#SluggerSoapbox: An electoral pact may be pointless but it’s all political Unionism has left…

Our support for the DUP in East Belfast should ensure an additional pro-Union MP for the City of Belfast in the next mandate.

Mike Nesbitt

I am calling on all unionists to unite behind these agreed candidates and maximise the pro-union voice in the House of Commons.

Peter Robinson

What’s the point of the latest electoral pact between the DUP and UUP?

If the two party leaders are to be taken at their word then it is to get as many orange bums as possible on the green benches of Westminster but does that really matter?

What would happen if there were no Unionists returned to Westminster in 2015 from here?

Imagine waking up on the 8th May to discover that not only had no Unionist candidate made it over the line but in fact in all 18 constituencies Sinn Fein had achieved an outright majority.

Does anyone really think for one second that would result in a united Ireland?

Even if by some electoral fluke having 18 seats made Sinn Fein king makers at Westminster and they were able to make any demand they wanted from the future Westminster government they still wouldn’t be able to change the constitutional position of Northern Ireland one iota.

The only thing that can change that is a majority vote by the people of Northern Ireland; in fact it’s doubtful if 18 sitting MPs would even be able to convince the new Secretary of State to call a referendum.

Nesbitt and Robinson are suggesting that the border is not only the most important issue at this election but in fact that it is the only issue that matters. They are saying that they are willing to put aside their party’s differences in order to defend the union and we all must do the same. 

This all sounds very noble and terribly statesmanlike. It reminds me of Cameron, Miliband and Clegg coming together on the eve of the Scottish Independence vote to put country before party and unite to save the Union.

The problem is that in this case the Union is not under threat.  In actual fact a candidate’s position on the border is one of the last things that should affect who you vote for in this election as it is an issue that the successful candidates will have zero power to influence.

So if not the border then what is the purpose of the pact? Is it perhaps to maximise Ulster’s voice in Westminster rather than Unionism’s voice? While Sinn Fein maintain a policy of abstention, Northern Ireland’s voice in the chamber is weaker.

Decisions are made by those who show up, so every seat won by Sinn Fein simply cedes more power to the central government and lessens the chamber’s ability to hold them to account.

So the DUP and UUP are uniting for the good of all of us, to ensure that we are represented in the hallowed chamber of Westminster — why then include East Belfast?

Not only is Naomi Long pro-union she voted in 50.81% of votes on this parliament which is more than Gregory Campbell’s 31.76%, Jeffrey Donaldson’s 40.15%, Nigel Dodd’s 48.29%, William McCrea’s 46.17%, Ian Paisley Jr’s 34.28%, David Simpson 46.74%, Sammy Wilson 32.57%. 

So with the exception of Jim Shannon 62.21% Naomi has a higher voter record than any DUP MP in the last parliament. (source http://www.theyworkforyou.com)

I would have included data for the other party but due to the success of their previous electoral pact there is none available for any UUP MPs.

The inclusion of East Belfast in this pact can be seen as nothing other than an attempt to satisfy Mr Robinson’s bruised ego. Or perhaps others in the party believe that if they can win East Belfast Peter will finally resign, pretending to have won back some dignity.

According to University of Edinburgh research 45% of people in NI are planning not to vote.  I would suggest that there is very little either party leader could do to change that. Both parties have used fear as a motivator for years, not to reach new voters but to ensure turn out. 

Themmuns are coming to take our flag, our culture and our very right to exist.  It is all or nothing if we give up one inch (in this case one seat) we get closer and closer to the inevitable Westminster sell out and Dublin rule.

The problem is that most unionists no longer fear a Catholic majority as they know the majority of Catholics support the union (at present).  This leaves Mike and Peter with an ever decreasing pool of people willing to vote ‘for the union’ that is increasingly split with UKIP, PUP and TUV.

The DUP have recently tried to motivate support through fear of secularism. If you don’t vote for us, Themmuns (in this case the lesbian, atheist, baby killer Nazis) will use their Trojan horse of equality to outlaw our bibles, prosecute us for our beliefs and give our kids the ‘gay disease’.

Young voters however are by and large turned off by this rhetoric. 

There are some notable exceptions but generally the younger a person is (unionist, nationalist or couldn’tgiveatossist) the more likely they are to either support or be indifferent to same sex marriage and abortion while being much less likely to support any form of conscience clause.

More and more unionists are in the position that Belfast Barman eloquently summed up, they might not be ready to vote Sinn Fein but they are unwilling to vote for someone who rejects science and reason in favour of fundamentalist religious dogma.

