Six reasons why the DUP must be considered on its merits rather than its faults…

One, Labour should approach any NI issue with some considerable caution and given the party leader’s record some humility too. It is not viable to defend John McDonnell’s kneecapping remarks one minute and then suggest the DUP is beyond the political Pale. Particularly if you have a credible ambition to run the UK. If, not then you can say what you bloody well like and ignore the following advice.

Two, you have to ask yourself what forces have driven so many good people to vote for a party with such a record? The answer is not simple, but part of it is rooted in the fact that Sinn Fein is still being run as by the same group of men who planned and executed the slaughter of Bloody Friday (look it up if you’re not sure what that was). People vote DUP because they want protection from Adams and Co.

Three, consider this prospective arrangement from the other angle. Participation in the next government carries a considerable reputational risk for the DUP in NI. The Conservatives have been far from considerate bedfellows to their previous partners in government, and odd as it may sound to mainland British ears, they remain far more toxic in NI than the DUP has ever been.

Four, the scale of the DUP’s victory was immense, especially if you extrapolate those gains on any putative Assembly. It’s plain disrespectful of a mandate that is beyond either main party locally. Labour should note in particular that its sister party was wiped out in this election and replaced by SF’s non-sitting MPS.

Five, it’s just too easy. White Protestant British Irish folk in Northern Ireland are routinely abused and demonised in a way no other group on these islands are. Len McCluskey got his pitch to the DUP perfect: pointing out that many his members voted DUP and did not vote for them to limp into a Tory-led government. Peter’s policy match up finds a non-Corbyn led Labour is a more viable partner to the DUP than the Tories.

Six, the invidious idea being put about by Powell, Campbell and others that NI parties cannot participate in UK government because of a Peace Process™ which is dying in part because of the UK and Irish governments’ standoffish and neutral approach to the various crisis we’ve had since the restart in 2007 is democratically ruinous, and treats the citizens of NI as second class citizens (apparently, for their own good).

And, finally… attack the DUP all day and all night for all I care. But that social conservative agenda is on devolved matters and is not coming back to London anytime soon. I think sometimes we’ve been conditioned by the Tabloids to think that just throwing any old monkey 💩 at our opponents creates space and license for our own ambitions. It doesn’t always. And sometimes it actually reduces them by fanning the flames of cynicism.

,

  • Sprite

    not since the 1950s, no

  • Sprite

    On Radio Ulster tonight DUP voters were asked what they hoped would be gained from any deal with the Tories. The answers given were: protecting the triple lock on pensions, getting help with hospital waiting times (which in Northern Ireland are of a magnitude unimaginable in England) and protection of the British fishing industry once Brexit has occurred.

    Pretty scary stuff!

  • Matt Johnston

    White Protestant people are demonised? Oh come on. They hold the entire country to ransom. From Drumcree to the Flag Protests. If they were innocently minding their own business and just getting on with life, then yes, they could be considered ‘demonised’ but you can’t actually demonise people who are doing their best to act like devils.

    I think it’s worth seeing what happens because, like Brexit, we have no choice in the matter. The DUP have, without exception, always taken the low road. How many by-balls do they get? How many benefits-of-the-doubt?

    I’m not on their back because they insist on funding groups linked to terrorism or because they talk to terrorists. I’d rather someone was talking to these people.

    But their ascendancy is bad news for the minorities they despise. The LGBT, non-Christians and of course, the rights of women.

  • newniman

    “but unfortunately because they hold a strong and patriotic National Identity they are to be laughed at and deliberately mocked”

    Not unfortunate at all:

    Interview in Göring’s cell (3 January 1946)

    Göring: Why, of course, the people don’t want war. Why
    would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece?
    Naturally, the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.

    Gilbert: There is one difference. In a democracy, the people
    have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars.

    Göring: Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the
    people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Lawrence

    How can you say ‘put manners on them’?

    This term has been doing the rounds but I suspect that no one has actually scrutinised it.

    SF have got almost exactly what they want (only the most gullible would believe that they expected to truly win EVERYTHING and kick start an obvious unification process).

    They are consolidating their position within nationalism and are now taking up sniping positions (an unfortunate choice of metaphor…) ready to make political hay on the inevitable Tory-DUP foul-ups (or indeed ‘non’ foul ups, as they have the skill to make sensible decisions look biased).

    The single biggest demoniser of the Protestant working class is the Belfast 12th.
    Reign that in (perhaps ‘christianise’ it) and the mud slinging becomes a lot harder.

    Do you think the DUP are going to save the people of Sandy Row from property developers under the guise of ‘urban regeneration’?

