SF Press Officer quits

A member of SF’s Stormont Press Team has quit the party stating:

“I have left the party and the press office as I feel that the current programme for government of the Stormont administration will put working-class communities under increased pressure at a time when the current global credit crunch is already hurting this vulnerable group in society. I also feel that the party’s left-wing credentials have been damaged by the above and by a continued courtship with the American administration.”

  • Garibaldy

    What left-wing credentials?

  • hiro protagonist

    The type they had sometime in the eighties probably before this person was involved anyway…but they do have a point they have moved from a populist position in the centre to a populist postion just to the right of centre.

  • Eamonn Mac Mánais was the guy in the press office who dealt with the Irish language – and was very patient and forbearing with the Irish language media, particularly at times when we were seeking answers to very sticky questions regarding SF’s promotion[or not] of the language. It’s a pity that he’s going – because it will leave the party short of another ‘cara sa chúirt’ for the Irish language.

  • Nigeypigey

    Courtship with the Yanks, surely that should be called dating in this day and age. No wonder he left the party coming out with language like that. Good riddance to the dinosaur.

  • TAFKABO

    I’d like to know how anyone can claim to care about working class people whilst incvolved in a party which has been instrumental in keeping the working class communities at each other’s throats for decades.

  • cynic

    A man of principles …even if I might disagree with him. Good luck to him.

  • DC

    Courtship with the yanks? Talk about playing to the large crowd of anti-US sentiment, done to add value to his personal image when leaving over something probably less remarkable, I imagine.

  • CS Parnell

    Votáil SDLP

    What can you say? They sold their soul to the DUP and now it is payback time.

  • Dave

    “We think it is unfortunate. We would not agree with the fundamentals of what he is saying but he is entitled to his opinion and that would conflict with the role he was in.” – Sinn Fein spokesman

    So, presumably, he’s “entitled to his opinion” but only if it doesn’t “conflict with the role he was in.” Any color as long as it’s black.

  • billie-Joe Remarkable

    Americans have been giving money to Republicans? When did this start? I never realised when Joe Cahill was in the United States getting guns in the 1970s that he was dealing with Americans. Next we’ll be told Noraid were Americans, too.

    For a spin doctor that’s a pathetic statement. I suppose he couldn’t blame decommissioning as that happened some time ago but they’ve been courting America for years. How stupid is this guy?

    SF did indeed have left wing credentials but they weren’t a left-wing movement. They are part of the REPUBLICAN Movement which accommodated many people who had no time for socialism. Poor lad. He needs to do a bit more reading, mind.

  • Mick Fealty

    Really CS? In the last six years of Slugger I’ve not seen the least indication of significant numbers of people wanting to ‘come home’ to the SDLP from SF.

    If there is traffic outwards it is either into the Republican fringes or out of politics completely.

    Just because SF take a blow (and they’ve had quite a few in the last few years) doesn’t automatically mean people have a reason to come to you guys.

    Not being capricious, but what exactly, in your view, is the differentiation between the two parties these days?

  • Garibaldy

    Mick,

    I’m no fan of the SDLP, but just when you ask that question it brought something to mind that if carried through would be a major achievement by the SDLP, and Margaret Ritchie specifically. She is looking to buy some of the stock of private housing lying unsold or unfinished as social housing. I’d prefer that the NIHE built the homes, but this strikes me as quite a bold and imaginative action, which might benefit all sides. And, assuming that she drives a hard bargain, different from PFI as taking advantage of the speculators rather than the other way round. Given the performance of the PSF ministers, we might be looking at a difference in delivery. Though I agree entirely that there is no evidence for people going back to the SDLP, though I think that they have secured the seat in South Down for the forseeable future if Ritchie stands post-McGrady.

  • Here’s a differentiation Mick: According to Peter Robinson, Gerry Adams is an obstacle to progress because the SF leader refuses to allow an Executive Meeting until the DUP sits down to discuss and negotiate the outstanding issues from St Andrews – policing, the Irish language etc. I don’t know whether, if asked, Peter Robinson would remember who the leader of the SDLP is[was]? Mark Durkan has been largely inaudible through all this – and definitely he’s been invisible.

