South Belfast UUP goes rogue?

It would seem that some within the UUP haven’t quite grasped, or perhaps haven’t accepted, the long-term strategy behind their link-up with the Conservative Party. As the BBC’s Mark Devenport reports

The Ulster Unionists and DUP should discuss running a single unionist candidate in South Belfast, local UUP constituency members have said. In a letter to UUP leader Sir Reg Empey, the Ulster Unionist Association suggested the move was needed to retake the Westminster seat from the SDLP. The move could potentially bring the Ulster Unionists into conflict with their Conservative electoral partners. The Conservatives have already selected a candidate for South Belfast.

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  • jim

    All the Malone roaders would be agasp ! Vote DUP in this day and age no chance

  • jim

    “Clearly the rhetoric of a new non-sectarian dawn with support for a shared future has been exposed as completely shallow”

    Anna Lo, Alliance Party

    Sums it up perfectly really !

  • Has there been unbridled enthusiasm and ceaseless involvement from Tory Central in recent weeks? Were we aware of Team Cameron’s commitment to build a reality behind the sham of that appalling acronym?

    If so, I must have blinked and missed it.

  • joeCanuck

    they could invite the TUV to join in. They would need a combined name, however. How about Conservative Unionist New TraditionalistS.

    Confirm word is “bad”; hehehehe

  • Sean

    Where is the 43 back links and the obscure referance to grizzly?

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    “Where is the 43 back links and the obscure referance to grizzly?” asks someone. *I* was going to ask, ‘where’s the grovelling Provette auto-praise of the leader for Life on this thread, even though this it’s less than half a dozen posts in on one of the duller intro-Unionist gripefests waiting to happen?’, but see, I didn’t need to bother.

    Pace SB: a *very* sensible association. Though Devonport, as ever, should really pay more attention to who’s spinning him. The Gimp *can’t* stand this time, not unless he’s about to give up Stormont and his box of ministerial delights. You’d have thought the man we pay some a pretty salary to spout about these issues for a living could figure out basic stuff like that for himself.

  • Thereyouarenow

    The Unionists will put manners on the conservatives (oh yeah) but the conservatives will give Unionists a dose of reality when they hand the end of the Union to the SNP so that they get rid of Labour MPs in Scotland.

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    Is that what you’re telling yourself to hold back the tears these days? Away and watch McMurderous balance that ball on the end of his nose in that grand wee partitionist assembly of ours.

  • Greenflag

    Some things never change in Northern Ireland and the Ulster Unionist Association is one of them .

    Back to their old form again after all that ‘reach out to Fenians ‘ claptrap . Not even a nice tame Fenian like McDonnell of the SDLP is safe from the atavistic sectarianism inherent in unionism . The Tories may eventually realise that trying to remove ‘sectarianism ‘ from the UUP is about as practical as trying to persuade a ravenous fox in a hen house full of obese hens of the healthy benefits of a vegetarian diet 😉

    With West Belfast in the bag and now South Belfast will nationalists be in with a chance to win North Belfast ? The MP for East Belfast should be safe enough this time .

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    The Tories seem to have run aground on two high profile policy areas, firstly Europe – where the Little-Englanders-we-are-better-than-everyone-else-in-Europe group will insist on a referendum irrespective of whether the Lisbon treaty is ratified or not and in Norn Iron where the we-still-like-to-think-just-as-they-did-in-the-17th-Century group dont want a fenian about the place.

    For the good guys on the green side of the fence we can just sit back and enjoy.

  • eborian

    Inteesting that Paula Bradshaw now feels confident of standing against local legend, Bob Stoker, on his own patch, for the UU/Con nomination. She must have acquired some of that Parsley sauce.

  • Sean

    Little Tory Usefullness

    I suppose there is some point to what you post besides the obvious sleep inducing qualities

  • exile

    [i]*I* was going to ask, ‘where’s the grovelling Provette auto-praise of the leader for Life on this thread[/i]

    How about having a go at answering your own question?

    You seem infatuated with Provo Sinn Fein. Although that particular obsession pales into insignificance when one considers your continued stalking of, and fawning admiration for, our “Slabbery”.

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    You girls, you’re gurning coz you’re squirming. If the best the provettes can do these day is that jibbering-jabbering (demonstrated a bazillion times) loon Slabbery, you’re even worse off than I had gloatingly dared hope.

    Pace Greenflag, that you scream ‘sectarianism’ at politicians attempting to unite between one like-minded political candidate says more about your bigotry than its does about those you’ve feebly tried to smear.

  • exile

    I’ve never voted ‘Provette’ in my life you paranoid little man.

  • igor

    Dear Greenflag

    Parties enter elections to win them. Its perfectly reasonable to put up one candidate in each constituency when they know it will do down the opposition.

  • igor

    Now, where else might a full blown pact have an impact?

  • Pancho’s Horse

    And to crown it all, the bloody dog licence is going up to £50 – fifty f***ing pound.And who is behind it – bloody Michelle Gildernew, Sinn Féin Nua.

  • loki

    Malcolm,
    You must have been in the “eyes-closed” part of the blink for months then. Anyone who works at city airport could have told you it’s turned into Tory central some days. Haven’t you been paying attention- shame on you!

  • igor @ 07:57 PM:

    Parties enter elections to win them. Its perfectly reasonable to put up one candidate in each constituency when they know it will do down the opposition.

    And there was silly me thinking that ideology, principle and policy might have something to do with it.

    D’oh!

  • aquifer

    The Provos laughing all the while as proddie bigots battle to prove them right in retrospect.

