Dromore from the green side

The Dromore by-election victory for the UUP has led to much discussion on Slugger and elsewhere about the significance of the TUV vote. Is it a threat to the Executive? Can TUV deliver a stronger deal for Unionism? What were the reasons for the TUV vote?

Of course, there are numerous unionist posters on this site with an informed opinion of the thinking within the various branches of unionism. So here’s my take on the significance or otherwise of today’s result from a non-unionist perspective.

Firstly, to answer the questions above. The TUV vote, while providing food for thought for the DUP, shouldn’t affect the running of the Executive nor the Assembly. The DUP- like everybody else up there- has committed itself to working the institutions and is fully aware that there is no alternative path to the future. Sure, the DUP may be tempted to sabre rattle over policing and justice, or indulge in more petty sectarian ranting against the Irish language, catholic schools or even the GAA (all traditional favourite targets), but in the end up the party will know that the deal has been done and that every step forward is one taken with Sinn Fein a la Victims Commissioners and Long Kesh/ Maze (which answers the second question.)

In that regard, this vote should send the message to the DUP that the type of reckless goading of nationalists indulged in by far too many of their MLAs should be replaced by more measured comments, in full knowledge that future deals the party will have to make with Sinn Fein will merely provide the TUV with ample ammunition to target the DUP. The party needs to begin educating their base as to the need to respect the nationalist identity, so that when decisions are taken down the line their support base does not react to TUV complaints that the DUP are changing their position.

From a nationalist perspective, the TUV vote merely confirms the continued existence of a chunk of the unionist electorate which has set its face against power-sharing with their neighbours and against recognising the divided loyalties that exist within this community. The furore over the ‘Town Hall’ symbols illustrates starkly the need for the DUP to begin legitimising the Irish nationalist identity within their own community. It’s hardly surprising that this vote should surface, given that the former home of the TUVvies was the DUP, which spent far too little time preparing and educating their activist and electoral base for the volte-face the party performed in 2007 regarding power-sharing with Sinn Fein.

The result today suggests that Sinn Fein may be much closer to becoming the largest party in the six counties than most observers would have believed. The Sinn Fein candidate comfortably outpolled the SDLP candidate in an electoral area (Dromore) which has traditionally been strong SDLP territory- indeed, the SDLP even outpolled Sinn Fein there in 2005. Taken with the comfortable by-election victory in Moyle in December 2007 (which received very little media coverage) the result confirms that Sinn Fein continues to strengthen its electoral appeal within nationalism as the SDLP’s slide into the margins continues.

The DUP are now in a battle with the TUV that will peak during the Euro elections next year, when, ironically, a Sinn Fein poll topper may steal the thunder of the rival unionist parties and commence a battle for the top spot in the next Assembly election.

  • Non Reformist

    As an oul’hand, and I know you might hate to acknowledge this,Chris,(perhaps you’re not old enough) but SF thinking today has become not unlike that of the Republican Clubs in the 70’s. Read old speeches from the likes of Malachy McGurran, McMillen, etc, (even Tom French nicknamed the Emerald Pimpernel cos the Brits couldn’t catch him). We classed them all(the Rep Clubs)then as reformists, not revolutionaries.
    Can you explain the difference? SF of today is morphing into the Republican Clubs and then work out their journey ’til today. The similarities are very scary. Connolly would turn in his grave.

    Revolution – not reform.

  • Dewi

    “From a nationalist perspective, the TUV vote merely confirms the continued existence of a chunk of the unionist electorate which has set its face against power-sharing with their neighbours and against recognising the divided loyalties that exist within this community”

    Spot on – it’s so sad but so true.

  • aquifer

    In a democratic society, what’s a reformist?

    Someone who turns up on the doorstep and does not shoot the voter?

  • harry

    what is the differnce between the SDLP and SF? i cant see one.

  • willowfield

    The TUV can achieve nothing positive – its efforts are futile.

    At worst/best (depending on your viewpoint) it could cause the DUP to collapse the Executive by drumming up enough opposition and nervousness, but I can’t see this happening.

