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 ?

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  • Catcher in the Rye

    Not sure where Gerry M is getting that from Brian.

    What else can the British do ? If the DUP follow the UUP out of the Executive it no longer has the authority to govern.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Sinn Féin didn’t get any electoral bounce down South from the last Assembly collapse.

    Maybe it’s just my scientific side that tries to link a cause to an effect, and to think same cause will cause more or less the same effect.

    That might be silly of me, imagination trumps precedence every time.

  • Scots Anorak

    Given that the SNP is the party of government in a conventional parliamentary system and, as a matter of policy at least, is not republican, I’m not sure that the comparison works.

  • Mirrorballman

    “is not republican” – you mean not openly republican….

  • the rich get richer

    It certainly would give Sinn Fein the opportunity to concentrate most of its efforts and resources on the general election in the South.

    Its slightly interesting. Thats the very sad thing about Northern Irish politics, its pretty much only interesting when people are getting killed or when Peace process’s are being built to try to stop people being killed.

    There is something about those “Dreary Steeples ‘ that are frankly boring.

    And sadly (or perhaps not) its not worth killing or dying for ! ! !

    After all “Where” is worth killing or dying for ? ? ?

    Nowhere.

  • Kevin Breslin

    He means they pragmatically opted for an independent Scotland to remain a constitutional monarchist state.

    In many ways they made politics more of a “res publica” than a lot of Irish “republicans” North and South did, and Sinn Féin, Fianna Fáil, SDLP, Labour, Fine Gael and the rest could learn things from that.

  • gendjinn

    Before debates, when you know your candidate is going to suck, you lower expectations. Your opponents try to do the opposite.

    Anyone who is saying that SF has any shot of a majority or senior coalition partner in the 32nd Dáil is pushing propaganda not realistic analysis.

  • Scots Anorak

    Indeed, that’s why I used the phrasing I did, although it’s perhaps still worth stressing that by no means everyone in the SNP is republican (Alex Salmond, evidently, is not), and in any case the term has a rather different and more literal meaning than anything attaching to it in Northern Ireland.

  • Steve Larson

    God on high will not change the polling support in the south of the country. FF and SF around 20%, FG will be around 25%, Labour 7or 8%.

    The trend has been long established now and it won’t change much.

  • Steve Larson

    The world has changed so much since then.

    So has SF’s electoral strength and membership numbers.

    In many parts of the South SF are the dominant force on the ground.

    In many places a party structure did not exist the last time.

  • Steve Larson

    I don’t see them in power after the next election.

    I do see them being the leading opposition party.

    FG with FF support is a roaring certainty at this stage.

    It is the only Govt. that will have anything close to the numbers required.

    The future of politics in Leinster hse is two blocks led by FG and SF.

  • Zeno

    “Gerry is a bit of a problem in PR terms much more than MM or so it seems to me, having said which he didn’t have too much trouble getting elected did he?”

    I think the sitting TD in the safest seat SF in Ireland was told to stand aside.

  • Steve Larson

    I think that Sinn Féin will benefit from this.

    Has there ever been a crisis in the last 40 years that they have not benefited from and made benefit them.

    This allows them focus on the South for the general election. Allows SF motivate their base to turnout. The SDLP will probably be squeezed, they haven’t been that exciting this year, even more so than normal. So why wouldn’t they. Bland never gets rewards.

    Unionism may see more of an equaling of the divide between the DUP and UUP.

    Whatever happens I’m confident that it is a win win over the next few years.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Sinn Féin’s support and membership has grown for other reasons, if Sinn Féin’s support and membership grow further it won’t be because the Assembly collapses.

    Sinn Féin don’t want the Assembly to collapse right now, from whom would they gain votes from?
    Colleagues in government who also don’t want it to collapse?
    26 county parties that don’t want it to collapse?
    Hard left wingers and dissident republicans who do want it to collapse?
    Disillusioned non voters?

    There’s completely no political capital for SF from the Assembly collapsing even from an agitational point of protest!

  • Steve Larson

    There is no real benefit, maybe more headlines about peace talks and headlines, which would be positive.

