#Aras11: Nordies need not apply, the party’s over…

I’ve heard it said in some quarters that quietly, there’s some considerable animus shown southerners in Northern Ireland. It’s not the old sectarian, ‘hey are you from Dublin, whip you off the street and take you to a house just off the lower Shankill’ sort of thing. It’s more of the ‘what the hell would you know’ sort of prejudice.

And, I guess, some of that inevitably flows the other way too. At least that’s what Davy Adams argues in his Irish Times column today:

To the southern mind, we’re too abrasive, overly aggressive and, when it suits us, pigheadedly literal (the grating accent doesn’t help much, either). And that’s not the half of it. Ultimately, we’re seen as outsiders – if not quite foreigners – poking our noses into a polity that’s none of our business.

The shock on the faces of Dana and Martin as the harsh reality of southern partitionism sank in has been something to behold. Dana’s previous outings coincided with the tide of goodwill that swept Mary II into the Áras and, a couple of years later, herself briefly into the European parliament. Dana must feel like she’s landed on a different planet from 2004 Ireland.

As for Martin (who can only be cursing himself for not being more suspicious of Gerry opting to stand in a Border county, rather than run for president), his taken-aback demeanour has, to me at least, often suggested the previously unimaginable: “Good God, these people make even the unionists seem friendly.”

I think that’s a little harsh myself. We northerners don’t, by and large, get what makes the southern state tick (even those of us who take the time to pull the tactics of the Dublin full forward line to pieces before the big match)…

Southern politics is about real democratic power, the acquiring of it, or the lack thereof… Mary McAleese spent time in Dublin, and crucially she spent time within Fianna Fail (for most of the history of the state, the quintessential nexus of political power in Dublin), where she beat Albert Reynolds for the party nomination.

Sinn Fein’s failure, such as it is, occurred despite using by the far the most popular politician in Northern Ireland. It did not happen because he is northern (though work could have been done there that wasn’t), but because he does not yet have the native assets to draw upon to get him anywhere near the win line.

I suspect Sinn Fein would need to double or triple the number of McDonalds, Dohertys, MacLochlainns and Toibins before a northern liveried President becomes a realistic prospect anytime soon.

In the meantime, that “too abrasive, overly aggressive and pigheadedly literal” character arises from an exaggerated sense of the importance of our own, largely inscrutable, problems with history over and above the fragility of life as it is being lived within the skint political economy of a post Tiger world.

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  • “too abrasive, overly aggressive and pigheadedly literal”

    Mick, that’s not an unfair caricature of Presbyterians 🙂

    This lot of troublesome folks acquired the nicknames of blackmouth and black-neb so it’s hardly surprising that this little corner became known as the Black North

    Martin, on the other hand, is a strong Catholic who has done bad things. He’s also a victim of abject Dublin political hypocrisy – a Dublin that ran for cover under threat of a revolution designed to sweep away the conservative institutions in both Belfast and Dublin – and IIRC Gerry lambasted Dublin for not wanting a Fenian about the place.

    I’ve seen it reported that Martin is popular here but a lamentable MSM is responsible for failing to accurately report the ongoing bad behaviour of the PRM (and other key players in the ‘peace process’).

    Ireland’s electorate probably knows a fair bit about some of the shenanigans here so lying through his teeth on certain matters and the brusque treatment of victims hasn’t done Martin any favours. He’s had immunity from prosecution for many years so he didn’t have to tell some of those lies.

  • I think Mr Fealty reads this situation much better than Mr D Adams. It might well be a case of wishful thinking on the part of Mr D Adams.

    I dont thnk the current situation of Dana has anything to do with the North but owes more to the fact that she is seen as past her sell by date. The animosity is as much about her Americanisation as her Nordiness.
    McGuinness is still likely to score a higher percentage that Sinn Féin scored in February. Obviously he wont win and it would be divisive if he did.
    But the story here is not about how far Sinn Féin(particuarly northerners) have to go to be accepted in the South but rather about how far they have already gone.

