Whither Sinn Fein?

midlander12

Member
Dec 4, 2018
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I don't give a feck what SF did in Stormont

Stormont has nothing to do with my life or my children's lives here in the ROI.

Before the last election, Mary Lou McDonald, straight out of the gate, made a compelling case for not increasing the pension age , and she kept hammering away at that during the election debates

In fact she seemed to be reading my posts here

One of her examples started "Take a construction worker who left school at 16, as was not unusual back in the 60s and 70s.."

Which was exactly how I started one of my posts 🙂

Stormont is a whole other thing. Most voters down here couldn't care less about what SF did in Stormont.
Yes actually I think that was one of the main factors in their upsurge last time. It certainly gave them a very good headstart.
 

midlander12

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Dec 4, 2018
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Of course jmcc is an SF supporter (as he has a perfect right to be)

What I mean by "supporting SF tacitly or overtly" is taking the SF side in any argument on a thread, never or rarely criticising SF, rarely missing an opportunity to praise SF or to point out how unfairly they are being treated, and moving quickly in on any poster who expresses reservations about SF or their actions.

And that describes this site pretty accurately

It doesn't necessarily mean being a member of SF, or being in any way involved with the party

There are a few posters here who go against the grain, but they are in a minority. And it isn't just about numbers. The more strident voices tend to take over

There is nothing intrinsically wrong with all that, but it would be good to hear other viewpoints from supporters of other parties.

But I don't think they would feel comfortable here. Once a political consensus builds up on a site, it is difficult to penetrate it. One fears being a lone voice, or being the victim of a pile-on, or of mockery

That is just my opinion.

To which I am entitled.
The reality is that this is a very small site with only a handful of regular posters, most of whom are at least sympathetic to SF if not outright supporters. It is also rather issue-specific - apart from Covid, only the Brexit- and more general NI-related threads see much action a lot of the time. You simply have to accept that before you start posting. Politics.ie is a bit more diverse both in terms of political views and the variety of thread topics but the tone of many of the posters there is incredibly vitriolic and downright demented in some cases. I still post on it on the US Politics threads (no point here, no one's interested) but the rest of it doesn't interest me.

IPO is fine and most posters are respectful enough - you just have to accept being in a minority if you're not an SF fan to some degree (I'm used to being a minority in other aspects of life and it simply doesn't bother me).
 

Round tower

Member
Feb 16, 2019
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825
No. They absolutely had to.
It's worth pointing out that a stalemate had developed in 2015 between Westminster and Stormont around welfare reform.
Welfare, a reserved matter, was not controlled by the Exchequer. The assembly's persistent refusal to introduce water charges and raise the pensionable age (and here it must be noted that the DUP were equally as opposed to both as SF were) led to Cameron and Osbourne threatening the bloc grant as a way to make NI fall into line with UK wide austerity. (The linked article explains how welfare didn't form a controllable part of the bloc grant, coming under the heading of annual managed expenditure.)

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It's very easy to make direct comparisons between Dail Eireann and Stormont, if you neglect the fact that Nr 11 holds the purse strings at all times (directly, or in this case indirectly) and Stormont is not a sovereign government.
Mary Lou admitted that they did not have to vote for it
 

Round tower

Member
Feb 16, 2019
2,249
825
I don't give a feck what SF did in Stormont

Stormont has nothing to do with my life or my children's lives here in the ROI.

Before the last election, Mary Lou McDonald, straight out of the gate, made a compelling case for not increasing the pension age , and she kept hammering away at that during the election debates

In fact she seemed to be reading my posts here

One of her examples started "Take a construction worker who left school at 16, as was not unusual back in the 60s and 70s.."