    My point is that the time of the last crisis, Sinn Féin didn’t have structures in much of the south. Focus was traditionally elsewhere for a long time . It couldn’t have benefited even from increasing support in many areas.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Bad headlines are going to demoralise Sinn Féin support if anything. They are fighting other issues in the 26 counties (than the Assembly survival issue) as the Dail has no jurisdiction over Stormont.

  • Steve Larson

    This will not change anything.

    In terms of headlines and things that have been thrown at the party in the last decade. This doesn’t even register.

  • gendjinn

    33rd Dáil they’ll be the senior coalition partner, on the current trajectory. Unless the PIRA goes back to war and/or PSNI/GS tie SF to the organised crime (fuel smuggling, etc).

  • gendjinn

    The usual caveat of lightning strikes aside.

    The next govt is FG/FF. That runs 2 to 3 years until there’s a juicy scandal FF can use to topple the govt and screw FG. Otherwise it runs the 5 and FF takes the hit. Labour is finished, the Indies are unlikely to coalesce which leaves SF as the major coalition partner prospect going into the 33rd.

    “Which means that Unionist/Loyalists will do what they can to prevent it.”

    That’s what they are doing right now.

  • Gingray

    Zeno, don’t let the facts get in the way of your anti sinn fein agenda 🙂

    Louth was not even the safest seat for Sinn Fein yet alone the safest seat in the south. But anyways.

  • eamoncorbett

    Steve, i think SF will do well next year in the South with Labour being the biggest casualty, but popularity does not always translate into seats , ask UKIP, and im sure FG ,FF whats left of Labour and Shane Ross type independents will conspire to keep SF in opposition even if they become the biggest party .

  • gendjinn

    I don’t know. This cycle doesn’t feel like any of the previous, don’t think any of the old models are good templates.

    If anything resolving this crisis will require SF gets paid out – ILA, Maze done by DR and Justice in D’Hondt when it comes back.

    Unionism has pissed off everyone but SF’s enemies (FG/FF/LAB in the ROI). Cameron holds the DUP in contempt, Clinton holds unionism entirely in contempt (Empey Dumpty emails). If Corbyn gets into #10 it’s even worse for them.

    I really don’t see any pressure on SF to do anything but throw their arms up, say “Well we tried, we gave them 20 years but there’s really nothing you can do with unionists.” The unicorns evaporate and all eyes turn to winning the border poll because nothing else has worked.

    Lights out for NI

  • Zeno

    They only had 4 Seats, just name the 3 that were more a shoo in than Louth.

  • Zeno

    “Zeno, don’t let the facts get in the way of your anti sinn fein agenda :-)”

    Stop being selective. I’m anti SF/DUP/UUP/SDLP/AP/ and the rest.

  • Gingray

    See Zeno, this is what I mean. They had 5 seats at the time of the election, but let’s not allow facts get in the way.

    Donegal south west was a much safer seat 🙂

    But you failed to define what you meant by safe seat and for whom, you can do much better.

  • Gingray

    Yes yes, when challenged about why you obsess about Sinn Fein, you wheel out the line about hating them all.

    Facts are another matter.

    Of your last 25 posts on Slugger all but one concern sinn fein. A cursory glance at your historical posts and it’s much the same. Nothing wrong with hating them, but own your convictions don’t hide.

  • Seamus M

    PIRA will never win in the North as the message to the Loyalists would be violence pays, a very unpalatable position of those of us nationalists living on volatile interfaces with the re-emergence of the UVF & UDA.

    Fine Gael will almost certainly win in the South as anybody not wanting PIRA influence will vote for them (just like their fellow Tories gaining at the expense of Labour in England), it’s ironic that a party that traces its roots back to 1916 & is chock block full of Cosgroves, Fitzgeralds, Brutons et al, are the most anti republican party & they will actively engage with the Unionist parties as fellow Tories

  • mickfealty

    Ball please?

  • Gingray

    Yes boss!

    On a related topic, you had mentioned on a previous thread that the collapse of the assembly would allow Sinn Fein to move even more resources south.

    I’ve heard this before from you on Slugger and anecdotally from others, but who are we talking about? Just curious. Lot of the trouble stems from Sinn Fein concentrating on the South, where they will not do as well as the polls suggest.

