The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent
Sleeping With the Enemy
Kathleen O Halloran • 17. 10. 03

Da and Cal were having a wee yarn down in the Opera house the other night. Da was in a fix, he had been thrown out of the movement for feeling Bairbre de Brun's ass. Due to this transgression DA could not go to his favourite local the Armalite and the Ballot Box. It seems that Bairbre's ass was the catalyst for all poor Da's troubles.

Speaking of her ass, it has been well and truly booted out of the legislative assembly. Bairbre has now been selected as Sinn Fein's candidate to run for membership of the European Parliament. Poor Francie Molloy he was hard done by, for it appears to me that Bairbre was selected simply by virtue of her sex. It certainly was not because of the excellent job she did as minister for Health. If Bairbre gets in that makes two women from the Republic in the European Parliament for Sinn Fein.

Now that Bairbre has gone, Sinn Fein have set their sights on Catriona Ruaine as their next female party member. Catriona, who has been a member of Sinn Fein for a few weeks has a profile because of her involvement in the Columbia Three campaign. According to the Sinn Fein think tank, Eddie McGrady is not to run in this election so he can be replaced by Catriona!

Now Sinn Fein has been in politics a while and someone among them somewhere must have heard of a thing called traditional voting behaviour. For example, in many working class areas of Britain, it was traditional to vote Conservative because many working class people thought of the Conservatives as an establishment party and thus were more fit to rule. This is the basis of Labour and Conservative strongholds. In Scotland, traditionally Labour and the SNP are voted for with the Conservatives hardly gaining a footing. It is not too often that the voters buck this trend and when they do it is usually a wake up call for a particular party.

It is much the same here in N. Ireland. Most voters will know their candidate because usually he is from their area. That has been a huge factor in the electoral success of Sinn Fein. For example Gerry Adams came from W. Belfast; people knew him and voted for him. Similarly, Joe Hendron. Although not from the area he has worked in and is well known in this area for a long time.

Sinn Fein has only bucked this trend of voting behaviour twice. First with Bobby Sands during the hunger strike and secondly with Martin McGuinness, a Derry man voted in as M.P. for Mid-Ulster. Sinn Fein bucked this trend in McGuinness' case because he had a profile and in the case of Bobby Sands because of the emotive issues involved. This is not the case for Catriona. McGuinness' profile and that of Catriona are different.

Perhaps I am wrong but from what I have read, I understand that most (male) Sinn Fein candidates (with the exception of Mitchel McLaughlin), earned their stripes during this last thirty years. Why is it not so for the women? Certainly, Bairbre and Catriona could not be classed as disciples of Constance Gore Booth. Haven't women been supportive of the campaign over the last thirty years? Did they not carry weapons, do time, run H block committees and generally roll up their sleeves and do what had to be done? Where are the Marian Prices and Geraldine Taylors among the Sinn Fein elite? They are not there. That is because it is easy for Gerry and his male Shinners to get in to bed with Britain. Northern Irish women are much more particular about their bedfellows.









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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



All censorships exist to prevent any one from challenging current conceptions and existing institutions. All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequently the first condition of progress is the removal of censorships.
- George Bernard Shaw

Index: Current Articles

18 October 2003


Other Articles From This Issue:


Hold Onto Your Guns
Liam O Comain


Loyalist Violence
Newton Emerson


Sleeping With the Enemy
Kathleen O Halloran


Whatever Happened to the Anti War Movement?
Brendan O'Neill


Free Joe & Clare
Davy Carlin


Theodor Adorno
Liam O Ruairc


The Desaparecidos
Anthony McIntyre


The Letters Page has been updated.


12 October 2003


Tribalism is little more than the lowest common denominator
Thomas Gore


Separation vs. Segregation
Eamon Sweeney


The Legitimacy of Our Struggle
Liam O Comain


Not Losing His Way
Anthony McIntyre


A Hero of Reknown
Kathleen O Halloran


West Belfast - Childhood and the Wars
Davy Carlin


Abduction of Republican
32 County Sovereignty Committee


RSF attend Sardinian Conference
Des Dalton




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