“Sinn Féin just haven’t made any impact at all.”

When Gerry Adams announced his intention to leave west Belfast for a bid to hold onto a seat in Louth, to be vacated by Arthur Morgan, the Sinn Féin president was keen to paint the move as his dutyin this time of crisis in our country“.  Or, as Martin McGuinness would have us believe, “to play a central role in the battle for Ireland’s economic recovery”.

As the Irish Times noted

Sinn Féin sources insisted last night that Mr Adams’s decision to seek the Louth nomination was as a result of chance factors, namely the decision of Mr Morgan not to run again, the economic crisis and the possibility of an election soon.

And in apparently co-ordinated statements the [soon to be erstwhile?] Sinn Féin Dáil Group leader, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin, stressed his involvement “in the discussion of this proposition”.  While the Northern Ireland deputy First Minister, and party colleague Martin McGuinness, noted that “I have obviously spoken with Gerry about this decision…”

Obviously…

No word, yet, from the Sinn Féin Vice-President, the unelected Mary-Lou McDonald. 

In August last year Adams had anointed McDonald as “the [Sinn Féin] leader in the south”, admitting at the time that “we’re looking to build a southern-based leadership”.

And in a short report in today’s Irish News Brian Feeney identifies the real reason for the sudden switch

“This is a change in direction for Adams because he is facing the failure of the Sinn Féin project in the Republic after the 2007 election.  They should have done better,” [Brian Feeney] said.

“Sinn Féin just haven’t made any impact at all.”

Mr Feeney, the author of Sinn Féin: A Hundred Turbulent Years, said the party was without leadership in the republic.

“They were pushing Mary Lou McDonald. She didn’t make it,” he said.

“They are going nowhere.  Adams wants to take charge.  Nobody knows what they stand for.”

And who has been skippering the boat as it headed towards those rocks?

Replacing the electorate you represent might look like clever move, Gerry, but you’re still a northerner.  And if “the battle for the heart of Sinn Féin is lost…”

On the upside, from now on the Sinn Féin President can be in permanent opposition to the government.  Unlike his previous position in the Stormont administration…

, , , , , ,

  • joeCanuck

    Are we about to see hubris in action?
    Remembering Adams’ contribution on economic matters in the debate at the last Dail election, I wouldn’t put him in charge of the petty cash.

  • HeinzGuderian

    At last….the good people of West Belfast have something to celebrate !!!! 🙂

  • Aldamir

    I am quite surprised that Gerry doesn’t take a pop at one of the forthcoming Donegal by-elections……

  • Seamus Clarke
  • Dan

    Washed-up has-been who refuses to recognise the existance of the border moves across the border in order to prove it doesn’t exist?

    Moves from one state that hasn’t done that badly in the recession to one that has effectively failed in order to convince the much stronger government to join the failed one?

    Moves from a position where he could be the leader of the next government to one where he would be lucky to be leader of the 4th most powerful party?

    …what?

  • J Kelly

    All I hear is how badly Gerry Adams preformed on economics at the last election, if you remember he was warning against giving developers a free run and arguing that the banks needed tighter controls and the poor should get more from the celtic tiger. He was derided by McDowell and FF. Please reflect on who was right. Mc Dowell and the PDs are no longer with us, the people spoke, and FF have bankrupted the country with free champagne in a tent at the Galway Races.

  • Anon

    Replacing the electorate you represent might look like clever move, Gerry, but you’re still a northerner.

    So is Mary McAleese. And she’s not the first Nordie to play a part in the politcal life of the republic. I was unaware it was a barrier to an Irish citizen making a contribution. New depths in snide being plumbed here.

    HJonestly, go look for Gerry’s beard in a constellation. Everyone will eb ahppier, not least yourself.

  • Neil

    Agree with J Kelly and Anon. Gerry is cast as being economically illiterate by the very people who have destroyed Ireland’s economy, and having increased his vote share (albeit marginally in the ’07 election, following the 4% vote increase in the election of ’02) has failed utterly in the South.

    The truth as I see it is slightly different to the usual anti SF crap we’re treated to above: SF’s vote share continues election on election, to increase as it has done for some considerable time while Gerry’s views on the economy are considerably less off the wall than those of the people responsible for damn near bankrupting Ireland.

    I suppose for some a political party: a) is succesful if it agrees on economic policy with the folk who’ve destroyed the economy and b) is succesful if it reduces it’s share of the vote instead of increasing it as SF have done. That’s the through the looking glass message one might get if they read the usual suspects frantically failing to drive the kinfe home yet again with another Gerry is evil post. Comical.

    If the UUs or SDLP replicated SF’s success south of the border in terms of increasing their vote they’d be over the moon.

  • RepublicanStones

    Gerry has made an impact in the south. As Joe noted, twas during the debate on the economy. Rather like when a car impacts another car !

