Why SF were rejected

Chris Gaskin thinks he knows:

Let’s have a look at our manifesto, or lack there of, for example. I want to make it clear that I don’t blame the people who drafted it, there is a serious problem within the party with policy formation.

That being said the manifesto was the biggest pile of watery, airy fairy, head in the f*****g clouds, not a notion of what is going on, bullshit that I have ever had the misfortune of reading!!

I can’t help but wonder if he has read any of SF’s previous manifestos.

  • susan

    “There is a gulf between Sinn Fein’s stance on economic issues and all the other southern parties. One can even ask whether Sinn Fein have an economics policy.”–Niall

    Certainly agree with you, there, Niall! I suppose I’m just annoyed with all this high-end theorising about the meaning of the election, which seem to confuse, to borrow a phrase from lib2016, FF tactics for deeply held “democratic principles.”

  • susan

    To be clear — much as I find much of SF”s stated and unstated economic policies head-scratching, I still find it hypocritical and disrespectful of the Northern nationalist electorate for FF, which has long prospered by billing itself as the republican party, to declare them unfit for gov’t in the South.

  • Pol

    SF aim for the protest vote and it’s a crowded market place. With the ROI a shining light of economic success they just don’t have enough to complain about.
    It’s interesting that we are(definitely)moving closer to a UI now that the heat, emotion and anger is seeping away from NI politics. Interesting given that it was physical force republicans who did their best to keep the temperature white hot.
    One question, all these Ballymun “property speculators” looking forward to cashing in on their houses, where are they going to live then?

  • Paul

    Kensai. I agree with you that there will be a middle group of people (both religions) who aren’t too bothered by identity and maybe they could be persuaded into a united Ireland, if and its a big if, it was obviously economically beneficial. But equally wouldn’t you agree that this ‘not bothered about identity’ group would also be thinking, why rock the boat and risk another Troubles? So they could equally be likely to stick with a comfortable status quo.

    On the 25% Catholic support for the Union its been very consistant. Look at these polls.
    http://www.ark.ac.uk/nilt/2005/Political_Attitudes/NIRELAND.html

    Polls can be misleading but this is very consistant and with sound statistical methods. We also have to see other evidence like comparing the number of Catholics who joined the police or Army or went to live in Britain, compared to the number of Protestants who joined the IRA or went to live in the Republic. Taken together it paints a picture that there has always been a significant minority of Catholics who were OK with the Union, but very few northern Prods who were OK with a united Ireland.

  • Maggot

    Susan – isn’t language complicated? When FF calls itself “The Republican party” surely it means something different from “Republican” in the 6 county sense of the word – it’s a dig at FG who were the Treaty or Dominion party ?

  • Rory (South Derry)

    Delighted to see the self rightous morons in Sinn Fein brought down to size!

    Now will they realise that:-

    (1). A United Ireland is further away than ever.

    (2). Partition and the Protest veto is going to
    haunt Adams and co to their graves.

    The Southern electorate must have wet themselves when they read the manafesto of a bunch of Bank robbers who cherry picked the parts of the economy they choose to.

    Backing the PSNI and all the hype that went with it obviously fooled no one in the Free State.

    Provo’s clipped with their pants down – A RESULT!

  • PaddyReilly

    On the 25% Catholic support for the Union its been very consistant. Look at these polls.

    Yes that’s right, the policy should be to remain as part of the United Kingdom, for as long as current conditions continue.

    But that is not the same thing as asking, if Nationalists were over 50% of the voting population, would you vote for a United Ireland? And that is not the same as asking the question at that future date when this is true. No attempt is made to draw out the interviewee on what his real views are.

    As with much of Unionist wishful thinking, you mistake acceptance for support, and provisional support for partisan adherence.

    If there are 25% of Union fanciers among Catholics, why don’t they form their own Catholics for the UK party? Given that this is a sure-fire money-spinner for a would-be politician in a PR system, why has someone not tried it?

    If you think you can use an opinion poll to refute an election, you are very much mistaken.

  • susan

    Rory (South Derry), out of interest, what is your strategy for a UI?

