NI’s 13 MPs who take their seats “should work together”

BBC NI’s political editor Mark Devenport notes an “outbreak of political harmony” on today’s Inside Politics programme between two of Northern Ireland’s newly elected MPs – the DUP’s Ian Paisley Jnr and the Alliance Party’s Naomi Long.

The subject of agreement?  That, should the opportunity arise, the 13 NI MPs who take their seats should be prepared to work together – “on areas like finance and the defence of the local economy” – in any potential negotiations over support for the next government.

As I said, whatever happens, an abstentionist Sinn Féin have nothing to talk to anyone about.

Adds The Guardian reports that Nick Clegg has set a deadline of 24 hours for the Lib Dem negotiations with the Conservative party.

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  • Stephen Blacker

    I agree that all our MP’s should work together as they do at Stormont for the interests of everyone living here. They would make a solid voice and powerful at that. It is disgraceful that Sinn Fein MP’s do not take their seats in this new age of cooperation in Northern Ireland. They say they want to reach out the hand of friendship to Protestants / Unionists but deny them representation at Westminster. They please their fellow travellers but in effect they defecate on the others who want that voice. Another great victory in shoving it up the prods!

    Five constituencies have no voice in Westminster. Great news for the people who dont want a Brit about the place but no way to reach out the hand of friendship. Its a pity too, because a group of 18 would be a lot more powerful that 13. Paraphrasing an old saying, “neither in us or on us but we sure showed those bastards!”

  • johnno

    Stephen, dry your eyes you sad sack.

    Unionist strategy in FST was all about offering the hand of friendship, eh? The Orange Order’s choice and all that.

    You hypocritical, whiney little girl.

    Arlene’s premature triumphalist gloating in the BBC studio tells nationalists all we need to know about unionist sincerity re cooperation.

  • Michaelhenry

    is slugger going to show us the televised clips of these M,P,s taking the oath, none of the media out lets show the people these clips, to save the S.D.L.P there modesty

  • johnno

    Michael, Slugger’s too busy ‘moulding and shaping’ opinion…lol.

  • Michaelhenry

    the truth is there for all to see, but the media will not show this, the media is to ashamed.

  • wee buns

    An outbreak of political harmony = yikes
    Whatever next.
    I merely note, on BBC Englander coverage, the abstensionism of SF is never…queried ….expalined….simply stated, well, they never attend so, no possibilities there.
    I think, if SF could not bring themselves to taker yon oath, then they should’ve run an awareness campaign in Britland, as to why they absatin from parliment. The electorate there has no clue. Surely a bit of lateral thinking would have paid off: ‘No need to canvas W. B’fast bhoys, but Sussex needs some radicalism’.
    They could have done more.
    We could be colonising England.

  • YelloSmurf

    This sounds like a big deal but it’s really not rocket science. MP’s from Northern Ireland should work together in order to get a good deal for Northern Ireland. In other words, do the things that they were going to do anyway, and talk to each other about them.

  • Glencoppagagh

    If the DUP are prepared to enter into a spongers’ coalition, they should stop describing themselves as unionist. They are a menace to the union.
    Has Sammy Wilson (we’ve got to accept our fair share of cuts) been overruled by the witless populists? It was embarrrassing to listen to Jim Shannon trying to explain on the World Tonight why our ‘civil service type economy’ must be spared any cuts.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    The SDLP and Alliance should go along with this approach right up until there is a sniff of a ‘progressive alliance’ with the Lib-Labs-Nats and then if required abandon the DUP – who under no stretch of politcal definition could be classified as ‘progressive’.

    Naomi and Maggie can get what is required for Ulster without the embarassmnet that the flat-earthers would bring to the table.

  • Anonymous

    “As I said, whatever happens, an abstentionist Sinn Féin have nothing to talk to anyone about.”

    Actually, they could talk to people about that remaining the case, if they were so inclined.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit


    “As I said, whatever happens, an abstentionist Sinn Féin have nothing to talk to anyone about.”

    Slugger’s Pete Baker, in a dramtaic scoop, suprised those who had been asleep for the last 20 years by exclusively revealing that SF will not be taking their Westminster seats.

