion on the affairs of other EU countries when he is in Strasbourg/Brussels. Get real DUP and stop being stupid.

    As for MLMcD – I am no fan of Sinn Fein (quite the opposite) but there is no doubt that she is an attractive and articulate politician with a very pleasant speaking manner. Such qualities do appeal to voters – Clinton in the US and New Labour in the UK prove that point.

  • Mick Fealty

    Chris,

    I’ll have to review the moderator set up. I think I’ve removed it all now. You might be surprised at who got themselves involved under pseudonyms.

    CL: yellow card. Have you not been listening to my consistent appeals. Next time, and that’s it!

  • In awe

    G-man – Jim Allister IS rude, aggressive, abrasive and unpleasant – he doesn’t just ‘come across’ that way.

  • Visioneer

    “Visioneer,
    Did Danny touch on some sensitive areas last night?

    Posted by: Headmelter at October 7, 2005 05:42 PM”

    Water off a ducks back. How could you take his comments seriously? Hes a republican commentator and should stick to what he knows best. When would Unionists ever take on board his opinions. He is a mouth piece for IRA/Sinn Fein and part of the smoke and mirrors of the whole Republican terrorist organisation and has been for years.

  • Wednesday

    “Mary-Lou is reported to have been chosen to run against Bertie in the next general election.”

    Those reports are incorrect. At present, Mary Lou has not been chosen to run in the next general election at all.

    “the Nicky Keogh team are reported to be very annoyed”

    Those reports are also incorrect. Nicky Kehoe has chosen to retire from politics to spend more time with his family. SF tried very hard to get him to change his mind.

  • Wednesday

    Oh, and I’m amused by the poster who thought Mary Lou sounded like she came from a Traveller camp – that’s a posh South Dublin accent she has!

  • Headmelter

    Visioneer,

    I’ll ask again , did Danny touch on some sensitive issues?

    If you read his piece with a bit of objectivity could you point out the republican ‘propaganda’ for me?

  • barnshee

    Wednesday
    “Oh, and I’m amused by the poster who thought Mary Lou sounded like she came from a Traveller camp – that’s a posh South Dublin accent she has”

    Ahhh that explains it– they ALL sound like travellers (apologies again to any traveller readers)