Sunday, January 10, 2010

Killian Forde's analysis of the problems faced by Dublin Sinn Féin made in June 09

Killian Forde sent this site the document below. It is his submission from June 09 to a review that never even happened into the future of Sinn Féin in Dublin. In this submission he points out many areas of concerns he had and put forwards his proposals to deal with them. It is a long piece but an important document in my opinion.

I personally agree with much of his argument and I can confirm that within Dublin Sinn Féin Killian had been vocal in his opinions. Although his leaving was not expected and if he joins the labour party tomorrow then well, I wish he'd made his position clearer.


Submission in relation to the 2009 local and European election in Dublin.

From Cllr Killian Forde.

In my opinion Sinn Féin is in serious and potentially critical decline in Dublin.

The organisation has too few members, a shortage of electable GE candidates and a membership that is frustrated and tired.

Looking at the next GE election the most likely scenario, as it now stands, is that we will lose our seat in Dublin South Central. We will also fall far short of securing seats in Dublin South West, Dublin North West, Dublin Central and Dublin North East.

A modestly optimistic scenario would see us retain DSC and win DSW, thereby returning Sinn Féin to the same position as 2002 with the same personnel.

We need to commit to a number of clear decisions within the next couple of months if we are to have any ambition of being serious political players in the city.

We are one election away from being totally irrelevant in Dublin and the south in general.

Concentration of resources.
SF should target and contest in no more than 5 constituencies in Dublin. In order of likelihood of success they should be.

1. Dublin South Central.
2. Dublin South West.
3. Dublin North West.
4. Dublin North East.
5. Dublin Mid West.

I do not believe we should contest in Dublin Central. The departure of Christy Burke, and the probability he will run as an independent, coupled with the poor vote in the Cabra ward, means this seat is not winnable in the next General Election

I would recommend that a decision be taken by September on which constituencies to run in. The decision to run should be based solely on the potential to secure a General Election seat. Arguments about “building for the future” by constituencies should not be entertained.

Other Dublin constituencies should be put into hibernation and all members seconded to neighbouring constituencies. An audit should be done on the skills set available in each of the cumann and tasks set that match the individual.

Dublin Mayoral Election.

Next summer an election is due to take place for the position of the Mayor of Dublin. This affords us the opportunity, perhaps the last one before the GE, to get our politics, messaging and election logistics right. The decision on the candidate needs to rest solely with the Dublin Cuige and be done by means of an open contest with a secret ballot. Members should be encouraged to put their name forward. We need a healthy open debate and competition. The candidate selected should reflect where SF in Dublin wants to position itself. I would recommend that a convention be done on this candidature in October 2009 with a DOE appointed the same month. Its extremely unlikely we can win the seat but we should aim to pleasantly surprise people with a refreshed, succinct and clear political message.

Candidate training.

All SF candidates running in the GE election must receive training to work on their areas of weakness. An honest strengths and weakness’s assessment should be carried out on each of the candidates selected to run. For instance DELETED….

Specific weakness to do with policy know how, image, interview techniques, canvassing behaviour can be improved by sourcing expert assistance in these areas. SF in Dublin should aim that all of its candidates in the next GE are the whole package.


Sinn Féin is an appalling run organisation. Its structures are opaque, its personnel management non-existent, there is little accountability on the senior leadership and people are appointed to important roles without any experience.


Sinn Féin, it appears to me, does not even have a basic organisational chart for employees, elected officials, candidates and cumman members to be able to refer to. The power and associated decision-making in the party lies with individuals not embedded structures. This means that those seeking to question or contribute to decisions, policies or strategy have to try and negotiate through a maze of offices, titles, committees, working groups and individuals to try to get their voice heard. The structures that do exist have not the confidence to make decisions, meaning that even minor matters get funnelled up to a small amount of the same people in the party. These people then end up with an effective veto on everything. This practice makes the party bloated, slow and predictable.


People are routinely appointed to positions in the party with no experience in the role. This must end. In the period preceding the 2009 election we have had the appointment and employment of a Head of Publicity that has no experience in PR and as far as I know no specific experience on brand management or marketing. It also appears that the post was never advertised and the person selected was chosen for reasons unknown. The Director of Elections appointed to oversee Mary Lou’s crucial European campaign had never even participated in any form in any election before, anywhere. Managerial appointments in Leinster House include people who have never managed people before. It appears that we have a reoccurring approach of training people “from the top”.

