Suspension fails to silence MLA

On BBC Radio Ulster’s Talkback today, Sinn Féin MLA Francie Molloy said he “feels sore” about “being silenced in this way” – referring to his suspension yesterday from Sinn Féin, a move that the party’s general secretary, Mitchell McLaughlin, has taken responsibility for – and said there was a need to work out “how do [SF] members have a voice to represent their electorate”, quoting Gerry Adams saying that “[the party] doesn’t need sheep”. He also stated that, on local democracy, the “15 model [was the] best way to achieve that.” and repeated his statement of yesterday that the 7 super councils were “a sectarian headcount” and “endorsing gerrymandering”. He said hoped to resolve the dispute with the party as soon as possible but didn’t envisage having to resign from the party.

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    Francie also said he wanted to see ‘more democracy.’ Looks like he joined the wrong party.

  • fair_deal

    In the Belfast Agreement talks the Sinn fein proposals were for something like 50 local councils rather than an assembly – why the volte face?

  • Crataegus

    Good luck to Molloy.

    Am I the only one that likes parties with differences and colourful characters freely expressing their views? Real people with real views. Better than government by clones.

    This is not a trivial matter it is about the death of local democracy and efficient governance. Like most politicians here Molloy thinks the proposal naff, political commonality for once except for some in SF who are acting, not for the good of NI, but a very narrow perception of self interest.

    Who wants full time paid councillors, who wants a councillor in Dungannon making decisions about Belleek? What actual savings and what will be the cost of the disruption and reorganisation?

    Yet another poor decision either from direct rule Ministers who are not up to the job or are acting to deliberately provoke.

  • The Devil

    Tell me this are the people that post on this site really so stupid that they can’t comprehend the reasoning behind the super seven.

    The idea is simple and stunningly brilliant, it is to actively encourage sectarianism at the polls, thus at voting times the electorate are faced with a stark choice one of them or one of ours and the results are beautiful from a “thinktank” point of view

    NO … S.D.L.P
    NO … ALLIANCE
    NO … ULSTER UNIONISTS
    NO … INDEPENDENTS
    NO … P.U.P
    NO … WOMENS COALITION (not a bad thing)
    NO … WORKERS PARTY ( well there weren’t any anyway)

    Just an avalanche of DUP/SINN FEIN mandates with no threats to either position and no party in the background keeping an eye on them a deal is without doubt going to be done and the only loser will be an unsuspecting electorate

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    ”NO … WORKERS PARTY ( well there weren’t any anyway)”

    You monster — I’ll have you know the WP trounced the Natural Law Party nearly everywhere and their leadership is beyond reproach…..

  • Concerned Loyalist

    Slugger is boring me to tears today…I’m off!

  • Dick Doggins

    Workers Party, you mean those child beating thugs that stumble drunk from their social clubs to attack innocent people with iron bars and off course with their guns which don`t exist!!!!

    Aren`t they busy laundering some very dirty cash sorry linen!

    Why does the song working for the Yankee dollar stick in my mind

  • stu

    I’m very disappointed to see Molloy treated like this. This is one of the first examples of moral integrity I’ve seen from a SF member, and it merely adds weight to the idea that they are going to be pursuing their own agenda, like Paisley suggested.

  • slug

    What is interesting here is that Molloy is sticking to his position and repeating it.

  • heck

    I am more sympathetic to SF that most who visit this site but I don’t understand this one at all.

    There are some views that are beyond the pale but surely this isn’t one of them. Are SF saying that this position puts him at odds with the party’s core beliefs? There must be room in all political parties for discent.

    Where is chris gaskin when we need him? I want to see a reasoned defence of this explusion.

  • The Devil

    heck,

    “you more sympathetic to Sinn Fein than most who visit this site”

    Are you having a laugh man?

    This is rapidly becoming a Sinn Fein site, they may even change the name to SHINNEROTOOLE due to popular demand.

    If you’re looking for Chris Gaskin he’s busy looking up the meaning of free speech to see what part of it is supposed to be free so he can give you an unreasonable defence

  • JD

    “Who wants full time paid councillors, who wants a councillor in Dungannon making decisions about Belleek?”

    Some people are being deliberately misleading here. Councillors are elected from their constituencies to represent the people who elected them. Nothing changes in that regard. Councillors from Belleek will travel to Dungannon (or wherever)to represent the views of Beleek and the council area as a whole. This loss of local identity argument is also wearing thin, where do these politicians think we live the vast expanse of the Russian plains. Wise up.

    As for Francie, having your own view and expressing it,is a legitmate right. However after a party has taken democartic decision following extensive debate, they are right to expect senior elected representative to reflect that decision to a undoubtedly hostile media. This is normal party discipline not Sinn Fein stalinism. Just because other parties are in a continual disciplinery mess does not mean that Sinn Fein should emulate them.

