Sinn Féin suspends Billy Leonard, MLA, from party

Odd one this.  The BBC are reporting that Sinn Féin have suspended Billy Leonard, MLA, from the party due to a “disagreement over his support arrangements”. 

Leonard, and the party, announced in November last year that he would not stand as a candidate in the forthcoming Assembly election saying that there were “a number of other interests [he wished] to pursue, including writing a book.”

From the BBC report

East Londonderry Sinn Fein MLA Billy Leonard is refusing to comment on his apparent suspension by the party HQ.

Mr Leonard did not take part in the budget debate on Wednesday and has not been seen at Stormont recently.

It is understood he is continuing with constituency work, but has been suspended due to a disagreement over his support arrangements.

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  • Pigeon Toes
  • oracle

    “disagreement over his support arrangements”.

    Is this that Celtic/Rangers confrontation last week spilling over into SF?
    Does he not have a crutch of his own?
    Is Billy wearing and underwire bra for man-boobs?
    Perhaps Billy has an MI5 team doubling as his election workers! Nah sure they’d have to suspend the entire party then.

    Must be something to do with Billy openly wanting to see fresh ideas (and faces) at the top of SF

  • fordprefect

    LOL@Oracle.
    Maybe SF “copped” on that it’s election time, and Billy may not appeal to their voters, (him being an ex- RUC man and all that!),or, as Oracle said, maybe he came up with a few new ideas, perish the thought!

  • andnowwhat

    Ahhhh, the shape shifting Billy Leonard moves on to his next incarnation.
    UKIP would be a laugh

  • Barry the Blender

    I’m sure the Sinn Fein party heirarchy will be quoting Father Ted:

    Those Protestants, up to no good as usual.

  • 241934 john brennan

    Why has Billy Leonard been pushed out of Stormont and Sinn Fein? Could it be that his beard no longer fits – too many grey streaks?

    Could it also be that SF now gives employment preference to its own exclusive group of ex-service members – and Billy only ever carried a gun for the SS RUC?

  • Lionel Hutz

    support arrangements may suggest that it has something to do with how Sinn fein pay their minions. The average industrial wage and all that. I would love to know how that works

  • Turgon

    At one level it could be asked how did Leonard manage to stay in SF for so long. It is almost impossible to discuss this issue without a degree of man playing.

    [Play the ball, not the man!! – mods]

    As such Sinn Fein may have found him a bit difficult. Also of course there is the simple bigotry issue. Republicans try to hide this but the simple fact is that many republicans both activists and voters are simply bigots who do not like Prods (of course the same is true in reverse (Prods not liking Catholics).

    There are therefore two reasons why Sinn Fein might like to get rid of Leonard. Against that there are the advantages that he is by all accounts a fairly hard working constituency representative and that him being a Prod helps a pretended non bigot narrative for SF. It also winds up Prods – a further advantage. There are one or two other Prods in SF but they tend to be English naive idiots or else ultra guilty Prods.

    It was always a balancing act whetehr or not to have Leonard but maybe some have tired of him and his electoral performance has been less than overwhelming. It may be that a harder line face in East Londonderry might help increase SF’s chances of getting another seat at the Stormont election. Still unlikely but probably chance worth taking and, hence, worth the grief of getting rid of Leonard. As such the balance probably tipped ointo getting rid of him.

  • The Raven

    Just what’s in that book….?

  • Carrickmoreman

    “There are one or two other Prods in SF but they tend to be English naive idiots or else ultra guilty Prods. ”

    Hmm…or they could just agree with SF policies/polotics/View of North Ireland’s history.

  • Banncider

    “Just what’s in that book?”

