Conservatives’ Orange card exposed as a joker

Owen Polley argues in the Bel Tel that “Tories respect our position in the UK”. I’m sure they do, but do they do it in the same way as the UUP? Not over the touchstone issue of devolving Justice they don’t. They want devolution completed to stabilise the Assembly and are embarrassed by the micro-politics of intra-unionist rivalry. UUs risk getting the worst of all possible worlds by confusing voters who stuck with them through the hard times of the first Assembly and who aren’t impressed by a little shake of ( tarnished?) Cameron stardust. Campaigns in favour of Labour and Conservative representation at Westminster are decent, democratically inspired and well intentioned but they suffer from mixed motives and a lack of clarity. All Uncunf may have achieved is to embolden the UUs to negativity at Stormont with no gain at Westminster. Cameron is covering all bases and chasing every potential vote for a hung Parliament. Beyond the presumed tactics, the Conservatives’ failure to explain what a more forward unionist policy means for Northern Ireland in the medium term is a serious error. It is a politically motivated exaggeration to claim that the Conservatives are threatening the stability of the GFA but they are behaving as if the point has never occurred to them. They are either being disingenuous or profoundly ignorant. It is not enough to say “why shouldn’t we “; they have to explain why they should in this divided polity which is only very shakily finding its feet. The Conservatives now find themselves being blamed for making destabilising gestures at a very sensitive juncture in our politics and exposed as impotent with their new found partners. We can be sure that they will pay careful attention to the noises from Washington however egregious these may seem at home. If you were David Cameron, who would you listen to more – Hillary Clinton or Reg Empey?

  • “It is a politically motivated exaggeration to claim that the Conservatives are threatening the stability of the GFA but they are behaving as if the point has never occurred to them.”

    But it is not a “politically motivated exaggeration ” to say that the UUP arethreatening it. That should mark them out as unfit for any electoral alliance with the Tories. Interestingly Cameron, unlike Patterson, did not attempt to justify the UUP position. It is also not “politically motivated exaggeration ” to suggestr that this will damage the Tories, being publically called to account by the Obama administration is not good in the run up to an election.

  • scarecrow

    If I were Reg Empey I’d concentrate on electoral survival, which some think that is exactly what he is doing.

    Is the UU’s stance really a tatical blunder?

  • “the touchstone issue of devolving Justice”

    I don’t imagine that the Provisional Republican Movement’s former associates aks the Dissies will pay much heed to whoever is in charge of policing and justice here, ‘Brits Out’ is still their catchphrase. It’s possible that the sharing of various responsibilities between Westminster and Stormont will make things easier for them. However, should things go badly wrong the MSM finger will probably be pointed at Stormont when it’s not being pointed at the increasingly underresourced PSNI.

  • Frustrated Democrat

    MU

    I hope this clears up all your questions and that you will change you name to something more appropriate like Parochial Unionist – anti UUP Division.

    Owen Paterson – Belfast Telegraph (highlights added)

    The Conservative Party has been consistent in its support for the devolution of policing and justice powers to the Northern Ireland Assembly. We agree with the Government that these are best exercised by local politicians than by ministers in Westminster. For us it is the final and hugely important piece of the devolution jigsaw.

    That is why we backed the necessary legislation at Westminster this time last year. In the autumn David Cameron met Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness who sought assurances that a Conservative Government would honour the huge, open-ended and post-dated financial package that they had agreed with the Prime Minister. David Cameron immediately gave that assurance. We also welcomed the Hillsborough Castle Agreement between the DUP and Sinn Fein in February and expressed our hope that it would succeed. Throughout we have upheld the bi-partisan consensus with the Government. We may be the Official Opposition but on this issue we have been consistently supportive.

    At the same time we have always said that the final details were for the parties in the Executive to decide, working as a proper four-party coalition. For months I have been urging the Secretary of State to include the Ulster Unionists and the SDLP in real and meaningful negotiations.

    The Ulster Unionists have a number of real concerns about the functioning of the Executive and the future of education in Northern Ireland. Yet there is little evidence that sufficient efforts have been made to address them. I hope that even at this late stage any outstanding issues and concerns can be resolved in a spirit of compromise. Ultimately, however, we are simply not in a position to force our colleagues in the Ulster Unionist Party, or any party in Northern Ireland, to vote in a particular way in the Assembly.

