This is not the case I know myself that debate in encouraged within the confines of the party. I have taken part in debates on policy with other party emembers and we often disagree on certain issues. But, as Francie himself knows, there is a tradition that debate and dissent should be welcomed but left behind closed doors. Unfortunately Francie neglected to respect this tradition this time.Now Damian Blake on his blog disagreed with some of his party (Fianna Fail) policies and at time of writing he has not been suspended or to my knowledge threatened with suspension. It really does make you wonder. Also Ms Ferris saying she was “not authorised” to comment on Garda Gerry McCabe also makes you wonder are Sinn Fein politicians allowed to comment on anything that hasn’t got prior approval from head office. Is the Ard Feis of any use. Considering they have a policy of “behind closed doors” are they really going to debate much during the Ard Feis in front of the media. Is the only likely true debate going to be drive by arguments
Irishman: I say, Jimmy, isn't that Paddy O’. Neill, the young upstart chap who's been touting the merits of a united free Congo (motion 84) ?But maybe I am doing a disservice to the party members. Maybe they allow debate and Ms Ferris was wrong and Francie Molloy was a case of mistaken identity. Maybe the debate about the future is just that a debate about the Good Friday Agreement and not a ploy to make it seem that Sinn Fein is teetering on the edge of a spilt. In an attempt to make the two governments from fear of a Sinn Fein split act to avert the spilt by pushing Paisley to dance to their tune. Some of the motions are interesting like the one calling for British Ministers to have no role in decision making and then condemn the British for under funding the North. Others like calling for theJimmy: Why begar, tis. Irishman: Oh, let's get him. [They drive up.] Irishman: Oh Paddy... I disagree. [drives off]
“Dublin and London governments to ensure that all loyalist paramilitary groupings follow the example of Oglaigh na hEireann and put arms beyond use forthwith”Last time I checked Oglaigh na hEireann had all its arms. In fact they had joined new EU battle groups. Yet Sinn Fein (while ignoreing that the other Republican paramilitary’s have all their weapons) showed that this party that wishes to be in government does not recognise the Irish Army. As Oglaigh na hEireann to them is not the Irish Army but the Provisional IRA. A party in government that sees another secret organization as the legitimate army of the state is not a pleasant thought. To me anyway.