The electoral pact may be pointless but it is all they have left. 

They know that they cannot survive long term without reaching outside the traditional unionist voter base but doing so would enrage and alienate their existing supporters, sending them into the arms of the TUV et al.

The only option left is to try desperately to maximise turnout by those foolish enough to believe they are voting for the union and their own share of that vote. 

Unfortunately this will come at the expense of any future electoral growth for unionism as a whole, as they well know.

Both men lead parties that tore down and destroyed the legacy of previous leaders because they reached out to ‘the enemy’ or simply shared the odd joke with them and they would rather go down with the ship than be forced to walk the plank.

As for the pro-union voice in the House of Commons, support for the UK is the one issue that has united the other 632 MPs (minus the SNP) in the previous parliament, so I think they will be OK without the wee Ulster accent in the back shouting never never never.

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  • Zeno

    Thanks, but I was only pointing out the blindingly obvious. I’d speculate that the problem is the don’t have a single strong leader and are ruled by a committee. No one ever built a statue of a committee.

  • Robin Keogh

    But most of those jobs will be still needed, split between the Dail and whatever form the new Stormont takes. I am not sure their are tens of tousands of people employed as u say. What is the full list? What are the job titles? How many are employed exactly? What analysis has been done?

  • Zeno

    “The GFA allows for such a poll if the SOS thinks it might pass, however there are no solid criteria put down as what circumstances should pertain to trigger such a decision.”

    Theresa Villiers said: “The provisions for calling a border poll are set out in the Belfast Agreement and the Northern Ireland Act 1998.

    “Given the state of opinion in Northern Ireland, which is clearly expressed in election results and opinion polls, the Government has no present plans to call such a poll.”

    From that statement it would appear that election results alone are not enough evidence that a Yes vote would be successful.

  • Zeno

    “The nationalist percentage share vote fell on foot of a surge in the unionist turnout due in part to the fleg issue.”

    Fair enough, but how do explain the fall of over 48,000 in the Nationalist vote since the GFA in 1998 over a period when the Catholic population increased by around 60,000?

  • Robin Keogh

    But the fact that she mentioned election results mean that it will form part of the decision making process. Baring in mind also that 15 years from now we will have a different SOS and a different government in London there is no way of making a solid claim one way or the other. Baby steps, the first priority for Nationalists is become a pluarlity, we can worry about the rest later.

  • Zeno

    She specifically linked Opinion Polls and Election results. The wording in the GFA makes it clear that He/She must be convinced a Yes Vote can succeed before a Poll can be called. Election results alone can not do that. If you think otherwise , you will have to explain.

  • Robin Keogh

    In terms of numbers as opposed to percentages we can see that the nationalist vote has fallen as you say by 48,000 while the Unionist Vote has fallen by 90,000. My own view is that these drops reflect a broader trend of declining voter turnout in Ireland Britain and indeed across the democratic world (apart from states such as Australia and Malta who have complus voting). The reasons are many and varied but they include a rise in living standards leading to a disinterest in Politics, also a detachment due to a sense of isolation feeling that PolitIcs is elitist and unrepresentative. There are lots of reasons. However, serious issues usually draw people back to the polls, for example… the good friday agreement. I think its interesting to look at the register of electors, that gives us a better Idea of who is ‘in theory’ willing to vote, why they dont when it comes to election day is anybody’s guess.

  • Robin Keogh

    The wording actually uses the term “appears Likely” which is a far cry from being ‘convinced’. Moreover if SF and the SDLP go into a general or assembly election with the explicit intent of calling for a border poll after the election and they manage to win a plurality of the vote (Similar to the SNP), this could be seen by a future SOS as appearing likely to carry a border poll.

  • Zeno

    The Electoral Register is meaningless when it comes to who might be willing to vote. If you are not on the Electoral Role you will have a lot of trouble opening bank accounts and getting credit of any sort.
    Big issues do draw the voters back, but we are discussing the possibility of a Referendum.
    My case is simple and arguably supported by the SOS. Election Results alone are not a reliable indicator of how people will vote in a Referendum and therefore one can not be called unless the election results are supported by other evidence.
    If the Polls say 10% want a UI now and the Election results show that 60% of the seats are being won by Nationalist Parties…….. in no way could anyone conclude that a Yes Vote could be successful.
    Or “appears likely” if you prefer,

  • barnshee

    start with the required representation

    20 or so Deputies might fit the bill where will 90 or so MLA`s and their support staff and advisers go?

    machinery of government

    Enormous duplication will exist No need for Irish culture gubbins in the north already in place throw a few bones north where 1/2 the pop despise it?

