Why the Sinn Fein critique needs to evolve beyond attacking Adams

I have been to a few year end review panels over the past month and one thing that I have heard repeated time and again is that Sinn Fein have had a good year. Think about this for a moment, the party President was questioned by the PSNI and there were two very difficult Spotlight programmes for the party to face and the end result is, they are up nearly 4% on average than they were last year. You have to ask yourself, why?

In years gone by the strategy if you wanted to take on Sinn Fein was relatively easy you either cited the IRA or you went for Gerry Adams as the leader. Whilst ten years ago and approach like this had some currency, as we go into 2015 this is now redundant and in many ways counter-productive.
Let’s take the Sunday Independent for example and the constant critiques of Sinn Fein. Now, I have zero problems with honest policy analysis and hard questions and it’s true that some Shinners are thin skinned when it comes to criticism. However, since October there has been a marked change in attitude in how the party has approached the newspaper.

Instead of ignoring the critiques, they now use them as a way to show how Adams is taking on the establishment. The typical line is “the Indo is against us lads, we’re doing something right” or “they fear our rise.” These lines and many others are used to motivate the party base and create a sense amongst alienated voters that the Irish establishment, whom they argue, screwed the country, are out to stop Sinn Fein.

I have always believed that when your criticisms are being used by your opponents to their advantage you really need to take stock and think, is this really working?

The constant focus on Gerry Adams is something that fuels this misguided view that if you take down Adams, you take down Sinn Fein. It really is not that simple. Due to the environment Adams operated under in the 80s and 90s, Sinn Fein have always had another deck of cards in reserve should anything happen to its leadership. In the past it was Pat Doherty, Martin McGuinness and Bairbre de Brún , today it’s John O’Dowd, Mary-Lou McDonald and Pearse Doherty.

Sinn Fein know Adams won’t be around forever and the focus on him is used by the party to solidify the view that the establishment really fear Adams and that he will be one to take them into government. The huge critiques do Adams so much good, I am surprised he doesn’t put these columnists on his Christmas card list.

New Narrative?

The way to take on a party like Sinn Fein is through a process of policy deconstruction. This is a different process from attacking a belief outright. You take the premise of a policy, question how realistic the premise is and then go from there and play through a number of scenarios.

Take the border poll for example; ask a Sinn Fein politician if now is the best time to have a border poll? You will get yes as an answer. However, once you challenge the premise of this argument the rest of the policy falls apart as you ask “your healthcare plan is what, you education system is what, will it be a federal Ireland?”

Challenging the premise of the policy is important in almost any effective political take down of any position.

If you can sow seeds of doubt in people about how rational a policy is, then it is incredibly likely that the rest of the policy will fall apart.

For those looking for a way to take on Sinn Fein, challenge the premise, raise the doubts and have an alternative. Rinse and repeat.

This isn’t sexy, but the constant emphasis on Adams is not working or achieving in goals.

Sinn Fein has evolved as a party; it has become part of the Irish political mainstream. As they evolve the critique of their party has to as well, you cannot fight a 21st century party, with what is essentially a 20th century critique

 

 

, , ,

  • Cue Bono

    McGuinness has the wit to keep his mouth shut when his actions are being exposed. Adams hasn’t. He has convinced himself that he is untouchable.

  • Cue Bono

    Truly the most oppressed people in Europe. If not the world.

  • Cue Bono

    What they don’t seem to teach you at drone school is that equality cuts both ways. The clue is in the word.

  • Cue Bono

    Clearly an unfair attack on SF and totally unwarranted. It’s all about equality and in the world of the Sinner the people who vote for them are more equal than others. Therefore it is only natural that they should get preferential treatment.

  • carl marks

    And thats from the people who brought us the Flegs protest and Twaddell! pot, kettle anyone

  • Zeno1

    Ah right I’ll start a list of things not to mention.
    Child Abuse
    Torture
    Human Bombs
    Murder

    l
    l
    l
    feck that, it would take all day.

  • Cue Bono

    I didn’t bring either of those things. You really need to grow out out this whole inferiority complex thing that you created for yourselves. You are not a black person from Alabama. No matter how much you like to retend that you are.

  • Mirrorballman

    I don’t think you are a Catholic..you seem to be trolling

  • Cue Bono

    ” Jude, Jude, Jude isn’t Gerry adams simply wonderful.”

    “He certainly is Paul. Look at all the fantastic work he’s done for the economy in West Belfast and his work for the rights of women and children is second to none.”