    More likely is that it will serve to split the unionist vote; or it might just fade away.

  • cut the bull

    Unionism is feeling the winds of change and is doing its best to cope in the hope that those winds will blow the other way.
    This result has a lot to do with the, Never ,Never ,Never spin that was fed to the Unionist voters.

    People do feel betrayed and this is a song that the TUV nad Jim Allister may be singing in the near future,

    Two little oul boys

    Two little oul boys had two little toys
    Each had a Trojan political horse
    Gaily they taunted each other ever other day
    Warriors both of course
    One little oul chap then had a mishap
    A Dromore result broke off his horse’s head
    Wept for his toy then cried, he was annoyed
    As his young playmate said
    Thinking back I’m glad to see you crying
    There’s no room on my horse for two
    Don’t limb up here, Ian and don’t be lying
    I can go just as fast without two
    When we grew up we became political soldiers
    And our Trojan horses became our toys
    And I wonder if you remember
    When we were two traditional DUP oul boys
    Long years have passed, is the war really over at last
    Cos Gerry said they haven’t gone away ( ya know)
    Cannon may still roar loud, and in the mad crowd
    Wounded and dying your political career may lay
    Up will go a shout, a horse will dash out
    Out from the ranks so red white and blue
    It’ll gallop away to where you may lay
    Then will came a traditional voice you once knew
    Thinking back I’m glad to see you crying
    There’s no room on my horse for two
    Don’t limb up here Ian and don’t be lying
    I can go just as fast without two
    Did you say Ian, you feel like Trimble
    Perhaps it’s the battle’s noise
    But I think it’s that I remember
    When we were two little DUP oul boys
    Thinking back I’m glad to see you crying
    There’s no room on my horse for two
    Don’t limb up here Ian and don’t be lying
    To the ranks of red white and blue blue
    Can you feel Ian I’m all a tremble, never a Trimble
    Perhaps it’s the battle’s noise
    But I think it’s that I remember
    When we were two little DUP oul boys

  • [i]what is the differnce between the SDLP and SF? i cant see one.

    Posted by harry on Feb 15, 2008 @ 08:30 AM[/i]

    Well one is in the midst of trying to sell their soul to an evil right wing party, rife with corruption and dodgy dealings and who courted terrorists when it suited them only to abandon them and leave them in the wilderness. The other party is about to merge with Fianna Fail 🙂

  • I thoought Tim McGarry hit it nicely at the end of Hearts & Minds in a clip that you can see on the main page of BBC NI webpage in the section “Also in the News” under “Stormont through a Taxi Drivers eyes” when he says “T.U.V. – the party that stands for the people who miss the B-Specials!”

    and Poots v Allister earlier on the programme
    last night brought tears to me eyes!!

  • Chris,

    On this turnout, I’d be wary of extrapolating too much into the future. Especially since we’re seeing transfer patterns in this election that are all over the place. Some of of them with little precidence.

    The advance of Alliance looks more convincing. They think they can take a seat on this basis. I’d hold my counsel on that, since it would represent a blossoming in an area they have no recent history in.

    Still, from what I hear, the returns from Leitrim seems to indicate a sharp weighting towards SF. My only word of caution on that even is that there was not much in this fight for any nationalist and low turnout generally favours Sinn Fein.

  • URQUHART

    I think Chris’ analysis on the unionist end of things is a bit OTT, but he’s right on the nationalist vote. This wasn’t a great day for SDLP.

  • SW

    Interesting post, Chris. The result shows something really fundamental about the psyche of the Unionist community (my community). There is a section of people there who, rightly or wrongly, would never be prepared to see SF in government. I think, hand on heart, that even if every one of their demands were met, there is a real hatred there, an enemy psyche, that won’t disappear. And Paisley must accept a large part of the blame for that: the never, never, never talk has produced a deep-seated arrogance in sections of Unionism who believe that they can have everything their own way. Listen to Jim Allister talking about how the TUV obtained X% ‘of the Unionist electorate’!

