Mirror reports of the Parsley ‘defection’…

Ian Parsley, one of those being touted as an Up and Coming politician in the current nominations (which are still open by the way) for the Slugger Awards, is reported today as joining the Ulster Unionists, something the man himself appears to be denying on his blog this morning… It’s thought the speculation was stirred when it was revealed that the think tank he’s joining an outreach of Ian Duncan Smith’s Centre for Social Justice, which is opening in Belfast next Wednesday… For now, Mr Parsley (IJP, to you and me) remains an Alliance councillor for Holywood…

UPdate
: BBC has an email which suggests he’s ready to go… Expect a statement at 3pm… Stephen Walker:

“I have certainly seen an email that was addressed to him and talked in such terms as though he was a would-be candidate. It talked about a timeframe so if he comes out and says he’s not going to join the party he’s certainly had discussions with them and he has certainly been down that road.”

There is a story on page 15 in one of today’s newspapers which contains significant inaccuracies, including with regard to conjecture about my political future.

I will be speaking at the NI launch of the independent thinktank referred to at the Richview Regeneration Centre (339 Donegall Road) at 11am on Wednesday, 16 September. This is a very exciting project which will, I trust, be of significant benefit to the promotion of a “Shared Future” for the entire community. Media will be welcome.

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  • Very interesting if it turns out to be true, Mick. It would confirm what many of us thought over the course of long debates in the old days (when Slugger still had debates … ).

    IJP was always well towards the unionist wing of Alliance (I’m assuming there is another wing, but my faith is often severely tested).

  • jone

    His denial is going to look comically unconvincing for reasons which will become clear later this morning.

  • Bog Trotter

    Could it be that the promise of the UCUNF ticket in North Down has swayed Mr Parsley?

    Lady Sylvia maybe should watch her back.

  • Driftwood

    An engagement (possible marriage)of hearts and minds?

  • GGN

    I notice there are no Alliance standards to be see on his blog – have they been removed?

  • random_quotes

    I would hazard a guess he is joining the Tories rather than the UUP, but bog trotters point is probably close to the mark. Ian Parsley, MP for North Down sounds about right.

  • ‘Substantial inaccuracies’ does not mean that he’s staying with Alliance.

  • unionist in dublin

    Is he still dating that bird from the UUP?

    Women always get their way in the end…

  • She’d make a good candidate for South Belfast.

  • DR

    “I am a member of the Alliance Party, but…”
    The about me section can tell you alot sometimes, for example mentioning your partners political views? It is a very half hearted denial, in fact it isnt one really, but seems to back up the notion its the Tories he is heading for not the UUP, we shall wait and see…

  • slug

    I (under a different name) debated with Parsley on this forum in the 2002-3 period and it was clear he is very able, interesting, and committed. I think a lot of him. It would be a big loss to Alliance.

    (On a side note I also think his partner is very articulate and surely given the UUPs crying-out need for more young women she should be a UUP candidate somewhere, as Chekov says.)

  • Is there a possibility that both Parsley and Bradshaw will jump together, to the Tories?

    It would make sense for both. He hardly wants to leave one lacklustre party to go to a sinking ship, and she must surely feel constrained by the UUP’s evident misogyny.

  • fin

    The party is in meltdown, it really is the end of the road for them, nothing short of a complete change of leadership can save them now and……..oh whoops, sorry, thought it was a Sinn Fein councillor

  • http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/northern_ireland/8250505.stm

    Alliance man ‘no plans to switch’

    Alliance councillor Ian Parsley has dismissed speculation he is about to defect to the Ulster Unionists or the Conservatives.

    The North Down representative is set to leave his job as an official with the party to begin working for a Conservative-funded think tank.

    But he has told the BBC that he intends to remain a member of Alliance.

    However he said he would consider over the weekend whether his new job made his party membership untenable.

    His new post is with the Centre for Social Justice, a think-tank set up by former Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan-Smith.

    Mr Parsley was the Alliance Party’s European Election candidate earlier this year. He was first elected to North Down Borough Council in May 2005.

    I love this bit: “he intends to remain a member of Alliance. However he said he would consider over the weekend whether his new job made his party membership untenable.”

    In other words, ‘I’ll stay in Alliance till I think about it over the weekend’. Um, surely he could have thought about it at any stage over the weeks (months?) since he applied for the job?

  • slug

    Perhaps Lady Sylvia and IJP should swap parties in advance of the General Election?