  • CB

    This piece and your own response to it for starters – literally downplaying the faults of the DUP and their supporters, and where they’re even acknowledged, blaming them on SF. Naomi Ballie’s comment (which she has retracted and apologised for) was very poor, but your hyperbolic criticism of it would sound more sincere if it wasn’t tacked onto an article downplaying similarly unacceptable comments from a litany of DUP figures.

  • CB

    The DUP wouldn’t, though.

  • Jane

    That’s interesting. I might try googling that, to share!

  • Sprite
  • Jane

    Thanks.

  • Other

    I think we all understand that MLA’s operate within the Assembly and MP’s operate within Westminster and accept that they are different institutions. However in a party context is there really a distinction as you infer? Whether an MP or an MLA the DUP will follow party policy and so one can’t help but influence and impact the other.

    For the other parties the threat of direct rule is worrying but the threat of direct rule with the DUP having a role to play, must stack the chips in the DUP’s favour at the negotiating table. Of course this will affect the Stormont talks.

  • Casper
  • Georfe Jungle

    Another example of a slur……..

  • Patrick Mac

    If you want a real laugh out loud moment:

  • Georfe Jungle

    “White Protestant people are demonised? Oh come on. They hold the entire country to ransom.”

    Thanks for another example

  • Matt Johnston

    “Let ambition fire thy mind” is a far cry from “We weren’t allowed to walk down a road singing songs about how people died in a famine so we are demonised”.

    Self-pity is a trap.

  • Georfe Jungle

    I have to say, this article is one of the most accurate I have ever read on here, kudos to Mick.

    Driving though Newry, Camlough, Meigh, Belleeks, Forkhill and a few other towns recently as part of my work, I was utterly horrified at the sheer amount of tricolours adorning monuments to IRA members with the usual balaclava clad gunmen. It really made me feel uncomfortable.

    If we are to have a flag debate we need to be honest about it and it must be broad reaching, not just limited to a flagpole on a city hall.

    Personally I find LAD oversteps the mark, and is similar to how the Nazi’s portrayed the Jews. As someone said do that about any other ethnic group and you would expect the police knocking on your door.

  • Georfe Jungle

    “We weren’t allowed to walk down a road singing songs about how people died in a famine so we are demonised”

    Source ?

  • hurdy gurdy man

    I’m guessing Matt Johnston.

  • Georfe Jungle

    “What a load of bollix. No dogs, No Blacks, No Irish. Ever seen or heard of those slogans/signs anywhere?”

    I have NEVER seen that in N Ireland and not even ever heard of it.we are talking about NI here btw

    Source ?

  • Sprite

    Can’t deny there are numpties everywhere. http://www.thecollegefix.com/post/29645/

  • Georfe Jungle

    What bit of “”White Protestant British Irish folk in Northern Ireland” are you having trouble with ?

  • Casper

    The bit I have trouble with is no Unionist ever being able to answer me why you seem to enjoy murals with the KAT slogan. Kill All Taigs. Do you understand this slogan? Do you agree with it? Do you see slogans calling for the deaths of all Protestants?
    Tell me again how oppressed you are?
    Maybe you can answer Georfe.

  • Georfe Jungle

    Very misguided reply.

    I think you are placing too much emphasis on graffiti. There are more important issues in society to be addressing.

  • Georfe Jungle

    I personally find that LAD site grotesquely offensive.

    Regularly crosses the line of what I would consider decent.

    It is all “for a laugh” but there is clearly a darker agenda driving it, specifically targeting one group.

  • Georfe Jungle

    “Have you ever watched any of BBC Scotland’s ‘Chewin’ the Fat’ or its sister show ‘Still Game’?”

    If those shows made some of the statements on LAD they would not be aired.

    One example today “DUP thinks gays are perverts …. yet most worship king billy who’s arse was invaded more times than syria”

    All ho ho and jolly good japes ?

    If Arlene foster said that substituting SF and Bobby Sands for example would it still be as funny to you ?

    It is things like this, to dehumanise unionists that remind me of the Nazi tactics just before the outbreak of war to condition the population to the inhuman acts that were carried out against them.

  • 1729torus

    In that case, the SoS needs to be kept at arms length from the cabinet, maybe bring back the office of Governor General?

  • mickfealty

    You know exactly what I mean Brendan.

  • 1729torus

    I’d say more precisely that SF’s strategy since 2007 under McGuinness wasn’t yielding results because of intransigence and vetos.

  • mickfealty

    Hugh, there’s not going to be a border poll any time soon. So stopping it (and IndyRef2) is not going to be delaying anything in negotiations.

    What they’re likely to be pitching for is something more concretely plus sum, in terms capital investment. Stuff round welfare reform, and transparency around donations (or at least that was on the shopping list last time).

    We should note two things: one, this is a deal done in principle very quickly; the detail is taking longer than the Tories expected. I would be hopeful that means it’s more demanding than they first expected.