  • Séamus Rua

    “Replacing the electorate you represent might look like clever move, Gerry, but you’re still a northerner.”

    Might have some impact in some parts of the south – but unlikely in Louth given its position on the border.

    It is a risky business this, strange move.

    If he can sink his head into the econmic issues and keep pumping the ‘I told you so’ line, he may do ok.

    I would be as equally as interested in what is going to happen in west Belfast – maybe its something for Mary Lou!!!

  • Mick Fealty

    I speak as one who thought Gerry had done alright in the minor debate, so discount what I have to say here at will.

    Two things.

    One, Labour has cornered the market in the ‘resistance’ game south of the border. Even Boyd Barrett is being tipped for a seat having picked up 22.8% in the locals last year.

    Two, Gerry has to up his game for the southern market. 2007 proved that above anything ambiguously since the whole campaign led with Gerry’s own brand.

    I don’t know if it was economics what lost it for SF, or not. All I know is that people in the south are even keener and sharper on it now than they were 4 years ago and the southern parties have been through a very nasty pain barrier on this in a way SF has not.

    My base feeling is that it is a clever enough PR move (in the way John outlined it this morning), since the party needs to do something radical to get things moving for them in the Republic. But I think Pete’s done a good job in pointing out the downside.

  • redhugh78

    Why not?
    He could hardly do any worse than the current economic geniuses that havre practically bankrupted the state.
    I
    love the way that the old chestnut of SF being ‘economic illiterates’ is used when clearly the ‘illiterates’ are the people who have bailed out the bankers and their chums in the property market. Bloody cheek!

  • I think he has a good opportunity in Louth and it is necessary for SF to have a real leader in the south.

    For a long time SF have operated as though the south was supposed to be grateful SF were working for a UI in the north and therefore being seen doing nothing in or for the south was perfectly alright.

    It is real recognition at last and whilst I don’t think GA is the best economist in the world I do think he knows how to employ people.

    Events may overtake him but I think he might make a difference in the south.

  • redhugh78

    Sure isn’t that Pete’s raison detre, ‘pointing out the downside’ ?

  • Dr Concitor

    An excerpt from Fionnan Sheahan’s take on this, writing in the Irish Independent today.

    Mr Adams would, if elected, lead the party in the Dail where Sinn Fein’s misfiring TDs frequently fail to make an impression. The Sinn Fein president said he was running for the Dail “because of the crisis”. But his poor grasp of economics has been repeatedly exposed. In the last General Election, his abject performance in a TV debate was pinpointed, as the party failed to make any gains and lost a seat — its first electoral setback in the North or South.

    More recently, Mr Adams was unable to say last month what economic growth figures Sinn Fein was using in its own budgetary proposals.

    Sinn Fein is locked in a battle with the Labour Party for the left-wing vote. Mr Adams’s party repeatedly points out how Labour is backing the move to reduce the Budget deficit in four years, rather than six.

    Sinn Fein is also promoting traditional left-wing policies of taxing the rich and avoiding the proposal of major spending cuts. Speaking yesterday at the Sinn Fein’s annual Edentubber commemoration — which marks the deaths of five IRA men who killed themselves in 1957 when their bomb prematurely exploded — Mr Adams said he would resign his seat on the Northern Ireland Assembly as soon as the party identified a replacement.

  • Alias

    His repetition of the socialist mantra “the workers create the wealth” on a prime time debate that left him looking out of his depth. His grasp of the details of the Irish economy was weak, as he latter admitted, and he assumed he could avoid actual issues by self-preening exercises about ;the process’.

    But it doesn’t follow that Gerry should now be considered to be an economics guru simply because Ireland’s embrace of the eurosystem proved to be economically disasterous and nor does it mean that the workers do create the wealth or that even if that mantra was relevant that Gerry was the guru who orginated it rather than simply parroted it to muc ridicule on TV.

  • joeCanuck

    Gerry Adams …. was warning against giving developers a free run

    At the same time that SF’s other wing was heavily investing in the property market, at home and abroad.

  • slug

    Is the danger for SF that Gerry Adams becomes politically impotent in the 26 county context? His sting extracted his relevance lost as he becomes a minor party backbencher — watching a Labour/FG government preside over economic recovery?.

  • anon

    The southern parties have been through the pain barrier? Has one suggested anything different? It’s all grandstanding.

    Adama has to up his game. But the assumption labour and fg don’t is a disservice to the republic. If GA wants to be radical, he could propose leaving the euro or default. It’d at least be good to have the options on the table.

  • joeCanuck

    I don’t think it’s a danger. It’s more of an absolute certainty.

  • fitzy

    Nevermind his performance in 2007 debates, what has he ever done for west belfast other than get re-elected. it wasn’t that long ago that even the andytown news was bashing his performance.

