Unionists need to get beyond conspiracy theories

One of the most noticable things about the period of the Loyalist rioting in Belfast has been the relative silence of Unionist politicians. Brian Feeney, though he glosses over important changes in the DUP in recent years, reckons that unionism has for too long been dominated with negative conspiracy theories. I’d add the obvious caveat: “Just because you’re paranoid, doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you”!

The conspiracy takes various forms. Last week it took the shape of the chief constable, the Parades Commission, Peter Hain, the PSNI – individually and collectively – and of course ‘the meedja’.

They were all agin the unionist people. Somehow they all knew to act in concert at the same time. That’s the power of dark forces you see. At all times in the decades-long conspiracy, unionists are up against tremendous odds, a necessary but not a sufficient requirement of conspiracy theorists.

The NIO is agin unionists because it gives more money to Catholics. Protestants are worse off and are being discriminated against in jobs and investment.

  • peteb

    Here’s an alternative list for another group of conspiracy theorists –

    The chief constable, the Independent Monitoring Commission, Michael McDowell, Peter Hain, the PSNI, individually and collectively – of course the meedja – and even more so, of course, the securocrats.

    Conspiracy theories have been the propaganda of choice for more than just the Unionist politicians.

    Not that Mr Feeney has ever entertained such notions himself…

  • slug

    Nationalist commentators – as here – often mis-spell in the sections of their pieces that they paraphrase unionist arguments.

  • anne dunne

    kas we dinnae valu edukashan!!


    Feeney seems unable or unwilling to grasp an important point.

    Paisley and his party have been selling the same “Ulster is on the brink” consipracy for decades.It’s only recently that people have bought it in sufficient quantities to makes the DUP the largest Unionist party.
    It would be interesting to ask why this is and not fall back on simplistic arguments like “all Unionists are paranoid”

    Feeney writes this

    “The power of the conspiracy theory has always been that it provides a simple explanation for complex problems.”

    I would tend to agree, but there are different kinds of conspiracies.
    Reading Feeneys columns over the last few years has convinced me of that, but hey, maybe I’m just being paranoid?

  • Robert Keogh

    When they are out to get, paranoia just makes good sense!

  • Dandyman

    Two weeks ago the world watched and listened while orangemen and loyalist paramilitaries turned areas of Belfast into downtown Beirut in the mid-1980s and then turned around to the international media and blamed it all on Republicans, the two governments, the parades commission, anyone but themselves. Now commentators on this site are bitching and moaning because a bank got robbed and the whole of SF aren’t in jail. Jeffrey Donaldson was on H & M last night peddling more whataboutery and honestly the level of debate on Slugger is light years ahead of the politicians in the north at this stage.

    When, IF, NI ever calms down and becomes a normal society, we will have a de facto United Ireland, border or no border. This realisation is beginning to sink in with many unionists. Things in NI have just gotten too quiet for their liking in the last 6-7 years, hence the shift in power to the DUP. Except now that the peace process seems to be moving on regardless of Paisley’s increasingly ludicrous histrionics and firebrand rhetoric, the search for reasons not to sit down and engage in any kind of meaningful communication becomes ever more desperate.