[Marxism] Irish Examiner: One Joe Higgins is more effective than 5 Sinn Fein MPs

DAVID MURRAY dmurray at studentmail.newcastle.edu.au
Thu May 13 15:31:28 MDT 2004

'One Joe Higgins more effective than five Sinn Féin TDs'
Just one Joe Higgins is immensely more effective than all five of the Sinn Féin TDs, according to Labour leader Pat Rabbitte. Attacking Sinn Féin's track record, Mr Rabbitte said the party works hard at getting elected but had no policies to speak off, apart from issues to do with the North. He also questioned whether the republicans posed a threat to his party.

Michael O'Farrell and Fionnán Sheahan, ‘Irish Examiner’ (12/05/04)
"I don't know. I don't see it on the ground," he said.

"It is a myth that Sinn Féin are supposed to work harder than the rest of us," Mr Rabbitte added.

Challenging anyone to name one Sinn Féin achievement in Dáil Éireann [Irish Parliament] or at local government level, Mr Rabbitte said if he was a constituent he would rather have one Joe Higgins fighting his corner than all five Sinn Féin TDs.

"Their effectiveness in local Government is outside of the chamber rather than inside the chamber," the Labour leader said.

But Mr Rabbitte conceded that there were areas where voters were so alienated with the current Government that they might choose to vote for the most extreme option.

"I think the public have to reflect carefully on where they use their vote," he warned.

Labour's environment spokesman Eamon Gilmore added that Sinn Féin did not put forward a single amendment to the Government's recent Residential Tenancies Bill.

He added that the lack of action was despite constant complaints in the republican newspaper, An Phoblacht, about rights for tenants in private accommodation.

Commenting on the drafting of the Dublin City Development Plan, councillor Dermot Lacey added that Sinn Féin had tabled no amendments compared with Labour's 82 and the Green Party's 30

David Murray
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