    We are determined to make the political process in Northern Ireland work. Our overriding objectives remain the establishment of a peaceful, prosperous and stable society in which people have a shared future. Conservatives will continue to use our influence in Northern Ireland to move things forward.

    The Conservatives have an electoral alliance with the Ulster Unionists for the Westminster elections. We remain totally committed to establishing national, mainstream politics in Northern Ireland; we want to end Northern Ireland’s semi-detached status. We want to move Northern Ireland politics forward – to focus on the issues that affect people in their everyday lives – rather than remaining stuck in the past. Conservatives and Unionists will not be deflected from that task.

  • FD,

    “At the same time we have always said that the final details were for the parties in the Executive to decide, working as a proper four-party coalition.”

    Are you saying that Cameron did not call on the UUP to vote yes?

  • IanR

    If the vote goes through at Stormont today, then due to the so-called ‘triple lock’ mechanism the devolution of justice also has to be approved by both the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

    The UUP no longer have any meaningful representation in the Commons (Sylvia Hermon being semi-detached, Labour-leaning and possibly about to run as an independent), but it’ll be interesting to see what happens in the Lords.

    Presumably the Conservatives will vote in favour of devolution (or risk presenting Labour with an open goal), but will the UUP peers? If not, it doesn’t bode well for them supposedly taking the Tory whip after the next general election.

    And which way will former UUP leader David Trimble vote, now that he’s a Tory peer?

  • David Crookes

    ‘Let’s dig our own graves,’ said the leader of the UUP.

    ‘Yes, sir,’ said the UUP MLAs. ‘What a clever idea.’

    ‘Nobody tells US what to do,’ said the leader.

    ‘Except you, sir,’ said the MLAs. ‘But then we all agree with you, because you’re so clever.’

    ‘People can say what they like about the dodo,’ said the leader. ‘The dodo didn’t give up its principles. In fact, the dodo’s strength lies in its history.’

  • Dewi

    I bet Cameron (amongst many London politicos) has wish he’d never heard of Unionism.
    I know the convential wisdom is that no-one over here cares much but amongst those who follow I reckon Cameron’s Ulster escapade was the first crack in the narrative of inevitability of Tory victory,

  • abc123

    Brian Walker – “Conservatives’ Orange card exposed as a joker”. You are using the language of Republicanism. But perhaps you think it sounds clever.

    You are correct when you say “Campaigns in favour of Labour and Conservative representation at Westminster are decent, democratically inspired and well intentioned.” There will be issues in any new political force. But the C&Us; are more interested in the big picture and the general election will show that many people support national politics finally arriving in NI.

    And given how much Republicans appear to dislike the C&U link-up, as a Unionist party, they must be doing something right!

  • David Crookes,

    and the other ‘reason’ the DUP are not voting in favour apart from their history, the history of getting things wrong, is because they are being bullied not just by the Yankess and the SOS but also by Cameron – shame on David for trying to sort out the mad Paddies he is in an electoral alliance with. What could David the bully be thinking pressurising poor litle Reginald?

    We can just imagine the type of electioneeering that the UUP will be involved in – vote for us we are not the DUP, we tried to block the deal. But that probably wont even work as presumably anti-agreement Unionists will vote for the more honest TUV rather than those who jibber jabber about being pro-agreement whilst voting against it.

  • The Raven

    But Mr Crookes, you’re so right! Let’s just do it! Let’s do it for what’s right! Let’s do it on the basis of taking this dysfunctional mish-mash of second-rate politicos at their word that all will be right with the world once “everyone agrees with us”! Let’s take it verbatim, the way did with the GFA, and all who oppose are demons, because Alistair Campbell or somesuch clone say so! Above all…let’s do it because GEORGE says it’s right!

    I can’t imagine how anyone could disagree with what Martin and Peter say is right for us!

    I mean once this little glitch is out of the way, everything else will fall into place, won’t it? Won’t it….? Someone….??

    I can’t imagine how, now that we’ve seen all the evidence that the community is “confident”, how anyone can disagree!

    Yeah David…let’s just do it, eh?

