Trimble's difficulty, McDonnell's opportunity?

Considering the cordial relationship between Jeffrey Donaldson and Lord Molyneaux, and the latter’s ambivalent attitude towards his successor at the head of the Ulster Unionist Party, few will be surprised at his turning up in a DUP campaign photograph. But Martin Smyth’s presence in the political first timer Jimmy Spratt is by far the most damaging. It brings to the fore again the possibility that if the Unionist vote is evenly split, that the SDLP could square their likely loss in South Armagh with a minority win in South Belfast.

  • El Matador

    Alasdair McDonnell is clearly the best candidate for the south Belfast Westminster seat. The unionists are too busy fighting amongst themselves to care about the people on the ground. Alex Maskey’s vote will be negligible, especially after the McCartney.

    Alasdair has a proven track record as local councillor and family doctor for over twenty years. A vote for Alasdair McDonnell on May 5th is the only sensible option for residents of south Belfast.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    South Armagh? The good folks of Tandragee will be spitting in their cornflakes at that one.

    But certainly, South Belfast is shaping up to be potentially the most interesting race of the 18. Spratt may very well run McGimpsey close on the unionist side of the equation, with this backing from Molyneaux and Smyth, allied to the fact that he is in the party with the momentum. However McGimpsey isn’t looking at meltdown either, what with his opponent being a novice and a relative unknown – the classic donkey-with-sash.

    So if unionism is careless enough to split relatively evenly, McDonnell certainly has a puncher’s chance. His fate is dependent on two things: one, that Spratt takes enough of McGimpsey’s vote, but not too much; and two, that McDonnell hoovers up a large chunk of would-be Maskey voters.

    McDonnell will have to persuade voters in the Markets and Lower Ormeau that, whether they like it or not, he can win but Maskey can’t. That to vote for McDonnell is to go one vote closer to a nationalist MP, whereas a vote for Maskey is one take a step away from having a nationalist MP.

    Lots of variables, three serious contenders for the seat. We’re all political junkies here. Don’t we all just LOVE it?!!!

  • Billy Pilgrim

    El Matador – or indeed anyone else.

    “Alex Maskey’s vote will be negligible, especially after the McCartney.”

    Is Short Strand in South Belfast or East Belfast? I would have thought the latter but perhaps I’m mistaken?

  • carlosblancos

    I’m 95% sure Short Strand is in East Belfast.

  • The Watchman

    I agree, possibly for the first time ever, with Billy Pilgrim. In fact I said so on Slugger for the same reasons, the day after Martin announced his retirement. All depended on whether the UUP could keep the Gimp away from the nomination and find someone with Martin’s appeal. That person would have been Christopher Montgomery and the DUP even promised that it would have given Montgomery a clear run without getting anything in return.

    But it wouldn’t replace Martin with someone from his side of the party. What has happened since, and what is happening now and in the future was, is and shall be entirely predictable.

  • El Matador

    Short Strand is in East Belfast. Don’t be surprised to also see former SDLP councillor Mary Muldoon take a Short Strand Pottinger seat for the party in Belfast City Council.

  • carlosblancos

    El Matador,

    There is no chance of SDLP taking a seat in Short Strand. Even with the McCartney tragedy, it is a solid SF seat.

  • The dog

    You have to laugh at the sdlp youth wing sometimes.

    Sinn Féin ae running Deborah Devenny who is a) from the strand and b) very well got because of the hugely positive role she played in developing educational responses to the loyalist onslaught a couple of summers back.

    Mary Muldoon on the other hand will not fair so well.

    What ever people in fantacy land think the reality is that the only nationalist who is capable of getting enough votes to epesent people living in short strand is Deborah.

  • The dog

    You have to laugh at the sdlp youth wing sometimes.

    Sinn Féin ae running Deborah Devenny who is a) from the strand and b) very well got because of the hugely positive role she played in developing educational responses to the loyalist onslaught a couple of summers back.

    Mary Muldoon on the other hand will not fair so well.

    What ever people in media land think the reality is that the only nationalist who is capable of getting enough votes to represent people living in short strand is Deborah.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Gimme five Watchman!

    “But it wouldn’t replace Martin with someone from his side of the party. What has happened since, and what is happening now and in the future was, is and shall be entirely predictable.”

