Ouch.

Garret FitzGerald in the Irish Times [subs req]

Finally, the emphatic rejection of Sinn Féin by the electorate of this State is a welcome outcome of this election. Gerry Adams’s performance in the four-way debate on Wednesday week may well have contributed powerfully to this result.

As a somewhat partitionist observer maliciously remarked to me, even with the recent remarkable improvement in Irish-British relations, the people of this State are not yet ready to welcome the intervention of a member of the British parliament in the domestic political affairs of this State!

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  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Paddy Reilly

    Roedd dy fam yn hamster, ac roedd dy dad yn gwynto o elderberries.

  • PaddyReilly

    Sammy McNally, rwi’n rhechu yn dy gyfeiriad cyffredinol.

  • Dewi

    Sammy a Paddy

    Caewch eich cegau a cerwch i’r gwely !!!

    but b4 that watch this – nowt to do with Ireland, Rugby or politics but laughed out loud.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    PaddyReilly

    I think you’ll find it’s “Rwy’n…”

    Now, write it out 100 times before I get back, or I’ll chop your balls off! ( L.O.B.)

    Diolch Dewi – enjoyed the vid.

  • Southern Observer

    Assuming that is the case, and leaving economic policies aside, there’s a complete disconnect then between southern nationalism and northern nationalism, and straight arming northern nationalism is precisely what that would be.
    Interesting points, Roisin.There is probably a disconnect alright but I just don’t buy the line that failure to vote Sinn Fein is somehow showing lack of respect towards N.I. nationalists.I am far from unsympathetic to NI nationalism yet I went straight down the ballot paper leaving the Shinners out – in common with 90% plus of the southern electorate.I did this simply because I thought it was in the best interests of Ireland, north and south.But going through the ballot paper I voted inter alia for FF (‘the republican party’),FG (‘the united Ireland party’),the Green Party (an all-Ireland outfit)and the much-maligned Progressive Democrats.The PDs at their inception were largely a combo of FF and FG splinterers and as such are (or should one say *were*?) the nearest thing to a reincarnation of the *original* Sinn Fein.In short the parties the southern electorate plumped for are pro-UI albeit consensually and platonically.
    Given the divergent paths imposed on north and south, one would expect that over the course of 80+ years the perspectives would be different. Northern nationalists are fully aware of the history of the RM, and where SF stands and has stood in the past. And the majority of northern nationalists have chosen SF as their elected representatives. Are the perspectives so different now that the southern nationalists do not respect the choices of the northern? That seems to be what you’re indicating … send the SDLP down anytime, but leave the Shinners up north.
    Respect works both ways.The Shinners were rejected because of their paramilitary past (and some would say ‘present’)and the fact that their statist economics would spell the end of the Celtic Tiger.
    I am reluctant from my comfortable southern middle class standpoint to cast stones at northerners who vote for SF given that they were subjected to pressures and formative experiences that I could not even begin to guess at.However it must be said that it is curiously self-defeating to support an organisation repudiated by the electorate of the ROI – the area which compromises most of the hypothetical UI to which I presume you aspire.And it is unfortunately clear
    that NI nationalists as a generality are becoming increasingly out of synch with the modern ROI.This being the case the election may serve as a useful eye-opener.
    Some other comments I’ve read elsewhere are interesting, but they’re a small sample (how many real bodies are behind all the different user names in this ‘microcosm’ of internet boards?), and so I’ve no idea how widely representative they are. There’s a fair amount of backslapping going on between unionists and some southerners. Why do you think that is?
    Admittedly the gloating of some unionists and southerners from the Edwards/Myers/Harris spectrum on this and other messageboards is one aspect of the saga that makes me uncomfortable and, with respect to the ROIers, downright embarrassed.I am particularly appalled by some of the bile on politics.ie.Suffice it to say that the ROIers in question tend to be disproportionately drawn from one strand of opinion.If those who post on politics.ie were typical the PDs would be forming a majority government right now.
    One last point needs to be developed and from a perspective of goodwill and not RDEesque hostility.The short, sharp shock this election delivers may be just what is needed to wake our northern nationalist brothers and sisters from their torpor and drive them back towards sane politics – best expressed by the SDLP.That is not straightarming.Just tough love.