  • johnnie

    Concubhar a chara,

    Beidh áthas ort fail amach go bhfuil Niall O Donnghaile ag obair in oifig preas Sinn Féin le dhá mhí anuas, cara sa chúirt’ eile.

  • rabelais

    I agree with TAFKABO. It is difficult to take seriously the left-wing credentials of a party and organisation whose actions and rhetoric actively discouraged working class unity and so undermined socialist politics. However the resignation statement of this member of the SF press team does highlight something important about our new dispensation: the absence of class as an issue and an ignorance of questions raised by globalisation and US imperialism. Maybe the parties here think that such matters are of little concern to them when they have the important matters of language, culture and parades to dispute. But the political accord which has been reached here was only ever partly about ending violence and forging a compromise between unionism and nationalism. It was also about making NI ‘fit for business’ and opening the place up to the sort of free-market economics endured by just about everywhere else. It looks like our politicians are much more comfortable behaving like ‘natives’. defending their respective cultures, heritage and lifestyles than thinking in any critical way about how NI orientates itself as it enters the ‘real world’. For instance, Scotland looks like it prefers a social democratic path. What kind of country are we going to be?

  • billie-Joe Remarkable

    Dave:

    So, presumably, he’s “entitled to his opinion” but only if it doesn’t “conflict with the role he was in.” Any color as long as it’s black.

    I think it’s similar for the Archbishop of Cantebury. He may well decide that God doesn’t exist and he’d be entitled to that view but it would conflict with his role a touch. His position would become untenable. Seems simple enough

  • Slugger O’Toole Admin

    Concubhar,

    I buy your invisibility point completely. As to your formulation of what the difficulties on hill constitute: the problem is not that the DUP won’t sit down (they have and they will), they just won’t agree to what SF wants. [Cue Rolling Stone music – ed]

  • Dave

    Billie-Joe, it isn’t nessessary for the CEO of the Coca-Cola Company to drink coke in order for him to do his job – nor is it nessessary wear tights to work for Pretty Polly.

    At any rate, if he is “entitled to his opinion” (and he is) then his opinion is not grounds for resignation (or dismissal).

  • Dave

    Sympathy For The Devil, Mick, or “you can’t always…”?

  • Comrade Stalin

    The SDLP have gone up in my estimation lately, mainly based upon their performance in Stormont. However, they haven’t done as well out of it as they might otherwise have, and that’s a lot to do with the fact that the stupid system for selecting the government (which they championed) is actively discriminating against them.

    I am not sure about nationalists returning to the SDLP, although you have to ask who they should vote for once they discover that SF are pretty useless at getting anything done inside parliament rather than outside of it.

    I continue to be bemused by the people who come on here to argue the impact of any given political event here on the Irish language. Maybe the reason why SF haven’t shown as much interest in it as some people would like is because they realize they will be crucified in the elections if they prioritize a few bilingual signposts for the more serious problems effecting people on the ground, such as housing, employment, anti-social behaviour etc.

  • Rory

    “At any rate, if he is “entitled to his opinion” (and he is) then his opinion is not grounds for resignation …”

    Except of course, Dave, that it was and is his stated grounds for his resignation. Not only is he entitled to his opinion he is also entitled to resign if he feels that opinion conflicts with his job. If that’s o.k. with you that is.

  • billie-Joe Remarkable

    Dave: I guess your Coke and tights examples have some validity (sort of) but I think I was making a point about strongly held beliefs. You seem to be hoping he was sacked or forced out. I suspect he would have been quick to tell us that if he was. Anyway, Rory seems to have hit the nail on the head above, so I’ll leave it.

  • Dave

    No, I think the only nail that Rory hit had ‘thumb’ and ‘hammer’ in the scenario.

