Big unionist dust up continues

I haven’t seen this yet, but apparently last night’s programme hosted a big bust up between Alan McFarland and Gregory Campbell over the co-option of David Ervine into the UUP Assembly group. Check Newt Emerson’s piece on why power sharing, as a form of government, just won’t work.

  • Pete Baker

    “hosted a big bust between Alan McFarland and Gregory Campbell”? Brenda??

    The interview with Don MacKay was interesting too.. the same story as he rolled out to Clare Regan.. with a few accusations of a sectarian campaign against him.

    Somewhat redundant given today’s ruling.

  • seabhac siulach

    So, Mr. Emerson’s conclusion is that power-sharing will not work. I have to agree.
    With the withdrawal of the British garrison to East of the Bann in the latest troop redeployments, it is clear that the Brit. govt. is also betting on that outcome long-term. Not such good news for those unionists to be ‘stranded’ West of the Bann, though…

  • kensei

    “Not such good news for those unionists to be ‘stranded’ West of the Bann, though…”

    Or Nationalists to the East, to be honest.

    I’m not entirely convinced about the argument on lack of opposition. Because there is essentially no collective responsibility, voters can, within sectarian boundaries, punish parties that poorly perform. And the choice is either: limited influence or no influence, so I’m not sure the argument holds.

    A lot would depend on how successful the ploicies are.

  • elfinto

    SS,

    Are you Declan in disguise?

  • Garibaldy

    The withdrawal of the army east of the Bann is sometimes taken to be symbolic of some form of provo victory, especially in south Armagh, where some people like to kid themselves they have liberated the area. Nothing could be further from the truth. There’s no need for the army as the police can now enforce the law throughout NI without help from the army, as has been proven with raids on markets for counterfeit goods.

    The British government is clearly happy to make the north still closer to Bosnia-Herzogovina with its ethnic zones, as we can see from their proposals on local government and the redrawing of electoral boundaries over the last few years. However, it doesn’t really matter who they sublet the administration of these areas to. It doesn’t make a united Ireland one day closer, and anyone who thinks it does is kidding themselves.

  • seabhac siulach

    “SS,

    Are you Declan in disguise? ”

    Ehhhh, no!

    Didn’t realise I was becoming monothematic (single transferable post, STP), if that’s what you mean…

    And, I didn’t even mention ‘repartition’ once…!
    Or 50+1, etc., etc., yawn…

  • seabhac siulach

    “However, it doesn’t really matter who they sublet the administration of these areas to. It doesn’t make a united Ireland one day closer, and anyone who thinks it does is kidding themselves.”

    Not strictly true as the new councils will have cross-border powers…meaning that those councils West of the Bann (Nationalist ones) will no doubt end up having greater linkages to the South. In my book, that is a step closer towards a United Ireland. It is hardly reinforcing the Union. This slow evolutionary movement towards unity is now probably the best way forward…

  • kensei

    “Nothing could be further from the truth. There’s no need for the army as the police can now enforce the law throughout NI without help from the army, as has been proven with raids on markets for counterfeit goods.”

    In the medium term, it’ll be Nationalists running the police in those areas. Do you see?

    “However, it doesn’t really matter who they sublet the administration of these areas to. It doesn’t make a united Ireland one day closer, and anyone who thinks it does is kidding themselves. ”

    See above. Sufficiently powerful councils can force issues that will either start negativing the border on a practical level, or force Unionists or the British Government to veto it in a way that will only help SF.

  • Stephen Copeland

    Garibaldy,

    … There’s no need for the army as the police can now enforce the law throughout NI without help from the army

    This will, of course, be true, but the police are becoming increasingly non-political. ‘The law’ is not really at issue – it is the partiality of the upholders of that law that counts. If and when the PSNI can be counted on to be entirely politically neutral (like the Gardai or any force in Britain) then the risk for unionists west of the Bann is real – no longer will they be able to count on ‘their’ police, army, or militias to counteract the numerical superiority of their nationalist neighbours. Nationalists in the east have never had a private state security apparatus to support them, so there will be little change for them – but what there is will also be in their favour.

  • páid

    I think Newt is right, it will eventually be Plan B. This will suit SF in the long term and they know it. In the meantime they have to pretend to prefer Plan A. They are world-beaters at this.

    If the DUP were smart, they would realise this and work Plan A. There are some very smart people in the DUP, and their discipline is much better than the UUP; but events, dear boy, will change things. And Stormont will fall.

    As for a UI becoming closer, well IMHO that’s for the future. The artificial black-and-white nature of the internal Ulster border will grey; it has lasted way beyond it’s original design life already.

    The new green councils will look south; the orange ones east. Expect to hear ‘east/west of the Bann’ more frequently in the next decade.