  • Slug,

    For some reason everyone ignored your point but I think it’s interesting enough to merit a rseponse. It is indeed VERY surprising that Francie Molloy has been publicly airing his views again today. I also think that this negates JD’s point that the issue is’nt worthy of public party dis-unity. Molloy’s decision to publicly continue airing his objections suggets that he has sounded out that he may have considerable(rural)support from party activists for his views. Alternatively it may be simply a vehicle for an attack on party policy in general. Either way it’s unusual and quite interesting.

  • Brian Boru

    But aren’t all elections in the North a “sectarian headcount”?

  • Henry94

    I don’t agree with Molloy on the issue but I do welcome his call for a more open attitude to dissent on policy issues.

    Without it the danger is not so much a democratic centralist dictatorship as the sarcrifice of policy to electoral strategy.

  • “If you’re looking for Chris Gaskin he’s busy looking up the meaning of free speech to see what part of it is supposed to be free so he can give you an unreasonable defence”

    Oh you are clever! Your “talents” are surely wasted on us; you should have been a comedian!

    “Where is chris gaskin when we need him?”

    At University obtaining his law degree and having rows with representatives of PPSNI 😉

    “I want to see a reasoned defence of this explusion.”

    He has not been expelled just suspended pending disciplinary procedures.

    Everyone in Sinn Féin is entitled to their personal opinions and they are more than welcome to voice those opinions.

    However when an elected Sinn Féin representative publicly attacks party policy and those who support party policy then he/she can expect to be disciplined.

  • Sean Fear

    “Everyone in Sinn Féin is entitled to their personal opinions and they are more than welcome to voice those opinions.

    However when an elected Sinn Féin representative publicly attacks party policy and those who support party policy then he/she can expect to be disciplined. ”

    That’s oxymoronic. Either MLA’s can publicly express an opinion that’s contrary to party policy or they can’t.

    No other politcal party in either the Irish Republic or the United Kingdom would discipline an elected member for disagreeing with the party line on local government reform.

  • Chris Gaskin say’s, “Everyone in Sinn Féin is entitled to their personal opinions and they are more than welcome to voice those opinions. However when an elected Sinn Féin representative publicly attacks party policy and those who support party policy then he/she can expect to be disciplined”.
    So Chris, Can members of Sinn Fein think without saying, if so, this is a departure from the norm. Usually members of that party say without thinking.

  • “That’s oxymoronic”

    No it’s not

    If he had come out and said something like “I favour the 15 council model myself…” it would have been a very different story.

    It was not about him presenting his opinion but about him attacking party policy and those who support party policy.

    “Either MLA’s can publicly express an opinion that’s contrary to party policy or they can’t”

    Of course they can but they should not be attacking party policy.

    Presenting a different opinion and attacking party policy are two very different things all together.

    “No other politcal party in either the Irish Republic or the United Kingdom would discipline an elected member for disagreeing with the party line on local government reform.”

    You really are finding it hard to grasp the difference between presenting a different view and attacking party policy.

  • “So Chris, Can members of Sinn Fein think without saying, if so, this is a departure from the norm. Usually members of that party say without thinking.”

    I have no intention of engaging in such a puerile and pathetic attempt at recourse.

  • Sean Fear

    “You really are finding it hard to grasp the difference between presenting a different view and attacking party policy. ”

    Well, there isn’t one that holds water. By definition, any elected representative who publicly dissents from the party line is “attacking party policy”.

    I reiterate. No normal political party would suspend one of its members over this.

  • shamo

    Yeah, Chris, suspending a party member who has been a stalwart republican in good times and bad over a disagreement re party policy is okay???
    How come it took months to suspend your friends down the Hatfield? Do tell us, when you see the lads who gutted Robert McCartney out on the batter about the Ormeau, do you tell them how egregious and utterly reprehensible their actions were? Or would that be “puerile”?
    Or should Cora Groogan be espelled for lieing about a purely criminal murder – or did I see her at a picket last week?

    Come on, man, some honesty here, and less of the unthinking clone language.

  • “By definition, any elected representative who publicly dissents from the party line is “attacking party policy”.”

    No they are not, I have already explained why that is not the case.

    You can take a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.

    “Yeah, Chris, suspending a party member who has been a stalwart republican in good times and bad over a disagreement re party policy is okay???”

    When did I say that?

    I merely pointed out the reality of the situation; I have not offered an opinion on Francie Molloy’s case.

    Best to argue about what I have said and not what you wish I had.

    “How come it took months to suspend your friends down the Hatfield?”

    I didn’t have any friends from the Hatfield suspended.

    “when you see the lads who gutted Robert McCartney out on the batter about the Ormeau”

    Now wait a fucking minute!!

    Let me make this perfectly clear for you, I support the McCartney campaign and I have never had any contact with any of the people involved in the killing of Robert McCartney.

    Don’t come on to this site and try and smear my character with your lies!

