Get Out and Vote Sinn Fein 153

A quick exhortation to my readers in Ireland to get out to the polling station and vote for Sinn Fein. Irish government has too long consisted of two centre right parties taking turns at the trough of public finance, and Varadkar’s slick disguise of his essential Thatcherism through social liberalism and identity politics is particularly nauseating. Martin’s platform of being a little bit less Thatcherite than Varadkar is scarcely appealing. In a country that is now significantly wealthier per capita than the UK, the levels of poverty and the growth of inequality are inexcusable.

But even more important than any of that is Irish unification. As Northern Ireland elects a majority of Nationalist MPs for the first time since partition, and as Brexit leads to support for reunification that reaches across communities, the traditional parties in Ireland are lukewarm and at best pay lip service to Irish unity, with no sign of any real intention to reach for it.

Those who oppose Irish unity lest it be expensive are a disgrace to their nation. People who will not take what their forbears were willing to die for, because it might cost them a little bit, are despicable. They are also missing the point entirely. Before Independence, Ireland was very impoverished compared to England. The free part of Ireland is now much richer than England. Once Northern Ireland escapes from the dead hand of UK economic centralism, it too will flourish and become much wealthier. Ireland will be a larger and more confident economic unit. Of course there will be initial dislocation effects, but Ireland is well placed to weather any short term pain – provided the rich take their fair share of the burden.

For all those reasons, do get out and vote Sinn Fein.


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153 thoughts on “Get Out and Vote Sinn Fein

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  • Republic of Wales

    Tracking content on this website:

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    LLookS like your appeal for the Irish to vote Sinn Fein helped pay off.

    Thnks from a lon-time supporter of the party.


  • Chris Barclay

    Irish GDP rose by 26% in 2015 largely due to multinationals relocating their intellectual property to Ireland due to the low corporate tax rate. Most of this money goes straight back out of the country. Irish GDP figures are unreliable. GNI figures give a better indication and show income per capita similar between Eire and the UK.

    Sinn Fein have underperformed opinion polls in elections in Eire over the last two decades. The most obvious explanation is that many Irish citizens decide not to vote for Sinn Fein at the last minute because of the shadow of the paramilitary organisation behind the party. One of the factors that pushed Sinn Fein/IRA to peace talks in the 90s was the refusal of the citizens of the Republic to vote for Sinn Fein while the IRA was prepared to use violence. Some of this sentiment remains, even if as you correctly say Sinn Fein does offer the political alternative to Fine Gael and Fianna Fail.

    Money is not the main reason for the Irish being cautious (as opposed to ‘lukewarm’) in their attitude to Irish unity. They do not want to force unification if that provokes a repetition of the violence seen between 1969 and 1998 but this time violence that spreads throughout the island. They want the majority of the Protestant population to support Irish unity so that Protestant paramilitiaries would not be able to claim the support of their community. The threat of renewed political violence may seem negligible to people living in Edinburgh and Glasgow, but it is real enough to people living in Belfast and Dublin.

  • Robert Neely

    Interesting to see the liberal unionists who were getting their Irish passports and contemplating a new unified Ireland now preparing to escape from new harsh reality and expecting a Night of the Long Knives in the future. Ruth Dudley Edwards captures (caricatures?) the sentiment in the Belfast Telegraph.

  • Gerard

    They want to lower the tax burden on the lower earners, and raise it on the higher earners, in what is already the most progressive tax system in Europe. What they should be downing is raising taxes on everybody and using that money to invest in public services. If they (or any party) had proposed that I would have voted for them. There manifesto is cheap populism, for that reason I would not vote for them, although it seems at least a quarter of the electorate has, making them by votes the largest party in the state.
    The left in Ireland want services like those found in France and Germany and Scandinavia, but will not admit that the working class in those countries pay far more taxes for those services. SF think they can raise the money from capital and the small number of very high earners, while the majority of the population receives a tax cut. This is irresponsible, and continues the long tradition of treating the voters like children. We must all have a stake in how services are provided, that means we all pay higher taxes.

    • Greg Park

      Ireland is the only country in Europe to never have had even a centre-left government, so any faint move towards breaking the stifling right wing orthodoxy is encouraging.

