Sinn Féin to sell water (this weekend)?

Erm, at their Ard Fheis this weekend that is. The water is from Ulster, but on the Co Monaghan side of the border. do customisable bottles, and Sinn Fein have developed their own ‘brand’ for the weekend. Níor bhíodh sé chreidte agam dá nach raibh sé leite agam…

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  • Mark McGregor

    This is doing the rounds:

    When apples still grow in November
    When Sinn Fein are feeling a bit twee
    We will sell bottles of sparkling water
    And its then that our land will be free

    I wander her hills and her valleys
    And still through my sorrow Ill see
    Another way to make dodgy money
    And sure only our rivers run free

    I drink to the death of her manhood
    To the people who would rather have died
    Than to see money made off the backs of
    All the people who held Eire with pride

    Where are you now when we need you
    What burns were the flame used to be
    Sure we’re sitting in meetings in Stormont
    Doing lunch and having cups of tea

    How sweet is this water but we’re crying
    How Shinners defend it with pride
    How fragrant the rose but its dying
    How gentle the wind but it sighs
    What good is in youth when its aging
    What joy are in eyes that cant see
    When there’s POWS’s still, and trials
    But sure, our water will set Ireland free

  • scarecrow

    The water story was in the weekend papers too.

  • David Crookes

    You can imagine what the headline will be in the Protestant Telegraph. Fear of an electoral wipe-out causes SF leaders to make water.

  • Mark McGregor


    Here it is

  • The Blow-In

    They’ve been taking the piss for years and now they’re selling it back…?

  • David Crookes

    According to rumour, the stuff is already being sold in the P & J Hotel, Nottingham.

    Maybe SF is trying to attract votes from the Teetotal Unionist Voice.

  • The party leader may attempt to turn the water into wine at the Ard Fheis…..

    The clár includes motions on the Irish language which are way out of date. One motion calls for the withdrawal of Circular 0044/2007 which demanded Gaelscoileanna teach English to junior infants when best practice in immersion education dictates otherwise. The problem is the Circular has been withdrawn for at least a month now, albeit there is a lingering controversy over a stipulation in the circular withdrawing 0044/2007 allowing parents to demand English classes for their junior infant. The motion makes no mention of this but treats 0044/2007 as current still.

    Where is the party’s Roinn an Chultúir, the section supposedly tasked with overseeing Irish language issues, or is too northern based to be up to date on current issues south of the border?

    More on this, as Gaeilge, on iGaeilge….

  • scarecrow

    cheers for that link mmcg

  • Nordie Northsider

    Personally I miss the closed Ard-Fheis sessions with interesting presentations from masked men. They could call that ‘uisce faoi thalamh’.

  • RobertEmmett

    i love the idea that the socialist party that is SF has turned a god given resource into a marketable commodity.

  • Mark McGregor

    127. This Ard Fheis reaffirms that Sinn Féin firmly opposes proposals to introduce water charges

    West Limerick Cumann

  • David Crookes

    Edmund Spenser said it all.

    Ne thence the Irishe Rivers absent were;
    Sith no lesse famous then the lest they bee,
    And ioyne in neighbourhood of kingdome nere,
    Why should they not likewise in love agree,
    And ioy likewise this solemne day to see?
    They saw it all, and present were in place;
    Though I them all, according their degree,
    Cannot recount, nor tell their hidden race,
    Nor read the savage countries thorough which they pace.

    There was the Liffy lolling downe the lea;
    The sandy Slane; the stony Aubrian;
    The spacious Shenan spreading like a sea;
    The pleasant Boyne; the fishy fruitfull Ban;
    Swift Awniduff which of the English man
    Is cal’de Blacke-water; and the Liffar deep;
    Sad Trowis that once his people over-ran;
    Strong Allo tombling from Slewlogher steep:
    And Mulla mine whose waves I whilom taught to weep.

