Skids under Arlene?

Will she be gone by tonight? Temporarily or permanently?

No one better  than historian Eamonn Phoenix to put it into context.

The resulting loss of a Unionist majority at Stormont for the first time has shocked Unionism to its core. The political and, especially, the psychological implications of this as the centenary of Partition approaches in 2021, should not be underestimated.

Is there any more to say except wait on events? And perhaps spare a thought for Mike Nesbitt. Did he quit too soon?  Well OK, so the SDLP survived and Alliance  fared best ever. But compared to this? Shades of the falls of Terence O’Neill and Brian Faulkner.

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  • Granni Trixie

    I think he made the mistake in only half tuning into his instincts/convictions. But then these are informed by experience and he had little political experience. If the UUP are to try to revive themselves a lesson to be learnt is to select someone for Leader with more experience.

  • North Down dup

    A lot of people will disagree with you there

  • Korhomme

    Cassius:

    “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,

    But in ourselves, that we are underlings.”

  • Korhomme

    No doubt; but explain why, If I don’t like something then it should be made a criminal matter. (And particularly, I suppose, when it’s something that won’t actually affect me.)

  • Granni Trixie

    Good grief you’ve got it!

  • Granni Trixie

    But how do you explain the pact in EB? Or communicating his transfers recommendations via a Tv programme rather than discuss within UUP or prepare SDLP?

  • Granni Trixie

    Because many judge who to vote for by reasons other than traditional sectarian ones, competence for instance.

  • Zorin001
  • David

    ‘Protected’ An interesting word. Protected from ‘save ulster from sodomy’ and similar homophobia? Protected from arrest and imprisonment? How generous.

    What the LGBT community are asking for is equality and respect, the same as in the rest of the UK and Ireland.

    The last few decades saw the fundamentalists fight similarly quixotic battles against contraception and divorce. We are currently seeing the horrific results of past clerical attitudes to children born outside of wedlock.

    Cling to your archaic attitudes if you must, but trying to turn the tide of long overdue social reform will ultimately damage your own party and wider cause more than anyone else.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    I’d imagine, Granni, that his miscalculations are why he resigned, but while I am willing to accept any shoot of “pluralism” offered, I suppose I don’t expect too much from most Unionist politicians and am delighted when any degree pluralism is even discussed. I’d already critiqued Mike on his Carson quote in this respect about a month back:

    https://disqus.com/home/discussion/sluggerotoole/if_unionism_fails_to_live_up_to_the_values_that_were_established_nearly_100_years_ago_by_edward_cars/#comment-31399095

  • Msiegnaro

    Yes this is all ignored.

  • Msiegnaro

    Oh dear, what did I say?

  • Msiegnaro

    In a referendum, Alliance could be in trouble.

  • notimetoshine

    I agree with you, in that the union is only safe when a unionist party has the balls to sincerely pursue those from a Catholic/nationalist position who are quite happy with the status quo constitutionally, as you say they need to tone down.

    However I think you overestimate the influence of the Catholic church or the role it has in Nationalist communities these days. The repeated scandals and cack handed handling of the laity have all but destroyed the moral authority of the Catholic church within the Nationalist community. Especially amongst those under 50.

    Just look at the polling data amongst Catholics in Northern Ireland when it comes to gay marriage. Over 75% of those Catholics polled in the last IpsosMori poll on gay marriage supported gay marriage. Now considering the Catholic Church has been one of the loudest voices in opposition to it, that must surely be a blow to any perception of authority or influence on the part of the Catholic church.

  • notimetoshine

    He is some lad though. Always good for a bit of light relief.

  • Katyusha

    In a referendum? In a referendum, Alliance won’t be on the ballot paper.

  • burnboilerburn

    I will probably be laughed off the page for suggesting this but, is there anyway Naomi Long and Stephen Agnew could take the Joint First Minister posts while the enquiry is running?

  • North Down dup

    Don’t forget abortion, I still think we have to fight against liberal liberation

  • burnboilerburn

    Those who still believe that SF are wedded to pure Marxism are quite a bit behind the curve. The party’s policies and manifesto’s clearly reflect social democratic values.

  • North Down dup

    There are the leading force in liberal liberation in the country, I can never be apart of

  • Msiegnaro

    They’re going to have to swing one way or the other, can they really sit on the fence?

