Three buses at once syndrome

The rumour mill is persistent that a large package is to be announced for deprived Loyalist communities, although David Hanson’s day of announcement seems to keep slipping.

The neglect of their working class communities has been a persistent criticism of Unionism but now it is a battle to show who cares the most with the DUP, UUP and UPRG making various suggestions and claims. Meanwhile, Sinn Fein are annoyed with some of the UUP’s latest suggestions.

Whoever did or didn’t get this likely package, the challenge remains to make sure any extra investment isn’t wasted and as it was part of the DUP’s shopping list for them to transform it into Unionist goodwill for political progress.

  • observer

    fair deal said.”part of the DUP’s shopping list for them to transform it into Unionist goodwill for political progress.”

    are you saying the DUP have been bought into power sharing with the shinners…all they need was enough £££££s waved in front of them…how principled

  • fair_deal

    “are you saying the DUP have been bought into power sharing with the shinners…all they need was enough £££££s waved in front of them…how principled”

    I realise you are trolling but no matter.

    No I am not saying that. If that’s what I meant that’s what I would have said.

    As the blog points out the DUP are not alone at asking for resources for deprived communities.

    The DUP haven’t just asked for money as well you know. They have asked for a series of political changes to the agreement (including changes to the system of power-sharing) and other matters to be addressed e.g. representation on EC and NIHRC, Parades Commission. So no it isn’t just about £££.

    My point about the challenge to the DUP was it would be a mistake for them to assume just because they get most of what they ask for will lead to an automatic change in attitudes among the electorate ie they have to sell any successes and sell them well.

  • Pete Baker

    fair_deal

    It’s important to note, among all these claims of causal links between lobbying by opposing political parties and others and the expected financial packages, that the Secretary of State for Wales and Northern Ireland Peter Hain “acknowledge[d] the particular needs of loyalist communities.” directly following the violent riots in September 2005.

    That was also when he gave NIO Minister David Hanson the additional responsibility for “a process of intensive engagement with elected representatives and civil leaders from the protestant community.”

    and it was a month later, in October 2005 when David Hanson subsequently announced

    that a Delivery Team to co-ordinate action in disadvantaged loyalist communities [was] being set up to implement the findings of a Taskforce established in 2004.

    The battle to show who cares most now is, arguably, merely a scramble for a PR shine from a decidedly grubby little strategy.

  • observer

    you said that getting this money would induce unionist goodwill ie the DUPes would sell out

  • Comrade Stalin

    Fair Deal, do you seriously believe the DUP have an objective of creating political will for the political process ? I don’t.

    The process cannot advance by good will alone. It advanced when people accept cold, hard realities. Sinn Fein have had to accept the cold, hard reality that British rule is here for now, devolved government is the way to go, and that the unionists must be accomodated rather than driven into the sea. Likewise, unionists cannot escape from the reality that they must talk to all nationalists as well as everyone else about securing a future for people here.

  • fair_deal

    Observer

    “you said that getting this money would induce unionist goodwill”

    No I didn’t.

    Comrade

    ” do you seriously believe the DUP have an objective of creating political will for the political process ?

    In my personal opinion with the information I have, yes.

    “I don’t.”

    Fair enough.

    “Sinn Fein have had to accept the cold, hard reality that British rule is here for now, devolved government is the way to go, and that the unionists must be accomodated rather than driven into the sea.”

    I’m not so sure about the third but they didn’t accept those in return for nothing.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    From UTV;

    ‘Ms Stanton said all political parties should tackle deprivation and poverty wherever it arose.

    The North Belfast MLA said: “Deprivation and poverty undoubtedly exists in unionist working class communities, as it does in nationalist and republican working class communities.

    “This disadvantage will not be tackled by political parties attempting to approach the issue along sectarian and partisan lines.”

    The approach from unionists has a sectarian under current. The Noble index on deprivation is the clearest available evidence of where funding is required.

  • Ivor Dewdney

    I don’t often fall on the same side of a whole lot of what Pat McLarnon says (although the comments are always well written) but in this instance I have to agree with him/her.

    Poverty is poverty is poverty, and until governments recognise that and move away from the rather ignorant and ill-informed attempt to seduce one political party into a deal this place will stay in the doldrums.

    Creating capacity within communities that will in time lead to positive role models rather than baseball bat-wielding hoods with necks thicker than their heads would be a start, but I don’t believe the political parties or the government have serious desires to end poverty here: witness the joy when call centre jobs come to Northern Ireland. As long as we can say that unemployment is down (even though jobs created are transient or menial) we should all be happy. Not buying it.

    The depressing mentality on all sides here is similar to that in many parts of the North of England in the 70’s and 80’s. The ‘themmuns get more than us’ mentality has to be removed, yet government action is serving only to reinforce that view.

    Ivor Dewdney

  • wild turkey

    pork or poverty?

    simple question:
    Is this a strategy to combat poverty and social exclusion?

    Doubt it if the aim, as stated by FD is ‘unionist goodwill for political progress’ Why not be honest and call it cynical expediency.

    well at least we know good will is tradeable commodity. this is a great leap for mature non-sectarian politics.

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Pork barrel
    In a literal sense, is a barrel in which pork is kept, but figuratively is a supply of money; often the source of one’s livelihood.

    In politics, a pork barrel (or pork barrel politics) is a derogatory term describing government spending that is intended to benefit constituents of a politician in return for their political support, either in the form of campaign contributions or votes. The term is thought to have originated on Southern plantations, where slaves were allocated the unwanted remainder of slaughtered pigs, or the “pork barrel”. Typically it involves funding for government programs whose economic or service benefits are concentrated in a particular area but whose costs are spread among all taxpayers. Public works projects and agricultural subsidies are the most commonly cited examples, but they do not exhaust the possibilities. Pork barrel spending is often allocated through last-minute additions to appropriation bills.

    One of the earliest examples of pork barrel politics in the United States was the Bonus Bill of 1817, which was introduced by John C. Calhoun to construct highways linking the East and South of the United States to its Western frontier using the earnings bonus from the Second Bank of the United States. Calhoun argued for it using general welfare and post roads clauses of the United States Constitution. Although he approved of the economic development goal, President James Madison vetoed the bill as unconstitutional. Since then, however, U.S. presidents have seen the political advantage of pork barrel politics. The Oxford English Dictionary gives the first appearance of the term in print as 1909, in the Westminster Gazette:

    “The Democratic Party…has periodically inveighed against the extravagance of the present administration, but its representatives in the Legislature have exercised no critical surveillance over their appropriations. They have preferred to take for their own constituencies whatever could be got out of the Congressional ‘pork barrel’.”

    Now where does the missing word unionist belong in the above quotation?

  • David Michael

    Did it escape Slugger’s notice that David Hanson announced a £33m handout yesterday?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/4875204.stm