  • curious

    Interesting post Southern Observer.

    Questions:

    No1) If the SDLP stood as another separate political party in the south would they gain more support than SF?

    No2) If the SDLP joined FF would they have more success in the North than SF?

    No3) Would either of the above have more of chance of bringing a peaceful United Ireland than SF ever will succeed in gaining support from citizens of the ROI?

  • tobar

    macswiney,
    “…SF actvitists that I spoke to last night feel that this election result had much more to do with idealogical preferences rather than a direct rejection of SF as a party…”

    SF has been rejected outright as a party by the Southern electorate and it is now apparent that the SDLP is more in touch with Irish Republicanism in the South than the kind advocated by SF in the North. No amount of revisionism and rewriting of history by the likes of SuperSoupy, Chris Gaskin and Chris Donnelly can deny this but I suppose it will be fun to watch them try!

  • willis

    If SF cannot see the idealogical differences are what politics is about they should pack up now.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Southern Observer

    ‘Free staters’ are happy to celebrate their ‘own’ armed insurrection from the early part of the last century but dont much like to be associated with the ‘northern’ one in the latter half of the same century. Although there are many differences there are also many unpleasant similarities including the shooting of the ‘enemy’ based on their religious tag.

    SF have done badly in working class Dublin areas presumably because of Bertie’s good playing of the economic card which carries with it the reminder of how fragile the ROI economy is with the attendant concerns about the collapse in house prices.

    But SF will continue to strengthen at least in border areas and in Non Iron itself because of their concentration on the National (32 county) issue which is clear of the whiff of hpypocricy given off by sundry free state republicans at Bodenstown and the (faintly amusing) marching up and down outside the GPO.

    ps Has Enda rung Grizzly yet?

  • Comrade Stalin

    Roisin:

    There’s a fair amount of backslapping going on between unionists and some southerners. Why do you think that is?

    It’s because they’re not a political threat to anyone in the RoI, and having a few unionists over for tea and scones makes you look like an upright statesman.

    Paddy:

    Vote Green (Comhaontas Glas) only party with no blood on their hands.

    Alliance are decidedly blood-free too.

    tobar:

    SF has been rejected outright as a party by the Southern electorate and it is now apparent that the SDLP is more in touch with Irish Republicanism in the South than the kind advocated by SF in the North.

    This is laughable nonsense. I’ll tell you what tobar, why don’t the Stoops run in an election in the RoI somewhere. And then we’ll just see exactly how in touch they are with Irish republicanism in the state. Agreed ?

    SF have hit a temporary setback. The SDLP are in terminal decline and in the next UK general election are in serious danger of losing at least one of their seats, and given a clear run in the Executive, a determined SF heave will seriously undermine them in the other two.

  • Garibaldy

    On this point the origins of many southern Irish political parties and of the southern Irish state. Let’s not forget the reason for the guerilla campaign in the first place was because the overwhemlming vote for an independent republic was ignored by the London governemnt.

    And what is a people to do when faced with tyranny? I believe 1688 provides the accepted answer. To equate 1919-21 with the Troubles is nonsence.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Garibaldy,

    presumably you have a factual basis for the claim that “overwhemlming vote for an independent republic was ignored by the London government”.
    Most seats for SF in 1918 does not mean most votes for an independent republic.

    Also what about the boy Wolf Tone that Bertie and Co. blather on about at Bodenstown – would you also care to comment on Wolfie’s mandate?

    Mandates are a nice to have.

  • Garibaldy

    Sammy,

    Given that SF’s policy in 1918 was for an independent republic, and it won a huge majority, I’d say that counts. And before you raise the 49% of the vote argument, remember that about 25 seats there was no election as SF were shoe-ins. Nicholas Whyte estimates if there had been an election in these consitituencies, then around 58% minumum would have been for independence.

