McCann meets….John McCallister MLA

Yesterday I sat down with NI21 deputy leader, John McCallister.

In our interview we spoke about the upcoming NI21 conference, his relations with the UUP and the summer violence we have experienced.

On his relations with the UUP;

The hardest part (of leaving) was the strain that might put on some of this friendships and some people feeling diappointed or let down. When I look now and see where the UUP is…it has literally lost all sense of direction or perspective on what a pro-agreement, pro-union party would be like.

On his party’s poll ratings;

We were delighted with it actually because considering when that polling was started we hadn’t been even three months old. But I think it was a very credible start for the party and a very credible base to build from.

On the summer violence and the Orange Order’s response to it;

Appalling, I mean the violence is appalling whatever side or quarter. I make no difference, it’s wrong it shouldn’t happen. The only thing it’s destroying is Northern Ireland…The Orange Order have a huge gulf between their rural lodges and their Belfast lodges and I will say this, they need to do something about Belfast…

Audio available here

McCann meets…John McCallister MLA by Ontherecord98fm on Mixcloud

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  • Red Lion

    Very good David, also interesting to hear from the Queen’s University NI21 student society at the fresher’s fair, seem to be doing brisk trade!

    As a party they seem to be beavering away putting down solid foundations.

  • paulG

    David,

    Does he say that the OO should abide by the PC rulings?

    Who does he side with on the BCC flags policy – Alliance or DUP ?

  • Charles_Gould

    John is such a likeable guy- with good values and principles. Moral integrity. All the best to him.

  • Charles_Gould

    David McCann – excellent interview. Many thanks for your very worthwhile contributions to this blog which have raised the bar for other bloggers.

  • Red Lion

    PaulG

    It is clearly and assertively stated NI21 policy that the rulings of the Parades Commission is Law and that the Orange Order should obey them.

    I can’t speak for John individually but Basil McCrea has stated several times that as a British, Irish and Northern Irish man he is happy and content with designated days for flags; I’m pretty sure this is NI21 policy not just Basil’s own personal. I guess this means they are in agreement with Alliance on this issue; on matters tribal etc it is hard to envisage NI21 being much in agreement with DUP/UUP on anything. I think it can come as something of a shock for a nationalist to actually hear a pro-union politician take consistently reasonable and fair stances.

    I would recommend you watch the series of little videos on the NI21 webpage. http://www.NI21.com. On here you should get a sense of the common sense progressiveness of NI21’s, and how they reject the idiotic stances of the DUP.

  • socaire

    Is it not an oxymoron? for a pro-union politician to take a fair and reasonable stance on anything as their house is built on the shifting sands of treachery, violence and a refusal to accomodate democracy? But apart from that, he’s a nice fellow.

  • paulG

    Thanks for the link Red Lion.

    I have heard Basil at the time, support the Alliance position as that was the policy at Lisburn as well.

    It’s just that I was starting to wonder if they’d changed their position as they’ve been so quiet, while these issues are front page. Maybe it’s the fault of the media in not offering them airtime, or maybe they’re keeping their heads down for fear of alienating some unionist voters.

    I agree that they are fair and reasonable men, but that makes it all the more surprising to me that they don’t take a high profile stand against the twaddlers and fleggers to differentiate themselves from the DUP and their UUP lackeys and give the resigned and disillusioned Prods (and illusive Unicorns), a voice.

  • Comrade Stalin

    When this all erupted last December, Basil, to his immense credit, was straight out of the blocks supporting the designated days policy and reminding everyone that this policy had worked just fine for years in Lisburn.

  • Charles_Gould

    Basil has adumbrated his broad approach to flags in a You-Tube video:

  • carl marks

    A reasonable unionist politician, I can tell you this is the stuff of nightmares for both the loyalist and dissident thugs, but it does show
    Charles_Gould
    how far we have come in this place, 15 years ago if Basil (or any other unionist politician or churchman) had come out with a line like this on flags then we would be deafened with the shouts of Lundy .
    I look forward to NI21 putting candidates forward in the next round of elections ,would Ian junior maybe be advised to go on a training course ( don’t think he ever had a Job that wasn’t Daddies gift) as he might be looking for another source of income soon. it’s about time the dog started waging the tail!

