Introducing “Westminster” (The Sinn Féin Pup)

As the adverts tell us, a puppy is not just for Christmas.

Last week, Sinn Féin were sold a pup. They…the Irish Nationalists and Republicans….agreed to hand “Welfare” (ie Welfare Cuts) back to ….Westminster.

But Sinn Féin assure us they will fight for the most vulnerable in Society….it is a contadiction. Meanwhile Sinn Féin criticise SDLP (the “Stoop Down Low Party”) for attending the House of Commons. But maybe SF is the “Stoop Further” Party.

It is all a bit of a farce. A year ago SF was accepting “welfare” cuts before doing a U-turn before the recent Westminster election.

Now they have caved in.

image

 

Not that their allies in DUP are much more principled. The “hokey cokey” resignations and appointments was because of speculation that the IRA Army Council was still on existence. As this has now been independently confirmed, it might be more logical if they resigned permenantly but they have curiously settled for the IRA to be “monitored”

Yet it would be only half the story to say that Sinn Féin sold out on “welfare” and DUP sold out on IRA….for both casually decided to overlook the Legacy issues….the victims of the Troubles.

Thats the real shame here.

In 1998 nationalists overwhelmingly and unionists narrowly voted for the Good Friday Agreement. We voted on the basis that the victims would not be forgotten. They received vague assurances and the word “Justice” was used a lot.

The promises got more vague. And the number of people who have actual first hand memories of the years 1969 to 1998 decreases with each passing year.

It is now crystal clear that their issues will not be dealt with. They have been quietly told to “get over it” and “its time to move on”

Will Sinn Féin and DUP lose votes? In any normal world, they would deserve to lose votes. They have let people down. But as the Assembly election is between the centenary of the Easter Rising and the centenary of the Somme, then it might still be possible for both parties to motivate the core vote.

All Sinn Féin needs to do is play up the chances of being the biggest party (and get Martin McGuinness into the First Ministers seat)….and ironically thats all the DUP need to do…paint a nightmare scenario.

Meanwhile David Ford of Alliance Party is the Minister for Justice. Dont expect him to rock the boat…will he get into the House of Lords in the New Years “Honours” or will he wait until June and the Birthday “Honours”. That would suit the Alliance Party better….and he would be above the battle between Stephen Farry and Naomi Long for the Leadership.

There has never really been a point to David Ford …a man loitering with intent of a peerage. For services to toadying to DUP and Sinn Féin….a LetsGetAlongerist success story.

SDLP will feel they have had a good week. Colum Eastwood and Fearghal MCKinney have brought a degree of energy and the three Westminster MPs have played a blinder.

And Alex Attwood was at his forensic best in the Assembly …and it was at least interesting to see Sinn Féin and their Twitter Army squirm around.

Next step? Well….Sinn Féin bought this pup. Now they have to feed it and take wee “Westminster” walkies in West Belfast, Derry, Newry and Ardoyne.

“Westminster” looks a cute wee puppy now. But he has some Rottweiler in him. Maybe he will be biting Sinn Féin on the arse before he is much older.

 

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60 Responses to Introducing “Westminster” (The Sinn Féin Pup)

  1. sammymcnally says:

    FJH,

    Do you know whether the passing of the buck to Westminster of Welfare is a one-off for these specific measures or permanently handing back the control of Welfare to Westminster?

  2. sammymcnally says:

    FJH,

    That is a key constitutional question in my book – any chance you can confirm that with the SDLP?

    If the power was handed back permanently – that makes it significantly worse than just a one off.

    • Declan says:

      Permanent, not exactly. But the precedent is a permanent.

    • Oh they never listen to me.
      There is no real “constitution”. Everything is just made up. Nobody is blameless. A decade ago Alliance MLAs re-designated themselves as “unionist” because it was deemed necessary. And Seamus Mallon resigned …but it was deemed necessary to say that he had only threatened to resign.
      There is little if any credible.

  3. sammymcnally says:

    FJH,

    For the purposes of this discussion and clarity I would make a distinction between political issues and constitutional issues on the following basis. A constitutional issue being one that relates to the relationship between ‘Britain’ and ‘Northern Ireland’ and a political issue being one that relates to the ‘Government’ (Stormo) within Northern Ireland.

