DUP must learn the political advantage of making friends and influencing people…

Brian Feeney riffs on Jimmy Durante’s possibly apocryphal aphorism: “Be nice to people goin’ up, because you’re going to meet them all comin’ down”… He offers it in regard to the DUP and its current propensity to conjure up bête noire almost at moment’s notice… And in terms of recent occasions he has a point with regard to the Hillary Clinton address:

Do they think no-one noticed the boorish behaviour of Gregory Campbell and Willie McCrea when they didn’t applaud Hillary Clinton and walked out in case they had to stand up?Campbell’s crass impertinent excuse “we all have important business to do particularly the economic regeneration of NI” is doubly insulting.

Firstly, anyone who read his speech in the House of Commons in July 2008 on what is laughingly called the NI economy will know that he hadn’t a single new idea about the economy, that he predicted oil prices would remain at their record high level for 12 to 15 months and demanded unspecified action to improve the economy.

This is not to be confused by the enormous pressure being applied from all sides on the party to sign up to policing and justice… What goes largely unsaid is that it is mostly in order to save Sinn Fein’s embarrassment regarding the promises it has made to its supporters at that fateful Ard Fheis (held at the very last possible minute) early in 2007.

But, as Feeney points out, ‘the walkout’ was politically inept insofar as the DUP pair. And since they denied it only minutes afterwards, it suggests the gentlemen in question themselves understand just how pointless their gesture had been…

…wilfully ignored the increased investment by the US company Navinet coinciding with Clinton’s visit and was a deliberate challenge to the US government linking investment to progress in devolving policing and justice.

What’s more instructive is that the behaviour of DUP MPs is a direct challenge to their party leader whose weakness is displayed to all by the indiscipline and rudeness of his own party members.

Yet it is not the roughness of the DUP’s approach that’s conditioning the atmosphere in which they currently operate. A huge chunk of the media and political establishment seem determined to ignore the fact that the current impasse arises directly from Sinn Fein’s freezing of the legislative process (by wicked irony under measures brought in through St Andrews by the DUP)…

Such wilful blindness (See previously: I can’t see anything) does the overall quality of political debate no favours (and no, not all of the blame for the poor state of Northern Irish politics can be attached exclusively to politicians themselves), but Feeney has a point when he questions Peter Robinson’s capacity to lead:

Sadly, at a time when unionism needs someone who could confidently lay out the future direction of unionism sharing control of the north, we’re stuck with a pedestrian bean counter who can’t even convince his dimmer members that it does matter in politics if no-one likes you.

It was a question many of us asked long before Mr Robinson assumed the mantle of leader. Maintaining grace, tone and unity under fire is a tall order for any leader under such consistently one-sided fire… And egress is complicated by the fact he has no objective metrics to measure that much talked about ‘confidence’ when he can ‘legitimately’ push the devolution issue over the end line…

In 2003 we wrote:

1066 and All That tells us that the English Civil War was ‘an extremely memorable struggle between the Cavaliers (Wrong but Romantic) and the Roundheads (Right but Repulsive). In future struggles, unionists need to be both right and attractive. For that, a bolder, more far sighted unionism will be needed. In a ‘long peace’, after all, people must want the Union for it to survive.

Despite the DUP’s current dominance (which makes any future split damaging but not necessarily fatal as it was to the Trimble project), the emergence of an intelligent (and in parts liberal) challenge from Jim Allister’s TUV from the ‘constitutional right’ and the splendid opportunism of the UCU-NF to its ‘constitutional left’ it cannot bet on an indefinite future if it is serious about retaining undisputed leadership of unionism into the medium or longer term….

, , , , ,

  • kensei

    You have two attacks from the “constitutional right”; I presuume this si a mistake.

    This is not to be confused by the enormous pressure being applied from all sides on the party to sign up to policing and justice… What goes largely unsaid is that it is mostly in order to save Sinn Fein’s embarrassment regarding the promises it has made to its supporters at that fateful Ard Fheis (held at the very last possible minute) early in 2007.

    As much as this trope is continually trotted out on this site and as much as there is a grain of truth in it, this is not done mostly to spare SF’s embarrassment no matter how many times you repeat it. It’s a concern to the governments because 1. it threatens to collapse the whole edifice and 2. it provides ammunition to elements taht will take this place back to violence.

    To state it as you state it is to treat it as some kind of abstract thing. It isn’t. It has tangible consequences. It might be SFs fuck up, but it can create stresses that have wider consequences. The GFA tied us at the hip but people don’t seem to get it, still.

  • Mick Fealty

    Thanks for the correction Ken.

    I agree with the second part of your extension of the point. Although that is all it is: an extension of the primary point. There is no evidence whatsoever that there is any danger of the first though. If there were it would have happened long before now.

