Best of friends

This afternoon I happened to exit Stormont at the same time and through the same door as the Deputy First Minister. I was therefore witness to an American tourist be overcome with joy at her chance encounter with him in the car park. I won’t go into the detail of the conversation I had with my colleague about her reaction, but I doubt that Jim Allister would have been any more impressed. Such is his distain for the DFM that he doesn’t want him seeing letters addressed to the FM. (hat tip DV)


    To watch Conor Murphy stand smiling behind Paisley on the news tonight as the doc announced that there was no way a stadium would be built at Ormeau was strange and unnerving.

  • willis

    “It strikes me that the DUP is the enemy of the survival of the Union and if no-one else will say this unambiguously, I will!”

    Thank God there is one brave writer left in Northern Ireland and how sad that he has been so ignored by the electorate.

  • páid

    Spelling note to Jim Allister:

    Guinness pours, McGuinness pores.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Michael Shilliday

    I won’t go into the detail of the conversation I had with my colleague about her reaction, but I doubt that Jim Allister would have been any more impressed.

    Why not, if she remains anonymous?

    Anyway, did Trimble and Mallon issue not joint statements?

    And are there parts of the UUP that feel aligned to Jim Allister’s stance on these matters?

  • Kathy_C

    posted by Kathy C

    Hi all,

    reading this I wondered if Bobby Sands son thinks it is good that Gerry Adams criminalized the IRA and his father so Martin could get the position as First Deptuty Minister.

  • snakebrain

    Ummm, Kathy, I wonder if perhaps the IRA criminalised themselves by waging a bloody campaign of sectarian terror?

    Although, a vaguely interesting titbit I’d never come across before from the Wikipedia page on Bobby Sands (apologies if this is just so much general knowledge for slugger/NI politics junkies):

    In Tehran, Iran revolutionaries sympathising with Sands renamed the street on which the British embassy was located from Winston Churchill street to Bobby Sands street.

    I’d say that was right up his street…

  • Frustrated Democrat

    Perfidious Paisley will be found out by his supporters, the man who finally did what was right and now he has to lie about it everyday.

  • DaithiO

    Further spelling note to Shilliday

    This is how you spell DISDAIN

    Kathy_C what the hell do you mean? Would you be good enough to elaborate on your ridiculous words about Martin McGuinness?

  • baldrick45

    How many years before Alisters “mandate” to be a mouthpiece is next tested?

    As the UKUP results last time showed people are generally very tired of people who’s sole mantra is “Feckin’ disgrace – DUP oughta be ashamed SF/IRA unfit da de da”. Jim and his ilk have yet to offer a single credible alternative to forced coalition which wouldn’t disenfranchise a significant portion of NI’s population, hardly a strong democratic trait!

    Personally, while I am still drawn to the “Folks on the Hill’s” theory that the Doc’s new hat has some form of magic mind control spell on it I am delighted to see how things are going so far. Not perfect but still signs of a surprising amount of goodwill and forebearance on both sides when “the others”ovestep the mark. Result – signs of an emerging Government which will respond to local needs in a way the English landlords would never have.

    Jim’s answer – in a McCartneyesque fit of self importance, he files so many bits of correspondence and FOI requests that reputedly his own researcher is struggling to keep track of which answer goes with which question never mind what date he should have had an answer on.

    Oi Jim – It show’s signs of working, the sun is still shining and God is showing no inclination to strike down Paisley or McGuinness in their “unholy union” – So be a good chap and p*ss off would you.

  • I Wonder


    She’s an idiot. Ignore.

    Interesting to see the grumpy old men all ganging together in seething rage at democratic government in action: Allister, McCartney and Vance.

    Let’s see how Jim does in the next EU election. About as successfully as the others, I should imagine.

  • Ziz

    “Further spelling note to Shilliday

    This is how you spell DISDAIN”

    From someone who obviously can’t spell David.

  • lib2016

    ‘…the grumpy old men….Allister, McCartney and Vance’

    Add Alex Kane to the list. It was oddly dispiriting to hear his scream of outrage on the telly last night. Were the UUP ever really up for it or did they think they could delay a settlement long enough to see the emergence of a new heave from violent republicanism?

    They seem to have no alternative to complaining about their political rivals stealing their clothes, but that’s what political rivals do. The UUP never did learn how to do real politics and now it is too late for them to learn.

  • Dawkins

    “’…the grumpy old men….Allister, McCartney and Vance’

    Add Alex Kane to the list.”

    Those are all unionists. I don’t understand. Why should it only be one “side” that opposes power-sharing democracy?

    “From someone who obviously can’t spell David.”

    You missed Frustrated Democrat’s misuse of the adjective “everyday” :0)

  • Kathy_C

    posted by Kathy C

    Hi all,

    A few years back Gerry Adams had much success when he equated the IRA to American Colonist of Lexington and Concord during the American Revolution…they (the IRA and American Colonist) are/were Patriots.
    Then Gerry Adams changed his tune and so did the leadership of sinn fein aka Martin McGuiness. To appease the british gov’t and the dup all under the guise of doing it for peace…Gerry Adams came out and said that the IRA had to give up it’s criminality. (it was said around christmas time a few years back) Now that equated the IRA to criminals….. not the patriots we said they were. Margaret Thatcher tried everything possible to have the IRA labeled as criminal…and men like Bobby Sands died of starvation fighting in jail that they were politcal prisoners…not criminal prisoners.
    How does this relate to Bobby Sands and Martin McGuiness. Well…the leadership of sinn fein through Gerry Adams did what Margaret thatcher was unable to do….label and have stick the label of criminal to the IRA. When Gerry Adams and leadership stated the IRA were patriots as I stated and believe to this day…then they are good. Now that they labeled them as criminals….I do not support the sinn fein leadership in this and I view it as a price they paid to have martin mcguiness be the second to ian paisly.
    Ergo, I wonder what the son of Bobby Sands and other family members of the hunger strikers think of what sinn fein leadership and the price the leadership paid for mcguiness to be in gov’t.
    Does that answer your question?

