Arlene’s Letter, Emma’s Flags: It’s the Others, stupid.

In politics, detail is important.

After all, Arlene Foster used that very phrase in a guest blog on this website last October (doesn’t that just seem like a lifetime ago? It is one high-profile- and very costly- scandal, a government collapse and two elections removed….)

Arlene Foster is in a spot of bother.

Again.

The DUP leader claimed to not have any recollection of writing a letter to the Scottish Government arguing against the Scottish recognising Northern Irish civil partnerships as marriages.

This was when she was asked about the matter after Marco Biagi, the former Local Government Minister in Scotland, made the claim about her on Twitter.

Here’s what Arlene Foster said in response:

“I’m not quite sure what he (Mr Biagi) was referring to but it certainly wasn’t a letter from me (my italics) and I’ve no recollection of a letter from me.

“If I’d written to him officially as Minister of Finance or something like that around recognition laws here in Northern Ireland, I have no recollection of it. I certainly didn’t write in a personal capacity.”

Alas, the release of the letter which certainly was from Arlene by the Scottish Government into the public domain today has further undermined the DUP leader’s credibility.

But, perhaps more importantly, it illustrates how the party’s antipathy towards The Other (currently being exemplified elsewhere by the party’s new South Belfast MP) continues to define its engagements, attitudes and overriding philosophy.

It is particularly striking that a devolved Scottish Government would see fit to publish a letter knowing that it would utterly contradict and prove deeply embarrassing to the former First Minister of Northern Ireland.

Once again, the DUP face standing indicted in the court of British public opinion, who will view the efforts of leading politicians here to lobby against rights for the gay and lesbian community living in Scotland as wholly out of sync with modern British values.

But then, when your definition of a shared housing community is one including a brace of loyalist flags on every lamppost, it’s hard to remain in sync with those outside of the ranks of The Elect.

 

 

 

  • Georfe Jungle

    I know, North Belfast’s election slogan was “Ending Unionist domination”……..domination lol

  • Gaygael

    This is old hat. Civil Partnerships (particularly in Northern Ireland) do not offer the same rights and responsibilities.

    Now even if we followed your idea, how about the faith groups that wish to conduct SSM yet are currently barred? Are you blocking their freedom of religion?

  • james

    I’m not a DUP voter myself but I’ll say this for Arlene Foster: Sinn Fein must see her as a mighty threat, if the concerted, focussed and nonetheless deathly tedious effort they have been making to target her in recent months is anything to go by.

    I suppose it’s a kind of backhanded compliment in a way.

  • james

    Essentially Chris’ stuff mostly reads like a Sinn Fein press release.

  • james

    Unionist contributors oftentimes get shouted down by a kind of swamping process, the final stage of which (generally after dozens of posts – i mean, seriously, people have other things going on in their lives, too, one hopes) is when one of the more obtuse posters (Grumpy Old Man specializes in this) will be wheeled out to make audacious claims about something said unionist poster hasn’t actually said – then demand you prove you didn’t say it. It’s a time-sucking process – and does turn some people off. Funnily enough, it could easily be resolved if posters were required to provide a short quote of what they are responding to – would keep us honest but doesn’t happen.

  • grumpy oul man

    Well the point of the post is to show that you seem unaware of what whataboutry is.
    If it helps i have no problem condemning flags outside churchs be they Tricolours, union flags or loyalist terror group flags.
    You i notice seen not to have condemned the UVF flags put up in shared areas.
    So let us hear it then, do you condemn loyalist flags outside churchs (ballyclare for example) and in shared areas.
    Lets find out.

  • Gaygael

    This is the dead end mentality that will likely kill unionism.

    It’s not just SF being critical of Arlene. In fact in some instances, other parties have been leading the charge. We Greens called for her to resign over the fracking licenses granted in land her husband owned way back in 2013.
    We have repeatedly pointed out her serial incompetence. We called out the perverse incentives in RHI. We were exceptionally critical of her failure to set up the EPA in 2008, which as It wasn’t set up, is costing us millions in clear ups, Moubouy being a case in point.

