Sinn Fein working harder, and better…

Given Slugger’s predominantly (but not entirely) Northern Irish perspective, it is natural that our coverage is likely to focus on the most significant northern player in the southern elections, Sinn Fein. If you want decent flavour of what it’s doing on the ground, Ben, at Irish Election, has an excellent analysis on its campaign in Wexford.

Sinn Féin is gaining votes because, like Sunderland under Keane, it works bloody hard for them. It establishes branches and creates political activists. It campaigns, it gets things done – quite simply, it is doing all the things a political party should do if it wants to attain power. For all intents and purposes, Gorey is a new town these days, with thousands of new voters. Labour doesn’t really canvass there, nor does it appear interested in doing so. Wexford County, it seems, is a one labour town. Sinn Féin, on the other hand, is out there every night getting people not only to vote for them, but to join up as well. And Sinn Fein has been doing that across the island for at least twenty years, building up its party organisation.

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  • BonarLaw

    So it’s “Slugger O’Toole- Notes predominantly (but not entirely)on Northern Ireland politics and culture”?

  • Nathan

    Increasingly, the southern bunch are selecting candidates who lack the IRA/law-breaking background – giving indications that SF’s transfer-repellent capabilities will erode in the foreseeable future.

  • Wilde Rover

    Bonar Law

    I would have imagined that the prospect of SF being in government in the republic as well as NI would be entirely relevant to a website describing itself “Notes on Northern Ireland politics and culture,” especially to contributors who are intent on maintaining the constitutional status quo.

    For instance, what happens if SF holds the same portfolio north and south? Would a jurisdictional blur not occur?

  • austin

    You’ve been accused of bias against Sinn Fein and the stoops in recent weeks, Mick.
    Looks like some unionist posters will do the same now that you’ve dared to look outside the ‘wee six’ for a story.
    Prepare for a heated debate…

  • Mick Fealty

    Change is acoming to Slugger soon BL… Our focus will remain resolutely on NI, but it’s clear that the subtitle is becoming a problem for any of us who want to look outside the box…

  • You could say SF are the natural party of gov’t, as they are comitted to a UI; and for our foreign readers that’s a means republicanism; a concept which other parties only pay lip service to.

  • It does seem like Sinn Fein could be hard to stop. With all the money they’ve got I’m surprised they just can’t buy the elections. I recall seeing something on Newsline last week about their MLAs all giving (having to give?) a significant chunk of their salary to The Party™ – it’s no wonder they can afford to establish offices everywhere and that’s not even beginning to look at their less wholesome fund-raising exercises.

    Worrying times.

  • Prince Eoghan

    Not at all Beano.

    >>For instance, what happens if SF holds the same portfolio north and south? Would a jurisdictional blur not occur?<

  • Gum

    “their less wholesome fund-raising exercises”

    Beano – an example please?

  • Dec

    recall seeing something on Newsline last week about their MLAs all giving (having to give?) a significant chunk of their salary to The Partyâ„¢

    Beano

    It’s a sign that you’re truly grasping at straws when you appear to criticise SF MLAs for not trousering cash.

  • Tir Eoghain Gael

    The reason Sinn Fein are on the rise is simply down to the work done by the party activists the length and breath of the country. Which other party can mobilise so many unpaid activists in all weathers, to carry out the hard graft that is needed around election time. Activists from the 26 counties came up north to help out with the stormont elections and northern activists will return that favour in the next few weeks by helping canvass with their comrades in the 26 counties.

  • kensei

    “Change is acoming to Slugger soon BL… Our focus will remain resolutely on NI, but it’s clear that the subtitle is becoming a problem for any of us who want to look outside the box…”

    Er no, Mick, it’s a problem for idiots like Bonar Law and no one else. Still, if it’ll shut them up.

  • Observer

    “Worrying times.”

    For some, Beano, only for some.

  • JG

    The reason Sinn Fein are on the rise is simply down to the work done by the party activists the length and breath of the country. Which other party can mobilise so many unpaid activists in all weathers, to carry out the hard graft that is needed around election time – Tir Eoghain Gael.

    Exactly. People like Beano must think the electorate are as thick as two planks. There is no substitute for hard work on the ground.

    FF used to be that hard working party as were Labour. I wonder why both are now on the decline.

  • Catherine

    “Ipso Facto dipshit mathematics.”

    Like it! It applies equally to the state of politics here in the North as well.

  • ACDC

    Sinn Fein isn’t really working harder and better than any other party. The difference between it and other parties can be found in how effectively it promotes itself and languishes in self-praise.

  • Mick Fealty

    Civility please Kensei!! I’m in a card chucking mood! If you want to take pot shots at other commenters, do it from your own blog!!

