HAS Micheál Martin fallen victim to a compulsive mania regarding the future of his party? Has he lost the plot?
Because, as matters stand, two words seem to trigger a wild excitement in his political reasoning, although there’s no doubt the words would chill the blood of any normal Fianna Fáil supporter, never mind a wannabe Taoiseach. They are – and we recommend the faint hearted to avert their gaze – Sinn Féin!
These two units of speech, as far as Mr Martin is concerned, are not simple utterances that relate to a normal political party. Oh no! They are words synonymous with the demonical ruin, destruction, misfortune, and calamity that surely will follow in the event of Mr Adams’ pals getting a sniff of power in the 26 Counties.
Of course, with Sinn Féin no better than a collection of ghoulish sorcerers under the influence of the Devil, Mr Martin makes every effort to nip in the bud any possible discussion on a coalition between ‘that party’ and gullible FF politicos.
What’s more, for as long as Mr Martin remains in the post of Witch-finder General, his party never will have anything to do with SF wizards and warlocks who might tempt decent Soldiers of Destiny to enter into an unholy course of joint action!
Indeed, Mr Martin already has given fair warning that Ireland will never see a Fianna Fáil-Sinn Féin alliance, combination or union.
His fine, upstanding Soldiers of Destiny are much too well-bred, clean-living and virtuous to rub shoulders with those Sinn Féin gutty-boys even if, in another era, Fianna Fail’s predecessors initiated a blood-drenched and horrific Civil War.
After all, according to the Indo/Sindo (that remarkable bastion of fair comment), Sinn Féin includes in its ranks child molesters, wife beaters, narcos, a subdivision of the mafia and a horde of partially-retired bombers and gunmen.
Mr Martin recently used the commemoration of De Valera’s election to the House of Commons to get such a point across. He attacked the Republicans for using the title ‘Sinn Féin,’ particularly since the moniker rightly belonged to the De Valera party and that he, Mr Martin, who assumed the mantle of the Long Fellow, would never ‘do business’ with a bogus outfit.
The point was reinforced in a recent speech at the ‘Fianna Fáil President’s Dinner’ in Dublin where Mr Martin exhorted the troops to continue ‘renewing and strengthening connections’ (but not with SF) and rejecting ‘the exploitation of fear and division.’
As well, he condemned Mr Varadkar’s ‘Strategic Communications Unit,’ a scheme designed to sell ‘positive messages about the government’ and Fine Gael’s approach to the housing crisis. After that, Mr Martin got really cross: he attacked the bounders in Sinn Féin.
And here’s a good one! The total number of words in Mr Martin’s spiff was 2,212; the section censuring Sinn Féin amounted to 935 words, which led to much scratching of heads among the plain people of Ireland. How come, they asked, that Mr Martin allocated almost 50 per cent of a lifetime’s accumulated political wisdom to a speech that was nothing more than an old-fashioned street-corner harangue directed at Sinn Féin, a minority party in the Dáil?
A possible explanation is that Mr Martin is very apprehensive of the impact the Republicans are having on Fianna Fáil. Also scaring the pants off him is Sinn Féin’s Árd Fheis dispensation that enables the party to form a Coalition government with Fianna Fáil, or anyone else.
See the logic
Now, there are plenty of F&Fers who see the logic in such a coalition, particularly among those who resent their current status as an ignominious mudguard for the Blueshirts. Already, several Fianna Fáil heavy-hitters have put their heads above the parapet in support of a possible SF coalition deal.
Courtesy of info from The Irish Times, they include Carlow-Kilkenny TD John McGuinness who said, ‘We should talk to everyone’; Cork East TD Kevin O’Keefe who would ‘be keeping all options open due to the need to form a government’; Cork North West TD Aindrias Moynihan who wouldn’t ‘pre-empt’ the results of the next government; Bobby Aylward, ‘You never say never to anything’; Kerry TD John Brassil; Tipperary TD Jackie Cahill; Roscommon TD Eugene Murphy and James Lawless of Kildare (Needless to say, Willie O’Dea is dead nuts against!).
Which makes us think that Mr Martin’s so called iron-rod party discipline, and his warnings about having no truck with Sinn Féin, are not what they’re cracked up to be.
Of course, it can’t be pleasant to see the ease with which Sinn Féin stuffs the merit of a FF-SF coalition down the throats of befuddled Soldiers of Destiny, even if the intention is nothing more than to sow dissent. Or, that Gerry Adams ridicules the FF leader with sharp comments about an electoral challenge.
Mr Adams says Mr Martin is putting the ‘narrow self-interests of his leadership ahead of the country.’ That hits home.
As does the whimsical advice that the time has come for Fianna Fáil to put aside issues of ego, and to do the decent: amalgamate with Fine Gael. That would be an entirely ‘logical’ development for two conservative parties who are ‘natural bed-follows with similar policies,’ observed Mr Adams with a large grin.
Bit of a joke
Of course, Mr Adams can afford to be ironically humorous. In the North, his party is on a roll. Last March in the Northern Assembly election, the DUP’s lead over Sinn Féin was slashed to a solitary seat. A fractured Unionism saw Sinn Fein securing 27 seats to the DUP’s 28 and, in the Westminster elections, Sinn Féin increased its representation to seven.
The SDLP lost all its seats in London, throwing a question mark over the future of that party while the Ulster Unionist Party also was wiped out. Neither the SDLP nor the UUP, the parties of Hume and Trimble and both central to the Good Friday Agreement, now feature on the political map.
The political earthquake that caused their disappearance prompted Mr Adams to comment that, for the first time, unionists had secured less than half of the electorate’s support, and that a referendum on Irish unity was now inevitable. FF would be dumb not to take that on board.
Perhaps Mr Martin thinks that the rise of Sinn Féin is a joke, similar to the side-splitting ‘wisecrack’ on page 13 of this year’s Fianna Fáil’s Árd Fheis pamphlet which said: ‘This is the first Ard Fheis since Fianna Fáil won the 2016 General Election.
We may not have finished with the most seats, but our gains far exceeded those of any other party.’
Oh, how they laughed, those FF wags! And we did too when the penny dropped that it is not only Mr Martin who is politically bonkers. It’s his entire party!