Anti-powersharing party pokes head above parapet…

A FUNDRAISER for a new unionist grouping is to take place on Monday, with a launch for the anti-powersharing movement expected in weeks. The faction will comprise of hardliners opposed to the DUP entering government with Sinn Fein. While the alleged involvement of IRA members in the Quinn murder might appear to have given the group some ammunition to fire at the DUP (who are now only interested in ‘corporate’ IRA involvement), Paisley’s party juggernaut will be hard to displace.

  • DM

    [i]One well-known blogger opposed to power sharing was taken to pieces on his blog where it was concluded that no matter if SF were in power or not, or who nationalist/republican voters voted for, it wouldnt change opposition to power sharing.[/i]

    What has that got to with anything? Whose opposition would it not change? Who is this person to speak for every single person who is anti-power sharing? That’s one person’s views and opinions. One person declares he will never support power sharing with any nationalist party, therefore that becomes the argument across the board? Come off it.

    [i]The lies about opposition to gunmen in government is utterly disengenous when men and women who NO attachment to guns were thrown out of power in ‘74. And no, it wasn’t a throwaway remark about trundling into a UI that caused that. Look at Paisley’s handshake with Bertie a few months back…if Adams announced (as he has) that we are now closer to a UI, what effect does THAT have? None.[/i]

    There’s a hell of a difference between NI post-GFA and NI in 1974. Back then all things were possible, and the country was legitimately in turmoil. The reason no-one cares what Adams says nowadays is that the deal has been done – and the rubicon has been crossed in many ways as regards cross-border involvement in NI affairs. It’s misleading to apply today’s standards to 1974’s events, when such remarks carried more significance, and a volatile electorate were far more likely to be swayed by it all. But as I have said: I do not wish to debate Sunningdale; I am contesting your ‘sectarian’ smear of anti-power sharing unionists.

    [i]But as anti-powersharing views are electorally insignificant (and spread across a number of electoral areas), the question is: what does it matter?

    Well, for once, we have a marginalised disaffected grouping which is tiny and marginalised – and cross community support for shared government. But I think, yeah it DOES matter, in those instances where there is genuine argument and debate to be had, not dog-in-a-manger stuff, and reasonable people will listen.[/i]

    It’s hard to generate reasoned debate when your opponent has you tagged as a bigot before you open your mouth. Incidentally I should point out that my opinion on powersharing is still undecided; like many voters, so much as taken place since I last cast a ballot that I am taking time to assess how things are progressing. So my gripe here is not particularly with your opinion on the Executive, or on whether or not SF should be in government.

  • DM

    AA – I don’t know if that was directed at me, however as I have stated above, my mind is yet to be made up on Stormont. I’m in favour of a stable NI government that will secure the country’s future and allow us to work together; however I also have a deep feeling of unease about the whole thing.

    Anyway my point is I’m hardly an anti-power sharing unionist and thus I could not answer your question.

  • Jo

    …well, if we could ask the question “why do you oppose powersharing”?

    AND get a response which does NOT boil down to:

    “not wanting to see x y and z in government” – whatever their mandate – then obviously debate is possible.

    But given that:

    no-one admits to being a bigot

    and

    bigots exist,

    …there is a prima facie case for those who oppose democratic wishes to:

    propose a democratic balanced fair alternative

    or

    demonstrate that they value representative democratic processes and care about being balanced and fair

    or

    shut up. 🙂

  • Turgon

    Jo,

    I do not quite know how to answer you post. To be described as “relatively sensible and logical”, should I be flattered or not?

    I will not bore you all with yet another detailed exposition of my views. They are my own and I pretend to speak for no one else (Elenwe probably agrees with a few but is usually too busy with children and her bible to make much comment, and of course those dreadful catalogue shops for kids clothes; that is a different rant).

    I have a problem in principle with power sharing as it corrupts democracy. However, in the circumstances which we find ourselves in Northern Ireland there is no realistic alternative apart from direct rule. As such in terms of pratical principle I am not opposed to power sharing.