    And there’s the problem: an introverted, narrow minded, little Ulster attitude, refusing to accept the existence (and electoral threat of)another community, who thrive on a ‘smash our opponents’ mentality. And now the enemy of these people, the ones they want to smash, is the DUP: sellout mentality being another favourite gripe (that gets them nowhere).

    At least Paisley has recognised that gets you nowhere. Unionism needs to be more confident, pragmatic, self-assured, and the DUP need to sell this deal instead with some conviction instead of running scared of TUV. Can you imagine SF/SDLP tearing into one another with such intensity? No way, their electorate and political leaders are too savvy, too intelligent for such actions. Unionism needs proper leadership, to stop looking in on itself all the time, otherwise they will have a SF first minister quite soon. And as for those Unionists who say ‘what’s the difference between a DUP and an SF first minister anyway’: well, their narrowmindedness, their sheer obstinacy, demonstrates everything I’ve said here.

  • Shore Road Resident

    Can you imagine SF/SDLP tearing into one another with such intensity?

    Yes.

  • perci

    There’s huffing and puffing on both sides, but you’re right chris the power-sharing exec is the only show in town.
    I’m starting to think that the UUP and SDLP are a form of opposition in themselves; as they’re asking the awkward questions of DUP/SF. This is healthy.

    as regards TUV, its true Paisley didn’t really prepare his party for power-sharing, this is maybe why they gave a “protest vote”; but its hard to see them going from strength to strength.
    By and large the Assembly is working well; bar IPJ’s mishaps; and trouble in the SA borderlands with former bosses unable to accept they’ve been handed their P45’s !!!

  • Mark McGregor

    Mick,

    Alliance are blowing smoke up your ass about taking a seat here. With RPA coming they wouldn’t have the basis to get a bus ticket to the council on that vote.

  • Dewi

    RPA Mark?

  • Dewi

    Got it But I thought this had been scrapped?

  • We’ll see Mark, the figures epeak for themselves. 9.5% of the vote in an area we’d not even contested for 11 years. Unlike other parties we’ll keep working in the area and by the next election we’ll increase our vote share.

  • Flaminglip

    Allister’s main problem seems to be with the Army Council. The IRA are unlikely to get rid of it easily if they know that it’s existence could help cause disruption within Unionist parties. But meh, it’s a moot point, the Army Council thing is pretty much a front for basically not wanting Sinn Fein in government no matter what. Basically keeping the Army Council leaves the DUP in an awkward place, removing it would leave Allister in an awkward place.

  • Mayoman

    This really shows to me that unionism is running scared. Despite all the shouts of ‘The IRA defeated’ and ‘what was it all for?’ and ‘Sinn Fein administering British rule’, there is a large proportion of the unionist vote that believes the GFA is a major step towards a UI and that Sinn Fein got more out of it than they are willing to admit. Even the DUP think this way, in their explaining of the result. If the union was, as has been the common cry, safer now than ever, then why the need for the TUV? Either unionists are scared the game is up and the undemocratic entity that is NI is in danger of disappearing, or as SW hints, those that vote TUV do it out of blind sectarian hatred. Looks like the muddle of sectarianism versus pragmatism has been very much uncovered here. I wonder which one will win? If its something else (and don’t give me ‘terrorists in govt’ as we all know every significant party is tainted with that!), then please explain? Either Sinn Fein won the GFA, or TUV represents pure bigotry.

  • Ivax

    Chris,

    It is delusional to think the DUP will “begin legitimising the Irish nationalist identity within their own community.”

    This is obsurd.

    Also, it should be noted that this was by-election with only a 40% turnout.

    The UUP won – yes. But not on their own. They won as a result of a split Unionist vote.

    They are celebrating, but about what exactly. They held the seat due to the circumstances of transfers – the joys of PR.

    TUV are the ones to celebrate for getting the UUP elected and what exactly have they achieved in their candidature? Nothing.

  • Mark,

    I was trying to put it more diplomatically than that…

  • Mark McGregor

    “Diplomacy is the art of saying “Nice Doggie!” till you can find a stick.”