Which was exactly how I started one of my posts 🙂

Stormont is a whole other thing. Most voters down here couldn't care less about what SF did in Stormont.
Can u not see if it's their policy in NI then it could be their policy in the Republic
 

T. Leaf

Member
Nov 28, 2018
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I was wondering about that because I remember the case being taken and the court findings as related. But I mustn't have been listening properly, because I thought it applied to ALL candidates. So I was surprised to hear in later years of some candidates losing their deposits. I think this is wrong and that, basically, little has changed in that the rich and powerful are more able to stand for election than someone from a humbler and less lucrative background. So much for all the people of the country being treated equally.
 

T. Leaf

Member
Nov 28, 2018
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Brethren of the Coast Libertarian variety (the ultimate floating voter) though not Right wing. I vote for those who I think will do a good job and give preferences to different parties and candidates on the same ballot paper. This is because I don't support any political party. Most of the parties have policies with which I agree and many which I don't.

Trump was necessary in the US because HRC would have been a danger to world peace. Economically, Trump was a businessman and his policies seemed to reflect that in that if someone was not doing their job well then he fired them. This shocked people who had been used to the gombeen politics of leaving incompetent people in positions because of their political connections. The unrelenting propaganda from rather dim people in the Dublin media (who were really just watching US media coverage and had no real insight into US politics or even talked to US people on a regular basis) painted Trump as some kind of monster. The reality was that he showed them up as being quite stupid and they didn't like that. The US is far more complex and diverse than Dublin as is its politics.

The PDs were nothing more than Provisional Fianna Fail complete with a cast of poundshop intellectuals singing their praises in the media. They had the chance to be something more when Pat Cox wanted to take the party mainstream and replace FG. Instead, Mary Harney (yet another school teacher) was installed as leader and things went rapidly downhill from there.

SF may be on the way to becoming the main party of the Left. That is destroying the gombeen status quo that has reigned since Independence. But this is part of a wider move in Irish politics towards a political spectrum with a more defined Left/Right axis. FG, FF and Labour are on the Right. This new reality obviously terrifies the old 2.5 party model supporters. SF is, because of that move to the centre, becoming what FF was once and that new political reality is quite scary for those who have profited from the Gombeenarchy.
Wasn't Trump bankrupted 5 times in his business career? And wasn't his enormous wealth inherited and not earned? Looking at it myself, I wouldn’t say he wasn’t so much a successful businessman as a successful conman. I am not at all assuming that other businessmen and politicians besides himself were not equally corrupt, but I certainly never witnessed the like of it before.
 

seanof

Member
Nov 27, 2018
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The article is behind a paywall in the Independent
The following is the article you linked. It does not support your assertion that "Marylou admitted that they did not have to vote for it". Instead, it quotes SF as saying "the party was not responsible for the legislation it voted for in the Northern Assembly that increased the pension age."Westminster sets the pension age and controls the pension purse strings""

Sinn Féin accused of hypocrisy on pension age in North
27/01/2020 12:45:00

Source Independent.ie
Sinn Féin accused of hypocrisy on pension age in North
Sinn Féin has been accused of 'hypocrisy' for voting to increase the state pension age in the North to 66 years - while pledging in the Republic to cut the age to 65.
Sinn Féin's current general election campaign in the Republic centres around a promise to reduce the pension age to 65 for people living in the Republic.Fianna Fáil social protection spokesperson Willie O'Dea said Sinn Féin was"speaking out of both sides of their mouth" on the contentious pension age issue.