    I have a huge problem in power sharing with terrorists especially ones who make no real apology for what they inflicted on Northern Ireland and all its people.

    There are, however, circumstances in which I may be able to comtemplate it. I would, however, need to be a lot more convinced than I am now about SF’s genunine committment to oppose terrorism. Furthermore I would need to be a lot more convinced that the IRA have “gone away you know”.

    I am not opposed at all to power sharing with the SDLP. I would, however, be opposed to power sharing with them in the current arrangements as I feel that they are totally flawed as an exercise in democratic government. I care little whose fault the current mess is; I simply feel we need to start anew. At least if we can start again without the threat of either violence or a fading PM’s legacy hanging over us we might do better, we at least have a blue print to avoid.

    Turning to Sunningdale. That was in the past and “The past was a different country we did things differently there”. For myself I was three when it happened. I do not recall much of it. Would I have opposed it then? probably had I been twenty years older. Would I oppose it now? I do not know. Is it directly relevant to my current political analysis? No, though we can always learn from the past, both sucesses and failures.

    Will the new party be a place for people like me? Well I have emailed Sammy Morrison in response to his request and I will await a meeting I can attend. Yes I will very likely join. If they turn out to be a shower of flat earth bigots or attract the insane like zombies to the living I guess I might leave.

    Incidentally I would never presume to call myself unbigoted. I think we all have predjucies and tendancies to bigotry. That is something we must all fight against. Being bigoted against those who raise objections to the current dispensation is not the worst form of bigotry. It just might, however, be a form of bigotry.

  • DM

    [i]..well, if we could ask the question “why do you oppose powersharing”?

    AND get a response which does NOT boil down to:

    “not wanting to see x y and z in government” – whatever their mandate – then obviously debate is possible. [/i]

    Why bother asking the question if you write off the answer before you get it? Hardly a debate is it.

    You’re making a lot of mention of anti-democratic parties and people opposing democratic wishes – are you equating this with sectarianism? I am genuinely unsure what point you are trying to make with this.

    The statement that I am referring back to here is this one:

    [b]Its quite clear to me that while there are a few – very few – Unionists who genuinely find the prospect of power sharing repugnant as a matter of principle, there are far more in this camp who are simply nasty little sectarian minds and detest Catholics, whether those Catholics voted for Gerry Fitt or vote for Gerry Adams.[/b]

    Can you justify this off-hand description of the majority of anti-power sharing unionists? Would you say the same of anti-power sharing nationalists and republicans? Does the very fact that a group is marginalised or in the minority mean that you have to be a bigot to support it or be a part of it, in your eyes?

  • Jo

    “Can you justify this off-hand description of the majority of anti-power sharing unionists?”

    Yes – start counting from today the no. of anti-power sharing unionist posters who do not express any sectarian attitudes. Be warned though, I’ve kept a watching brief for some time.

    “Would you say the same of anti-power sharing nationalists and republicans?”

    Yes indeed I would, but this thread is about an anti-power sharing Unionist political movement.

    “Does the very fact that a group is marginalised or in the minority mean that you have to be a bigot to support it or be a part of it, in your eyes?”

    No, of course not, but it is my desire that all bigotry be marginalised and called for what it is. For the first time in my lifetime, I’ve seen pragmatic co-operation emerge which has pushed it aside and shows every sign of durability.

    Now, what’s the alternative to a process involving 98% of voters and a majority in each community…?

  • DM

    [i]es – start counting from today the no. of anti-power sharing unionist posters who do not express any sectarian attitudes. Be warned though, I’ve kept a watching brief for some time.[/i]

    Great, let me know how that goes. Good to know you’re on the case, hopefully you’ll show up all those closet bigots masquerading as unionists with real moral objections to powersharing for what they are… If you want to stand behind your statement then fair enough – I thnk it makes you pretty prejudiced but there you go.