  • Garza

    The UUP will be the ones laughing in the elections in 2011 if/when the DUP and SF make a real balls up of P&J.

    And given the track record of Stormont thats not an impossibility.

    I think the UUP though have to withdraw from the executive and go into opposition though.

  • Driftwood

    When the bomb squad doesn’t think it can safely defuse a bomb, it finds a way to explode it in a contained environment.

    The DUP used Hillsborough to ‘explode’ Irisgate.

    All under strict SF supervision.

  • Garza

    Yeah Drift it is funny how the DUP were so eager to get the deal done after the Iris scandal.

    The DUP are in the SF’s pocket. Fair enough if that’s where they want to be.

  • The Raven,

    “because Alistair Campbell or somesuch clone say so”

    Are you including Davey Cameron under that description, apparently he has also admitted to trying to talk Reginald around? That’s bullying in UUP speak.

    The UUP have presented Martin Mc Guinness with an opportunity to lecture them in fornt of the world cameras and knowing that that the British, Irish, American Governments, Tory party, SDLP, DUP et al all agree with him.

  • Garza

    MU out of interest, regarding you hard-on against the Tory-UUP link.

    Why do you want the link destroyed? Whats in it for you?

  • Alias

    Nobody in NI voted for Hillary Clinton, so it’s a case of whether unionists want their affairs to be determined by those they vote for or those they don’t.

    The Provos/Shinners remain as the wealthiest organised crime gang in Europe, with none of their considerable assets ‘decommissioned.’ Allowing a mafia any official role in policing and judicial matters is more than a little foolish when they will simply use it to protect the proceeds like they currently use their political roles for that purpose, i.e. protecting “good republicans” from the CAB and ensuring that others are untouchable (e.g. the murderers of Paul Quinn).

    However, the state is prepared to overlook all that in return for the organised crime gang’s co-operation in promoting a British national security agenda. In regard to the “stability of the Assembly”… that was simply a problem that the murder gang created for itself by lying to its own members at its Ard Fheis. Obviously, the state has to clean up their mess… and poor Peter Robinson must surely be wondering about how convenient it was for the state’s broadcasting agency to discover some pertinent details that ‘destabilised’ his position and quickly put his focus on the “stability of the Assembly” as the means by which might let the unpleasant matter slip back under its rock.

    What a repugnant little fascist statelet…

  • Bob Wilson

    Funny having read Owen Paterson’s article and listened to Cameron on Sky it appears there is no real difference of opinion between the Conservatives and UUP at all.
    I wonder where I could have got such a wrong impression? Surely not from an over simplistic BBC and press being lead by the nose by Shaun Woodward and the NIO?

  • Driftwood

    Garza
    ‘Moderate Unionist’ aka Itwassammymcnallywhatdoneit
    is an SF sock puppet.

    There is a huge element of Groupthink regarding the Hillsborough shenanigans. If SF/DUP had agreed that the official language of NI should be Hungarian, all assorted parties and governments would be urging support. Anything to prop up their great ‘success story’.

    Bringing in George W Bush was the ultimate (but quite funny) sign of desperation.

  • Bobby,

    The difference you appear to have missed is that Cameron did not act as an apologist for the anti-agreement stance by the UUP whereas Patterson did when he was interviewed.

    Why do you think that Davey joined in the bullying of poor Reginald?

    GARZA,

    Was not keen on the hypocricy and the spin surrounding project UCUNF and now that we see the UUP have taken up an anti-agreement position after linking up with the Tories, quite a strong dislike.

  • Time for the UUP to follow through the logic of their position on P&J and pull out of the sham of the Executive.

    They can do much more good for democracy, their country (and party) by carrying out the kind of principled oppositionto the DUP/SF Politburo shown on this occasion from the outside.

  • Harry J

    Funny having read Owen Paterson’s article and listened to Cameron on Sky it appears there is no real difference of opinion between the Conservatives and UUP at all…

    yes there is, Cameron supports the Hillsborough deal – the UUP dont.

    cant have it both ways , this bunch of CUNFS are wll and truly split

  • dodrade

    Why on earth is Cameron letting Empey embarass him (and the Bush phone call certainly is) like this?
    Why didn’t he just tell Reg to support Hillsborough or the Pact is dead? Or is Cameron weak as water after all?

