I’m sorry, I’ll just say that again…

As I noted in my most recent CIF piece, the Sinn Fein seem to spreading the one script a little thinly recently. There are some differences in the statements of Martin Ferris and Mitchel McLaughlin. But there’s not a lot in it. Mitchel:

“Bertie Ahern committed to Oireachtas representation for northern citizens as part of the Good Friday Agreement. Now that he has finally embraced the concept of all-Ireland politics it would be the opportune time for him to now deliver on that commitment.

“Irish citizens should not be denied their constitutional right to participate fully in the life of the Nation just because they were abandoned behind an artificial border imposed by a foreign power.

“Otherwise, if Bertie Ahern follows through on his intention to organize on an all-Ireland basis how could he justify it to his supporters if those in the 26-counties were to be given full national rights while those in the 6 were not.”

And Martin:

“Oireachtas representation for 6-county citizens was committed to by the Taoiseach when his government signed the Good Friday Agreement nearly ten years ago.

“Irish citizens should not be denied their constitutional right to participate fully in the life of the Nation just because they were abandoned behind an artificial border imposed by a foreign power.

“If the intentions of the Fianna Fáil party to organise and seek a political mandate on a 32-county basis are genuine now is an opportune time for him to deliver on his government’s commitment to all island representation in the Oireachtas.”

Such are the joys of being one party in two states!

  • no irish here

    But the real question is – are they making a good (collective) point or not.

    Other than that its a just pretty petty post (or PPP for the FF faithful)

  • Mick Fealty

    I wouldn’t have posted it if had only happened the once. But far enough. Good question.

  • CTN

    These rights are crucial for the development of an all Ireland pan-republican project and will go a little bit of the way to compensate for the trivial nature of those cross border bodies limited by Stormont’s unionist veto so keenly assented to by McGuinness at St Andrews.

    The north/south ministerial council was set up initially by the GFA which was a mainly SDLP/UUP accord.

    After SF became of the dominant force within nationalism and were growing down south they should have witheld their consent to St Andrews until free standing bodies with executive power were established.

    By jumping too soon after their chips were cashed in they have postponed the day of unity by giving unionism power to prevent these current bodies growing- this has helped disillusion their party workers into resignation leaving them free-falling in Dublin.

    If this compensatory measure is not implemented soon more SFers will head for the hills leaving the hamfisted McGuinness/Adams autocracy facing a worse nightmare down south in ’09 than their previous scorching in ’07 …

  • Bretagne

    “If this compensatory measure is not implemented soon more SFers will head for the hills leaving the hamfisted McGuinness/Adams autocracy facing a worse nightmare down south in ‘09 than their previous scorching in ‘07 ..”

    CTN – I think you’ve articulated the reason that Bertie has nor intention of giving this – at least not while SF are in the ascendancy in nationalism – he wants isolation for FF.

    It is though a sign of how weak the SF position is, and how royally Bertie has screwed them, that they repeat how Bertie outwitted them…

  • Sean

    I think that SF are busy pointing out how disengenuous FF is to northern nationalists so as to start an early campaign to keep their voters. Soon they will start pointing out how well paisley and bertie play together so that the nationalists will begin to associate the two because no self respecting nationalist is going to give one of paisleys buddies the sweat off his bollix never mind his vote

  • Bretagne

    “no self respecting nationalist is going to give one of paisleys buddies the sweat off his bollix never mind his vote”

    Sean, Bertie isn’t one of the chuckle brothers, and oh dear, Martin is..
    ——————————————–

    Correction :CTN – I think you’ve articulated the reason that Bertie has nor intention of giving this – at least not while SF are in the ascendancy in nationalism – he wants isolation for SF.

  • Chris Donnelly

    no irish here has it right on this one.

    As I’ve stated here before recently, Sinn Fein are absolutely delighted about this potential development, and anybody claiming to be a republican who isn’t needs to step back and think carefully about the consequences of a FF stage entrance to the north.

    The statements attributed to the Sinn Fein MLAs above underline just what Fianna Fail would be facing when/ if they venture northwards.

    Gone would be the ‘4 Green Fields/ Legion of the Rearguard’ rhetoric long associated with the ‘republican party’ and, finally, they would have to put up or face the music when knocking on the doors come election time.

    I would personally relish challenging Fianna Failers to deliver on Oireachtas representation, northern votes for the Presidential election and the delivery of all-Ireland policy documents.

    Failure to deliver on such matters which are in the gift alone of Fianna Fail in the 26 counties would likely make their entrance to the north a failure, so I’d be quite optimistic that the FFers would initiate moves to address these matters as a precursor to arriving on our doorsteps.

    No, this one’s a winner for nationalists, whatever one’s party political leanings.

    And, as for electoral competition, I’d simply remind people that Fianna Fail’s electoral machine in the 26 counties is probably the only machine that can handle Sinn Fein’s in the six counties. And that’s their problem: for now, it remains a 26-county phenomenon. Trying to replicate it up here with SDLP bodies will involve one helluva hard sell to a nationalist electorate that has effectively shown the latter the door in recent elections wearing their older clothes.