    One report I read yesterday suggested that the Queen’s speech is being altered and stuff being dropped from the manifesto. That’s as likely to relate to the defenestration of Timothy et al as any nascent DUP pressure. But I’d still read it as a DUP positive.

  • mickfealty

    I can’t explain it. It’s not my tradition. But I can explain why it’s neither new or a surprise. And why I’ve chosen to focus on the party’s positive attributes. Maybe, just maybe this could be a turning point.

    The real legitimate grievance is the continuing existence of the loyalist paramilitaries. Maybe this exposure (and if this arrangement coheres it should continue) will push both the party press for and the organisations themselves to embrace disbandment? And the 21C.

  • mickfealty

    I can’t explain it. It’s not my tradition. But I can explain why it’s neither new or a surprise. And why I’ve chosen to focus on the party’s positive attributes. Maybe, just maybe this could be a turning point.

    The real legitimate grievance is the continuing existence of the loyalist paramilitaries. Maybe this exposure (and if this arrangement coheres it should continue) will push both the party press for and the organisations themselves to embrace disbandment? And the 21C.

  • T.E.Lawrence

  • William Kinmont

    Demonization by the press probably isn’t a major day to day life issue for those involved. Living in estates under the influence or control of paramilitaries is. What are the DUP doing about this are there actions on the ground not reinforcing this control. What efforts are they making to influence the culture of marches bonfires etc.to make them more acceptable/presentable. They know how this behavior reflects in the press yet they whip it up when it suits them.
    For those lucky enough not to be in the areas controlled as such the demonization is a minor issue limited to embarrassment at the social backwardness that some outsiders may presume we have until they get to know us.
    DUP in government isn’t going to help these issues. Their percieved power is going to be increased and like it or not their stereotype is what will reflect on the GB population.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    The SoS NI is a government post with collegiate responsibility. I know we have shifted to a far more executive centralisation of power in the PM office, which qualifies this shared responsibility, but this does not work as well as shared cabinet decisions. And really, I simply cannot see anyone in the conservative party filling the role being in any way immune from DUP influence, in that their action, if offensive to the DUP, would directly bring the government down. The only answer would be an all part national government to control the exit fro Europe negotiations. Only this would avoid putting the DUP in a most unreasonable position of influence. It won’t happen, but it is what should happen.

  • grumpy oul man

    Yes transition the IRA stopped the UDA didnt and the DUP refused to engage SF when the IRA were active,
    They even when the loyalist secterian murder campaign was in full swing the DUP was working wirh them.
    The difference is you see the UDA is still killing.

  • T.E.Lawrence

    Sandy Row went from a 50% to 70% turnout within 2 months. There is still juice left in the tank and Unionism has its work to do to also get that 30% interested out to vote. The time now is for the Assembly to get up and running again and working for all the people of this province no more stupid bun fights or talking nonsense about border polls and a bit of stability and hopefully the DUP can bring some bacon back from London which we can all share and get the benefit from

  • T.E.Lawrence

    As to your last point we already witnessed how Belfast City Council Planning Committee with the majority of SF SDLP Alliance councillors voted against the people of Sandy Row and supported Developers ! Now I wonder why they would have done that for ?

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    I dunno Lawrence, why have they done that for? Could you send me links on this please as I am very interested in such matters.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    “Driving though Newry, Camlough, Meigh, Belleeks, Forkhill and a few other towns recently as part of my work, I was utterly horrified at the sheer amount of tricolours adorning monuments to IRA members with the usual balaclava clad gunmen. It really made me feel uncomfortable.”

    I agree.

    I’d love to see a wholesale ban on all and any paramilitary memorials and shrines.
    WRT the DUP, could they advocate such a thing given that they had public support from the UDA only last week?

  • grumpy oul man

    Have you driven up the newtownards rd or the lower shankill lately. Maybe carrick would be worth a visit many many flags and murals to terrorists
    How many ( most i would think)of these have at least the tacit support of the DUP.
    I’M all for a agreement over ALL FLAGS but i suggest body armour if you decide to suggest it In a loyalist area controlled by the DUPs buddys the UDA.

  • grumpy oul man

    Did Drumcree, Twaddle, the UWC, Flags, Holy Cross, Harryville never happen?

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Try driving through Rathcoole, perhaps. I had one very puzzled Californian in my car once trying to grasp the “Irish Out” slogans beside the O’Neill Road. “Are we not in Ireland?”

    You’ll have to drive through paramilitary controlled areas to find these slogans, they don’t exist in polite middle class suburbs, but they are there and very much i your face in the big housing estates.

