Unionism should facilitate SF final move…

David Ervine’s last piece of analysis, published in Tuesday’s Telegraph, and re-printed in yesterday’s Irish Times.He notes the general quietitude within Unionist communities, not least because of the discreet nature of the negotiations:

The real mood within our community is proving hard to read. There are few signs that the voter is particularly exercised by the possibility of a deal. The mood seems to me to be actually very calm. Those old enough will remember the anger and bitterness abroad over the years when some initiative or another was mooted. Thankfully, those days seem gone.

In recent times we’ve seen how both sides, while quietly negotiating, have almost let on that they are not negotiating. The DUP have been particularly guilty in this respect. St Andrews was built around the two protagonists – to the virtual exclusion of all others. Devolution and policing stood out with requirements expected from both sides. It seems to have gone downhill from then.

In the end though, he argued that unionism should facilitate Sinn Fein in getting through its last, and most difficult hurdle:

The endgame was always going to shake up the republican movement and its supporters. It is, after all, the final acceptance by republicans of Northern Ireland as a viable and integral part of the UK. It is also the final acceptance by republicans that no authority other than state authority is either practicable or tolerable. It is worth consideration that if Adams pulls it off at the Ard Fheis, a real line in history will have been drawn.

Quite a number of options exist in the political process if the DUP help create a date for the devolution of policing and justice and the position of Sinn Fein is proving dubious. Given the prize that is on offer for this society, it would be a shame if it were stalled and undermined. Put it up to the Shinners! They will have a substantial management project because of the challenge. From my point of view I hope Adams pulls it off. We, the unionists, should facilitate him to do so.

  • I’m afraid this article doesn’t improve with re-printing, it’s the usual incoherent nonsense that peace processors spout. Seeking to put republican insurrectionistss into Government might strike some as a good idea, but any thinking democrat knows otherwise.

  • Damien Okado-Gough

    David,

    Any thinking democrat would support the will of the people, and if SF have won the votes, then they’ve won the right to be in government, if one is formed.
    You can’t get much more democratic than that.

  • Uatu

    I have to agree with Damien here. A tad Orwellian there, aren’t you David? ‘We are all Democrats but some of us are more democratic than others.’

    We have to respect the vote. And if SF can optimise their vote whilst delivering the ‘endgame’ the people will have spoken. You might not like it (I’m not that fond of the Sinners myself!) but it’s the democratic will.

  • I Wonder

    Unsuprising that someone like David Vance who, incredibly, seek to make cheap political points about the police service by using the Dorrian family’s misery – and getting that family’s relgigous beliefs embarrassingly wrong – could stoop to besmirch and abuse Mr Ervine and his thoughts at every opportunity, and especially before the man is buried. Could someone point out the “argument” in what he says?

    I think more Sluggerites should show their contempt and write to the BBC to demonstrate the unacceptability of this man and his views being inflicted on us as a “serious” political commentator. He is, to those willing to see, nothing of the sort.

  • ingram

    David,

    You are a dinosaur Sir.

    Martin

  • Hi Damien/Uatu,

    Should we then have respected the democratic mandate of the Nazi’s?

    How about Robert Mugabe? He was returned by popular vote so does that make everything hunky dory as he goes about murder, starvation and plunder?

    What about Saddam – why he got a mandate of almost 100%?

    The reality is that IRA/Sinn Fein has indeed a mandate, but it is a shameful mandate bestowed by those who are happy to lend their vote to the IRA’s apologists. It does not need to be legitimised by unionists and I hope unionists have the intelligence to understand why not.

    I Wonder,

    Here’s a tip for you. When you have nothing to say, best say nothing. It doesn’t help Mr Slugger to have inanity pollute his boards. If you feel able to dissect any quantitative point I raise, then fine. But that seems a bit of a stretch for you, since you’ve stopped blogging 😉

  • Martin,

    Well, I DO enjoy eating liberals!

    Jurassically Yours,

    David

  • Guys, guys, (ie Martin and IW) cut out the ad hominem stuff… DV is perfectly entitled to make his point, and he is far from alone in feeling the way he does.

  • I Wonder

    Martin, it was written above that what an elected, coherent, articulate, popular (and barely cold) man wrote and is supported by a majority here, can be dismissed as “incoherent nonsense.”

    That isn’t “an argument” or “a point” and it certianly isn’t worthy of your defence.

