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
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
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
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