    I think something that the nationalist parties have learned over the years is that ultimately, voting pacts solve nothing. They only serve to postpone the day when the intra-communal parties have to face each other.

    In the long run it would have solved nothing for an agreed anti-agreement UUP candidate to take the seat with the blessing of both main unionist parties. In fact, it doesn’t really matter for unionism whether McDonnell squeezes through the middle and wins the seat this time. The reality is that however you paper over the cracks, unionism in South Belfast is split. McGimpsey might be unpopular among unionists generally across the north but he is the most popular unionist in South Belfast. However he is also loathed by a great many unionists in the constituency too.

    That being the case, unionism has to face up to these realities sooner or later. It’s similar to the position nationalism was in in West Tyrone in ’97. Then, a unionist squeezed through when the nationalist vote split freakishly evenly. The SDLP and SF could have done a deal then on WT and FST, but that didn’t happen. What did? SF won outright in both.

    So McDonnell might sqeak it this time but even if he does, short of substantial demographic change it will remain a borrowed constituency, waiting to be reclaimed by the unionist party that gets its house in order in South Belfast.

    Or in short, unionism is better off having its internal electoral battles, taking the hits and setbacks, and doing it now.

  • PS

    The nationalist seat in Pottinger is marginal at best. There was no nationalist quota in the area at the last election and it was only split Unionism and the lack of transferring that allowed Joe O’Donnell to take the seat. Sinn Féin are the only party that can ensure nationalist representation in the ward but the results will be very close. The SDLP are nowhere. Mary Muldoon will have to perform a political miracle to turn a pathetic 3.5% of the vote into a council seat.

    As for South belfast, almost 4,000 votes with 12.6% of the votes, which was a rise of 5% in 2 years, is hardly a negligible vote in South Belfast. Dr. Alasdair might have a “proven track record” as you put it El Matador, but remember that this is the doctor who decided to tell the world in 03 that he didn’t think health was a priority!

  • Snapper

    A proven track record indeed – If the doc wins, I can’t wait to see if some South Belfast residents object to any marches this summer. He may suggest, as he did to the Lower Ormeau residents, to take a holiday and avoid the area! But hey if they do he will no doubt be on hand to use his travel company to assist them on their way.

  • beano @ Everything Ulster

    Could SDLP voters end up being responsible for a DUP win? Think about this scenario (I don’t know how likely or otherwise it is but humour me)…

    – SDLP voters tempted to vote UUP to keep the DUP out…

    – SDLP voters hear rumblings that the SDLP have a chance and flock back to McDonnell…

    – SDLP rumblings were wrong (Maskey’s stronger than they thought?), and they take votes that McG might have relied on, away….

    – Spratt squeezes home…

    SDLP voters succeed in electing a DUP man to Westminster for their constituency – mess that is Northern Ireland politics continues….

    Too far fetched?

  • PS

    In my opinion all this talk of tatical voting is the best possible arguement in favour of PR. People should be able to vote for their party of choice without fear that their vote will be seen as useless.

  • Peter

    S.Belfast is likely to stay with the UUP. First of all the SDLP are likely to have a poor election. I dont think peole really care whether we have representaion at Westminster are not. The N.I MPS rarely attend anyway.So the SF vote is likely to stay with SF.

    Secondly Unionist turnout last time was woeful.It is likely to be well up with the threat of a Unionist winning.

  • PaulPanther

    McGimpsey is safe bet, he will beat Spratt by at least 2,000 votes.
    Maskey’s vote will hover around the 3,500 mark, enough to prevent Big Alasdair taking the seat although the SDLP man will run McGimpsey close, within 1,000 votes possibly.
    If the SDLP had any sense they would have ran Carmel Hann who polled more than McDonnell in the Assembly elections.
    A lot also depends on where Monica McWilliams’ 3,000 Assembly votes go. If she doesn’ stand the Alliance Party should poll well, maybe even increasing its total on 2001.
    Come May 5 the result will be 1.McGimpsey 2.Alisdair 3.Spratt 4.Maskey and 5.Rice.

  • Mehmet

    Here,s an Indecent Proposal… vote for Jimmy

  • middle-class taig

    Beano

    Why should nationalists care which breed of unionist “represents” us? Their intransigence and duplicity in recent months and years has been fairly uniform. Why should we care if they welch on a deal for lack of an inventory or lack of a photograph? Why should I care if they dismiss our representatives as criminal psycopaths or psycopathic criminals? Were it not so hideously sectarian, on an intellectuallylevel, the recent sow’s litter comment is entirely apposite.