  • Gingray

    Btw would it be man playing to challenge me if I claimed to be a pro union supporter even when the evidence suggests otherwise?

  • Gingray

    Zeno, this may help a little. Many pollsters had predicted Adams would struggle as the Louth 5 seater was turned into a 4 seater effectively with the presence of the Ceann Comhairle.

    http://adriankavanagh.com/2011/02/07/predictions/

  • Zeno

    Wg
    Where are these Pollsters?

  • mickfealty

    Not performing to the polls is less a problem than it looks if you are sitting at twice the 2011. Who’s gone south? I’m reluctant to name them since they are back room staff and haven’t chosen public politics.

    But SF’s political (as opposed to its military) NI operation strikes me as being a bit like that Fort in Beau Gest, when they pile the dead bodies at the ramparts. There is not much there.

  • mickfealty

    Don’t understand.

  • Kev Hughes

    True that Eamonn re UKIP, but that’s more due to the workings of FPTP which meant 4m biters pretty much being robbed of a voice in parliament. For SF and PR in the South they shouldn’t see such a result. Even if Shane Ross types and Labour et al ‘conspire’ they’ll only have limited success owing to the proclivities of the voting system.

  • Kev Hughes

    Bad headlines are going to demoralise SF support? Au contraire Kevin, you’re talking about a party of volunteers who are pretty ‘battle hardened’ (probably a poor choice of words). They’ll merely see this as re-enforcing their opinion of unionism being untrustworthy partners with a Tory government.

    It reminds me of my summer holidays this year. It was raining and pouring down and I felt comfortable and happy as that’s the weather I best know how to deal with…

    If you think that collapsing Stormont won’t help them with some voters in the South as it doesn’t have jurisdiction up North (because that’s actually what’s going to go through the heads of possible Southern SF voters ‘sorry, that’s a Northern thing, best I ignore that…’) then you probably don’t get who’d be voting SF in the South.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Those volunteers are not going to work any harder when there isn’t bad news about the institutions. What is going to happen is that people who are soft SF potential voters, (not loyal Sinn Féin voters who are going to vote regardless) might rightly think:

    This thing won’t work, why should I bother? Why should a party’s own selfish anger be my political bottom line, when they can’t do anything about it? That’s not going to earn my vote, politicians are here to serve me, not vice versa.
    Sinn Féin better have a strategy to get out of this, because I’m not giving them sympathy votes.

    Human nature needs encouragement, this situation is not encouraging and Sinn Féin’s vote hasn’t grown in the North with a stagnant Assembly. It’s pretty much the same for other government parties.

    There’s no political capital in sympathy, just look at Peter Robinson the victim of his wife’s affair, a man who was clearly heartbroken and had his family life put in the Spotlight. Think about this from the point of view of the voter: “You have problems … Not my problem.”

    I think Southern voters who voted Sinn Féin before aren’t going to change their mind over this, it’s those voters that haven’t voted Sinn Féin before, that haven’t cared about Sinn Féin before, the ones needed to grow their party’s vote who have no reason to get off the couch over the fact Sinn Féin was unable to stop the Assembly collapsing.

    If you think the average Sinn Féin member is expecting a sympathy windfall, then maybe you think they are more politically inexperienced than I do.

    Sinn Féin won’t sell Inertia, they shouldn’t sell Inertia and if they do their vote will decline North of Ireland, South of Ireland or wherever else they might stand.
    Assembly collapsing is inertia, and it’s a vote turnoff for those who want the Assembly to work. No spindoctor in the world would be able to sell it.

    Take it from an SDLP canvasser who’s knocked doors who’ve replied “What has the Assembly ever done?” making clear their discomfort not just with both Sinn Féin and the SDLP, but all other alternatives.

  • Kev Hughes

    Kevin, I’m sorry but I’ll have to disagree. You’re projecting your own thought processes onto voters.

    ‘What is going to happen is that people who are soft SF potential voters, (not loyal Sinn Féin voters who are going to vote regardless) might rightly think

    This thing won’t work, why should I bother? Why should a party’s own selfish anger be my political bottom line, when they can’t do anything about it?’