    Taxation? Large taxation department exists south of the border no need for duplication of systems and bureaucracy Consolidate two organisations and dispose of surplus

    Health –Two polar opposite systems Paid for via insurance and patient cash payment versus turn up free and be treated. Shambles as ownership of public funded assets is settled Transfer to existing private system subsequent whole job loss in NHS admin/management. Looks forward to the first West Belfast benefit claimant being asked for payment

    “Victims” industry and associated legal vultures lose funds —unless the new state picks up the bill

    Agriculture (like all the “departments” ) already have the whole panoply of ministers and advisers etc. A few survivors at “Donegal” levels might remain

    Police -as above

    Just for starters

    http://www.nisra.gov.uk/publications/Employment_in_the_NICS.html

    How many of that lot would survive all ireland amalgamation?

    And now pandora`s box gets a look in. The amalgamation produces shakeout Equality legislation kicks in and requires that the workforces reflect the religious balance of the new ireland A 96% catholic area gets” married” to a 50% protestant area with subsequent job reduction all round. However the numbers get crunched the northern catholic has to join the dole queue to get the balance so beloved by the EQ

    Unless of course SF undertake to ensure ” that no one will suffer as a result of unity” (LOL)– Unfortunately the brits have gone and have taken their cheque book with them

  • Zeno

    OK,same question as below, do the Polls not need to show support?

  • Robin Keogh

    Possibly, but the SOS can fall back on the fact that NI polls are notriously unreliable.We also dont know what sort of polls will be conducted in the future, who will run them and who will sponsor them. In any event, the fact that there are no ‘specifics’ means that the SOS could claim that the polls are unreliable therefore on the basis of the census results and the election results he or she feels the time for a poll has come.

  • barnshee

    The murderer`s shroud draped on the coffins of killers
    The pseudo political organisation disguised as a sporting organisation
    Supporters at rallies celebrating the people who brought Enniskillen and Tebane- (where they continue to attack the memorial)

    Such reactionary views

  • Zeno

    “Possibly, but the SOS can fall back on the fact that NI polls are notoriously unreliable.”

    You need evidence to make that claim.
    You’re a Politics Student, so the simple solution is to write to her……… or even better get one of the Nationalist MP’s to put it down as a question in the Commons.
    That raises another question. Why have none of them asked what criteria the SOS uses to determine if a Poll is likely to succeed?
    Is it Polls, Election Results, The Census, The NILT or a combination of all?
    My opinion is they don’t really want to know.

  • Robin Keogh

    Under Bunreacht Na hEireann there has to be approx one deputy for every 25k of the population. Given NI has a pop of 1.8m you are looking at approx 72 representatives, the rest can sit in stormont. Duplication only really pertains to administrative detail, front line staff will still be required to serve the same population. In any event voluntary redundancies and the possible voluntary transfer of staff to GB public service in Britain should soak up any spares.The Health systems are not polar opposite and as the South has now commenced Universal care policy, 15 years from now it should be well in place. Even if it is not, arrangements could be made to maintain the six county system until such time as the rest catch up. There is no requirement for equality legislation to move beyond the region it was set up to serve, the six counties…so thats just pure nonsense.

  • Robin Keogh

    I dont need evidence, all I need is a basic understanding of reason and rationale to have an opinion, ultimately neither of us are in a position to conclude anything other than everything is possible. The fact that London has conceded no selfish interest in holding on to the North – unlike its frantic efforts to hold on to Scotland – suggests that the parameters for calling a poll can be decided by the SOS on the basis of his or her own ‘research’ which could include any number of things. The beauty of not having a set criteria means she or he can make it up whenever the time comes. I dont need to write to her nor does a nationalist MP need to ask the question when we already know the answer.

  • Robin Keogh

    Zeno, it depends on the polls. Who is conducting them. E.G if SF conducted a poll would that be seen as Legit or a Poll conducted by the UUP or a pro Unionist publication or indeed a Nationalist publication. I think in all likelyhood the Irish and British governments will at some point carry out their own private polls. Who knows they might have already started.

  • siphonophorest

    .

