“There is, of course, a serious point..”

Via the Samizdatas. A quality of contribution that the Assembly can only aspire to hear..

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  • TOT

    Hague came to the Leader of the opposition job to early. he may yet be PM

  • Crataegus

    Excellent speech.

  • PeaceandJustice

    Great speech. It’s time for the UUP to merge with the Conservatives and offer a real alternative to the people of Northern Ireland. It would make a refreshing change to the ‘Little Ulster’ and ‘Little Ireland’ mentality that currently exists. Of course, neither the DUP or SF IRA would like it.

  • The Dubliner

    It’s that ‘Little Ulster’ mentality that maintains the union with the rest of the UK. Were NI to be fully integrated into the UK, the PoC would apply to the majority of the integrated entity – who would vote NI out of the union at the first opportunity. Be careful what you wish for.

    I wish Hague would visit Ireland to help campaign for a ‘no’ vote to Project Socialist Superstate of Europe. Our politicians are too cowardly to defend sovereignty, self-determination, and independence from their gradual theft-by-stealth by Europe.

  • lib2016

    Why would the Conservatives want to have anything to do with the UUP? The UUP are a spent force in NI and would be an embarrassment in modern Britain – extreme rightwingers with an anti-EU bias, not to mention a very questionable attitude to the largest group of regular church goers in the country.

    Look how careful they have been with Trimble, after making him wait around for years they forced him to break his ties to the UUP before using him once as stand-in. To contemplate taking on the likes of Lords McGinnis and even more controversially Laird, Cameron would have to be crazy

  • Alex S

    Hague’s performance and style of delivery simply highlight how second rate the vast majority of our MLAs are

  • bob wilson

    Dubliner – your thinking is confused. It is not the ‘little Ulster’ mentality that maintains the Union – it is the wish of the majority. The little Ulster mentality isolates NI from normal politics.The Price of Consent is actually just a statement of the obvious – that NI will remain part of UK as long as the majority wish. The growth of the Conservative Party and normal politics will not affect that.
    Incidentally the PoC also exists in Scotland and Wales – just it is never spelt out.

    Conservatives are happy to welcome converts from any party – but like Trimble they will have to break all links with former parties.

    Re: Hague – I love the idea that the Shadow Foreign Secretary could pass any remark about the internal politics of the Republic and not be howled down by Irish nationalists

  • Shore Road Resident

    Could we nail this sad republican fantasy once and for all? It is specifically illegal under EU and UN law for any portion of one country to “vote” another portion “out”.

  • lib2016

    Unfortunately for unionists the British parties will never do well here – we’re a bit too ‘special’ for that. Like integration it’s a dream held by the sort of people who claim that NI is ‘as British as Finchley’. The talents required to be a successful unionist politican don’t show up well at Westminster and hopefully never will, as Enoch found out.

  • Lamenteor

    After an infamously wasteful misspent youth following Maggie, WH serves to waste parliamentary time under the delusional assumption that moderately humorous sniping language makes a good parliamentarian. I’m sure the people of his constituency would rather see him raise issues of a match more pressing nature.

  • PeaceandJustice

    bob wilson – “Conservatives are happy to welcome converts from any party – but like Trimble they will have to break all links with former parties.”

    If the Conservatives are to make any real inroads into politics here, then it’s going to take something imaginative. While most Unionists voted DUP last time, this was on the basis of the DUP saying that the negotiations were continuing and that they were going to get a ‘Fair Deal’. We are starting to see the reality now e.g. the DUP allowing terrorists to be on an equal level with real victims. One only has to think of real victims like Ian Gow and Edgar Graham – murdered by Sinn Fein IRA cowards – to see how shamefully the DUP are acting.

    So there is definitely scope for a real alternative to DUP spin. It would also give the Conservatives councillors and MLAs across Northern Ireland as well as putting them in NI Government at the stroke of a pen. Otherwise they’ll never make the breakthrough as most Unionists (Roman Catholics and Protestants) don’t wish to split the pro-Union vote any further.

    Many Unionists would find the idea of voting for a Conservative & Unionist Party with a world-view very attractive.

  • Even the Labour front bench seemed to enjoy the performance. Does Gordon make a habit of missing ‘interesting’ EU activities?

    Lamenteor, the nature of the EU ‘beast’ is certainly worth examining.

  • pith

    Lamenteor,

    Hague is speaking as shadow Foreign Secretary (I think). It would be a bit mad for him to get up from the front bench in a debate on the EU and start to raise things like say a spa resort or lands tribunals in his constituency.

  • joeCanuck

    What is the antithesis of Talent?

  • pit

    MLA

  • Prince Eoghan

    Quite a witty speech, decidedly pointed at those in the know. I’m note sure how much those not interested in politics would gleam from it. The canned laughter from the Tories was not put on this time though, perhaps Cameron may well worry. Now to the nub, hague happilly confesses to spending his teenage years mimicking his hero Winston Churchill’s speeches. Now if that does not sound the weirdo alarms nothing will. It looks like he has finally got his timing right, perhaps a stand up career beckons, no chance of him becoming PM.

