Animated Alliance #apni12

Still from Alliance Party's April 2012 Party Political Broadcast - Naomi Long avatarAlliance party political and party election broadcasts have a style all of their own. The yellow brand and the Naomi Long avatar are perfect for animation.

This week’s party political broadcast being shown on BBC and UTV in the run up to their conference on Saturday continues the theme.

Alan Meban. Normally to be found blogging over at Alan in Belfast where you’ll find an irregular set of postings, weaving an intricate pattern around a diverse set of subjects. Comment on cinema, books, technology and the occasional rant about life. On Slugger, the posts will mainly be about political events and processes. Tweets as @alaninbelfast.

  • Watched Ford on Hearts and minds earlier and a bit petulant at the nerve of Noel Thompson daring to query anything he was doing. Ford was determined to get the last word in.

  • The videos are very good. Not so sure about some of the content, particularly the reasoning for getting another seat on the Executive.

    Also Naomi Long claims to have led the debate on commemorations. That was through a 15 minute debate in the sub-Commons Chamber of Westminster Hall. While commendable — not exactly ground-breaking or leading the debate. In fact, in the DUP’s recent ludicrous opposition day motion they probably raised commemorations at a higher level, albeit in an underhanded and sectarian manner.

    I do not mean to question Naomi’s achievement in getting that Westminster Hall debate, but it is certainly not “leading the debate” in my opinion. The debate is yet to be really opened up at Westminster at all. Whether it should be is another question, of course.

  • Drumlins Rock

    This 1 Billion, its a few years old now, but do the figures really stack up eitiher then or now? And what are they going to do about it? Obviously the largest area of division is in Schools, there is serious rationalisation taking place, however Alliance are usually keen on promoting a third middle sector rather than integrating the various existing sectors.

    Speaking of division even the education of teachers is divided, they havn’t succeeded in sorting that out dispite being in charge, we saw Ford’s “achievements” listed, what about Farry’s? where was his list? maybe I blinked and missed it!

    It is however good to hear that they are leading in the Centenary commerations, I look forwards to seeing Naomi & David in Omeau Park on the 19th of May, if they are still talking by then.

  • boz

    DR, the £1billion is from a report that OFMDFM comissioned and PWC compilled. OFMDFM tried to keep secret but Alliance got it published through a FOI request.

    DUP and SF are trying their hardest to block any integration of teacher training. Even though Alliance have the Department, legislation has to be agreed by the Executive – that’s normal with coalitions.

  • Drumlins Rock

    boz, when was the report carried out? I don’t disagree with that the division is costing too much, however I suspect it probably isn’t quite that high, and cant be changed overnight by voting Alliance. I agree with the plans to bring teacher training under one body, and what is percieved as the more Protestant sector is willing to move but left in limbo as the Executive panders to the Catholic Church essentially. The same with the ESA, it was a one sided deal, centralising the one side but pamdering to the Catholic church and excluding them once again. I’m not sure where else there are big divisions costs that aren’t being addressed, or else where there are other social reasons that would remain even if the sectarian lables remain.

  • Mainland Ulsterman

    Really fantastic piece of political communication I think, for a broadcast going for relatively detailed messages rather than a single idea.

    By using this visual style, they hook into the values of the 2012 online world – reminded me of the kind of infographics the Guardian online does, or David McCandless’s “Information Is Beautiful”. Of course it’s not at the cutting edge of cutting edge, but it doesn’t need to be, it does enough to suggest Alliance understands 21st Century life and challenges. Alliance’s message and values actually fits the emergent values very well – open, sharing over individualism, creative, forward-looking, optimistic and constructive, clean, simple and polite. I expect it will resonate really well with their constituency, especially at the younger end. For me it positions Alliance as the party of a new, emerging Northern Ireland.

    Of course there’s more to politics than getting the messaging right. And as ATQ Stewart said, the tides of history have eddies and Northern Ireland since 1921 has been one of those. But by talking and sounding like normal 21st Century people, while applying that to the particular circumstances of Northern Ireland, Alliance I think project a sense of hope that the future can look and feel different.

    For me it suggests a Northern Ireland that is increasingly ‘normal’ (i.e. taking its head out of its own arse and engaging with the rest of the world). Unfortunately, some other parties prefer to focus on the idea that Northern Ireland can only be regarded as a “failed entity”, which must wait for the transformative wand of Irish sovereignty before it can be redeemed. This creates a complete disincentive towards building a shared society with a sense of common purpose and desire to succeed. NI can’t thrive as a waiting room.

    A lot of nationalist politicians talk about reconciliation but don’t really mean it, because they think at the back of their minds, all I have to do is wait and everything will come my way. A lot of unionists won’t engage properly with reconciliation because it is easier to dwell on our Troubles wounds (a period that is in a sense comfortable for us because we feel we had the moral high ground overall and nationalism made such a tit of itself) than work out what a healthy, functioning, successful Northern Ireland should look like. I’m probably a bit guilty of that myself. I do think Alliance is one of the few parties with a vision of a Northern Ireland that most people would want to live in. We’ll leave their connection with the Lib Dems to one side for now though …

  • tyrone_taggart

    Mainland Ulsterman

    “A lot of nationalist politicians talk about reconciliation but don’t really mean it, because they think at the back of their minds, all I have to do is wait and everything will come my way. ”

    Who in the sdlp?

  • Drumlins Rock

    is the Alliance colour yellow or light orange btw?