    Selfish anger? I’m not a Shinner but I’m angry with the political games being played in the North and I don’t solely see it as SF’s selfish anger (that’s where you give yourself away, I’m afraid).

  • Kevin Breslin

    It won’t change anything to Sinn Féin’s benefit, but look at West Belfast … People need to be motivated to vote.
    Saying we tried is defeatest.

  • Kev Hughes

    There’s no political capital in sympathy, just look at Peter Robinson the victim of his wife’s affair, a man who was clearly heartbroken and had his family life put in the Spotlight. Think about this from the point of view of the voter: “You have problems … Not my problem.”

    You see, I disagree. This isn’t sympathy, it’s anger. We had Robinson and TV Mike ruin the place over flags with no consequences and now they act principled? Please…

    As for Robinson, how could anyone have sympathy for that man and his family? You’re using an awful example.

    I think Southern voters who voted Sinn Féin before aren’t going to change their mind over this, it’s those voters that haven’t voted Sinn Féin before, that haven’t cared about Sinn Féin before, the ones needed to grow their party’s vote who have no reason to get off the couch over the fact Sinn Féin was unable to stop the Assembly collapsing.

    These folks will never vote SF though Kevin. You’re making a frankly simplistic argument here. They’re relying not on these folks but others who would’ve been labour of FF voters. This will be another matter they can show and say ‘look at what unionism, the Tories and FG/FF are at. Clowns the lot of them’ it’s fairly effective in places like Clare or Dublin when I talk to family, friends or former colleagues .

    If you think the average Sinn Féin member is expecting a sympathy windfall, then maybe you think they are more politically inexperienced than I do.

    You think SF are inexperienced? Wow, ok. Anyway, a windfall, not a huge one, a hardening of their core vote and some sympathy, undoubtedly.

    Sinn Féin won’t sell Inertia, they shouldn’t sell Inertia and if they do their vote will decline North of Ireland, South of Ireland or wherever else they might stand.

    I doubt they are going to sell inertia but anyway, I can’t see who their vote will go to. SDLP? I laugh. So long as Dolores Kelly is a prominent member I think SF can rest easy.

    Assembly collapsing is inertia, and it’s a vote turnoff for those who want the Assembly to work. No spindoctor in the world would be able to sell it.

    It depends on who gets the blame for their key voters, something you seem to ignore and project that SF will get the blame. Look, the Inso and others can say it’s SF’s fault but if they get enough voters to think otherwise then it doesn’t mean jack what those guys think.

  • Kevin Breslin

    I’m not projecting anything, even if I am you have clearly projected your own views onto a large Southern electorate.

    It’s quite reasonable to think people vote for the effect their politicians are going to have. Even irrational or indeed uneducated voters need to have a good feeling to do something and there’s very little of those.

    This brings me back to my point about inertia, as a person who is “angry about the games being played” how is getting angry at unionists going to change anything?

    Angry people want action, they don’t want to give people sympathy votes.

    There’s no political capital to be made from inert and selfish anger, Sinn Féin will have to translate it to selfless determination and a collapsed Assembly is an obsticle.

    They can demagogue about the government parties and Fianna Fáil but frankly it’s only preaching to the converted.

  • Kev Hughes

    You’re an avowed SDLP canvasser, you’re projecting Kevin. Also, inertia hasn’t hurt them before, just see election results since 1998.

    PReaching to the converted? To some extent, of course, but you ignore others who hate the system and wish for change. They can say ‘we tried, it’s themmuns fault’ and trust me, it works a lot.

  • Kevin Breslin

    I think you are not really reading my comments and you think I have an agenda here. I don’t.

    On the Robinson thing, it’s a good example – PUL voters couldn’t care less about his hardships, they saw him as an absent MP. Robinson’s vote didn’t collapse but it was hardly going to grow from a personal problem. They barely got it back with a sectarian pact.

    Take Bobby Sands election … Voters wanted action, and there was action, there were no bumps in the road and no sob stories told.

    That’s what politicians here need to do, give the people some momentum, not inertia or the friction of personal greviences and political roadblocks.