    [i]No, of course not, but it is my desire that all bigotry be marginalised and called for what it is. For the first time in my lifetime, I’ve seen pragmatic co-operation emerge which has pushed it aside and shows every sign of durability.

    Now, what’s the alternative to a process involving 98% of voters and a majority in each community…? [/i]

    Once again…! I am by no means anti-powersharing – I voted for the current arrangements. Doesn’t mean I’m happy to let you denounce people who are in the anti camp as bigots. So don’t ask me about alternatives to power-sharing, as I don’t really give that any thought. I too think this executive might just work, and bring about a stable NI, although I’m still witholding final judgement. In other words, I am one of that 98 percent – so stop asking me.

  • Jo

    DM

    Fair enough, despite all these exchanges we actually agree – but all I would say is watch what unfolds wrt this new movement and see the pedigree of those who join. As for my prejudice, it may interest you to know that I’m reviled, almost in equal measure, by extreme unionists and republicans. I think I may be saying something right some of the time.

    So, one last thought: if power sharing supporters are, almost by definition, not bigots and those who are anti-powersharing (according to some) aren’t bigots either – where ARE they all hiding? 😉

  • Turgon

    Jo,

    I do not revile you. If, however, you wish me to revile you and hence prove my bigotry I can try to oblige. If you ask really nicely I might be able to say something nasty about catholics; but it would be too long: involve too many commas, semi colons and brackets and everyone would get bored and stop reading. Yes I am also very, very bigoted catalogues for children’s clothes as Elenwe spends money on my credit card on them. When I take power that sort of thing will have to be banned.

    Happier now?

  • kensei

    Turgon

    Excluding SF is not simply a matter of punishing an abstract body: it means disenfranchising a quarter of the population here. That’s one in every four people you pass in the street.

    Who gave you that right? And hw can you argue foir “democracy” with a straight face afterwards?

  • bertie

    Turgon

    I wish you luck. You will be an asset to any party that you join.

  • Allister Loyalist

    Interesting to note Jim Kirkpatrick (current Sherrif of Belfast) was at this meeting. Has he left the DUPes?

  • Turgon

    kensei,

    I would be excluding no one. I am saying that unless SF made a considerable number of genunine changes I would not share power with them. That does not mean I have excluded them; it does not even mean that they have excluded themselves. It means I have excluded myself from sharing power with them in this hypothetical scenario, nothing more. If I had a mandate so to do; that would be democratic.

  • Turgon

    Bertie,

    Sorry, posts crossed. Thank you for your kind words.

  • Jo

    TG

    I didn’t say YOU reviled me.

    I do hope you’ll reconsider the catalogue ban, although junk mail is one type of pronted material I’m quite happy to burn. 🙂

    “I have a huge problem in power sharing with terrorists especially ones who make no real apology for what they inflicted on Northern Ireland and all its people”

    Well, if someone stops doing something wrong, I’ll not be complaining about it.

    I do recall our First Minister in an interview remarking on how those most vociferous in condemning what he had done were those who had suffered least or not at all from violence.

    I’ll let Someone Else (note use of caps) sort it all out in terms of eternal retribution, or not, as the case may be. Quite happy meantime, to hear children laughing in the streets instead of bin lids clattering, sirens wailing, screaming and shots.

  • Alex S

    I see from the photo in the News Letter that Belfast’s High Sherrif Jim Kirkpatrick has joined, that’s UUP to DUP to UUP to DUP to McAllisters gang, must be a record!

  • Turgon

    Jo,

    Sorry some of the previous post was in jest.

    I know the remarks of Paisley and indeed I personally have suffered little. I know very well some who have suffered a lot and oppose what he has done. Also his comments are a litle glib. Opposing the degredation of democratic standards and allowing terrorist godfathers into power can be opposed, with intregity, by people who have lost nothing.