Mr O'Dea said it was another example of Sinn Féin doing one thing in the North and demanding the opposite in the Republic."In 2012, there was a vote in Northern Ireland to raise the pension age from 65 to 66 this year and Sinn Féin supported that but down here it is saying it wants to bring it back to 65," Mr O'Dea said.
The Limerick City TD also referenced the British playwright Somerset Maugham in his comments on Sinn Féin's stance on pensions."Hypocrisy is the most difficult and nerve-racking vice that any man can pursue, it needs an unceasing vigilance and a rare detachment of spirit. It cannot, like adultery or gluttony, be practiced at spare moments; it is a whole-time job," Mr O'Dea said. headtopics.com
He also said the state pension in Northern Ireland is far less than it is in the Republic of Ireland at £129.20 (€153.20), against the Republic's top rate of €248.30."When you look at the pension rates in Northern Ireland where Sinn Féin has been in power when it suits them, they are about €95 less than in the Republic," he said.
Fianna Fáil has pledged to defer the increase in the pension age from 66 to 67 next year and committed to introducing a payment matching the weekly pension rate for anyone forced to retire at 65.The Labour Party has also said it will stop the pension age increase. Fine Gael said it will go ahead with increasing the age to 67 but will introduce a payment matching the weekly rate for anyone retiring at 66.
Sinn Féin said the party was not responsible for the legislation it voted for in the Northern Assembly that increased the pension age."Westminster sets the pension age and controls the pension purse strings," a spokesperson said.Ms McDonald remained unrepentant yesterday about reducing the pension age to 65 in the Republic. She accepted it would always be"challenging" to fund welfare and pensions - but if young people got a chance to work and get their own homes"demographics will take care of themselves".
Meanwhile, former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has said he believes the possibility of a Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin coalition will be discussed after the General Election. Speaking at an economics conference in Kerry, Mr Ahern said voters would determine the make-up of the next Dáil and suggested a coalition of the two parties would form part of the debate. headtopics.com

"People change their minds very rapidly in elections so we will wait until mid-February, see what the numbers look like, and then see how the cards are played but I think it is an issue we will be talking about next month," he said.Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has firmly ruled out going into government with Sinn Féin, as has Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.
His comments come as a new poll shows Fianna Fáil remains in the lead to be the majority partner in the next government. The Red C poll, for the 'Business Post', shows Fianna Fáil is on 26pc (up 2pc), Fine Gael is down seven points to 23pc and Sinn Féin is up eight to 19pc. The Greens are on 8pc and Labour is on 4pc.
 

jmcc

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Nov 27, 2018
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Wasn't Trump bankrupted 5 times in his business career?
Some businesses fail. That's the reality of business. The US attitude to businesses failing is quite different to the croppy lie down attitude in Ireland.

And wasn't his enormous wealth inherited and not earned?
Some of it was, I think.

Looking at it myself, I wouldn’t say he wasn’t so much a successful businessman as a successful conman.
He's more successful than most of his critics. He was elected president.

I am not at all assuming that other businessmen and politicians besides himself were not equally corrupt, but I certainly never witnessed the like of it before.
People like Trump are quite common in business and in politics. Had Trump not decided on a political career (he was actually a Democrat before he became a Republican) he would have gone largely unnoticed in Ireland.
 
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jmcc

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Nov 27, 2018
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Perhaps you would care to enlighten us as to your views on the Jan 6 coup attempt and (most of) the GOP's continuing refusal to accept the results of last November's election and their attempts to make voting more difficult in the next one?
It was the product of a highly abnormal environment due to Covid and the breakdown of trust in the mainstream media. It was not a coup or even anything close to one.

Whatever else can be said about any of the Irish parties, to date they have never actually questioned the outcome of an election, however unhappy they may have been with it.
Ireland and the US have two very different political administrations. The Irish one is geared towards cooperation and agreement. The US Senate and Congress are there to act as a kind of restraint on the presidency becoming a dictatorship. The US also has the same problem with term limits and perpetual politicians.
 

seanof

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Nov 27, 2018
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Some businesses fail. That's the reality of business. The US attitude to businesses failing is quite different to the croppy lie down attitude in Ireland.

Some of it was, I think.

He's more successful than most of his critics. He was elected president.

