Sinn Féin and the border

So tell me this. Do you think Mary Lou McDonald was for real when she said she foresaw a border poll within this decade (presumably by 2030)? Or is it as Newton Emerson , the Irish Times’s own limp and official unionist columnist claims, that Sinn Féin are steering clear of the border and emphasising housing in the south and  getting the Executive back in the north?

There are grounds for arguing it either way. You could say SF is concentrating on bread-and-butter stuff – housing, health, getting Stormont up (and running). That’s what they have been emphasising, but post hoc ergo propter hoc  – because one thing precedes another, it doesn’t mean the first caused the second – the rooster crows and the sun comes up, but it wasn’t the rooster’s crowing made it come up. ….Where was I? Oh right – Sinn Féin is indeed concentrating on social issues right now.  The party is flourishing which may be because they’ve kept border-poll on mute.

Or maybe not. If SF is successful in getting the South’s housing crisis resolved, if in the North Michelle O’Neill somehow manages to improve health service , the party is likely to turn its attention to a border poll, with the implicit message “Look how well we’re governing north and south. Get rid of the border and you’ll not only have delivered on a centuries-old ambition,  you’ll have provided for a more secure economic future within the EU”.

Few things might delight the likes of Emerson more than the Shinners welching on the border poll thing, but  I’m guessing that the party won’t abandon their entire raison d’etre.

The truth is, anti-Shinner commentators are wild to find any stick or stone with which to wound the biggest party in Ireland. An ideally. lethal  stick/stone  would be to devise a ‘We Sold Out’ sign and hang it round the Shinners’ neck. Which may indeed be a lovely unionist wet dream but an unlikely real-world event.



2 Responses to Sinn Féin and the border

  1. Jack Britton May 26, 2023 at 5:10 pm #

    Tá tú ag labhairt na fírinne!!

  2. James Hunter May 26, 2023 at 6:13 pm #

    Very good Jude