Sinn Fein’s nominees

Sinn Fein has announced its three nominees for the policing board, Alex Maskey, Martina Anderson and Daithi McKay. With Mitchel McLaughlin shunted to South Antrim and three prominent roles now given to Martina Anderson – Unionist outreach, equality spokesperson, and the policing board – is she being groomed to challenge Durkan in Foyle?Both Maskey and Anderson have prior criminal convictions that could bar them from serving in the PSNI but no such bars exist on membership of the Policing Board.

  • is she being groomed to challenge Durkan in Foyle?

    Is the pope a Catholic, FD?

  • fair_deal

    SM

    No he’s a Roman Catholic 😉

  • Hogan from County Tyrone

    I think if the Durkan dodger had to do an overnight flit to South Antrim in the Assembly an unknown can kiss goodbye to the seat for another couple of elections yet.

    Face it – Durkans safe.

  • joeCanuck

    I’ve never understood this Catholic/Roman Catholic thing Fair Deal.
    Do other denominations call themselves Catholic, such as the Anglicans or Lutherans?
    Is “Roman” a perjoritive term?
    Care to enlighten me?

  • fair_deal

    Joe

    Emailed you a reply as I don’t want the thread to wander off on a theological discussion

  • mchinadog

    Shame on society and the British Government that allows criminals like Maskey and Anderson and their other cohorts to take part in Elections at all, and vote them into Public Office, or to allow them to be placed on Public Bodies. There is nowhere else in the United Kingdom where this criminal fraternity would be allowed to operate in this capacity. Shame on the British Government. Shame on us for allowing it to happen.

  • interested

    It actually seems like a fairly weak SF team to me. Policing is obviously an issue they will be attempting to show where they have made lots of gains but unless there is a mass (no pun intended re the Catholic/Roman Catholic debate) of hidden talents there I don’t think they will be batting at the same strength as they could have been. Grooming people for possible cracks at Westminster seats is ok, but if someone just doesn’t have the ability then it can do more damage.

  • Whatever about McKay, whom I’d never heard of before he was a candidate in the Assembly, Anderson and Maskey strike me as heavy hitters within Sinn Féin. I heard the former speak once before in Dublin and was very impressed.

    Whether they can ‘put manners’ on the PSNI is unlikely in my opinion, but that’s a weakness of Sinn Féin’s position, not the individuals.

  • glad to see it

    interested

    You obviously don’t know what you are talking about. Just because people aren’t in the news every day doesn’t mean they have the experience to do the job! As a former fireman, I have no doubt that McKay for one is more than fit for the policing board! Ask anyone about his work in pushing for equality in the NI Fire & Rescue board.

  • DC

    Ah come on what is it with Northern Ireland and in particular its policing and security arrangements. It seems the people have a love of putting those people into power who have committed crimes against humanity on the grounds of the futherance of their own political ideals.

    It’s a real shame to see such figures rising into the realm of justice and rights powers particularly when law abiding citizens view such actions carried out by those now seeking such power as being potentially in dereliction of duty because their ability to uphold and maintain the law lacks visible credibility.

  • BOM

    Glad to see it – well seen that is Mc Kay himself speaking!!??

    And how will being a fireman (which I hadnt heard he was) going to help him – is he going to join the police eventually? Maybe look for the Chief Constables job in 3 years time?

    This seems to be a very unusual and surprising choice – everyone expected Maskey but not the others.

    I think there is a method though and this might just be more to do with electioneering rather than anything else and the fact that they will be hoping to make a bit of publicity re policing in these areas/constituencies for the future. These nominees represent the slightly at risk areas for SF electorally I would say!

  • DC

    BOM,

    I have to agree with you in some way with your recommendation that Sinn Fein are propagandising on the policing front; but it’s a real kick in the teeth for people who just want matters dealt with pragmatically and free from such party-political skewing.

