The economy here is not bad – for example unemployment in Newry is only 3%, compared up to 20% only ten or fifteen years ago. Unlike Britain house prices are still remarkably bouyant. However, Eilis O’Hanlon, thinks that in terms of choosing their politics, the Northern Irish polity seems deaf to reason.Despite, the bank robbery and the McCartney murder, not to mention multiple efforts by middle ground politicians:
…none of it makes the slightest ripple in the North, any more than dead fathers and kidnapped bank workers did, which is why voters will still troop dutifully out on Thursday to return the Honourable Members for Mid-Semtex and Armalite West. This is democratic delinquency on an unimaginable scale, and begs the question: do nationalists actually have a bottom line anymore? Is there anything IRA/Sinn Fein could do that nationalists would now consider deserving of punishment at the ballot box? If spying, lying, murder, robbery and rearmament get the nod, it certainly doesn’t look like.
And after the election:
There will be a lot of nonsense talked once the votes are counted, about respecting the democratic mandates of the various victors. But what is there to respect about people who vote Sinn Fein and DUP? If they sent back Mr Blobby or the Boston Strangler to the House of Commons, would we have to respect that too? This is like saying thatS Club 7 must be better than Schoenberg because they sell more CDs. The public isn’t always right.
When people in the North repeatedly turn out to vote for sectarian demagoguery and backstreet thuggery above all available normal democratic alternatives, then they have not delivered a verdict which needs to be respected. They have simply provided further evidence that they are collectively, provably and certifiably as mad as a fridge.
Which is (another) new one on me.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty