Posted by: the watchmen | February 26, 2009

The biggest gun in town.

Well, Sheriff Gerry knows what cowboys can get up to

By Lindy McDowell

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Well, saddle up them horses! Down south of the border as tens of thousands of citizens took to the streets at the weekend to protest at the Government’s handling of recession and the banking crisis, a bearded hombre moseyed into town claiming he knows how to sort that whole darn mess.

Down south of the border as tens of thousands of citizens took to the streets at the weekend to protest at the Government’s handling of recession and the banking crisis, a bearded hombre moseyed into town claiming he knows how to sort that whole darn mess.

Sheriff Gerry Adams says it’s all down to them thar “gangsters and banksters”.

And what’s to be done about them?

Round ’em up and bang ’em up is Gerry’s advice.

“All categories of gangsters or banksters must face the full rigours of the law,” he told his party’s ard fheis.

And it’s not just the banksters Gerry is going a gunnin’ for.

“Criminality of any kind is unacceptable. All categories of gangsters or banksters must face the full rigours of the law. Gun crime, drug crime, blue-collar crime, and white-collar crime must be confronted,” he says.

“That means that banking executives and others, must be rigorously investigated if they have broken the law and, like everyone who behaves illegally, they must be brought before the courts.”

Yee-ha! And I know. Before you say it. The Northern Bank. £26.5m stolen by the gangsters of the Provisional IRA. An impressive bit of bankstering there rather closer to home back up here in Dodge City.

Any chance of Sheriff Gerry demanding that the Provie posse who carried out that heist also be brought before the courts? (As for criminality of any kind being unacceptable — does he include in that terrorist murder?)

Why is Gerry suddenly playing the part of lawman? With the southern bankers in his sights?

As the Celtic Tiger loses its bite down south the party is aiming to claw back some support on the back of the current widespread public anger.

After its disastrous showing in the 2007 election the pressure is now on to ensure a good vote in the upcoming European poll in June.

Which is why, at this time, the party is collectively looking south.

And presumably, keeping its fingers crossed that the south isn’t looking north.

The Sinn Fein achievements at Stormont that Gerry listed in his ard fheis speech are hardly earth-shattering.

“We have made progress in the transfer of powers on policing and justice, in tackling fuel poverty, in securing additional funding for economic investment and for tackling rural poverty, and in deferring water charges,” he said.

Let’s face it, just about every other party in the Executive could claim the same thing.

In reality up here Sinn Fein is currently more associated with presiding over the Ruanation of education. And with the fiasco over the EU grants scheme for farmers.

For a party seeking to sort out the south, it’s not exactly a shining CV.

On the other hand taking aim at the Fianna Fáil government and the Fine Gael opposition — and at the gangsters and banksters — is likely to score points with a southern electorate that’s understandably worried about the tumbleweed of recession currently blowing through town.

For Sinn Fein there’s an awful lot riding on its performance in the polls down south. Another electoral setback there would seriously damage the party.

Which is why, tellingly, at this year’s ard fheis, Sheriff Gerry and Stormont Deputy McGuinness were joined centre stage by that southern belle, Mary Lou McDonald.

The message is that the north is no longer the big issue. The economy has eclipsed unity.

For Sinn Fein, it’s not just an election they’re facing. It’s High Noon

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