    Get out of your siege mentality and produce a critical analysis of her competence. You will likely come to the same conclusion as the rest of us.

  • Richard

    What I do not understand is this. Arlene Foster describes herself as a unionist. In her letter she says there would be difficulties if the same couple were regarded as married in Scotland and in a civil partnership in Northern Ireland. Would not the unionist approach to this problem be to allow the couple to be be married in Northern Ireland too and thereby follow the practice of the rest of the United Kingdom?
    Furthermore would this not also be good for the economy with marriage ceremonies taking place in Northern Ireland instead of the money being spent in Scotland?

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    I dare not speak his name…

  • Skibo

    James people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

  • grumpy oul man

    Your not a DUP/UDA voter but you leap to there defence all the time.
    And you don’t seem to have read the OP(as usual) this one came from Scotland not Connolly house.
    But sure far be it for me to stand in the way of your wee mope.
    And i personally think Arlene should be leader for life, she is doing a fine job.

  • grumpy oul man

    Good idea Nevin, I’ll just run and get the ladder,
    Even through im niether elected to represent people or paid to to enforce the law.
    And sure what harm could anybody come to taking down flags of a armed group of thugs.
    Or you could stop sprouting nonsense.

  • grumpy oul man

    What claims James. All i ever do s ask you to back up your claims, which normally gets you to disapear.
    If you stuck to facts this wouldnt happen.

  • Skibo

    Can you explain the phrase “attrition and ballot box” and is it any different to what Unionism has been doing since 1921?
    What needs to happen is a law passed that it is illegal to fly any flags from council or government property unless by previous agreement. It would not require police to stop them, merely take evidence and forward proceedings in the post. The penalty should be substantial and rise with increased offending. It can also be reduced by removing whatever was erected.
    The use of the courts and criminal records is the only way to control this issue effectively.
    An agreement could be worked out for allowing flags/ bunting to be erected. It would include a bond and when the material would be removed. if not removed in time, the bond should be enough to pay for police to take them down.

  • james

    Au contraire, I read the OP and am aware of the provenance of this week’s excuse for the shinnerdrones to attack Arlene Foster.

    My point is exactly that – it is merely the latest in a series of excuses for the SF minions to sling mud at Arlene (e-flegging I think we decided to call this).

    There’ll be another one along next week.

  • james

    Indeed.

    Relevance?

  • Skibo

    What mud has been thrown by SF apart from her handling of the RHI scheme?
    As far as I am aware all other stories are from Scotland or England. Are they under SF control also?

  • grumpy oul man

    So no matter what the DUP/UDA do their poltical opponents should not comment on it!
    Your new to this politics thing i see.

  • Skibo

    Perhaps you are not aware of it but at times you and a number of others are guilty of similar actions. I see no difference in using a blog site to defend Republican politics and Unionist politics.
    There are times when you give the impression that Republican politics should not be allowed space.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    If she is unaware of what is going on in her ministry then she is not doing her job.

  • Casper

    All the more reason for you to stay and post from your unionist perspective Joe. That way we can all have a chance to learn more about other peoples opinions, hopes and dreams. Sure there are some posts that might make us squirm a little now and again but if we learn one thing from it surely it’s worth it.

  • Casper

    No-one needs to sling mud at Arlene, she happily rolls in it if the price is right.

  • Casper

    The naivety or arrogance of her not to step aside voluntarily until the RHI inquiry is completed was staggering and is proof she is not the strong decisive leader N.I. unionism needs.

  • Mac an Aistrigh

    What is the point of devolution, then?

  • Zorin001

    You have a way with words Casper!