    MR, I think the Civil War lasted about 10 months — I really should Google, I’m sure I’ll be lacerated — and cost something about like 4,000 lives? I grew up with family (lots and lots and lots of family, lol) on both sides of — and straddling — the border, and if there’s an agreed definition of “republican” I’ve yet to learn it!

  • latcheeco

    Mick,
    What I was thinking was that people were way too optimistic too early, the whiff of cordite is still in the air especially for southern voters who are generally happy with Bertie. The ropes of good govt. need to be learned, and be shown to have been learned in the north first,then build from there.

  • susan

    I meant to say “Maggot”, not MR.

    What’s become of my life, that I am apologising to someone for not calling them Maggot?

  • Rory (South Derry)

    Susan

    Just for the record:-

    A Republican is person who will never accept British Rule in any part of Ireland and someone wo will use whatever means necessary or possible to remove their illegal incursion from the country.

    Now getting back to a solution:-

    (1). The Brits have no economical, military or startegic interest in the 6 Counties so their continuation in this part of Ireland is irrelevant and should have a referrendum on its credibilty imposed on it every 5 years.

    (2). A military push is no longer a relevant
    startegy for any republican activist regardless of their political conviction.

    (3). Lobbying for the removal is the only feasible
    way to remove the brits and not in the
    patronising way that the provo’s have gone
    about it.

    (4). A concerted effort and pressure brought to
    bear on the brits both at home and abroad
    will drive them from our shores.

    The Provos are not real republicans and now look more like the Stickies.

    The Slogan remains the Same:-

    THE WAR IS INDEED OVER BUT THE FIGHT MUST GO ON – A FIGHT TO BE FOUGHT BY REAL REPUBLICANS!

  • Rory (South Derry)

    REJECTION (That sinkin feeling)!

    Now that the Provo PLC mod have got their just desserts here is a package of suggestions for their future:-

    (1). Why don’t they stop tellin lies.

    (2). Give up the Scum who killed Robert McCartney

    (3). Give back the Northern Bank money.

    (4). Apogise to the families of every volunteer
    who died fighting to fill their bank accounts

    Etc, etc etc.

    Then someone in the South may take a little bit of notice of reformed gangsters – maybe leopards can change their spots or can they?????

  • kensei

    “On the 25% Catholic support for the Union its been very consistant. Look at these polls.
    http://www.ark.ac.uk/nilt/2005/Political_Attitudes/NIRELAND.html

    Except the poll also included a question on voting intention where the DUP and especially SF figures were horribly wrong. Next.

  • Cynic

    Rory

    You want an end to ‘British Rule’ but it ain’t British rule by any definition – (at the very worst and in your own terms) it’s rule by 1 million pro-union Irish Prods (and a good few pro Union Catholics). What do you do about them, especially the Prods?

    You then talk about ‘removing them’. How?

    ‘A concerted effort and pressure brought to bear on the brits both at home and abroad will drive them from our shores.’ Again how? Ethnic cleansing of the North?

    You critise SF but are stuck in the same psychology that ignores the fact that 1 million of the Brits live here and arent going anywhere anytime soon. It isn’t just your country. It’s their county too. Wake up. Both sides need to accommodate each other.

  • Southern Observer

    Replies to some of the posters here.Sorry for not making note of your names but at this time I don’t have the brio to trawl back at this time of night.
    They are seen as outsiders. A bunch of violent, Northern Culchies with economic and social policies that would wreck what Irish people have worked very hard for a very long time to create.
    Good points.But northernness per se is not a barrier to electoral success in the ROI – viz. John Cushnahan,Austin Currie, and of course her Maryship.

    Much of the fighting (and atrocities) in the Civil War took place in Kerry and republicanism has always been stronger there than in another other southern county
    This was given as a reason for Ferris winning a seat there.There is also the issue of Sinn Fein’s
    ,ahem, direct methods of dealing with drug pushers.

