30 2 mins 7 yrs

Gerry Adams will stand for President of Sinn Fein, again.  Ourselves alone have been headed by himself alone since 1983.  Virtually President for life in the spirit of Idi Amin, Papa Doc Duvalier and the various Eternal Presidents of North Korea.  Duly elected time and again by Gerry’s kids he seems incapable of exiting the stage.  Recent sex scandals involving his brother and IRA comrades have not diminished his support among core supporters.  Sure if you can abide terrorism, what is a little pedophilia or rape?  In a small pond the big fish seem to swim longer as they please.  Witness the longevity of Ian Paisley for example.  Is it possible to be a Sinn Fein voter and yet not be an Adams supporter?  Don’t get me wrong, they are free to vote for whom they please, even if it is for the same guy for 30 years.  But at some point why not just admit They prefer coronation to elections?  Too much like a monarchy?

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30 thoughts on “To Sinn Again

  1. I wonder if Gerry Adams wants to remain president because he is still dreaming of the possibility of Sinn Fein becoming the largest single party both North and South and perhaps doing so by 1916, in which case he could then claim to be nominally the leader of ‘All Ireland’ in the centenary year of the Easter Rising ?

  2. He is so radioactive to Unionists and to many others that they best thing he could do for unity might be to retire and allow others to take the lead.

  3. Adams is a strange figure. He has charisma in bucketloads and is a brilliant political strategist. He can also out-argue practically anyone in NI politics, despite often having a very bad hand. Irish people will always admire anyone who beats the British at their own game and shows politics to be more successful, and more fun, than violence. Hence the fanatical loyalty for Parnell, De Valera etc. in their time.

    But Adams is also so obviously different to his base that it’s strange they took to him so strongly and stayed with him so loyally. He was always a bit of a socal recluse in Belfast (Paul will correct me if I’m wrong), staying away from Republican social bashes, pubs and the working-class convivilality that is so strong in Belfast. Although he has a genuine love for the people of his region, he has something of the puritan about him, and in many ways would make a better Protestant.

    Come to think of it, these are characteristics Parnell and DeValera also had very strongly. Hmmm… this deserves some more thought.

  4. “he has a genuine love for the people of his region”

    He, along with the murderous gangsters with whom he walks, has a very strange way of showing that ‘genuine love’ for the 3,000-odd dead, most of those dead arriving at that state by his orders, and at the hands of the thugs who worshipped him!

    An Army? A war? Speaking and writing as an Englishman, but with strong family connections to the North; I would describe Adams, along with those whom he supported, organised and led, as the typical criminal extant within society as a whole, except that in Adams’ case, there does seem to be a touch of both psychopath, and sociopath.

  5. //for the 3,000-odd dead, most of those dead arriving at that state by his orders, and at the hands of the thugs who worshipped him!//

    Many of them also arrived at that state at the hands of the thugs you worship.

    In any case I wasn’t referring to Northern Ireland, but to West Belfast, Adam’s home, political cradle and, until recently, constituency.

    In that constituency, Adams got the highest personal vote of any politicians in the entire United Kingdom, higher even than the British Prime Minister.
    And as for Mahons’ question about whether one can support SF yet dislike Adams, I think the converse is more true: Adams is liked and admired by many people who would never vote Sinn Fein. I know so many people in Cavan for whom Fianna Fail is more religion than their party, yet when Adams was in town they were all crowding around trying to shake his hand.

    There is a reason for this Adams phenomenon and it isn’t explained by the picture of him you get in the media. I was just filling in a bit.

  6. the man is a a terrorist. Every vote for him is a vote of support for terror.

    You can dress it up any way you want. That fact can not be changed.

  7. why is it rubbish?

    If you endorse the man you endorse his actions and policies.

    Mahons the man is a terrorist leader who has ordered and organized acts of terror against civilians for political gain.

    Now you can as many here are be fine with killing of woman, children, and of any civilian for the purpose of domestic political gain that is your choice.

    What you can’t do is deny what he is.

    and a vote for someone is an endorsement of who they are.

  8. are the supporters of Begin still committing acts of terror? The supporters of Adams and OBL are.

  9. Phantom instead of trying to make who he is more palatable by comparing him to events and people in the past why not just defend him for who he is?

    I have no problem with the events at the start of Israel, now if you want to make the comparison of Adams and Begin than you make Ireland Israel.

    Begins goal was a Jewish State Adams Goal an Irish State.

  10. I’m not defending or attacking either here.

    I only say that these two guys basically did the same thing.

    Give one a pass give both a pass.

    Condemn one, condemn both. After all, supporters of both killed British soldiers etc for political causes.

    To do anything else is grossly inconsistent.

  11. There are many that come here that have no problem with who and what Adams is.

    If you are comfortable with his policies and actions defend them openly support them, or do you lack the spine to do so?

    I support Israel, I support the actions that they did to start their nation. Why is it so hard for any of you to do the same with Irish Terrorists?

    You have a severe lack of honesty and mostly you lie to yourselves.

  12. as for the consistency when there is consistency in what the people suffered then they get an equal pass.

    Ireland and the Irish people did not suffer what the jews did. If the Irish seek an equivalency and respect in their demand for complete independence than they should have handled it as we did.