  • Thomas Girvan

    It is generally accepted that the troubles strted in 1969. The Gusty Spence killings as you nearly said was three years prior to that.
    You can arbitrarily pick a date of sectarian murder prior to the “official” start of the troubles, to move the goalposts to fit a particulat historical narrative. Joe Cahill killed a police officer in 1942, and Sean South was killed in 1957, so when did it all start? Well it wasn’t by Gusty Spence that’s for sure.
    The first death of the “the troubles” is generally considerd to be Francis McCloskey who died after being beaten by the RUC, during crowd disturbances.
    Cain has it all chronologically documented, read about it here. Okay. Don’t mention it.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_the_Northern_Ireland_Troubles_and_peace_process

  • grumpy oul man

    So let me get this straight,
    The UVF murders took place in 1966 there followed OVbombs and catholics were put out of there homes right up to and including 1969, there was also the attacks on civil.rights march ant the attacks on Ardoyne and Bombay st.
    You chose to ignore this ongoing unionist violence started by the UVF and pretend it is not part of the troubles.
    Instead chosing to pretend the whole thing just kicked off in 1969.that is not a analysis of history it is revision of history.
    Your welcome.

  • james

    Thank you, Casper.

  • Casper

    Thank you james, for calling people shinnerdrones. De-humanizing your enemy is a well used tactic.
    Drone/bot – not human, does not have feelings, can be killed without guilt.
    Continue to use these type of phrases if you wish, but be aware in reality it says more about the person using them than the people they supposedly refer to.

  • Zeno3

    Since when did incompetence become a barrier to being a successful Politician?

  • Neil

    It’s a bid by the SNP to use their own formal government processes to embarrass Ruth Davidson. Not the classiest of moves.

    Mr Biagi, I’m going to guess had that response typed up and walked down the street to his local post office with the dander of a man who’d just won the lottery. Being openly gay, I’m sure he felt quite something, holding in his hand a letter that would advance the rights of his brother and sisters in NI. Probably thought that this was what he got into politics for. Making a real difference to his own marginalised community. Amazing. Then months later Arlene says

    “I’m not quite sure what he (Mr Biagi) was referring to but it certainly wasn’t a letter from me (my italics) and I’ve no recollection of a letter from me.

    and Mr Biagi thinks to himself ‘oh aye, think you’re clever do ye’ and releases the letter. Of course it has to be a nefarious plot. o_O

    Arlene’s memory has had (another) totally understandable failure and there’s nothing to see here. Laughable really. The argument that she just signs stuff willy nilly and that’s ok too is also not really good enough. It’s either incompetence, lies, or a suspiciously self-serving lack of recollection that is implausible in a qualified individual such as herself. Not a great selection.

  • Gaygael

    Ahhhh, try again with a different dead cat.

    Devolution is about making decisions at local/regional/state level. That may be from the most base of power (as in Councils) to sub-national (as in Wales and NI) to the most extensive tax and welfare (such as Scotland).
    Rights are not ‘different’ in devolved parts of states which are signatory to conventions on rights. Those rights are meant to be enjoyed by everyone in the state, regardless of devolution.

    Now try again. What is your reason for trying to deny me equality?

  • Gaygael

    Below I outline the context of the Equal Marriage issue and it’s political hot topic.

  • Thomas Girvan

    I am not choosing anything. If you want to contest what is recognised as the troubles then you should contact Cain and Wikipedia and a host of historians and correct them.. In Northern Ireland there have been outbreaks of sectarian strife since the formation of the state(and before) we all know that.
    There was an atmosphere of sectrianism during the mid sixties (Divis Street riots etc) and the ongoing civil disturbances at various civil rights marches etc
    It wasn’t in a vacuum that sectarianism existed.
    We can all cite examples to back up a particular narrative.
    I was an adult throughout the strobles living in Belfast

  • james

    “Thank you james, for calling people shinnerdrones.”

    Well, let’s deal with that, shall we…

    “De-humanizing your enemy is a well used tactic.”

    I’m not dehumanizing anybody – quite the reverse, actually. I’m actively encouraging people to think for themselves rather than just parroting the guff from SF HQ.

    “Drone/bot – not human, does not have feelings, can be killed without guilt.”

    A number of problems with this.

    1. It’s overwrought and rather silly. I haven’t advocated killing anybody, nor do I have any intention of advocating killing anybody.

    2.Sinn Fein actually do retrospectively advocate killing people – as evidenced for their continued role as cheerleaders for the IRA’s terrorist campaign.

    “Continue to use these type of phrases if you wish”

    Yes, i think i will unless you can provide me with a legitimate reason why i shouldn’t.