  • carl marks

    sorry first para should read,

    Charles_Gould

    A reasonable unionist politician, I can tell you this is the stuff of nightmares for both the loyalist and dissident thugs, but it does show how far we have come in this place, 15 years ago if Basil (or any other unionist politician or churchman) had come out with a line like this on flags then we would be deafened with the shouts of Lundy .

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Much as I’d love to see Ian Og earning his keep (perhaps he could work for one of the development companies whose lobbys he has been so very vociferous in support of in two representative bodies? Could he mix cement?) it just won’t happen. The people who vote for him would seemingly continue to so vote even if he discovered a vocation as a Jesuit. The tail is very much still in charge.

    I had some hopes that his large claim for stationary was the start of a Paisley attempt to challenge Viking Direct, but if the envelopes were sold it must have been a private deal. He may even have used them all in furtherance of his responsibilities as a public representative, what a frightening thought for all but the liminally private Post Office!

  • carl marks

    Seaan, I don’t know if Ian has a secure seat, with the TUV going after the backwoods man vote and NI21 giving the non OO/loyalist section of unionism a party to represent them, Can Jnr (not Having the presence or Charisma of his Da ) be sure of the loyalty the voters of North Antrim give his Da.
    His recent admission that he was a part time MP who also worked for a company who sent him on a trip to Africa to advise them on setting up a school (could be wrong about the school thing working on memory and could not be assed looking up Google, so I’m sure someone will correct me if I’m wrong) has not went down well with some in the area who for reason believe that he is paid a good salary and should do a full time job.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Thank you Carl, for giving me hope. I will live in expectation….

  • Charles_Gould

    Yes, I agree with Carl, I was going to make the same comment. I think Jim Allister could make a major challenge at Westminster. Jim attracts UUP as well as former DUP people.

  • David Crookes

    In the climate of non-stop self-destructive nastiness which bespeaks the twilight of the union, it may be too late to start up a new unionist party: but John and Basil should be honoured for walking away from boneheaded totemism. Thanks to DMcC for keeping us all informed.

    It’s hard enough to believe that the Nasties and the Totemists refuse as a matter of principle to contemplate the end of the union. It is utterly incredible that they refuse to contemplate the possibility of a non-unionist FM.

    They may have to contemplate it very soon. Many of us who have voted UUP and DUP until now will be voting NI21, AP, Green, and SDLP in expression of our LOATHING for the parties that have allied themselves with lawless loyalism. If enough of us do so, the new assembly will have a smaller number of OO-controlled members. That should strengthen the hand of the PSNI if a squalid minority of Totemists tries to rebel against the will of the majority.

  • sherdy

    Seaan, – Could Ian Og possibly have used the envelopes to distribute the 40,000 leaflets in east Belfast to start the flag protests?
    Or possibly Robbo plans a lot more letters from America.

  • derrydave

    More sense from NI21 – really hope they can build something sustainable.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    I hope so too Dave, I really do. What an uphill struggle they’re going to have…

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Now, I wonder if they were white or brown paper envelopes? Brown would be more suitable for general leaflet targeting….

    Last I heard Robbo has the same problem I have (and I never thought I’d ever find any common ground there), the Paisleys will not be in the same room as him. I’ve been told that the two families mix in different circles of the (newly) rich and influential. But perhaps someone in Ian Og’s office did not know the envelopes were public property and accidentally sold them on to Robbo. Having to keep replacing stocks would at least explain the great number of envelopes claimed…….

  • Red Lion

    I thought it was very hopeful where John said that they now have members in every constituency in NI.

    Hopefully this means they will be able to set up local NI21 associations in each constituency, and bring forward election candidates in each constituency.

  • paulG

    Red Lion,

    Under normal circumstances you would expect them to focus on constituencies where they have a chance of winning a seat, if not next time, then within 3 or 4 elections.

    I expect almost all urban UUP assembly seats to fall to DUP, Alliance or NI21, leaving a rural rump in the land that time forgot.

    If NI21 see their future as dependent upon finishing off the UUP, then they may be tempted to follow them into the rural constituencies to deliver the coup de grace.

    Whether or not the rural Unionists are as traditional in their outlook and loyal to the UUP, as many assume, is the key assessment NI21 will need to make.

