So what’s a LetsGetAlongerist, and what’s not?

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It’s been a while since we added anything new to the Slugger glossary of terms. Even the entries we already have can do with refining, as Colm O Mongain did this morning on Twitter with Whataboutery:

After a few years in currency on Slugger and other blogs, it seems to me that FitzJamesHorse‘s LetGetAlongerism ought to get the Slugger glossary treatment.

Before I do, I’d like to open it up for the ‘Slugger house’. But first a few thoughts of my own on the matter.

One difficulty with LetsGetAlongerism in the context of post conflict Northern Ireland is its ambiguity. For a start it invites the awkward question of what its twin, LetsNotGetAlongerism might look like.

So when I ask myself, are you a LetsGetAlongerist, or LetsNotGetAlongerist? I feel at liberty to choose to answer either way, or even both. In terms of building a new inclusive society, as opposed to blasting hell out of each other, what’s not to like about ‘getting along’?

That’s a non trivial measure of the term. Even today, more of the ongoing bridging between Northern Ireland’s communities takes place despite our politics rather than because of it. In fact much of our politics is, by default, recreating the fault lines of the conflict albeit in mostly civil formats. Much else is PR or Marketing without delivery.

If not getting along is raised to a platform it drives more functional politics of change out of the system, such that the whole point of not getting along becomes, erm, just not getting along.

And, in fact, the same applies the other way around.

If getting along is the only thing that matters, like ecumenism before it, it drives initiative and political purpose out of the system. So that actions A or B are offered as the only means of ‘getting along’, therefore we must do it.

And yet, surely getting along sufficiently well in order to allow combative and divergent political aims and content to take the field should not be classed as pure and egregious LetsGetAlongerism: one, because it’s a minimum bottomline rather than topline standard; it’s a means to the more proper end of repoliticising our deadening political space?

It becomes egregious when certain forms of political action are seen as compulsory in order to serve the greater good. Thus, as I see it, top down instructions over contentious issues like parades, segregated education or OTRs must be dealt with only in a specific given way for the sake of peace, can be construed as LetsGetAlongerism.

For LetsGetAlongerism to be both a meaningful and useful definition I’d argue that it must allow the possibility of advocating some form of getting along without the danger of become a full blown LetsGetAlonerist by default? That there is a distinction between advocacy of the democratic space and seeking to control its precise content.

I default to the poet for a possible clue:

On the one hand, I’m interested in how we avoid tearing one another to pieces. Peace is not that, peace is the absence of that, peace is the absence of war: the opposite of war is custom, customs, and civilization. Civilization is custom and manners and ceremony, the things that Yeats says in “A Prayer for My Daughter.” We have a vocabulary of how to deal with one another and how to behave, a vocabulary of behavior, as well as things to say to one another . . . and out of that come laws and agreed ways of doing things . . .

So, let’s have your thoughts, and your own concise definitions we can draw upon to use in the Glossary for LetsGetAlongerist?

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  • http://fitzjameshorselooksattheworld.wordpress.com/ fitzjameshorse1745

    Wow.
    I understand from Alan that the first time “LetsGetAlongerist” has appeared in a newspaper was in The Irish News, ten days ago.
    The article on Anna Lo is now framed in Castle Fitzjames.

    The problem with words is that with use, they come to mean whatever people want.
    And its interesting that rather than being dismissed routinely on Slugger for using it…or “Overclass”, it has come full circle after four years to have a Slugger thread.
    In a way thats slightly dangerous.
    Is it a form of Insult Or Abuse?
    Well sometimes…yes.
    But the implication is that it is FAUX LETSGETALONGERISM is the enemy.

    I myself have an outstanding record on getting along with people.
    Only last month at the big Slugger Tweet Up, I was told my a member of the Slugger “team” that I am much more relaxed and easy going in real life.
    Lets be clear…I like getting along.
    I can only think of two or three people I genuinely dont like.

    But LetsGetAlongerism is a political philosophy which takes politics out of…politics.
    Which claims to find unionism and nationalism equally repugnant while working towards a homogenous society which frustrates demographics and is by default unionist.
    There are of course shining examples of people who lived their lives getting on with people…Sam McAughtry springs to mind this week of course.
    No problem there.
    But for every genuine person in the public domain there is at least one who sees the Main Chance.
    Nobody will ever go poor if they embrace (Faux) LetsGetAlongerism. And choose their networking carefully….the right tutor, the right lobbyist, the right think tank.
    To operate at the fringe of politics, following the right people on Twitter and saying “great idea professor” to the right people.And courting the right kind of “progressive voices”in all parties.
    Am I saying they are just a big bunch of phoneys…
    Well….yes. That just about sums it up.
    But then there are just as many nationalist and unionist phoneys around.
    But they get some scrutiny.
    LetsGetAlongerists escape scrutiny.
    Im not actually saying that they are a weird satanic cult ;)
    But they do share at least one characteristic.
    Arguably Satans greatest achievement has been to convince the world that He doesnt exist.
    LetsGetAlongerists do the same.

  • Drumlins Rock

    The phrase belongs to FJH so I await his definition, although with acceptance it has taken on a life its own beyond what he might have intended.

    To me it is tongue in a cheek phrase, therefore there is no such thing as a “letsnotgetalongerist” to suggest that totally misses the point, to be honest I’m not sure you have got the point to it at all here.

    I see a Lestgetalongerist as someone who for genuine reasons tries to find the common ground, no matter how small or insignificant it might be, which is fair, but they then at best ignore and at worst condemn and look down on those who won’t drop strongly held views to join them them on this middle ground.

    Despite what they say a letsgetalongerist does not want to bring the opposing sides together in understanding and acceptance but would rather creates a third area devoid of anything that might not be acceptable to everyone.

    FJH, am I anyway close to what you intended it to mean?

  • http://www.selfhatinggentile.blogger.com tmitch57

    @Mick,

    I’m as mystified as you are about the meaning of the term. FJH seems to include an obligatory reference to it with each discussion of Alliance, but once said that he doesn’t consider Comrade Stalin, Alliance’s leading participant on this blog, to be one. I might ask him, why not?

    Alliance apparently earned that sobriquet for championing power sharing over the decades, before it became fashionable with the unionists or the Shinners. Other than that, post GFA, Alliance is mostly about coming up with intelligent policies to solve the provinces many pressing problems and does not believe that these problems are best tackled by tribalist finger-pointing exercises. I’m sure that CS shares these basic beliefs.

  • Charles_Gould

    LetsGetAlongerist
    noun
    derogatory

    1, An individual who prefers the reconciliation of political differences to the achievement of any specific set of political goals.

    Origin: 2010

  • between the bridges

    ”LetsGetAlongerism is a political philosophy … and is by default unionist.” lol, damn unionist’s!!

    The current reduced conflict is an improvement on the past but we have along way to go before our society become LetsGetAlongerist. Anyway if the chuckle bros can do it…

  • http://fitzjameshorselooksattheworld.wordpress.com/ fitzjameshorse1745

    Where did you find that Mr Gould?
    Its not a bad definition.

