Jude Collins

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

VO Double-Whammy Shock-Horror!

I nearly did my hip this morning. Fell off the chair when I read two side-by-side articles in the VO, both of which – can you believe it? – said negative things about Sinn Féin!   I was dizzy for at least ten minutes.

One of the articles focused on the recently-installed Sinn Féin Mayor of Belfast, who apparently has brought a copy of the 1916 Proclamation into the Mayor’s parlour, removing some lesser royal portraits while leaving one of QE2 in situ. He did this, we’re told, to show “those hard-line republicans from the Short Strand who helped elect him that he was still one of them”. Parity of esteem my arse.

The other article was Brian Feeney getting stuck into Sinn Féin in West Belfast. “Sinn Féin owns West Belfast”  Feeney explains. Me, I like to think those we elect represent us rather than own us, but I see what he’s getting at. Sinn Féin are the most popular party in West Belfast; West Belfast suffers from unemployment and poverty; ergo, Sinn Féin is sitting on its um, hands and  failing West Belfast.  It’s what they call the  ‘Post hoc ergo propter hoc’ argument – because one event follows or coincides with another, there must be a causal relationship between them.

So is there?  Has Sinn Féin let down West Belfast?  Well, that depends on what power an MP or an MLA or a councillor has. I think I remember some commentator – who was it , now? – telling us our Assembly was only a glorified county council. Not much clout can be expected from council or Stormont quarters, then.  Which leaves us with Westminster. Sinn Féin has held the Westminster seat – first Gerry Adams, now Paul Maskey - since God was a boy, so why haven’t they resolved the poverty/unemployment that does indeed plague that constituency?

I don’t know.  Maybe an MP can’t - maybe the causes of the poverty are beyond the control of any elected representative from the area. Feeney doesn’t appear to believe that. And it's certainly true that a lot of jobs were brought to West Belfast by the De Lorean company and to the north-west by Fruit of the Loom, and most people at the time credited John Hume with bringing both companies. Alas,  their glorious beginnings  ended in sad redundancies.  And in my uninformed way, when I hear the echoechecho of the near-empty Westminster chamber as yet another north of Ireland issue is being discussed, I  get an uneasy feeling that maybe Irish MPs who dutifully push in there pack all the wallop of a eunuch in a harem.

But I could be wrong.  Perfectly possible. My hip hurts and I still feel a bit dizzy, I know that.


  1. Jude

    The IN is in danger of turning into an Irish version of the Daily Mail or Express. It journalists and columists no longer have their finger on the pulse of the nationalist/republican community.Also journalism by FOI requests is just lazy-I could find out how much civil servants flights cost if I could be arsed sending a request to the relevant department.

  2. Sam
    I think it's worse than that... the IT is actually hostile to Nationlism/Republicanism... It was originally a Unionist rag and it remains a Unionist rag...I wouldn't wipe my **** with it...
    It should be renamed the Tabloid Times...still what do you expect when they recruit tabloid hacks...?

  3. I don't buy the Irish News any longer because it is increasingly becoming more like a tabloid rag as well as its rabid anti-SF agenda.
    I always knew it was pro-SDLP but in recent times it seems to be pro anything that is anti-SF.
    If I wanted that type of newspaper I'd buy the Sun at half the price.

  4. Managing to miss the fact your present employer printed an identical criticism of Sinn Fein several years back.

  5. Jude,you really must learn not to be so sensitive when an article critical of your party is published by a columnist who is more anti S D L P than Sinn Fein. As I recall a broadly similar article was published in the A/town News some years ago and was subsequently retracted.Shades of Stalinism!The Irish News reflects a broad range of views and surely its popularity is reflected in the increasing readership.By the way what happened the good ship "Daily Ireland" which would have reflected a republican view of the world.Readers must have deserted the sinking ship despite your erudite column!Im disappointed that you couldnt resist taking a sideswipe at John Hume.At least the man tried to bring jobs when some others were bombing and shooting.For once Dr Feeney got it spot on and the beauty is that the Irish News will not be forced to retract.Its called a free press.

  6. Oh dear...Looks like satire is a foreign country in NIreland...Small place for small minds...present company excepted...bien sur..whoops there I go agayen must be cawtching so it must