SF intimidation moves down south?

Councillors in New Ross Town aren’t happy with Sinn Fein’s leafletting tactics, with one FF councillor, Kevin Dwyer, seeking a public apology from the SF Chairman of the council, John Dwyer, over what he calls “a deplorable and despicable act of intimidation, […] completely underhand intimidation of members of the public and public representatives.” Michael Sheehan, FF, adds, “‘Putting fliers on doors and windows and going onto private property might have seemed like a laugh and a joke at the time, but when you bring families into it it’s not very funny at all,’ while FG Cllr Ray Lawlor would prefer to keep party politics out of council chambers altogether. John Dwyer, for his part, calls it a publicity stunt and suggest FF will be talking to SF “with a view to forming a coalition” regardless.Some questions are, does the shadow around SF (namely, the IRA), mean rough and tumble politics take on a more sinister meaning, and is the south ready to accept SF at (political) face value?

  • sean
  • Crataegus

    Just a general point I don’t think it is safe to encourage vigilante type politics. We see the problems in the North and we can see examples of the outcome dotted across the world. Generally it ends in grief. Internal politics should be based on democratic principles and should not have a direct link to physical force or groupings that can intimidate other than state agencies to enforce laws democratically decided.

  • eric

    “…Internal politics should be based on democratic principles…

    Fully agree Crat’, but what to do when there are elements in society who don’t abide by the same principles? Under no circumstances do I condone any type of vigilante behaviour, but we have seen here what happens when democracy breaksdown and stae forces of law and order are unwilling/unable to address the problem. Biased public representation, biased press/media, a retreat to polarised politics, doubt and uncertainty at all levels of society… Sound familiar?

  • Brenda

    welcome to an ireland of equals.

  • londonderry_loyal

    The republic may get used to this intimidation by SF, these tatics have been deployed in northern ireland for many years!!

    Bertie doesnt want them in the Dail, how can he expect Northern Ireland government to accept them

  • Crataegus

    Eric

    I am not a great fan of the PSNI, but unfortunately have to agree with the argument that law and order is their job. However I believe their performance is lamentable and that many innocent people are suffering unnecessarily because of it. I think part of the problem is unquestionably to do with collusion but equally they haven’t been policing for so long that I begin to think they have forgotten what it means and how to do it. This needs to be sorted out and to my mind is much more important than trying to resuscitate the Assembly.

    If we go down the route of the lynch mob we are entering an area that the mob, if it is organised, can be turned on any one of us for whatever purpose. The general activity can also cover others who are using it as cover for their own purpose.

    In a large percentage of places where there are vigilante forces there eventually seems to be civil unrest. Now I am unsure if it is the civil unrest causes the vigilantes or the reverse but they are generally a bad sign.

  • Hippy

    This is the way the Shinners operate. Intimadating other parties. They just do not intimadate other parties they intimadate the voters as well. They will be calling at your door telling you to vote for them or they know where you live. Some politicians these boys they have it down to a fine art. Yet butter wouldn’t melt in their mouths. Dressed in fancy clothes and potray to be the people the voice of respectability
    So now southern politics is experiencing what northern politics have had to put up with from the Shinners for years. Just be careful who you vote for you might just end up with a bunch of cowboys in the Dail called Sinn Fein with Gerry Adams Taoiseach. Lord perish the thought.

  • Nevin

    Crataegus, the police always have to operate within political constraints. It the 1990s they couldn’t ruffle paramilitary feathers without political clearance; they could observe but they needed permission to intervene.

    Don’t be surprised if the paramilitary godfathers gain an even greater foothold in the realm of policing and justice prior to November 24. They might also be the recipient of the odd bung – in the interests of the ‘peace process’, of course. Influential political figures will probably also sing the praises of the godfathers and highlight their value as community leadership role models ….

  • NickyG

    Erm, has anyone actually read the link provided? It may mean that you have to register, but it’s free

    I don’t really know what I was expecting to read in the article, considering the headline of the post, but what I did see bears very little relation to some of the nonsense posted above.

    True, posting protest letters on the doors of cllrs smacks of over exuberence, but that’s about the height of it! Cllr Ray Lawlor of FG even chastised the FF cllrs in question for twisting the issue for point scoring! and that’s somethinga FG cllr defending a SF council chairman!

    Really, am a newbie posting on slugger, but am absolutely astounded by the disingeniousness and hypocricy on show!

    sorry, I know it’s whataboutery, but I don’t remember seeing a similar hoo-haa when (SF) councillors were the subject of bomb warnings and death threats recently.. in fact I rmember some DUP representatives refusing to condemn.

    geeez!

  • lib2016

    They do not seem to have heard that the ballot is private nor that the police have had to be reformed because of their very obvious bias which was not towards republicans.

    Can it possibly be something to do with the fact that (another) unionist worthy has been caught messing about with the election process? Surely not!

  • barnshee

    “They do not seem to have heard that the ballot is private ”

    Up to a point private — but SF was able to call at my neighbours door 3 times (yes three times) to remind him that he had yet to vote and offer yet another lift to the polling station. Some smelly collusion there.

  • ohdearme

    Just Sinn (scumbags) Fein, doing what they do best. Nothing new in that.

  • Crataegus

    Banshee

    The way it works is this; each political party has people monitoring the polling stations, some like SF have several at each desk ticking of the electoral role as voters come in, some time during the day they leave or go to the toilet and the ticked of list is exported. It is illegal and should not happen. We need to reduce the number of monitors to one per party per polling station and they should be keep away from the officials. They are there to monitor general conduct not abuse the system.

  • NickyG

    No one seems to have responded to my previous post..

    “ohdearme”, did you go to unison and read the article?

    There’s a lot of self reinforcing of stereotypes going on here, endemic in the North. Actually ead the article and see how that matches up with certain peoples ingrained idea of how to judge everyone.