  • grumpy oul man

    And the OO, which has great influence inside the DUP has asked to get down the Garvaghy Rd.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Georfem having had a career which overlapped with advertising and marketing, I can tell you that companies pay very good money to have their ideas and product put before the public on hoardings and walls. It is either naïve or disingenuous to suggest that such things are an irrelevance, as, after all, the are the very backdrop in which children learn their life-attitudes.

  • Georfe Jungle

    “I’M all for a agreement over ALL FLAGS but i suggest body armour if you decide to suggest it In a loyalist area controlled by the DUPs buddys the UDA.”

    Mee too, what do you recommend to wear in republican areas controlled by the IRA ?

  • Georfe Jungle

    Absolutely, if we are ever to move to a shared future, the current narrative that terrorists are heroes must be dispensed with, for it is simply indoctrinating another generation into a warped viewpoint.

  • Martin Warne

    DUP have to seriously make a distinction between its Westminster role and its Stormont role -not easy but it has to be done.
    If the Sinn Fein MPs took their Westminster seats nobody would be having a problem with balancing this but they won’t will they ?

    I’m not so naive as to pretend that DUP support for the Tory government is going to be plain sailing and there will be ripple effects in Stormont but there really is no alternative.

    Without at least ‘tacit’ DUP support in the Commons, the Tory Government will fall and then Labour gets a chance to form up—DUP will NEVER support a Corbyn led Labour administration, so Labour’s Queen’s Speech is defeated aswell !

    Then there’s another General Election right across the whole of the UK and if Corbyn’s Labour were to win that outright EVERYONE would blame the DUP for letting it happen.

    And if Corbyn’s Labour were to assume power in Westminster-what price will our people have to pay
    to save our Stormont Assembly then ?

    DUP is caught between the Tories and hard place.

  • Georfe Jungle

    Whataboutery is never an acceptable response.

    I suggest you ask the moderators to open a thread to discuss the issues you raised.

  • Georfe Jungle

    Are you are suggesting the IRA play no part in criminality along the border ?

  • Georfe Jungle

    An uneducated Californian you mean, I was in SoCal (Just Nth of San Diego) a few years ago and laughed when I went into a house and there was a banner of King Billy on the wall ! – I found a lot of Californians knew the of strong Ulster Scotch connections.

    I also remember in a border town a protest about the war in Iraq (The protesters had came up from the Republic) and one American tourist got stuck into them and asked one of the protesters are we north of the border, when the young man replied yes, he was told in no uncertain terms that he was then in the UK and should butt out. Americans never like their military being criticized and they all are certainly not stupid.

    Anyways back to your point, there are many similar slogans in nationalist areas, so it must be tackled across the board, no use just singling out single instances, is there ?

  • Georfe Jungle

    There is a massive difference between a bit of graffiti on a wall and large permanent structures resplendent with masked gunmen and flags portraying murderers as heroes.

    Especially when there is an associated narrative constantly being foisted upon young people that this is normal and these people are to be revered.

    I concur they are certainly not irrelevant, they need to be disposed of, but their impact in shaping a mind is minimal I would suggest ? using your experience in marketing, can you please say which would have the greater impact on a young mind ?

  • T.E.Lawrence
  • SeaanUiNeill

    Ah, the old whataboutery argument yet again. Themuns have their slogans so we can just as freely poison our next generation with casual hatred as a bit of fun. Ignoring the simple fact that what goes on on walls will always end up with semtex. In this context its worth comparing the murals and graffiti for the messages they send. Even the apparently innocuous “Dutchman on a horse” implies an implied triumphalism which instills contempt for once fellow citizens into the impressionable.

    I’ve met quite a bit of ignorance in California myself, such as the pro-IRA police woman I spoke to in San Francisco once who insisted that her tour bus had passed over the border into county Antrim, something I pointed out was impossible, as Antrim is the only NI County which does not share a border with the ROI. I know. I live there. She insisted strongly, her Tour Guide must be right, even when I suggested she had misremembered Armagh. Oh dear…..a bit like the occasional Unionist who imagines the albino crow must be black because that’s the colour of crows.

    But my companion passing through Rathcoole was unquestionably a educated woman, a professor of political law, and well aware of the geography, unlike many Unionists who appear to imagine that the last part of our little polities name is entirely invisible. So to remind you, just in case you share this problem, “northern IRELAND”.

  • Casper

    So you compare the LADfleg parody site to being Nazi-like but think that we should all ignore the KAT slogans becuase it places too much emphasis on wanting the extermination of all Catholics. Strange logic by anyones standards.
    Do you only get offended in N.I if someone insults you?
    You have tried to sweep the wishes of some, to annihilate all Catholics, under the carpet with utter contempt.
    Don’t dare try to tell me or anyone else ”there are more important issues”.
    Your unionists are writing that hate filled bile and no-one questions it!
    It appears you are utterly disconnected from reality. Tried to post last night but the moderator appeared to not like my points being aired here.