  • drmisery

    Maybe I’ve been too harsh on ball-LESS unionism.

    Perhaps NI 21 have cracked the safe and removed their right to independent thought from the Carson memorial cold storage facility( kept in the wolf tone room? )
    I suppose early days yet. Im not sure whether you’re allowed to dissent – careful now!… i often wonder how Am gob and david cr. got away!!

  • David Crookes

    In sober moments, drmisery, I’m inclined to think that anorchidism is not the main problem. Many members of the unionist electorate are inclined to see any critic of flegs-and-marches as one who is being disloyal to his own tribe.

    I never liked M Thatcher, but something had to be done with certain ruinous unions. Only when enough people got sick of the country being ruined was it possible for a British government to take action against those unions.

    Does the same sort of ‘only-when’ trigger apply to the flegs-and-marches brigade which is helping to ruin NI? Or — to speak in electoral terms — will enough unionist voters have to get sick of flegs-and-marches before NI21 has a chance of success?

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    “Many members of the unionist electorate are inclined to see any critic of flegs-and-marches as one who is being disloyal to his own tribe.”

    I agree.

    Furthermore, I can’t help but shake my head at the irony that the chief defenders of the flegger extremes take great pride in works of Martin Luther, a man who had the stones to stand up and say enough was enough regarding the corruption, ineptitude, drunkenness and general lack of moral fibre around him.

    I don’t know who I’d offend most if I compared a head-in-the-sand loyalist leader/DUPer to a reformation era papal ‘prince’ (minus the luxury etc. pedantry notwithstanding)

  • DC

    Many members of the unionist electorate are inclined to see any critic of flegs-and-marches as one who is being disloyal to his own tribe.

    i think the truth is that the ni state has changed and progressed and the progressives have been very generous to date and probably saw the total removal of the union flag or attempted total removal as much about anti-britishness as about disloyalty.

    the NI government and its agencies and departments and assembly all rebranded and british symbols removed where it matters, since the recent devolution of the ni courts service the crown symbol has been wiped out unlike another regions with devolution such as scotland.

    progressives have had their way with the PSNI replacing the ruc and the oath to the queen removed and neutrality in place with no union flag at all anywhere in the psni, despite this region being part of the UK still. this approach supposedly making the psni appealing to everyone but actually to no one in the loyalist unionist community.

    the reality is that NI progressives have moved this place on but i think it feels that despite all of this, irish nationalists still don’t like those that identify as british and will work to remove british symbols. attempting complete removal in belfast came across as a bit rude, progressives are entitled to have a quick think again as to whether they are being taken for a ride.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Different topic DC

    I know you’ll try to hammer an ‘official symbols of the state’ shaped argument through a parochial-flagpole shaped hole but they’re not the same topic.

    Chaps like myself are sick of tattered flags (that some times contradict each other in terms of meaning) from lamp posts.

    We don’t want paramilitary flags all over the place.

    We don’t want a hood running around with a 5 quid fleg wrapped round his waist whilst he lobs masonry at a police van.

    We want parades to carry themselves off with dignity, not playing extra loudly once they pass a chapel.

    The court rooms et al are a different matter and the areas that ‘progressives’ are the most vocal about tend to be about lamp-post flegs and marches, not the courts.

    I’m sure you’ll come up with some sort of link to your beachhead but do you really have to throw them all into the same category?

    Can flegs on lamp-posts, city hall, the courts or what ever not be treated as separate issues?

    Some Nationalists may not like those that identify as British but I’d imagine (from my humble experience that the majority of people who feel like that are ‘Republicans’.

    Many nationalists, as in people who identify exclusively with the Irish nation, it’s culture and politics may not give a monkey’s about what other people identify with.

    Methinks you’ve got yer filter on…

  • David Crookes

    AG, the apologists of lawless loyalism seem not to have read Martin Luther’s ‘Against the Murderous, Thieving Hordes of Peasants’. (Before the historians jump on me, yes, I know that ML’s relation with the Peasants’ Revolt was very complex.)

    Everyone should study Lloyd George’s ‘War Memoirs’ (readable free online). If LG hadn’t dealt with the serious problem of British drunkenness on the home front, the UK would have lost the war.

    Should ML and LG seem a bit severe for what will soon be Saturday evening, there’s always the complete second episode of ‘Sapphire and Steel’ (watchable free online), which has looks at the phenomenon of eternal resentment.

