Thursday, December 2, 2010

Pearse Doherty- perhaps "progressive" doesn't sell so well in Donegal?

Not directly related to the overall theme to this blog but given Sinn Fein's self-proclaimed "progressive" attitudes on social matters, I think you'll find this by their new TD interesting:

Sinn Féin – Senator Pearse Doherty has given a written personal commitment to oppose any legislation that would make abortion available in Ireland and supports a law to protect the human embryo from deliberate destruction.
Oppose legislation on women's reproductive rights full-stop; so, no room for manoeuvre in Mr Doherty's world for "cases of rape, incest or sexual abuse, or where a woman’s life and health is at risk or in grave danger"? Clearly not.

Pearse Doherty is, of course, like the rest of us entitled to have his own opinion on such matters of social conscience. What he is not entitled to is the carte blanche to impose those opinions on the rest of society. And shouldn't someone representing a truly progressive party surely "accept that the final decision must rest with the woman"?


kensei said...

The RoI has a constitutional ban on abortion. As a Catholic country, its opinion on abortion is very differnet to the UK. As an elected representative, he certainly has the right to vote on abortion matters as he wishes. He can't change it though: that'd require a refendum, I believe.

Killing babies is not particularly "progressive" anyway. Nor do "progressives" have to tick every single box in some archetypal "progressive" checklist. But best avoid that subject, and especially flipant treatment of it else this will make the worst Unionist-Nationalist squabbles look like a model of agreement.

michaelhenry said...

Im a SINN FEIN supporter, have been all my days and still am-

but when it comes to abortion the
final decision has to rest with the female- it is after all her body

A political party and the political views of the 1 are not always the same.

O'Neill said...

"Nor do "progressives" have to tick every single box in some archetypal "progressive" checklist."

There are a set of topics which decide whether one is a progressive or not and the women's reproductive rights is certainly one of them, check out the opinions of the rest of the GUE/NGL to see the mainsteam Euro-opinion on the matter.

SF, a bit like their choice on which "freedom fighters" are cool (eg whilst Hamis blowing the smithereens of buses in Tel Aviv was morally OK, Tamil Tigers doing the same in Sri Lanka never really made it onto their radar), pick and choose which areas of social and human rights they decide to promote and that is what makes them hypocrites.

kensei said...


I'm sorry you don't get to dictate terms. I am liberal on most issues but abortion is a fundamentally different matter of consceince. The UK body politics has left it as such and you will find support and opposition on both sides of ther aisle. The US approach of some kind of litmus test has left that issue utterly, utterly poisonous.

As for piss poor whataboutery :rolleyes:

"Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes."

More babies murdered in a month than any of those groups have ever managed in years.

O'Neill said...

"The US approach of some kind of litmus test has left that issue utterly, utterly poisonous."

Even in Europe, a "progressive" following the same line as the local bishop on women’s reproductive rights would be seriously niche. There’s not one of SF’s partners’ in the EU who would have the same doctrinaire attitude as Doherty on this; in Brussels I don’t think it would poison attitudes towards SF, I just think they’d find it slightly out of synch with the rest of the “group-belief”s

kensei said...

And? Groupthink should be counter to progressive thought. You'll find people with differing views on abortion on all sides across Europe. It's that kind of issue.

O'Neill said...

Nope, on reflection you're right, individual choice should always trump group-think;)