Monday, April 16, 2007

Election diary: Guns 'n' Roses: Rabbite-Adams the dream ticket?

Holy shit! Is it Pat Rabbitte and Gerry Adams for a future Irish government? That seems to have been the message from last night's Frank Opinion on RTE 1 with "renowned Washington pollster Dr Frank Luntzt" as they call him. The audience in his Roscommon focus group went positively orgasmic for Gerry and were very excited by Pat. All those Sinn Féin/IRA killings in Northern Ireland seem to count for nothing now. And people thought it was great the way Gerry stood up for the underprivileged. Mind you, the same audience thought we have too many immigrants coming into the country and one woman who boasted that she was an illegal immigrant in Chicago for five years declared that immigrants here shouldn't be supported by the State. Er, actually, Ms Illegal, those East European immigrants are not allowed welfare payments here and what's more they're legal, which puts them a step above yourself.....

3 comments:

Paul. said...

In all fairness Padraig, if Dr. Paisley and his party can see past the Sinn fein / IRA slogan, surely you can do the same?

Most of us think that it's time to forego the political name calling for the greater good of building a strong Northern Ireland.

Perhaps you might humour us by doing likewise

Padraig said...

Paul, We may accept that we need to move forward and that we will have to do business with Sinn Féin one day soon but that doesn't mean the victims of their futile war must never be referred to. I was surprised by the extent to which Sinn Féin's past meant nothing to the audience.I think that what was done in the past will stick in the craw of a lot of people. I have no doubt they are the up and coming party and that they will make big strides in the medium term but I find it really hard to shake from my mind the fact that they engaged in a pointless conflict which resulted in thousands of deaths.
Padraig

Paul. said...

Hi Padraig,

It was not the victims being referred to that prompted me to comment, it was the reference to Sinn Fein / IRA.

I could go into a long discourse on the futility or pointlessness of the conflict, but have learned that debating the past is of little benefit in terms of building relationships into the future.

You are quite correct that the victims (on both sides) should be acknowledged and remembered and that seeing Sinn Fein in any type of government will stick in the craw of many, but the practical choice is whether to engage or disengage.

There are many precedents for the engagement with those who have previously been branded terrorists, from Mandela in S.A to the dignity of W.T Cosgrave in handing over to De Valera in 1932.

Have enjoyed reading the blog and read the article most weeks in the Times, congratulations on the work you do, I've referenced you more than once to friends who struggle with the normal stuff of life.

In your line of work, you might be interested in a blog I wrote on the death of my father last October, it's at

http://paulnewton.blogspot.com/2006/10/give-me-lever-long-enough-and-ill-move.html

I kinda want to let you see that not all people who see Sinn Fein as a viable alternative to the "me fein" political environment we currently live in are or ever were supporters of the IRA.

Paul.