  • red branch

    Ivax

    Which bit of the election did you miss. The last time out the DUP trounced the UUP 3 seats to one. even with the TUVs in the race the DUP believed they would walk it. Amazingly it has also been missed the UUP were ahead of the DUP before the TUV transfers.

    Basically the UUP represent a broader base of the community than the DUPs.

    That is something to celebrate

  • Jo

    Its the simple fact that despite ceasefires, despite decommissioning, despite witnesses, despite support for policing, theres no satisfying the unsatisfiable.

    Now, either they’re principled objectors to having people “with a past” in government OR, they’re a motley crew of utterly negative strategy-less individuals temporarily united under a man who only holds any elected office due to his association with those he now rejects.

    Can anyone spot the difference between the latter description and a pack of mean minded bigots?

  • Robert Bingham

    May the good Lord God bless Jim Allister,

    For he is a man of true moral decency surrounded by lundys and the rebel irish. This is a man unafraid to stand up to those who aspire to obliterate Ulster and her proud protestant children. For the foam at the mouth of the irish rebel has never been so protruded, the dead eyes of the irish insurgents have never looked so vacant, and the hazard presented by those who wish to sell Ulster down the river has never been so immense.

    May the Lord God have mercy on your devoted children? My only hope is that you have granted this mercy in the form of Jim Allister, if this be the case then i humbly thank you merciful one.

    God Save Her Most Gracious Queen Elizabeth II.

  • willowfield

    MAYOMAN

    This really shows to me that unionism is running scared.

    It shows that a minority of unionists is running scared. Unionism as a whole has now embraced “the new dispensation”.

    … as SW hints, those that vote TUV do it out of blind sectarian hatred.

    Hatred of the Provisional movement, yes: “blind sectarian hatred”, not necessarily.

  • LMAO

    Robert

    Are you for real or are you taking the piss? LMAO

  • northandsouth

    What did you all think of Poots defence of DUP in govt. ‘We stopped Irish on the road signs’. I thought he was all for parity of esteem, ‘but unfortunately there just wasn’t enough money for the Irish language;

  • Robert Bingham

    LMAO

    Why do you ask such a question? What is it that you fear about what i have to say?

    May God Save Her Most Gracious Queen Elizabeth II and Jim Allister!

  • Jo

    Why thank you, Robert, you’ve eloquently put paid to any notion that the Internet is populated by weirdoes and f*ckwits.

  • Robert Bingham

    Jo

    Once again you have put paid to any notion that the irish rebel is a foe with which one can hold a civilised debate. Another fine example that one only has to scratch the thinly veiled facade (with which the irish rebel rather cutely adopts to sway international opinion), before the rabid beast underneath surfaces. Thank you for providing this example.

    May the lord God Save Her Most Venerable Majesty Queen eLIZABETH ii

  • joeCanuck

    You’re a card , Robert.
    Love those posts; probably nearly as much as you enjoy dreaming them up.

    hehehehehehe

  • perci

    mr.bingham you are to be pitied,thinking that you’ve found a saviour in Mr.Allister.

    I can say to you with hand on heart, from experience that there are many poisoned chalice’s out there in the search for the holy grail.

    With Allister you will only find eternal bitterness, sickness, defeat and misery. I would not want that for you; but it would appear to be the well of your choice.

  • This, I fear, is not going to make too much coherent sense: it’s a series of rather-muddled thoughts still in progress. However, …

    Surely, what we are all agreed upon is that the present politics are unsustainable.

    Yes, there is (pace Militant Mike @ 10:00 AM) a significant minority “who miss the B-Specials”. That mind-set goes back, via the likes of William Craig’s Vanguard, to the Covenant and ancient history. It is not going away; but is it containable? My instinct is that body of irreconcilables is better in the hands of someone with the sophistication (and legality) of Allister than under the sway of a more extreme nutcase (names available under plain brown cover).

