Wednesday 18 September 2019

'The party of dialogue?' Adams tries to take us all for fools again with Boris-style rant

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams. Photo: Tom Burke
Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams. Photo: Tom Burke

Niall O'Connor

Although the date for the next general election has yet to be decided, Sinn Féin is the first party out of the traps in issuing its opening pitch for support.

In the typical style of Boris Johnson, who is known himself to enjoy an expensive bottle of wine, Gerry Adams yesterday set out his stall in the form of a lengthy essay published on his personal blog.

Entitled 'Serpents Tales of Forked Tongued Politics', Mr Adams cited Fianna Fáil and two of the North's unionist parties as using animal euphemisms to describe Sinn Féin.

The DUP, Mr Adams explained, likened his party to alligators.

It didn't though.

Party leader Arlene Foster described Sinn Féin as "crocodiles" during the assembly elections - but Mr Adams, to be fair, isn't a stickler for detail.

The Sinn Féin president then turns his attention to Fianna Fáil after the party's Meath West TD Shane Cassells opted for the term "serpents" at last week's ard fheis when ruling out the prospect of a FF/SF coalition.

"Last Friday evening one Fianna Fáil TD, who was arguing against any future coalition arrangement with Sinn Féin, tried to go one better by telling an enraptured FF audience 'you don't deal with the serpent by inviting it into your bed'," Mr Adams wrote.

Most good essays have a beginning, a middle and an end.

And indeed, Mr Adams's own political manifesto gets down to business early.

He insists that the myriad of serpent-type attacks on him and his colleagues in recent weeks is because they are viewed as a political threat.

"Micheál Martin, looking over his shoulder at the increasing electoral strength of Sinn Féin, north and south, is desperate to stymie the growth of Sinn Féin," the Louth TD said.

"We are an electoral threat to the status quo. That cannot be tolerated. In the search for wayward Fine Gael votes Teachta Martin cannot be seen to be soft on the Shinners. Heaven forbid."

Without a doubt, it's been a bad week for the leader of the Sinn Féin movement.

Leaving aside his gaffe surrounding the €30 bottle of wine, he has faced accusations from Dublin that he in particular is responsible for blocking efforts from his Northern 'leader' Michelle O'Neill to strike a deal with the DUP that would finally give the people of the North a government.

It's an allegation he denies - but Dublin insists Mr Adams would prefer direct rule from London than getting back into bed with Mrs Foster and co.

But there are two more false and equally extraordinary assertions made by Mr Adams in his 1,300-word dissertation.

Firstly, he claims that it was Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael who refused to enter into meaningful engagements with his party after the last election.

Sinn Féin was in fact the first mainstream party to step off the field in a clear attempt to force its two major rivals to form a grand coalition. It was a move that nearly worked too.

Secondly, Mr Adams writes that "we are the party of and for dialogue".

Perhaps he is giving away early what the slogan will be on the Sinn Féin posters and leaflets during the election campaign. "The party of dialogue".

With the rights for "An Ireland for All" and "A Republic of Opportunity" already bought out, Mr Adams might be running out of ideas.

Try get that slogan to wash with the many men and women within Sinn Féin who attempted to speak up about a culture of bullying, misogny and intimidation - and yet there was apparently nobody prepared to listen.

Or run it by the likes of IRA rape victim Máiría Cahill, who was dismissed and ridiculed by some within Sinn Féin when she made her allegations known.

Nobody expects Sinn Féin to be perfect, Mr Adams.

But people do expect not to be taken for complete and utter fools.

Irish Independent

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