Adams: The Taoiseach should now show the courage of his convictions by resigning, calling a General Election and letting the people decide.

Following the Irish Water saga there is mounting speculation that Ireland might be heading to the polls in 2015. Writing for Slugger, Sinn Fein President, Gerry Adams TD argues that it’s time for the Taoiseach to go the country and let the people decide the future economic direction of the country.

The Fine Gael/Labour coalition Government is in deep crisis.

As each day passes it is clearer that it will struggle to stay in office for its full term.

The Taoiseach, Enda Kenny has stumbled from one debacle to another. His policies have been rejected and the Coalition faces widespread public anger.

The reasons are clear. Fine Gael and Labour have imposed relentless austerity on struggling families and vulnerable citizens.

They have failed to deliver on any commitment to political reform, accountability or parliamentary effectiveness.

Instead this Government has abused the Dáil, Seanad, State Boards and Ministerial positions to a degree that would make even Fianna Fáil blush!

In a number of recent high profile incidents in the Dáil, the Tánaiste has not answered straightforward questions from Mary Lou McDonald. The Taoiseach regularly does this with me.

The point of parliament is for the Opposition to hold Government to account. This does not happen in the Dáil. The Ceann Comhairle is continually deferential to Government Ministers and the Taoiseach.

This is another example of the urgent need for political reform but also of the overbearing arrogance of this Government.

Fine Gael and Labour can no longer hide behind the Troika for unpopular decisions. They can’t say that ‘the big boys made them do it’. These are their own decisions.

This Government mishandled the GSOC affair, and the whistle-blowers controversy, around Garda corruption culminating in the firing of Commissioner Martin Callinan, and the resignation of Justice Minister Alan Shatter.

In June Eamon Gilmore resigned as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Tánaiste and as leader of the Labour Party in the wake of his party’s disastrous performance in last May’s EU and local elections.

Eamon got out just in time. Since the Summer, the Government has been plunged into yet another series of controversies. They include McNultygate and by-election defeats for the Government in Dublin South West and Roscommon/South Leitrim. The Government also lost its Seanad majority.

The budget was an opportunity to give people a break.  Instead citizens got Water Charges, Property Tax, no help for carers, and a cut to the top rate of tax, rewarding a wealthy minority.

This Government’s Frankenstein creation – Irish Water, has been characterised by excessive spending on consultants, bonuses and cronyism.

Irish Water is now a toxic brand. It is time for the Government to reverse its unjust water policy and abolish water charges.

Sinn Féin has shown how a first class water service can be paid for by the State without penalising working people. In government we would stop Water Charges. That is what we did in the North.

Meanwhile, political talks in the North are underway but there is no evidence yet of the type of credible negotiations required to unlock the impasse.

Sinn Féin’s priority is to defend and progress the hugely significant political advances made over the past 20 years.

We will prioritise the full implementation of the Good Friday and subsequent Agreements. The Governments needs to do the same. The British and Irish Governments are failing to fulfil their obligations. But there can be no turning back of the clock. Unionist political leaders pursuing that objective are simply deluded.

It is of crucial importance however that the Irish Government adopts an unambiguous pro-Agreement position and holds the British Government to account in relation to its obligations

It should work with Sinn Fein as partners in peace-making instead of seeing us only as electoral rivals. The peace process is more important than party politics.

Politics across the island is in flux. The Fine Gael/Labour Government is now deeply conscious and fearful of the growing public mood in the South for radical political change.

In this atmosphere and in an effort to stem rising public support for Sinn Féin it is clear that Fine Gael, Labour and Fianna Fáil will employ any dirty trick, lie, or disgusting allegation.

This mud-slinging by our political opponents is a sign of political desperation. It is about trying to blunt the growth of Sinn Féin. It will not succeed. The people are not stupid.

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, has proposed the establishment – through the North South Ministerial Council – of an all-island process to deal with support mechanisms for those who were victims of sexual abuse during the conflict.

The objective is to ensure greater access to counselling and other supports for victims and to facilitate victims and survivors in accessing the justice system and making official complaints.

This needs to be a priority cross-border initiative, under the remit of the Irish Government and Northern Executive.

Sinn Féin fully endorses the proposal by Martin McGuinness. The initiative should be fully resourced by the Executive and the Irish Government.

In recent days the Taoiseach and various Government spokespeople have suggested that the choice at the next election is between Fine Gael’s vision and that of Sinn Féin.

