“I have no intention of not being the party president.”

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams has confirmed the previously noted reports that the party is to hold a “significant activist meeting” on Monday 10th August to “review the current situation, assess our strategic, political and oranisational progress and then set out a programme of work for the coming months.” Although one item, in particular, would appear to be off the agenda.

The veteran republican yesterday insisted he welcomed debate and suggestions on the direction of the party but said there was no question of him not being leader. “It isn’t an issue at this time. I’m the party president and sin é (that’s it),” [Gerry Adams] said. Asked if he would still be leader in five years’ time, he responded: “I have no intention of not being the party president.”

Alternatively, as previously noted, he is “trapped by circumstances that are arguably of his own making”.
Gerry Adams also commented on what Toiréasa Ferris had to say.

Mr Adams refused to be drawn on his own opinions on her claims but said there was a debate going on within the republican movement which was different to any debate in the Dublin-based media, which he said was biased against the party.

“It isn’t for me to adjudicate publicly on what is said by any of the people who are bringing these suggestions forward.

“Toireasa clearly is one of that raft of younger activists who are very passionate about their views, who are very genuine and sincere about their republicanism and are part of what is going to be the future for the party right across the island.”

Of course, “Mr Adams [also] insists that the Sinn Féin project remains on track.”

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  • slug

    So to goin a phrase, he plans to “go on and on”.

  • kensei

    Or he decliens to open speculation about his leadership or announce a departure date that would effectively kill it, much like Blair did with his.

    This is all extremely standard stuff.

  • Rory Carr

    ‘I’m the … president and…that’s it,” … Asked if he would still be leader in five years’ time, he responded: “I have no intention of not being the … president.”’

    I cannot see any eyebrows being raised if Barak Obama or Nicholas Sarkozy, or any other leader of a political party were to offer his thoughts on his future political intent using much the same words as Gerry Adams. Indeed it is much what we would expect of any serious political leader. To do otherwise would be seen as a sign of weakness.
    And it ought not need to be pointed out that the only ones who have any right to say whether or not he should continue as party leader are the members of the party which he leads. Presumably if they should feel less than happy with him as leader at some future date he will be replaced.

    What is further disconcerting about this thread and many before in the same vein is the smug condescension with which they portray the possibility of a party’s review of it’s tactics, strategy and organisation as though this necessarily indicates a poor state of health when rather it is those parties that stagnate without such self-examination that are in most danger of decay and least able to progress. Remember the Ulster Unionist Party?

  • DC

    President for Life.

  • George

    He should have taken a leaf out of Charlie Haughey’s book when he was asked the question and replied something along the lines of:

    “I would like to model myself on those Chinese leaders…”

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Grizzly, as they say in Munster, is a ligind.

  • John O’Connell

    Sammy

    Hardly a legend. Perhaps in his owm mind and in the minds of those with appallingly low standards for their heroes and who rejoice in anyone who rebels with a gun in his hand.

    [No spamming – edited moderator]

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    John,

    best not to argue with the plain people of Munster.

  • John O’Connell

    And it ought not need to be pointed out that the only ones who have any right to say whether or not he should continue as party leader are the members of the party which he leads. Presumably if they should feel less than happy with him as leader at some future date he will be replaced.

    I think it would be remiss of him to wait until then to go. That’s the John Hume approach, and while Sinn Fein is a very different party, for Gerry Adams to wait until they have to drag him off the chair would be to wait too long in the case of a party which is becoming increasingly more vulnerable every day.

    They really should be thinking of trying to bed someone in the good days before they face much tougher trading conditions. Taking the SDLP approach is fraught with danger, particularly in view of the weakness shown by Sinn Fein south of the border in recent elections.

    As usual Gerry Adams is delusional when it comes to understanding politics. He may even think that his electorate want him per se. He fails to understand that it is his effrontery to the unionists that garners the votes and that has a definitive life span that we’re getting close to the end of.

    It’s all down hill from then on, and Gerry, like John Hume and others in the SDLP, is failing to notice that his writ has been served. His time is up and, like John Hume, he has already surpassed his ideal stepping-down point. That was 2007, after the disastrous Dail election, and the dip in the North’s Europoll was indicative of a public who know that Gerry Adams has served his usefulness.