    Drumlins Rock…to some extent nobody can “control” a word and there might even be an element of mischief in Micks thread ( am I right Mick?)..,,to maybe have a definition by committee that draws the sting.
    I have certainly used it with far too much regularity (and consistency and committment) that at times Id admit to being a one trick pony. So in a sense Im very pleased its out in the open….and that having been studiously ignored as a term by LetsGetAlongerists themselves…..they at least have to confront it as a term.
    Whether used as a form of abuse….or embraced as a badge of honour, its now out there.

    The connexion to Alliance?
    Well clearly there is both a real (Addie Morrow for example) LetsGetAlongerist element to that party and a faux element of moral superiority (too many to name) who repulse me.
    Comrade Stalin does actually have a POLITICAL outlook.
    Thats to be respected.
    I dont think TMitch actually believes that I apply that soubriquet to Alliance and that what he “apparently” thinks is just a little spin on his behalf.

    DR…I think the real point is that there as many decent LetsGetAlongerist folks in all political parties. Any political party that tries to sell itself on the basis of being morally superior deserves ridicule.

  • http://fitzjameshorselooksattheworld.wordpress.com/ fitzjameshorse1745

    Oops…To be clear. I dont think Mitch believes that I apply the soibriquet to Alliance because of the reasons he states.

  • http://bangordub.wordpress.com/ Bangordub

    I really have to comment here (knowing FJH as I do).
    Letsgetalongerists as I understand them, are those who deny or seek to change the essentially tribal nature of political discourse in this part of the world.
    Seeking to change that is a noble objective. Denying it exists is a bit mad.
    Mr FJH regards, I think, Alliance, as the worst offenders. He may be correct. I think he puts them in the denier camp. I’d love to be present at a political meeting with Granni Trixie for example although I have witnessed himself and Comrade Stalin of this parish having en excellent “exchange of views”. Ahem
    The point I am trying to make is that the first thing on the agenda is usually, ” what side of the fence are ye on?”
    It was my first impression on moving to the North East and it still is.

  • Mick Fealty

    I’ll buy this FJH:

    “LetsGetAlongerism is a political philosophy which takes politics out of…politics.”

    It lines up with my point about ecumenism and the attempt to dissipate genuine difference, and supplant it with something that merely covers over cracks with an emulsioned wash.

    I don’t think it is just an anti nationalist stratagem (if it were such a partial term I don’t think it would have value beyond propaganda), unionism is constantly berated for still daring to still exist.

  • Mick Fealty

    Drumlin,

    Well if we find it only serves as a p!ss take, then it won’t be going in the glossary..

    Whataboutery may be just a made up word (check out the older, but less popular ‘whataboutism’) but it earns its bread because it has a robust meaning that resonates with others.

    If I didn’t think LetsGetAlongerist did not at least contain the possibility of yielding such regularity believe me, I would not have asked for your thoughtful response and time.

  • notimetoshine

    I find the opprobrium around supposed ‘letsgetalongerism’ to be slightly disturbing.

    Whatever your constitutional standpoint and political allegiance one cannot deny that our political establishment in it’s current form is hardly conducive to effective functional politics and governance.

    Of course ‘letsgetalongerism’ has it’s faults, but as current political mores in NI are impeding good governance and taking up a disproportionate amount of time and effort on the never ending merry go round of constitutional/cultural issues.

    My concern is this opprobrium is simply a smokescreen to cover the ineffective nature of traditional unionist/nationalist politics in dealing with real or functional issues.

  • notimetoshine

    * Sorry typing error should read:

    Of course ‘letsgetalongerism’ has it’s faults, but as current political mores in NI are impeding good governance and taking up a disproportionate amount of time and effort on the never ending merry go round of constitutional/cultural issues, we need a movement towards co operative politics and governance if only to improve the state of functional politics or the so called ‘bread and butter issues’.

  • Ruarai

    LetGetAlongerism:

    Ideology for those who believe that the fire engine is as guilty as the fire; that the best way to “resolve” conflict is for both antagonists to take the blame.

  • http://fitzjameshorselooksattheworld.wordpress.com/ fitzjameshorse1745

    Id make a serious point that LetsGetAlongerism might actually be a form of ENTRYISM…a very Non Militant Tendency.
    Genuine Alliance people might have as much to fear from it as other folks.
    Increasingly I believe it is an Academic rather than “Political” thing and at the core of it….a tendency to get into everything in Norn Iron.
    Decade of Centenaries…most things Ive attended driven by the same people.
    Peace Journalism.
    The Arts for the Common Good.
    A reliance on progressive voices in politics…Alliance, Green, NI21 and the right kinda SDLP and UUP voices.
    The right kind of ex prisoner.
    The right kind of independently minded clergymen-women….and of course bloggers.

    Its like the irish Republican Brotherhood infiltration of 100 years ago.
    Obviously I am mad…but it does make some sense.

  • Naughton

    I guess I might be a ‘letsgetalonger’, mixed marriage professional and solidly moderate, but then that depends what you mean by ‘getting along’.

    If it means denying passionately held views exist or trying to paper over them, then no I can’t support that, as it is intellectually bankrupt cowardice.

    But, if it means being prepared to challenge those so certain of their moral and political certainty and superiority of their cause from either side, then happy to be guilty as charged.

    I guess part of my frustration is the binary nature of identity so many regular commmentators seem to think is the norm is not valid for me. I am comfortable as Irish, British, Northern Irish and European and happy in all four skins. I do not think that makes me a traitor or sell-out.

    I don’t pretend building bridges and trust was easy, I know from personal experience and pain that it is a difficult challenge. If that makes me a ‘letsgetalongerist’ then I guess I’ll wear that badge with some pride (and a little hurt).

  • Comrade Stalin

    The term is, to me, the expression of a strain of thought, which is more nationalist than unionist, which says look, we’re never going to get along, our differences will never be solved, and there’ll be a united Ireland soon anyway; therefore anyone trying to fix things is sadly deluded. This is a perspective that was at its height between 1980 or so and 1998, when Hume ran the SDLP on a policy of “screw the prods, we’ll get the two govts to divide the place up and take half, and the unionists can do whatever the hell they want”.

    (it occurred to me that unionists tend to be non-conciliatory in public and conciliatory in private – nationalists are precisely the opposite. But that’s a debate for another day.)

    I think things are moving away from this idea not least because Sinn Féin are starting to do it. to me Martin McGuinness is the strongest (in terms of stature) exponent of the idea that is being disparaged here, which is that you have to walk in the other guy’s shoes and show deference to the things he considers important; and hope that in exchange he will recognize this and believe you to be sincere.

    Having noted how the opposing sides of the most destructive war in history have, in the years since 1945, become close allies and partners, it will take a lot to convince me that great things are not possible given the motivation.

  • Greenflag

    Lets get a longer list of those who are deemed letsgetalongerists and see what they might have in common ?

    Conversely lets get an even longer list of those who are deemed letsnotgetalongerists ?

