Contrary to what a few partisan people seem to think, I don’t hate anyone in our political system, there’s good and bad in each person and party. Anytime I write about the SDLP, particularly their nepotism and use of public monies, I come under a barrage of criticism from certain quarters therein. Naturally, a backlash is to be expected from those within my literary sights, who don’t like public scrutiny. But one such person, Mr Seamas de Faoite, had the courteous good humour to state publicly on Twitter some while ago that both Jude and I “have issues”, over consistently exposing the SDLP for what they are (glossing over our entire referenced evidence-base to suit himself, of course).
Now, it would be very easy to get petty with Mr de Faoite, very easy indeed, but that’s not what I’m about. He may resort to keyboard jibes, but I’ll stick to political wit. For one look at Mr de Faoite’s “DNC”-style Twitter would make you think that this guy believes he is running for the US Congress as a “lame-stream”, Clinton-ite, free market-oriented Democrat; instead of having stood as a candidate in a Northern election for a highly deprived area of Belfast. This is someone who personifies the quintessential Redmondite tradition, less the political support (MP’s) of course; believing that electing him just might change the course of British and Irish political history by altering Brexit in a titanic duel of fate with the Tories. This is someone who claims to be “progressive” and pro-LGBT rights, while being a seething vanguard for a party which has one of the worst records on equality (especially the same-sex marriage issue) on this island (with some of their MLAs, like Alban Magennis, and Councillors, like Patrick Convery, opposing it routinely)
I expect to see him with Doc’ Brown soon given that this is someone in a party, in 2017, who loves to reminisce about the electoral results of the SDLP in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. This is someone in a party which tweets about Elisha McCallion (who is on an average industrial wage) and her writing a status about the non-perks of a small-hotel room in London, while forgetting the gross largesse claimed by people like their disgraced former colleague Conall McDevitt (and for his own wife’s firm at that). Yet it’s Jude and I who “have issues”?
This is someone who apparently fancies himself as part of the EU “Aristocracy” of “Social Democracy”, minus the actual social democracy (when most other “Party of European Socialists” groupings accepted Thatcherite monetarism long ago), and devoid of a single MEP seat on the island. Forgetting, in his hubris, that we have not struggled to overthrow the divine right of Kings simply to replace them with European Commissars he so adores. A person who idolises immense “champions” of equality, human need and collective solidarity – like Monsieur Emmanuel Macron and the multi-millionaire Democrats in America. Someone who was dying to get elected to a British Parliament but who, as an Irishman, wouldn’t dare stand for the SDLP to the Irish Parliament. Someone in a ‘’centre-left’’, ‘’Nationalist’’ party relying on the electoral benevolence of explicitly right-wing, Afrikaner-like Unionists. Yet Jude and I “have issues”?
When I see political-wannabes like Mr de Faoite trying to throw around lame-duck personal insults I really have to chuckle, because I never thought I was doing so well. But I’ll make Seamas and the SDLP an offer and they can consider it in full: You stop espousing bile about others and I’ll stop telling the truth about you? For if Colum Eastwood is serious about analysing what has gone wrong with the SDLP, and all its many “issues”, then in my considered opinion he really ought to magnify Mr de Faoite’s Twitter feed, with all his “delightful” sentiments on other human beings, and see why people feel the way they do about his moribund party. In all Seamas’ evident “wisdom”, you would think he would apply the same such scrutiny to himself and his own party as he does to others. Maybe then, with that kind of ‘obsessive’ 24/7 criticism, they wouldn’t be in the chaotic state they find themselves permanently and neurotically confined to.
Individually and politically, I really genuinely hope that de Faoite arrives at his apparent “Hickory Hill” ambitions and triumphs to lead the SDLP someday; for it will floor the accelerator-to-destruction within the SDLP faster than any of the other ‘’pin-stripe Bishops in suits’’ thus far; bluntly epitomising the old adage of loading “Diesel into an ageing Petrol Car”. The message people have sent to him and the rest of his weak and dying organisation is this – If you are not prepared to represent and govern the Six Counties like any other part of the Irish Nation, then let the Nationalist people do the job for themselves.