  • otto

    Can anyone hear tell me how running a local branch of the CSJ is supposed incompatible with membership of the Alliance Party.

    It’s an institution that exists “to build an alliance of poverty fighting organisations in order to see a reversal of social breakdown in the UK.”

    It “highlights the work of profoundly differing and unique small voluntary organisations and charities. These groups provide welfare in the most broken parts of British society.”.

    And it claims to be independent with Charles Clarke and Simon Hughes amongst those handing out awards at a recent event.

    Where is the requirement that employees or consultants to this organisation must be members of the Tory Party? While this might be similar to the kind of work Paula Bradshaw does in a particular community in South Belfast it’s hard to see how memebership of a unionist or even conservative party would be an aid to anyone trying to do this across society in Northern Ireland.

    Seems to me that Alliance membership can do Ian no harm at all.

  • otto

    “Perhaps Lady Sylvia and IJP should swap parties in advance of the General Election?”

    Perhaps they should meet in the Northern Irish Liberal Democratic Party?

  • elvis parker

    ‘it’s hard to see how memebership of a unionist or even conservative party would be an aid to anyone trying to do this across society in Northern Ireland.’
    Well the Conservatives are likely to be in power at Westminster next year and therefore will be in a position to do something. Unlike the ineffectual DUP/SF carve up at Stormont

  • elvis parker

    ‘it’s hard to see how memebership of a unionist or even conservative party would be an aid to anyone trying to do this across society in Northern Ireland.’
    Well the Conservatives are likely to be in power at Westminster next year and therefore will be in a position to do something. Unlike the ineffectual DUP/SF carve up at Stormont

  • YelloSmurf

    I appears that he will remain a member of Alliance for the forseeable future. I certainly hope so as he is a huge asset to the party (as his great performance in the recent European Election shows).

    During the election Parsley tried to reach beyond the traditional Alliance vote (filling the space left by the absence of an independent candidate), hense no Alliance banners and, I would speculate, the reference to Ms Bradshaw’s views.

    One of the things about Alliance is that it has people in it of differing views, from Parsley on the right to the likes of Stephen Douglas (remember him?) on the left.

  • DC

    It’s good PR (and exposure for him) because it’s believable.

  • fin

    wonder if there was a coded message in his EU Party Broadcast, travelling on a train, final destination Tory Central.

  • Quagmire

    That explains the reason why he stood in reverence to GSTQ on stage in the King’s Hall. I nearly gave him a preference too. But thank God I didn’t as my suspicions have proved to be correct.

  • Leaky bucket

    My understanding is that this has leaked early. The Tories definitely believe they have a new member, so if things fall through now, IJP has been spooked. It would be better to make as clean a break as possible at this stage.

  • Mr Parsley, who was a member of the Conservative Party as a student …

    That is certainly something he was reticent about admitting before!

    My instincts about him were, it seems, more correct than I thought.

  • prolefodder

    Can’t say I’m surprised, have always been of the view that Alliance is basically a ‘soft unionist’ party.

  • YelloSmurf

    Quagmire, don’t be a prat. Stephen Agnew also stayed where he was for GSTQ at the King’s hall. Neither Parsley nor Agnew looked reverend, they both looked awkward.

    Polefodder, Alliance isn’t soft Unionist. It certainly has soft Unionist members but it also has soft Nationalist members.

  • Laughing (Tory, not %$£&ing; Alliance-reject) Unio

    Gawd, all you vigilant Hunspotters are having a field day, aren’t you? “My instincts about him were, it seems, more correct than I thought”, “Can’t say I’m surprised, have always been of the view that Alliance is basically a ‘soft unionist’ party”, “It would confirm what many of us thought over the course of long debates in the old days”, “he stood in reverence to GSTQ on stage in the King’s Hall. I nearly gave him a preference too. But thank God I didn’t as my suspicions have proved to be correct” – anymore euphemisms left, or have you exhausted the lot? Coy Nationalist sectarianism, doncha just love it!

  • Mark McGreg

    Devenports blog on how Parsley gave away his own dealings with the Conservatives on his denial email is pretty funny.

    Seems even if he had decided not to jump he may as well now as he will have effectively ended any career in APNI.

  • kensei

    LTU

    It’s nothign to do with his religion, and everythign to do with IJP repeatedly poo-pooing the idea of him being a Unionist on this very site. Because, you know, the Alliance don’t do that sort of thing. So yes, suddenly instincts are found to be correct.