    It’s that old cliche of decommissioning of mindsets again.. it is a huge issue to be addressed and, with respect, is something the unionist community- not exclusively- but in particular must face up to. This brand of political and religious socialisation occurring within swathes of the Unionist diaspora that preprogrammes generations with suspicion and, at its worst, hatred is probably the largest single obstacle in the way of a normal society now.

    Surely this thread is a case in point? The article has been taken, twisted and presented as an opportunity for others of a like mind to further reinforce thier own particular stereotypes! Soon after, the actual truth of the event gets forgotten, but the old stereotypes have been reinforced.

    Don’t mean to sound spiteful, but just get frustrated with seeing this happen day in day out throughout society, putting us another small step away from a just society.

  • kensei

    “Up to a point private—but SF was able to call at my neighbours door 3 times (yes three times) to remind him that he had yet to vote and offer yet another lift to the polling station. Some smelly collusion there.”

    Or, they wait outside, haven’t seen the person and go back?

  • agape

    Welcome to the realities of ‘the north’, southern voters. You backed a party (FF) who are essentially ideological nationalist facsists like SF who turned every principle of democracy on its head to appease these people. Now you are getting a taste of it. To use northern parlance: “slap it up you”.

  • christ almight

    To hear the apologists for those who carried out the Northern Bank crime, which involved TORTURE of an innocent family, bleat about ‘bungs’ is priceless.
    You’re going to realise what corruption really means if these people are allowed anywhere near power.
    Frankly, the republic deserves it for its compliance in the process of letting the Provos become ‘respectable’. Enjoy.

  • Crataegus

    MickyG

    Often stereotypes are based on fact and no matter how many times you claim frozen mindsets doesn’t make it so. I have seen SFs election machine some of what they do is good and very effective some is down right dubious and possibly illegal.

    Don’t mean to sound spiteful, but just get frustrated with seeing this happen day in day out throughout society, putting us another small step away from a just society.

    No you have the wrong end of the stick the way to a fair and just society is for those who break the rules to conform to decent standards. Sticking our heads in the ground may mean we hear no evil and see no evil but it doesn’t make society fair.

    True, posting protest letters on the doors of cllrs smacks of over exuberence, but that’s about the height of it!

    In a NI context that is definitely intimidation. It depends who is posting and who you are. How would you like it if some independent Loyalists decided to poster your house? I would take it as a real threat and would be onto the Police. It is potentially very threatening. It is saying we know where to find you and this is what we think of you. Much depends on context.

  • NIckyG

    Happy now? No one’s read the actual article, it seems, yet here we have crazy statements from people like agape.

    This kind of twisted nonsense seems daily bread for many like him/her, and then they will stare expressionlessly and and wash thier hands every time anticatholic racism manifests itself in blood.

  • NickyG

    Crateagus

    The context here is a protest Tansport Committee and the cllrs were associated with that policy.. i stick to my original assertion that it’s more overexuberance than (sectarian) intinidation.. would you not agree? Listen, I’m not saying I agree with it being done in this way, but I agree even less with this continual twisting that just gives an excuse for the narrow minded in society to remain so.

    “In a NI context that is definitely intimidation”

    it wasn’t in NI, point negated?!!

    Crateagus, could you not be burying your head in the sand yourself -just a little- by seemingly refusing to acknowledge or address that the single biggest problem we face in society are the ingrained, mostly unreasonable, mindsets that prevail.. and sadly mosly within unionism.

    Of course, as you say, if everyone followed decent rules that would be great.. but thats not really a critique that is anything other than utopianism!! (sorry!)

  • Crataegus

    NickyG

    wash their hands every time anti-Catholic racism manifests itself in blood

    It is important that none of us wash our hands of ANY racism.

    It is not anti catholic to criticise the conduct of political parties if they go over the edge. I have had my fair share of problems with Loyalist types and you cannot just take this sort of conduct lightly it is potentially threatening. If it were some Loyalist group I would say exactly the same, and as I say context is all important.

    Yes it is in the South but this sort of thing just should not happen. Given that, the question then is are the councillors making political hay out of it, or do some for reasons not apparent actually feel threatened? I could see, given personal experience, how there could be a very real problem, but equally I can see a local politician or two making a lot out of nothing.

    It shouldn’t have happened though paradoxically SF have probably gained from the publicity so in my opinion if the motivation was political then it wasn’t very clever. Good maxim in politics is never give your opponents publicity.

  • New Yorker

    If the intimidation discussed above is true for Northern Ireland and if the voting irregularity in Coleraine is not an isolated case, shouldn’t you have democratic elections before you have an Assembly? Not to do so would produce a non-democratic Assembly that would not truly reflect all the voters in NI and would be of dubious legitimacy.

  • Crataegus

    New Yorker

    In my opinion need to tighten up on activities around Polling stations and a look at postal votes etc. if we do that then the process would be fairly democratic in fact probably better than in most countries, but we will be electing people into an Assembly whose structures enshrine sectarianism and there is no accounting for what people elect.

    The issue about notes being illegally sent out of polling stations really does need to be addressed. How would you feel if a couple of blokes arrived at your door and told you that you had not voted and to get out and vote?

  • Anna Dale

    Don’t mean to sound spiteful, but just get frustrated with seeing this happen day in day out throughout society, putting us another small step away from a just society.”

    Nicky G
    Took your advice and read the article.
    I agree with you that the action was not “sectarian” but it’s quite clear that the people concerned knew exactly whose door they were posting on. If a political opponent intentionally targets your home in this way, what legitimate point do you think they’re to make?

    I thought this comment from the Shinner in question was priceless:

    “Cllr. John Dwyer said he was not going to respond to either point as ‘to do so would be to introduce party politics into the Chamber'”

    For those too lazy to read the article, the mayor was also being called to account for attending some Provo’s commemoration in Belfast.

  • George

    Anna,
    as you are getting on your high horse, if you cared to read the article carefully you would have noted that attending a commemoration, Provo or otherwise, in Belfast had nothing to do with his position in New Ross.

    This is first time I’ve ever seen New Ross described as a town.