  • middle-class taig

    or even “intellectual level”

    typos are best when they:
    (a) come in sentences talking about how smart you are;
    (b) come in sentences picking up others’ typos; and/or
    (c) get in the way of righteous indignation.

  • Comrade Stalin

    “All depended on whether the UUP could keep the Gimp away from the nomination and find someone with Martin’s appeal.”

    I assume that “appeal” includes refusal to condemn loyalist paramilitaries who burn nurses out of houses on the Donegal Road.

  • PatMcLarnon

    ‘If the SDLP had any sense they would have ran Carmel Hann who polled more than McDonnell in the Assembly elections.’

    The problem there is that Hanna looks like the chief mourner to Mc Gimpseys undertaker.

  • scarlet

    Form Nicholas Whyte’s excellent site the percentages at the Assembly election areas below.

    UUP27%
    SDLP 22.9%
    DUP 20.8%,
    SF 12.6%
    NIWC 6.9%,
    Alliance 5.9%,
    PUP 1.6%,
    Green 1.0%
    Soc 0.5%
    Cons 0.4%,
    WP 0.3%,
    VFYP 0.1%

    I would expect the Alliance vote to collapse and go mainly to the UUP and the PUP vote to go to both Unionists. The NIWC are not standing (do they still exist?) and nor are the Greens. The votes from these I would imagine would be more inclined to go to the UUP and SDLP.

    Noting that SF are unlikely to do the SDLP any favours and their voter loyalty I cannot see their vote declining. Given the inexperience of the DUP candidate I think he has a hill to climb and in many ways the support of the outgoing may encourage non Unionists to vote UUP. I would expect the SDLP to get 27-28% now the total Unionist vote is likely to be in the region of 56% and an even split gives around 28%.

    It would be extremely lucky for the SDLP to take this seat and in my opinion the leading Unionist will be successful. The momentum NI wide is with the DUP and here with the UUP in fighting they could do it, In the end it will probably depend on just how much the Alliance vote collapses. If it really goes through the floor the UUP hold if not it is a DUP gain.

    You really have to question the logic of smaller parties running no hopers in the very unfair first past the post voting system that is Westminster elections. Alliance are going to be decimated here, North Down and elsewhere, what does it prove, deep pockets?

  • Jimmy_Sands

    “The problem there is that Hanna looks like the chief mourner to Mc Gimpseys undertaker. “

    Although a mourner, an undertaker and a killer on the same ballot has a certain symmetry don’t you think?

  • Chris Gaskin

    Who is the killer Jimmy?

  • Jimmy_Sands

    I understood one of the candidates is a fomer member of an organisation that was (is?) in the habit of killing people. Was I mistaken?

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Jimmy

    Actually you declared in a thinly-veiled way that Alex Maskey was a killer. In that you were mistaken – Alex maskey has never killed anyone, and not even his most trenchant and libellous opponents have ever accused him of killing anyone. So unless you know something about Jim Barbour or Geraldine Rice that you’re not letting on, there are no killers on the ballot in South Belfast.

    So yes, you are mistaken, and no amount of glibness will change that fact.

  • Rebecca Black

    Billy Pilgrim

    how do you know that? The simple fact of the matter is that Maskey was and is part of an organisation that has killed many, many people. Saying that he has not killed or was not part of the process that led to someone being killed is very dubious.

  • Karl Rove

    I’m so enjoying the Provettes (aka baby SF) who have been detailed to watch this site, a laugh a minute they are.

    Of course you’re right Billy, you’ve adhered to that great British common law presumption, ‘someone’s innocent until they’re proven guilty’. And we know you’re doing this because, of course, you can’t actually know for sure that Maskey isn’t a killer, you – unless you’re Alex Maskey shyly * modestly writing under a pen-name – can only make this assumption on his behalf. In other words, you’re guessing that he isn’t a pscyopathic killer with more blood on his hands that even his fellow Provo murderers of Robert McCartney.

