Sometimes…you have to laugh.
In the summer of 1992 or 1993, my family and I were driving past a hotel when we saw a sign “Star Trek Convention” and we thought it would be a good idea…the first and last time at a Star Trek Convention.
It was interesting in its own way. I even bought a Tshirt “Q Here” a leftover from a bigger Dublin show where John de Lancie, the actor who played “Q” in the Next Generation.
There was a lot of humour around. The bar had a sign that said “Ten Forward” and the small room showing the pilot episode of “Deep Space Nine” was held in a room called the “Holodeck”.
If you know about Star Trek, you will get it.
Standing at the door were two uniformed Star Trek enthusiasts. …on sentry duty. My elderly mother (then 80 years old) innocently asked one “are you a real spaceman?”. The Star Trek guy did not know how to answer.
The thing is …..within the context of Star Trek geekdom, all this makes perfect sense. In the context of Real Life, it is pretty pathetic.
Which brings me to the nerdy geeks or geeky nerds going on a Sinn Féin canvas…dressed as 1916 Rebels. Within the geeky, nerdy world, it might make some kinda sense. In the real world, it is laughable. If my mother was around now…she would be 103….but she might well ask “are you a real republican?”
There is no answer. You just have to laugh.
I like a pantomime as much as the next man. And people dressed up in 1916 uniforms canvassing in West Belfast is pretty tacky. Not so much 1916 Rebels as just “big lads in the big picture”.
But Chris Donnelly, the blogger and Sinn Féin apologist says that unlike SDLP, Sinn Féin is an all-Ireland party. Well a hallmark of an all-Ireland party would be delivering the same message in all constituencies. Is that really the case with Sinn Féin?
One of the good things about this Election is that political parties seem free to canvas in unlikely places. I am on record as saying that the Democratic Process is assisted by political parties putting forward their message to all voters. Whether its DUP in Crossmaglen or Sinn Féin in Carrickfergus, the voters are entitled to the respect of the parties and parties are entitled to the respect of the voters.
So it is refreshing to see Sinn Féin out and about in Bangor, County Down. But …no dress-up box in Bangor. In essence, SF are delivering two different messages. Playing to the gallery in West Belfast. And doing the “outreach” thing in North Down.
An all-Ireland party?