It's just not fair!

ARE the Ulster Unionists the new MOPEs? Their new leaflet comes across as very ‘them vs us’, buying into that whole zero-sum ‘if they’re getting something, we must be losing it’ mindset that plagues local politics.

There’s no attempt in this unadulterated whingefest to appeal to non-unionists, two mentions of ‘Roman Catholics’ (none of ‘Protestants’) and symbolically jingoistic – so it should work a treat… unless nationalist transfers were being sought.

Perhaps the UUP’s biggest problem here is convincing people that ‘Big House’ unionists are being discriminated against or even care about it that much – perhaps akin to Lady Hermon walking into Harrod’s only to discover no fur coat section? How orful!

  • Davros

    That’s dreadful, but what else could be expected from the UUP ?

  • maca

    It’s not fair. And if you don’t give me what I want i’ll scream and scream and scream! So there, meaney poo!

  • Davros

    Personally I don’t see what all the fuss is about – RCs have been disadvantaged and I’m happy to see that positive discrimination is being used to even things out. People will be able to provide individual cases which might seem unfair, but the underlying principle is just.

  • George

    From “Simply British” to “it’s not fair” these guys are sinking without trace. Compare this to the DUP’s current documentation, which gets across its message very clearly and neatly avoids such jingoistic language.

    Who did this leaflet, teenagers?

    And dragging up the Imperialist Ulster Covenant, when the only private armies were unionist ones, really is scraping the bottom of the barrel.

    The days of empire are over guys.

    And is that cake meant to be a culinary representation of the island of Ireland?

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    It’s the elections, probably the UUP attemptng to fight on the DUP ground. All harmless stuff in that context.

  • IJP

    Where were those nice ‘moderate Unionists’ when this garbage was drawn up?

    I mean, the implication of the first point is that everyone in NI should be assigned to a tribe and each tribe should pay the same tax!

    Pathetic.

  • Rebecca Black

    “Perhaps the UUP’s biggest problem here is convincing people that ‘Big House’ unionists are being discriminated against or even care about it that much – perhaps akin to Lady Hermon walking into Harrod’s only to discover no fur coat section? How orful!”

    Are you seriously trying to imply that all unionists are middle class and none have ever faced discrimination?? Now that really is cloud cuckoo land.

  • slug9987

    Pathetic stuff from the UUP. They OUGHT to be ashamed of this type of narrow tribal stuff.

  • David Vance

    May I appeal for a a little more kindness towards the UUP?

    They know that judgement day is coming in a few months time and they’re doing their level best to try and play the “It’s not fair” card.

    Of course what is MOST unfair is that this shower is no longer the dominant voice in unionism – and after May they may be ahead of the NIUP in influence terms – but light years behind the DUP.

    So please – be kind to the UUP – their future isn’t bright, it’s not even lemon.

  • Rebecca Black

    The leaflet draws attention to the fact that there is more than one community living in Northern Ireland. We hear alot about the Roman Catholic population and their requests but the rights of the protestant community not to mention the smaller communities such as the chinese community, the jewish community get no say and almost no airtime at all.

  • slug9987

    Never did I think religion could be introduced into a debate on water charging.

  • Dec

    But it can be when you realise that nationalists don’t work and save to buy their homes.

  • George

    Rebecca,
    there was no mention of helping any other community just that the simply British one feels they aren’t being treated fairly.

    Welcome to the real world. No one gets treated fairly.

    They should have put forward a “We’ll introduce fairness” leaflet or the equivalent, outlining how they would ensure fair treatment for all the citizens of Northern Ireland.

    The last one they put out said “simply British” immediately eliminating the Irish population of Northern Ireland from the equation so I suppose this is an improvement in that it just whinges rather than excludes.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Rebecca

    What Protestant community? The leaflet doesn’t mention such a thing. Two grievances about ‘Roman Catholics’ (a term many Catholics will take offence at), but no reference to any Protestant community that I can see, just ‘unionists’.

    Strange, dontchathink?

    Neither is there any reference to any other community in NI, so I think your point about the Chinese, Jews in NI etc is lost.