  • Chris Donnelly

    Some questions are, does the shadow around SF (namely, the IRA), mean rough and tumble politics take on a more sinister meaning, and is the south ready to accept SF at (political) face value?

    RN
    So putting a leaflet on a door and a window is sinister?

    Have a read about the history of Fianna Fail selection conventions- then you’ll know about the meaning of rough and tumble politics in the 26 counties.

    This post smacks of sensationalism from the outset. The title insinuates Sinn Fein intimidation is a constant in the north and is now being exported south. Have you evidence to back up this assertion? And please, spare us the allegations Alisdair McDonnell so truly believed that he waited until he was in England to publicly make them last week.

    The last point has already been answered, whether you like it or not. Sinn Fein has 5 TDs, 1 MEP and scores of councillors across the 26 counties, and is consistently polling as the fourth largest party in the state.

  • as good as a mile

    SF are hard wired to electoral fraud and intimidation. I’m with the others who find the likes of FF bleating about its export over the border pretty laughable. What did you think you were going to get when you helped these people launder the blood from their hands to become a ‘respectable’ party? Your country obsesses about a snivelling Bertie taking 50 grand from his mates, and rushes to defend sectarian facsists from blame when they blatantly steal 26 million and terrorise innocents in the process.
    Fourth largest party in the Free State is a pretty feeble reward for killing thousands of people. Ah well, most of them were Prods so it doesn’t really count.

  • SF are hard wired to electoral fraud and intimidation

    Any chance of some evidence? If I am not mistaken it was a DUP fella who was recently done for electoral fraud.

    A very disingenious post that is not up to Sluggers usual standard.

  • NickyG

    Glad to see there are actually some people who can actually digest information and determine the voracity of it! Hope!! Yippee!!

    Let’s be honest, if it was a Green party transport commitee posting a transport policy protest bill on a window there would be none of this. And they have done such things and much more. In truth, the comparison made with Loyalists coming to your door- whilst made in earnest- is a complete misnomer.

    This is just more of the stuff that will see people like “as good as a mile” continue to have thier own narrow outlook reinforced, and how can that be a good thing?

    DISINGENIOUS AND DISHONEST STUFF, by blogger: rusty nail!

  • aquifer

    Given their associations, SF activists targetting the homes of part-time councillors is intimidation and should stop.

    If we permit acts of vandalism and intimidation by SF, smart suits or no, we risk paramilitary murder gangs talent-spotting a new generation of spies and murderers to fill our jails and graveyards.

    For those in SF uneasy with the Totally UnArmed Strategy, the Tactical Use of Armed Struggle still exists as an option.

    And convincing us in the short term that SF are fit to govern while intimidating is not inconsistent with the exercise of that option in the medium term.

    Even if the IRA’s guns were gone, getting more was never going to be hard.

    SF and loyalists are only bad people when we let them be.

  • Anna Dale

    George

    “as you are getting on your high horse, if you cared to read the article carefully you would have noted that attending a commemoration, Provo or otherwise, in Belfast had nothing to do with his position in New Ross.”

    If you cared to read my comment carefully, you’ll see that I didn’t say otherwise.

    But obviously the other members of the council felt that it didn’t reflect well on their town that its Chairman had decided to participate in the ceremony in question.

    (from the article!)
    “The first was the Council Chairman’s decision to unveil a banner commemorating I.R.A. bomber Ed O’Brien in Belfast recently.
    ‘Party politics or not, it was the wrong thing to do as Cathaoirleach of New Ross Town Council,’ he said.”

  • Hippy

    To New Yorker.

    In response to your posting How does one close the door on this electoral malpractice? It is done in such a suttle way that it appears above board.

    For example if you live in a Nationalist / Republican / Catholic area the shinners are round at your door every hour on the hour on election day encouraging you to give your vote to them, they will even give you a lift to the polling station. wait outside the door, to ensure you cast your vote for them and wait on you coming out to give you a lift home. How could you vote for the party / candidate of your choice under these circumstances?
    A case in an election a few years ago there was just a few hundred votes between 2 candidates in an election with Sinn Fein picking up 2nd place. There was an immediate outcry from SF demanding a recount. When the recount was complete under the eyes of SF scrutineers the eventual out come was SF topped the poll by 50 odd votes.
    Explain how come SF knew the outcome would be in their favour when demanding the recount. You need to live in Northern Ireland at election thim just to watch the shananigans of the Sinn Fein machine in operation to believe it. This is democracy Sinn Fein style.
    Hope that answers your posting.

  • An angelic republican

    “A case in an election a few years ago there was just a few hundred votes between 2 candidates in an election with Sinn Fein picking up 2nd place. There was an immediate outcry from SF demanding a recount. When the recount was complete under the eyes of SF scrutineers the eventual out come was SF topped the poll by 50 odd votes.”

    Hippy – this account sounds fictional, care to state what constitency and when? Then we can check if it is true.

  • Hippy

    To An Angelic Republican

    The Sinn Fein candidate in that election goes under the initials MG. I am not sure of the constituancy but I’m pretty sure you can work it out from the candidates initials.

    I assume that the rest of the post is correct as you havn’t quired that.

  • andy

    I am comfortably sitting on a moral high horse.
    That’s fairly easy due to the amount of crap being posted on this thread.

    Crat
    – not actually getting at you as most of what you say is fair comment, but i thought ticking people off the electoral roll etc was legal – its certainly done by the major parties in England

    Hippy
    how can SF waiting outside the door “ensure you cast your vote for them”? – its still a private ballot. Parties can only tell if you have voted or not. I would have thought voter intimidation would have been counter -productive, people may accept a lift but then vote for somebody else.

    Its interesting to see all the allegations of fraud, intimidation etc that have been thrown at SF over the years. I remember people predicting that the SF vote would drop a couple of years ago as voting procedures were tightened up – in fact it went up.

    Also, as Chris said, the only person I can remember being convicted of fraud recently was an unionist.

    Thats my rant over.

  • Looper

    To Andy

    I don’t know what you mean when you say you acomfortably sitting on a moral high horse. You would need to explain that statement.

