All Orange Hands to the pump….

First it was Castlereagh. Now it’s Belfast. The tribal call of pan-unionist unity has led to all shades of unionism, from the PUP and former UDA-aligned Frank McCoubrey to the DUP and UUP, joining forces to form a single unionist group on Council to avoid D’hondt being run on the basis of the strength of each political party, which would have led to more posts being distributed to the non-unionist parties on council.

So much for that post-conflict politics…..

  • Well Done Unionist’s

  • JR

    It is further proof, if any were needed of Unionisms selective intolerance of political violence.

  • Cynic2

    If Nationalists do it its clan solidarity and sensible. If Unionists do it its ‘orange’ and nasty and sectarian

    Grow up Chris. Its politics. They are grouping on a political basis

  • Jack2

    “The scum of Sinn Fein” Elliott has intervened.
    Its ok to share power with representatives of killers as long as they (mostly) target Fenians.

  • Chris, what are you greetin about now? Should you not be congratulating the pan-Unionist family for taking a leaf out of the pan-Nationalist book?

    I’m not convinced that this ‘happy families’ approach will improve what passes for democracy here; I suspect that it will merely reinforce the corruption that already exists.

  • qwerty12345

    Perhaps unionist posters might point out where exactly nationalists engage in the same behaviour in local government. Or are we back to the vague “pan nationalist front” pre GFA.

    Plus ca change…..and all that.

  • qwerty, can I give a personal view on your 10:08 comment? Many activities of the pan-Nationalist family are fairly well known; some barely see the light of day. I’m not surprised that our political ‘families’ get together, openly or in secret, to promote their particular interests – conspiracy being the lifeblood of politics.

    Power sharing is trotted out as a fine example of inclusiveness yet it masks the reality of deals done in advance of meetings, deals which ensure that resources are not distributed fairly. The same sort of nonsense pertains in relation to the operation of the OFMDFM.

  • Dec


    Talk about spectacular non-answers. Whether or not Nationalist parties form these pacts in chambers of power (and a pertinent example would be instructive)your assertion, that Nationalists pioneered this sort of cabal and that Unionists are merely following suit, is risible.

  • qwerty12345

    Nevin I live in a nationalist majority local government area, we have DUP and UUP heads of the local council. Could you point out a unionist majority area east of the Bann where similar power sharing happens.

  • Dec, does it really matter where the pacts are formed? I’d rather know about them so that if there’s corruption involved it can be exposed.

    Did you not think Chris’ thread title was funny? He equates Orangeism with Unionism much as some Unionists equate Catholicism with Nationalism. It’s much more complex than that.

  • granni trixie

    Alliance with 6 reps – balance of power – again?

  • qwerty12345

    “Last week Bob Stoker from the UUP categorically stated there would be no unionist carve-up.

    However, it is believed the U-turn happened after party leader Tom Elliott intervened”

    Oh dear, its that man again.

  • Qwerty, I’m more interested in the equitable distribution of resources; d’Hondt merely provides a fair distribution of powerless chairs and vice-chairs.

  • redhugh78

    Surely the Council will have to agree by vote to the formation of a ‘bloc’ tho?
    If SF, SDLP and Allliance are against then is it not scuppered anyway?

  • easter week

    redhugh, it is indeed scuppered IF all of those parties vote against it tonight.

  • lamhdearg

    sf 16 sdlp 8 =24,

  • dwatch

    “If SF, SDLP and Allliance are against then is it not scuppered anyway?”

    Exactly redhugh, all these three parties on the council need to do is vote as a majority to change the D’Hondt system from group to party & the Unionists are chinned once again.

  • dwatch

    ‘sf 16 sdlp 8 =24,’ indeed all SF/SDLP need is two alliance councillors to vote with with them and they have a majority.

  • granni trixie

    Bear in mind that Alliance group on BCC are committed to vote issue by issue as they see fit – hence they would not form a group with others to agree to vote together generally.
    Remember that with Alliance votes for instance, SF got Lord Mayor of Belfast role for the first time (cost Alliance at the time).

  • lamhdearg

    sf 16 sdlp 8 = 24, if they join up in the same way as the unionist are planing to do, they become the largest group, and would not need to change D’hondt, or need alliance. Or am i missing something.