    Here’s an extract from an interview he gave his local paper in November…

    Mr Leonard told the Chronicle he’d concluded it was unfair on electors and his party to attempt both
    “I had to ask myself do I work in the Assembly for the next four or five years or do I make my contribution through writing.
    “By next spring I’ll have been involved in party politic for 15 years and 10 of those as a public representative.
    “I think I have done a reasonable stint at grass roots level and now I want to concentrate on the bigger picture stuff.
    And Mr Leonard was adamant his decision to retire from public life did not reflect discontent with party politics
    “I’m not disillusioned. Since the summer I’ve been doing some serious thinking and since we are coming up to the selection conventions and the party has a timetable that’s why the decision has been taken now – you have to be fair to the party.
    “Party politics has to keep working and the Good Friday Agreement means the infrastructure is there and parties play an integral part.
    “I believe I can step back from day-to-day work and make a contribution in a different way.”
    That contribution he hopes will be made on the pages of his book. And though he remained vague about he subject matter, upcoming landmark anniversaries of Easter Rising and Partition will play a role.
    “It will certainly be political in nature,” he continued.
    “The next decade will be very important in Irish politics with anniversaries of 1916 and 1921. Those dates will create an opportunity for a big conversation in Irish politics and I want to make my contribution – where we are at this point and were do we want to go.
    “In the run up to Easter Rising commemorations, I want to look at how we arrived at partition – strip away the myths and put it into the context of where the north is going.”
    Stepping down from the council and Assembly marks the end of a remarkable journey which began when he started questioning the British/Unionist identity instilled as a child.
    He says he evolved into a “very contented Irishman” who wanted to contribute to the establishment of a “United Ireland of Catholic Protestant, Dissenter, migrant worker – and everybody in modern day Ireland.”
    When he finally embraced republicanism in 2004, he says people were only to eager to welcome him into the fold, though he admits the transition from SDLP to Sinn Fein was difficult
    “It was a massive decision to join Sinn Fein. I always said if anyone had difficulty with me being there my door was always open.
    But, he added: “Plenty of grass roots supporters voted for me and I was selected for the Assembly by grass roots Republicans.”
    Leonard said he was well aware of what he was getting himself in for when he became a Sinn Fein member of unionist dominated Coleraine council.
    “What I’ve always said was that my activity in the chamber was only ever 10 per cent of my contribution to my work as a councillor,” he added, “in any case whatever was brought up I always felt I could handle.
    “I was only really concerned about my family. It was my choice, I signed up and knew what to expect.”

  • perseus

    letting him go quietly would have been a prefered option IMHO

    what is there to gain from this for SF so close to elections?

  • USA

    Sorry Turgon, your own blog posts about Unionism are usually well considered and well argued, but your comments above about republicanism are way off the mark.
    When you claim republicans are simply bigots who hate prods you are totally wrong,
    You also claim protestant members of SF are either naive or racked with guilt. That sounds arrogant. Your observations are wrong but proved valuable to me if only in that I now realize you have no true understanding of republicanism.

    – Catholic, Protestant and Dissenter –
    In 1798 General Munroe led his protestant republican army into battle at Ballynahinch. His men came from the Ards, Comber, Saintfield etc. As protestants and republicans, did they hate themselves?

  • Reader

    Pete Baker: …he would not stand as a candidate in the forthcoming Assembly election
    Well, to be fair all round, his presence at the last Assembly Elections seriously buggered up SF’s efforts to balance the vote between their two candidates, and he (or SF) possibly took the hint from the electorate.

  • qwerty12345

    Some of the posts on this thread really are deplorable, and then theres Turgons turgid offering. I dont know whether to respond to it or just laugh. Utterly clueless.

    Whatever the reason for Mr Leonards move away from Sinn Fein it has to be said that by all accounts he is / was a very hard working capable representative. His going will be a big loss to those he served.

    And as for the bizarre statements that the man is a bit “odd” or that he shape shifts, well well, how revealing. Yes Mr Leonard doesnt sit well with the views of those who have never had the ability OR bravery to think outside the political allegiance into which they were spawned.

  • tacapall

    More than likely Billy Boy wont let certain people censor his memoirs like just how did he manage to join Sinn Fein never mind becoming a trusted party representative considering his past.

  • Turgon

    USA,
    So Sinn Fein and republicans cannot be bigots because some Prods were involved in the 1798 rising. Well that is obvious.

    Sorry I thought republicans claimed it was unionists who were backward looking etc. Anyone who harks back to 1798 (or 1690 for that matter) to defend a current political position or claim demonstrates how little knowledge or relevance they possess.