  • alan56

    Wonder did Kate Carrol phone the BBC of her own volition,or did they phone her? Either way I sadly think she has been used

  • bohereen

    Hold firm Reg.
    I wonder what ridiculous story will come out next.

    Will Elvis phone?

  • Garza

    The Press coverage is incredible in all this.

    What happened to us? Are we that paranoid about slipping back to the past that we are only content when all the parties are around a campfire singing kum-bah-ya even though everything is crumbling around us.

    Whats wrong with learning to walk before you run?
    Whats wrong with learning to swim before you jump in the deep end?
    Whats wrong with the parties at Stormont actually proving they can run Stormont before being handed with P&J?
    Whats the god damned rush? Isn’t everyone in this for the long haul?

    We cannot screw P&J up, like we’ve done education. We are talking about the safety of citizens here.

  • Garza

    [quote]Garza
    ‘Moderate Unionist’ aka Itwassammymcnallywhatdoneit
    is an SF sock puppet.[/quote]

    Ha, MU is sammy? Wondered we he had gone too. They write very similarly come to think about it.

  • Impartial Reporter

    Raised voices reported behind closed doors in DUP rooms on the hill.

    Getting close to the vote and the feet are getting itchy.

    Could all six abstain?

  • Bob Wilson

    Interesting how the proponents of devolution are so keen to insist that David Cameron should tell Reg Empey what to do.
    If Cameron becomes PM and tells the Assembly parties what to do will they and the media row in behind Cameron so readily?

  • Impartial Reporter

    New offers being made to the UUP in Stormont regarding Education? Will it be enough to get them on the ticket or is it too little too late?

  • Bob Wilson

    Do you think the Shinners asked George Bush to intervene or was it Shaun Woodward, or maybe it was the editor of the Guardian!!
    Seems US Imperialism is okay after all!

  • Bob Wilson,

    The Shinners actually asked Cameron to bully Wee Reggie as the other bullies were not bullying him enough – terrible thing this bullying , especially when it is carried out by a bully you thought was on your side.

  • bohereen

    Gosh, late offers to UUP?
    If you were Reggie would you believe them or think it was not worth the brown envelope it was written on?

  • Impartial Reporter

    UUP reject offers and stick by their guns.

    The DUP ‘Super Six’ missing from chamber, will they abstain?

  • bohereen

    wow, this is exciting.

    Looks like we are finding out now why there has been so much pressure on the UUP.

  • Impartial Reporter

    Vote called, let’s see who goes through the ‘Yes’ Door

  • Harry J

    100% backing for robinson

  • joeCanuck

    Top breaking news story on BBC World News.

  • Excellent work by Robinson, given his personal circumstances he has played an absolute blinder, he will hopefully get his well earned reward at the Westminsters.

    How sweet, if the UUP having done the wrong thing for opportunistic reasons have their arses well and truly kicked in the elections.

  • David Crookes

    A memorable day for the UUP. For some reason I keep thinking of a sentence from John Buchan. ‘The Duke of Angus was very old, highly respected, and almost wholly witless.’

    Have the UUP driven a stake into the heart of UCUNF? Or should that be a wedge?

    Oh, well. If they have no vulgar ambitions about winning elections, they can always merge with the TUV.

  • Greenflag

    UUP left looking like ‘gobshites’ again 🙁 Will they never learn ?

    From the people who brought you UCUNF another fine mess .

    Goodbye Reggie and thanks for all the effort .

  • Harry J

    Cameron has been made to look foolish, the UUP will pay

  • Greenflag

    david crookes ,

    ‘they can always merge with the TUV.’

    They could call it UCUNTU which rhymes nicely with the African ‘UBUNTU’ which means an ethical concept of emphasizing community, sharing and generosity;) ? However as the TUV have resolved not to share anything while their version of ‘community’ is exclusively ‘unionist’ one has to wonder whether the word ‘generosity ‘ is even in the TUV lexicon ?

