“confused, narrow minded, ill-judged”

According to the Sinn Féin president, Gerry Adams, refusing to participate in a “grubby little sectarian carve up” in order to ‘Save Michelle!’, and her empty seat, is not “good for nationalists or for the peace process” [added emphasis]. Who knew?! Now remember, Gerry, “don’t reduce it to two debates – to what’s happening within unionism or what’s happening within nationalism.” You do remember that, Gerry? But what are you going to do?

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  • Cynic2

    Its in Gerrys hands. No double jobbing anyway so Michelle should stand down and let McKinney have a clear run

  • As SF do not take their seats in the Westminsters (where apart from reminiding British MPs about their current and historical imperial adeventures they would not have much influence) they should instead remind the Plain People of Ulster that the Tories are not to be trusted – having already gone back on their non-tribalism jibber jabber before they even got into power.

    As a mater of interest will any party be standing in all 18 constituencies now that we know that UCUNF have bottled out?

    Protocol warning: Please adjust your mindset
    For those of a particulalry tribal and/or sensitive disposition and those unable to judge an arguement on it’s merits please be aware that the term Unionist in my name is not an entrirely accurate reflection of my political views though it should also be noted that my paternal grandfather was a keen supporter of the Union and I am invoking the FIFA grandparent rule and am opting to call myself so. (I’m sure he would have approved.)

  • Seosamh913

    Without being facetious, is there dependable evidence anywhere which correlates attendance records at Westminster with benefits or their absence for specific constituences ?

    Has any serious analysis been undertaken on how time officially recorded as attendance at Westminster or Stormont typically breaks down between full/partial house sittings, committee proceedings etc ?

    I guess what I’m getting at is some form of objective indicative measurable standard which may give clues as to representative efficiency that we could kick around in relation to particular parties or individuals.

  • joeCanuck

    Interesting what you emphasized, Pete. I’m a bit weary of that being trotted out every time SF wants something or think they might be going to be shortchanged. When does this “process” end? I thought P&J was the final step or are we going to have to listen to this shibboleth forever?

  • LabourNIman

    Funny how sf working to get rid of the dup mla in west belfast and thus leaving unionists with no representation in the assembly is not considered secterian.. Anyway this talk of it being bad for the peace process better not be the shinners way of warning us things will get nasty on polling day if they don’t get their way. We all know sf ‘supporters’ like to throw their weight around when the sdlp canvas in certain areas.

  • Neil

    We all know sf ‘supporters’ like to throw their weight around when the sdlp canvas in certain areas.

    I would expect any stoops banging doors in my neck of the woods to get told to be F**ked, splitting the vote in F&ST; to ensure that a Unionist is elected for what? Your principles? Newsflash: none of the other parties have any; as such expect to whither and die as a party.

    I would be stunned if the SDLP do not lose support over standing in F&ST; to contest a seat that they haven’t a hope in hell of winning, and leaving an area with a majority Nationalist population with a Unionist (Tory ffs!) MP. So I wouldn’t necessarily blame SF ‘supporters’.

    I’m just a plain old Nationalist and I’d be glad to give any stoop door bangers the message.

  • Cynic2

    Neil

    Nationalist or racist? You’ll not have a Prod about you …even if elected

  • Henry94

    Cynic2

    Is he running as a Prod? I thought it was as a Tory. If he wins he will be the elected MP and nobody will have a problem with that. But he’ll have to win first and it’s going to be a tough election.

  • Henry94

    LabourNIMan

    Funny how sf working to get rid of the dup mla in west belfast and thus leaving unionists with no representation in the assembly is not considered secterian..

    Not unless you want quotas in every constituency. Assembly seats are vital and if you can get one you’ll go for it.

    What’s really sectarian in my opinion is calling everything the other side does sectarian and never calling it on your own side.

  • Henry94

    Just to be clear LabourNIMan that last sentence was not aimed at you but as a general comment.