    A Republican is person who will never accept British Rule in any part of Ireland and someone wo will use whatever means necessary or possible to remove their illegal incursion from the country.
    ‘Uniting Catholic, Protestant,and Dissenter’
    – the original definition from the founding father.
    In terms of the central issue here, for SF to make any serious inroads in the ROI I believe they will have to go through a metamorphosis such as that undergone by Official Sinn Fein in the seventies.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Jaffa

    “I’m a Bangor prod with a centre-right economic disposition and an English born family. I am utterly average in consumer behaviour and politcial outlook (at least in UK politics). I’d tick the box for a UI today if I felt the proposed constitution was made in the spirit of a flag that’s a third Orange.”

    Now that Fianna Fail have handed SF’s arse to them, do you imagine that many northern Protestants would be interested if FF were to organise in the north?

    Wouldn’t it be interesting to see FF republicans teaming up with a section of northern Protestantism to put manners on SF in the north, on a sort of “SF? We’ll show ’em what Irish republicanism is supposed to look like!” ticket?

  • Kubby

    There has been much said about the Sinn Fein IRAs rejection by the Irish electorate in the Republic prior to their recent election. Gerry Adams performance was so inept and woeful that his position as Sinn Fein president is now being seriously questioned. Also his mono issue party has failed to recognise that the Eire electorate went to the polls with one hand firmly in their hip pockets holing onto their well stuffed wallets and they dont want some bunch of left wing beardy weirdoes messing that up for them.

    During the debate highy enlightenuing debate Michael Mcdowell said,
    “I’m surrounded by the left, the hard left and the left overs”

    His message struck a chord which helped sink Adams & co
    Adams boasted about the fact that he only drew an average industrial wage. Mr Mcdowell then hit him with the commentbabot his fancy holiday home in Donegall plus his large home in Belfast. Adams blustered that , “the bank owns them”, to which Mcdowell caustically replied, “Which bank? the Northern Ireland Bank? (Northern Bank)

    He then can be heard to remark that Adams fraudlent nonsense that he lives on an average industrial wage.

    Adams later changes the subject and talks about the huge drugs problem in the Republic and the fact he wants to Pattonise the Guardai as if that is going to tackle it.

    Mcdowell then hit him about the Provos involvement in exchanging their terror know how for £25million of “FARQ NARCO TERRORIST”, drugs money which Sinn Fein used to further it’s political programme in Ireland

    If you want a good belly laugh then you can here the bearded ones empty headed drivel (thats when he had anthing to say at all) at the following site plus the cutting truths which he neither had an answer for nor even attempted to contradict.

    The full TV show can be viewed below:-

    Prime Time Debate THE OTHER ONE:
    Pat Rabbitte, Michael McDowell, Trevor Sargent and Gerry Adams face off in their only joint debate of the campaign, moderated by Mark Little
    [url]http://www.rte.ie/news/2007/0517/election_av.html?2248827,null,230[/url]

  • Cynic

    “They are seen as outsiders. A bunch of violent, Northern Culchies with economic and social policies that would wreck what Irish people have worked very hard for a very long time to create.

    Good points.But northernness per se is not a barrier to electoral success in the ROI – viz. John Cushnahan,Austin Currie, and of course her Maryship.”

    Southern Observer:- but none of those were seen as violent or economically lilliterate, quite the reverse.

    I think they are outsiders in that everything they stand for and promote is tied in to an ideal of Ireland rooted in the 1930’s. Their entire philosophy is underpinned by the idea that the Dail is not the legitimate parliament of Ireland and that they, the IRA, are the true Army of the state. Great for self justification for 2000 murders, not so good for electoral success in a vibrant modern self confident republic that simply doesnt need them.

    Their self image of Ireland no longer exists. It is as close to the truth of Ireland today as the film ‘Derby O’Gill and the Little People’ is. Ireland has grown, developed and moved on and they haven’t, despite the PR.

    It’s therefore much more difficult for them than just being Northern. Intellectually, socially and politically they are out of tune and part of Ireland’s past – a past most of want to put behind us.

    Now it will also be interesting to see how they play the Assembly in the North. Their manifesto there was full of just as much drivel so do they (can they?) now negotiate and participate and become real democrats or just dig themsleves back into sectarian politics?