The fundamental ideological difference between Sinn Féin and this deeply unpopular government is that we believe in a real republic – a citizen-centred, rights-based society. That message is finding a deep resonance among citizens.

The support enjoyed by Fine Gael and Labour in 2011 has been eroded beyond the point where they no longer have a mandate for what they are doing.

The Taoiseach should now show the courage of his convictions by resigning, calling a General Election and letting the people decide.

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  • chrisjones2

    Gerry

    The problem in standing in soapbox is that you leave yourself open

    You are damaged goods.You should follow you own qadvice to Enda within Sinn Fein after your repeated failure to address the brutality shown to young women in the movement and the sordid coverups of pedophilia and rape

    Tá do lá imithe

  • Reader

    7th May 2015 would be a good date for an election.

  • Ernekid

    It would make zero sense to call an election now. The government is still working its way through a dense legislative programme and is doing an ok job at steering the irish economic recovery. By a European standard Ireland is doing very well for itself. There’s no chance of an election occurring before March 2016.

    I think that Gerry the old fox should heed the advice regarding resigning. He’s toxic to Middle Ireland. Sinn Fein might be riding high as a protest party but they aren’t likely to win many transfer votes and transfers win seats in irish politics.

    Gerry needs to be decommissioned. He’s a relic from a different time and unless you believe in the cult of Saint Gerry he’s a total liability.

  • mickfealty

    How is any of that relevant Chris? For those who care to take note, there is a rule on Slugger which says playing the ball is fine, playing the man is not.

    This is pure ‘shut-your-mouth’ man playing. By which I am not saying you cannot criticise Mr A (Lord knows I’ve a masters in that particular art), but if you are going to take him to task, do it on what he says here.

    If the material you offer was in anyway relevant, I’d let it pass.

  • Barneyt

    I can’t see this happening. FGLab will cling on for dear life. If they went to the polls now, or any time soon, Labour would be obliterated and it would be a close call between SF and FG, with FF bringing up the rear.

    I notice you mention that FG and SF should cooperate on peace matters and furtherance of the agreement commitments. FG have no interest in the north and their loyalty to those in the 26 must be brought into question. They also have no interest in doing any business with SF, and given the gulf between the parties now and historically, perhaps that is natural.

    Interesting times are ahead.

  • Bryan Magee

    Nothing here on how he would deal with the deficit. That’s the big question in the ROI.

  • Ernekid

    Economics? Sinn Fein don’t do economics. Don’t think that they have any alternative economic plan because they don’t. They’ll protest Water charges but when you ask them how a Sinn Fein government would manage infrastructurethey go very quiet. Irish Water Infrastructure is a mess and water charges is the only way that it has a chance of being sorted out.When the British exchequer tells the North to introduce Water Charges as it’s very likely to do in the next few years expect little protest from the Shinners in government.

    Any model of Shinnernomics would turn Ireland into a total economic basket case, Gerry’s great at complaining but it’s hard to get a costed and detailed alternative model from him. The “curse on all your houses” attitude can only take Sinn Fein so far. They need an actual alternative policies rather than vague protest slogans.

  • Watching the Dail performances at Leaders questions last week it didn’t appear that the opposition offered much of an alternative. FF withered on about detail around the Leaving Cert. SF complained about which big issue of the day? Asking the Taoiseach to take back comments that ‘associates’ of SF had abused people leaving a FG meeting in Limerick. Having been there himself, Enda Kenny declined, further pointing out the foul language used against women in particular. Oh, water was mentioned in a follow-up on a subject SF may have known more about, the millions Irish Water spend on ‘advisers’ – research perhaps?

    While Enda Kenny may not be faring greatly in the polls, he’s hardly going to resign because he feels he’s under serious pressure in the Dail, least of all from SF.

  • Bryan Magee

    Presumably they want higher income tax bands for high earners and property tax for expensive properties?

  • Zeno3

    “the Tánaiste has not answered straightforward questions from Mary Lou McDonald. The Taoiseach regularly does this with me.”

    He should have just told you he wasn’t in the Government and had never been in the Government.

  • Dan

    I wonder if Research Services Ireland did any of the preparatory work for this soapbox article.

  • Robin Keogh

    The current Gov cant stand up any more revelations, they have lost public confidence completely and there are serious divisions within their ranks on policy. Something has certainly changed in the mood amongst the people down here, I cant ever remember a time when public anger was more palpable.