From now on all employment for posts must be publicly advertised and people interviewed for the post by members of the party with experience of HR interview skills.

Policy development.

Policies are our tools and, still, our development of same is far too slow. Our response to the economic crisis was glacial. The bank guarantee happened in September, our economic policy was launched, way too late, in March or April. My own experience trying to engage was irritating. I submitted a contribution to the Chairperson of the Economic Strategy Group who forwarded to the Secretary General. I never received any feedback from either and I know my paper was never distributed to other members of he Economic Strategy Group. In short, the time I spent in researching and writing it was a complete and utter waste of my time. Time that I could have spent canvassing or organising my election.

I recommend that we need to look at policy development from two parts. One is by ensuring that the TDs and their PA’s are given the autonomy and trusted to issue statements and brief positions papers for public consumption in response to ever changing events and so compete in the publicity battle.

The policy development department needs to be allowed to develop their work and that work signed off rapidly.

The Party culture.

Sinn Féin and republicans value loyalty and obedience, probably above any other virtue. This was an understandable position when the republican movement was at war. It has now become the greatest hindrance to us developing as a dynamic, interesting, vibrant, creative party. There is little tolerance for dissenting opinions and nowhere for people to take those opinions. Criticism and accountability of the leadership has been discouraged for so long that simply put there is a culture of fear and misguided loyalty that militates against empowerment and people taking responsibility with their work and the development of the party.

Politics is about the battle of ideas. We need to facilitate and positively encourage the frank and open exchange of ideas. People need to be ambitious, hungry for positions and impatient for chance. Competition for candidatures need to be encouraged, policy should be developed to allow for a frank exchange of ideas.

The leadership of the party, both elected and those on the National officer board must decide what they want. Their style of operations and management are not appropriate and unhelpful if they really want the emergence, nurturing and development of new leadership and electoral talent.

Dublin Sinn Féin should endorse candidates to run for all A/C positions at the 2010 Ard Fheis. This gesture will send an important message to the ordinary party membership, namely that it is ok and normal for leadership positions to be contested. Dublin Sinn Féin can play a positive role in influencing change in the party culture. The Dublin officer board can provide the leadership needed in our party so that it’s ‘corporate culture’ becomes one in which the vital checks and balances needed to keep the organisation fresh, vibrant and evolving are mainstreamed.

Summary of recommendations.

1. Contest a maximum of five constituencies in the next GE.
2. Do not contest Dublin Central.
3. Cumann who are not in areas selected for contesting the next GE are put into hibernation and the personnel redeployed to the target constituencies.
4. Organise a convention and select candidate to stand in next years Dublin Mayoral Election by October 2009.
5. Dublin Sinn Féin should encourage prospective candidates to put their name forward to ensure there is a healthy debate and competition internally for the Mayoral position.
6. Ensure an experienced DOE is appointed by October 2009 for the Mayoral election.
7. Provide appropriate targeted and tailored training for the candidates selected to run in the next GE.
8. Monitor the employment of personnel to ensure that all posts are publicly advertised and the hiring process transparent and fair.
9. Encourage the TDs offices to develop a quicker and more autonomous response to political developments.
10. Allow policy sub committees to do their work and drafts to be presented to the membership, not the A/C or General Secretary’s office, first.
11. Dublin SF should put forward candidates for all A/C positions for the 2010 Ard Fheis.
12. Start challenging decision making by the national officer board, because it now seems obvious that no one else will.


  1. Thats certainly a through enough review.

    I am not qualified to comment on many of the points but there would appear to be much there for further consideration.

    Specifically point 7, targeted training of candidates. Good idea clearly.

    Point 8 - positions open on the market: that I am not 100% sure. Is that standard for other parties.

    To be fair to him he does not seem to have stepped around many things in his assessment.

  2. There's many recommendations made here that ring a true note. While it was to be expected that SF's transition from incipient political creation into what must become an almost autonomous operating organisation wouldn't be smooth, the recent election and defections reveal a deeper malaise. At some point the organisation should almost be able to run on automatic pilot for short periods with dedicated staff capable of running rountine tasks according to established political AND organisational imperatives. I also get the all too occassional whiff that certain people are given positions due to their antecedent qualifications of Republicanism without review of "skill sets". Surely a greater weight has to be given to skills, and a focused use of the skills leading to clarity in policy and electoral intent.