  • Drumlins Rock

    is he certain of a seat in Louth? Morgan got in on Green transfers, the SF vote was well below quota and didnt pick up any votes till then. Possibly they will go straight to SF now, but presume FF hold one (forgetting the CC)and FG get one, well the last 2 could be a 3 ways split between a second FG, Labour, and SF, it will depend alot on how the various campaigns go.

  • Dr Concitor

    The bookies have him as favourite!

  • MichaelMac

    Where has he pointed out the downside?

  • Dr Concitor

    Some people are said to get wisdom with age but Gerry Adams just appears to have gone from Don Corleone to Don Quixote.

  • MichaelMac

    SF were well ahead of Labour at the last County Coucil elections in Louth. Labour have no presence at all in North Louth around Dundalk and Carlingford.

  • MichaelMac

    INM attack SF shocker.

  • joeCanuck

    There is no shame in being economically illiterate. Most of us do a good enough job balancing our cheque books but when it comes to Macro economics, it’s not surprising we don’t fully understand. Even the world’s “top” economists can’t agree on what needs to be done. Most European countries are cutting spending while the US keeps printing bits of paper.
    But is sheer arrogance of Adams to claim that Ireland’s crisis requires his presence in the Dail.

  • I don’t understand the concentration on GAs economic experience. I’m the first to agree its not his strong suit but it doesn’t need to be. Lenihan and before him Cowen were the best??? of FF. This is not exactly something to be proud of.

    All GA has to do is employ an expert and when you think about it it’s what FF should have done.

  • slug

    Well to be fair , unlike most of the muppets in the Dail , he has been CEO of a significant organization – the IRA.

  • G O’Neill

    I predicted on Sunday that we would be subjected to these countless anti GA and SF threads from Pete and so I am proved correct. But then again should we expect a Unionist blogger who clearly has an issue with GA to get the significance of this move.

    This is all about sending a message that as Ritche, Durkan and co abandon Ireland to sit with their cronies in London SF are doing what Irish Nationalists should be doing and that is focusing on Ireland – all 32 counties.

    Yeah God forbid a ‘Notherner’ wanting to play a role in Irelands future- I’m sure Pete thinks that you need to take a Ferry to get from Belfast to Louth……

    You can also hear the dissapointment from inside BBC and UTV that they might actually have to cover some of the other events that go on on this island.

    A few weeks ago people here where telling us that its only a matter of time before SF sit in Westminister with gleefull excitment- you can tell they weren’t expecting this.

  • Alias

    It isn’t a case of wanting to “play a role in economic recovery” since he has admitted that he knows nothing about economics and is therefore unqualified to do that. It’s a bit like expecting a monkey to overhaul your gearbox…

    It’s a case of (a) accepting that the Shinners are going no further within the consolidated British state, (b) the Shinners have gone nowhere within Ireland, and (c) that Gerry will escape the humiliation of sitting in the British parliament unlike the rest of its MPs when their handlers deem that the time is right for them to progress that part of the normalisation policy.

  • becky

    ..you can tell thet werent expecting this…neither were the decent folk of louth [Keep it civil – edited moderator]

  • redhugh78

    Why’s that Joe? to quote RTE’s Boucher Hayes on RTE drivetime radio show today.. “Sinn Féin’s analysis [of the Celtic Tiger economy] was not that far wide of the mark.”

    So put that in yer pipe….

  • mark

    Thirty odd years ago , Sinn Fein ran a surprise candidate in an up and coming election and the rest is history . This shrewd move has the potential to do something similar.

  • joeCanuck

    redhugh78,

    Because Adams has said himself that he has no economic skills and, as I said, that’s no sin. So why HIS presence in the Dail is so badly needed escapes me. I wonder who SF’s economists are.

  • Dee

    His weakness about the economy will not be replicated as the incumbents have destroyed the economy.

    The southern politicos will hammer him on the IRA membership question.

    Between now and the next election expect the Sinn Fein party advice centres bolstered across the county. The way they concentrated in Fermanagh and got the vote out will be repeated.

  • 21stcentury fenian

    It amazes me how people really think that what are needed are more “qualified” economists in charge. The dept of finance and the central bank was and still is packed to the rafters with people with masters degrees and Phds in economics. A bit of common sense is what is missing.

    Having said that I’m surprised Adams is rolling the dice in Louth. Relatively small upside and big (potentially terminal) downside. Ó Searcaigh would have had a great chance imo.

  • Dee

    People forget that the last election was a final hoorah for Bertie, for making Ireland so prosperous!!
    And in those circumstances Arthur Morgan got elected.

    Now the whole economic miracle is shown up for the house of cards that it was, built with some else’s money.

    The voters of Louth will lap up the attention, as the media circus comes to town. Expect a higher turn out than last time, but will a few TD’s make a difference??

