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Sunday Independent Stupid Statement of the Week June 1, 2014

Posted by Garibaldy in Sunday Independent Stupid Statement of the Week.

I thoroughly enjoyed Eoghan Harris today, and recommend reading it for a laugh. He is proclaiming his clairvoyance will settling old scores from 1990 or so.

However, it’s this sort of top-quality political analysis from Declan Lynch that makes the Sindo what it is.

We may take it that such men in an Irish setting might have mixed feelings about the rise of Sinn Fein, feelings of deep unease mixed with even deeper unease. They might see that Paddy is in danger of losing himself again, in the fog of nationalism, as he has so often lost himself in the fog of drink.


1. ejh - June 1, 2014

Also, what in the name of God is this headline/a>?

I mean as opposed to what?


2. CL - June 1, 2014

“Today social democracy is the only game in town.” Harris.

“Social democracy has been on a slow retreat in Europe for decades. More recently, as the crisis in capitalism – not just in the banking sector – has deepened, the retreat has become a rout.” Eamonn McCann


WorldbyStorm - June 1, 2014

Wait, this is the man who recently opined about his ‘conservativism’? I think he doth protest too much in relation to social democracy.


Ed - June 2, 2014

For as long as I can remember (late 90s or thereabouts), Harris has been posing as a social democrat whenever capitalism is being criticised from the left, insisting that old-style capitalism doesn’t exist anymore, it’s been tamed by the moderate left, we live in a progressive social democracy, etc. Then when the terms of the debate change and capitalism itself is no longer in question, he’s the great champion of neo-liberalism, hammering the wussy social democrats who think the market needs to be regulated in some way. As ever, proving himself to be a clown with all the integrity of a dose of the clap.


WorldbyStorm - June 2, 2014

I had to laugh at this:

“They should take a look at what happened to Labour after the arrival of the Workers’ Party. I say Workers’ Party rather than Democratic Left, a primping parlour which masked the fact that the most powerful faction in the Workers’ Party was entering the Labour Party. And I say entering because I believe there was no real merging in any meaningful sense of the word.

The Workers’ Party group who joined Labour retained its former culture and cohesion. The culture was composed of democratic centralism plus the discipline derived from the WP’s roots in the militarist tradition of the republican movement. The cohesion came from years of common action for advancement within the trade union movement.”

What an utter crock. I was in DL and it was shambolic compared to the WP. If there was one word I would use to characterise it it wouldn’t be cohesion. Anything but – oh, a lot of well-meaning stuff, but all this stuff about discipline etc, is nonsense (and by the way given that EH wasn’t in either DL or the LP it’s worth asking what special knowledge he has about this).

Now it’s just about possible that some in the LP thought the DL crew were super efficient and disciplined and hilarious if the latter were able to present themselves as same, but surely the former weren’t that naive.

And here’s a thought, I was on multiple committees in DL, and I was on none in the WP. Sadly, in the sense it’s not the greatest reflection on me, I think that says it all about the seriousness of the former endeavour.


Michael Carley - June 2, 2014

A few years ago, before the election, a senior Labour figure whose name has featured here in recent days told me that the DL element had brought some welcome political discipline: “they go out and knock on doors”.


WorldbyStorm - June 2, 2014

Very possibly true re willingess to knock on doors, but it’s a curious definition of political discipline isn’t it? And it raises the question how it would transfer to party structures and/or how it would be reflected in the approach of the leadership. Got to add it’s entertaining to see EH fighting the Section 31 battles yet again, in relation to White (who I have not more time for than any of the rest of them) and his bafflement that Rabbitte might support the former. It’s not all about attitudes to the Provos. It really isn’t.


3. shea - June 1, 2014

harris puts a lot on the shinners wanting to be on some platform outside the gpo in 2016. shinners organise their own event outside the GPO and have done for a long time now, get a good turn out and have the stage to themselves. If anything gets them into a coalition government would it not be the same lust in the face of power that all the rest get when faced with the same proposition. If O brion and the shinners hold their nerve, well its yet to be seen but nice to see the discomfort the idea causes.


WorldbyStorm - June 1, 2014



BB - June 2, 2014

It strikes me that it is Gerry Adams who will determine whether Sinn Fein can ‘hold their nerve’. He has the mettle and stature to do so. But when it comes to coalition prospects, I would be amazed if he didn’t find a way to seize the prize. This will be sold to members/potential voters on the grounds that their objectives have been achieved. As I mentioned previously, Sinn Fein are unlikely to make any promises they can’t keep. They will do so to avoid the backlash that junior coalition partners suffer. Never mind what they say in fighting talk; see what they do in practice and print. Keep an eye on election manifestos too.


Garibaldy - June 2, 2014

There’s a long history of them making promises in the north they were never going to keep – not a bullet, not an ounce etc – although I take the point that it’s much harder to abandon positions that cannot be sold as integral to the overall peace process without consequence, and so they are likely to be more cautious about doing so.


shea - June 2, 2014

true, adams will decide (while he is around), despite all the changes he has made he can be cautious as well. Could go either way. harris seemed to be rebutting a comment Ó Broin was making so i used his name. On them going in to coalition there may be a reason that is not mentioned much. Once upon a time an embryonic united ireland was seen in the potential of the north south bodies, i am out of it now but in stuff i read from the shinners i do not see them giving that forum as an example any more. Seems to be on the border poll. that can’t be won in the next five years i would imagine. Maybe at this point in time government north and south has no value to them, but guessing is all fine attributing weights to each decision and adding up the probabilities, when most are offered a seat at the table they take it.


BB - June 2, 2014

True, Harris was point scoring against Ó Broin and ’embryonic united ireland’ has been effectively disappeared. And it is hard to tell … it all depends ,,, No person better than Adams to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. But as you rightly suspect ‘when most are offered a seat at the table they take it.’


4. Jonathan - June 2, 2014

“[S]omething better is … not likely to come from a paramilitary party with anti-business policies … If Sinn Fein gets its way, we’ll all be on the minimum wage and pay even higher taxes than we pay already … Sinn Fein would indiscriminately tax income, capital, inheritances and gifts. Who wants to live in that kind of a society?” says James Fitzsimons (tax advisor), who also states that “Sinn Fein has never been in power”.


JP - June 2, 2014

There was a similar piece in the SBP laying out the nightmare scenario of how the Shinners would effectively confiscate the wealth of Ireland’s ordinary millionaires who only wanted the odd holiday & a bit of lunch at the club during the week.


5. BB - June 2, 2014

I thought it interesting that Harris mentioned Roisin Shortall. If Labour seeks ‘renewal’ — forget Burton and White, I think — bring on Shortall. She left over the mismanagement in Dept of Health, while the other two were defending it until a few days ago. She seems fit for purpose.


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