  • Casper

    ”a bit of graffiti on a wall”
    There you go again playing down the threat to kill all Catholics, you have no shame whatsoever.

  • grumpy oul man

    According to the police , people who were members of the IRA are involved in criminalty all over the north but the IRA as a organisation isnt.
    This is the difference between the UDA and the IRA.
    The IRA disbanded it is no longer a player the UDA has not disbanded, two murders since march, drug dealing and general gangsterism all UDA.
    What you should be asking is why does a organisation which is willing to kill to secure its criminal income is supporting openly a poltical party and why has that poltical party so comfortable with that.
    And does it not cause you any concern that such a party has any sort of influence over the British government.

  • grumpy oul man

    You asked for examples, i give you examples, you call it whataboutry!
    Interesting, is this how you treat all facts that don’t suit your worldview.

  • grumpy oul man

    Ladfleg rarely makes up the things it lampoons.

  • 1729torus

    The question will reemerge every time there is a hung parliament, which is happening increasingly often. The DUP can work with both Labour and the Tories. You can’t have constant grand coalitions to exclude the DUP from power, so it’s necessary to appropriately insulate NI from Westminster.

    In line with British colonial constitutional theory, have the SoS replaced by a Governor/Seanascal serving a five year term, nominated by HM Government. after consulting with Dublin. A nominee must be confirmed by absolutely two thirds of MLAs before taking office, or an absolute majority if both the Dáil and the Commons endorse the candidate. He or she would be independent of the government, and could only be dismissed with the consent of the Assembly.

    The only other solutions are: either full-on joint administration; SF take their seats; or NI MPs are formally rendered impotent somehow – a subtle approach would be to conduct elections in NI by STV, to prevent sufficiently large delegations of MPs from forming.

    SF’s abstention policy is successfully weakening the bond between NI and London by undermining Westminister’s ability to be impartial here. Maybe that explains some of the anger over their refusal to take their seats.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Oh dear, the “themuns are to blame more” argument of whataboutery again. This will simply not do. This is a structural problem. The 1912 recourse to arms by Unionism when bested in Parliament by the IPP and Home Rule, set this particular trope of violent solutions into play. It was a truism that throughout the nineteenth century sectarian violence was unique to the north west corner of Ireland. What you are describing is the end product of a long process of social encoding in which Unionism has usually played the leading role. What you describe is the current Republican “catch up.” This culture of violent political repression began in late nineteenth century Unionism at a time when nationalism was becoming entirely constitutionalist with Parnell and the Irish party, and it is this legacy we need to address first if the later developments within Republicanism are to be deprived of their root sustenance.

    This is a gestalt, or whole picture, which needs to be addressed at its foundation. Simply bringing up “they do it too” displays a woeful lack of historical understanding of where this came from and who it has unfolded, the essential material needed to unpick the problem. But it is a start to recognise that there is direct ongoing culpability in our permitting poisonous graffiti and iconographic visuals to send out messages of hatred to encourage the impressionable, young and old, in their habitual “othering” of their fellow citizens.

  • T.E.Lawrence

    “SF’s abstention policy is successfully weakening the bond between NI and London by undermining Westminister’s ability to be impartial here” I love it ! Who writes these scripts for the sheep Danny Morrison ?

  • T.E.Lawrence

    Don’t panic the DUP are playing a blinder so far ! Ulsters Call ! It’s even hard for old fools like Paddy Ashdown to stomach

  • Martin Warne

    We may be playing a blinder but we’ve been picked for a late season cup final that nobody wanted to play.
    Game’s not over yet until there’s no Corbyn in No. 10.
    Adams is making a mock show of support for Corbyn and all seven Sinn Fein MPs have every democratic right to take their seats in the Commons.
    If Dublin cracks the whip they will take the oath.
    The maths gets smaller all the time !

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Right, the last two replies to this are ‘pending’, so, here’s a bullet point retort:

    “If those shows made some of the statements on LAD they would not be aired.

    One example today “DUP thinks gays are perverts …. yet most worship king billy who’s arse was invaded more times than syria” ”

    1/ Kiernan and Kemphill don’t mind punching below the belt, so, I wouldn’t put it past them

    2/ If they did there would be outrage at the ‘bias of the BBC’

    “If Arlene foster said that substituting SF and Bobby Sands for example would it still be as funny to you ?”

    Yes, if not more so.

    “It is things like this, to dehumanise unionists that remind me of the Nazi tactics just before the outbreak of war to condition the population to the inhuman acts that were carried out against them.”