  • Rebecca Black

    Roman Catholics is not an offensive term, its the accurate term. The word catholic means any christian and is very vague.

    The leaflet talks about equality for everyone, and that is the main point of it.

  • Dec

    Theyshould have saved time and money by removing the glossy logo’s, photo’s and naturalistic pie-charts and just gone with a simple ‘The Fenian’s get everything!’ slogan.

  • slug9987

    OK OK Dec, don’t make a meal out of it.

    Or should I say, a cake…

  • Dec

    “Roman Catholics is not an offensive term, its the accurate term. The word catholic means any christian and is very vague.”

    I suppose you could say the same for ‘Protestant’. Would you be happy if Roman Catholics began referring to Protestants as Dissenters?

    Whenever I hear someone refer to a ‘Roman Catholic’, with a heavy emphasis on the ‘Roman’, I tend to form a firm impression of where they’re at, ecumenically-speaking.

  • Little Timmy

    The positive discrimination or affirmative action in policing recruitment is a prime example of discrimination on the sole grounds of religion.

    The only privileged religion to my reading of the law is the roman catholic community. The prods, chinese etc are merely lumped in as non-catholic.

    Surely the uup have a point when they raise the issue of fairness?

  • Rebecca Black

    Dec

    well come to mention it, I don’t particularly like being called a protestant because I am a presbyterian which had a different birth to traditional protestants, ie. church of england, church of ireland etc etc.

    Ask any clergyman, the term roman catholic is not offensive, its merely taken that way because it is used by people like Paisley.

  • Dec

    If Catholics find it offensive should you still use the term, at the cost in incurring the wrath of clergymen everywhere?

  • Rebecca Black

    In an official document, it is proper to use the accurate term rather than a vague one.

  • George

    Rebecca,
    do you honestly believe that there is no discrimination against nationalists in Northern Ireland and that they are now equally represented in all tiers of Northern Irish society?

    Even nationalist women?

    Are you against positive discrimination per se or just against positive discrimination for Catholics, Roman or otherwise?

  • IJP

    Rebecca

    Nonsense.

    A direct consequence of action on Point 1, for example, would be that Catholics on £10,000 a year would pay higher water rates than ‘unionists’ on £10,000 a year.

    Now that‘s not fair!

    This whole leaflet is utterly indefensible and pathetic. Once proud people have been reduced to utter MOPEry by their own representatives.

  • Butterknife

    Does this leaflet actually say that the water rates will disciminate against protestants with big houses or does it just say ‘British’. If the latter is the case then Jews, Muslims and Pagans are all implied into that term. If the former then that is just a stupid PR stunt by a 1st year university student and as David said maybe the future isn’t lemon but rather lime.

  • Butterknife

    The point is there will never be a balance of faiths in employment or elsewhere in this country. This province has a majority of non-Roman Catholics therefore what is ‘fair’?

  • Rebecca Black

    George

    I don’t think women are represented fairly full stop – yes thats prod women, RC women, chinese women, all women.

    Otherwise I think nationalists are fairly represented in every arena except for the PSNI which is a complicated case. What can the gov do to encourage young nationalists to join when they are being intimidated by terrorists? The 50/50 policy was always wrong.

  • George

    Rebecca,
    firstly, I believe an awful lot has been done to tackle discrimination but I don’t agree with your policing view. They have to be acceptable to all the community first and at the moment they are not. It’s not a case of any person willing to uphold the union will do.

    Also, a report released in January 2003 by the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister concluded that “the labour market continues to be the primary source of disparities between the two main communities,” with Catholics still more likely to be out of work and more likely to be poor.

    Why have the UUP changed their mind and now believe the opposite?

  • Jacko

    It’s a shit leaflet.
    Reminds me of George Orwell saying that when war breaks out, the British are always well prepared – for the previous one.
    The UUP are becoming all mopeish, after the DUP have done it to death, reaped the rewards, and moved on (relatively speaking of course).

    Incidentally, a Dubliner C of I friend of mine says people refer, if at all, to themselves by denomination – Church of Ireland, Presbyterian etc. They would never think of using the lumpen term Protestant.
    Good idea, I’m sick of being thrown in with the common-or-garden crazies from the Free Ps, ordinary Ps, Baptists and the whole crazy lot of them.