    Notice that I emphasise this tendency is with us, for this and at least the next political generation. The good news is that, since Orangism was brought back from the dead by the Kilmainham Treaty, so it can once again wither away. Nor do I see this irrendentistism as the greatest threat to the political establishment. Even when (not if) the consensus divides into a rational pair, or — as is more likely with PR — spectrum of political allegiances, the ultras are not going to win a majority even in Unionism, provided the society and economy holds.

    Beyond that, everyone else in the generality is scrabbling for the middle ground.

    For me, the sadness is that, as Non Reformist @ 02:33 AM was first to point out, the chances of a radical leftist cohort emerging seem as far away as ever. Now, that would change things. Change is certainly not going to come from any cross-pollination with FF/FG from the RoI, or by any of the GB political parties establishing branch offices.

    A couple of weeks back, The Economist was picking at the same seam; and used the Tennyson quotation, “The old order changeth” for its headline. It’s when it is “yielding place to new” that we should start taking real interest.

    In which context, I was greatly interested in Brian Feeney’s piece Church’s hold over unionism will always remain which has just shown up on Newshound. He comments on the curious hold of Free Presbyterians on the body politic:

    at no stage did the number of Free Presbyterians grow to constitute more than about one per cent of the total Protestant population of the north.

    In figures the grand total still wavers somewhere around 12-13,000, thinly and unevenly spread.

    Across the Great Divide, something similar could be said about the hold SF has achieved on its community.

    Since there must be a comparable number of lefty activists across NI, why can a “third force” not be conjured into existence?

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    To be fair to Jimbo the IRA has not actually gone away but are belived to be packing their bags even if the destination is unknown.For most people this is good emough, but for some Unionists (TUV) this is not enough and it would seem they have a significant degree of Unionist support.

    If a majority of Unionists voted for the TUV this would inevitably lead to the re-emgergence of Plan B which might actually suit the majority of Non Iron Nationalists better as the British dont appear to be averse to hollowing out
    the constitutional status of Non Iron from the inside by stealth under the banned of increased cooperation with ROI.

    The problem for anti-agreement unionists is that the British have cut a deal with the Provos and are unlikely to go back on that or there would international outcry not least from the Yankees and the Provos would be cancelling their travel arrangements. Worst of all for unionists any failure to meet their obligation under GFA/STA will inevitably lead to greater Nationlsist gains.

  • Robert Bingham

    Perci,

    Your tone has an air of impertinence to it, of which i do not appreciate. Pity is not what i need nor desire, what i desire is salvation, salvation from Satan, and salvation for protestant Ulster. If Jim Allister is the only man in a prominent position who has the moral fibre to realize this then he is the man who gets my support.

    May the Lord God Save Our Most Gracious Queen Elizabeth II, Ulster, and Jim Allister

  • If a majority of Unionists voted for the TUV this would inevitably lead to the re-emgergence of Plan B which might actually suit the majority of Non Iron Nationalists better as the British dont appear to be averse to hollowing out
    the constitutional status of Non Iron from the inside by stealth under the banned of increased cooperation with ROI.

    Got it in one, Sammy. It will also convince a swathe of moderate nationalist opinion that Northern Ireland really is a failed political entity after all and would sway their vote in any future border poll.

    Jim Allister may be articulate but he is strategically blinkered.

  • Ivax

    NorthandSouth

    What a waste of money it was anyway!? The DUP stopped it – so whats your point?

    “Ivax

    Which bit of the election did you miss. The last time out the DUP trounced the UUP 3 seats to one. even with the TUVs in the race the DUP believed they would walk it. Amazingly it has also been missed the UUP were ahead of the DUP before the TUV transfers.

    Basically the UUP represent a broader base of the community than the DUPs.

    That is something to celebrate
    Posted by red branch on Feb 15, 2008 @ 11:36 AM”

    red branch

    The UUP represent a broader base of Unionism…hmmm where do u get that from? Surely you can hardly be suggesting that the UUP represent a broader base of Unionism on the basis of a small council election?

    Sorry – I take it back the UUP will TROUNCE the DUP come the next election. Hell…I’m gonna make a few predictions…18 seats do u think?

