The people are not stupid!

I do not live in West Belfast nor am I a native of the area, though I consider that I know the area quite well. Now, at the last assembly election Sinn Féin won 69.9% in West Belfast, a considerable democratic mandate.

In the context of a few conversations I have had recently with young people who are solidly anti-Sinn Féin and I have come across some attitudes which whilst understandable in terms of being anti-Sinn Féin, I find incompatible with democratic values.
The attitude can be expressed thus, the people are ‘blind, brainwashed and stupid’. They cannot ‘see’ what Sinn Féin is and therefore Sinn Féin’s mandate is void.

I disagree. The people’s choice must always be respected – until the next election. People are not stupid, they are not blind, they are not ‘brainwashed’ in my view.

Of course some will argue that I am ‘blind, brainwashed and stupid’.

However, I detest this level of patronising disrespect for a community especially if it is in the name of the ‘community’, a word, like ‘culture’ I try to avoid as we have robbed them of all sense and reason.

I have also come across the view that the ‘community sector’ is in constant (and understandable?) conflict with politicians. I for one however, am glad that some control is played on this sector by democratically elected politicians and I make no apologies for it, the person I vote for is who speaks for me. Getting elected is more work than getting a job in the ‘sector’.

And given that 69.9% of the vote goes to SF, I would expect a similar percentage of SF supporters to be employed in that sector and in my experience, non-SF supporters are very well represented in the ‘community’ sector.

I ask those whose priority is to lessen Sinn Féin influence – what do they want? All political influence removed from the ‘community’? How would lobbing operate? How would we ensure that the weight of democratic opinion is respected?

Or do we simply have to wait for people not to vote Sinn Féin?

In my view, if the ‘community sector’ is to rule the roost then democracy, however imperfect, would be mitigated in favour of the rule of the ‘intelligentsia’. This is a wrong and dangerous road to go down.

On another small point, in much of the traditional Irish language movement (and the ‘sector’) there has traditionally been a tendency to prioritise ‘keeping the Shinners’ out even to the extent that capable and dedicated activists are kept out of organisation and to the effect that effectiveness is sacrificed. I think it is a bit silly to say to 69.9% of the people of West Belfast, look we don’t want you, but hey, I am so blind I don’t even realise I am brainswashed into thinking I am not stupid!

As a final point I often hear ‘but the people have no choice’! Nonsense, nonsense, nonsense.

I have often suggested voting for the SDLP as a devil’s advocate, something I would never do, apart from a preference for an individual candidate I personally respect, that idea is scoffed at as being simply ridiculous – but 12.2% did just that at the last election.

The people have a choice, vote for some-one else, stand for election, form a political party, form a pressure group. Look at Éirigí for example, I disagree with their politics but at least they are organising.

The one thing I would never advocate is spoiling your vote, which in my view is pointless and morally wrong.

  • BigBoss

    Iv lived in west belfast for the past 4 years, but when it comes to politics …

    the people vote SF in droves simply because there is no one else, they have been doing it so often now it is just second nature to them. ask them why, ask them policy, ask what SF have done for them to improve life quality, they cant really answer.

    the most frequent response is simply they have done more than the SDLP have. every month or so i see a new SF event, some sort of meeting, propaganda ruse, and the people do flock to it. Eirigi attempt the same game, with limit sucess.

    the SDLP just ant anywhere to be seen, why? i dont know, do they really exist in WB? how do they still manage to 12% of the vote. they use the excuse no-one would be able to beat SF in WB. thats just a cop out and cover for a bad organisation and a weak MLA.

    dispite this they are still the best option for opposition to SF for nationalists, tho they really need to start engaging with the local people, they need to play the propaganda game, organise meetings etc etc.

    A couple of months ago i seen Ruane get a very angry response from the WB crowd, no respect was given to a SF Minister, their mask is starting to slip, the people are finally starting to wake up to the weaknesses of SF, but without someone out there to take over, the SF propaganda machine will manage to trick them into thinking the gaps or filled (or more likely convince them they are not SF fault, its worked all these, why change!)

  • Earnan

    Gael

    You’re blind and brainwashed

    Cheers

  • WAISAUV?

