Saturday, 26 May 2012

Sinn Fein cynicism promises more problems For Future

Sing along now: "Tommorrow belongs to us..."
Believe it or not, some tired old bloggers do have lives.  Even this one.   In fact, there has been so much going on lately, between one thing and another, that the blog has been greatly neglected the past few days.  

Plus, I am out of the Big Shmoke with my laptop, which features Internet Explorer.  Normally not such a problem, until Blogger decided to make its updated interface incompatible with IE with regard to some features.    It has taken me the past hour to make this type roman, rather than bold italic, for instance.  Yes, I know... you've told me a million times not to exaggerate.

But enough of all that.  I have to get a blog post up so here's something I meant to bring attention to ages ago. Namely, an Irish Times editorial on the opportunistic nature of Sinn Fein and the many, ever more evident, qualities they share with their future (junior) partners in coalition, Fianna Fail.  I think it makes some very good points about the cynical populism of this lot who promise less taxes, untouched public services, no bank debts, full employment and a reborn, Gaelic Ireland for everyone in the audience.

Sad thing is, they have many people suckered, as in times like these people are more likely to throw their lot in with a party that spouts populist shite louder than any other.  With a touch of anti-EU, Irish "patriotism" thrown in.  Especially bad news when you incorporate the most gullible upcoming generation since, since... the last one, I suppose.

Oh Jasus.  Do you remember that "Tomorrow Belongs To Me" scene at the end of Cabaret?    Imagine it with the pic above.


Shallow, cynical and wrong

IN THESE recessionary times, Sinn Féin has specialised in the blame game. In Northern Ireland, where the party shares ministerial power with the DUP, it blames a Tory-led British government for reducing the block grant and making life difficult. In this State, it blames the EU for the terms attached to Ireland’s bailout programme while, at the same time, fiercely opposing Government measures to grow the tax base. It operates as a quintessential opposition party, ignoring or misrepresenting economic and political realities in its quest for votes. And it is gaining support.

Fianna Fáil operated a similar tooth-and-claw regime during the economic downturn of the 1980s, before the realities of government and Fine Gael’s Tallaght strategy brought change to its fiscal approach. This time, Micheál Martin has offered constructive opposition to a struggling Government and, as a consequence, has created space for Sinn Féin and for politicians from the United Left Alliance. His support for the EU fiscal treaty has sharpened that divide, allowing Sinn Féin to lead the charge for a No vote in the referendum campaign.
There are major differences on this occasion. Rejection of the treaty could undermine the stability of the euro, while threatening greater austerity here and a flight of capital. Such negative outcomes are not recognised by Sinn Féin. Being prepared to dissemble brazenly, when the occasion demands, has become a feature of the party’s transition to mainstream politics.

Party leader Gerry Adams blithely insists that, in the event of a No vote, Ireland will be given vital funding by those countries that support the fiscal discipline of the treaty. The proposition is as flawed and disingenuous as his party’s selective use of comments made by prominent economists during the referendum campaign. Encouraging Irish voters to follow the example of Greece threatens economic and political chaos.

Defeating the treaty appears to be Sinn Féin’s sole objective, but it also seeks to cause terminal damage to Fianna Fáil. The prospect of a growth pact being added to the treaty at a later stage is dismissed as irrelevant. Mr Adams not only advocates a rejection of the agreed EU-IMF bailout terms but favours a default on Ireland’s debt. As for the €30 billion owed by the Government on Anglo promissory notes, it should not be paid. Fiscal fantasies of that nature, dismissing any nasty consequences and ignoring national commitments, were successfully peddled to the Greek people by the left-wing Syriza party. The outcome may yet be catastrophic.

In the 1980s, Irish people learned the hard way there is no such thing as a free lunch. Following years of political prevarication, painful but necessary fiscal adjustments were made. The economy recovered and living standards rose. German finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble remarked, in relation to Greece, that people who offered a discipline-free recovery were “spouting nonsense”. Ireland learned that lesson 30 years ago. Have we forgotten?


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Anonymous said...

They promise to deliver what they cannot deliver, they will go far with the Irish electorate.