    Which just shows how full of shit the Alliance is. The right way to do it is to allow the issue as a matter of conscience and thereby downplay its importance and perhaps allow more interesting avenues of debate. By pretending no one in the party cares, or shouldn’t speak of it, you just get the idea you are being bullshitted. And so it is.

  • jone

    “I appears that he will remain a member of Alliance for the forseeable future. ”

    Errr well he’s just resigned – holding onto his council seat though.

  • otto

    “Which just shows how full of shit the Alliance is. The right way to do it is to allow the issue as a matter of conscience and thereby downplay its importance and perhaps allow more interesting avenues of debate. By pretending no one in the party cares, or shouldn’t speak of it, you just get the idea you are being bullshitted. And so it is.”

    I’m not sure what you’re saying Kensei? Is it that every member of Alliance is a closet unionist and if they say otherwise they’re lying?

    You can’t conceive of someone who’s a genuine nationalist, who perhaps lives in an area of protestant majority and who sees that the only sane way to a united Ireland is by way of a shared future and integrated schooling and that the “bullshitting” is being done by those who claim to be republicans or nationalists and in fact consistently act in ways that advance neither of those principles and just play to cynical communitarian politics?

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    And in Pavlovian answer to my question – have the euphemisms dried up? – nope! plenty more where those came from. Dear old Ken weighs in with his instincts, which are ‘suddenly … found to be correct’. Well, maybe not quite so ‘suddenly’, but you know what he means! Keep it people, this has been some of the best honest-to-goodness sectarian badinage we’ve had in ages.

  • kensei

    otto

    I’m not sure what you’re saying Kensei? Is it that every member of Alliance is a closet unionist and if they say otherwise they’re lying?

    Nope – I’m saying every member of the Alliance is likely a closet something and to deny it is dishonest, and the wrong way to go about things.

    Given where they are strong though, it is highly likely most of their elected reps are soft unionists, though.

  • kensei

    LTU

    Have you got a fucking point, you useles fucking little troll? Fuck off and misrepresent someone else.

  • Comrade Stalin

    The first I heard about this was on the news today.

    I’ll take a risk and guess out loud that Ian is not joining the UUP, or UCUNF. The only detail that we have heard is that he is joining a think tank. That think tank may or may not be compatible with his party membership. This is the matter that I expect Ian to clear up.

    The rest of this is speculation. I would be surprised if Ian made the leap into the Conservatives, although I am bracing myself for the possibility that he might. I don’t have a problem with this, and if this is his choice I wish him well. I am not sure I would wish him quite so well if he decided to make the leap into the UUP, knowing as he does the innate sectarianism and tribalism of that party. I’m quite sure that this isn’t his plan.

    Either way, if he does choose to leave Alliance it will be a disappointing loss. The party will, of course, move on, as organizations always do, and the positive side is the many years of service Ian has given, providing leadership on policy initiatives, promoting reform of internal structures and, of course, standing as an excellent candidate in a successful European poll.

    I consider it highly unlikely that he will stand against Sylvia. Ian knows North Down very well, and as far as I know he has a good relationship with the sitting MP. And no, Sylvia will not be joining Alliance. The chances of this happening at any point in the future are somewhat lower than 1%. If she wanted to, I am sure that some effort would be made to accomodate her, but as far as I know she has no such interest, and frankly, it’s not big enough of a deal to the party for them to make any effort to persuade her. Another matter is whether or not the party will try to run against her. That argument is, I imagine, somewhat up in the air.

    By the way, standing to a country’s national anthem, even if you consider it a foreign country, is a mark of respect. I’ll bet Gerry Adams and co ensure they stand and look appropriately solemn whenever they are in the USA listening to a song about “bombs bursting in air”. People really must get over this silly pathetic attitude to trifling matters like this and start getting on with their lives.

  • otto
  • Comrade Stalin

    ken:

    Nope – I’m saying every member of the Alliance is likely a closet something and to deny it is dishonest, and the wrong way to go about things.

    Who is denying anything ? I am a closet republican, although I don’t use that word to describe my beliefs principally because of the connotations imposed by those who have hijacked the word. There was a letter to the Irish times about a party official who expressed the same view.

    Have you seen Ian say “I am not a unionist” ? I don’t recall it. He may, on the other hand, have made comments to the effect of people not defining themselves in tribal terms and the need to avoid dividing society along tribal lines. That’s not the same thing.

  • Mark McGreg

    haha

    That was the most ballsed up defection ever. Talk about turning it into a damp squib.

    I think Ian may have blown his up-and-coming nomination.