    Turning to your comments about eternal judgement I could not agree more. I do hope and pray, however, that all will be saved though I accept that the bible seems to say all will not be saved. Indeed as I am sure you will know I believe in Total Depravity, along with Unconditional Election, Limited Atonment, Irrestible Grace and even (usually) in Perserverence of the Saints.

    However, in terms of the end of violence. Firstly it has not ended ref Mr. Quinn. Also, of course you present the classic false dichotomy that is: if you bring down the current agreement the terrorists will go back to violence. Now either the IRA have stopped and gone away or they have not. If they have then actually gone away; even if the prodiban stop power sharing then the IRA have still stopped and gone away. If, however, as I suspect you intimate they might start again if they do not get their own way. Well then they have not stopped, we only have a false peace and therefore democrats should not share power under the threat of violence.

    I think you views are honest and sincerely held. I do think, however, that belief in the false dichotomy which you present between the current “peace process” and a return to violence is one of the biggest problems we have in Northern Ireland. This implicit (or even explicit) fear of violence has driven a lot of people to accept a disasterous settlement, the effective suspension of the rule of law, the trivialisation of murder, and the accession to power of a band of sectarian thugs.

    A question as an example. Had you been given the option would you have allowed the terrorists out of prison after such short sentences? I suspect I know the answer. Now do you think the IRA would have stayed stopped had the prisoners not been let out?

  • Dewi

    Now do you think the IRA would have stayed stopped had the prisoners not been let out?

    Posted by Turgon on Nov 27, 2007 @ 08:45 PM

    Not diected at me Turgon – but when the war is over the prisoners come home. That’s the usual pattern.

  • kensei

    “I would be excluding no one. I am saying that unless SF made a considerable number of genunine changes I would not share power with them. That does not mean I have excluded them; it does not even mean that they have excluded themselves. It means I have excluded myself from sharing power with them in this hypothetical scenario, nothing more. If I had a mandate so to do; that would be democratic.”

    Which is fine, but then you must accept that the most likely outcome is Direct Rule with ever Greener Tinges.

  • Dewi

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/7115623.stm

    Be sure to be blogged later and off thread – but were these the pre-Kingsmill killings ?

  • Turgon

    kensei,
    I reckon that is about right. Not my prefered option. However, apart from the present continuous tense I would prefer it to the current dispensation.

  • DM

    [i]So, one last thought: if power sharing supporters are, almost by definition, not bigots and those who are anti-powersharing (according to some) aren’t bigots either – where ARE they all hiding? ;)[/i]

    Jo – if you were to believe our friends over on the Jeanette Findlay thread, then they’re all at Ibrox of a Saturday 😉

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Turgon: “There are, however, circumstances in which I may be able to comtemplate it. I would, however, need to be a lot more convinced than I am now about SF’s genunine committment to oppose terrorism. Furthermore I would need to be a lot more convinced that the IRA have “gone away you know”. I am not opposed at all to power sharing with the SDLP.”

    Sorry, Turgon, but you don’t get to pick whom “the other” elect. Likewise, would it be unreasonable, given DUP’s naked attempt to throw themselves of Mme Ritchie’s grenade, that PSF isn’t the only party out there representing the interests of the “run and gun” set?

    Turgon: “I would, however, be opposed to power sharing with them in the current arrangements as I feel that they are totally flawed as an exercise in democratic government.”

    Given historical failures on the part of Unionist parties to protect the rights of minority populations, should any individual of goodwill be in a rush to bring back the tyranny of the majority?

    Turgon: “Also, of course you present the classic false dichotomy that is: if you bring down the current agreement the terrorists will go back to violence. Now either the IRA have stopped and gone away or they have not. If they have then actually gone away; even if the prodiban stop power sharing then the IRA have still stopped and gone away.”

    So, regardless of the outrage or abuse of power in a prodiban regieme, you would counsel the Catholic minority to “lie back and think of Ulster?”