  • Rick

    BOM

    I think if you read that again, you might realise that ‘Glad to see it’ wasn’t referring to McKay as a former fireman! I could be wrong, but I think that the point being made was that he might actually have some experience relevant to being asked to represent the shinners on the Policing Board (in their eyes anyhow!) Time will tell how effective they will be. Personally I’m betting a walkout by July, if not before!

  • Anderson clearly has the capacity to be on the A-Team and is being groomed for it. McKay doesn’t strike me as a rocket scientist but he’s definitely above average by the standards of NI politicians. Maskey is no dope either and is the token Belfast man. I don’t see what’s wrong with this selection.

  • dodrade

    Martina Anderson has little chance of beating Durkan next time round, as the SDLP vote actually went up in Foyle last month. If Sinn Fein wanted to make a serious challenge to Durkan then McGuinness would return from Mid-Ulster(where a donkey could get in as long as it had a green ribbon), but he obviously doesn’t fancy the likely humilation.

    Only four seats could change hands next time. In FST, if Foster gets a clear run from the UUP, she would probably beat Gildernew.

    South Down will be the tightest contest. The momentum is with Sinn Fein but if Ruane makes a mess of education the SDLP could still hold. If it remains tight Richie could be helped by Unionist tactical voting.

    North Down will be closer than last time but I suspect Lady Sylvia’s rainbow coalition will manage to squeeze her past the DUP again.

    South Belfast will be interesting. I thought Spratt was a sure thing but after last month’s result the most likely outcome is an increased majority for McDonnell.

  • mickhall

    What’s the bung, sorry allowance for sitting on the police committees, some of these politicos will be getting a tidy sum what with all the quangos they will end up sitting on. District Health, GPs, etc, Hospital boards, parades, policing, redevelopment the list is bloody endless. That is on top of their wages as MLA/MPs, local councils etc.

    By the way do the shinners still implement a policy of an average wage for their elected officials, with the rest going in the party pot, and does this include the take from the Quangos?

  • Adalbert

    Foyle is safe for Durkan as no one really sees the SDLP vote going anywhere, for the moment at least. Anderson’s past might be a help with the die-hard, bomb’n’bullet Shinner there but it will go against her with moderate, accommodating tones of the SDLP who wouldn’t want to be associated with the likes of Martina.

  • J_K

    Some of this is just downright petty bull passing itself off as informed comment. Maskey has a strong track record stretching back a long time. Martina is a woman with loads of talent and Dathi is young and did build up a fairly good reputation on the F & R Board.

    It looks like a reasonable balance and what we need to see is if they can get past those who want to cover up police malpractice, wrong-doing and plain incompetence. Surely that is fairly reasonable.

  • Adoseofreality

    “Martina is a woman with loads of talent”

    talent – such a non descript, vague term. In what exactly does Anderson have talent other than steathily bombing, maiming and general civil disobedience?

  • JD

    Mickhall,

    The answer to your quesion is yes, all MLA’s and Ministers recieve an industrial wage, with the rest going to the party, and a similar egalitarian arrangement exists if allowances are encured by participation on any Boards.

  • redhaze

    I believe that SF still do operate that policy but I would be interested to see what that works out at now?

    Anyone know what SF deems to be an average industrial wage?

    And will they SF members inhabiting positions on quango’s get a slice of that income as well as their average industrial wage, thereby taking them over the average industrial wage?

  • Pancho’s Horse

    Sinn Féin have set the average industrial wage at £15,000 – a bit low, I would have thought!

  • Amazing the houses that 15 grand can buy you in some of West Belfast’s plusher developments. I mean, if you’re a prominent Shinner. Us mere mortals don’t have it so good.

  • DC

    “Martina is a woman with loads of talent”

    Yes, if you call talent allowing yourself to manipulated by a political party. I mean, who in their right mind would let themselves become involved in running around Britain with explosives in hand for no other reason than the cause of a political movement.

    Not only this but recently she has gone from being a dark haired natural woman to a blonde haired super-styled cosmetically enhanced PR object. If this isn’t allowing yourself to be manipulated twice over for the same cause then what is.

