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The centre ground and the politics of tweedledee and Tweedledum – Gerry Adams TD

20 October, 2016 - by Gerry Adams

In his column in this week’s Andersonstown News – published today – the Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams TD dismisses the notion of ‘new politics’ in the South.

Gerry Adams rubbishes talk by the Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael leaderships of ‘centre ground’ politics as “complete nonsense.”

The Sinn Féin leader explains why the two conservative parties refused to go into government together. He writes:

“There is a genuine nationalist and republican instinct in the grassroots of Fianna Fail. They want a united Ireland. They know the Fine Gael leadership have no interest in this. Neither does its own leadership at this time but that’s another story. An alliance in government between the Blueshirts and the Soldiers of Destiny would leave sections of Fianna Fail voters looking for a new political home. A republican one. Sinn Féin?

So Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael in Government was a no go. At least at this time.”

The Sinn Féin President dismisses the notion of ‘new politics. He writes:

“Totally contrary to Fianna Fails election manifesto and mandate it puts Fine Gael in power with the support and blessing of Fianna Fáil.

“The Fianna Fail leader described this as ‘new politics’. It is nothing of the sort. It’s all about sustaining the status quo. Liam Mellows put it well during the Treaty debate in 1922, when he spelt out the consequences of partition and said: “men will get into positions, men will hold power and men who get into positions and hold power will desire to remain undisturbed.”

Gerry Adams writes that Budget 2017 also marks “another step in the slow, incremental realignment of politics in the South. The common interests of the Fine Gael and Fianna Fail leaderships crystallised more clearly than ever before. So much so that Fianna Fail never published an alternative budget of its own.

“Instead they and Fine Gael have also been very busy espousing the importance of so-called ‘centre ground’ politics… What does all of this mean? At one level it is about using fear -trying to frighten sections of the electorate into supporting Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil. At another level it's complete nonsense… At the same time the Fianna Fáil leader is verbally embracing Sinn Féin’s progressive policies. Fairness is the new buzz word.

“But Budget 2017 is not about fairness and equality. Nor can its politics end the crises in health and housing; or deliver tax fairness; or end water charges. On the contrary Budget 2017 represents the same old doublespeak and political manoeuvring of the past. There is no new politics just new language for an old story.”

Concluding Gerry Adams writes: “At a time when the shortcomings of partition are so obvious the partitionism of the Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael leaderships – the status quo and its maintenance – vindicate Mellows prophetic warning.”

Deputy Adams' article is available at

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