Oh dear …another post on the vexed question of Sinn Fein and their “right” to appoint their own Special Advisors to the (taxpayer-funded) civil service OR the “responsibility” of Sinn Fein not to appoint persons (people who have served fourteen years in prison on a murder conviction) who might reasonably or unreasonably be deemed offensive to some victims OR the duty of a Legislature to impose restrictions on such appoinments.
A thought occurs.
Some twenty years ago John Hume and Gerry Adams became involved in secret talks which might be the beginning of the Peace Process. John Hume went out on a limb, got dogs abuse from unionists and quizzical looks from his own Party. Arguably bringing Sinn Fein into the Peace Process was something which strengthened SF and directly weakened the the SDLP. A rare example of a politician putting COUNTRY before PARTY. But John Hume is quite rightly regarded as the Greatest Irish Person who ever lived (RTE poll 2010).
So when John Hume and Gerry Adams met in a parlour in Clonard Monastery twenty years ago….neither could have foreseen the row about Mary McArdle and Ann Travers. Back then John Hume was thinking of the bigger picture…his detractors in unionism and letsgetalongerism were thinking in terms that were much more narrow.
Back then SDLP was concerned with the “right thing”. It has had unforeseen consequences including SpAds….good and bad consequences. Can we really unpick them now?