  • Ciaran O’Neill

    Stop being so paranoid ffs. Its ridiculous

  • burnboilerburn

    You do realise I hope that nothing in Nationalism’s desires could or would ever stop you living a full and complete life exactly the way you want to? Nothing in either Sinn Fein or the SDLP’s intentions can stop you reaching your full potential as an individual. People on both sides of the community who hold similar views have to find a way to beat free of this irrational fear of the ‘other’. regardless of the past, our lives are far too short and far too precious to waste on such fantasist hysteria of doom.

  • North Down dup

    Truth hurts

  • Katyusha

    They can sit it out and let their members and voters decide for themselves. Is there any reason why they should get involved?

  • burnboilerburn

    The voice of the religious should never be tangled up in representational politics. It completely flies in the face of democratic principles. You cannot contruct national law on the basis of purely christian principles no more that upon muslim or jewish faith tenets. In doing so, you simply exclude far too many people. The law of the land should allow the individual the freedom to choose the way they want to live in the context of the ‘do no harm’ principle. That is the way forward.

  • burnboilerburn

    Buddy, i think you are only hurting yourself.

  • burnboilerburn

    When Mike made that announcement I commented at the time that he looked as if it had just popped into his head. I still believe that firmly. I honestly do not believe he thought it out before hand.

  • Sharpie

    You are right. There are still many. They live predominantly in rural villages and they go to mass each day. They vote SDLP because they always did. They aren’t going to change now. Younger voters (under 45) and those living in cities and larger towns are not beholden to the church. The power in Catholic communities is in the doing-just-fine middle class who are civil servants, teachers, small business owners and professionals – accountants, doctors, lawyers. They own the country and they are conservative – but not for religious reasons – but because of the status they have eked out in the institutions where they are to be found – in particular the GAA, in education and in non-profit organisations.

    They have children who are worldly wise, most of them have travelled and done their year or two abroad. They will underpin whoever underpins them and Brexit is nothing but a whole lot of trouble so watch out because the deeper the consequences bite the more this group have to lose and heaven help those who try to take the sweeties off them. They are organised, engaged, aware and very able.

  • Granni Trixie

    Shows what? That he has good instincts? Or that he is a dunderhead?

  • Granni Trixie

    You are insulting DUP voters.

  • OPB58

    OK, put a number on it. How many cases were there of the DUP fighting for the last seat in constituency and losing out to a candidate other than another DUP?

    Lagan Valley was one example due to DUP treatment of Palmer.

    How many cases of a unionist losing due to a lack of DUP transfers? The first to mind was in S Belfast where Henderson lost to Baillie after so few transfers from Pengelly.

  • burnboilerburn

    I think it shows a bit of naivity? wishful thinking? poor self control? It might well have been a sting to try and deprive Alliance of transfers maybe? I dunno to be honest, I think he essentially got lost in a forest of dreams and ended up in a nightmare. Now we have a strong non Unionist block in the Assembly to try and put things right. All together shoulders to the wheel.

  • Zorin001

    This Pengelly situation is odd as well, was she hamstrung by elements in the party? Her rapidly dwindling Facebook posts suggest something happened.

  • Msiegnaro

    I listed those two initially. More joined up thinking and without the Arlene factor would have helped even more.

  • mac tire

    “God for bid what are 4 year old’s will be taught in schools, this is what got the dup high number of votes, ni is still a Christain country we don’t want true Christian values slipping away”

    Oh dear, ND:

    “Sex and relationships education is to be made compulsory in all schools in England, the government has announced.
    All children from the age of four will be taught about safe and healthy
    relationships, Education Secretary Justine Greening said.”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-39116783

    Damn those liberal unChristian valueless British Tories!

  • scepticacademic

    But a narrow focus on FPVs detracts from the important issue of “transfer toxicity”, if I can call it that. The various talking heads lamenting the lack of Unionist solidarity and chastising Mike Nesbitt for his (admittedly naive) comments on cross-community transfers, surely need to ask themselves why many moderate unionists felt more comfortable transferring to SDLP or Alliance than the DUP.

  • runnymede

    So what the DUP need is a nice dose of direct rule where Westminster legislates on some of these issues for NI and removes them from the table.

  • lizmcneill

    Plus if they rid themselves of them, how much of their base do they lose to the TUV or non-voting?

  • CatholicLeft

    Which is my point….normal politics, which is encouraging.