People like Trump are quite common in business and in politics. Had Trump not decided on a political career (he was actually a Democrat before he became a Republican) in business even in Ireland.
I'm surprised and somewhat disappointed to learn that you're a Trump apologist or fan.
 

jmcc

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Nov 27, 2018
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remember how close we to having Sean 5Gallagher
Until Labour activists in RTE rigged the Frontline show to take him out. They didn't have their contracts renewed and Pat Kenny didn't either. That's the RTE way of taking care of things. But then the electorate saw Labour for what it really was: a bunch of Right wingers posting as Socialists while they got rich from the public purse. Labour went from 37 seats in 2011 to 7 seats in 2016. And the little landlord in the Aras even evicted students from a house he bought at a discount so that he could make more money while lecturing others about homelessness. RTE, quite laughably, still tries to present Labour as a major party with only 6 seats.
 
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Shaadi

Member
Feb 16, 2019
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I dislike talking about a poster behind his back, but it is not that jmcc criticises FG and FF, but that he always has a good word for SF, and is very much of the consensus here....

As for myself, I have voted Labour, Independent---latterly Green and SD

I gave SF a good vote in the last election because I have felt passionately about the pension age for private sector workers for years, and have often posted on the topic. The blatant unfairness of this--where workers in tough physical jobs from an era when people started working in their teens and have paid tax and prsi for over 45 years, but cannot retire---that was a bugbear

SF were the first party to make this a big issue, and Mary Lou spoke passionately and convincingly on the topic in the debates

As other parties saw the huge traction this issue was getting, they came on board belatedly

I would go as far as to say that the pension issue went a long way in attracting older voters to SF in the last election.

So my vote was influenced by that issue.

In Dublin Bay South, I am going to vote for Ivana Bacik, because, despite the opprobrium she attracts, I think she is a decent woman who has fought the good fight.
I would vote for Ivana too, she's a dedicated politician who will work to improve women's rights and such. Those are areas that need to be tended to or else things could go backwards.

The important thing is to use your vote to help people and sometimes that means voting for a decent individual from a party that you may not have much time for. The important thing is to build coalitions of like minded politicians across various parties to give us people in Govt who will tackle issues rather than ignoring them because they are difficult.

Parties with similar interests should be on better terms rather than operating under an us an them mindset that limits their combined power.
 

jmcc

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Nov 27, 2018
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I'm surprised and somewhat disappointed to learn that you're a Trump apologist or fan.
He was and is entertaining. That does not make me an apologist or fan. But if you have ever been self employed or run your own business, that US attitude to business failure is completely understandable. Politics, as distinct from running the country, is entertainment for the public.
 

Bonkers

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Feb 15, 2019
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He was and is entertaining. That does not make me an apologist or fan. But if you have ever been self employed or run your own business, that US attitude to business failure is completely understandable. Politics, as distinct from running the country, is entertainment for the public.
Business failure is normal. What Trump did was con ordinary Joes out of millions. It’s hardly entertaining when he caused the death of so many people.
 

Bonkers

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Feb 15, 2019
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Until Labour activists in RTE rigged the Frontline show to take him out. They didn't have their contracts renewed and Pat Kenny didn't either. That's the RTE way of taking care of things. But then the electorate saw Labour for what it really was: a bunch of Right wingers posting as Socialists while they got rich from the public purse. Labour went from 37 seats in 2011 to 7 seats in 2016. And the little landlord in the Aras even evicted students from a house he bought at a discount so that he could make more money while lecturing others about homelessness. RTE, quite laughably, still tries to present Labout as a major party with only 6 seats.
I’m sorry but that chancer blew his own chances with his answers that night.
 

hollandia

Literally knows shit
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Yes i do, their is a link to show that ML admitted that they voted for it when they did not have to, just to find it
Funny that. I can't find it either.
All you've provided is Willie O'Dea grandstanding a fortnight out from the general election. (Actually implying that SF set the pension rate itself, which is utter unadulterated bollox. No NI party has ever held anything like that sort of power - even in the original Stormont)
Whereas I've provided links to how NI welfare is funded via money that does not form part of the block grant (threatened to be cut as far back as 2009):
That both DUP and SF (not to mention the other parties around the executive table) held out until the Stormont House Agreement (where welfare reform was a leverage used by Osbourne as a quid pro quo for reforms the executive wanted, reduced corporation tax in particular) is in my view laudable.