    What crap you speak. What posters have said on this site has a very high degree of accuracy. If Sinn Fein brought you to or gave you a lift to the polling station would you come out and say you voted for the SDLP or A.N.OTHER. Not on your life would you.
    As for privicy that is a joke. When you hand your polling card in the clerk then puts your polling number in pencil on your voting paper after your documentation is checked. Thats not privacy. There should be no number put on anyones voting paper. What the shinners do ins’t illegal but intimadation isn’t legal either, but if you live in a Nationalist/Republican/Catholic area is it going to be reported and if so who to?
    So Andy get of your moral high horse and join the real world.

  • dj

    In the Europen elections, one SF team told an elderly woman they would be able to find out who she voted for!

    (before all the SS come along looking for ‘proof’, claiming this to be a fictitious story, let me say – DON’T BOTHER! If you support a party who supported the treasonous murder of innocent Irishmen, your judgment is impaired))

  • kensei

    “What crap you speak. What posters have said on this site has a very high degree of accuracy. If Sinn Fein brought you to or gave you a lift to the polling station would you come out and say you voted for the SDLP or A.N.OTHER. Not on your life would you. ”

    Yeah, you’d lie about it if that was the case. Good god.

    And your complaining someone needs to join the real world? Here is the real world: SF do not intimidate anyone into voting for them. People vote for them because they want to.

  • andy

    Looper
    Kensei very efficiently dealt with your first point.
    As to your second – you’re technically accurate but your concern doesn’t seem born out in practice. Only a judge can give authority to check out who you voted for, and I have never heard anyone claiming abuse of the system – or for that matter anyone claiming SF (or any other party) found out how they voted.

    dj – I have never voted for SF (admittedly I have never had the opportunity but don’t think I would have voted for them if I had) – so can I ask for proof – or evidence? You clearly feel strongly about this (fair enough) but surely you recognise the validity of people at least trying to prove allegations like that?

    In tems of my “comfortable on the moral high horse” statement it was a reflection on the generally poor contributions on the thread – people seem to have used it as an opportunity to vindicate some of the prejudices they have on SF (some of which may be valid). However it was a bit of an arrogant and negative comment and to be honest I wish I hadn’t said it.

  • Dec

    People vote for them because they want to.

    Actually Kensei, it’s historical fact that in the 80’s SF won the West Belfast seat through massive electoral fraud. It was proved (don’t ask me for the actual proof mind, only a shinner could possibly disagree) that only 10 people actually voted for SF (albeit 3000 times each). However as the electoral process was reformed making it increasingly difficult (though not impossible – ask the DUP branch in Coleraine) to commit electoral fraud, decent people were faced with the conundrum, that far from the SF vote decreasing, it actually increased. Dispelling the moronic notion that SF had become the largest Nationalist party because of popular support of its policies, the most obvious explanation was that SF were now intimidating electoral wards on an almost Stalinist scale.

    Lets face it, Hippy is right: Which Nationalist hasn’t woken up on polling day to find Gerry Kelly and Cathy Stanton waiting for them in their own kitchen, then finding themselves being bundled into a waiting black taxi at pamphlet point and frogmarched to a polling booth where we’ve had Gerry snatch the pencil out of our hand and scrawl an ‘X’ beside his own name?

    We Nationalists can only look on in envy at the electoral freedoms and nicieties enjoyed by other civilised parties in Unionist constituencies; Upper Bann, for example.

  • kensei

    “Lets face it, Hippy is right: Which Nationalist hasn’t woken up on polling day to find Gerry Kelly and Cathy Stanton waiting for them in their own kitchen, then finding themselves being bundled into a waiting black taxi at pamphlet point and frogmarched to a polling booth where we’ve had Gerry snatch the pencil out of our hand and scrawl an ‘X’ beside his own name”

    Shut Up! He told me never to speak about it or he’d come back and kill my mother.

  • George

    “When you hand your polling card in the clerk then puts your polling number in pencil on your voting paper after your documentation is checked. Thats not privacy.”

    Does this happen in Northern Ireland?

    Don’t like that one bit. Very dodgy.

  • Crataegus

    George

    It is possible to trace votes back to voters. I always assumed that it was to monitor people who voted Communist or any other groups who are regarded by the establishment as problematic. I don’t like it at all.

    Andy

    I have seen the abuse in question and in the context of NI think we really do need to insure that the polling station has the appearance of a neutral environment and you should not be able to convey information out from the polling station to activists outside. It is a really serious problem in some areas and it is not just SF. I have seen the abuse in action.

  • andy

    Crat/ George
    Hi – re: the numbers thing – I think the official reason is to help uncover electoral fraud.
    It happens throughout the UK – actualy I thought it would happen in ROI as well

    re: the hassling of people to vote – I agree – I don’t think its particularly consistene with democratic values.

  • Hippy on Sep 29, 2006 @ 09:27 AM wrote…” … to ensure you cast your vote for them …” how does that work? I could take a lift to the polling station from an electoral candidate and vote for their opposition. I think you’re trying to convince yourself.

    “A case in an election a few years ago… “ … where?

    ”..Explain how come SF knew the outcome would be in their favour when demanding the recount. “ wasn’t the passing of election pollsters (you label them scrutineers) due to the introduction of computer voting in RoI almost mourned by the medjjia. These are the anoraked hangers-on who know the constituencies and the voters and make educated guesses. You’ll find that they’re usually numberic and confident with averages, combinations and permutations (think electoral bookmakers). It’s part and parcel of elections in Irel – get used to it.

    “You need to live in Northern Ireland at election thim just to watch the shananigans of the Sinn Fein machine in operation to believe it. This is democracy Sinn Fein style. “ They used say the same about the Soldiers of Destiny; no one in the Sick Cos could compare to FF regards of ‘getting the vote out’ or the ability of the party machine. Certainly no one in the Sick Cos. could lecture anyone regarding democratic elections (glasshouse dwellers throwing stones).

    “Hope that answers your posting. “ it certainly displays your unsupported yet arrogant opinions.