    Out of interest, since you detest “patronising disrespect for a community especially if it is in the name of the ‘community’, a word, like ‘culture’ I try to avoid as we have robbed them of all sense and reason”, what are you feelings about those who engage in squalid sectarian murder under the figleaf of gangster nationalism? How does bombing, killing and torturing, explicitly in the name of a unitary, socialist, 32 county Irish Republic, then, actually deciding that you’re content after all to draw your British salary publicly whilst sitting in a partitionist assembly at Stormont rate under your scheme of testables and detestables? I’m genuinely interested because you used a fairly strong word – detest – for a fairly vague thing (fundamentally harmless even): “patronising disrespect”. So I ask again: what do you think of people who murdered, and perhaps even worse still, murdered in pursuit of goals they’ve been the first to betray? Do you detest those murderes more, less, or roughly the same those unnamed folk who are engaging in unspecified ‘patronising disrespect’?

  • CURVEY

    “I do not live in West Belfast nor am I a native of the area, though I consider that I know the area quite well”

    So you know, Twinbrook, Polelgass, Lagmore, Lenadoon, Turf Lodge, Ballymurphy, New Barnsley, AndyTown!!!!

    The SDLP don`t exist in West Belfast and are not involved with the community on any issue apart from berating them for thinking for themselves and voting sdlp.

    SF have a mandate because of the work they do, not always successful but at least they`re about when you need them. Compare this to the stoops when you`ll only see them bused in at elections.

    Racists always start with the line I`ve a colored friend, but….

    Just as you`ve started by saying you don`t live in the area but are ready to lecture US!

  • On another small point, in much of the traditional Irish language movement (and the ‘sector’) there has traditionally been a tendency to prioritise ‘keeping the Shinners’ out even to the extent that capable and dedicated activists are kept out of organisation and to the effect that effectiveness is sacrificed.

    Can you give some hard evidence and examples of that?

    On your wider point, I’d really wish people would start challenging more what’s been fed to them by their “community” representatives, but that’s not something confined to the Sinners in W Belfast. Democracy survives and thrives on that constant questioning but the principles of “open society” is still an alien concept in much of Northern Ireland.

  • Mark McGregor

    GGN,

    I’m incredulous that any blog claiming to be informed on the community sector in West Belfast and including the line:

    ‘I for one however, am glad that some control is played on this sector by democratically elected politicians’

    Ignores the purges being carried out across that sector of any person that has left or does not support SF. An issue I will be revisiting with detail in the New Year.

    An absolute disgrace and something anyone with even a tiny relationship to the sector is more than aware of.

  • slug

    People in West Belfast can vote DUP, UUP/Conservative, Alliance, SDLP, Green, and SF.

    If young people are disillusioned with the political establishment in West Belfast that is hardly surprising-thats the way young people generally are.

  • Mark McGregor

    Adds: in relation to my above, I am actively investigating the topic of job control in the community sector and will be writing a piece on this later – currently addressing 6 projects and over 15 jobs. If anyone wishes to contact me on the subject click my name below for my email address (confidence and discretion are assured)

  • Mick Fealty

    GGN,

    Sinn Fein’s vote in West is truly impressive and is not equalled by any other party in any other constituency. I’m inclined to think that the 12% SDLP vote is testimony to the fact that given a choice, roughly that proportion will always vote the other way. Neither the party locally or within the wider Northern Ireland context is giving any clear message as to why people should for it rather than SF.

    The difficulties (intimidation, physical attack) faced by SDLP politicians many years ago have receded; but so has the party’s local organisation. One may be a corollary of the other; but that will hardly help it turn the ship around from heading off the brink.

    I went out with a small campaigning group from the SDLP during the last Assembly election last year and it felt like they were simply looking for a needle in a haystack.

    Most of the sympathetic noises they got (from those who chose to answer the door) were from disillusioned Republicans who, it seemed to me, were unlikely ever to vote again, never mind voting for the SDLP.

    The clientism that you mention has long been a factor of life in the West. In the late seventies and early eighties the authorities tended to drive funds through those that met with the approval of the church. Now it tends to be members of the Republican movement who have a critical say in whomsoever gets substantial funding (though I suspect that that’s being curtailed somewhat because of fresh demands from PUL communities).

    IMHO (and, for what it is worth), neither approach has been particularly healthy for genuine community development. It is one of several regrettable outcomes for a community that felt itself at war for the best part of 25/30 years.

  • Gael gan Náire

    I like your post as it raises some thoughtful issues, although i failed to understand you culture point. Of course any governing party or one that gains a major of votes in an area will try and provide jobs for their members, both within NGO and local authorities, what good are they is they are unable to do this? For there is no one better to get their policies implemented on the ground and if successful bring in more votes in the long run, than their own local activists.