    Forgive me if I seek to defend a dead man. Its a pity more cannot be shamed into a similar position.

  • To dissect any political argument, at any time, is perfectly valid. Those who seek down debate are the people who should be ashamed. The majority of Unionists do not support the PUP analysis, no matter how some delusionists wish otherwise!

  • Damien Okado-Gough

    David,

    If the German people wanted to be governed by the Nazi Party that that was their right. Should we have accepted the Nazi’s foreign aggression? Well invading other peoples’ countries was hardly democratic.

    If the Republican Movement does what many of us expect them to do and complete a transition from a physical force to a party political force which respects other people’s mandates then it will be worth it.

    It would be my fear, and I think a very high probability, that if we were to follow through with your idea we would see a return to wholesale violence. Disenfranchisement does not sit well with people here.

  • I Wonder

    Its delusional only to try and label yourself a democrat and in more or less the same breath talk about “a shameful mandate.”

    “Inconsistency” is the only rational way to describe someone who articulates one set of views on the BBC and another on a blog: for instance, I dare you to repeat your “analysis” of PSNI recruitment using your previous “points” about the Dorrian family – on Hearts and Minds for instance?

  • Damien,

    Thanks for your reply.

    Do I take it that you accept the perfect right of a democratically elected Nazi to persecute Jews, Gypsies and homosexuals within the German borders? Was the execution of those who differed with the Nazi State OK so long as it took place within the borders of the German State?

    Was Saddam right to gas those in Halubjah – after all, he had a mandate?

    Is Mugabe right to kill, persecute and starve his enemies within Zimbabwe, after all, he HAS a mandate?

    Disenfranchisement, as you terms it, is self-imposed if one votes for terror-linked parties. Also, if Sinn Fein/IRA (or Sinn Fein in DUP-speak) are SO sincere about their move away from murder and mayhem, why on earth would there be a return to such??? Unless, of course, the IRA has retained capability and infra-structure to do such. Which would rather invalidate the propaganda spewed forth by peace processors, woudn’t it?

    All decent people must hope that IRA/Sinn Fein (along with their miserable loyalist counterparts, although is it wrong for me to damn the UVF given the pieties expressed by others on this group, and its leaders?)start to behave in a responsible manner. But why reward them for stopping what they should NEVER have started??

    Therein lies the rub, my friend.

    No mandate for terrorists violence is ever justified

  • I Wonder

    Damien:

    Correct. My point in this and other issues that the policies advocated by individuals are known by any reasonable person to be more than likely to lead to precisely the sort of wholesale violence which we here have managed to escape, thanks to the efforts of David Ervine and others.

    It can reasonably be said of DE and the PUP that their analysis and their efforts saved lives.

    Others who have recently advocated, for example, that “Lebanon be bombed to the Stone Age” do not occupy, in my book, the same moral ground.

  • Unless I am mistaken, the UVF remains armed, active, killing and maiming, indulging in every form of criminality imaginable. However, maybe they have disarmed abd disbanded and I missed it?

    Still, those who support Hezbolloh, who admire Jihadists, and who praise local terrorist apologists, are consist. Alas, consistently wrong.

  • darth rumsfeld

    and any thinking democrat knows, or ought to know, Damien, that the enforced coalition model foisted on us here is undemocratic, since there is no way to turf out the tossers who misgovern us, and no opposition- every big party gets a few bums on ministerial seats, and in the GFA had virtual autonomy in departments under their control.

    But because people- and from your post 2, I include you in this category of dupes- have been so brainwashed into thinking that we must have powersharing (more accurately in fact power splitting)they can’t exercise their critical faculties to see what a gerrymandered grubby social engineering stunt we have been offered by our colonial masters.

    And if we rightly regard the mandate of the odious BNP as tainted, and unfit to be in coaltion with, because of their policies, then SF and PUP should be even farther down the list of pseudo-democrats, given their unapologetic support for terrorism.

    Young Vance may be a bit on the wishywashy side at times, but he’s got the big picture right. Hopefully with maturity will come some more solid reactionary politics from him

  • I Wonder

    Note the consistent pattern of thinking here from the Right:

    You don’t agree with us, you must be brainwashed.

