Gerry Adams for Taoiseach
Nelson Mandela became President of South Africa; Yitzhak Shamir became Prime Minister of Israel; Yasser Arafat won the Nobel Peace Prize and was welcomed into the White House; Colonel Gaddafi was courted and praised by Tony Blair: history is replete with those who were once designated ‘terrorists’; incarcerated, reviled and repudiated, yet eventually welcomed to the political top table without repentance.
And why be a self-exiled minnow in Westminster when you could be a fully-communicant carp in the Dáil?
And credit where it’s due.
Sinn Féin never wanted the euro: the party opposed the Lisbon Treaty, and has been as consistently ‘eurosceptic’ as UKIP.
Well, perhaps not quite. But Sinn Féin was the only Irish party to oppose the Treaty, and Gerry Adams was unafraid of sharing the ‘No to Lisbon’ platform with other nutters, fruitcakes and gadflies.
It was also Gerry Adams’ stated position that the second referendum was based on fraudulent assurances of treaty amendments to assuage Irish concerns. Sinn Féin alone was of the view that what was a bad deal for Ireland in 2008 remained so in 2009.
And so Gerry Adams campaigned for a ‘No’, fully cognisant of the implications for national democracy and Irish sovereignty: he hasn’t dedicated his life trying to liberate the Republic of Éire from centuries of British subjugation only to see it subsumed to a Germanic Fourth Reich.
Sinn Féin knew what we all knew: a nation which adopts the euro is no longer sovereign. And Lisbon meant that Ireland's voting strength on the Council(s) of Ministers was reduced to a meagre 0.8 percent at the same time as Germany’s increased to 17 per cent and that of the UK to 12 per cent.
Gerry Adams is the foremost politician of Ireland’s nationalist party. For him, anything which compromises that sovereign and sanctified concept of nationhood – as, for example, the effects of the Common Agricultural Policy on Irish farms and rural communities – is anathema.
The awkward reality for Brian Cowen and his Fianna Fáil party is that Sinn Féin now have economic credibility and political clout. And Gerry Adams has sensed his moment, as deputy first minister Martin McGuinness explains: "The decision by Gerry to leave one of the safest seats in Ireland to seek election to the Dáil in Louth and to play a central role in the battle for Ireland's economic recovery is leadership in action."
The economic bail-out being thrashed out between the EU, the IMF and the UK is a national humiliation, and all indications are that it is about to bring the Irish Government down. The promise of an election ‘some time’ next year may be insufficient to hold the coalition together: why prop up a disgraced government and humiliated leader and give them time to regroup, when a swift kill might be preferable for your own electoral hopes?
Sinn Féin have become the people’s party.
And Gerry Adams is the people’s saviour from the economic morass into which they have sunk.
Yes, we once wanted him hanged, drawn and quartered like all traitors.
But the British Parliament from time to time has also demanded the execution of Nelson Mandela and Yitzhak Shamir.
And history vindicated them.
His Grace never thought he would see the day he posted a blog in praise of Sinn Féin and Gerry Adams, but on the question of Irish sovereignty vis à vis the European Union, they have been both consistent and right.
And His Grace is always generous and fair.
A simple sovereignty campaign message now, beyond the inane ‘A Better Deal In Europe’, would see Gerry Adams elected to the Dáil. The democratic will of the people in such a verdict would amount to a repudiation of the status quo and the demand for a renegotiation of Ireland’s relationship with the EU, which is likely to involve readopting the punt.
And if the politicians do not heed this, it is very likely that Gerry Adams – fiercely and sincerely advocating the heart-felt national interest by disparaging oppressive and unjust supra-national treaties which infringe nationhood, negate sovereignty and compromise proud traditions – would eventually be elected Taoiseach.
It worked for Hitler.