    Time will tell and the Irish electorate will have the luxury of being able to see how they perform for 4 years or so before the next Irish election.

  • Ginfizz

    Kensei

    So lets just get this straight. Polls in the Republic which show large support for a United Ireland are to be taken at face value, whereas polls here indicating support for the Union are to be utterly discounted.

  • Ulster McNulty

    Cynic

    “A bunch of violent, Northern Culchies with economic and social policies that would wreck what Irish people have worked very hard for a very long time to create”

    George

    “…it’s more a case of fear that Northern Ireland being a largely malevolent influence on the Republic with the introduction of segregated communities, a potentially violent minority, huge economic and social problems that would threaten the prosperity of the rest of the island etc.”

    So really what you are both saying is that Sinn Fein did badly because the Irish electorate are a bunch of smug, arrogant, ignorant, xenophobic, racists.

    I think you are being a bit harsh on the Irish electorate, I hope you are wrong anyway.

    My belief was that Sinn Fein did badly because what they stand for is largely irrelevant to people in the south rather than southeners being hostile and xenophobic towards the north.

  • kensei

    “So lets just get this straight. Polls in the Republic which show large support for a United Ireland are to be taken at face value, whereas polls here indicating support for the Union are to be utterly discounted.”

    Given the vastly differing contexts, the extent of the support for a UI in the Southern poll and and the fact that the Northern poll was verifiably wrong on the levels of party support, it’s not that a big stretch, is it?

  • Ulster McNulty

    Cynic

    “…not so good for electoral success in a vibrant modern self confident republic….”

    You forget “at ease with itself”.

  • jaffa

    Billy,

    I think FF should re-launch themselves as Ireland’s Democrats. They’ve already flirted with the liberals in Europe, Bertie’s claimed he’s a socialist, they’re long on charisma Bill and Obama style. If they can find a way to keep playing the tricolour – ie alternating reflections on 1916, Somme, Boyne, looking to the future with shared economic successes and cultural successes like the Masters, then yes – I reckon they could run in the North. I’m not sure they’d hoover up prod votes – they might even want to limit their runners to allow the Alliance vote to hold around Belfast, but their presence would change the tone.

  • George

    Ulster McNulty,
    So really what you are both saying is that Sinn Fein did badly because the Irish electorate are a bunch of smug, arrogant, ignorant, xenophobic, racists.

    I don’t know where you got that idea from but if you want to ignore the very obvious social, political and economic problems of Northern Ireland, I can’t stop you. You wouldn’t be the first.

    My belief was that Sinn Fein did badly because what they stand for is largely irrelevant to people in the south rather than southeners being hostile and xenophobic towards the north.

    You are confusing what is relevant and how to achieve something. A lot of the issues Sinn Féin highlighted during the election campaign weren’t irrelevant to the Irish electorate, they just know that there are others who were better able to achieve them.

  • Ulster McNulty

    George

    Enlighten me, what are the very obvious social problems that afflict the north that are unknown in the south, that puts the southern electorate off a UI?

    I don’t believe there are any. If people in the south generally believe there are, then that tells me they are fairly unsophisticated and ignorant.

    “You are confusing what is relevant and how to achieve something. A lot of the issues Sinn Féin”

    No I’m not, you are failing to understand what I’m saying – Sinn Feins is a northern party with northern issues which southerners are not primarily concerned about.

  • Mark

    “what are the very obvious social problems that afflict the north that are unknown in the south”

    Segregated communities, a totally alien concept in the Republic. A populace overdependent on generous Government subsidy and handout. A large minotity who are generally antipathetic to the state they live in.

  • Ulster McNulty

    “Segregated communities, a totally alien concept in the Republic” & “A large minotity who are generally antipathetic to the state they live in.”

    Those are “political problems” unique to the north, not social problems.

    “A populace overdependent on generous Government subsidy and handout”

    A terrible state of affairs, but hardly social problem.

