“is Gerry the Genius sure he has thought all this through?”

In today’s Irish News, Newton Emerson asks the impertinent question…

Remarks by Mike Nesbitt about cross-community voting distracted from what should have been the major story of the week. Northern Sinn Féin leader Michelle O’Neill has said her party will not return to the executive with Arlene Foster as first or deputy first minister until the DUP leader has been cleared by the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) inquiry. O’Neill added this was a red line issue – something Sinn Féin will not say about anything else. Naturally, Foster will not stand aside and the DUP cannot now ditch her, for fear of seeming to act at Sinn Féin’s behest. So at least six months of limbo beckons, making some form of direct rule inevitable. The NIO is still denying this but I understand draft bills have been prepared for a speedy intervention. The DUP will be enraged but almost half of its voters would prefer direct rule to continuing devolution, according to a poll three weeks ago. In fact, threatening unionists with direct rule is like threatening children with ice cream. While Sinn Féin is obviously playing a bigger game, is Gerry the Genius sure he has thought all this through?

[Another question to which the answer is ‘No’? – Ed]  Because it’s all tactics, not strategy.  And it’s aided and abetted by the prevailing attitude among the media [including bloggers? – Ed] that today’s news is tomorrow’s chip paper – rather than part of a Baconian history.

For example, here’s what Michelle O’Neill said at the launch of Sinn Féin’s Northern Ireland Assembly election manifesto – as reported in the Irish News on 16th February.

“You’d be very aware that I won’t be drawing any red line issues…”

And, specifically, as noted by BBC NI’s Mark Devenport in an interview on 3rd February

Mrs O’Neill was pressed on whether her position meant Sinn Fein would refuse to share power with the DUP if it puts Arlene Foster forward for the First Minister’s job while Judge Coghlin’s inquiry is still in progress.

Sinn Fein’s northern leader said this would have to be discussed in any negotiations after the election. [added emphasis]

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  • AntrimGael

    Well what do you know? ANOTHER negative thread on Slugger about Sinn Fein!!!

  • aperfectstorm1

    Its a unionist site so in fairness its hardly gonna be ringing any bells for Gerry and Co.

  • Katyusha

    Six months of direct rule would suit SF very well. Push gay marriage through (“harmonise marriage law throughout the United Kingdom” if you prefer), hold the British government to their commitment to introduce an Irish Language Act (the DUP are insisting they weren’t party to this deal between HM Govt. and SF, so they can have no grounds for objection), let the inquiry delve a bit into RHI and how culpable the DUP are for the whole debacle (including identifying whether those involved were corrupt or merely incompetent), and then in six months’ time we start anew.

    Arlene is toast. Even if the DUP and their voters return her as First Minister, she has zero credibility, and until such time as she is vindicated by an inquiry this will remain the case.

    Come, put the damn thing in mothballs.

  • john millar

    I say chaps do highlight where the item is wrong

  • Granni Trixie

    As I keep telling you. It’s a moral not a unionists stance to resent GA interference.

  • Ciaran O’Neill

    A moral stance? Interference? He’s the President of the largest nationalist party in the north. He’s “interfering” nowhere I’m afraid. The world doesn’t start at Coleraine and end in Newry unfortunately

  • Teddybear

    Sinn Fein are no more interested in gay marriage of equality than I am in the man on the moon. It’s just a stick to poke earnest conservative Protestant Christian Unionists into their predictable unfashionable responses

    The thing is many conservative Catholics share concerns with conservative Protestants esp in the country.

    I don’t care what happens if the DUP or TUV come top. They are the last true Christian parties left in Western Europe and a vote for them is a vote for eternal salvation

  • Msiegnaro

    Should one defer all decisions until the outcome of the investigation?

  • Katyusha

    SF are interested in gay marriage because they are busy positioning themselves as the natural standard-bearer of progressive politics south of the border, stealing the clothes of the Labour party in the process. If SF were to come out against gay marriage in the north, they would instantly bleed support to PBP-AAA in the south. They might be taking a bit of a hit from traditionalist Catholic voters in the north for this, but it’s a hit worth taking.

    The thing is, discriminatory marriage law has no currency in the Republic. Even the Christian democratic Fine Gael came out in support of marriage equality. The segment of the population whose politics resemble the Alive! newspaper is vocal but vanishingly small.