    So on behalf of Unionists everywehre I would like to welcome one more Provette back to decency: ‘innocent until proven guility’, a great precept, one to live by in fact. Something of a pity that your great heroes in PIRA didn’t let other people live by it, but there we are, that was a long time ago, and your elders and betters [sic] are much too scared (of losing Stormont £££, not being able to fly to the States in business class, etc, etc) to start doing any of that again, aren’t they now Billy?

  • Chris Gaskin

    “I’m so enjoying the Provettes (aka baby SF) who have been detailed to watch this site”

    Do you honestly believe Sinn Féin sends someone to look after this site on their behalf?

  • Karl Rove

    Tell me more about ‘honesty’ Chris, I do so enjoy being lectured on it by Provettes. And remember, Gerry Adams is not and never has been a member of PIRA.

  • Chris Gaskin

    I merely asked did you honestly believe Sinn Féin sent people to this site on their behalf?

    “I do so enjoy being lectured on it by Provettes”

    Firstly, I didn’t lecture you I merely asked you a question?

    How exactly am I a “provette”?

  • Karl Rove

    I fear I’ve hurt your feelings. But generally when people start droning on ‘… tell me honestly …’ they’re on a moral high horse it’s pretty easy to slip off. However, you might wish to deny this (again). So we’ll have some GCSE Eng Lang.

    In the sentence, ‘Do you honestly believe Sinn Féin sends someone to look after this site on their behalf?’ usage of the word ‘honestly’ imputes dishonest intentions to the person the question is addressed to. Lecture away though, your credentials are impeccable.

    How exactly are you a Provette? By choice I assume; and by instance of the fact that were you simply taking dictation you couldn’t stick closer to the SF line. In everything you’ve posted on party politics on this site you’ve parroted Provo slogans. Surprise us all, for the first time in your posting life, have a go at SF, praise the SDLP, admit that murdering policemen, working class catholics in pubs, etc, etc, is and was a bad thing to do. Go on, no one’s going to hit you if you do. Think outside the Provette box.

  • Chris Gaskin

    Ok
    So you do believe this, Fine, incorrect but fine.

    Do you have any proof that SF sends people on to this forum?

    As for me being a provette
    LOL

    I am sorry to tell you but I don’t take dictation from anyone!

    I am a Republican so it is hardly unusual that I take a Republican viewpoint

    I can’t attack SF because I have nothing to attack them on. As for praising the sdlp I would if they did anything worthy of praise.

    As for killing Catholics in pubs, I have constantly condemned that, if you can show me where I haven’t then please do

  • Karl Rove

    ‘I can’t attack SF because I have nothing to attack them on’ – and they say irony died when Henry Kissinger won the Nobel peace prize.

    Sigh, poor Provette, one day, one day you’ll have to be told: no Santa; no Tooth Fairy, and . . . SF’s aren’t perfect, beyond criticism, utterly honest and sea-green incorruptibles. No, seriously, they’re not.

    By the way, in response to my, “Surprise us all, for the first time in your posting life, have a go at SF, praise the SDLP, admit that murdering policemen, working class catholics in pubs, etc, etc, is and was a bad thing to do“, your “As for killing Catholics in pubs, I have constantly condemned that, if you can show me where I haven’t then please do” was beautiful, just beautiful. But come on out and say it – murdering policemen, sure it was grand fun, wasn’t it?

  • Davros

    In everything you’ve posted on party politics on this site you’ve parroted Provo slogans.

    That’s a nonsense. Chris (and paddy ) are honest and blunt. As with Chris’s comments about his party support for a smoking ban which he opposes. We are lucky to have some members of SF here willing to discuss and exchange ideas. God knows there are hangers on and wannabees who deserve the criticisms you make. Have a look at their site, Balrog and you’ll see two SF members discussing difficult issues such as capital punishment- and disagreeing.

  • Chris Gaskin

    The point is Karl that I don’t think killing police men was wrong

  • Chris Gaskin

    Davros

    Go raibh maith agat 🙂

  • queens_unionist

    “The point is Karl that I don’t think killing police men was wrong”

    Well there you go.
    If there ever was a statement to try and stop ordinary nationalists voting for you there it is.

    I despise you Gaskin.
    You insult me and many bloggers on this site.
    You didnt mention RUC PSNI or Garda?
    I seem to remember a Sinn Fein IRA robbery that went wrong resulting in a Guard and family man being murdered. Thanks for condemning that murder and being sympathetic to the family of a murdered Irish Citizen.

