The Hatching of the Great Misogyny Distraction Plan

Deep in the bowels of Party HQ, the Inner Circle have gathered for a think-in to plot the party’s way out of the abbreviation crisis Whose Name Must Not Be Spoken.

Paul’s just off the phone. Can’t make it but he sends his regards.

Someone organise for a tray of Ashers’ finest buns to be sent to his house anyway. The curry my yoghurts will be spitting mad after he licked their Leefaaa!

The congratulatory exchange helps break the tension.

Leader, we’ve got a problem though.

Ouch! I did it again. That’s the second time I’ve sat on the bench next to those newly installed boilers. This place is always roasting these days.

The assembled, representing Ulster’s greatest and goodest, take up their seats around the table as The Leader prepares to address them.

Listen up. We need a plan. I’m calling it Operation Distraction.

An excitable Admiral interrupts.

Who was it allowed Winky to call time on Twaddell? A good aul’ parade row is just what we need now!

The Mayor snorts in disapproval.

You can say that, but you didn’t have to sleep in that grubby caravan once every two months, listening to Nutts Corner CDs and that aul’ fool rabitting on every Saturday afternoon.

Growling, Not-so-Gregarious Gregory grabs a roadmap from Robin’s driver.

Give me that map! Not like he’ll be needing you for much longer. Anyone know the way to Longstone Road? That worked for Brian. And what about Garvaghy? Do our eejits still do their dignified thing there every Sabbath? Can we not find somewhere to beat the drum loudly? Well? Well!!!

In serious tone, Solemn Simon addresses them.

I’m afraid the Lambegs are all in hibernation. We could try but it’s hard to whip the masses into a frenzy in brass monkey weather. Once Lundy’s burned the fancy new costumes Paul’s paid for all get put away for the season. Hasn’t helped that he’s printing money to throw at every Hall we got- everyone’s busy filling in forms to be rubber-stamped.

The others lower their heads. The Leader speaks.

I think I have it. It’s a stretch, but I think it just might work.

Go on……

Let’s tell them I’m being picked on because I’m a woman.

Silence descends upon those gathered.

Yet more silence.

Even the piano player stops playing.

Sammy turns away, biting his lip. Hard.

Erm, how are we going to pull that one off? It’s not like, erm, how can I say this diplomatically, like we’re known for being the greatest defenders of women’s rights!

At this, Ian og loses his battle- and will- to contain his laughter.

Miaow! or was it Mooooo!

Don’t forget Cinderella and her ugly sisters!!

The room explodes into laughter as memories are relived and retold to the younger pups.

Shhhh!

I think I can pull it off….

That’s the problem…

After fixing an icy stare on the soon to be Siberia Craigavon bound upstart who stage whispered the insolent retort, The Leader continues.

I’ll tell them it’s all because I’m a woman. My public love me, after all. I am not amused by the calls for my resignation. Don’t they know who I am?

Somebody get on the phone to the other half of GARLENE. We need a powder puff interview to even have a chance of pulling this one off!

Thus was history made, and the Fresh become Stale at the dawn of The Year of Our Lord 2017.

  • Mountjoy

    https://youtu.be/26-VzfBZg1w What was playing in the background.

  • Actually, focus on the point on misogyny was media driven with social media jumping in with its penny worth.

    The total BelTel interview across a wide range of issues is here http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/politics/arlene-foster-vows-not-to-quit-as-first-minister-as-she-devises-strategy-to-bring-cost-of-rhi-energy-scheme-to-zero-35339765.html

    In fact only a couple of paragraphs ref to the trolling and political attitudes by referring to ‘some’ being misogynist, with a separate point on social media.

    “Northern Ireland politics are quite misogynistic and some of the commentary on this issue has been quite misogynistic. No political leader will go through life without someone attacking them, but this criticism has been quite vicious.

    “Comments on social media have been horrific. People say things on social media, anonymously, that they would never say to your face.”

    Didn’t hear the *entire* sky interview, but can’t imagine it was too far away from what was a planned series of broad interviews in and around this area. Of course, post truth…..

  • wild turkey

    Ah, the delicacy of misogyny. Hilary, and now, Arlene.