  • patio dev

    The title “equates Orangeism with Unionism much as some Unionists equate Catholicism with Nationalism”. The Orange Order is linked to a Unionist party and leaders of Unionism speak in the field on the day. Therefore the title is appropriate enough.
    Pan Nationalism was the bogey man used again and again by Unionist leaders to hide their poor leadership aka Tom Elliot! I no longer believe this to be true of DUP leadership but the UU becoming lapdogs fits well in the overall plan to dominate Unionist Politics. Whether they (the DUP) want to dominate NI in a similar vain is another debate.

  • lamhdearg

    over the next 3 to 5 years the unionist in BCC and beyond with be setting traps for alliance, in an attempt to wean back some of there (alliance’s) recently aquired small u showing alliance as pro irish nationalist, this is just round one. It’s gonna be a long innings.

  • DC

    Alliance should join with Sinn Fein to form a group.

  • qwerty12345

    Hahaha lamhdearg, they have a cunning plan. What next, candyfloss at the field.

  • babyface finlayson

    The headline is lazy. Many Unionists are not Orangemen. why not simply ‘All Unionist hands to the pump…’ ?

  • SethS

    This is all very well as a short term fix to get the UUP a couple of posts, but surely in the end it means oblivion for the UUP. If they are just going to join up with the DUP, I might as well vote for the DUP

  • qwerty12345

    Babyface, indeed many unionists are not in the orange order, but it would be interesting to see a break down of how many ELECTED unionists arent. Id wager they are in a fairly small minority.

    In any case I dont think Chris means literally all orangemen to the barricades. But we all know what he means.

  • lamhdearg

    you SHOULD vote D.U.P., a vote for the uup is a wasted vote.
    Thats my try at sumbliminal messaging. Joke.

  • dwatch

    sf 16 sdlp 8 = 24, if they join up in the same way as the unionist are planing to do, they become the largest group, and would not need to change D’hondt, or need alliance. Or am i missing something.”

    The Unionist pact is not about forming a majority it is about gaining more council committee positions for unionists. At present the UUP, PUP and 1 independent do not qualify for any committee positions. The meeting tonight is to prevent this happening and amend standing orders.
    In order to do this SF & SDLP need a majority vote (of all the council) which would include alliance. 24 is not a council majority, they need 26.

  • dwatch

    “The Orange Order is linked to a Unionist party”

    I n March 2005, the Orange Order voted to end its official links with the UUP.

  • lamhdearg

    Thanks dwatch,

    it all becomes clear now, i think.

  • “In order to do this SF & SDLP need a majority vote (of all the council) which would include alliance. 24 is not a council majority, they need 26.”

    Unless of course Alliance abstain, which they’d be wise to do in this matter, then the 24 of SF & SDLP would carry the majority vote.

  • ayeYerMa

    qwerty12345, Larne council for a while had the SDLP’s Danny O’Connor for mayor. I’m sure there are other examples.

    Though I doubt that such a situation will happen again in Larne council any time soon as Danny was an amicable figure, but now with boundary changes nationalists have chosen a much more divisive Sinn Fein candidate instead.

  • granni trixie

    Lamhdearg: You obviously havent been following BCC over the years if you think Alliance hasnt had to manage such ploys before now.

  • Obelisk

    As Chris points out in his link at the foot of his blog, nothing punctures Alex Kane’s wish-fulfilment fantasy so much as the reality of what Unionists are doing right now.

    Was it not a year ago that the Union 2020 series was run? Did not contributor after contributor in favour of the Union list the need for Unionism to become more pluralistic?

    And yet at the first sign of a problem, the Unionist parties bury their differences (in Tom Elliot’s case burying the body of his party in the Belfast area right next to it) and begin circling the wagons.

    Absolutely farcical.

  • dwatch
  • Obelisk

    Saving us from having to repeat the acronymn BCUG for the next five years (up there with UCUNF!) would be reason enough to pray that the rule change goes through, not just the travesty of democracy that is being attempted.

  • The voters elected a mixture of representatives from different parties to the council, hoping that might lead to councillors concentrating on fixing Belfast. Just two weeks later many of these councillors have decided to bring it back to sectarian politics.

