Alliance: Go sell crazy some place else

Of all of Northern Ireland’s weeny political parties I find the Alliance Party quite the most sickeningly small-minded and Nornironesque.

It’s a group of people that exists only to virtue-signal. Naomi Long is so determined not to have any association with political ideology that she couldn’t even bring herself to take a Lib-Dem whip when she was an MP. She’s not a LibDem, she’s Alliance, apparently. Not for her the opportunity for power. No, just virtue, plain and simple. Her party – and her speech included in Alan Meban’s post below shows it – exists only to exist and rant and moan.

It’s a party of moral indignation that struts about the moral high ground but offers nothing. No political position of any note. No ideology. It exists only in the context of a weeny place for the weeny minded. Its one big position of late has been to oppose Brexit. Alliance virtue-signallers tramped down to Dublin to express solidarity and concern with the assembled masses of the concerned at the All-Island Dialog for Concern for Concerned Anti-Brexiters.

And Alliance is super-concerned about a hard border. So concerned, in fact, that it wants a hard border with Britain (overlooking the fact that we ship four times more goods and services to Britain than to the Republic of Ireland).

Change for Goodery Alliance is past its sell-by date. They need to go sell crazy some place else coz we’re fully stocked.

  • Ian Rate

    What does growing like topsy even mean?

    Brexit is a self serving Tory-wealth creation plan that will bring down the UK and probably destroy NI whilst seeing the ROI as mere collateral damage.

    How many people need an open border on a daily basis. What’s important to you? People or profits?

    Tory or human?

  • lizmcneill
  • lizmcneill

    Brexit will hurt Ireland, so they’re more likely to vote to, what, throw in their lot with a Britain that has screwed them over once again?

    The whole island isn’t inhabited by the DUP, you know.

  • Damien Mullan

    Be wary Liz, Jeff is trying to be obtuse here, ‘only 5% of NI business sales go to RoI’, he’s again lumping NI domestic consumption in with NI’s trade with GB, RoI, and everwhere else too, we are being treated to a very devious ploy by Jeffrey, who is basically referring to NI’s GDP and the portion attributable to trade with RoI. But let us be thankful that such methodology has not swept through the economics profession just yet, Trumpism logic has not triumphed just yet, say for that of Jeffrey Peel’s peculiar economic insights.

    “But I accept that brexit presents hugh challenges for the RoI.” A Jeffrey Peel fact laid to waste by all economic indicators pointing to a deepening and robust economic performance in the Republic, a fact which sticks in Jeffrey’s craw. And a fact that the recent Bloomberg survey demolishes too.

    “The group of 22 economists predict growth of 3 per cent in 2018 and 2.5 per cent in 2019 for the Irish economy. Figures published last week show that the Irish economy grew by 5.2 per cent in 2016, with little signs that Brexit has started to hurt output. Ireland outstripped growth in all other euro zone countries and most official forecasts for the third successive year.”

    http://www.irishtimes.com/business/economy/economists-raise-irish-growth-outlook-despite-brexit-looming-1.3008123

  • mac tire

    I’m astounded by this reply. It’s almost as if you are suggesting that they ‘dry their eyes’ since none of those who faced threats, intimidation and violence actually died.

    To suggest that would be callous.

    But you aren’t suggesting that. Are you?

  • ted hagan

    Talk about playing the man! This is just a nasty little rant with no substance.

  • Jeffrey Peel

    I’m suggesting that some politicians were silenced for their views. The Alliance Party has no monopoly on morality.

  • Damien Mullan

    That makes no sense Jeffrey.

    All bad for RoI, presumably because there will be tariffs and non-tariff barriers, due to an ending of passporting and equivalence, and with your economics degree in hand, you say this will have no negative impact on the UK, in fact your response is, it will be “good” for the UK.

    Or, do you believe that a good free trade deal will be done between the UK and EU, to which I then must respond, with no tariffs or non-trariff barriers between the UK and EU, what then will be “very bad” for the Republic.

    You see Jeffrey it’s this kind of shameless and blatant hypocrisy that tells me there are shades of bigotry in your opinion and views of the Republic, which are undoubtedly informed by your NI protestant unionist background, a chasm over which you can never seem to bridge, nor will you.