    Agreements require a meeting of the minds. The GFA, though you may not like it, was approved by the voting populace. For one side to unilaterally change it is to invite other unilateral changes. Likewise, even if PIRA is dead and gone, such an action on the part of the “prodiban” would encourage and invigorate the rest of the alphabet soup gangs — although, apparently the UDA back-shooting cops isn’t nearly as outrageous to some as other acts of violence.

    Turgon: “I do think, however, that belief in the false dichotomy which you present between the current “peace process” and a return to violence is one of the biggest problems we have in Northern Ireland. This implicit (or even explicit) fear of violence has driven a lot of people to accept a disasterous settlement, the effective suspension of the rule of law, the trivialisation of murder, and the accession to power of a band of sectarian thugs. ”

    Yeah, but look who the DUP’s competition were for the Unionist vote…

  • Turgon

    Dread,

    I do not argue with much there. I think is unfair, however, not quoting this “As such in terms of pratical principle I am not opposed to power sharing.”

    In terms of abstract theory I do not like power sharing. However, in terms of the pratical realities of Northern Ireland for the forseeable future I am indeed in favour of power sharing with direct rule as a second best option. It is the current system of power sharing (i.e. the total mess) which I object to.

    In terms of what would happen if the prodiban refuse to share power then there would be direct rule. That is inevitable.

    I do not favour a solely prodiban ruled state so I think this is a little unfair “So, regardless of the outrage or abuse of power in a prodiban regieme, you would counsel the Catholic minority to “lie back and think of Ulster?””.

    Dread you are actually very fair minded. I do think, however, that you were a little unfair in the way you cut, pasted and answered my points.

  • Jo

    DM: So it would seem! 😉

    TG

    I do not necessarily believe in the dichotomy you present, but simply reflected here what I literally heard in my street at the time of writing. I hope not to hear the other sounds ever again.

    I do think that the current generation of violently disposed people have really gone away. However, with each passing, people are growing up without memories of violence and without the consequent passionate awareness of the need not to go through all that again.

    I shivered at the hooded figures on tonights UTV Live and I want all to do their utmost not to give them any credence – and for all to show that co-operative politics works here. It is not just the lives which have and are to be saved here that count to me – the example and inspiration for other places, other peoples, other religions, matters as well.

    That would indeed be something for all of us, irrespective of our own parochial viewpoint, to take pride in – pride in a human (tho possibly divine!) achievement.

  • Bisto

    AS

    “I see from the photo in the News Letter that Belfast’s High Sherrif Jim Kirkpatrick has joined, that’s UUP to DUP to UUP to DUP to McAllisters gang, must be a record!”

    He’s been at more parties than Paris Hilton!

  • quiz master

    Repartition now.. everywhere west of the bann (bar north antrim) and south down which dont want to be part of the uk ceeded to the republic of Ireland and leave the rest to those who want to remain part of the uk. That way these flat earthers wont have to be paranoid about becomming citizens of the Irish republic

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Turgon: “Dread you are actually very fair minded. I do think, however, that you were a little unfair in the way you cut, pasted and answered my points. ”

    Unfair, perhaps, but with a point to illustrate. You speak freely in absolutes of what you expect Catholics / Nationalists / Republicans to do and not do, if they are to meet with your “seal of approval,” whilst very silent on what the Protestant / Unionist / Loyalist array of entities should or should not be doing.

    There was very little fair about past Protestant dominated regiemes in Northern Ireland, Turgon. You breezily discuss the status of the IRA as some simple binary equation — either they exist or they don’t, either they’ve given up the gun or not, etc. To be “fair,” you’d have to acknowledge that it’s not quite that simple.

    Turgon: “I do not favour a solely prodiban ruled state so I think this is a little unfair “So, regardless of the outrage or abuse of power in a prodiban regieme, you would counsel the Catholic minority to “lie back and think of Ulster?””. ”

    Well, Turgon, then there are conditions and situations where Republicans taking up the gun once again would not be a wholly unreasonable response, neh? It is not some simple binary equation that occurs wholly in a vacuum.