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    My point Ken – and I’m struggling through joyous tears of laughter to even type this out – is that your engrained sectarian prejudice (about themmuns) is so deep, profound and comprehensive that you have no idea when you – and your ‘instincts’! – are giving vent to it. But keep ’em coming: I feel sure that the well of bigotry’s deep enough for there to be even more exciting euphemisms to come!

  • random_quotes

    Have you seen Ian say “I am not a unionist” ? I don’t recall it.

    What does that prove CS…?

    Have you seen Ian say “I am not a nationalist” ? I dont recall it.

  • Driftwood

    I am not sure I would wish him quite so well if he decided to make the leap into the UUP, knowing as he does the innate sectarianism and tribalism of that party.

    Comrade Stalin

    How does that statement measure up with Sylvia Hermon or Paula Bradshaw. Are they included in your sweeping generalisation?

  • kensei

    CS

    Have you seen Ian say “I am not a unionist” ? I don’t recall it. He may, on the other hand, have made comments to the effect of people not defining themselves in tribal terms and the need to avoid dividing society along tribal lines. That’s not the same thing.

    It’s been a while since I got involved in a debate with IJP, but I think he has denied all knowledge at least once. At a minimum, he wasn’t open on his beliefs. And that kind of slipperyness is typical of the Alliance and puts you right of.

    I suppos eit doesn’t matter, because evenm if there was a local Republcian leaning Alliance dude I still won’t vote for them since I can’t stand roughly any of what they say. But I suspect the attitude they take does hurt transfers, and does act counter productively to what they want.

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    ‘He wasn’t open on his beliefs‘ – hilarious! You couldn’t make it up, only in Norn Iron etc etc.

  • kensei

    LTU

    Christ you are full fo shit.

    What prejudice? I have an interest, as a voter, on how a politician would behave towards the national question. I don’t give a fuck about their religion, their shoe size or whatever the fuck else you think I’m on about. That isn’t sectarian or prejudiced, it is a legitimate political stance. Given that you have “Unionist” in your name, you clearly agree. If someone is slippery, you have to infer from what they say. So people do. It’s not “spot the hun” it’s “is my vote going to do what I want it to do?”.

    So, you actually got anything other than your heel-aaar-iiious rantings, kid? Time to pony up or crawl back under your fucking rock, asswipe.

  • random_quotes

    Kensei,

    You argue you points well…and then you swear at every opportunity as if it reinforces your point somehow, wise the fuck up. (thought id give it a go)

    LTU, how many times can you post on the same thing?ok, some people rightly felt Parsley was a soft Unionist, and with that, they chose not to vote for him – wheres the issue?

  • kensei

    random

    You argue you points well…and then you swear at every opportunity as if it reinforces your point somehow, wise the fuck up. (thought id give it a go)

    It’s cathartic. I’ve toned it down somewhat from my legendary younger days, but some people just bring out the best in me.

  • Driftwood

    random quotes

    re: kensei

    You can take the boy out of the ghetto…..

  • PaddyReilly

    I’m saying every member of the Alliance is likely a closet something

    It is not yet possible to characterise quite every single Alliance voter in this way. At the last (Euro) election the joint Alliance and Green vote redistributed 42% to Unionists and 37% to Nationalist, leaving 17% refusing to transfer.

    Theoretically they could have transferred solely to SF who had already been elected, but this seems unlikely. Certainly they would have transferred to each other, but both parties were eliminated at the same time.

    But whatever the case, we still have 7,548 Alliance and Green voters who have not been proven to have Unionist or Nationalist tendencies: which translates into approximately 5,000 Alliance votes.

    If only we could assemble them in a warehouse and stick lighted candles between their toes and ask them whether they are Protestant Alliance non-transferrers or Catholic Alliance non-transferrers, we might find out. But there is a strong possibility they might turn out to be Hindus or Taoists.

  • Comrade Stalin

    random_quotes:

    What does that prove CS…?

    Please try to keep up. I am dealing with the suggestion that Parsley somehow tried to hide the fact that he may have had unionist leanings. People may have been left with that impression, but my guess his that he wouldn’t have outright denied it. I’d be happy to be proven long, though. This afternoon proves that I did not know him as well as I thought I did.

    ken:

    I suppos eit doesn’t matter, because evenm if there was a local Republcian leaning Alliance dude I still won’t vote for them since I can’t stand roughly any of what they say.

    As is your prerogative.

    But I suspect the attitude they take does hurt transfers, and does act counter productively to what they want.