  • Stephen Blacker


    It is SF who talk about reaching out to Protestants and even set up a group within its party to look at ways to do that. The pact in FST was about getting a voice at Westminster for Unionists that have not had a voice there for 9 years now. I dont expect you to give a hoot about that and your probably having a good laugh.

    As regards Arlene showing emotion that was not a surprise because it would have been a good win for the unrepresented people there.

  • IIndeed – but there are so many moulds 🙂

  • What a fickle media we have. Can you imagine the BBC giving us the low-down on the Paudie McShane resignation? Paudie iis the former SF councillor in Moyle, the one with the apparently short fuse and the gift for colourful language.

  • Bulmer

    Surely noone believes they don’t work together? The old myth is that they don’t talk, shake hands etc. Plays well to the true believers. But of course they cooperate in the provinces interests.

    The UK media is still swallowing the old line about the DUP being right wing to Atilla The Hun as they constantly lump them with the Tories.Having just given Cameron a bloody nose and kicked into touch the real right wing of TUV, they are clearly more progessive than a lot of other shades of Unionist opinion. But let’s not consider the truth when the scare stories play better.

  • Dec

    “As I said, whatever happens, an abstentionist Sinn Féin have nothing to talk to anyone about.”

    Actually they do, unless you believe, like some delusional SDLP candidates, that negotiations actually take place in the House of Commons as opposed to in and around the Palace of Westminster where SF have offices like every other MP.

  • CatinHat

    Why precisely are the DUP not “progressive” though? Sounds like empty tribalism. Economically they’re about as left or right wing as Labour or the LibDems, and would pretty much agree on what and how much should be public sector and what and how much should be left to the market. They are scarcely any more socially illiberal than Labour either, but in a somewhat different way. Labour being politically correct communitarian illiberals and DUP being Christian illiberals, but even that has common ground (e.g. Labour’s clamping down on prostitution, or their sacking of drug advisers and upgrading of cannabis).

    Per political compass,

  • Pete Baker

    Somewhat missing the point there, Dec.

    Any potential negotiations in this case will be about securing support for the eventual government in an initial vote of confidence in the Commons.

    And if you don’t take your seat there, you don’t have a vote to negotiate with.

  • Dec

    A point equally missing from your thread.

    “Any potential negotiations in this case will be about securing support for the eventual government in an initial vote of confidence in the Commons.”

    Let’s just see if any ‘eventual government’ is desperate enough to come cap in hand to’Ulstermen’ using Ken Clarke’s parlance. Cart before horse and all that…

  • Granni Trixie

    Whilst I personally believe in cooperation when possible, in my experience it is a myth that the wimmin thing will mean these MPs will necessarily mean they do so. Lady H. has already shown she is not a team player (though a terrific actress,I could write her script from observing her saccarine line of attack).

  • Reader

    Granni Trixie: Lady H. has already shown she is not a team player…
    By abandoning the UUP? Or was she recruited onto another team afterwards without being consulted?

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit


    Are you serious? Leaving aside their overt sectarianism their attitude to gays and evolution alone surely makes them the least ‘progressive’ party in the British isles by some distance.

  • G O’Neill

    The second thread in two days that he has ended with the same comment – like a four year old continually repeating the same sentence. Its quite pathetic that a commentator on here can continue to get away with this – surley its time for Mick to have a word its getting very very boring

  • Pete Baker

    I did say, “As I said…”

  • Pete Baker

    Well, Dec,

    If you clicked on the links in the original post, you’d have seen that I was talking about votes in the Commons

    The example Gerry Adams has cited in support of his call for unified opposition here is the negotiatons over the devolved policing and justice budget.

    The problem for Sinn Féin is that, in that case, their objective of prompt devolution of those powers was shared by the UK government – It was the DUP’s consent which was being negotiated.

    Post-election, without any votes in Parliament, what do Sinn Féin have to offer in any negotiation over cuts?

    But fair enough, my mistake.

    I’m always over-estimating commenters’ understand of the workings of the democratic system…