    “Sinn Fein are brilliant too Jude. If they were running the country it would be such a brilliant place.”

    “Indeed Paul. It’s only a matter of time of course, any day now, and we’ll be flying high just like Cuba.”

    “We’ll teach the Prods all about equality then Jude.”

    “Ha, ha, ha, ha. Nice one Paul.”

  • carl marks

    well im glad to hear you distance yourself from the Fleg protesters and the whole twaddell fiasco ( civil rights camp! eh talk about comparing yourself to Black people in Alabama ),
    No need to worry about me i don’t have a inferiority complex and i don’t think that nationalism has such a complex either, happy enough in the direction things are going and not feeling like anybody is chipping away at my culture,

  • Cue Bono

    The Prods made them do it.

  • Cue Bono

    The plan worked out well then. Contented people are less likely to be out committing mass murder. Meanwhile the union remains secure.

  • carl marks

    true the UVF/UDA are spending a lot of time at Twaddell, you know your right i never thought about it that way!
    so the union remains safe! wonder what all this paranoia is inside unionism about then, you know the whole chip,chip thing you keep hearing about!

  • Morpheus
  • Cue Bono

    I only ever hear about the whole chip, chip, chip thing from people who are convinced that Gerry Adams has a cunning plan and that a united Ireland is just around the corner. The same sort of people who get all upset when others point out that the man is a habitual liar.

  • Cue Bono

    They even made you yawn Morph. The bastards.

  • Morpheus

    Trust me, it wasn’t them

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Nonesense aber; reading this one would think that the Southerners don’t regard you ‘as Irish’ as them. Which is obviously a ludicrious concept, who in their right mind would see Ulster people as different from Leinster or Connaught people…?

  • Cue Bono

    People from Leinster or Connaught perhaps? The truth is that we are very different.

  • Fobhristi

    If you consider yourself British, do you also take note of the child abuse and cover-ups and currently being investigated disappearance of victims by the British political establishment. Or are ‘British’ politicians in Britain not your ‘British’ politicians in a have your cake and eat it mental gymnastics kind of way. I also didn’t see any voting patterns change when it was recently revealed that mainstream British politicians were involved in such events. Just sticking with the Lib Dems there has been Mike Hancock, Cyril Smyth, Lord Rennard etc and hey guess what, since these revelations the Lib Dems have been voted into government.

  • Robin Keogh

    Thanks for the advice, i can assure u i will give it the attention it deserves

  • Cue Bono

    Er no they haven’t. In fact their poll ratings have plummetted to the extent that they are facing electoral wipeout in May.

  • Cue Bono

    No problem. ‘Lost Lives’ is a good starting point for you. Then you can move onto the rape and paedophilia cover ups, and follow that up with a good look at their economic competence.

    If you can still bring yourself to support Sinn fein after all of that then there is nothing that anyone can do for you.

  • Fobhristi

    If so not so because of anything to do with sexual abuse. Also note that allegations emerged before they were elected to government, you maybe missed this?

  • Cue Bono

    The allegations about Hancock and Rennard came out after the elections. There were rumours about Cyril Smyth for years but nothing concrete before the election. The Lib dems are now facing electoral wipeout. In summary your entire post was based on false information.

  • aber1991

    I hope that you are correct. I believe that you are not correct and very far from it.

  • aber1991

    You have hit the nail on the head. We, Catholic people of Northern Ireland, are one of the most oppressed races in the history of the world. But very few people have to courage to state it openly as you have done.

  • aber1991

    They do not see Northern Ireland Catholics as Irish. Many of them do not see us as human.

  • Cue Bono

    Somebody should make a film about it. “Gerry’s List” perhaps?

  • aber1991

    He wants integrated education to be imposed gradually on the oppressed Catholic people of Northern Ireland BUT his honesty is a redeeming feature.

  • aber1991

    Are you a Stater?

  • Fobhristi

    hmmm my ‘entire post was based on false information’, okay so there were rumors about Smyth for years (before the general election), as there are many rumors about Sinn Fein, yet still the Lib Dems were voted into Government of the United Kingdom. Fact. And the allegation about Hancock and Rennard came out after the election, ergo you say people would never have voted Lib Dem if they know about this. Wrong. I do recall the Lib Dems spectacularly winning the Eastleigh by-election last year, an event which takes place after said allegation were made public. Please indicate my ‘false information’ here? And as recently as the other day they are still winning seats in council by-elections e.g. Aylesbury and Vale. Maybe chrisjones2 should contact the British public and explain to them that to ‘lets stop voting for them and their parties’ because thats how the self-righteous Brits in NI operate. I was just using the Lib Dems as an example, we can move onto other, dare I say bigger British Parties to highlight the point that regardless of the sexual scandal people still vote for em anyway, and that people voting for Sinn Fein is no different to this phenomena.