  • Jeffrey Peel

    What’s this ‘economics degree’ point Damien?

    The merits of Brexit have been well articulated elsewhere and I’ve tried to do so in the media to the extent that I can, given my limited skills and paltry education.

    I’ve spoken at several events in Dublin on the merits of Brexit – often debating against a very hostile audience. I favour Irexit and I believe Ireland will ultimately follow the UK out of the EU. The Irish government has stood up against the undemocratic EU institutions in the past and will do again. I do business in Dublin and some of my closest free market friends are there. But I’ll leave you to jump to any conclusions you wish about my ‘background’.

  • tmitch57

    This is neither a coherent, nuanced critique of Alliance’s platform–of which Peel seems to be totally ignorant–nor the opinion of someone that we should pay attention to because his opinion carries weight in Northern Ireland. Peel is someone who once represented a party that could dream on a non-sectarian politics but could never get elected in order to implement it. The difference of performance with Alliance is apparently what inspired this rant.

  • Damien Mullan

    Well you did mention your economics qualification as a point of reference for the basis of your pronouncements in past threads.

    You don’t have to mention the fact that both Brian Cowen and Enda Kenny had a “Gallic spat” during the bailout talks and the attempt at a quid pro quo for an increased Irish corporate tax rate. This is already well known and is well baked into the cake in relation to Irish-EU policy. Dublin knows its on the radar and attempts will be made at engineering a pan-European harmonised corporate tax base, though perhaps not a harmonised tax rate, but still there will be great resistance to this, I can only imagine what the German Constitutional Court would do with such a proposal were it to ever actually materialise from Brussels. That proposal hasn’t a hope in hell’s chance of taking life outside of the dreams of a few in Brussels and Paris. Given how the ECB has strayed from German orthodoxy, do you seriously think the Germans would given up such a levier of economic policy such as tax policy, not a chance.

    And of course you’ve had a hostile audience, you aren’t dealing with a population who’ve been corn feed Euro-skepticism from the likes of the ‘Daily Mail’ and ‘The Sun’ for three decades. Thank the Lord for that, thank the Lord that the proprietors of those newspapers in the 19th century, depicted Irish people as Apes, because otherwise they might ubiquitous across Ireland too.

    I’m not suggesting that Ireland may never, or should never leave the EU. But that Ireland should do so when it is in her national interest, there is no need for a guinea pig moment from Ireland, lets see what transpires with the UK over the next couple of years first. After all, to be first is no big thing, Apple or Samsung weren’t first in the Smart Phone field, yet the now dominate because they learned the lessons and mistakes from those who were, either was Alexander Graham Bell the first to invent the phone, but he didn’t need to be, he was just a better businessman and self promoter.

  • elitist

    Seems to be a Unionist blind spot. Viz. Arlene’s crocodiles…

  • Kevin Breslin

    Jeff please do a rant piece at the SDLP because if I was an Alliance member I would be rather proud of your criticisms here.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Topography is different in Brexitland.

  • Kevin Breslin

    I’m sure Jeff Peel would volunteer to do armed security on the border since he cares about his precious Brexit so much.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Nope, the UK can if it wants to go full UKIP over migration. The UK can negotiate down to harder borders, but you know they have a selfish, strategic and economic interest in protecting its trade with Ireland. Alas they’d have to compromise a bit, they have no democratic right to dictate terms to anyone?

  • Kevin Breslin

    How exactly are you and your politics outside the Orange discourse?

  • Kevin Breslin

    Jeff Peel needs that party, clearly the people of Northern Ireland see no need to form parties that steer towards what Jeff Peel wants.

  • Kevin Breslin

    That would be nice but in this multinational manufacturing world of ours UK goods rely on EU supply lines, and the UK are throwing away competitive advantages to literally chase after “Project Empire 2.0” again.

    Oh No, Oh No, No No. 😀

    Anyway when Trump introduces his “America First” Policies much to the chagrin of the UK and the EU, and ASEAN finish their talks with the EU, maybe the UK can go after the crumbs from the table.