    The trouble with the politics of sectarian exclusion is where the line of separation falls. Most Brits will put it squarely in the middle of the Irish sea.

    The tories might fight to keep Scotland in the Union or for welfare reform but they will never war to keep Orangemen in power.

  • Groupthink meets reality: the best laid plans always go awry when they fail to deal with the world as it is and not as the groupthinkers wish it to be. Always a comedy moment in politics.

  • igor

    Malcolm

    Ha…you don’t do politics do you

  • loki @ 08:15 PM:

    Thank you for reassurance. I’m sure all that will make a real impression at grass-roots level.

    I was once told the critical moments of importance in the Tory machine:

    1. No issue was really significant until it had been mentioned, at least once, by Tamzin Lightwater.

    2. A candidate’s status in the scheme of things was instantly assessed by the amount of Lord Ashcroft’s loot directed her/his way.

    I trust I am wrong in assuming that values the link with the UUP (and the ever-so-slight possibility of that single seat) somewhere between trifling and nugatory.

  • igor @ 08:32 PM:

    After fifty years I getting the gist.

    For what it’s worth, a minor light in the second Wilson Government (majority 2 at the time) wearily suggested that:

    Politics is the art of the passable.

    At this distance in time I am not sure whether he was talking exclusively about parliamentary arithmetic, or whether there was an intra-party ambiguity of putting one past the activists.

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    Laughing

    >>that you scream ‘sectarianism’ at politicians attempting to unite between one like-minded political candidate says more about your bigotry than its does about those you’ve feebly tried to smear.<

  • Observer

    Hope that Lady Hermon is sitting in front of a nice fire and having a quiet chuckle to herself this evening.

  • LURIG

    At least they are honest in trying to “Keep Fenians out at all costs”. I have to laugh at the UUP, they are just as bigoted and sectarian as the DUP just not as vociferous sometimes, the exception being Sylvia Hermon. It’s going to be hilarious watching their alliance crumble in the run up to the next election as the Tories try to distance themselves from the UUP. If they wanted Labour could indeed have some fun exploiting the Orange Order link and sectarianism of the UUP/Conservatives.

  • Driftwood

    Parochialism is a misunderstood beast among all political parties. I’d like to think Paula Bradshaw or Peter McCann would get the nomination, preference to Ms Bradshaw for local work. I don’t care if the DUP/TUV nominate and split the vote. It’s first past the post, unfair also in many English, Welsh and Scottish constituencies.
    A bit rich of Jeffrey Donaldson to be complaining tonight about David Cameron wanting the Conservatives and Unionists to stand in every UK constituency, what bit of being part of the UK does he not get? The UNIONIST bit?
    I’d also like to see a female non-protestant unionist get elected in Lagan Valley. That said I don’t care who gets North Antrim as long as it’s not a Paisley.
    Oh and I hope Woodward doesn’t get re-elected. ‘night all.

  • The White Van Man Cometh

    Maybe the association rather than not wanting a catholic, would rather have a UNIONIST. Perhaps, just perhaps, they have more affinity with that word that the word PARTY in their name. If so then good on them, country before party anyday!

    Hun or Taig, either way as long as they arn’t disloyal all is good.

    P.S. my catchca word was “British”, awesome.

  • Billy

    Driftwood

    For once, I agree with you. Cameron has already nailed his colours to the mast on this one when he said that the Conservatives and Unionists would stand in every UK constituency.

    IMO, he cannot, will not and should not contemplate this. If he does, he will open his party up (quite rightly) to criticism of links to sectarianism, bigotry, the OO etc. After all the effort he has made (with considerable success) to rebrand Conservatism, I seriously doubt if he would be stupid enough to contemplate this – he is not a bigot and won’t want to be associated with it.

    The SB Unionist association have really shown themselves up on this one for their bigotry – if they think that they are fooling anyone, they’re wrong.

    Clearly they only agree with Cameron’s philosophy of opening up Conservatism to everyone equally across all of the UK unless there’s a chance that a “Taig” might get elected.

    Transparent hypocrisy and inconsistency but is anyone really surprised?

    If the UUP go along with this, I believe that it will be the end of their link up with the Conservatives and also of Empey’s leadership.

  • joeCanuck

    Officially approved movie for this putative unholy alliance (apologies to David Ford): Back to the Future.

  • DW

    ‘Just the Union to be sure and em, eh good long-standing values of keeping those pesky Taigs in their place.’ by Prionsa Eoghann on Oct 06, 2009 @ 09:01 PM

    Just the Irish Republic to be sure and em, eh good long-standing values of keeping those pesky Prods in their place. Cork’s Bloody Secret” was transmitted on Monday 5th October 2009 on RTE 1 at 7.30pm.’Exorcising the dark, bloody secrets of IRA in West Cork.’
    http://www.independent.ie/opinion/analysis/exorcising-the-dark-bloody–secrets-of-ira–in-west-cork-1903733.html

  • jone

    Are the local UUP concerned that Peter McCann (a fenian, albeit ‘housetrained’) may end up being the joing candidate?

  • Frustrated democrat

    There will be 18 Conservative and Unionist candidates all united on a pro UK ticket.

  • elvis parker

    By this crass move the local UUP Assoc have revealed themselves to be completely politically inept. Do they really think Cameron is going to entertain their nonsense for a moment?
    The UUP Executive – the governing body of the party have voted for the Conservatives and Unionists deal which included standing in every seat. So the letter is a waste of time.
    If any of the prospect UUP would be candidates signed it they have effectively ruled themselves out of consideration

  • Framer

    A unionist party’s first and last purpose is the union.