    I wonder if NI21 will pick up any votes from nationalists who are happy enough to live with the union for a generation or so.

  • paulG

    David,

    I’m sure they’ll get a small number of Catholic votes, and I’m even more sure they’ll get a large number of Nat transfers.

    Despite them being more unionist than Alliance, I have a feeling that they may be above the Alliance on a lot of CNR transfers, partly as encouragement of sensible unionism (similar to Nat voters transferring to PUP in the 90’s) and partly due to the novelty factor.

    How many they can hang on to 5 years down the line, will depend on what kind of party they become.

  • David Crookes

    Thanks, Paul. Transfers are very important if you want to be elected as an MLA.

    Are we hearing enough propaganda from NI21? A certain CMcD used to write on Slugger. Maybe some spokesman for NI21 will decide to do the same.

    I’m not hopeful myself for NI21: but any manifestation of decency and urbanity needs to be encouraged.

  • DC

    Generational change has happened, but unfortunately it has happened over say 10 years than 30 and the outworkings and blow back is there for all to see, loyalist unionists would say this has been foisted on them and have been powerless to stop it. explaining the explosion of flags in loyalist areas as a means to assert some control over the situation locally.

    putting it crudely, basically the old ni state was hollowed out by both governments and handed back to the people newly neutralised in identity post 98, changing the face of this new state into something more colourful and meaningful is difficult from a unionist point of view, it is pretty much booby trapped by parallel consent and vetoes and what not.

    for unionists trying to implement project faded glory revival the only way to do so is by seeing to those booby traps, which can only be defused successfully using bicommunalism i.e. you want your union flag up, then two flags will have to go up – the union flag and tricolour.

    and i am actually coming round to that idea more and more.

    ironically the only party within unionism kitted out to process this is the PUP at least on paper what with its claim to be the only party constituted along social democratic lines and set up for inclusive politics like this.

  • DC

    i mean the unionist community taken on the whole and over the last say 15 years has been very progressive and accommodating although you can see it has run out of road and indifference is setting in among progressives and hostility is back among loyalist unionists.

    you need only look at the nationalist constituency to see only two conservative parties, who, as shit stirrers, in terms of belfast city hall flag politics, will hopefully, some day, by some higher power or any power going, be made to lick the spoon! and then after that we can move on together more positively with mr haass 🙂

  • carl marks

    DC your last post could be described as a casebook example of Cognitive Dissidence; it has no relationship to the reality of the situation, lets parse it shall we,
    “ i mean the unionist community taken on the whole and over the last say 15 years has been very progressive and accommodating”
    Please define this, when has the unionist community been accommodating, (meeting with residents obeying rulings of the PC that they don’t agree with, treating the other side with respect, etc.)
    “ you need only look at the nationalist constituency to see only two conservative parties, who, as shit stirrers, in terms of belfast city hall flag politics, will hopefully, some day, by some higher power or any power going, be made to lick the spoon!”
    Two conservative parties, interesting about the only people who would give such a statement like that any credit would be the like of UPC (a supporter of a right wing murder gang with links to English fascist parties) and who is this higher power that will punish them for doing what unionists were already doing in Craigavon and Lisburn, and in a democracy (means the people get to decide who represents them) who or what is this higher power.
    I await proof of unionist accommodation in the past and perhaps you could also how you intend to convince Aslan to send an army from Narnia to sort out those nasty rebels in BCC and Stormount, because to tell you the truth that is your best bet for a higher power.

  • mac tire

    We know, DC. If it were not for the Irish here there would be no problems.

    Have you thought of doing stand up for a living?

  • DC

    button it marks.