  • Neil

    Nationalist or racist? You’ll not have a Prod about you …even if elected

    Utter, total tripe. He’s taking the Tory whip. He’s a Tory, I hate the Tories over all else, as is my right, and I’ll aim the same vitriol towards any Catholic who signs up to the UCUNF. I have no problem with those elected taking their seats, that’s more Unionism’s domain.

  • old school

    Neil, Sinn Fein have been in Coalition Government with the DUP for the last few years.
    That makes them Coalition PARTNERS, with a party more Right Wing than the Tories
    Why get all high and principled now?
    Anyway, the headline in the Guardian, 17th Feb states,
    “Sinn Fein can work with the Tories” Martin Mc Guinness.
    One wonders if your feigned anger is just to have a pop at the SDLP.
    “Do as we say, not as we do” is the election rally cry for PSF.”

  • Peter Fyfe

    This episode shows the lack of courage or principle in any of the three biggest parties. All they are interested in is a headcount. I considered lending a vote to Ian og. Not after their antics in FST. I know I don’t like Jim Allister’s politics but at least he says what he means. UCUNF were still claiming yesterday they were running in all seats. Once again the PR man does what he is good at. Decieving voters is this man’s main aim, he doesn’t even know where he is at.

    Neil

    A vote for SF adds up to a vote for the tories when the election is over. Do you want Cameron in power? Do you want the tories in power?

    LabourNIman

    I forgot how much the shinners loved Alex Attwood. They did gain an extra seat for themselves, is this sectarian? Is it not a primary aim of a political party to maximise that parties representation? Or would you suggest they hand it to ‘Im gonna smash Sinn Fein’ Dodds? Accuse them of sectarianism in asking for a pact if you want. However, gaining an extra MLA for themselves is normal politics.

    Cynic2

    I agree with you, these carve ups are totally disgraceful behaviour from all three parties. Shame on them.

  • Neil

    Neil, Sinn Fein have been in Coalition Government with the DUP for the last few years.
    That makes them Coalition PARTNERS, with a party more Right Wing than the Tories
    Why get all high and principled now?

    Sinn Fein are in a mandatory coalition with the largest Unionist political party here, this is the only way government could work. I see the DUP as backward and right wing but I fail to see what relevance that has? I don’t vote for them, they are the mandatory partners and if that changes to the UCUNF post election it won’t make a lick of difference.

    You see what I’m saying? Put another way, are you suggesting that my views are dependant on whoever Unionism decides to vote as it’s largest party, as that will be the party we will be sharing power with. So in essence my views will be decided by the Unionist electorate?

    If they vote DUP then I’m in a coalition with the right wing DUP or if they vote in the UUs then I’m in a coalition with the right wing UUs. So you seem to be saying my own point of view will be dictated to me by Unionism.

    My principles haven’t changed, I’ve hated the Tories all my life, being old enough to remember Thatcher and her antics.

    Anyway, the headline in the Guardian, 17th Feb states,
    “Sinn Fein can work with the Tories” Martin Mc Guinness.
    One wonders if your feigned anger is just to have a pop at the SDLP.

    Yes, and? Again I fail to see the relevance. Sinn Fein can work with anyone. That won’t change the fact that I detest the Tory party and all it stands for. Again to underline the point, SF will share power with the largest Unionist party here, and if that party changes for example, from the DUP to the UUs, that doesn’t mean my views will automatically change.

    “Do as we say, not as we do” is the election rally cry for PSF.”

    Simple really. The stoops can stand aside giving Nationalists one more seat and getting the possibility of a clear run in SB, or they can not, costing Nationalists one more seat. In general terms the whole electoral pacts thing is odious, but then that game was started by the Unionists/Tories so what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. As it is the SDLP are working to gaurantee the Tories a seat. That doesn’t sound one bit nationalist to me.

    A vote for SF adds up to a vote for the tories when the election is over. Do you want Cameron in power? Do you want the tories in power?