    I reckon she has been ‘spun’ and is truly nothing other than the human embodiment of a party political PR package. She even sounds false when she speaks, almost constrained in her tones to seem reasonable and empathetic. A vulnerable soul really.

  • Gum

    Sammy, I dont think the income from bestselling memoires/ short stories is capped at £15, 000!

    Dont want to drag this off topic but why are Foster supporters so confident she’ll win FST? Maybe Im wrong but is that not a seat with a republic majority? I would have thought that if SF looked like losing there the SDLP vote would drop accordingly. Sammy – any thoughts?

  • mickhall

    Thanks JD, Red Haze and Pancho’s Horse, excellent, I am really glad to hear that SF still operate such a policy and long may it last.

    Best regards.

  • Sammy, I dont think the income from bestselling memoires/ short stories is capped at £15, 000!

    I was talking about Alex Maskey and Gerry Kelly and their houses in Hannahstown, not beardy Gearóid; although admittedly the Glen Road is shockingly expensive these days too.

    I would have thought that if SF looked like losing there the SDLP vote would drop accordingly.

    There will be some tactical voting, but some SDLP voters will not vote SF under any circumstances.

    This year, the votes cast were:

    SF 36.2%
    Total Unionists 46.0%
    SDLP 14.0%
    Dissidents 2.7%
    Alliance 1.1%

    If the Unionists can get their vote out and not lose any on their moderate fringe, SF would need all the dissident vote plus half the SDLP vote. This looks like an uphill, but not impossible, struggle for Gildernew if Foster is given a free run. Even in the unliklely event that the SDLP pulled out, I very much doubt that we would and very much hope that we wouldn’t.

    This won’t be happening for three years so I’m not making any prediction.

  • Ms Wiz

    Was reading the Newsletter’s outrage at the Sinn Fein nominees this morning, apparently it’s an insult to unionist sensibilities. Presumably they have no problem with Dawn Purvis being a representative of a non-decommissioned paramilitary group just as long as she herself has no paramilitary past. I’m no SF supporter but personally I’d be more ‘outraged’ about a well tooled army with non-para reps serving on a public board than a decommissioned one with ex-para reps.

  • Leonida

    The nominees of Alex Maskey, Martina Anderson and Daithi McKay is a welcome and long over due U-turn by SF. We all knew it was always going to happen, but it couldn’t be sold to the bhoys the timing wasn’t right. To this end, Martina’s inclusion is not at all insignificant.

  • kensei

    “If the Unionists can get their vote out and not lose any on their moderate fringe, SF would need all the dissident vote plus half the SDLP vote. This looks like an uphill, but not impossible, struggle for Gildernew if Foster is given a free run. Even in the unliklely event that the SDLP pulled out, I very much doubt that we would and very much hope that we wouldn’t.”

    You are making a few assumptions there – not all the UUP vote will go to the DUP, some won’t vote, some will go to Alliance, Unionism manipulating the process in this way will likely piss Nationalists off, and turnout would also be a factor – 73% last time was high but not impossible it would go higher given the right motivation. SF might cut a deal with the SDLP – they have no chance of winning here and South Belfast might be tight next time.

    I still don’t see this one going.

  • DC

    “Presumably they have no problem with Dawn Purvis being a representative of a non-decommissioned paramilitary group just as long as she herself has no paramilitary past”

    I think you’ll find that most people have problems with any representatives who have been convicted of terrorist offences sitting around a board designed to stabilise various security arrangements and plan measures to combat the same and other policing duties.

    In relation to Dawn Purvis and the PUP, you will find that it is mainly the working class constituency in inner-East Belfast, some of whom are UVF and directly aligned to the PUP, but then again some of the UVF are also aligned to the DUP and UUP in terms of political direction. And Dawn is without a criminal conviction as far as I am aware and is therefore not in any potential conflict of duty that may arise from having one.

    I think the question here is significance of the situation and the nature of the appointments measured against the fundamental aspect and ethos of the GFA which is about creating mutual respect.