    Right now SF doesn't lack in talent or the ability to attract talented people. Nor do I think that economic policy is lacking in formation or clarity. The problems lay elsewhere.

    Mind you, I don't think we need to attract the machiavellan PR gurus that gravitate naturally to FF, but we do need a centralised media department that works at the grass roots across all 32 counties.

    As for my comments previously about Labour being right wing. Labour's economic policies and rhetoric are right of SF, and decidedly so.

  3. Why do you think posting up internal dicussion documents aimed at damaging the party is going to help the party in anyway?

    I suggest you should follow Killian out the door where it seems you would be better suited

  4. Anon,

    the article was posted because it was sent to the site and was already being circulated on the internet.

    Surely it is better for Sinn Féin to meet these criticisms head on and be honest about where we are. If we do this then it will be easier for us to make ourselves into the party we need to be.
    In my opinion there is no alternative to Sinn Féin.

    Who offers a 32 cunty perspective on Ireland's dificulties? Who has a national structure like Sinn Féin? Who has senior memebrs that have experienced the realities of the oppression caused by the border?

  5. Starry Plough, SF can meet these discussions head on, but the party's privacy needs to be respected. Documents like Killians were discussed internally. Everyone knew it had the tones of a spoilt child who had recently been removed from the EU sub list. Throwing all of these documents around in public serves no one's interest except those vultures who thrive on SF woes.

  6. Starry Plough

    I think it is to your credit you have posted this document, that your critics have failed to deal with any of the points Killian Forde makes in some way endorses some of the points he makes. Looking in from the outside it seems to me the real failure of the SF leadership is to move the party away from its northern centric positioning, much of what Killian mentions flows from this failure.

    In truth I doubt the current leadership is able to do this, it has become so bogged down in the provincial politics of the Stormont Assembly. They seem oblivious to the fact that this is and will increasingly become a side show.

    The main theatre of Irish politics is Dublin, if SF is truly to be an all Ireland party, either its leader, or at the very least his/her deputy must be based in the South.

    If the move south does not become a reality soon then SF will inevitably retreat back into its core northern support base, and become a sectarian party which is out of sink with the Irish and UK mainstream; and spends its time arguing with its unionist counterparts over who gets the bigger share of the Brit taxpayers handouts.

    Sorry to be so pessimistic, but whenever a councillor leaves SF, the party turns on the individual, instead of dealing with the real reasons behind their departure.

  7. Anon of Jan 11 10.32

    Starry Plough has already pointed out that this document was in circualation before he posted it and he gave a link to Neil Ward's blog (labour supporter) to show this was the case.So he was hardly leaking some top secret piece of work.

    Surely it is better for the party to meet the challenges it faces head on and be honest with everybody that there are problems. The document was in circulation so let's discuss it and not allow our opponents to control the debate.

    Anyway what is it you find in the document that is so danamaging to the party. Surely it can't be anything worse than having three Dublin councillors leave the party shortly after an election.

    Let's open up our structures for debate and move forward. Let's debate the issues raised by Killian's departure.

  8. Seeing as how the document was already all over on the web hours before it was on this site then its not s SFKL scoop. Neil Ward seems to have that sorted on his site.

    Would anything be got pretending it was not everywhere. If it had then we would be over on a different web site discussing it there.

    Dont see much benefit in pretending its does not exist.

    The only problum I see with the analysis provided by Forde is that unless an alternative explanation is given as to why the party is tanking in Dublin then it will be believed.

    It might be a petulant document but if there aint no other explantion offered then its going to end up being regarded as the only explanation.

    Kicjing that to touch should be what we are focused on now. not wondering whether it should be published or not. Too late for that.


  9. mellows

    the only issue i have with this document is whats been reported on other sites that the authours views were ignored. as you say this document has been floating about. the ideas are nothing new. debateing the merits or otherwise of the idea should happen in side and did.

  10. While I may agree with some of what Killian say's I don't believe we should not contest all the seats in Dublin. We should contest the areas where we have members on the ground putting these Cumann into hibernation is madness and certainly leaving Christy Burke unchallenged in Dublin Central will does us no favours. After all he was elected as a Sinn Féin Councillor just because he has walked away from the party does not mean we have to abandon our constituents. After all we have done the work on the ground and continue to do so and will after Christy is long gone. I think people will be surprised when his vote comes in next time around I say this as somebody who canvassed the area for many an election. Sinn Féin will put Killian Forde behind us just as we done with Christy, we move on and advance our struggle as we have done in the past.

