Soapbox: As a decent human being it is beholden upon Sammy Wilson to defy these views

Chris Eisenstadt is a US citizen who has been living in Northern Ireland. He is also a member of the Ulster Unionist Party. Here he considers the controversy over Sammy Wilson’s engagement captured by BBC reporter, Conor Spackman.

Northern Ireland isn’t a racist place. Sure, it has issues with racism, and a few racists live here, but fundamentally it isn’t a place where racism is part of the fabric of society. It isn’t a place where causal, ignorant and lazy assumptions or accusations about a person’s ethnicity are socially acceptable by and large.

This has been my experience living in Northern Ireland since 2001.

My name is Christopher Eisenstadt, and I’m Jewish. I’m not a practising Jew, I don’t eat kosher or go to Synagogue on Saturdays, but ethnically I am Jewish. In the past, my name and genetics have been more than enough “reason” for anti-Semitic comments. The people that said those things didn’t seem interested that my reading of Hebrew is pretty poor. It was enough that I was “an ethnic”.

I’m also an American – at least, half-American.

Why does Sammy Wilson’s reaction to these views being expressed to him bother me? Obviously, they are suggestive of a deeper seated ignorance. But that isn’t the reason. I can live with the fact that there are people out there who will hate me because of what, or who I am.

Because I am Jewish, or because I am from the USA or because I am a Unionist. I’m an adult, and I can handle the fact that racists, bigots and sectarians exist.

Of course, Sammy Wilson did not make the comments himself. This is a key point to understand, his mistake, in my view, was not saying something bigoted.

His failure was the lack of leadership shown in that pivotal moment. He had an opportunity, as well as a responsibility to not acquiesce or ignore those comments.

Sammy Wilson may well comment that he doesn’t agree with the idea that “ethnics” ought to be “put out”. In subsequent interviews, he doesn’t deny hearing it, and therefore he ought to have challenged those views. Certainly, he is keen to point out his credentials with ethnic minorities.

As an MP, as a politician, and frankly, as a decent human being it is beholden upon him to defy these views when he encounters them.

He has the power to do so – unlike many who face racism alone, or in positions of weakness in society. He can call someone out for saying something so hateful with little personal risk. A young Filipino nurse walking home after a nightshift, set upon by those who “want the ethnics out” doesn’t have that luxury.

He has never proven himself to be shy about expressing his views before – even when those are out of step with science, politeness or reason. It strikes me as odd, therefore, that he would fail to question such loathsome comments when they are presented to him. There is a reasonable expectation that he will do so – every single time he hears them.

If that is the case, he also needs to clarify who he means by “ethnics”. Do I count? Does my father? What about the EU citizens who work in Northern Ireland? The Poles? The Germans?

Sammy Wilson should do the right thing and apologise for not challenging those views when expressed to him. They were offensive and by failing to apologise for his inaction he gives comfort to those who hold those views.

As I said at the start, Northern Ireland is not a fundamentally racist place. The people here have welcomed me, and made me feel at home. Where there have been isolated incidents of racism or bigotry directed at me, there has always been a number of people keen to step up and denounce it. What we must take care with, is that our representatives share those values.

Sammy Wilson’s actions suggest that he does not. If he is allowed to simply brush it off, or ignore it, it sets a poor precedent. “Ethnics” are welcome in Northern Ireland. I think we ought to make sure everyone else knows it.

This is a guest slot to give a platform for new writers either as a one off, or a prelude to becoming part of the regular Slugger team.

  • Jollyraj

    True, to an extent. However, when we are dealing with people whom (as in the case of the IRA) routinely committed war crimes against the civilian population, it does tend to poison relations. I find it troubling that you don’t seem to find that troubling. Martin directed such acts for years. Gerry says he didn’t, but most think he did, and even some prominent figures on his own side publicly said he did. You, presumably either believe that he didn’t, or believe that he did but don’t care. I assume the former?

  • Jollyraj

    So I believe.

  • Robin Keogh

    Ballymurphy, Bloody Sunday; were tgey not equally grotesque killings? Where does it get us, measuring offense.

    I believe GA was certainly associated with the IRA at some level, he has said so himself. But, I trust the people who endorsed the GFA and brought loyalism and republicanism into the political process and away from conflict, removing the bulk of the the British Army from my country, offering us all an opportunity to move forward away from conflict and towards a peaceful prosperous future.

