On the duplicious art of boiling of frogs…

Great metaphor from Bob McCartney on how to boil a frog. The particular frog he has in mind is the DUP. He argues that reading the St Andrews Agreement as anything other than a minor iteration of the Belfast Agreement is bogus:

In essence, the DUP pragmatists have achieved little more than was always on offer … they have simply caved in to Peter Hain’s blackmail and carrot strategy. The DUP leadership’s decision to buy into the St Andrews road map to enforced coalition with Sinn Fein has required it to issue and spin a false prospectus to its grass roots, and then to attempt a concealment of their anger and confusion.

Aware that DUP rank and file disillusion and disbelief would somehow have to be sedated, the chosen strategy to do so has been the so-called Work in Progress concept.

And Work in Progress is, in McCartney’s book, equivalent of turning up the heat.


  • nmc

    Things are in stark contrast to Paisley’s speech on the twelfth. Perhaps he’s just repeating the same tired old lines over and over.

    Never! Never! Never! Aye alright then I’ll get my coat…

  • páid

    The problem with this peace process is that you have to be extremely careful about what you ask for.

    Because you will be given it.

  • raisinbun

    Jeez, one unionist wants to boil another like a frog, thats real helpful to the progress.

    If unionism all came together and yoked their strength, they find find much more power like standing separating shouting. Time to grow up and play nicely I think.

  • Greenflag

    The frogs been on the boil now for some 35 years more or less. In this case the frog has been subjected to the forces of evolution. It has now learned to jump from the soon to boil pot into the frying pan . It’s next considered leap will no doubt be in true unionist fashion i.e into the fire ?

    What is McCartney’s alternative ? And if he has a practical alternative can it be delivered?

  • John East Belfast


    “What is McCartney’s alternative ? And if he has a practical alternative can it be delivered?”

    Do you consider alternatives to Repartition !

    only joking – you are right about McCartney.

    McCartney models his political debate like a prosecutiing or Defence QC.
    Totally and ruthlessly demolish the other party’s case and prove them guilty beyond doubt or innocent as the case may be.

    Coming up with a solution is not required – all that matters is winning the argument.

    McCartney can go to his grave knowing he never compromised. However he has never had one practical solution to our problems here.

    Indeed I wonder if he concentrated on criminal as opposed to commercial law ? the Former tends to give more days in court whereas the latter requires a pragmatic decision outside.
    McCartney behaves in politics as if he has spent his entire legal career in confrontation.

  • Token Dissent

    Firstly Bob is a man of many wasted talents. The vision of secular unionism that he offers has many attractive features, it’s just a shame that it has been drowned out by his ego and negativity.

    Unionist unity is not what we need! We need an alternative to the two narrow nationalisms on offer. A coalition of those who accept that the constitutional issue is parked.

    (Unrealistic point for the day.)

  • PaddyReilly

    It won’t work. The function of political parties is to contend. It’s no use trying to get them to work together.

    What Ulster needs is a two chamber system, as in the US, where sometimes one party controls the House and the other the Senate.

    What we have already is a House which, to date, is under the permanent control of Unionists: not surprisingly, since they created the borders which define the state.

    What we need is a Senate, which is under Nationalist control. This could be achieved in several ways: by appointment, by allowing excluded parties to transfer from the House, by elections from each of the six counties individually, by elections which include Donegal etc.

    Then politics proceeds without co-operation. Any Unionist biased legislation is thrown out by the Senate: any Nationalist inspired is rejected by the House. Eventually a sort of horse trading sets in. Both the House and the Senate have the right to appoint a certain number of ministers.

  • Alan

    How’s the pot with the Shinner frog doing ?

  • gingertop

    “How’s the pot with the Shinner frog doing ?”

    don’t think it is even in the pot although it definitely should be. The likes of McCartney prefers sticking the knife into fellow unionists.

  • Greenflag

    John East ,

    ‘Do you consider alternatives to Repartition !

    If a solution can be found that will rid a 6 county NI of it’s sectarian based politics, it’s excessive public sector based economy, and can provide all the people of NI with a stable constitutional future then I’d not be opposed .

    I prefer a constitutional settlement to what Fair Deal refers to as an ‘instrumental ‘ one . I accept that to get to the ‘constitutional’ a lot more instruments will have to be played .