  • grumpy oul man

    Seriously, you think SF are the ones in the corner!

  • CatholicLeft

    Sigh….The “Tuam sewer” headline was shown to be nonsensical and untrue, so don’t keep repeating it. All of the people of the middle of the last century need to ask themselves why single mothers were treated in such a fashion, in secular society as well as religious, in Communist societies as well as capitalist. The horrendous thing is that so many children died of what are now preventable diseases, there is no suggestion anybody killed these poor infants.
    I am the child of a single Catholic mother in a time when such things were not common (to say the least) – my sister’s and I were the only ones in our school. I need no lectures on difficulties faced, but a lot of kindness came out way too, not least from the priests who stood up for my Mum.
    So North Down, I am a practising and believing Catholic, with serious concerns about where the rapid social changes are taking us. There was no huge groundswell of support for Same-Sex marriage in Britain, no mass rallies or millions- strong petitions, just a decision by a liberal Conservative Prime Minister to bring it to parliament where everybody who questioned the need for this change (including those who had supported Civil Unions when some of these born-again liberal reformers were campaigning again it) were accused of being akin to those opposed to ending slavery.
    The number of abortions in the UK for other than serious life-threatening reasons are enormous, and you have every reason to be concerned that change to the law could be badly drafted, so work with others who share you concerns, including those on the left of politics such as myself. To do that, you need to move away from sectarianism and an acceptance that it is possible to be in favour of a United Ireland and not be a traitor, a bigot or a fool. The other side need to look at Unionists in the same way, not doubting your good will, your fellow feeling and your right to defend your sense of identity.
    Anyway, before anybody says I am not on the left because of my views on abortion, and unease about Same-Sex marriage legislation, I would simply point out that those positions are liberal and/or utilitarian, so strike me as being remarkably right-wing? I am a communitarian, economic socialist, and right happy with it.

  • Guilty of Wrongthink

    This is a nonsense line repeated ad-infinitum here and by the liberal media and used as an attack vector by other parties, simply taking the loony liberal line to get approval. These are not important issues the most people desire at all. “LGBT” are not oppressed. Millions are already spent on Irish Gaelic. Learn to accept that nothing needs to be done in these issues and give over – you lost the vote 5 times. It might be hard to stop whining giving we’ve have a decade of listening to the whinging about how oppressed you supposedly are, but all this has done is finely tune our bullshit filters and the DUP will rightly continue to block this nonsense.

  • Guilty of Wrongthink

    http://www.atangledweb.org A much better blog than this. There is some moron on disqus falsely pretending to be him though.

  • Ian Rate

    Ok folks …. What do you think will happen if after 3 weeks the assembly sits dormant and Brokenshire calls a rerun of the election?
    Will the Electoral roll be busy with new registrations?
    What would the result be then?
    Will the UUP voters run back to the DUP fold to shore up the Unionist mandate or will they seek to punish Arlene further?

  • Guilty of Wrongthink

    He has quite a large following, and is in touch with the direction of feeling far more than the PC fascists who dominate discussion here and in most media. Biased BBC a particularly good site too.

  • Guilty of Wrongthink

    How are those “shackles”? Because you and the liberal media say so?

  • Msiegnaro

    Not much commentary of the recent elections.

  • Guilty of Wrongthink

    The public are fcking fed up hearing about it. You lost the vote 5 times. They probably only support it to get the media to shut up, which is after all the tactic being used to continually push and eternally whine like spolt children with one side of the argument. Shows how easily much of the public can be easily led, but the DUP must stand for what is right and not capitulate.

  • Guilty of Wrongthink

    I think the family with mother in father is far more in need of reinforcement and “respect” than a random assortment of whining oddballs already placated with civil partnerships.

  • Madra Uisce

    What is mind boggling is he fact that 225,000 people voted for a bunch of sectarian and homophobic bigots who have just screwed the taxpayer out of Half a Billion quid. That in itself is one of the reasons why this place is doomed.

  • Guilty of Wrongthink

    Cultural Marxism is merely a Provo tactic to undermine the existing state and try to ethnically accelerate minoritisation of Unionists though importation of foreigners etc. No-one other than the most naive of liberals actually believe in this ballix. Another large portion don’t even think for themselves and just go along with what they majority of liberals think as they think it makes them look virtuous.