  • aber1991

    That seems a good idea.

  • Guest

    Ireland was politically united until Sinn Féin and the Official Unionists couldn’t reach a non-partition settlement one way or another. The belief a political mandate will unify Ireland is lost on me. It’d have to be an all party unification process where Sinn Féin would be surrendering power, like the peace talks.

  • Cue Bono

    “Hotel Europa”.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Socially, Economically or Politically – Germany did not manage it in a weekend once unification was agreed. It was a lot more gradual than that. You may as well be saying it was recognized by the UN as a unified entity in a few hours.

  • Cue Bono

    There are much more than rumours about Sinn fein. It is led by a man who was humiliated in court when his lies about his paedophile brother were exposed to the world.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/bsp/hi/pdfs/08_10_2013_cross_exam_gerry_adams.pdf

    A man who when informed about said paedophilia reported the victims mother to the social services because she had nits. A man who then went on to dedicate his book to his paedophile brother. Then of course there is the whole mass murder thing, though people don’t seem to bother about that very much these days. A lot more than rumour.

    Oh and Cyril Smith is long dead, Hancock has been deselected from his party, Rennard remains, but he didn’t rape anyone or protect any paedophies. Gerry Adams meanwhile is alive and well, leading his political party and topping the poll.

    You might be wise not to try and draw comparisons.

  • Kevin Breslin

    There is no DUP speaker, Comerade. There’s no Speaker period.
    How is that a fair deal provided by partition? The Dail has a speaker that’s preferable to the shambles of rotating deputy speakers that we have now.

    We can’t even get the DUP to vote in Mitchell McLaughlin even if it makes life more difficult for SF to pass a petition of concern that goes against the wishes of the SDLP! In that situation they can’t rely on a lone MLA like Stephen Agnew to back them.

    If you want to talk about getting a fairer deal, that’s only because the Donegal man was a fairer person, who disciplined his own party as well as others. I would not say Hay was perfect in the role but certainly the next DUP speaker would struggle to replace him.

    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/politics/dup-and-sinn-fein-in-new-row-over-republican-speaker-of-the-assembly-30410508.html

  • Fobhristi

    Na Cue Bono, I think unionists would be wise not to throw stones in glass houses. I’m sure if i had time I could move onto Labour or the Cons, and draw up more examples.

    And as for the ‘Mass Murder’ thing, again glass house, British politicians…illegal wars….hundreds of thousands dead bla bla bla unless of course theres a ‘right’ way and a ‘wrong’ way to mass murder people. Tony Blair’s doing alright for himself these days i hear.

    But again if you want to disassociate yourself from British politicians go right ahead

  • Tacapall

    Yer talking rubbish, I remember the day clearly, I remember one of the soldiers pointing the gun out the window at the mourners who had surrounded the car after it tried to force its way up the Anderstown road. I remember him firing a shot and at that stage most people thought another Micheal Stone attack was about to take place and reacted with typical crowd collective behaviour just like they did at the funeral of Sean Savage, Mairead Farrell and Dan McCann. I also remember where the RUC and British army were which was at the roundabout at Kennedy way a short distance away and the helicopters were just above. They could have easily saved those two soldiers but choose not to in order to claim back the high moral ground after the collective behaviour of the unarmed mourners saved numerous lives and apprehended a British agent who used automatic weapons and bombs to murder mourners at the Gibralter funerals. Its not rocket science figuring out why they allowed their own to die and its not as if its the first time either remember mull of Kintyre

  • aber1991

    I do not understand. Plain English, please. I am working class.

  • Tacapall

    This is what our unionist/loyalist brethren ignore Fobhristi –

    http://ffkfightingforkids.weebly.com/political-perverts–sex-offenders.html

  • Fobhristi

    Indeed the brethren are good at ignorance. Stick to what you’re good at

  • Zeno1

    Did the 1st RUC Land Rover at the scene not disobey orders as reported? Could a Helicopter hovering 15 feet off the ground not have seriously depleted the crowd? Could the 100’s of Armed Security Forces on stand bye 5 minutes away not have carried out a rescue?

    “community contacts within local churches and civil society were being spoken with in the hope that they could help.”