    All of this comes down to politics. If SF is prepared to destabilise its own ‘indigenous deal’ to cover a minor political embarrassment, it does not help to ask the rest of us to throw shapes elsewhere to help them conceal it.

    If Republican paramilitaries go back to war, that is their business. Of course it won’t make the devolution of policing and justice any easier. But then responsibility and oversight for ‘dealing’ with them will largely fall to the House of Commons Intelligence and Security Committee upon which there is no Irish Republican oversight.

    In the meantime we have the peculiar situation where loyalist paramilitaries are slowly being reeled in whilst Republican paramilitaries are slowly being reeled out. It’s pretty plain to see where the real crisis of confidence lies…

  • Sean

    Mick

    Republican paramilitaries are slowly being reeled out

    Really Mick? Who is reeling them out?

  • Mick Fealty

    Don’t be an arse Sean or you’re out, again.

  • Guest

    Mick,

    “If Republican paramilitaries go back to war, that is their business.”

    That really is a shocking statement.

  • Mick Fealty

    How so Guest?

  • Kensei

    Mick

    I agree with the second part of your extension of the point. Although that is all it is: an extension of the primary point. There is no evidence whatsoever that there is any danger of the first though. If there were it would have happened long before now.

    All of this comes down to politics. If SF is prepared to destabilise its own ‘indigenous deal’ to cover a minor political embarrassment, it does not help to ask the rest of us to throw shapes elsewhere to help them conceal it.

    Really – because we keep hereing of complete deadlock on the hill, and things getting ever more critical. The assumption that because ti doesn’t happen right away then it isn’t important is a dangerous one. SF may be able to spin out a minor embarasment over timing for a while, but if it looks like the DUP has no intention of ever ponying up on its end of the agreement then that is going to cause increasing internal pressure in SF over an issue. Second, the issue can come to symbolise the whole raft of problems within the Executive. Third, increasing external pressures on SF can force the issue for them. SF may or may not be repeating Unionisms mistakes over decomissioning, but it is worth bearing in mind that issue needed dealt with before any progress could be made, that in retrospect it probablyw ould ahve been better for everyone SF included had ti been done sooner and that things are likely weaker as a result of the delay.

    Taking such a dismissive attitude and you’ve stopped thinking critically on the issues. Too much of Pete’s Kool Aid, Mick.

    If Republican paramilitaries go back to war, that is their business. Of course it won’t make the devolution of policing and justice any easier. But then responsibility and oversight for ‘dealing’ with them will largely fall to the House of Commons Intelligence and Security Committee upon which there is no Irish Republican oversight.

    I think it’s everyone’s business, Mick. Yes, there is a gap on oversight around the UK intelligence services that was unlikely to ever be filled. But you are kidding yoruself if you think the police wouldn’t have a major role to play and be major targets. Local accountability is critically important in avoiding big mistakes of the past.

    In the meantime we have the peculiar situation where loyalist paramilitaries are slowly being reeled in whilst Republican paramilitaries are slowly being reeled out. It’s pretty plain to see where the real crisis of confidence lies…

    Which is all oh so clever until the next policemen are shot, Mick.

  • Guest

    Mick,

    At the heart of the need for dialogue and the eventual peace process was the acceptance from all sides that there was a rot in the shared root of the history of these islands.Unionists may have wedded that rot to the dark catholic south,republicans to the orange state and the residue of the British empire.It was nonetheless clear to all that men are of lesser stuff than the powers of words;that violence was an integral part of society on this island.That those men of violence would have the support of communities unless politicians could realign society b y agreement.
    Unionists may object to this logic because the prominence of the IRA throughout the history of the troubles would seem to entail further concessions to the IRA than would be given to loyalists or unionists.They would,i guess,firstly see the peace as a reward for violence,and secondly,and more importantly to all this,consider that they receive less from the governments because they were not as violent (media-wise) as the IRA.So whats my point?
    Republican paramilitaries must still be reeled in because the politicians have not yet come implemented what they have agreed.The Loyalists are playing the IRA game,as the DUP are playing the Sinn fein game of concession per axiom.It will be all of our business as this second phase of the peace process suggests its about coming out of the trenches,getting what you can,and returning back to the trenches.Indeed,one might call it assymetrical politics.We really have not come all that far to believe that violence will be dealt with by the “authoritys”.

  • danielmoran

    mick. if it’s true, [and i’ve no reason to query it] that the shinners told their ard fheis they had the date for P&J nailed down, they must be losing their grip. why did they think this bluff wouldn’t be exposed and called?
    on the other side, if robinson had any leadership ability, he wouldn’t have waited 30 plus years to trake over, and then spent his time since, following.