    In addition the comment Protestant, Catholic and Dissenter again shows your complete non understanding of Ulster Prods. The concept is an utter nonsense: there are no descernible differences in voting patterns between Presbyterians and CoI apart from ones which can be better explained by social class or locality. Furthermore people like Methodists do not really fit intoneatly into either group: Presumably you would shoehorn them into Dissenter which again would demonstrate your non understanding of the history of Methodism and its theology.

    Coming back to the suggestion that republicans are not bigots who hate Prods. Unfortunately we cannot see into the minds of republicans so we must judge them on actions: this is inevitably whataboutery-ish. However, the repeated use of terms like Brits and Huns would imply a bit of bigotry eg. Kill all Huns: that sounds a bit bigoted. Categorising all of one group according to simplistic stereotypes is pretty bigoted. Then of course we have the murderous IRA campaign which killed lots of Prods merely for being Prods or are you going to try to describe Darkley, Kingsmills etc. ect. as not bigoted? Oh yes you may claim that Darkley and Kingsmills was not by the IRA: fine.

    Then we might mention the original Shankill shop bombing (the Balmoral furniture company in 1971) as well of course as the later one. The Birmingham pub bombing was a fundamentally bigoted act against British people for being British. The Newtownhamilton Orange Hall murders, Douglas Deering, last Protestant shopkeeper in Rosslea. I could go on all night.

    [Play the ball – edited moderator]

  • tacapall

    Turgon why dont you remember all the atrocities not just the ones that suit your own narrow agenda. We could write here all night about who done what to who going back centuries, it was all done in the name of Ireland or Britain, yes republicans did carry out actions that were unjustifiable and Im sure you would offer no excuse for some of the actions carried out by the British or loyalists against Irish and Catholic people but we do know that the Irish people are trying to move away from the past and learn from the mistakes of that past, the same cant be said for the British, still murdering citizens of other countries or engaging in terrorist activity to bring about regime change in the name of democracy but in reality its about plundering and control of other countries natural resources.

  • The Word

    We’ll never know the truth about what happened Billy Leonard because Sinn Fein never tell the truth, and Billy knows its not worth his while to tell the truth (or we would have heard it by now).

    Wait till you hear the scatter of feet now as they try to come up with some half-lie, half-trying to sound convincing story that explains that Billy was really just considering his payoff or such like. Some of are pretty sure what it was really about.

  • qwerty12345

    Turgon wrote “Republicans try to hide this but the simple fact is that many republicans both activists and voters are simply bigots who do not like Prods”

    I’m sure you are right about some people ( and without doubt there were republican actions during the troubles that were sectarian) but in my experience I have not met a single Sinn Feiner of any standing who has ever voiced what I would consider nakedly sectarian remarks. You might want the truth to be otherwise, but it doesnt fit the reality.

    Are you suggesting that Sinn Fein took on an ex orange order police officer as a rep only to years later start hating him cos he’s a prod – this beggars belief. You are being ridiculous.

    In any case, it’s Sinn Fein’s loss.

  • Turgon

    tacapall,
    Republicans seem disinclined to move away from the past except when it suits them. Republicans are the ones who want a shrine at the Maze, republicans are the ones who complain bitterly about the likes of Bloody Sunday etc. Now the affected families also do so and that is entirely legitimate but republicans who were not personally affected are extremely fond of raising such events.

    Then we have the republican worship of people like the Loughgall “martyrs” whom they venerate at commemorations (except not in Loughgall itself: they are not quite that stupid).

    In addition we have the republican rewriting of history to claim that the murderous IRA campaign was to gain Civil Rights – the ones granted in the early / mid 1970s – yet the bigoted sectarian murders continued.

    No republicans are extremely keen on obsessing about the past.

    As to only mentioning atrocities which suit my agenda: a blatant lie. I have recently blogged the McGurk’s Bar murders: I was the only one on Slugger to do so. Hence, you are simply lying.