    Personally I am happy to wait for 2016 but I honestly don’t think the Gov can hang on that long. The Irish times today has an article that claims the Gov are about to launch into a battle cry of its either Enda or Gerry, basically side-lining FF and elevating SF to a position it has not held in this country since partition – lead opposition. The Gov parties are fully aware that the SF tide is showing no sign of receding in the short term at least, and with the anti-water demonstration next week expected to fill the streets with 150k people coupled with the teachers strike and public sector workers starting to get itchy on their pay; there is serious trouble ahead for a government that should be celebrating a surprise increase in tax receipts of 1.5bn euro.

    For the first time ever we are really getting a sense that there maybe a permanent left right cleavage appearing in Irish political society. Those who call for Gerry to resign are wasting their breath. His presence agitates and annoys the traditional parties and their establishment media buddies so much; there is no way the shinners will let him go at this stage. And for those who wonder about SF economic policies you have a choice, either read their most recent manifesto or even better have a gander at their recent pre-budget submission. They have set out very clear and unambiguous tax raising policies, fully costed on figures available from the department of finance. Now I know this does not suit the usual suspects who simply do not want to believe that the Shinners have at last (and it was a long time coming, i admit) found the batteries for their calculator, but the truth is that SF tax and spend plans are fully in-line with the type of standard left of centre fiscal policies we see successfully implemented in many European countries not least those of Scandinavia.

    We have become so addicted to the wild excesses of neo- liberal laissez faire economics that we find it hard to believe that there might be a better way to secure greater equality and strong left wing government. Those who believe that the Shinners are only interested in some utopian 32 county socialist republican dream are the very same people who struggle with the fact that the war is over. Far easier to convince themselves that SF are murderers and disturbed marxists. The truth is quite different and the proof of the pudding as they say will be in the eating. Hopefully we can all have a taste pretty soon.

  • Robin Keogh

    *YAWN* Politics ? Policy? Ideology?

  • Gopher

    I demand, the right to demand, that our demands demand that the intrinsic demands laid out in our demands, demand immediate action irrespective of the demands of the contitutional schedule as our demands as Republicans demand more than any other mortal so we can unequivocally demand that these demands are met because it is our inailiable demand not to be treated like a broken record.

  • barnshee

    “Far easier to convince themselves that SF are murderers and disturbed marxists. The truth is quite different”

    Er—- at least some of them are convicted murderers-I can append a list if you like As you might say “The truth is quite different”

    “They have set out very clear and unambiguous tax raising policies, fully costed on figures available from the department of finance”

    The sooner they are in a position to implement these taxes the better -the sooner they will reap the consequences of such implementation

  • Practically_Family

    I believe the party standard response is “We’ll tell the shylocks to **** off”

    While there are certain issues with it from an economic point of view, it appears to have at least a modicum of popular support.

  • Robin Keogh

    And the fact is that 25% of the voting public on this Island are not interested in SF’s past; real or otherwise. The public in the South are just catching up with the public in the North. We know now that IRA connections, convictions, so-called cover ups etc. etc. will not stop a huge section of the public from voting for them. With this in mind it is probably far better to focus on the politics and what is likely to happen in any given scenario.

    Any policy implementation consequences will be felt as per norm. I assume u feel those consequences will be negative while i feel the opposite. But,we wont know until the time comes and SF have a chance to prove themselves or otherwise. We can subjectively speculate as to the outcome but in reality that speculation is unlikely to prevent them getting their feet under the table in both jurisdictions. The day that happens will mark the first day of the next phase in the process of dismantling the northern state, and the first day in the first phase of realigning government policy and institutions in favour of the people who elect them.

  • Robin Keogh

    Could you give me three specific SF economic policies that you believe would contribute to turning Ireland into an economic basket case, and why you think this would happen?

  • Tacapall

    “Sinn Féin has shown how a first class water service can be paid for by
    the State without penalising working people. In government we would stop
    Water Charges. That is what we did in the North”

    Why make the statement above Gerry when you know in your heart republicans were dipping other republicans toes into the water concerning what they thought about water charges as far back as 1998. Sinn Fein denied water meters were being installed in nationalists areas in the British controlled six counties now its a fact that a Sinn Fein minister give the go ahead for these to be installed. In truth all you can do is kick the water charges can down the road for another year or two before you have no other option other than do then what your claiming you’ll never do now.