  • George

    Andy,
    the thought of this happening is horrifying. The secret service must love this system.

    In the Republic, you are given a ballot paper which is then franked.

    They then tally the number of votes in the box with the number of ballot papers issued (from the stubs). You can’t tell which paper belongs to which person though but you can cross reference the stubs with the papers to see that they were issued by the presiding officer.

  • andy

    George
    thanks for that.
    Yeah, I was a bit shocked when I found out – tends to go against the whole idea of a secret ballot etc. Still – there doesn’t seem to be any reports of abuse.

  • George

    Andy,
    but you could have the same system of checks and balances with the one big exception that no one could know how you voted.

    I’m with Crataegus, this information is too good for the intelligence services to turn down.

    It has nothing to do with the integrity of the ballot. Scary, scary stuff.

  • kensei

    “(before all the SS come along looking for ‘proof’, claiming this to be a fictitious story, let me say – DON’T BOTHER! If you support a party who supported the treasonous murder of innocent Irishmen, your judgment is impaired))”

    Good god.

    “re: the hassling of people to vote – I agree – I don’t think its particularly consistene with democratic values.”

    Trying to get people to vote is inconsistent with democracy? Good god II.

  • Dec

    When you hand your polling card in the clerk then puts your polling number in pencil on your voting paper after your documentation is checked. Thats not privacy.

    Does this actually happen? I seem to recall that the ballot-paper was merely franked and that the polling card was merely used to cross your name off the electoral roll list.

  • wallshaveears

    What about the time Sinn Fein ensured the polling station was kept open so that all it’s voters were able to vote. Are peoples memories that short.

  • andy

    Kensei
    and here I was thinking you were on my side : -(

    seriously though – i know what you’re saying but my emphasis was on actually hassling people – ie multiply calling on people on the same day. IN my view this puts undue pressure on them to vote. Of course they can spoli their vote – as well as the aforementioned thing of voting for the opposition – but if they can’t be @rsed to vote why should they feel obliged because someone keeps calling on them?

    I’m not singling SF for criticism for here btw – i’ve seen it performed by all sorts of parties in different elections.

  • unclesam

    To Andy

    The word you are looking for when you say ‘[Putting people under pressure’ is plain and simply INTIMADITION.
    The Shinners guys are better organised than the Mafia.

  • kensei

    “The word you are looking for when you say ‘[Putting people under pressure’ is plain and simply INTIMADITION. ”

    As has been pointed out if it is INTIMIDATION then it’s spectacularly stupid INTIMIDATION as people can fuck you over easily if you don’t like it.

    “What about the time Sinn Fein ensured the polling station was kept open so that all it’s voters were able to vote. Are peoples memories that short.”

    Yeah, how dare they try to ensure the will of the people was heard! I’m sure that by keeping the poll open other non SF voters in the queue also got their say.

    What is about SF that sends otherwise normal people mad?

  • nakita

    kensei: “…SF do not intimidate anyone into voting for them…”

    Complete the following sentance.

    SF voters are …….

    A) In denial
    B) Naive
    C) Dangerous
    D) Disingenuous

    …or all of the above?

    Clear “evidence” of the SF, sham feigned sincerity.

  • New Yorker

    So then – parties that intimidate voters and parties that include members who vote multiple times are going to be in an Assembly which will legislate for the common good.

  • kensei

    “Complete the following sentance.

    SF voters are …….

    A) In denial
    B) Naive
    C) Dangerous
    D) Disingenuous

    …or all of the above?

    Clear “evidence” of the SF, sham feigned sincerity. ”

    None of the above. Man, it would be so much easier if SF idn’t have a mandate, wouldn’t it?

    I have no idea what the last sentence is on about.

  • nakita

    Will SF ever face up to the truth? Or are we destined to carry them round our necks like a dead weight… Wake up and smell the coffee kensei…

  • kensei

    What an amzing trick, nakita. ou have managed to use two whole sentences, and yet say nothing at all.

  • unfair exchange

    oh dear.

    when will people realise that the all of the parties in the north and south get votes because the people who vote for them want to.

    the electorate make a decision and action that decision in a secret ballot.

    there is no secret mass fraud that goes on that explains why such a large pecentage of people vote for parties that “others” find so abhorrent. Be they DUP, SF, FF etc etc.

  • nikita

    kensei, you support a party that murdered its own countrymen, (something nobody is mandated to do!) That’s treason. SF represents the arse-end of Irish politics so how is a debate possible with you? You are blinkered in the extreme. Your dribble on here is straight from the SF spin machine which only hampers the possibility of any true debate. Any inside news of when the next u-turn is going to happen?

  • kensei

    “kensei, you support a party that murdered its own countrymen, (something nobody is mandated to do!) That’s treason.”

    I vote for a party that has moved away from violence and is looking to shape a better future.

    I am not entirely comfortable with reducing something as complicated as Troubles to “treason”, either. This word keeps popping up here, and I’ve never seen it much outside this thread. Definately something suspicious going on here.

    “SF represents the arse-end of Irish politics so how is a debate possible with you? You are blinkered in the extreme. Your dribble on here is straight from the SF spin machine which only hampers the possibility of any true debate. Any inside news of when the next u-turn is going to happen?”

    Again, you are confused. I have no affliation to SF other than I feel that right this second, they best represent my interests, and are closest to my own views. Happy to take issue with over their stance on Europe, or a number of other issues. But they are electorally successful because the position they represent is close to a lot of people.

    Anyway, I have patiently engaged with the limited debate that has went on here. I am not the one styarting from conclusions and working backwards either, as so neatly illustrated in your last post.

  • ciaran damery

    The absurd demonization of Sinn Féin is certainly a case of’deja vu’. Throughout the last century, every time Sinn Féin or Irish Republicanism is on the rise or politically or militarily, the usual media outlets and their cronies in the FF/FG/Labour establishment act like little orange supremacists or Paisleyite hillbillies.