    Your favoring a democracy without power-sharing would be an invititation for the excesses of the past and, potentially, the installation of such a regieme. I do not have faith in the inherent goodwill of the universe and have none whatsoever in the Reverand Doctor No, let alone this new political formation. And, frankly, given past performance, I’m not all that enamored of the UK’s ability to get its shite into a pile. Like I said, I have very little faith in the goodwill of the universe.

    Just as you seem to expect that Republicans should prove every day they can play the game of “Peace,” perhaps Unionists should have to prove every day that they can play the game of “Just government.”

    As noted, former IRA men kill a fella, Unionists get their knickers in a twist… current Loyalists shoot a cop in the back — you can almost hear the crickets chirp. What’s fair about that, Turgon?

  • quiz master

    The solution to everything is Repartition and now.. everywhere west of the ban (bar north antrim) and south down which dont want to be part of the uk ceeded to the republic of Ireland and leave the rest to those who want to remain part of the uk

  • dewi

    Turgon – if u are at all serious about a political career, and you certainly have the charm, some advice:

    1) Spend less time on here and join and work with party org. – branch secretary usually good place to start.
    2) Think carefully about move to Fermanagh – looks to me as if demography has you there.
    3) Remember in any elections (above the most local where family ties can still count) negative stuff works.
    4) Don’t think less of yourself for using 3) because if you don’t win there is no point trying.

  • darth rumsfeld

    Well, as a “principled” anti-power-sharer on the grounds that mandatory coalition with no opposition doesn’t work any better than one party permanently in government I think the shining example of events on the hill this week prove my point far more eloquently than I ever could.

    Come back Jim and Enoch- all is forgiven!

    quizmaster-a query
    If partition is bad, a sectarian carve up, a denial of the rights of a nation etc etc then how come repartition is acceptable, the way forward etc? And will our deppity first minister and his chums say toodlepip to Loughguile, Twinbrrok, Crumlin, Ballerin….?

  • Jo

    “mandatory coalition with no opposition doesn’t work any better than one party permanently in government ”

    Erm. Facts?

    The former (even in an on/off arrangement)has achieved:

    Free travel for the elderly
    Regional Development Strategy
    Prompt assistance for the flood victims earlier this year
    20 reduction in rates for elderly
    Postponement and ultimate minimisation of water charge
    Accountability in regional rate
    Democratic representation on policing boards
    Effective scrutiny of government spending

    The latter achieved:

    Abdication of political and social responsibility
    Permanent exclusion and alienation of an entire community leading to 30 years of violent conflict and the loss of thousands of lives.
    A motorway system which avoided Newry
    A University in Coleraine.

  • Bigger Picture

    Hi Turgon long time no speak

    Well it does appear that you have got your wish and JA is forming a party. I don’t to speak long on this but i do not envy the task that is set before him. With only himself as a credible candidate and the rest of his cllr supporters who could be described as distinctly average on a good day and downright shockingly bad on the other, it seems to be one of the biggest challenges for any politician. The fact that an election is nowhere near forthcoming also must be a worry for him. It would take something catastrophic on the DUPs part to lose so much ground to a new JA group for them even to start looking electable. In the meantime they have no voice in the assembly and no credible candidates to put up, jim excluding. I have no doubt Jim has given consideration to this because for all his faults he is a smart cookie.

    This in my mind leads to two scenarios of why he might be doing this:

    1. an elaborate way of building his name up for the next euro election

    Or,

    2. He has some defections lined up that will bring them a voice in the assembly or even westminster. no point thinking bout cllrs like Jim Kirkpatrick who i am sorry is hardly a draw (the man attacked Donaldson for leaving the UU’s and then a year later jumped ship as well). Jim needs big names to start bringing himself some more credibility and more importantly respectability in order to stay afloat.