  • Glenn

    Here is an article from the Andersontown news that did not see the light of day much. There was a fulsome and grovelling apology demanded by Adams and given by the Andersontown news.

    We can’t have anyone saying anything negative of the Ballymurphy “Django”.

    http://sluggerotoole.com/2008/03/20/gerry-must-go/

  • North Down

    That’s way I vote for them

  • Karl

    So the only red line SF has, keeps the damaged Arlene at the head of the DUP? Maybe theyre not as crap as I thought they were.

  • North Down

    The bit were he said there the last true Christian party in Europe is spot on , you don’t have to be blood and thunder (kick the pope) to vote dup, the dup have got many thousands extra votes because they are seen as the only party that fights for conservative Christian values

  • Karl

    The Christian Democratic Party in France. The Reformed Political Party in the Netherlands. Evangelical Peoples Party in Switzerland.
    They all espouse the same right wing christian intolerance, so the DUP are hardly alone.

  • North Down

    Those parties are Christian by name ,( not born again) and yes some hold on to the same values as the dup (Netherlands evangelical peoples party) still i would say the dup is the last true Christian party in Europe and yes in principle,

  • Katyusha

    It’s impossible to refute one of Pete’s posts because they contain almost nothing of his own material.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    I’d have thought a direct rule type thing would just serve to annoy and energise nationalism?

    In which case the ice cream might be more ice than cream?

  • file

    There are many members of the DUP who are not born-again. And many born-agains are among the least Christian people I have ever met, particularly in terms of non-forgiveness and being filled with spite and hatred for other religions.

  • Conchúr Ó Conghaile

    Direct rule would be the best thing to happen to nationalism. Watching the Brits bumble through Brexit proceedings whilst some viceroy like Brokenshire bulsh?ts to us about how everything is peachy could very well energise nationalism especially if the Scots make another bid for independence

  • Conchúr Ó Conghaile

    Christian values?

    Didn’t Jesus say ‘Love thy neighbour and do unto others as you would have them do to you?

  • lizmcneill

    I assume SoS for NI is a position given as a punishment…

  • North Down

    I agree, still they they get thousands of votes from so called Christians or true born again Christians, or people who hold to the Christian values they say they will hold,and that includes conservative catholics

  • So you believe that Arlene Foster’s nomination is Sinn Féin’s one, and only, red line issue on their list?

    Despite the fact that the only time that Michelle O’Neill has actually been pressed on the question it became a mater to be discussed in any negotiations after the election.

  • North Down

    Yes that’s how you should act, but there are values the leberal left are trying to change

  • I tend not to do op-eds.

    Or, as I prefer to describe it, I’d rather show you what’s happening than tell you.

    But if you want something to focus on – and clearly there are a lot of people here badly in need of focus – try this.

    Is Arlene Foster’s nomination as FM or DFM, the one, and only, red line issue on Sinn Féin’s list? Or is it, like all the other issues, a matter for negotiations after the election?

    Because the only time that Michelle O’Neill has actually been pressed on the question, it’s been the latter.

  • North Down

    I agree with you on SF, if an inquiry says Arlene did nothing wrong, surely the parties have to work with her

  • file

    You do know that Jesus spoke in metaphors quite a lot and that ‘born again’ is one such metaphor, don’t you?

  • the keep

    Go to Jude Collins site if you want slack jawed praise of Republicanism.

  • Gopher

    I think Peter is being generous giving Gerry the compliment of using tactics true, true there are tactics but any sixth century history student can tell you Gerry and therefore SF is being driven by expediency.. The examples are legion, from Ceasar crying in the temple because Alexander had conquered the earth by the age of 32 , to Ian Paisley realasing he had to carve out a legacy with his little time left even if it meant a Damascene conversion. As I said in the other thread he is running out of time to leave a legacy and is clutching at any straw. There is more the Charles XII or Adolf, without the talents about Gerry. If it snows its an opportunity if it rains its an opportunity, if I can champion whistleblower (neck and blowtorch spring to mind and was pointed out on the Dail). Nope its pure expediency and the tick tock is now audible,

  • Conchúr Ó Conghaile

    What exactly is the ‘Leberal left’?

  • grumpy oul man

    But the DUP doesnt do “love thy neighbour” I’m from a catholic background i know when someone hates me.
    How can the DUP be christain if they hate me

  • Zig70

    SF specializes in agitation but the cream in direct rule is the role of the Irish government.