    Secondly you just said non-SF voters are not going to vote for SF anyway, so how is their vote going to grow? Where are these new voters going to come from other than from non-SF voters?

    Maybe in the North of Ireland, turnouts might increase from people who voted SF before, decided not to vote in a SF safe seat like Mid Ulster or West Belfast returning to vote again, or a new first time voter from a SF household. My opinion is that these people wouldn’t fall victim to apathy whether the Assembly ran or whether it didn’t.

    Thirdly, I didn’t say a Sinn Féin had no political experience, I said they have enough political experience not to sell a collapsed Assembly as a good thing for them. Who cares if Sinn Féin are angry with the DUP or UUP North or South, it’s on rare occasions that they have been happy with them.

    I don’t understand why you think a collapsed Assembly offers anything for the Southern Irish voter, it’ll be a stick the Irish political establishment will use against Sinn Féin, when Sinn Féin are sticking their agenda to the Irish political establishment.

    The people who could make political capital in the 26 counties are independents and small parties who are none of the above.

  • Kevin Breslin

    I just don’t believe people want to vote for whingers. Complainers, maybe, but not whingers, instinctively people feel whingers aren’t going to change anything, so a voter will need to be in an eccentric mood to go against their instincts think otherwise.

    And if Sinn Féin are going to make a change, they have the power they have in the Assembly through talks and through general business to show change, not tell change.

    If they can’t Sinn Féin voters would have to absorb some of the resignation SDLP voters felt back in 1998. The ball goes into the court of the Gerry Carolls, and the Gary Donnellys even Eammon McCann but worst of all the armchair, probably the SDLP’s biggest enemy will become Sinn Féin’s worst enemy too. They are already making ground in nationalist heartlands. That’s not me projecting the evidence is there. Even Fianna Fáil are fancying their chance here in 2019.

    In the South, Red C polls are suggesting a large percentage of voters are going to go independent because of negative politics. “We tried” is past tense statement of trying I.e. giving up trying. Voters don’t want quitters.

    An instantaneous windfall from a collapse of the Assembly, without Sinn Féin preparing a Plan B just relies on too much abstract thinking and eccentricity on the part of the electorate. Who’s doing the hard work here? There’s a huge provisio here.

  • Kevin Breslin

    That’s assuming Sinn Féin could lead a very independently minded fringe.

  • Kevin Breslin

    You honestly think caveats like the Maze, the Irish language act and a justice ministry are what Sinn Féin want. They’d happily turn the Maze into an Orange Hall, pass an Ulster-Scots Act and maybe even vote for a DUP justice minister if it would severely mitigate welfare reform.

    Saving a building republicans wanted to smash nearly 30 years ago is low on the agenda. It barely makes it into any Stormont discussion papers. There’s reasonable contentment among republicans with David Ford as justice minister (other than his stupid personal comments about Saville Enquiry costs). Pass an Irish language act and it removes a political cause for SF to fight for.

  • Kev Hughes

    kevin, you’re an SDLP canvasser, to say you’ve no agenda is hilarious. It’s also fine that you do but please don’t treat us like fools.

    I said ‘They’re relying not on these folks but others who would’ve been labour of FF voters.’ It’s not as simplistic as you’d like to think or you’ve alleged that I’ve said. I was highlighted the voters who wouldn’t vote SF so please comment on what I wrote.

    Nor did I say that A collapsed assembly offers anything to southern voters, only a few more votes for SF.

    The rest is you confirming what you’ve said before and projecting your opinions. That’s fine but please quote me on what I say as opposed to what you think or would like me to say.

  • Kev Hughes

    This brings me back to my point about inertia, as a person who is “angry about the games being played” how is getting angry at unionists going to change anything?
    Angry people want action, they don’t want to give people sympathy votes.

    Who’ll provide that action then Kevin; the SDLP? Unfortunately not. But you keep saying its a selfish anger, but all anger is selfish. You keep dismissing the belief that many are angry with unionism but will not give their vote to SF within nationalism. That’s true to an extent but not all. I’ve not voted for a while, where do you think
    My vote will go next time? Happy for you to canvass me for mine but please don’t tell me you’re coming with no agenda, I’m sure you’re handler at the SDLP wouldn’t like to hear that 🙂

  • gendjinn

    Kevin,

    you focused too much on one sentence, and not even the primary clause. SF doesn’t need the assembly as much as the Unionists. It is SF that will get the best of negotiations to restart the assembly should it be suspended/collapsed (which the UK are refusing to do). Whether it’s ILA, Maze, Justice, etc it will be something *they* want and unionism doesn’t.