    The public know that he is not sending the signals that annoy the unionists that he used to send and the failure south of the border is indicative of a party that has shot its bolt, so to speak. If he doesn’t scare the unioinists any more, what use is he to Northern Nationalism.

    His time is gone. He might hold the votes a bit longer, like John Hume, but the show is over.

  • slugger censorship

    [i][No spamming – edited moderator][/i]

    Baker: Pot, kettle, black

  • the mentalist

    [i]the dip in the North’s Europoll was indicative of a public who know that Gerry Adams has served his usefulness.[/i]

    What does that tell you about Mark Durkan’s leadership then? A bit of an indictment, I’d have thought.

    [Play the ball – edited moderator]

  • Rory Carr

    Interesting that those who are most opposed to Adams continuing in the Sinn Féin presidency happen also to be those who are most opposed to Sinn Féin’s success. I wonder why that is?

  • slugger censorship

    Not only are you drunk on power and utterly fixated with Adams but you’re a magician too! Just watch those posts disappear… marvellous

  • oldruss

    I’m just a casual observer from far across the pond, but it seems premature at the very least, to be writing off Sinn Fein or Gerry Adams.

    What is the current state of politics in the six counties?

    The Unionist monolith which once controlled the Six Counties as tightly as any fiefdom, and was only mildly irritated by Paisley’s DUP for many years, has, nonetheless, split into two camps over the GFA.

    Ironically, it is now Paisley’s DUP which sits along side Martin McGuinness in the executive, and Sir Reg Empey’s UUP has been forced into a rear guard action including a marriage of convenience with David Cameron’s Conservative Party.

    Unionism’s twins have more recently split even further with the rise of Jim Allister’s TUV, throwbacks to the “good old days” when nationalists were barely acknowledged if at all.

    With three heads now on the former Unionist dragon, the dominant nationalist party, Sinn Fein, lead by Gerry Adams, is on the verge of becoming the largest single party in the Six Counties; and Martin McGuinness is on the verge of becoming the First Minister.

    Further devolution of powers (read: policing and justice) will only enhance the responsibilities given to Sinn Fein. All the while, Gerry Adams continues to make the political decisions as president of Sinn Fein, which brought Sinn Fein into power, and which, I believe, will keep Sinn Fein in power well into the future.

    As the Chinese philosopher Lao-tzu put it, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Clearly, Gerry Adams and Sinn Fein have taken a thousand steps along their journey, but have a thousand more yet to go.

  • percy

    Rory,
    There’s something captain-ahab-ish about those folks who are hell-bent
    on pursuing the elusive white-whale that is gerry adams.

    Not sure if its good for the health though!
    Call me Ishmael.

  • Sean

    Okay you are Ishmael

  • percy

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ishmael_(Moby-Dick)
    great read sean, its arguably about what happens to those who become obsessed with pursuing the-other ( Gerry Adams for e.g) as Demon, rather than face their own demons.
    Anyway hope its a valuable contribution to thread, and on-topic.

  • John O’Connell

    oldruss

    I’m just a casual observer from far across the pond, but it seems premature at the very least, to be writing off Sinn Fein or Gerry Adams.

    [play the ball – edited moderator]

    My feeling is that the CIA are interested in keeping the Irish peace process alive at the expense of the SDLP because Adams is perceived as being crucial to the peace process, and the peace process is perceived as being crucial to the international efforts to resolve difficulties in other trouble spots like the Middle East and so on. Hilary Clinton gave the game away last week on the news when she suggested that Northern Ireland was key to resolving other conflicts because “it sent a signal that dialogue works”.

    I also think that you’re misguided in your analysis and that by trying to bolster up Gerry Adams you’re acting irresponsibly.

    I think you know that and I think the very thought of the USA backing Sinn Fein after 9/11 will fly in the face of any Christian values you may share with the rest of humanity.

    I mean the only reason you’re giving your half baked lament for Gerry Adams is because it’s good for the USA. Not good for humanity. Not good for Christendom. Good for good old USA, the only country that matters.

    I can tell you that you have a lot to learn if you think you’re going to treat the true heroes of this conflict, the SDLP, in this fashion.

    Get behind me, Satan, as someone once said.

