A form of political storytelling that comes without delivery is also part of ‘the narrative’…

Saturday morning, so this is just brief and in passing… First this from our own IJP…

Well, it gets a mention here, just two minutes in…

Note Mike Nesbitt pointing out another telling detail, the fact that the leader of Sinn Fein on Belfast City Council has poo-pooed the idea that corporation tax will ever see the light of day (noted earlier in the week on Nolan)…

And now, Colum Eastwood’s first public platform piece as SDLP leader in yesteday’s Irish News…

SINN Féin are famed for telling a good story. Credit where credit is due, I think they’ve been pretty good at it too. The heart of their narrative told us they were the best negotiators in the land.

That they and they alone were the strong men, that they and they alone would stay in the room for however long it took. That they and they alone wouldn’t budge until their bottom lines were met.

Since the beginning of their political journey they’ve voiced that story with an abundance of self-confidence and with very little humility.

It’s been a good story and they won plenty of votes on the back of it. But even the best of stories come to an end. Last week’s so-called ‘Fresh Start’ deal definitively marked that end.

Much of that deal has now been proven to be so transparently awful that Sinn Féin’s chief negotiators are finding it difficult to hide their shame. And ashamed they should be.

After promising for two years that they’d stand up to the Tories and fight the good fight, they’ve not only completely capitulated on their promises, they’ve surrendered their responsibilities to none other than George Osborne.

They genuinely convinced many of this society’s most vulnerable that their benefits would be protected. It is no wonder these same people are now so genuinely angry.

On welfare reform, they’ve negotiated away around £240 million of protections for the most vulnerable.

  • Mary Anna Quigley

    Untrustworthy shameless, Ireland will learn the hard way. Sociopathic liars.

  • Robin Keogh

    Maybe Mr Eastwood might gives us details of his alternative

  • Greenflag 2

    What exactly would Mr Eastwood have done in those negotiations . London holds the financial strings that bind .That’s a political and economic reality than even the most vulnerable in NI understand . He who has a right to criticise which is the SDLP’s and any other party’s right should have a detailed alternative that would work with Tory ruled Westminster .

    Just more daft SF bashing for the sake of it . Not the way to go if the SDLP are looking to increase their numbers at Stormont .

  • chrisjones2

    Noone knows what the alternatives were Robin. Only SF and the DUP were present – the rest were excluded. When you exclude you take responsibility – they were keen enough to claim the victory before Osbourne shafted them in the Autumn Statement

    And where does this leave our fragrant SoS?

    Did she know what was coming?

    If so, did she hide it from them or is her membership of the Cabinet just a sort of semi detached sham?

    Or, in fact, did she warn them what might happen and was it all stage managed for the optics and Pete’s farewell?

    Its all as transparent as an OTR letter

  • Greenflag 2

    As long is NI is ruled from Westminster even with devolution -they (all parties ) will get the mushroom treatment when push comes to shove and bigger UK wide issues are at stake -like Osborne and Cameron’s political futures .

  • chrisjones2

    Thats part of living in a Region – or at least when dealing with regional issues in a Regional Assembly

  • chrisjones2

    I disagree. All the other parties were denied the opportunity to take part – as I understand it they weren’t even given access to the full data. Those who played the game carry the can – and they were royally shafted on this

  • Robin Keogh

    Its not about carrying cans. Its about a crtic letting us all know what he would have done differently. What deal could he have delivered that was better than what we have. Its important to critique for sure, but when you are the leader of a party that critique needs to backed up by a credibke alternative. Otherwise its just smoke.

  • Greenflag 2

    Even if they had taken part what difference would it have made ? None that I can see . Osborne holds the whip hand and he can use it or not use it as he sees fit . Its called FPTP ‘democracy ‘ All you need is 37% of the vote .

  • Greenflag 2

    Indeed -Its also part of living in a FPTP Westminster system where a plurality of 37% of the vote gives one party in this case the Tories a majority of 20 seats approx in the Commons . SF & DUP and indeed any of the other parties can’t do much of anything about the facts of political life . Other regions in the UK don’t have NI’s political profile which is always a plus in these kind of situations at least for now. Give it two years and we’ll see if Cameron & Osborne are still around .

  • chrisjones2

    Perhaps it would have made no difference. They might however have had ideas or solutions to problems or brought different perspectives – but that is all just what the Junta did not want

    SO that’s fine. That’s the way the system works and when they bugger up[ we know who to blame

  • chrisjones2

    How can a p[arty do that when they are denied even the information or knowledge of the position taken and the data shared? And why is your party so secretive – what has it to hide

  • chrisjones2

    Well Cameron wont be but Osbourne may well be PM for the next 15 years or so on current trends

  • mickfealty

    At this stage, without any significant power to change the future I don’t think robust alternatives are a necessity… But in time if he is successful, they certainly will be…

  • Robin Keogh

    They have all the info now. If Eastwood thinks a better deal could have been achieved, he should lay it out and let us know what we are missing. Secretive about what?

  • Greenflag 2

    A week is a long time in politics – 2 years is an eternity -15 years an eon . Long before then the crisis of financial sector led capitalism will have led to bloody revolution or world war or the politicians will have reformed the current system which increasing favours the wealthy with more wealth and is driving the working and middle classes into relative poverty . When the English finally revolt it won’t be pleasant for Osborne and Co .

  • Greenflag 2

    Well you’ll have a chance to vote soon enough – So we’ll see what about half the electorate will choose next May eh ? .

  • mickfealty

    How should they go, oh wise one? 😉

  • Greenflag 2

    Instead of playing the UUP bashing SF fruitless game they should focus on making a pre election alliance with no pun intended Alliance. Of course if they were truly wise they could walk out of the Assembly like the UUP and join the TUV in demanding voluntary coalition as the way forward to a more normal democracy in NI . Kamikaze politics but there you have it . As we all know a normal democracy in the voluntary coalition sense is about 25 years away if not more and long before then the Game of Pretend thrones that is Stormont may be mercifully over . But don’t tell the TUV .First they’re not listening and second they are more comfortable in the twilight zone of NI in the 1950’s ,

    Where ignorance is bliss tis folly to be wise 😉 Where ignorance pays political dividends as it too often does in NI then tis a double folly to be even half wise . As the man said if he’d any more wit he’d be a half wit 😉 Still somebody has to keep the lid on and the poor SoS can’t do anything else nor can her mandarins back in HQ.

  • barnshee

    As ther other Mr Eastwood he of the bookmaking sort -you will get a bet-ter answer