    Incidentally, if SF are in a position to make or break the next government, the party must not contaminate itself by collaborating with the corrupt conservatives in Dáil Eireann.

  • Crataegus

    Kensei

    What is it about SF that sends otherwise normal people mad?

    I’d guess bomb under car that sort of thing.

    Believe me when I say I have seen gross abuse of the system and from whatever quarter it just isn’t acceptable.

  • if SF are in a position to make or break the next government, the party must not contaminate itself by collaborating with the corrupt conservatives in Dáil Eireann

    Agreed Ciaran

    Short term advantage should never take away from long term goals

  • All of this nonsense about Sinn Féin being involved in electoral fraud is just that, nonsense!!

    They brought in draconian electoral laws at the beheast of the stoops and the UUP in the hope that it would stop Sinn Féin.

    It didn’t and the reason why it didn’t work is because Sinn Féin are not involved in electoral fraud.

  • ciaran damery

    “Long term goals”, Chris. Yer right. That’s what its all about. No matter what the game is, ya got to keep yer eye on the ball. The ability to see beyond the next election and beyond the last atrocity, is essential. Seems like some in Sinn Féin and and some brits (perhaps) are more enlightened and se the big picture. Unionists are unable to see the big picture. The only question is, will the Irish republican/nationalist constituency have the patience to wait for unionists to see the woods from the trees.

  • kensei

    “I’d guess bomb under car that sort of thing.”

    Are you aware of the IRA sticking any bombs under cars since the ceasefire? If so, you should talk to the authorities immediately.

  • ciaran damery

    Isn’t it ironic that the many posts on this thread is about alleged electoral “malpractice” or downright “intimidation” (depending on how much of a republican hater they are) in New Ross. Meanwhile, the Paisleyite who is charged and convicted of electoral cheating, vote rigging, call it what you like, is barely given a mention. What’s up with that??

  • Crataegus

    Ciaran

    the Paisleyite who is charged and convicted of electoral cheating, vote rigging, call it what you like, is barely given a mention. What’s up with that??

    Ohh come on; entries like that below seem clear enough to me. The bloke should resign or be told to get out. It wasn’t even open to other consideration in my mind.

    Stewart should resign before it gets any more shameful and Coleraine Council should co-opt the runner-up and reverse the fraud.

    Would seem a fair way to go.

    As for intimidation and malpractice open your eyes. If its not in your area your fortunate and it is not just SF. It is about the conduct of SF the DUP and all the rest. But SF have a reputation and it has some justification.

  • catnat

    To Crataegus

    Just because Sinn Fein supporters INTIMIDATE voters doen’t mean to say that every one else is doing the same thing.
    Here we go again the same old republican ‘blamegame’ game. Just because SF have been caught doing it then every one else has to be doing the same as SF are doing.
    People are sick, sore and tired of listening to that old record. As a Catholic and Nationalist I have never seen the SDLP INTIMIDATE any one, but SF supporters intimidate SDLP candidates and their workers, but If it was the SDLP intimidating SF candidates and their workers SF would be running squealing like little piggys to tell Hain that The SDLP were violating Sinn Feins Human Rights. Cut the sh1t Crataegus

  • Crataegus

    Catnat

    Try (14) 10.02pm above if you think I support SF

    If you actually read what I wrote “SF have a reputation and it has some justification.”

    In other words no smoke without fire. I have absolutely no doubt that SF in some (perhaps many) areas have behaved in a manner that is unacceptable. It is why earlier in the thread I suggested that we reduce the number of observers at pooling stations etc etc etc

    Helps to read before you write.

    BUT

    intimidation and malpractice

    What I was writing was not just about intimidation and I have seen behaviour that I thought vile from people in parties other than SF. Have to be fair.

  • andy

    New Yorker
    So – are you talking about the DUP, SF, or both?

  • Greenflag

    SF may win seats in the Dail or on councils in the Republic based on the ballot box .

    But intimidation of any sort will lose them votes and seats .

    The Irish Republic is not Northern Ireland . Northern SF activists may need to have that fact of life stamped on their foreheads before they go vote seeking in the republic . What works in NI in ‘non politics’ will not work in the atmosphere of ‘real politics ‘ in the Republic.

  • New Yorker

    Andy,

    I’m talking about both.

  • NickyG

    Greenflag, you obviously know nothing of politics in the 26 counties! Have you ever witnessed the FF election machine in action?!!

    For those of you who have allowed yourselves to be socialised into believing SF conduct in NI elections is justification that they are intrinsically evil:- It has long since been an observation of post colonial societies (in this case Ireland) that a certain laxness with regards rules, regulations etc is a defining feature. This is the soundest critique of 26 county politics and the many and various examples I could give, from raw, strong arm electioneering to the ambivilence to financial impropriety. In the south SF are often seen on the doorsteps as whiter than white in comparison to some southern parties apparent corruption. That is the appeal to those who leave the old civil war voting patterns.

    No, this doesn’t really offer a satisfactory crutch to those that love to see SF as some kind of evil juggernaut. But truth never was the friend of prejudice!

    As I said before, people should read the link before making thier posts, and perhaps do a bit of broader reading in general (or, for some, learn to read a few other words than “Sinn Fein” and “evil”) but again that may be inconvenient to those hoping to validate thier own prejudices on an internet blog.

    If yoda was here I’m sure he would agree: lies lead to fear, fear leads to hate, hate leads to people going mental in slugger and never wanting to believe thier adverseries are anything but evil!

  • Greenflag

    ‘Have you ever witnessed the FF election machine in action?!! ‘

    I’ve even seen ‘fisticuffs’ at a selection convention but that was’nt evil just high spirits emanating from too much spirits . But so far I’ve have never seen any attempt by any party or parties to intimidate voters . 60 years ago I’m sure it was not unknown . We’ve ‘matured ‘ as a democracy . NI is not yet and in my view in it’s present format will never become a ‘normal’ democracy . As SF has ‘evolved ‘ mostly under NI conditions it’s not surprising that what might pass for ‘rough and tumble ‘ on the NI hustings is not transferable to ROI conditions .

