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Assess the view that Sinn Fein has abandoned many of its traditional policies.

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Introduction

Transfer-Encoding: chunked ´╗┐Assess the view that Sinn Fein has abandoned many of its traditional policies. [26] Sinn Fein has come a long way since the first ceasefire in 1994. Arguably it had also come a long way before agreeing to ceasefire at that time. Some would argue that the party has abandoned many of its core principles and policies in the past eighteen years, most notably its commitment to a united Ireland and its refusal to sit in and work a ?partitionist? assembly at Stormont. Those who take such a view include those republicans who oppose this change in Sinn Fein?s position and those who approve of the party?s willingness to compromise in the interests of peace. Sinn Fein emerged in the early 20th century in opposition to Home Rule, their separatist stance evident from their name: Sinn Fein means ?ourselves alone.? They made their first foray into politics after the Easter Rising of 1916. In the 1980s Sinn Fein realised that their voice could be heard politically in Northern Ireland and Gerry Adams was first elected in 1983. However, this entrance into politics has led many to accuse them of abandoning their traditional policies. By the 1990s international developments caused Sinn Fein to abandon many of its traditional policies. ...read more.

Middle

Following this vote, the breakaway factions of the IRA began to emerge because they opposed the rule change. Finally, another way in which Sinn Fein have abandoned their traditional policies is their change in attitude towards policing. Nationalists refused to recognise the police force, so the government appointed an ex Conservative cabinet minister Lord Patton to write a report recommending changes. These included changing the name from the RUC to PSNI and implementing a 50-50 recruitment policy between Catholics and non-Catholics. The policing board did not include Sinn Fein at this point because they did not believe the changes went far enough. However, when the St Andrew?s Agreement of 2006 occurred one of the requirements was that SF took their seats on the policing board before going into government in 2007. This is further proof that they have abandoned their traditional policies. On the other hand, Sinn Fein itself would reject the claim that it has abandoned its core principles. It would assert that it as committed as ever to the achievement of a united Ireland and the creation of an all-Ireland state that would replace the institutions at Stormont. Its party policies emphatically state that they are an Irish republican party who seek the end of British Rule in Northern Ireland. ...read more.

Conclusion

Eventually the bill had to be forced through by Westminster and was part of the Fresh Start Agreement. Even though they were unsuccessful, the fact that Sinn Fein tried to prevent this is proof that they haven?t abandoned their traditional policies. Another area in which Sinn Fein has not abandoned its traditional policies is on the issue of education. Under the Good Friday Agreement the minister had final say, so then Education Minister Martin McGuiness decided to end the 11+ and the Secretary of State passed it under direct rule after 2002 suspension. The St Andrew?s Agreement allows for grammar schools to use their own tests until an agreement has been reached, but after more than a decade no agreement is forthcoming. Sinn Fein opposes academic selection because it disadvantages lesser able pupils. Instead they push for a system where schools are all-ability comprehensives, with greater support for schools in disadvantaged areas. To conclude, although Sinn Fein has had to change some of its more extreme policies, they claim that their aim of a united Ireland has never changed and that they are simply adapting to the general forces of modernity. Issues such as regeneration of the Maze, a potential Irish language act and greater cross-border cooperation can be achieved much better by pragmatic politics. Violence in the current climate will not achieve SF?s ultimate goal. ...read more.

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