Sinn Fein’s Pro-Austerity Record In North Belies Left-Wing Image in South

The analysis below, published by a Washington DC-based think tank, of Sinn Fein’s governmental record on economic and social policies North of the Border, sharply conflicts with the left-wing, progressive image of SF embraced by swathes of the British and Irish media, as well as many European leftists, in the wake of the recent Southern general election.

It chimes with an assessment of Sinn Fein that I arrived at a long time ago through many years reporting on the party, which is that this is an organisation with no real fixed socioeconomic ideology, is defined overwhelmingly by a drive to obtain power, and is ready to adopt whatever policies and political stance necessary to achieve and preserve power.

For Sinn Fein, political ideology is like a set of clothes which can be changed according to the weather or the occasion.

This means in practice that Sinn Fein has no difficulty implementing neoliberal economic policies in the North, while at the same presenting themselves as radical leftists in the South:

Before Celebrating Sinn Féin Election Surge, Consider Their Pro-Austerity Record in the North of Ireland

5 responses to “Sinn Fein’s Pro-Austerity Record In North Belies Left-Wing Image in South

  1. It will be interesting to see how SF come out of the soon to published Renewable Heat Incentive. The Department of Agriculture ran 58 work shops to promote this deeply flawed scheme. The Minister in charge of the DoA at the time? A certain Michelle O’Neill.

  2. it doesn’t matter, Johnson’s govt is going to drop NI onto the Irish Republic & EU during the final phase of our EU trade talks, for those of us who are conservative & unionist members, it’s a bitter pill to swallow, but i recognised early on that his request for a canada style deal meant covering the UK mainland only, we have been assured that those who do not wish to live in a UI & are british passport holders amongst the NI community will be offered the chance to come to the UK, that will be somewhere in the range of 1 – 1.1m people, i assume that those from the ROI will be making the journey back in the opposite direction

  3. Today’s report in the Belfast Telegraph on the latest ESRC study makes for interesting reading. Apart from their dysfunctional economic policies cut and pasted from Venezuela they have a long record of telling everybody how they need to reform. They are little better than a protest party who is running out of things to protest about and are now left with only a border poll to fire off as a distraction to the emptiness of their policies. I am discounting the ridiculous promises they have made to fix health and housing here in the South as it is somewhat detached from reality unless you want to adopt ultra left interventions and tank the economy. Paul’s point may have some validity but as the UK and Ireland are tied to an international treaty advancing unification without an indication of acceptance would be difficult to circumvent. As a northerner now resident in the south I don’t get an overwhelming desire by my neighbours to take on the north before a greater degree of stability is achieved. This is where SF is not a viable player as they have little to show in the way of achievements and are reducing themselves to a one trick pony. Their grievances in the north have to date been resolved mainly by public servants and not politicians – they are still at the kindergarten Assembly learning how to govern in an equal society.

  4. Paul Mead, if you think this, or another Westminster government for that matter, will offer Unionists some sort of ‘Right To Return’ package to Britain under whatever deal is finalised with the EU, you are sadly mistaken. I now understand why those barristers who occupy the hierarchy of the DUP gave up the practice: they must have been crap at it. If they couldn’t see that their propping up of a very slim majority in Westminster would end very badly for them once a healthy working majority was restored then God help anyone who would need to depend on them in court. This coupled with the fact that they then voted against the government they took £1 Billion from for those votes only means zero favours from any deal between the EU and Boris.

  5. I remain quite open minded about the question I’m about to pose, and it’s perhaps underpinned by a flawed analysis, which I am again open about.

    I’ve always thought that HMG would cheerfully give NI up, so long as their decision was not made against a background of republican violence. I have similarly also thought that the Eire government, frankly, didn’t want the North, and all the problems that it could bring.

    Is the main significance of SF’s electoral result that now we have an Eire political establishment that *does* want the North and an HMG that wants to hand it over?

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