    Break the list down by class /party affiliation / income levels /education / primary national identity etc etc and see if we can come up with the answer to all NI’s ‘problems ‘

    Good man Naughton -you’re neither traitor/lundy or sellout just a bit too politically mature for those of more fixed and certain identities which are sometimes self limiting in ways that even the holders of these fixations might not grasp -ever -and I mean that in the eternal sense .

  • Greenflag

    A letsgetalongerist imo is somebody from any political party or none who is not willing to shoot a fellow islander or anybody else so that his or her primary political and constitutional aspiration is achieved .

    A letsNOTgetalongerist is somebody who believes it’s impossible if not absurd to have a political middle ground in the current NI State and thus by default nothing political can be achieved until usuns are in the majority and themuns in the minority .

    I used to be more of the latter(the NOTS) than the former but I now see the error of my ways and gladly proclaim myself to be a letsgetalongerist as at the very least -while I can accept it’s a cop out from the harsh realities of the fire engine and fire -it’s probably the best and only way to keep the show on the road -for nobody knows when the road may come to an end and chances are that if most people have been letsgetalongerists before the fork in the political roads appears then chances are they are more likely to make the right turn at the appropriate time without reverting to conflict , savagery and self defeating conflict ?

  • PaddyReilly

    There is a book called “The Smell of Breaking Glass” by Sean Treacy, about his time as the licensee of an Irish pub in London. He describes how, after a wedding between an Irish family called Smith and a Cockney one called O’Shaughnessy, a major fight breaks out between the two of them.

    Most noticeable is one matriarch, who wanders through the fray hitting people at random, shouting “Stop fighting”. She is the epitome of letsgetalongeism. Letsgetalongeists are just as likely to use violence as anyone else, if people fail to conform to their agenda.

  • http://fitzjameshorselooksattheworld.wordpress.com/ fitzjameshorse1745

    Not that I agree 100% with comrade Stalin but good points are made.
    Especially about public and private stances.
    There is a total disconnect between perception and Reality.
    maybe even a matter of the Glass being half empty and half full.

    Particuarly interesting are Stalins views on Martin Mc Guinness.
    There is certain.y LetsGetAlongerist rhetoric which spews out from the “middle ground” and LetsGetAlongerist action which can come from anywhere.
    Maybe interesting to look at the Center (sic) for Peace Journalism at Park, Missouri and its report on the QUB workshop on same, attended by many Sluggerites.

    Politics is but one aspect of LetsGetAlongerist culture and I dont think they have really made that much of an impact other than within their mutually supportive system.
    Oddly political parties seem more wary of groups like Platform for Change these days.
    Alliance are at heart a political party but hopefully have the sense to keep hangers on at their fringes at arms length.

    A LetsGetAlongerist might well look at Titanic, cathedral Quarter, City of Culture, G8, MTV Awards, Van Morrison , the mayor and his ten chaplains and poet laureate…and Giro d’Italia as the REALITY of Befast and Norn Iron….and the unionist councillors at City Hall not inviting the Pope and colour parties supporting paramilitaries at Leisure Centres as a blip.

    Me? I think the unionist councillors, and the colour parties are reality…..and all the rest is a con trick.

  • Zig70

    Letsgetalongerist in my head is akin to a Dublin West Brit. Folks who don’t seek to exclude but do because they can’t think outside their cosy box.

  • Mark

    From memory the term was first coined by FJH around four years ago after attending numerous Conflict Resolution Seminars / Party Conferences where ( correct me if I”m wrong ) vol au vonts and bullshit were the order of the day .

    To me the term / expression is defeatist and cynical and was probably made in jest by FJH while in early retirement and not invovled with the SDLP . The author of the thread makes the point about ” What’s wrong with getting along ” and most normal people would agree .

    Most people who achieved anything worthwhile look ( intentionally or not ) for recognition for their work and maybe that’s what FJH was hinting at . Eames / Bradley got a mention , can’t really remember any others .

    If you start off thinking something isn’t going to work …….. it won’t .

  • http://fitzjameshorselooksattheworld.wordpress.com/ fitzjameshorse1745

    it was probably around March 2010.

  • Naughton

    Zig70…’Cosy Box’, yes, of course it must be easy…

    Try being a catholic who marries into a border protestant family. I don’t recall that being cosy, or easy.

    Running though an interface being chased by kids with stanley knives because I was a ‘fenian’…easy?

    Yes, sure “let’s get along” is easy….No actually, simply hiding in your tribe and feeling morally superior is easy. Having to confrom your inate prejudices and challenge those of ones you come to love and respect is bloody hard!

  • aquifer

    Letsgetalongerist

    Someone who has noticed that in a modern economy that requires reliable communication trust and co-operation during very many transactions, any group whose politics can lead to violence has the capacity to destroy community wellbeing and reverse social progress.

  • Drumlins Rock

    Mick, I think its an excellent “word” and have used it numerous times, as well agreeing with FJHs use on the whole (although I would question the “default unionist” bit of his definition! ).

    Obviously it is not taken at face value, Lets Get Along, if it was we wouldn’t be discussing it! yet to me it works so well it is hard to define.

    If as you suggest “letsnotgetalongerist” exist , they would be people who invent reasons to fall out with each other, which covers 90% of the worlds population :) but thats going a bit far!

  • http://fitzjameshorselooksattheworld.wordpress.com/ fitzjameshorse1745

    It might be worthwhile to look at the “preciousness” of LetsGetAlongerists.
    The wounded expressions when they are criticised….Peace Journalism, the Arts Community and the rest.
    “Dont hit me Im holding the baby”
    “Every time a LetsGetAlongerist is criticised … Baby Jesus cries”

    But they CAN be pretty ruthless themselves.
    At an event a few months ago, I was encouraged by a smiling (professional) LetsGetAlongerist who was moderating a discussion to elaborate on naming these LetsGetAlongerists…and in the spirit of humour I went down a road that mentioned “Rory McIlroy”….and he neatly cut me off, dismissing me in front of a LetsGetAlongerist audience as a bit of a lunatic.
    Fair enough.
    I wont be making that mistake again.

  • notimetoshine

    Aquifers notion of Letsgetalongerism is quite right

    “Someone who has noticed that in a modern economy that requires reliable communication trust and co-operation during very many transactions, any group whose politics can lead to violence has the capacity to destroy community wellbeing and reverse social progress.”

    @Fitzjameshorse

    Tell me why the distaste for ‘letsgetalongerists’?

    Because at the base of it, letsgetalongerism is simply trying to make NI a better place socially, economically, politically.
    Yes it may come across as a little preachy but infinitely better than the extremist and regressive political thoughts and actions of our current parties which have yet to produce the results in terms of functional and practical politics.

    At least ‘letsgetalongerists’ recognise that governance and politics as it currently stands, is stale, regressive and not delivering for the people of NI.

    A suggestion. Maybe alongside letsgetalongerists we could have ‘letshateeachotherandnevermoveonerists’ to refer to our four largest parties and their acolytes.