  • drmisery

    Well bless my soul, those poor loyalists and unionists out there fighting against that oppressive Fenian tide of vanilla working environments….a shade of barley white and that’s as Fenian as Emerald green a la Emerald Isle. Enough dulux colours, let’s talk mutual respect. I’m irish, I’m northern irish, I’m an ulsterman, l’m even a little scotch Presbyterian but heh ho, am I British, am I as British as those poor civil rights marchers up at Twaddle? Mores the question am I allowed to be or was I ever allowed to be? Well moderate unionists out there I’ll let you into the secret, the answer was and is no. Why? despite the fact we on the island of Ireland and Scotland all are as genetically similar as you can be in Western Europe, despite sharing names ( what a bizarre programme that would be for the Bbc , a norn Ireland politician’s “who do you think you are” a few skeletons no doubt for them all) and despite being even once of the correct non-papist religion before being kicked out of the family’s wealth, I unfortunately gamble, drink, play football on Sundays , have lots of kids, and eat fish on a Friday, yep an RC and proud. But… I could have been allowed to be British if moderate unionists had fought for tolerance and respect for my identity within this Orange state. Alas , they did not and therefore have continued to allow Britishness to be associated with essentially a yobbishness focused on exclusion in these six counties.

    So I actually believe that NI 21 must recognize the failings of golf club unionism in the past before it will really attract the nationalist vote. Fenian penance??? Until then I will remain convinced that unionism has hypogonadism to say the least.
    I see a reference to Scotland in this debate, however should we really look to them . It’s hardly a bastion of tolerance either.

  • drmisery

    DC,

    I’m sorry that insecurity pervades unionism like a cancer, growing and gnawing at their confidence. Soon enough it will die a messy horrible painful death unless it seeks help, and it’s not from their English cousins they should be looking or indeed the scots or the welsh. Or dare I say from unhealthy BNP types.

  • carl marks

    DC (profile)

    12 October 2013 at 7:17 pm

    button it marks.

    The true face of unionist tolerance,
    Claims to be accommodating but when asked for proof,
    We get button it marks!
    Calls those who use democracy to reach a decision “shit stirrers” but doesn’t seem to have a problem with thugs on the street as a matter of fact believes that a collection of unelected corner boys have the right to tell the rest of us how to live.
    And pins his hopes on “a Higher power” to overrule those (the majority) who disagree with him but seems to get offended when its pointed out to him that his best option is Aslan and Narnia light infantry because there isn’t one in the real world is going to do it.
    Of special interest is his first post finishing with this line about elected nationalist representatives
    “be made to lick the (shit covered) spoon! and then after that we can move on together more positively with mr haass”
    In other words when those pesky taigs are put in their place it the loyalists/OO can then tell Haass how it is.
    Finally I have been told to button it, I’m afraid we stopped buttoning it 40 yrs. ago and it’s about time you got used to the new reality.

  • mjh

    PaulG and David Crookes

    Yes tranfers are very important, but if NI21 are to benefit from CNR votes it’s first preferences they will need. For two reasons:
    1) A candidate really needs an absolute minimum of half a quota’s worth of first preferences to stand a chance of being elected, and in most cases much more than that.
    2) There really aren’t that many cross-community tranfers knocking around. For example rumours of lots of nat transfers to PUP are greatly exaggerated. There was only one Assembly Election in the 90’s – 1998. The PUP stood in 11 constituencies, and received just 386 transfers from SDLP and SF candidates.

  • mjh

    Sorry. Really should have said that “There really aren’t that many cross-designation transfers knocking around”. There are of course significant numbers of cross-community transfers, but transfers from a unionist party to a nationalist or visa-versa are still rare.

  • DC

    taken from aaron edwards

    There is certainly anecdotal evidence of the PUP receiving Catholic votes in mar-ginal areas, such as Short Strand in East Belfast and in Newtownabbey on the outskirts of North Belfast, but in reality it is a little more complicated to ascertain exact voting patterns. Empirically, and as the latest Assembly election results from 2007 illustrate, the party did win approximately 408 transferred votes in the contest from the two principal nationalist parties Sinn Fein and the SDLP, 116 more transfers than the party received from the unionist bloc and 90 short of the number of transfers from the bi-confessional bloc made up of Alliance party, Greens and Others (Northern Ireland Assembly Research Report 2007, 37). Nevertheless, the limited nature of voting across the traditional ethno-national divide means that we must analyse such statistics with caution before viewing the PUP as an inter-ethnic party

  • DC

    marks

    don’t have me reaching for my baton!

  • carl marks

    DC (profile)

    12 October 2013 at 9:21 pm

    marks

    don’t have me reaching for my baton!

    please dont, and keep the talking Badger from the Narnia secret police away from me as well!

    or you could stop putting bloody silly posts on then we would not be able to make fun of you, really “Higher power” do you not realise that was a very stupid thing to say!