  • Driftwood

    Both the DUP and SF know all about taking advantage.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/8310095.stm

  • Mick Fealty

    Guest, on a point of order the various unionist parties have different views on this. The article above is about the DUP, not unionism. And you still haven’t told me why you think my statement above is shocking.

    Ken, they’re shooting policemen’s wives, cousins and now girlfriends already. As clandestine, paramilitary organisations they are not the first to do that and sadly they may not be the last. Killing, maiming and generally creating terror IS central that business.

    Preventing them is, or should be, the business of a political party which was voted in on a mandate to take the gun out of Irish politics.

    If they have built an edifice that prevents them from doing so, then they should walk tomorrow. That may create big problems for the rest of us but it would have the distinct merit of being an transparently honest move.

    What’s missing here is political will, not the devolution of policing and justice. Bringing the Executive to a halt expresses a political will that inclines towards the past not the future. In the absence of forward momentum you create the political opportunity for those who want to take it all back to where we started back in 1994.

    I don’t ‘want’ any of these things to happen of course. Why would I? Our Slugger Awards depend on politicians wanting to play at the top of the game. But I’m not inclined to believe in fairy tales any more either, even if I do get their underlying importance in relaying a kind of secular morality from generation to generation…

    At the heel of the hunt it is important to distinguish between the wood and the trees Ken. Inductive reasoning only gets you so far… and no further… IMHO, it’s widespread use has served Northern Irish nationalism very poorly indeed…

  • Greenflag

    Brian Feeney should address his sensible advice to the Cliffs of Moher rather than the DUP . He will find the Cliffs of Moher to be better listeners for a start -probably possessed of a higher IQ than the likes of Campbell or McCrea, and even less likely to bite the hands that feeds them than these pair of trogloddytes .

    The only way to fight ‘boorishness’ is to be ‘boorish ‘ in return . Turning the other cheek to the likes of Campbell and McCrea is like opening a gate to a lamb enclosure for a hungry wolf and expecting it to behave.

    The next time Campbell or McCrea or any other member of the DUP is ‘boorish’ to any other Assembly member or indeed any member of the public the answer is not to take it on the chin or turn the other cheek but to spit at them or preferably if one can get close them land a right fist on their ‘boorish’ noses !

    Stop mollycoddling them . The Brits have been mollycoddling them and their ilk for 90 years and it has’nt done them or the Brits any good or anybody else either 🙁

    Robinson is not a bean counter . He doesn’t have any beans to count. The beans he gets to count are other people’s beans specifically those contributed by the English taxpayer . Campbell and McCrea are bean brain boors but we’ve always known that 🙁

  • danielmoran

    great post, greenflag. we in the northwest know all about campbell and his antics. he’s now embarassing even those who have voted for him.
    as for mccrea, they threw away the mould after they made him. it was already cracked.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Mick,

    RE. ” What goes largely unsaid is that it is mostly in order to save Sinn Fein’s embarrassment regarding the promises it has made to its supporters at that fateful Ard Fheis (held at the very last possible minute) early in 2007. ”

    Largely unsaid? Not by you – and especially not by Pete – he has repeated it about 500 times – and one of the reasons it ” goes largely unsaid ” ELSEWHERE is because it does not stand up.

    SF took a calculated gamble(probably based on asurances from the British) that by allowing the DUP wriggle room in the STA would not be a major problem becuase they could rely on the British to encourage them over the finishing line – and so it came to pass.

    This scenario was repeated by me each time Pete put forward his – goes largely goes unsaid elsewhere – theory and I was routinely accused of the dreadful crime of ‘futuring’ a bad but highly enjoyable habit I developed as a result of a close and occasionally profitable relationship with Patrick Power esquire.

    re. The DUP and friend making

    What has traditionally made the DUP appealing to many of its supportes is the fact that dont do trendy and they dont do cuddling up and prefer to attract people through the clarity of their (ofttimes religious) message. Being in government, and particulalry in government with SF, means that the message has changed and although now no longer a particulalrly clear message it is still fairly a friend-repellent as it is often charaterised by anti-science, and anti-Catholicism and anti-agreement rhetoric.

  • GavBelfast

    Brian Feeney on “making friends and influencing people”.

    Now there’s an interesting notion!

  • Guest

    Mick,

    It is shocking that somebody who follows northern Irish politics so closely does not understand that the spiral of violence still exists in structure.That it was not the weapons or army councils,but a fundamental contradiction of the state itself.That it belongs to one and not the other.
    Sparks in the powder keg are all of our business.And it is also shocking that the crush
    Sinn fein mantra of the DUP is more important to them than changing the police force so that nationalists can claim it as theirs’ too,and disenfranchise those seeking to set that violent spiral in motion.
    As for you point of order-I take the DUP as the (by some way) largest unionist party to be the voice of unionism.If they have built a platform of anti-agreement politics that now prevents them from implementing the agreement,then they should step side and be honest.