    I find that incredible. A mob enraged by a second perceived MURDEROUS attack within days drags 2 men from a car and the top brass decide to ring the local Priest…………… JESUS!!

  • jammc98

    Far from it aber.

  • Tacapall

    Never mind their politicians perhaps we could erase the memory of Mountbatten and such nobles from the school curriculum after all Im sure we dont want young minds tainted by such neanderthal behaviour.

  • Cue Bono

    I’ll bet you are just dying to compare the La Mon massacre with Dresden aren’t you? That’s what they teach you to do at the school. Throw in ridiculous comparisons. It’s just a pity that you forgot to look yours up beforehand.

    Tony Blair and Gerry Adams do make for great bedfellows though so you are right about that. Both of them tell lies like other people breathe.

  • Cue Bono

    It’s easy to slander the dead isn’t it? Too bad for you that in the real world the man is remembered as a war hero who was murdered, along with an old woman and a couple of kids, by a bunch of terrorist psychos.

  • Cue Bono

    Plain English? Becase they destroyed your native language during the oppression?

  • Cue Bono

    There are perverts in al walks of life Tapacall. Normal political parties don’t cover up for paedophiles the way that Sinn Fein does. Have you learned nothing from the RC church scandals?

  • Tacapall

    Yeah sure war hero who loved to abuse boys, maybe you should read up a little more on Kincora –

    War Of The Windsors: A Century Of Unconstitutional Monarchy

    “Of all the recent Royals, none was so consistently immoral and unprincipled as the late Lord Mountbatten.

    “Both he and his wife Edwina were bisexual, and they led a life of unbridled promiscuity.

    “He was also said to have an interest
    in what homosexuals call ‘rough trade’ and to be particularly attracted
    to working-class boys in their early teens.”

  • Cue Bono

    Well the republican movement certainly plumbed the low moral ground that day. Behaving like a bunch of starving apes.

  • Cue Bono

    Like I said it is easy to slander the dead. Do you have any evidence to back up your claims? Your homophobia is of course noted.

  • Tacapall

    Dont be making me laugh now Cue I could post you up lots more British politicians names and the ongoing coverups and yes Sinn Fein and the Catholic church just like the Church of England covered it up. Nothing new there it must be like a jail thingm some sort of criminality social ladder, Sinn Fein and Catholic church coverups are higher up your ladder of evils than the cover up and murder of possibly dozens of children and the cover up of abuse by well anyone else.

  • Tacapall

    Do you think I made that all up myself, like I said delve in Kincora a little deeper or simple buy the book, War Of The Windsors: A Century Of Unconstitutional Monarchy.

    Why do you think Westminster refuses to allow Kincora to be included in the Westminster peadophiles scandal.

  • Cue Bono

    So you are basing your accusations about Lord Mountbatten on what you read in a sensationalist book. You don’t quite grasp the whole ‘evidence’ thing very well do you?

  • Zeno1
  • aber1991

    My native language is English – the language of the home and community in which I was living at the stage in life when I was learning to talk. Please express your opinions in plain English. Please no more cryptic posts. I am working class and cannot “read between the lines” nor have I any stomach for trying to figure out what another poster might have been meant. Say what you mean and mean what you say.

  • carl marks

    “Yes. I am a real Catholic” what is a real catholic! how is it different from other catholics? is there a test!,is it hard! do you get a certificate!

  • Jag

    Dotting the i’s, crossing the t’s, that might take a decade. In mind and spirit, reunification will take a weekend, and if you think it will require referendums on both sides of the current border, I think you’ll be in for a surprise.

  • Tacapall

    No not realy just about the fact that he was a frequent visitor to Kincora he like his wife were lets say very kinky and liked things normal people would have found revolting, wasn’t he also a friend of Jimmy Saville too nothing wrong with that but when you share the same sexual fantasies as a peadophile then your a peadophile too.

    By the way the Bible is a sensationalist book, full of innuendo’s and finger pointing but its as good as fact for some within your community so I’ll just stick to believing where there’s smoke there’s fire.

  • aber1991

    A real Catholic is a victim of Protestant aggression. Are YOU a real Catholic.

  • Robin Keogh

    Thanks again for the help. I have considered your comments and maturely decided to exercise my right as an Irish citizen and do what tens of thousands of other free minded individuals have decided to do and continue to support the party i feel offers the best chance of a fairer more equal and prosperous society in the future. For now at least thats Sinn Fein.