  • Karl Rove

    Chris Gaskin, 12.06pm: ‘The point is Karl that I don’t think killing police men was wrong’ – sure you’re a brave, boul fellah, hey? If you’d been a few years older, why . . .

    But seriously now, for the soft-headed likes of Davros et al, it really was just a few minutes work this morning to scratch the gloss off of a Provette like Chris Gaskin. He’s the sort of man who still gets turned on by the idea of policemen being murdered. And that’s why Sinn Fein are going to be out in the cold until, well, they stop being PIRA. And no ammount of Purple Turtlery can change that now.

  • queens_unionist

    I see no sack cloth nor ashes on Gaskin.
    I dont think i ever will.
    Unrepentant murderers will not have a say in Northern Ireland Politics.

  • Davros

    Karl – I’ll always have problems with some aspects of SF beliefs, such as voiced by Chris. He’ll always have difficulties with some aspects of my beliefs – e.g. in the context of events I don’t think the SAS were wrong to kill the IRA men at Loughgall. Point is that we live on the same landmass, and we respect each other’s rights to hold different views and through discussion and exchange of ideas we can move on. I come here to exhange ideas with people, to try and see things from their perspective and to try and help them see things from my perspective. This site isn’t here to facilitate Unionists “getting” Shinners , or Republicans “getting” Unionists.

  • DCB

    Killing ordinary protestants in the police force always was deeply sectarian

  • Chris Gaskin

    Lads, lads

    Calm yourself

    Firstly I don’t believe that when the IRA killed police men during the troubles was wrong because it was in a war scenario.

    My views on this are well established on this website.

    We are in a peace process and there it would be unacceptable now.

    “I despise you Gaskin”

    It is unfortunate that you feel that way however I will loose no sleep over it.

    “You didnt mention RUC PSNI or Garda?”

    Why would I?

    “I seem to remember a Sinn Fein IRA robbery that went wrong resulting in a Guard and family man being murdered. Thanks for condemning that murder and being sympathetic to the family of a murdered Irish Citizen.”

    I have said before on this site that the killing of Garda McCabe should never have happened, furthermore it is direct violation of rule 8 of the army’s general orders and the volunteers in question should have been court martial.

    “sure you’re a brave, boul fellah, hey? If you’d been a few years older, why . . .”

    What are you on about?

    I have never glorified in death!

    “He’s the sort of man who still gets turned on by the idea of policemen being murdered”

    Listen here!!

    I have never got turned on by violence in my life; I will however never condemn the IRA’s struggle against British Imperialism for the last 30 years.

    “And that’s why Sinn Fein are going to be out in the cold until, well, they stop being PIRA”

    Your political astuteness is questionable at best

  • Chris Gaskin

    “I see no sack cloth nor ashes on Gaskin.”

    You will never see that because it will never happen

  • DCB

    It wasn’t a war, there was never ever a legitimate mandate for the “armed struggle”, it was a squilid little sectarian struggle which ended up in SF accpeting arguably less than the stoops were happy with in 1974 (less to the extent that a Council of Ireland with executive powers was much more like an embronic untied ireland than anything in the GFA)

  • queens_unionist

    You didnt distinguish it and therefore i applied your terrible comment to the 3 accociations.

    “I have said before on this site that the killing of Garda McCabe should never have happened, furthermore it is direct violation of rule 8 of the army’s general orders and the volunteers in question should have been court martial.”

    Yet you dont condemn it. Could you tell us if these despoicable men ever faced the illegal court marshal?
    maybe you could get us a copy of the army’s general orders, do you have a copy lying around?
    Why not expel these members the same as the McCartney murders or let them meet the same consequences.

    I just am glad once again that these blog remain for good time i believe you comment will haunt you.
    It brings your decency into question, if your lack of decency ever was in question.

  • queens_unionist

    “I see no sack cloth nor ashes on Gaskin.”

    You will never see that because it will never happen

    suppose i could equate it to a united ireland or Sinn Fein IRA in the NILA again

  • beano @ Everything Ulster

    Chris, something I’ve always genuinely wondered about republicans but never really had the chance to ask.

    How can the RM on one hand justify killing of the army/RUC as the enemies in a war, and yet cry foul play at incidents like the ‘death on the rock’ when those enemies dared to fight back, killing IRA men, not civillians?

