our “system has perfected division..”

Following Martina Purdy’s report on the Politics Show the studio discussion with the Alliance Party’s Stephen Farry, the SDLP’s Dolores Kelly and the UUP’s Fred Cobain picked up on US president-elect Barack Obama’s ‘change’ mantra and contrasted the apparent message from that election with the brittleness of our current arrangements.

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  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Alliance Party’s Stephen Farry, the SDLP’s Dolores Kelly and the UUP’s Fred Cobain

    Three political baldies arguing over a good head of hair.

    The ‘change’ Norn Iron needs is for Unionists to stop blocking the implementation of the STA and stop saying ‘NO’.

  • edward

    three onionist parties discusing change is like 3 buzzards discussing veganism

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it


    probably not fair to accuse the SDLP of being a onionist/unionist party?

  • wild turkey

    ‘probably not fair to accuse the SDLP of being a onionist/unionist party? ‘ Good point Sammy. More like a mushroom party actually. In the dark, etc. etc. etc.,

    A bit off tangent (apologies Pete) but Stephan Farry mentioned the Cohesion, Sharing and Integration Strategy (CSI) WT…F!

    Starter question for all sluggerites. Since the inception of devolved govt, how many ‘strategies’ have emerged from OFMDFM and other devolved govt departments? Five, ten, two hundred? I haven’t a clue.

    Bonus question. To date, what have been the measureable impacts, be they to your mind positive, neutral or negative, of each said strategy?

    We should be told…and we won’t. Probably because all strategic goals are under ‘ongoing’ review and assessment.

  • edward

    well sammy I am reminded of that fine american phrase, RINO

  • IJP

    Wild Turkey

    The lads in OFMDFM didn’t much like “Shared Future”, because that’d mean abolishing their own sectarian base. So they thought it’d be a laugh to call is “CSI” instead.

    Very funny.

    When asked for a definition of the three words, OFMDFM gave a formal response saying it would be “consistent with the dictionary definition”. Go figure.

  • [aside]UTV Teletext p343

    “Minister to answer questions

    Monday’s session at the Assembly at Stormont will include question time for minister of health, social services and public safety, Bairbre de Brun.

    There will also be questions for the minister for regional development Conor Murphy and the minister for social development Margaret Ritchie.

    There will also be a private members’ motion on primary transfer tests.”

    Would you believe it? Michael McGimpsey is Bairbre de Brun with hair loss 🙂

  • DC

    One of the fundamental problems with any such better relations strategies is the connivance of political parties in their own ethno-national counter strategies, that vicious cycle of going round-and-round.

    The parasitic feeding off one another in relation to unionism and nationalism is part and parcel of the problem. The irony of having these two parties presiding over good relations and victims is beyond a joke if not insulting.

    Caral Ni Chuilin was on the ?politics show/Hearts and Minds? saying that the people of North Belfast are “not ready” for shared housing projects such as that which is being proposed around the Crumlin gaol area.

    There is no better example of this negativity in the sectarianism that presents itself in that statement.

    I watched Newsnight on BBC and it showed the first female Mayor of Texas?, she explained that she had letters written to her saying that now was not her time, Texas isn’t ready for that but soon will be etc. She empathised with Obama and some of the similar problems he might have experienced on the way up.

    The notion of people not being ready is extremely depressing – however – perhaps it is the politicians who are not ready because when people share shared living space the deployment of irresponsbile ethno-national political strategies usually cause friction.

    But when you have people living together in a tense and tentative sharing project the opportunity for using such strategies lessens because leadership must be given to maintain harmony and harmony is easily achieved without politicians always playing up divisions.

    I simply say that people in North Belfast are ready for it, ready for good housing, ready for re-development and ready – so long as the politicians are ready to lead it.

    Ni Chuilin appears to be taking a stance just like the one the white conservative Texans took and runs in complete contrast to the spirit of positive change that is the thread running through America at this time.