    As for Tone’s mandate – how about an undemocratic system being challenged by a system of democracy.

    My point was merely that for people to complain about the bloodshed of the events of 1919-21 as somehow morally equivalent to terrorism is nonsensical. It was the assertion of the self-determination by a people after peaceful means had failed.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Garibaldy,

    to suggest that I shouldn’t raise the less than 50% arguement is rather like saying to someone about the outcome of a football game lets not raise the issue of the goals.

    But I am afraid that even if your mandate arguement is accepted that will present you with a different problem which is that it allows SF to claim with some justification that partition was a denial of that mandate.

    The vote to accept the treaty was carried along with the threat from Churchill to flatten the country.

    Dont delude yourself about 1919 – it was not nice – protestants were also shot in their homes – they were fighting over the same issue and using the many of the same methods.

    Kevin Myers calls it correctly ( as do many Unionists ) when he sees no or bugger all difference between the ‘old’ good IRA and the ‘new’ bad IRA.

  • Southern Observer

    Curious,
    Re the SDLP.I doubt it.What success SF have had would be confined mainly to pockets of hardline republican areas straddling the border and to the anti-establishment protest vote which is not really republican and which has gone in the past to the Workers Party .The SDLP would hardly be in a position to garner either.As regards the SDLP and FF merging, the honest answer is,I don’t know.The snag is that if an FG dominated govt. were elected in the south
    northern SDLP/FF would be dealing with political opponents which would be problematic.
    The answer o your third question is yes – probably and hypothetically.

  • pete whitcroft

    Paddy reilly

    Turnout at European elections v border polls are likely to be different.
    2030.

  • Cahal

    I find it slightly amusing when free staters give northerners a slap on the wrist for voting SF.

    Are FF & FG members not at all embarrassed that they don’t run canidates in the north, given their cringeworthy “The Republican Party” and “United Ireland Party” taglines?

    It might inject a bit of confidence into the Irish people of the north to know that the biggest parties in the country are interested in their well being and votes.

    At least SF are giving it a go on a national basis.

  • Whatever Next

    “Are FF & FG members not at all embarrassed that they don’t run canidates in the north, given their cringeworthy “The Republican Party” and “United Ireland Party” taglines?” Uh, Earth calling Cathal, No They’re Not. And that’s because they’re partitionists, just like their voters, and their voters are 90% plus of the Southern electorate. SF certainly are ‘giving it a go’ on an island wide basis, but as you really ought to have noticed, oh so very few voters are giving them a go in the Free State. Democracy in the South, 1, narco terrorist, sectarian killers, 0.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done

    Whatever Next

    Latest score:
    Warriors of Corruption 1 – Occupied territories liberationists 0.

  • Forecast

    SMNWDI
    ‘Latest score:
    Warriors of Corruption 1 – Occupied territories liberationists 0.’

    Looks like the liberationists lost fair and square mate. Stop wingeing!
    Oh well, back to washing my hair……………..

  • curious

    How an overconfident Adams lost the South

    Chris Thornton examines where it all went wrong for Sinn Fein in last week’s election in the Republic

    Monday, May 28, 2007
    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/politics/article2589212.ece

  • Sue

    Perhaps many people in a border poll would chooose to remain in the Nineteenth Century?

  • PaddyReilly

    Turnout at European elections v border polls are likely to be different

    Really? I thought EU elections were border polls. Or perhaps you could disabuse me by outlining the 10 most salient points of policy currently before the European Parliament that influenced you in your choice of candidate for the last election.

    But as I say, calculating the results of border polls lies outwith my remit. I have restricted myself to calculating when Unionists will be in a minority (2008 onwards) and when Nationalists will become a majority (2013-5, I think). This refers to voters and not the similarly orientated, but subtly different, religious divide.