    “but be aware in reality it says more about the person using them than the people they supposedly refer to.”

    It does say a lot, yes. I certainly didn’t coin the phrase. It is in common usage in NI. Why do you think that is?

  • grumpy oul man

    And i can reconize someone who believes the troubles started when themnuns started shooting back!
    You seem to think that unionist violence has cause but no effect and nationlist violence has effect but no cause.
    Perhas you could give links to these historians you claim support your case.

  • DaptoDogs

    I agree that those are the reasons. As someone suckled on an older, more radically dissenting feminism, which was against the institution of marriage because it was a form of institutionalised patriarchy, and who has no issues with gay marriage per se or de jure, I still lament the triumph of bourgeois neoliberalism implied by those reasons. As Grannie Trixie mentioned below, love is the only real justification. Hence, as an expression of love, let gays get married. The justification through legal relationships sticks in my craw though.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    The very fact that your use of “shinnerdrones” appears acceptable as a description of anyone whatsoever who criticises Arlene is very telling. It is a de-humanising term, as casper states, but just as significantly, it is a grossly inaccurate generalisation of something far, far more complicated.

    You are entirely ignoring the fact that quite a few strongly Unionist posters on Slugger were also harshly criticising Arlene in the run up to the last local election when her refusal to recognise that remaining in office in the light of the RHI disclosures was a shocking insult to every part of our community. Her position gave (and gives) her the ability to interfere with the work of any enquiry, accordingly there is a clear conflict of interest which those in office in every other democratic system always recognise. Even her predecessor stood down for a short stint until a “teachers note” from an in house law expert could excuse him from any culpability. This sort of brass necking politically was the DUPs stock in trade when an opposition Unionist party, and they have clearly not yet understood the responsibilities of office.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    I think she mistakes stubbornness for strength. This has been something of a trope since 1910 within Unionism. Such behaviour bought them partition them, why alter a winning formula?

  • Casper

    You are trying to de-humanize people james, you just can’t or won’t see it. I’m not going to try to educate you, google is your friend if you want to find out more on the subject.
    When you say that people are ”parotting the guff from SF HQ” you are intending to insult SF members and their voters. You imply people can’t think or speak for themselves. I have never even once logged onto a SF website, yet it appears you do otherwise how would you know what’s on there? Very strange to say the least.
    When SF voters comment on things that SF have also said then that means we agree on the topic, is it really strange this happens?

  • Thomas Girvan

    After a comprehensive search lasting 30 seconds,here’s some klinks
    The BBC History dept
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/troubles
    Here’s another one, Infoplease the online encyclopedia
    https://www.infoplease.com/northern-irish-conflict-chronology
    Have a go yourself, you will get a lot of stuff which confirms what I originally said.
    Adios amigo!

  • Casper

    Again you hit the nail on the head Seaan. Massive mis-calculation on Arlenes part. Teresa May is cut from exactly the same cloth.
    ”Never interrupt your opponent while they are making a mistake, it’s impolite’ – Napoleon (I think it was Napoleon, it might have been Sun Tzu!)

  • grumpy oul man

    So explain to me how unionist violence starts in 1966 and continues unbroken to today really ( UDA still killing) but it started when nationlist started being violent in 1969.
    Simole question.
    Why is steady.unionist violence from 1966 to 1969 not relevent as it was a major factor in the forming of the provos.
    You pick a date to suit you .
    Use your Adios time to think upon this.

  • Thomas Girvan

    The UDA formed in 1971 as a response republican violence,has long since divested itself of any relevent political focus.is now a criminal organisation which has no relevence in terms of politics.
    Crime will, like the poor, always be with us. The steady unionist violence you refer to is not backed up by statistics. How many deaths were there between 1966-68?
    Histoical revisionism doesn’t wash with me, I have a good memory.
    Adieu mon ami!

  • Casper

    You started off by directly asking when the UVF started killing then after you got an answer you start moving the goalposts. Perhaps you thought no-one would notice.

  • Casper

    Typical unionist response, we were only returning the serve. The UVF murdered innocent Catholics and Protestants in 1966, how do you feel about that Thomas?

