Despite the hostility of the press “…it’s still the DUP which has the muscle to get things done”

Interesting observations by Alex Kane on the internal life of Unionism

…the Orange Order’s decision to support Gibson’s participation is a very clear signal of their recognition that it’s still the DUP, rather than the smaller unionist parties, which has the muscle to get things done.

The PUP also has some big choices to make in the next few months.

The announcement that they will be contesting the 2014 Euro elections (first time since 1999, when David Ervine got 3.3 per cent), the 2015 general election (first time since 2001) as well as the 2014 council and 2016 Assembly elections means that they have to give more thought to a credible socio/economic manifesto and devote less time to on-the-street protests.

The protests may result in airtime, but they’re unlikely to deliver enough votes to make a difference anywhere. Yet if the party adopts a quieter approach to politics it may find that it gets absorbed in the very large shadow cast by the DUP. Either way, it will have its work cut out to make itself relevant in what is an increasingly large pro-Union field.

According to one private research into the PUP’s support base conducted seven or eight years ago, their core communities were pretty unequivocal. Over and over again people identified the link with the UVF as the signal reason they would not vote for them.

There is no viable political future for the PUP so long as they retain a moody and ungovernable terrorist grouping in tow.

Meanwhile what some nationalist commentators like to view as fragmentation is more often a tendency to diversify within unionism’s political market. Despite the overwhelming hostility of most of the mainstream media, it is still the DUP which retains control over the balance of power both within and without unionism.

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  • Paulk

    I would broadly agree with this assessment of the DUP, but it makes me question why are they then jumping through hoops about all these street protests/ Twaddell?
    I mean it is claimed that despite the various facebook pages, marches etc… that these are small protests and that the vast majority of unionists don’t support them or are ambivalent towards them at best, if so surely they are hurting their own moderate vote and killing a few more unicorns (the very people PR wants to attract) along the way no?
    If it is the PUP/UVF who are driving these protests surely these are people who wouldn’t vote for them anyway so what would they lose by cutting them loose?

    Is it an attempt to keep everyone inside the tent pi$$ing out rather than outside the tent pi$$ing in?

    Or is it as simplistic as keeping the sectarian pot boiling in order to maximise Nigel’s vote and to try not to lose any council seats to the PUP?

  • Morpheus

    “why are they then jumping through hoops about all these street protests/ Twaddell”

    Because they started the whole thing off with their notorious, cowardly leaflet drop and now they can’t put the beast back in the cage. They are trying to keep a foot in both the extreme loyalist and moderate unionist camps and we all know what a jack of all trades is…

  • tacapall

    “If it is the PUP/UVF who are driving these protests surely these are people who wouldn’t vote for them anyway so what would they lose by cutting them loose”

    The reality is the UVF is the military wing of unionism, it is also controlled by British intelligence and always has been, the willingness of the various unionist members of the policing board to agree with Sinn Fein to remove the protector of security force collusion in murder, Dave Cox of the HET, reveals just who the DUP could only be representing with that stance and that is the UVF. These last few months has shown that Britain far from being an unbiased facilitator is the hidden third party behind the recent street protests, it has been proven throughout the past conflict that Britain has and was always the driving force behind loyalist paramilitaries so why should that relationship be any different now. The UVF and violent unionism has been allowed to continue promoting division, sectarianism and violence in their attempts to have the British, Unionist, Loyalist identity legally binding as the dominant identity because they represent British interests in Ireland. Unionist politicians daily turn a blind eye to loyalist paramilitaries glorifying their own sick killers and the attempts by the Crown representative Threasa Villers to set the parameters of the talks by engaging in street politics for the benefit of the unionist gallery by finger pointing in one direction while turning a blind eye to to another is proof for all to see that there is no logic nor purpose for Sinn Fein to engage in the Haass talks, they are there to rubber stamp the subjugation of the nationalist, Irish, Catholic population to a one sided culture dominated by unionism and controlled by Britain, the outcome being loyalism, and unionism can express their culture wherever and whenever they like while nationalism must express their culture in their own ghettos.

  • Reader

    tacapall – well that’s a relief. I was under the distinct impression that Unionists and loyalists were at odds with each other and with the other Brits, and the only thing we each had in common with the others was mutual disrespect.
    This news would be more reassuring still if it wasn’t clear that – if there was a massive conspiracy – 1) no-one but you seems to know about it and 2) whoever is running it is and always was a massive pillock and must now be entering his dotage if indeed he didn’t start from there.

