Will Sinn Fein emerge as winners once again?

For general stimulation, Kevin Toolis, a noted historian of the IRA, presents the millennarian version of Sinn Fein’s outlook in the Times(£)

For the IRA and Sinn Fein, the collapse of Ulster’s power-sharing executive shortly before Irish voters go to the polls is a perfect political storm that could sweep Gerry Adams to power in Dublin..

And of course, untainted by ever having held national office, Sinn Fein, Ireland’s only cross-border party, presents itself as the leftish unblemished defenders of the poor, the true inheritors of that hallowed republican tradition, dedicated only to greater welfare of the Irish people.

It is an alluring and simplistic political message that has already reaped rewards for the SNP in Scotland and for Syriza in Greece. So why should it not work in austerity Ireland as well?

Toolis is taking it for granted that Sinn Fein  will be the winners .I’m not sure that Syriza are clear winners any more, certainly not on policy and not even in politics, as the conservative New Democracy party are running them neck in neck in  pre-election polls. Theirs could turn out to be a short lived and expensive victory. On policy the jury is out for the SNP if  definitely not on politics. Why not throw in Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour party?

Gerry Moriarty’s analysis in the Irish Times contains this assessment.

If the adjournment attempt fails, Northern Secretary Theresa Villiers could introduce emergency British legislation to suspend Stormont altogether, pending the outcome of the talks. That would trigger an almighty row between Dublin and London and the DUP’s sense of it last night was that Villiers would resist such a move.

But why an “ almighty row?” What is Dublin’s alternative if the DUP walk out? What are they afraid of ?

Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London