    Everything else is secondary, be it personal ambition or the assembly.

    The UUP link with the Conservatives is not integration into the Westminster party system nor integration between the two parties; just an electoral alliance between unionists.

    If the DUP joins in to get a unionist elected in south Belfast so much the better.

    The UUP remains a moderate protestant and unionist party that catholics in small numbers join and in larger numbers vote for.

    However it can be no more non-sectarian than the SDLP is.

  • DW

    ‘Are the local UUP concerned that Peter McCann (a fenian, albeit ‘housetrained’) may end up being the joing candidate?’
    Posted by jone on Oct 07, 2009 @ 08:14 AM

    It seems there is more interest that a housetrained fenian (Castle Catholic) should be nominated rather than a Conservative.

    Ever questioned why no Irish Nationalist or Republican Westminister MP’s are Prods in Northern Ireland?

  • Disinterested observer

    The main unionist party in the UK in the Conservative Party – its time these regionalist spilters like the DUP got out of the way

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Framer,

    “However it can be no more non-sectarian than the SDLP is.”

    Do the majority of the leaders of the SDLP belong to an organistation that is anti-Protestant and publically march as members of such an organsiation?

  • fair_deal

    Elvis Parker

    “The UUP Executive – the governing body of the party have voted for the Conservatives and Unionists deal which included standing in every seat.”

    As I understood it when the alliance was passed by the Executive the issue of pacts was raised and an answer open to a range of possibilities was given.

    There is also a simple solution to all this, the UUP leadership making its position clear cut. So far it has not been. IIRC no one from the UUP leadership has made as clear cut a statement as David Cameron and the Conservatives have. If the position is as obvious as you believe why not?

  • Fermanagh Young Unionist

    The UUP Executive – the governing body of the party have voted for the Conservatives and Unionists deal which included standing in every seat.

    Nope.

    The UUP Executive voted to allow the Joint Committee to come up and implement a strategy for the Ulster Conservatives and Unionists. Running in every seat wasn’t an issue at that stage.

  • Black man voter

    Despite attempts by the media and sectarian Catholics I very much doubt that this letter has anything to do with religion and has more to do with politics i.e. getting a Unionist returned for South Belfast

  • Framer @ 10:18 AM:

    A unionist party’s first and last purpose is the union.

    Everything else is secondary, be it personal ambition or the assembly.

    No: any party’s first and last purpose is to the general good of the whole people. Repeat, that’s the entire people, whether they individually or collectively supported the party or not. Curiously enough (and I am no great enthusiast of the old buzzard), I think Paisley would agree with that. The trouble is the Unionist Party, for the last century, has unfailingly put factional, partisan and denominational interests above that of the whole people.

    DW @ 10:24 AM:

    Ever questioned why no Irish Nationalist or Republican Westminister MP’s are Prods in Northern Ireland?

    Now there’s a totally confused individual:

    Does anyone know of a place called “Westminister”?
    Is it possible to be a Prod in Northern Ireland, and to lose that affiliation on boarding at the airport?

    OK, both of those are trivial and unworthy; so let’s have some more:

    Jack Beattie was a Westminster MP. Sammy Kyle and Billy McMullen sat in both Stormont (McMullen was elected on transfers from Joe Devlin!) and in Seanad Éireann.
    What faith, if any, did George Henderson and James Gyle (also Stormont MPs of nationalist leaning) profess?

    When the Orange Order had (or perhaps still has) a veto on party nominations, it’s not surprising that those outside the faith are not put forward as candidates.

    Further back, before Partition, there were numerous Protestants elected in Ireland as Nationalist MPs (in alphabetic order of surname):

    Sir John Gray, Stephen Gwynn (grandson of William Smith O’Brien, grew up in Ramelton, Donegal), Henry Harrison (born in Holywood, County Down), Jeremiah Jordan (a Fermanagh man, buried at Maguiresbridge), William McDonald, J. G. Swift MacNeill, James Maguire, Pierce O’Mahony, Isaac Nelson (Presbyterian Minister in Donegall Street!), Charles Stewart Parnell, John Pinkerton (from Ballymoney), Horace Plunkett and Samuel Young (from Portaferry).

    In matters historical, it would seem that denominational blinkers apply throughout.

  • John East Belfast

    This is not about sectarianism or “not having a fenian about the place” – that is all rubbish.

    It is about a unionist party wanting to ensure a unionist (of any brand) gets the seat as opposed to a nationalist.

    Having said that I would be opposed to a pact with the DUP. I am opposed to pacts in general with any other party because our policies, traditions and instincts are likley different and something gets irrevocably compromised once you go down that route.

    I dont think the Union will stand or fall because the SDLP retain South Belfast. However much more damage would be done to the Union if moderate unionism feels the need to align itself with the DUP. It would be short sighted and counter productive.

    The protection of the Union is about having a strategy to do so and IMHO Paisley’s Party has done more harm to it (and continues to do so) than the SDLP ever could.

    South Belfast UCUNF needs to stand and fight its own corner and persuade the majority of SB residents that it and its candidate offer the best choice for the area – it shouldnt be throwing the towel in before the first punch is even thrown.

  • Driftwood

    Reg should be unambiguous in his reply. Fuck off. And make clear the procedure in which candidates in all 18 constituencies will be put forward for selection. A wee word with David in Manchester this week might help.

    The people who wrote the letter obviously don’t do ‘big picture’.