    Instead they behave like Islamists and therefore garner the same status as the Islamists do.

    I’m done on this thread. I will not end the year by stoking the fire. There are those that will turn this from a civil conversation into something else entirely. I will never change their view and they will never change mine.

  13. The Irish lived the life of Riley and were happy with the treatment by their benevolent rulers, who always ruled with the consent of the governed.

    Everyone knows that.

  14. I’ve known Adams since childhood as a family friend Noel and he certainly is a bit of an enigma Noel. Charisma by the buckertload yet privately he’s actually quite shy. Adams is much more at home having a pint of stout in a GAC club in West Belfast than anywhere else.

    However he is also ambitious. My own opinion is that he has always wanted the Presidency.

    Mahons is correct, he should go.

    As to the Englishman and American who are speaking so authoritively on Adams, of course they’re correct while the hundreds of thousands who vote for the party he leads along with the millions who bear him goodwill are incorrect.

  15. As for the consistency when there is consistency in what the people suffered then they get an equal pass.

    Starved in their millions by Government policy. Sold into slavery in their thousands by their colonial masters.

    Maybe you should try reading some history.

  16. Troll is an ” the authority ” on Irish and world history.

    He wrote the book, just like Bill O’Reilly on Fox News who wrote all those history books.

  17. //Noel I suspect the same people might line up to shake any media personality or celebrity type.//

    Most of them, like my mother, wouldn’t even recognise a “celebrity” (apart from the Pope).
    Yet she, along with practically the entire village, queued up to shake Adams’ hand with the same patience as they queue at “the rails”.

    A large majority of Irish people think more positively than negatively about Adams and most, I would say, think very favourably of him, even people who are not SF supporters. You would never get this impression from reading the Irish media, who stop at nothing to prevent SF’s electoral rise, usually unsuccessfully.

    Comparing him to various dictators is missing the point: why has he remained so popular not only over such a long period but also when he and his party have received such knocks, each of which would probably have ended the career of your usual politician. He was interned, shot and badly wounded, saw his party suffer electoral defeat, he was banned by the British media and vilified by the Irish, his party has been associated with, both before and after the GFA, vicious murders and child abusers. etc.
    Yet he has taken Sinn Fein from being an insignificant nonentity in Irish politics to one of the main players in both north and south. He faced down political Unionism, divided it and effectively neutered its “unionism” to a stage where all that’s left is a rump of Ulster nationalism.

    Anyone familiar with recent Irish history will recognise that as a phenomenal achievement.

    There are no doubt many different reasons for his success and his popularity. I mentioned some earlier, but there are others.

  18. Why exactly do you say that it was Adams ( and not the Peace Process that ultimately included Adams ) who divided Unionism?

  19. I don’t think Adams particularly divided Unionism. Political unionism has always had a history of splitting and fragmenting over the issue of co-operation with Nationalism or agreeing political accommodation. Adam’s great achievement was the slow but sure capturing of the nationalist electorate from the SDLP and to turn Sinn Fein from being just the political fig leaf for the PIRA into a genuine comprehensive political party that the broader nationalist community could feel worth representing them.

  20. Phantom, Adams devised SF policy and was its main negotiator. For decades Britain had closed ranks with political Unionism; it even allowed Ulster Unionists to force it into its greatest mistakes (Internment, Bloody Sunday, etc.).

    Adams’ success was first in recognising and exploiting the difference between the British and the Unionist positions by consistently – for each point on the agenda – offering something that was enough to satisfy the Brits but was still too much for Unionist opinion to accept. The British – with the Yanks on their neck – wanted to accept SF’s offers and got increasingly impatient with the only Unionists within their power – the UUP – until finally the UUP was forced and bribed into accepting the British concilatory position on trust. Adams could then dither and delay at his leisure (e.g. on commissioning, but this applied to many points), and let the inevitably fission of the IRA have its effect, with enormous bank robberies, the occasional killing etc., all of which made traditional UUP voters feel betrayed by their party and turn to the DUP.

    The DUP was always closer to SF than the UUP was: SF are Irish nationalists and the DUP are Ulster Nationalists, who see little value in the Union on principle, apart from something to uphold their status and give them an endless stream of money. I don’t know if Adams – or anyone – foresaw the huge DUP volte face in 2006, when it went from opposing any power-sharing to entering partnership with Sinn Fein/IRA, but he helped prepare the ground for it and it wouldn’t have been possible without him.

  21. In the run up to the GFA there were a number of internal ‘family meetumgs’ were Republican activists were briefed on the SF straegy which had three main points:

    Engage the British

    Engage the unionists

    Fracture the relationship between both and the internal relationship between unionists.

    That was unofficial party policy – it worked.

  22. I didn’t know that, Paul, but I’m pleased I got it right at the time. Mastery should never go unrecognised.
    (but should it not have been “Engage the British, EnRage the unionists”?)

    Whatever, considering the poor hand Adams had at the start, he played it brilliantly and successfully outmanoeuvred the Unionists at every turn.
    As I said, the Irish will always give their heart to anyone who beats Britain at its own game and does so without bloodshed. Adams deserves his success.

  23. (but should it not have been “Engage the British, EnRage the unionists”?)

    I thought exactly the same thing Noel !

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