  • http://www.selfhatinggentile.blogger.com tmitch57

    “Oops…To be clear. I dont think Mitch believes that I apply the soibriquet to Alliance because of the reasons he states.”

    @FJH,

    Actually I have no idea why you think what you do other than upbringing. I know that you use letsgetalongerist as an epitaph, an insult and that you have a low opinion of Alliance. I suspect that the latter is because you see Alliance eroding the SDLP’s support from the left as much as SF does from the right and because you see Alliance as unionist and so therefor in the enemy camp.

  • Ruarai

    Comrade Stalin,

    “…anyone trying to fix things is sadly deluded. This is a perspective that was at its height between 1980 or so and 1998, when Hume ran the SDLP on a policy of “screw the prods, we’ll get the two govts to divide the place up and take half, and the unionists can do whatever the hell they want”.

    You shouldn’t simply make things up.

    Let’s get somethings straight here.

    1. Between 1980 and 1998 (and long before) SDLP people like John Hume were under constant physical attack from Provos precisely because they were working for a power-sharing settlement rather than a forced “United Ireland” based on screwing the views of “the Prods”, including the “Prods” within the SDLP who worked for such a vision.

    2. The SDLP, far from “wanting half the power” – i.e. the power-carving adopted the McGuninness-Robinson axis of eijits and condemned repeatedly by Mark Durkan Sr as a betrayal of the spirit of Good Friday – the SDLP initiated a policy of power-sharing and rotation on councils where they were in a majority and had the power to do so. This was giving power away in an attempt to encourage a more power-sharing atmosphere. (Yet you attack Hume while celebrating McGuinness’s “walk in the other man’s shoes” vacuous cliched guff.)

    3. The Agreement we had in 1998 could have been had in any year from Sunningdale onwards. The majority of elected Unionists were not prepared to do such a deal with the SDLP in the 70s or for decades thereafter. In the end they had to do one with both the SDLP and the Provisional instead.

    4. While people like the Alliance Party’s John Alderdice made a career making nothing of relevance (dare to list his achievements?), John Hume built an international coalition of both peace-makers and investors; people who transformed NI’s economy and its politics to the benefit, as intended, of everyone in NI.

    5. The 1998 Agreement was not some sort of retreat from SDLP goals between 1980 and 1998 – it WAS the goal.

  • http://gravatar.com/joeharron Mister_Joe

    Did Rodney King start this? On the third day of the Los Angeles riots following the acquittal of the police officers caught beating him on a bystanders video, he famously said “People, I just want to say, can’t we all get along? Can’t we all get along?”

  • http://www.selfhatinggentile.blogger.com tmitch57

    “Did Rodney King start this?”

    @Mr._Joe,

    I was thinking of King when I saw the topic of this post, but I couldn’t remember his name. He had his 15 minutes of fame and then disappeared.

    “While people like the Alliance Party’s John Alderdice made a career making nothing of relevance (dare to list his achievements?), John Hume built an international coalition of both peace-makers and investors; people who transformed NI’s economy and its politics to the benefit, as intended, of everyone in NI.”

    @Ruarai,
    I certainly wouldn’t want to disparage Hume’s many achievements. But two things should be said. First, Hume was attempting many different strategies, sometimes serially and sometimes simultaneously. Hume supported power sharing in the early 1970s and then again starting in the early 1990s. In between he advocated joint rule through the New Ireland Forum and then in a watered-down form in the Anglo-Irish Agreement. Alliance had a single strategy throughout–power sharing. Second, as a Catholic who was opposed to the IRA, Hume was in a much better position to win support in America, especially among Irish-Americans in the establishment than was a Protestant like Alderdice. Having been clubbed over the head by the RUC during the 1969-72 period did not hurt either.

    “The 1998 Agreement was not some sort of retreat from SDLP goals between 1980 and 1998 – it WAS the goal.”

    I thought that the goal was a united Ireland and the GFA was merely the means to that goal.

  • http://www.selfhatinggentile.blogger.com tmitch57

    Ruarai,

    Actually reading my penultimate remark was an obvious error–I’m sure that it literally physically hurt, but that it did not hurt his reception in America and in England.

  • Ruarai

    Tmitch57,

    It wasn’t simply your penultimate remark that was off.

    My contrast of the impact of Alderice versus Hume was not a real question, just a rhetorical one. I don’t even think John Alderdice himself would invest too much in pursuing that comparison.

    Perhaps you ought to dwell a little longer on why none from Alliance were ever in danger of being “clubbed over the head by the RUC”, no? It’s a revealing insight.

    Being “clubbed over the head by the RUC” should represent a basic test of credibility applicable to anyone making claims to having been on the right side of the civil rights movement.

    If you weren’t getting clubbed, what exactly where you doing?

    You’re quite right that John Alderdice and his ilk had little to fear from the reactionaries. And there’s no honor in that.

    As for whether or not the SDLP’s primary goal was a United Ireland or a consociationally based peace agreement, are you really raising this as a question?

    Do people outside of Nationalist politics really not get the basic difference between the SDLP and SF?

    There are no final settlements in politics. The people who demand them are in the wrong business. What there is, is the ability to reshape the terms of the conversation; the ability to take control of the things that can be influenced; to reset things, not to seal things. Hume’s party’s most fundamental premise was that the primary divide in Ireland is between the people, not the land, and that until the people are united – until there is broad-based consent – no notion of Irish unity is worth a tinker’s damn.

    This position still holds. Do we really have to unearth his Single Transferable Speech. He delivered it every week for over two decades for crying out loud.

    And yes, in the absence of any prospect of reaching a power-sharing agreement with unionists in the late 70s and 80s, the SDLP did pursue a number of avenues aimed at unfreezing the frozen nature of NI’s broken state and polluted political dynamics. But the idea that the party was ever going to champion some sort of ethno-nationalist coercive change down the throats of a resistant Irish state and a rebellious Protestant Ulster is ludicrous. The raison d’etre of the party was to replace that type of lunacy with a political platform designed to and capable of redressing and rebuilding the key relationships on the island and between the islands.

    The GFA is that platform. The rest is up to the next generations.

    You know all this Tmitch, why are we rehashing?

  • http://fitzjameshorselooksattheworld.wordpress.com/ fitzjameshorse1745

    NotThisTime,
    I dont think I have any distaste at all for genuine LetsGetAlongerists.
    A bit naive maybe.

    The fact that you even ask the question …and “distaste” is a loaded word…in itself it answers the question.
    A republican, nationalist, unionist, loyalist, conservative, socialist,liberal would hardly ask the question.

  • Mick Fealty

    Two thoughts,

    If the term covers too many people its not useful as anything other than an insult. It has to be constrained to have effect.

    I think there could be mileage in your entryist idea FJH. That might include your usual suspects, but it could also include Eames Bradley, Haass O’Sullivan or indeed any project aimed at forcing a false consensus with the aim of ‘helping people get along better’.