  • Dixie Elliott

    So is Godot eventually going to turn up in Louth?

    “What do we do, now that we are happy?”
    “Wait for Godot,” Vladimir says. “Things have changed here since yesterday.”
    “And if he doesn’t come?”
    “We’ll see when the time comes. I was saying that things have changed here since yesterday.”

    Or was it a case of?……

    “Who farted?”

  • Alias

    I agree with your scepticism about the ability of most economists to make accurate predictions (some rank lower than astrologists in my opinion), but that is like arguing that you don’t need to know anything about medicine because some doctors misdiagnose their patients. It really means that you need more capable economists, not that you keep to abandon economics.

    The Central Bank is “packed to the rafters with people with masters degrees and Phds in economics” as is the EC, EP, and ECB, e.g. the people who, unlike the Central Bank, actually make the decisions.

    But let’s stick with the medical analogy and ask this in regard to your point about common sense: if you go to a doctor with pancreatic cancer and he gives you a pill for headache, what are your chances of surviving? Non-existent, yet the common sense of our political class is of such low quality that they signed up for a system of economic governance where there are a multiplicity of patients with a multiplicity of aliments but there is only one common pill for every ill. Unsurprisingly, several of the patients (including Ireland) died under the regime.

    There is no shortage of well-qualified stupid people. Common sense might also have it that sociopaths don’t make good public servants or that touts don’t make good patriots, but there you go…

  • Barry the Blender

    I believe it moves from being a four to a five seater. This would reduce the quota from 20 to 16.7 %. Sinn Fein got 15 % last time

    On paper…an easy hold for Adams.

    If the 3 way fight you predict were to break out. All contenders would be elected.

  • becky

    that must have bin the one were the six hunger strikers were sold for a seat in hmg.

  • John Ó Néill

    Séamus Kirk is automatically returned for Louth, as Ceann Comhairle (presuming the arithmetic keeps him there until an election). So it is still, effectively a four seater if Kirk stays as Ceann Comhairle until the election. So it’s still a 20% or so ask for a quota.

  • Cormac Mac Art

    Just watching Pearse Doherty back himself into a corner on RTE1. Lesson – Don’t attack the presenter’s research team.

  • joeCanuck

    A seat? Or to stand outside looking in? Mind you those who had an “army” were eventually allowed to walk in to Downing Street virtually unannounced but those times have gone away you know.

  • Cormac Mac Art

    Slug – GA was never politically potent in Ireland to begin with. Outside Northern Ireland, SF just do not have the numbers. I cannot see how his standing for election will change this in any way.

  • Mick Fealty

    It should be an easy hold for Adams as it would have been for Sharkey. It’s also a 40 minute commute for Adams from WB.

    The upside is that SF with luck will get back speaking rights in the Dail and Adams gets regular visibility on southern politics.

    The downside – as Pete points out above Michael – is that last year’s strategy is in the trash can. I’m not so sure this pays out gains in the election, but could have an effect between now and the following one.

    Jury remains out on whether it is good or bad. The party in Dublin needs rebuilding; not least because Labour’s appeal has been transformed with Gilmore.

  • Eamon Gilmore is from Galway and is an elected TD for Dun Laoghaire and people who live here such as myself have no problem with that. Calling Adams a “northerner” strikes me that some of your contributors are infested with a deep seated hatred of Irish Republicanism. I have never made a comment on this site before, so maybe my first impression arising from reading such values which suggests that a strong believe in the continuation of the partition of my country seems to be the central objective of
    many of its contributors may be wrong, but not from what I have read so far.

  • Archie Noble

    “but when it comes to Macro economics, it’s not surprising we don’t fully understand.”

    Joe the reason we don’t fully understand is that the actions of bankers and speculators are often not rational. The first step is to unpick the language used. You know the sort of thing ‘quantive easing’ means printing unsecured money ‘gearing up’ means getting into debt etc.

    GA and SF are not responsible for the economic meltdown of Ireland or the UK. They are therefore well positioned to challenge the rather woeful status quo of those who were or who would of done the same things if they had been.

  • Pete Baker

    “last year’s strategy is in the trash can”

    Also worth pointing out that last year’s declared strategy, of building a southern leadership for the party, was in response to the internal party criticism of a strategy that had failed to deliver electoral success in the European, County, and Dublin by-elections.

    And, in particular, in response to criticism of the party’s northern leadership.

    The new strategy appears to be that the same northern leadership which was responsible for the previous strategies will attempt to move slightly south…

    Into a still different jurisdiction.

  • Cormac Mac Art

    GA represents a movement that has often being voilently opposed to the existence of the southern state, even to the point of refusing to call it by its proper name. No one ever heard of McAleese having any such links, which is why she was elected President of Ireland.

  • Cormac Mac Art

    And if he does not, where does that leave SF?

