Paisley outburst to bolster Sinn Fein?

Fionnuala O’Connor has a particular sharp piece of observation in her IT column this week. She notes that all parties are preparing for a prolonged stalemate, (subs needed) the length of which is likely to be dictated by Ian Paisley.
She notes:

The SF leaders are more concerned about internal management than they are about holding their northern vote – stiffened with each Paisley decibel – and not nearly as anxious about potential damage to their vote in the Republic as the other parties would like them to be.

Indeed, she goes on to point out that political hardship is part of Sinn Fein’s political DNA. Having chatted to a few delegates to the recent Ard Fheis, she concludes:

If they face accusations and criticism about money-laundering and continued IRA activity, they conceal it well. “You only ever get that from members of other parties,” was how one summed it up. After decades of defending murder, republicans are connoisseurs of condemnation. In the post-decommissioning age and from unpopular sources, it is no hardship. Indeed, being lambasted by the right people can rally existing supporters and attract new ones. Better yet if you can swing in behind popular indignation at criticism of someone else.

And yet, she detects one possibly crucial dynamic:

A demagogue who spouts wild charges against a popular head of State is always going to lack conviction as a judge of Sinn Féin’s fitness for government. He may be the best weapon republicans retain. And the more the IRA fades while loyalist violence continues, the more unlikely his strictures will sound.

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  • aquifer

    How did we arrive at our constitution depending on one man who absented himself from the crucial negotiation and lost the subsequent vote. If we prefer political martyrs the governments should oblige us with some veto-proof proposals for governance. That way someone’s nose will always be out of joint.

    And she detects one possibly crucial dynamic ..which?

  • Mick Fealty

    It’s in there now.

  • TAFKABO

    How did we arrive at our constitution depending on one man who absented himself from the crucial negotiation and lost the subsequent vote.

    We got to this position because elections were held and that one man persuaded more people to vote for him than any of the others did.
    Essentail people are arguing that we should reconsider this who democracy business if this is the sort of result we get.

    And that is one of the constants from Irish republicanism over the lasty forty odd years.Nationalists always boycott votes or the democratic process when they don’t think they can win it.

    All this talk about Paisley being this or that (and BTW this article is playing the man, not the ball, so why is it even on here?)is disingenuous.
    The Unionist people have elected Paisley, and talk of circumventing his mandate is really talk about thwarting the democratic process because those nasty unionist have been more succesful at it than it suits some people.

    Same as it ever was.

  • barnshee

    Exactly the same argument??? applies to papa doc
    “being lambasted by the right people can rally existing supporters and attract new ones. Better yet if you can swing in behind popular indignation at criticism of someone else”
    pappa and co jut lap it up.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    ‘BTW this article is playing the man, not the ball, so why is it even on here?)’

    Like it not, and nationalists do recognise this fact, there is an identifiable ethos called Paisleyism. Good manners and respect for the site prevents me from identifyng and expanding on just exactly what the majority of unionists are voting for.

  • TAFKABO

    Good manners and respect for the site prevents me from identifyng and expanding on just exactly what the majority of unionists are voting for.

    It’s a pity you weren’t as concerned with hypocrisy as you are with manners.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    ‘It’s a pity you weren’t as concerned with hypocrisy as you are with manners.’

    Getting lectured on hypocricy by a unionist is quite funny.

  • TAFKABO

    First you’re gurning, now you’re laughing.
    When you finally decide to stop with the emotional outbursts, perhaps you could explain to me why we seldom see an argument about Unionism or Paisleyism that is more substantive than a bitchy attack?

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    It really is quite simple, Paisleyism has been a much used term to describe a certain type of politics that manifests itself through intolerance and sectarianism.
    Unlike yourself the DUPers leadership are not touchy on the subject and in fact wear it as a badge of hounour. The majority of unionists now overtly subscribe to that view. While it may be embarrassing for you trying to defend that intolerance and sectarianism it is a fact nonetheless.

  • TAFKABO

    Simply saying something doesn’t make it so.
    Sectarianism can come in many different guises, I don’t think any of us have a monopoly on it, or are immune from its effects.
    It’s a pointless argument getting in to who is the most sectarian, indeed, it is a
    sectarian argument to make in the first place, I’m not going to bother with that.

    Intolerance is a different matter.
    The DUP are intolerant of irish Republicanism, they make no apologies for this, and I fail to see why they should.
    Why do political creeds assume they have to be accepted and tolerated by those who have opposing views?

    Of course it is often argued that the anti Irish republican language is simply code for anti catholicism.
    That little slice of logic cuts both ways, so it’s another pointless discussion to have.