    But isn’t there a balance between maintaining your principles, and acquiring more votes ? Without trying to be twattish, it should be pretty obvious to everyone that SF have prioritized votes over principles; the DUP likewise, to a lesser extent. If I wanted to join a party hell-bent on acquiring power at any cost, I’d have overlooked Alliance a long time ago.

    Driftwood:

    How does that statement measure up with Sylvia Hermon or Paula Bradshaw. Are they included in your sweeping generalisation?

    I’m not sure it’s a good idea to mention Sylvia given that she briefed against the party during an election, but you tell me – they are both members of a party whose leader recently wrote a letter to the Irish Times suggesting that people with the wrong political beliefs should not be allowed to take important roles in government. What’s that if it’s not sectarian ?

    I’ll not mention the part about the UVF guy being photographed erecting UCUNF election posters, as that obviously touches a somewhat raw nerve.

  • L(T)U,

    Us “vigilant Hunspotters “, as you call us, are not actually as stupids as you seem to think. Everyone has always known what foot the bold IJP kicks with – that is simply not the issue (and for what it’s worth, some of us ‘hunspotters’ are also ‘huns’ ourselves)

    The issue is that IJP spent long years here on slugger denying that Alliance was a unionist party, and claiming himself agnostic on the constitutional queston. But every word that he typed conveyed a conflicting mesage, so many of us found him a bit shifty. It seems that, on that, our instincts were correct.

  • kensei

    CS

    But isn’t there a balance between maintaining your principles, and acquiring more votes ? Without trying to be twattish, it should be pretty obvious to everyone that SF have prioritized votes over principles; the DUP likewise, to a lesser extent. If I wanted to join a party hell-bent on acquiring power at any cost, I’d have overlooked Alliance a long time ago.

    I think the charcaterisation of SF and the DUP that way is childish: both are reevaluating their principles to an extent. And a level of pragmatism remains an important and underrated value.

    Second, by claiming to be totally agnostic on the national Question, the Alliance simply step outside the debate. In the context of the modern 6, this is madness. Being the dude railing on the sidelines saying you are all dumb for caing about this is not a good place to be. Second, it forces people who might be passionate on the National question but align in many other ways with Alliance thinking to overlook them or lie like troopers, which is an unattractive trait. Third, by being so focused on this you elevate the issue. Make it a matter of conscience like abortion or something, and match local reps to appropriate places. Then you are genuinely demonstrating people with differnet views working together, and perhaps allow for a more productive debate around the issue. Rather than simply trying to shut it down

    Paddy

    I was talking about members of the Alliance parties, not voters. That’s a lot less than 5,000 peeps. Maybe, there is one, but they are atypical.

  • otto

    Ian’s been airbrushed

    http://www.allianceparty.org/pages/people-PARSLEY-Ian.html

    I’m disappointed.

    Ah – the submit word is “hope”

  • Comrade Stalin

    The issue is that IJP spent long years here on slugger denying that Alliance was a unionist party, and claiming himself agnostic on the constitutional queston.

    If Alliance is a unionist party, why do you think he left ?

    And I never remember Ian saying he was agnostic on the constitutional matter. He might have said that it was not the most important thing, but that’s not the same as being agnostic.

    But every word that he typed conveyed a conflicting mesage, so many of us found him a bit shifty. It seems that, on that, our instincts were correct.

    It’s only a conflicting message because you read into his comments things that were not there.

  • otto,

    Don’t dispair, he’s still there as a ‘policy officer’ (for the time being). Maybe his contract of employment only ends at 17.00 today?

    POLICY OFFICER: Ian Parsley
    room 220 Parliament Buidlings, Stormont Belfast BT4 3XX
    028 9052 1314
    policy@allianceparty.org

  • PaddyReilly

    The issue is that IJP spent long years here on slugger denying that Alliance was a unionist party, and claiming himself agnostic on the constitutional queston.

    Well Alliance still isn’t, it’s only IJP that has shifted. This may be because it has been pointed out that his current mode of earning a living creates a conflict of interest that he was hoping would not arise.

    But I am getting the impression that the Conservative Party is slightly to the Left of the UUP, that it has a particular class based ideology that could survive in a United Ireland. So he may truly be still agnostic on the Constitutional question.

  • DC

    “If Alliance is a unionist party, why do you think he left ?”

    Ehm, try this: because the attitude inside the Alliance Party stinks?

    Next.