    No. Social problems: drugs, poverty, poor health care, corrupt officials, divorce, teenage pregnancies, binge drinking, violence, crime etc, etc

    What are these social problems that are unique to the north that put southeners of the idea of a united ireland (according to George)?

  • Niall

    Fair points, Ulster McNulty, but I’d say segregation is a pretty big social problem, not just a political problem, as it has obviously exacerbated the culture of violence, sectarianism and dependency that exists in parts of the North, and acts as a barrier to education, and indeed prosperity.

    It’s actually the crux of nearly all Northern Ireland’s problems.

  • Mark

    Segregation is definitely a social issue and one that seems positively weird from a southern perspective. And Niall is right, it’s at the centre of many of the North’s problems but more than that it’s difficult to solve and would be a social issue of nightmare proportions in a newly UI.

    Ditto the disaffected minority. If a large minority of any state doesn’t buy into the state’s validity and are hostile to the agents of the state it is very much a social as well as a political issue, as has been glaringly obvious in the North.

    While anti-partitionists count babies and anticipate the day when a majority vote will end partition, only the most deluded can really believe the Unionist minority in the resulting UI would say “Alright so, that’s grand” and accept the situation happily. So you’ve just flipped the card and created in a 32 county context the disaffection that has poisoned social intercourse in the 6 counties for so long.

  • Ulster McNulty

    Niall

    Of course, the sectarian enviroment in the north is a turn-off for southerners, that’s completely understandable.

    But George and Cynic have suggested that there are also huge social and economic problems occuring in the north that could possibly ruin the prosperity of the south in the event of a united Ireland

    At that point a genuine distaste for northern sectarinism and politics turns in something like xenophobia. Northern ireland, while economically imperfect, has never been more prosperous than it is now, witnessed by the influx of thousands of foreign workers. Moreover, there are no social problems in the north that don’t exist in the south on the same scale. To assume that there are, and that they are infectious, is classic xenophobia.

  • Whatever Next

    Got that? Disagreeing with the SF take on the North makes you xenophobic. Meanwhile, back in the ral world – not one Shinner, out of the very, very few compared to normal, who has popped on Slugger since the Great Result has actually faced up to SF’s real problem: this was their best chance in a generation, they had everything going for them, and yet, zip. They had, supposedly, done their bit for peace and stability (an NSPCC-style worthy good cause, people in the South all pretty much approve of); it had happened close enough to the election that SF hadn’t had a chance to f*ck it up for themselves with any Northern Bank/gutting Robert McCartney-style ‘housetraining’ issues; my, they’d even got Paisley smiling in the same photo op as Martin. And what happened? The result SFers still aren’t willing to face up to.

    So let me spell it out for you: if you go back to sh*tting up the North again, Southerners are redoubled in their dislike of you, but, if you continue to loyally work under Paisley, then what’s the point of you? You’re a Northern special interest grouping, about as relevant to the mainstream of life in the modern Republic as, oh, the ‘English Democrats’ are to England’s.

    There is literally no reason for anyone to vote for SF in the South (sectarian self-identification of course provides a plangent reason up north), and the devil’s edge for you lot is that, there won’t start being a reason until you stop being Sinn Fein.

  • Niall

    “Moreover, there are no social problems in the north that don’t exist in the south on the same scale.”

    I agree there are the same social problems that affect the south, the north and whatever other country you want to look at – drugs, crime, vandalism, poverty etc – and that these are as rampant on both sides of the border.

    But the segregation of the north throws up a few extra ones too: rioting every summer, petrol boms/golfballs/bottles being fired into housing estates, occasional sectarian acts of violence and even still murder.

    I’d also imagine there’s lower-level bullying and harrassment borne out of sectarianism that afflicts northern workplaces and public life in general. These are social problems unique to the north.

    I don’t think these problems would be imported in the eventuality of a united Ireland, but I’d say the majority southern opinion is that its up to northerners to sort these out, not a Dublin-based government in a united Ireland.

    Of more concern than these geographically constrained social problems to southerners is the potential security threat of resurgent loyalist paramilitaries if the border suddenly vanished, with the south becoming a target.