    I wonder…very easy to call me names and ignore rather than debate on the truth….
    I say the IRA were/are patriots like the patiorts of Lexington and Concord and for that you label me an idiot? Very curious indeed ….

  • I wonder…

    …erm…patiorts… point…erm…proven…erm…yeah….whatever…

  • Kathy C

    posted by Kathy C

    Hi all,

    I wonder, I state that Bobby Sands is a Patriot.
    I state that the IRA volunteers were Patriots just like the Colonist Minute Men were Patriots. Both the IRA and Colonist Minute Men stood up to the british and said…this is not your land… FREEDOM from tyryanny….. erm…patriots…you are correct….they are patriots!

  • I wonder…

    Just out of casual interest, can I ask how old you are and what is your interest in Irish politics?

  • Turgon

    Kathy C,

    So the IRA were patriots were they. How about the fact that the overwhelming majority oif the people in Ireland opposed their campagin. The overwhelming majority of the nationalist / republican people in Northern Ireland (six counties if you would rather) opposed their campagin.

    I know it is whataboutery but here it is appropriate.

    How patriotic was placing a bomb beside a wall and detonating it whilst a group of civilians were remembering the war dead.

    How patriotic was running into a church and spraying it with gunfire.

    How patriotic was strapping a man to a lorry and making him drive into an army base and then blowing him up.

    Tell me Kathy C have you ever seen anyone die, have you the faintest idea about patriotism or any idea about what happened in this part of the world.

    By your debased, disgusting version of pseudo morals those people who flew planes into the World Trade Centre are “patriots”. That is your logic, that is your morality and hence, that is your relevance to rational debate.

  • Pounder

    I don’t really believe Kathy is a real Nationalist, i have a feeling she/he is a troll loyalist posing as a republican to make them look bad. I’ve met loads of Republicans in my life, some of them good friends, but none of them are this thick.

  • snakebrain


    I’m Northern Irish by birth. My family is Catholic. I’m more Republican than you are, if you knew what the word meant outside its distorted NI context. I’ve been assaulted by loyalists on the grounds of my religion and my family’s political leanings. So have virtually all my family. In short I’m the textbook Sinn Fein/IRA supporter.

    Except I think they’ve done more damage to the cause of Republicanism than anybody I can think of, except possibly the Jacobins.

    The IRA may once have ostensibly held a few patriotic ideals, but they long ago gave them up in favour of brutality and personal power. Personally, I find them disgusting.

    They are no more patriotic than Donald Duck. In any case, patriotism is a crude tool used to whip up the uneducated masses to support the political agenda of a few people at the top whose real priorities have nothing to do with their stated ideals. You’re doing just what they want you to.

    Think about WWI for a second. The British Gov sent hundreds of thousands of young men off to die to further their diplomatic chessgame. Bastards.

    Now consider the IRA, which sent hundreds of young men, Bobby Sands included, off to die to further their diplomatic chessgame.

    Did you see the IRA leadership offering to lay down their lives for the cause?. No. Bastards.

    Do you see them making fortunes off the back off “the cause”, grabbing power anywhere they can, terrorising innocent people? Yes. Bastards.

    Go and read a few non-propaganda based accounts of the Irish troubles. Then maybe read a bit about the French Revolution and the history of Republicanism. Then think for a while. Then reread whatever has given you your crazy ideas. Then come back if you have anything more to say.

  • Comrade Stalin


    Add Alex Kane to the list. It was oddly dispiriting to hear his scream of outrage on the telly last night. Were the UUP ever really up for it or did they think they could delay a settlement long enough to see the emergence of a new heave from violent republicanism?

    lib2016, I think it is a major mistake to think that you can interpret people’s desire for the current coalition to be stable and fruitful means that everyone is wholeheartedly behind the people who comprise it.

    I hope that the powersharing government works and is stable, and in the last assembly election I voted down the ballot paper for people who were supporting it. That does not mean that I am not abhorred at the idea of being represented by a looney-tunes blood and thunder religious fundamentalists on one hand, and a group of ex-gunmen and women on the other, both of whom have an extremely tenuous grasp on what democracy actually is but nonetheless feel qualified to lecture everyone else on it. The whole thing is steeped in sectarian politics, and there are cracks beginning to show eg. the Maze business and the assembly motion on free personal care for the elderly.

    I am forced to support what we’ve got because there is no alternative and we need to make this place work. On this particular issue, the only difference between someone like me and someone like Alex Kane (whose points are well argued and not addressed by you) or Jim Alistair is the fact that we disagree on that sole point. I have a feeling that a significant number, if not the majority, of people who are in favour of the powersharing executive would share my point of view. I don’t think people like it, but they know there is no alternative.

  • Kathy_C

    posted by Kathy C

    Hi all,
    I am an American and I am far from being young. I respect Bobby Sands and the hunger strikers. And for this I am labeled a troll? I am a Republican who feels all of Ireland should be united and for that I am called a loyalist. And I respect the American colonist minutemen who stood up to the british marching down the road to Concord………