  • James

    HOLY Hiri Kiri Batman, It’s Feckin’ Brilliant!!!!

    All the MOPEry, All the Begrudgery, All the Whataboutry, All the Sectarianism of that wee corner of the island distilled in one succint piece!!

    It’s the tourist’s dream, like Europe in half a day and without all those damned foreigners and Ireland without the rain!!

    Damned good add copy, I say.

  • James

    And yes, that should have been “succinct”

    And it was.

  • vespasian

    What is wrong with equal opportunity for all, methinks some on here do protest too much.

    Why shouldn’t Unionist’s of whatever religion be equal to those of whatever religion who are not Unionists and vice versa?

    Seems fair to me.

  • cg

    I’m personally against all forms of positive discrimination

  • alex s

    Only 37.5% of “Equality” Commission appointments were of unionist community background, why?

  • alex s

    Why should a householder in a 3 bed-semi pay more for water rates than his opposite number in Strabane?

  • alex s

    Why should state schools have their funding reduced by £3 per pupil while maintained schools have their funding increased by £5 per pupil?

  • Davros

    I’m personally against all forms of positive discrimination

    Why cg ? How else do we correct inequalities ?

  • Davros

    Only 37.5% of “Equality” Commission appointments were of unionist community background, why?

    Seems fair enough to me – after all the “other” community were the disadvantaged ones and as such will be more on the ball.

  • maca

    Alex
    “Why should state schools have their funding reduced by £3 per pupil while maintained schools have their funding increased by £5 per pupil?”

    More important is what each is actually getting, obviously.

  • alex s

    As you say Davros the “other” community were the disadvantaged ones, but they’re not now and thats the point.

    Maca, I don’t know why, I do know however that he Eastern and Belfast Boards are’nt exactly flush with cash, nor do I believe there is any evidence of maintained schools being under funded compared to the state sector, presumbly if that had been the case those responsible for running the maintained schools would have been complaining loudly.

  • Davros

    alex- to a large extent they are no longer at a disadvantage , but I would doubt if our society could yet be described as completely equal in opportunity. More to the point I would suggest that those from the “other” community having had more experience in the past of being disadvantaged would have a better eye for something that could be deemed unfair ?

  • alex s

    Belfast Gonzo, why should ‘Big House’ unionists in North Down pay more in water charges than ‘Big House’ republicians living along the Tyrone border?

  • alex s

    Davros, you may have a point, but unfortunately in unionism trust is at a premium, things have to be seen to be fair, not assumed.

  • Davros

    things have to be seen to be fair

    More than a third are from “our ” community and I assume they are ensuring that things are fair. That they aren’t protesting shows that things are “seen to be fair”. If we in the unionist community cannot have confidence that roughly 40% representation will ensure fairness, then how in heavens name can we expect nationalists to have confidence in the fairness of the rest of the system ?

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Belfast Gonzo, why should ‘Big House’ unionists in North Down pay more in water charges than ‘Big House’ republicians living along the Tyrone border?

    They shouldn’t, all things being equal. That’s kinda my point.

  • Impractical Observer

    Isn’t there a chance that 62.5% of applicants to the Equality Commission got their posts on merit – as opposed to a quota system?

    How come the civil service selecting people on merit is bad whilst the police doing the same would be good?

    Those forms they send out every year to your job and when you first apply where you have to state your “community background”, they don’t mention the unionist community at all. Have the UUP appropriated all the Protestant community into the unionist community?
    Did they ask first?

  • fair_deal

    The equality legislation requires that the impact of a new policy or policy change upon seven defined groups needs – including different religions. In that context it is perfectly legitimate for a political party to raise its concerns.

    An essential part of the equality process is consultation with groups representative of the seven defined groups. Therefore the system encourages a polticial party to raise its concerns.

    If a political party identifies that something is unfair or unjust it is perfectly legitimate for a political party to highlight the public and to campaign upon it.