  • Casper

    Funny you should come to that conclusion james. I seem to recall a recent DUP election leaflet mentioning SF 32 times, and Gerry Adams 12 times!
    SF don’t seem to fear the ”mighty threat” of Arlene in any way whatsoever. Long may her reign continue. She has damaged the union more in one year than SF have in 10!

  • Thomas Girvan

    I don’t know why you assume I am a unionist.
    You would be well advised to judge peoples” arguments upon their content and not some perceived assumption.
    Anyway. There is no doubt that a gang of sectarian killers styling themselves as the UVF were active in 1966.
    Mind you after Spence was sentenced to life imprisonment there were no further UVF killings until 1969,when the first policeman was killed on the Shankill Road.

  • Casper

    I don’t assume you are a unionist, and it makes no difference to me at all if you are. I’m pointing out that what you said is the typical unionist response and that is still true.

  • Thomas Girvan

    So, if I say your comments were ty

    So why mention unionist, what’s the relevence?

  • Casper

    When you use a well-worn unionist arguement to make your own point, don’t then be surprised when you get a reply with a counter-arguement that refers to unionism.
    You get the same answer that any unionist would who used the same point you did. Do you still fail to see the relevance now?

  • Thomas Girvan

    Never worrry about whether some unionist uses the same argument as me,history is history, we don’t want it rewritten. Please tell me what part of my reply is inaccurate.

  • james

    The very fact that your use of “shinnerdrones” appears acceptable as a description of anyone whatsoever who criticises Arlene is”…. erm not true Seean.

    I’d expect that sort of overblown exaggeration from some of the Republican posters on here, but not from you.

    Try to stay away from the ‘primary colours’ generalisations, hmm?

  • SeaanUiNeill

    It was the Emperor, Casper!

    I’m also thinking with both Teresa and Arlene of the Marx quote on the Emperor and his nephew’s seizure of power: “Hegel remarks somewhere that all great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce. Caussidière for Danton, Louis Blanc for Robespierre, the Montagne of 1848 to 1851 for the Montagne of 1793 to 1795, the nephew for the uncle. And the same caricature occurs in the circumstances of the second edition of the Eighteenth Brumaire.”

  • james

    “When SF voters comment on things that SF have also said then that means we agree on the topic, is it really strange this happens?”

    No, what’s really strange is that SF supporters seem to invariably agree exactly with everything the big dogs say.

    Go on then, prove me wrong and I’ll admit my mistake. Let’s hear, oh, say 4-5 things Sinn Fein have said that you wholly disagreed with. You’ll probably need names and quotes, so take your time.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    It is certainly very troubling that you seemingly cannot see this sort of term as dehumanising and, just as importantly, trivialising.

    Perhaps even more importantly, that you appear to not have realised that Arlene’s growing catalogue of miscalculations and mistakes have an effect not only on “themuns” but on each and every one of us here, and are far from being an issue which anyone serious can reduce to the usual political see-saw.

    Oh I know her line, “the Union in Danger” and we are supposed to hear the rumble of those circling wagons pulling together yet again to protect the last vestiges of Craigavon’s dismal legacy of “One Party/One Union” which the DUP have now appropriated!! But really, catch yourself on, for any of us who are not burying our heads in the political sand she appears to be an unfolding accident in any ministerial post, let alone as a “First Minister” afflicted apparently with constant amnesia on any matters pertaining too her previous ministerial remits, and now she is representing us to “Real People.” For anyone who seriously wishes for the health of the Union, the sooner she is replaced by someone who knows how to actually talk with Westminster the better, especially as we are facing what may be a period of direct rule where the DUP appear to be studiously alienating their erstwhile “allies” with silly tricks such as refusing to answer telephone communication for 36 hours. As someone said a while back on Slugger, she (and her colleagues) do a brilliant job for anyone with an anti-Unionist agenda.