  11. Have Sinn Féin Councillors in Leitrim, Waterford and Sligo voted in favour of budgets which imposed new service charges on their communities. If they have then we have a further credibility problem and worse we dont have a left wing party policy position to defend our constituents.See Eamon McCann in the Belfast Telegraph Thursday 14 Jan.Can anyone shed some light on this?

  12. Firstly, thank's for posting this Starry Plough. It's the first time I've saw this and if it hadn't been posted here, I never would have saw it.

    Whatever anyone's personal feelings about Killian and his recent resignation, this document deserves to be read by every activist. From reading it, I can partly see Killian's justification for leaving.

    The document is incredibly accurate, and some of the problems mentioned (abyss of committees, officers, and offices) are a national problem. This leads to massive communication difficulties and missed opportunities, when advice or confirmation cannot/is not received from the necessary structures. Contact details for such Committees and Offices (Trade Union Dept, Press Office, etc.) should be widely published within the party.

    I'm also going to stick my neck out and say that the party should be re-directing resources into seats it can win. If this means drafting Cumanns from Dublin Central to Dublin North East/West to help, if they're not running a candidate, then it should be strongly considered.

    The structures of the party need to be tidied up and as many members as possible should be put forward for them. I know from experience that often many areas are afraid to send a more effective candidate to these bodies out of fear of offending a dysfunctional officer who rarely attends the meetings of the structure. This is well-intentioned but crazy!

    As mentioned communication is our biggest failing in many areas, some officers lack basic abilities such as the use of email and word processing skills. This means internal documents, press releases, photographs, etc. cannot be easily available or reviewed. This has led in the past to some areas entirely missing important documents such as a recent membership consultation.

    We really need to batten down the hatches and work on points 2, 3, 7, 9, 10, 12.

  13. Red Rebel

    McCann says, "A stickler for socialist principle might suggest that Sinn Fein's Leftism in the South hasn't been entirely consistent. Councillors in other areas - Sligo, Waterford, Leitrim - have voted through budget estimates which included household charges".

    A stickler for facts might ask, did he leave out out 'increases in' since all estimates include household charges? Or did he mean bin charges and water charges?

    If so, he's wrong to include Sligo, where there weren't any increases in household charges.
    I don't know all the details, but Cllr McmNaus, leader of the SF group on the council didnt vote for it. It was a cuts budget, €4.5mn, but included a cut of domestic water charges and hike in nondomestic water charges, so was not as bad as the Dublin one. In fact, Labour turned down the chance to have a Left council (3SF, 3Labour and 1 independent socialist) and rowed in instead woth FF & FG, and they're in charge. So, maybe McCann's anger should be directed at Labour?

    As for Leitrim, they hadn't even passed a 2010 estimate at the time he wrote the piece, as the vote was postponed until Jan. 18th because of bad weather!

    Waterford County didn't increase household charges either, they seem to be relying, stupidly, on cuts in council staff numbers and outsourcing.

    Although I can't see any reports (council website or local paper) on SF voting. Any vote for an estimate which hurts working people would be wrong. But it seems that Eamonn McCann has become just another SF-baiter, albeit with 'Leftist' terminology.

  14. Nora
    Is that the best you can offer? Ad hominem attacks on McCann for being a 'SF-baiter' and tendentious denials (we hadn't voted for it at the time so it's okay then). Just ignore the fact that SF is supporting right-wing, austerity budgets (and please, please ignore what the party is doing in Stormont).
    Blame the messenger and ignore the message? Is that what happens every time someone poses criticisms? Any wonder SF is in terminal decay? It's going to get worse so long as you avoid the truth.

  15. Anon & Nora,

    I think your exchange shows very clearly why the left is going down the tubes and fast.

    How does a left outfit like SF provide a realistic opposition when its constantly having to defend itself from outfits like McCann's SWP who use proxy groups to try to win elections!

    Who are described by the excellent Cedar Lounge as "too distant from power to have more than minimal impact"

    Minimal Impact!

    Yet we all must jump to their tune and folks who do no more than talk chase us up as not delivering.

