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Government whataboutery attacks on SF: potential damage to the Peace Process?


Con Gallagher

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May 25, 2010
Messages
2,413
Can government attacks on SF's past damage the peace process?

The Tanaiste's end of year rant against SF's Mary Lou McDonald "how many bodies are buried on this island thanks to Sinn Fein" is perhaps the most glaring example of a government minister attacking SF over the past. This example is particularly so, given that it was said to a deputy who was certainly not in the IRA and said in response to SF criticism on the government on the cuts and economic policy.

Gilmore attacks SF over 'buried bodies' - National News - Independent.ie

The SF response has been muted, describing it as tedious and a deflection.
Gerry Adams tells Enda Kenny: stop bringing up the IRA · TheJournal.ie

My concern is not for SF (of which I am neither a member of supporter*) but how these repeated attacks could have an effect on the growth of dissidents and the relationship in the NI executive.

1. The handshake between Martin McGuinness and ER2 was significant in most people's book, but a Dublin minister criticised the coverage of it and a backbencher highlighted the partitionist nature of SF's attitude to The Queen.
Government minister attacks Sinn Fein plan to shake hands with Queen Elizabeth | Irish News | IrishCentral

2. The Dail has also been suspended in the wake of comment by the Taoiseach. Dail suspended as Kenny calls on Adams to tell truth on McConville « SAOIRSE32

3. The DUP has echoed the call from the Taoiseach on clarifying Adams relationship with the IRA.
gulftoday.ae | Robinson says Adams must

Gerry Adams rejects Enda Kenny's IRA claims as "nonsense" - WittySparks News

Enda Kenny challenges Gerry Adams on IRA membership in Dail - National News - Independent.ie

4. And for balance, here is the link to Michael Martin's Bodenstown speech, where oddly a DUP spokesman jumped to SF's defence (kind of) by highlighting that this was a battle for "republican" votes in the South.
Adams says Martin's criticism of SF is bogus - The Irish Times - Tue, Oct 23, 2012

A few more points:
1. If any member of SF is suspected of a criminal offence, the rule of law suggests they are entitled to a fair trial rather than trial by soundbite/media.
2. Unless there is a Truth and Reconciliation type tribunal, there is no other forum to debate the complexities of the past acts by the four protagonists - loyalist, republican, UK and RoI. Selecting SF out for attention is unbalanced and therefore politically motivated.
3. If one was a dissident and one sees SF being forced to deny IRA membership or offer apologies or back off from its past, it offers them the opportunity to suggest that SF have "run away" from the real IRA.
4. If one is a unionist and sees Dublin ministers openly attack SF on the basis of innuendo/spooks, one is encouraged to do the same. That's hardly conducive to good relations in the executive/assembly.
5. SF and its members probably do have a case to answer in relation to past events and associations, but is appropriate that government ministers do so in the context of deflecting attention from their own economic decisions?

Edit2: just to clarify, I'm not suggesting that there is a threat of PIRA reemerging or that SF will get fed up with these attacks and disengage in the peace process. My concern is the growth in the dissidents and the implementation of the provisions of the GFA/St Andrews as relations sour in the executive/assembly.

*a SF supporter/member could not raise this point on this site for reasons which the (latest) James Reilly thread shows.http://www.politics.ie/forum/health-social-affairs/203230-enda-kenny-finally-loses-faith-minister-reilly-2.html#post6214233
 
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Ulster-Lad

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Oct 26, 2006
Messages
10,092
A well thought out and reasoned post.

The simple answer IMO is Yes.
 

TimBuckII

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Jan 21, 2008
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2,524
Twitter
Yes I am
Que someone saying que someone.

The answer is No.
The Dublin Government have zero impact on the peace process.
It's been that way for a long time.
The peace process does not belong to SF either.
The people of the 6 counties are the ones driving the peace process
and all these comments in the Dail and elsewhere have no standing with them.
 
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ruserious

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Joined
Jan 3, 2011
Messages
29,600
The reason is simple: Political Space.

SF are posing a challenge to Fianna Fáil and Labour. The government has two main reasons therefore to block SF.

1) The Labourites are watching their own back and bringing up the past to try and show up SF to protect themselves.
2) FG want to keep FF alive and act as a weak buffer between them and the left so as to prevent a left-right divide developing. For that reason, FG will never go into power with FF until all other options have been assessed.
 