  • Alanbrooke

    The Irish don’t like us, the Brits don’t like us and we don’t like each other – yet another success for the DUSFP government.

  • Mary Anna

    “This Must Never Be Allowed To Happen Again”

    A young man, David Kelly, from the Republic of Ireland had the guts to come out and speak out against the injustice that was inflicted upon him. He confronted Martin McGuinness about the murder of his father, Patrick Kelly. His father was a 35 year old private in the Irish Army who was killed by the IRA when he and others tried to rescue businessman Don Tidey who had been kidnapped by the IRA. Private Kelly was gunned down along with Garda Gary Sheenan in the rescue attempt in Co. Leitrim in 1983.
    The question is why are there not more David Kellys in Northern Ireland ? – people who are willing to confront the people and organisations responsible for their loss and pain. Perhaps there is a clue in McGuinness’s response to Mr Kelly – “that was 30 years ago”. In Northern Ireland, people are being constantly told to move on and draw a line in the sand by the very same people that perpetuated the violence and hatred. Bringing up the past is looked upon as somehow being against the peace process – it is not – it is merely victims and victims families looking for the truth of what happened to their loved ones and for those that inflicted that pain to face up to their responsibilities.

    Before history gets rewritten let us remind ourselves of just how many victims there were. In our conflict between 1969 and 2001 a total of 3526 were killed and those organisations responsible are listed below.

    Responsibility for killing[125]

    Responsible party No.
    Republican paramilitary groups 2057
    Loyalist paramilitary groups 1019
    British security forces 363
    Persons unknown 82
    Irish security forces 5
    Total 3526

    Now back to David Kelly and the lack of people like David Kelly in Northern Ireland. We in the North have been brow beaten and bullied into keeping quiet – exhausted from a dirty war and only too glad that there is some semblance of peace – the majority think it better to keep quiet and allow the perpetrators to rewrite history. A recent example of this type of bullying was when Martin McGuinness threatened to reveal secrets about Frank Hegarty that would embarrass the Hegarty family. Frank Hegarty was the MI5 agent that McGuinness was alleged to have lured back to his death in Derry.
    There has been much talk – well that is not entirely correct – some talk about the need for a truth commission. In my opinion this is just a smoke screen and a device for those who inflicted the pain to avoid facing up to the pain they caused – they don’t expect a truth commission or its terms of reference to ever be agreed but can deal with embarrassing questions by pronouncing their support for a commission. The nearest we had to a truth commission was the Bloody Sunday Enquiry and even then we never got the full truth – the Ministry of Defence stalled and obstructed the enquiry whenever they could and the IRA, in the form of Martin McGuinness, refused to tell all citing IRA confidentiality.
    I believe that if victims want truth and justice then they have to demand it because the vested interests in Stormont and Westminster are only concerned with self interest and self interest excludes truth and justice. There is a risk that victims will become forgotten and the reality of the conflict blurred and romanticised – increasing the risk that the denial of the past will doom us to repeat it. Take a look at the new young recruits to the UVF or dissident Republicans who are too young to have ever experienced the nastiness and heart break of troubles but are intent in reproducing them – romantic notions of being heroes for Ulster or Ireland.
    That is why victims have to take things into their own hands and confront those now in power and responsible for the pain.
    I believe that it would be a very powerful thing to do if relatives of those killed in the conflict, come together, each with a picture of their murdered love one and display them on mass.
    We have an, early, excellent opportunity presently, with the race to be President of Ireland. Martin McGuinness brought the northern aspect to it . The majority of the population in the Republic have no real idea as to what it was like to live through the troubles and the real consequences of it.
    The sight of so many of the victims from the troubles, in one place, with photographs of their loved ones, will bring home the enormity of the loss and pain, and shame the politicians into doing sometime meaningful about truth and justice.
    Families can take back their lives by standing up for their dead. Take our campaign to Stormont, Westminster and the Dail bring a picture of a loved one. Never forget the damage that has been done by a futile war. We do not need to forget or draw a line in the sand, what is needed is convictions, justice, and then true peace will follow. If we do not make a stand now, then we teaching the next generation it is ok to take a life and to hurt and harm because no one will ever be held accountable.