  • DW

    In matters historical, it would seem that denominational blinkers apply throughout. by Malcolm Redfellow @ 12:38 PM

    Yeah! and many blinkers come from Republicans & Irish Nationalists.The SDLP may be an Irish Nationalist party but its forerunner the NILP was never a republican or Irish Nationalist Party.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Ireland_Labour_Party

    I stated: “Ever questioned why no Irish Nationalist or Republican Westminister MP’s are Prods in Northern Ireland?”Meaning in the State of Northern Ireland there is no Prod Republican or Irish Nationalist MP’s. Before partition is a different matter altogether, there was no border issue then or sectarian divide as was created by the signing of the Anglo Irish Treaty. On the British side it was five members of the Conservative Party, and the Irish Side was five members of the Irish Republican Brotherhood foreunner to Sinn Fein.

    Not one Ulster Prod signed the Anglo Irish treaty but five Catholic Republicans did and they have been bawling their little heads off ever since.

    British side
    David Lloyd George, Prime Minister.
    Lord Birkenhead, Lord Chancellor.
    Winston Churchill, Secretary of State for the Colonies.
    Austen Chamberlain, Lord Privy Seal.
    Gordon Hewart, Attorney General for England and Wales.
    Irish side
    Arthur Griffith (delegation chairman), Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.
    Michael Collins, Secretary of State for Finance.
    Robert Barton, Secretary of State for Economic Affairs.[1]
    Eamonn Duggan
    George Gavan Duffy
    http://www.answers.com/topic/anglo-irish-treaty

  • qubol

    DW – talk about revisionism, that’s such a complete misrepresentation of the facts that I’m not sure where to begin.

    Are you seriously claiming that sectarianism or the sectarian divide happened overnight after the signing of the Treaty?

  • kensei

    qubol

    Bear in mind partition was not created by the Treaty, either

  • Framer

    Grow up McNally – The SDLP is as tribal as any Unionist party.

    And remember it was the party that stood down in Fermangh and South Tyrone to ensure Bobby Sands was elected as the Anti H-Block/Armagh Political Prisoner candidate.

  • DW @ 02:15 PM:

    Irish, even northern Irish, political history did not start on 23rd December 1920. Protestants and Unionists were not, and are not circumscribed by that meandering, notional 224-mile demarkation on the map. You are not entitled to misrepresent what I wrote.

    I did not say NILP was “nationalist”. At a time when even the Communist Party in Ireland was partitioned, that would be ridiculous.

    I listed certain named individuals as having “nationalist” sympathies, post-partition politicians who were, as I and others knew them, both protestant and nationalist. I know there were many, many more in the wider community.

    In passing, your own cut-and-paste reminds us that Robert Barton of Glendalough House, first cousin of Erskine Childers, was a signatory of the Anglo-Irish Treaty. No matter that he was a good Anglican: all concerns you is he was not one of the elect from the Six Counties.

    Until the Ulster (well, about 59.8% of the province) Unionist cabal got their way with the Government of Ireland Act, 1920, Irish protestants, whether nationalist and Unionist, did not see all common interest stopping at Jonesborough, Aughnacloy, Belcoo, and short of Muff.

    But, what’s a sell-out between co-religionists? What’s a betrayal and disunion between Unionists?

    One name I forgot was Isaac Butt: definitively a nationalist, as founder of the Home Rule League; born the son of a Church of Ireland minister; long-time member of the Irish Conservative Party; buried at his birthplace and childhood home, Stranorlar, County Donegal — so definitively not a 0.598 Ulsterman.

  • The UUP remains a moderate protestant and unionist party that catholics in small numbers join

    Two.

    and in larger numbers vote for.

    Five.

  • Does anyone know of a place called “Westminister”?

    Yes, I lived there for some years. I was even involved in local politics there.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Framer,

    So let me get this striaght – you attach no importance to the fact that most Ulster Unionist elected officers belong to an organisation (the OO) that the vast majority of people in Britian and ireland (except Unionists) believe to be sectarian, bigoted and backward looking. Ordinary, decent, secular Prods must despair that the so called moderate representaives are associated with such religious, sectarian extremism.

    Can you point to anything comparable that the SDLP hase been up to in the last 10 years?

  • DW

    ‘I listed certain named individuals as having “nationalist” sympathies, post-partition politicians who were, as I and others knew them, both protestant and nationalist. I know there were many, many more in the wider community’.
    Posted by Malcolm Redfellow on Oct 07, 2009 @ 04:04 PM

    There maybe, but this thread’s main theme is about Northern Ireland (Catholic & Protestant) citizens who are or will become a member of the House of Commons after the next Westminster Election in 2010.

    That is why I stated: “Ever questioned why no Irish Nationalist or Republican Westminister MP’s are Prods in Northern Ireland?“

    Both Republican SF & Irish Nationalist SDLP have never had a Protestant Westminster MP and both the Unionist UUP and DUP have never had a Catholic Westminster MP. If the two Conservative candidates Peter McCann ( South Belfast) and Shelia Davidson ( Lagan Valley) are cleared by the UCUNF selection committee to stand for the 2010 Election then Conservative/Unionists will be the first ones to break this nasty discriminative religious mindset.

    Both McCann & Davidson are Catholics from West Belfast

  • Framer

    McNally – so we have to compare the SDLP and Unionists over 10 years, the Bobby Sands moment being outside that timeframe. But the Sands moment was the great public test of the SDLP and they failed it.

    I would reckon the SDLP could not muster a membership more than 1% Protestant.

