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  1. Comment on The BBC has no business making a silly unionist dig at Martin McGuinness
    on 3 January 2013 at 1:35 pm

    “unbiased BBC”

    That’s hilarious.

    Does anyone actually think there’s such a thing as “unbiased” news?

    Go to comment

  2. Comment on Your Predictions for Northern Ireland Politics in 2013?
    on 3 January 2013 at 9:17 am



    - Continued tensions in the SDLP around the leader, and continued confusion as to whether they are Sinn Fein lite, or something distinct. McDonnell will stay as leader but credibility will continue to decline with Attwood, McDevitt and D Kelly jostling in the shadows for position. McDevitt to join Kelly in calling for opposition to be looked at.



    - The Basil Mcrea and John McCallister saga to continue. Political theory would suggest if their viewpoints and outlook are irreconcilable with the Party Leader and membership they should consider setting up their own party e.g. “The Civic Unionist Party”. However, I’m sure both are wary of failed ventures in this area before. I think the umming and ahhing may continue such that the opportunity is ultimately lost. John is the more able, thoughtful, articulate, consistent and courageous of the two however, and this will begin to grow more apparent to the public.



    - Tensions within the party to emerge as the fallout from flegs continue. Robinson will still try to demonstrate statesmanship and leadership qualities, while the party dafties like McCauseland, Campbell, Patterson et al will respond to the tribal drumbeat and up the ante on shrill rhetoric and empty “no surrender”ism. Seeds to be sewn for a Post-Robinson rupture (and potential reamalgamation of unionism more generally).


    Sinn Fein:

    Continued windbaggery.

    No particularly useful answers to be offered to the problems of unemployment and deprivation in their West Belfast, Mid Ulster and Newry fiefdoms. However, wonderful speeches will be given in graveyards and other martyr shrine events about the percipience and foresight of the Republican “struggle”.

    Let them eat Gerry’s autobiographies etc.

    “The strategy” continues.


    In the midst of all this guff, bluster and non-delivery, residual support for dissidents and Willie Frazer will very sadly increase, probably revealing itself in tragic manners by the end of the year.


    Kelvin Mackenzie to call for UK to withdraw from Northern Ireland on grounds of cost.

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  3. Comment on If Northern Ireland was a Hollywood movie…?
    on 18 December 2012 at 11:04 am

    Baron Von Stalford’s Monster

    A terrifying tale of a political experiment that goes hideously wrong. A tale suffice to chill the cold bones of Jim Allister himself.

    Victor Von Stalford is a talented young political scientist at the Reine Universitat, Ingolstadt. However, to the great dismay of his tutors, Von Stalford grows increasingly obsessed with the teachings of long debunked political alchemy theorists such as Jan de Paisley and Guilliam Craigville – in particular their mystical belief that political life can be created out of base products such as pre-manufactured outrage and moral superiority.

    Hearing of plans by the Alliance Lady of the Court Noami Longchamps to replace the University’s brutalist period cement flagstones, flagstones cited in works by de Paisley and Craigville to have miraculous powers over the material wellbeing of 50% of the population, Von Stalford hatches a cunning plan: to raise to life a monster to prevent this occurrence, as he has read Jan de Paisley and Guilliam Craigville did in days of yore before.

    Von Stalford robustly brushes to one side the suggestion of his tutors that he would be better advised to deploy the modish tactic of “discussion and negotiation” with Lady Longchamps in order to achieve his objective. “Piff and Paff Professors! Your new-fangled ways are untested and no match for the power and might of de Paisley theorem. I shall show you all.”

    Working late into the night on his creation, experimenting with various dangerous and controlled substances such as bile, baloney and balderdash, Von Stalford tries and tries again to bring his creation to life – including using a range of powerful political and religious stimuli, as approved by the de Paisley methodology. Yet still seemingly no response.

    Sweating under the heat of the laboratory lamps, Von Stalford removes his Olympique Marseille football scarf, depositing in on the creatures head. Moved to despair, Von Stalford mops his brow and exclaims openly “By Londonderry, I think I may just have to surrender on this project”.

    Just at this very moment, the creature begins to twitch and groan. “Urggh….Urghhh…..NO SURRENDER….NO SURRENDER”.

    Von Stalford is ecstatic. It worked! It worked! De Paisley’s theory is true. A monster can be created – by simply using enough bile and baloney, in the correct proportions, and applying the right political stimuli.

    “Welcome! Welcome! My beautiful creature! I name you….Rab Bull. Rab after my favourite Scottish TV sitcom, and Bull, after one of your prime ingredients. Marvelous”.

