Yesterday I wrote about Joan Burton’s visionless political pedigree most clearly exposed by her hypocritical attitude to coalition with Sinn Fein.
Here’s how I think a political leader operating outside the narrow-minded, corrupt, self-serving system under which Burton forms her political views would respond.
Tubridy: Mr. Sheridan, as leader of the New Ireland Party would you go into coalition with Sinn Fein?
Sheridan: Let me be absolutely clear on this question. What you are really asking me is – Do I think Sinn Fein has cut itself off from all paramilitary involvement, do I think the party now operates as a fully fledged legitimate democratic political party?
My answer is a resounding – Yes.
And I am not alone in this view. The United States, the United Nations, the European Union, the Unionist community in Northern Ireland, the Queen of England and the vast majority of citizens in the Republic, Northern Ireland and the UK also hold this view.
The only group of people who refuse to accept this political fact are the leaders of the mainstream parties in this country.
So yes, we would go into coalition with Sinn Fein if both our parties could agree on a reasonable and comprehensive programme of government particularly on economic policy.
Tubridy: But what about Sinn Fein’s violent past, what about the other mainstream parties who have rejected Sinn Fein because of its terrorist past? What about Joan Burton’s assertion that there remains a nexus between Sinn Fein and the IRA? Are you not worried that Sinn Fein may use that nexus to bring down the state?
Sheridan: Joan Burton’s claim that there remains a nexus between Sinn Fein and the IRA is very serious. If the claim is true then there could be very serious consequences not just for the citizens of the republic but also for those in the UK and indeed for the Peace Process itself.
To my knowledge there is no evidence whatsoever for the claim but if Ms. Burton is in possession of such evidence then she has a duty to make it public and forward details to the relevant authorities.
Tubridy: Do you think such evidence exists?
Tubridy: Then why do you think she and indeed all the other mainstream party leaders continue to make such claims?
Sheridan: Political fear of Sinn Fein’s success, nothing else. Instead of accepting Sinn Fein’s bona fides like the rest of the world the mainstream parties have retreated into the dark cave of hypocrisy.
On the one hand they declare to the world how delighted they are with the Peace Process and praise Sinn Fein’s contribution while on the other they claim that Sinn Fein is still connected with terrorism and the IRA.
This political strategy is as weak as it is insulting to the intelligence of citizens of Ireland and the rest of the world. It is also an indication of how bankrupt the Irish political system is of real courage and vision, something that is absolutely vital for the future of our country.
Tubridy: Have you any advice for Joan Burton on this question?
Sheridan: Yes, as a new party leader and Tanaiste she has a golden and once in a political lifetime opportunity to make a real difference for her party.
By simply announcing that the Labour Party now accepts what the rest of the world accepted years ago she would immediately remove her party from the dark cave of hypocrisy leaving Fianna Fail and Fine Gael to hug each other in their cold political idiocy.
By accepting political reality Ms. Bruton would also elevate her position as a political leader and provide her party with a huge political advantage in negotiating what form the next government takes.
Tubridy: What are the chances that she will go down that road?