Sinn Fein: On The Slippery Road To Coalition

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Ahead of next weekend’s Sinn Fein Ard Fheis, the Donegal TD Pearse Doherty has stated that the party is willing to talk to either Fine Gael or Fianna Fail about forming a government after next year’s election in the South.

‘We’re open to it, if those parties are willing to come on board, with a proper progressive policy platform’, he said.

There is, however, a problem. No matter what the ‘progressive’ window dressing is, FF and FG want to maintain Ireland as a tax haven for big business.

Both these parties are willing to pay out millions to legal firms to stop Ireland receiving €13 billion  that Apples owes us in tax.

They preside over a situation where multi-nationals and native Irish companies pay tiny amount of tax – proportionately well below what the average worker pays.

The failure to make corporations pay tax helps to explain why Ireland has such poor public services.

The other major aim of FF and FG is to support a native business elite who increasingly rely on property speculation. Not surprisingly, one in three of their TDs are landlords – which helps to explain why there are no proper rent controls.

The plain reality is that FG and FF do not want Sinn Fein in coalition. They would prefer to have the softer, more house trained liberals of Labour or the Greens.

But if the numbers were right and Sinn Fein could guarantee stability they might, somewhat reluctantly, accept.

What is shocking, however, is that Sinn Fein deploys a left wing rhetoric on occasions – but has told us in advance that they will use their votes to prop up a right wing led government, if they get an opportunity.

There can be no change in Ireland as long as FF or FG run the government. And has long as there is no radical change, the prospect of ending partition becomes far or difficult to achieve. We have been warned.