    In the run up to the election in the south being seen to deliver some baubles like ILA/Maze gives them a great PR boost and I disagree with you about the Justice dept, strategically it’s too important for SF not to want to get it into D’Hondt, they won’t take it but it forces the DUP to pick it first which opens up other ministries for SF to take.

  • Catcher in the Rye

    I’m bemused that anyone thinks that loyalists are these sort of harmless peace-loving democrats who will only consider using violence after they see it “winning” for republicans. They’ve been using violence for centuries.

  • kalista63

    They’d a rare quiet period there were Adams and MMG could have went. They’re histories a a burden to the party in 2015 and the idea of a party having a leader for so long does not give the impression of a dynamic, democratic party.

  • Kevin Breslin

    If you think logically saying that voters w
    ont be impressed with a collapsed Assembly is a slur at Sinn Féin’s expense, you are sadly mistaken. I’m not in canvassing mode and I would want the Assembly to work as much as the average Sinn Féin voter.

    So if the DUP were to collapse the Assembly. Sinn Féin like eveyone else will be a powerless opposition party. Objectively thinking, what political action can be made blaming the unionists… to me that sends the message the party wants to give up on powersharing?

  • Kevin Breslin

    Sinn Féin need the Assembly, Like the SNP need the Scottish Parliament. I dont see the Irish language Act as anti-unionist, or particularly advancing a united Ireland, if Sinn Féin as justice minister is unpalletable to the vast majority of Northern Irish unionist, they will harm their own cause.

  • gendjinn

    Ok, but why do SF need the assembly now. They certainly needed it, but now? What are the reasons?

    I don’t see the ILA as anti-Unionist or advancing a UI either, but it’s still something that was agreed to by both sides and reneged on by Unionism. It is also the right thing to do regardless of the politics.

    Putting Justice into D’hondt does not mean giving it to SF, it means DUP has to pick it before SF does, this leaves Finance or another ministry open for SF. Can you please read what I’m saying, not what you project onto my statements.

  • Kev Hughes

    If you think logically…

    Code for, if I apply your logic? There you go, I fixed that for you.

    If the assembly falls EVERYONE is in opposition and it’s then recriminations time, SF could well easily profit from this which they have before.

    Your assumption works on the nationalist electorate blaming SF, endorsing another’s opinion and voting for them then in the North or being turned off by it in the South.

    This is where I disagree (please see above). Lots of hay can be made blaming your opponents, tho as an SDLP canvasser with no agenda (is that their new slogan?) you guys haven’t done too well from blaming everyone for what’s gone wrong either so perhaps you know something about this tactic or it’s poor use?

  • Seamus M

    nobody for a second believes that they are harmless, just stating a fact that violence begets violence, why don;t you come down to the Falls & see for yourself

  • Kevin Breslin

    I don’t think any party should play the blame game. I don’t like it when SDLP do it. Sinn Féin now being the main nationalist party, the one with the responsibility, if it simply blames, what is it responsible for?

    The point I am making is that it would take a hell of a lot of work for Sinn Féin and other parties to convince the public that they can do something different.

    Blaming is a poor substitute for action.

  • Kev Hughes

    You don’t think anyone should play the blame game? It’s called politics; it’s the basis of politics also. Blame always has a place and attracts many.

    I get it Kevin; you’re a man of good principles, but you’re not entirely pragmatic.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Especially with issues such as Áine, etc, compelling every serious potential voter to do a double take on anything they claim as policy on woman’s issues.

  • Kevin Breslin

    This isn’t about principles, it’s about objectives and practicality.

    I’m not saying politicians shouldn’t blame, but I think it’s an indulgence, perhaps a self-indulgence if they use the frustration to merely blame and offer no alternative.

