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Infantile politics… January 24, 2020

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Have to agree with Newton Emerson for once. He writes that:


Ruling Sinn Féin out of coalition in the Republic contributes to political infantilisation at Stormont. That might be a price worth paying but it is a cost that is never discussed.

And for all the wailing and gnashing of teeth from some quarters over the RIC/DMP ‘commemoration’ and how this would negatively impact on unionist opinion, he points to something else that might have a somewhat greater impact on that quarter:

Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and Labour are campaigning on the insistence they will not share power with a party that takes orders from the IRA. The usual question this raises in Northern Ireland is why Sinn Féin is good enough on one side of the Border but beyond the Pale on the other. Even some unionists find the double-standard offensive, although not through any love of republicans in government.

I don’t find other aspects of his thesis very convincing. For example, he suggests that SF is unable to make unpopular decisions in the North over ‘bread and butter issues’, for which read not acquiesce fully to the centre right nostrums of the day. Well, more power to them. But he answers his own question as follows:

From accepting the consent principle on Northern Ireland’s existence to telling Irish language activists last month to settle for less than they wanted, the party is capable of far harder acts of leadership than rebalancing Stormont’s budget. However, it can portray these as steps towards unification. Compromises on left-wing economic and social policies are just steps towards the crowded centre ground of Irish politics.

So it is far from inconsistent, even if nowhere near as left wing as he would like to present it.


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