Sinn Fein was a party that I once had a massive amount of respect for. It was a party that developed itself into an electoral machine and also played its part in developing one of the best revolutionary organisations in modern history. Unfortunately in recent years Sinn Fein has become more central in regards to its ideological outlook and has become solely interested in electoralism. This new found constitutional nationalism and the previous experience of the movement has helped develop Sinn Fein into a mighty electoral machine, opening the door for opportunists, careerists, businessmen and the middle classes. Sinn Fein now plays its part in the vicious cycle of republicanism and constitutionalism that has seen the rise and fall of Fine Gael in the 20s, Fianna Fail in the 30s and now Sinn Fein in the present. Ultimately Sinn Fein is doomed to be consumed by the status quo and as the old guard die out their once revolutionary spirit will fade away to a distant memory as they are replaced by the yuppies and the trendy baby Shinners.
Now I don’t really like criticising Sinn Fein for the sake of it as I don’t want to be seen as another Sinn Fein basher but recently I have become very critical of their actions in their pursuit for electoral success. I have also stated before that I give credit when it is due but recently all I have seen from Sinn Fein is hypocrisy.
As the British Westminster elections draw near Sinn Fein are pulling out all the stops in West Belfast. The area is a stronghold for them but with the unexpected success of Gerry Carroll in the council election last year and his active campaigning team in this election it is clear that Sinn Fein are worried. As a result they have plastered West Belfast in green, hundreds of Sinn Fein and Paul Maskey posters, giant billboards and they have even let the baby Shinners within Sinn Fein Republican Youth loose.
We all know the baby Shinners. We see them marching as toy soldiers at Easter, on social media spouting an Ireland of Equals but demonising any dissenter, campaigning against Tory cuts while their own party leadership facilitates those very cuts via the Stormont Agreement and they protest in Solidarity with Basque political prisoners while ignoring the fact that Republican political prisoners lie in a British Gaol less than 30 miles away! We all know who these baby Shinners are and what they are good for.
With paint brush in hand the baby Shinners are dispatched to paint slogans on walls and spread rumours. They rip down the oppositions posters and destroy their electoral property. They are let loose on social media to spread lies and to try and belittle their political opponents. From this I no longer see a revolutionary organisation but a group of baby opportunists and careerists involved in machoism and acts that are reminiscent of fascism and no doubt these kids will be the future leadership of Sinn Fein in Belfast.
It might be understandable if these kids were protecting the revolution or advancing the cause but they are ensuring any opposition does not stand a chance. There is no doubt that Sinn Fein is a massive organisation with huge amounts of resources and a mighty electoral machine but why does it fear a small party and feel the need to throw everything it has at that small party and pull out all the dirty stops and tricks? Do they think that their stronghold is on the verge of collapse?
This is all in the defence of Paul Maskey. Paul spouts left wing politics now and again but he is nothing but an opportunist and careerist. I don’t know a left wing radical that would scab on his fellow workers like Paul Maskey did in a local Belfast firm several years ago.
I look forward to the baby Shinners attacking me in defence of their glorious leadership but I hope that they will stop their silly, childish actions and fight a fair fight. One day they might see some sense but it is probably more likely they will end up in nice cosy jobs courtesy of the ‘Republican Movement’.