    Democracy does help people ‘get along’, rather it formalises ways of managing and even fomenting disagreement such that we don’t feel compelled to go back to war.

  • aquifer

    Letsgetalongerism

    is not

    The politics of the last five hoodlums with a pistol

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    FJH

    “A LetsGetAlongerist might well look at Titanic, cathedral Quarter, City of Culture, G8, MTV Awards, Van Morrison , the mayor and his ten chaplains and poet laureate…and Giro d’Italia as the REALITY of Befast and Norn Iron….and the unionist councillors at City Hall not inviting the Pope and colour parties supporting paramilitaries at Leisure Centres as a blip.

    Me? I think the unionist councillors, and the colour parties are reality…..and all the rest is a con trick.

    Interesting point.

    That got me thinking about applying a similar view to Glasgow and their versions of watered down Letsgetalongerists i.e. the West end/hipsters/middle class/non-Old Firm types.

    They would see Glasgow through a cultural prism and list off their city’s highlights: West End, Merchant City, the approaching Commonwealth games, City of Culture, the riverside regeneration projects (e.g. the new Transport museum) etc

    For them a fabulous life in the West End or parts of the Southside is the reality.

    To others it’s the spectre of crime, low life expectancy and a number of other unsavoury things.

    Perhaps they see the shiny things as a con trick too?

    When do the shiny things become the reality?

    Also, I hear you on the faux-letsgetalongery, perhaps it’s a perfect channel for opportunists?

    If so, do you think if Paisley were 60 years younger he might have been one? (I see him as an arch-opportunist).

    If so, has Jamie Bryson missed a trick?

  • BifterGreenthumb

    ‘Letsgetalongerism’ – derogatory term for non-sectarian politics in Northern Ireland.

    The term is usually used by those who naively assume that their sectarian/tribalist/nationalistic view of Northern Irish society is an eternal truth. It is used as a way of dismissing any ideas that challenges this ‘eternal truth’ by characterising any challenge as good natured but naive and ineffective.

    I think ‘letsgetalongerism’ is a bit of a misnomer. While I think for some people I would fall into the letsgetalongerist camp I don’t want to ‘get along’ with a bunch of loyalist or republican bigots. I don’t want a ‘shared future’ if that means loyalist and republican bigots sharing power. I want a non-sectarian future in which people don’t define themselves by religion or the constitutional question or think that these two issues are linked.

    The problem with the way people think about non-sectarian politics, including the way many people with non-sectarian views think about themselves, is that they think in terms of the traditional left-centre-right political spectrum. So just as liberals are ‘in-between’ Tories on the right and Labour on the left so too non-sectarian parties here are seen as ‘in-between’ republicans on one side and unionists on the other. But this isn’t the case. Orange unionism and nationalistic republicanism are both forms of nationalism and as such are on the right of the political spectrum. Non-sectarian parties are to the left of the sectarian parties. Alliance and the Greens are no more in-between Republicans and Unionists that atheists are in-between Christians and Muslims. Just as atheists reject the fundamental assumption that all religious people hold so too non-sectarian politics rejects the fundamental assumption that both unionists and nationalists hold. Non-sectarian politic isn’t, or at least shouldn’t, be about brokering compromises between the two tribes. It should be about overcoming tribal politics.

    In order to do away with the derogatory term ‘letsgetalongerist’ Alliance and Greens etc need to be more aggressively anti-(rather than just non-)sectarian.

  • BifterGreenthumb

    PaddyReilly “Letsgetalongeists are just as likely to use violence as anyone else, if people fail to conform to their agenda.”

    Aye look at all the bombs and punishment beatings dished out over the years by the Alliance and Greens and their paramilitary wings. The fact that there role in troubles doesn’t get more media coverage is a discrace and is obviously part of a letsgetalongerist agenda to make it look as if all the violence during the troubles was carried out by Republicans, Loyalists and the Brits.

  • http://fitzjameshorselooksattheworld.wordpress.com/ fitzjameshorse1745

    Mick….if youre saying that “LetsGetAlongerist” is a term of abuse then surely it would not be an acceptable term on Slugger.
    There is certainly some mileage…as you put it…in “entryism” and I think earlier you acknowledged “taking politics out of politics”.

    Yet in itself there is no abuse….is there? …in describing someone by analysis as socialist, liberal, unionist etc…even if they themselves might find the term irritating.

    I get the impression that those who might THINK they are so labelled dont like LetsGetAlongerism for two reasons.
    1….they themselves dont like to be labelled.
    2….they dont believe it exists…or choose not to.

    And this perhaps begs the question should we label something that does not want to be labelled because it has a problem with labels….or because it succeeds in (for example) entryism because it goes unlabelled.

  • Greenflag

    Ruarai ,

    “There are no final settlements in politics.”

    True .

    ” The people who demand them are in the wrong business. ”

    Very true- but you can’t tell them they’re in the wrong business –

    ‘ What there is, is the ability to reshape the terms of the conversation; the ability to take control of the things that can be influenced; to reset things, not to seal things.”

    Nothing lasts forever -change is the law of the universe -and adapting to that change will ensure survival just as non adaptation may lead to extinction .

    ‘ Hume’s party’s most fundamental premise was that the primary divide in Ireland is between the people, not the land, and that until the people are united – until there is broad-based consent – no notion of Irish unity is worth a tinker’s damn.’

    Thats what the GFA was/is about.

    ‘This position still holds. ‘

    Indeed .

    ‘Do we really have to unearth his Single Transferable Speech. He delivered it every week for over two decades for crying out loud.’

    There is no memory as good as faded ink . And while I sympathise with your comment it’s as well to remember that many were NOT listening to Hume/Mallon 20 years ago or even 40 years ago and some are still not listening -don’t like the message -and would rather not consider the implications of such intelligent thought .

    The positive is that the numbers of such non listeners are dwindling and their political influence is steadily decreasing .

  • PaddyReilly

    Yes I recall after they shot and killed Danny Lennon on the Falls Road and his car careered and killed the three Maguire children, the British Army announced their role in Belfast was ‘Peace-keeping duties’. Armed Getalongerism, in fact: stop fighting or I’ll shoot.

    If you tell people to get along with each other, and they don’t want to, you have two choices:-

    1) You continue ineffectively as before: your facile posturing comes more and more to resemble Blue Peter proposing to irrigate the Sahara Desert https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNfGyIW7aHM;
    2) You go out there and shoot the insurgents. This makes you as bad as the insurgents you are proposing as the problem.

    Mr Naughton, a Catholic married to a Border Protestant, is chased through the streets with Stanley knives. The Getalongerist Party holds a conference in Bangor, and a strongly worded motion is passed condemning this sort of behaviour. Result: Mr Naughton is chased through the streets with Stanley knives and rocks.

  • Damian O’Loan

    People who put reconciliation of communities before their personal ideology or stance on NI’s constitutional status.

    It could be seen as close to demagogy, which I think touches on the false appendix recently added.

    A term employed by those who reject the sincerity of this hierarchy, somewhat like a selfish gene line of argument.