  • Driftwood

    David Vance was spot on in his balanced analysis on Hearts and Minds last night.

  • Mick Fealty

    Sammy,

    I’ve not seen any of your public gambles earn you cash… 😉 Perhaps you’re keeping your money firmly in your pocket for good reason?

  • Kensei

    Mick

    Ken, they’re shooting policemen’s wives, cousins and now girlfriends already. As clandestine, paramilitary organisations they are not the first to do that and sadly they may not be the last. Killing, maiming and generally creating terror IS central that business.

    In which case I would concur your flipancy is appalling.

    Preventing them is, or should be, the business of the political party which were voted in on a mandate to take the gun out of Irish politics.

    If they have built an edifice that prevents them from doing so then they should walk tomorrow. That may create big problems for the rest of us but it would have the distinct merit of being an transparently honest move.

    Wrong, Mick. It’s everyone who’s interested in not having a violent society’s business. Why the mental gap here? Unless soemkind of weird moral it’s-their-responsibility principle overides dead bodies.

    I have little time for appeals to intellectual purity, honesty or the like. Politics requires pragmatism. Who says the edifice they built is one that prevents them from removing said obstacles? That’s a straw man you have built.

    Ignoring this particular issue for a second why can they not simply say that one particular issue is causing them problems and presenting an easy target? Regardless of whether said issue is of their own making, turning around and saying “It’s your own bloody fault” does not strike me as a particualrly useful exercise. And if they do believe that is the immediate issue, then the game becomes one of weighing probabilities – does staying in or going out move things forward? And so on. Plus there is an associated cost in toher areas. This isn’t a binary game.

    You have decided this isn’t really important Mick – both ideologically for Republicanism, or practically more widely – and are simply working backwards from there.

    What’s missing here is political will, not the devolution of policing and justice. Bringing the Executive to a halt expresses a political will that inclines towards the past not the future. In the absence of forward momentum you create the political opportunity for those who want to take it all back to where we started back in 1994.

    No desire to go on one of your current hobby horses. There is plenty of political will about. if either party had complete reins on power you’d see a lot of moves quite quickly. The problem isn’t will, it’s the fact the political will is bneing pulled in opposite directions. I find the idea that being unwilling to drop the nuclear bomb means there is not enough political will for any action entirely strange.

    I don’t ‘want’ any of these things to happen of course. Why would I? Our Slugger Awards depend on politicians wanting to play at the top of the game. But I’m not inclined to believe in fairy tales any more either, even if I do get the importance their underlying importance in relaying a kind of secular morality from generation to generation…

    This doesn’t make enough sense and is unsufferable smug for me to even comment.

    At the heel of the hunt it is important to distinguish between the wood and the trees Ken. Inductive reasoning only gets you so far… and no further… IMHO, it’s widespread use has served Northern Irish nationalism very poorly indeed…

    I’m not doing inductive reasoning Mick. Reasoning from fauklty assumptions can take you very far by the way, but it doesn’t actually make you any righter.

  • Thereyouarenow

    The DUP have not yet gotten away from being wreckers, kickers and screamers.

    Thats the problem of having to make decisions.

    You can please some of the people some of the time…………..

  • Sean

    Whats the problem mick? Because I question a dumb ass statement like “reeling them out” which seems to say you think some one is in control of them so I asked who you think it is?

  • Mick Fealty

    Sean, if you were coming to this fresh, I would give you the benefit of the doubt. You’re not; so I won’t.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    David Vance,

    he did speak well – but the content was the usual anti-agreement Unionist nonsense which would probably have a great deal of support at the TUV conference but as the British pay zero attention to these sundry nay-sayers and with even the Tories fully supporting the GFA he is the equivalent of the chap with the sandwich board wandering around the streets telling us we are all doomed.

    Potentially though, if anyone actually listened to the irrespeonsible fecker he be could very dangerous indeed.

  • Mick Fealty

    Sean, okay. Just this once. Someone IS reeling out that campaign of violence. You may have a view on who that is, I don’t. Nor did I imply that I did.

    This is a forum for people to talk grown up politics. Preferable people who know something about the subject in hand. Keep this quality of intervention and you are off again for another couple of years.

    Life is too too short for your brand of messing…

  • Wrinklie Jane

    DUP must learn the political advantage of making friends and influencing people…

    They also need to learn the political repercussions of selling out.

    Bring on the election!!!

  • Greenflag

    ‘They also need to learn the political repercussions of selling out.’