  • Cormac Mac Art

    Still not a good reason to had over the state to a party who’s finances came from terrorism, robbery and extortion.

  • alanmaskey

    Are they also well qualified to fly planes? If they are qualified to handle the economy, are all other ex barmen and butchers? Get real. Gerry should get a job.

  • Alias

    I love the irony of a statement declaring that other folks “are often not rational” being followed by an irrational statement like “GA and SF are not responsible for the economic meltdown of Ireland or the UK. They are therefore well positioned to challenge the rather woeful status quo of those who were or who would of done the same things if they had been.”

    Kylie Minogue wasn’t responsible for the meltdown either so your ‘logic’ has her well-qualified for the job of economics guru.

  • Regardless of my political differences, I wish Adams well as a Candidate in County Louth and hope he represents his future constituents there as he has in West Belfast.

    In saying that, if his Party wish to gain more seats in the 26 Counties. I’d much prefer it to be more honest with the electorate…..

    The dilution of socialist-republican principles by that Party left it very much out in the cold when the Celtic Tiger fell. And let’s be honest here, capitalism has failed hugely. What Ireland as a whole needs and deserves is a socialist-republican alternative to the status quo and the end of partition and duplication of services in both States!

    True social and economic freedom is what every Irish citizen deserves, anything less is a dilution and the electorate should not vote for any Party who does not stand firm on these core issues!

  • Alias

    “Regardless of my political differences, I wish Adams well as a Candidate in County Louth and hope he represents his future constituents there as he has in West Belfast.”

    Given that his West Belfast constituency is consistently ranked among the worst performing in the UK, I’d guess that his potential constituents in Louth would be hoping for better.

  • Munsterview

    I need to be careful here and point out that I am a Sinn Fein supporter and not a party member or spokesperson, so my remarks need to be taken in that context. I met up with Arthur and had a long chat with him some months back. His decision to retire came as no surprise to me.

    Sinn Fein is a thirty-two county party, while the GFA talks and the peace process were to the fore this was obvious, however with the ‘normalization’ of politics the public perception of Northern Sinn Fein and Southern Sinn Fein began to emerge.

    Vested Southern media interests let by the Independent News Paper group fronting for a significant section of the Southern Irish Establishment, had tried by every possible way to exclude Sinn Fein from power. The same forces when they could no longer deny the significance of Sinn Fein, post GFA began at every opportunity to paint Sinn Fein as a Northern party only as if Southern Sinn Fein did not exist only as an appendage of the Northern Sinn Fein, and a rather useless one at that !

    A big dichotomy existed for the Sinn Fein leadership in the wake of the GFA, as they needed to keep FF on board for the GFA and Cross Border Institutions, they could not attack Fianna Fail in the roboust oppositional way that it should have been attacked. Quite a few of my generation in the South ran out of patience with this approach, Christy Burke was one of the higher profile examples of this.

    Because Sinn Fein had pulling their punches, Eamonn Gilmore who was under no such constraints was able to take the fight to Fianna Failure and he did well. I never see any point in falling out with my old Stick comrades back then or now. I had a chat with Eamon recently and he is very confident about the way things are going as well he should, but like the rest of up he will believe FF are finished when pegged down at the crossroad with a stake through the heart.

    Fianna Failure are a long way from that and have quite a few tricks in their arsenal yet. The late Billy Flynn PI, the man who broke the Donegall Scandal was well keyed in to the insider politics grapevine, a Government Minister told a prominent business man months ago that

    1) Lenihan was in advanced negotiations to sell off for cash a significant part of Nama to International Financial interests,

    2) that a recapitalized and sold Allied Irish Bank was part of the deal,

    3) that the international financiers concerned needed a Left / Right divide in Irish politics where a New Right of center would have a permanent majority for the foreseeable future.

    4) that as part of the deal facilitated by Israeli State interests with these International Financiers, Ireland would modify it’s anti-Isralie stance and purchase over a 100 million of military hardware.

    All I can say regarding this is that the late Billy Flynn fully believed his source, as I did Billy. If this is not correct then a Senior Government Minister lied to this experienced business man !

    Back to Gerry’s move, while Gerry gave his reasons, seen from another angle his move is an absolutely brilliant , politically tactical move. Those who have been ensured that SF equals Gerry Adams and that Gerry Adams equals Northern politics, will now have branded Northern Politics right in the heart of the Southern Political establishment. It will no longer be just ‘Up There’ it will be also ‘Down Here’ and in their face!

    When Gerry raises to his feet in Leinster House to speak for his constituency, there stands Northern Nationalism as surely as it did with Frank Aikern. The North is no longer something ‘Up there’ and contained, just like the Arms Crisis it is in the chamber and will not be denied in the Dail or to the Southern Constituency.