    And it is neither social democratic nor Labour.

    The UUP is no longer formally linked to the Orange Order so if you want to see distance there is some.

    Unionists and their ways are never going to be popular in the south or indeed in Britain. They are the ways of people on the frontier.

  • DW

    Owen Patterson has an optimistic and actually quite inspiring piece in Conservative Home this morning:

    He said: “It is important, too, that we bring into politics people who might have been put off by the sectarian squabbling of the past. Make no mistake – the Conservatives and Unionists are a modern, compassionate and inclusive centre-right force that wants to build a shared future for everybody in Northern Ireland. We aim to attract into our ranks people from all parts the community, whatever their ethnic background, religion or gender. Only last week, local Conservatives short-listed Catholic businesswoman, Sheila Davidson, in Lagan Valley, in South Belfast, Peter McCann, a Catholic former BBC producer of Top Gear from West Belfast and in East Belfast, Cllr Deirdre Nelson, who defected from the DUP on Ballymena Council. “http://unionistlite.blogspot.com/

  • Dave

    It’s hard to fault British political parties for seeking to attract Catholics to the cause of British nationalism and British self-determination when Irish political parties attracted Protestants to the cause of Irish nationalism and Irish self-determination. Admittedly, Irish political parties never did this in Great Brittan, seeing that British people had the same right to self-determination as Irish people had, so Irish nationalists had no desire to impose Irish rule on British people.

    Folks have now signed up in the GFA to the legitimacy of British rule in Northern Ireland and to the co-existence of a British nation there, so there really is no legal or moral basis to argue post-GFA that British nationalism is illegitimate in Northern Ireland or that British political parties should seek to promote British self-determination there, since while British self-determination excludes Irish British self-determination, that is what they have all signed up to.

    Catholics live under British rule and that situation is not going to change in the foreseeable future, so they may as well embrace British political parties as embrace Irish political parties on the basis of whether or not the embrace improves the quality of their internal settlement.

  • Dave

    “…or that British political parties should [b]not[/b] seek to promote British self-determination there, since while British self-determination excludes Irish British self-determination, that is what they have all signed up to.”

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Framer,

    I’m afraid that was piss poor – you state that the SDLP are as sectarian as the UUP and you have nothing by way of evidence in the last 10 years to back up your case.

    The fact that OO is no longer linked to the UU is progress but the fact that most of it elected members including its leader are members is a damning indictment and undermines any claim to be non sectraian – they take part in a public 17th anti-papal hate-fest every year for fecks sake.

  • Yes, indeed: what DW @ 10:24 AM wrote was

    Ever questioned why no Irish Nationalist or Republican Westminister MP’s are Prods in Northern Ireland?

    My initial reaction to that was sloppy expression and sloppier thinking.

    Then DW @ 2:15 PM gave us was a cut-and-paste listing of the signatories of the 1921 Anglo-Irish Treaty, together with the comment:

    Before partition is a different matter altogether, there was no border issue then or sectarian divide as was created by the signing of the Anglo Irish Treaty. On the British side it was five members of the Conservative Party, and the Irish Side was five members of the Irish Republican Brotherhood foreunner to Sinn Fein.

    Not one Ulster Prod signed the Anglo Irish treaty but five Catholic Republicans did and they have been bawling their little heads off ever since.

    I shall have to remember that: before December, 1921, there was no sectarian divide, which makes, for an obvious example, the Penal Laws a bit difficult to explain. Lloyd George and Hewart were not Liberals, and Winston Churchill had rejoined the Tories — four years earlier than all other histories have it. Moreover, I’m still trying to work out who was the fifth “Catholic Republican”: he must be one of the British signatories, since we know Robert Barton was an Anglican. Nor am I sure about the IRB thing: I have never seen a comprehensive listing of the sworn membership; and I thought, anyway, that, on Cathal Brugha’s and Mulcahy’s insistence, it was wound up by then.

    Now, DW @ 5:48PM, after that redrafting of history not surprisingly, wants to revert to the original thesis, adding:

    this thread’s main theme is about Northern Ireland (Catholic & Protestant) citizens who are or will become a member of the House of Commons after the next Westminster Election in 2010.

    Which is fair enough. Delete the DW @ 2:15 PM posting. Nice to know that Northern Ireland now has its own citizens, to the exclusion of other nationality, with the further implication that only “Northern Ireland citizens” can be elected from NI seats. Did anyone tell Enoch Powell? Or is it a new requirement?

    So I, too, will revert to the original point, before DW @ 5:48PM restated the premises. Were I trying to be perverse, and taking DW @ 10:24 AM at face value, we don’t know. There are some sixty members of the Irish in Britain All-Party Parliamentary Group. Funny thing: there are some 155 “country groups”, all the way from Angola to Zimbabwe, including one for Northern Ireland, but not one for Ireland. This has the brief:

    To represent within parliament the interests and concerns of the Irish community in Britain

    I know, for sure personal knowledge, that several of the members have declared themselves in favour of a [British or English] republic. I know that many of the persons named are definitely not Roman Catholic. Of course (and this is not clear from the expression) DW might be totally ignoring the notion of “Union” and pettily concerned only with NI.

  • Reader

    Dave: Admittedly, Irish political parties never did this in Great Brittan, seeing that British people had the same right to self-determination as Irish people had, so Irish nationalists had no desire to impose Irish rule on British people.
    People get the right to cast their vote as individuals, not as pre-allocated tokens in some national headcount. If you want to campaign for election just put your manifesto in order and go for it. I suggest starting in Liverpool.