    Hear that noise in the background? No? Listen carefully and astutely.

    It is the roar, the rage, of the entitled.

    Probably the most offensive form of prejudice.

    But that is just an opinion, so let us defer to the, ah, experts.

    Camille Paglia springs to mind

    “If civilization had been left in female hands, we would still be living in grass huts.”

    A bit cruel and over the top. To soften the blow, try this on for size.

    If governance is left in female hands, the chosen shall live in warm homes. And barns.

    Is this a great country or what?

    .

  • Anthony O’Shea

    The newsline report was clever as they wheeled out some of the norths female heavy hitters to debunk Arlene’s misogyny invention.

  • mac tire

    A whinge of an interview, trying to tick all the poor little me boxes. Her comments on RHI are debatable – hence the current crisis.

    It’s the ‘Foster on the Personal Cost’ where she shows she will say what she needs to say to draw sympathy to save her skin.

    “mental health issues and …[n]ot very many have been thinking about my mental health…” [If Arlene does not have mental health issues (she may have) then being worried about her mistakes and position is not a mental health issue].

    “…the impact on my 83-year-old mother…” [My poor mother, she is old].

    “NI politics are quite misogynistic…” [I’m a woman, don’t you know. Even if other women are challenging me, I’ll just ignore that part].

    “…the impact on my children…” [WON’T SOMEBODY THINK OF THE CHILDER!]

    “One message from a blind RAF veteran…” [Blind. Ex-Service man. Veteran. This alone should get me 100,000 votes].

    “…part of an organisation that tried to kill my father… and blew
    me up when I was 17…” [This is relevant to RHI, so don’t forget now, folks. Remember who the enemy is, never mind the subject. Phew, that’s easily another 50,000 votes].

    Essentially she has invoked the playground defence. Leader, me arse.

  • AntrimGael

    The thing about most farces is that we know they are so ridiculous, exaggerated and staged that we go along with them knowingly and laugh at their comic nature. Chris may have compared the RHI scenario to a farce but it’s developed more into a Greek tragedy and we ALL know that their endings are negative ones.
    The Belfast Telegraph and SKY interviews were totally pathetic, brimmed full of self pity, arrogance, deflection and in denial nonsense. If Foster had held her hands up at the start and accepted some of the blame I think most people would have a bit more forgiving and understanding. Instead she has not only continued digging, but as others have said, with a JCB instead of a shovel.
    First it was the BBC and Stephen Nolan’s fault then Jonathan Bell’s ‘bullying’. Now it’s misogyny (totally dismissed by the likes of Naomi Long and Nichola Mallon), anti-Unionist sectarianism (so even Jim Alister is part of this???), the Troubles et al. The hole she is digging is now somewhere under the African continent, heading for the Antipodes and she doesn’t appear to intend stopping. You can only watch the enfolding drama through your fingers and with cringing embarrassment. Instead of diffusing the situation, Arlene and the DUP are stubbornly pouring oil tanker after oil tanker of petroleum on the situation and not even Red Adair can put out the flames now.
    It doesn’t matter what Sinn Fein do at this stage; withdraw their support, force an election, wriggle on their backs while crying “It’s not fair”. The damage has been done. Sinn Fein look so weak, pathetic and clueless that they have massively damaged their standing within the Nationalist and Republican community. Their flip flopping on a Public Inquiry and pathetic roll back because of ‘typo mistakes’ was an insult to peoples intelligence. Do they think we all zip up at the back?
    However, as trivial as some may think, it was the desperate, disgraceful, sectarian, sideline show of withdrawing funding from the Irish Language school that really brought home to the Nationalist community that ‘politics’ can NEVER work here; it merely confirmed that the DUP are STILL sectarian to the core. Even if, at the 11th hour, Sinn Fein are cobbling together some sort of agreement with the DUP it doesn’t matter anymore. The political process has no credibility left; it is now holed below the waterline. The Nationalist community and many decent, liberal Unionists have NO faith in it whatsoever.

  • Anthony O’Shea

    I agree with 75% of that 😉

  • AntrimGael

    Don’t tell me! Let me guess…….up to the point where the spotlight shone on Sinn Fein???