    Incidentally I am unclear why the last part of my last post was censored: pointing out that a commentator’s vast remove from the place he claims to be an expert on is far from not playing the ball.

  • Turgon

    qwerty12345
    We both know that is not what I said: please try to address what I have said rather than lying about it.

    Your attempt to claim republicans are not bigots is completely flawed: already you have had to admit some were bigoted. You claim that you have never heard Sinn Feiners voicing sectarian remarks. Well you may not be in an especially good position to judge yourself. Furthermore some loyalists (the semi coherent ones) managed not to make overtly bigoted remarks: sadly that did not stop them murdering people for being Catholics. Nick Griffin manages to avoid overtly bigoted remarks in public: surely you are not going to pretend that he is not a bigot?

    Republicans have repeatedly celebrated the sectarian murderers and that includes senior members of Sinn Fein: celebrating a bigoted sectarian murderer is pretty bigoted.

    Turning back to the lies you told about my previous post. It is clear that having Billy Leonard brought SF some advantages. However, there were also disadvantages: his oddness and the fact that as bigots they dislike Prods to the extent that many of their members have felt compelled to murder them for being Prods.

    It seems as if the disadvantages have no outweighed the advantages.

  • tacapall

    Turgon, so what about a memorial at Long Kesh, it has a history and you cannot pretend it didn’t happen, as for remembering murderers and rejoicing about the past maybe you should have a look at some of the banners they carry during those Orange marches or even what they are actually during the 12th. By the way Turgon, republicans – the IRA, have never claimed the past conflict was about civil rights, its always been about the British presence in Ireland.

  • tacapall

    Celebrating during the 12th

  • Mark McGregor

    So, the line the shinners pitched to the BBC reads like scene setting a financial issue.

    What’s the craic?

    Did he decide ‘average industrial wage’ wasn’t enough when he was facing retirement and sky-rocketed his entire salary (legally)?

    As for his pedigree, he never shone for me. Electorally he took SF back beneath the SDLP in 2005, he failed to get elected in 2007 – is winning SF’s first seat in Bann the sum of his achievements (he picked up more votes when he was running for the stoops in The Skerries FGS)?

  • The Word

    “claim that the murderous IRA campaign was to gain Civil Rights”

    Quite right, Turgon. The only thing the IRA campaign actually achieved was misery for everybody concerned, even their own members, the mainly young working class Catholics, 15,000 of whom spent 120,000 years in all in jail.

    The Troubles underscored the futility of violence, the pointlessness of war and the self-delusion of those who have weapons, who never seem to ask why they are fighting against their own shadows in opposing national communities, and who never realise that all violence is counter-productive to the words they use to support it. But evil is endlessly stupid.

  • andnowwhat

    and they say a leonard never change it’s spots

  • Turgon

    tacapall,
    You claimed republicans are trying to move away from the past. Yet now you admit that they are more than interested in it.

    I agree that Orange banners are about the past: I never said otherwise. It was you trying to claim republicans are not interested in the past which was the issue at hand. Mentioning the Orange order will not get you off the hook you have so adroitly impaled yourself upon.

    I see no attempt to defend your claim that I only highlight atrocities which suit me: then again no retraction of the lie despite the evidence of you lying.

    The IRA may not claim that the terrorism was about civil rights but a number of leading IRA members would now have us believe that that is what the IRA was fighting for. Those leading IRA members now being SF politicians.

    Finally you say that the conflict is about the British presence in Ireland. Finally we are getting to the point of republican bigotry. The point tacapall is that there are about 900,000 of us British people present here in Northern Ireland. Our refusal to leave, die or give in to republican intimidation is indeed the problem. However, to borrow a phrase: We haven’t gone away you know.

  • socaire

    Turgon, I don’t think the ‘900000’ are the problem. You can go or stay as you wish. The problem is the British colonial presence – the colonial finger in our pie which is souring everything. How many of the colonial civilians would stay if the British offered £100000 per head to repatriate?

  • Pete Baker

    Guys

    Rather than rake over the coals of over-rehearsed territory and over-familar arguments, could we try to keep to the actual topic?

