“Sinn Féin has, at best, walked off the pitch. At worst, it is an enormous act of political cowardice.”

This episode from yesterday’s Dail session is worth running backwards somewhat, just to see what people make of it… So I’m starting with Gerry Adams’ response a pretty full blooded attack on his party’s part in the Fresh Deal agreement courtesy of Michael O’Regan (KStr):

Mr Adams said the Tánaiste’s remarks were “incoherent, barely comprehensible and have no credibility whatsoever’’. Without the recent agreement the door would have been open for a return to British direct rule and the full weight of the Tory assault on the welfare state. “The majority of citizens support the political institutions and want them to work.’’

Now here’s Ms Burton’s incoherent, barely comprehensible remarks (KStr):

Joan Burton said the major change in the recent agreement, A Fresh Start, was allowing welfare reform to be legislated for at Westminster. This appeared to be “fairly spectacular delegation of responsibility’’ by Sinn Féin, she added.

“Rather than confronting the issue in Northern Ireland, and taking responsibility for its decisions, it has simply ceded decision-making power to the British parliament where its members do not even take their seats,’’ she added. “What does that say about a party that has consistently called on the Irish Government to stand up to the troika, the European Union and international bodies ?’’

Ms Burton said it showed, in her mind, Sinn Féin would not be remotely capable of taking responsibility itself, unlike the Government which negotiated concessions that reduced the debt burden by tens of billions of euro.

“At the first sign of a major political challenge, Sinn Féin has, at best, simply walked off the pitch,’’ she added. “At worst, it is an enormous act of political cowardice.’’

 

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  • Lorcs1

    Given that Joan Burton holds a pretty senior role in the government which helped formulate, and has since thrown its support behind the deal, is it not a bit facetious of her to be criticising SF for accepting said deal?

  • Ernekid

    Irish Labour are really quite fecked in the upcoming election and frankly they deserve it.

  • barnshee

    The sooner SF get into government and run into reality the better

  • hugh mccloy

    Not many comments, though the article said it all. When it came to an accountable decision Sinn Fein along with the DUP ran away and cut a side deal.

    SF and DUP rely on their low support base passively accepting the growing list of of lies threw at them.

  • Ulick

    The Brits cut budgets to devolved Assemblies and expect same bodies to take the blame for budget cuts. Joan (and Mick) seem to expect to be able to ignore this key fact in order to attack SF. No one without a dog in the fight is buying it unfortunately.

  • Ernst Blofeld

    The shinners and duppers are run by the same fellas they well do what their bladdy well told old chap..or those super injunctions will be available… What what old bean

  • hugh mccloy

    As I said passively accepting the lie.

  • SDLP supporter

    Sinn Fein and the DUP were the primary negotiators in this deal and the Irish government’s role seems to be confined to throwing in some money for the A5 motorway. They weren’t there to audit the main features of the deal and, if they had tried to do that, Sinn Fein would have told them to mind their own business. This deal will fall apart in weeks. Its main sticking plaster purpose was to let Robinson away in the smoke and to put up his feet up in retirement at Christmas in Florida. Sinn Fein were too dumb to see that. They believed their own hype about themselves being “brilliant negotiators”.

  • Robin Keogh

    Its interesting that Joan should suggest that SF are cowardly given the way her party in fear of FG and the Troika broke every single solitary promise they made before the 2011 election. It is also interesting that Joan chooses to attack SF for doing what everybody had asked them to do and that is make a deal that had a chance of working. London cuts are Tory cuts, opposed by SF and the SDLP and many others over in the UK. Why should anybody else other than the perpetrators be left to carry the can? Joan is finished, as is her party in the short to medium term anyway, I think her statement was the last sting of a dying bee rather than a game changing percussion.

  • Ulick

    The lie? The Tories cut the block grant and introduced fines for not bring in the welfare changes – that’s not a lie, that is a fact.

  • Nevin

    SF and DUP were the primary local negotiators but the piper calls the tune. London, aided and abetted by Dublin, is the big cheese. The other parties may enjoy giving SF a good kicking in the Dáil but Dublin will still give SF a helping hand in negotiations with London as well as other anti-unionist activities.