  • Charles_Gould

    I don’t think NI21 could get votes from somone Catholic, Nationalist and Republican. However they would get votes from people who support their politics, regardless of religion.

  • drmisery

    Jesus wept. Charles you are so right on. I admire that. Its more important that DC realises he is more at home with the irish nationalist community than his british cousins. I kinda think he knows that…

  • DC

    marks

    you know fine well human rights get suspended on a saturday night, things could get ugly between me and you if you’re not careful.

    You’ll see…Faded Glory Revival project will come good in the end…and then everything will work out well

    …I know one day a miracle will happen

    And then 1000 fairy tales will come true.

  • carl marks

    DC (profile)

    12 October 2013 at 10:46 pm

    marks

    you know fine well human rights get suspended on a saturday night, things could get ugly between me and you if you’re not careful.

    You’ll see…Faded Glory Revival project will come good in the end…and then everything will work out well

    …I know one day a miracle will happen

    And then 1000 fairy tales will come true.

    have you been taking free samples of UVF marching powder tonight my laddie.

  • carl marks

    but sure while your trying to get your eyes straight, you could give us your evidence of unionist’s being accommodating.
    or has Aslan taken it away to be typed up.

  • mac tire

    C’mon DC – less of that. You can make your point without anger.

    You are better than that (why do I keep defending you despite your politics being the opposite of mine)?

  • DC

    I thought LAD was being pitched as non-political?

  • mac tire

    And what has LAD got to do with this?

    Have ye calmed down now? Make your point – without the rage.

    You were offered that opportunity to raise some evidence/a point. Instead you decided to circle wagons. Unfortunately, DC, that is the problem within your community.

    You just don’t see it yet. And with a genuine hand raised out, I hope you do.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    drmisery

    “what a bizarre programme that would be for the Bbc , a norn Ireland politician’s “who do you think you are” a few skeletons no doubt for them all”

    Bravo!

    Actually, I touched upon that topic a few moons ago.
    Read the first part, it lists councilors with identical surnames but from either side of the Unionist/Nationalist wall: http://amgobsmacked.blogspot.com.au/2013/04/culturally-british-vs-culturally-irish.html

    I thought there’d only be a few, but in the end I chose chose a handful cos there was so many….

  • DC

    I made my points about progress above – think back to 1998 and look at all the changes made to government agencies and departments etc. totally rebranded and government remodelled.

  • drmisery

    DC,

    I wonder if the lady doth protest too much.

    Transference, Freudian indeed.
    I kmow deep down, just like Darth Vader there is good in you, an ability to see a future where we share a space and not dominate over each other. Where confidently we can express an opinion and while we don’t necessarily agree with it, we can appreciate the others view point.

    Dc, I’ve a feeling you are more de klerk thsn terreblanche. By the way before the rsge hits you like a Nesbitt interview , I don’t want vanilla. Im quite proud of lots of my British connections. My grandfather the RAF gunner, before he joined the old RA, its when the Britishnesd espoused is that of subjugation and sectarianism

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    DC

    While we have you here and on the topic of flags and now that you said that you’ve given some thought to the idea of Tricolour and Union Flag, well, would you give some thought to the ‘3 flag’ idea?

    i.e. An option that gives all 3 main groups what they ‘WANT’ (it’ll also give them what they don’t want, the fulfillment of each other’s goals).

    1/ A Union Flag for Unionists, British nationalists and those happy enough to be in the Union

    2/ The Tricolour for those who want to be part of the Republic and identify with that flag

    3/ A New Northern Ireland flag for those who fall somewhere in between such as those who place more emphasis on being Northern Irish and have varying degrees of fealty, animosity or ambivalence to the other 2 flags.
    Some people may even chose 2 out of three flags:
    “I’m Northern Irish first and Republican/Unionist second…”
    (might not make perfect watertight sense but you know how NI people are about such things)

    All bases are covered, no one is excluded and each group is treated equally.

