“But Sinn Féin is different from the other political parties…”

He has only just moved there, after all…  but RTÉ’s 20 minute interview with the Crown Steward and Bailiff of the Manor of Northstead, Gerard Adams, is worth listening to in detail.

Mick’s already noted the claimed introduction of a “warm weather payments” in the last (Stormont) budget.

The Irish Times notes that

SINN FÉIN president Gerry Adams has said that telling the IMF “to go home and take their money with them” remained his party’s policy.

His said his party, in government, would close Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide, and amalgamate AIB and Bank of Ireland. Depositors would be protected by legislation.

Apparently, after that unilateral move, “astute bondholders”, not the ones to be burned, but others, will be there to “do business” “no later than 2012″…

The IT also reports Adams’ claims about Sinn Féin’s position on the 2008 bank guarantee scheme.

Mr Adams, who was speaking yesterday on the RTÉ radio programme, This Week , again insisted that the party had not supported the blanket bank guarantee in the Dáil. Sinn Féin, he said, had wanted to protect the rights of depositors and voted in principle for it in the first vote.

However, the party had voted against it when it failed to get guarantees relating to depositors and credit for small and medium businesses.

Sinn Féin, said Mr Adams, had refused to support the substantive blanket guarantee.

Here’s what the party’s ‘rising star’, and current Finance spokesman, Pearse Doherty, TD, told the Seanad at the time [scroll down]

Senator Pearse Doherty: I intend to support this Bill as my party colleagues did in the Dáil when the vote was taken there in the early hours this morning. We do this because the Bill is in the national interest but we do so with reservation because we know that the Bill could be much better. It is disappointing that the Minister for Finance did not accept my party’s amendments and those of other parties which would have strengthened the Bill.

When we debated the economy in this Chamber last night I said there is an onus on the Opposition not only to highlight the problems in the economy but to propose and support sensible solutions. My party understands that the Government must intervene to stabilise the economy and the financial system and that is why we will support the Bill. The logic behind this move is to undermine the bear market and lead to investment in our banking system.

This legislation is about more than the banks. It is about offering security to ordinary citizens and to investors in Irish businesses which in turn means jobs. As the media speculated, other states may well follow this move by our State.

The concern on the street in recent days is about what we will get out of the move. What will the Government extract from the banks in return for this legislation? That is where the Bill falls short. [added emphasis]

And, as the RTÉ interviewer pointed out, when Sinn Féin TD, Arthur Morgan, outlined the reasons why SF had withdrawn their support for the scheme there was no mention of bondholders or, for that matter, depositors. From KildareStreet [17 October 2008]

[Arthur Morgan] During my contribution to the debate on the budget, I set out the terms and conditions Sinn Féin would seek in the scheme. They included a windfall payment to the State, the introduction of a banking levy and the imposition of an onus on banks to negotiate as much as possible with home owners facing repossession. I strongly advocate the establishment of a State bank as well. However, there is no return for the taxpayer from this scheme.

Of course, the reason there was no mention of concern about depositors then is because the same Credit Institutions (Financial Support) Bill raised the depositor protection guaranteed sum to €100,000 (just under £80,000).

But the potential implications for depositors, as opposed to bondholders, in Irish banks in the aftermath of the implemention of Sinn Féin’s unilateral proposals has been raised.  At the weekend by a Fianna Fáil TD following Gerry Adams’ previous ‘burn the bondholders’ interviews on the 25 January 2011…

Adds  Which might explain why he couldn’t provide any figures for the cost of recapitalising the banks.

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