Scaremongering about Gerry Adams is a national pastime.
Certain politicians among the establishment political parties love nothing more than to remind the electorate of the whiff of sulphur off the Sinn Féin leader.
They all have different motives for the attacks but the method is the same – every chance you get, link Adams to the IRA in the public consciousness.
Fine Gael, despite their ‘Blueshirt’ past, attacks him because their supporters are allergic to Shinners.
Fianna Fáil, despite their revolutionary roots, attacks him mostly because the Shinners are threatening its status as the ‘Republican Party’.
Labour, despite its historic links with paramilitaries in the Workers Party, attacks him because the Shinners have outflanked them on the left as champions of equality and the party of the working class.
The three main parties don’t seem to get it: rightly or wrongly, there is a large chunk of the electorate who couldn’t care less whether or not Gerry Adams was on the IRA Army Council. That conclusion has to be taken from the Shinners’ advances in the recent local and European elections.
During the campaign, Adams was arrested and questioned about membership of the Provisional IRA. That arrest had more than a whiff of a political stunt to it. And what happened? Sinn Féin’s popularity soared.
Might we lend some advice to those in the establishment who are intent on attacking Gerry Adams: stop lobbing grenades at him about possible IRA membership and focus, instead, on his bizarre Twitter ramblings.
For any of you who follow Gerry on the ‘Tweet Machine’, you’ll know what we’re getting at. For those of you not on Twitter, let’s just say Gerry’s tweets are bizarre in the extreme for a grown man.
We won’t bore you with all the gory details. But here’s a flavour of a typical tweet about his yellow ducks: “U know when U stay in the bath till the water turns cold & parts of U pucker up or shrivel away & even the yellow ducks abandon U? That’s me!”
Cute and all as it may seem, for a man who has ambitions of being Taoiseach during the centenary year celebrations of 1916, Adams makes far too many Twitter references to bath time with rubber-duckies.
Association with guns, the electorate understand. Weird rubber-ducks stories and horror images of a naked Gerry shrivelled like a prune in the bath will scare the bejaysus out of most voters.