  • Jollyraj

    McCreesh, too….

  • Jollyraj

    Your country? Aren’t you from Ireland, not NI?

  • Robin Keogh

    Nope. I am Irish from Ireland. One Island, one nation, one country with two political jurisdictions.

  • Kevin Breslin

    To be fair, Sammy did say in the same program:

    “The important thing about any democracy, is that the people who are elected to the parliament to make the decisions aught to be capable of being held accountable”

    And to paraphrase another quote of his (albeit out of context)

    He’s absolutely right!

  • Mike the First

    Two pretty prominent Catholic Unionists there.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    It was a quote from a certain other poster, Robin…….

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Jollyraj, please read the entire comment David Ford actually made. I’d think them both rather less culpable than this media take presents. Ford because he is being pilloried by what looks to me to be the willful distortion of what he is actually saying, and Sammy because he “jumps in” without thinking things through often, although I deplore the effect his thoughtless bumptiousness may have on more bitter persons who take the things he says more seriously than, perhaps, he does.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    The problem, Granni, is that what he’s said has been wilfully distorted by those who can see political capital, and this is turning into Chinese whispers amongst those who have only read these malicious “takes” on his comment.

    Anyone who has met him would be able to see through this nonsense.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Marx origionally imagined the collapse as providing an opportunity for a change thet would develop by “historical necessity” rather than being directed by an elite socialist party, something Lenin added. So the disarray of the left is far from being a problem to a Classic Marxist.

    I have little faith in Hilary myself, far too complicit with Wall Street for anyone to see her as anything but more of the same thinking that has brought us to this pass, which is why Trump is gathering a “protest” vote of frightening proportions….the “Aristides the Just” reaction against liberalism of simply striking out and throwing all the toys out of the pram, leaving only Trump squatting on a nest of disillusion and unthoughtout hatred.

    Aristides, for those who are unfamiliar with him:

    ” It is said that, on this occasion, an illiterate voter who did not recognise Aristides approached the statesman and requested that he write the name of Aristides on his voting shard to ostracize him. The latter asked if Aristides had wronged him. “No,” was the reply, “and I do not even know him, but it irritates me to hear him everywhere called ‘the Just’.” Aristides then wrote his own name on the ballot…”

  • SeaanUiNeill

    If it is the upvotes on the comment I’ve linked to below that you are referring to Turgon, then Submariner clearly pillories Unionists, rather than Protestants. Is this a case of falling into that populist mistake of conflating Unionism and Protestantism, and seeing the terms as simply interchangable? In my opinion this approach is forgetting that one is a secular political ideology while the other is a confession of religious belief, two very very different things for some of us. In the postings on gay marriage you have drawn this distinction between the secular and the spiritual quite clearly yourself. I really do not think Granni can honestly be criticised as in any way sectarian for her upvote in this case, and I cannot see that submariner’s criticism of a Unionist party that unquestionably refused admittance to Catholics for most of its working life can be described as “clear anti Protestant discrimination”.

    Although I upvoted the comment myself, I personally draw the distinction between the open minded “unionism” of that wing of the party that has always approached the mores of British Conservatism, represented by those such as Brian Maginiss in the 1950s, and by the Liberal Unionist tradition inherited by of John Andrews earlier, as against the more widespread tradition of,say, of Sir Basil which “would not have one about the place”, even if, as with submariner, they had served in the British forces. It was this latter version I’d believed submariner to be criticising in his comment.

  • Sir Rantsalot

    So 2 countries then ????

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    I will say robin that my contempt is more northern based.

    I’ve been spending a lot of time in Dublin recently and i just don’t get the same ‘vibe’ from them down there. (I actually have a selfie of me passing past a SF rally on Moore st).

    And given the mind boggling number of homeless people in Dublin and the sheer disparity of wealth distribution i can see the appeal of them down there, to an extent.

    (The system needs a serious shake up, i’ve never seen so many homeless people or discarded needles before!)

  • Chingford Man

    We expect even less from you.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    With a long tradition behind them:

    I can recommend the book highly, as a fine corrective to sectarian simplifications.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    My own problem with SF is rooted in what Marx himself first called “The Cult of the Personality”:

    I take Bob Dylan’s injunction “don’t follow leaders” very, very seriously……………

  • Robin Keogh

    In the tenth richest country in the world pp its an outrage that we should be ashamed of.