  • qwerty12345

    Turgon you are a laugh. I didnt tell any lies about what you said lol I quoted directly.

    As for this: “It is clear that having Billy Leonard brought SF some advantages. However, there were also disadvantages: his oddness and the fact that as bigots they dislike Prods to the extent that many of their members have felt compelled to murder them for being Prods”

    Hahahahahahaha. Yes Republicans are so inspired by a visceral hatred of the reformed faith and its adherents that they elected such an adherent in several elections. Wise up, you are looking really foolish.

    As for you thinking Mr Leonard is “odd” mote and beam dear boy!

  • Turgon

    qwerty12345,
    In terms of Leonard’s electoral success, I refer you to Mark McGregor’s comments above. It does indeed appear that republicans are disinclined to vote for him in large numbers: I suppose it might not be bigotry; it might be his oddness instead.

    socaire,
    Expecting the British population here to relocate is a particularly bigoted and sectarian suggestion. I might just as well suggest that nationalists be offered money to go to the RoI.

  • SDLP supporter

    Have to agree with Turgon and the points fairly made. At the risk of having Gowin’s Law invoked against me, you’d be hard-pressed to find evidence that the Nazis went on record to say they were liquidating the Jews as a matter of policy.

    Interestingly, a link in the BBC site to the Provos’ old friend, and unapologetic IRA supporter, Congressman Pete King, in his new role of baiter of the US Muslim where he’s described as the ‘new Joe McCarthy’.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-12693982

    By your friends shall you know them. Provo supporters Muammar Ghadaffi and Congressman Pete King. What a pair of guys!

  • The Word

    “if the British offered £100000 per head to repatriate”

    That’s right, socaire, you just compound problems here by putting a price on the head of unionist allegiance. These people have had enough of that over their history. Let’s try not to vulgarise people.

    By that reckoning £20,000,000 was cheap to buy Sinn Fein party allegiance. Whether its violence or money, some people are always trying to trivialise people.

  • socaire

    Turgon, I was NOT expecting the colons to repatriate. I said that the option was there. I feel that Ireland would be much poorer without their (usually) liberal influence. I was just musing how many were so attached to this country that they would refuse a financial incentive to move. And how could a cute fellow like yourself offer me money to move to Ireland. I was born here and I live here. As for your contribution, Wordy, I throw my shoe at you.

  • SDLP supporter

    Socaire

    Your £100k per head option for northern unionists must be the most idiotic proposal ever tabled on this site. Let’s see: 55% of 1.8 million people as unionists at £100k per head. That works out at £99 billion. Yeah, the Brits would sign on for that, no problem!!

    I’ll tell you what would happen: every self-identified unionists would claim the money, take the boat across the water and return the next day, citing EU freedom of movement rights. As well as that, a fair few hobos in the ‘Murph and elsewhere would suddenly find out they were British, no bother.

    To quote Fitt: “The Provos want the Brits out but leave the purse on the mantel-piece”.

    To quote Hume: “nationalists must accept that unionists have been here longer than the white man has been in North America.”

  • tacapall

    Turgon you seem to have a policy of accusing anyone who challenges you of being a liar, how ignorant and petty you are I was talking about your post re USA 6.40 pm. Yeah you are right there are 900,000 protestants here in the six counties Im not religious so it matters nothing to me what god they bow to but you cant claim they are all British. I know many protestants who view the Orange Order like I do peadophile priests and who couldn’t give a fiddlers who runs the country, its the old fashioned ones like yourself who still cling to the notion that they are somehow superior, calling everyone else murderers and terrorists yet support their own soldiers indulging in modern day colonialism and terrorist activities in other countries murdering all around them in the pursuit of profit for parasites who use them like canon fodder to pursue an agenda that benifits the rich and who care nothing about the mothers and kin of those soldiers who come home in body bags.

  • granni trixie

    It is ridiculous to claim that SF are not sectarian.
    All the evidence is contrary.

  • Lionel Hutz

    Sinn Fein may be bigots but that doesn’t mean that Repuclicans are, does it.