  • queens_unionist

    good point beano.
    Also the guerilla warfare ie shooting of innocent RUC/army members, which never were involved in anything regarding the troubles.

  • Chris Gaskin

    “Could you tell us if these despoicable men ever faced the illegal court marshal?”

    I don’t know, you would have to ask the IRA that

    “maybe you could get us a copy of the army’s general orders, do you have a copy lying around?”

    Sorry to disappoint you but I don’t have a copy of the green book, check out T.P.Coogan’s book “IRA”, it should give you all the information you need

    “I just am glad once again that these blog remain for good time i believe you comment will haunt you.”

    How exactly will my comments come back to haunt me?

    “It brings your decency into question, if your lack of decency ever was in question”

    I have never claimed to be decent but please spare the lectures on decency, a Unionist lecturing me on decency LOL

  • queens_unionist

    “Lads, lads”

    Gaskin, you assuume im a lad, therefore male?

  • beano @ Everything Ulster

    “a Unionist lecturing me on decency LOL”

    Chris, I was in sympathy with you up to this point – are you suggesting that one’s affection for the Union automatically renders them indecent? Surely that’s starting to sound as sweeping and unfounded as a certain party’s election slogan is being interpreted.

  • Indeed

    Gaskin,

    You seem to think that SF will be involved in the poltical process while they still are the IRA? Well, you can talk to the British and Irish Governments, but NOTHING wil happen without the consent of the DUP and we despise you for comments like those you made regarding the murder of policemen.

    Until this shameful mindset is decomissioned, along with all the guns etc, you will have no place in the political instituutions of Northern Ireland.

    BTW,
    yes thats Northern Ireland-thats what it is, thats what it will remain.

    Davros,
    Point is that we live on the same landmass, and we respect each other’s rights to hold different views and through discussion and exchange of ideas we can move on.

    I beg to differ Davros. I question how respect can be given to Sinn Fein as they are the voice of unrepentant terrorists. They do not deserve the respect of democrats. How can you respect the view held by Gaskin that killing policemen was not wrong?

  • queens_unionist

    Gaskin you need a good lecture on decency, since you are devoid of any

    Please play the ball, not the man A.U.

  • Chris Gaskin

    “How can the RM on one hand justify killing of the army/RUC as the enemies in a war, and yet cry foul play at incidents like the ‘death on the rock’ when those enemies dared to fight back, killing IRA men, not civillians?”

    Two points Beano

    Firstly

    The British have always tried to create the illusion that they were a neutral party in the conflict, which they weren’t.

    If they were indeed neutral then this is a direct violation of their own laws

    If it was war then fine, they fought back can’t say I blame them, it was a war.

    They can’t however have it both ways, it was a war one minute and then it wasn’t the next.

    Many of the victims of collusion however were not IRA volunteers and that is were the problem lies.

    “shooting of innocent RUC/army members”

    Bit of an oxymoron that!

  • Davros

    I beg to differ Davros. I question how respect can be given to Sinn Fein as they are the voice of unrepentant terrorists. They do not deserve the respect of democrats. How can you respect the view held by Gaskin that killing policemen was not wrong?

    Differing is what it’s all about.I don’t respect his view on this issue. I do respect his right to hold it. If you say he hasn’t the right to his views, you are no different to those having a go at people such as the McCartney sisters for daring to dissent.

  • Indeed

    Davros,

    There is a distinction between having the right to hold a view which is worthy of respect, and then the mindsets of Gaskin and the like.
    It is nothing like the McCartney situation. Their view is worthy of respect. They challenge the views of people like Gaskin becasue they agree with me that their minsets are not welcome in society.

  • Mike

    “They can’t however have it both ways, it was a war one minute and then it wasn’t the next.”

    So you reject the Provisinal republican position on the Troubles then?

    If not, can you explain the view that killing a man in cold blood in his home because he sells food to police stations is in fact not murder but an ‘act of war’, whereas soldiers shooting dead IRA members on a mission to carry out a bombing intended to cause multiple deaths is ‘murder’, as Gerry Adams has said?

  • Chris Gaskin

    “Lads, lads”

    Gaskin, you assume im a lad, therefore male?”

    Then you assume too much, when I use lad I use it with reference to both sexes.

    “are you suggesting that one’s affection for the Union automatically renders them indecent?”