    Unionists set up the orange state to achieve this and all the southern and UK parties have been doing it fore decades and more. It is the nature of the democratic political game.

    At least in the US there is little pretense about this, when power changes from one party to the other it is political musical chairs throughout the US body politics with a great many of the members of the losing party getting their cards.

    SF gain the mass support of those who live in West Belfast because what they offer is attractive to that electorate. People who blame the electorate or call them dumb or pliable do so because they are unable to offer a viable alternative that can gather enough votes.

    Rather than wine they should get real, accept that it is not possible to change the electorate and get some policies or create an organization that can gain mass support. Not always easy for sure, in politics some times one has to endure until better days.

    I differ with SF over many issues but it is plain daft to claim that they do not represent the views of a large percentage of the West Belfast community, not 100% for sure and many of SF voters will disagree with them on this or that, but come polling day they see them as the best of the bunch and vote for them yet again and that is how this democratic game works.

    happy new year to all.

  • Mick fealty

    The difficulties (intimidation, physical attack) faced by SDLP politicians many years ago have receded; but so has the party’s local organisation. One may be a corollary of the other; but that will hardly help it turn the ship around from heading off the brink.

    I wouldn’t be so flippant about those difficulties (intimidation, physical attack) for the SDLP. The reality is that hard-core communist/fascist tactics were used to eliminate the SDLP as a force in West Belfast. They tried those tactics in Derry too, but the Hume factor enabled the public to believe the SDLP when they said they were being attacked. For many years their tactics backfired on SF/IRA.

    The Bible has an answer for West Belfast’s problem when it suggests that a leader will come who sends out a powerful delusion to the people and they believe that he is a bit of a God.

    That leader is the Antichrist, of course, and there are material links between that Antichrist and the Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams (i.e. his name comes out at 666 on a reasonable alphabet and so on, see my website).

    But the reality is, as the thread reveals, many people believe that the people of West Belfast are not seeing straight. They are deluded because of the powerful spin of the Republican Movement. Of course, the amusing aspect at the core of the powerful delusion is the fact that the leader of Republicanism is himself deluded, and cannot see straight. How else can he convince others of his near divinity if not for the fact that he is a fraudulent trader, trading on an old message that is in fact a version of the Old Testament (that is, the one “Adam” was founder member of. Adam and Adams, the story of Adams and Eve.)

  • loljohn

    john did u get any enlightenment from the deepak chopra book on jesus that you bought today

  • cynic

    “The attitude can be expressed thus, the people are ‘blind, brainwashed and stupid’. They cannot ‘see’ what Sinn Féin is and therefore Sinn Féin’s mandate is void.”

    As a Unionist I think that the angst within parts of the Nationalist community is delicious.

    For example, after 30 years telling us that “the Unionists are ‘blind, brainwashed and stupid’ and just cannot ‘see’ that they should really want to be Irish, so their mandate is void and can be overthrown by violence” why are SF surprised when that is turned back on them?

    After all, now they are de facto Unionists.

  • New Yorker

    What percentage vote for SF because in some way their individual or group income is due to SF?

  • Reader

    Mick Hall: Of course any governing party or one that gains a major of votes in an area will try and provide jobs for their members, both within NGO and local authorities, what good are they is they are unable to do this?
    I think this is a bad thing, not a good thing. But, to see your boundaries, how far should it go? Should the largest party in a constituency appoint all of the ‘community’ representatives? Should the largest party in a council appoint all of the local government workers? Should the largest party in an assembly appoint the whole civil service? Or do you believe in proportionality instead? Do you not see any merit in forcing lawmakers in government to work in an environment where their power is restricted to lawmaking; and does *not* extend to patronage, party control of every publicly funded entity, and to control of the streets by the party?
    Oh – wait – aren’t you from the hard left? Mystery solved.

  • The Raven

    Mark

    I generally don’t agree with your politics, but I applaud your investigation of community sector employment. I look forward to reading what you have to say.

    I will also look forward to hearing what funders (particularly CFNI) and bodies like NICVA have to say.

    One question though – are you purely dealing with one geographical area? Or have you spread the net a little wider? There are some parts of Derry, the Bible Belt, and the North Coast that would merit closer inspection…

    Good luck.