  • Mainland Ulsterman

    The SDLP has a long history of regarding co-operation within NI as conditional upon extra-NI factors (perceived movement in the direction of all-Ireland arrangements). I’m afraid pretty much every SDLP politician I can think of subscribes to the “NI as failed entity” myth. The phrase ‘The North of Ireland’ is something of a give away.

    I’m not saying there has been no engagement on everyday politics, of course there has; but the SDLP’s ability to deliver a long term vision for NI is undermined completely by their position that the creation of NI was a mistake and that it has no long term future.

  • tyrone_taggart

    When asked about “reconciliation”

    You say “the SDLP’s ability to deliver a long term vision for NI is undermined completely”

    They are a Irish Nationalist party, its who/what they are! They have put forward plans of a new Ireland which try and make the conflicting political outlooks at least compatible.

    It is funny to think the Provisional IRA Army Council suggested the setting up of a Dail Uladh (nine-county Ulster Assembly). Which would do more for political reconciliation than your idea that everyone must be working for a “Northern Ireland” and anything else is not about reconciliation of competing identities.

  • Mainland Ulsterman

    You’re right, it is a fundamental problem within Irish nationalism as a whole, a problem it shares with all minority national groups in disputed territories – that is, how to combine a long term goal to be united with the ‘parent’ nation, while making as much of a success of the polity they are in now, notwithstanding the long term goal.

    One of the basic things nationalists have to do if they are serious about reconciliation is to make it clear they are aware of and will guard against the danger of their long term goal affecting their total commitment to the success of society in the here and now. I think huge strides have been made in that direction under the GFA and it’s been great to see. All I’m saying is, for real reconciliation to happen, nationalism has to show restraint about how it expresses its long term aspiration – and it’s deeply wrong if it does so in a way that denigrates Northern Ireland or suggests it should not exist today.

    After the disaster of the “Armed Struggle”, I think nationalists of all hues do realise it’s not appropriate for them to talk about unification in urgent terms any more. But for true reconciliation people need to feel secure and stable first and not under short or medium term threat. (Long term threat isn’t ideal either, but Irish unity is a legitimate aspiration for nationalists and I think unionists generally recognise that these days.) But it is destabilising and its capacity to cause fear and defensiveness needs to be actively defused – and nationalists have to do this themselves, we can’t do it for them.

    Tyrone, I really hope you’re not serious that you think an idea – from IRA half-wits at that – to treat our agreed international border and the GFA like they don’t exist is going to help reconciliation. The idea that everyone must be working for Northern Ireland is not my idea, it’s in the GFA – which represents what all the parties signed up to and agreed as they way forward. They agreed to “endeavour to strive in every practical way towards reconciliation and rapprochement within the framework of democratic and agreed arrangements.” The parties then agreed that they “recognise the legitimacy of whatever choice is freely exercised by a majority of the people of Northern Ireland with regard to its status” as part of the UK and that “it would be wrong” to make any change to that, save with majority NI consent. So I’m not making it up, Northern Ireland is the basis on which we’re all committed to working. And anything else is ducking the deal.

  • tyrone_taggart

    Mainland Ulsterman
    “minority national groups”
    That would be Unionism

    “success of society in the here and now”
    You mean like the Orange order getting funding for its members?

    “IRA half-wits”
    Just taking that they was half wits who comes up with an Idea does not matter. Its the relevance and merits of the idea that should be considered.

    “everyone must be working for Northern Ireland”
    Back to the sdlp how have they not been working for the of the people of “Northern Ireland”?

    “Northern Ireland is the basis”

    Can you point out in the GFA or any other document how its unacceptable or inappropriate to be working for “united” Ireland?

  • Progressive Unionist

    I’m a big fan of these Alliance ads – they really draw you in, and they’re really different from the usual face-to-camera mixed with norn-ireland/belfast-scenery shots.

    They’re among the best produced of any political ad anywhere, though you’ve got to imagine Alliance are doing it on a tight budget. Fair play to them…

  • Mainland Ulsterman

    In international law terms though, people of Irish allegiance in NI are a national minority i.e. a people of one nationality living inside another a country. It’s not a pejorative term, it’s perfectly normal and there’s no implied criticism in that, it’s just a statement of fact.

    You miss the point of my beef – it was that aspiring to a united Ireland is of course fine, but making the border an issue here and now isn’t. The GFA of course doesn’t prevent anyone being a nationalist, my point was that it does imply a restraint on how nationalism is pursued and how nationalists treat Northern Ireland as a unit. In the GFA, nationalists expressly recognised the legitimacy of the border and expressly recognised Northern Ireland as both existing for good reasons and being the relevant self-determinative unit (therefore the whole island is not the self-determinative unit). So statements like yours that you see unionists as a national minority in Ireland, for example, are now a bit weird. Even extreme nationalists gave up that position in 1998 (at least that what they signed up to).

    Your point about the IRA half-wits’ idea is irrelevant, because I did in fact go on to explain why it was a bad idea; I didn’t rely on just the fact that it came from everyone’s favourite deludoid dogma-swallowers.

  • tyrone_taggart

    “people of Irish allegiance in NI ”

    Even Ian Paisley said he was Irish. Does the Alliance party not have members who would have Irish allegiances?

    “nationalists treat Northern Ireland as a unit”

    Hardly anyone treats Northern Ireland as a unit. From the Orange order to the Alliance party leader.

    “you see unionists as a national minority in Ireland”

    Why would I? Unionists have a majority in at most 2 counties of Northern Ireland.