    And there the three renowmed Brethren were
    Which that great gyant Blomius begot
    Of the faire nimph Rheüsa wandring there:
    One day, as she to shunne the season whot
    Under Slewbloome in shady grove was got,
    This gyant found her . . .: she in time forth brought
    These three faire sons which being thenceforth powrd,
    In three great rivers ran, and many countries scowrd.

    The first the gentle Shure that, making way
    By sweet Clonmell, adornes rich Waterford;
    The next the stubborne Newre whose waters gray
    By faire Kilkenny and Rosseponte boord;
    The third the goodly Barow which doth hoord
    Great heaps of salmons in his deepe bosóme;
    All which, long sundred, doe at last accord
    To ioyne in one ere to the sea they come;
    So flowing all from one, all one at last become.

    There also was the wide embayed Mayre;
    The pleasant Bandon crownd with many a wood;
    The spreading Lee that like an island fayre
    Encloseth Corke with his divided flood;
    And balefull Oure late staind with English blood;
    With many more whose names no tongue can tell.
    All which that day in order seemly good
    Did on the Thames attend and waited well
    To doe their dueful service, as to them befell.

  • Greenflag

    ‘Bottled water ‘

    The biggest scam since sliced bread :(. A litre of the stuff costs more than petrol.

    Simple experiment – Go to your tap water in the kitchen fill glass with water . Calculate the cost depending on whether you live North or South or in the UK . It’s probably about .00001 of a euro or pound . Now compare to bottled water .

    Would you buy a Big Mac for 27,000 Euros or 30,000 pounds ?

    That’s effectively what you are doing when you buy ‘bottled’ water .

    A complete waste of money . There are people alas who will buy bottled air if they’re told it’s been purified and has added nutritive vitamins added which increase longevity are anti oxidant and keep the skin free from wrinkles and blemishes 🙁

    I’ve always been suspect of SF’s grasp of economics . I guess all that’s missing is the sight of some of these ‘genii’ walking on water like yer man did in Israel 2,000 years ago ?

    I’ll admit that ‘bottled’ water can be convenient if one is a jogger or has a long drive to make etc etc but even then a little preparation and a decent container and the use of a fridge can save money 😉

    I’ll assume SF are selling the ‘river run free’ brand for a decent ‘profit’ ? I suppose next they’ll be selling own brand cigarettes and UI beer ?

  • Alan

    Didn’t the DUP use to sell chocolate with a DUP wrapper- that Lion logo. I think it was North Down did it to raise funds.

  • Greenflag

    David Crookes,

    Edmund Spenser said it all.

    No he did’nt . He left out the Poddle and the Tolka 😉

  • Mark McGregor
  • Driftwood

    I suppose next they’ll be selling own brand cigarettes

    They do Greenflag, tax-free.

    And Diesel as well, although they take out the ‘green’ in it beforehand.

    For the more discening you can buy ‘La Mon’ firecrackers to start your dinner party of with a bang.

  • Greenflag

    mark mcgregor,

    ’27. This Ard Fheis reaffirms that Sinn Féin firmly opposes proposals to introduce water charges

    West Limerick Cumann”

    Did’nt Limerick have a Soviet mini state back in the 1920’s ?

    Anyway it makes sense to have water charges .People waste water needlessly and there’s no incentive to repair leaky pipes etc etc if it’s ‘free’. Water charges would help to maintain and improve the water supply which is in everybody’s interest.

    There’s no ‘free lunch’ nor is there ‘free water’ except maybe on the big rock candy etc etc 😉

  • jack

    Green Flag.
    Dont go giving them ideas ,they have been selling Fags.Drink,and Fuel for years .In more recent times ‘security’has been given out FREE .

  • Greenflag

    Driftwood ,

    Thanks . As a non tobacco non diesel user I would’nt know 😉

    And I’ll pass on the La Mon ‘firecrackers as I’ve absolutely no discernment at all at all ;))

  • old school

    Their sponsors won´t be pleased at this.
    Coca Cola has paid several donations to the “crazy, radical” kids of Sinn Fein.