  • Zeno

    “I don’t need evidence,” (to claim NI Polls are notoriously unreliable)
    “I dont need to write to her nor does a nationalist MP need to ask the question when we already know the answer.” (You don’t)
    “The beauty of not having a set criteria means she or he can make it up whenever the time comes.” ( she could, but it would be bizarre)

    The SOS has already confirmed that Polls and Election results are included in the criteria she used to turn down a Referendum. She obviously doesn’t agree with your theory that NI Polls are “notoriously unreliable”.
    It looks like you are making predictions based on what you hope might happen, i.e another SOS might come along who decides that Polls are nonsense and call a referendum because he/she feels like it and not because the he/she can show that a Yes result appears likely.
    That’s a wish list.

  • Tochais Siorai

    Are you telling me the Union flag wasn’t placed on many of the coffins of the various loyalist beauties who took the high road?

  • Robin Keogh

    We will have to agree to disagree but i think u will find that polls carried out by either nationalist or unionists interests are usually geared to deliver the correct answer. Nowhere has the British Government difinitively stated that polls are crucial to the decision making process. I think that is a wish on your own list. I dont believe the brits will call a poll for the craic, i believe they will do it when three situations arise simultaneously. 1. When nationalists have a vote plurality. 2. When both nationalist parties ask for one. 3. When the irish government agrees to one.

  • Jay

    Then you’ve nothing to worry about Zeno. No Surrender.

  • barnshee

    “one deputy for every 25k of the population. Given NI has a pop of 1.8m you are looking at approx 72 representatives, the rest can sit in stormont.”

    I understand reductions are planned? What need for anyone sitting in Stormont in a UI?

    “Even if it is not, arrangements could be made to maintain the six county system until such time as the rest catch up. ”

    Who would pay for such system?

    “the South has now commenced Universal care policy”
    how funded ?

    “There is no requirement for equality legislation to move beyond the region it was set up to serve, the six counties…so thats just pure nonsense.”

    No requirement for equality legislation in a UI ?? I think not (the legislation is UK wide)

  • barnshee

    High level/low level actions

    Oh” civil rights” marches –refusal to pay tax rates on a massive scale –demands that Ulster Scots be adopted as official language- demand for separate education system employing only prods,– state funded of course
    UVF flags in all protestant areas All roads streets renamed in Ulster Scots . or named for Protestants murdered by Republicans( a lot of streets)

    Inevitable confrontation with “state” forces produces murder by state forces –dust down the green book and reprint it in orange

  • Robin Keogh

    Yes there are reductions planned but again this is in line with constitutional requirements where the limit is one TD for every 30k citizens. This would mean an absolute minimum of 60 TDs from the north. However in my view I feel that Unionists areas should be over represented to reflect their minority status and to give them a stronger voice in the Dail. However that is just my view. As for Stormont, I personally would prefer if Stormont was retained. I think an element of Autonomy in the region would be welcomed by the Unionist community.
    Paying for the running of a public service is the responsibility of the Government from exchequer returns. Given the rapid improvement in the Republics finances and a massive fall in the unemployment rate alongside quarterly surpluses in the overall tax take not to mention the fact that it is now the fastest growing economy in Europe with a yearly deficit well below the required 3% ceiling, I think we can safely say that the good people North and South will pay for the Health service and deal with the challenges both services face united with a common aim, rather than two services on one Island struggling with poor investment. Removing the border effectively removes the currency trip wire that businesses have to deal with when trading on the Island it also Unites two small markets making them one much larger market with all the benefits that brings in terms of business expansion and attracting greater FDI which in turn increases the states tax take.
    There is of course equality legislation in the South which will include the north, or both books could be abandoned and a new structure adapted to serve the new Ireland. The six county area will always need ‘special’ consideration given the history of the region, all of which can be negotiated well in advance of Dublin taking over.

  • barnshee

    “Are you telling me the Union flag wasn’t placed on many of the coffins of the various loyalist beauties who took the high road?”

    Examples please

  • Zeno

    “Nowhere has the British Government definitively stated that polls are crucial to the decision making process. I think that is a wish on your own list.”

    I believe that when reasonable people are making decisions they will look at all the available evidence. It’s not hard to work out what that evidence is. Election results, Polls Surveys and the Census.
    I don’t want to point out the obvious, but just because more people vote Nationalist than Unionist is not a reliable indicator that more people will vote for a United Ireland.
    That one piece of information in isolation is meaningless.
    If the turnout was huge it would then be a different story.
    If the polls agreed it would again show the need for a referendum, but if you are saying that election results alone are enough it just doesn’t stack. There isn’t even any info to show that all those Nationalist voters would vote for UI.

