Shaking hands… June 25, 2012Posted by WorldbyStorm in Sinn Féin, The Left.
Ruairi O’Bradaigh once said ‘I’ll shake the hand of any man’. The thought strikes that it’d be interesting to see what limit he had. I doubt somehow he’s too keen on a certain handshake later this week. There’ll be some rhetoric about it no doubt. But to be honest I think it’s over reified in both directions (and for once the term reify has an appropriateness it otherwise often lacks). Photo or not one M.McG will be far from the first Republican – in the broadest sense of the term – to shake her hand. For me it’s never been about the handshaking – I could care less about the Queen – but the conceptual doffing of hats and tugging of forelocks [and the class structure revealed] which even to this day seems to accompany such meetings. If that could be avoided that would be a victory in and of itself because handshake there will be.
In another way though I think it’s salutary, because it demonstrates the difficulties that the Republican project faces (let alone the left project) in terms of achieving further tangible outcomes. I don’t think that that’s a bad thing. For far too long Republicanism went down cul-de-sacs, sometimes of its own making, sometimes not, and evaded a core issue, that like it or not this is an island where a significant minority live who are simply not going anywhere and who already have a defined allegiance both political and otherwise. Partition was in some ways convenient because it concealed that behind a geo-political barrier as if the problem was geo-political. But it wasn’t, either before that, then or now. A lot of creative thinking and hard work lies ahead. Though how it all pans out is anybody’s guess.
Interesting week or couple of weeks for SF, running – or walking into some trouble, and seeing their poll ratings decline. More on that tomorrow.