    Sorry, don’t get it. How does a vote for SF equate to a vote for the Tories? Do you mean in F&ST; as that vote will detract for the stoops showing? In which case the exact same argument could be flipped around to say a vote for the stoops is one for the Tories. Unless I’m misunderstanding you, which is a distinct possibility. Long day.

  • old school

    Mandatory?
    So PSF cannot say No to Coalition with the DUP in a British Parliament?
    They say No to Westminster on “principles” but are forced to go to Stormont?. Get up the yard ffs.

    Sinn Fein can work with anyone?
    Yet succesive Ard Fheis, rules out coalition with Fianna Fail, fine Gael etc. Stop spoofing.

    I hate the Tories, blah blah, !!
    But I’ll support my leadership working in conjunction with the Tories in administering British Rule in part of Ireland.

    Neil, your party left their high principles at the door when they swanned into Stormont in 98. Now they reassure themselves with radicalism by berating elderly SDLP canvassers at their doors.
    Eases the pain I suppose.

  • Peter Fyfe

    I think the SDLP if they won the seat would, like they have always done before, take the labour whip. In the election of a government, it is really a vote for labour. Sinn Fein refusing to take their seats bars them from supporting a Labour government. I realise why Sinn Fein don’t take their seats, that is another debate. Denying Labour that vote means the Conservatives need one less seat to form the Government. If Sinn Fein stood aside for the SDLP in both constituencies they could help towards keeping out the tory party and ensure nationalist representation if, as they claim thats what they are interested in. Though this would mean they couldn’t claim their expenses which is probably their bigger concern. I suspect to many of the shinners the politics of whitehall is not their concern. I certainly don’t want the tories in power though and Sinn Fein could show some maturity and defeat Maggie’s party at the same time. I don’t believe in pacts to keep Catholics or Protestants out of power. One to keep the tories out of power would get my thumbs up. We would even be embracing ‘Mainland’ politics but I am quite sure not in the way some people hoped for.

  • Michaelhenry

    there is no oath at stormont old school, there was before 1998, but the people of the 32 counties voted for the good friday agreement, which means, oath out sinn fein in.

  • LabourNIman

    ‘I would expect any stoops banging doors in my neck of the woods to get told to be F**ked’

    not that what I was referring to. Google it if you have any doubts.

    ‘Not unless you want quotas in every constituency. Assembly seats are vital and if you can get one you’ll go for it.’

    completely agree. Don’t get me wrong I was glad to see the back of dodds. However, is what the dup and uup not similar by maximizing their vote?

    I think we all need to realise SF will likely pull every secterian/traitor/back to the bad old days line they have out of their book. We all need to pray that it is just talk and we won’t be faced with another self made crisis from the shinners come June.

  • Peter Fyfe

    Two unionists parties deciding to stand aside altogether to make sure a nationalist is not elected is quite different from Sinn Fein trying to maximise their own representation. You really are clutching at straws there.

  • LabourNIman

    Peter Fyfe – peter I’m really REALLY not and you know it

    How does SF making sure their vote is spread evenly to assure maximium SF MLA’s (notice how I said SF and not nationalist) not the same as unionists making sure their vote is spread evenly to assure a pro union MP?

    There are casualties in every election, Dodds lost her seat when she was out maneuvered by SF, Gildernew will lose hers as she has been out maneuvered by unionists.

  • Peter Fyfe

    LabourNIman

    How exactly will the unionist vote be spread evenly? Surely that would suggest more than one candidate, does it not?

    You are clutching at straws by comparing the two. One is a pact to keep nationalists out of the seat, not abstentionist MPs as some may claim. Two parties, one of which branded the other’s leader a Liar, decided to withdraw amd find an ‘independant’ candidate who was not a catholic/nationalist to run in the seat. How does this compare to one’s own party trying to increase there own representation?

    The main point is looking after one’s party is to be expected. Withdrawing your party from a seat decreases your representation but makes sure one of themmuns don’t get in.