  • Mary Anna

    What does Martin/Dana have in common apart from Denial! All that i have to say is thank god Irelands wisdom! You are aware of the very dark past that our people suffered from the past war, troubles, conflict.. MCG does not give a toss who was murdered – those who have suffer in silence and will suffer until we get convictions, justice, then true peace will follow -MCG is heartless, a cold hard liner, and power has gone to his head. The need for greed for his empires! Keep Ireland safe from facists liers. ” Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and give an appearance of solidity to pure wind” George Orwell. Ps Dana your better at singing than standing for what? My vote will go to Gay M because he had guts to stand up for the truth. And he cares about people.

  • “That is why victims have to take things into their own hands and confront those now in power and responsible for the pain.”

    Mary Anna, that would be a very difficult thing to do as even the ‘good’ paramilitaries are still prepared to threaten dire consequences to those who seek justice.

    London and Dublin had to resort to the use of double-agents when victims and witnesses were not in a position to enable the courts to operate in a conventional manner and double-agents couldn’t survive unless they carried out some of the orders of the paramilitaries. Apologists for the latter like to merge the roles of state-agents and these double-agents in order to divert attention from the actions of their ‘heroes’.

  • Cynic2

    But are Southern voters rejecting where Marty is from or what he has done?

  • Mary Anna

    Nevin , you are so right. I want the good people of the south of Ireland And north of Ireland , stand up for humanity! We must never deny our past. Those who deny the past are doomed to repeat it. What has been happening to our loved ones, they need our support . It was a useless cause waste of life…… The families are left without mothers ,fathers, brothers sisters children they are without without grandfathers and grandmothers 40 years of the troubles was wrong -all could have been done by peaceful means, violence acheives nothing , but pain hurt, loss and broken hearts.How dare MCG stand there and pretend everthing is wonderful in the north, yes maybe for his family but not for over 3,700 deaths. We need truth convictions justice -peace will then follow. I pray that one day our families will be helped and supported they our are forgotten victims of the past 40 years!

  • Mick Fealty

    Look guys. Can you do your. Est to comment on the post above.

  • Mary Anna, we have a very unfair form of democracy. I often give London and Dublin a bit of stick because of their appeasement nimbyism but perhaps bureaucrats are just as bad: they’ll give small dogs a good kicking while they give the big dogs the ‘blind-eye’ treatment – and a fine repast.

  • keano10

    Mick,

    You have become perhaps a tad over-zealous in the past few days talking about freely lost deposits etc.. bearing in mind that the campaign still has plenty of legs and has proven to be both volatile and unpredictacle.

    To go as far today as to apply the word “failure” to Sinn Fein, particularly at this stage may prove to be somewhat premature and is quite brave in some respects. It may also possibly prove to be inaccurate when all the votes have been tallied. I have’nt read a single commentator who believes that Sean Gallagher will receive anything like the 39% of first preference votes which were predicted in the latest Red C poll.

    There is still huge scope for fluctuation particularly in light of further revelations in today’s Southern press in relation to Gallagher’s relationship with Fianna Fail.

    If many Irish voters eventually conclude that they may have been hoodwinked by Messrs Gallagher and Martin, then the potential backlash could see votes dispersed all over the place.

    There is much still to happen in an election which has never been predictable or without incident…

  • Tochais Síoraí

    Neither candidate is losing votes for being northerners.

    Dana is getting flak because well, she’s Dana. The kind of sugar coated conservative religious stuff she spouts might have a market in parts of Alabama and Mississippi but not in 2011 ROI.