    Still UBUNTU UCUNTU sounds like a great name for a future UUP/TUV combo 🙁

  • Greenflag

    UCUNF RIP

  • Alias

    The downside/upside is that many DUP voters will return to the more principled UUP at the next election as a result of this squalid deal, leaving the Bogside Butcher as First Minister. Then its bye-bye Assembly…

  • The Raven

    Is there someone here posting under the guise of being a moderate Unionist? Smells like a DUP left-winger, frankly. For those of us who are moderate unionists, we still know the stench of pretenders. I don’t think anyone will forget the past few weeks in the round when it comes to election time. And I’m not talking about any damage done to Reggie.

    Fair play to them to sticking to their guns regardless of outcome. Let’s just move on to the next mess, shall we? Now let’s see…what aspect of public life can we expect a carve up on next…? Or indeed, just not do anything about at all?

  • Alias,

    “many DUP voters will return to the more principled UUP at the next election”

    A tenner says the UUP dont win 2 seats. Y’on?

  • granni trixie

    But why did UU not take a leaf out of SDLPs book…saying their piece but that for the greater good,blah,blah… That way they had somewhere to go other than the no-corner.

    Ther Tories project is dead in the water..where to now for them …or did they not think it through?

  • Moderate Unionist,

    A tenner says the UUP dont win 2 seats. Y’on?

    Ok then gobshite, raise it to fifty and I’ll take you on.

    Names and deposits to Mick, winnings to a charity of his choice. Got the bottle?

  • Greenflag

    Alias ,

    Rubbish . This is the first time that the DUP have voted with not ALL the nationalists and republicans against their fellow ‘unionists ‘ the UUP .I’m beginning to believe that even if SF win the FM position at the next Assembly election that the DUP will row in for the DFM post again leaving the UUP waiting outside the tent for the last crumb or morsel .
    This vote will enhance Robinson’s position and will most likley destroy any chance of a TUV breakthrough and will chase the UCUNF experiment into the North Channel where it most probably belongs .

  • Has anybody heard any utterances from Sylvia Hermon on this?

    granni trixie,

    it is possible that Reginald wanted shot of the good project UCUNF in order to cut a deal with the DUP over SB etc. He may not be quite as stupid, but simply more irresponsible, than we give him credit for.

    Perhaps Reginald will become the new MR NO of Ulster Politics, not just because he say NO, but also because he is going to get NO seats.

  • Greenflag

    error above in 25

    should read

    This is the first time that the DUP have voted with ALL the nationalists and republicans against their fellow ‘unionists ’ in the UUP .

    A ‘rubicon’ of sorts has been crossed even if the both parties are not Romeward bound 😉

  • oneill,

    OK gobsheen, but money goes to Slugger, will forward Mick my details, deposits not necessary.

  • Moderate Unionist,

    “OK gobsheen, but money goes to Slugger, will forward Mick my details, deposits not necessary.”

    Now don’t you forget to do that or indeed turn up here on results day. Looking forward to it already.

  • As I write, the vote for P & J has been carried. That effectively renders the Clinton warning irrelevant. The question remaining alive is whether this opposition to P & J will damage the UUP and the Conservatives, do no harm or help the UUP. Before I answer that, there are a couple of points in your post which I reject.

    I am not a mind reader but I would suggest that UUP leaders may be thinking along the following lines. They could portray the DUP’s vote in favour of devolution of P & J a desperate ploy to buy them time when it was clear that if there was an assembly election tomorrow, they would be mauled as a result of ‘Irisgate.’

    My own view is that they have misread the political temperature. There is growing evidence that a majority of Unionists favour the transfer of P & J.

    In the short term, I do not think it will make any significant mathematical difference to UCUNF’s prospects in relation to the 18 Northern Ireland seats. If anything, the Gambit could slightly benefit them through tactical voting by TUV sympathisers but certainly not enough to bring about any political earthquake which would mortally wound the DUP.

    The UUP and the Conservatives, if they are to do longer-term electoral damage to the DUP, needed to find clear blue water to separate themselves from them on an ideological level. As a result of the UUP’s move, it will now be much harder from hereon to brand the DUP as the extreme Unionist Party.

    Following the General Election, the Conservative Party will want to take a very close look at the benefits of retaining the pact with the UUP balanced against advancing Conservativism without them. The UUP’s propensity to develop further as a party of Civic Unionism will form a large part of the weighing exercise. If it is concluded that the “Old Style” Unionists are likely to retain the upper hand for a very considerable time, then any renewal of the partnership is unlikely. The P & J decision gives credence to that contention.