Several other ongoing political contentions were also resolved by the Stormont House Agreement. These include the devolution of Corporation Tax to Northern Ireland. Within Northern Ireland there has been an all-party consensus on the need to devolve corporation tax to allow the Province to compete for business with the Republic of Ireland. This is because the Republic of Ireland's rate of tax is 12.5%, considerably lower than the UK rate of 20%, which Northern Ireland businesses currently pay.

Welfare reform was also the subject of extensive disagreement between elements of the Executive (notably Sinn Féin), and the UK Government. HM Treasury had been determined that Northern Ireland should adopt the welfare reform, and had imposed fines on the Executive for their failure to do so. Within the Executive the parties were split. Whilst Sinn Féin had opposed passing welfare reform, the Democratic Unionist Party had attempted to do so, arguing that it was inevitable, and that failure to do so would incur further fines from London. A primary aim of the Stormont House Agreement, particularly from the perspective of the UK Government, was to resolve the welfare dispute, and have reform passed.
The suggestion that it was SF policy to raise the pension age - never mind the policy of ANY of the executive parties - is laughably naive.
It's a ploy by Dail Parties using ignorance of how NI is governed to fling mud, some of which has evidently stuck in the minds of the unquestioning.

We occasional see a similar tactic being used these days of "SF are in govt in NI and the homelessness rate is much higher there" from some quarters. What they neglect to tell you is that if the NI metric of homelessness was applied in ROI, we'd be looking at somewhere between 75,000 to 120,000 people considered homeless on this side of the border.

I should also point out to people who are seemingly unaware, four other parties sit around that executive table.
 

midlander12

Member
Dec 4, 2018
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He was and is entertaining. That does not make me an apologist or fan. But if you have ever been self employed or run your own business, that US attitude to business failure is completely understandable. Politics, as distinct from running the country, is entertainment for the public.
To describe Trump as 'entertaining' frankly suggests you do not take democracy, or indeed anything to do with real life or public decency, very seriously.
 

midlander12

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Dec 4, 2018
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It was the product of a highly abnormal environment due to Covid and the breakdown of trust in the mainstream media. It was not a coup or even anything close to one.

Ireland and the US have two very different political administrations. The Irish one is geared towards cooperation and agreement. The US Senate and Congress are there to act as a kind of restraint on the presidency becoming a dictatorship. The US also has the same problem with term limits and perpetual politicians.
Codswollop. The elected Congress was stormed by neo-fascist rioters intent on retaining a defeated President in office and quite likely doing serious physical harm to elected politicians including the outgoing VP who wasn't a sufficient lackey for their liking. It was a 'highly abmormal' environment alright, but the breakdown of trust you talk about relates to belief in far-fetched far-right conspiracy theories fostered by your hero.

I can only describe your reference to the Congress acting as a 'restraint' on dictatorial presidents highly ironic in the circumstances.
 

ruserious

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Dec 4, 2018
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From IMRA to the PIRA.
 

ruserious

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Dec 4, 2018
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ruserious

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Behind A paywall.
Any cut and paste of the better bits?
“Pat Kenny grills Eoin Ó Broin on Newstalk. RTÉ goes easy on Leo Varadkar
Radio: Sinn Féin’s defence that it was merely following the example of others is true

Pat Kenny: ‘No, no, no, no, I can’t let you away with that.’ Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

