Round-the-clock DUP-bashing is not going to make them go away…

Okay. My many devoted readers will be delighted to learn I’m nearly done here. I know a lost cause when I see it. Liberal opinion will cheer on the anti-DUP lynch mob all the way. Facts won’t come into it.

Every bit of fake news will get retweeted and applauded. Myths become truth.

Even Channel 4’s elder statesman Jon Snow has joined in, stating on Twitter as fact that the DUP is demanding “the unbanning of sectarian marches as part fo the deal”.

Emma Little Pengelly is being monstered on Twitter for her party’s abortion policy. Politicians from other parties with the same policy aren’t getting the same treatment. Funny that.

The fact the Loyalist Communities Council supported three DUP candidates last week is also being extrapolated towards ludicrous conclusions.

The LCC was launched by Jonathan Powell, Tony Blair’s prince of the peace process. It also includes David Campbell, former senior aide to David Trimble, another officially good person.

Yes, Arlene Foster met – or bumped into – loyalist leader Jackie McDonald in recent weeks. This presumably is the same Jackie McDonald who played golf with an Irish President’s husband.

And he bears a striking resemblance to the chap pictured here with Sinn Fein’s Máirtín Ó Muilleoir.

And have we all forgotten Secretary of State John Reid meeting UDA leaders like Adair, Shoukri and Gray?

There’s a lot that can be said about the DUP and loyalism over the years, not least about the record of Ian Paisley Snr, another officially good person.

Dredging up the past is not normally supposed to be helpful in the ‘new Northern Ireland’. Apparently whipping up bullshit hysteria in the present is…

What about Dee Stitt, you cry. Well, the Charter NI funding was part of a wider, flawed FM/DFM initiative – and the allocation was publicly supported by Martin McGuinness. These damned facts are awkward things.

Here’s the thing. I’m not sure round-the-clock DUP-bashing is going to make them go away. The over-reaching may even work the other way. DUP voters will dig in further, seeing the screaming fact-shy mob as further proof of their world view.

And look at the last six months, and the RHI debacle. Instead of waiting for due process – including an independent inquiry and an Assembly PAC investigation – the Stormont opposition went for the kill.

A motion was tabled demanding Arlene Foster’s exclusion from office for six months on the grounds she had broken the ministerial code. There was no official verdict to back this up. Premature much?

The bid was designed to destabilise the Executive, not least by embarrassing Sinn Fein in front if its base. It worked and we still have no institutions in the north. But if you come at the king, you best not miss.

Arlene, for the time being at least, is walking down 10 Downing Street’s red carpet. The UUP and SDLP are hanging around Corn Market, looking for change for the bus home.


  • Stifler’s Mom

    Looks like my previous reply was fl##ged by the Slugger Th*%^ght police.

    That’s exactly it. The “oppositeofright” are exploding in rage against people that have different opinions than themselves. You don’t seem to get that, can you reply and verify you understand that point?
    The point is not if people submit to God’s will, it’s if they can accept that there is a group of people that does submit to God’s will. The real sticking point is that the left (atheis$$s) cannot accept that there is a possibility that their choice of lifestyle will result in them going to hell for eternity.
    Reality is something that “oppositeofright” cannot accept or participate in debating. Its why we on the “oppositeofleft” enjoy taking the peas out of them 🙂

  • the Moor

    Feigned injury? I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt MLU and assume not. First thing to say is that my critique should be read in context of the whole exchange, including reference to some the whackier aspects of free presbyterian thinking, vis-a-vis the British-Israelite movement, etc. What I’m talking about is a species or category of protestant fundamentalist mentality which I’m inclined to characterise as a pathology and deeply reactionary poltical ideology whose adherents are demonstrably incapable of self-consciousness or historical insight. As should be apparent therefore I am not speaking of Ulster protestants or Irish unionists in general – many of whom share my antipathy to paisleyism. Second as a matter of analytic precision, I am not at all persuaded of the scientstic value of the term ‘tribe’ or indeed of the specious racialist presumptions attaching to some uses of the concept of ‘ethnie’. Both these terms, it seems to me need to be used advisedly where the import of the associated words ethnic and tribal are situated firmly within a cultural–anthropological as opposed to a bogus-scientistic idiom. For much as it is true to say that ‘race’ as imputed biological distinction is wholly false, similarly, ‘ethnicity’ in fact has no racial basis whatsoever and is better understood as a reflection of cultural characteristics shared in common. Third, as a matter of related interest, it is my view that the same distinction is true of religious identification: the meaning and forcefulness of religious belonging in the context of the NI conflict is primarily a reflection of cultural difference and allegiances rather, that is, than as a marker of church-going activity or theistic belief (which it clearly is for some). What I’m stressing is that declared allegiance and self-identification as an Ulster protestant or an Irish catholic is primarily a matter of cultural as opposed to religious belonging (which isn’t to say it excludes that meaning for believers). So when I say that paisleyist unionists may be characterised as in denial of their own ethnicity, the ethnicity in question (understood culturally) is Irishness and the disavowal referred to is a psychosocial process of wilful dissociation from real conditions: where paisleyist zealots prefer the distortions of an hysterical mentality which imagines doctrinal difference as heretical and is wholly resistant to the inclusive values of pluralist and secular civil society. The political ideology that motivates the DUP as a political party is woman-hating, xenophobic, and anti-modern and has a persecuting attitude to LGBT people. If this is a ‘tribe’ you’d self-identify with (i.e., an imagined community of common interest), to be clear, I am including you in the critique. If not, then I’m not. My interest and critical project is historical materialist critique: i.e., concrete analysis of concrete situations not the mumbo-jumbo of religious or ethnic nationalist definition.