    Selling out what precisely ? If Captain O’Neill was a traitor , and Brian Faulkner was a traitor and now Paisley’s party are traitors then it only follows logically that the next ‘ruling’ Unionist party will be traitors too be they UCUNF or TUV or anybody else .

    BTW -there’s nothing to sell out .

  • Greenflag

    wrinklie jane or the one with no botox ,

    ‘Bring on the election!!!

    Now what difference would any election make to NI ? An SF First Minister perhaps for a week or two before the entire Unionist camp implodes in a vicious civil war amongst themselves as to who is the guilty party for allowing themuns to grab the top sinecure ?

    Actually and on second thought yes bring on the election . I can hardly wait to see the innovative economic policies which will be pursued by an SF First Minister as they strive to turn around or inside out of what’s left of the NI economy .

    The Days of Negative Equity are at hand blessed is he that hath no equity for it cannot be taken from him that hath not .

    But from them that hath it shall be taken and woe unto the moneylenders for they also shall bear the lash of the righteous 😉

    Or words to that effect anyway .

  • Wrinklie Jane

    The DUP’s case is so poor that they now require nationalists to advocate it.

    The election, as I understand it, won’t have any affect on who is joint-first minister, unless Westminster contests can change stormont mid term

  • Slugger O’Toole Admin

    “Sammy Mac

    Your speculation about why the Sinn Féin leadership did what they did is meaningless without an understanding of exactly what it was that they actually did.

    So, once again, for those still not paying attention.

    At the Ard Fheis Mick mentioned the delegates there gave the leadership responsibility for assessing whether they themselves had met the preconditions – set by a previous Ard Fheis – for the party to support policing.

    Lo and behold, the leadership declared that they had secured the devolution of policing and justice by May 2008, that they had commitments from all involved to that date, and that they also had the agreement of the DUP.

    All of which was untrue. As you well know.

    Not that it stopped senior party members repeating those claims all the way up to the point at which it was evident even to the most blinkered.

    But it got them out of the hole they had dug for themselves at the time and, with SF officially endorsing policing, it meant that the Assembly could be set up, and that got the US off their case.

    So nevermind about those delegates.

    As for Kool Aid, ken.

    Feel free to falsify it.”

    Posted on behalf of Pete (who is still having difficulty accessing the new server)

  • Guest

    Admin,Pete,
    what you fail to include in your summary is that they gave the leadership right to change their view on policing as they see fit.Why is time and money such a thrill.
    Unionists need time.That is fine.The beginning of the peace process was not the beginning of unionist stalling.Time is not a problem for republicans.It seems to be a problem for unionists.But that’s OK.We are willing to help.It’s called outreach.

  • Turgon

    Guest,
    I do not know if you are trolling or serious: if you are serious about outreach I almost pity you.

    The reality is that republicans cannot do “outreach” to unionists. There has been far, far too much blood spilt by republicans for people who claim that name to be able ever to outreach to unionists. To unionists the term republican equates to support for the Enniskillen, La Mon, Teebane and Claudy bombs and the like.

    If by some miraculous chance republicans meant anything constructive by “outreach” they would start by, and for the foreseeable future confine themselves to, apologising for the actions of the IRA.

    You may argue (quite rightly) that loyalists also murdered people and also that republicans also have grievances. However, if you genuinely meant anything real by “outreach” that is how you would actually begin. I very much doubt you personally nor republicanism generally understand, believe or could do that.

  • Guest

    Turgon,

    What I call outreach has nothing to do or see with Sinn fein’s offical outreach program.
    I consider republican outreach the will to accept unionist difficulty in coming to terms with what their leaders have agreed and what they know is necessary.
    Which means time.( and recently money)Fair play!

    It is rather curious to see unionists come to some victorious conclusion that this will to allow time is in fact a weakness or “hook” , as some have coined it,but that will not change the objectives agreed between governments.We have waited long enough to understand that you need time.

    so you see republicans are doing outreach everyday.I believe you may call it government.Call it what you will.Not a problem.and if a pity is a part of that process,well you see,not a problem either.

  • Turgon

    Guest,
    The dishonesty in your “outreach” is exemplified by the suggestion that we “need time.” Far from it we need no time at all to say that we do not want a united Ireland. There is no length of time which will make current unionists not need infinitely more time than they already “need” and I very much doubt future unionists will feel any different: as an example I am much more hardline than my parents.

    Still if for one moment you were interested in genuine outreach you as an individual republican would state that every murder committed by the IRA, every bombing, every act they committed was morally wrong and illegitimate.

    The problem is that you cannot choose for unionists what they should accept as “outreach” and the one thing most unionists might possibly listen to as “outreach” would be continuous apologies for the murders.