    The rates increases, the water charges will have a disproportionate impact on Protestant communities. The education formula cuts funding to the schools the vast majority of the Protestant community uses. Why wouldn’t a party that gains nearly all its support from that community not raise these issues? It would be polticially stupid not to.

    There is also a deeper significance on two levels.
    1. The UUP is piggy backing on the DUP’s fair deal agenda because its has proved popular in the Unionist community e.g. Michael McGimpsey’s renegotiation comments (Maybe another unforseen consequence of the Northern Bank robbery by the IRA is a developing common negotiating stance for Unionism?)

    2. The UUP is finally improving its political communication.

    This in the third in a series of leaflets. The UUP Press office has raised its game over the past few months with a broader range of statements particularly on bread and butter issues (although the lack of spread of represenatives used and their timing has been occassionally questionable). They have appointed a Director of Elections that is prepared to do a days work and if rumours are true they have a handsome election war chest. Also local government will be the most difficult place to dislodge the UUP from.

    I doubt if this will be enough to regain ground but it may be enough to solidify at current levels of support. The DUP should not take success in May for granted.

  • aquifer

    This is a despicable sad sectarian dribble of a 3 colour suicide note. This party deserves to be flushed down the electoral pan. Wondrously pathetic.

    Onionism. Layer after layer of sour sectarian bile.

    Simply not British at all.

  • maca

    Btw does the cake not indicate that they are planning to give us back NI but take Munster instead? Hmm, maybe that’s why the OO are heading to Cork next month.

  • IJP

    Vespasian

    What is wrong with equal opportunity for all,

    Nothing. The problem is the Ulster Unionists are actively opposing it.

    Seems fair to me.

    Then you’ll not be voting Ulster Unionist.

    Alex S

    Only 37.5% of “Equality” Commission appointments were of unionist community background, why?

    Because 62.5% of the best applicants happened to not of ‘unionist community background’?

    Perhaps Ulster Unionists would care to expand on why they oppose appointment on merit, or more precisely why they happen to oppose appointment on merit where ‘unionists’ are underrepresented but support it where ‘Roman Catholics’ are underrepresented (e.g. PSNI)?

    Why should a householder in a 3 bed-semi pay more for water rates than his opposite number in Strabane?

    No one’s saying they should. Ulster Unionists are suggesting that a ‘unionist’ in a 3-bed semi should may less than a ‘Roman Catholic’ in a 3-bed semi – why should that be?

    Fair_Deal

    In that context it is perfectly legitimate for a political party to raise its concerns.

    Precisely. But not to suggest that the ‘other side’ should be deliberately disadvantaged just for being the ‘other side’!

    The rates increases, the water charges will have a disproportionate impact on Protestant communities. The education formula cuts funding to the schools the vast majority of the Protestant community uses. Why wouldn’t a party that gains nearly all its support from that community not raise these issues?

    No matter where it draws its support from, if it’s interested in democracy it should raise them. My problem is not with the problem the Ulster Unionists have raised, but with the solutions, which would directly discriminate against people of equal financial standing purely because of a ‘label’.

    (This is all quite aside from the fact the equality ‘labelling’ has gone quite mad and now threatens absolutely the principle of merit, but we’ll not disappear down that tangent.)

    You are quite correct that the sad reality of our political system is that ‘attacking themmuns’ is likely to gain the Ulster Unionists votes rather than lose them, but more importantly it will not move us any further down the road to functioning democracy. And without that functioning democracy, btw, we’re getting water rates whether we like it or not!

    Aquifier

    Simply not British at all.

    That is absolutely true!

    When are people going to understand that populist sectarianism may get the odd cheap vote, but it is in fact in no one’s interest?!

  • willowfield

    The leaflet is unfortunate in the sense that we’d rather not be living in a sectarian society where one side is competing with the other to be the most “oppressed” or “discriminated against”. On the other hand, given the politics we have, it’s quite possibly a clever move by the UUP in an election year.

    On the subject of rates/water rates, if we are not going to have metering, I don’t have a problem with a capital tax. We are already taxed on our revenue, so why not our capital? People who can afford to buy expensive houses are more likely to be able to afford to pay higher rates than people living in cheaper houses.