  • Tochais Siorai

    Well, to be honest I can’t remember many of their names but I did remember the man who, we could say, started it all. One Mr Gusty Spence.
    .
    And hey, you’re never going to guess what was on top of his coffin?

  • Robin Keogh

    Believing somebody to be reasonable is a subjective task at the best of times. But I agree to some extent, election votes alone would hardly be enough but again that would depend on the argument put forward by the parties and the Dublin government alongside. As I said before I honestly think that both governments will conduct private independent opinion polls bofore coming to any decision, its unlikely they would rely on ‘Popular’ polls that are usually structured to favour their sponsor. That’s not a wild claim, its a common problem when it comes to establishing credibility on such opinion research. Lets say for the sake of argument in ten years from now the Brit/Ir government commission a poll conducted by some Australian polling company which asks a question such as ……. ‘ would you like to see a united Ireland in the future?’ Lets say it comes back 35% yes, 35% No with 30% undecided…add that to a plurality nationalist vote, plurality census result, alongside a push from nationalist parties and the irish government …. I think you might see a poll agreed. Remember a lot depends on how the question is asked and where it is conducted.

  • Zeno

    The question would have to be Do you want a United Ireland now? Not in 20 years or 30 years. The polls only include the soft option of 20 years to draw out people who might be interested. They know as well as anyone else that a lot of those people if asked the same question in 20 years will again say Yes to 20 years from now.

  • Robin Keogh

    Well not really because when u look at the Scottish Indy question it had no time frame built into it , simply asked do u think Scotland should be an independent country. However, the wording of any question in a border poll in Ireland would have to be agreed between the parties and the governments. But the wording of an opinion poll can take any form the authors decide. Imagine this scenario The Belfast Telegraph launch an opinion poll ‘ Do u think Northen Ireland should Leave the United Kingdom and become part of a United Ireland? ‘ Or an Irish News Opinion Poll ” Would you like to see the North and South of Ireland unite to form one country?” Or a London Times Poll ” Is it time for both parts of Ireland to Unite together as one nation?” In fact everybody could get involved and structure the question in a way that delivers different results, if those results averaged out as 50/50. A border poll might be justified. I suppose I am trying to make the point that Opinion polls can be so slanted that they may not have as much weight with a future SOS as u might believe.

  • siphonophorest

    .

  • Kevin Breslin

    Are these pacts even Unionist?

    There’s no common Covenant made taking any position on UK constitutional reform.

    No links with parties or individuals on the “mainland”.

    No policies on how to maintain the union in the next Westminster session.

    Is there any pro-Union approach on what these parties are going to offer England, Scotland and Wales in order for this “better deal” here?

    Asking for greater devolution and more money is effectively no different than the Irish Home Rule movement of the late 19th/early 20th Century.

    Similarly Sinn Féin wanting the SDLP to stand aside so it can win seats … how is that republican? It’s electoral slavery and bondage.

    Many unionist politicans like Jeff Dugeon have done a lot more for all 32 counties of Ireland than most of the Sinn Féin activists calling for pacts, so why play a sectarian card here?

  • barnshee

    repeats

    “Inevitable confrontation with “state” forces produces murder by state forces –dust down the green book and reprint it in orange”

    Minority community wants to force change– “green book” not a bad start.. Small country- limited resources any sustained campaign will bankrupt it.

  • barnshee

    Yep the UVF flag with UJ in the corner

    Look forward to a PIRA flag wiyh a tricolour in the corner

  • siphonophorest

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  • Tochais Siorai

    So the UVF flag has a UJ in the corner, ergo all UVF members go the road with a UJ on the coffin. Are you going to tell me now that its the size that matters?
    .
    Anyway it isn’t as if there’s a quality control dept which restricts flags of whatever kind on coffins.

  • Zeno

    OK so all you need is a new SOS who will ignore Opinion Polls. Good luck with that.
    You probably need one who isn’t worried about looking a bit silly as well. It wouldn’t exactly make him/her look good if he/she forms an opinion that a Yes vote is likely to be successful and it it gets defeated 75/25 or worse..

  • Robin Keogh

    Well the scots ref was supposed to be beaten 70/30 and look how that turned out

  • Zeno

    I never do.
    But you should if you are emotionally invested in some future event that is looking increasingly unlikely.

  • Zeno

    Ireland isn’t Scotland.