    Still it seems a huge task to try and face down, or else he could just quit when tough decisions have to be made, after all he is the best person in the world at doing that…..

  • Turgon

    This thread has really run its course and, as someone who has probably spent too much time on it in the last few days I do not really want to resurrect it. However, I always like to answer you bigger picture, you are the DUP poster I most enjoy discussion with and never fail to make me think. Also Dewi, you make such kind remarks about one with whom you politically disagree that it would be very bad manners not to respond.

    Bigger Picture,

    We have discussed before and I have largely accepted your thesis that an early election would have been the new party’s best chance. We also agree on the vast uphill challenges facing the new party.

    In terms of Allister’s motivation I have thought about your suggestions. Those ones have occured to me in the past as well. I do not know the man but I think both are possible but maybe unlikely.

    Having a new party with the attendant risk of attracting the mad would damage any future election attempt. Better might have been to run as an independent and allow the mad to canvass for you; or just fade from the scene. After all he is as far as I know a sucessful barrister so probably hardly needs the money. He also seems not especially interested in the spotlight for its own sake. Leaving the DUP twice is hardly consistent with an overwhelming desire to retain public office.

    He might have defections. I am an extremely cautious person and tend to a “glass half empty” view of the world. That Allister has defections lined up would be too much for me to hope for.

    Could I suggest a few alternative reasons for launching now?

    The problems over the budget are quite intense at the moment. As such the new party might gain at this time. The honeymoon for the arangements seems to be ending pretty rapidly.

    Had Allister not announced a new party when most of the political spectrum had expected it; he might have been seen as not having the support, becoming irrelevant etc. I suspect supporters have been demanding this move (I only emailed him twice, honestly). He may have felt that if he held off it would be too late. Remember our previous discussion and my suggestion that a new party would need time to be in place in order to fight an election.

    Hence, I suggest that now was a reasonably good time and to wait would have had dangers.

    As an aside I still have the cave waiting for when you realise that the wheel is immoral and dangerous.

    Dewi,

    I do not really know what to say. I was a little involved in politics at university and for a while afterwards. I always worked too hard to have enough time to get seriously involved.

    I am also a fairly poor public speaker, am pretty non handsome and charismatic and hate having serious rows with people. Not really good traits for a politician. I do not like the way that politics here are such that I can never realisticly appeal to my Roman Catholic colleagues and friends with any serious expectation of them voting for me. I have huge moral problems with lying (and go red anyway).

    Incidentally I had stopped pratically all of my interest in politics after I left the UUP. However, the last 18 months I have mainly worked away from home all week and so have had time on my hand in the evenings. I found slugger purely by chance and got addicted to reading it. Then one day, after about 6 months, I plucked up the courage to post on it.

    I might try to get back involved; we shall see. I suspect that whatever problems the new party has getting good people there will be many with more real talent than me. Still I will join and see. My wife has always called me the patron saint of lost causes (especially at work, but that is a different story altogether) so my joining may be a sort of inverse Midas’ touch for the new party. Still my hero Mallory (and indeed Turgon himself) had a pretty heroic demise.

  • Bigger Picture

    Turgon

    Your points are fair and well made and both seem reasonable enough for him to go for it now. I suppose as one former PM used to say we’ll just have to wait and see. I’m sure you have noticed my lack of posting in the last couple of months and it’s indicative of how i see the whole politics thing at the mo basically not bothered.

    Thanks for the offer of the cave, you never know times may change and i would like to think the door would be open for me at any stage politics is a long game.

    I will sign off by wishing you all the best

  • joeCanuck

    I hereby nominate Turgon as the most honest poster on Slugger.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    joeCanuck: “I hereby nominate Turgon as the most honest poster on Slugger. ”

    Doesn’t honesty automatically disqualify him for most political posts and offices? 😉

  • bertie

    joe

    seconded

  • Turgon

    joeCanuck, bertie,

    You leave me with an awful dilema here. To not answer is very bad manners, to answer seems to be encouraging praise.