  • NCM

    What about eirigi? I know they’re just getting started but they seem like a solid bunch with lots of potential. As an American I’m an outsider to all this [I’ve visited West Belfast once in my life] and am just curious to hear others’ views on this.

  • loljohn

    People may not realise this but you are one of those spies who keep an eye on the enemies of the IRA/SF. You obvioulsy were there in Easons, Derry, today when I bought the book, and were perhaps keeping an eye on the shelves where my books are on sale. For the uninitated, and it is pathetic, but these people keep moving books in front of books hostile to Adams & co including mine and several others including lately Henry McDonald’s Gunsmoke and Mirrors.

    Perhaps you care to let the other bloggers know why you spy on me so much. Could it have anything to do with my website, eleven books and constant SF antagonism in the local media?

    Could it be because the Antichrist Gerry Adams needs protecting? See my website. They don’t see it as anything other than a serious attempt to destroy them.

  • frank

    ‘the SDLP just ant anywhere to be seen, why? i dont know, do they really exist in WB?’

    I can recall seeing an article that said the SDLP had only 24 members in West Belfast.

  • cynic

    “What about eirigi? I know they’re just getting started but they seem like a solid bunch with lots of potential.”

    Solid as in between the ears?

    And potential for what?

  • Mark McGregor

    The Raven,

    I’m starting by examining an area and issue I knowish. If others can add to that or expand on it my inbox is open, or they could write up the piece themselves and forward to Mick or me, or it may add to the comments once I get the i’s dotted and t’s crossed – this one is going to take time and pass the desk of Slugger friendly ‘briefs’ before it goes up.

    btw: thanks to the two readers who have already given further insight.

  • Mark McGregor

    NCM,

    ‘What about eirigi? I know they’re just getting started but they seem like a solid bunch with lots of potential. As an American I’m an outsider to all this [I’ve visited West Belfast once in my life] and am just curious to hear others’ views on this.

    What do you want to know about them? I stuck my toe in their water before deciding to stick with independence. They do exactly what it says on the tin afaics – socialism and republicanism, hard work, no guns.

  • nic

    I hope I understand your point gnn – It seems your issue is with those commentators who imply the people of West Belfast (ahem “the community”) aren’t really violently and totalitarian inclined marxists at all, it’s just they have no alternative?

    Well for what it’s worth: I personally have no problem tarring the people of West Belfast who vote SF with the same brush I tar the party with. You makes your choices and you lives with the consequences.

  • NCM

    Mark McGregor: “What do you want to know about them? I stuck my toe in their water before deciding to stick with independence. They do exactly what it says on the tin afaics – socialism and republicanism, hard work, no guns.”

    Sorry I wasn’t clearer. What I meant was, what do you folks think about eirigi’s prospects as providing a viable and non-fringe republican political alternative to SF in a place like West Belfast (i.e. within the context of this particular posting above, why wasn’t more said about eirigi?)? By “potential” I meant potential for political/electoral success. By “solid” I didn’t mean thick-skulled but quite the opposite: dedicated, intelligent, and sensible.

  • Frank

    Ah, but, Frank, it depends what you’re looking for in a party.

    24 decent people with backbones is better than 666 cronies without a backbone between them. If the quality of public representatives is anything to go by, Sinn Fein have a very much reduced pool of quality people to select from than the SDLP.

  • Not Paranoid if they are out to get you

    How incredibly creepy it is that lolJohn was followed and his movements in a bookshop noted here on Slugger to let him know he is being watched. What an intolerable society this can be.

    Creeps.

  • Still creeped out

    Sorry should be that lolJohn creepily followed John O’Connell and noted his movements at a bookshop here on Slugger as some form of intimidation.

  • reader

    Please do not fuck with what I say, what part of the following do you not understand “Unionists set up the orange state to achieve this and all the southern and UK parties have been doing it for decades and more. It is the nature of the democratic political game.’

    I never said it was a good thing, I simply pointed out, whether it be the centre left or centre right parties in power, this is the way the democratic system works within the UK, Ireland and especially the USA.

    Why are you so obseesed with my politics, do you feel if you insult me you will have no need to debate further, how pathetic is that, it is not the left who have turned the democratic system into who can pork barrel the most, not least because we have not been near the levers of power in this part of the world for 20 plus years.

    If I was to say what I believe, that we need far more legislation to regulate this type of behavior into history, the likes of you would come back with some crap about hard left socialism and the market knows best, or some other child like nonsense.

