One of the principal functions of this site is to examine the fractured wasteland that is the “Irish Left”.
There are many different parties, most of which explore the same issues and some ironically have the word “alliance” in their very title. You could say they are collectively similar to the “People’s Front of Judea” gag as portrayed by Monty Python in “The Life of Brian”.
Of course that’s not to say their TDs and activists don’t do great work in their communities. It is just that while they are focusing on this important work, in the bigger picture of the parliamentary set-up in this country, their representation continues to be minimal.
Here at FPP we do not consider SInn Féin to be a “left-wing” party by any means. They are a single-issue Nationalist organisation that uses this vacuum in the landscape of the Irish Left to win themselves seats, and they do this very well. We can only speculate just how progressive their actions would be once actually in power, and we don’t really want to find out any time soon.
Still, we have to accept the reality that a lot of their ballot box support does come from the left. So as part of setting up FPP, we added the main websites from all of the main political organisations to a heading in the news aggregator “Feedly”. Represented there are The Labour Party, The Green Party, The Social Democrats, the People Before Profit Alliance, the Anti Austerity Alliance, and as we said, Sinn Féin.
Just in case you’re not sure what an “aggregator” is…it is similar to the old “news-wire” in that it gathers the latest released by various news sources and lists them in chronological order, so the most recent releases will be at the top.
What you see in our lead graphic is a screengrab of how our feed looked this morning. As you can see, of the 19 most recent releases, 17 are by Sinn Féin.
Perhaps, you might wonder, they do a “news-dump” every Sunday morning, ie posting a ton of stories all at once and doing nothing for the rest of the week? Yeah, we wondered that too, so we scrolled down. They post articles at that rate throughout the week, at least ten articles per day.
Communication via social media, particularly in times when an election is NOT imminent, is a key way of keeping in touch with the wider public. If Sinn Fein are flooding cyberspace with policies and information during that time, is it any wonder that they have so much success when the elections do come around?
Obviously Twitter, Facebook & websites aren’t the be-all and end-all, but surely it has to be seen as fertile ground for organisations which focus on issues left of centre. Here at FPP we will be looking to highlight not just the issues themselves, but how they are covered by the various parties AND the mainstream media.