Gerry Adams met Alexis Tsipras in New York on Tuesday night, and warmly congratulated the Greek prime minister on his election victory.
The Sinn Fein president says that he “briefed [Tsipras] on the ... political situation in Ireland”.
Sinn Fein yesterday distributed a picture of the pair smiling together, reminiscent of the scenes at the European Parliament in July when a beaming Martina Anderson greeted Mr Tsipras as he took his place in the chamber to cheers.
Mr Adams gravely explained yesterday: “Much of our conversation focused on the two big issues in Europe at this time; debt and refugees.”
Sinn Fein are good at projecting compassion and may fool those who live far away or are too young to remember the Troubles. The latter group grows by the day, so that the republican party may take power next year in a jurisdiction in which it had negligible support in the 1980s, when Irish voters understood the implications of its links to IRA terror.
But even putting past violence to the side, consider the implications of Sinn Fein in power on both sides of the border. Mr Adams talks about debt, and his party would have no difficulty adding to high debt levels in the UK and the Republic.
They will not even accept a welfare cap, which would end the insult to low paid workers of some families earning over £26,000 a year on benefits (akin to a £34k pre-tax income).
Financial irresponsibility (spend, spend, spend, while someone else pays the tax) has led to chaos in Greece, and Mr Tsipras fully backing down on austerity or else facing expulsion from the eurozone. That is the real parallel in yesterday’s photograph, and would be the story if Sinn Fein ever got untrammelled power in Dublin: reckless expenditure, unmanageable debt, followed years later by frantic climbdown.
In the meantime, north of the border we must accept cuts to the NHS, schools and transport because Sinn Fein blackmail has maintained unreformed welfare being pumped out, particularly into constituencies where it polls well.