  • Anthony O’Shea

    Dont be mad at me and dont be angry or personal OK. I disagree with your take on Sinn fein’s efforts in general, be it in the assembly or wider policy platform. I think they have the personnell to deliver on Irish Unity in the medium term and to form a super team in government North and South in the interim.
    They have made mistakes for sure and they deserve a kick in the ass for it but I think in the longer term, a healthy vibrant Sinn fein can only be a good thing for all of us, for that to happen, for SF to deliver the goods, they need the votes to put them in a position of dominance, they need the support of Nationalists and Republicans out there to bring home the bacon.
    They are slowly winning the argument in the South, despite the fact that the mainstream media and established parties throw the kitchen sink at them in the run up to every election, they continue to grow. The fact that Unionism and the South’s established parties and media machine hate the Shinners so much, is as good a reason as any to go out and vote for them. Thats just my view.

  • AntrimGael

    Mmm…show me the part where I was mad, angry OR personal towards you? My reply was due to your previous replies to posts which seem to leap on my, or anyone else’s criticism, of Sinn Fein. I agree with you that Sinn Fein do have capable personnel but the reality is that most of their attention and focus over the past few years has been on strengthening their position in the South. Nothing wrong with that but as a consequence they have taken their eye off the ball badly in the North.
    Sinn Fein, who I have supported and defended in the past, must acknowledge this fact and accept that the RHI fall out, the sectarian withdrawal of funding towards Irish, the constant attacks and insults thrown towards Irish culture and heritage etc have culminated in a total loss of Nationalist confidence in so called power-sharing. Sinn Fein’s less than convincing reaction to the RHI scandal, their tip toeing around the DUP, their reluctance to directly challenge fundamental Unionist bigotry at the heart of Stormont et al have left the Nationalist community very, very disillusioned and disappointed.
    I know Sinn Fein need the votes to grow and put them in a strong position, North and South, but they MUST earn these votes, NOT expect them as a right. I also acknowledge that the partitionist, self serving media and political Establishments in the South will NEVER be fair towards Sinn Fein or the Northern Nationalist community. I have seen some sympathetic articles towards Arlene already being churned out by the usual suspects in the political and media cabals in the 26 counties who have the mantra “The enemy of my enemy MUST be my friend”. However we in the North are used to this, and have been since partition, and don’t give this crowd a second thought.
    It is easy to say look at the bigger picture Anthony and believe it will all come right in the end. However most of us live in the here and now and have to deal with this first. That is the reality and Sinn Fein’s poor showing is currently at the centre of this; that cannot be ignored or wished away however unpalatable.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Are there any DUP sluggerites in the house?

    If so, hand on heart do you believe the misogyny line?

    Or, are you not convinced but would rather toe the party line in light of all the fuss by nationalists, letsgetalongerists, other unionists et al?

    I suppose what i’m asking is which is more important to y’all; honesty or the illusion of ‘not surrendering’?

  • Jag

    Does anyone recognise this senior DUP figure being ejected from the bar at Stormont after drinking his weight in ale?

  • articles

    Careful as you go, Chris , reporting undercover is a risky business. But great scoop.

  • Granni Trixie

    Me too!

  • Granni Trixie

    But would someone who swims in DUP waters have an awareness of what misogyny or sexism is… ?

  • Granni Trixie

    From what I have read it is likely Hilary was making a valid point. Arlene had none whatsoever . Yes,a culture of sexism and misogyny in politics and NI thrives but in this instance such claims are a dead cat strategy (i.e. A distraction).

  • ted hagan

    Hmmm, Sinn Fein aren’t exactly on firm ground when it comes to those subjects either.

  • ted hagan

    Surely the DUP spin docs must realise by now that the best course of action was before Christmas when they should have advised Foster to step outside and allow a full independent inquiry. The story has now become daily entertainment and is making the party and its ministers look even bigger fools. Time they lanced the boil now.

  • Granni Trixie

    I think I see what you’re getting at. However I suspect that on the part of women in SF at least there is awareness it’s just that a goal of genuine equality is trumped by the republican agenda. We will only really know what’s going on should someone break ranks to speak out .(.say a Republican McIveen).