    The UUP’s decision to oppose P & J devolution could turn out to be a catastrophic strategic mistake.

  • Sammy Morse

    Funny having read Owen Paterson’s article and listened to Cameron on Sky it appears there is no real difference of opinion between the Conservatives and UUP at all.

    Except for disagreeing on whether or not policing and justice powers should be devolved to Northern Ireland. That’s a pretty diametric contrast, you’ve got to admit. Note, Cameron hasn’t been saying ‘I think Reg is right’, he’s been saying ‘I can’t tell Reg what to do’, which is radically different.

    I don’t know why you’re even trying to spin this one.

  • Sammy Morse,

    correction acccording to the BBC: He has been saying ” ‘I can tell Reg what to do’ but ‘I can’t make him do it’. That would be Cameron bullying (in UUP speak) of Wee Reggie.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/8556804.stm

    oneill,

    are you agreeing that the winnings go to Slugger and informing Mick of same? – if so £50 bet on.

  • Alias

    “Rubbish . This is the first time that the DUP have voted with not ALL the nationalists and republicans against their fellow ‘unionists ’ the UUP ” – Greenflag

    Oh right… and here was me thinking that the British government wasn’t an Irish nationalist party. Devolution of policing is in the GFA. Both governments support that agreement, as does the US. Incidentally, the US government always supported the legitimacy of British sovereignty over Northern Ireland and never supported Ireland; former claim to it, so it was always a ‘unionist’ government. Likewise, the Irish government has given up its claim to that territory and have accepted the legitimacy of British sovereignty as have the other parties that you allude to, so likewise they are all unionist parties.

  • “are you agreeing that the winnings go to Slugger and informing Mick of same? – if so £50 bet on”

    MU

    In my original, I said a charity of Mick’s choice, but I’ll leave it up to him. Watching you squirm (or more likely do a runner) on the day the results are announced will be reward enough.

    50 quid on the Conservatives and Unionists to win at least 2 seats in Northern Ireland at the next election.

    My details are already with Mick.

  • Reader

    Sammy Morse: Except for disagreeing on whether or not policing and justice powers should be devolved to Northern Ireland.
    Not ‘whether or not’ but ‘when’.

  • oneill,

    “Watching you squirm (or more likely do a runner) on the day the results are announced will be reward enough.”

    I have no intention of imitating Wee Reggie by squirming or running away from my responsibilities should the need arise. Incidentally which seats do you think they will win?

  • Greenflag

    alias,

    ‘the US government always supported the legitimacy of British sovereignty over Northern Ireland and never supported Ireland;’

    Without USA support there would never have been an Irish Free State never mind the present Republic . And I’m not talking about official US Government support but rather USA residents supporting the Irish cause via financial contributions and political support such that the UK was restricted to some extent on what it could ‘impose’ on Ireland unilaterally.

    If they are all Unionist parties as you say then to paraphrase the top pig in Orwell’s Animal Farm -it’s very clear that some are more ‘unionist’ than others.

    Bad move by Reggie .Should have seen it coming . Seymour Major above is close enough to the truth . Goodbye UCUNF and hello UCUNTU 😉

  • David Crookes

    It is possible that in noisily burying themselves, the UUP MLAs have helped to bury Irisgate as well.

  • SM,

    “As a result of the UUP’s move, it will now be much harder from hereon to brand the DUP as the extreme Unionist Party”

    That is a fair point (and overall good analysis)and will probably be reflected in the Nationalist view of Unionism but it is not clear what that will translate into in Unionist voting terms.

  • Alias

    Greenflag, you’re modifying your argument. Your unmodified argument was that the US state is supporting an Irish nationalist agenda. That is not now and never was the case. The US state always supported the legitimacy of the British state’s sovereignty over the formerly disputed territory of Northern Ireland, and always regarded the competing claim of the Irish state to that territory as illegitimate. Nothing whatsoever has changed in that position since partition. It still supports the legitimacy of the British state’s sovereignty, and now lends its support to an agreement that accepts that legitimacy of the British state’s sovereignty. Therefore the US state always supported the ‘unionist’ position – or, rather, the British state’s position.