    Dec

    I suppose you could say the same for ‘Protestant’. Would you be happy if Roman Catholics began referring to Protestants as Dissenters?

    “Dissenter” only applies to nonconformist Protestants.

    If Catholics find it offensive should you still use the term, at the cost in incurring the wrath of clergymen everywhere?

    If Protestants find the term “Catholic” offensive, should you still use the term?

    George

    do you honestly believe that there is no discrimination against nationalists in Northern Ireland and that they are now equally represented in all tiers of Northern Irish society? Even nationalist women?

    What is this discrimination of which you speak, George?

  • George

    WIllowfield,
    another question which will lead to countless others. I have been down that road too many times. What discrimination do you think I’m speaking about?

    Do you believe the opposite, that there is no discrimination in Northern Ireland – institutional or otherwise?

  • willowfield

    Well, George, since you speak only of “discrimination against nationalists”, I’m not sure what discrimination you are speaking of (hence the question).

    Do you believe the opposite, that there is no discrimination in Northern Ireland – institutional or otherwise?

    Now, George, that isn’t really the opposite. I’m quite sure there are individual cases of discrimination against many people – nationalist, unionist, black, women, whatever. But what your post implies is that discrimination is a phenomenon affecting nationalists either exclusively or disproportionately. That is what I’m asking about.

  • George

    Willowfield,
    I believe the decades long discrimination against Catholics in Northern Ireland is being tackled, and has been for a long time, but it is foolish to believe that there is no discrimination today.

    Today’s discrimination may be as much down to the poorer standards of living and employment prospects among Catholics which this decades-long discrimination led to, rather than the actual religion of the people themselves, but it is discrimination nonetheless.

    It takes a long time to redress decades of inequality. Some believe positive discrimination redresses the situation quicker while others believe it doesn’t.

    I equally believe the Protestant working class are being discriminated against as a result of not having a political voice to defend their interests.

    It’s easy for those unionists taking the public sector pay cheque and living in their leafy suburbs to play games over devolution but it is the ones not in the subsidised jobs who are paying the price.

  • willowfield

    George

    I believe the decades long discrimination against Catholics in Northern Ireland is being tackled, and has been for a long time, but it is foolish to believe that there is no discrimination today.

    I never claimed there was no discrimination today.

    Today’s discrimination may be as much down to the poorer standards of living and employment prospects among Catholics which this decades-long discrimination led to, rather than the actual religion of the people themselves, but it is discrimination nonetheless.

    That doesn’t sound like discrimination to me, George. Sounds like you’re turning “discrimination” into a meaningless word. Maybe “disadvantage” is what you mean?

    I equally believe the Protestant working class are being discriminated against as a result of not having a political voice to defend their interests.

    Again, I fail to see how the word “discrimination” applies to the situation that you describe.

    It’s easy for those unionists taking the public sector pay cheque and living in their leafy suburbs to play games over devolution but it is the ones not in the subsidised jobs who are paying the price.

    Now we come back to your obsession about the public sector. Ironically, though, I believe nationalists are disproportionately employed in the public sector, so your comment doesn’t really make sense, and your policy of sacking public sector workers would actually INCREASE nationalist “discrimination” (as you describe it)!

  • George

    Willowfield,
    I never said you did. You asked me to explain and I have. Don’t read more into a statement than there actually is. You do realise if you read something often enough it will eventually say what you thought it said.

    Discrimination is the failure to treat people in the same way because of a bias toward some of them because of some characteristic.

    Now the initial bias in Northern Ireland may have been on religious grounds but this in turn led to social and employment inequalities which have yet to be fully addressed.

    Certain sections of the Protestant community are also suffering this discrimination.

    How much is being spent on what is essentially a middle-class non-functioning assembly or on Antrim farmers when Protestant West Belfast is imploding on itself, for example.

    As for sacking public sector workers, that is not possible as you well know (I’m fed up saying this to you) and I’m sure the Catholic middle class in the public sector are getting on quite well thank you.

    By the way, what percentage of Catholics are in the top jobs? Is there a glass ceiling?

