Here’s an interesting question to put to Martin McGuinness, one that has nothing to do with his IRA associations. I have read him saying that on the day Sinn Fein nominated him as the party’s candidate for the Aras, he was actually inside the Wall Street stock exchange alongside Peter Robinson discussing job promotion for NI with the exchange’s executives. It appears to have been his way of countering the insinuation that his violent IRA background would make him unfit to hold such a high office as the Irish presidency.
Not long after that hundreds and then thousands of demonstrators took to nearby streets in “Occupy Wall Street” protests against Wall Street’s corruption, greed and stranglehold over US politics. It is the first manifestation of public anger in this country at Wall Street’s ability to escape punishment for their wild, unchecked financial excesses which plunged the US and European economies into such a deep recession, impoverishing millions of innocent people.
As far as I know Martin McGuinness has not said a word about the OWS protests, although I stand ready to be corrected. But one of Sinn Fein’s staunchest allies in the US, Republican Congressman Peter King of Long Island has, and this weekend joined the growing right-wing chorus of condemnation cum mockery of the Wall Street protesters. Speaking on a radio show hosted by Laura Ingraham, a favoured megaphone of the American Conservative movement, King had this to say: “It’s really important for us not to give any legitimacy to these people in the streets. I remember what happened in the 1960s when the left-wing took to the streets and somehow the media glorified them and it ended up shaping policy. We can’t allow that to happen.” You can hear more of that interview below.
Earlier this year, in an exercise designed to pander to anti-Muslim sentiment in this country, King hosted a series of Congressional hearings about the so-called radicalisation of American Muslims. The hearings were widely condemned by liberal opinion as inflammatory and racist and also highly selective, since he did not include in his investigation other home-grown extremists, like the more numerous, well armed and manifestly violent White supremacist and other hate groups in this country. Since King was the most prominent Sinn Fein supporter in America, the party was asked for its reaction to his hearings and as far as I know said nothing.
John Kennedy’s cartoon captures Peter King’s mendacity pretty well:
Once again it would be beneficial to hear Sinn Fein’s attitude to Peter King’s views, this time on the need for the media to suppress coverage of the OWS protests. After all Sinn Fein presents itself to the Irish voter as the friend of all those who were victims of the Irish banks’ casino capitalism and has vowed to defend their interests and punish those responsible for impoverishing so many Irish people. And here is their biggest fan in America calling for people with those exact same views in the US to be gagged. So what does Sinn Fein, and particularly Martin McGuinness think of the OWS protests? Are they, is he on the side of the protesters or on the side of Peter King & the Wall Street executives with whom the SF candidate for the Park was recently closeted? T’would be interesting to know.