    Reg in South Belfast…Basil in Lagan Valley…Billy Armstrong Mid-Ulster…David (I’m lost and still in the UUP’ Burnside in South Antrim…Chris McGimpsey in West Belfast…Danny Kennedy Newry and Armagh…

    Come to think of it it could be quite a successful election for them!

    BTW The UUP were behind the DUP in first preferences based on a turnout of 40pc.

    People transfered to the UUP…not necessarily the same thing as voting for them.

    Gods saves

  • Jo

    Bombs in Silent Valley, anyone?

    Men wishing they “had never heard of that man Allister”…?

  • Seimi

    Whilst all the main parties here have within them a percentage of bigots, I think that it’s good that TUV have formed, as they are now easier to spot. I look forward to the next major election. The TUV vote can then be used to indicate what percentage of the protestant/Unionist population will NEVER NEVER NEVER sit in power with catholics/nationalists/republicans.
    All we need now is for a party like this to emerge on the other side and we’ll be able to tell the world outside our little bubble – look! we have THIS many blinkered, narrow-minded bigots in OUR society! How many do you have?
    BTW, Robert Bingham, do you have a website? Greta craic! Mental, but greta craic! I’m goin’ lookin’ for the ball! 🙂

  • Dewi

    Quite cool clip from the count “You are going down down down” He’s a real charmer.

  • LMAO

    Robert

    as someone once said ‘if heaven is filled with people like you then I don’t want to go there!’.

    May the Lord Jesus Christ save me from red neck neo-fascists and small minded people. Oh and if he wants to save Lizzy Von Battenburg Ive no real objections.

  • Buggerhed

    “Northern Ireland really is a failed political entity”

    Your own view Sammy or that of the Alliance Party?

  • red branch

    Ivax,

    I appreciateyou miss the point of PR elections but anyway – if you read – that’s right read -my post I said “the UUP were ahead of the DUP before the TUV transfers.

    Basically the UUP represent a broader base of the community than the DUPs.”

    So had there been no TUV transfer the UUP would have won. Secondly note UUP represent a “broader base of the community” not the exclusive unionist only approach you adopt.

    That’s why the UUP have a seat the DUP should have won!

  • perci

    impertinence, oh my mister bingham,
    My apologies for not getting on my hands and knees before I presume to speak to you.

    Well before you have me incarcerated and beaten to a pulp for daring to question you, let me say this:

    There is nothing remotely civilised in what you say; and I look forward to educating you and dragging you kicking and screaming into the modern world.

    Its 2008 not 1708, haven’t you heard?

  • Robert Bingham

    LMAO,

    I am unaware of what it is that I have said to distress you to the point where you state that you would not want to share a place in heaven with me, for it is there that I am surely destined, for I have suffered at the behest of irish rebels just as Ulster has. However, I sense the tone of an irish usurp from your posts, in this case your destiny is a place in hell, suckling on the devil milk from the scaly black teet of Lucifer himself. Although, perversely I fear that this will be a heaven of sorts for one such as yourself.

    Grant me salvation Lord, grant me your sweet salvation!

    May the Lord God Save Our Most Congenial Queen Elizabeth II

  • perci

  • Jo

    Ah right, its a piss-take.

    Funny, but in blogging, you can’t see the facial expression and remarks in all seriousness are indistiguishable from the sincerity of the loony.

    Take JA, for instance.

    Please, please, take JA…

  • Robert Bingham

    It has been a pleasure, my freinds, offence was not intended,

    byesy bye then! 😉

  • Greenflag

    ‘The DUP- like everybody else up there- has committed itself to working the institutions and is fully aware that there is no alternative path to the future.’

    There’s always an alternative path and it does not have to lead to the future . Some paths have even been known to lead to the past.

    The TUV are basically in the same position that the Anti Treaty Republicans were in the Irish Free State in 1926 when FF was established as the party of ‘constitutional republicanism’ . In 1926 the people of the Free State wanted stability and peace above all. FF responded to the democratic will of the majority and eventually came to power 1932.