    Certainly, the IRA were a bigotted organisation by their very nature, waging a campaign to kick the Brits out that had no legitimacy whatsoever because they ahd a different view of things. I’m not convinced that they are religious bigots as religion is not that important on the Nationalist/Republican side. Religious bigotry was peculiar to the Unionists and Protestants who for decades (in fact centuries) tried to make the debate about Catholic (Rome Rule) vs Protestantism.

    In any case, non of this means Irish Republican’s are bigots. Given that most of Sinn Fein’s support has come since they abondoned the national bigotry, the evidence would seem to suggest the opposite.

  • fordprefect

    SDLP Supporter
    It’s Godwin’s Law.
    Maybe Billy is going to call his book: Billy Leonard, My Fight For: Irish/British/Unionist/Loyalist/SDLP/Sinn Fein/Uncle Tom Cobley an’ All Freedom!

  • JAH

    Having Unionists accuse SF of being bigots or vice versa really is a case the pot calling the kettle black. One only has to look at the voting figures to discern it remains a sectarian electorate, but not one that will vote for out and out reactionaries like TUV. We are decent and honest bigots.

  • fordprefect

    LOL@JAH

  • 241934 john brennan

    Wee Willie Leonard runs through Coleraine
    Into parties, out of parties, again and again.
    But no time now for one last hurrah.
    For Sinn Fein gave him his coup de gráce

  • the future’s bright, the future’s orange

    flip me, hand me the 100k now! Happy days lads. Enjoy the rain, crap food and linedancing. I’m off to Oz 🙂

  • Neil

    Incidentally I know two Protestants that work for Sinn Fein. Neither of them are niaive, English or otherwise. I’ll not be outing anyone here but one of them was brought up, and lives still in a paticularly hardline Loyalist area of Belfast.

    The man in question is a leftie, doesn’t agree with the politics of the DUP or UUP for that reason, and would be more than happy to see the island re-unified. But it would be his admirably strong working class values that keep him in the party.

    As for Turgon’s rantings about Republicans (and for the most part you can replace the word Republicans with IRA members – they being one and the same in Turgon world) it’s worth bearing in mind that the IRA was less than 1% of the population. Not a lot to be hanging an entire group of people on. But if you look at what he’s said you’ll see little evidence of sectarianism from non IRA members.

    However when I rack my brain, thinking of say, sectarian murders, I can recall off the top of my head Kevin McDaid (Catholic, murdered by a Loyalist mob), and Michael McIlveen (Catholic, murdered by a Loyalist mob).

    Now I may be being subconciously sectarian, (and I’m sure if I am someone will gladly point it out to me) but I can’t recall any Loyalists being murdered by any mobs lately – and especially no-one who’s been murdered by non paramilitaries before Turgon responds with a full list of IRA victims.

    It would seem there’s a dearth of non paramiltary Republicans beating people to death for being protestant.

    I’m not saying there aren’t dickheads on both sides, there are. And I see from a quick google that we (Republicans) lead the way in attacks on symbolic buildings (but given the situation at St Matthew’s we’re not solely to blame).

    And I’m sure that if we were to start talking about people being forced form their homes that there would be examples of this on both sides (though again the Loyalists would seem to have it – especially if we factor foreign folk in to the mix) and I’m sure we can remember the protests outside the apartments in Belfast City Centre – because Nationalists were inside.

    Anyways, for Turgon I just want to repeat one thing. Most Republicans were never in the IRA – so all your examples of IRA violence don’t really apply to the argument. In much the same way as me sitting listing examples of UDA/UVF/RHC wouldn’t apply as these are paramilitary organisations, and only the members of such can be blamed.

    However start providing examples of ‘civilian’ (for want of a better term) sectarian attacks (as I’ve provided for you) showing our problem to be on the same magnitude as yours.

    Or better still, admit the Loyalist community has work to do to prevent mobs murdering people for sectarian or racist reasons, cause, and no offence now, but you guys seem to do those things an awful lot more than anyone else.