  • http://www.selfhatinggentile.blogger.com tmitch57

    “My contrast of the impact of Alderice versus Hume was not a real question, just a rhetorical one. I don’t even think John Alderdice himself would invest too much in pursuing that comparison.”

    @Ruarai,

    It should have been clear that I wasn’t questioning Hume’s much longer list of accomplishments. I own two biographies of Hume, I don’t own any of any Alliance leader. I was trying to place them in context.

    “As for whether or not the SDLP’s primary goal was a United Ireland or a consociationally based peace agreement, are you really raising this as a question?

    Do people outside of Nationalist politics really not get the basic difference between the SDLP and SF?”

    Yes, I am. The basic difference between the two parties was over their means, their views on politics, etc. Both parties were sectarian or sectional parties, the SDLP believed in persuading people and compromise, SF believed in terrorizing people and intimidation. These are very important differences.

    “You’re quite right that John Alderdice and his ilk had little to fear from the reactionaries. And there’s no honor in that.”

    Alderdice wasn’t even involved in politics at the time that Hume had to fear for his physical safety from the RUC. Alderdice is much younger than Hume. It should be Oliver Napier that you should be making the comparison with. The fact that Napier was a Catholic serving as the head of a party with a membership of people from a mostly Protestant background is an important accomplishment. And the introduction of PR-STV to local and Assembly elections in Northern Ireland after more than a forty-year gap is mainly to the credit of Alliance not the SDLP.

  • ForkHandles

    “LetsGetAlongerist” – A term used in Northern Ireland by tribal thinking people who do not understand what non tribal thinking is.

    That’s pretty much what the use of this term is about !
    The only time it is used is when people are unable to understand the normal “live and let live” attitude that is the norm in most western societies. The tribal person thinks that they should be opposed to anything they think is not part of their tribes interests, such as political, cultural activities etc. Whereas in most western societies people do not feel the need to oppose and attack political and cultural activities that they themselves do not identify with or have an interest in.

  • PaddyReilly

    Peace can be made only by those who have previously been making war: the Generals, not the women who chain themselves to railings.

    A Lesgetalongerist is a Reductionist, a person who proposes to effect far reaching reforms, without having the means to do so. The Monty Python sketch says it all:-

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNfGyIW7aHM

    This on its own would be merely laughable. But when the Letsgetalongerists then proceed to take potshots at the people who really concluded the negotiations, and put themselves forward for high-paying public office as part of their programme, a certain resentment kicks in.

  • Ruarai

    tmitch57,

    Kudos to Napier on the PR-STV legacy.

    How are the SDLP a sectarian party? Can you expand on that, including your definition of sectarian?

    Until a couple of Local Councillors in Newry, whose names no one remembers, fudged that park naming relatively recently, I struggle to think even of individual members over a 40 year period who have made sectarian comments, never mind policies that were sectarian.

    Terms are important. If we throw them around too easily, they lose their force and meaning – so, please unpack that…

  • Naughton

    Paddy Reilly,

    “Mr Naughton, a Catholic married to a Border Protestant, is chased through the streets with Stanley knives. The Getalongerist Party holds a conference in Bangor, and a strongly worded motion is passed condemning this sort of behaviour. Result: Mr Naughton is chased through the streets with Stanley knives and rocks.”

    Actually result was Mr Naughton did not try ‘hugging a hoodie’ (or the 1980s equivalent), but over the next few years through work and university widened my social circle from 95% Catholic simply by engaging with those I worked studied with in a mixed environment.

    And, when the opportunity arose, I relished the chance to work in deeply deprived communities on economic regeneration projects and community relations.

    I sat in rooms with some very angry scarey people and by not preaching but trying to positively engage did try to make a difference. I mostly failed, but some of those I worked with did turn lives and attuitudes around.

    It may be heresy in the comfortable binary world of Slugger, but I don’t care for Green or Orange in their blinkered world views. There was to much horror committed in both causes for me to stomach and some of that deeply affected my own family and wife’s. My kids are young enough to have a chance at a better life, if ‘getting along’ is the price of that I think it is worth the odd snide comment.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Ruarai


    “…anyone trying to fix things is sadly deluded. This is a perspective that was at its height between 1980 or so and 1998, when Hume ran the SDLP on a policy of “screw the prods, we’ll get the two govts to divide the place up and take half, and the unionists can do whatever the hell they want”.

    You shouldn’t simply make things up.

    It’s not at all good form to accuse me of being a liar for having a different opinion from you, but even then, yours are at odds with the facts. Let’s go through it.

    Let’s get somethings straight here.

    1. Between 1980 and 1998 (and long before) SDLP people like John Hume were under constant physical attack from Provos precisely because

    Let me stop you there. Everyone was under constant physical attack from the Provos and the SDLP were no exception. SDLP politicians were targetted and intimidated because they were challenging Sinn Féin electorally, especially around the time of the hunger strikes.

    they were working for a power-sharing settlement rather than a forced “United Ireland” based on screwing the views of “the Prods”, including the “Prods” within the SDLP who worked for such a vision.

    Nonsense. I challenge you to find a shred of proof that John Hume or the SDLP had any intention of entering into a power sharing arrangement with unionists prior to the GFA talks.

    The evidence supports my contention. The first serious attempt at powersharing in 1982 faltered when Hume’s SDLP boycotted the Prior assembly. The Anglo Irish Agreement – drafted following Hume’s lobbying of the Irish government – was designed expressly and specifically to lock unionists out and create a joint authority situation (not power sharing). In 1989, Hume entered the Brooke talks – aimed at restoring devolution and powersharing – but pulled his team out later and caused the talks to collapse.

    The SDLP were not pursuing powersharing until it was forced on them by the realpolitik of the talks process which began in earnest in 1997. The SDLP’s submission to the Brooke talks proposed an assembly with executive authority exercised by a six-member commission half appointed by the two governments and half elected from NI as a single constituency.

    2. The SDLP, far from “wanting half the power” – i.e. the power-carving adopted the McGuninness-Robinson axis of eijits and condemned repeatedly by Mark Durkan Sr as a betrayal of the spirit of Good Friday

    The spirit of the Good Friday Agreement wasa carve up. The SDLP and UUP acted to seal in what they believed were their guaranteed party majorities and built a powersharing arrangement which was skewed to grant the lion’s share of executive seats disproportionately to the largest parties. They conspired to disenfranchise the centre.

    – the SDLP initiated a policy of power-sharing and rotation on councils where they were in a majority and had the power to do so.

    You mean, the SDLP occasionally nominated token Prods in councils they controlled to roles where they exercised no real executive power. I have no problem recognizing that the SDLP showed leadership here – but this was not powersharing.

    This was giving power away in an attempt to encourage a more power-sharing atmosphere. (Yet you attack Hume while celebrating McGuinness’s “walk in the other man’s shoes” vacuous cliched guff.)

    McGuinness called the IRA traitors, shook hands with the Queen and celebrated Orange marches in Derry. Considering who he is and what his background is, I’ll say any day of the week that he has travelled further, and more convincingly, than anyone in the SDLP.

