David Trimble and the importance of Catholics

Thanks to Gonzo for his Trimble/Kane post. I take it Trimble is signalling that Cameron will not encourage any faint unionist hopes that he’ll back a voluntary coalition and try to rewrite the GFA. His mention of Jonathan Crane links it to the Conservative centre. I don’t understand why Bobballs is ” confused.” Trimble explains at length that any change to the system can only be “organic” viz_

David Trimble

On the project your test is whether Cameron will back the unionist cause. How is that cause to be defined? Is it the Union or “facing down” nationalists? The project has the potential to widen and deepen the union. I know that large numbers of Catholics are effectively little “u” unionists. I was talking to several at last night’s Queens University Association London event, where I was speaking on this matter. But big U ethnic unionism will exclude them and force them back into ethnic nationalism.
The project was never about lining up the Conservative party alongside ethnic Unionism, but about replacing political structures based on constitutional and national issues, with politics based on social and economic issues using the same party structures that operate elsewhere in the UK. Incidentally for this we need the participation of Labour as well as the Conservatives. Between them Catholics can be offered something better than SF to vote for.

Reg, are you listening? Trimble’s may be a vision of political nirvana nationalists may deplore but at least it’s a vision.

  • granni trixie

    Why is Trimble wanding in now from afar? Methinks self interest – after all QUB research suggests that he didnt put the time and effort in when he was First Minister.

  • granni trixie

    Sorry – that should ofcourse have been wading in.

  • Mick Fealty

    That will Caine (and not Cainer as I previously put it – sorry Jonathan)…


    I suspect David is a lot closer to this deal than was previously obvious. Which may account for the general sense I get that Reg is no quite his own man in some of this. A case perhaps of DT co-ordinating with old buddies who remain in place.

  • By co-incidence, I have just commented on Bobballs. David Trimble is absolutely on the button. His vision represents the Conservative vision.

    Hitherto, Trimble has kept to his own pledge not to openly criticise his old party. That he is coming out now is an indication of a very deep feeling that the UUP lack the vision needed to properly support the UCUNF project.

  • Greenflag

    ‘The project was never about lining up the Conservative party alongside ethnic Unionism, but about replacing political structures based on constitutional and national issues, with politics based on social and economic issues using the same party structures that operate elsewhere in the UK.’

    Which is why the ‘project’ was always going to be in difficulties . Northern Ireland’s political culture is so different from the rest of the UK that to attempt to graft UK politics onto NI no matter how seemingly politically and economically rational was not just a bridge too far but almost a lemming leap .

    Trimble almost got it right when he talks about ‘replacing ‘ political structures . Replacing the biggest political structure of all -the NI State itself -is the way forward.

  • Driftwood

    Replacing the biggest political structure of all -the NI State itself -is the way forward.

    Possible Greenflag. I have long advocated us becoming a fully integrated English County Council. A name change to North Irelandshire and run accordingly. Cheap and cheerful.

  • Banjaxed

    Trimble’s observations are fine, as they go, and it’s nice to see that a leading unionist voice recognises out loud the changing demographics in NI. But it’s really the old mantra of ‘Smash Sinn Fein’ under a caring, sharing cloak rather than insulting people as not being ‘house-trained’. Actually, it’s ironic in a way that, alternatively, Sinn Fein do not even need to blink an eyelid to smash unionism as the unionists are doing a very good job of doing it to themselves. A pity SF didn’t discover this 40 years ago as it might have spared us all a lot of suffering.

    As for Trimble’s comments on small ‘u’ Catholic unionists, I’d be interested to hear how these folk stack up their attachment to the Union with the anti-catholic sections of the British Constitution. At least he didn’t claim that some of them were his best friends.

  • granni trixie

    It still looks to me that Trimble’s posturing over this debacle is driven by whats in it for him,relevant as it has bearing on his analysis.To which audience is he mainly speaking? (apart from Alec Kane) – is he trying to impress Conservative gatekeepers who can give him a role after next General election? Or help Reg? Surely the former?

  • New Blue


    Surely replacing the NI-State is for the People of NI to decide? In the meantime can we get on with addressing the real political issues?

  • Gaudi

    ‘Trimble driven by what’s in it for him’ Perish the thought! He smells an opportunity to engage again in NI politics as he watches the other unionists eat themselves. Now that he is in the HoL though, it is difficult to see his ambitions getting anywhere. However it is Irish politics so anything is possible.

  • Sammy Wilson’s calculator for the sums

    ”At least he didn’t claim that some of them were his best friends.”

    I don’t get the impression that David has many friends, to be honest.

