From my favourite laidback laconic Californian reader, James. It’s in the Drapier column of the Irish Times on Michael McDowell’s attack on Sinn Fein (subs needed) in the Dail:
And then the speech. Michael’s ritual filleting of the Provos in the Dáil this week contained the usual blend of rhetoric and insult, but Drapier couldn’t help thinking there was something more to it than just ritual. Could it be that Michael actually believes a lot of this stuff ? Could it be that Michael actually believes that he is more republican than the Shinners? Is it really possible that the PDs are trying to out-green the Shinners? Can we expect to see Liz O’Donnell in dark glasses and a cutie little black beret some time soon?
Sadly that ultimate prospect is remote. The truth is that Michael is just about the sole occupant of the PDs’ nationalist wing, but it is nonetheless interesting that he has been given such a free rein by the ladies of late.
The PDs and the Shinners do not compete for votes. They fish in different waters. But they do compete for the affections of Fianna Fáil. Mary and Michael are happy to share a bed with Fianna Fáil, but they know well that there are many in the Soldiers of Destiny who might be attracted to the bearded one from Belfast.
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