March 1, 2020
Potential still exists to form a Government for Change – Kearney

Sinn Féin National Chairperson Declan Kearney, and Minister in the north’s Executive Office, has accused the leaders of Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil of having vulgarised Irish politics with their public commentary since the general election on 8 February.

Writing for An Phoblacht, the South Antrim MLA, observed that a carnival of reaction had been provoked within the Irish establishment against Sinn Féin’s electoral surge. 

Declan Kearney said:

“Both Leo Varadkar and Michéal Martin, the respective leaders of Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil, and others from their parties, have publicly vilified the democratic structure and integrity of Sinn Féin because they were so affronted by our party’s electoral success.

“Their commentary would be laughable, if it was not so fundamentally anti-democratic. These individuals have traduced the democratic process and vulgarised Irish politics with their behaviour.

“Michéal Martin abused the first sitting of the 33rd Dáil (Irish Parliament) by mounting an irrational and scurrilous attack upon Sinn Féin, which left many in his own party bewildered and embarrassed.

“Sinn Féin’s electoral surge on 8 February has provoked a carnival of reaction from within the Irish establishment.

“But the huge support for our party is a culmination of a deep discontent against how Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have run the southern state since its foundation on behalf of the economic and class interests of the establishment.

“The fact is that the two big conservative parties, having had a free run for nearly 100 years, lost the run of themselves They were so intoxicated with their duopoly of state power that they thought it would be ‘business as usual’ after the most recent general election.

“Politics has arguably been brought to a cross roads by this general election.

“The current impasse over government formation can be read as sub text for a power struggle over who is in government, and which economic and social interests should be advanced through the exercise of state power”

Turning to the prospects of government formation, Declan Kearney said:

“The potential does still exist to form a government for change in the coming weeks.

“However, for that to happen, some parties will have to make decisions about which side they are on, and how they want to see political power exercised – in the interests of the many, or the few. 

“Sinn Féin is clear about what needs to happen.

“It would be a strategic miscalculation by the left and other progressives, and potentially a lost opportunity, if this period is confined to policy negotiations among parties and politicians, while everyone else behaves like passive spectators.

“So, progressive civic and community-based stakeholders need to begin exerting their significant political and social influence.

“Other voices must speak out for change, and contribute to a new narrative for political change.

“Initiatives by trade unionists and other progressive social and cultural activists are presently needed to effect the balance of forces in the support of progress and political transformation.

“The aim of achieving permanent political and social realignment will of course depend upon the appointment of a government for change. But that will have to be supported by a broadly based coalition of democratic civic and community interests. In short, a mobilisation of progressive politics within the political institutions, and, also outside the institutions of government and throughout wider society.

“Genuine republicans, socialists, progressives and democrats should set aside tactical and political differences, and instead unite and act to ensure that the community and class interests of the many have primacy.”

The full text of Declan Kearney’s blog can be read here:

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