      • Gerard

        I would argue that we had a center left coalition at number of times, FF labor and the greens in the rainbow coalition, FF has always been considered a slight center left party, in the same way FG has been considered a slight center right party. This is in an Irish context. Hard left parties have never really had any traction, in the same way hard right parties are virtually non existent. For example in exit polling immigration was considered an issue by 1% of the population (this is changing though), this in a country where 20% are recent immigrants. There is a tendency for English and Scottish commenters to superimpose there political battles onto the Irish political landscape, its a poor fit. Ireland has been dominated by consensus politics since its foundation, politically this has given it an enviable stability compared to other European states that came into being around the same time. Fascism and communism could not flourish in the essentially lower middle class catholic soil. This is the legacy that FF, FG and the church, gave to us, we will miss them when there gone. Global capital, the internet, free movement of labour, the European Union, rising collage attendances, have all had a hand in the fragmentation of politics in Ireland. Its a process which began in the late 80’s.

        • Greg Park

          Didn’t FG start out as a quasi-fascist political formation, before becoming a Neoliberal facsimile of FF?

          • Gerard

            Hmmm, perhaps you could read it that way, they elected a ex IRA war of Independence veteran, Eoin O’Duffy as there first leader, he turned out to be fascist(although at that point he would have seen himself as a hardline anti communist republican), and didn’t last to long, the moderates were alarmed by his views and connections to fascism and tried to force him to stick to political message, which he rejected and resigned.

            Cumann na nGaedheal formed the first government after the war of independence and was made up of the IRA/SF men and women that accepted the partition of Ireland. FF came about a few years later and was comprised of the IRA/SF who opposed the partition of Ireland. The two parties managed a peaceful hand over of power in the 1932 election. The rump SF did not recognize the now independent state and refused to enter the Dail, after FF was formed they became irreverent in Irish politics and seen as a subversive organisation dedicated to the destruction of the freestate (which to be fair they were)

            In 1933 FG was formed out of a collection of smaller parties and Cumann na nGaedheal, A group called the (among other names) Army Comrades Association(veterans of independence and the civil war) was involved in street battles against the anti-treaty IRA (somewhat like the fascists and the communists on the continent). They would protect meetings of the political parties which would later merge to form FG, the Army Comrades Association, AKA the Blue shirts also merged into this party.

            FG never has a fascist manifesto, and always supported democracy, Eoin O’Duffy was a short lived anomaly, born out of the general political confusion of the time, it was an age of extremes where large segments of the population feared an IRA rebellion, as usually happens in such times, timid men were frightened into reaction. O’Duffy ended up departing with 700 hundred other fascists to Spain during there civil war, and achieving very little.

            He was sent home by Franco as more hindrance than help and spend the rest of his days under surveillance by military intelligence.

            To this day FG are known as the ‘Blue Shirts’ or blue noses to a certain segment on the left, the odour of their brush with fascism has lingered. My own mother from fine anti-treaty FF stock can’t stand them. She wouldn’t sit in a house if it had a portrait of Micheal Collins in it. The tyranny of History.

  • Vivian O'Blivion

    The UK elected dictatorship is determined to piss millions away on the usual big consultancies conducting a feasibility study on a bridge between Galloway and Ulster.
    Johnson is a true man of vision, unrestrained by the stilted inhibitions of lesser mortals.
    In reality, Johnson knows sweet FA about transportation links between Scotland and NI. The Northern approach route to the peninsula has the dual carriageway terminating at Ayr and regular landslides South of Ballantrae. The Eastern approach route is diabolical and subject to storm surge flooding.
    The sensible thing would be asking Holyrood and Stormont what they would do to improve transport links if budgeted a couple of billion.
    We are in the age of the imperial majesty of Johnson (abetted by weirdo Cummings). Get used to this high handed shite.

    • Piotr Berman

      A man of action, caring about national grandeur, has to invade something, or build some gigantic bridge or two, and a tunnel. The tunnel to the continent was already build. Re-colonization of Tuvalu would be easy, from military point of view, and even the control, but the grandeur is not there. So we are back to tunnels and bridges. Putin already approved his second huge bridge, across Lena river. Won Crimea that by rights should be English, Light Brigade etc. Johnson has some need to emulate.