  • lamenteor

    pith, nevin,

    I can only assume that you are easily fooled if you see this as anything other than a very poor attempt to self-promoting grand-standing to a captive audience. The Shadow Foreign Minister, like the Minister, has numerous issues to choose from and it is regretful that this is the best WH chooses to waste parliamentary time. If this passes for professionalism in your book it may go some way to explain the poor standard of representation here. As Voltaire said, “A witty remark proves nothing.” Maybe WH believes it is helpful though when you have little else to offer?

  • pith

    Lamenteor,

    Let’s try again shall we? The debate was on the European Union. That’s why Hague as Shadow Foreign Secretary is making a speech on the European Union. You see if there is a debate on the Budget say, then the Shadow Chancellor comes along and makes a speech on the Budget. It seems that’s the way the place works.

  • interested

    Lamentor
    Maybe you don’t believe that you can make a point using humour – but that says more about yourself than anyone else.

    Frankly I think many more people will not only listen to that speech because of its humour (well used) but will actually hear what he said…..

    PeaceandJustice
    So the Conservatives are the next white knight going to save all the malcontents then are they? Looks like McCartney and Allister have failed so you’ll move on to the next big hope.

    Exactly what in NI do you believe the Conservatives would do differently? They have never criticised any of the policies you get so hot and bothered about. Do you honestly believe that DC is going go relieve your ‘unequal yoke’?

    I’m not arguing that the Tories mightn’t do a better job – just that they’re not going to solve the problems which so clearly get you worked up.

  • TAFKABO

    Wow, that Rory Bremner is brilliant.

  • Quaysider

    A great little Commons turn by any measure.
    What is Lamenteor’s problem?

  • PeaceandJustice

    interested – “Exactly what in NI do you believe the Conservatives would do differently? They have never criticised any of the policies you get so hot and bothered about.”

    What is needed is for a party to give the DUP some competition. The UUP cannot do that alone. The Conservatives cannot do that alone. Other ‘single-brand’ Unionists cannot do that alone. But a coming together would be the sensible option. As regards some of the previous policies of the Conservatives, they need more of a local presence to provide input.

    But do the UUP and the Conservatives have the imagination and local leadership to make it happen? Or will they both just fade into obscurity?

  • interested

    PeaceandJustice
    I think opposition (within unionism or anywhere else) is absolutely essential. Its one of the reasons I believe any talk of having a single unionist party is crazy – where do people go when that party (inevitably??) goes wrong?

    However, your initial point seemed a little different than simply calling for a party to be an effective opposition. All the ‘unequal yoke’ stuff isn’t a call for an oppostion, its a call for an alternative system (even though the DUP were the party who got a review of the system built in). The Tories aren’t going to solve your ‘unequal yoke’ or any other biblical quote issue you have to raise any more than the Ulster Unionists would.

    I think you’re a little on the optimistic side if you believe that local input from NI will have that significant an input into Tory Central Office thinking. The prospect of 8 or 9 extra seats in NI (stretching optimism to its limits) is hardly going to put them into overdrive to woo all the NI voters. After all, they know that in the unlikely event of them getting into power on the basis of those 8 or 9 votes being vital that they can probably do a deal with the NI MPs anyway.

    None of my arguments are against the Tories organising in Northern Ireland – I think ‘mainstreaming’ Northern Ireland into the rest of the UK in another method like this would be a good thing. I was simply challenging the benefits you believed would flow from it.

  • PeaceandJustice

    interested – “they know that in the unlikely event of them getting into power on the basis of those 8 or 9 votes being vital that they can probably do a deal with the NI MPs anyway.”

    We need to get away from … NI Unionists are useful in emergencies only!

    interested – “I think ‘mainstreaming’ Northern Ireland into the rest of the UK in another method like this would be a good thing. I was simply challenging the benefits you believed would flow from it.”

    Fair enough.

  • The Dubliner

    “Dubliner – your thinking is confused. It is not the ‘little Ulster’ mentality that maintains the Union – it is the wish of the majority. The little Ulster mentality isolates NI from normal politics.The Price of Consent is actually just a statement of the obvious – that NI will remain part of UK as long as the majority wish. The growth of the Conservative Party and normal politics will not affect that.” – Bob Wilson

    “Dubliner – your thinking is confused. It is not the ‘little Ulster’ mentality that maintains the Union – it is the wish of the majority. The little Ulster mentality isolates NI from normal politics.The Price of Consent is actually just a statement of the obvious – that NI will remain part of UK as long as the majority wish. The growth of the Conservative Party and normal politics will not affect that.” – Bob Wilson

    Bob, I like your Freudian slip on the “Price of Consent.” However, the keyword is ‘principle.’ A principle exists in the abstract, so the principle that the majority decide can be held to the majority within the integrated entity. As your slip confesses, that majority would then vote NI out of the union due to the cost of maintaining it and the fact that they regard you as Paddies (foreigners). Now, Bob, you wouldn’t object to the majority of the UK having the right to vote on the issue, would you? It is a principle that the majority must have that right to vote, remember? Or is it only a principle when it gives an outcome you favour? 😉