    If I am honest: it is because I am rubbish at lying, I think it is wrong, and anyhow why on a site where one is anonymous would one want to? Incidentally I have never heard a word of a lie from either of you two.

    I do actually fear politics in that I do not really want the spotlight. When in the UUP I hid assidusely from any cameras.

    I also am not a good public speaker. I can do okay with slides and a room full of people who will not heckle and attack me. That is not the way politics is. I would not have a laser pointer and power point slides and as such would be lost. Here on slugger it is easier as you can take ages thinking up a good response, you can even preview it. Frequently I take several drafts before I am happy to hit the submit button and still the grammar and spelling are flawed.

    I always note how on Let’s Talk or especially Any answers on Radio 4 the members of the general public often sound either daft or lunatics. The people on these programmes are anything but daft or mad, however, I think it is because most of us are not used to expressing our views in public. Hence, when the microphone or telephone let alone camera swings towards us we look like the rabbit in the headlights. Even real politicians can be absolutely humilitated by the media let alone us ordinary folk. I am sure I am not the only one who sits on the edge of my seat when my favourite politicians are interviewed hoping and praying that they will not make a fool of themselves. Equally of course I cheer when John Humphries or whoever verbally destroys one of the politicians I oppose.

    Dread,
    Since I am in honest and indeed reflective mood (that is grandiose self importance in itself). You are the poster I least like debating with. You are always polite, You are clearly not a bigot and so cannot be dismissed as one. You are also, in my opinion the best debater here by a fair margin. Pratically nothing gets past you and your dogged determination is wonderful when directed against one opponents and genuinely terrifying when directed against oneself.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Turgon: “Since I am in honest and indeed reflective mood (that is grandiose self importance in itself). You are the poster I least like debating with. You are always polite, You are clearly not a bigot and so cannot be dismissed as one. You are also, in my opinion the best debater here by a fair margin. Pratically nothing gets past you and your dogged determination is wonderful when directed against one opponents and genuinely terrifying when directed against oneself. ”

    Actually, its funny, Turgon, I was going to give you the props you’re due just a moment ago.

    I enjoy debating you, both with and against. You are honest, reasonably direct and fair. You are not a bigot, nor an apologist for thugs. I am honored on those occasions we ally and enjoy those occasions we joust. You stand your ground, you don’t pull punches and you don’t blow smoke.

    I think you may not give yourself enough credit, sir.

  • bertie

    Feel the love 🙂

  • Dewi

    All nice and true about you Turgon – but if u want to get into real politics you got to grow a nasty edge – it ain’t for kids you know !
    Where do you think you would start ?

  • Dread Cthulhu

    bertie: “Feel the love 🙂 ”

    Beats most of the alternatives, now don’t it? 😉

    dewi: “All nice and true about you Turgon – but if u want to get into real politics you got to grow a nasty edge – it ain’t for kids you know !
    Where do you think you would start ? ”

    Now, that’s not exactly so, Dewi. Of course, it requires being a stateman to transcend the uglier aspects of politics, but I think he might have it in him.

  • Dewi

    “Now, that’s not exactly so, Dewi. Of course, it requires being a stateman to transcend the uglier aspects of politics, but I think he might have it in him. ”

    Of course he has ! But the minions have to do the business- and it’s dirty believe you me !

  • bertie

    DC
    “Beats most of the alternatives, now don’t it? 😉 ”

    Indeed, I wasn’t being totally cynical, just hiding behind an attempt to appear a wee bit so.:)

  • Jo

    He’s far too good for this band of ne’er do wells. 🙂

    I first started posting and blogging because of my disgust at the image of unionism being presented on blogs by those whose political perspectives had been utterly rejected by the electorate but who still weren’t prepared to accept defeat and shield their bitterness and bigotry from public gaze.

    Good to see the maturity of blog-unionism has reached the point of producing civilised individuals such as Slugger’s own “Mr. T”. 🙂