  • Banjaxed

    I think Granni T. has nailed it. Trimble had stayed silent for several years until, immediately after Irisgate, when he thought Robinson and the DUP were about to implode, he outdrew Madame Defarge with the knitting needles in his speed to get to the press. And now that he thinks Cameron’s gonna win, he’s positioning himself, like the Remora under the mouth of the shark, hoping to garner a morsel or two after the kill.

  • Greenflag

    New blue ,

    ‘Surely replacing the NI-State is for the people of NI to decide? ‘


    ‘ In the meantime can we get on with addressing the real political issues?’

    That’s just it -they can’t be addressed given the current State set up . They can be bandaged over -fudged – and obfuscated .

    What does getting on mean actually. This Assembly has been around for 3 years and what have they actually achieved ?

  • Greenflag

    driftwood ,

    I have long advocated us becoming a fully integrated English County Council.’

    Nice theory but alas it can never be . I’ve been to Surrey and NI and apart from perhaps North Down it would’nt work 😉

    ‘ A name change to North Irelandshire and run accordingly’

    You’ll have to do better than that for a name change . Not only would such a name piss off the small number of catholic ‘unionists’ but it would truly piss off the 4.5 million neighbours in the Republic . We’ve moved on I hope from North Britain days ;?

    After a peaceful repartition I umbly suggest Downshire . It’s short and sounds more English than Antrimshire or East Belfastshire 🙂

  • Banjaxed


    ‘I umbly suggest’

    Are you adopting a ‘Souf’ of England accent in order to reach out? 😉

  • GEF

    ’ A name change to North Irelandshire and run accordingly’

    What about Nornironshire?

  • Alias

    Questioning Trimble’s purpose won’t change the reality that the strategy he outlined will be fully backed by the British government for the next two or three terms of office – by which time, a significant amount of those little ‘u’ Catholics will be waving their little Union Jacks at King William when he pays a visit and Marty will have taken his seat in the Lords (purely to demonstrate an ‘Ireland of equals’ and all that). 😉

  • ardmaj55

    banjaxed [7] I wonder how long it will take for Trimble to get in a jibe at wee jeffrey’s disappearance. DT seems not to have got over the way he was undermined as leader, so is he now attempting to rewrite some history?.

  • Greenflag

    banjaxed ,

    GF doesn’t reach out -he punches on the nose wherever possible 😉


    ‘ Nornironshire?’ An improvement on Driftwood’s suggestion .

    How about NOshire in honour of the DUP legacy of accentuating the negative ?

  • Driftwood

    I’m afraid ‘Downshire’ is already taken as the name of a large acute psychiatric hospital outside Downpatrick, but if you’re serious about repartition, I’m sure there are parts of South Dublin would join us here in ‘West Britain’.

  • fin

    There are loads of Catholic unionists,honest, I know loads.
    Its about social and economic reasons
    Put aside the border question and focus on important issues.

    If thats a vision, and one worthy of a senior politican then hats off to the many unionists on slugger who have spouted this stuff for years

    As for this Shire crack, try saying it in a Ballymena accent and you’ll realise its fruitless, Downshire comes out close to Timeshare (which is quite apt)

  • Gaudi

    What about Never Never Neverland?

  • Banjaxed

    ArdM: The putative Lord Chancellor Trimble (Heh, wouldn’t he love to hear that!) will not be saying anything about the wee man lest it jeopardise any future position – tainted as it might be, by a libel suit!

    GF… ‘punches on the nose wherever possible’

    Good to see you’re still in ceasefire mode. 🙂

  • joeCanuck

    It is being reported that two prominent N.I. MPs/MLAs, one male one female, who have not been seen publicly recently were spotted in Delmonico’s upscale restaurant in the L.A suburb of Belair last evening.
    Rumours of a deal with publisher Hugh Hefner could not be confirmed.

  • Driftwood, that was named after the Marquess of Downshire, who I believe gave them the land. The Downshires – or the Hill Family – were descended from an Elizabethean soldier (Moses Hill) who was acquired the estates of Conn O’Neill in the Plantation. They used to own Hillsborough Castle as well. Downshire is an archaic way of rendering County Down – like Donegallshire for County Donegal.

  • socaire

    “were descended from an Elizabethean soldier (Moses Hill) who was acquired the estates of Conn O’Neill in the Plantation.” That’s certainly putting it mildly. Why not just say ‘stole’?

  • Is it just me or is this the same Trimble who marched down the Garvaghy Road wearing his sash, hand in hand with Big Ian?