    But the TUV are in a much worse position for they cannot attain power without SF and they know it . They can only take votes from the DUP or UUP and all this will achieve is a further weakening of the Unionist ‘position’. The only rationale for the existence of a party such as TUV is that their true objective has to be to overturn the present settlement . The question has to be asked of Allister and the TUV exactly what ‘settlement’ they intend to pursue given their desire to overturn the present shared arrangement .

    If it’s ‘repartition’ they want they should come out of the closet ? If it’s war they want -ditto !

    If it’s just British memorabilia on Council shelves they want why not just humour the poor gobshites !

  • RB was the original Slugger O’Toole. Look up the wikipedia entry for Slugger for further details.

  • AntiChrist

    Sammy,

    NI was a failed political entity. ROI was not exactly a successful one till recently.

    Which brings me to Malc…

    Historical perspective triumphs again. Methinks we are witnessing the beginning of the end of the separation of Planter and Gael, a separation reverse-paralleled in Lancashire and Lanarkshire.

    Old memories in old clubs on old streets. The Orange past was bright, not the future.

    I mean, when Dev’s grandson is paying the lecky bill….

  • joeCanuck

    Of course Robert B is a troll. But you gotta hand it to him; he is very amusing and takes quite a few in. He pops up here from time to time.

  • Jo

    “…and all this will achieve is a further weakening of the Unionist ‘position’”

    – and, indeed, a weakening of the Union.

    This could, of course, be achieved by an overturning of the devolved arrangements and a reversal (in Unionist terms) which would be represented by “Plan B.”

    Are they so fucking stupid that they cannot see that what they want would be the end of what they want?

  • dodrade

    Surely this result is the final nail in the Maze stadium coffin?

  • Affronted Hic’

    “It has since been known as Slugger O’Toole, and in comments zone at least retaining some of the intractable qualities of Tim’s old sockpuppet drunk.”

    Did you write thish Mick?

    Are you accushing us of being drunksh?

  • PaddyReilly

    Ever since the time of Captain O’Neill the extreme right of Unionism, up till recently represented by the Big Fella, have been able to see off any hint of liberalism or reform with judicious sabre rattling and cries of ‘Lundy!’ They would eventually get their way because the main Unionist Party was so terrified of their vote haemorrhaging away at the Right that they would cave in. And as long as the Unionists were a majority, the whole province was dictated to by the fanatical portion of Unionism, a minority of the total electorate. In more recent times the DUP have found an argument to justify this stance: they are the majority of the majority.

    This, fortunately, is no longer the case. Unionism stands for about 48% of the electorate. It may have 50% of the Assembly seats (50% +1 counting the sole Loyalist) but it could not expect to call an election and retain this advantage when the new constituency boundaries come into force. The fatuous argument of Unionism, we are the majority (in an area only brought into existence so that they can claim this status) is no longer available.

    There are now so many Unionist parties available each can find its own ground. TUV may put the fear of God into the DUP, but it has limited power with the UUP and none whatsoever with Alliance. Alliance is not frightened of losing its electors to the TUV.

    Nevertheless the prissy fit still seems to be the order of the day. I suppose there are sufficient people who just do not realise that the DUP does not have the voting power to dictate what it wants, and blame it accordingly.

    We must thus expect that Right-wing Unionism will, in the near future, attempt to get its way by non-electoral means. Expect the discovery of ‘spy-rings’, conveniently managed by informants still blackmailed by their RUC controllers, as with Denis Donaldson.

  • Jo

    “non-electoral means”

    Where are all those Ulster Resistance guns again?

    Not far from Dromore, perhaps.

  • Greenflag

    ‘We must thus expect that Right-wing Unionism will, in the near future, attempt to get its way by non-electoral means.’

    As I said there’s always an alternative path 🙁

    ‘Are they so *#@* ing stupid that they cannot see that what they want would be the end of what they want? ‘

    Probably not the adjective I would use :). More a case of the none so blind as the lemmings in the rearguard who somehow feel that out there in the front is a leader who knows where he’s going even if they don’t want to think about it too much .

    ‘.NI was a failed political entity.’