    I am concerned that SF has obviously disregarded the regard for the need to build mutual respect and realised that, amongst other candidates, many of whom within SF are well able to go for the posts with integrity, it has alternatively choosen to go for extremely contentious people, in so far as having previous criminal convictions is deemed as contentious.

    I really do feel for victims of violence from whatever quarter it came from or is potentially to come from. But policing and democracy seems to have been delt a bad blow when infested by dubious democrats of every political hue.

    It wouldn’t have taken too much in the name of trying to futher stable peace and governance on this island to have nominated other candidates from within SF.

    So on a serious note you have to ask yourself why and to the benefit of whom?

  • 73% last time was high but not impossible it would go higher given the right motivation.

    Actually low by the historic standards of FST; as for whether it will go higher or not, only the gods know but if the settlement holds I doubt there will be any more emotional investment in a Gildernew-Foster rematch than there was in the last bout. I mean, they’re in government together aren’t they?

    SF might cut a deal with the SDLP – they have no chance of winning here and South Belfast might be tight next time.

    The SDLP have shown no inclination to do that. Not everyone shares your pan-nationalist sympathies! Although if it did happen, it would probably see Gildernew home sage.

    I still don’t see this one going.

    It’s far too early to make any sensible prediction.

  • Ian

    “It’s far too early to make any sensible prediction.”

    What about a silly one? Landslide for Gerry McGeough, standing on a UKUP ticket?

    Meanwhile, in today’s Belfast Tele:

    The East Londonderry MP said: “Difficult as it may have been for Sinn Fein, I am sure it may have been possible out of their team of 28 MLAs to have found one person that did not have a serious terrorist and criminal conviction to serve on the Policing Board.

    “If they had done this it would have been at least a gesture of sorts to the rest of the law abiding community that they were not treating appointments to the board with utter contempt.

    Does anyone know if Daithi McKay has a conviction? If not, Campbell looks a bit foolish after that quote.

  • DC

    With all due respect Ian, it’s about time we all came out of our ethnic blocs with the understanding that, rather than indulging ourselves in playing political games over policing, we should as a whole form an opinion which views such actions with concern.

    Even if it means that for once the DUP may have an air of respectability about themselves on this one because if you care about policing and the rule of law enough you will realise that more maturity should have delivered by SF on this issue. And btw I don’t have one minutes worth of time for any DUP politics.

  • Ian

    DC,

    I just wanted an answer on a point of fact.

  • DC

    It would seem that the DUP have gone silent on slugger about this one and perhaps Jim Allister has some truth with his views.

    I get the impression its duck and cover time for the DUP stalwarts for no other reason than they are facing the same old games that UUP were forced to live with during the GFA implementation. Political games which the DUP exploited but now they are being exploited themselves by cute republican antics, antics which go down so sweetly in their own constituencies but to people who believe in veritable democracy it’s like a lead ballon.

    No doubt party activists are hoping that the growing pains, which come from taking up the responsibility of governance, soon stop.

  • kensei

    “Actually low by the historic standards of FST; as for whether it will go higher or not, only the gods know but if the settlement holds I doubt there will be any more emotional investment in a Gildernew-Foster rematch than there was in the last bout. I mean, they’re in government together aren’t they?”

    Sure, but neither would be particularly popular in the other camp, it would be a reasonably big psychological win for the DUP, and the fact remains that Unionism would be effectively trying to manipulate the process if the UUP withdrew to give DUP got a clear run, which could antagonise people.

    “The SDLP have shown no inclination to do that. Not everyone shares your pan-nationalist sympathies! Although if it did happen, it would probably see Gildernew home sage.”

    Not everyone does. But if the DUP did have a free run, the pressure would mount on the SDLP not to cost Nationalism a seat in an area they can’t possibly win in. And if they did run, and the DUP won the seat, it would probably be another PR disaster for them. How many more do they need?

    “It’s far too early to make any sensible prediction.”

    True, but it’s fun to speculate.

  • Pint o Harp for da big game da nite

    The UUP have neither the breath or political credibility left in them to articulate the flawed judgement of the DUP.