  • Robin Keogh

    And Ulster isn’t Unionist

  • Robin Keogh

    Well with nationalist majority in the the North we might end up with two little irelands on the Island….with the Brits footing the bill for one of them ! Not a bad outcome at all 😉

  • barnshee

    To my knowledge and experience Nationalists have never been told “‘You’re British get used to it’ Protestants HAVE said we are British (subset we don`t give the proverbial what YOU are )

  • barnshee

    “wild abandon” hardly- more remarkable restraint

    Er the “Forces” are responsible for relatively few deaths -many deaths occurred when the Republican community attacked the “forces”

    Have a good look at the detail http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/victims/mckeown/ Identify particularly those innocent bystanders Note the shoppers, children and workers killed, separate out the “volunteers” killed on ” active service. The really” successful killers” – the murder gangs of whatever hue

    “Even more interesting you are saying that Unionist opposition to terrorism is situational. It’s only wrong when your opponents do it. Absolutely fascinating.”

    If the PIRA campaign was/is acceptable then any equivalent campaign by protestants/loyalists must be equally acceptable I look forward to your endorsement

  • barnshee

    Spence was a disgrace–a murdering thug – sadly the state cannot legislate for those who demean its symbols as the ROI has found

    Can you now consider

    “The pseudo political organisation disguised as a sporting organisation
    Supporters at rallies celebrating the people who brought Enniskillen and Tebane- (where they continue to attack the memorial)”

  • siphonophorest

    .

  • barnshee

    “Now you think the PIRA campaign was acceptable? Absolutely fascinating.”

    Question avoided

    repeats

    “IF

    the PIRA campaign was/is acceptable then any equivalent campaign by protestants/loyalists must be equally acceptable I look forward to your endorsement”

    Of the deaths attributable to (EG) the RUC ALL occurred during

    1 Direct Attacks on them by PIRA etc OR
    2 During republican mob attacks on the RUC
    2 Motor vehicles crashes during pursuit

    I am unaware of policemen hiding in crowds to slither up and shoot individuals in the back

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portrush

    I invite you to carry out similar analysis on the other
    “actors”

    “best thing for us to do is to give it another 20 years so people like you are in their graves or nursing homes when a UI rolls around”

    Beware the law of unintended consequences

  • Tochais Siorai

    Celebrating Enniskillen & Teebane or the people who caused it, Desecrating memorials. Condemn absolutely. Without reservation. Why wouldn’t I?
    .
    As for the GAA, if you don’t accept that it’s very much primarily a sporting organisation, then that’s up to you. Sure there’s a nationalist ethos in the background but as someone who’s a member & attended far too many meetings for my own good, a lot of crap is discussed but I cannot recall a single occasion when nationalism or politics came up. Seriously. Never. Ever.
    .
    It isn’t nationalism which rivals sport in its ethos it’s community. When someone like Tom Elliot (or Arlene Foster or numerous other Unionist pols) can’t even send good wishes to their neighbours, literally in some cases, when for example Fermanagh upset all sporting expectations and reach an All Ireland semi then it sends out a message they’re small minded, stuck in the past and have no time for their non Unionist neighbours.
    .
    Anyway, have a good weekend. I’d say lots of GAA on near you but maybe you’ll wait for the championship in a couple of months time…….

  • siphonophorest

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  • Jay

    Voter apathy is the best you can hope for zeno. A few decades, a few seats, a referendum. Just like in Scotland it will breathe a breath of fresh air in politics here. Until then SF need to remove as much British symbolism as possible. For years unionism has made Irish men and women ashamed of their identity. There is years of wrongdoings to be undone. Keep calm and vote Gerry Kelly!

  • Zeno

    ” For years unionism has made Irish men and women ashamed of their identity. ”

    Really, a few flags and statues and you’re ashamed to be Irish? No harm but that sounds pathetic.
    “A few decades, a few seats, a referendum”
    In a few decades that will still be the cry. Remember it used to be UI by 2016. What happened to that? How did it go from United Ireland in 2016 to can’t even show enough support for the idea to get a referendum?
    I’ve never voted, so won’t be voting for Kelly or anyone else. As a socialist I couldn’t vote for SF anyway. Socialists don’t borrow £700 million from their masters to put 20,000 Irishmen out of work. Socialists don’t sacrifice public spending to put money in the pockets of wealthy businessmen by cutting their Corporation Tax Bill. Socialists don’t support Welfare Cuts.
    Try thinking before you vote.