    “and your policy of sacking public sector workers would actually INCREASE nationalist “discrimination” (as you describe it)!”

    Also, I don’t know how you can extrapolate from any of my posts, or from anything for that matter, that addressing the structural and economic inefficiencies within the NI economy would lead to discrimination of nationalists.

  • willowfield

    George

    Discrimination is the failure to treat people in the same way because of a bias toward some of them because of some characteristic.

    So tell us how nationalists are being discriminated against any more than any other group.

    As for sacking public sector workers, that is not possible as you well know (I’m fed up saying this to you) and I’m sure the Catholic middle class in the public sector are getting on quite well thank you.

    So why did you single out unionists in the public sector for criticism?

    By the way, what percentage of Catholics are in the top jobs?

    I don’t know.

    Is there a glass ceiling?

    No.

    Also, I don’t know how you can extrapolate from any of my posts, or from anything for that matter, that addressing the structural and economic inefficiencies within the NI economy would lead to discrimination of nationalists.

    I’m not extrapolating anything. I’m referring to your previously articulated policy of sacking public sector workers which would increase “discrimination” (as you claim) against nationalists.

  • DessertSpoon

    Discrimination is the failure to treat people in the same way because of a bias toward them due to some characteristic–such as race, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, disability–which is irrelevant to their suitability for something (e.g., to occupy housing or to perform a job).

    Positive discrimination is treating people more favourably because of a bias toward them due to some characteristic–such as race, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, disability–which is irrelevant to their suitability for something (e.g., to occupy housing or to perform a job).

    Either way it’s wrong.

  • Jacko

    Make yourselves as comfortable as you can folks, it’s going to be a long, long ride – Willowfield and George have begun to split hairs.

  • Davros

    DS – the problem is that equality requires equality of opportunity. If a group are disadvantaged, then they won’t get equal opportunity without some form of assistance which is how positive discrimination can be justified.

  • Jacko

    Make yourselves as comfortable as you can folks, it’s going to be a long, long ride – Willowfield and George have begun to split hairs.

  • Jacko

    Davros

    “If a group are disadvantaged…”

    It should read “If a group IS disadvantaged …”

    Though personally, I couldn’t care less – just trying to get into the swing of things here.

  • Jacko

    Davros

    “If a group are disadvantaged…”

    It should read “If a group IS disadvantaged …”

    Though personally, I couldn’t care less – just trying to get into the swing of things here.

  • Davros

    Jacko 🙂 With your version I would have written:

    If a group is disadvantaged, then they won’t get equal opportunity without some form of assistance…

    You think that works ? As a group by definition is a plurality, I’ll stick with my version;)

    If a group are disadvantaged, then they won’t get equal opportunity without some form of assistance which is how positive discrimination can be justified.

  • George

    Willowfield,
    if you don’t even know what percentage of Catholics are in the top Civil Service jobs how can you be so sure there isn’t a glass ceiling?

    Also,
    where did I day that public sector workers should be sacked – I didn’t and never have.

    where did I say public sector sackings “would increase “discrimination” (as you claim) against nationalists” – I didn’t and never have

    As I said at the beginning of this thread Willowfield, if you read something long enough it will say what you want it to say.

    I said this to you for a reason and the reason is now obvious.

    I couldn’t be bothered splitting this hair any further.

  • Jacko

    Davros

    “If a group IS disadvantaged, then IT won’t get equal opportunity without some form of assistance…”
    Is what you should have written.

    A group is a singular unit in the sense we are speaking of, e.g. A group of soldiers IS coming over the hill; the crowd IS moving towards the exits now.

    Worry not Davros my old buddy, Willowfield is bound to sail in anytime soon and correct us both.

  • Jacko

    George tires very easily, doesn’t he.

  • Davros

    Jacko – in the context written , e.g job applications, the group members act as individuals LOL Therefore I’ll stick with my original post, ta VM.

  • willowfield

    Davros

    DS – the problem is that equality requires equality of opportunity. If a group are disadvantaged, then they won’t get equal opportunity without some form of assistance which is how positive discrimination can be justified.