    3. The Agreement we had in 1998 could have been had in any year from Sunningdale onwards.

    Could have been had in 1982. SDLP blocked it.

    Could have been had in 1991. SDLP blocked that too.

    The majority of elected Unionists were not prepared to do such a deal with the SDLP in the 70s or for decades thereafter. In the end they had to do one with both the SDLP and the Provisional instead.

    At the Brooke talks it was close until the SDLP pulled out.

    4. While people like the Alliance Party’s John Alderdice made a career making nothing of relevance (dare to list his achievements?),

    Alliance participated continuously in all the serious talks processes that were set up before Sunningdale, and since, and never boycotted anything or engaged in Hume’s pettiness (such as demands that the term “United Kingdom” not be used).

    John Hume built an international coalition of both peace-makers and investors; people who transformed NI’s economy and its politics to the benefit, as intended, of everyone in NI.

    That part’s news to me. What investors ?

    5. The 1998 Agreement was not some sort of retreat from SDLP goals between 1980 and 1998 – it WAS the goal

    No it wasn’t.

    The SDLP’s goal was joint authority – they called it “an Agreed Ireland” and referred to it in their electoral literature – with the Anglo Irish Agreement acting as the stepping stone. Hume believed the Irish government had to represent the interests of Northern nationalists as a corollary to the British. Hume believed that powersharing with the unionists was impossible and acted all the way throughout his career to undermine it, until 1997 when he was overtaken by events and lost control of the process launched not by him, but by Charles Haughey and Gerry Adams. All of this is accounted for in Ed Maloney’s “History of the IRA” book.

    I dare you to find a single example of the SDLP after 1980 proposing the restoration of devolved government.

  • Coll Ciotach

    The political equivalent of being good living for a living

  • PaddyReilly

    If our political system returned 90% Getalongerists and 10% Factionalists, then the Gs could impose their will on the Fs, criminalising, imprisoning and generally harassing them. But as the figures are actually the other way round, there simply is no hope of imposing Getalongerist philosophy on society.

    Equally, the idea “My kids are young enough to have a chance at a better life,” is hopelessly optimistic, because even if your offspring are paragons of equity and non-sectarian feeling, those others who surround them are not.

    In fact, every single political philosophy will lead to peace, if only it could command universal respect. If the Fenians had just realised that the Rev Ian Paisley was in charge and stopped agitating and, preferably, voting, then we would have had peace. Indeed, it was nice and quiet in the 50s, and Nationalists frequently didn’t even bother contesting seats.

    If the Protestants could just realise that the IRA rules in this neck of the wood, then we would have peace: isn’t that what we have in Monaghan and Donegal?

    So the last thing we need is another philosophy to come along and tell us we all need to obey them, lecturing us, in their best Blue Peter voices, now look here, you silly chumps, just stop this tribalism thing, put away your spears and assegais, and we can all just get along with each other.

    I sat in rooms with some very angry scary people and by not preaching but trying to positively engage did try to make a difference. I mostly failed, but some of those I worked with did turn lives and attitudes around.

    I like the “I mostly failed”. It brings an element of reality into the proceedings. For something of the sort to have political significance, it needs a 100% success rate.

    It seems to me that you are confusing a process of personal regeneration with the best way to run society. The two things are quite separate.

    ‘Let’s all love each other’ is not a way to run any society. There have to be workable structures.

  • Greenflag

    @ Naughton

    ‘I sat in rooms with some very angry scarey people and by not preaching but trying to positively engage did try to make a difference. I mostly failed, but some of those I worked with did turn lives and attiitudes around.’

    Well done you –

    Of course theres more angry scarey people on the way as the BBC tells us in this report . But you’ll never have heard the DUP or UUP make mention of the issue .

    http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-26855040

    On the other FM Robinson is quite ready to pull the nucler option on welfare reform . Apparently the ‘Protestant Boys ‘ in the above BBC link may be scheduled to have even less ”

    Interesting that it’s the Catholic girls and Chinese girls who benefit most from ‘ejication ‘ of the academic sort .

    Of course the 9 billion pound deficit in expenses over income can’t continue -can it . How about the politicians taking a cut in their salaries as an example like ? Mind their counterparts in the Dail still earn way more than their counterparts at Westminster despite taking a pay cut ?

    As always to them that hath shall be given more and to them that hath not even that which they haven’t got or got yet will be and is being taken from them -before they wake up in the morning -if they but knew it :(

  • Greenflag

    Oops omitted the BBC Peter ‘the Wolf “Robinson’s link above.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-26862081

  • http://www.selfhatinggentile.blogger.com tmitch57

    @Ruarai,

    Here is the definition and examples from the Merriam-Webster online dictionary:

    “of, relating to, or characteristic of a sect or sectarian
    2
    : limited in character or scope : parochial
    — sec·tar·i·an·ism noun

    Examples of SECTARIAN

    The country was split along sectarian lines.

    Limited in character or scope–to the nationalist portion of the province, just as the unionist parties are limited to the unionist portion. This is why I wrote “sectarian or sectional.”

    I think the first example defines NI (except for it not being a country) very well.
    The second example illustrates that it does not have to be religious in nature.

  • Zig70

    At the end of the day, they are the politically stupid. Can’t understand why they aren’t the majority. They look down their noses at people who don’t think like them and end up in a party of one. We need to embrace our differences and work to accommodate them, not blend them to a mush. Mind you on it’s own the TUV fits that description. So you need the class aspect. Middle class, who live in mildly mixed areas, where the troubles only happened on TV and the most important thing is what school you went to.

  • Naughton

    Well, I’m not going to win this argument as I am ‘politically stupid’ and a snob apparently. Perhaps that is because I am a patriot, but not a green or orange nationlaist. I do not believe in the moral superiority of my ‘tribe’, but don’t take my analysis, try George Orwell’s he would recognise this place only too well.

    “Patriotism is of its nature defensive, both militarily and culturally. Nationalism, on the other hand, is inseparable from the desire for power. The abiding purpose of every nationalist is to secure more power and more prestige, not for himself but for the nation or other unit in which he has chosen to sink his own individuality.”

    He should be required reading in every NI school.
    http://orwell.ru/library/essays/nationalism/english/e_nat

  • BifterGreenthumb

    Nice quote from Orwell especially the bit “…the nation or other unit in which he has chosen to sink his own individuality”

    This is what I’ve always found strange about nationalism (of all kinds): it’s a proud rejection of individuality. People talk of their ‘national identity’ but my nationality is something I share with many other people many with who I share little else in common. As a way of identifying yourself, your individuality, nationality is pretty useless.

    A person who identifies fully with their nation and accepts unquestioningly and uncritically its ideology and cultural practices lacks the essential aspects of an individual i.e. autonomous thought.

    Northern Ireland is a perfect example of how national identity goes hand in hand with the rejection of individuality. Your tribe determines your religion, your politics and your views on a whole range of other issues. If you think for yourself and arrive at a conclusion different from your tribe’s orthodoxy you are a traitor, a lundy.