  • grumpy oul man

    There is the little matter of incompetence and the bit were they they insulted the Irish people over the language.
    So any party who would be willing to go into goverment with someone who messed up as much as Arlene did would be mad.

  • North Down

    Your getting mixed up with metaphors and parables , jesus spoke in parables

  • Annie Breensson

    If I may butt in. It’s politics – everything is in flux until an equilibrium is established, and even then …

  • Karl

    Its discriminatory to label an entire group as sick just to fit your political and social agenda.

    I remain hopeful that drink has been taken.

  • Karl

    I thought he spoke in aramaic

  • Annie Breensson

    Just goes to show how uneducated you are! Everyone knows he spoke pure Ballymena english

  • North Down

    What about democracy, it was insulting for the unionists that SF were in government, but people voted them in , and I know they the dup can come across as insulting

  • North Down

    Dup stands up for Christian values didn’t say they were Christian, and most don’t hate you

  • Annie Breensson

    “Sinn Fein are no more interested in gay marriage of equality than I am in the man on the moon”

    Depends if there’s a net gain in votes, don’t you think? Which may leave you with an unhealthy obsession with that man on the moon.

  • Neil

    Let’s put it like this, on gay marriage Arlene is fairly well backed into a corner. On standing aside, she has also said she will categorically not do this. On the ILA, yup, seems to be backed into a corner again. Not gonna happen she says. Arlene has pretty much nothing to trade that she hasn’t publicly said she will not do. If she has to negotiate that’s not an ideal position to be in. Which party do you think can weather the storm outside government for a sustained period of time? I would say SF. We’ll have to wait and see how well Arlene’s played her hand after the election but the consensus seems to be not great. Gerry may not be a genius but Arlene certainly isn’t.

  • Karl

    The LLL are the Lebanese Liberal Left. Hes merely using the vernacular. They are steadfastly opposed to the Syrian backed Druze de Damascene Droite.

  • Fear Éireannach

    Arlene Foster is a distraction. If Brexit leads to any additional harassment of people goods or animals crossing the border then the whole thing is toast. If it does not, then things can be patched together.

  • Neil

    Conservapedia. I know I like my information from an encyclopedia that states their agenda in their web address. This for me from wiki (neutral) made me chuckle.

    Various Conservapedia articles contradict established fields of science. On March 19, 2007, the British free newspaper Metro ran the article “Weird, wild wiki on which anything goes”, articulating the dismissal of Conservapedia by the Royal Society, saying “People need to be very careful about where they look for scientific information”.[16] A Los Angeles Times journalist noted Conservapedia’s critics voiced concern that children stumbling on the site may assume Conservapedia’s scientific content is accurate.[17]

    Says it all really.

  • Tochais Siorai

    Eternal salvation sounds good.

    So who do you reckon Jesus would vote for, Teddy?

  • aperfectstorm1

    Its a pretty mch established fact at this point that the person we know to have been Jesus of Nazareth, was in fact a Homosexual.

  • North Down

    He didn’t say they are true Christians, they are standing up for conservative Christian values

  • aperfectstorm1

    There has to be something actully in the Item in order to highlight right or wrong. “Gerry Ate My Hamster” type items have run their course.

  • aperfectstorm1

    Well if its possible that they are not true Christians, how do you know the Devil has not infiltrated them and is guiding them?

  • file

    Paul Maskey is the MP for West Belfast, since 2011.

  • file

    Why do you think any political party should fall for the media trap of revealing their red-line issues before they have to? That leads to hostages to fortune. The first thing Sinn Féin should ask for in any negotiations is demand to know what the DUP intends to do differently in order to show that they understand what power sharing is and what checks and balances the DUP will agree to to ensure that they carry out power sharing. That is my red line issue.

  • North Down

    There are many a true Christian who are in the dup

  • Mike the First

    That would be to assume that SF are remotely interested in equal marriage instead of an excuse to bash themmuns.

    How many years after 1998 didit take them to even argue for equal marriage?

  • Mike the First

    Northern Ireland does, however, have finite borders.

  • “Why do you think any political party should fall for the media trap of revealing their red-line issues before they have to?”

    So you don’t believe that Arlene Foster’s nomination, as FM or DFM, is a red line issue for Sinn Féin?