    “espelled for lieing”

    I don’t speak what ever language you were using in this instance

    “Come on, man, some honesty here”

    Show where I have lied?

    It is put up or shut up time!

  • shamo

    Well you’ve certainly side-stepped. A typo is hardly a reason to avoid a question re Cora Groogan. Such pedantry is the preserve of uppity, poseur law students.

    If you’ve been is SF for six years, attend at Queen’s and have never met the killers of Robert McCartney, nor anyone who was suspended and who frequents the Hatfield, then you must be a paper member. Your contentions are simply preposterous.

    Also, “Show where I have lied?” is grammatically poor. It confuses the imperative tense with the interrogative. Try “can you show me where I have lied?”

  • “Well you’ve certainly side-stepped”

    No I have not

    “A typo is hardly a reason to avoid a question re Cora Groogan”

    If you have a question for Cora then I suggest you direct it at her.

    “Such pedantry is the preserve of uppity, poseur law students”

    Not so as I will demonstrate very shortly

    “If you’ve been is SF for six years”

    I have

    “attend at Queen’s”

    I do

    “have never met the killers of Robert McCartney”

    I have not

    “nor anyone who was suspended”

    I didn’t say that

    You tried to make out that I know the people who killed Robert McCartney which is both untrue and something different entirely.

    Do tell us, when you see the lads who gutted Robert McCartney out on the batter about the Ormeau, do you tell them how egregious and utterly reprehensible their actions were? Or would that be “puerile”?

    “and who frequents the Hatfield”

    I frequent it fairly regularly

    “then you must be a paper member”

    Hardly

    “Your contentions are simply preposterous”

    No, it is your analysis that is preposterous

    “Also, “Show where I have lied?” is grammatically poor”

    I will remind you of your first paragraph

    Well you’ve certainly side-stepped

    Such pedantry is the preserve of uppity, poseur law students

    LOL, hoisted by your own petard!

  • And the paper tiger roars!

  • Sean Fear

    Well, you’ll have to do a bit better than that Chris, before many people would feel confident to be represented by you in Court.

  • Pete Baker

    All

    Let’s try and keep the focus of this thread on the ball.

    Thanks.

  • And the paper tiger roars!

    LOL

    Well, you’ll have to do a bit better than that Chris, before many people would feel confident to be represented by you in Court.

    How has my interaction with Shamo got anything to do with my future ability to represent a future client in a future court?

    Pete

    I have never taken my eyes off the ball 😉

  • shamo

    Touché, a Chriostóir.
    Not the first time I have fell on my sword, bloody cumbersome thing.
    Fair enough, Chris – I acknowledge that I’m being a tad presumptuous. I have met those people before and presumed, wrongly, that by your geographic location and politics, you must have too.

    Honestly, I like Cora and others who made mistakes around the McCartney incident, and acknowledge that all of this isn’t simply black and white. Those who killed him, however, are probably loathed as vigorously by you as I.

    I must say there’s no need for the supercilious attitude when making comments, and acknowledge too that I have a tendency to respond in kind 😉

    Nevertheless, it pains me to see the party stifled by such a paucity of debate. Rather than picking on Molloy (whose opinions on things like abortion I have found objectionable in the past), it would surely behove the leadership better to get more free-flowing, honest debate flowing. They rely on soundbites and slick, media-friendly conferences too much. The Árd Fheis, for instance, has become little more than a springboard for candidates, rather than the vibrant expression of a dynamic, revolutionary party. The party is increasingly crippled by top-down initiatives and has a sometimes dismissive approach to internal dissent, or even the most benignly expressed concerns. This cannot last and just postpones crisis.

  • Fair enough Shamo 🙂

    In a last dash attempt at pedantry I would just like to point out that Christopher in Irish is Críostóir not Chriostóir. 😉

  • shamo

    Ah Jesus. I really hate this now. This is twisting the knife altogether.

    Criostoir in the tuiseal gairmeach (vocative case – when calling someone) is inflected with what is called in Irish a séimhiú (the ‘h’ after the consonant).

    Hence:

    “Chonaic mé Criostóir agus é ag iarraidh pionta a fháil”; but

    “A Chriostóir, a chara, an bhfuil tú go maith.”

    Beir bua agus oiche mhaith.

  • LOL

    Ní bhíonn saoi gan locht 😉

    Oíche Mhaith

  • Eamon Lynch

    “Has there ever been a society which has died of dissent? Several have died of conformity in our lifetime.” — Jacob Bronowski

  • Mickhall

    Has there ever been a society which has died of dissent? Several have died of conformity in our lifetime.”—Jacob Bronowski

    Posted by Eamon Lynch

    Nice one Eamon. Dissent is a sign of a healthy and robust society. [or Party] Political leaders who will not tolerate any dissent within their party, often do the same with their countries when they gain power. Dev in Ireland and Blairs Britain are prime examples within the democracies. In neither nations did a thousand flowers bloom.

    Still lutta continua.