  • Comrade Stalin,

    Such discussions took place long long ago (and seemingly in a galaxy far far away), so I don’t remember them all. But the impression IJP gave was that Alliance was neutral on the constitutional issue, and that he (as chair of young alliance, as he then was) shared that neutrality. It seems that that neutrality was only a public face, behind which he had another point of view. We now see clearly what many of us thought we glimpsed back then.

  • otto

    Kensei,

    Are you talking about the same Alliance Party I’m a member of because I haven’t met anyone yet who’s tried to shut any constitutional debate down.

    I’ve met COI churchmen who’ve said they’re probably liberal unionists but have all sorts of all-Ireland affiliations and are proud of securing grants for GAA pitches in North Down in the face of Unionist opposition. I’ve met Kilcooley prods (like the North Down mayor) who are trying to engage meaningfully with community reps to sort out the flags epidemic which appears to have afflicted Bangor. I’ve met councillors who’ve secured urban windmills as proof of (or at least pilot study into) the relevance of renewable power for municipal purposes.

    I really haven’t met many (actually any) of the tea and biscuits tut-from-the-sidelines social snobs that everyone else tells me infest the party.

  • Driftwood

    CS
    What’s that if it’s not sectarian ?

    It’s political, not sectarian. The UUP was and is a secular, non-sectarian party even before joining with the Conservatives.

  • kensei

    CS

    I don’t know many people in the Alliance. Just what I see on TV and in the media, and I’m told the official stance is.

    I’m sure I’m not the only onethat 1. is all they ever see of Alliance. 2. gets the tut tut slippery impression.

    Your problem, not mine.

  • kensei

    Sorr, should be addressed to otto

  • otto

    “Your problem, not mine”

    Fair enough. You’ve said a few times that you haven’t joined a party yet. Is it you that’s tutting from the sidelines?

  • kensei

    otto

    Fair enough. You’ve said a few times that you haven’t joined a party yet. Is it you that’s tutting from the sidelines?

    That’s me being unable to stomach defending things I don’t believe. Well that and I’ve little desire to knock on doors.

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    You go to lunch, and whadya know, you come back to a *brilliant* crop of euphemisms. Let’s look at the pick of the bunch: “some people [!] rightly felt Parsley was a soft Unionist” – feelings, wo-o-o feelings,/ wo-o-o, feel you again in my arms; “many of us found him a bit shifty [!]. It seems that, on that, our instincts were correct”; “We now see clearly what many of us thought we glimpsed back then”. Wonderful, wonderful stuff. Slugger, is there nothing you cannae do? [Memorial Iain – Scunner Campbell – Cuthbertson ref].

  • otto

    “That’s me being unable to stomach defending things I don’t believe. Well that and I’ve little desire to knock on doors.”

    Think of it as a good walk and a series of opportunities for political argument with random strangers. You seem to like that.

  • Comrade Stalin

    ken, you deserve a proper reply, which I’ll do once I’m outside of working hours.

    Drifty:

    It’s political, not sectarian

    Obviously you think systematically excluding Catholics from power and blocking power sharing is political.

    The UUP was and is a secular, non-sectarian party even before joining with the Conservatives.

    No it isn’t, it’s a WASP party and that’s reflected in the religious and ethnic makeup of its membership, and the Vanguard history of its two most recent leaders.

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    Goodness me Comrade, you’re ever so silent on the endemic, undeniable, self-evident sectarian bile chucked Parsley’s way by the ‘feelers’ today. Looks like that mote in your eye has become positively beam-sized.

  • Mick Fealty

    Horse,

    Your instinct was that he was a unionist when he was in the Alliance party? Doesn’t the Alliance position on the constitution not allow for that?

    I recall that he also was part of a delegation that went to the Seanad and through the party at least he had input into the public consultation on Seanad reform a few years back.

    That said, it’s not a good day for the Alliance Party.

  • Comrade Stalin

    LTU,

    I agree with you, it’s pure sectarian bile, and the people coming out with it are basically saying that they are suspicious of prods from North Down. I’ve already defended Ian from this in a couple of contributions, so if you think that I’m purposely ignoring attacks on the decision he has unfortunately decided to make, it’s wide of the mark.

    You are a twat, though.

  • Mick,

    Your instinct was that he was a unionist when he was in the Alliance party?

    Yes

    Doesn’t the Alliance position on the constitution not allow for that?

    Yes

    So why did he feel the need to conceal it?