  • like Donegallshire for County Donegal

    I always liked Tyrconnell

    That’s certainly putting it mildly. Why not just say ‘stole’?

    Much in the same way the Celts ‘stole’ it from native ‘Gaels’.

  • joeCanuck

    I believe it was that same guy but wasn’t it more of a pas de deux by the pair of them?

  • granni trixie

    JoeC: Was she a ‘lady’?

  • socaire

    It’s accepted that ‘the Celts’ were not a defined people – more an outlook or a way of life – like the WASPs and there is no proof that they forced their way into Ireland and ‘stole’ anything. Anyway, we should expect better of one of the most civilised countries in the world at the time – cradle of democracy and all that. And two wrongs wouldn’t make a right. The Planter took what didn’t belong to them. In other words, STOLE it.

  • Panic, these ones like it up em.

    Posted by Bavarian Orange Order

    ” Is it just me or is this the same Trimble who marched down the Garvaghy Road wearing his sash, hand in hand with Big Ian? ”

    Sshh, That was so embarassing.

    And what about that time going into negotiations with Loyalist terrorists along side whilst saying that they would not negotiate with the wrong type of terrorist.

    That was also embarassing.

  • Damned immigrants, eh, socaire? what are you going to do, send them “home”? This racial purity thing must be a hard taskmaster.

    @JoeCanuck – I don´t speak the language of surrender monkeys, but I think you are trying to say that Ian and Dave did a two step. Granted. So what´s all this Catholic-friendly stuff about now? Its a bit hard to believe.

  • buile suibhne

    And pocketing the Noble prize money!
    Well at least he did not steal his title from a more deserving party colleague.

  • The aborinigal inhabitants of Ireland became culturally celticized but according to University of Oxford medical geneticist Stephen Oppenheimer, the vast majority of our (native Irish) ancestors arrived between 15,000 and 7,500 years ago [probably from Iberia and spoke a language similar to Basque]. The Irish are among the most homogeneous of ethnic groups in Europe. Subsequent invaders make up about 12 percent of the Irish gene pool, Dr. Oppenheimer estimates whereas they account for 20% of the gene pool in Wales, 30% in Scotland, and about 33% in eastern and southern England.

  • joeCanuck

    So what´s all this Catholic-friendly stuff about now?

    His colleagues in the Lords put manners on him.

  • Very interesting Shane, but what argument are you using this data to support?

    Incidentally, our glorious racial purity and small size of our population has brought inbreeding. For example, 1 in 25 of the mainland population caries the gene for cystic fibrosis whereas it is 1 in 20 in NI. Any geneticist will tell you that the introduction of fresh blood into a society can only benefit said society. The aforementioned scientist would not conclude by telling you “apart from Planters, Poles and Romanians”

  • @ Panic (nr 7) and buile (nr 9)
    Yes, indeed – no doubt there are a few more.

    @ JoeCanuck – But he still speaks with an Ulster accent…

  • socaire

    It’s probably not cricket to mention the thefts carried out by the English Kings/Queens after so much time has elapsed and racial purity is no really a concern of mine as we are mostly Turkish anyway but the bottom line is still that the English govt. took what they took as spoils of war i.e. stole.

  • Socaire, the lands which Gaelic chiefs nominally owned were held in trust for the tribe; when the chiefs surrendered, they were regranted the lands in right of their own person. That led to problems with the pre-existing tenants when those lands were confiscated. James Connolly looked back to Gaelic Ireland as an example of communism and associated the Tudor conquest with capitalism. As Hodder M. Westropp describes in his article On the Tribal System and Land-Tenure in Ireland, under the Brehon Laws (The Journal of the Ethnological Society of London (1869-1870), Vol. 2, No. 3 (1870), pp. 342-351, published by the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland):

    The districts occupied by an Irish tribe generally amounted to about the area of a modern barony, and belonged, as a rule, to the tribe. This common land seems to have been divided into common pasture-land, common tillage-land, private demesne-land, and demesne-land of the tribe ; each man of the tribe had a right to pasture as many cattle as he possessed on the common grazing-land ; and in proportion to the number of cattle thus pastured by each, was the share of the common tillage-land assigned to him upon the annual partition. The private demesne-lands were the distinct property of individuals, who were entitled to acquire and transmit by certain qualifications not very clearly explained.