  • Casper

    james I wholly disagreed with the entire PIRA campaign during the troubles so anything SF said in support of that is not my opinion. There should be more than 4 or 5 quotes in that timeframe and I disagree with them all.
    I disagree with republican parades exactly the same as i disagree with orange parades.
    My mother was born into a Protestant unionist family although she later became a Catholic to marry. I have dozens of Protestant family members, some unionists, some not. Perhaps now you will reconsider your opinion that I’m a drone/bot/minion/whatever other labels you have put on me.

    If you insist on quotes I disagree with I will certainly look for some james, but I’ll let you decide if you want a better answer than what I’ve posted here as I’ve got limited time at the moment.

  • Casper

    I didn’t say anything you wrote was inaccurate Thomas, I said you recieved an answer regarding the UVF then you moved the goalposts and started talking about the UDA forming in 1971.
    You asked about a date for UVF killings, both grumpy and I replied 1966 and you then claimed it wasn’t the UVF but just a bunch of murderers styling themselves on the UVF.
    So, if you style yourself on the UVF and you are a murderer then it follows that the UVF were murderers. All before the troubles began.
    Before I end here let me point out that all loss of life is appaling to me. None of it can be justified, but we can try to understand it so it never happens again.

  • grumpy oul man

    Tis not only the deaths(3) but the ingoing unionist violence between 1966 and 1969 , i have already detailed this bit you seem determined to ignore.
    I fail to see the relevence of your history of the UDA except that you obviously dont want to talk about the UVF which was reformed in 1964 by gusty spence at the request of a senior unionist poltician (see Gustys book, as a matter of fact i recommend you read the whole book) because of concerns about catholics moving into protestant areas.
    Seriously the unionist violence is not backed up by statistics! So the OV bombings never happened nor the harrasment and evictions of catholics, i suppose burntollet didnt happen and Brookfield st, hooker st and bombay st never hapoened all before the provos formed, Intresting.
    You keep saying goodbye in different languages and then returning.
    What do you think Adieu means.

  • grumpy oul man

    “SF supporters invariably agree exactally with everything the big dogs say” and the man who supports everything the DUP say thinks this is strange.
    If SF supporters are Shinnerbots does this make you a dupdroid.
    Oh by the way you acussed me and others of E flaging and when asked for examples you disapeared Standard operating procedure for you) now you have had a day or two to think about it , would you either care to prove your slur or apoligise.
    To be honest i expect neither from you but i thought i would give you yet another cahance to back up one of your claims.

  • Tochais Siorai

    I think the reason many Unionists don’t engage on here, with honorable exceptions to those who do, is that to put it bluntly, they feel uncomfortable engaging with themmuns. To seriously engage may be to begin a journey to understand the other person’s viewpoint and from there, it’s a short journey to being a Lundy and then we have a United Ireland by Christmas. Much easier to shout Shinner Drones and disengage.

  • Tochais Siorai

    Is it ‘YOU ARE A LIAR’?

    Do I get a prize?

  • Tochais Siorai

    ‘Maybe she forgot ?…..pure and simple……’

    Surely a First Minister keeps copies of all correspondence.

  • james

    “SF supporters invariably agree exactally with everything the big dogs say”

    For goodness sake – if you quote me (and use inverted commas) please do not add in your bizarre spelling. I do not write like that.

    “and the man who supports everything the DUP say”

    Not me, mate.

    “If SF supporters are Shinnerbots does this make you a dupdroid.”

    No. I don’t vote DUP. Don’t agree with them on much, either. I’m pro-choice, for instance.

    “Oh by the way you acussed me and others of E flaging and when asked for examples”

    This comment from you is a prime example of e-flagging (sectarian baiting).

    “you disapeared”

    Nope, still here.

    ” would you either care to prove your slur or apoligise.”

    Uhm… it would be quicker to find the few examples of your posts that are not ‘e-flegging’. Most of what ypu write are sectarian insults and, in essence, peeing on Slugger and attempting to make it a forum where unionists aren’t welcome.

    “To be honest i expect neither from you but i thought i would give you yet another cahance to back up one of your claims”

    Thanks. Please see above, from the top.

  • james

    “If you insist on quotes I disagree with I will certainly look for some james, but I’ll let you decide if you want a better answer than what I’ve posted here as I’ve got limited time at the moment.”