  • barnshee

    “And the fact is that 25% of the voting public on this Island are not interested in SF’s past; real or otherwise. ”

    And that tells us all we need to know about their support

  • chrisjones2

    Mick

    I am surprised by your line. Surely the character honesty and reliability of the person on the soapbox is relevant to his attack on Enda and to the credibility of what he says here in slugger.

    So if you want a more detailed and cogent analysis lets have it.

    Adams arrogance in this is breathtaking. Among his attacks are

    “In a number of recent high profile incidents in the Dáil, the Tánaiste has not answered straightforward questions from Mary Lou McDonald. The Taoiseach regularly does this with me.”

    Tha tis politics Gerry. You of course an expert on not answering the questions – about your party, its finances, its policies (or lack of them) ,its cover up of rape and murder. Hundreds of questions lie unanswered with sometimes the dead lying unburied (in any conventional sense) and the concerns of their next of kin unheeded

    “Sinn Féin has shown how a first class water service can be paid for by the State without penalising working people. In government we would stop Water Charges. That is what we did in the North.”

    That is an outright lie.The did not.The charges are there- they are itemised on the bottom of every rate bill

    “there is no evidence yet of the type of credible negotiations required to unlock the impasse.”

    That requires agreement from both sides – and SF (and the DUP) will not agree or cannot agree.As ever,Gerry’s definition of negotiations seem-to be ones that only yield what he wants

    “We will prioritise the full implementation of the Good Friday and subsequent Agreements. The Governments needs to do the same.”

    Well not quite. SF seek to continue to rewrite the nature of those agreements and to break Unionists by using equality as a weapon. So much of the once famous Ireland of Equals and Parity of Estmeem

    “Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, has proposed the establishment – through the North South Ministerial Council – of an all-island process to deal with support mechanisms for those who were victims of sexual abuse during the conflict.”

    A smokescreen to cover up the fact that this is a SF issue and all the more hurtful as it comes from within the movement and exposes the nature of some of the key senior players.These are players whose stories change with the wind as new evidence is revealed and their letterboxes and mysteriously stuffed with lists of names

    “The initiative should be fully resourced by the Executive and the Irish Government.”

    With yet more money we don’t have and all to clean up SFs own mess

    “we believe in a real republic – a citizen-centred, rights-based society. That message is finding a deep resonance among citizens.”

    Presumably that’s why your movement murdered over 2500 of them Gerry and why you now deny you were ever in the IRA. and you are working for a rights based society – we assume you mean one that will break the unionist bastards using your Trojan horse of equality again?

    “they no longer have a mandate for what they are doing.”

    Just as you and your associates never had in the North of South.You often tell us now that you have a mandate and you do – but so what.,That does not change the past.It does not change what you and your associates did.and above all it does not change the reliability of what you say when so often in the distant and recent past it has proved to be so untrue

  • chrisjones2

    Now now….no lesse majestie

  • chrisjones2

    “And the fact is that 25% of the voting public on this Island are not interested in SF’s past; real or otherwise. ”

    And the other 75% ???

  • chrisjones2

    Check Gerry’s billing the Dail but it seems unlikely – their research is so secret it cannot be shared with anyone even those who pay the bills

  • chrisjones2

    …ah its the Jews who did it!! Back to the 1930s

  • chrisjones2

    and water charges are charged – they are itemised on all rate bills and paid for in the one rate collection

  • chrisjones2

    “at least they know the buttons to push.” ….often with explosive results

  • chrisjones2

    …and you couldn’t possibly have a situation where British money was being pumped into SF with the British Government’s connivance and then used for politics in the Republic.Now that would never happen – would it

  • chrisjones2

    SF would spend more money by investing in technology to spray water into the air creating thousands rainbows and employing armies of disadvantaged little people to harvest the crocks of gold at the end and pour this into the Irish Treasury.This would create a land of wealth and happiness where everyone would have their own turf fire, bottle of whiskey and fiddle and not ask too many impertinent questions of their betters, or query why so many young maidens appear to be a bit bruised and unhappy

    (Cue fiddle music)

  • Tacapall

    “SF seek to continue to rewrite the nature of those agreements and to
    break Unionists by using equality as a weapon. So much of the once
    famous Ireland of Equals and Parity of Estmeem”

    What parts of the GFA has Sinn Fein tried to re-write ?

    Please do tell how anyone could use equality in a way that you would call it a weapon ?