  • Cosmo

    Youth unemployment, dispair and hopelessness – among some of the motivations behind increased support for SF and other European bully-boy parties.
    Hopefully, insights into why, how and what mafias really end up producing, will deter the more historically aware.
    Meanwhile, Blackrock grammar school graduates, like the products of the West’s privileged schools, need to unlearn their Harvard ‘ethics’, and think beyond commercial ‘profit’.

  • Greenflag 2

    Granted two is more than zero but not a whole lot more and in a population of half a million plus in NI at the time hardly significant . Prominent protestant nationalists and republicans in Irish history can’t be counted on the fingers of one or two hands -simply too many .

    Gorman was military and that experience for 99% of those who take that life path means loyalty to comrades and the country you serve above all . Both did their duty to their country but their country left them for somewhere else . They were not alone in their loyalty to the KIngdom of these islands at the time – even if they were unique in their support for Ulster Unionism .

  • SeaanUiNeill

    “Something must be done”, said Edward VIII, and look where that got him……….

    But yes, it is scandalous that the needy are simply left to fend for themselves amid plenty, and politicians are needed who will actually do something about this rather than talk about further wealth creation for the few.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    I think someone with enough money could fund peer reviewed scientific arguments published in academic journals offering evidence that research shows that the world is actually flat.

    It’s amazing what’s on sale out there nowadays……

  • Greenflag 2

    Unionist politicians of any hue are not known for their social graces . It goes with the territory . Crude boorish characters many of them but probably just ordinary decent people under their thick skins and beneath thicker skulls but thats just my opinion . They have evolved that way if that’s not the wrong word to use . Just products of their political and cultural /religious environments . Some would say the same of SF politicians in NI but they say the AP people and SDLP people are nice polite folk . Odd that so few of them get elected but then thats also part of NI political environment .

    For what it’s worth my sympathies are with Jenny Palmer in this matter.

  • Greenflag 2

    Lenin referred to the problem as the lack of extensive organisatory experience of the proletariat -which thus implied an educated ‘elite ‘ who would lead . Lenin btw owned 9 Rolls Royces . Stalin on the other hand owned 170 million people 🙁

    Hilary has opened the can of worms named shadow banking in her debate with Sanders on the ‘banksters ‘ & Wall St . It appears that in Ireland shadow banking’s HQ is just a short walk from Enda Kenny’s “pub”

    Here’s a scary link with names like Vneshprombank , Timoshenko and Russian oligarchs etc etc all taking advantage of Dublin’s look the other way . So in this shadowy area it appears our little republic is up there with the really big bad boys i.e China and the USA in the shadow banking league a league which makes gambling in Las Vegas look like an easy way to make billions 😉

  • Greenflag 2
  • Greenflag 2

    Its even more amazing that people buy some of whats for sale but then without consumers no economy and no economy no academic journals . And the world would’nt go round then even if it is flat in parts 😉

    Apart from the usual political class i.e elected politicians – doctors journalists and scientists and men of religion nowadays are just as likely to be ‘bought ‘ for one corporate or political agenda or other . Embedded is the word . It was ever thus one supposes but perhaps I’m naive in thinking that in today’s world this ‘cancer ‘ has grown exponentially !

  • Jollyraj

    Oh Robin, you and I have talked before about those kinds of comments…..picture two neighbours, Willie and Frank, not having a great deal in common but on good enough terms. Willie invites Frank in for a wee cuppa tea, and Frank joins to talk about how if right was right the two properties should actually be one, having one time in the distant past been owned by the same man, fellow by the name of O’Neill. Not only that, but Frank starts to lay out his plans to repaint Willie’s living room, and maybe move the coffee table next door. Willie is, to say the least, alarmed and somewhat indignant and never again invites his neighbour in for tea – which Frank takes for anti-social, dour snobbery. The two hardly speak these days.

    Please stop being Frank.

  • Robin Keogh

    Ah but your story is missing another character. Willie forgets that he doesnt live alone, he lives with Paddy and Paddy has a share in the house. But, just as your story exposes, Willie ignores Paddy all the time thinking he is less than a co-equal.

    Please stop being Willie.