    Was ? The jury I would think is still out on its present status of uncertain political recovery .

    ‘ROI was not exactly a successful one till recently.’

    Wrong . The Republic was a successful political entity . At least from 1932 when power was transferred democratically from the Free State Party to FF and subsequently transferred back to Fine Gael coalitions in later elections .Perhaps you meant to say ‘economically’ in which case you would have been more correct .

  • Loyal Ulster Unionist

    This is a great election result!

    The tables are turning in the UUPs – the party of Carson and Craig – favour once again.

    I have always said that voters would acknowledge the work of Trimble and Empey one day and turn back to support the Party. If only Trimble has lived to see the day!

    This is a great day for the party and for Ireland!

    Reg should now work towards winning back all the DUPes Westminster seats.

    We have got a really good chance of taking back South Antrim, Upper Bann, East Antrim, South Belfast, Fermanagh South Tyrone, East Londonderry and keeping North Down with a large majority. Hell lets work for North Antrim too!

    Given our broad community based we could well take South Down and Newry and Armagh too!

    This is such a result which I think will be characterized across the North.

  • happy lundy

    Do loyal ulster unionists say “the north”?

    Or do you mean Antrim?

  • Grassy Noel

    “If only Trimble has lived to see the day”

    Er… do you know something we don’t?

  • Dewi

    “Given our broad community based we could well take South Down and Newry and Armagh too!”

    …West Belfast as well?

  • Prince Eoghan

    SW

    >>At least Paisley has recognised that gets you nowhere. Unionism needs to be more confident, pragmatic, self-assured, and the DUP need to sell this deal instead with some conviction instead of running scared of TUV. Can you imagine SF/SDLP tearing into one another with such intensity? No way, their electorate and political leaders are too savvy, too intelligent for such actions<< Whilst agreeing with much of your analysis here, I differ on the savvy bit stopping Nationalist leaders going at each other so. The real point(which Dewi) has touched on is that Nationalist leaders would not fall out over sharing power with their neighbours, this seems to always be at the basis of Unionist intransigence. Yet Unionism, or some Unionists as Willow quite rightly points out really fails to understand the basis of democracy in that; It is no longer solely in their gift to decide whose/what terms that the six counties will be governed. JoeC Before knowing for sure that RB was 'just having a larf' I used to feel a wee bit guilty,(even though he was so pythonesque) that perhaps I wanted him to be voicing the thoughts that many of us suspect Unionists harbour but so few actually voice. Who knows, perhaps he does lol!

  • I think LUU is a troll of the same calibre as Robert. I just missed it at first because it’s rare to see two trolls in one thread doing the same act. Refering to this country as the North was a dead give away.

  • Twinbrook

    sad as it is…..roberts views still mirror the thoughts of some in the paramilitary loyalist community…..

    the same Neanderthals that look back with pride to Gay dog adairs drug riddled reign…

  • The Third Policeman

    Has anyone here ever read John Kennedy Toole’s fantastic novel A Confederacy of Dunces? Did Robert not come across as the unionist version of Ignatius J Reilly?

    Actually if you’ve never read it then take this as a very strong recommendation. Its pure deadly!

  • Twinbrook. refering to Johnny Adair as Gay Dog is insulting to the gay community. Are you actually questioning his sexuality or is that a typical childish insult that a clueless teenager would come off with?

  • abucs

    Can the TUV get enough of the overall vote in the assembly elections to be relevant ?

    If they get 15% of the assembly wide vote they might get one seat. If they take it – welcome to the club.
    If they don’t – what is the point ?

    What is the thinking ?

    Or is it mainly an emotional exercise ?

  • Take the recommendation of The Third Policeman @ 09:09 PM with some caution.

    A Confederacy of Dunces is a superb creation, agreed. My guess is as few will read it at one go as mange Finnegans Wake.

    It is a “comic” novel in the sense that the excruciating embarrassment of others can be funny. If one hasn’t previously climbed the foothills of The Ginger Man, it might be advisable to go into training.

    However, à chacun son goût (thus avoiding a possible infraction of quotidian French).