    Given that I made these predictions several years ago, and that the results of the 2007 election largely confirmed them, I think that I am on course.

    The next question to ask is, how would the governing organs of a Nationalist majority province still within the UK comport itself? Would it not be busily undertaking measures designed to increase the likelihood of a yes vote in a UI poll? Would it not redouble its efforts if intially unsuccessful? Might (as one poster has already suggested) the Unionist voters not feel that they would be better off in a UI where there was not such a large input from Sinn Féin?

  • PaddyReilly

    And that’s because they’re partitionists, just like their voters

    Yes, and we even have an American poster who has decided that Sinn Féin are partitionists, because they signed up for the GFA.

    But there is a world of difference between actually wanting partition and doing your damnedest to preserve it, and merely putting up with it for the time being because you have agreed that certain conditions must be fulfilled before you can abolish it. For when that will be, see my previous post.

    If someone proposed to me bombing the council as a protest against traffic bumps, I would refuse, but that doesn’t mean I actually want traffic bumps. I hate them.

  • darth rumsfeld

    “Kevin Myers calls it correctly ( as do many Unionists ) when he sees no or bugger all difference between the ‘old’ good IRA and the ‘new’ bad IRA.”

    Thanks sammy for your refreshing candour

  • Whatever next

    Northern nationalists can kid themselves as much as they like about whether mainstream Southern political parties seriously want an end to partition, whatever pro forma platitudes they spout, with decreasing regularity and absolutely zero sincerity. Unlike our northern friends, I got a vote south of the border, and it’s a border that’s going to exist until northerners want to bring it to an end. Our fantastical friend who insists that demography is about to achieve that should one day chat to his mates who used to insist the same thing, 5, 10, 20 and 50 years ago. It ain’t going to happen, but if claiming that it will keeps you happy, and more importantly, keeps other, altogether less agreeable people from murdering the rest of us, good luck to you.

  • Reader

    PaddyReilly: The next question to ask is, how would the governing organs of a Nationalist majority province still within the UK comport itself?
    Similarly to the governing organs of a Unionist majority province, perhaps? What latitude actually exists? If the current situation is reversed and nationalist parties get 6 of the 10 executive slots, what will *actually* change? The Executive has to get tinted stuff past the Assembly anyway.

  • PaddyReilly

    Our fantastical friend who insists that demography is about to achieve that should one day chat to his mates who used to insist the same thing, 5, 10, 20 and 50 years ago.

    Yes, I remember these people and as I said elsewhere, I thought they were w*****s. In those days, repartition was the best option.

    Let us suppose a friend persuades you to walk from Dublin to Belfast. At Malahide your feet start to hurt and he says “Don’t worry, we’ll soon be there.” The assurance is repeated at Drogheda, Dundalk and Newry. As you pass Lisburn and draw near to Dunmurray, he comes out with the same old crap. Do his previous inaccurate statements have any bearing on the accuracy of his current predictions?

    The men of 50 years ago were talking about overturning a majority of something like 300,000: we are now looking at a tenth of that.

  • páid

    ALEX,

    I know you think that if Sinn Féin organized itself on the basis of the existing de facto partitioned political units on the island, it would be a ‘delicious irony’.

    I suspect it would be stale buns to republicans though, as that is the way the IRA organized themselves for decades.

    Expect SF to go for something more subtle than ‘Northern Command’, ‘Munster Brigade’ etc.

  • Whatever Next

    I do admire the fortitude of Northern Republicans, and their ability to shut their eys to reality. Who cares that you managed to get a quarter of the vote in the North? In the South, you’ve got *4* TDs. 4 TDs. And yet you still slabber on as if ‘reunification’ were just around the corner. Are you all mad or something? The South isn’t just happy with partition, it’s rigid with fear that today’s Republic might ever have to take responsibility for the North. Thanks but no thanks.

  • Roisin

    Whatever Next,

    [i]it’s rigid with fear that today’s Republic might ever have to take responsibility for the North.[/i]

    Why do you think that is?