    By all means by as reactionary as you wish. The electorate reject it and the more you wallow in your self-righteous denial of any democratic expression you don’t happen to like, the more marginal is your destiny. Thirst after the violent expression of Irish republican aspiration that you were accustomed to. Rail that its leaders have become democrats. The rest of us embrace life. Your victory would be the Triumph of Death…

    http://primates.ximian.com/~federico/misc/brueghel-death-thumb.jpg

  • ingram

    Mick,

    Nobody has suggested David is not entitled to his viewpoint.

    I am , along with a few others registering a view that his views are dated and will hopefully be extinct.

    Just like a Dionsaur.

    Given his status,I did make reference to Sir in my post. Maybe it should be the protected one.

    Martin

  • Damien Okado-Gough

    David,

    The tyranny of the majority is always a threat to the stability of a democratic system and that is why some people think that checks and balances need to be build in to a democracy, such as a constitution and a bill of rights, which help protect against human and civil rights abuses, are which may be considered as much a part of a healthy democracy as the act of franchise itself. I would hesitate to call a political system without these mechanisms a fully developed and stable democracy.

    Where such checks and balances do not exist and people are being subjected to human and civil rights abuses by their own government I would hope that the international community would work to bring about change in the country in question. In the cases where there are severe abuses, such as genocide, we would hope that the international community would intervene even if that meant using military force.

    That said, you’re analogy of Nazi Germany and N. Ireland doesn’t really hold water. Whilst both the Nazis and the IRA were guilty of terrible crimes, to compare them in terms of material or ethical scale is unreasonable.

    Even during the height of the Troubles it would be unrealistic to draw comparisons between the IRA and the Nazis, however politically attractive it may be for you.

    I think that the chances of the PRM engaging in further human and civil rights abuses when in government and next to nil and we must remember that the British and Irish governments can suspend devolved government here if it is seen to be not working.

    I think your fears are unfounded.

  • Damien Okado-Gough

    Darth

    [i]But because people- and from your post 2, I include you in this category of dupes- have been so brainwashed into thinking that we must have powersharing (more accurately in fact power splitting)they can’t exercise their critical faculties to see what a gerrymandered grubby social engineering stunt we have been offered by our colonial masters.[/i]

    I didn’t say that we must have power sharing. I merely said that if people vote for SF then their vote should be respected and that if the Assembly is reconvened and SF have enough votes then they should be in government.

    Nor did I make any statements on the quality of the Assembly as a democratic institution.

    I would, however, be interested in hearing your alternative to it and your plan for getting everyone to agree to work in your alternative democratic entity.

  • Darth Rumsfeld,

    “Young Vance” – why thank you. As for the this business of being a “bit wishy-washy” at times – what can I say, must be the liberal in me!

    Damien,

    Thanks for that considered reply. I don’t think we are going to agree on this, as I believe that insurrectionists have no place in the Government of Northern Ireland, no matter how nicely they smile, but we can perhaps disagree agreeably!

  • Damien Okado-Gough

    David,

    We can indeed. It’s bedtime where I live.

    Good night.

  • Percival

    “I wonder”

    The fact that someone has died does not mean that we are obligated to agree with their analysis. Write to the Beeb if you wish about David Vance – it wouldn’t be like you to try and destroy someones career and reputation, would it now?

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Is it just me or does that picture of David Ervine (RIP) look incredibly like a piece of Catholic iconography?

    You know, the soft-focus images of saints wearing incedibly earnest expressions that you’ll see in Catholic churches and homes? He even looks like he has his hands joined in prayer.

    Seems ironic for a loyalist….

    (Even one of those rare ones who was so demonstrably on the side of the angels.)

  • darth rumsfeld

    “I would, however, be interested in hearing your alternative to it and your plan for getting everyone to agree to work in your alternative democratic entity.”

    thanks damien. It’s obvious that proper majoritarianism – the purest form of democracy-is sadly not on the agenda. I don’t disagree with the implication of your comments, that this will never be acceptable to nationalists (at least not until that imaginary day when they have a majority, when of course it will again become compulsory).

    A reasonable compromise of checks and balances involving weighted majorities in certain areas, and the already burgeoning judicial intervention would be adequate but isn’t acceptable to the MOPEs. But since you have taken your stand under the banner of democracy, I’m entitled to question whether the current settlement on offer is democratic, and it ain’t- that’s our only disagreement.