  • Rory Carr

    While it is perfectly reasonable, Greenflag that water charges should be levied in order to maintain the source, purity, infrastructure upkeep and supply of water to the public it is quite reprehensible that the control of the supply is handed over to commercial concerns in order that the few might profit at the expense of the many for access to a natural resource.

    In Britain the cost to the householder for water supply has increased astronomically since privatisation, outstripping inflation many times over and all for no discernible improvement in supply whatsoever although labour costs associated with provision have been reduced dramatically due to “rationalisation” (i.e. massive job cuts).

    The end result is: no improvement in supply; greatly increased cost to the consumer; increased unemployment; fat profits for investors; fat bonuses for executives and large ones all round for the fatcats.

    Oh.. and on Sinn Féin’s marketing of bottled water…what can I say? Much like the water itself – tasteless.

  • Spotty Muldoon

    Dodgy fags, dodgy drugs, dodgy fuel, dodgy security, now dodgy water. Gas masks on boys, they’ll be taking the very air next.

  • Scaramoosh

    Original Shergar Horsehair Brushes will also be on sale at the event

  • David Crookes

    Greenflag (#13), you are right. Bottled water is a rip-off. So is bottled apple-juice, and so is bottled grape-juice. I’m talking about the absurdly overpriced vulgar-genteel juices that taste of perfume and come in narrow green bottles. You can buy excellent low-price apple-juice and grape-juice if you want. They come in cartons, and have no obvious additives. The trouble is that weemen don’t like them because the containers in which they come don’t ‘LOOK nice’. It never occurs to the said weemen to pour the juices into elegant jugs before bringing them to the table. Years ago I gave up trying to understand some weemen. Real corn on the cob if you’re a man is mature, well-cooked, and garnished with butter and black pepper: but weemen prefer to ‘garnish’ some elaborate dish with ghastly little embryonic albino cobs that have the texture of old wallflower-roots and no taste at all. ‘Oh, but they LOOK lovely,’ say the weemen when you remonstrate. This is what happens when you give weemen the vote.

    Bottled water is an example of wasteful folly that belongs in the Museum of Lunatic Decadence along with fatuous expensive sunglasses.

    Well said, Rory (#22). Sell off the bad inefficient left-wing state assets, get rid of most of the workforce, then charge the public more and more every year so that a few good efficient right-wing persons can become very wealthy.

    When I think back fifty years to the Belfast Gas Works and look at the gas supplies that we have now, I could weep.

    Has the whole idea of a public service died a death? In my wildly optimistic moments I hope that our MLAs will get together and start working to create some genuine public services in NI. We’re small enough for it to be possible, if the will is there. The people who run our present bus and train services are diligently trying to do a really good job: but we need to give them a broader canvas to work on.

    [The following tale is true. Two persons whom I know were seen in a certain kind of restaurant. The apple-juice waiter brought a narrow green bottle of apple-juice to their table in a silver cooler. Each of the two persons sampled the apple-juice, nodded gravely, and pronounced it to be good. The bottle was taken back to the kitchen, and later served with their meal.]

    What is a good meal? It all depends on whether you prefer beautiful reality to beautifully presented absurdity. My idea of beautiful reality is a full-sized fry and a pot of tea in the Airport Road Cafe, Dundrod. When the revolution comes we’re going to get rid of multitudinous forms of nonsense. Bottled water is near the top of the list.

  • joeCanuck

    Your reference to La Mon is pretty tasteless. I can only hope that no relatives or survivors read it.

  • Rory Carr

    “When I drinks whiskey, I drinks whiskey, when I drinks water, I drinks water.”

    Barry Fitzgerald (with a shudder) to Maureen O’Hara when she offers to dilute his whiskey in John Ford’s, The Quiet Man

  • Mark McGregor, excellent adaption.