  • Bobbell

    How does Frank feel about Paddy?

  • Robin Keogh

    Frank is related to Paddy and wants to be good mates with Willie, all three of them pooling their resources can build a bigger stronger more durable house.

  • Greenflag 2

    Once upon a time the rising tide lifted all boats now it lifts yachts only meanwhile the smaller boats don’t get bailed out and sink . Not just in Ireland it’s a worldwide phenomenon with political consequences yet to be seen . Anyway if they’re homeless and have nothing to eat or no jobs it’s their own fault is’nt that right Marie Antoinette ? said David Cameron . Enda just forget to take the wax out and now the night of the long knives cometh ,

  • Greenflag 2

    Not many jobs in shadow banking apparently but billions to be made without government getting a look in . Perhaps Bernie or Hilary will sort it all out and ask Goldman Sachs to come up with a plan . But I seriously don’t expect David Cameron or Gerry Adams much less Enda Kenny or Michael Martin to do anything other than to stand bemused and look befuddled as to WTF is going on while pitchforks are gathered by one side and it’s pass the smoked salmon and Chardonnay by the other 🙁

  • Cosmo

    Further to globalisation shifting out jobs, there will be a further gouge on many ( educated) jobs by technology -and yet no real vision about re-distribution of wealth.
    at least Bernie is piping up.
    by the way, I read a view on that shark Ryan, is that he is just re-positioning himself for the presidency, by his ticking off Trump.

  • Greenflag 2

    Not only did they NOT see the writing they did’nt even notice the wall or more probably chose to ignore any sign of it’s existence . Yes they could have governed NI more wisely – recognised and made allowances for the Irish language -recognised the Tricolour as an almost equal icon in the NI State and brought in PR voting instead of abolishing it to give their side an even greater parliamentary majority than was necessary . Yes they could have done all those and more perhaps . But the salient fact is they did’nt and everybody including present day unionists live with the consequences . Others have died .

    You never get a second chance to make a first impression and the problem for political unionism is that their first impression was so bad that they will never be allowed to forget it as long as the NI State continues to exist .

    But the Irish people -the eh plain people of Ireland are a forgiving lot eventually . Yes they gave FF the bums rush in 2011 and this time around they gave Labour a reminder not to forget their roots and they’ve told FG that while it’s ok to call in the men with grey suits (the political consultants and marketing whizzes – you can’t just take their advice hook , line and sinker and base an election campaign on a sound bite . Keep the recovery going is all very well . But you also have to explain where it’s going . Too many folks saw it going to where it was less needed .

    And in time they’ll also forgive and forget the decent ‘unionists ‘ and choose to unremember the worst of them . LIfe is too short to carry grudges from the past or another age and we may see that yet as our uncivil war parties FF and FG start hopping around the political bed next week to decide who jumps in first and out last or not at all.

    The bed hopping antics of the Republic’s main parties are alas not available to their NI political colleagues . There arranged marriage is de facto and de jure and divorce is not an option without losing not just the house and job but a whole way of life dependent on the public sector . . Not the kind of marriage anybody in their right minds would opt for but then ‘beggars ‘ can’t be choosers . There’s probably a better cliche out there but that’s the one that comes to mind just now .Will the Assembly Elections in May throw up any major surprises ? I doubt it -nothing on the scale of what’s happened in the Republic in 2016 and 2011 anyway .

  • Jollyraj

    Jaykers! No sooner had I let go the pen, and the ink not dry, than he snatches it up and begins crossing things out and writing over the top of it. Very apt.

    No, Robin, I didn’t forget. One thing you’d soon appreciate if you spent any appreciable time up here among us Ulster Folk is we don’t forget much.

    Now, if I might clear this up for you: There’s no Paddy here. You may be thinking of a chap called Maurice who lives in those parts, too. Maurice isn’t in the story because he lives a good bit down the road and doesn’t have much to do with either of the two likely lads. Oh, they’d be alright individually, but you couldn’t have one around without the other – and Maurice was no fool. He knew rightly that before too long Frank would produce a loch of cans, and Willie would have the hip flask, being a bit closer with a penny than Frank (indeed, hadn’t Maurice heard and chuckled at the story of how copper wire was invented when Willie’s grandfathers fell out over the ownership of a penny one of them had dropped). No, Maurice didn’t want a bit of them about the place, even though him and Frank were sais to be distant cousins from way back in the day, for he had a lovely garden and the mortgage with that ould German bank to look to and didn’t want to get involved with their nonsense.