    (Sorry to make it fleggy again but I figured since Aslan made an appearance in the thread it’s safe to say we’re off topic anyway…)

  • drmisery

    Why not have a three flag option? It’ll certainly look prettier than elsewhere in these islands on a flag pole.
    But just one problem, one huge bluebottle in the ointment. Reasonable unionism can be considered an oxymoron until myabe ni21? Do you see the way I brought it back to the topic….many skills indeed.
    DC , do you think we should bring the dulux colour card to mr.haas’ talks?

  • drmisery

    Bring back FDM by the way. Why was he banned?

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Very smooth!

    FDM was a tad ‘enthusiastic’ during one of the Gerry Adams’ posts and was given the mark of black.

  • carl marks

    DC’s call for a higher power to come and save the day, along with his (oft stated) belief that Nationalist politicians should not have the right to vote as they like in the chamber they were elected to, were typical of the old unionist mind-set.
    This claim that somehow unionist accommodation is the reason we have had some progress in this place, completely ignores the reality of the last 15 years, Unionists willingly give nothing, at each turn of the wheel they chanted no surrender and dug their heels in.
    Progress only took place when unionists had no choice but to move with the times.
    Even today Unionist politicians stand beside leaders of criminal gangs at an illegal protest (anybody got a figure on how much the picture painted by sectarian killer Stone raised in the raffle at camp twat and did any members of the DUP, TUV, UUP buy tickets) in an attempt to force their way down a road rather than talk to the people who live on that road.
    So excuse my Aslan jibe but is Narnia any stranger a place than the world in which the Unionist/loyalist’s think we live in.

  • Aslan

    I have been summoned by DC to come with the Narnia Light Infantry (mostly elves, fauns and talking leopards). And deal with any pesky Fenians, Taigs or 19th Century Jewish Revolutionaries who come out with idiotic suggestions, of not letting loyalists not have their own way 100% of the time. I will brush aside any resistance from the PSNI and reform the RUC and let the UVF/UDA alphabet soup have free reign in controlling how things should be run!

  • drmisery

    Reflection is a useful process in conflict management. Perhaps this is why we have silence.

    On that note bring back FDM, honesty is better than cliché

  • paulG

    I’ll second that drmisery,

    SO’T is all the poorer for the loss of FDM’s contributions.

    I wonder if a Black Card doesn’t seem a bit too harsh in hindsight.

  • paulG

    mjh & DC

    It would not be such a huge step for SF & SDLP voters to transfer to NI21 after the other nationalist parties, than it was to transfer to the PUP.

    They will of course need to get a core support from unionists but if they have half a quota by the time all but 3 have been eliminated, they may get elected as the least worst option, in much the same way as the Alliance have often take the last seat though a Nationalist and a Unioinist were ahead of them.

    This would likely happen if they stand in the constituencies in the west and Alliance don’t.

  • jh25769

    NI21 seem quite sensible to me. This probably means no one will vote for them and they’ll be forgotten in five years.

  • drmisery

    Not enough green in their logo I fear for longevity

  • mjh

    paulG

    Fully take your point about it being easier for SF and SDLP voters to transfer to NI21 than to PUP, but I cannot see that making much difference.

    Firstly the evidence of the last Asssembly Election, where there were independent liberal unionist candidates in two constituencies plus the recent Lucid Talk poll suggest that NI21 support is around 3% of first preferences. On that basis there are only four constituencies where they would be likely to get half a quota – East Londonderry (if, but only if, McClarty joins them), Lagan Valley, Strangford, and possibly South Antrim.

    In South Antrim and Strangford NI21 would still be eliminated before there were any SDLP transfers to allocate, unless their vote collapses. In EL and LV they could transfer. But on the basis of the past I would not expect much.

    In EL in 2011 when the SDLP was elected there was a DUP, and OU, SF and the independent McClarty left. McClarty got just 41 of the 217 transfers. And when SF was eliminated at the next stage McClarty got only 251 tranfers. 134 went between the DUP and UUP, and 2386 were non-transferable.

    In North Down where Alan McFarland had quit the UUP to support Sylvia Hermon, he stood as an independent. He gained only 5 of the SF 295 transfers, while the SDLP voters prefered to transfer 544 to Alliance and 238 to Green, but a mere 36 to McFarland.