    As for Martin, his glass ceiling is there because well, he is Martin Mc Guinness, former Provo leader and all that goes with it. However, the ceiling might have gone a fair bit higher if there was less of the giant porkies. Many might well have balanced his IRA past against his performance as NI DFM and said, let’s give the guy a chance. However when he tries it on with that crap about leaving the IRA in 1974, a very strong ‘we might be a bit stupid but hey, don’t take us for complete eejits’ mood has emerged.

  • “Sinn Fein’s failure, such as it is, occurred despite using by the far the most popular politician in Northern Ireland.”

    Mick, such language makes me feel uncomfortable on two counts: Martin still doesn’t limit himself to acceptable methods of political persuasion (hence my use of parapolitician) and it doesn’t factor in the feelings of the victims of the Troubles and their families across these islands.

  • Drumlins Rock

    “the potential backlash could see votes dispersed all over the place.”
    The way this race is going they would be wise to stay at home, and I usually am someone who stresses the importance of voting even to my own expense 🙂
    As for the Northern issue, the cultures are slightly different either the candidate has to adapt to the Southern culture or they learn to accept his “Northerness” either of which take time, Mary managed a bit of both but did most of the adapting, Marty hasn’t had time nor the freedom too yet, so he remains a bit of an outsider still, Dana on the other hand is verging on steotypical middleage middleclass Irish woman, which is rather out of fashion now, her Northernness has little to do with it.
    I guess the question is if Marty had a strong innercity Limerick accent, and had a powerful political base there, but had not ventured into national politics would that also play against him? espically if few of that powerbase can actually vote!

  • First, McG is likely to get a slightly greater vote than SF did at general election because the vote is across the entire country and many will be able to vote, who couldn’t because there wasn’t a SF candidate in their constituency at the general election. Do southerners have an element of distain for northerners? Not really, but they understand that it is ‘somewhere else’ and ‘different’ and anyone using their track record in ‘d’Nordth’ isn’t really speaking to them. Which would be McG’s biggest challenge. He has nothing to say that is relevant to the South.

    Making a virtue of your Catholicism probably isn’t speaking much to the man on the street down south either at the present time.

    It is endearing how northern republicans/nationalists have a sense of ‘Ireland’ that is increasingly distanced from the present reality of the Republic. Northern republicans/nationalists have become ‘themselves alone’.

    Gallagher has risen up the polls perhaps because they want someone young (relatively), entrepreneurial (important when the economy is in hock to billions), and when meeting foreign dignitaries the story would be the meeting and not the President or ‘the wrong questions’. At the end of the day he is an Irishman who looks neither mad or eccentric, doesn’t play up to religion, and hasn’t a cupboard full of skeletons. He comes across as ordinary. After the hedonism and excess of the recent past, is that so bad?

    Then again there is still time for a new front-runner….

  • andnowwhat

    As a very young kid I took interest in British politics and (to a lesser degree) politics in the south. Even at that age I was well aware that politics in the Republic were corrupt and a complete gombeen joke. To this day, I have seen nothing change.

    Just this morning, on the radio, Gallagher was challenged about an 80 grand transaction/loan in to his bank, money that he described as resting.

    I think that there are many in the north who understand only too well how politics works in the Republic. It’s a cowardly, incestuous, corrupt banana republic. SF may not be the boys to do it (IMHO, they aren’t) but it needs a shakeup and if SF can do a little to that end, so be it until something better comes along.

    The media that are attacking SF are all too predictable and have fired previously at that other non shinner, Mary Mc Aleese.

    As for Dana, she ran on a very traditional RC ticket at a time when the church is as popular as Gary Glitter at a kindergarden(. BTW, was her belief that there was an assassination attempt covered on Slugger?), hardly a Northern thing. I did note, in P.ie, that the american thing did not play well and rightly so given the oath that one must take.

    Odd that the elite is happy to have the foreign hands of the IMF end ECB rifle through the country’s drawers but heaven forbid someone from up the road gets involved

  • Republic of Connaught

    Martin McGuinness might not get on with the TV presenters on RTE or TV3 but his reception in the 26 counties among the ordinary people proves he was far from an outsider in their eyes. Not suitable for President because of his IRA past in my opinion, but no more or less an Irishman than any other.