    ‘Letsgetalongerism’ is so offensive to nationalists (green and orange) precisely because it is a thoughtful rejection of traditional tribal orthodoxy. The ridiculous reaction to the fact that Anna Lo has a different view on the constitutional question to David Ford just shows how any free thinking confuses tribalists. “They are in the same party. They should have the same opinions on every issue! Especially the issue that defines me and my tribe!”

    “Every miserable fool who has nothing at all of which he can be proud, adopts as a last resource pride in the nation to which he belongs; he is ready and happy to defend all its faults and follies tooth and nail, thus reimbursing himself for his own inferiority.”
    - Arthur Schopenhauer, Aphorisms

  • Ruarai

    Tmitch – So on what basis, I ask again, do you describe the SDLP as a sectarian party? Please be specific (and serious).

    CS -Good stuff there – good exchange – I’ll get back to you after work.

  • Zig70

    From what you’ve written, naughton, I’m not sure you fit the bill. Is it a label you desire? Do you feel the need to promote unelected government bodies and work for them, dismiss the tribes as knuckle draggers?

  • Naughton

    Perhaps Zig, an example that broad sweeping statements can be taken to heart. When I see ‘letsgetalongersit’ I do think that it is aimed at people like me who aren’t pure orange or green. Maybe I’m being too sensitive, but think I can fairly say I have ‘walked the talk’, at least a local and personal level, and not just espoused views at nice Bangor dinner parties and done nothing.

    I would love to see more mature debate here at elected and unelected levels – communities are in my experience often not well served by many of those they elect from too a small pool of talent. Voluntary, community government and quango land all have their place and role, as well.

    As for knuckle dragging. I will defend the right of anyone to promote, defend and nuture community and identity, be that Chinese, Irish, British, European or anyother. I do not however feel any shame about criticising where that is turned into a verbal or actual weapon to preach tribe superiority or conflict.

    I hope that clarifies

  • Mick Fealty

    Erm, and LetsGetAlongerism?

  • Naughton

    yep wrist slapped, Mick, I must try proof reading, but point still stands, its an easy label to chuck, but I don’t thik it is in the same class as whataboutery.

  • http://ansionnachfionn.com/ An Sionnach Fionn

    LetsGetAlongerism: Political slang for a strand of liberal British Unionism in Ireland which argues that the north-eastern corner of the island of Ireland forms a distinct territory, region or country called “Northern Ireland” and that this territory is a hybrid of the Irish and British nations. For political, socio-economic or cultural reasons LetsGetAlongerism argues that “Northern Ireland” must remain under Britain’s jurisdiction while retaining limited devolved powers and friendly relations with Ireland as a whole (c.f. the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland). The ideological origins of LetsGetAlongerism lie in early 20th century Irish Unionism as expressed in the greater part of Ireland outside of the northern Unionist enclave of Ulster, notable for its blending of Irish and British identities. The most developed form of LetsGetAlongerism is a type of “Northern Ireland” nationalism which posits that there exists two historic nations or peoples on the island of Ireland (c.f. NI21).

  • PaddyReilly

    Of course, the emergence of NI21 gives LetsGetAlongerism a chance to split along sectarian lines, NI21 having a firmly pro-Union stance of the sort which has largely evaporated among Alliance voters, giving us all a chance to have a good laugh at the LetsGetAlongerists not getting along with each other.

  • ForkHandles

    Naughton, don’t waste your time with the tribal people on slugger. They are completely incapable of understanding anything other than a mind set of hostile war against their ‘other tribe’. They are to be pitied in this day and age. Hope to hear your opinion on future normal issues raised on slugger in the future :)

  • http://www.selfhatinggentile.blogger.com tmitch57

    Ruarai,

    The SDLP is a nationalist party that appeals to a nationalist electorate with a nationalist ideology, just as the DUP, TUV, and UUP are unionist parties that appeal to a unionist electorate with unionist ideology. Pushing for a united Ireland or at the least joint rule is designed to appeal to part of the electorate and not appeal to the other part.

  • Comrade Stalin

    LetsGetAlongerism: Political slang for a strand of liberal British Unionism in Ireland which argues that the north-eastern corner of the island of Ireland forms a distinct territory

    Translation – anyone who is not a nationalist must be a “British Unionist”.

  • PaddyReilly

    In the 60s and 70s (and after) there was tons of money around available for any people in the social sciences who could advance a GetAlongerist agenda in Belfast or elsewhere in the North. Career permanent students from all over Britain and Ireland flocked to Ulster to benefit from these bursaries, grants, etc.

    There was the Wee Suffolked Estate. This taught the natives that it is possible for people in low cost housing estates to live together in harmony. Didn’t work. I remember the complaints of virtually the last Protestant family on the estate, (friends of mine as it happens) who were being intimidated out because a local IRA man fancied their house. The problem here is that it was too close to a major Catholic area and there is always a shortage of housing, for Catholics at least.

    Then there were the Corrymeela Slumber Parties. The idea was to take children from deprived and sectarianised areas of Belfast and force them to sleep in the same dormitories and take part together in fun activities. Result: The house fathers soon learnt that it is just a matter of time before everything turned into a major riot and the children started building barricades between Catholic and Protestant sections of their quarters. Apparently, as beavers instinctively build dams, Northern Irish children instinctively create barricades.

    Then there was the Peace Theatre. Using a cast made up of Catholic Dubliners and Anglican Londoners, a series of street theatre shows were put showing children how peaceful solutions work better than violent ones. Result: it all broke up when the male lead was lifted by the Army. As I see it, the IRA probably had a cunning way of dealing with outside do-gooders, which was to phone up the snitch hotline and denounce them as having been involved in the recent killing of a British Army soldier. When, finally, they emerged from 48 hours of incommunicado sleepless torture, they might begin to understand why the natives were dissatisfied in the first place.

    The problem with all these projects is that they blame the individual rather than the political circumstances that they find themselves in. Over the years I have grown to identify the LetsGetAlongerist as person with a self-aggrandising messianic agenda who is prepared to put other people’s lives as risk in order to advance their own career, standing in their professions, access to bursaries etc. A particular negative mention must be given to the awful ‘Peace Woman’ who thought she would ameliorate matters by campaigning for the removal of the walls between the Falls and Shankill. Fortunately she was unsuccessful. In removing the walls; in feathering her own nest, well that’s something else.

    Instead of Lets Get Along, there is a certain wisdom to LetsAgreeToDiffer, in my view.

    Naughton, don’t waste your time with the tribal people on slugger. They are completely incapable of understanding anything other than a mind set of hostile war against their ‘other tribe’. They are to be pitied in this day and age

    Unbelieveable. You appear to constructing a sect to rival the Select Brethren. Instead of don’t speak to them, they’re Catholic/Protestant, you substitute don’t speak to them, they’re Tribalist. In Politics, what matters is how many votes a faction gets, not how wonderful it thinks it is.