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O'Neill's election like old-style Soviet regime

Michelle O'Neill is the new leader of Sinn Fein north of the border and, presumably, she will become the next Deputy First Minister in Stormont.

One can but wish her well. She represents the new generation of Sinn Fein, drawn from the ballot box rather than the Armalite.

This can only be welcome and must be a signal that Sinn Fein wants to be looked on as a normal, modern, Left-wing political party, ready, willing and able to lead a new Ireland.

However, the manner of her selection for Northern Ireland party leader does not bode well.

The leaders of all normal political parties in Western democracies go through a process of nomination to be followed by election by their fellow elected members, with the general membership also having a voice.

In this case, none of the above took place. She was selected from an undeclared group by an inner cabal, which is reminiscent of Soviet leaders being announced by the politburo.

Perhaps Sinn Fein needs a Mikhail Gorbachev-type figure to drag the party into the modern era?


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