  • Roisin

    Southern Observer,

    Thanks for your considered reply.

    The problem, as I see it, with the SDLP is they are essentially a post-nationalist party. There’s noone in that party today of any import. Northern nationalists may have disagreed in the main with the IRA’s campaign, but they have always liked their politics republican. The SDLP were a stop gap party. Horses for courses.

    As for the established southern parties, it’s been mostly lip service to reunification. SF’s strategy of contesting southern elections, and its success, or lack thereof, will determine what priority reunification will be given in the RoI. Without SF contesting in the south, all the other parties will go back to paying lip service.

  • Briso

    Posted by curious on May 27, 2007 @ 07:24 AM

    Questions:

    No1) If the SDLP stood as another separate political party in the south would they gain more support than SF?

    I doubt it.

    No2) If the SDLP joined FF would they have more success in the North than SF?

    Would be very interesting and I would love to see Bertie canvassing for votes in Derry. He would clean up. Of course we Derry people are still voting for the SDLP…

    No3) Would either of the above have more of chance of bringing a peaceful United Ireland than SF ever will succeed in gaining support from citizens of the ROI?

    Yes, I believe option 2 would be the best way of acheiving a peaceful united Ireland. A ‘SF’ Ireland gives unionists the heebie-jeebies in the way that FF doesn’t. Plenty of northern nationalists feel the same way. What does Mark Durkan think of this and what do FF think?

  • kensei

    “I do admire the fortitude of Northern Republicans, and their ability to shut their eys to reality. Who cares that you managed to get a quarter of the vote in the North? In the South, you’ve got *4* TDs”

    I wasn’t aware there were any Northern republicans standing in the South.

  • Whatever Next

    “I wasn’t aware there were any Northern republicans standing in the South” – you might not have been, but the Southern electorate was.

  • CTN

    Some very sharp commentary there from Roisin, but the problem for provie republicans is that there is no SF party- just a juggernaut ran by the McGuinnes/Adams axis into inertia.

    People in different parts of the country might like their politics green, but when the 11th hour arrived grizzler was like our budgie- he could nearly talk.

    Ultimately remiss for a man carrying the weight of generations of Ireland’s patriot dead;- it was his responsibility to rebuild a SF mass movement of similar size to 1918 in the facilitative climate of IRA disbandment, albeit over 15 years or so.

    Fecking up in primetime tv and radio debates in ignorance of the basics is inexcusable, he is SF’s leader- if he wasn’t up to scratch he should have ordered a deputy.

    Here we have yet another provo own goal- a political Warrington so to speak- then again what do we expect from a guy who held hands with MI5 agent Denis Donaldson for the 22 years he was yelping to Whitehall, never mind steaknife.

    Adams and his puppet McGuinnes are a disaster for Ireland’s future thankfully even SF’s decreasing membership are beginning to realise that now.

  • Gerry Kelly

    CTN: After Sinn Fein get rid of the lame duck President, do you think the CAB should investigate the sources of his funds for the Donegal mansion? He says the bank owns it but that should be easily verifiable. Wouldn’t it be great to get the Bloody Friday architect for tax evasion?

  • CTN

    Good morning Gerry,

    The buffoon neglected to state he was able to obtain a mortgage for that property on the back of being an international best selling author- though the contents of his books aren’t much of an improvement on Bloody Friday.

    Unfortunately the shinners won’t oust him as leader as many are blind to him, any critics are ethnically cleansed and the arrogant sod is unlikely to be shamed into quitting.

  • CTN

    Has anyone heard of any more resignations (forced or otherwise) from the shinners?

    This seems to be a trait after they get clipped for daring to criticise good old G and M or their appointed accolites, either that or they walk as a result of Ard Comhraile incompentance.
    the grassroots but Adams will still retain a certain amount of confidence.

  • CTN

    Apologies for typo that last line should read;-

    There is unease within the grassroots…