  • moral indignation

    Turgon,

    out of interest, would you accept that many acts carried out over the past forty odd years by the British Army, members of RUC and associated ‘security forces’ were morally wrong and illegitimate?

  • Guest

    Turgon,

    I did not mention a united Ireland.
    I said that outreach was about Republicans
    allowing unionists time to accept what they have agreed.What they have not agreed or will never agree is your business/or leastways the business of future unionists.Or the government of the United Kingdom.

    I do not need time to say that Ireland will never be part of the United Kingdom.I do not need time to say that anyone born in Northern Ireland has the right to be an Irish citizen.

    If you thought by time I meant unionists would cease to be unionists then you have misread what I wrote.
    I stated simply and quite directly that unionists need time to come to terms with what their leaders have accepted,and that indeed their leaders need time to understand what they have accepted.The outreach therein,is not a republican motive but an acceptance of the time it takes, and an understanding that that time will seem impossible to define until it is done.Time is not a problem.
    That is all.

  • Turgon

    moral indignation,
    I was of course waiting for that. The point is that if republicans want to “outreach” to unionists they (republicans) need to do the outreaching and unsurprisingly lecturing unionists on the wrongs (perceived or real) of the RUC etc. is not the way to do it. You manage to explain more eloquently than I have been able to do why you yourself and it seems most republicans have not the slightest concept of real “outreach.”

    Guest,
    You make the error of thinking that the agreement is set in stone for all time. Republicans do not accept this and hope to move towards a united Ireland: provided they do stay away from the violence which has been so closely associated with their modus operandi for so long that is fine. However, unionists also have the same right to change the agreement. The DUP made some (too little for my liking) progress at St. Andrews and I am confident that unionism will make further progress.

    I see you have given up on “outreach:” just possibly the realisation is dawning?

  • Guest

    Trugon,

    The agreement sets in stone the mechanism for a referendum on Irish unity.Why would we seek to change that, or do you believe that the democratic will of the people can be overturned?
    As for outreach,you have still not grasped the nettle:It is waiting for unionism to catch up with what has been agreed.
    Are you suggesting that unionism can change the agreement to override the principle of consent?
    Have read it?
    This is getting funny.

  • mora moral indignation

    Turgon,

    I’m not a republican nor am I interested in ‘outreach’ one way or the other. With regard to the ‘constitutional question’, the status quo suits me fine although I would class myself as ever so slightly more progressively minded and less bitter when compared to the average fawning Allister wannabe.

    Now, how about actually answering the question and dispensing with your paranoid drivel? The question was asked out of genuine interest, of that I can assure you. Your initial reaction, however, speaks volumes.

  • Sean

    Have you grown up yet mick?

  • ROD

    Turgon: I’m a republican. I believe that the vast majority of, if not all, IRA acts were illegitimate and, according to my definition, immoral. There’s some outreach for you.

    So, the question is as stated above: can you admit that some of the RUC’s and British Army’s actions in Northern Ireland were immoral and illegitimate? Where do you stand on this matter? (well given that I’m a republican and that you seem to hang on Jim Allister’s every word I’d hazard a guess that you’re standing with your back to me.)

  • Turgon

    ROD,
    “I believe that the vast majority of, if not all, IRA acts were illegitimate and, according to my definition, immoral. There’s some outreach for you.”

    No not enough. You seem to want to hold on to some actions as being okay. Hence you seem to be a cheerleader lite. The fact that you regard this as massive outreach is pathetic. Would you for example encourage the IRA to reveal who blew up Enniskillen; who gunned down the people at Darkley? That along with accepting the IRA was utterly immoral and illegitimate in its very existence would be outreach.

    Remember it is not for republicans when they are supposedly outreaching to unionists to tell the unionists what is adequate outreach. If you are outreaching to us it is for us to decide what is acceptable. So far what you have said is inadequate. Describing what you said as “some outreach” illustrates the problem rather well.

    Guest,
    Unionists have believed in the principle of consent for a very long time. Attlee the Labour PM introduced it in 1949: it is good to see republicans catching up only 60 years and thousands of lives late.

    moral indignation,
    The debate was about outreach to unionists from republicans. However you asked a question so I will answer it. Yes it seems that there was collusion and that was morally wrong, indefensible and utterly wicked. I think there was relatively little; had there been vast amounts there would have been a great many more IRA members killed, something I would not have approved of as I support and am pleased at no one’s death. However, I think it is pretty clear that collusion occurred: even now it should be rooted out prosecuted and punished without fear or favour.

  • Comrade Stalin

    I find the idea that that republicans might return to violence if we cannot make Stormont work quite interesting and worth further exploration.