    A long way indeed from the intentions of the same shower of Leinster House shaggers that vowed to see every last one of us locked up in Portlaois with the keys thrown away for the rest of our natural lives’

    If Gerry is elected, or should I say when Gerry is elected, just like President Mary McAliese, and most Nationalists in the North believing that she was their president too, West Belfast Republicans and Northern Republicans generally will feel that their leader is in the nearest thing to a true Republican parliament pending a new Trirty-Two County Republic.

    The games afoot and it just got very interesting indeed.

  • Munsterview

    One thing to bear in mind here, while Mick can be reasonably objective in his analysis, can Pete say the same thing ? Exactly what axe or axes etc are Pete grinding here and why ?

  • Munsterview

    Now there’s a good lad !

    Not so difficult is it to give a cogent and pertinent political analysis sans your usual personalized abusive rant against the subject and the Shinners generally.

    Nice also to see you are still here despite Maskeys unmasked allegations that you ‘were hounded off the site’ I never doubted you could behave appropriate to a civilized exchange !

  • Munsterview

    “…..Still not a good reason to had over the state to a party who’s finances came from terrorism, robbery and extortion……” Cormac Mac Art 16 November 2010 at 12:26 am

    Care to make that ……economic……terrorism, robbery and extortion and you have FG, FF and the PD’s covered !

  • Munsterview

    in general agreed !

  • Wednesday

    Munsterview:

    A big dichotomy existed for the Sinn Fein leadership in the wake of the GFA, as they needed to keep FF on board for the GFA and Cross Border Institutions, they could not attack Fianna Fail in the roboust oppositional way that it should have been attacked. Quite a few of my generation in the South ran out of patience with this approach, Christy Burke was one of the higher profile examples of this.

    Sorry but I can’t let this go without comment. I was leafletting with Christy in the days after Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin had let fly in the Dáil with a no-holds barred attack on Bertie in the wake of the scandal over his Moriarty Tribunal testimony. The response Caoimhghín got to that attack was hugely positive, both within the party (north and south) and outside it.

    Christy, however, told me that Caoimhghín shouldn’t have said what he said. Why? Because it was upsetting the local FF supporters and he, Christy, was “getting it in the neck”.

  • Blair

    Alias,

    They can stand by for disappointment. The evil Brits may have dished out jobs for the boys to keep his kameraden pacified, but I doubt that the ROI government will do the same.

  • pippakin

    Cormac Mac Art

    I don’t think it will leave them much worse off. It will prove that if they want to be an all Ireland party they must put equal effort into the south.

    Everyone knows the south wants a UI but that is an aspiration it is not the difference between a roof over your head and enough to feed and clothe the children.

    Right now the necessity is almost totally financial, very few will prioritise a UI over their jobs, mortgage and should they be necessary healthcare and benefits, SF have left it late but it does look at last as though they are beginning to pay attention.

  • Halfer

    Is it possible that Adams is trying to trump any potential alternative southern SF leadership?

  • Rory Carr

    Anything’s possible but that prospect seems highly unlikely. There is no evidence whatsoever of any challenge to Adams’s leadership.

  • Anon

    Pete didn’t say “but you were a member of a movement that has often been violently opposed to the existence of the southern state, even to the point of refusing to call it by its proper name.”. He said he was a Northerner.

    Thanks for playing, Cormac.

  • Anon

    I think it’s too simplistic to say that last year’s strategy is in the trash can. This moves the centre of gravity of the party Southwards; it wasn’t just Adams doing media work during the 2007 campaign, there were a lot of other Northerners. That is unlikely to be repeated. It is likey to be Adams and the Southern leadership of the party with what is likely to be some new blood after the election, assuming they don’t collapse. The best case for them is they make a gain or two, get speaking rights and they can pass Doherty’s Senate seat to someone else.

    Even if the previous strategy had been further along, Adams as the figurehead would still have been an easy target and open to accusations of beign out of touch with the South. As it is, he will have to engage much more with the different jurisdiction, especially if he is going to lead the party there. It probably sets the party up as more likely to have a Southern leader when Adams goes.

    This might blow up, and if it does it will probably retire Adams. But it’s an admirable calculated risk. Tony Blair said GA and MMG understood well the difference between tactics and strategy. I said that holds this up.

  • Archie Noble

    Alias it is a simple statement of fact, nothing irrational about it. Whatever your feelings about SF surely you would concede they are formidable political operators and now well placed to set out an alternative view on the meltdown of the economy and its resolution.

    Also do you really believe that individual M.P’s control and are responsible for the economic conditions in their constituency. If we were talking about Gordon Brown and Kirkcaldy that might be sustainable but otherwise its plain foolish.