    The demesne-lands of the tribe were set apart for the maintenance of the chief elect or tanist, the bard, the doctor, and Brehon ; the four offices of the chief, bard, doctor, and Brehon were descendable in distinct families, but not necessarily from father to son, rather the contrary. Upon his demesne-lands the chief established his tenants, many of them not members of the tribe ; he thus provided for his military followers, whom he also had a right of quartering from time to time on the members of the tribe itself. [..]As to the chief himself, he was usually elected before the death of his predecessor, and the rule seems to have been invariably that the eldest of the candidates, if not incapacitated by age or infirmity, should have the preference, the brother being commonly chosen instead of the son, and the son rather than the nephew.

    With regard to the nature of the property enjoyed in these several estates, the tribe at large possessed what is called the allodial or original indefeasible property in all the lands, and could not he ejected out of them in consequence of any arrears of tribute, inasmuch as the superior lord claimed only a proportion of the increase of stock upon the pastures, and was bound to take the same away at certain seasons ; this rent was precisely a lay-tithe, being one-tenth of the increase. As to the common tillage-lands, every member of the tribe possessed a life-interest in them, proportioned to his stock in cattle. In the private demesne-lands individuals had a permanent inheritable interest. In his separate portion of the demesne lands of the tribe, the chief had a life-interest, of which the reversion lay with the tanist, i.e. the second-many or chief-elect; and in like manner the tanist, bard, &c., possessed life-interest in their several portions.

    But coexistent with the first practical development of such a system, if not actually contemplated in its very rudiments, arises the necessity of providing for those members of the community who, either bychance, or choice, or compulsion, have been separated from their particular kindreds [..] To provide for them, it was necessary that a certain portion of the land should be set apart for the reception of strangers. To prevent the confusion of many lordlords, the profits of these tenements were allotted to the chief, who could thus afford to exact a higher tribute from the Finné of his tribe. To induce the better sort of strangers to settle among them, the chief was empowered to grant some of these tenements in perpetuity ; but the greater portion was usually let at will. As for those who had only their labour to offer in lieu of the chiefs protection, if they were received on his private demesne-lands and became his serfs. […]The original titles of raths, according to the classification of the Brehon law, were drawn solely from the circumstance of their erection and occupation by the natives themselves, — as, for example, among many others, the Finné-rath a homestead occupied by the a Mer-rath, one rented by stranger tenants for the first time ; a Sar-rath one occupied by stranger serfs on the chiefs demesne-lands. [..] The entrance-fine of such a tenement was denominated fal and, for the legitimate rath, amounted to fifty head of cattle. As distinguished from the Finné, or original clansmen, the stranger-tenant was called Fuidhir, and his tenure Fuidh.

  • granni trixie

    Bavarian:for the record,other genetic disorders such as muscular dystrophy are not only higher in NI but cluster around Lurgan/Portadown.

  • Granni Trixie, I am not aware of the data you mention, but am willing to believe it. I am familiar with those parts and can testify that both towns are stuffed to the brim with defectives. It must be the air.

  • granni trixie

    Bavarian:Please watch you language – there are sensitivites re children and families dealing with time limted conditions – unless you believe that all is fair game for jokes?

  • Sorry Granni (and to others reading). That was not the intention, I was merely responding to the Lurgan/Portadown point you raised – it read as if you were having a joke at the expense of said area. But to be serious, is there a congenital disease hotspot in Lurgan/Portadown? has any potential cause been suggested?

  • “Very interesting Shane, but what argument are you using this data to support?”

    None in particular Bavarian, though my granny did once scold me for ‘looking like a Protestant’.

  • @Shane – my friends used to say I looked RC (not joking, by the way). They said this could have advantages if I ventured into “the wrong part of town”. Laughable. Ulster in the 80´s was a depressing place.

  • socaire

    Extremely interesting,shane. Reminds me that the Official Republican Movement were very eager that all the cadres study the Brehon Laws and society back in 1970’s. But is it ‘stole’ or ‘not stole’?

  • granni trixie

    Bavarian: A genetics expert might know better but I always assumed that it was to do with a mixture of us being a small island so you never really know whom you are marrying plus you have a double whammy in places such as Lurgan where P and Cath tend not to mix hence two distinct pools of people who procreate. All this is a reason why its a good location to study such conditions and why we have a centre of excellence for genetics.

  • Greenflag

    driftwood ,

    ”I’m afraid ‘Downshire’ is already taken as the name of a large acute psychiatric hospital outside Downpatrick,’

    How appropriate then:) seeing as the inmates appear now to have taken over the asylum on that other hill over at Stormont .