    So, Billie-Joe, being a spindoctor is like a vocation – more a priesthood than job – and spindoctors are men of deeply held principles who must keep the faith and tell the truth at all times. There might be some validity to that if he was working in a voluntary capacity rather than a professional capacity.

    However, I’m sure that there is no constructive dismissal involved because it’s not like his employers are intolerant of dissenting voices, prone to censor them or anything like that (even if a few councillors have claimed otherwise).

  • I continue to be bemused by the people who come on here to argue the impact of any given political event here on the Irish language. Maybe the reason why SF haven’t shown as much interest in it as some people would like is because they realize they will be crucified in the elections if they prioritize a few bilingual signposts for the more serious problems effecting people on the ground, such as housing, employment, anti-social behaviour etc.

    No doubt CS has a point. I have a specific interest in the Irish language, obviously, but I also believe strongly that the impasse over the Irish language and the DUP’s constant and bigoted opposition to all things Irish is a syntom of that party’s intolerance of others and of the Irish in particular. So it goes to their willingness to share power and to take a full part in the new dispensation. The same could be said re their attitude to gay rights or this crazy notion they’re pursuing that they are ‘God’s Party’ and will implement ‘God’s Law’.

    The other point I would make to CS is that very rarely do politicians impact on ‘real’ issues. That’s the work of the permanent government – or, as exists in NI, the permanent misgovernment. Politicians mainly tinker around the edges of their brief, trying to make a ‘symbolical’ impact. That’s why you have the likes of G Campbell so open in his bigoted opposition to Irish.

  • RG Cuan

    Johnnie

    Is maith go bhfuil an tUasal Ó Donnghaile ag obair anois leo, duine maith agus cumasach gan amhras.

  • kensei

    Mick

    I buy your invisibility point completely. As to your formulation of what the difficulties on hill constitute: the problem is not that the DUP won’t sit down (they have and they will), they just won’t agree to what SF wants.

    And SF won’t agree to not getting it. This is somewhat of a problem for a structure built on mutual cooperation and veto.

    The principle of devolution and Policing and Justice, at least, is already conceded. The pertinent question is: how much is either side prepared to move? If the DUP are “sitting down” with an immovable position, then for all intents and purposes they may as well be elsewhere.

  • Earnan

    If obama’s campaign manager openly said he wouldn’t be a good president, he would have to leave his position.

    He is entitled to his opinion but not his role in the organization

  • GGN

    “No doubt CS has a point.”

    B’fhéadar, ach ní féadar a bheith cinnte fá sin ach an oiread.

    Ní fheiceann lucht frith Gaelach an cion atá aige daoine eile don cultúr Gaelach.

    “Is maith go bhfuil an tUasal Ó Donnghaile ag obair anois leo, duine maith agus cumasach gan amhras.”

    Leoga.

    An rud is áistí liom faoin scéal seo ná go mbíonn daoine ag imeacht as Sinn Féin agus ag dul isteach sa pháirtí fosta ach ní dhéanann siad scéal mór as, rud ciúin a bhíonn ann.

  • jimmy

    It actually took this long for Someone in PSF to realise the bleedin obvious?
    I hope its a precedent for more to follow, we were supposed to believe that Sinn Fein would follow a unique ideological different path from mainstream solely administrative politics, they failed on that.what with PFI, water charges,policing and Justice etc.
    I hope the TRV will wake up some day and smell the deciet and lies PSF have spun them, somehow I doubt it without a popular nemesis and people voting out of tradition and obligation and lack of choice.PSF are now just a ‘Grey’ party.
    Aldous Huxley was right, ‘we love of slavery’.

  • Dave

    Earman, you’re right. However, did he “openly” say anything derogatively before he resigned? No. So it remains a question of whether or not a salesman can sell a product if he doesn’t believe in it. He can. As Gerald Ratner found out, you can’t say that your product is “crap” and still expect the customer to buy it. 😉

  • Socialist

    Check out these videos from Peter Hadden on the impact of St. Andrew’s Agreement on working class politics.