    However, as he moves to embrace his creature, the scarf falls from its face, revealing its hideously ugly and foul features, cold with the very outlines of hate and seeming to reflect Beelzebub’s very own vision of chaos and anarchy within its dark and melancholic eyes. This prompts revulsion in the very pit of Van Stalford’s heart. He backs away in fright and terror.

    “What have I done?! What have I created?!”

    The creature senses its master’s horror and is crestfallen at the rejection.

    “All I wanted to do was to stop Lady Longchamps from replacing the beautiful cracked cement flagstones outside the Student Union with those nasty unbroken granite flagstones. I could have just talked to her. I didn’t need to create this…this…monster!”

    With that, the distraught creature, feeling repulsed by its own image, covers its face again with Von Stalford’s Marseille scarf and escapes the laboratory, determined to prove its worth to its creator – smashing granite flagstones wherever it goes, and destroying Lady Longchamps expensively cultivated new image for the city.

    After much pensive mental-wrangling, Baron Von Stalford turns to the only source of help he can think of: Count Robinsonspierre of Craigavad. This old boy is a past master at controlling wild creatures, having previously got the better of an unruly and discordant beast from a Portadown farm, known as “the Trim Bull”. He also boasts to have once “smashed the old ogre of the Bann, Shane Feign”. Baron Von Stalford expresses some incredulity about this latter claim however.

    The rest of the film features Von Stalford and Robinsonspierre desperately trying to capture the monster Rab Bull, as it tears up flagstones and terrorises Lady Longchamps and her courtiers, wherever they may reside.

    The film ends with a cliffhanger, von Stalford and Robinsonspierre chasing the monster across the Craigantlet hills as it heads dangerously towards the Palace of Stormont.

    The audience is left wondering if the beast will ever be tamed, or if havoc will be wreaked on the inhabitants of the Palace.

    We are told at the end of the film that all will be revealed in a forthcoming sequel: “Rab Bull 2: just when you thought it was safe to go make to the Christmas market”

    Baron von Stalford : Justin Bieber

    Lady Noami Longchamps : Roseanne Barr

    Reine Universitat Professors : Statler and Waldorf

    The creature (Rab Bull) : Andy Serkis

    Count Robinsonspierre : Harry Styles

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  4. Comment on If Northern Ireland was a Hollywood movie…?
    on 13 December 2012 at 4:33 pm

    Jim Allister’s “A Christmas Carrot”

    Plot : Jim Allister is a man for whom everything is a cause of grievous anger and indignation – too much milk in his brew, Frank Mitchell getting a weather prediction wrong, Natasha Sayee scoffing the last caramel square in the Stormont cafeteria. These are just some of the incidents we observe in the opening sequences of the film that are capable of sending Mr Allister into a flying rage.

    His poor helper Sammy Crotchetson is the unfortunate recipient of this daily outpouring of bile, shouldering the opprobrium with an heroic sense of service to his master.

    Then one Christmas Eve, little Sammy Crotchetson summons the courage to ask for a small christmas bonus in order that he can go to Nutts Corner and buy more flags for the annual Christmas protest in Cullybackey.

    Outraged at the impertinence of the request, Allister throws a carrot at Crotchetson’s forehead, from a sack of the root vegetable that he keeps by his desk for mid-afternoon nourishment.

    “Be gone from my sight Sammy Crotchetson – let that carrot be your bonus, Har Har Har!”

    Crotchetson departs with carrot.

    Jim Allister stays in the office late to work on his latest speech to a party dinner to be held in the Canal Court Newry. He expresses the hope out loud that the event does not sell more places than the venue’s capacity – he hates a sell out.

    When all of a sudden he is visited by the ghost of Ian Paisley: “You sell out Allister!”

    “No YOU sell out Paisley”….”No YOU sell out Allister” (this continues for some time)

    Finally the ghost explains himself: “You have sold out on the joyful spirit of Christmas Jim Allister, and three of my spirits will show you how…”

    The first ghost to visit, the ghost of Christmas past, is Peter Robinson. They travel back in time to Christmas 1982. Jim Allister, newly appointed DUP Assembly Chief Whip, has a full set of hair flowing neatly over his earholes, and is dancing vigourously to Captain Sensible’s Happy Talk at the DUP Christmas Party at Ballynafeigh Orange Hall. When all of a sudden he dances a little too vigorously, causing an involuntary tear in the seat of his Ulster tartan pantalons, bought especially for the occasion.