    I don’t think we are in a 1965-69 style era at the moment. Back then, you had a large group of people being systematically deprived of access to housing and employment. They had no recourse through the legal system or the courts, which were controlled, indirectly, by a junta. It was made clear to that large group that the state was not theirs, that they were not welcome there. Certain leaders within unionism – pioneering and forward-thinking statesmen, I would add – realized that this could not stand forever and tried to change it. But it was too late.

    If you don’t feel a sense of ownership in the country that you live in, and you don’t feel that you have anything to lose, of course at the very least you are going to feel indifferent about those using violence to try to bring it down.

    Fast forward to now. The reforms started at the tail-end of Stormont and forced through by the British government over the decades have taken effect. That large group now does feel ownership, of a sort, in the state. Unionists no longer dominate affairs in City Hall or at Stormont. People have jobs and access to housing. Nobody pretends that things are perfect, but likewise, nobody really believes that discrimination happens anymore, and they believe that if it does, they can get something done about it in the courts.

    I don’t think the scenario from which serious violence emerged from the nationalist side of things is present anymore. People now do have something to lose if violence resumes. I’m completely opposed to internment, but De Valera was able to get away with using it to squash the IRA of the 1950s because there was a broad feeling that they were trying to destroy something that people felt ownership of.

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    I *need* to know what bet Slabbery has ever won. Seriously, we need know what’s going on here. How exactly can a man who’s never knowingly right about one solitary thing he speculates on (and by golly, he speculates on enough for us to have a discernible pattern to examine, at length, in post after identical post) slabber that he takes money off bookies? Does he hedge with Cantor’s or IG *against* himself ever winning a bet? The mind reels. Still, at least I’m not making stuff up. Which must confuse poor ould Slabbery no end. I know I told you to tell new lies, but for pity’s sake man, keep ’em grounded in reality. I’m sore laughing at friend Power having you on anything other than his Christmas card list.

  • Guest

    Turgon,
    “Unionists have believed in the principle of consent for a very long time. Attlee the Labour PM introduced it in 1949: it is good to see republicans catching up only 60 years and thousands of lives late.’

    Yes.The principle of consent has been accepted.
    Have you read what I wrote?

  • Comrade Stalin

    Actually, I don’t think unionism as a whole accepts the principle of consent. I’d bet that if a referendum result ever went the wrong way, they’d get the guns out, just like they did a short time prior to partition.

  • Guest

    You are right Comrade.They accept what suits them.
    But that is ok.They will not change.They need time.µ
    Not time to change but time to change what suits them.A watery philosophy……

  • Gael gan Naire

    “I’d bet that if a referendum result ever went the wrong way, they’d get the guns out, just like they did a short time prior to partition.

    Seconded.

    I do not believe for an instant that a majority of unionists would accept what is sometimes called ‘fifty%+1’.

    They will get the guns out, declare the nationhood of the ulster-scots and scream for repartition, my guess is that they would seek to keep the nationalist population quite high however, they will go for a 70\30 solution.

  • Laughing (Buck) Unionist from the C25th

    Ah, I see. What terrible things Unionists *would* do. Far worse than, er, the terrible things already done. No wonder the Provettes, and the Smugs, endlessly tell us to ‘move on’. Why bother condeming the bad stuff *actually done* in the past when you could be winding yourselves up into a fury about the bad stuff yet to be done in the future (by Unionists, natch – well, imaginary natch, but we all hear what you’re sectarianing, I mean, saying)?

    Still waiting to hear what bets Slabbery has ever won. Maybe it was prediction that Jim Allister would sink without trace in the Euros. No, it can’t have been that. I’ll keep thinking tho’.

  • Guest

    L(b)UFTC25th.

    Online history lessons free.
    Interested?

  • Guest

    By the way L(b)UFYC25th,is that a new name for the conservative and unionist party’s deal with ulster unionist party.Or are you still just the local stopwatch?

  • Greenflag

    Comrade Stalin ,

    Post 17 above on the nail . And post 20 almost .

    Some Unionists would go for their guns in the event of a referendum looking like it might go the wrong way . But demands for ‘repartition’ will arise long in advance of any such referendum . Nationalists who believe in the 50% plus 1 and it’s all over are kidding themselves .
    The question which can’t be answered is to what extent would the UK intervene in such circumstances ? There would be UK intervention of that you can be sure .

    It would be preferable if ‘repartition ‘ were brought forward by ‘nationalists’ in Northern Ireland as part of a political settlement to be drawn up and implemented by a neutral international organisation such as the EU or UN.

    History tells us that ‘unionism’ made a complete balls up of the last partition . Under no circumstances should they be allowed to determine unilaterally where , when and how the next ‘partition’ is implemented .

    ‘Unionists have believed in the principle of consent for a very long time.’