    Why not deal with the points I make which you disagree with, why the need to throw insults about that are not based on anything I have written or said. I despair sometimes, at times the level of debate on slugger has degenerated into the type of debate you can hear on the average English County Council. Still some of you guys will see that as progress, a nice little world where everyone knows their place, in your dreams!

  • no way

    While there is the likes of big fat cat Alister Mc D and big fat cat Carmel Hanna fronting the sdlp many like me who would rather vomit on the ballot paper than vote sinn fein just wont vote.

  • Reader

    Mick Hall: Please do not fuck with what I say
    Mick, I quoted the exact part of what you said that I took exception to: “Of course any governing party or one that gains a major of votes in an area will try and provide jobs for their members, both within NGO and local authorities, what good are they is they are unable to do this?” In my view a good party would not try, and a good system would prevent them from succeeding.
    As it happens, I also object to “It is the nature of the democratic political game.” It may indeed be the nature of the political game – at some times and in some places – but it is un-democratic.
    Far better that incidents are highlighted, abuses corrected and the guilty named and shamed. That is the proper job of political activists (pissing into the tent), a free press, and anti-discrimination legislation.

  • “Far better that incidents are highlighted, abuses corrected and the guilty named and shamed. That is the proper job of political activists (pissing into the tent),”

    reader,

    No, really, thanks as over all these years i have never worked that one out for myself, It needed you to remind me of my duty as a political activists. All those articles I wrote for the Blanket and other publications raging against the anti democratic conduct of the mainstream parties, including SF must have been penned by someone else.

    All those demonstrations and marches I spent my time on raging against the things you have now mentioned must have been some other being. As to the endless hours I spent at boring meetings? thank god it was not me but some other poor fool.

    Oh and I called my blog Organized Rage for no better reason than i am a fool who rages against no one and nothing in particular.

    Happy new year old son.

  • tim

    ‘While there is the likes of big fat cat Alister Mc D and big fat cat Carmel Hanna fronting the sdlp many like me who would rather vomit on the ballot paper than vote sinn fein just wont vote.’

    I suppose it depends on how many proprties one can buy in South Belfast without catching the attention of the ondinary voter!!

  • Reader

    Mick Hall: All those articles I wrote for the Blanket
    I remember the Blanket – most memorable was an article someone wrote spinning for the Shankill Road bombers. They called the shop a chip shop, and described an utterly unbelievable getaway plan. Hands up who thinks the IRA would have chosen to be the last people out of a busy shop onto a busy street after giving a bomb warning?
    As for articles complaining about SF control of the community sector, that was mostly Anthony McIntyre himself, or alternatively other dissidents who just wanted a slice of the action. If I recall, you were usually concerned at SF having abandoned any meaningful pretense of being on the left wing.

  • cut the bull

    If eirigi stood in council elections it may get a few councilors elected and it would provide an alternative to republicans who have either stopped voting or vote SF even if doing so is going against their better judgement.

  • Still creeped out

    Sorry should be that lolJohn creepily followed John O’Connell and noted his movements at a bookshop here on Slugger as some form of intimidation.

    Thanks for your support.

    But their spying is indicative of the fact that I have the future of Sinn Fein in the palm of my hand. In fact, it is now over for them and they just haven’t realised it. They’re like headless chickens marching aimlessly around the farmyard.

  • “As for articles complaining about SF control of the community sector, that was mostly Anthony McIntyre himself, or alternatively other dissidents who just wanted a slice of the action.”

    Reader,

    If you truly believe that you are an idiot or bigot; and I am finished with you as you have little understanding of what you are writing about.

    Enjoy your life.

  • cynic

    “If eirigi stood in council elections it may get a few councilors elected”

    …… want to put a bet on that one?

  • cynic

    “They’re like headless chickens marching aimlessly around the farmyard.”

    For some of us, that was always part of the gameplan. It’s called them into democratic politics but they are slowly realising that, if your sole aim is a united Ireland and you cannot possibly attain that aim in say a current lifetime, then you really have to find a new ethos to focus and motivate your members.

    SF still haven’t articulated that. I am not even sure that they realise that they have to.

    By the way, where is the leadership these days? Is it me or do they seem almost invisible?

  • Reader

    Mick Hall: Enjoy your life.
    Well, it’s been a good year so far. I do miss the Blanket though (RIP 2008). When two wings of Republicanism are sniping at each other it’s the best chance you’ll ever get that someone will tell the truth. Marion Price was always very frank, especially about her electoral activities, don’t you think?