    Absolutely not, it was merely a comment directed at our dup supporting colleague and a bit of a dig over the UUP’s election slogan.

    “Gaskin,

    You seem to think that SF will be involved in the political process while they still are the IRA?”

    I have never thought that!

    “but NOTHING wil happen without the consent of the DUP and we despise you for comments like those you made regarding the murder of policemen.”

    I am sorry you feel like that but TOUGH, Sinn Féin is the majority nationalist party and you will have no choice but to deal with us.

    “Until this shameful mindset is decomissioned”

    Keep wishing

    “yes thats Northern Ireland-thats what it is, thats what it will remain”

    Where?

    “How can you respect the view held by Gaskin that killing policemen was not wrong?”

    I have never asked anyone to respect it; I don’t ask other people permission to hold my own beliefs.

    “Gaskin you need a good lecture on decency, since you are devoid of any”

    Sorry Father, will three Hail Mary’s and Two Our Fathers do?

  • Davros

    Indeed- who decides whose views are worthy of respect? It’s a short hop to deciding that some views are not allowable and thence to punishing people for daring to hold views that are deemed “dangerous”. McCarthyism and worse.

  • Chris Gaskin

    Mike I am merely giving my opinion

    It is up to the Brits to clarify theres

    “Gaskin becasue they agree with me that their minsets are not welcome in society.”

    Gosh!

    I won’t be able to sleep tonight

  • Mike

    Chris –

    If you wouldn’t mind clarifying your opinion for me: would you say what happened at Gibraltar was murder? Loughgall? And would you say those killed at Teebane or the Four Step Inn were murdered?

    To take it a bit further, Sinn Fein representatives killed by loyalist terrorists, were they murdered? And would you see the killings of Robert Bradford and Edgar Graham as murder?

  • Chris Gaskin

    I would see it as a war and in war terrible things occur on both sides.

    The IRA have apologised for all the non-combatants they killed, why can’t the British do the same?

  • beano @ Everything Ulster

    Gaskin I understand that to say it is war on one hand and not on the other is hypocritical but it’s not just the British government guilty of this.

    You describe “shooting of innocent RUC/army members” as an oxymoron – does that mean that you don’t believe anyone who joined the RUC did so simply to uphold the rule of law? By that argument Northern Ireland wouldn’t have had a police force at all for the past 85 years and the paramilitaries would have run the show with their own form of ‘justice’ – or is this what you’d consider preferable?

  • Mick

    Fair play to all for keeping their cool. Remember: keep playing the ball, rather than the man.

  • El Matador

    If you wouldn’t mind clarifying your opinion for me: would you say what happened at Gibraltar was murder? Loughgall? And would you say those killed at Teebane or the Four Step Inn were murdered?

    To take it a bit further, Sinn Fein representatives killed by loyalist terrorists, were they murdered? And would you see the killings of Robert Bradford and Edgar Graham as murder?

    Could you answer these questions individually and specifically, Mr. Gaskin?

  • queens_unionist

    Looks like gaskin has landed himself under a little pressure, he’ll be turning as piebald as GA

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Rebecca

    “how do you know that?”

    I don’t, not for sure. However it is pretty widely accepted that after Maskey was released from the Kesh (he was interned without charge in the 70s) the republican leadership reckoned that he was more useful working on the political wing. He was first elected to Belfast city council in the early 80s, and it would simply have been logical to ring-fence him from the bloodier side of the movement. The same was true of Mitchel McLoughlin in Derry. No doubt he would have been willing to take up the gun but all the evidence and all the speculation is simply that the republican leadership had another role in mind for him. (And it was a successful strategy – he was for a long time the sole Shinner on Belfast city council, but after May 5 he may even be leader of the largest grouping.)

    So no, I don’t actually know, but an informed and logical assumption would be that he has never actually killed anyone or taken a hands-on role in any murder. He has certainly defended others who killed people, but that’s not what Jimmy Sands accused him of.

    And of course I would re-state the point that there is no evidence that he has ever taken part in a murder and – unlike other senior Sinn Fein figures – no-one has ever actually made such an accusation against Maskey.

    Karl Rove

    Lordy but you assume an awful lot from very little evidence don’t you? First Maskey, now me.