  • BonaparteOCoonassa

    LOL

  • David

    Erm ”we” didn’t lose the vote on equal marriage 5 times. It was actually passed in the assembly last time, but blocked by the DUP. It’s also been passed in the rest of the UK and the ROI and local polls consistently show a majority in favour. But don’t let democracy prevent you calling everyone else a ”loony liberal.”

    Your post does however rather nicely illustrate the DUP mind set. Apparently asking for respect and equality for the Irish language and the LGBT community is ‘bullshit’ and ‘nonsense.’ Christian traits of respect for your neighbours blatantly absent.

    Arrogance is really not where your party needs to be, either now or in the not very distant future, when your Unionist cause is going to need all the support it can get.

  • Madra Uisce

    Put the bottle down pal.

  • John Collins

    ND dup
    Nigel and Arlene are on here in front of me boasting bout the huge vote they got.
    However they never attempted to address one very salient point.
    Why do the DUP appear to be so transfer toxic.

  • BonaparteOCoonassa

    Well, as with May and the tory party, arrogance is the best tool for their imminent demise. Don’t stop them using it.

  • David

    You really don’t get it do you? The 63% who voted yes to equal marriage in the ROI (and the similar numbers who support it here) are not ‘whining oddballs’. They support the right of same sex couples to marry. Here’s a little quiz for you. What does the ‘D’ in DUP stand for?

  • John Collins

    You can be right full sure if there is ever a poll for a UI in NI, the British Government will be out of there faster that a scalded cat. As regards redrawing the border I am sure they would not touch that option with a forty foot poll.

  • John Collins

    Nicholas
    But for Unionist transfers a second SF AM would have been returned in EL and SF would the same number of seats as the DUP, yet I saw no Dup acknowledge this.

  • Hugh Davison

    It’s gas. The dissenters, the presbyterians etc., had to wait till 1689 for the Act of Tolerance to let them into the club, while the Papists remained excluded. Glorious indeed.

  • Hugh Davison

    There are a few on here, but they’re keeping the head down. Where are you Teddy?

  • North Down dup

    Thanks, I was sure there had to be one

  • David Crookes

    The long slow exit of Richard Nixon surfaced in my memory today, and as the boy sings in G&S, I can’t think why.

    There are hints of a less than altruistic running-mate in the ELP story.

  • Guilty of Wrongthink

    In a broken society people can be conned into supporting many things, especially if you present them continually in a biased media with a continuous bombardment of a single side of the argument including loaded terms such as “equal marriage” (it already is), repeated ad-infinitum after each time they lose a vote (and yes, it was 5 full losses). Manipulative polls have shown different answers over the past 3 years and depending on the question asked — peoples’ opinions change over time with different information, fashion and cultural issues and this issue would be a laughing stock to even suggest 5 years ago.

    We have a representative democracy, where representatives are supposed to consider all the ins and outs of the issue that normal people have not done. They have a choice on who to vote for based on a selection of beliefs and I doubt this one is a major concern other than amongst an aggressive vocal set of activists who won’t accept that civil partnerships was acceptable and balanced, rather have to co-opt a different arrangement for families with potential children. I have thought far more deeply about this issue than most people who only hear the do-gooding soundbites in the liberal media and don’t think much about the full consequences; I’d also rather support what is RIGHT and be a minority of one.

  • Guilty of Wrongthink

    You did lose it 5 times — it wasn’t passed by the Assembly any time. See other post. “Equality” doesn’t actually exist.

    FYI: My views are my own – I am not a member of a political party and do not consider myself a Christian, rather defend Christians as the stupid do-gooders usually don’t have the backbone to do it themselves. And for all the reputation the DUP have of being labelled “hard line” they are actually quite docile and nowhere near as aggressive as the endless vicious attacks we see on them here and by the media — the DUP need more aggressive defence against these continual attacks, as they don’t seem to engage seems few will stand up for them despite being the largest party.

  • Liggy85

    Guilty, where exactly do you get your news updates from? A Cornflake box? The marriage equality issue HAS been passed by the Assembly. I actually believe it was the last two occasions, but the DUP blocked it with their Petition of Facis,,,,er, sorry, Petition of Concern.
    They’re a party who’re determined to continuously treat the public with contempt, proven in their inability to provide effective government for everyone as well as their numerous financial scandals.
    Politics in the world no longer favours the white middle-class Christian, I’m sorry to tell you, so their stance is outdated and prejudiced. It’s just typical of them to act irresponsibly and criminally and then brand any criticism as an “attack.”