    The Nazis picked on groups of people, LAD also pick on nationalist stupidity. Nationalists are just less likely to build bonfires beside petrol stations or elect George Chittick as a spokesperson.

    Fix the silly aspects of unionism and you’ll find there’ll be less lampooning of unionism. It’s that simple.

  • Paddy Reilly

    The Kingsmill massacre (1976) was one of a series of unpleasant tit-for-tat murders centring on particular families in South Armagh. Typically, you only seem bothered by the one where the victims were Protestant.

    Sinn Féin did not enter the NI political arena until 1982, so there were no “Shinners” around to do anything.

  • grumpy oul man

    Body armour.
    What was it you were saying about whataboutry being a unacceptable responce.

  • H1Sport

    Why should he choose? That’s just self indulgent nonsense.

  • mac tire

    It has already been pointed out to you the difference between the Shinner comment & the Duper comment. You think they are comparable – they aren’t.
    One called a town a sh!thole. The other called an area Unionist & demanded that a certain party not to canvass in it.
    You keep ‘forgetting’ that last part – and I will remind you of that last part every single time you try to misrepresent this fake argument you keep bringing in to the discussions recently.
    For the record, of course.

  • Georfe Jungle

    “”I’M all for a agreement over ALL FLAGS”

    I said Mee too

    You clearly have comprehension difficulties

  • Georfe Jungle
  • Georfe Jungle

    “we should all ignore the KAT slogans becuase it places too much emphasis on wanting the extermination of all Catholics.”

    Yes, for the same reason I ignore the Kill all Huns slogans painted regularly.

    There are, scribbling’s on school desks, when I was a school our desks were covered in sectarian slogans.

    It starts off as a scribble on a desk and before you know it it ends up with a coffee grinder and diesel

    Don’t dare try to tell me or anyone else ”there are more important issues”.

  • Georfe Jungle

    You and sean have a consistent one dimensional angle on this.

    I have stated several times that all slogans are wrong. How more black and white can I be

    But you consistently twist my comments to say I am actually supportive of such slogans.

    Twisted

  • Georfe Jungle

    “”If Arlene foster said that substituting SF and Bobby Sands for example would it still be as funny to you ?”

    Yes, if not more so.

    Thanks for clearing that up, as long as she doesn’t use the explosive word blonde ?

  • Georfe Jungle

    I remember having a conversation with someone well know on here a while ago and when I referenced his “protestant neighbours” he told me “they are not my neighbours they are my enemy”. The mindset you talk off is not a one sided phenomenon.

    As for racist attacks, they are not the preserve of any one community, a polish man was kicked to death in Newry, he was told to go home to his own country as they jumped on his head.

  • grumpy oul man

    I want you to go back and read that link.
    You will find little phrases like, committed to peaceful poltical action.
    PIRA MEMBERS involved in criminalty.
    I am amazed how easily you overlook persistant criminality including murder and drug dealing by loyalists as also seem unconcerned with the fact that a major poltical party has links with these people.
    Your whataboutry is classic.

  • grumpy oul man

    I bet you have seen KAI or KAT.
    do you know what they mean.

  • grumpy oul man

    Wow a yank told a irishman that he shouldnt be in a part of Ireland.
    I bet he was taken seriously.

  • grumpy oul man

    But you brought up the whole wall art thing.
    So do we only talk about the wall art that offends and ignore the to call to murder ones.

  • grumpy oul man

    So KAT and KAI have been painted surrounded by ulster flags.a lot of work went into them .
    But sure your right we will only talk about murals.
    I would bet big money that the amount of murals featuring loyalist terrorists outnumbers by more than a few the murals featuring republician terrorists.

  • grumpy oul man

    Not if they were homophobic.anti choice and links to criminal gangs.
    But don’t let wee things like facts get in the way of your mopery.

  • runnymede

    Really? Labour’s leader is pretty keen on Hamas and other Islamic groups who would fit that bill pretty well.

  • 1729torus

    Its just a rephrasing of the rest of my post.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Ach, i don’t care about about that, I hate all this faux outrage that seems to be in vogue these days.

  • grumpy oul man

    You mean hes in favour of peace talks and kbows it wont be possible to bring peace about without these groups.
    But i am interested that you think that Hamas and the DUP are so similar that you can make comparsions.

  • newniman

    There will be reports that they haven’t been hoodwinked into a high probability of God’s existence next:
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2014/04/computing-the-probability-of-god/

    Charles Boot • 2 years ago

    Unwin is just as guilty of scientism as Dawkins, Hitchens, & Harris. They insist on their perspectives being universal and are willing to use science’s & logic’s names in vain to try and prove that they’re right.

    Einstein, Darwin, Jesus, & Buddha were so much humbler.

    Bob Seidensticker Mod Charles Boot • 2 years ago

    I don’t know that Jesus was all that humble. He did claim to be God, after all.

