“Installing a new-style apparatchik makes perfect sense for an interim period…”

Hard to know what to make of Michelle O’Neill as SF’s ‘leader of the north’ (apart from the fact she’s currently struggling to get a word in past ‘the boss’).  Fionnuala O’Connor has been mulling it over in her Irish News column:

Shuffling the performers may be no more than a holding pattern. What was the spirit of the McGuinness legacy?

To go by his last act, as much to stay out of Stormont as go back in, as much determination to correct the drift of the past several years as to honour the dead.

Installing a new-style apparatchik makes perfect sense for an interim period. Adams cannot be in two places at the same time but his writ can run through a faithful follower. Or the collective leadership needs time to think.

McGuinness was most assuredly leader of the SF negotiating team from his IRA days to latterly. But what, as Fionnuala asks earlier in the piece, if Michelle “turns out to be a NOT very senior appointment”?

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  • andrewjohn

    Ambition to be leader? Think about that for a second.

  • Annie Breensson

    I guess Bill Gates (for example) must have a fairly low positions in your tables of successful and intelligent people.

  • john millar

    “I guess Bill Gates (for example) must have a fairly low positions in your tables of successful and intelligent people.”

    Au Contraire

    Gates was intelligent (dropped out from Harvard )


    and you might look at

    to see where the idea came from before you decide how “bright ” he was

  • Annie Breensson

    I’m aware of Gates’ record, thank you. But it does seem to negate your assertion

    … this ” strong intelligent woman” appears to have eschewed the the conventional paths of academic and professional attainment which appear to confirm and demonstrate “intelligence” .

  • john millar

    “seem to negate your assertion”

    Hardly — achieves entry to top university is performing highly and jumps ship to (allegedly) bootleg Gary Kildell`s CP/M operating system into DOS/Windows and make a fortune.

    I am sure you have a list of local politicians who similarly achieved the academic and personal qualities to enter a top university, left before graduation, and are multi millionairesl
    I appear to have lost mine.

  • Ciaran Caughey

    People are afraid of what they do not know? Can you not get it into your thick Red head ,they do not want Asians or Africans living in their country.Simple!

  • mickfealty

    I can see that. Though perhaps it’s a feature rather than a bug? We can hope for hidden depths, but we still have little to go on in part because of the inscrutable way she was appointed.

    Thought it was interesting the way Colum put himself at the head of that largely SF protest at Stormont on Newsline last night. They put him on first, and so when Michelle spoke she largely repeated, less memorably, what Colum had already said.

    I think we’re going to see more of that sort of thing, where the SDLP force people into that direct comparison between the two leaders.

  • mickfealty

    That’s going to put a lot of strain on the leader if he feels he has to continue doing the heavy lifting north and south.

  • Reader

    aquifer: Why should any interim solution be direct rule from England, a preference for Unionists?
    A preference for *some* unionists. But not for the DUP Ultras who are among the people who need to be punished for the current fiasco. Those guys would worry about the things that have public support in NI but have been blocked by the DUP in the past.

  • Old Mortality

    And why is that so, do you think?

  • Old Mortality

    He’s a racist because he pokes fun at the appearance of Irish women.Or do you think it is entirely untrue that a large number of Irish women are less subtle in their use of cosmetic products. I’d say there’s quite a few Irish people in D4 making similar jibes around their dinner tables.

  • Anon Anon

    Religion, North and South.