    ‘I’m sure there are parts of South Dublin would join us here in ‘West Britain’

    There’s at least 47 people interested but they won’t be moving to North West Britain (a.k.a Downshire) . It’s the corporation tax thingies you know dosh and all that . Nice place for a vacation the Gold Coast but you get a better tan in Ghana assuming you are not a tomato head 😉

  • Granni – after you mentioned it, I had wondered if it were something to do with materials used during the building of C.Avon. What you say about separate communities procreating and sometime inbreeding may be true, but with the advent of C.Avon, there was an influx of people new to that area. I would have thought that congenital illnesses arising from the habits you mention would have been more evident in the remoter areas of the province, which leads me back to a potential environmental cause for problems in C.Avon. But I´m certainly no expert.

  • slappymcgroundout

    “It is being reported that two prominent N.I. MPs/MLAs, one male one female, who have not been seen publicly recently were spotted in Delmonico’s upscale restaurant in the L.A suburb of Belair last evening.”

    I’d have thoughts somewhere in Boystown, as some of us heterosexual males so fondly call majority male homosexual West Hollywood. Boystown was once an unincorporated part of Los Angeles County, and also where I grew up. We in Boystown were in much the same position as those of you in the north are vis-a-vis the larger UK, since unincorporated as we were, the closest we got to local government was the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. Given the population of Los Angeles County you can understand how we were but gnats in a much larger and more populated and diverse landscape. Not even Cinderella would have envied us. But then we took a vote, incorporated, becoming the City of West Hollywood, and never looked back.

    I only bagged out because, well, I’ll get back to that, but first the point, with the point being that if you all there in the north are economically viable as your own independent national unit, I would suggest that you go that route. Ironically, Willie Frazer makes the best case for that proposition. Fair Media vid after Fair Media vid with Willie decrying how those in Inglaterra keep selling him out, in other words, his girlfriend doesn’t love him anymore, matter of fact, she’s now sleeping with someone else, and so why the desire to remain in union with her, given that the proverbial handwriting is on the wall? Own nation means Repubs win, as no British link, and Protestant you avoids the Republic, so a win-win situation, again, at least if you’re economically viable as your own nation.

    Lastly, for the soul who called me “coward”, well, what did you expect? Without my anon status I can hardly speak to the good old days of getting stoned with my mates (gals included) on that little triangle grass strip between Holloway Drive and Santa Monica Boulevard just in front of Barney’s Beanery that we all called Barney’s Park. Barney’s almost made the larger landscape worthwhile. Almost. You all rang up a few thousand over two decades or so. When I bagged on Boystown and environs there were over 400 gang-related homicides (never mind other homicides) in LA County alone on the year. What did it for me was, ironically enough, a night out at Barney’s followed by a late night trip to the open cesspool known as Santa Monica Bay for some late night late night nude bodysurfing (it helps to date nubile gals who know the ocean). But we got a bit derailed there when on our journey there was just the one more victim, well outside of gangland, just happened to be seen by some of his enemy and so he was sprayed with automatic weapons fire from the passing car. That’s the point when I didn’t care if the police at the scene saw me do it, and so imitating my man in the one B tv series, I hurled that half filled bottle of EKU 28 as high into the air as I could and exclaimed rather loudly, Well, Toto, it doesn’t look like we’re in Kansas anymore… So great place, LA, if you can get past the smog, the open cesspool, and the knowledge that it’s a half hour drive down to the war zone. By the way, I actually lived in the war zone before it was war zone, when mom and I first moved to LA. If you’ve seen the film Boyz n The Hood, in that early scene when as kids they go to see the dead body there’s that street with the stop sign. Lived on that street. That was an aggravating factor, as war zone was once my home. Which brings me to my last point. Jobs. There once was a Goodyear plant in the area (toured in the 1st grade while attending Clyde Woodworth Elementary in Inglewood, CA), and some other plants as well. They all moved out. So instead of jobs in the Goodyear plant some decided to deal drugs, as that is all that is available, and so now it’s a war zone. In other words, give him a job, a wife, and a future for their kids and you won’t have any war zone.

  • Granni,

    I’d be interested to see your source for that. By the laws of statistics there will always be somewhere that has a higher incidence of some disease than the surrounding areas, but the question is by how much? If it’s less than the statistical noise, then it’s nothing to write home about.

  • georgieleigh

    Ireland is somewhere inbetween slappymcgroundout’s post and shane’s.

    I’m with shane’s.

  • granni trixie

    Andrew G: Unfortunately, I do not have up to date stats or any stats. But I accepted what I was told in 1976 by a consultant in the RVH when my son was diagnosed. I have always lived in Belfast but muy mother who deserted me as a youngster was from Lurgan. So ofcours I perked up when the Consultsant said that muscular dystrophary clustered around Lurgan/Portadown.