  • Granni Trixie

    We’re on the same page again,TEL! It can’t last…

  • Granni Trixie

    Not all. The resistance to ‘sides’ goes on ….

  • SeaanUiNeill

    “There are more important issues in society to be addressing.”

    Why, exactly, Georfe? This looks like an answer but is in effect a variant on the dismissive “this is what I’m insisting.” It does not address the pervasive effect of such things. This graffiti, when expressing the ugly party hatreds of either side, tells everyone who views it left unchallenged on a wall or hoarding that the community in general does not oppose this opinion. It becomes quite unconsciously a common currency of “acceptable” opinion for the impressionable, and authorises polarised and contemptuous attitudes across the grass roots of our politics. The attitudes “higher up the food chain” politically are ideologically manured by all such commonplace “cultural” experiences. If this is addressed, the more sophisticated destructive ideological positions of our politicians or of those who would enforce their opinion in an active form of the violence implicit in such graffiti are starved of their sustenance.

  • Casper

    You freely throw around words like ”Nazi” and ”Jew” regarding LADfleg, yet you think the KAT slogans are just a ”bit of graffiti”.

    That is all that needs to be said.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    “You and sean have a consistent one dimensional angle on this.

    If this is to be considered as an answer and not as a simple insult it requires unpacking. You are entirely ignoring the very real role which grass roots hatreds play in keeping us where we are in terms of the simmering violence which has marked the Unionist century as the chosen relationship of both political camps. You will have to explain WHY addressing this root influence is “one dimensional”

    Your first response was “I have NEVER seen that in N Ireland and not even ever heard of it.” Confronted by myself and others with instances, you retreated to the very telling general position that ‘”Themuns” do it worse’ in order to sustain the sub-text of the quite unsustainable later argument that “their impact in shaping a mind is minimal.” This does not stand as an unsupported comment, when there are endless detailed studies by academics such as Neil Jarman and Dominic Bryan showing the definitive role that such grass roots activity and its pervasive symbolism plays in sustaining a simmering culture of violence which feeds into higher politics here.

    It is absurdly insufficient to say that” it should all be stopped, but its effect is slight” without any evidence of the qualifying trivialisation of what is a serious and strongly supported point. In this context the “one dimensional” tag above appears to be the product of a psychological projection of the insubstantiality of your own thin responses onto ours. Oh, “Seaan” by the way……

  • Abucs

    Two articulate, intelligent speakers about the political process. I think Mick made the better argument that to cast suspicion on the Conservative / DUP pact to the point of blocking it would be to effectively place the DUP electorate as second class citizens and in doing so, threaten the integrity of British democracy.

  • T.E.Lawrence

    Granni, Whats your views on the UUP, Alliance & SDLP coming back into an Executive if we can get this Assembly up and running again ? I would be all for it as I think it would generate further stability ?

  • SeaanUiNeill

    How can the SoS NI remain “non-partisan” when confronting the DUP would bring his party tumbling into a possible vote of no confidence. The words can be put together dramatically but they are as meaningless as the rather odd injunction a tipsy fitness instructor on 1950s radio surprised her listeners with: “Lie on your belly with your toes in the air.”

    As long as the ten DUP members at Westminster hold it in their voting power to stop May’s government in its tracks, any party member who might oppose them as SoS NI would be ending their political career with the action that is what John Major and others are speaking of the conflict of interest which is perfectly clear to anyone not looking at this through opaque lenses.

    “Westminster MPs do not have to interfere with this process and neither do they need to be seen to be.” But the very fact that they have considered requesting DUP support shows that they are willing to consider anything which ensures such support continues. With that simple reality, they are showing a clear willingness to interfere with NI in support of the DUP if that is what will keep them in power. To suggest anything else is palpably naïve at best.

  • Stormont Unionist

    The Westminster Government of the day has to appoint an SoS for Northern Ireland just the same as for Scotland and Wales. He or she has to try to be as non-partisan as ‘humanly’ possible–I never said it was a perfect world and my glasses are neither opaque nor rose coloured and before you say they’re tinted with orange they are plain varifocal lenses.
    A Labour or Conservative administration in Whitehall has the same predicament as does the Dublin government when they are co-guarantors of what we value today in Northern Ireland.
    Just imagine for one moment that Sinn Fein won a majority in the Dail and Gerry Adams were to become Taioseach— I’d like to think that the Dublin Government would still be impartial co-guarantors wouldn’t you ?

    We don’t live in a perfect world and coalitions only ever fit where they touch–all of us on both sides have to come together to make sure that where the fit isn’t quite as comfortable as we would like it hurts as few as possible.