  • Redstar

    Great post AG. The Shinners will run Foster close for arrogance if they think they have a right to the Nat communities vote after the way they have behaved in this pantomime

  • Zorin001

    Its a better soap opera for politicos like us than anything on the Telly.

  • Karl

    Could SF be spinning this out so they can the election campaign in parallell with Article 50 being invoked and hanging the DUP on two hooks? The advantage of energising the nationalist vote and depressing moderate unionists into not coming out

  • Zorin001

    Possibly but in poker terms it would be like going all in on a pair of 3’s, it might work if you get a lucky deal but your opponent only needs a moderately decent hand to clean you out.

  • lizmcneill

    Surely you mean “pouring load after load of wood pellets on the situation” 😉

  • Karl

    I appreciate the analogy but northern elections dont clean anyone out. I would have thought that worst case scenario is that SF drop a few points and a few seats.
    With the reduction in seats to 5, SF will benefit in that, regardless of relative performance, the DUP will not be able to use a POC unilaterally, and both the UUP and SDLP become weaker and by extension less relevant in opposition. I’d say SF are holding a pair of queens and its the DUP looking to fill a flush two cards short.
    Revitalising the nationalist electorate would mean gaining up to 5 seats if CNR turnout equalled current PUL. It would also mean nationalist voters actually voting for nationalists in the less than 20% nationalist constituencies.
    All pie in the sky until you consider the nationalist turnout was revitalised by the Brexit vote. SF make the election about DUP incompetence and Brexit indifference then it might continue.
    A loss would be a continuation of current trends. A win might be a game changer to bring a nationalist first minister, possible parity in MLAs and similar in the next Westminster election under the new boundaries.
    Carpe diem

  • Zorin001

    It’s all very possible, it all depends on the voters; and frankly who knows if this whole thing has put a dent in the “themmuns” echo chamber.

    We shall find out come an election, whenever that may be.

  • grumpy oul man

    It seems that the cracks are starting to show in the DUPS great wall.
    David mcilveen has broken the silence.
    AFs clumsy handling of this from her setting up of the scheme to the cack handed way she has behaved when the animal sourced fertiliser hit the air circulation device must by of concern to DUP MLAs and members alike.
    The god squad (of which David is a member) may well see this as their big chance to reclaim back the party from the not godly enough.
    I have a feeling that this whole thing might be the beginning of the end for the DUP. ⏳

  • grumpy oul man

    It is interesting that the usual suspects are conspicuous by there absent.
    At the start of this joll and north down where giving it the , it all a themmuns plot line but have disappeared from view.
    MU has not even treated us to one of his famous rewrites of history.
    Signs i suspect that even the super prods know this one is indefensible and lost! I do wonder what the general population thinks of it all.
    Have we at last reached the point where THEMMUNS wont cut it.

  • grumpy oul man

    All partys have a certain amount of misogyny but it practally a offical policy with the DUP.
    Comparing SF, SDLP to the DUP in regards to misogyny is like saying that that Labour is on a level with UKIP in the rascist stakes and while we know their is some rascism in Labour it doesnt compare to a party that is proud to be rascist.

  • 1729torus

    They’ll suffer in the 2019 Local Elections in line with past trends from 2014. More specifically, the DUP will almost certainly fall behind the UUP in Armagh, Causeway and Mid-Ulster councils due to getting nibbled at by so many other parties. It could easily happen in Antrim or Belfast too.

    If Arlene is still around, the Locals will be absolute carnage with people coming out to vent their anger instead of just substantial losses.

    Like the Alliance party, the DUP will be going into 2020 with a diminished local organisation and presence outside of Unionist heartlands in the North-East. It will be reflected in Assembly elections sooner or later.

  • Jag

    “But you know what isn’t sexism? Facing valid criticism after overseeing a calamitous failure.”

    The Telegraph (no, not the struggling comic published in Belfast) castigates Arlene for undermining the valid misogyny issue.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/01/05/crying-wolf-sexism-arlene-foster-undermines-womens-achievements/