    In political discourse in NI, “equality” means equality of opportunity. It doesn’t mean material equality. The fact that there are 65% RCs in the Equality Commission, or 65% Prods in Shorts does not mean that there is no equality of opportunity.

    George

    if you don’t even know what percentage of Catholics are in the top Civil Service jobs how can you be so sure there isn’t a glass ceiling?

    Because if there were a “glass ceiling” you wouldn’t get Roman Catholic permanent secretaries, deputy secretaries, assistant secretaries, head of the Civil Service (!). Public sector employers – and NICS in particular – are held up as exemplars of equality of opportunity good practice. Appointment and promotion panels must be made up of mixed personnel. Why would Roman Catholic interviewers wish to “discriminate against” Roman Catholic candidates?!!!

    where did I day that public sector workers should be sacked – I didn’t and never have.

    You know fine well you did on some threads about the economy a few weeks ago!

    where did I say public sector sackings “would increase “discrimination” (as you claim) against nationalists” – I didn’t and never have

    That is the logic of your position. You claim that higher levels of RC unemployment = “discrimination”. Therefore, if RCs are disproportionately represented in the public sector, public sector sackings will increase “discrimination”.

  • barnshee

    “In political discourse in NI, “equality” means equality of opportunity. It doesn’t mean material equality. The fact that there are 65% RCs in the Equality Commission, or 65% Prods in Shorts does not mean that there is no equality of opportunity.

    Sorry the convrse is true- for decades the percentage differances were used to allege discrimination –the rules have not changed -if the EQ does not pursue the inequalities demonstrated by the percentage inblances it should be challanged in the courts or disbanded

  • Fraggle

    barnshee, the figure for short brothers is 85% protestant according to the latest monitoring report.

  • Jacko

    barnshee is right.
    “Equality” bypasses equality of opportunity (which can be cited, and was, to hide a multitude of sins), it’s specifically about numbers and percentages.

  • willowfield

    Jacko/barnshee

    It’s not. The Northern Ireland Act 1998 defines “equality” as “equality of opportunity”. No other “equality” legislation defines the concept as being material equality or equality of representation. Fair employment legislation specifically mentions the “merit” principle.

    Nationalist politicians may interpret “equality of opportunity” as meaning “equality of representation”, but they are wrong.

  • Davros

    we are back to discussing the politics of Universalism vs The politics of Difference.

  • willowfield

    Speak for yourself. I’m just pointing out that “equality” only means “equality of opportunity” in the legal and political discourse of NI.

  • Davros

    Speak for yourself. I’m just pointing out that “equality” only means “equality of opportunity” in the legal and political discourse of NI.

    Legal – yes, assuming you are correct on the legislation, but political ? I disagree.

  • willowfield

    OK, Davros, you have a point. I think there is probably an unthinking and unspoken assumption that the demonstration of “equality of opportunity” is “equality of representation”. Hence we have politicians latching on to employee breakdowns and assuming that if it’s not 56:44 (or whatever) there must be “discrimination”.

    But no political party is actually signed up to “equality of representation” which would logically mean quotas. The police is an exception.

  • Davros

    WF- It’s one of those little vagueness that plague attempts to sort out this mess. Another one is “parity of esteem”. Nice soundbite, but what does it actually mean ?

  • willowfield

    Very true.

    We could think of others: “justice”; “discrimination” (see above!); various “rights” …

  • davidbrew

    “And if you don’t give me what I want i’ll scream and scream and scream! So there, meaney poo!”

    Violet Elizabeth Hermon’s election manifesto?

  • George

    Willowfield,
    “You know fine well you did on some threads about the economy a few weeks ago”

    I believe
    “>this is the thread you are referring to, where I outlined how public sector waste should be tackled. Nowhere did I say we should sack public sector workers.

    That is a bare-faced lie. Please retract it. But seeing as you have never retracted anything to date I won’t hold my breath.

    Also, you are displaying flawed logic if you surmise what you have from my statements earlier in the thread.

  • George

    Oops,
    link to thread for your perusal willowfield.