    Not with Home Rule they did’nt and neither did they after the 1918 General Election .

  • Comrade Stalin

    LTU, unionists always make this distinction between actual violence and theoretical violence. Like when they justify the UWC strike by saying that no bullets were fired. The logic is easy to understand; it’s OK to point a gun at somebody’s head as long as you don’t pull the trigger. Fortunately, most people see it for what it is.

    Unionism did not need to follow through on its threats of insurgency, since the British chose to take their side and back down to their threats of violence. Had they not done so, things would have been different. Surely you don’t mean to say that all those people who queued up to sign the Covenant at City Hall were doing it for a joke, and that if push one day came to shove they’d go along with a 32-county state ? It is quite obvious that there would be an uprising on a large and very violent scale, had an attempt to proceed with home rule taken place.

    It’s very difficult to believe that the people who swore to uphold the convenant will sit back and accept the results of a referendum which votes to reunify Ireland. This is one reason why I think that any reunification process will take a long time and involve a lot of diplomacy. It’s all academic anyway, as it will be several decades before such a referendum result is likely.

  • Greenflag

    comrade stalin,

    ‘It’s very difficult to believe that the people who swore to uphold the convenant will sit back and accept the results of a referendum which votes to reunify Ireland.’

    Not entirely ;). The youngest of the covenant people assuming the youngest would have been 18 in 1912 would now be 115 and would I guess be no longer able to partake in individual resistance to a UI by referendum.

    I would ‘guess’ that perhaps 60% of Unionists would heed the call to arms while the intelligent and those with hard assets and equity would find reasons enough to avoid economic suicide which is why I say ‘some ‘above

    But as you say it’s academic as it will be several decades before such a referendum result is likely.

    I’d have added an ‘if ever ‘ to your ‘before ‘.
    That piece of GFA surrounding a future UI referendum is the greatest piece of fudge politics since Nero attempted to quiet the Roman flames by fiddling a tune or two . But it sounds good and fair and just etc but so too did the Treaty of Limerick 😉

  • L(T)U stuck in the C21st with Provo apologists (an

    I just hope all the Huns have got the message: the bad things you might have done (though didn’t), or, may yet do (though haven’t), are terrible, truly mind-blowingly, unendurably awful! The bad things other folk actually have done? Move along, nothing to see here, stop being stuck in the past! Ah Provettes (and Smugs), where would we be without them? Well, the real world, but think how tedious that would be.

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    The post, purporting to be written by me at 2.23 *wasn’t*. I wonder if the Mods could do something about it please?

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    Ditto 2.33 being someone with a pash – I think we know who! How touching . . . (not literally you understand, his tinfoil might look clean but actually it’s rank).

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    Whoops – *I* meant 2.32, of course. Oh dear, that will doubtless make this still more boring for everyone: apologies. If you could look at the ISPs, this will doubtless all sort itself out. But for the dull record: I’m posts 5, 6, 8 & 9, and, er, this one. Still, how delightful that Slugger adds to its ranks, if that’s the right word, someone quite so devoted to his chums to display such toe-curling devotion.

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    Add 11 to the non-list: but again, wow! an actual online stalker! I thought bad middling American novelists just made them up. Maybe I should read Netherland after all. Though to be fair, O’Neill’s quite good, and not American. So bit like number 11 here, except, he’s not me, and, not much good. Though *devoted* to Slabbery we see. How lovely.

    But wait, a dread fear: what if myriad loons start passing themselves off as Slabbery, and making even *more* spacerishly demented predictions, then running ever further from them than even the ‘real’ thing does? I fear for Slugger if this sort of thing gets out hand. So down with this sort of thing.

  • Greenflag

    LTU ,

    Your anti paranoia pills are on the bedside table . Call nursie and tell her that you can’t reach them because they’ve strapped you down yet again .If you’ve been 100 years on slugger I suggest your grasp of space time is not just hazy but entirely absent .

    Best wishes for a speedy recovery 😉

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    Greeners, don’t tell me that you’ve fallen for Slabbery’s, er, special friend? Seriously, Mods, of the non-Vespa kind, help out those understandably confused like GF here. Redact the cr*p, if you will. It kinda negates the point of Slugger if you don’t.

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    Comrade, I can appreciate that this thread has become almost as weird as one of Slabbery’s rationales for why one of his predictions hasn’t panned out, but *I* didn’t write that post, nor, nos. 16. So you’re gurning at the wrong cove

    So to recap, someone *else*, not me, wrote posts, 4, 7, 11 & 16. Perhaps the Mods would like to this sort this out, as not doing so will manage to make Slugger more boring than Coleraine on a warm friday night?

    But all the same, and either way, the display of devotion towards Slabbery has been really quite affecting.