    I think pragmatism is about willingness to compromise, but you don’t have to show any will on your own part to blame someone.

    I don’t think it is the lowest common denominator in politics here because people don’t need to vote to hear political parties get the blame.

    The one principle I will argue for is the principle of least action, potential voters don’t need to make any effort whatsoever to hear two politicians blame one another. If they don’t have to make the effort to get that on the political market place, then why bother buying into it?

    It’s like buying air.

    Sinn Féin’s objective is Irish Unity, is bickering with the DUP going to move that goal forward by one iota or are they going to return to the determination they once had in the late 90’s?

    Are they going to be aggressive or defensive here? Blaming and bickering is defence.

    That’s really up to them!

  • Kev Hughes

    and therefore you think SF will not offer an alternative? As you eventually acknowledged, they’re not unseasoned pols so I suspect they’ll offer something to the electorate on this.

    I think pragmatism is about willingness to compromise, but you don’t have to show any will on your own part to blame someone.

    Rambling. Perhaps I’m being mean but you’re just throwing out sound bites now.

    The one principle I will argue for is the principle of least action, potential voters don’t need to make any effort whatsoever to hear two politicians blame one another. If they don’t have to make the effort to get that on the political market place, then why bother buying into it?
    It’s like buying air.

    Or they find pols who are, in their opinion, telling it as they think it is. Seriously, blaming people for problems is politics 101, you’re just trying to reverse engineer something Here to fit your argument that SF will lose votes.

    Sinn Féin’s objective is Irish Unity, is bickering with the DUP going to move that goal forward by one iota or are they going to return to the determination they once had in the late 90’s?

    Who knows? Maybe it does? Maybe nationalism’s surprisingly good humoured pols become harder headed? You got a crystal ball there we should all know about?

  • Kevin Breslin

    I don’t think “telling it as it is” is an alternative, there’s every version of that from Jolene Bunting to Gary Donnelly getting elected. Even these people have to get out, network, show a presence in the community and offer the electorate causes they can try to deliver upon. Being eligible for the Nolan Show audience doesn’t make you electable.

    As for the Assembly collapsing, there are a number of reasons why I think rabble-rousing about the DUP and UUP doesn’t offer much for the Southern voter dealing with higher taxes and austerity. The Assembly collapses and a Secretary of State imposes the possibly unmitigated levels of welfare reform against Sinn Féin’s and indeed the SDLP’s will, and the will practically of the other main Executive Parties (and UUP) how is that going to give the Irish voters confidence they can stand up to the troika in government?

    There’s telling it like it is and then there’s being a sore loser, blaming people is more of the latter than the former.

  • Kev Hughes

    I don’t think “telling it as it is” is an alternative, there’s every version of that from Jolene Bunting to Gary Donnelly getting elected. Even these people have to get out, network, show a presence in the community and offer the electorate causes they can try to deliver upon. Being eligible for the Nolan Show audience doesn’t make you electable.

    Are you ignoring what I’ve wrote or just reading what you like or believe I wrote? Seriously, do I appear to be advocating a Nolan-esque full frontal? You’ve demonstrated this time and again, it’s slightly disturbing.

    As for the Assembly collapsing, there are a number of reasons why I think rabble-rousing about the DUP and UUP doesn’t offer much for the Southern voter dealing with higher taxes and austerity.

    Who says you need to rabble rouse? Only in your head is this what they’d do. I’d imagine it’s more like what Inda Kenny did against FF when he got elected pointing out the crap FF got up to. I wasn’t exactly roused by it. Start using your imagination Kevin …

    The Assembly collapses and a Secretary of State imposes the possibly unmitigated levels of welfare reform against Sinn Féin’s and indeed the SDLP’s will, and the will practically of the other main Executive Parties (and UUP) how is that going to give the Irish voters confidence they can stand up to the troika in government?

    Ah yes, the Southern electorate will think of the Tories imposing cuts when dealing with the troika? I see you’ve decided to use your imagination, my apologies…

    There’s telling it like it is and then there’s being a sore loser, blaming people is more of the latter than the former.

    The sdlp playbook since 1998? I appreciate your stubbornness in the face of facts and for the laughs.