Sinn Féin is an electorally clever party but politically novice one. The latest example of this was its clumsy attempt at getting the European Parliament to grant “special EU status” to “the north”.
Firstly, what the European Parliament rejected – by a huge majority, by the way – was Sinn Féin’s ludicrous version of special status (essentially for Northern Ireland to retain membership). This has always been a practical impossibility, and now this has been demonstrated – rendering Sinn Féin campaigns on the issue now void.
Secondly, Sinn Féin can no longer now blame “the Brits” or “the DUP” for failures on this issue. The European Parliament has roundly rejected Sinn Féin’s stance.
Thirdly, it should be but probably will not be noted that what was rejected was not the notion of “special status”, but specifically Sinn Féin’s stance on it. This harms the whole cause.
By compromising with others, and perhaps even learning from others, Sinn Féin could probably have put a motion to the European Parliament on “Special Status” and won. However, it was never going to do so purely on its own terms.
This is a constant failure of Sinn Féin’s. Locally, it demands an Irish Language Act purely on its own terms, rather than seeking a compromise. In fact, a range of other issues – from protecting Human Rights to Same Sex Marriage – could be dealt with if Sinn Féin were willing to compromise with and indeed learn from others.
That is what comes from a movement which is all about making demands and rarely about taking responsibility for actual delivery.