    It’ll be like your old councillor days, wide eyed idealism cracking on the rocks of reality.

  • Kevin Breslin

    If I were in Alliance, I wouldn’t want to silence you.

    You’d be a nice Arlene Foster to Long’s Michelle O’Neill!

  • Kevin Breslin

    Sorry, this Owen Polloy formerly of the Conservative Party
    http://www.newsletter.co.uk/news/conservatives-axe-their-only-ulster-employee-1-6864802

    And this David Hoey formerly of the Tory funded Tax Payer’s Alliance
    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2004/mar/28/uk.northernireland

    Somewhat like Farage and Nuttall both seem like two babies in need of a rattle.

    Honestly your political backers are not going to keep subventing your fake companies forever!

  • Kevin Breslin

    Could Peel be a victim of what his fellow Austrian Scholar Hayek called “Intellects whose desires have outstripped their understanding” while blissfully ignoring the evidence here?

  • Kevin Breslin

    Ah yes, did you tell that to Poots when he was advising farmers to vote for Brexit because the UK would still subsidise them?

    Oh right, your friends in the Tories haven’t yet decided to start a couple of Winter of Discontents in Farming and Manufacturing quite yet.

  • Kevin Breslin

    I thought it was Politics.ie to deal with Zoology.

  • Dave Lionel Mandrake McCaughey

    Conservative toolbag. Why not just stick to robbing the working class? Naomi Long represents her people and Alliance councillors do actually help their constituents. All conservatives do is plunder and gorge themselves by ravaging the lives of those less fortunate. You parasites make me sick.

  • Dave Lionel Mandrake McCaughey

    How do you figure that? It looks like you’re the one desperately trying to appear relevant. You’re not. Disappear.

  • tmitch57

    The GFA only prohibits a change of the sovereignty status of the province, not its membership in the European Union.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Given the number of people who have suffered at the hands of the certain ideologies in NI it’s fair to say that a lot of us have had our fill.

  • Concubhar O Liathain

    I understand the legal bits, however, the Principle of Consent is a principle which governs laws. To my mind, Brexit fundamentally alters the basis on which the public voted in favour of the GFA as that was on the understanding that contrary to the notion in Brexit that there would be a further hardening of the border, that north and south would come closer together under the common flag/bond of the European Union. The Republic of Ireland Articles amended 2/3 of our Constitution dropping territorial claims to the North on that basis. Brexit is a reneging by the British, aided and abetted by the Unionist political parties, of the GFA.

  • Doland Jon Trump

    Jeff’s right. Naomi’s namby-pamby policies are no good! Sad!

    She needs to get with it:

    1 – I Naomi Long am calling for all Mexicans to be deported back to Ireland

    2 – Brexit is coming people. Deal with it. We need a big wall round the six counties if we’re going to get back control of our border.

    3 – From now on, only refer to political opponents by nickname: ‘RHI Arlene’, ‘Mill-bag Michelle’, ‘Sad-face Swann’, ‘Colum Plank’.

  • Gavin Smithson

    How dreary it is to reduce all discussions of sovereignty down to that of bean counting and balance sheets.

    Once we built statues to generals. What next? Putting statues of accountants on our plinths?

    Whatever happened high talk of national destiny?

  • harmlessdrudge

    Non-sectarian, non-tribal, “none of the above” is “virtue signalling”? I’d say that some day there may well be an administration in NI in which the Alliance holds the balance of power, and once that happens it may eat both of the principal factions whose chief raison d’etre is to oppose each other. If that’s futile virtue signalling let’s have some more of it. It’s more attractive than the vice signalling of the unstoppable and the immovable objects.

    The term for things that don’t need to justify their existence to you and which are not a threat is harmless. But to intransigent supremacists anyone who dares not to be assimilated into their supremacy project is, in fact, harmful and a threat to total victory.

    A small government advocate who supports the NHS is contradictory isn’t it? The obligatory virtue signal without which you wouldn’t get a hearing, perhaps?

    Try to get out of the right side of bed Mr Ulsterman.

  • Gaygael

    I have many reasons to critique alliance as a political rival. I also have huge respect for many people within alliance.

    This is a terrible rant.

