Friday, July 9, 2010

Fianna Fáil are dead - We must forget about the left alliance and put the boot into Labour NOW or else!!!!

Received the piece below from a contributor in Dublin. Well worth a read.


At the next elections only about seven people out of every hundred will put a vertical mark beside our candidate. So say the opinion polls. So said the last two elections. Against a backdrop of one in three of our core demographic (under 25s) without a job and a half a million people rotting on the dole queues this situation is calamitous. On top of this we have an electorate thirsty for change like never before in the history of the 26 county-state - who want to find hope from a dismal political landscape and have so far sought refuge in the mirage that is the Labour Party who have hovered up virtually all Fianna Fail’s lost support while the rest of us look on.

Even the gutless Blueshirts have tried to eat their own young as a response to the polls. Where is our reaction?!!

The unprecedented defection of councillors in Dublin did not jerk us from our deep sleep and now neither is the potentially ruinous poll numbers. It seems to me as if we are a/ consciously adopting a careful strategy of non-strategy whereby we let the other party’s discredit themselves and we succeed on election day by default or b/ we have no clear strategy. I suspect b.

A cunning plan…

At this stage in the game, flogging the rotten Fianna Fail carcass isn’t the answer – the voters that will abandon them have already declared for Labour and it is unlikely the deluded dregs of the Fianna Fail vote (22-24 per cent) will abscond now. It follows therefore that we start to lay the boot into Labour and expose the raging populism where they will say and do what ever it takes to get their grubby arses into the back of a ministerial merc. Their Croke Park cop out is a good place to start.

We need to plant the seed in the public mind that a vote for Labour is a vote for Enda Kenny and his fascist policies and that this impending government is looming over them and their communities with a massive knife waiting to cut their incomes and services further. Unfortunately our unwillingness to reject coalition with the two main parties was a mistake that weakens our position a bit in this regard. Hopefully at the next Ard Fheis we will collectively realise this and rebuff them properly.

In discussing this with a fellow Shinner lately he responded that we couldn’t really go after Labour with all our zeal because we ideally want to build an alliance with them. Bollocks. The next government will be Fine Gael-Labour and talk of left alliances are presumptuous and premature. When the sums are right Labour is our best option. But for now we are in a fight with them for our own survival and if we don’t claw back our votes they will have nobody to align with.

Get the simple things right lads…

But as well as a flagging political strategy, the nuts and bolts of the Sinn Féin operation are failing as well. The mechanics of having a party leader based in Belfast dipping in and out of a debate in Dublin does not wash with people. Like others have already mentioned, we need twin leaders, north and south, operating under the party president. This leader has to be elected from the current Dáil deputies at a special meeting of Sinn Féin members. Such a figurehead would take part in leaders’ debates, feature on the ‘satisfaction with party leaders’ polls and act as the visual front for the party in the twenty-six. As pointed out by Ruadhán here previously - by accident of history we are seen as a northern-based party and this crisis of identity is threatening to sink us in this state. It is within our power to set right this imbalance of power but if we are inflexible on it we will continue to pay the price.

The leadership issue is but one element necessary to force us into the debate. It is only half of the equation. We have to get more inventive with our output. With only four TDs, by and large the media ignore us. Entire weeks go by with only a handful of meaningful mentions. It is back to the chicken and the egg. Unless our message gets out we won’t have more TDs and unless we have more TDs we won’t get our message out. Our press team needs to think up creative ways of cracking into the media by making it impossible to ignore us. To supplement the leaflets and community work done on the ground we need the Sinn Féin message coming across the media more than it is.

Cries in the wilderness…

Various people including Toiréasa Ferris have vented their dissatisfaction with Sinn Féin in the south. Still it seems to me that en masse, as a party, we don’t seem to be engaging with the obvious problem of static support in a time of massive political disorder - like a dysfunctional family ignoring the alcoholic father. Even if you scroll down to Ruadhán’s previous article below there is only there is only one comment in response. It is as if we think we are due one good poll result and after we magically get it then everything will be dandy. Or that after we get seven TDs (enough for a technical group in Leinster House and a bit of guaranteed airtime) we’ll be grand. These things are not on the cards as of now – and they won’t be if we trundle on month after month without addressing our problems.

Finally and in conclusion…

At the Ogra Shinn Féin National Congress in Belfast in November, Gerry Adams called for ‘impatient Republicans’ to stand up and be counted. He’s right. A bit more constructive impatience is what will turn it around for us.


  1. this is a link to an on line literature eqivelent of you tube go in to the search engine and type in the art of war. its free, theres no obstacle to it. its obvious your leaders in the north are familier with the book but in the south the level of disoganisation obviously not.

    your people in the south aren't ready. the north is your strongest asset. don't blow it.

  2. as a basque i can only hope for sinn fein to get the right direction soon, i was living in dublin for years and meet lots of regular people that could vote for sf and they didnt.
    they might look at socialist party, eirigi or labour now but i think with the rifgt strategy all those peolpe, or a good bit of them will go to sinn fein.

    best of luck

  3. The party in the South will be judged by its actions in the North. There we are in a position of power and how we use it will be proof of what the party is all about.

    We cannot claim to be one thing in Meath and another in Antrim. The idea of a seperate leader and a seperate identity down here is for me a non starter

    The party will grow here if we can point to our achievements in the 26. If we can't do that then we are in trouble

  4. anon 6.33 Whether we like it or not the economic, social and politacal situations in the North and the South are very different. The reality of the situation is that we are seen as a Northern party that has little to say of relevance to the ordinary voter in the 26.

    In order to tackle this problem we have no alternative but to develop ourselves as a party that is seen as relevant throughout the island.

    IMO we have the policies and we have good TD's and coumcillors, but we are not getting our message across.

    I agree with the post we should put the boot into labour and constantly pressure them on who they will go into coalition with. It must be clear that a vote for labour is a vote for Fine Gael.

    However, like the origianal poster says any should attack can only happen if we refuse to go into coalition with Fine Gael or FF. The vote at the Ard Fheis was a mistake and must be overturned next year.

  5. what if its a majority labour minority FF and us coalition. would people have the same objections if FF were or weren't leading the government? thats what your going to be asked.

    the ard fheis vote probably did loose us votes but that was 3 years ago when it came up at the last election. there gone. will changeing the vote make a difference. on its own no. if SF went back to getting involved heavly again in leafty circles and broad frounts then maybe. is that going to happen, is there a stratagy for that to happen and to promote SF on alternative platforms where ever they may be, is there a statagy to tye arguments in stormount in line with campaigns down here and in effect have the same propaganda across the chanels. but practicly can SF do that. it means taking people from one area and putting them in another. it means deliberately causeing trouble in the north where it might be better to cause trouble on an issue next week or bighting your lip down here where bitting your lip doesn't benift

    was part of the whole fun and thats all it was trying to win that ard fheis vote about ten years ago. in hind sight don't think it made much of a difference because we didn't have a wider stragagy built around it. seriously read art of war etc it will give a much better context to all theese battles and why we keep making the same mistakes.

  6. An interesting article from the Spectator magazine on Diane Abbott and her role in the leadership race. It reflects a lot of truths that are evident in the Labour Party and in Sinn Féin, especially in Dublin.

  7. Remind me which party is currently propping up fascists in government?
    Is it Labour?
    Or is it perhaps Sinn Fein with their coalition with the creationist fundies of the DUP?

  8. Not sure where to post this comment, have you been on the off late?

    There has to be a story in this! up to 26 seats, i live in hope! could it be so?