Saturday, 22 October 2016

Fine Article by Ciaran Conlon

Ciaran Conlon's article in last Thursday's Irish Independent caught my attention. Published under the headline Despite it's Trump tactics, SF is likely to be big loser after Budget 2017, I will quote hereon some of the more pertinent passages:
Donal Trump has played on voters fears, insecurities and disaffections with government generally to run one of the most toxic, dishonest and dangerous political campaigns in history to bring himself and his moronic nonsense to the brink of the US presidency.
 In comparing Trump's campaign style with SF, Conlon writes
Both Trump and SF:
  • Insist that everything is going to hell, no progress is being made on anything — even though simple factual sources can disprove the thesis — and only a vote for them can save the country or fix your problems; 
  • Don't like their history being scrutinised, but still trade on a version of that history to play to target voters; 
  • Declare themselves to be passionate defenders of the 'ordinary voter' even though one was born into wealth and privilege and the others are apologists for terrorists who murdered 'ordinary' people and destroyed the communities of 'ordinary' workers; 
  • Have no interest in detailed plans or policies that can be implemented but prefer to campaign in broad brush strokes that play to existing fears and frustrations without ever thinking about the impact of their pronouncements; 
  • Would have a devastating impact on their countries if they got into government.
This is the most important aspect of the Trump/Sinn Fein approach to politics. It's combined 'bullying and bulls*****ing' style might win coverage, hoodwink a certain number of voters and put them close to real-life decision making in government. But we know it works out badly for the very voters that have been hoodwinked...
That's why the centre has to hold in Irish politics. And in a potentially good sign for those who want the centre to hold, Sinn Fein could be the big losers out of Budget 2017... 
Both larger centre parties now have an incentive to talk up — at least not to talk down — the successes of the Irish people and that means less air time and profile for Sinn Fein's constant rejection of any progress made by the Irish people...
The next election may take place in a very different environment to the last one. A degree of stability and incremental progress versus uncertainty and more Trump-style campaigning from Sinn Fein...
If the centre can hold over the coming period, an inelegant and hopefully temporary political solution may just do the country some service.

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