Why Criticise Sinn Fein For “England Get Out Of Ireland” Banner? What They’re For Isn’t It?


It’s entirely possible to criticise Sinn Fein – they are the most ghastly little set of socialists after all. About the last remaining enclave of Marxism outside Jezza’s office. It’s even possible to disagree with them – no, England is not responsible for all that has befallen Ireland over the generations. But to criticise Sinn Fein for saying what Sinn Fein is does strike as more than a little odd.

There are those who think that England and the English are responsible for much of what has befallen Ireland. That there’s a group insisting that the English leave seems fair enough therefore. And to critique them for doing just what they’re elected to do does seem churlish at the least.

By birth and culture I’m on the English side of this. Blimey, you’re still going on about it? Didn’t you all decide on this back in 1921? Both a vote and a war? By at least partial descent I’m on the other. Shrug, complicated place the modern world.

But this is silly:

However, many politicians have taken to social media to demand an explanation from Sinn Fein, with many unionist representatives saying the banner was “anti-British”.

Well, yes, it is. That’s the point of Sinn Fein isn’t it?

“It should come as no surprise that Sinn Féin wants a new United Ireland under the provisions of Good Friday Agreement.”

That being rather what Sinn Fein is for. As they themselves point out:

Sinn Féin said the criticism was “faux outrage” and “political point scoring”.

Seriously, this is like demanding an explanation from Paul Holland waving a “We Like Cake” banner. It’s what he’s for.

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Bloke in North Dorset
Bloke in North Dorset

Sinn Fein is anti-English as the banner says, they aren’t anti British as the Belfast Telegraph claims. That is not a subtle difference.


During the peace process SF ran a British Army Out campaign (as they would). In one of the newspapers I saw a photo of a number of soldiers from a Scottish regiment looking a a mural. The mural depicted an Army unit walking away down a lane, with a signpost pointing to “England”. The slogan on the mural was “time for peace time to go home”. I wondered what those Scots would think of the symbolism and assumptions.
SF really does have a problem specifically with the English.
[Edit] found the mural, but not the newspaper photo:comment image