    The point they miss is that voters want councillors to serve them. They are not bosses, but rather should show some servility to the ordinary citizens of Belfast.

  • lamhdearg

    i have been watching as i am as sad as it gets.

    There has been a change as i am sure you have noticed Alliance have taken more votes off the unionist partys than ever, this makes them more of a threat and more of a target. and also their new found voters will be the real target and they in themselves make it a new ball game. we will see come the weekend now round one works out.

  • Chris Donnelly

    At least Obelisk has picked up on the main message sent out by this development….

  • Lionel Hutz

    Didn’t work then. Lol

  • dwatch

    “Unless of course Alliance abstain, which they’d be wise to do in this matter, then the 24 of SF & SDLP would carry the majority vote.”

    Sure, and If the amendment is passed all the 3 UUP councillors need do is deflect to the DUP. Then DUP will be the largest party having 18 councillors.

    I cannot for the love of me see three SDLP councillors joining SF. But I can see UUP councillors deflecting to the DUP.

  • SK

    So shinners are scum in Moderate Tom Elliots eyes, but teaming up with the UVF/PUP is no big deal.

    Hypocrisy is a way of life for these people.

  • dwatch

    UTV News: Rule change passed at Belfast council

    Top jobs at Belfast City Council will be allocated by party strength rather than on political groupings, after a motion to change standing orders was passed on Tuesday.

    Votes SF/SDLP/All 27 UUP/DUP/PUP/IND 19

  • lamhdearg

    my math is not great but 15 dup 3 uup 2 pup 1 ind, makes 21 but only 19 for unionist side?.

  • lamhdearg

    how switching to chris’s new post.

  • Comrade Stalin


    The DUP tried what you are talking about in East Belfast a year ago. It did not work.

    Not surprised to see the UUP and DUP jumping right into bed with the UVF and UDA – organizations which are both still fully armed and fully active – yet again.

  • lamhdearg

    mine must be the most misspelled name on slugger. is it deliberate, am i paranoid.

    if you refer to the unionist’s dissing the Alliance party, check out robin newtons comments on the utv news web site concerning tonights city hall vote. as i commented before the unionist will target alliance’s new small u voters. and why not all fair in ect ect ect.

  • dwatch

    my math is not great but 15 dup 3 uup 2 pup 1 ind, makes 21 but only 19 for unionist side?.

    The media at first (wrongly) stated all unionists were involved. IE: 21. The UTV news just stated number 19 which misleading could have read that two unionists (from any party) may have abstained or just did not turn up for the meeting. Now we know the PUP did not support UUP/UUP & IND failed group pact. See BT article

  • Comrade Stalin


    Yes. The DUP (in fact Peter Robinson himself) said that Alliance would be completely crushed after the party voted for Alex Maskey as Mayor quite a few years ago. That didn’t happen.

    If I were an Alliance councillor and someone on the doorstep asked why the party acted in this manner, I would simply say that I was unable to endorse the DUP’s plans to bring the representatives of the UDA and UVF – both active organizations, one of whom murdered a man in broad daylight in front of the public including children on a Saturday afternoon a year ago – in from the cold without any kind of commitment to exclusively peaceful means.

  • granni trixie

    Am I going mad? I just thought I read what to me was an interesting contribution,maybe even dynamite (from whom?Speak up). It followed someone saying something complimentary about Mairtin O’M. for Lord Mayor. Someone else responded with a link to FOI questions relevent to NI Water debacle,O’M membership of the Board and I think conflict of interest issues eg in a discussion about paying for a conference O’M stated something along the lines that the solution was “to make out a cheque to our (Belfast Media Group presumably) charitable wiing, “Nuadhtain Charities”.

    I cant be more exact as refs to MO’M seem to have been deleted. I do not understande why. It was not man playing IMO. I suppose what I fear is the power of the Belfast Media Group to influence independant debate on the likes of Slugger. You tell me if I am being unreasonable.

  • granni trixie

    OOP. Apologies. I jumped to the wrong conclusions (a conspiracy theory too far from me).
    Infact the “missing” contributions are on the more recent Chris Donnelly’s post (see above).

    The links I refer to in that post are well worth reading.
    Again, sorry for the mistake.

  • granni trixie, the link is indeed on the other thread. You could post your observations there.