  • carl marks

    i dont know!
    do you think all those people in europe (france,italy spain,etc who never been a victim of protestant aggression real catholics, is the pope one? I honestly didn’t know there was different grades of catholic,can you point me towards the theology of all this.

  • aber1991

    You have claimed to be an atheist so you cannot be a Catholic.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Cue

    It was a tongue in cheek comment, many nationalists throw a wobbler at the concept of ‘the North’ being seen as something different to the rest of the island.
    (and yes, many unionists throw a wobbler at the concept of Ulster being regarded as part of Ireland – Anti-whatboutery engaged….)

    I believe Aber doesn’t consider himself/herself to be a nationalist but I was curious nonetheless.

  • Fobhristi

    Brilliant bit of craziness there, “Throw in ridiculous comparisons”, I never made any such comparison you did and then angrily critiqued your own comparison. Shine on you crazy diamond

  • carl marks

    don’t know now would have said that a while ago but Just found out there are “real catholic’s” so logic dictates there must be other types of catholic, just wondering how many, am i one ?
    but anyway what about the Pope and the european’s are they real, you never answered!

  • Zeno1

    …………………..

  • Cue Bono

    Do you have any evidence to support your claim that Lord Mountbatten was ‘a frequent visitor to Kincora’?

    It is not very nice to describe people who are bisexual as being revolting.

    I’m fairly sure that there are people in your community who also put a lot of store in the Bible. Known as Christians I think. In much the same way that you believe ‘Before the dawn’ I would imagine.

  • Cue Bono

    Well I’m glad that we have established that republican attempts to compare their bombing campaign with WW2 are crazy. That at least is progress.

  • Cue Bono

    I suspect that was always the case. If you are banking on the Sinners for equality and prosperity then you haven’t been paying very much attention.

  • Robin Keogh

    Grand so, i expect we will find out for sure in a few years time. But thanks again for taking time out to try assist me in my decision making process. Much appreciated, i wish u and yours a Gerry Christmas and a Mary Lou year 😉

  • Cue Bono

    Well I hope that on Christmas morning your Tiocfiadh ar Choo Choo.

  • Zeno1

    I’ve never played Call of Duty, but I do know that helicopters can hover 15 feet off the ground and can cause panic in those standing underneath them. Putting 100’s of Armed Security Forces in inverted commas does not make the cease to exist by the way. They were 5 minutes away and begging to be sent out. Bear in mind they didn’t know they were two soldiers either.

    The indecision came about because the brass also didn’t know there were two soldiers on the ground being attacked. Hence my remark about Paddys. Imagine the response if two uniformed RUC Men had been in the car and filmed by the helicopter.

  • Robin Keogh

    Trains dont run on christmas day here in dublin so i will be ag dul go dti an rothar, nollaig shona a chairde

  • Cue Bono

    Aber seems to be gving off a few subtle hints that he may be of the Catholic faith.

  • Cue Bono

    You will be at a wake at your friend’s house?

  • Robin Keogh

    Only if somebody dies

  • carl marks

    he is not merely of the catholic faith, if his posts are to be believed he IS the catholic faith, ;-0

  • Cue Bono

    That woudn’t be unusual in republican circles.

  • Robin Keogh

    Very true, quite a lot of them are in their late 80s or 90s so its sad but your quite right not a bit unusual. Horrible when someone passes away around christmas time ;(

  • Fobhristi

    It wasn’t the comparison per se I found crazy it was your schizophrenic conversation with yourself I found to be crazy. I thought that would be obvious, clearly not.

  • aber1991

    I do NOT give HINTS about anything.

  • Cue Bono

    I see you’ve had a little bit of direction from HQ. They can’t have you going around calling one of the mainstays of their debating strategy crazy.

    I take it that you have now given up on your ridiculous theories about the Lib Dems?

  • Fobhristi

    You are abso nuts! Im not going to debate or defend a comparison I didn’t make you total lunatic.

    “direction from HQ”…so anyone who disagrees with you is automatically in Sinn Fein? are you one of these conspiracy theory nutters? its not hard for me to imagine you sitting in an attic bedroom with blacked out windows wearing a tin foil hat right about now.

    haha ‘ridiculous theories about the Lib Dems’..what theories Ive states nothing but factual public domain information. I made my points perfectly clear, you just go back to sticking your fingers in your ears and singing your favorite song “la la la la la la la”

  • barnshee

    Because that`s the sort of people they are

  • Kevin Breslin

    Might get a speaker next Monday.