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Media missing a trick by failing to query SF's Damascene conversion to EU flag-wavers


Sinn Fein is often credited (whether correctly or incorrectly) with a tactical cunning that the other parties seem to lack.

Is, then, its turnaround from that of opposition to the EU to that of championing it - that is, to acknowledging that the two Irelands, Northern and the Republic, cannot go it alone and that there must be some form of union with something greater - a genuine conversion to a unionism, or just another example of a tactical cunning later to be reversed when the time is deemed right for Ireland to leave the EU on the march to independence?

If this should be so, will those who disagree with a future leaving the EU, or with being bombed out of it, should it come to that, be continually pressed in the process with 'are you Irish or European'?

Instead of focusing on clarifying this future possibility, following from Sinn Fein's new-found (tactical?) enthusiasm for the EU, the media commentariat, from BBC Northern Ireland to the Press, seems to count the issue of whether Michelle O'Neill is to be referred to as a 'blonde' as much more important for the electorate to be concerned with than anything else.

Being captivated by it - whether or not it is a diversionary tactic initially engineered by Mrs O'Neill - it does divert attention from Sinn Fein's new-found brand of unionism.

Now a priest in the Church of Ireland has stepped it all up further by proposing what he thought would be a solution to the dispute ('Blonde row is reignited', News, May 22) about whether Mrs O'Neill is a 'blonde' or not a 'blonde': it might, he innocently suggests, be due to the application of a dye of some sort or other. Rather than ignore it, Mrs O'Neill has thrown another fit of indignation; indignation that might now suggest to the electorate, gasping to know, that it is not due to dye; she really is a genuine blonde.

Yet, really, whether she is or not is of no great importance: what is important is the momentous change that is taking place in Sinn Fein (if it is not just tactical), and what is amazing is that the commentariat is not exploring it.




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