    Gregory Campbell hasn’t a leg to stand on if he is seeking any sympathy from either SF or the unionist electorate. Paisley and Robinson spun out statements reckoning that they have got SF to sign up to policing appropriately and they are both satisfied with the Shinners now because a few months have lapsed and they are cleansed okay.

    The DUP used support for policing as a hoop for the shinners to jump through, and jump they have, so when Gerry Kelly jumps into the justice portfolio set-ups, surely this will be okay too.

    So, what’s your problem Gregory your party has driven this deal from St Andrew onwards and as David Vance has commented, swallow the whole lot not just the bits that go down well.

    The Shinners have met the DUP conditions both on power-sharing and policing, otherwise we wouldn’t be where we are today and the 8th May will herald circumstances which the DUP fought to avoid for years.

  • Ian – I know of no criminal record possessed by Daithi McKay but then are you really surprised at Gregory Campbell making silly press statements.

    Ken – I always thought Gildernew was fairly popular at one stage but she seems incapable of either staying on-message or making her off-message outbursts sound folksy and spontaneous. I’m surprised she’s been nominated for a ministry given her recent performance but it shows how seriously the parties are taking that FST rematch. At least it gives both of them an incentive to do their job properly.

  • Ian

    Sammy:

    “Ian – I know of no criminal record possessed by Daithi McKay but then are you really surprised at Gregory Campbell making silly press statements.”

    Fair point, but the way he very specifically phrased the question seemed even more bumbling than I would have expected from him.

    i.e. “I am sure it may have been possible out of their team of 28 MLAs to have found one person that did not have a serious terrorist and criminal conviction to serve on the Policing Board.”

    If what you say is true, then that’s precisely what Sinn Fein HAVE done. One could argue that SF have gone out of their way to be understanding of Unionist concerns with these appointments, by appointing McKay instead of another ex-prisoner.

  • DC

    “One could argue that SF have gone out of their way to be understanding of Unionist concerns with these appointments, by appointing McKay instead of another ex-prisoner.”

    Ah, Ian, you must be keen on the use of casuistry then and apply that the reasoning that it’s just the nature of the beast when it comes to the republican movement. You would figure also, the fact that they have used shrapnel-projecting devices to shock and awe, that this should not really diminish anyone’s credential to hold office nor upset anyone either.

    I mean a mandate is a mandate and this surely absolves anyone of their past even though fundamental crimes against humanity have been committed, crimes which would actually be a crime if measured against international laws on what constitutes a crime against humanity.

  • Gum

    Sammy – the SDLP might get a lot more interested in a pact if South Belfast looks shakey. Thats a seat that the DUP will seriously target next time. The SDLP won it due to a split vote and know it will be hard to defend. I dont think the Assembly results change a great deal here.

  • Actually I think the Assembly results indicate a stronger position for the Stoops in South Belfast and were pretty grim for the DUP.

  • Glen Taisie

    I wonder how dumped former North Antrim MLA Philip McGuigan feels about the promotion of his successor Daithi “Big Dave” McKay.

    Had Philip played his CARDS right,the BETTING is that the job could have been his. After all Philip was never ANTE-psni.

    But you have to PLAY the HAND you are DEALT.

  • Biri

    I’m disappointed,too.
    Endorsing this Stormont,made by these principles,means destroying 32 counties dream.
    Let’s read this statement…(taken from Saoirse)
    “It was reported on March 6 that the PSNI is still overwhelmingly made up of members who served in the RUC almost six years after it supposedly replaced the force.Despite the Beritish Patten Report and natural wastage,6508 men and women currently serving in the PSNI wore the uniform of the RUC.That figure represents 71% of the PSNI’s present rank and file and includes full and part-time reserve members.”

    Is this the well balanced police?Why must Sinn Féin stay in this parliament?Maybe,do they want to betray us?I reallly hope no.But,if SF members want to carry on republican aims,they should immediately reject Stormont and RUC-PSNI.It’s depressing seeing men who fought RUC,in the past,disposed to accept it now.