  • willowfield

    Georgie, the thread reveals your policy of “slashing” public sector jobs. You – as usual – refused to explain what you meant by “slashing”. Eventually you said “I’m not advocating sacking 120,000 public sector workers overnight”, thus implying that you would sack them over a longer period of time. You also described public sector jobs as a “superfluous, glorified dole scheme”.

    So, no “bare-faced lie”, then. You shouldn’t get so defensive about what you write. You clearly have disregard and contempt for the public sector and you want to “slash” jobs, which effectively means sacking people, even if you don’t like the word.

    As for this alleged “flawed logic”, it’s not enough just to claim that the logic is flawed. You need to demonstrate it. Feel free, Georgie.

    I take it you’ve accepted that your “glass ceiling” claim was rubbish.

  • George

    Willowfield,
    firstly, my name is George not Georgie, I would appreciate if you showed some common courtesy and decency and called me by my proper name. I know you have a problem with Irish names but surely you can manage George.

    we both know full well you can’t sack public sector workers.

    I fully advocate slashing public sector numbers in NI, and I’m not afraid to admit, but I have never advocated sacking anyone.

    That is a gross misrepresentation by you. I would be grateful if you retracted it.

    Also, I never once claimed there was a glass ceiling, I asked if there was one. I then asked if you say you don’t know the % of Catholics in the top public sector jobs how can you know there is no glass ceiling?

    Any chance you could retract that too? You really do read what you want into things.

    On your flawed logic, you derived “and your policy of sacking public sector workers would actually INCREASE nationalist “discrimination” (as you describe it)!”

    from my “It’s easy for those unionists taking the public sector pay cheque and living in their leafy suburbs to play games over devolution but it is the ones not in the subsidised jobs who are paying the price”

    My logic is that a functioning NI economy bereft of a bloated public sector will increase employment prospests for all. I don’t know what fanciful jump you made.

  • jonty

    So David brewster, which part of the leaflet do you and your party disagree with?

  • willowfield

    George

    firstly, my name is George not Georgie, I would appreciate if you showed some common courtesy and decency and called me by my proper name.

    Just trying to be friendly, George.

    I know you have a problem with Irish names but surely you can manage George.

    How can you know I have a problem with Irish names? I don’t have such a problem, therefore it’s not possible for you to know it.

    we both know full well you can’t sack public sector workers.

    Well, George, we both know you want to get rid of them. If you don’t want to use the word “sack”, that’s up to you. Funny how you didn’t object on the other thread!

    That is a gross misrepresentation by you. I would be grateful if you retracted it.

    It’s not a gross misrepresentation. Stop exaggerating. Calm down. Take a chill pill.

    Also, I never once claimed there was a glass ceiling, I asked if there was one. Any chance you could retract that too?

    No worries, George. No worries. Not a problem at all. I retract it.

    On your flawed logic, you derived “and your policy of sacking public sector workers would actually INCREASE nationalist “discrimination” (as you describe it)!”

    Yes. That’s right, George. What’s the problem?

    from my “It’s easy for those unionists taking the public sector pay cheque and living in their leafy suburbs to play games over devolution but it is the ones not in the subsidised jobs who are paying the price”

    No. Not from that. From your policy of sacking (sorry, “slashing”!) public sector workers.

  • George

    Willowfield,
    it was a gross misrepresentation to say I advocate sacking people when I never said anything of the sort. You seem like a person who prides themselves on being precice and correct.

    In this instance you were neither precise nor correct, you were simply wrong. Why don’t you just say you misrepresented me. Is it so difficult? I said you couldn’t say you were wrong. Does this prove I’m right?

    Also, there is nothing friendly about calling people by names you deem suitable. That is patronising and superior.

  • willowfield

    It’s not a gross misrepresentation, George. Catch yourself on. Take a chill pill. You’re getting too hung up on the word. If you were so sensitive about it you would have raised it at the time. Enough of your nonsense.

  • George

    Were you wrong in this instance Willowfield?

    An admission would be the equivalent of a “chill pill”….

  • willowfield

    No, George, I wasn’t wrong.

    I’m terminating my involvement in this thread as my patience with your teenage behaviour has worn thin.

    Goodbye.