  • FDM

    Can someone “in the know” explain how the OO and their lackeys control the DUP now?

    I think it may me true but who is pulling the strings?

  • Mick Fealty

    Too tired to go through it again, but I can hear gales of laughter coming from lurking members of the great virtual Orange Lodge at the idea the Orange are capable of controlling anything…

    The fundamental social structures of Protestant and Catholic communities are as divergent as those of northern and southern Europe… Can we have some serious questions/comment, please?

    Night all…

  • Charles_Gould

    Mick

    Some of the comments here remind me of your old dictum that comments on unionism by unionists and comments on nationalism by nationalists is far more interesting than comments by one side on the other. (If I have remembered it right).

  • Morpheus

    FDM: “Can someone “in the know” explain how the OO and their lackeys control the DUP now? I think it may me true but who is pulling the strings?”

    The OO has less than 2% of the population within their ranks but a glance down the Register of Interests at Stormont tells us that a grossly disproportionate number of MLAs are members. Statistically there should be 2 (3 at a push) but there is in excess of 20 on this list and when you consider there are 54 DUP/UUP MLAs then you get the picture.

    What is interesting are those MLAs who didn’t think it important enough to mention – eg. Poots, McCausland

  • Son of Strongbow

    I wonder if the Register of Interests also identifies a statistically disproportionate number of lawyers amongst MLAs? Perhaps convicted felons also manifest in larger numbers than in the general voting population?

    What can it all mean?

    The DUP is recognised as the only show in town by groups like the OO and the PUP; no matter how much they would wish it was not the case. The OO can only dream of having the power to influence that ill-informed nationalists imagine they have.

    As for the PUP, its attempts to build a larger support base on top of street disorder will not produce the results they hope for. The PUP’s railing against mainstream unionism for having ‘abandoned’ the working class, and by extension attempting to put themselves forward to fill the void, will not fly.

    Unionist voters simply look past the PUP and see the gable wall-sized shadow of a gunman lurking there. The vast majority of unionist voters leave voting for para politicians to others.

  • tacapall

    Reader play the ball not the man and whether you like it or not I have the facts of history on my side, but of course the likes of your good self stick their heads in the sand when it comes to Ombudsmans, De Silva, Stalker, Sampson, Cory investigations or reports that all prove who pulled who’s strings within the loyalist paramilitaries. The pillocks who run the show, well they have colluded in the murders of dozens if not hundreds of innocent people and are still walking the streets, some of them are even still employed by the PSNI as police officers or HET investigators. Can you show a link where any RUC officers have been charged with conspiracy to murder even though the evidence is there to prove that they did conspire with others (Loyalist paramilitaries) to murder innocent people.

    So how much has changed since the RUC swopped their name and changed their badge, how much has changed within British intelligence who supplied loyalist paramilitaries with 80% of their intelligence and also supplied them with arm shipments from South Africa.

    Maybe you should read up a little bit on Syria and how low Britain would stoop in order to paint a picture, that although the whole world knows is untrue, nonetheless still engages in fallacy and innuendo, outright lies and fabrication to pull the wool over our eyes. Its not something they haven’t done in the past and its not something they haven’t already done many times in Ireland, only bigots and sheeple believe anything different.

  • Morpheus

    “The OO can only dream of having the power to influence that ill-informed nationalists imagine they have.”

    There are more than enough Loyal Order tentacles in the DUP/UUP to ensure that any motion which in anyway is against the interests of the OO will be blocked.

  • ayeYerMa

    “I mean it is claimed that despite the various facebook pages, marches etc… that these are small protests and that the vast majority of unionists don’t support them”

    That is the message that much of the media were trying to push throughout flag protests, particularly aggressively in a regular daily assault from the out-of-touch Belfast Telegraph. Then along came an Ipsos MORI poll…

  • FuturePhysicist

    On the one hand you say there’s a desire to diversify within unionism but this thread implies unionists should throw their lot in with the DUP’s muscle. Not attacking the DUP, but UUP, PUP, TUV and UKIP voters would vote on the basis their parties could do something rather than as a dissent vote rather than as a viable alternative.

    Remember the UUP used to have the muscle then lost it! The DUP will do likewise one day as will Sinn Féin,