    David, you’ll never be a true reactionary until you embrace the return of the Empire, and the removal of the frnachise form the female sex. Oh for another Joseph Chamberlain!

  • bertie

    “Even one of those rare ones who was so demonstrably on the side of the angels”

    yep coz there’s nothing the angels love more than unrepentant terrorists.

  • Aaron McDaid

    I don’t care if DV’s views are outdated or not. Some of the best views are the oldest ones, so obviously simply being old doesn’t make one outdated.

    The problem with DV’s views are that he actually doesn’t respect any democratic will, despite what he may think. The democratic will of the UK people was for all-Ireland Home Rule, as demostrated multiple times in the democratic House of Commons. The will of the Irish people was the same. It was some unionists at the time who decided to change the rules and decide that the 9 counties of Ulster should decide itself. They formed a UVF throughout all nine counties and recruited signatories throughout the nine counties to sign the Covenant. Then, shortly later, a splinter group changed the rules again and decided only 6 counties should be involved in the ‘democratic will’.

    Now, David Vance is somebody who takes all the founding myths of NI, adds a professed belief in democracy and doesn’t realise he’s tying himself up in inconsistent knots. Most modern unionists have probably moved on.

    Most people, throughout the world indeed, don’t believe that ‘voting’ is the only right worth considering. There are other rights that are as important, if not more so. Examples are free speech, fair (jury) trials and religious freedom, maybe a right to life. Juggling these rights is complicated and/or controversial.

    Pretty much everybody in NI, unionist and otherwise, has at some point or other put some right above democracy. For example, civil rights and religious freedom. So the only consistent position is to put some rights up as more important than plain democracy, put them in a Bill of Rights, and them build a democracy around these rights.

    David Vance must honestly deal with his a la carte approach to democratic will before lecturing anyone.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    It is almost painful to mention electoral mandate and David Vance in the same sentence. Jesus, as he admits himself even Mugabe and Saddam managed to.
    Though he will always have little Andrew to keep him company.

  • Billy

    Darth

    “It’s obvious that proper majoritarianism – the purest form of democracy-is sadly not on the agenda.”

    Funny that! Perhaps its because some of us can well remember how Unionism used their majority in the past.

    No one person one vote
    Blatent gerrymandering in Derry
    Blatent Discrimination in Jobs and Housing.
    A 98% Protestant Police Force backed by a 100% Protestant militia (the B Specials).

    I am not (and have never been) a Sinn Fein supporter but it always makes me laugh when Unionists say they don’t trust Republicans.

    Fair enough but nor do Nationalists trust Unionists (the DUP in particular)and with extremely good reason.

    There is no alternative other than to have checks and balances in place and monitored by the UK govt. Unionists are not trusted by Nationalists to administer power fairly in the interests of ALL people.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Bertie

    “yep coz there’s nothing the angels love more than unrepentant terrorists.”

    Unrepentent? What about the statement of “abject and true remorse” of which he was an author?

    It’s true that words are cheap, but Ervine showed through the work he carried out in his life that they weren’t just words. Perhaps he was more sorry that the circumstances in which he was caught up ever arose in the first place, but he spent his latter years working to prevent them ever arising again.

    Which, to this particular Republican, is much more impressive than the usual hypocritical cant about violence and touching not the unclean thing that we usually hear from unionist politicians. Politicians who, unlike the latter-day Ervine, are and always have been almost unanimously pro-violence.

    (Not that they’d ever admit it, the hypocrites. And by the way, to circumvent the usual mendacity – yes, that includes violence carried out by people in uniform, yes that includes the kind of violence that it has always been okay to applaud in polite company, yes that includes the kind of violence that the courts have always backed and yes, that includes the kind of violence that it has always been respectable to call for more of. It doesn’t just mean what unionists refer to as “violence”.)

  • bertie

    BP

    He proved that that was a load of insincere b****x by continuing to be part of the UVF. If that statement had meant anything and ot was presumably meant to be on belalf of the whole organstion. They would have disbanded and turned themselves in.

    ” Perhaps he was more sorry that the circumstances in which he was caught up ever arose in the first place” Part of the excuse. Yeah sure, it was the circumstances that made me do it your honour.