  • Ulster McNulty

    Mark

    “Segregation is definitely a social issue…”

    It a political/tribal issue, though there are social aspects. It isn’t going to spontaneously develop in places like Dublin or Bristol given the right combination of social circumstances that might pertain in some part of Belfast.

    “…and one that seems positively weird from a southern perspective.”

    Well, let’s put that down to poor quality education and teaching of history in the south if no-one understands how the sectarian situation came about – it has a history. And it isn’t exactly weird – Bosnia, Chechnya, Iraq, Thailand, Lebanon, Darfur, Nigeria, Israel/Palestine….. The mix of tribal, religious, political and national problems and the legacy of historical division are hardly unique to Northern Ireland.

    Whatever Next

    “Got that? Disagreeing with the SF take on the North makes you xenophobic.”

    Really? How so?

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Jaffa

    Thanks for your very interesting contribution. I definitely sense at the moment that the most significant thing happening in the north presently is that the heat is going out of the situation, and as this continues, I think people will begin to think about their political positions, rather than reacting instinctively to events. (As has been the case for decades now, perhaps understandably when the situation was overheating.)

    For that reason, I suspect there might be room for a mould-busting party here. FF are very interesting for all sorts of reasons: like all the southern parties but unlike their British counterparts they have a genuine political and economic stake in the place; unlike FG and Irish Labour they have a real emotional investment here too; as an electoral machine they are unmatched in Europe; they are republicans but aren’t toxic to unionists – indeed I could envisage circumstances in which unionists would see them in a kind of “to catch a thief” role – only the “good republicans” of FF can take down the “bad republicans” of SF. And as a genuine party of government, they could promise experienced, competent administration and grown-up politics to a northern electorate to whom such things would be totally new and wonderfully novel.

    “I think FF should re-launch themselves as Ireland’s Democrats. They’ve already flirted with the liberals in Europe, Bertie’s claimed he’s a socialist, they’re long on charisma Bill and Obama style.”

    Interesting comparison. Like the US parties, Ireland’s big two aren’t defined by ideology, as most European parties are, but are like their US equivalents, classic post-colonial, catch-all populist coalitions. The important ideological struggles go on within the parties, not between them. This is why Bertie can share government with the PDs for ten years, then redirect leftwards (as I hope he will) to the Greens. It’s also why there is room in FF for vastly differing opinions, and always the promise that your perspective will get its day within the party. (Look at Charlie “the Thatcherite” McCreevy, who, frustrated with FF economic policy, played a key role in founding the PDs but pulled back at the last moment from actually defecting. Fast forward ten years and he becomes Ireland’s longest-serving minister for finance and gets his chance to implement his policies – all the while serving under a Taoiseach who declares himself a socialist and who, in fairness, has a background within the trades unions.)

    Sorry, rambling. My point is, FF is the sort of party in which northern Protestants willing to get their hands dirty could make a real impact,
    to the benefit of their communities. It’d be interesting to see if any would take up the challenge.

    “If they can find a way to keep playing the tricolour – ie alternating reflections on 1916, Somme, Boyne, looking to the future with shared economic successes and cultural successes like the Masters, then yes – I reckon they could run in the North.”

    I have no doubt they will do just that. Of the examples you cite: of course, it being FF, they are well aware that it’s good politics, but I honestly believe things like the changed attitudes to WWI and the Orange Order, for example, are absolutely genuine, and reflect a desire within mainstream repubicanism to bridge the divide with unionism/northern Protestantism.

  • Niall

    “My point is, FF is the sort of party in which northern Protestants willing to get their hands dirty could make a real impact,”

    Getting their hands dirty might be what’s required. What would unionists make of Bertie Ahern’s finances and the recent history of FF in relation to taking large sums of undeclared money from property developers?

    Are northern Protestants as ambivalent to these sort of things as the southern electorate?

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Niall

    “Getting their hands dirty might be what’s required….”

    Och Niall, that’s a cheap shot!

    “What would unionists make of Bertie Ahern’s finances and the recent history of FF in relation to taking large sums of undeclared money from property developers?”