  • RyanAdams

    Not a good move here by SF. A public row before an election is a recipe for disaster, regardless of whether he stands here or not. He got 2321 (6.8%) v Brollys 4476 (13.2%) in 07. Will be interesting to see if that stays with the party, especially as 2010 figures indicate SF have indeed reacher their peek in this constituency as the vote share actually dropped between 2010 and 2007, and with boundary changes making East Londonderry more nationalist before w2010, they should have had even a small growth here.

  • socaire

    SDLP supporter, This was not a proposal ie £100k. But if you simplify it to a million people taking £100,000 and remembering that there is a million million in a billion, then we see where Alex Attwood gets his mathematical abilities from.

  • Lionel Hutz

    55% of 1.8 million is 990,000 people. 100K per person equals 99 billion. So, Socaire, does that mean Attwood gets his figures from a reliable source?

    By the way 1 billion is more commonly used to describe 1,000 million and not a million million. You know for example when people describe the worlds population as close to 9 billion or when they describe Bill Gates as a multi billionaire.

    Billion can mean million million but that usage of the word has more or less been wiped out. A million million is most commonly referred to as a trillion

  • USA

    Turgon,
    Your rantings above are increasingly twisted and illogical. At one point point you even state “Categorising all of one group according to simplistic stereotypes is pretty bigoted” – newsflash Einstien – that was my original point. Frankly I’m too busy to entertain your TUV flaws.

    On another point mentioned above, yes you did blog about the McGurks bar massacre; from what I can recall it was a very good piece and you deserve credit fir that. Shame you have to ruin all that good effort.

    Baker – don’t lecture to people about what they can talk about – either contribute something or say nothing.

  • Zig70

    no one seems to know Billy’s reason for being suspended or did I miss it in the rest of the guff. Maybe miss use of the word which we all take to mean disciplinary action?

  • SDLP supporter

    So, Socaire, do you acknowledge your lack of mathematical knowledge?? The essential point is the same: your proposal is quite simply nuts, cloud-cuckoo stuff.

  • 241934 john brennan

    For SF, the reasons for suspension, dismissal or termination of individuals are completely irrelevant. “The cause” justifies everything – so human rights are subordinated to “citizens’ rights”, which may be equally bestowed, or denied without redress, at the whim of the party.

    Perhaps Billy will be the first to take case against SF for unlawful suspension?

  • socaire

    sdlp man, this being the United Kingdom to which your leader has sworn fealty, we will use the British version of what a billion is. Thank you. But you miss the point. I was just wondering if any or how many would take the money and run. Remember Las Malvinas where it would have been cheaper to give every islander £1m and not prosecute a war. Or what about the Rent and Rates strike? (snigger)

  • 241934 john brennan

    Speaking of millions – Peter Robinson and Martin McGuiness have jointly squirreled away £80m from the North’s budget – and put it into an unaccountable slush fund, with the intention of giving it to certain “community activists” (redundant pet paramilitaries, as a bribe to keep them from reverting to past employment practices?)

    Given that there are somewhat less than 1 million households in the North, is this not the equivalent of SF/DUP withholding somewhat more than £80 from each and every family in the North?

  • SDLP supporter

    Yeah, Socaire, your party’s associates in the IRA put 1,800 people in their graves for the right to adminster British rule and Ireland and all you can throw up is a strike that happened 40 years ago.

  • SDLP supporter

    Sorry, “British rule in Ireland”

  • Barry the Blender

    Incidentally I know two Protestants that work for Sinn Fein. Neither of them are niaive, English or otherwise.

    If this level of evidence constitutes an acid test then I know a protestant who wanted to work for a SF MLA and she told him she wouldn’t be employing a little orange git like him.

    I also know one protestant who leaflets for the Sinners and he’s very very naive.

    Conclusive proof that it is a sectarian organisation, as defined by Neill’s criteria

  • socaire

    sdlp supporter, I apologise that I stooped so low but as Mitchel McLaughlin says some parties are not comfortable in their own skins.By the way, I am not an SF member or supporter just an independent republican. And I could tell you some hair raisers about the early SDLP. But to get back on track. It is not important that Mr Leonard is, by accident of birth, a Protestant but that he is now a republican – albeit of the provo variety.