Máirtín the apprentice

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In re the election, there is a further point worth making. This refers to Sinn Féin Nua’s economic policy. Readers will recall that the Provos went into the election campaign with two signature policies, to raise corporation tax 5% to 17.5%, and to introduce a wealth tax on the super-rich. These policies, endorsed by the last Ard Fheis, were then summarily dumped by the party leadership under sustained assault from RTÉ’s Seán O’Rourke. This then contributed even further to the Provos’ lack of economic credibility by blowing a huge hole in the costings for all the wonderful social programmes they wanted. This is a problem, because, while in the North the Provos can gain votes simply by being the Catholic party, in the South they need at least a few policies.

Skip forward to Dermot Ahern’s argument that PSF did badly because the young people of Ireland had rejected socialist and Marxist policies. Whether this is an accurate description of the Grizzly Manifesto the reader may decide for herself, but Dermot was not simply having a cheap dig. He was also issuing an invitation – fully embrace the neoliberal agenda, and you’ll be fit partners for government.

This view is shared by Provo press baron Máirtín Ó Muilleoir, who reckons the Shinners need to be more business-friendly if they want to succeed. Máirtín, of course, is Grizzly’s most adept apprentice, and the Andytown News is frequently used to float policies that the republican base isn’t quite ready for. Amongst other things, Máirtín’s organ has spearheaded the campaign to get a 12.5% corporation tax rate introduced in the North, something the entire Assembly is currently petitioning El Gordo to agree to.

Máirtín, you’re fired.

Rud eile: It has been amusing to watch the unionist reaction to the southern election, most cogently put by the News Letter. In a nutshell, this can be summarised as “Yo!” I was especially touched to hear Ian Óg Paisley personally congratulate Fianna Fáil for defeating the Provo hordes. These are your partners in government, by the way.

4 Comments

  1. franklittle said,

    May 30, 2007 at 9:33 am

    The mind boggles slightly at the notion of Mairtín, whose ‘national’ paper seemed to treat the South as some weird aspect of it’s foreign news coverage, making points about the Southern election.

    The reality is that he and those like him in Sinn Féin got what they wanted, the dumping of those policies (Though a fight-back within the party is being mooted) and an election fought without the unpleasant ‘socialist’ aspects. And the result was a declining vote in their strong areas and the loss of a seat.

    I get the impression that Sinn Féin activists in the South are not looking too kindly at lectures on economics from the inumerates living off the British taxpayer in the North.

    Leaving aside what seems to be a minor point, that by dropping their tax revenue raising proposals they made themselves look like complete idiots.

    One other thing, on another post you quote Gregory as saying Sinn Féin’s work-rate had dropped in local areas. Can’t speak for Dublin Central, but in my own constituency of Dublin South-Central, it’s certainly not the case and no-one in Dublin South West, where Seán Crowe lost his seat, is suggesting such a thing. Maybe it’s just a Dublin Central phenomenon, which considering the Mary Lou stuff I can believe.

  2. splinteredsunrise said,

    May 30, 2007 at 11:45 am

    It may well be a Dublin Central thing, and I’d heard talk of resources from DNW diverted into Central on the grounds that Dessie Ellis was meant to be a shoo-in. Gregory may be right in a localised way or he may be wrong, but he’s worth paying attention to on that sort of thing.

  3. Wednesday said,

    May 30, 2007 at 3:26 pm

    There were no resources from DNW diverted into Central, but I think it’s fair to say that Central was given a disproportionate amount of the extra resources that were available to the party, to the detriment of other areas that could have used them.

  4. splinteredsunrise said,

    May 30, 2007 at 6:03 pm

    That sounds a more plausible nuance – this is just an outsider’s view, but it looked to me like there was a pretty big campaign going on in DNW. More like the concentration on Central resulted in the eye being taken off the ball elsewhere. Mind you, I’d been paying more attention to Donegal than the ins and outs of Dublin.

    Btw, Wednesday, I found your own comments interesting and will probably return to this in a bit more depth. That’s when I stop laughing at McLoughlin on why the SP wasn’t beaten and why everybody else did worse than them. Especially those damn Shinners who struggled to get ten times as many votes as them.


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