  • Dec:“It’s a sign that you’re truly grasping at straws when you appear to criticise SF MLAs for not trousering cash. “

    Not criticising the MLAs. If they’re doing it voluntarily it shows commitment to ‘the cause’. I do wonder if it’s a condition of their selection though. If someone (Chris?) can clarify that please do. I worry for democracy when parties have too much control over our representatives (and that’s not unique to Sinn Fein).

    JG: “People like Beano must think the electorate are as thick as two planks. “

    Guilty.

  • SuperSoupy

    Beano,

    All salaried SF members get the same wage regardless of role (elected or not). It is party policy.

    A recent Ard Fheis motion seeking to introduce different pay scales was defeated by the membership.

  • john

    “All salaried SF members get the same wage regardless of role (elected or not).”

    Is Gerry paid the same as a councillor? Furthermore, how much is it?

  • SuperSoupy

    John,

    Most councillors in most parties aren’t full time.

    In SF all those working full time get paid the same regardless of role.

    Martin McGuinness doesn’t get his £100k+, he gets the same as his PA or admin staff – the average industrial wage. I don’t know how much that is.

  • JG

    “Guilty” – Beano.

    Enough said, then.

  • john

    SuperSoupy,

    It’s commendable that all are paid the
    same. How much are they paid? What’s the declared rate?

  • Tir Eoghain Gael

    I believe the wages for full time Sinn Fein activists are approx £350 per week plus expenses.

  • slug

    “I believe the wages for full time Sinn Fein activists are approx £350 per week plus expenses.”

    Is that before tax?

  • Martin

    Hi, My name is Martin. I am employed to do a job that pays £100k but I only take £350 per week plus expenses!!

    Ha ha ha!! It’s a good one isn’t it? What’s even funnyier is that I’ve convinced loads of my our supporters and they actually believe me!! ha ha ha! no wait… ha ha ha !!!

  • kensei

    “Civility please Kensei!! I’m in a card chucking mood! If you want to take pot shots at other commenters, do it from your own blog!!”

    Sorry, Mick, but the idea that you have to somehow slavishly stick to the little hook at the top on your own blog is a completely moronic position, especially when done in such a dicky fashion. It’s less Bonar Law I’m railing against, more the whole mindset. If you want to blog about the politics of Andorra, it’s your prerogative.

  • páid

    Can’t remember protests from Bonar Law when threads were about Scotland, Iraq, Blogging etc.

    NI is connected in every way to ROI.
    Damn inconvenient.

  • Briso

    >If you want to blog about the politics of Andorra, it’s your prerogative.

    Don’t worry, even if you did the comments would still be on NI politics and culture. They always are.;-)

    Comment 1: I admire the way the Andorrans have carved out a unique identity for themselves and have shown they can run a successful small country.

    Comment 2: Isn’t it ironic that SF/IRA supporters who tried to wipe out our Ulster homeland and commit genocide on it’s people can praise another small country? You’ve got some nerve…

    Comment 3: What about the Loyalist death squads ….

  • BOM

    Does anyone actually believe that Martin and Gerry get paid the same as their secretaries?

    Interesting to see that it says £350 per week plus expenses! Is this how the big wigs get the bigger money?

    I think that it is unfair to have those who work for a party on a basic wage regardless of their job description and anyone who accepts this dictatorship without truly knowing what the likes of Martin and Gerry have in the bank is just plain silly.

    Why should someone who chooses to work for the party by being a Councillor or party workker give the majority of the salary he/she does get to the party – when they are already doing alot of work that is not salaried out and about in their communities to raise the profile of the party – surely this is enough? If this person has a family then how can they ever be able to afford a house in this day and age or keep their children – is SF just about those who gets the opportunities to make money from supposedly writing books? Or is it for the ordinary person who if you work or represent the party are made to feel even more disadvantaged as they dont earn enough to keep their children in the same clothes as their friends have or just end up gambling or getting loans to buy their children their play stations and mobile phones?

    This doesnt say to me that SF are the party to vote for – it says that SF are the party who are power hungry and money greedy and that those that are in the leadership are out for themselves and noone else!!

  • mickd

    BOM you cant seriously argue that equalising wages in all paid positions is a sign that SF ….”are power hungry and money greedy and that those that are in the leadership are out for themselves and noone else!!” I suppose to think this you must see the policy as a trick played by the rich leadership on the gullible underlings, and that the forgone money ends up with the ‘godfathers’ anyway. Have you evidence for this? Otherwise, it is more plausible to assume that this policy is a sign of SFs radical underpinnings and the egalitarian leanings of the membership. A similar policy certainly was a contentious issue with the German Greens, and my memory tells me that the better paid politicians ended up fighting it vigorously.

  • nigel

    “…this policy is a sign of SFs radical underpinnings and the egalitarian leanings of the membership…”

    Yeah right!

    £100k vs £350+expenses? Let me see now… Tricky one that isn’t it?

    This is proof enough that the SF sheep do in deed follow the SF shepherd!