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    Nah, you said nothing until teased into it (and wasn’t that easy!) But, better a twat that a Smug. Gurn at me now about your Euro ‘triumph’: there’s still plenty of comic mileage left in you.

  • Don’t dispair, he’s still there as a ‘policy officer’ (for the time being).

    Removed. Airbrushing a website is difficult when you don’t have Stalinist instincts. Keep the lacunae coming so I can fix them!

  • Quagmire

    “Quagmire, don’t be a prat. Stephen Agnew also stayed where he was for GSTQ at the King’s hall. Neither Parsley nor Agnew looked reverend, they both looked awkward.”
    Posted by YelloSmurf on Sep 11, 2009 @ 02:14 PM

    A prat I am not sir. Agnew was the only one who remained on stage that looked awkward whilst the rest, including Tory boy Parsley, belted it out with pride and reverence. Anyway it matters not now, he has been outed as a child of the Union which pretty much seals his fate as a “prat” in my humble estimations.

  • qubol

    Kensei you’ll like this:

    IJP

    Go join the UUP.

    Posted by kensei on Oct 24, 2007 @ 11:28 PM

    Do you think it was you that planted the seed?

  • qubol

    it gets even better:

    Why would I join the UUP? Well, the North Down Westminster seat in due course? Or a walk-in for MEP? If I were in politics for the position, I’d have joined long ago.

    But I don’t happen to believe in Unionism.

    Posted by IJP on Oct 25, 2007 @ 05:52 PM

  • Laughing (Tory) unionist

    “He has been outed as a child of the Union” – poor show. At least all the previous sectarian euphemisms tried to be subtle.

  • qubol

    I’m wondering if after his defection, IJP still feels he can represent the views of Nationalist women in North Down? Like when he tried to exclude SF & the SDLP from a women’s event (and subsequently got his wrists slapped after an equality complaint).

    http://sluggerotoole.com/index.php/weblog/comments/north_down_refuse_sdlp_and_sinn_fein_reps

  • Briso

    qubol,

    brilliant.

    I almost snorted my tea over the screen.

    Kensei, you started this!!!!

  • qubol

    L(T)U
    wee tip for you, go get a dictionary and learn the meaning of Sectarian – you have haven’t a clue what it means.

  • Comrade Stalin

    I stand corrected on my earlier comments.

    This is the danger for Ian.

    I would expect that his new electoral competitors in the DUP will be harvesting the internet right now as we speak looking for choice, anti-unionism quotes. I wonder what David McNarry thinks about all this.

  • PaddyReilly

    I have a prediction. At some time in the future Alliance will hold the balance of power at Stormont. When that happens all the Alliance party will defect to the UCUNFs and SDLP, except for Anna Lo, who will then be left as the final arbiter. 曼華萬歲! 曼華萬萬歲!

  • Big Maggie

    Hmm, despite his “a vote for me is a vote for hope” I’ve always had a soft spot for Ian Parsley and his policies. Come to think of it, I’ve had a soft spot for Alliance; I voted for them twice.

    I have my doubts that he’s defecting to UCUN*. The UUP, yes, I can understand, and may I say he’d be a great asset to them. He could be just the breath of fresh air they need. I can well see Ian as a worthy successor to Sir Reg.

    Let’s be grateful he isn’t defecting to the DUP. Otherwise the party spell-checkers would be working overtime.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Maggie,

    UUP = UCUNF
    NI Conservatives = UCUNF

    You can’t separate them, indeed both party leaders have gone to great pains to show a united front.

  • Big Maggie

    Comrade Stalin,

    I suppose you’re right. All the same after so many decades of the UUP it seems very odd indeed that they should voluntarily slink off into the sunset.

    Most especially now that this looks like an opportune moment for garnering a sizable chunk of the electorate, the DUP having made a pig’s mickey of things of late. The Gallagher Brothers, need I say more?

  • kensei

    qubol

    Stop, it hurts. I have no recollection saying that either. You got a link for that? That little pearler deserves to be top level.

  • qubol

    Google makes is much easier to find all this stuff on, the Slugger Search isn’t the best.

    Join the UUP:
    http://sluggerotoole.com/index.php/weblog/comments/ifa-win-ruling/P25/

  • Comrade Stalin

    Maggie, that’s why they’ve done this hookup with the Conservatives. It was either that, or death. And for a party that puts the union at the core of its existence, not having any Westminster seats is an unworkable scenario.

    The DUP/SF executive is not working, that much is plain. But direct rule is not the answer. It was not the answer in 1972, 1982, 1989 or 2002. It is still not the answer now.