    The most obvious differece, is that in one, SF increased their own representation in a PR system. The other situation is where two unionist parties ensure their representation does not increase and the nationalist representation does decline. If you don’t see a difference, I suggest an optician.

  • Pete Baker

    Joe

    It’s all part of the ‘great’ fabrication that it is demanding we collude in.

    To the benefit of one political party, alone.

  • redhugh78

    old school,

    when has sf consistently ruled out pacts with ff etc, the opposite is the case in fact.

  • Neil

    PF,

    thanks for explaining.

  • Neil

    Mandatory?
    So PSF cannot say No to Coalition with the DUP in a British Parliament?
    They say No to Westminster on “principles” but are forced to go to Stormont?. Get up the yard ffs.

    As Michael Henry says, the reason they don’t take their seats in Westminster is the oath.

    Sinn Fein can work with anyone?
    Yet succesive Ard Fheis, rules out coalition with Fianna Fail, fine Gael etc. Stop spoofing.

    They can work with the DUP, then they can work with anyone.

    I hate the Tories, blah blah, !!
    But I’ll support my leadership working in conjunction with the Tories in administering British Rule in part of Ireland.

    I’d correct that sentense to read ‘in conjunction with the British Government’ and I reckon that’s a fair statement. Least worst option. But the Tories haven’t won yet, try not to get too carried away counting the chickens. I’d support the Shinners working with the lib dems too if needs be.

    Neil, your party left their high principles at the door when they swanned into Stormont in 98.

    LOL. Yes Sinn Fein were highly principled just prior to ’98. After that their morals took a real nose dive.

    Now they reassure themselves with radicalism by berating elderly SDLP canvassers at their doors.

    Now now, first of all I’m not ‘Sinn Fein’, not an activist or a party member. Secondly it speaks volumes that you automatically see the SDLP shuffling round the doors in their slippers and dressing gowns, I’m sure not all of their people are old.

    Eases the pain I suppose.

    Yes it’s been 12 years of hell. Dammit, sarcasm never works on a message board.

  • Vangaurd of the Revolution

    As referenced in the Irish News yesterday, the SDLP are so anxious to prove they are beyond ‘tribal politics’ that they will potentially throw away two nationalist seats (F-ST and SB).

    On top of this, there is a degree of bitterness being projected from the SDLP over SF’s decision to back David Ford for the P&J post. Although I strongly agreed with Margaret Ritchie when she stated on UTV, that ‘if SF are so concerned with the nationalist people, why then did they provide the DUP with a veto that prevented any nationalist holding the position of P&J Minister?’, the SDLP need to do a little growing up.

    In reference to the ‘sectarian head count’ element to the SDLP’s decision to reject the offer of discussion from Gerry Adams – both SF and the SDLP have been forced into a position by the two Unionist parties, backed by the Conservatives in which they need to work together to prevent two Nationalist constituencies potentially falling away to Unionism. It was not SF or the SDLP that initiated these blatantly sectarian electoral pacts.

    So Margaret, get off your high horse and at least discuss the possibility of a pact, especially if it prevents the Thatcherites gaining influence.

  • fathomline

    Vanguard, you are either in the tribal headcounting business or you are not. The SDLP settled this issue decades ago – they don’t do tribal. In any event Sinn Fein was not looking for a deal on some sort of agreed unity candidate, they wanted a swap – South Belfast for Fermanagh South Tyrone. Look at that again – into the pot they would put the 2800 votes Alex Maskey got in South Belfast in 2005. Now look what they wanted to take out – Tommy Gallagher’s 7,200 votes in FST. And look at the practical outworkings – once the word got out that SDLP was talking to SF in South Belfast there would have been a unionist unity candidate within the hour.

  • heatherb

    I found this story on UTV interesting SDLP snubs SF pact seen on UTV mediaplayer for Wednesday 14th April given that the record of most of the SDLP MPs attendance is almost abstentionist at present with Alister being 7th from bottom out of 643. Maybe someone can look at the rest of the figures.