    “Which, to this particular Republican, is much more impressive than the usual hypocritical cant about violence and touching not the unclean thing that we usually hear from unionist politicians. Politicians who, unlike the latter-day Ervine, are and always have been almost unanimously pro-violence. ”

    Thankfully I am not responsible for you finding terrorists who don’t renounce their terrorism

  • Mick Fealty

    Playing devil’s advocate, why not add Darth’s addition to that reference to majoritarianism:

    (at least not until that imaginary day when they have a majority, when of course it will again become compulsory).

    Now does anyone remember the 50% plus one plebiscite argument? It was advocated routinely in the run up to the last census results. Just check Johnny’s comment here: http://tinyurl.com/udq4b

    The Alliance, being consistently anti-majoritarian, have always refuted it: http://tinyurl.com/y96mgu In the meantime it seems to have dropped off the radar for all but a few of our own demographic diehards here on Slugger.

    Majoritarianism (as concept, rather than a handy label to describe Unionism), it would seem, has its attractions, if you believe you might just get your nose in front of the other guy.

  • Aaron,

    Well done for trying to construct an argument, but bad luck in not quite succeeding. It is apologists for Republican insurrection (Hi Pat!)who take the “a la carte” approach to democracy. We see the same pathetic approach from Sinn Fein/IRA’s dear friends in ETA, CLAIMING it is in full ceasefire mode as the bodies are prised from the rubble.

  • aquifer

    I’m afraid this comment hasn’t improved much with re-editing, it ended up as the usual disrespectful smartass backchat that irredentist liberals spout. Seeking to put protestant supremacists into Government might strike some as a good idea, but all armchair revolutionary idiots and british prime ministers know otherwise.

  • kensei

    “Majoritarianism (as concept, rather than a handy label to describe Unionism), it would seem, has its attractions, if you believe you might just get your nose in front of the other guy.”

    Which is why Unionism insisted on it for the Constitutional question.

    The problem with using it as a means to preserve the Status Quo is times can change, and if you live by it you die by it.

    I would question that it is the purest form of democracy though. The US for the most part takes its democracy seriously (at home, at least) has plenty of checks and balances to prevent the “Tyranny of the Majority”. The PR system in the South does similar by forcing coalition.

  • Henry94

    There are facts to be faced on all sides and the end of majority rule is one of them. If it’s any consolation to majoriarians, the majority in the north voted for the system we have. The vast majority on the island voted for it to as did the vast majority in the British parliament.

    That should be enough majority to satisfy anybody.

    David Vance is a very honest man and says exactly what he believes. It would be nice to know who in unionism agrees with him on the question of power-sharing with Sinn Fein. The dissidents on both sides should fight the election but then they should accept the result.

  • Aaron McDaid

    David Vance (and Henry94),
    I’m not sure David supports majoritarianism really. It would be really helpful if David could clarify his position in regard to the original UVF and founding of NI, as I discussed in my earlier comment, in order to clarify his position on majoritarianism. Does he accept that NI was founded on a rejection of the democratic will of the UK (and Ireland too)? If so, we can make a lot of progress. It may have been justified on the grounds that Home Rule would result in theocratic rule – I would sympathise very strongly with this concern. This is why I believe that freedom of religion (and other rights) is more important than democracy. Unionists in 1912 seem to have agreed with me. If David could respond in a more detailed way to my original post (instead of his pathetic dismissal), we might actually know what his position really is.

    Ultimately, I believe we can all agree that simple majoritarianism was never the be-all and end-all. In particular, (Irish) unionism was founded on a rejection of majoritarianism, something for which they should be applauded. They rejected it in favour of freedom of religion, something republicans would support. Unionists do usually agree that freedom of religion and freedom from discrimination on the grounds of religion is more important than simple majority rule – the difficulty is getting all of them to admit it.

    kensei,
    The PR system in the South does not force coalitions. It simply means that parties must get about x% of the votes to get about x% of the seats. On many occasions FF had a majority on their own in Parliament.

  • I Wonder

    Aaron

    Good luck with your request. I have made it several times.

    It is ironic that the state of Northern Ireland, a “reward” for the threat and the traitorousness of Unionists/UVF who received guns from the enemy of their own then-Empire, is inhabited by people like resist the idea of “reward” (ie, any say in government based on democratic mandate) for those who were violent in pursuit of THEIR aspiration.

  • I wonder who I wonder is?…..

    Jo

    There is no such word a traitorousness. I assume you mean treachery?