  • CTN

    Bret- ya have it in one, I imagine FF will wait until at least after ’09 in order to give the terminally outflanked griz another black eye…

  • hib

    Its common sense to agree with both Bret and CTN;- although Bertie may have a side deal with SF to implement these rights on or by a specified date, it is more likely he will try to kill them of instead.

  • Sean

    Sean, Bertie isn’t one of the chuckle brothers, and oh dear, Martin is..

    Take a good look at those chuckle brother Photos. Its paisley having the horse laugh and Martin chuckling while keeping his eye warily on the old man.

    But paisley and Bertie have a warm loving relationship involving the exchange of gifts and hugs all the way around

    Keep an eye out I am betting Sinn Fein will try to sell it as berite being to friendly with the nationalists biggest enemy

  • Harry

    Chris Donnelly I would personally relish challenging Fianna Failers to deliver on Oireachtas representation

    It was sold as part of the GFA that this would happen, yet here you are telling us after you’ve given up and got nothing in return that it’s a battle you look forward to fighting. Is there nothing you can’t fuck up with your abysmal negotiating skills?
    You are lying to the people. You are guilty of misrepresentation. You give away everything and receive nothing and try to hint that it’s all part of a grand plan. Piffle.

    In any other country ambiguity is not considered a positive attribute within the body politic – a much greater premium is put on clarity, strong leadership, collective purpose and direction. Only in Ireland is ambiguity considered a constructive rather than a destructive attribute. The result is a nod-and-wink form of politics where ‘whatever you say say nothing’ is considered clever, where energy and straightforwardness are considered dangerous and undesirable and where ducking and diving with its attendant duckers and divers are approved of at the expense of everyone else.

    What kind of country do you think this gives rise to? Or what kind of individual do you think is produced by such a country?
    Do you think this is good emotionally, psychologically and even economically for a country, this permanent and officially approved eternal deferment of self-expression? This denial of clarity in perpetutiy.

    I don’t. I think it’s a disaster.

    Donnelly and his kind though have bought into it lock, stock and barrel.

  • Bretagne

    Chris –

    “I’d be quite optimistic that the FFers would initiate moves to address these matters as a precursor to arriving on our doorsteps”

    Our doorsteps? – a partitionist phrase, surely?.

    Aside from what Berties may or may not have promised (and he and Blair promised plenty I would agree) – what is the upside for any southern government to do divvy up on these issues?

    Presidential voting might make Gerry a possible Presidential competitor (depending how awful the others are) I can’t see FF/FG going for that scenario.
    Speaking rights would really piss off unionists for no upside (at least no upside now)

    As for 32-C policy documents – the NDP trumps any other I have seen – its costed, time bound, deliverable and highly visible. SF’s last effort was a 32-county road safety strategy, uncosted, and well, where is it now? Put the two options in front of me and …

  • CTN

    Harry, I agree- on top of bein a hateful oddball McGuinness is a dire negotiator.

    The future of Ireland’s unity being built now depends on FF, who have let the nationalist community down badly at times in the past- although provo wrecklesness made that almost excusable.

    Sean- your delusion that Barkin McGuinness is not one of the chuckle brothers is yours and yours alone…

  • Sean

    Yeah and CTN your delusion that ole ian has a vast majority is your delusion and yours alone

  • CTN

    Wrong again Sean- Ian may not have a “vast majority” but he certainly is part of a cosy majority in the executive of 7 unionists against 5 nationalists and enjoys it’s premium roles.

  • hib

    On terms of majorities- with Paddy Power offering odds on a united Ireland at 25-1 by 2016 & 10-1 by 2027 I’d feel safer if I was a unionist for the next 30 years.

    Paisley may not be leader of the DUP much longer but he has achieved his lifetime dream, whilst SF just drone on about how things will get better as if enough crumbs are about to fall from the table to make a loaf- time will tell but the bookies are usually good guides, especially after McGuinness’ nonsense about seat trebling down south this year!

  • CTN

    If FF start building a real all Ireland infrastructure in terms of registering births, deaths, marriages in Dublin and allocating PPS to northerners (and its a big if) it can’t start happening for at least 5 years.

    However lets say it did- then the odds would shorten but at the moment under the limitations of St Andrews in terms of sheer majorities the unionists are safe with catholic unionists bolstering them for 30-40 years at least.

    It will be interesting to see if the catholic unionists have a change of direction when the businessmen of FF, FG and Labour arrive on the Malone Rd canvassing…

  • hib

    The reality is that what CTN, Bret and Harry have said is true- McGuinness has settled for far to little in the north/south council but we don’t know what Pan-nationalism (including FG and Irish Labour) have agreed to in the backround regarding the role of northern nationalists in the 26 to try and compensate or if indeed FF are moving up north selfishly to try and damage SF without concern for a backroom pan nationalist project may not even exist…

  • hib

    sorry typo 2nd last line

    pan nationalist project WHICH may not…….

  • CTN

    Nice bloggin with ya all boys and girls but its toodle pip from meself now as I think we’ve just about chewed it all over…

  • hib

    Me too- sayinaarah