Red_93

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Mar 20, 2010
Messages
4,678
Well what about SF's attacks on the govt? Are they damaging to potential economic recovery?
 

niall78

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Sep 10, 2010
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11,285
Anyone ever get the feeling that the Northern war suited FF/FG/Labour down to the ground over many decades?
 

Victor Meldrew

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Jun 8, 2007
Messages
7,184
Ruserious,

Did you read the ouece on Fg being the new FF in the paper today? Cant link as i am not that good on the phone, but the point was that a ff fg coalition as a bulwark to the left might emerge.

I would love to see a FF FG merger as we might have a decent left right debate emerge n this country.
 

james toney

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Dec 9, 2009
Messages
15,987
It says more about the incompetence of FG/Lab,when questioned about the likes of harsh cuts in the budget,then all they can come up with is silly whataboutery.
While doing their best to ignore the issue.
 

mido

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Joined
Aug 28, 2007
Messages
3,374
I thought the peace process was finished with when SF walked into Stormont and lay down with Paisley and Co. the constant refrain of potential damage, harm being caused is irrelevant post that event as SF have de facto accepted partition and british rule.
 

Con Gallagher

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Joined
May 25, 2010
Messages
2,413
Well what about SF's attacks on the govt? Are they damaging to potential economic recovery?
Oh dear!

Is there any chance this thread can remain on topic, without rancor or whataboutery?

Back to topic. The Peace Process is ongoing. The absence of violence by PIRA and loyalists is not an end in itself. There are 3 dimensions, of which the most important is within the 6 counties/NI. The relationship between Dublin and London, is important but more in the context of our relationship within the EU. But the North/South dimension is the weakest angle to the process, but the idea that what is said in Dublin does not resonate "up north" is naive.
 

borntorum

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May 26, 2008
Messages
12,805
Who gives a fu(k? The peace process is, what, 20 years old now? How much longer doses the OPer expect Irish politicians to hold off criticising SF for its past actions?

SF can't have it both ways. If it wants to be taken seriously as a political party it has to expect its past to be challenged. It's more than happy to dole out the criticism to others, but gets very precious when it is criticised in turn. To hell with SF's feelings, and to hell with how criticism might impact on the 'peace process. If they don't like the heat, they can get out of the kitchen.
 

Clanrickard

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Joined
Apr 25, 2008
Messages
33,045
Who gives a fu(k? The peace process is, what, 20 years old now? How much longer doses the OPer expect Irish politicians to hold off criticising SF for its past actions?

SF can't have it both ways. If it wants to be taken seriously as a political party it has to expect its past to be challenged. It's more than happy to dole out the criticism to others, but gets very precious when it is criticised in turn. To hell with SF's feelings, and to hell with how criticism might impact on the 'peace process. If they don't like the heat, they can get out of the kitchen.
Agreed. However these attacks seem to reach a crescendo when ever SF are hitting home on current issues. Any question from SF about issues like abortion, the economy, welfare..anything seem to be met with "what about *insert dead person's name*....blah blah.?"
 

Roisin3

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Joined
Dec 12, 2009
Messages
18,414
Can government attacks on SF's past damage the peace process?

The Tanaiste's end of year rant against SF's Mary Lou McDonald "how many bodies are buried on this island thanks to Sinn Fein" is perhaps the most glaring example of a government minister attacking SF over the past. This example is particularly so, given that it was said to a deputy who was certainly not in the IRA and said in response to SF criticism on the government on the cuts and economic policy.

Gilmore attacks SF over 'buried bodies' - National News - Independent.ie

The SF response has been muted, describing it as tedious and a deflection.
Gerry Adams tells Enda Kenny: stop bringing up the IRA · TheJournal.ie

My concern is not for SF (of which I am neither a member of supporter*) but how these repeated attacks could have an effect on the growth of dissidents and the relationship in the NI executive.