  • Bff1

    I am sitting here basking in the news that George Bush has just had his nose rubbed in poo! By of all people a member of the U.S.As. Black community. Why Bush you are thinking? , well as I see it! He is why the Republicans were trounced, everyone knows that! Especially the present Presidential incumbent, George W Bush.

    John Mc Cain, a war hero, and probably a very nice person, had to contend with the Bush legacy.

    The world seems to think this as well, {especially our own beloved National TV channels i.e. BBC & ITV} not to mention RTE etc here in Ireland, who have really gone over the bar as to how real democracy [British style] has finally arrived in American politics.
    No mention whatsoever of the disparity or lack of religious equality, in the “Mother of Parliaments, as the English like to term it.

    So we all now wait with bated breath for a Chinese, Black, Asiatic, Disabled, or Muslim person to arrive from the British mass’s, and be elevated to the position of Prime Minister of the Mother of Parliaments.
    The irony in all this starry eyed journalism as to “ we the British , are truly a nation for all the people “ ,and an example to the world , is the stark fact that you can be any colour or race , and at least have the possibility of achieving this , just as long as you are not a Roman Catholic .

    While I am on a roll, let’s get a few facts about the US elections, and the election of a black President into perspective.
    I personally don’t get it!. I mean, am I the only person in the world who’s noticed that Barack Obama isn’t black?, from we’re I am looking he’s bi-racial.
    I fail to see why his election has prompted such an orgy of self-congratulation in America. How can the election of a light-skinned man of colour assuage the guilt that white America should! Feel about slavery? Slaves were black & mainly Africans!.
    Barack Obama isn’t descended from slaves. He was born in Hawaii for dear sake , and raised by two white people , and his roots have been traced to Co Offaly here in Erin’s Isle .
    He just looks to me like any skinny white guy with a tan!.

    If America had elected a person who looked like Nelson Mandela or Robert Mugabe, to become President, then I’d be really impressed by their election of a true black man.

    Barack O Bama? , my own children spend a fortnight in Spain taking in the sun, and they come home darker than President Obama is!.
    This is not any criticism of The President who I have the greatest admiration , and respect for, and whom has certainly broken through the glass ceiling of the, USA’s behind the parlour curtains, not in my backyard type of racism !.

    Obviously, electing Barack Obama is a step in the right direction. I believe Americans deserve approximately half the praise they’ve been heaping on themselves, because, after all, Obama is half-African-American Caucasian [Grin].
    Nearly all the so-called “black” people that now enjoy high-profile positions in the USA, Condoleezza Rice, Tiger Woods, Colin Powell, etc, etc, are at the light-skinned end of the spectrum.
    If I was a multi race coloured American, I’d certainly feel pleased , and be over the moon about the fact that Obama had been elected ,no doubt about that , and please be assured that I personally am !, and I fully share in their joy , in their newly found self esteem as a people .

    Having lived, worked, and raised a family here in the North For 65 years, I feel that I can spot hypocrisy a mile away, and I sure don’t like it!
    Hence this present rant about what I personally perceive as a crass jumping on the bandwagon, unadulterated, form of self serving hypocrisy by the media, and many others.
    What it do’s prove , is that white people are prepared to embrace light skinned people of the black community , unsurprisingly I would probably know that fact already, if I was an actual Black American citizen ! . On the other hand, I’m not sure that in the circumstances I would be able to take much comfort from this quite condescending cherry picking attitude.

    It would simply confirm something that I have believed for a long period, namely that the extent to which Black Americans are the victims of racist discrimination in the USA depends, very much, on how dark their skin actually is. White Americans have finally come around to the idea of having a coffee coloured President ,WOW!, I cannot help but think, when are they going to stop discriminating against people who are actually black?.

    Which leads me back to the beginning of this letter, when is Great Britain going to become worthy of the name, and really become a democracy ,by allowing Roman Catholics the possibility of attaining the top position in the land if they choose to have that aspiration .

    Highest position After her Majesty the Queen of course, but perhaps that will have to wait until Great Britain ? Becomes a Republic!

    Biff1 /