The news that Sinn Féin activists posed as members of a fictitious polling company while canvassing voters may have divided opinion about the gravity of the infraction, but there’s no danger of anyone putting Pat Kennydown as undecided on the matter.
Discussing the issue on Wednesday’s edition of his show (Newstalk, weekdays), Kenny tackles the Sinn Féin TD Eoin Ó Broin so ferociously that the guest has to calm down the host rather than vice versa.
Kenny sets the tone with his opening question, suggesting that Sinn Féin members pretending to work for the Irish Market Research Agency, was “deception, pure and simple”. Predictably enough, Ó Broin rejects this, claiming that larger political parties have been indulging in the practice for years. He adds that in 2010 – when the practice dates from – Sinn Féin was a “very small party”, unable to afford professional polling.
Given Sinn Féin’s roots in armed republicanism, one could argue that using a false company whose acronym also spells ‘I’m ’Ra’ basically counts as full disclosure
This prompts incredulity from Kenny. “No, no, no, no, I can’t let you away with that,” he interjects, accusing his guest of putting on “the poor mouth”. But even as Kenny maintains his scorn – “I’m just baffled at your effrontery” – Ó Broin sticks to his dubiously reasoned line that there was nothing fraudulent about the Imra wheeze. Faced with this, Kenny changes tack.
“It’s a bit like saying I haven’t got the money to mount a campaign, so I’ll rob a bank, and we know where the finger was pointed for the Northern Bank,” says Kenny, referencing the 2004 robbery widely blamed on the IRA.
The otherwise unflappable Ó Broin sounds taken aback. “Let’s be very careful here, Pat,” he says, “Are you accusing me of criminal activity?” The host assures the TD that isn’t the case, and pulls back from his line of questioning before he can land himself in trouble. The argument ends in a grudging stalemate on the ethics of the situation. (Although, given Sinn Féin’s roots in armed republicanism, one could argue that using a false company whose acronym also spells “I’m ’Ra” basically counts as full disclosure.)
But while neither protagonist comes out of the contest especially well – Kenny unable to park his bias, his anti-establishment guest spinning like any other politician – it’s a doozy for the listener.

As it happens, the justification that Sinn Féin was merely following the example of others is essentially true (if still unedifying), as becomes clear when Tánaiste Leo Varadkar is interviewed by Cormac Ó hEadhra on Drivetime (RTÉ Radio 1, weekdays). Asked if Fine Gael has ever used similar practices for polling purposes, Varadkar, who never wastes an opportunity to stick it to the Shinners, instead adopts a phlegmatic air. “Quite frankly, yes,” he admits.
‘I’m not a business owner, but I am a doctor,’ Varadkar says, ‘and I do understand the consequences of people going to work when they are sick’
The Tánaiste says that his party previously used volunteers and paid students to conduct door-to-door surveys, “anonymised for the purposes of polling”. Perhaps surprised by his guest’s candour, Ó hEadhra doesn’t pursue the topic much further. Either way, the Tánaiste receives a notably easier ride on the subject than Ó Broin gets from Kenny.”
 
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jmcc

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Nov 27, 2018
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600
Are we starting to see the Irish media opening up to treating SF in a normal manner, as they edge closer to power?

Don't forget that Dinny O'Brien's Communicorp gave Kenny a job when RTE decided that he should be retired. It was sold to Bauer (a German media company) so there may be some more changes on the way. There is a definite fear of the status quo being fractured. RTE is still propagandising for Labour despite it being just a fringe party with 6 seats. SF regularly gets hammered by RTE. The Sindo/Indo "get SF" stories (mainly from Philip Ryan) have backfired terribly on other parties like FF and FG. There's definitely an "end of the world" vibe from some of the newspapers as they struggle to adjust to an existence with Digital having primacy. The Sindo/Indo are in real trouble because they focused on hammering SF and Irish Republicanism under the malign influence of Eoghan Harris and his associates. The market shifted while they were still spewing their anti-Irish bile. There's a generation for whom the Troubles are as much history as WW2. As SF becomes more mainstream, there will be some pushback from the usual anti-Irish types but the reality of the publishing business means that survival comes first. What has really changed in the last ten years is that the newspapers can see which columnists and articles are popular on their websites. That will influence which way that they will move. The most terrifying prospect for the Irish Times is that its pathetic attempts to be the Oirish version of The Guardian backfire because SF moves into the kind of territory that Labour traditionally occupied in UK politics.
 
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