can hardly have passed unnoticed to regular Sinn
Fein watchers the backdrop for the Adams/McGuinness
press conference following their audience with the
P.M. at Chequers. Sinn Fein publicity and propaganda
guru Richard McAuley would have reasonably expected
the stately home pile to be his backdrop as was
Leeds Castle, Downing Street, Stormont, the White
House, and all the rest of the prestigious venues
to which Sinn Fein have access.
the last couple of years it is no exaggeration to
say the most minor of statements have sent the Sinn
Fein leadership scurrying off to the steps and confines
of the favourite marble halls of Stormont in the
belief that it creates an added air of sombre authority
to their profound observations on the peace process
and any other banal topic Richard deems could enhance
the party's political prospects.
the heady days of prestigious backdrops with those
of last week when the Sinn Fein leadership gave
their post "we're up for a row" press
conference in a Buckinghamshire country lane with
a five barred gate as a backdrop. It struck me that
in the choice of hedges and ditches the astute Richard
was seeking to invoke the nostalgia for the old
days when the Provisional movement were fighting
for the fourth green field.
have changed; 20 years ago the presence of the Provisional
leadership on a lane outside Chequers would have
invoked the same response as a sighting of Osama
in the grounds of the Whitehouse on the 4th of July.
The windswept leadership, uncomfortable out of their
milieu looked bemused by the wide open countryside.
Ms Ruane, currently enjoying the 'joined at the
hip' status for publicity purposes a privilege
bestowed on anointed candidates for public office,
was conspicuous by her absence, hardly a surprise
to the constituents of S.Down. Questions about the
Northern Bank were as welcome as Ozzy Osbourne at
a Paisley prayer meeting. Weary journalists were
regaled with usual bullshit delivered in language
designed to put a listening device to sleep.
no one be in any doubt about the Sinn Fein meeting
at Chequers, what was at stake was an invitation
to the St Patrick's Day party in the White House.
Another interesting feature to watchers of Sinn
Fein press conferences are 'who does what' for the
cameras. Good news and no news, Gerry and Martin;
gravely bad/difficult news, Mitchel and Alex does
bollocks. On this day there was no news, what odds
would Sean Graham give on the invitation?