Strange similarities of Bush and Paisley

Jude Collins used his column last week to examine the different reactions in Northern Ireland to the clear cut Bush victory in the US Presidential election. In particular he sees strong similarities between President Bush and the DUP leader Dr Paisley.

  • maca

    People are heading North because of Bush, I don’t see many heading North because of Paisley, unless to Scotland.

  • Davros

    I’m not a Paisley or DUP fan, but I would say that among the unionist community there is an increased feeling of having some control in our destiny.

  • maca

    “there is an increased feeling of having some control in our destiny”

    Why do you think that Davros?

  • Davros

    Not me personally đŸ™‚

    Many felt that Trimble was a push-over and that Unionism was too passive and merely reactive in the process. I’ll let some of the DUP supporters explain how they feel.

  • maca

    I meant why do you think that your community thinks that …

    I can understand that the DUP is a much stronger voice for unionism but I would have thought two things would have the opposite effect

    1. that ‘hardliners’ like Paisley and co would be more damaging to unionism
    2. the existence of the GFA and NI’s right to chose it’s place

  • willowfield

    maca

    Most people don’t think too deeply about politics. Those like us who spend our time on political blogs are a very small minority.

    The average Joe doesn’t realise that the GFA is in unionism’s interests. Indeed, the average Joe thinks the DUP is opposed to the GFA!! The DUP duped them.

  • maca

    Willow,
    Thanks. But even without an interest in politics does the average Joe Unionist have a sense of the strength of unionism, if u know what I mean?

  • fair_deal

    “The average Joe doesn’t realise that the GFA is in unionism’s interests. Indeed, the average Joe thinks the DUP is opposed to the GFA!! The DUP duped them.”

    Oh dear. When all else fails just blame the electorate as stupid.

  • willowfield

    You can characterise it like that, if you want, but it’s clear as day to me that the average person doesn’t spend much time or effort reading or thinking about politics and is likely to vote for whoever they instinctively think is best, rather than as a result of rationally weighing up long-term gains against short-term pain.

    Obviously, it’s up to politicians to communicate the right strategy in simple, understandable form to the electorate – the DUP did this, the UUP did not. But the DUP were dishonest because they know the UUP was right, but they pretended otherwise in order to win the election.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Davros.

    “among the unionist community there is an increased feeling of having some control in our destiny.”

    I can understand this, as the DUP’s front bench now has a near-monopoly on young(ish) political leaders of talent. However, if this feeling is in fact prevalent – and I suspect you are spot on – then I find it most ironic.

    I think it’s pretty clear that the DUPs current strategy is to hold out as long as possible until the GFA just sinks from view. The longer we’re waiting on The Deal, the more fanciful will this holy grail seem. Eventually the governments (plural) will have to impose some new dispensation on NI, at which point the leadership of unionism will cry betrayal and the Grand Old Duke of York’s men will set off up the hill yet again. And so the local parties will be returned to their previous state of impotence and the pantomime of Northern Ireland will go on.

    So in fact, their strategy for empowering unionism is to take all decision-making out of NI and bat it back to the colonial master. That unionists feel empowered by their rejection of responsibility says it all really.

    (I call this ideology `patheticism’. You see this same mindset in for example Willowfield’s recent economic argument in favour of the union, which amounted to: “But the Brits will keep writing cheques forever…”)

    Also, Maca says that the DUP “is a much stronger voice for unionism”.

    I disagree. A louder voice, certainly, but this slick shower of charlatans with their guiding ideology of patheticism hardly strikes fear into nationalists. More like resignation.

  • willowfield

    Billy Pilgrim

    Don’t misrepresent people.

    I made no economic argument either in favour of or against the Union. I merely pointed out that cutting public services and public jobs would damage the economy, not boost it, and, in any case, was not dependent on a united Ireland.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Okay Willow, sorry about that. It’s an issue for another thread. Just wanted to illustrate the point. It was nothing personal against you, though I can see that I was also having a dig – a dig that does not belong on this particular thread.

  • davidbrew

    Bush’s character is quite appealing to the average northern Prod, especially the religious. His personal journey of faith, his lack of articulation, his appeal to the non-establishment, all strike chords. And for the first time distinguished analysts like Michael Barone have identified the Scotch-Irish (sic) as a natural voting constituency. Townhall.com, the leading conservative website is plugging James Webb’s history of the Scotch-Irish in election week.

    However, the key distinction is the lack of an anti-RC dimension imputed to Paisley but not Bush. In 2000 he attended the Bob Jones University and was called an anti Catholic bigot by John McCain (an Ulster Scot) to his considerable annoyance. His allies include Conservative RCs like Alan Keyes, who was thumped in Illinois sentorial contest. He has achieved a social consensus between churches on issues like gay marriage and abortion, in spite of not having promoted any legislation on either.

    A key area of potential expansion for Unionism is the cooperation onm moral issues which helped Bush. It is obviously much more difficult in NI, especially given the admittedly strong anti Church rhetoric which has been a feature of all shades of unionism in the past, but the social teaching of the Roman Catholic church has much in common with DUP policy. Wouldn’t it be interesting to see how the RC church would advise voting if , say Jeffrey Donaldson as Minister of health was in charge of policy on abortion ?

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    “Wouldn’t it be interesting to see how the RC church would advise voting if , say Jeffrey Donaldson as Minister of health was in charge of policy on abortion ?”

    The RC churches’ advice on voting re the abortion issue would be consistent regardless of who was the Minister for Health i.e. they would ask those who they influence to vote against it, under all circumstances.
    After all so much better to export our social problems to England rather than have to face the consequences ourselves.

  • willowfield

    Is there more than one RC church?

  • fair_deal

    Nice to see that two hundred years after founding the place the Ulster-Scots still run the show.