    The first question is have (constitutional) powers been handed back to Westminster permanently- unless we know this we can judge the extent to which SF as a republican party has given up control by Irish people to run their own affairs on a very important issue.

    Declan,

    re. “Permanent, not exactly”

    Are you confirming that powers have not been handed permanently? Under the current regulations any ‘precedent’ could not implemented without cross community support – meaning that the constitutional right of Irish people to determine Welfare would still resides on the Irish side of the Irish sea.

    In order to judge what SF have done – we need to confirm what the actual have actually signed over to the British.

    • Declan says:

      Hi Sammy

      If the parties can’t agree on what new welfare changes should be, when powers are due to come back in a couple of years, then precedent is a powerful reference point.

    • Has to be within a framework and I am using the term “constitutional” very loosely.
      There is no strategy here….its just the latest in a long line of quick fix solutions since 1998.
      It cant go on.

  4. Cork sf supporter says:

    Sammy

    Sf did their best and the real enemy is the Tories not sf

      • Cork sf supporter says:

        do you think the unionists wanted to share power with sf and have a sf deputy first minister? They are the ones who have lost out to their principles, not sf.

      • You are clutching at straws.DUP will share power with anyone. So will SF …they are mirror images in deception.
        Simply put SF cant be a protest party AND a party of Government. And thats a lesson for Cork next year.
        Faced with a decision, they handed power back to Wrstminster rather than make the decision themselves.
        They protested about a European involvement in Irish economy but here we have the precedent.
        If decisions are awkward they would have Westmi ster and Brussels make them.
        Worse republicans than Fianna Fáil.
        I cant see “we did our best” going down well on northern doorsteps next year. It didnt work for Fianna Fáil in 2011.

      • Cork sf supporter says:

        You need to take a step back fjh.

        Think of it this way: for whom is it a defeat to be sharing power in this way? The DUP. They never wanted SF in government but have to accept us as equals, and that equality is going to undermine the DUP whose raison d’être is to preserve inequality. The fresh start in this sense is a bad outcome for the DUP.

      • Sinn Féin are addicted to power.
        They are the establishment now….imagine, they are the ones hiding in their offices and the people outside with the placards are UNITE who Kearney patronises by aaying that they are “misguided”
        The arrogance of the man is breath-taking.

  5. sammymcnally says:

    Cork SF supporter,

    Perhaps you might like to clarify the terms (permanent or temporary) that Welfare powers have been agreed to be passed from Ireland to Britain by SF. Until that is clear any judgement on SF’s performance should be reserved.

    • Cork sf supporter says:

      Gerry Adams has been pretty clear, he said that the arrangements were needed because of the new landscape and the conservative government . Yes they are temporary and only for a few years until the dust has settled as it were.

      • sammymcnally says:

        Cork SF supporter

        “and only for a few years until the dust has settled as it were.”

        Ta, but I wouldn’t call being ‘clear’. We need to know how long for and more importantly what is the mechanism for ending the ‘arrangement’.

      • Cork sf supporter says:

        Sammy the powers return approx 1years time after all the big changes have been implemented .

      • ,…….yes the new Sinn Fèin republicanism.
        Self determination but only on easy issues.

      • Hardly.
        Gerry Adams is rarely “clear” about anything.
        It cant be the case that SF who had ALREADY accepted austerity last year and then cynically rejected it before the Westminster election….went into that election with a policy that was…
        1 this is only our policy if LABOUR win
        2 we will do another U Turn if TORIES win
        3 we will hand power on this back to Westminster, where we wont take seats and condemn SDLP for doing it.

        We are not talking about ONE UTurn …we are talking about TWO UTurns.
        You will also note that the Fresh Start (sic) ignores the Victims ….an arrangement that suits both Sinn Féin and their British allies.

      • Cork sf supporter says:

        The victims are the subject of ongoing negotiations. It seems wrong to hold up the fresh start deal until all the victim issues are dealt with as many of the victim issues are deep seated.

  6. sammymcnally says:

    Cork SF supporter,

    For me that’s not so bad – but handing the power back is certainly not good and SF will justifiably take a hit for that – they really need to explain (not an easy job) how they will avoid this situation going forward.

    • In many ways all political parties deserve to take a hit when they screw up. The spin where SF are trying to turn this into a victory is not their best choice.