  • carl marks

    Chew on this, I’m a nationalist but SF doesn’t get my vote not for their history but I really don’t think I would be comfortable in the UI they would create, the SDLP are too far to the right for me (Paddy Devlin,s vision of the party would have suited me) so I tend to vote for the person not the party, But where I live now the right person standing is rare.
    Alliance may well get my vote if for no other reason than the courageous and dignified manner that they stood up to the bully boys lately, but what if a unionist party had the testes to stand up to the Tail and tell it that in future the dog will be doing the wagging, NI21 has taken the first step in this direction.
    I may well decide that such integrity is worth encouraging and I may not be the only Nationalist (or unionist) to make that decision.

  • paulG

    mjh,

    I couldn’t argue with your (well made) assessment based on the figures available.

    However, it’s not always a simple matter of projecting from one election to the next, particularly with mostly different personalities involved.

    In a couple of years Nesbitt may well have made the UUP unsupportable and strong candidates could cause local spikes in their 3 or by then, maybe 6 % average.

    You may be right that few Nationalists will transfer based on previous examples, but really everybody should vote all the way down the ballot and putting NI21 ahead of Alliance and the Greens wouldn’t be a huge surprise given the novelty factor.

    NI21 however, seem happy to do without those transfers, given their low profile stand on flags and marching.

  • Red Lion

    I still have a tenner bet with Joe on this forum that NI21 will get at least 4 MLA’s at the next election…

    safe as houses 😉

  • David Crookes

    Tremendous posting at 10.05 pm, Carl, well worth chewing on.

  • “despite sharing names ( what a bizarre programme that would be for the Bbc , a norn Ireland politician’s “who do you think you are” a few skeletons no doubt for them all) and despite being even once of the correct non-papist religion before being kicked out of the family’s wealth,”

    @drmisery,

    In South Africa in the 1980s there was a big scandal when a liberal Afrikaner historian published research demonstrating that many Afrikaners had black blood in their family lines. He was publicly tarred and feathered by the AWB (Afrikaner Resistance Movement–the equivalent of the UVF/UDA). For decades Afrikaners had mocked English-speaking whites for being kaffir boeties (nigger lovers) and then it was demonstrated that their ancestors had been and it freaked them out.

    I’m surprised at the number of prominent Shinners who have Scottish or English surnames like Adams. I think it would be just as embarrassing for the Shinners and the dissidents as it would be for the DUPers and the loyalists.

    When I was 21 I inadvertantly mispronounced the surname of a Scotsman, who was of the type who fervently believed that all Irish were stupid. He told me that all the macs were Scottish and all the micks were Irish. It took me about two weeks in NI to realize what a stupid generalization that was.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Tmitch

    I hear you loud and clear on that one, for what it’s worth here’s the examples I dug up:
    British (?) and/or Irish (?)

    Ken Maginnis (formerly UUP) Martin McGuinness (Sinn Fein)

    Ms P Bradley (DUP) Mr D Bradley (SDLP)

    Gregory Campbell (DUP) James Campbell (SDLP)

    Fraser Agnew (Unionist, var.) Paddy Agnew (Nationalist)

    Danny Kennedy (UUP) Dermot Kennedy (Former Sinn Fein)

    Gardiner Kane (Former DUP) Pamela Kane (Sinn Fein)

    David McCarthy (former Unionist) (Is this necessary, McCarthy is as Irish as it gets?!)

    Albert McElroy (former Unionist) Pat McElroy (SDLP)

    It’s part of the reason for my frustration at some of these Ulster-Scots societies.
    If they would adopt a set of principles then their target audience would grow significantly instead of doing their best to exclude Catholics and nationalists and indeed anything Gaelic.

    Tell one of them that the word ‘Scot’ originates from the latin word for ‘Gael’ and you’ll be greeted with “LA LA LA LA!!! CAN’T HEAR YOU!!! LA LA LA!!!”

    For a group of people who espouse the idea of Dalriada they’re very closed to the idea of sharing it with Gaels.

    I some times wonder if my own wee ‘Ulster-Scots’ avatar is even too much for them…

  • drmisery

    Funny, thingis amgob, the RCs do not in general talking about their Presbyterian/heritage usually as a result of ne temere but they have a problem if their relatives were in the British forces. Therein lies the rub. Prods don’t want to be associated with papist bad blood even though lets face it, we are all the same shit genetics. Heart disease fir all!!!

  • drmisery

    Cant use touchscreen well so apologies for spelling