    Maybe we should set up a proxy group to run in our stead, contract to 1% of the vote, be regarded as irrelevant by the majority of most working class people and not do anything but carp and criticise.

    This is why we are falling like a stone. We are trying to best groups who are totally removed from ordinary working class people and who enjoy minimum support and who dont deliver any real lasting change.

    They deliver squat and yet we are trying to challenge them.

    Its this and not a fear of criticism thats nailing SF. We are defending ourselves from charges of failure from groups who tolerate failure, who practically embrace it.

    Until the entire left SWP-CPI-SP-SF et al embraces that truth we are always going to be "fighting back", "defending" , "standing up for" etc. or in other words always on the back foot and never delivering.

    What has that delivered? Can anyone tell me real lasting changes have parties like the SWP / SP etc have ever delivered on.

    Yet watch us jump up and down to be like them!
    The way we are going it wont be long.

    Ideological Dissenter

  16. I'd agree with much of Ideological Dissenter's views, but the right side of the spectrum deserves attention as well. In fact, taking SF's economic politicies with regard to the last budget, the organisation has moved well to the left of Labour's economic policies. We may be losing support to what is for all intents and purposes is a mildly right-centerist approach adopted by Labour and other parties. Basically, as I personally read the situation, Labour and other people and groups aren't going to rock the boat, so to speak, but just look for a few more beans for working class people.

    But I stongly agree with ID not to focus too much on parties to the left of SF. Outside of metro areas, they don't register. Within the Metro areas we need to focus, imho, on 2 areas - Organisation and programs. If we remain primarily active at the grass roots, we need good sargents who can act with some independence and initiative. We must have a few identifiable programs beyond a UI with we all agree - reform of banking; new banking institutions; regulation; local cooperatives; loans for small independent business and support afterwards; fighting anti-collective bargainging laws; transparency in govt via freedom of information; reformation of the judiaciary system; elimination of quango elitist institutions? There are so many avenues to explore and we need only identify two or three areas of transformation at any one time.

    Also, we have to decide if we're just another Populist party, and do Populist parties for the most part just maintain the status quo. From my perspective SF hasn't been a populist party but one which is often disliked because it doesn't tow line - one that wants to shake up the establishment. But there is always going to be tension as an organisation grows and becomes more complex. Therefore, we need to continually rebalance the tensions between organisational systems and programs; between leaders, actvitists and voters. Afterall, isn't this exactly we want to do in society at large? (It isn't any easy task, and every other party faces the same dilemmas, but should, given our recent historical antecedents, being looking to give credence to solid local organisations lead by central party policies that we can all get on board with at any given time and place.)

    We also shouldn't get too excercised as an organisation by contradictions between specific policies in one place and time. We have to work within the institutions that are in place. These institutions have been established to maintain the status quo, and have been effectively reformed during the last decade to make sure no one can alter the march towards centralisation and elitist institutions which maintain the current system of appropriation and allocation of resources and wealth.

    To paraphrase Lenin: tactics which worked yesterday may be abandoned today but may be resurrected tomorrow. What is important are the programs that enrich everyone's lives on this wee island and not a person or a party.

  17. I dont think it's a question of being like them or jumping to their tunes.We have enough problems ourselves than to be worried about them sniping at us, which will always happen anyway, as they flail around looking for targets.My original question about Eamon McCann was a purely fact finding effort and thank you Nora for your response re our position on the councils. The real question for me is can we build a 32 county left wing party of principle that has agreed party policy positions and an agreed programme for delivery? We have all shades of opinion in SF, even ideological dissenters, so it is no wonder there are strains and cracks evident from time to time.This is a thought provoking we need to broaden the left wing base. Anyone else for 26 Co bread and roses or will it be the long road to the Socialist Republic?

  18. tgmac,

    You butcher Lenin and his memory in your loose paraphrasing: "What is important are the programs that enrich everyone's lives on this wee island and not a person or a party."

    Where and when did Lenin ever say anything remotely like that? If Lenin's efforts mean anything today it is due to the force and vehemence with which he confronted such hazy-minded, utopian reformism.

  19. QAH, the loose Lenin quote was about the use of tactics and not the sentence you highlighted. The sentence about tactics is essentially correct in spirit and objective.