  • Katyusha

    Living in fantasy land as usual, Rants ;p. Have you ever been near the border?

  • Katyusha

    I doubt any positive political outcome can come from bombing British citizens living in the UK across Tyrone and South Armagh. A fast track to a United Ireland, that. How did it work out during the Troubles when the Army tried to come down hard on republican militancy?

    The RAF could have taken helicopter gunships to South Armagh during the Troubles if they’d chosen to. There’s a very good reason why they didn’t.

  • Katyusha

    Absolutely thrilling if you live nowhere near the border. You might as well just cede the border areas to the south if the alternative is to turn it into northwest Pakistan.

    Cost very much isn’t the reason they didn’t. The fact that deploying paratroopers in Derry or landing chinooks in Crossmaglen was enough to exponentially increase the support and strength of the IRA. is. By the way, how about drone strikes in terrorist zones like the Village and Sandy Row? Doesn’t seem like such a good idea, does it?

    Well, at least you’re laying out a excellent stall on the “go and sell crazy” thread. Well played, Rants.

  • Old Mortality

    To be fair to Alliance, David Ford, as Justice Minister, tried to curb legal-aid costs. Can you think of any other minister at Stormont taking on vested interests in their pockets where it hurts most.

  • Katyusha

    Ah! I’m very familiar with them. My brother is a drone enthusiast.

    I’m pretty sure there are at least half a dozen ways of taking one down with a minimum of effort and hardware. I’ve always preferred falconry as the ideal solution, myself.

  • Jeffrey Peel

    Give you that one and I spoke, at the time, in favour of the policy.

  • Jeffrey Peel

    Not really. What has most dismayed me is Alliance’s departure to Nationalism, given its position re. Brexit. The speech made by Stephen Farry at the recent All-Island Dialog on Brexit in Dublin essentially made the Alliance Party a nationalist party as well as one without an ideology. Northern Ireland has enough Irish Nationalist and Ulster Nationalist parties.

  • Jeffrey Peel

    So a collective noun is now a man?

  • Jeffrey Peel

    Controversial. I aim to be interesting and debate provoking.

  • Jeffrey Peel

    ‘the Jeff Peel’…like ‘the Donald Trump.’ Is that what you did there?

  • Concubhar O Liathain

    Maybe you have me on the grammatical point but that’s not the main issue and you have failed or are unwilling to answer my questions relating to the economic ruin which Brexit brings in its wake and the democratic deficit it highlights.

  • Jeffrey Peel

    It was a point of reference in previous trail that my education did NOT qualify me to be called an Economist. I think I made the point that given the dismal performance of Economists predicting the UK’s economic performance post-referendum that those who claim to be qualified in Economics are much discredited.

  • Jeffrey Peel

    But I dispute your point about the economic ruin. Prior to the brexit vote every corporate Economist from just about every failed bank and corporate ass-licking quango was wheeled out to define the extent of misery post June 24. Meanwhile since that date the UK economy has been performing well. The OECD has revised its forecasts, and the Treasury. The FTSE is at an all-time high. The UK has benefited massively from Sterling depreciation. Depreciation has resulted in an instant 20% hike in export values – much greater than any likely tariffs post-brexit.

    As to whom the UK will trade with post-brexit….just about any country it trades with currently. Trade does not require the approval of 25,000 EU civil servants. Even if we have ‘no deal’ with the EU we’ll still trade with it. Because countries or blocs don’t trade, businesses do.

    I campaigned for Brexit because I believe in the United Kingdom. I believe that many Northern Ireland exporters are already reaping rewards from brexit. Our trade with Britain is also vastly greater than our trade with any other nation – massively greater than our trade with Ireland. And that Irish trade will continue too (we already trade readily with Ireland despite different currencies and VAT rates). Tariffs, if imposed by the EU, will not be welcome but the UK Prime Minister has made clear that she wants free trade with the EU – it’s up to the EU to reciprocate.

  • Old Mortality

    ‘His statistic re four times more goods/services being exported to Britain than to Republic of Ireland doesn’t take into account the daily toing and froing across the current frontier on our island.’
    Well it wouldn’t include smuggling, and shopping patterns are largely dictated by exchange rate movements although it’s rarely cheaper to do so from north to south apart from motor fuel.

