A LONG TIME IN POLITICS by Donal Kennedy

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“A week,” said Harold Wilson, “is a long time in politics”.
From Sunday , 4 June when I embarked on a cruise liner at Dover, until I disembarked on  Sunday 11 June, I was on the High Seas and the Norwegian fjords with but fitful Internet and TV access. So many things had changed, utterly. Though  I had used my postal vote for a forlorn hope he had ousted the sitting Tory, the helpless Jeremy Corbyn had metamorphosed into a star and Teresa May had proven a bewildered loser -an object of mockery, particularly within her own party. In Northeastern Ireland The SDLP’s Neo-Redmondism could neither retain nor gain a single seat, partly because Sinn Fein took seven on their own merits, and partly because the SDLP, by its dog-in-the-manger treachery handed seats to the DUP. In Dublin, Fianna Fail’s Micheal Martin attacks Sinn Fein for honouring its promise not to sit at Westminster, a promise kept since its foundation by Arthur Griffith and later under the leadership of Eamon de Valera and others. It seems to me that many, perhaps most FF, FG and Labour Deputies in Leinster House know nothing of the motivation of their parties’ founders and would despise them if they did know.
The two leading newspapers in Dublin are anti-national, and THE TIMES OF LONDON, Hibernophobic to a genocidal degree, now prints an “Irish” Edition. What next, –  a Die Sturmer for Golders Green and another for Tel Aviv?  The extinction of the Ulster Unionist Party of ersatz noblemen exercising the droit de seigneur should be one for celebration. Teresa May’s desperate gamble on the support of the dour and boorish charmers of the DUP looks interesting but could end in tears. But within another week it could prove a stable arrangement.
I’ve just been re-reading Michael Collins’s arguments made during the Civil War for the war he was waging on his former friends. He has a chapter headed “Partition Act’s Failure.” He had been persuaded (by Lloyd George? by Churchill? by himself?) that the 1920 Act’s provisions for the Six Counties no longer applied. (The Path to Freedom – first edition, printed 1922 just after Collins’s death.)

5 Responses to A LONG TIME IN POLITICS by Donal Kennedy

  1. Mark June 12, 2017 at 10:32 am #

    Welcome back Donal, if you’d had any sense you’d have stayed with the Viking’s, great, sensible folk.
    In the recent brit, and occupied Ireland general election, it was becoming more apparent that the tories knew they were heading for calamity when they suffered greater personal attack on the leader of the brit. Labour party, the reason was, fear, or as branded ‘project fear’.
    Hillary Clinton did the same thing with her principal opponent last year, and of course knew too she was lost when she cancelled her celebratory firework display over NY Harbour some twenty four hours before the election.
    Micheal Martin, and I’ve a lot of time for him in certain matters, is responding to undermine the Sinn Féin advance in middle Ireland, ironically the same folk they burdened so heavily in the 2010 budget, yet, as you say, de Valera was elected, as were several Sinn Féin politicians in the 19 teen’s whom abstained, is this a good idea?
    Myself would caution Micheal against too much negative campaigning (albeit we’re not in election mode just yet) since in Britain and the US it backfired spectacularly against them what done it.

  2. Martin Bradley June 12, 2017 at 7:40 pm #

    There seems to be a common misconception amongst all the contributors to this blog that the SDLP “handed seats to the DUP” in this election. Name one seat?
    It appears also, that although the SDLP are gone, these same contributors are finding it difficult to break the habit of a lifetime in SDLP bashing. It is now time for them to delete their “cut & paste” derogatories and move on.
    SF now have our destiny in their control and I for one would like to know what political and economic model they aspire to for our Eire nua. It would be helpful if some of the contributors could research and cast some light on this subject.
    Now that’s what I would call respect for your fellow countrymen.

    • Mark June 13, 2017 at 8:03 am #

      Frankly Martin, Belfast south, it is quite unlikely Sinn Féin would have been close enough to take Belfast north but it would have been sufficiently tight to scare the beJaysus out of the DoddsUP.
      I know it was Sinn Féin rejected the ‘compromise’ offered in FST but, with good reason, given the partiality of the compromise.
      There would be no, likely, tory government propped up by the DUP backwoodsmen today had the SDLP taken the deal on offer, in the fullness of time John O Dowd could take McCusker’s old seat but, again, this will wholly require a pact, just like the other side do.

  3. Catholicus Nua June 13, 2017 at 8:34 am #

    You forgot to mention that SF handed South Belfast to the DUP.

    • Mark June 13, 2017 at 4:41 pm #

      Catholicus Nua, the it is the fact that SDLP rejected pact to maximise the voting power of the nationalist people.
      It would seem they have forgotten the cause of the recently determined war against the brit’s, and their element garrisoned here, so no, SDLP handed, as above, Belfast south to DUP, though it would still have been a close call.
      The Shinners comfortably took FST but, this Dail eachtrannach will not last more than three years, it’s time for new Catholic thinking to ensure we can revisit the Irish Republic.