  • Robin Keogh

    There very much is a Paddy, living in the same house as Willie, willie needs to accept that.

  • Greenflag 2

    That would not surprise me i.e Ryan as GOP establishment candidate if and when the convention can’t decide . Much will depend on what happens between now and then with Trump . Don’t be surprised if the latter doesn’t make his peace with the establishment . The GOP establishment also are aware that Trump can run as an independent and in a three horse race even win . On reflection they may decide that Hilary as President will safeguard their interests or more accurately not put them as much at risk as a Trump presidency might . A failed Trump presidency particularly on the economy and employment and wages could send the USA in droves to a Bernie Sanders type candidate in 2020 . Thats my foresight not hindsight 😉

    I also read that 900,000 jobs in retail in the UK will be robotised by 2025 and they just can’t all or any leave for China now can they ?. And the governments have yet to fix the root cause s of the 2008 financial meltdown . It appears to be beyond their capabilities apart from their unwillingness . Even Obama has passed the parcel to whoever is next .

  • SeaanUiNeill

    In the strangest of ways Dublin has been reminding me more and more of Zurich over the past 16 years. Thank you for explaining just why this might be so.

    I did not know about the 9 Rolls Royces before… Marx however hardly owned his own underwear…….

  • mac tire

    I’m Paddy and he ignores me all the time.

  • Jollyraj

    Robin, Robin…… ‘Frank’ represents the NI Nationalist, ‘Willie’, the NI Unionist. ‘Maurice’ is the Irish population living down the road whom, with the odd anomaly such as yourself, largely prefer to keep us at a very long arm’s length. And who can blame them.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Worldwide indeed! I encounter it everywhere I go. And its not only their own fault, they can’t pay tax, so become non-persons in every way, simply cluttering up a “Holsteinised” world increasingly crafted to supply interest payments and tax yields and precious little else.

    I’ll simply keep searching for the baker with Briouche in the window…..

  • Robin Keogh

    Wicklow people keep wexford people at arms length in the way that Cork and Kerry stay clear of Dubs, its a very perculiar Iirsh trait so I wouldn’t get too offended by it.

    I assumed that Frank represented the 26 counties whilst Willie represented the North. So Maurice threw me a bit there. but hey…its been fun 😉

  • Jollyraj

    Always a pleasure, Robin

  • Greenflag 2

    Eamon De Valera , Michael Collins Menachim Begin, David Ben Gurion Jomo Kenyatta , the list is endless . Ni Unionists are apparently the only people on the planet to whom this truth does not apply at least in their own eyes . Oddly enough they find it difficult to get anybody other than themselves to believe this !

  • Greenflag 2

    LOL He can’t help it 😉 its his political environment and cultural milieu 🙂

  • Greenflag 2

    Yes and he ( Marx ) was not the kindest of husbands nor the fairest of employers to his female housekeeper . Arrogant self centred son of a b ***** by all accounts . He got so interested in the big picture he forgot the little people . Trump on the other hand ;)?

  • Robin Keogh

    Which probably explains why historians have sometimes been somewhat sympathetic to the cause of Irish Nationalism.

    I think though we need to be fairer of spirit in the current atmosphere. Republicands and Nationalists need to reakize that ‘defeating’ Unionism is not going to make a United Ireland a particularly pleasant place to live.

    We need to adjust our expectations and at least try to find that third way which has been mooted on Slugger quite recently.

    Simply, British Identity lives in Ireland and it is not going away. Nor should it. The past; as painful as it has sometimes been for everybody means Ireland and Britain are inextricably linked on varying levels. We should make the most of that rather than belittling it or failing to see its true longterm potential.

    The South I think has come to this realisation over recent years and its not bringing the roof down. Do I want the union flag fluttering over my head? Certainly not but i am damned if i am going to force any Ulster man to wrap himself in the tricolour against his wishes.

    We need to get creative on this Island, Brexit might offer us just that opportunity. Unionism have to pull their weight too, the ‘no surrender’ battle cry has lost its impact with adherents withering away too.

    If somebody is afraid, far better to offer a safe haven rather than prod them with spike.