    Did you have advance notice of this story (a leak) – how long did you have to work on it?

    Was there some reference to the cost of water yesterday when you were discussing Chris Donnelly’s playing away from home with the BT?

    Excellent story, but with the UUP making a holy show of themselves over Hillsborough has anybody heard any rude noises in Wee Reggie’s direction emanating from David or Owen?

  • FitzjamesHorse

    I am not sure why journalists are getting so worked up about Sinn Féin-IRA selling water.

    Journalists never buy their own drinks and if they do……they claim it back in expenses.

  • TellMeMa

    I use filtered tap water, but have tried bottled water in the past. The best fizzy water is Highland Spring, the worst is Evian (IMHO) which tastes as if it has a touch of toothpaste in it. There is a Welsh brand which comes in an interesting blue bottle but tastes like SE England tap water (ie Ugh). The best still water is from Norway and is supposedly from melted glacier – anyway it has a lovely taste and costs 64p a litre from Tesco.

    I wonder what SF’s bottled water will taste like? I’d like to try it. Hope my local Tesco or Waitrose will be selling it.

    This is really rather funny. It’s like in the 1990s when an Australian bank and an Irish bank did a joint venture to take over a British bank (can’t remember which) – sort of the colonials striking back at the Empire.

    I’m glad SF isn’t going in for legal sales of ciggies and grog. Selling water sounds so pure, don’t you think?

  • TellMeMa

    Getting back to colonials and Empire (and slightly off topic) Thames Water which provides water for London and elsewhere in south east England is owned by an asset-stripping Australian company. I think it’s called Macquarie private equity or something.

  • joeCanuck

    We have heard reports of some “Republicans” selling other smoking material

  • TellMeMa

    Joe: so have I, but it hasn’t been rolled out (so to speak) as an official branded product at a party’s general meeting.

  • joeCanuck

    “rolled out”. Very witty, TellMeMa.

  • Hibernicle

    I mightn’t live to see a united Ireland but at least I’ve lived to see united Ireland water.

  • Greenflag

    Rory Carr ,

    ‘It is quite reprehensible that the control of the supply is handed over to commercial concerns in order that the few might profit at the expense of the many for access to a natural resource.’

    I agree Rory .There are somethings which should never be ‘privatised ‘ and water is one of them and as you say the British experience has been nothing to write home about .

    Water is after all life itself . No water no life .

  • joeCanuck

    I remember the privatisation of water in the UK very well. The top executives went from being civil servants earning 50 – 100k per year to being masters of the universe paying themselves million dollar salaries.

  • I look forward to this trend being taken up by the other parties. DUP own-brand Schloer, perhaps? TUV nuts? Alliance Party smelling salts?

  • joeCanuck

    Someone should definitely sell rose coloured glasses.

  • Indeed, Joe. Or even blinkers.

  • Greenflag

    David Crookes

    ‘Years ago I gave up trying to understand some weemen.’

    Never tried to understand just obey -it’s less life threatening . Just keep saying ‘yes dear , the narrow green bottle looks enchanting ‘;)

    ‘This is what happens when you give weemen the vote.’

    Before the brickbat feminine brigade arrives to hang you from the next lampost I’m reminded of an article by some academic who researched elections going back to before the ‘weemen folk ‘ got the vote . It appears that there has been a discernible rise in the number of ‘better looking ‘ male candidates being elected to office . D’Israeli or Gladstone would never have been elected nowadays;) A good photogenic exterior appears to be a better vote catcher than actual policies for many -not all I hasten to add 🙂

    ‘ Has the whole idea of a public service died a death?’