  • Nevin

    SF and DUP were the primary local negotiators but the piper calls the tune. London, aided and abetted by Dublin, is the big cheese. The other parties may enjoy giving SF a good kicking in the Dáil but Dublin will still give SF a helping hand in negotiations with London as well as other anti-unionist activities.

  • Pete

    There’s only a limited amount of money available. Sinn Fein made the right decision to agree on welfare reform.

  • Pete

    There’s only a limited amount of money available. Sinn Fein made the right decision to agree on welfare reform.

  • Pete

    There’s only a limited amount of money available. Sinn Fein made the right decision to agree on welfare reform.

  • Kevin Breslin

    This isn’t London calling the tune Nevin, this is our local politicians basically selling the pipe.

  • Kevin Breslin

    This isn’t London calling the tune Nevin, this is our local politicians basically selling the pipe.

  • Kevin Breslin

    This isn’t London calling the tune Nevin, this is our local politicians basically selling the pipe.

  • Reader

    The Brits (i.e. “The Government”) cut funding proportionately to all parts of the UK. England gets the cuts raw, as delivered from Westminster. The devolved parliaments get to decide how to handle the cuts, and are judged accordingly.
    The NI parties get to take the “blame” because they have handled this reality so spectacularly badly.

  • Reader

    The Brits (i.e. “The Government”) cut funding proportionately to all parts of the UK. England gets the cuts raw, as delivered from Westminster. The devolved parliaments get to decide how to handle the cuts, and are judged accordingly.
    The NI parties get to take the “blame” because they have handled this reality so spectacularly badly.

  • Reader

    The Brits (i.e. “The Government”) cut funding proportionately to all parts of the UK. England gets the cuts raw, as delivered from Westminster. The devolved parliaments get to decide how to handle the cuts, and are judged accordingly.
    The NI parties get to take the “blame” because they have handled this reality so spectacularly badly.

  • hugh mccloy

    How much is handed back each year, what is money actually spent on, keep living the lie

  • hugh mccloy

    How much is handed back each year, what is money actually spent on, keep living the lie

  • hugh mccloy

    How much is handed back each year, what is money actually spent on, keep living the lie

  • hugh mccloy

    How much is handed back each year, what is money actually spent on, keep living the lie

  • hugh mccloy

    How much is handed back each year, what is money actually spent on, keep living the lie

  • hugh mccloy

    SINN Fein stood over its decision to vote for the State bank
    guarantee in September 2008 — but not any of its implications.

  • hugh mccloy

    SINN Fein stood over its decision to vote for the State bank
    guarantee in September 2008 — but not any of its implications.

  • hugh mccloy

    SINN Fein stood over its decision to vote for the State bank
    guarantee in September 2008 — but not any of its implications.

  • hugh mccloy

    SINN Fein stood over its decision to vote for the State bank
    guarantee in September 2008 — but not any of its implications.

  • hugh mccloy

    SINN Fein stood over its decision to vote for the State bank
    guarantee in September 2008 — but not any of its implications.

  • Ulick

    Not many comments because it’s as tiresome as the 50 previous threads on utterances by Sinn Fein’s other political opponents not to mentioned the regular threads reporting a dip in the polls. Predictable fluff.

  • Ulick

    Not many comments because it’s as tiresome as the 50 previous threads on utterances by Sinn Fein’s other political opponents not to mentioned the regular threads reporting a dip in the polls. Predictable fluff.

  • Ulick

    Not many comments because it’s as tiresome as the 50 previous threads on utterances by Sinn Fein’s other political opponents not to mentioned the regular threads reporting a dip in the polls. Predictable fluff.

  • Ulick

    Not many comments because it’s as tiresome as the 50 previous threads on utterances by Sinn Fein’s other political opponents not to mentioned the regular threads reporting a dip in the polls. Predictable fluff.

  • Ulick

    Not many comments because it’s as tiresome as the 50 previous threads on utterances by Sinn Fein’s other political opponents not to mentioned the regular threads reporting a dip in the polls. Predictable fluff.

  • Ulick

    Not many comments because it’s as tiresome as the 50 previous threads on utterances by Sinn Fein’s other political opponents not to mentioned the regular threads reporting a dip in the polls. Predictable fluff.

  • Ulick

    Not many comments because it’s as tiresome as the 50 previous threads on utterances by Sinn Fein’s other political opponents not to mentioned the regular threads reporting a dip in the polls. Predictable fluff.