1. The handshake between Martin McGuinness and ER2 was significant in most people's book, but a Dublin minister criticised the coverage of it and a backbencher highlighted the partitionist nature of SF's attitude to The Queen.
Government minister attacks Sinn Fein plan to shake hands with Queen Elizabeth | Irish News | IrishCentral

2. The Dail has also been suspended in the wake of comment by the Taoiseach. Dail suspended as Kenny calls on Adams to tell truth on McConville « SAOIRSE32

3. The DUP has echoed the call from the Taoiseach on clarifying Adams relationship with the IRA.
gulftoday.ae | Robinson says Adams must

Gerry Adams rejects Enda Kenny's IRA claims as "nonsense" - WittySparks News

Enda Kenny challenges Gerry Adams on IRA membership in Dail - National News - Independent.ie

4. And for balance, here is the link to Michael Martin's Bodenstown speech, where oddly a DUP spokesman jumped to SF's defence (kind of) by highlighting that this was a battle for "republican" votes in the South.
Adams says Martin's criticism of SF is bogus - The Irish Times - Tue, Oct 23, 2012

A few more points:
1. If any member of SF is suspected of a criminal offence, the rule of law suggests they are entitled to a fair trial rather than trial by soundbite/media.
2. Unless there is a Truth and Reconciliation type tribunal, there is no other forum to debate the complexities of the past acts by the four protagonists - loyalist, republican, UK and RoI. Selecting SF out for attention is unbalanced and therefore politically motivated.
3. If one was a dissident and one sees SF being forced to deny IRA membership or offer apologies or back off from its past, it offers them the opportunity to suggest that SF have "run away" from the real IRA.
4. If one is a unionist and sees Dublin ministers openly attack SF on the basis of innuendo/spooks, one is encouraged to do the same. That's hardly conducive to good relations in the executive/assembly.
5. SF and its members probably do have a case to answer in relation to past events and associations, but is appropriate that government ministers do so in the context of deflecting attention from their own economic decisions?


*a SF supporter/member could not raise this point on this site for reasons which the (latest) James Reilly thread shows.http://www.politics.ie/forum/health-social-affairs/203230-enda-kenny-finally-loses-faith-minister-reilly-2.html#post6214233

It's a case of so sad too bad for Adams. He can ignore Kenny et al on this stuff or he can address the matter any way he sees fit. It's not something I would lose any sleep over.
 

neiphin

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Joined
Aug 23, 2009
Messages
5,581
Who gives a fu(k? The peace process is, what, 20 years old now? How much longer doses the OPer expect Irish politicians to hold off criticising SF for its past actions?

SF can't have it both ways. If it wants to be taken seriously as a political party it has to expect its past to be challenged. It's more than happy to dole out the criticism to others, but gets very precious when it is criticised in turn. To hell with SF's feelings, and to hell with how criticism might impact on the 'peace process. If they don't like the heat, they can get out of the kitchen.
but yet when the gov are put under pressure they dont mind going back to there to avoid the shinners questions
 

Roisin3

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Joined
Dec 12, 2009
Messages
18,414
but yet when the gov are put under pressure they dont mind going back to there to avoid the shinners questions
So? That's politics. If Adams is incapable of smacking back that's his problem.
 

Con Gallagher

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Joined
May 25, 2010
Messages
2,413
Who gives a fu(k? The peace process is, what, 20 years old now? How much longer doses the OPer expect Irish politicians to hold off criticising SF for its past actions?

.,..,To hell with SF's feelings, and to hell with how criticism might impact on the 'peace process...,
An honest, but incredibly bizarre post. The peace process has nothing to do with SF's feelings, its somewhat more important than that. It is also one of the few positive legacies of the Ahern era. but it should never be taken for granted and there is a lot more work to be done eg north/south bodies, NI assembly no longer requiring sectarian majorities votes, the dissidents, for starters. Your post echoes John Bruton's caught off camera remarks about not wanting to "talk about the [expletive] peace process".
 
M

MrFunkyBoogaloo

Who gives a fu(k? The peace process is, what, 20 years old now? How much longer doses the OPer expect Irish politicians to hold off criticising SF for its past actions?

SF can't have it both ways. If it wants to be taken seriously as a political party it has to expect its past to be challenged. It's more than happy to dole out the criticism to others, but gets very precious when it is criticised in turn. To hell with SF's feelings, and to hell with how criticism might impact on the 'peace process. If they don't like the heat, they can get out of the kitchen.
I agree (I think most people will) but every time SF ask a searching question?...
 
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