  • Garibaldy

    SS, Stephen,

    I understand your arguments, and where you’re coming from. However, cross-border cooperation since 1985 has not changed the status quo, and I seriously doubt that local government cooperation of any type can do so. People’s chaning attitudes of course will.

    I’m a little unclear in what scenario Stephen is talking about unionists relying on ‘their’ police, army etc. Do you mean civil war? Belfast is not that big a drive away, never mind by helicopter, so effectively, the army has as much control as it needs from a purely military view was my point.

    Politically, it is possible that all these changes will bring a UI closer. Equally, it’s possible that they will make the union more acceptable.

  • peter

    Newt has a good point and I have some reservations about a system in which there is little prospect of a minister losing their job.
    However one system which we know definitely does not work is democracy as the majority rule for the first 50 years showed.

  • Tony Clifton

    Just watched it for the first time on tinternet. Alan McPharland performed better than I would have expected although I still find him a bit annoying.

    Campbell was wrong on a fair few points his defense of voting for Hugh Smyth vs his condemnation of the UUP due to the feeling of victims groups was ridiculous and completely incompatable.

    His claims about the UUP moving too early as there was no immediate chance of an executive was also absolutely stupid. To be sure of it working a unionist move had to be made monday or not at all as the d’hondt mechanism is run from ‘day one’ of an assembly sitting i.e. the first meeting of the assemby, so unless that ‘day one’ is reset due to an election or law change monday was that day. There is no way either the DUP or UUP could have gambled on there being another ‘day one’ to form a group……it had to be monday past.

  • elfinto

    Stephen,

    I diagree profoundly with your use of the word risk to describe the future position of unionists west of the Bann. They are at risk of nothing worse than being treated as equal citizens. Maybe one day unionists throughout the six counties will settle for this.

  • Ex-UUP

    can anyone here confirm or deny that Reg stated he would not join any government here inthe lifetime of this assemblY??

  • elfinto

    Just watching the programme now. Who are the bigger bunch of hypocrites? It’s tight but the DUP just shades it.

  • young loyalist

    I watched it last night and i think Alan put Gregory on the back foot a few times. I get a feeling that some skeletons are about to fall out of the DUP cupboard. So i think they should just except that the UUP made the move before they did in bringing someone unto the assembly group and get on with things because as long as they keep moaning about things they are steering us down the road to a united ireland.

  • Tiny

    what happened to wee jeffs claims in westminister about Copeland, seem to have dissappeared from the papers, was wee Jeff telling a porky from the safety of the Commons?

  • IJP

    Would Unionists please WAKE UP!

    You’re arguing about which main Unionist party has more paramilitary links!

    This accepts that both parties have such links!

    Can you not hear yourselves?

    How on earth can Unionists oppose ‘Sinn Féin/IRA’ if they themselves are tied up in such things?

    This idea that Unionism is about an ‘inclusive NI’, about ‘decency’, or about ‘law and order’ has been shown up more effectively than ever as an utter sham.

    And then we have Newt ‘I hate Alliance more than the Shinners’ Emerson espousing Alliance policy in direct opposition to the policy promoted by the party he votes for!!!

    Those who kept watching will have seen Stephen Fry subsequently telling us all that politicians are hypocrites because the voters who elect them are hypocrites… worth thinking about…

  • Crataegus

    IJP

    We may be seeing the beginning of the end of the UUP for really what difference is there between them and the DUP? They have failed the challenge to make Unionism open and inclusive. Why should anyone vote for them rather than the other lot and why should anyone transfer to them.

    On the point of hypocrites, yes humans have a great capacity for hypocrisy. We bang on about bad driving whilst breaking the speed limit, utter all sorts of statements about law and order whilst fiddling the tax return, believe in family values but have a fling with Mary in accounts etc.

    There is always a difference between what we do and what we aspire to, but we need politicians who will lead us towards our aspirations and not ones that play on fear and the darker recesses of ourselves.

  • Tiny

    “On the point of hypocrites”, I have just heard about a Councillor and DDP member who when being given a ticket for not wearing a seatbelt asked the wee peeler if he hadn’t more to do and if he knew who she was, apparently she still got the ticket but said she would take it further?
    Gives the much talked about locally accountable policing a new slant, one rule for us, one rule for those representing ‘our’ interests?

  • aquifer

    Newt has got it. We need an opposition, ideally divided along sectarian lines -for balance.

    Hain should just hand the keys of office to the biggest group of MLA’s who show up at his door including at least 25% of both Nationalists and Unionists.

    Otherwise this all inclusive to each a veto thing is just tedious, and the resultant direct rule suits the parties too well. The Unionists get to pretend that they are ruled from westminster like Englishmen, and the Shinners get to pretend everything is the English’s fault.