  • wj

    I was wondering what provoked this move by Adams. Could it be that Caoimhghin Ó Caoláin had privately indicated his intention of calling it a day as the party leader in the Dáil after a general election and concentrating instead on more local constituency work. He did suffer a fairly major heart attack a couple of years ago and Adams, if elected, would be likely to take on that role. Neither Martin Ferris or Aengus Ó Snodaigh come across as potential Dáil leaders and the other alternative good performer, Pearse Doherty, still has to win a Daíl seat.

  • alanmaskey

    Whatever your feelings about SF surely you would concede they are formidable political operators and now well placed to set out an alternative view on the meltdown of the economy and its resolution

    You have cvonjoined two statements here.
    1 Yes, PIRA are/were good operators: kidnapping Ben Dunne,killing Tom Oliver, getting prisoners elected in Louth.
    2. No, they have nothing to contribute to a debate on economics. They are not even at the stage OIRA weere with Eamonn Smullen’s wotrk in the early 1970s.

  • Sam

    well put!
    He’s showing his unique mix of political judgement and economic nous that has had investment flowing into West Belfast during his 20 year tennure…..

  • G O’N, Pete and the SDLP get stuck in to SF but that doesn’t make them Unionist.

    It’s only a few years ago that Gerry Adams described Thomas ‘Slab’ Murphy as a good Republican. Do you think the Dáil could do with a few more Slabs to help rebuild Ireland’s economy?

  • pippakin

    Nevin

    If it were at all likely, it would be a truly frightening prospect.

  • joeCanuck

    Fantasies abound.

  • Munsterview

    Not Planes,Choppers actually!

    However they had only a provisional license when they did ‘The Joy’, leaving your lot
    with their trousers around their ankles and making them a laughing stock before the world.

    Your heros, Cooney and Donegan and their ranting are now about as well remembered as your
    own noxious anti-Republican bile on this site will be in years to come.

  • Munsterview

    Qualification : In general agreed with ‘ArdEoin Republican (profile) 16 November 2010 at 1:12 am’ not Alias as it may appear.

  • pippakin

    SF may not have made much impact in the south that much is true.

    FF have however made a huge impact in the south, that much is true too.

  • Munsterview

    A 90% + Unionist site is hardly the place to conduct a debate as to the shortcomings of Southern Sinn Fein, this is why I only deal with these things in general terms.

    As to Christy, we go back a hell of a long way to a time as Northern Republicans did not have too many Southern friends willing to go on the line for them. So Christy was pro Fianna Fail ?

    Remind me again what party did he join on leaving Sinn Fein?.

    I hope that this is the last ‘spin’ I see on this site against Christy or any others that were there for the ‘long haul’, and have now left. Otherwise it may be necessary to take a closer look at what the real issues in Dublin were !

    From the ceasefire on Southern Political affairs should have commanded a significant part of Sinn Fein’s concentration as of right, it did no such thing and save for elections Southern politics got scant attention. As far as Southers politics went the Northern tail wagged the Southern dog.

    The problem in the Dail is not the personnel, it is micro management ! God knows Ferris may not be the greatest orators to stand on a platform but I have seen him many a time over the years give a good coherent lengthy, engaging speech without once referring to a script. In fact he is much better sans script.

    Martin Ferris just like Caoimhghin and the rest have to read from scripts where even the jokes ( usually limp) are provided. No wonder save for occasions like that anti-Bertie speech that most Sinn Fein contributions are not very memorable.

    On message, On Cue and Everybody singing from the same hymn sheet do have a price. Few mistakes are made, but neither is little of anything else made either !

  • Aodhan Paisley

    Hearing Gerry adams lecture people about economics reminds me of Sara Palin lecturing american politicians on foreign policy he has no grasp or experience on this no matter how many buzzwords or economic pharases his pr people fill him with.
    It is a bit rich Adams lecturing ff on recession ,look at the jobs that were lost due to provos destroying businesses in the north.

  • firbolg

    Why all the blank spaces?

  • Wednesday

    So Christy was pro Fianna Fail ?

    That’s not at all what I said. Seems you’re pretty good at the “spin” thing yourself. (I’m not sure how factually reporting something that he said directly to me qualifies as “spin” in the first place, but that’s another matter.)

    Maybe you’d like to also spin this piece in which he discusses his reasons for leaving. “I left because I wanted to be a player, to start having a real influence. Sinn Fein has to get real. If they want to see results, they have to start co-operating with other groups.” Not exactly the words of someone who thinks SF haven’t been bolshy enough in opposition, are they?

    But by all means, feel free to prove me wrong by posting examples of how, since shaking the reins of SF, he’s become a firebrand of oppositional politics on the Council.

