“But I am sure I’m not in isolation.”

The newly Independent Cllr John Dwyer’s resignation from Sinn Féin was noted previously, and he has been talking to the Irish News about the party’s electoral amibitions here and there. From the Irish News report

Mr Dwyer suggested that the party would need to focus less on promoting personalities – after its drive to keep deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald in the European parliament failed – and concentrate on developing policies designed to help those worst affected by the recession. “They need to put aside their ambitions to be in government on both sides of the border at once. If Sinn Fein got into [the Irish] government, they would end up like the Green Party, presiding over cuts and as the junior party having little or no say over policies,” Mr Dwyer said.

The town councillor revealed that he had threatened to leave the party six weeks before the election but “didn’t want to damage emerging candidates’ campaigns”.

“After that the party headquarters pulled back completely,” he said.

“There was zero contact. They don’t like voices of discontent. But I am sure I’m not in isolation.”

He doesn’t appear to have been asked about that Task Force for Unity..

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  • kensei

    First up, he’s wrong. Policy formation is important, but it is equally important to get personnel in place that are appealing, and if they actually get into position, capable. The former evidenced by Toiréasa Ferris running close in South, the latter should perhaps be evidenced by the disaster in education when that bit is misisng.

    Second, there is a hint of this really being about “I don’t like where the party is going”, partly hinted at by the accusations that the likes of Mary Lou and Pearse Doherty aren’t street enough. Which is fine and is his right but the pops at personalites are a touch unworthy. He is right that SF would have been crushed had they been in government after the last election, and that is soemthign they should look out for.

    Third, candidate threatens to leave, has left before and has a pop at the leadership and younger candidates and is suddenly surprised when party goes a bit cold. You’d never have saw it. I’ll take at his word he didn’t want to rock the boat pre-election, but we’ll guess it probably didn’t hurt having the party pay for the campaign.

  • John O’Connell

    This latest resignation is even more evidence, if any was needed, of Gerry Adams’ tenuous grip on power in Sinn Fein. His leadership is the reason why Sinn Fein have done very well north of the border, but his same leadership has obviously hampered their ambitions south of the border. His lack of knowledge on secular issues like economics has ensured that their share of the vote has remained at the same levels as it was five years ago in the midst of a revolution in political preferences and dynamic political change.

    In order for Sinn Fein to do better in the south, they need to get rid of Gerry Adams, and this is where their dilemma lies. In order to maintain the levels of support they’re used to in the North, Gerry Adams must stay as leader. For Sinn Fein, the All Ireland party it is therefore now ironically a choice between north and south.

    Either way, they will face disappointment. Get rid of Adams and the North will decline without any guarantee that the south will increase in support. Keep Adams and the North will hold but this means that they have given up on the south, an essential plank in their strategy, and if their strategy is at an end, then Sinn Fein support in the North will slowly begin to decline too.

    It’s a no-win situation for Sinn Fein from now on in. We are in effect witnessing the beginning of the perpetual decline of Sinn Fein. This latest resignation indicates that it will be death by a thousand cuts.

  • Henry94

    The question for Sinn Fein in the south is what do they have to offer a person working in the private sector who is not particularly interested in the north. Hard work on the ground will only take you so far. The Workers Party before them and the Socialist Party after them have shown that it can win a certain vote but not enough to make a big breakthrough.

    The Socialist Party scored against Sinn Fein by contrasting its rhetoric in government in the north with its radical pose in the south. Why not look at polices that would actually be feasible. There are many things that could be changed in Ireland if someone had the political seriousness.

  • Sean Og

    I’m sure there were few out side the party who had ever heard of John Dwyer before he resigned.

    However things aint good. Did anyone read Jim Gibney’s annalysis of the election results in today’s Irish News? I can’t post a link but it was pathedic!

    I hope that isn’t the way the leadership see things.

  • John O’Connell

    Henry94

    Why not look at polices that would actually be feasible.

    That’s what they were doing. But as you say, nobody believed them because most people know that Sinn Fein haven’t a clue when it comes to the south and that when they are in power as in the North they are no more than a conservative party.

  • John O’Connell

    Sean Og

    Bigger things in today’s Irish News for Sinn Fein to get worried about. A letter from a Blanketman suggests that the hunger strike was all about using the men’s deaths as fodder for a political campaign.

    Devastating would be a complete understatement for those who were in any doubt about the double dealing that surrounded these men’s deaths. If I was in Sinn Fein now, I would hang my head in shame for having launched a political challenge to the SDLP by deliberatly using in a Machiavellian sense ten dead hunger strikers. It is evil most profound.

  • Mary Loser

    Did anyone read Jim Gibney’s annalysis of the election results in today’s Irish News? I can’t post a link but it was pathedic!

    I hope that isn’t the way the leadership see things.

    Posted by Sean Og on Jun 18, 2009 @ 08:54 PM

    Read Daithi McKay’s similar drivel

  • Link to above
  • Henry94

    John

    A letter from a Blanketman suggests that the hunger strike was all about using the men’s deaths as fodder for a political campaign.

    I hope he is not trying to claim the hunger strike and the blanket protest were somehow non-political.

    Everybody know at the time that the struggle in the prisons was part of the overall struggle. The IRA knew it, the British knew it and nobody knew it better than the prisoners.

    It was about insisting that the whole struggle was political and not criminal. The fact that the prisoners were all released shows how they won the argument hands down. Of course to many for whom the Agreement is not enough the struggle itself was a failure. That is a debate that Sinn Fein should not shy away from.

    The struggle was in some respects its own achievement. It made the six-county state impossible but it did not advance the objective of Irish unity. No armed struggle can ever do that and it was a mistake to apply the ideas that worked in Cork in the 20s to the north in the 70s.

    De-coupling Irish republicanism from armed struggle is a necessary part of SF’s political development. But that will require a level of openness and honesty that seems beyond the party right now. By guarding their armed struggle flank from the dissidents they are losing the attention of everybody else.