  • tmitch57

    I read Albert Reynold’s memoirs. He wrote of demanding the repeal of the enabling legislation for Irish partition in exchange for Ireland amending Articles 2 and 3 of the constitution. This was done. There was no demand that the UK promise to stay forever in the EU. There was no promise, so there is no renege. Sorry to spoil the MOPE narrative.

  • Biftergreenthumb

    “recent collapse of the Left / Liberal side of the political fence”

    It was the DUP and Unionism more generally that collapsed in the last election. The Alliance did very well.

    “People want rational debate and discussion, dealing with the Muslim invasion and sending them back to their original countries for example.”
    The article above is about the Alliance party and Northern Ireland politics. There is no Muslin invasion of Northern Ireland. Trying to use American Alt-right and UKIP narratives to understand the Northern Irish political situation is completely irrational.

  • grumpy oul man

    Oh dear, somebody doesn’t like liberals or remainers (terrible for a party from NI supporting the way people voted in NI), and how awful not taking the whip of another party and no Ideology (and them producing a manifesto and getting more votes and all) and imagine not wanting a hard border, evil incarnate.
    you fetch the pitchforks and ill get the torches, but we better be careful the fleggers tried that a while ago and it didn’t work.

  • grumpy oul man

    So does alliance designate orange or green, i thought it was other.
    so your saying that them designating as other make then both of only one (which one) are you not just a little confused!

  • grumpy oul man

    to be honest, if i was told Donald wrote this i would not be very surprised.
    it reads like how Fox News would report Alliance.

  • grumpy oul man

    please explain!

  • grumpy oul man

    “The Alliance Party has no monopoly on morality.”
    when did they claim they had.

  • Jeffrey Peel

    Not ideologies…Nationalism (green or orange variants) is not ideology.

  • Jeffrey Peel

    And when Donald introduces his America First policies what effect will that have on Irish pharma exports from tax dodging US pharma companies located in Ireland?

  • Jeffrey Peel

    I don’t accept it’s a divided society. We’re told we’re divided, constantly. We’re divided in terms of housing, education, community, so-called culture, and politics. But essentially we’re one community. It’s up to all of us to change things. But the ‘reconciliation of the two communities’ agenda makes my skin crawl.

  • Obelisk

    That’s fair enough. There’s a group of people who don’t accept the world is a globe either and insist that it is flat, despite having the evidence thrust in their face on a daily basis. You are as entitled to your opinion as they are.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Well Ireland’s problems are Ireland’s problem’s including sharing many of Northern Ireland’s problems, who are also going down the same road on corporation tax, and Great Britain’s problems are Great Britain’s problems, who are also … well stop me if you get the point.

    The UK should be careful about putting their eggs all in the Anglosphere basket, speaking the same language doesn’t necessarily mean they think the same way as you.

  • Damien Mullan

    I suppose you were among the many who predicted that it would be March 2017 that Article 50 would be triggered. I believe if Cameron had kept his promise to immediately trigger Article 50 once the referendum result was declared, there would have been significant economic negatives, but Tories are a rare breed of liars, as their lies are excused or willfully forgotten. I’m awe struck by your self accreditation as a Libertarian, the UK economy has been running on domestic consumption fulled by consumer credit for the past 8 months, (if not the past two decades), and the budget deficit looks as desperate as ever, with no discussion of late about reducing the structural deficit, indeed, Hammond’s climb down on the self-employment National Insurance increase is vivid illustration of austerity fatigue before austerity has really begun. Thankfully, the Republic has come through it’s heavy austerity era begun when the late Brian Lenihan delivered his emergency Budget of April 2009. RoI now running a primary budget surplus and a deficit of 1.6%. What is your opinion of those economists who have been predicting the imminent collapse of the Euro since the Greek sovereign debt crisis in 2010? 7 years? Not so imminent.

  • Damien Mullan

    Jeffrey shares a spot within that peculiar school of thought, a fellow patron traveller the current Speaker of the House Paul Ryan too, who all worship at the alter of Ayn Rand, that most detestable and fatalistic breed of human, though ‘human’ may be too generous, a collectivist or community noun too much for these selfish creatures. What a cold dark world they conceive of.