  • DW

    the OO take part in a public 17th anti-papal hate-fest every year for fecks sake. Posted by It was SammyMcNally whatdoneit on Oct 07, 2009 @ 07:32 PM.

    Thats just the way Republican PR has projected this hate in reverse. If Republicans were to stop burning OO Halls then maybe some of the bigots on both sides would have nothing to hate. Likewise Ireland is not the only country were Anti-Catholicism, and Anti-Protestantism, is part of every day life. See here: http://209.85.229.132/search?q=cache:u7LyBh4FAx0J:jsr.fsu.edu/Volume8/Moore.htm+anti+Protestant+organisations&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=uk

    ‘I shall have to remember that: before December, 1921, there was no sectarian divide, which makes, for an obvious example, the Penal Laws a bit difficult to explain.’
    Posted by Malcolm Redfellow on Oct 07, 2009 @ 07:44 PM

    Before Partition the violence between the sectarian divide between the OO and the IRB was dealt with differently. There was no Stormont no UUP, DUP TUV SF or SDLP and the OO had no control over the Westminister government. In fact the 19th century OO, IRB and fenian movements were forbidden to parade for 30 or more years with the 1850 Party Processions Act. See here: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1O245-PartyProcessionsAct.html

    Regards Penal Laws the OO or Unionists cannot be blamed on these discriminative laws. They were British Government laws set in force long before the OO or Ulster Unionists ever existed.

    Penal Laws (Ireland)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penal_Laws_(Ireland)

  • DW

    ‘I know, for sure personal knowledge, that several of the members have declared themselves in favour of a [British or English] republic. I know that many of the persons named are definitely not Roman Catholic. Of course (and this is not clear from the expression) DW might be totally ignoring the notion of “Union” and pettily concerned only with NI.’ Posted by Malcolm Redfellow on Oct 07, 2009 @ 07:44 PM

    I and many other Nationalists & Unionists also know that Articles 2 & 3 of the Irish Constitution have been amended to help ratify the 1998 GFA. Only a majority of citizens of Northern Ireland can decide if Northern Ireland will become an all United Ireland.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Articles_2_and_3_of_the_Constitution_of_Ireland

    ‘The SDLP recognises that it would be wrong to force Northern Ireland into a United Ireland without the consent of a majority. We are equally opposed to any suggestion that Northern Ireland should be kept in the United Kingdom despite the vote of a majority.’ http://www.sdlp.ie/assets/uploads/aunitedirelandandtheagreement576.doc.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    DW,

    re. “public 17th anti-papal hate-fest every year for fecks sake”

    My remarks were in relation to a comparison of two ‘moderate’ paries on either side of the fence – it is clear that only the SDLP would, by any reasoinable standards fall into that category, jabbering on about burning Orange Halls (which has nothing to do with the SDLP )in that context is also piss poor.

    The UU stand accused, uniquely of those parties claiming to be moderate (ie the Alliance, the SDLP and the UU) of involving themselves in deeply sectarian activity – I take it you accept that or you can offer some evidence to the contrary?

  • andrew white

    Both McCann & Davidson are Catholics from West Belfast ………….

    and both conservatives i take it

  • andrew white

    Both McCann & Davidson are Catholics from West Belfast ………..

    good to know people are getting selected based on religion rather than ability

  • cynic

    Interesting that Deirdre Nelson has been chosen by the Conservatives for East Belfast.Would have thought that North Antrim would have been a better one for her with her local profile in that neck of the woods. I’m sure that given that Reg will probably not put his name forward people like Jim Rodgers who have worked East Belfast for years will not be best pleased. I think that it could all end in tears with the South Belfast issue being the tip of an iceberg that might sink the ship.

  • DW @ 08:32 PM: Remember Healey’s First Law of Holes:

    When in a hole, stop digging.

    There are more holes in that last assertion than even I can be arsed to fill:

    Before Partition the violence between the sectarian divide between the OO and the IRB was dealt with differently. There was no Stormont no UUP, DUP TUV SF or SDLP and the OO had no control over the Westminister government.

    So, just two factual datings:

    Arthur Griffith effectively launched Sinn Féin in November 1905 (though the principles were laid out in his The Resurrection of Hungary of a year earlier). It’s worth bearing in mind that the “nationalist” demand would have accepted something less than the pre-1801 dispensation.

    The Ulster Unionist Party itself dates its foundation from 1905, when the Ulster Unionist Council came together. That was a factional split from the Irish Unionist Party, founded in 1891. The essential difference between the IUP and the UUP was that the former was mainly based in and around Dublin, dominated by Dublin figures (including many Castle Catholics), and mobilised to oppose the second Home Rule Bill: the latter was dominated by the Orange Order and explictly opposed to “Rome Rule”. So, nothing sectarian there. Let us remember, too, that the first “Home Rule” parliament in Ireland was the Belfast one (referring to “Stormont” — and, yes, I do it too for convenience — is an anachronism before, as I recall, 1932).

    A helpful hint: try reading the odd book or two. There’s quite a few around.

  • martin

    It would seem after a little elementary research that the current sectarian demographic in NI ( June 2009) is 50.25 % Protestant Community Backround. 46.35 %, 3.40 % Other Or None. As the census is only a year and a half away I suppose we might as well get started now. It makes my head hurt.

  • martin

    Whoops. Should have said 46.35 Catholc Community Background. Sorry.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Framer,

    Grow up McNally – The SDLP is as tribal as any Unionist party.