  • alanmaskey

    Good post Aodhan. Adams is ahead of the curve. It is when people famous for one thing – Posh Spice, Adams, Anne Widdecombe, Mata Haris – turn their minds to other things that we have to laugh at them.
    Many years ago, either in Austrialia or the USA (might have been both), i watched a programme on rape. They had both a rape victim and a rapist on the TV panel discussion programme. The rapist gave his opinion on a variety of thngs much like Gerry the barman does now.
    Also on Aussie shock Jock TV, a murderer phoned them up and agreed to tell his story on a walkover bridge. The interview was mildly interesting until a burly guy strolling past grabbed the murderer and arrested him. The TV station, which aired the footage, said they drew the line at murder. Let’s see if the people of Louth do the same.
    Adams should undersand now that SF have handed over their Semtex, they are just another bunch of hasbeens.
    Given that they shot people for handing over far less, Adams and company should be happy to get away with their lives. They should just take the rest of the bank robbery money and run,. They have nothing to contribute.

  • Neil

    I was getting those for a while but they’ve gone now. Grim but you can click on people’s profiles if they’re signed in and see their latest posts.

    Hearing Gerry adams lecture people about economics reminds me of Sara Palin lecturing american politicians on foreign policy he has no grasp or experience on this no matter how many buzzwords or economic pharases his pr people fill him with.

    When was this? Prior to the economic meltdown? And the criticism was coming from whom? The people responsible for the economic meltdown?

    As mentioned above, though it was Radio Ulster not RTE I was listening to, there were southern economists explaining that, funny enough, Gerry was pretty much spot on last time while he was being criticised for economic illiteracy by now proven economic illiterates.

    Adams should undersand now that SF have handed over their Semtex, they are just another bunch of hasbeens.

    Yes, PIRA are/were good operators: kidnapping Ben Dunne,killing Tom Oliver, getting prisoners elected in Louth.

    Think that’s the IRA you’re talking about Maskey. Try and catch up will ye?

  • Munsterview

    This piece was carried in Irish Central and it makes very interesting reading indeed.

    ttp://www.irishcentral.com/story/roots/ireland_calling/nutty-professor-was-only-one-to-predict-irish-crisis-108637314.html

    As I write there is a Fianna Failure former National Exectuive member on RTE radio proposing a ‘Fianna Fail Nua’ a rank and file revolt against the Ministerial levels of the party. The wheels are starting to come off the Fianna Failure wagon big time.

    I was in Donegall at the weekend and it seems , that in a couple of days, the mood has hardened against Fianna Failure inside it’s own support base up there.

    It seems that Maskeys Garda pension is due for a sharp trim in the near future !

  • pippakin

    MV

    I’m not interested in what the yanks think of Ireland, where are they when we are going broke.

    The other thing is: do I detect a hint of satisfaction here???

  • Munsterview

    Pip,

    Not ‘Yanks’, Irish Central is Irish American and it’s main market is Irish emigrants of the last decades. The editor has a direct line to most political leaders and people of influence on this Island and many in the UK also.

    As to ‘satisfaction’ no you bloody well do not ! Seen it all before, remember ? I also know the price paid back then, broken families, lost homes, failed business, farms where all animals were all sold off. Cattle bred for generations for high milk gallon-age, prize winners all worth £ 1,200 to 1,500 back then sold to Irish dealers Spanish canning factories for £ 175 to 200.

    Heavy land reclamation plant was then sold for export at 20% of it’s Irish normal times value and idle factories were shelled out with plant sold for scrap. Back then like now the pin suits that caused it all walked away from it all.

    So no satisfaction, none what so ever. Some of my academic friends have lost or are about to lose their houses, many have lost their jobs or they are in a situation where they have ten to twenty hours a week instead of a full working week, good expenses and extra hours. I meet too many desperate people daily to have anything bar anger and sadness about the situation.

  • pippakin

    MV

    I read Irish Central and know full well what it is thank you.

    I remember the last recession I was in England then of course, over a million people lost their homes (foreclosure) but not of course the debt, even in London you could not get rid of houses!

    It is always sad and bloody now is different because no matter what the bastards say this time our sovereignty is on the line.

    I was actually referring to your last sentence about mad mass pesky! so don’t get all stroppy with me!

  • Munsterview

    Pip,

    “….so don’t get all stroppy with me!….”

    Sorry, misread ! As to that I could not under any circumstance take pleasure in anothers misfortune. However in this instance I will be delighted to make an exception !

    Bit irritable this evening are we?

  • pippakin

    MV

    No, just tired, I think I’m due an early night, that and not since independence has the country been in such a mess and no matter what the government say the answer is up to other countries.

    Today at the course I’m on we were talking and I don’t remember such anger and a real sense of fear. So sad.

  • Munsterview

    Been in Mid Ulster the weekend, talked to some of our lot and labor in Donegal. The middle classes are outraged and the working classes are motivated. I think that Donegal could be the watershed that people have been expecting.

    This time it looks like it could be everyone from the unemployed and single mothers right through to old age pensioners. Sunday things were still up in the air, apparently over yesterday and today some kind of tipping point was reached.

    3ook out for fireworks.