    PS , I’m not saying SF is an evil ‘juggernaut ‘. They are what you would or should expect in a semi post colonial society . That goes for the DUP too . We in the Republic are just 80 years further along the post colonial road and this is something which SF needs to keep in mind when they go electioneering .

    Here’s another clue -There’s no DUP in the Republic , no OO marching the streets and any FP’s we have stick strictly to the pulpit and leave politics to politicians. Also we have a private sector dominated economy and we don’t expect the British Government or the English taxpayer to wipe our arses for us and keep paying through the nose so our politicians can continue to sit on their arses and get paid for it !

  • ciaran damery

    But Sinn féin’s election machine is par excellence, and without equal. Moreover, national opinion polls merely lull those who are immersed in the conservative status quo of southern politics. This is SF’s chance to show that the project advocated by the current leadership is alive and evolving.

    The controversy has presented those Dail aspirants a fair wind, as the crooked cronies in FF and inept Labour implode.

    If we do not see statistically significant progress in the SF vote come the next southern elections, then the current leadership need to resign and Republican Plan B needs to be put back in operation, pronto!

  • Ciaran

    What is Repulican Plan B?

  • ciaran damery

    Chris, – I assume that you accept the premise that the “republican” family is not a monolithic ‘organization’. Thus you must know that many republicans who disagree with the the project currently pursued by the mainstream leadership of Irish Republicanism have a reaqdy made “plan B”. Take a look at the History book,Chris. What’s changed? Plan B is the alternative to political struggle. It will cost votes, but shit happens. There will be plenty of other chances to engage in political theatres.

  • Greenflag

    ‘Plan B is the alternative to political struggle. It will cost votes, but shit happens.’

    The Irish people North and South /Republican and Nationalist have voted for no more shit ! And so have the Unionists .

    In the event of your plan B there will be a Plan C . Plan C will be filling Portlaoise again with gobshites who think ‘shit’ is an option !

    ‘If we do not see statistically significant progress in the SF vote come the next southern elections’

    This will mean that the vast majority of the Irish people reject SF’s economic and political policies at this time .

    Get real CD !

    If you want a UI that badly start breeding . But get a move on lad or it’ll be a United Poland or United China ye’ll be joining !

    Amadan !

  • I assume that you accept the premise that the “republican” family is not a monolithic ‘organization’

    It depends what you mean by Republican family.

    Thus you must know that many republicans who disagree with the the project currently pursued by the mainstream leadership of Irish Republicanism have a reaqdy made “plan B”.

    What I do know is that many “Republicans” who disagree with the Sinn Féin peace strategy have no plan a, plan b or plan c.

    A lot of them should not be trusted with turning on a light switch never mind advancing the cause of liberation.

    They seem much happier crying from the sidelines, less effort involved that way. They have yet to present any kind of alternative.

    It is very easy to be a “hardline Republican traditionalist”, you don’t have to do anything or take any risks.

    Take a look at the History book,Chris

    I am very well informed on Irish history but thanks for the suggestion.

    Plan B is the alternative to political struggle.

    Then Plan B is not realistic

    It will cost votes, but shit happens

    If you are advocating armed struggle, which you seem to be, then I would suggest you think again. Armed struggle will cost a lot more than votes, it will cost lives!

    Lives which I do not believe have to be taken in order to achieve Unity.

  • The World’s Gone Mad

    “If we do not see statistically significant progress in the SF vote come the next southern elections, then the current leadership need to resign and Republican Plan B needs to be put back in operation, pronto!”

    In other words, vote for us, or prepare to die muthafuckers!

  • glassbottle

    The shinners are taking the hump at being accuced of INTIMADATION now they are accusing British army helicopters of INTIMADATION.Back to

    ************ THE ‘BLAMEGAME’ AGAIN.************
    see below for details Irish News 30/09/2006

    SINN Fein has claimed the residents of a Co Derry village are being intimidated by British army helicopters
    Thats the kettle calling the pot black, isn’t it.Thats a bit rich coming frpm the shinners who know all about INTIMADATION. Lets put it this way I would rather be Intimadated by British army helicopters ather be by than the shinners.

    Hope to see all the little Angelic Shinners back at work by the 24th November 2006 or Uncle Peter is going to put them all on the dole.

    NEWS hERADLINE – 25th November 20

    DHSS staff walk out due to INTIMADATION from newly unemployed SF MLA’s.

  • Isn’t it past your bedtime?

  • Plan B

    Greengflag is spot on about Irelandstan. Although I have no problems with Poles and East Europeans, the Africans and Chinese should be spent packing with massive round ups and confiscation of their Triad funded businesses. I see some jihadist is selling Halal fopod in Talbot Street, directly where Sean Tracey was gunned down durting the Tan war. Treacy and the otehrs did not die so a gang of illegal Traids could rule the roost.

    It is also nauseating to see Africans on RTE demanding their rights. They came here illegally and should have no rights at all. Two thirds of the South’s population growth is now by foreigners.

    The Asian invasion just shows what a crock of shit the armed struggle was. Winners (Chinese, politicians, Africans), losers (ordinary Irish). Of course, Sinn Fein, like other spongers, thrives on this. Crime, criminals and illegal aliens suits them. A new flag to milk.

  • The World’s Gone Mad

    I always find it laughably ironic to hear Irish complaining about immigration…

  • glassbottle

    Good on you Plan B. Does anyone really give a toss that there is a Triad funded business trading on the spot Sean Tracey was gunned down. Ireland will be no longer be for Irishmen, Just as England will no longer be for Englishmen. It won’t be long before you see a forigner as Taoiseach or Prime Minister. It’s only a matter of time before this happens. This is progress forced upon us by the EEC. What will our nationationality be when this happens or will this be covered in Plan B. Wonder what nationality awaits us when the 32 counties ever unite. Maybe the Shinners could answer this as they are supposed to be a forward thinking party.