  • Granni Trixie

    Opposition never did sit easily with me. I think it was and may still be justified however unless there are some reforms based on learning from what went wrong before. E.g. POC, more transparency and accountability etc. Most of all I would like to see agreement involving all the parties on a PFG. The very process of working together to get agreement on priorities should help better relationships beteeen the parties. It’s not rocket science. Fingers crossed?

  • SeaanUiNeill

    The Westminster government certainly should do what you say, but it cannot when it is dependant on DUP support, any more than anyone else in a hostage situation can simply ask to go down to the shops for a little retail therapy top ease the stress. I am amazed that this simple fact, the dependency of May on DUP votes, can be so easily ignored.

    No we do not live in a perfect world, but the already paper-thin credibility of Westminster’s role as honest broker for the Belfast Agreement has worn entirely through with this alliance, no matter how casually it is represented. They are now clearly in an open alliance with one political camp here, and if they necessarily challenge anything the DUP do, they are leaving themselves open to a collapse of government. We have seen a succession of “chairs” for the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse stand down over what are far less clear issues of conflict of interest. I am astonished that this very simple fact seem difficult for Unionists to recognise. Of course for a Unionist supporter there may be no apparent conflict of interest, as any recognition of the mendacious nature of this alliance is hardly to Unionist advantage. And I’d be just as indignant if the Irish Government were invested with an equal degree of local sovereignty over NI as Westminster currently is, and so recklessly abused their role as guarantor of the Belfast Agreement by putting themselves under the control of Sinn Féin in this way.

  • Stormont Unionist

    You and I are not so very far apart you know.
    In reality there is a lot of common ground here and I take on board a lot of what you say.

    The issue with DUP propping up the Tories in this Parliament is muddying a lot of waters and it is a cup final that none of us really would have ever wanted to play in.

    It is no secret that I’m a Unionist but I’m not blinkered to Nationalist views or aspirations.

    Most importantly I’m a democrat and it would balance things for me at least if the seven elected Sinn Fein MPs would take their seats in the Westminster Parliament.

    I know Sinn Fein would say there’s a ‘principle’ at stake and they couldn’t take the oath but wouldn’t that send a clear message to the population of England, Scotland and Wales ?

    There’s tens maybe hundreds of thousands of people east of the Irish Sea whose concept of Northern Ireland is that we don’t have any right to be represented at all in Westminster.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    I am not averse to recognising that when I talk to Unionists, despite my reservations about the legacy of Historical Unionism, I frequently find agreement on many things. My own strictures against SF have even had me castigated as a Unionist a few times recently on Slugger, but the truth is my only interest is balanced, fair and, above all, normal government, the same as it was when I was active in the PD in the late 1960s. Whether this is given this flavour by someone with the politics of John Hume, or of Danny Kinahan, is of less concern to me than that the work of our representatives should be towards public service, rather than party interest. While we do not live in an ideal world, it is better to try and live in a world that functions rather than one heedlessly driven towards inevitable breakdown by short termism and party interest, such as the May/DUP accommodation .

    “There’s tens maybe hundreds of thousands of people east of the Irish Sea whose concept of Northern Ireland is that we don’t have any right to represented at all in Westminster.” I’ve posted elsewhere on Slugger recently my own (anecdotal) experience of just how little is known (or cared) about NI in Westminster circles, let alone amongst the general British public. i occasionally meet politicians and aides from all three Westminster parties who are friends of my London relatives when I’m researching at the British Library and cadging a room. The general line is seldom short of contempt for NI, and the husband of one person active a decade ago in Labour policies in NI even asked me “how can you choose to live in that ghastly place with those ghastly people?” I don’t find any of this blanket contempt in Dublin when I mix in similar circles there. Possibly it is this which assures me that any sane future must involve re-unification even if my great-grandfather was personally active in the 1880/90s in the incept of Unionism itself. Sometimes one has to let go of the past if one is to enjoy any meaningful future. While I can imagine the UUP doing this as the Irish Unionists began to pragmatically do after 1914, I simply cannot imagine the DUP being able to do more than prolong the long painful end of partition and ensure the poorest relationship possible when the Union flounders. This agreement with May, and the weakening of the Belfast Agreement, is a perfect example of such miscalculation.

  • Stormont Unionist

    Two important points before we close:

    DUP really have no choice but to support the Conservatives on this occasion–any other alternative is unimaginable with Mr Corbyn at the helm of the Labour Party.
    Secondly: UUP, Alliance and SDLP have gone from the big picture now and the middle ground may not come back.

    But I welcome and acknowledge your pragmatism and voice of experience which I hope others will read as well.

    Where we could never agree is that I will always back the DUP to maintain the confidence of the majority in Northern Ireland to remain in the Union of the United Kingdom.

    My best wishes to you