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Sinn Fein: smoke and mirrors

According to the Red C opinion poll in the 'Sunday Business Post', Sinn Fein now ranks as the second party in the State, with only Fine Gael ahead.

It has doubled its support since last year's general election.

The reasons for the party's gains are not hard to find.

On the Dail opposition benches, it occupies a position of exceptional comfort. It is surrounded by eccentric left-wingers and independents who offer little in the way of an electoral threat, and leads the field in its heated attacks on an unpopular government.

Many voters are desperate for an alternative to the ruling parties and to a Fianna Fail Party which has barely begun to devise a survival strategy.

They would be wise to look for the substance behind the image.

Sinn Fein's policies, activities and thinking all reflect its core characteristics: cynicism, hypocrisy and economic ignorance on a breathtaking scale.

Elsewhere in this newspaper today, readers can find many examples, especially of hypocrisy.

It is typical of a party which denounces spending cuts in the Republic while its own ministers implement cuts in the North.

But the most insidious threat is in the falsehoods which it has peddled in the referendum campaign. Rejection of the fiscal pact would mean bankruptcy and instability on a barely imaginable scale. One wonders if that is Sinn Fein's real objective.