  • hugh mccloy

    Very

  • Robin Keogh

    They supported the original decision and then rejected the terms when it became clear what it would entail

  • eamoncorbett

    Fine Gael anti unionist ?

  • Nevin

    It is a nationalist party, Eamon.

  • aquifer

    The DUP let everybody else do the heavy lifting in the peace process, and when it comes to accountability, Sinn Fein often end up as ‘on the runs’ again, and still they hope to blame the Brits. They are both very good at what they do.

  • Brid Rodgers

    The Labour Party had the foresight to vote against it at the time. SF got it wrong. Hindsight is a wonderful thing!

  • Robin Keogh

    But labour in government then extended the bank gaurantee twice? Hardly the actions of a party with the courage of their convictions. Aside, can I ask, are u the real SDLP Brid Rogers ?

  • eamoncorbett

    Yes Nevin very small “n” since Garret Fitzgerald . Cosgrave , Bruton , Dukes and Noonan never made very many pro nationalist pronouncements in their tenure as FG leaders and i would go as far as to say they were agnostic when it came to Irish unity . However FG is very pro Europe and has that in common with the rest of Irish nationalism.

  • Nevin

    Most certainly not militant nationalist in the style of the PRM, Eamon.

    Garret had a great time as a week-end volunteer at Corrymeela in early 1973, would liked to have returned for a second but found himself in government.

    I would describe his approach to Irish unity as one of persuasion, not coercion. He might well have admired the style of the remarkable but little known Martha Craig who favoured education over agitation, the approach of her friend Maud Gonne.

    Some anti-unionist activities took place under the radar eg the Bruton administration’s assistance of the Athboy conspiracy in the mid ’90s.

  • Brid Rodgers

    Or you could say a party with the courage to make tough decisions when in government, rather than breaking their solemn promise to protect all welfare recipients by passing the buck to a British Tory chancellor of the exchequer.
    You may remember M Mc G statement in response to proposition that British government might take over the power and impose welfare cuts! “That would be very foolish and there would be consequences”. Really! Yes, I am Brid Rodgers, SDLP, the party that took a strong stand against discrimination and ALL violence, paramilitary and state, a stand that was very often neither profitable nor popular.

  • Robin Keogh

    I am a bit star struck. Believe it or not you are one of my heroes from the time of the GFA. I have enormous respect for you and the entire SDLP team of that time. I have said a number of times oh here that it was the SDLP who saved this country. If I was living in the six, i could just have easily become a member over SF.

    As for your views on Labour here I couldnt disagree more. The true tuff decisions would have resulted in taking action against junior bond holders or raised revenue from the wealthier segment of society to ease the burden on those on the lower rungs of our society. The troika at the time made it clear that as long as the numbers added up; it was our decision how to get there. Labour chose to abandon everything they stood for and weakly follow FG in the austerity agenda. By 2013 the WHO warned the government that health cuts would make our system practically inoperable. The same year Sister Stan and focus Ireland told the Gov the housing crises was on the verge of catastrophe. The brave decisions of Labour have caused horrific hardship with the highest levels of child poverty in the nodern history of the state.

    SF in Stormont do not have the same power levers as Labour did here. Stormont parties are not in a flexible choice position. They are part of a forced coalition which is effectively second fiddle to London. Tory cuts are being enforced on the people AND upon the parties. The solution is not ideal but at least the parties are back at their desks and the ‘crisis’ is passed.

  • hugh mccloy

    You should read back over the reviews and forward thinking carried out by the former SF health minister in Stormont, what became known as Developing Better Services, brought and pushed through by SF is the reason the health system in the north is on its knees

  • hugh mccloy

    Did they propose a fresh start lol

  • barnshee

    explain why NI should receive substantially more from the Treasury than it contributes in tax

  • barnshee

    AGAIN why should NI get special treatment– receive more in funding than it pays in Tax? particularly when many of the problems are self inflicted?

  • Robin Keogh

    Its not special treatment to ensure there is enuff cash in the tin to feed the kids and pay the bills.

  • barnshee

    Like having sex and panicking when pregnancy ensued -being shafted in fact.

  • barnshee

    Normally one would expect to be in a position to “feed the kids” before enthusiastic procreation