    This is demonstrably wrong.

    I can list plenty of occasions where unionists have had electoral pacts with each other. In recent years you even have loyalist paramilitaries standing down to shore up the UUP (eg N Belfast 2001). For a long time the DUP would not stand against UUP MPs for fear of splitting the vote. Recently you have the UUP having strategic talks with the TUV about co-operating, and now this talk of collaboration with the DUP on a “keep South Belfast British” ticket. Going back further into the 70s there were all kinds of pan-unionist alliances.

    On the other hand, I don’t believe the SDLP have ever operated an electoral pact with SF. That said, there aren’t that many cases where a pact would have served any useful purpose.

    framer:

    But the Sands moment was the great public test of the SDLP and they failed it.

    SDLP politicians were burnt out of their houses for standing up to Sinn Fein. While we’re on the subject, an Alliance member was kneecapped for standing against SF in West Belfast during the hunger strikes.

    When’s the last time a unionist politician was burnt out of his/her house by loyalists ?

    cynic:

    Interesting that Deirdre Nelson has been chosen by the Conservatives for East Belfast.

    You guys are being careful in your language. Is she a UCUNF joint candidate or Conservative only ?

    Interesting that you’ve selected that formidable titan for East Belfast. Robinson must be shaking in his boots.

  • cynic

    She is the Conservative choice to appear before the Inner Star Chamber to compete with the UUP choice for final selection. Peter must be quaking in his boots about something to have gone back so quickly on his statement that he probably would not stand again. Suspect that it is the TUV spectre rather than the new force!

  • DW

    A helpful hint: try reading the odd book or two. There’s quite a few around. Posted by Malcolm Redfellow on Oct 07, 2009 @ 09:26 PM

    Try playing the ball and not the man.

  • Observer

    Seems to me that the Conservatives have cast their nets and caught quite a few of the most blatant political opportunists and wanabee’s on the local scene. I wonder how many of them will stay on the long road as Tories when the electorate ruins their dreams next May? Europe was a big dream for a few of them as well! The pound is more powerful than political conviction it would seem and people do notice!

  • loki

    DW @ 5.48 Sheila Davidson is form North Belfast, has a long history in non-political public service, including being the youngest member of the Police Authority and on the Senate at Queen’s. All public record.
    No reason for Ms Nelson not to run in East Belfast- she’s from there and only a recent move to North Antrim I believe- again, public record.
    As for Observer, I’ll enjoy watching your wet dream fall to pieces before next may. Gordo’s hanging on by the skin of his teeth as it is and now that the Republic has voted “yes” there’s no reason for Mnady to try and keep him stable any longer. also, since i imagine your Europe bit is a pop at Ms Nelson, doubt it was a serious run by her. think she has young children and I’d imagine the two aren’t compatible. Nige would have made sure DUP voted the right eway and she’s bright enough to know that. Tell me, do you just object to new talent or do you think the DUP system of dynastic settlement serves us well?Fair play to McCann and Ms Davidson for putting their heads above the parapet and good luck to them all

  • Comrade Stalin

    cynic,

    She is the Conservative choice to appear before the Inner Star Chamber to compete with the UUP choice for final selection.

    Ah, I get it. You guys select your candidates independently and then put them in front of a joint committee.

    That’s Deirdre out then.

    Peter must be quaking in his boots about something to have gone back so quickly on his statement that he probably would not stand again. Suspect that it is the TUV spectre rather than the new force!

    I never thought it was realistic that Robinson would not run again in East Belfast and I doubt anyone with any sense would have thought otherwise.

  • DW

    [b]Comrade Stalin[/b] @ 11:04 PM: ‘ [i]Ah, I get it. You guys select your candidates independently and then put them in front of a joint committee. That’s Deirdre out then.'[/i]

    Correct, but Deirdre is not necessarily out yet. Both the UUP & CP select one candidate each then a joint committee of UCUNF made up of four UUP and four CP members make the final choice.

    For instance the CP’s have already made their choice. UUP Lagan Valley association have to decide yet who between say Basil McCrea and Daphne Trimble goes forward. Remembering Daphne failed to be chosen in 2005, but Basil failed to gain enought votes to beat Jeffery Donaldson DUP.

    [b]Daphne Trimble fails in UUP Lagan Valley candidacy bid[/b]
    http://www.4ni.co.uk/northern_ireland_news.asp?id=35620

    lagan Valley is no doubt a Unionist seat, but if the TUV enter the race the DUP candidate may just lose enought votes to the TUV for UCUNF to snatch the seat. Likewise if Shelia is chosen many SF or SDLP voters may just vote for her knowing they will never win the seat so they might as well enjoy knocking the super Prod Wee Jeffery out by voting for a Catholic.

    At present the UCUNF have only arranged for a pact to chose candidates for EU and Westminster elections. Any decision regards the coming Assembly and local council elections all depends on the outcome of the Westminster election. Likewise in May 2011 the current 26 councils are to change to 11 councils with more N I assembly roles being taken care of by local government. This will be extremely interesting http://www.doeni.gov.uk/index/local_government/council_structure.htm

  • observer

    DW The selection panel is two and two I understand.

  • DW

    [b]Joint UUP – Conservative Selection Process.[/b]

    A. Following from 5. above the single UUP candidate as selected, will then go before the JOINT UUP-CONSERVATIVE COMMITTEE which has [b]8 members – 4 from the UUP and 4 from the Conservatives.[/b] . This committee will then select the one candidate to contest the UCUNF Westminster seat.