  • Jeffrey Peel

    I’ve been on the media many, many times commenting on the extent of UK debt and the government’s inability to control the deficit. I also am of the view that UK growth is partially consumer debt fuelled (although FTSE exporting companies have had a major boost as a result of £ depreciation). I’ve also made a particular point of congratulating the Irish government on their ability to introduce real austerity measures rather than sham austerity.

    But the Eurozone IS in a debt crisis. The extent of bank bailouts and sovereign bailouts will be too much for the Troika to sustain. Deutsche Bank and BNP Paribas are teetering. And by July Greece will be back into crisis mode. I don’t predict, but I sense we ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Well if that’s his point of view then I hope he agrees that those of his persuasion both with Brexit and the Austrian School can agree with von Mises when he says….

    “Sovereignty must not be used for inflicting harm on anyone, whether citizen or foreigner.”

    Basically letting the migration obsession not destroy 41 years of relatively unblemished co-operation between Britain and the fourteen other EEC states it had joined with, along with the thirteen ones that followed.

  • Damien Mullan

    In the case of Monte dei paschi, has it not been the objections of the ECB to direct public capitalisation by the Italian government, as opposed to partial bondholder bail-in demanded by the ECB, that has held that process up. Therefore, we are dealing with practical and technical problems, problems of implementation of the crisis measures established over the past 7 years, rather than any fundamental sovereign borrowing stress on the part of the Italian government which prevents them from recapitalising Monte dei paschi.

    One thing that is shared by both British and Irish alike, unlike our cousins across the Atlantic, is a healthy appreciation of irony, but I see it’s a trait lost on you Jeffrey. How many banks did the UK government ultimately end up bailing out? How much is the UK taxpayer still on the hook for in relation to RBS for instance?

    Off hand I recall Northern Rock, Bradford and Bingley, RBS, HBOS/Lloyd’s, all this at the height of the financial crisis and the Euro sovereign debt crisis, all a close run thing for sure, but ultimately it didn’t sink the UK sovereign. And now in 2017, in a Eurozone environment of rising growth, rapid increase in business confidence, increased output, falling unemployment and rising inflation, you Jeffrey, see modest capital injections into a few banks by triple A rated countries as being the inflection point for the Euro. I know you’re no economist Jeffrey, but come on, pull the other one.

    As for Greece, lets remember the fever pitch of 2015 and the dire end of the Eurozone then, a damp squid indeed, which even had a formerly sensible Paul Mason, lose all sense of perspective and objectivity, let fully to embrace his inner socialist rebellious rogue of youth for the best part of 2 months by Channel 4, a case study in man going native if ever there was.

    The Eurozone isn’t in a debt crisis, a serious potential of deflation it was, but the ECB’s LTRO operations is having its desired effect there. Germany a debt crisis? France a debt crisis? the Spain of 2017 a debt crisis? Ireland of 2017 a debt crisis? How over subscribed was the NTMA’s last auction? the Euro Baltic countries?

    Debt there is for sure, and too much of it in Eurozone countries, but the trend is largely going in one direction, downwards.

  • Damien Mullan

    For them sovereignty is a zero sum game, much like the imperialism of empire, instead of seeing the potential of sovereignty, freely pooled, by free people, as a great multiplier. There are a very few Tories I have time for, among those are Ken Clarke and Michael Heseltine in particular, I thought Michael Heseltine’s contribution to tonight’s channel 4 News, when he faced off against Kate Hoey, was so accurate and ominous of the fate that awaits the UK and us all.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    So you’re saying that the others don’t have ideologies either? In which case why single out APNI?

  • Jeffrey Peel

    I have written previous posts having a pop at the DUP and SF…

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    No doubt, but did you single them out in their lack of ideology?

  • Jeffrey Peel

    I don’t think anyone is any doubt. I’m hardly a shrinking violet.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Well i’m in doubt as to what you mean; do the DUP or SF have ideologies?

    If they don’t then APNI are hardly alone and deserving of that particular criticism.