The Gombeen Man said...

"Whoever you vote for, governnent wins" goes the old anarchist saying.

Especially true in Ireland. And the Shinners will be as bad as Fianna Fail, Labour and Fine Gael when they get in. By that time, Adams will be gone and they'll have a few more squeaky clean types a la Doherty and Mary Lou. Let's see how they turn 180 degrees then.

It's easy to heckle from the opposition benches.

Dakota said...

"Whoever you vote for, government wins" goes the old anarchist saying". I'd say, whoever you vote for, the BANKS WIN. They own the country and the people, not the other way round. The present regime is just an interim.

As for SF, GM, the bottom line is Ireland is a paradise for nonsensical crap. SF know this and are just being swept along by an emotional public wave. It's Irish.

It's simple GM, just pray that Greece sees sense and European Politicians start to take the situation seriously, otherwise bye bye interest rates below 20% (that's being very, very optimistic) and hello financial chaos. FACT IS GM, the situation has completely CHANGED and any vote on a Fiscal Treaty is now MIS-PLACED AND IRISH TIMED. IN OTHER WORDS IT'S IN NOWHERE LAND. Nothing to do with EITHER YES OR NO...That's the game. SF FOR ALL THEIR TALK HAVE NOT PUSHED THROUGH THE REALITY AND HAVE SHOWN THEMSELVES TO BE A NORTHERN IRISHCENTRIC PARTY. GM, THERE IS NO POLITICAL OPPOSITION IN IRELAND AND FROM A POLITICAL PERSPECTIVE IT IS UNIQUE AND SCARY. The CRAIC won't put 450,000 back to work. SF and the rest of them couldn't fix a hole in a bucket.

The Gombeen Man said...

It is - indeed - scary, Dakota.

Maybe some people are too young - and can't be arsed doing the research - I don't know. I think many of that generation are being suckered by the Shinners, and they find the dodgy past of its leadership alluring. And they see them as distinctly "Irish".

They also seem impressed by SF's supposedly simple solutions to complex problems.

Let's see how they feel when we can't access EMS funds to fund the public services.

You are spot on about the interest rates. Back in the day before the euro, I remember paying a mortgage interest rate of 17%. Not a word of a lie.

We crash out of the euro in the coming years and we'll be exploring new, uncharted areas of Shit Creek.

Shoe said...

If you like the Cabaret Original, try this Spitting Imasge version for the 1987 election -

The reason SF-IRA wanted to make muck of Ireland's fiscal position and its borrowing reputation with the external world is quite deliberate. SFIRA have a long track record of the political exploitation of social unrest, and would engineer riots only to condemn them in public. Its rather like what they did in the last decade while working a careful political takeover of working class areas - beating up and even engineering the killing of drug users and dealers while at the same time using drug dealing as a funding mechanism themselves. Riots while somebody else is in the position of power would offer a ripe new breed of gombeen to add to their current crop of gombeens on the household charge evasion campaign (who I suspect are largely disgruntled loyal ex-FF voters who view property ownership as a sacrament not to be interfered with, except of course, when it comes to offering tax reliefs and mortgage interest reliefs).

Of course the deep irony of all of this is SFIRA are perpetuating very similar policies up north, in terms of cutbacks and service rollbacks, while opposing exactly the same thing here. They are extremely shrewd players though, something which they show well through their theft of public funding through "donations" of salary excesses to the party coffers.

Their agenda is unworkable though, not least because it would probably stall FDI, cause capital and business flight, and ultimately if you want reunification anywhere down the line, somebody has to pay for that.

The Gombeen Man said...

"SFIRA have a long track record of the political exploitation of social unrest, and would engineer riots only to condemn them in public. Its rather like what they did in the last decade while working a careful political takeover of working class areas - beating up and even engineering the killing of drug users and dealers while at the same time using drug dealing as a funding mechanism themselves"

You are spot-on Shoe. The cynicism of SF is something else. Every time I see one of them interviewed I see it exude from every pore.

I am glad we have Joe Higgins to keep the Embryonic FF-ers out in Dublin 15.