    • Cork sf supporter says:

      Sammy

      Declan Kearney has pointed out this weekend that the collective focus of all protest at austerity measures should properly be directed at the Tory government, not Sinn Fein; I think that message will resonate with sf voters.

      • sammymcnally says:

        Stating what a spokesman of party says in defence of his own party – is probably about the worst defence on offer – and that applies as much to the SDLP, the communist party of Ireland, the Monster raving Looney party just as it does to SF.

      • Cork sf supporter says:

        Normally I would agree but in this case I think the point has resonance.

      • Wishful thinking.
        Sinn Féin screwed up.
        Will Declan Kearney actually get away with the “double speak”.
        Quite possibly he will. Sinn Féin have been lucky for years but you will appreciate the irony that opponents of SF only have to get lucky once.
        So its inevitable that Kearney and the rest can expect it to be highlighted over and over and over again.

      • Cork sf supporter says:

        Well I think Declan Kearney was responding to Unite the union who were misguided to protest outside SF offices; the austerity comes from Westminster not SF so reading between the lines Kearney was making the point that the collective focus should be against the Tories and their protest should have been at say City hall not at SF offices.

      • Kearney is a hypocrite.

      • sammymcnally says:

        Whatever way it is dressed up SF passed powers back from Ireland to Britain – anyone who doesn’t think that is a BAD move shouldn’t think of themselves as a Republican. There are mitigating factors – which take some of the blame of SF – but SF correctly have to take a percentage of that blame – and that percentage may be argued over,

        But the “nothing to do with us it was all the Tories fault” – will not wash except with those who have surrendered their political judgement to party loyalty.

      • Cork sf supporter says:

        Sammy

        A central tenet of SF position is that British rule in Ireland is the cause of the problems so the position that says that Tory austerity is the main problem is consonant, resonant, and consistent with that and will resonate with SF voters.

      • I wouldnt be too sure about that.
        It wont resonate with non-SF voters in the North and it will certainly have an adverse effect on their core vote in north.
        The whole strategy of SF in south….is to attract people who are prepared to give SF a chance.
        FF can justifiably saying that SF complain when the Europeans took over…and SF hand power to Westminster.
        Labour can say that they were prepared to take difficult decisions and SF crucify them for it. And SF are unfit for Government as they dont do difficult decisions.
        And the various lefty independents can claim to be more consistent opponents of Austerity than SF.

        The bottom line is that this is a very bad week for Sinn Féin and they thoroughly deserve it.
        I have not been shy about criticising the performance of SDLP ministers in the years after 1998. They made mistakes…it has cost SDLP.
        Sinn Féin have made a massive mistake this week….and that mistake is compounded by the fact that they actually backed down…broke commitments…sold out the most vulnerable and victims so that they could stay in power.
        If you think SF wont lose votes for treachery….you could well be right.
        If you think they will gain any votes north or south, you are certainly wrong.
        If you think they DESERVE credit…you are just kidding yourself.

  7. Political Tourist says:

    There’s a couple of posts on here that remind me of the old saying “never believe your own propaganda”.

    • Mostly that is me…lol.
      I dont usually go overboard with propaganda but it is too good to miss.
      Sometimes it is easy for me to just sit here and just analyse things and look on it as a game.
      But there are real lives involved….some lives will be ruined. And at that point it stops being a gamea. The involvement…duty even …is to call it as it is.

  8. sammymcnally says:

    FJH,

    The other issue that may be passed to the ‘British’ is the enquiry into ‘steakknife’ – if the PSNI are not fit to investigate this issue what the feck are SF and the SDLP doing lending them their support.

    I havent heard the SDLP or SF speaking out about handing (part) control over to ‘British'(mainland) officers – or have I missed that?/

    There should be a ‘trustworthy’ unit in the PSNI and the SDLP AND SF should make sure they dont need to have to ask the ‘British’ how to run out ‘own’ police force. There is as much chance if not more of police officers from ‘Britain’ being nobbled as those from NI.

    If there going to be British officers involved then we should have Irish officers(Gardai) involved as well – they would be more independent that their British counterparts ie not have polite ‘persuasive’ call from MI5.

  9. sammymcnally says:

    Cork SF supporter,

    Note to SF : If you think the British are the root of all evil in Ireland – dont hand them back powers that they have just handed to you.