    Whether he was from Derry or Kerry, Belfast or Dublin, he’d have walked this election if he hadn’t been on the P-IRA army council. Everyone knows he’s the best man for the job. But he has too many skeletons in the closet (literally?) to win.

    I think Northern Unionists in general love to believe this ‘we’re so different to the rest of Ireland’ stuff to validate their own entrenched positions. All ‘Nordies’ certainly have some differences which is to be expected after being partitioned away from the rest of the country for nearly one hundred years.

    Let’s see if the first generation of Ulster kids brought up in a united Ireland under the same education system etc.. feel so different to the rest of the kids in Ireland. Isolate a minority from the majority for a prolonged period and they will inevitably feel different. Especially on such a small island.

  • Mick Fealty

    Keano,

    Before things get any more complicated, I did NOT predict a lost deposit. I merely pointed to the fact that 13% is very close to lost deposit territory and the challenge of securing that will require a lot of work because the party doesn’t know where the new support is.

    I do take TD’s point that actually a lot of new voters will count in those four (I think) constituencies where SF did not contest earlier in the year.

    So how do you measure failure?

    Well, if I thought any kind of success was on the cards, I would be saying so… like this poll (http://sluggerotoole.com/2011/02/02/sinn-fein-set-to-surge-to-unprecedented-success/) earlier in the year… I think I called the lines of Pearse Doherty’s success fairly earIy too..

    I don’t see success in any fashion here… Yes, there’ll be ways to finesse it as not being a waste of time… Mark argued early on that success for the party would be mostly defined as ‘losing well’… http://sluggerotoole.com/2011/09/28/mcguinness-success-is-just-about-losing-well/

    He argued that just 12% could be portrayed as a draw… That’s okay, but it also ignores the fact that a lesser player might have been expected to put at least 2% on the popular when the government is not exactly popular…

    If there is a failure so far it’s been the failure to ‘permission’ to talk about the things the electorate want to hear from Martin (and Sinn Fein)…

    Of course, I could be eating my words sooner than I’d like… But I don’t see any groundswell of opinion running to owards him… but its really my point about not having enough ground assets is the real limitation on the kinds of substantial growth that would put Martin in the Aras…

  • keano10

    I accept some of that Mick, however, I think most of your conclusions are based on a very strict interpretation that the most recent Red C Poll finding will be played out on polling day.

    I just think that there are gonna be a few more twists and turns before votes are finally cast. Particularly, in relation to Gallagher and there are signs that some of the media bloodhounds are beginning to fix their sights on new ‘blood’.

    I think you said yesterday that Higgins is best when he says nothing at all and I agree. Gallagher may be about to get a little bit of the treatment which has been meted out to McGuinness.

    As for The Shinners, I would guess that they will be targetting those groups that will max out their votes come election day. To be honest, I still find it impossible to estimate the potential first preferences for any of the leading candidates at this stage.

  • Mick Fealty

    Definitely too early. Martin needs to switch these negative perceptions that get reinforced every time he gets confronted by another victim of IRA violence.

    One of the bolder statements I made at the outset here was that this was no job for a Nordie. I feared a couple of times since That I might have been wrong on that.

    But even if there is a late erosion in the front runner poll rating, I think his general lack of empathy with the challenges faced by the southern electorate means he may not be the direct beneficiary.

    His sign off on the Six One News saying that he would invite two women sacked from TalkTalk a few weeks ago was a rare touch of the sort of populist genius he has such a flair for.

  • Nunoftheabove

    I’d have thought that any benchmarking to the recent/past general election numbers of previous ‘real’ election SF party (sic) performances or these arbitrary success/failure ‘thresholds’ of 10%, 13%, 15% etc is time-wasting silliness. And entirely bogus. There are so many variables which cannot possibly be correlated or sensibly compared that it’s a pointless and frankly fairly lazy – not to say wanky – enterprise if you ask me. Which, in fairness, you didn’t.