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    Qubol – seriously, no insights, ‘feelings’, long-held suspicions confirmed about Parsely whatsoever? Get a grip: you’ll never be able to look the Hunwatchers in the eye again! But other than this lightweight, a superb piece of sustained bigotry all round! Congratulations Slugger, congratulations.

  • YelloSmurf

    Quagmire, if I could find some video I would prove to you that Parsley wasn’t singing. It’s irrelivent now anyway. You’re not the only prat here anyway. Joe (I think) you’re right, my first comment on this post makes me look like an absolute prat as well.

  • Comrade Stalin

    kensei:

    I think the charcaterisation of SF and the DUP that way is childish: both are reevaluating their principles to an extent.

    Even you have to admit that this is a drastic understatement. Every single principle that SF held prior to 1994 has been discarded. The party tries to pretend that it hasn’t by spinning a bizarre fiction that obviously fools some of its membership. It’s true of the DUP but to a much lesser extent.

    I’m not just taking a dig at SF here, I think the party needs to step back and look at itself. I actually think a spell out of government would do it some good. The unionists would take the blame for everything going to pot for a while, especially during the upcoming political cycle which will likely see the Tories force swingeing cuts.

    And a level of pragmatism remains an important and underrated value.

    I agree that pragmatism is a good quality, especially when it comes to ending violence, and SF’s leadership are to be admired for the risks they took (and are taking) in achieving this.

    Second, by claiming to be totally agnostic on the national Question, the Alliance simply step outside the debate.

    Do you regard the way discussion is conducted over the national question as a debate ? I see it as something very far from that. A debate is where people exchange views and – listen. The thing that we have here doesn’t involve listening, and indeed it doesn’t involve that much more than people restating their views and their opposition to the alternatives.

    You are never going to persuade the unionists about the benefits of the republican vision of a 32-county state, whatever that amounts to these days. Likewise, they are never going to persuade you of the benefits of an eternal commitment to the union. So what is there to argue about ?

    My belief is that we need to stop having that debate, as you call it, and start having debates about things that are practical and which can make real improvements to people’s lives. For me, this was the principal function of the GFA. It set a baseline where everyone agreed to disagree and move on. So why are we still talking about it ?

    In the context of the modern 6, this is madness. Being the dude railing on the sidelines saying you are all dumb for caing about this is not a good place to be.

    It’s not so much about saying “you’re all dumb” but about saying that this way of conducting ourselves politically is not working.

    In a normal society, people don’t have the kind of politics and political parties we have here. Ergo, to create a normal society, you need to get rid of that politics.

    Second, it forces people who might be passionate on the National question but align in many other ways with Alliance thinking to overlook them or lie like troopers, which is an unattractive trait.

    But being passionate about the national question is to overlook the things that really matter. Gerry Adams and his conviction about a 32-county republic isn’t helping to solve the problems in our economy, and it is certainly not helping his party operate an effective government. Those are the things that I am passionate about and I think a lot of other people are too; they just don’t know it yet. Alliance of course will not appeal to everyone.

    Watching SF and the SDLP try to stimulate this “debate” recently has been comical. It was even more comical when the unionists tried to do the same, “simply British” etc. Until recently, local politicians have never bothered feeling the need to even sell their beliefs, knowing that they were pre-packaged inside the minds of the electorate. The fact that people are now talking about having to sell those beliefs is a sign that people want something more.

    Third, by being so focused on this you elevate the issue. Make it a matter of conscience like abortion or something, and match local reps to appropriate places.

    That’s pretty much the way it is. I don’t think that people in the party have to hide their views on constitutional matters. We’ve seen some evidence of that this week. The Parsley affair is something different. It sounds more like he changed his beliefs than anything else.

    Then you are genuinely demonstrating people with differnet views working together, and perhaps allow for a more productive debate around the issue.

    During the European elections, Ian Parsley (the son of a British soldier) had the son of a convicted IRA bomber as his election agent. Is that good enough for you ?

  • Big Maggie

    Comrade Stalin,

    “Until recently, local politicians have never bothered feeling the need to even sell their beliefs, knowing that they were pre-packaged inside the minds of the electorate. The fact that people are now talking about having to sell those beliefs is a sign that people want something more.”

    Has anybody told you recently that you’re very wise? :^)

  • DC

    Regardless, it was a good scoop by Mirror then onto Slugger/BBC etc.

    I was and am still stunned less so surprised.

    But I ought to get out more 😉