  • Stifler’s Mom

    That’s my point. The left rage and try to intimidate people who don’t go along with their ‘approved opinions’. Look at any discussion with a lefty, they don’t go ‘thanks for expressing your opinion’, they go ‘you’re a racist !!!!! arghhhh!!! grrr!!”
    As Paul Joseph Watson says, conservativism is the new counter culture. 🙂

  • MainlandUlsterman

    thx for the thoughtful response. Of course I use “ethnic” in the cultural sense, I didn’t mention ‘race’ and see it as largely irrelevant in our case.

    I don’t identify with the DUP as a political party but I can’t avoid them being from my ethnic group, as fellow Ulster British people. So when you say they are in denial of their own ethnicity, its me too you’re insulting. I don’t have much of an “Irish” strand to my identity either, it’s not a resonant identity for me. The thing about identity is, in any free, liberal country we all get to define ourselves. In our case our right to define ourselves in terms other than “Irish” is explicity guaranteed in the Good Friday Agreement – and further, it is described as our “birthright” to “be accepted” as British if we so choose. Even SF signed up to that. So I have to insist on it.

  • Gaygael

    Lets see some of your peer reviewed evidence on the nonsense you have just spouted.

    You can rail all you want with homophobic drivel but opinion is only going in one direction and you honey, are losing. x

    Oh and here is some interesting evidence for you….

  • Stifler’s Mom

    There is no ‘peer reviewed’ evidence in relation to media reporting. You are picking up a phrase and using it incorrectly 🙂
    You can just look at the comments people make about the DUP being against women’s rights, or against ‘reproductive rights’ . What that really means is that those people want to be able to kill unborn children if they don’t want them. Wrapping that up in ridiculous phrasing does not change the facts. The DUP and others, are pro fighting to save the lives of unborn children that liberals would like to be able to kill on demand. That’s the truth.
    Regarding your use of homophobic, there is no such phobia. Homo / islamo / or “whatevero” – phobia are just made up terms to try to silence dissenting opinions. I could call you hetrophobic and scream like a maniac, but that would not be making a reasoned point. Like it or not, many people have a moral based opinion on homosexuality, that it is immoral and a sinful lifestyle. You might think that is a minority, but try travelling the world and see how the planets population think of you in non western countries. That’s the vast majority of the worlds population. Don’t go near any high buildings in a Muslim country though ! 🙂 It does not matter if it is a minority opinion in the UK, people have a right to express their opinion. You would at least agree with that last statement?

  • Gaygael

    You entirely missed the point. It’s ok. You are losing. And even in the parts of the world you refer to, we are winning. It will be slow and arduous, but we are winning. X

  • the Moor

    “The thing about identity is, in any free, liberal country we all get to define ourselves.”

    Among of the most intellectually progressive features of the GFA is the re-casting of Irish identity (Irishness) on the basis of inclusive and inessential criteria. To my mind this conclusive rejection of ethnic-nationalist in favour of civic–nationalist conception is vital to the possibility of a pluralist and secular polity and society in Ireland in future, permitting as it does definitions of national belonging through diasporic and elective affinity as well as the accumulation of lived experience. Or to put this in other common place words, where belonging is validated and verified through a sentient process of cultural identification.

    You must know that, constitutionally, Ulster–British is a dubious term. As a matter of fact, the Ireland Act of 1949 Act created a ‘United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland’. Great Britain thus comprises the union of Scotland England and Wales. After the ampersand, so to speak NI is an appendix, or add-on. That said, I have no objection to your invocation of Ulster–Britishness and even less to your feeling for it as an expression of an elective identity, which is to say as a cultural construct.

    Te DUP’s peculiar problem with nationality is that they seek to disavow the Irishness of their northern Irish identity while maintaining a tenuous, unreciprocal claim to be British. (The DUP’s, in this especial idiom, is a no–nation mentality.) Disavowal is fundamental to their mindset. While pathologically unsound, denying one’s own history, culture and geography is permissible of course. On the other hand, however, seeking to impose legal exclusion upon others perceived as infidels because outside the sanctity of a narrow ring of sectarian beliefs is quite another thing altogether. It is the latter thing I object and abhor because utterly at odds with a modern understanding of the human rights and responsiblities of citizenship.