    If there’s any form of late chase on for McG it’s wearing an unusually heavy disguise from what I’m seeing/hearing. What’s surprising, if anything to me about that is that there are people who appear surprised by his inability to create much traction. In a largely mediocre field of candidates he really hasn’t scored that highly based on his well-rehearsed mainstream media appearances. He’s an unexceptional actor on that stage. He’s just not that impactful, not greatly impressive at all.

  • keano10

    I agree that McG would’nt be the main beneficiary in any potential collapse in Gallagher’s vote. Higgins would romp home. McGuinness however, could potentially poll 15-16 % of first preferences. It would’nt be beyond the realms of possibility. How that would be judged remains to be seen.

  • FuturePhysicist

    If the collapse in Gallagher’s vote goes to apathy, it ultimately boosts all candidates vote including Martin McGuinness. We’ve reached the point where it’s extremely unlikely people would be swung towards McGuinness. He’s perhaps benefiting more from the PbP backed Norris collapse than anything, though many of these socialists would back Higgins ahead of a former IRA man.

  • FuturePhysicist

    any more people I mean.

  • John Ó Néill

    Based on random conversations across the south-east and (for the last week) the west coast, there is less hostility among the general population to McGuinness than I expected. Hardly a statistical or significant sample, but no more and maybe even less anti-SF reaction than the general election. The northern thing doesn’t seem to be as much of an issue as challenging the long term status quo, especially for Lab or FF people.

    Its very early to parse this before the election and by-election just yet. We’ve still got Sundays Sindo to come after all.

  • Mac

    I don’t believe it to be a ‘nordie’ issue, in the context of either where you come from or where you have honed your craft.
    Hume would have romped home, and most certainly wouldn’t have been involved in anything news worthy other than hugs and smiles with O’Callaghan after the RTE debate.

  • Drumlins Rock

    how did Darren Clarke become a good golfer, lots of practise and determination, thats what a professional does, and the top professionals do it better than the rest.

    In this race we have Higgins the late developer, Mitcheal the has been that never really was, Davis the hanger on who thinks they can do it, Gallagher the coach turned player, Norris the occasional flukey player, Dana the wild card who got lucky once, and finally the pro Marty, who has slugged it out for years, played dirty of course but it got him to the top, he is the pro, but on the European circuit… will he cut it just the same over the pond?

  • HeinzGuderian

    Looks like the one time favourite for the Aras Invitational,is about to miss the cut !! 😉

  • There is a clear inability to grapple with the complex history of the North in the Republic; at least this election, and McGuinness, is bringing the prejudice and ignorance with which many in the media elites here view the North to the fore: http://anpucarbuile.blogspot.com/2011/10/norn-iron-where-rules-dont-apply.html
    http://anpucarbuile.blogspot.com/2011/10/mcguinness-aras-bid-betrays-pathology.html

  • Erasmus

    This article is pure tosh. It is a rare example where someone does not actually *want* to be liked. David Adams is trying to drive a wedge between north and south.
    People down here do not generally warm to religious fundies and ex-IRA men. The lack of enthusiasm for Scallon and McGuinness has nothing to do with their northernness per se: viz. Austin Currie, Mary McAleese, and the former Alliance leader John Cushnahan who was comfortably elected in my own Munster constituency over and over again.

  • wee buns

    It’s an interesting one, and for every northerner living in the south the cultural nuance is real.
    I’d agree with the example insofar as we tend to be more curt & direct in our language, when the southern way is to plámás or use soft soap.
    However it is exaggeration to claim that the northern ‘blow-in’ is met with any more ambivalence than the inter county ‘blow-in’ or English (largest immigrant group)’blown- in.’
    The McGuinness for president impact prys open a more intimate debate and set of questions which interestingly, have been avoided since, err, partition.

  • Jimmy Sands

    The theory that we don’t want to replace McAleese with a nordie is certainly an interesting one.

