Good piece by Brian Feeney in today’s Irish News, with his nuanced take on Sinn Fein’s recent travels south of the border… In particular he focuses on what he views as the near hysterical response of the southern media to Martin McGuinness:
There is no doubt that some of them really believed that Martin McGuinness could win the Presidential election in defiance of all the polls and the certain fact that transfers would be needed to win, and that Sinn Fein does not attract sufficient numbers of transfers.
The fear was based partly on the fact that the electorate in the Republic is unpredictably volatile at present. The Tweedledee and Tweedledum of southern politics, Fianna Fail and Fine Gael, have lost their way and while Fine Gael is in government with a huge number of TDs they have no coherent political aim other than to pay off the debt.
That vacuum (in conditions every bit as volatile as the people of the Republic) remains Sinn Fein’s abiding opportunity… However, Feeney goes on to point out that Sinn Fein do not have magical powers to attract votes, but they do have a record of working in the long term.
And that politics day to day for Sinn Fein in the Republic is carried by a younger generations like Pearse Doherty who unremittingly focus the economic exegeses of the southern state.
Slowly slowly, catchie monkey…
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty