As pointed out before in this column the Sinn Féin leadership deserve considerable credit for the political journey they have travelled – however belatedly.
Yet that credit is lost when they attempt to crudely use intemperate language to attack ordinary workers, whether those workers are in the PSNI or any part of the public sector. Trampling on people’s rights is second nature to people who exiled others from their homes – or who refuse to provide vital information which could lead to the arrest of murderers or the location of the bodies of the disappeared but, if we genuinely are moving on, then the type of leadership we can expect needs to change too.
The forthcoming election should focus our attention on the type of society we want and more importantly the nature of leadership we expect. The delivery of our agenda should be the sole ambition of all the political parties but if the recent comments by Sinn Féin reflect the sum total of their agenda then we have a lot to be worried about. Purporting to believe in an Ireland of equals has to go beyond slogans.
Its litmus test is the way we treat each other and how we expect to be treated. Sinn Féin has obsessed about getting to the front of the bus but in doing so they have forgotten that the normal courteousness of getting up for those more in need still applies.
An Ireland of Equals, Sinn Féin style, is still too much about them and too little about us.
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