  • cynic

    When you have walked off an electoral cliff in the Republic you do remain leader all the way down

  • Sean

    LOL Percy I know the opening line to Moby Dick I was just playing the straight man

  • fin

    “There’s something captain-ahab-ish about those folks who are hell-bent on pursuing the elusive white-whale that is gerry adams.”

    Which makes Pete Baker the entire Japanese whaling fleet.

  • Pete Baker

    Guys

    If you’re going to comment, try to address something of the content – either of the post or of others’ comments.

    Rather than producing strawmen from wherever you’re producing them.

  • :-(

    Attention everyone:

    please keep within the parameters of debate which Pete Baker has so carefully crafted. If I see so much as one word that is off-topic then I will not hesitate to report it. How dare any of you exercise your right to free speech and freedom of thought by going off-topic for one moment on a discussion related to Mr. Baker’s unrelenting obsession with Gerry Adams. Disgraceful. Think on people, think on.

  • cynic

    I am not writing him off.

    I admire what he has done but I am saying that he and a number of others in other parties are political millstones that we need to remove to allow us to collectively build a new politics – and that needs to be a managed transition.

    As it stands there’s no depth of talent behind the great bearded one and that is dangerous. He’s human like the rest of us, the political lifestyle is hard on the body and who knows what will happen. Politically too, in Ireland he’s damaged goods now.

    It will soon be time to go but I can understand why he’s doing a Thatcher. Politically they actually have a lot in common and one day soon he will face his Poll tax unlesss he’s wise enough to get out first, reputation intact.

  • John O’Connell

    It will soon be time to go but I can understand why he’s doing a Thatcher. Politically they actually have a lot in common and one day soon he will face his Poll tax unlesss he’s wise enough to get out first, reputation intact.

    Well said.

    But you know that it is not realistic for him to believe that he will get out with his reputation intact. His poll tax is the ten hunger strikers and he will be severely damaged by this before or after he goes. He can go now and await the flak and hope that they go easy on him when the shit hits the fan because he’s retired or he can attempt to manage it as the Sinn Fein leader.

    Managing something as seriously damaging as the deliberate using of your brothers to help your entry to politics would be just crazy, and people might have understood it ten years ago when Sinn Fein still were perceived as having real principles but now they’re, at their own admission, just a political party and thus will be judged as one. The hunger striker issue will be regarded as the lowest of low sleaze in the history of mankind. If I was him I would try to make a run for it while I still can and hope that people take pity on me when the shit hits the proverbial fan.

  • Sean

    Yes John unproven and seemingly unprovable allegations about the deaths of 6 irish men will undoubtedly be regarded as the low of the low

    I mean surely its a far more horendous act then the Armeniain extermination, Japanese treatment of prisoners, 16 million dead Ukrainians purposefully starved by their own government.

    These acts are obviously over shadowed by 6 wee prisoners who embarked on a self imposed protest against the government that was torturing and murdering them

    I am not Disparaging the death of the hungerstrikers but really the lowest of the low of mankind? It is not even close, mankind as proved itself remarkably capable of evil

    [edited moderator]

  • Pete Baker

    Point of information

    All “removed” comments are currently in limbo.

    If anyone has a problem with their comment being removed contact Mick. I’ll abide by whatever decision he makes on the matter.

    In the meantime.

    No sock-puppets.

    Keep it civil.

    And play the ball.

    The alternative is to close commenting completely.

  • barnshee

    Has all the hallmarks of the football manager who receives” the wholehearted support of the board” and the “every confidence in him” speech just before he is forced to walk the plank.

    Problem is he has got to stick it out a long as possible to maximise the years credits for his (index linked) UK pension ( he won`t get his old bar job in the Duke of York back). WSOCIETYHO SAYS THE BRITS DON`T HAVE SENSE OF HUMOUR

  • Oh my God!

    Baker, the Gestapo trained you well. The Iranians could learn a thing or two of you on how to stifle debate and eliminate free speech.

    “Keep it civil. And play the ball.” – says you, while standing back and allowing the usual rubbish to stand from O’Connell in which he describes a man as the Antichrist. Get a grip.

    How about answering the questions I posed earlier? Or are you going to run away as usual? Keep within those parameters!

  • Pete Baker

    A quick point before I, reluctantly, close comments on this post.

    It’s about the kit, guys.

    Not the kaboodle.

  • pinni

    In other words, president for life. Btw, the ruination of many a good country.