  • Alias

    The Irish would elect a Chinaman if he was an Irish citizen and expressed a love for the nation and loyalty to the State, so it is a form of civic nationalism and not a form of ethnic nationalism that somehow contrives to exclude those from Northern Ireland.

    Austin Currie ran for president as the Fine Gael candidate but lost to Mary Robinson. That defeat had more to do with being a FG candidate and coming up against a candidate of the calibre of Mrs Robinson than with being a ‘northerner’ (which would have excluded him from the nomination if it was a factor).

    But Adams does make some good points. It’s not “all about” folks from NI, and they do come across as having an unmitigated sense of entitlement which demands more attention than they actually merit…

  • Alias

    Incidentally, unlike the US constitution, there is no requirement for an Irish president to be born in Ireland. That was because, rather obviously, Mr de Valera, as American-born, want to exclude himself from the office when he decided to retire from the executive branch.

  • Alias

    Typo: “…as American-born, did not want to exclude himself from the office…”

  • keano10

    Does anyone have any idea when the next Presidential Poll is due?

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    The SBP this weekend.

  • dwatch

    “This lot of troublesome folks acquired the nicknames of blackmouth and black-neb so it’s hardly surprising that this little corner became known as the Black North”

    Thats why there will never be a 32 county United Ireland. Who in the 26 counties wants blackmouths, black-nebs from the 6 county Black North to unite with such easy going soft spoken decent folk from the South?

  • Soldier

    The article and the heading of this piece are nonsense.

    McGuinness is going down like a bucket of sick because as great a politician as he is, the Irish people want a President that they can feel good about / feel safe with / can look up to / be proud of.

    Martin McGuinness passes none of these tests. SF thought using him was a great stroke, but they didn’t take a second to actually look at what motivates people in a presidential election. It has nothing to do with the fact that he’s from the North.

    Even if he does manage a few percentage points above the February SF result, the truth is that it means nothing for the party – you need only look at the divergence between Gay Mitchell vote and FG vote for proof of that. The Red C this weekend in SB Post will confirm that despite Mitchell’s single figure poll rating, the party will still be holding firm in the 30s.

    Many commentators in the North seem to have some strain of Stockholm Syndrome, where they have bought entirely into Sinn Féin’s inevitability myth based on the party’s journey to electoral dominance in the six counties.

    What they miss is that the two key factors which have allowed Sinn Féin dominate nationalist politics in the north are missing in the south – namely:
    1. the absence of any real opposition and
    2. a supine, under resourced media.

    The fact that Sinn Féin buy into and actively encourage this baloney about anti-Northern bias tells its own story about their particular brand of Irish republicanism.

  • Zig70

    A lot of GAA followers would recognise the anti Northern bias within the Pale, especially from the media. Maybe rancour at all those history books with Ulster dominance? All over bar the shouting, good for SF as they got loads of publicity but they probably made a mistake with Marty. Maybe try Ms Gildernew next time. Not much said about how the south views the partition in the north, should the Southerners not have any guilt at leaving the northern brethren under foreign control? Maybe Marty should ask why they sat on their hands during the troubles? (I’m not suggesting they should have done something, just that they took the easy option, put their collective head in the sand and it is still there.) The viciousness of the civil war would say that many would have favoured action then, but that was long enough ago to be history. The story is just back to the West Brit label referring to the anglophile Irish media within the pale that sees Dublin as the centre and the north, west and south as backwaters. We’ll prove them wrong shortly, Preferably economically.

  • “Nordies need not apply, the party’s over”

    Some of the coverage of Martin McGuinness is a bit wide of the mark. Take this: “a convicted nationalist guerrilla”. IIRC he was found guilty of IRA membership, not of IRA activity. Membership of a golf club tells you nothing about prowess on the golf course. Jackie McDonald may have played golf with Martin McAleese but that doesn’t put him in the same league as Rory McIlroy.

    A little bit of black humour from a Donegal facebooker: “Poster of Martin McGuinness found under car – old habits die hard”.