    To be honest, in my experience people of the unionist persuasion are every bit as prone to corruption and wink-and-a-nod business practices as anyone else on this island. There might be a question though over whether they are as willing to admit it though!

    “Are northern Protestants as ambivalent to these sort of things as the southern electorate?”

    I think if we had a succession of tribunals looking into the affairs of those in public life to compare with those down south, the northern electorate as a whole would be pretty quick in waking up and smelling the coffee. But at present, it’s probably true to say that most northerners are blissfully ignorant of the extent of corruption here – a wink-nod, closed envelope, old-school-tie system so ingrained that it wouldn’t even be recognised as corruption by most people here.

    It’s true that the ignorance of the true nature of our business and politics here in the north does indeed allow some of the electorate to look south with a degree of smugness that is almost touchingly misplaced. That smugness is perhaps more pronounced among unionists, as they might constitutionally be more inclined to look for fault in the south. (Though it most certainly exists among nationalists too – ironically it’s most prevalent among the wet quasi-partitionist wing of the SDLP, on one hand, and the hardline militant wing of republicanism on the other.)

    Or in short: at least down south they know what corruption looks like. Up here, we don’t even know we have a problem!

  • harpo

    “The idea is that in a civilsed society everyone has the right to a reasonable home.”

    Parcifal:

    If Provo Sinn Fein are socialists, how is it that the leadership elite to a man have second homes – most of them holiday homes in Donegal?

    I’m no socialist, but I have one home and agree with the notion of noone having a second home until everyone has their first one.

    Is this champagne socialism that PSF are on for? Or is it old USSR style supposed socialism where the ruling elite had fancy holiday homes while people across the USSR starved?

    The PSF leadership has no idea what it stands for. It claims to be socialism, but the lifestyles of the PSF leadership elite show that this is just another of their lies.

  • harpo

    ‘It looks like SF should mothball the UI idea and do a good job at Stormont and the local councils.’

    New Yorker:

    They haven’t got the sense to do that.

    In power they will play their usual sectarian games, making everything being about wanting a UI now, and sticking it to unionists by petty actions like naming stuff after dead PIRA men etc.

    They can’t help their sectarian little selves.

  • harpo

    “Contrary to what they believe Unionists have not chosen to be British on a cost-benefit analysis or by picking a nationality out of a catalogue. They are and feel themselves to be British. Whether they would be better or worse off uniting with another country is not relevant.”

    Paul:

    Well said.

    The Provos now seem to think that being economically better off is the be all and end all of analysis.

    I don’t recall the UK economy appealing to them when the ROI was an economic basket case.

    It’s about more than money.

  • harpo

    ‘Now that the Northern vote is in the bag’

    rab:

    There’s that delicious scenario of Provo supporters taking things for granted.

    You think that PSF has captured the NI nationalists vote and will hold it forever?

    On what do you base that?

    It’s this sort of assumption that leads to downfalls. PSF may be number 1 with NI nationalists now, but things can change. And if they do change enough the only thing you can move to is back to number 2. That’s what happens when you are at number 1 – the only way is back down.

  • Martin

    FG(51) + LAB(20) + GRE(6)+Lowry,Gregory and Mc Grath=80 , as Bertie has said before he can’t stop SF voting in favour of him being Taoiseach even if he wanted too–the 4 could opt for Enda on the day that makes 84

  • kensei

    “It’s about more than money.”

    Sigh, again – certainly but the economy is one issue that needs addressed.

  • New Yorker

    harpo,

    Thanks for your reply. Will anybody, after last week’s election, believe they can deliver a UI? How can you unite with a polity that told you to get lost? It seems clear that the election was a massive rejection of SF by the voters of the ROI. The SF failure was not only less than 7% at the polls but also the rejection of their plan for a UI through political means. What do they realistically have to offer – to those with a head on their shoulders?

    Who knows what the future holds, there may be a UI someday, but it is certain SF will not be a part of it based on last Thursday’s vote.