  • DW

    Observer: I don’t think the Conservatives have much of a problem selecting single candidates for the Westminster Northern Ireland 18 constituencies. The problem is finding UUP candidates who will volunteer to put their names forward for seats in Nationalist and Republican constituencies they know they have no chance of ever winning. In fact UCUNF candidates in all 18 seats will only help SF win because moderate Catholics would more than likely vote SDLP but it would be they who could swing to UCUNF. So UUP candidates will only be putting their names forward for seats they think there is a chance of winning for Unionism hoping to win some votes back they lost to the DUP in 2005.

  • Gerry Mander

    The Unionists have done this very successfully down the years, not least in 1920 following the 1919 democratic landslide when they re instituted pogroms against catholics, Jews, Italians and Labourites in Belfast and totally demolished the earlier Labour successes.

    Hitler’s Volk concept owes a lot to Unionism. If the volk or laager gets smaller, then the wagons have to be drawn around a smaller encampment such as the Malone Rd, Harryville or Ballymena.

  • Zoonpol

    Several years ago the BBC Daily Politics show’s presenter made an analogy between the UK BNP and the DUP. Then it was simple to differentiate between a loyalist party and a unionist, today the terms are blurred. Both parties contain bad and good people and whether you describe it as pan-Unionism, pan-Loyalism or pan-Protestantism is playing semantics with words that either infer sectarianism or a more subtle flavour.

  • kensei

    It is important, too, that we bring into politics people who might have been put off by the sectarian squabbling of the past. Make no mistake – the Conservatives and Unionists are a modern, compassionate and inclusive centre-right force that wants to build a shared future for everybody in Northern Ireland.

    but! We absolutely *must* have Unionist in the name in case the Prods don’t vote for us. You knwo, if there was any real balls in the deal they’d have just run as Conseravtives. That they didn’t speaks volumes.

  • Brit

    I note that much of this debate has centered on the claim of sectarianism as being part of Unionism. Clearly sectarianism has featured and continues to do so in some Unionist conduct and thinking, including the UUP. As a relative outsider I am not qualified to comment on how rampant a problem it is and how it compares/contrasts to the level of sectarianism within nationalism and Republicanism.

    What I do challenge from a basic philosophical and conceptual perspective is the argument / belief that, as Greenflag expressed it:-

    there is an “atavistic sectarianism inherent in unionism”.

    Unionism is a political position which says that the Union is a good thing as is its continuance, subject of course to the democractic rule that the majority of the people within each constituent part of the Union have the right to secede (either to independence or into another nation state). As such Unionism is not just a Conversative perspective but also the position of the Labour and Liberal Democratic Parties. From a Great British perspective Unionism does not generally involve any sectarianism or anti-Catholicism, and indeed there are plenty of British Catholics who are Unionists (de facto Unionists at least) in relation to England, Scotland and Wales.

    I’d make an analogy between criticism of Israel and anti-semitism (which I have been discussing elswhere and at boring length with Mr Stones). The fact that the latter may feature in the former does not, of couse, mean that criticism of Israel is inherently or necessarily anti-semitic.

    Accordingly I would challenge the contention that Unionism is inherently sectarian. Now I anticipate that the response will be that it is only Ulster Unionism or Unionism applied to NI which is inherently sectarian. However imagine that a signficant proportion of Catholics (suspend your disbelief for a minute) decided for some reason to embrace the Union. There is no reason philosophically why any Unionist would not welcome this support.

    Even those of you who maintain that partition was fundamentally sectarian and undemocratic should appreciate that now, so many years later, it is a reality on the ground and surely you can allow that to argue for its continued existence (even if misguided) is not necessarily sectarian.

  • RepublicanStones

    Brit your email link doesn’t work. I tried mailing you this morning but it appears to be a dead email address.

  • Brit

    RS – Not really up for handing out my contact deets. I like the cloak of anonymity (and I dont want you to see that I am actually emailing from the Israeli embassy ;o))

    In any event I really dont have any more to say on that subject and am not sure what we could possibly acheive by debating it further.

    However, if you are desparate to put your response/points then I’m sure people will induldge us in posting here. I will not be hijacking this thread.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Brit

    “Even those of you who maintain that partition was fundamentally sectarian and undemocratic should appreciate that now, so many years later, it is a reality on the ground and surely you can allow that to argue for its continued existence (even if misguided) is not necessarily sectarian”

    I think that is fair point – it is also a seperate and fair point that the self-styled ‘moderate’ UU party with many of its leaders feeling the need to join the deeply sectarian OO is fairly described therefore as a sectarian party. It is very poor for the Tories to align itself with such a party until at least all its members had resigned from the OO – otherwise they are giving tacit apporval to that sectarian organisation.

  • RepublicanStones

    Fair enough Brit, my vanity isn’t such that it demands I need to have the last word. I will leave it until our swords cross again, and I agree, its not cricket to post on an unrrelated thread.

  • Brit

    Sammy,

    I have to agree.

    I dont think that the OO are the devils incarnate are portrayed in much Republican mythology but if Unionism wants to be genuinely liberal, progressive and non-sectarian it needs to totally break the link with the OO. If it wants to get the kind of Catholic support it may need to preserve the Union long term then as a purely tactical and self-interested it needs to do this.

    The problem is how big the Protestant liberal Unionist constituency is and I guess the UUP is scared of losing support to DUP/TUV etc.

  • Brit

    “.. my vanity isn’t such that it demands I need to have the last word”

    ………..Brit faints with surprise …………

    Until next time then.