  • kensei

    “The PR system in the South does not force coalitions. It simply means that parties must get about x% of the votes to get about x% of the seats. On many occasions FF had a majority on their own in Parliament.”

    In a practical sense, it forces coalition. There is little chance of FF winning an outright majority in the foreseeable future.

  • I Wonder

    http://www.wordwebonline.com/en/TRAITOROUSNESS

    http://www.wordwebonline.com/search.pl?w=prick

    Henry

    It would be a mark of an honest man that he be consistent in the expression of his views. I have demonstrated that there is significant inconsistency.

  • darth rumsfeld

    “Funny that! Perhaps its because some of us can well remember how Unionism used their majority in the past.”

    Extremely foolishly. But without a blanket defence of Stormont’s manifest shortcomings I still can’t let you shelter behind myths such as-

    “No one person one vote”- the sensible restriction of the local government franchise to ratepayers was as prejudicial to Protestant workers as Roman Catholics, and one person one vote applied to Westminster

    “Blatent gerrymandering in Derry”
    Leaving aside the questionable existence of such a place, the Londonderry corporation was of course reformed by..er Unionists, and was just a typical rotten borough of which there are still hundreds in the UK and the world- Newcastle, Manchester,Glasgow etc

    “Blatent Discrimination in Jobs and Housing.”
    Indeed- just like Newry UDC did against Protestants, and individual employers have always done, with no interference or encouragement by the state until 1976.

    “A 98% Protestant Police Force backed by a 100% Protestant militia (the B Specials).”
    A police force with 1/3 places reserved for RCs which were not taken up for numerous reasons, including the discouragement of the Church and nationalist politicians.

    Oh Stormont was rotten, but let’s be objective in our condemnation, and admit that the feeble shortsighted nationalist leadership facilitated the fifth-raters who ran the Government instead of trotting out MOPEish comfort blankets as if the same could ever happen. It’s like saying noone should play football because Liverpool play football and they’re not very good

  • Aaron McDaid

    darth rumsfeld,
    It is of course true that many people of various religions and politics did engage in discrimination of various forms. But that’s no comfort those victims who themselves were not discriminatory. Each individual’s civil rights are just as important, regardless of whether coreligionists were being discriminatory. So unionist discrimination is not excused by the fact that some nationalists and republicans did the same.

    The system as a whole ruined the lives of many totally innocent victims (of many religions) and needed to be changed. And it would have been just as easy to come up with a bill of rights and workable enforcement then as it is now, if not easier.

  • Darth,

    I wouldn’t say that the old Stormont was rotten, hopeless is my word of choice. The UUP aristocracy that presided over it didn’t do that much wrong. The problem is that they did anything. Carson had the right idea, the less Stormont did, the better it worked. That’s why I am happy to see the current Assembly suspended, better still turned into rubble.

    The idea that we need our political betters to take care of us – the great prize at the end of current political games – is tripe. The majority of the people of Northern Ireland don’t NEED fat cats guzzling down the largesse at Stormont and doling out patronage to their favoured courtiers.

    But we live in the age of Nanny Statism – even when it is obvious we need LESS government, and fewer politicians, with less power.

  • Aaron McDaid

    DV,
    The size of the state is irrelevant to this particular issue. I probably agree with you about limiting the state in some contexts.

    But we aren’t talking about getting the state to regulate discrimination in private industry; the fact is the state itself in NI was up to its neck in discrimination of all kinds (electoral, housing, policing, et cetera). That is the reason for its abolition, not because of concerns over nanny statism.

  • Aaron,

    I fully appreciate the delusions of those who despise Northern Ireland, but of course the reality is that when it comes to discrimination, one would have to look far to find such a history of discrimination and intolerance as that practised in ROI.

    Henry,

    Thanks for the kind words.

  • Aaron McDaid

    DV,
    Ho ho ho. Stop dodging the issue. Why should the discrimination in the ROI excuse the discrimination in NI? I’m fully opposed to all state sponsored religious discrimination no matter where it is.

    Again, none of this is any comfort to the innocent individuals throughout Ireland who were victims of this.

  • I wonder…

    “…don’t NEED fat cats guzzling down the largesse at Stormont…
    it is obvious we need LESS government, and fewer politicians, with less power. ”

    David
    You neglect to mention you aspired to become one of those politicians yourself – but were roundly defeated…