    Peter Robinson from the past, dressed in a Captain Sensible beret and glasses, peels with laughter and points the incident out to Ian Paisley and Nigel Dodds who join in the ribbing. Soon everyone is laughing. Even Nelson McCausland, who calls him a “wee dafty” .

    Jim then remembers why he hates Christmas and Peter Robinson.

    The next ghost to visit is the ghost of Christmas present, David Vance. He takes Jim to Nutts Corner market, where poor Sammy Crotchetson is trying to sell bits of the carrot Jim had given him earlier in order that he can raise enough money to purchase some flags and attend the Gala Cullybackey Christmas flag protest. Noone wants a bit of Sammy’s carrot however. Jim is filled with remorse.

    The third ghost, is the ghost of Christmas yet to come, Christopher Stalledfirsttime. Here they fly over a burning dystopian Belfast 2050. Alien Monkeys and Gorrillas from Titan Moon have taken over the city, exploiting the divisions caused by the natives’ constant quarrelling over flags. Here Jim learns that the Alien invaders have installed the Alliance Party as their puppet governors in the Assembly, who have now abolished ALL flag flying, parading, and wall murals. The city is ablaze from East to West.

    This is the breaking point for Jim: “NOOOO! I repent! I repent! What must I do to change this future?”

    To which Jim awakes from his nightmare a changed man.
    He immediately runs down the Newtownards Road giving all he meets carrots and exclaiming “Take this carrot, and may peace be with you” .

    He gives the East Belfast UVF carrots, asking that peace be with them.

    He gives the Republican Unity Network carrots, asking that peace be with them.

    He meets Willie Frazer at a flag protest by the Albert Bridge and gives him two handfuls of carrots, funds his victims organisation from his own pocket and says “NOW will ye shut yer cakehole and give us ALL a bit of peace?”

    Finally he visits the home of Sammy Crotchetson (who lives in shoe) and gives him two whole sacks of carrots, which Sammy promptly sells to buy flags. Now he can attend the Annual Cullybackey flag protest like he’d always dreamed of.

    In the end scene Jim and Sammy burn a tricolour together in front of Christmas tree whilst holding hands.

    Van Morrison’s Days Like These plays out the credits.

    Jim Allister played by Anthony Hopkins (hero/villain)

    Sammy Crotchetson : Martin Freeman (hero)

    Ian Paisley : Timothy Spall (hero/villain)

    Peter Robinson : Christopher Walken (hero/villain)

    Nelson McCausland : Richard Dreyfus (villain)

    David Vance : Guy Pearce (hero/villain)

    Christopher Stalledfirsttime : Justin Bieber (hero/villain)

    Willie Frazer : Brendan Frazer (villain)

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  5. Comment on “They have a mutual desire to maintain and build peace but little in common beyond that ideal”.
    on 22 August 2012 at 9:50 pm

    Tacapall – you state this morning “your solution although reasonable and logical sounding if one was British, however its a road to nowhere for nationalists who consider themselves Irish.”

    Forgetting the potential suggestion that “reasonable and logical solutions aren’t for the Irish”, there are still 2 issues there.

    1, and most obviously – do you really believe it impossible to be both British and Irish? Is there a Newtonian law of physics that rules one may only hold a single identity? I would venture to say most unionists in NI consider themselves as both Irish and British.

    Nationalists and Republicans can’t claim a monopoly on “Irishness”.

    They can however, probably claim a monopoly on the version of Irishness that pays annual worship to armed “rising” (i.e. the version of Irishness that the likes of Anglo-Irishmen like Wilde, Yeats etc would likely abhor if alive today).

    Anyway, point is, a well functioning Stormont does not make a single person, anywhere on the surface of Planet Earth “less Irish”.

    2. Isn’t better and more accountable Government in EVERYONE’s interest, no matter where you are in the world, not least society and the future opportunities for young people (e.g. if the Exec gets things right or wrong on the economy).

    Or does the great historic cause of “unity” take precedent over the collective lot of people living in the present? i.e. are you taking the view that “worse is better” even if trends project no popular majority will for constitutional change in NI for at least a generation.

    “screw the people living in the present, we have an historic mission of achieving unity to conduct, bequeathed to us by the magic fairies of destiny”.

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  6. Comment on The legacy of Hutcheson, an Ulster Scots great…
    on 31 July 2012 at 3:42 pm

    “ULSTER-SCOTS seems to me to have a tendency to cling on to the pathetic, irrational US Tea Party politics these days.”

    In my very best Ulster-Scots, “What r ye on a’boot?”

    I’ve not seen very much “Taxed Enough Already” activity in Northern Ireland at all??

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