    Anyone who has been posting on this site for more than five minutes would know I am not a Provo and have very little time for Sinn Fein. (Though the fact that I often challenge unionist allergic reactions to them means you’re not the first newcomer to assume I’m a virtual woolly-face – but you’ll learn when you’ve been here a little longer.)

    “Of course you’re right Billy, you’ve adhered to that great British common law presumption, ‘someone’s innocent until they’re proven guilty’.”

    Well, partly. See above for the rest of my reasoning. You may find it instructive.

    “And we know you’re doing this because, of course, you can’t actually know for sure that Maskey isn’t a killer, you – unless you’re Alex Maskey shyly * modestly writing under a pen-name -can only make this assumption on his behalf.”

    See above.

    “In other words, you’re guessing that he isn’t a pscyopathic killer with more blood on his hands that even his fellow Provo murderers of Robert McCartney.”

    Do you think Alex Maskey is a “psychopathic killer”? What is your basis for thinking that? What do you understand by the term “psychopath”?

    “So on behalf of Unionists everywehre I would like to welcome one more Provette back to decency: ‘innocent until proven guility’, a great precept, one to live by in fact.”

    You speak on behalf of unionists everywhere?

    And, do you agree with “innocent until proven guilty”?

    “ Something of a pity that your great heroes in PIRA didn’t let other people live by it”

    – Apparently not.

    “but there we are, that was a long time ago, and your elders and betters [sic] are much too scared (of losing Stormont £££, not being able to fly to the States in business class, etc, etc) to start doing any of that again, aren’t they now Billy?”

    I think you need a wee lie down Karl. You’re jumping at shadows.

  • Indeed

    Come on Gaskin, we’re waiting for your answers…..

  • queens_unionist

    indeed i think gaskin in probably onto the fone of Sinn Fein IRA Army council members now to find out what the official line on his remarks are.

  • Chris Gaskin

    “Come on Gaskin, we’re waiting for your answers…..”

    Sorry I kept you indeed but some people do have lives outside Slugger

    “indeed i think gaskin in probably onto the fone of Sinn Fein IRA Army council members now to find out what the official line on his remarks are.”

    LOL, cuckoo, cuckoo!!

    You should know that Republicans never discuss important things over the “fone” 😉

    I have said it before and I will say it again, we were involved in an intense period of conflict and terrible things were done by all sides!

  • Karl Rove

    Gaskin: ‘I have said it before and I will say it again, we were involved in an intense period of conflict and terrible things’ – away and catch yourself on son. We indeed! What did you do during the ‘war’? Stage a dirty protest during the first run of the Tellytubbies?

    Billy boy: your ‘reasoning’ in non-existant. You haven’t the slighest idea whether Maskey is a murderer or not (unless you’re the man himself, and whatever his many, many other faults, he doesn’t strike me as being that coy). In other words, and as others have pointed out already on this thread, you’re oh so tediously typically claiming ‘one rule for Provos (‘don’t shoot us, that’s not fair, whine, whine‘), and another for the ‘Crown forces’ (do shoot them, coz, well, gosh, um, ‘oppression! No nation’s suffered as much, they looked up my mammy’s auntie’s sister’s skirt etc etc, oh, yeah, Paisley, him, and I failed my 11+’ repeat ad naus).

    But the Provette chorus today has been huge fun. Tune in tomorrow folks for more on the evil McCartney sisters and their West Brit agenda.

    Brought to you by the Republican Movement: we don’t like it up us’.

  • Chris Gaskin

    “away and catch yourself on son. We indeed! What did you do during the ‘war’? Stage a dirty protest during the first run of the Tellytubbies?”

    We as in this country!!

    My, my you are easily rattled!

    Perhaps you could do with a wee rest, you are starting to loose it

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Karl Rove.

    You didn’t deal with a single point I made. Clearly you aren’t interested in debate. Come back to me when you’re ready. In the mean time I have no intention of wasting any more time engaging the closed mind of a rabid sheep.

  • Karl Rove

    ‘You’re . . . you’re rattled, so you are/I don’t wanna play any more, I’m going home, whine, whine‘. Bye-bye Provettes, see ya tomorrow. You’re great fun, keep it up, Ireland depends on you.

  • john

    Very mature and coherant response – Karl

  • queens_unionist

    Its as coherent as Gasins LACK OF RESPONSES to the questions put to him.
    he merely tries to divert the topic by trying to be-little his questioners.