    Ach, don’t mind me, file. I’m just asking stupid questions…

  • Sliothar

    Actually, when all’s said and done, the very same scenario would suit the DUPers right down to the ground. Say the Brits come in, legislate for gay marriage and the ILA, the DUP could stand back, hands in air, feigned surprise/disgust on faces, and (for once!) truthfully say, ‘Nothing to do with us, Guv’.
    Win, win both sides.
    What’s not to like about that?

  • Enda

    Keep the preaching to your place of worship.

  • AntrimGael

    I have a book written about this by a Church of Ireland Minister, William Lendrum. Very eye opening for those who are sceptical, laugh and don’t believe any of this.

  • file

    I don’t believe anything politicians say, Pete, and don’t try to hold them to their previous statements either. Sinn Féin cannot stop Foster being nominated as First Minister as it is a procedure completely in the power of the DUP. What Sinn Féin can do – and will do – is refuse to nominate anyone for DFM, and thus stop Foster taking up her role until after the Inquiry has delivered its verdict. So this is not a red line issue in the sense of it being a subject for discussion in negotiations, it is just a procedural thing that Sinn Féin will carry out … and the other side can do nothing about it.

  • grumpy oul man

    The DUP use some christain values as bait to attract some voters.
    They dont behave like christains and AR has proved she hates my culture and by extension me.
    The fact that many supporters of the DUP turn a blind eye to this (and ND you are one of these people) does not mean it isnt happening.
    Perhaps you shoild walk for a bit in the shoes of a catholic/ nationlist before making claims about the DUP not hating us.

  • grumpy oul man

    It was insulting for nationlists when unionists voted the DUP in . what is your point.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    But all too many are standing up for these things in an entirely cynical manner which entirely discredits those values amongst the general public. When people see someone profit financially from their professed Christianity, they see such profit as the motive, and the rhetoric of conservative values as a crude window dressing to disguise their genuine motivations from the impressionable.

  • grumpy oul man

    Well he was the leader of the angels and the most perfect and beautiful thing god ever made.
    If the bible is to be believed.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Oh, Otf, I know many people who actually live by exacting moral standards, and while some of these are devout christians some of the others would describe themselves as agnostics, athiests even. It is how a person acts in their lives, not their display of affiliations which influences how I might think about them.

    That said, “original sin” and all that jazz……

  • aquifer

    Yep the Brits do those postponed cuts and get the blame. Suits SF and the DUP

  • Robert ian Wiliams

    And commentators on this web site fail to realise that between 30 and 40 per cent of Ulster Protestants are conservative evangelicals who will not be voting for liberal parties.

  • Robert ian Wiliams

    But you can’t dismiss the religious factor as it will affect the poll.

  • mac tire

    “But you can’t dismiss the religious factor as it will affect the poll.”

    I think that should read “But you can’t dismiss the religious factor as it will infect the poll.”

  • Robert ian Wiliams

    SF are political and moral failures..after 20 years of the GFA they didn’t even get the joint flying of flags.

  • North Down

    Yes true , but they still stand up for the few values people hold dear , all the rest you are talking about they have to answer to god

  • aperfectstorm1

    Because the joint flying of flags should be a priority why?

  • North Down

    It was insuting for unionists when nationalists voted SF in but it’s democracy , so if Arlene is cleared you have to exept she is the leader of the dup

  • North Down

    I live in a part of the country were dup supporters and catholics get on the very best

  • grumpy oul man

    But what you seem to fail to realise that this 30 to 40% (could i ask where those figures from) would only make up less the 25% percent of the population and can be outvoted by the other 75%.

  • grumpy oul man

    Again you forget about the obvious incompetence of Arlene nd the insulting remarks made about the Irish language.

  • North Down

    And you forget that SF were involved with terrorism, the new leader of SF were was she last week, clue 4dead ira men, but sf was voted in ,democracy, so if Arlene is still the leader of the dup you have to deal with it , democracy

  • grumpy oul man

    I forget nothing. I know what the IRA did 20 years ago and i know what the UDA did then and are still doing ( note the IRA are not here any longer) and i know the DUP are working with the UDA ( back to north down defenders) now.
    So you will excuse me when you go off about SF and the IRA and how offensive it is for unionists to see SF in power but you are blissfully unaware that we find the party that stood with the UDA the day it murdered more than thirty people in Dublin and Monaghan and still stands beside that very same group offensive.