  • Martin

    Im amazed that no party just said that they would have kept the economy going much as before just without the waste and the high priced consultants and advisors and the brown envelopes and more care being taken of the less well off in society and the ultra rich paying a bit more tax,it might have been a winner for FG anyway

  • PaddyReilly

    While anti-partitionists count babies and anticipate the day when a majority vote will end partition, only the most deluded can really believe the Unionist minority in the resulting UI would say “Alright so, that’s grand” and accept the situation happily. So you’ve just flipped the card and created in a 32 county context the disaffection that has poisoned social intercourse in the 6 counties for so long.

    True indeed, but the question is, when faced with a 6 County province in which Nationalists outnumber Unionists, how do you intend to proceed? It surely must occur to you that tiniest of demographic changes will produce this effect. An average of 1,666 more Nationalists or less Unionists per constituency was the figure, it’s probably less now. You could almost get that with more efficient registration.

    I think South Africa provides a (reasonably) benevolent model of where such a card-flip has occurred. Countries such as Zimbabwe and Algeria provide negative models. Then there are all the (now independent) former Republics of the Soviet Union. Here there has been a major repatriation of Russians back to Russia, though Russians who have managed to learn Estonian etcetera have remained behind. In Thailand nearly half the population is of Chinese origin but has disguised itself as Thai by adopting Thai language and names. But in fact, immigrants to Ireland have been doing this for centuries.

    But obviously, there is the fact of the irreversability of decolonialisation, which breeds a sort of resignation. England is unlikely to retake South Africa, so Whites don’t riot in the streets. They have to put up with the new régime. And there are 2 million of them.

  • harpo on May 29, 2007 @ 09:34 PM “ …If Provo Sinn Fein are socialists, how is it that the leadership elite to a man have second homes – most of them holiday homes in Donegal? “

    my understanding of the second home syndrome that McDowell has *enlightened* the anti Shinners is as follows…

    income earned AS A POLITICAIN (from Dail, Westminster, Stormont or local district councils etc) is submitted to the HQ and then the individual receives an average workers salary as payment for consituency work.

    Income earned from writing a number of books http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=wbnavss/002-5052007-2468049?url=index=blended&field-keywords=Gerry+Adams&Go.x=7&Go.y=7 wouldn’t get submitted as part of ones constituency income and can be invested in Donegal property. If Gerry had replied as such and mentioned McDowell’s house in Roscommon (in defiance of some planning regulations) then the Shinners would have possibly have done better in the GE.

    Since McDowell has made this an issue, then how many TD’s have second homes ? How many TD’s have written books or better still how much have they declared as income to the Tax-man? Remember when Hume & Trimble received a huge sum of money for the Nobel peace prize and Hume donated his to charity while Trimble didn’t… did anyone question Hume’s property investments etc although they let Trimble slide for being a “filthy luchre grabber”?

  • New Yorker on May 29, 2007 @ 10:00 PM “Who knows what the future holds, there may be a UI someday, but it is certain SF will not be a part of it based on last Thursday’s vote.”
    Yeah, that’s a nice piece of wishful thinking there !!

    Along those lines which Mike Dukakis’ only taking 10 states in the 50 state union in 1988 and brought about the demise of the Demo party in the USA!! He did so badly from his comment re the death penalty (media’s manipulation) and the Willy Horton issue. The Shinners did badly because of the party’s concentrating on the Peace Process while the electorate was voting w their wallets (next time SF should stick on a handful of core issue and debate them to the full – economics/jobs, health, education). Gerry didn’t do well on the debates and this was accentuated by the anti-SF media (for example see Mick Fealty’s reversal of opinion based on media only analysis).

    A United Irel will come about regardless of parties and individuals but because of demographics. It’ll be within a few decades and Gerry and Co will be there… probably in coalition w FF but it won’t be a big national celebration but the signing of a few documents. The biggest problem will be the football team… although most loyalist will emigrate to Scotland and support Rangers first and Scot second.

  • Niall

    “Since McDowell has made this an issue, then how many TD’s have second homes ? How many TD’s have written books or better still how much have they declared as income to the Tax-man?”

    The difference is they don’t pretend to be living on the average wage when they’re not. The point is one of SF hypocrisy.