    • Cork sf supporter says:

      This is only for a transitory period and allows the mitigation package for the most vulnerable to be expedited.

      • sammymcnally says:

        If Gerry says ‘within my lifetime’ that will get us all very worried.

      • Cork sf supporter says:

        Sammy the ones eating humble pie are the DUP who are re entering govt with SF even after they complained so much about no business as usual over the events of August 2015 yet here they are being forced to accept power sharing with SF.

      • Sinn Féin and DUP are joined together.
        Their fates cant be seperated.
        DUP sold out victims and also led their people up the garden path.
        They left Govt when it was speculated that IRA Army Council existed and went back into Govt when it was established they do exist.
        (Please dont quote a Sinn Féin denial).
        SF and DUP need each other and deserve each other.

  10. sammymcnally says:

    Cork sf supporter

    “Sammy the ones eating humble pie are the DUP ”

    That is deflection – we are discussing why how a Republican party can hand powers back to the British. You would help your argument by confirming you think that is a bad thing and that SF have to take some responsibility for that. I expect the DUP to hand powers back they are a Unionist party.

  11. Cork sf supporter says:

    Sammy I would like to point to Conor Murphy s statement of today pointing to the major infrastructure boost contained in the Fresh Start deal; should not be sneezed at given the jobs it will bring to many parts of the six counties.

  12. zig70 says:

    The bit that gets me is the 160M to tackle dissidents. I would argue that if the 160M was spent on regeneration of areas that produce dissidents due to historical neglect it would do more to reduce the creation of dissidents than any Police spook or repeated house search. SF handing over powers to Westminster is a poor show. I thought they were better. I’d have rather they took the assembly down than bow down.

    • But do you think it is a potential game changer?

      • Cork sf supporter says:

        Do you think people are unhappy with SF to the extent that sf would suffer? Sf tend to not suffer and people have been predicting demise of sf for … A long time

      • I have no idea.
        I do know that people are extremely unhappy with SF.
        I have no idea about the extent.
        They DESERVE to be punished by the electorate.
        Rather than a predicted demise, I would say that they believe their own narrative that they will rise and rise.
        This is certainly a setback for them.
        Will it be enough to make people change a vote?
        No way of knowing.
        But I am inlined to think all politics is subject to “swing”.

      • Cork sf supporter says:

        People predicted SF would suffer over the disappeared or the Robert McCartney incident or Northern bank but none of it did affect SF performance at the polls, in fact SF have grown and should become a big player in the dail next year.

      • Actually SF DID suffer asa result of the Robert McCartney murder. They held a seat on Belfast City Council (Joe McDonnell)but lost it at the next council elections. They fegained it at the Council Elections after that….thru Niall O’Donnghaile.
        Interesting you mention the Northern Bank.Surely the IRA denied involvement and surely they dont exist ….because SF say so.
        And why would SF suffer as a result of an IRA action? aFter all we are told there is no connexion.
        Do you lnow something different?

      • zig70 says:

        Not really, If people thought that the SDLP could go head to head with the Tories, DUP and FG and come out with a better deal then it may have some affect. SF have the luxury of political support that is quite happy for them to scam the government in Stormont for every penny. SDLP don’t have the same leeway.

      • I agree to a certain extent.
        Sinn Féin are essentially “poachers” and are not yet ready to admit that they need to be “gamekeepers”.
        Arguably SF backed off making a difficult decision. Whether that “works” on the doorsteps is a good question.

  13. sammymcnally says:

    .FJH,

    Marty spakes thus – which I think is fair enough

    “I think the SDLP need to get real. The fact that we went that technical route which has the sunset clause which ensures the powers reside in this Executive actually saves our institutions £40 million, which we can put to good use on behalf of the people who sent us to this house.”

    • Well…its Politics.
      But it seems SDLP absolutely right to criticise…not least because its the second U-turn Sinn Féin have made.
      And Sinn Féin absolutely right to try and justify their decision…not least on the basis that being in Government requires difficult decisions.
      Ultimately an electorate makes a decision based on the two positions.
      Does SF deserve criticism? Politically and personally, I think yes they do.

  14. sammymcnally says:

    re. “Does SF deserve criticism? Politically and personally, I think yes they do.”

    Yes, of course – but leaving party politics aside I’m less concerned now that it is clear that Welfare is being passed back to Britain as a short term political convenience.

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