  • The World’s Gone Mad

    There are still plenty of fine Englishmen – you can see it in their football and cricket teams. Great Englishmen like Ashley Cole, Rio Ferdinand, Aaron Lennon, Monty Panesar and Sajid Mahmood.

    The EEC?! Give me strength! Here’s some news for you – its no longer called the Free State, the Soviet Union, Persia, Ceylon, or the EEC. Now stop ‘INTIMADATING’ the black fellas and leave the chinks be, immigration will add to the rich tapestry of Irish life. Who knows, you might even win a few Olympic medals out of it.

  • Looper

    To The World’s Gone Mad

    Your posting above is TOTAL CRAP.

    I take it that you posting was meant in reply to glassbottle.

    Look at what he/she says and you would see the logic in what he/she says.

    Technically speaking member countries may have their own governments, but it’s the EEC that pull the strings. Just look at all rhe stupid rules & regulations they are forcing on member countries, and if the member countries don’t comply they are hit with whooping fines.

  • Greenflag

    Plan B , Glassbottle ,

    In case either of you assume that I’m anti immigration or anti African and Asian immigrants or anti East European let me assure you I’m not .

    I’m for sensible ‘immigration ‘ control.

    Those who presume that because one or a few Chinese or African or Polish immigrants are found to be a criminal then they all are , are seriously deficient in the frontal lobe region of the skull !

    I would agree that immigrants who are convicted of serious crimes e.g drug trafficking , murder etc (not speeding fines) should be deported regardless of their country of origin. We have enough of our ‘own ‘ criminals .

  • Greenflag

    Looper,

    The EU is going to have to ‘wise up’ to some kind of immigration control/guidelines / The single market idea is still a winner for everybody but politically you can’t have 10 million Poles or 2 million Bulgarians and 5 million Romanians moving en masse to say Ireland , Denmark or Austria/Holland /Belgium etc without causing major political upheavals in those countries which would be inimical to the long term future of the EU .

    Common sense has to take precedence over the political ideal of a free labour market in the EU . Immigration yes -uncontrolled immigration no would be the consensus view of most europeans in my view.

  • kensei

    “The EU is going to have to ‘wise up’ to some kind of immigration control/guidelines / The single market idea is still a winner for everybody but politically you can’t have 10 million Poles or 2 million Bulgarians and 5 million Romanians moving en masse to say Ireland , Denmark or Austria/Holland /Belgium etc without causing major political upheavals in those countries which would be inimical to the long term future of the EU .”

    Yes. Becuase those sorts of figures are likely scenarios.

    Obviously Ireland cannot sustain unlimited immigration. Our policy however, should be generous considering the number of Irish people spread all over the world. We can go a bit further before hitting any trouble, and by no means all of the arrivals will be here permanently.

  • The World’s Gone Mad

    Actually Looper, Glassbottle’s post had little to do with the ‘EEC’ pulling the strings, and much more to do with the insiduous growth of foreigners taking over the country. By the way, the ‘EEC’ hasn’t been in existence for 14 years.

    Glassbottle, Looper, or PlanB – ever ordered a Chinese take-away, eaten in an Indian restaurant or had a kebab on the way home from the pub? Ever bought a U2 album or sung along to ‘The Boys Are Back in Town’? Ever cheered on Paul McGrath?

    Immigrants enrich a society and you better get used to it – the price you pay for a successful economy is that people want to move to your country. A thriving economy needs an injection of new blood to sustain the growth – from bankers, doctors and nurses to the invisible people who clean the offices in the dead of night, migrants play an important role in society.

    In my experience of living in cities with large-scale immigration (London, Sydney), the first generation immigrants from poorer countries will mainly be involved in the low-paid, menial sector, but far from taking British jobs they will do the jobs that the local population either cannot or will not do e.g. cleaners, working in the restaurant business. However, most of them work damn hard to make a success of their lives, and the second and third generations of these families have the opportunities to go to university, become professionals, pay a large amount in taxes etc.

    Of course immigration doesn’t produce utopia, and there are plenty of examples of disaffected alienated people from migrant familes such as a secion of the Muslim population in the north of England. However, this is symptomatic of the poverty of these areas and there are plenty of disaffected whites as well. There may also be a small ‘criminal element’ in an immigrant community, and a few spongers. But is that any different to the white indigineous community?

    Don’t worry, Ireland will still be for the Irish, there will just be a few more non-Celts who will call themselves Irish. Treating ‘foreigners’ with disdain and suspicion will not improve things – its time to act with a bit more maturity and deal with the situation in a rational way.

  • POL

    “When you hand your polling card in the clerk then puts your polling number in pencil on your voting paper after your documentation is checked. Thats not privacy.”

    Does this happen in Northern Ireland?

    Don’t like that one bit. Very dodgy.

    Simple rule of electioneering hand over polling card clerk then highlights your voter identity number.Its used to prevent electrol fraud because the electrol clerks can go back to it if someone attempts to use that vote twice.

  • DK

    “”When you hand your polling card in the clerk then puts your polling number in pencil on your voting paper after your documentation is checked. Thats not privacy.”

    Does this happen in Northern Ireland?”

    Not from my memory. I think that the polling cards have unique identifiers to prevent forgery, but these are not linked to the person voting.

  • barnshee

    “”When you hand your polling card in the clerk then puts your polling number in pencil on your voting paper after your documentation is checked. Thats not privacy.”

    You polling card(holding your name etc) is “cross referenced” to your voting paper
    You vote TAKES PLACE in private.
    Your voting paper is processed.

    If however you can get a completed voting paper,it is a simple matter to reference back to the voters details on poll clerks list and establish how that individual voted.

    The 64000 dollar question
    What happens the voting papers after the count?

  • Crataegus

    Barnshee

    The 64000 dollar question
    What happens the voting papers after the count?

    Exactly! This has always bothered me. I would be very easy to take the few votes cast for the Communist Party, Socialists, Greens or whatever the established view regarded as threatening to ascertain who had such sympathies. Indeed I would be amazed if this does not happen. There really is no other need for tracing an individual vote back. It stinks.