      • Piotr Berman

        The bridge on Lena looks impressive. And it actually solves a transportation problem: for one month is the spring and one month in the fall one cannot cross the river at all. In winter trucks can cross, in the summer, a ferry, but when the ice is thin or breaks into 3 meter thicks shards you cannot cross.

  • michael norton

    Varadkar must be history

    His party came third.

    So even if Varadkar’s party manages to form a coalition of the willing, neither his ownb party nor the potential partner/s would want Varadkar to cling on.

    • remember kronstadt

      I was surprised, though I shouldn’t have been, that both ‘main’ party leaders announced that they wouldn’t work with Sinn Fein if any of their candidates were elected. What has democracy come to when candidates disenfranchise both voters and electives before the result is known? Whatever happened to ‘representing all’ our constituents – would people who voted for Sinn Fein be ostracised and deprived of representation likewise? Serve the people, all the people, has been overridden by arrogance and entitlement. Happy welcome to:

      Tweedledum and Tweedledee
      Agreed to have a battle;
      For Tweedledum said Tweedledee
      Had spoiled his nice new rattle.
      Just then flew down a monstrous crow,
      As black as a tar-barrel;
      Which frightened both the heroes so,
      They quite forgot their quarrel.

      • michael norton

        I suppose there are multiple options, all three parties in a Grand Coalition of the Willing, just two parties in a Coalition, with a third party in opposition, no parties will to govern with any other parties, stalemate, followed by yet another General Election,
        or unlikely but just possible, The biggest party chooses, for a time to move, with the tacit approval of the others, as a minority government,
        untill they hit a Road-Block, are brought down by a Confidence vote, leading to yet another General Election.
        I think that’s covered all the options?

      • N_

        The government has to keep the confidence of the Dail, which is to say, it must be supported or at least not opposed by a sufficient number of TDs. If you cross out “Sinn Fein” and replace it with “Monster Raving Loony Party”, does the argument still work?

        Disenfranchisement means removing a person or group’s right to vote, or the state they are in when they don’t have the right to vote. Voters for Sinn Fein weren’t disenfranchised.

        “Whatever happened to ‘representing all’ our constituents”. Sinn Fein TDs will be able to vote for or against motions in the Dail the same as any other TDs, and regardless of whether they are in the government or not.

        Nationalistic sh*te is rising all over Europe…. It is so scary…

  • michael norton

    Varadkar has resigned.
    He hopes to get a well paid job among the E.U. Elite,
    for the moment, he hangs on as caretaker.

  • N_

    This thread header offers only a single reason for voting for Sinn Fein, namely because they’re supposedly more serious than their opponents about Irish reunification. Why the f*** should voters care about that? Why on earth would reunification make people’s lives any better in Dublin or Cork or anywhere else in the 26 counties? And what’s the comparison with England about? A better comparison would be with Northern Ireland, where there’s a universal state health service, unlike in the Republic.

    People who will not take what their for[e]bears were willing to die for, because it might cost them a little bit, are despicable.

    What if their forebears were c***s? Plenty of UVF guys died for keeping the money coming in from building sites, extortion, and other gangster rackets Northern Ireland in Britain. Lots of gangsters risk their lives.

    • N_

      Another thing…

      People who will not take what their for[e]bears were willing to die for, because it might cost them a little bit, are despicable.”

      Who should second-generation Black Irish and Pakistani Irish people vote for? Should they think most of how their “hosts'” ancestors felt the world should be?

  • michael norton

    Martin and Varadkar to hold exploratory talks on possible coalition
    Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin will hold exploratory talks on Tuesday to determine if there is a basis for a historic first coalition between the two parties which have dominated Irish politics for a century.

    With Fine Gael signalling a growing willingness over the weekend to re-examine its preference to go into opposition, Mr Varadkar is expected to report back to his parliamentary party on Wednesday if there is a basis for pursuing matters further with Mr Martin.

    The meeting takes place in a week in which all parties will intensify engagements to explore government formation.

    I expect in the E.U. there will be no welcome for Sinn Féin.
    The E.U. are the whip-holders over Ireland.

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