    Good question . One would think that by now given the ‘economic experiences of the past say 60 years that the politicians in the UK , USA , Ireland etc would have got the balance right as between public and private sectors . We know that a 70% public sector economy does not work well and results in economic stagnation due to the state ‘crowding’ out the private sector . Likewise we know that a State with a 10% public sector is likely to be not just chaotic (think Haiti, Somalia , ) but also have poor educational standards , non existent health care and a gangster culture which would make NI look like a utopian field of perpetual peace 😉

    It can’t be rocket science can it ? On the other hand when we look back at the recent Wall St collapse and the depredations inflicted on the world economy by the rocket ‘economists ‘ and banking genii ? I’ve come to the conclusion that the so called economic ‘experts’ are related to voodoo merchants 🙁

    The UK has swung back and forth between extremes in the 50’s , 60’s , 70’s and 80’s . The late 90’s supposedly brought the ‘third way’ . During Margaret Thatcher’s time public expenditure was supposed to be cut and it was for a while . By the time she left office it was creeping back up again as it tends to do relentlessly in every democratic society.

    And now the UK is facing the same trade off again albeit with different suits facing the electorate.

    A full sized fry -Ah yes – Thick cut salty bacon , black and white pudding , pork sausages , thick sliced Brennan’s loaf bread fried (one side ) in lard and dried crisp finish with three over easy large eggs and sliced fried tomatoes (for the veggie /fruit portion) all washed down with a mug of tea . 🙂

    Heaven or heart attack on a plate ?

    Alas for me it’s now only a Sunday morning ritual 🙁 The weemen folk’s orders 🙁

  • David Crookes

    Greenflag, when I hear what you say about weemen and food, I can believe in the possibility of an agreed future for all of us. Maybe we should have a Lard Fheis in Dundrod.

    Amen to what you say about economic experts. Many of them have been so politicized that they don’t really believe anything. If they were as good as they let on to be, the whole world wouldn’t be in such a terrible state of chassis. Am I being stupid, or is there a dearth of robust macro-economists at present? We need a new Keynes to put down the baigles of the credit industry.

  • joeCanuck

    We need a new Keynes to put down the baigles of the credit industry

    Better still, a firing squad.

  • David Crookes

    ‘…..a firing squad’ (#18).

    Big fries and firing squads! There’s still a few real men left in the pan-nationalist front. Now I’m starting to feel more hopeful about this country. I’ve run up against the frozen-faced bone-headed Healthy Living Police more than once in my time, and learned one thing from the experience. They are not interested in your good health. They are determined to stop you having pleasure. Above all, they want to control you. Know what I’d give them, guv’nor? A firing squad. That’s the only language these losers understand.

    I had that Nigella Lawson in the back of the cab once.

  • joeCanuck

    If you are calling me a nationalist you’ll be hearing from my solicitors. It’s either libel or slander.

  • David Crookes

    Sorry, Joe, it’s an old unionist joke from the days of the New Ireland Forum. A pan-nationalist is supposed to be a person who wants to live in a country where he can be sure of getting a big fry at least once a week.

    Bit of a change for this year’s Ard Fheis. Free bar day and night, but all you’re allowed is bottled water.

  • wee buns

    Then there are those who prefere to discredit homeopathy……

  • wee buns

    …er…if the water is not medicated then, why not?

  • FitzjamesHorse

    Perhaps David Ford will turn up at the Sinn Féin Conference.
    There are some who think Ford can turn Water into Wine.
    Personally I doubt it.

  • Issac Ball

    Politics and democracy Sinn Fein style, why the continuous sniping from this blog ?
    Why no slagging match for the splits happening in the Derry Republican Networks for Unity ? Old dogs of war falling out – shucks ! Again ?
    Only our rivers run free ? The last time I paid my rates bill it sure wasn’t cheap for that cup of water to make my tea !

  • joeCanuck

    Got it, David. Funny.

  • Alias

    While this thread is a good example of turning water into whine.

    Incidentally, privatisation of water supply is an EU directive (Water Framework Directive), and as EU law takes precedence over national law, nations no longer have any discretion as to whether they want water to be free or not. In addition, the “polluter-pays” principle means that all users are polluters and all users pay.