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Thread: Government whataboutery attacks on SF: potential damage to the Peace Process?

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    Default Government whataboutery attacks on SF: potential damage to the Peace Process?

    Can government attacks on SF's past damage the peace process?

    The Tanaiste's end of year rant against SF's Mary Lou McDonald "how many bodies are buried on this island thanks to Sinn Fein" is perhaps the most glaring example of a government minister attacking SF over the past. This example is particularly so, given that it was said to a deputy who was certainly not in the IRA and said in response to SF criticism on the government on the cuts and economic policy.

    Gilmore attacks SF over 'buried bodies' - National News - Independent.ie

    The SF response has been muted, describing it as tedious and a deflection.
    Gerry Adams tells Enda Kenny: stop bringing up the IRA · TheJournal.ie

    My concern is not for SF (of which I am neither a member of supporter*) but how these repeated attacks could have an effect on the growth of dissidents and the relationship in the NI executive.

    1. The handshake between Martin McGuinness and ER2 was significant in most people's book, but a Dublin minister criticised the coverage of it and a backbencher highlighted the partitionist nature of SF's attitude to The Queen.
    Government minister attacks Sinn Fein plan to shake hands with Queen Elizabeth | Irish News | IrishCentral

    2. The Dail has also been suspended in the wake of comment by the Taoiseach. Dail suspended as Kenny calls on Adams to tell truth on McConville « SAOIRSE32

    3. The DUP has echoed the call from the Taoiseach on clarifying Adams relationship with the IRA.
    gulftoday.ae | Robinson says Adams must

    Gerry Adams rejects Enda Kenny's IRA claims as "nonsense" - WittySparks News

    Enda Kenny challenges Gerry Adams on IRA membership in Dail - National News - Independent.ie

    4. And for balance, here is the link to Michael Martin's Bodenstown speech, where oddly a DUP spokesman jumped to SF's defence (kind of) by highlighting that this was a battle for "republican" votes in the South.
    Adams says Martin's criticism of SF is bogus - The Irish Times - Tue, Oct 23, 2012

    A few more points:
    1. If any member of SF is suspected of a criminal offence, the rule of law suggests they are entitled to a fair trial rather than trial by soundbite/media.
    2. Unless there is a Truth and Reconciliation type tribunal, there is no other forum to debate the complexities of the past acts by the four protagonists - loyalist, republican, UK and RoI. Selecting SF out for attention is unbalanced and therefore politically motivated.
    3. If one was a dissident and one sees SF being forced to deny IRA membership or offer apologies or back off from its past, it offers them the opportunity to suggest that SF have "run away" from the real IRA.
    4. If one is a unionist and sees Dublin ministers openly attack SF on the basis of innuendo/spooks, one is encouraged to do the same. That's hardly conducive to good relations in the executive/assembly.
    5. SF and its members probably do have a case to answer in relation to past events and associations, but is appropriate that government ministers do so in the context of deflecting attention from their own economic decisions?

    Edit2: just to clarify, I'm not suggesting that there is a threat of PIRA reemerging or that SF will get fed up with these attacks and disengage in the peace process. My concern is the growth in the dissidents and the implementation of the provisions of the GFA/St Andrews as relations sour in the executive/assembly.

    *a SF supporter/member could not raise this point on this site for reasons which the (latest) James Reilly thread shows.http://www.politics.ie/forum/health-...ml#post6214233
    Last edited by Con Gallagher; 30th December 2012 at 03:21 PM. Reason: Added link

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    Politics.ie Member Ulster-Lad's Avatar
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    A well thought out and reasoned post.

    The simple answer IMO is Yes.
    ‘The Great only appear great because we are on our knees: Let Us Rise!’ “ (James Larkin)

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    Que someone saying que someone.

    The answer is No.
    The Dublin Government have zero impact on the peace process.
    It's been that way for a long time.
    The peace process does not belong to SF either.
    The people of the 6 counties are the ones driving the peace process
    and all these comments in the Dail and elsewhere have no standing with them.
    Last edited by TimBuckII; 29th December 2012 at 03:19 PM.

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    Politics.ie Member ruserious's Avatar
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    The reason is simple: Political Space.

    SF are posing a challenge to Fianna Fáil and Labour. The government has two main reasons therefore to block SF.

    1) The Labourites are watching their own back and bringing up the past to try and show up SF to protect themselves.
    2) FG want to keep FF alive and act as a weak buffer between them and the left so as to prevent a left-right divide developing. For that reason, FG will never go into power with FF until all other options have been assessed.
    Boycott the "Irish" Sun rag.

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    Politics.ie Member Red_93's Avatar
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    Well what about SF's attacks on the govt? Are they damaging to potential economic recovery?

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    Anyone ever get the feeling that the Northern war suited FF/FG/Labour down to the ground over many decades?

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    Politics.ie Member Victor Meldrew's Avatar
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    Ruserious,

    Did you read the ouece on Fg being the new FF in the paper today? Cant link as i am not that good on the phone, but the point was that a ff fg coalition as a bulwark to the left might emerge.

    I would love to see a FF FG merger as we might have a decent left right debate emerge n this country.

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    Politics.ie Member Cruimh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Con Gallagher View Post
    Can government attacks on SF's past damage the peace process?
    No. PSF cannot go back to war.

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    Politics.ie Member james toney's Avatar
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    It says more about the incompetence of FG/Lab,when questioned about the likes of harsh cuts in the budget,then all they can come up with is silly whataboutery.
    While doing their best to ignore the issue.
    "You think thats bad,theres one lunatic that posts on there 40-50 times a day..He's alone..in bad company!

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    Politics.ie Member mido's Avatar
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    I thought the peace process was finished with when SF walked into Stormont and lay down with Paisley and Co. the constant refrain of potential damage, harm being caused is irrelevant post that event as SF have de facto accepted partition and british rule.
    Pity the nation divided into into fragments, each fragment deeming itself a nation - Khalil Gibran

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