  • David

    On 2nd November 2015, 53 MLAs voted for same sex marriage and 51 against. I’ll let you do the maths. The anomaly of the POC doesn’t alter the fact that a majority voted in favour.

    ”I doubt this is a major concern other than amongst an aggressive vocal set of activists”

    Yes I’m sure the 1,949,725 people who voted in the ROI referendum had no interest in the subject at all.

    ”don’t think much about the full consequences”

    Indeed, society in the rest of the UK and ROI has effectively collapsed since same sex couples were given the right to marry. Thank goodness NI are setting a shining example.

    ”I’d also rather support what is RIGHT and be a minority of one.”

    Societal attitudes here have thankfully moved on from the days when homosexuals were imprisoned, unmarried mothers were sentenced to slave labour in laundries, contraception was banned, sex positions were regulated and divorce was forbidden. The repeal of all the above was fought and ‘reasoned’ against, often hysterically, by people who believed they were doing the ‘right thing.’ Perhaps you were one of them.

    Arrogantly dismissing proponents of same sex marriage (which I very much doubt will affect you personally in any way) in the manner you have on this site merely illustrates lack of empathy. Your problem and good luck with it.

  • woodkerne

    In the time of Tom Paine and the revolutionary values of liberty, egality, & fraternity, which his writing and agitation inflected, the United Irishmen spread the glorious contagion of dissent throughout Britain’s other island – notably in the hills above Belfast. Tragically, this incipient, secular and socialist expression of the republican spirit of the age of enlightenment was snuffed out in the north of Ireland by the reactionary rise of sectarian power, the latter cultivated by a ruling order whose trusted strategem was to divide and rule.

  • Dan

    Their red line on Foster leaves them nowhere to go, if she is nominated by DUP

  • John Collins

    Mark
    Back in 1921, Gb was still the leading country in the thw World and the head of an Empire. Decolonization was not even on the agenda. There must have been huge pressure not to lose territory so close to the seat of power
    No such pressure exists now. Look at how easily they consented to a Scottish Indepence Referendum and they never offered to partition the country, if the result did not satisfy some groups.

  • woodkerne

    the term is cultural materialism and it has little to do with the parochial politics of anti-nationalism herein exhibited.

  • woodkerne

    I think you’ll find love hurts. Marxist cultural theorist, Frederic Jameson, once commented ‘history is what hurts’.

  • Guilty of Wrongthink

    If it were “passed” it would be law. It isn’t.

  • grumpy oul man

    Oh yea they have somewhere to go,
    This is something that other parties want as well and nationlisn in general supports it.
    Arlene ( if you read what she has said today ) is indicating that she mauy indeed stand down for the period of the Inquiry.

  • Liggy85

    And again, it would’ve been passed if the DUP hadn’t POC’d it. They’ve no interest in democracy, they’re in it for themselves.
    Word of advice. If you don’t know what you’re talking about, don’t post things on a public forum.

  • Dan

    ..and if she doesnt?

  • Hugh Davison

    Followed by the (paid for) Act of Union, to doubly ensure that no dodgy imported ideology would take root.

  • Liggy85

    And who exactly are you to say what is right!?! What makes your backward and outdated opinions any more relevant to anyone in the majority of people in favour of marriage equality?

  • Guilty of Wrongthink

    That they logically have an arrangement for a different situation. That there is overwhelming evidence that children perform better on numerous metrics with a mother and father. That marriage is a tried-and-tested institution over hundreds of years, vs. a fad to redefine it by unthinking virtue signallers over the past 3 years.

  • MadJackMacMadd

    “It will probably be a case of a 2 state solution for Ulster”

    It already is, Einstein, given that three of Ulster’s counties are already in the Republic and have been since its inception.

    “Ireland has never been one nation and will never be one.”
    You haven’t read much history, have you? You’re unsure of the definition of ‘nation’ too, obviously.

  • MadJackMacMadd

    “..teaching Irish to people who have problems with speaking English.”
    Yes, Mark. I’m sure there is a bunrang near you which should cater to your, very specific, needs.
    Try to be relevant next time. Do you know what ‘relevant’ means??
    Oh, never mind.