    If it now supports the Irish state’s position it is only because the Irish state has changed its position from rejecting the legitimacy of the British state’s sovereignty to accepting its legitimacy, and ergo it now has the same position as the British state. Likewise, the other parties only enjoy the support of the US state insofar as they also support the British state. Those parties that do not support the British state do not, of course, enjoy the support of the US state.

    There is no great mystery to the definition of a nationalist: it is a member of a nation-state who advocates a state for his nation as the sovereign territorial entity by which that nation’s right to self-determination may be exercised. Neither the SDLP nor the Shinners support a nation-state and both have formally renounced the right of their nation to self-determination, so neither are, by definition, nationalists. Their post-GFA ideological position is that of a non-sovereign nation, so they can live within a state that wherein another nation is sovereign. As they support the legitimacy of British sovereignty, they are all unionists. It doesn’t mean they swap nations – it just means they are converted into a non-sovereign nation with their own approval.

    If you sign the deeds of your property over to another and rent your former property back from its new owner, then you have agreed to change your status from owner to tenant. You may still call yourself the landlord if that is your peculiar fancy, but you really shouldn’t expect the court to indulge your fantasy when you stop paying your rent and the new owner acts to evict you.

    You either have a right to self-determination or you do not. If cannot give up that right and still call yourself a nationalist – unless, of course, the new owners allowed you that indulgence for their own purposes. 😉

  • Alias

    Typo: “There is no great mystery to the definition of a nationalist: it is a member of a nation who advocates a nation-state for his nation as the sovereign territorial entity by which that nation’s right to self-determination may be exercised.”

    (It’s less mysterious now)

  • someone

    A UK general election is still only a few weeks away. And for the first time citizens in NI get to chose who the next PM is! I’m excited – are you? And if not, why the hell not?

    I want Mr Cameron as PM so I vote UCUNF, if you want Mr Brown as PM you can vote Hermon (been in bed with Labour for years), SDLP (take Labour whip officially) or DUP (prostitute themselves to whoever writes the biggest cheque, and Mr Brown does like profligate spending, or as he calls it “investment”, ever so much) depending on who the likely candidate in your constituency is.

    Who deals with the UK deficit? Who sets UK taxes? Who sets economic policy? – yes it is the UK government and this time, for the first ever time probably, you get to vote on it!

  • “Incidentally which seats do you think they will win?”

    “Moderate” “unionist”,

    You made a tactical mistake giving me the 2 seats, I’d have bet 50 on 3, even possibly 4.

    Perm any three from Strangford, Lagan Valley, Upper Bann, South Antrim. Depending on candidates, Sth Belfast, N Down are also possibles. Next layer down, if someone offers me good odds on Robbo losing in E Belfast to either Alliance or the UUP (4/1 upwards), I’d take them.

    I learnt long ago that there is a fair bit of daylight between what the self-appointed cognoscenti (like yourself) on Slugger believe will happen on election day and the hard reality. Consequently, I made a pretty good killing on the Euros where Nicholson (and Allister) were completely written off by the various Dupe, Alliance and nationalist apparachniks and clueless pundits like Brian Walker on here.

    If you want to cover your bet, might be worth your while putting a few bob on Jimbo in N Antrim, although given the all round obnoxiousness of Jr 3/1 at paddy Power, doesn’t appear too generous.

  • BTW “Moderate” “Unionist”,

    I hope sending that Email to Mick Fealty hasn’t slipped your mind now that your first wave of giddy bravado has worn off.

    I’ve got my confirmation back from Mick Fealty, how about you?

  • oneill,

    Yor are indeed a great man for the blather and the enumerating of farmyard feathered creatures before their birth. I have indeed had a confirmation from Mick. You appear to be not only getting ahead of yourself but displaying distinct signs of over excitabiltiy – I suggest you calm yourself down as there is a long way to go yet. Having made a holy show of himself yersterday and embarassed the now clealy fretting Davey Cameron god only knows what Reginald the diminutive will get up to next.

    ..but of course I will watch what PP (the papal predictor) has to say with interest as I am a regular investor with ther quarefellah himself and do have just the slightest of tendencies to spend first and reflect afterwards.