  • chrisjones2

    Gerrys words and intent ….not mine ….ask him

    Straight from the Trojan Horses mouth

  • chrisjones2

    You are not permitted to say he is toxic

  • chrisjones2

    And my apologies if my earlier barbs were not sufficiently argued

  • Tacapall

    I think your making a mountain out of a molehill Chris concerning equality being a weapon, a fire engine is a weapon to fight fires, antibiotics is a weapon against disease but no-one would suggest they are weapons of destruction. The Trojan horse analogy regarding equality was not intended as a weapon of enforcement more a way to change from within and who can argue against equal rights for everyone, can you ? And once again what part of the GFA has Sinn Fein re-written ?

  • chrisjones2

    I think the words were “that will break them”

  • Robin Keogh

    Well 20% of them transfer to SF at elections so its seems they are not too bothered either, as for the; they are not on the streets demonstrating so one can only assume they are at best indifferent

  • Robin Keogh

    Ur perceptions are equally irrelevent

  • Zeno3

    “And the fact is that 25% of the voting public on this Island are not interested in SF’s past;”

    14.7% of the Electorate in Northern Ireland support SF. I note your careful wording “the voting public”. The other 85% of those entitled to vote in Northern Ireland don’t support SF. They are the ones who are concerned about child abuse and murder.

  • Robin Keogh

    Clearly they are very angry about hence the large protests we see on the streets because of it…..oh no sorry, thats water charges and flegger fun

  • Zeno3

    pfft

  • Dixie Elliott
  • Robin Keogh

    Ha ! That shut up nicely. Maith an fear. 😉

  • hugh mccloy

    Paid for twice actually, through rates and taxes from block grant going to NI water. This is not counting the farm homes that have to pay in the North. For SF to try and claim a victory is laughable, we now pay more for our water than ever, either way the above payments come out of the workers hip pocket

  • hugh mccloy

    Its about 14% of those who can vote voted for Sinn Fein in the North,SF won 25% of the vote in about a near 50% turnout election, someone get the shinner bot a calculator that works.

  • Zeno3

    What can I say to someone who supports a party whose members abused children while they covered it up, supported the murder and disappearance of men, women and children and the use of human bombs? That’s your problem, not mine. You can spend the rest of your days defending the indefencible or you can try and think for yourself like the 85%

  • Robin Keogh

    Yawn bloody yawn !

  • Robin Keogh

    U know fine well i mean 25% of those that voted

  • Robin Keogh

    Thanks for the advice but if u dont mind i will continue to think for myself with aid of education and historical facts in context. U are in no way obliged to engage with me and have ignored repeated requests from me to desist. Trust me when i say that i dont lose any sleep when narrow minded obtuse trolls find my political views offensive. In fact its quite a compliment.

  • hugh mccloy

    25% is misleading, 25% of what put context and is the context that should be used. I was at a SF leadership meeting the other night and was quite angry as Mary Lou, and rest of panel because they peddled this, it was all we are the best and biggest and all the fault is on FF/FG and the Tories

  • Starviking

    “The reasons are clear. Fine Gael and Labour have imposed relentless austerity on struggling families and vulnerable citizens.”

    And meanwhile, up North, the same Sinn Fein loses us around 800 million quid, forces the borrowing of 100 million more – leading us down the same austerity path.

    Still, as long as their electorate see them as sticking it to “the Brits” they’re OK. A sad state of affairs.

  • Zeno3

    If you can’t play the ball don’t play the game.
    Sticks an stones an all that.

  • Robin Keogh

    Get over it, u throw far bigger sticks and stones when it suits u. Now F%#k off please.

  • delphindelphin

    Zeno, you wiped the floor with him!

  • chrisjones2

  • Zeno3

    ” have ignored repeated requests from me to desist.”

    I don’t do requests. Try your local radio station.
    I do love the convoluted logic that if people are not out on the streets rioting and protesting that must mean they are indifferent to SF’s past. And I love how you have to be careful framing your statements about SF’s popularity and are then reduced to name calling and expletives when corrected….. it is hilarious.

  • Simonsays

    Gerry is not “damaged goods”, he is more of a fine wine that gets better with age. If he isnt elected as Taoiseach in 2016, there will be a coup of extraordinary proportions resulting in a 32 county socialist republic with him and martin at the helms.

  • chrisjones2

    …and the two parts steadily sailing apart