  • Greenflag 2

    Entirely agree Robin with most of above apart from Brexit I hope the Brits vote to stay in . Also there are no safe havens anywhere given the current global financial system . Even Argentina has finally bowed down to it’s international creditors .

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Marx was a feckless misognyst and my wife frequently brings up the schoolboy excitement of Marx and Engels at the can-can every time I quote him approvingly. Interestingly, although the “Internationale” cannot be sung to Offenbach’s “can-can” “The Red Flag” can, “I’m Sorry I hanen’t a Clue” “one song to the tune of another” style, although I’ve so far resisted putting my rendition up on YouTube, saving it for those few Marxists I still meet now and again.

    Yes: “Arrogant self centred son of a b ***** by all accounts . He got so interested in the big picture he forgot the little people.”

    Very much a human coggs in the machine man, Karl. That’s why I preferred Kropotkin and Emma Goldman myself in my teens, although I was always antagonistic to that thread of autonomous self-referencing egotistic libertarianism in Anarchism well the Thatcherite discovery of Max Stirner as a guru.

  • Greenflag 2

    Seen hanging on the door of a music teacher when she absents herself from her abode – ‘Bach soon – Offenbach later ‘
    I’d be more Beethoven and Brahms but Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld has it’s high points so to speak.

    Now about Sammy Wilson’s peccadillos where were we ? Oops it’s Friday again 😉

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Occasionally when one reaches this sort of digression and looks back, its like one of those walks where the energetic enthusiasm has led one quite a few miles past where one should have turned. It’s the natural flâneur in me…………

  • Greenflag 2

    Good for you Seaan 🙂 In my case not so lucky . Focus focus focus . 🙂 It’s the lack of a sense of smell since the age of 10 I believe . Smell has more importance in memory than most people realise or understand -For those who have it -it goes unnoticed as an aide memoir – almost subconsciously . For me it’s absence has led to compensation in the form of words and their associations as an ersatz for memory for which 98% of people rely on their olfactory nerves .

    But keep flaneuring . I’ll keep checking the roses but I won’t be able to smell them 🙂

  • John Collins

    Brendan. Are we to take that Unionist Parties are not tribal?

  • Greenflag 2

    Its the journey not the destination as they say .

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Anyone thinking there will be any “destinations” up here in the Wee Six any time soon is in for some disappointment, alas…..

    But a few intelligent comments now and again are balm…..

  • Pete

    So making sweeping generalisations about followers of a religious ideology, such as Islam, would be considered OK?

  • SeaanUiNeill

    The up-vote was for a comment which stated:

    “Being lectured by Unionists about equality and discrimination is a bit like being lectured about the evils of drink by an alcoholic”…

    If you read some of the other comments I’ve made on this thread, you would perhaps have noticed that I personally discriminate between those Unionists who were pressing for a genuinely more “British” Conservative Party style approach to how the party approached the broad community across the twentieth century, and those who opposed Brian Maginess’s more progressive line, for example, and voted to exclude Catholic membership in the early 1960s. This latter group would, I would feel, fully deserve Submariners comment.

    The issue I had here, in rushing to her defence, was that Granni was most inaccurately being accused of sectarianism, when she was upvoting a rather flippant description of an historically ingrained sectarian exclusivism inside a political ideology, not a religious grouping. Of course I’m perhaps missing the possibility that Unionism may actually be a “religion” for some of my fellow citizens, but I do not think this is how it is generally perceived outside of actual Unionist circles. And really, Pete, everyone habitually makes the most sweeping generalisations on Slugger, such as conflating Unionism and protestantism, which is why I’m frequently able to pedantically correct detail very often.

  • Greenflag 2

    When the horizon is reached ( it never is ) there’s always another one. When all horizons turn out to be points on the circumference of an eternal circle that’s when you know you are in that alternative political universe that is NI politics 😉 It could be slightly different elsewhere .. Just as one can never reach the end of the universe without returning to one’s place of origin or so the theoretical astrophysicists tell us – so the unfortunate wretches who get involved in NI politics find every new ‘beginning ‘ a ‘new end ‘ and every new end a new beginning while all around the sense of deja vu permeates like dark matter through the void .
    But nothing lasts forever not even voids or universes for that matter although it might seem so 😉

  • Brendan Heading

    Of course unionist parties are tribal.