  • Theelk11

    Wow!
    Can you show me where you got those statistics?
    Thank you in advance

  • SeaanUiNeill

    But those who are simply mouthing words to gain votes are not standing up “for the few values people hold dear”, they are abusively using people’s values for their own private ends, and their motivation will colour everything which comes out of their actions. Their cynicism means that such things cease to be in any sense genuine values and become simply empty formulas, and those who support such cynicism become themselves implicated in the deception. It is not a simple thing of getting selfish men to do what you believe to be a good thing, in mandating such people and knowing of instances of cynical motivation your vote is accordingly implicated in the abuse of the public for entirely cynical private ends. This is why one has to see any moral action in its entirety, and recognise that to vote on selective issues still means to allign ones-self with what public harm may also be done through your mandated choice. You can not simply “pick and mix” what particular things you imagine you are supporting in their actions, your vote also enables all those other things done by those you have chosen to represent you at Stormont.

    In Yeats’ play “The Countess Cathleen” during the Great Famine a noblewoman offers her soul to the devil in exchange for the survival of her own starving tenents. When Satan comes to claim her soul, he is turned away by an angel who says:

    “The Light of Lights
    Looks always on the motive, not the deed,
    The Shadow of Shadows on the deed alone.”

    Motivation is what counts, not simply hollow words…….

  • grumpy oul man

    No its not. Nationlist are not obliged o work with anybody because they get a vote niether are unionists remembr for years they refused to work with SF dispite the vote that sf had (didnt have the same problems with the loyajists) .
    AR has made herself toxic it will cost unionism a lot in concessions to persaude nationlist to permit her a positon of joint first minister.

  • grumpy oul man

    Got it first time. But mick seems to remove bibical quotes. Which is strange when someone is givind a biblical argument

  • grumpy oul man

    Perhaps, but in this instance if is to stop people questioning the beliefs of some who come unto this site claiming to be Christians.
    I have witnessed some of the most vile rascist and homophobic comments made by some very smug “Christians” however it would seem that you are not allowed to quote the book they claim to be upholding.

  • mickfealty

    What role is that Zig?

  • mickfealty

    Off topic lads.

  • Guilty of Wrongthink

    Yes how dare those Christians stand up for their own neighbours, nation and family values. Those are the buzzwords of YOUR new PC religion, not Christianity.

  • Guilty of Wrongthink

    Wikipedia “neutral”, wahahhahahahahhahhaha

  • grumpy oul man

    Really so christanity is rascist and homophobic. Care to show were Christ is rascist or homophobic or indeed have a nation.
    But im sure you will correct me with chapter and verse.
    Havnt heard that oul PC relegion BS in a bit,
    Abucs and his other half patrick mac use it a lot when i ask them to describe this PC relegion that just get offensive and personal but i am sure you know what you are talking about so would you explain to me about this relegion you tell me i have.

  • Zig70

    Absolutely no idea but every iteration before FG came along saw an increased role for the South.

  • Guilty of Wrongthink

    I don’t actually think you believe in the PC religion. Rather you attach yourself to, and preach the virtues of, this liberal fundamentalist nonsense for exploitative ethnic advantage to try and undermine the host nation.

    And to repost:

    “I’m not religious, but the bible explicitly talks about the importance of maintaining different distinct nations and ancestry, and against the tower of babel. The word “racism” is a recent invention with quite a loose and wide meaning, originally invented by globalist Communists to be used to try and destroy the concept of the nation.
    The bible also mentions the abnormal nature of “homosexuality” (sic — I do not regard it as a “sexual” behaviour at all). The word “homophobia” is another very recent invention, and as I’ve mentioned elsewhere (but deleted by the censorship of this site) is an absurd concept designed to imply that those with good mentally and reproductive health, who would discourage others from giving up in finding a mate, are actually somehow the ones with some kind of psychiatric disorder.”

  • grumpy oul man

    Still mi defination of this PCrelegion but thank for repeatinhmg your meaningless waffel..i think we are done here.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    I remember that bit in “The Thick of It” when SoS NI was characterised exactly as such….

  • BonaparteOCoonassa
  • BonaparteOCoonassa

    “conservative Christian values” is a contradiction in terms.