  • unemployed

    Mark,

    As a victim of the ‘Jobs For In-Line Provos’ employment scheme, I too welcome your investigation and look forward to your report.

    In particular, I would be very interested in finding out about the EU Peace I, II and III jobs and how they were filled.

  • NCM

    Cynic answering Cut the Bull: “If eirigi stood in council elections it may get a few councilors elected”

    …… want to put a bet on that one?”

    ***

    Well, why wouldn’t eirigi do well? That’s been my question from the start. Ideologically, it would seem they should nicely fill the void left by SF. As an outsider, I’m surprised there’s not more of a mass defection from SF to eirigi by serious republicans. Is the counterveiling consideration that defecting from SF means losing certain perks, etc. meaning there are costs in switching? Surely the goals expressed by eirigi — creation of a 32 county socialist republic — are classic republican goals a la James Connolly, and the means adopted are political protest and advocacy, perfectly legal methods of resistance. Why isn’t eirigi already sweeping through the north with success?

  • Dave

    “SF still haven’t articulated that. I am not even sure that they realise that they have to. ”

    The only people who matter in any process are those who hold the sovereignty, i.e. the British government. They have advocated one policy since partition: that those who oppose the legitimacy of British sovereignty in the partitioned territory must reverse their opposition and accept the legitimacy of British sovereignty. As Margaret Thatcher stated in her memoirs that her own actions as prime minister were consistent with this aim, “the minority should be led to support or at least acquiesce in the constitutional framework of the state in which they live.” Northern Irish nationalists have now been brought to a situation wherein they have reversed their opposition and accepted the constitutional legitimacy of the state. Of course, Margaret Thatcher was well aware that a wayward people are best led to a position by their own leaders. In colonial practice, this is the role of the ‘strongman’ who is a puppet of the imperial regime but who is not seen as such by his own people. In Northern Ireland, the role of the strongman of Sinn Fein/PIRA was pivotal in persuading the followers of the leaders that formally legitimising British sovereignty and formally renouncing their own right to self-determination as a disenfranchised part of the Irish nation, as directed by the consistent policy of the British government since partition, actually advanced the interests and principles of Irish nationalism rather than adjectly abandoned them.

    How could Sinn Fein retain the support of their followers if they were seen as puppets of British rule? They’d be useless to their puppet masters if that occured. They don’t have to “articulate” any position that their supporters might see as contrary to their selfish interests. They only have to sign treaties on the dotted line when the ‘inalianable’ rights of the Irish nation to self-dtermination are downgraded to cultural aspiations and when the legitimacy of British rule is formally aceepted by those who fomerly rejected it. All they have to do is keep their mouths shut on the constitutional issues and squabble instead about domestic, internal issues with the agreed internal settlement. And the more they squabble about those domestic issues, the more ‘republican’ they are seen to be by their supporters and the less adavance is ever made on such issues, i.e. Sinn Fein promoting the Irish language is a guaranteed way of ensuring that the langauge is never supported by the state (thereby affirming that the Irish nation is formally seperated from that state). It’s a win-win for their puppet masters.

  • cut the bull

    cynic you are again living up to your name. If eirigi stood in council elections I would bet that it would get some councillors elected. It could have councillors in the very near future if it was to win the support of ex SF coucillors who have resigned and retained their nseats as independents.

  • cut the bull

    Im not 100% sure on eirigi’s rukes and regulations in relation to the Assembly as it would be interesting if it could persuade Gerry Mc Hugh to join and become a Socialsit Republican oppostion MLA.
    It would be entertaining to say the least.

  • Jimmy Sands

    I imagine eirigi would do very well in student union elections.

  • cynic

    “If eirigi stood in council elections I would bet that it would get some councillors elected.”

    Ok that’s democracy so if they can start on the right foot of political activity as opposed to viuolece that gives them a 30 year start on Sinn Fein anyway…

    So by all means put your bet on. But first do have a close look at them.

    Having one member capable of organising some riots in Lurgan isn’t a party machine and, as some Republicans commented here after the fiasco on the day of the Welcome Home RIR parade, the eigri crowd were such a shambles that they gave republicanism a bad look. Dirty jeans and PJs are so 1970s.

    And all that is before you get to their policies which seem to just be a retread of the proceedings of the 3rd conference of the Communist Party in 1921.

    ‘All property is theft’ wont go down well here while so many are struggling to pay off their mortgages