    The proximty of the follow on sentence you highlighted would have required a seperate paragraph, and I couldn't be arsed writing one sentence paragraphs to satisfy everyone's knowledge of Lenin's writings or every individual's self assertion about whether they consider a given program reformist, transitionalist or revolutionary.

    Life too short to argue about any given person's or organisation's take on politics. This is especially true of leftists people and organisations who endlessly argue about such concepts to the point of triviality but continually fail to deliver for their constituents or the working class.

  20. If you think that, why drop in a very selective quote to justify yourself? And why not deal with the fact that both Connolly and Lenin spent their lives virulently exposing the very politics you espouse?
    As for failing to deliver, Connolly correctly nailed that question over 100 years ago in 'Socialism Made Easy'. Oh sorry, I forgot, Connolly's revolutionary socialism has been made redundant by history. But you can still use his image, devoid of historical content, and sing songs about how he died for Dev's Ireland.

  21. Sorry for getting involved in your discussion lads but...

    I have to say I dont get the whole thing of puting Connolly up on this pedestel and quoting him and using him to prove whats better.

    Nobody can speak for Connolly of course but i'd say he'd be as made as hell that we are no further down the road but seem to be stuck on a rut.

    surely all he wanted was to see delivery on our aims , didnt want to becom some kinda of holy saint of socialism.

    that would drive him mad. He aint one of the church fathers, socialism aint a church and we need to drop this by the holy book stuff.

    true for those who sing about Connolly and think thats good enough and true for folks who use Connolly to define Socialism from a book as some type biblicul truth.

    aint either good enough.


  22. Tat, No one should make Connolly or anyone else infallible. That is not what is at question though. It's about acting against everything they ever stood for and having the nerve to appropriate their image for political opportunist point-scoring. Connolly was solid as a socialist, anyone who reads what he wrote in any detail will know that.
    Those who misquote him (or Lenin) as justification for reformism are abusing their memory. If you think what they stood for is out of date then you should just pass over them in silence. If you don't, those of us who continue to follow their path won't fail to stand up for what they believed in. QAH

  23. My last word on the topic (which is getting way off topic.)

    Once again, the paraphrase of Lenin (contained soley in the one sentence and not referenced by other sentences, nor conferring meaning beyond the one sentence paraphrased) is correct in meaning and spirit.

    I never mentioned Connolly in this post or in any past post on this site, nor on any other site. In fact, I have not written, mention or quoted Connolly in any manner ever; not in any other spatial or temporal plane either. That you choose to expand the issue beyond the one sentence paraphrase by bringing in other issues and subjects to forward your own specific agenda is of course your right.

    I duly leave the floor open to yourself to expand upon whatever direction your thesis takes you, but to make a mountain out of a molehill is a fairly specious predication upon which to do so.

    Tatonka, I largely agree with your sentiments, and as this post, I hope, largely indicates I'm not overly exercised by any given individual's status. What I've read of Connolly is pretty good. Lenin, imo, had a first class intellect and had he lived longer might have helped construct a different Soviet state. Who knows? But I always ask myself if he was a man of his times, and largely governed by a specific set of social, cultural and economic circumstances. Still, he can impart much insight. I'm still pretty informed by Marx(ism), but a variant that I hope informs and educates rather than dictates a formula of static tenets leading to a stultified doctrinaire approach to the political economy. And reading other approaches also gives one the ability to compare and conrast.

    Best of luck and look forward to reading other contributions you make.

  24. @ Anonymous

    Sorry to come back to this so late in the day, but I was very precise in my rebuttal of McCann's fact-free assertions. His criticism of SF votes in Leitrim and Sligo; the first where SF didn't vote for the Budget, despite his assertions and second, where no-one had voted for the Budget, because the meeting had been postponed.

    I remember when other leades of the SWP, notably Paul Foot, used to write constructive, thoughtful articles on Ireland. I didn't always agree with him, but he was generally on the right side. McCann's eagerness to criticise SF leads him to make wholly false assertions about how SF has voted and even about meetings that haven't happened. His 'expose's' are entirely directed at SF, even when there are Parties in the field, like Labour, who HAVE voted for the Budget. Even his reports about Dublin are wholly incorrect. SF voted AGAINST the budget. Labour, bolstered by Forde's defection voted FOR it, along with others.

    So who does McCann turn his entire fire on? SF. And he calls himself a Marxist. "Marxists begin from facts, not principles...", Engels.