    Yes, please, on the specific quotes, and where you think they’re wrong. In your own time though – I respect that you are busy.

  • grumpy oul man

    So no examples of e flagging i see, i understand, (if so many of my post are E fleg they should be easy to produce) the mopish abuse is good i will give you that.
    And i have never seen you do anything but keenly support the DUP.
    and at least you didn’t disappoint me by proving anything.

  • aquifer

    Is advertising for an armed sectarian murder gang not threatening behaviour?

    Are the PSNI waiting for a complaint so that one of their Orange brethren can collect the name and address and tell the croppy to lie down?

    Passively Sabotaging Northern Ireland.

  • james

    Example of e-flegging:

    “SF supporters invariably agree exactally with everything the big dogs say” and the man who supports everything the DUP say thinks this is strange.
    If SF supporters are Shinnerbots does this make you a dupdroid.
    Oh by the way you acussed me and others of E flaging and when asked for examples you disapeared Standard operating procedure for you) now you have had a day or two to think about it , would you either care to prove your slur or apoligise.
    To be honest i expect neither from you but i thought i would give you yet another cahance to back up one of your claims.”

  • Thomas Girvan

    It wasn’t me who brought the UDA in to it.
    It wasn’t exactly a ” history of” just a context for their development from a self titled defence group to a criminal outfit who to the best of my knowledge have’n’t killed any Catholics for many years. Obviously all murders are deplorable.
    I am not sure about the 3 deaths which occured after Spence was jailed. I’ll have a look at Cain to shed some light. Burntollet is obviously a part of the troubles as was Hooker st Bombay st etc.
    To try to claim that there was an unbroken causal chain between Spence’s actions and the rest off the toubles is not accepted by me, nor is it jn most independent historical narratives.
    .I have alreadty cited two authoratative sources, if you are anot prepared to accept them than I can only assume that you choose not to as it doesn’t suit your own agenda.
    As they say in gay Paris
    “Il n’y en a pas si aveugle que ceux qui ne verront pas”

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Yes. No (but you should).

  • Casper

    Ok james things I totally disagree with SF leaders on. I haven’t the time or inclination to toil for hours to find specific quotes but even you can’t argue with these points.

    1. The armed struggle, killing people. It was wrong.
    2. Opposing an armed forces covenant. I would support that without hesitation.
    3. I’m pro-choice for women under any and all circumstances, SF are not.
    4. Gerry Adams saying he was never in the IRA. Not for one second do I agree with that.
    5. Mitchell McLaughlin trying to justify Jean McConville’s death saying it was not a crime. That is horrific to me. All the disappeared sickened me.

    I don’t have more time now but will come back to any of these points later with you if you wish, though I do hope you can see from this post that I do have my own opinions james.

  • james

    Well, Casper – fair’s fair. You have my apologies.

    There are indeed such things as shinnerdrones mindlessly & noisily buzzing about on Slugger.

    Clearly you aren’t one of them.

  • grumpy oul man

    I see disagreeing with you and pointing out that your arguments are not based on fact is E flegging.
    telling you that party supporters,support party policy is E Flagging,
    and asking you are people like yourself who always support the DUP the opposite of those who support SF, DUPdroids compared to Shinnerbots is E Flagging.
    and finally asking you for proof of E flegging is E Flagging.
    I think i’m still waiting for proof, because that wasn’t proof.

  • Hugh Davison

    Maybe Unionism is hard to argue for?

  • Hugh Davison

    Your last sentence is a good idea, given the weird way comments are sorted on Disqus. The rest of your grump is just that.

  • Hugh Davison

    I’ve absolutely no idea what Mike the First is on about (perhaps he could provide links for those of us who don’t live in North Belfast.
    When did Unionist domination cease?

  • Hugh Davison

    The ‘self-righteous liberally inclined keyboard warriors (yourself not included)’ should volunteer for retribution???

  • Casper

    That’s ok james, I joined here to share my experiences and learn from others. If we can open each others eyes a bit that’s a good thing.

  • grumpy oul man

    the three deaths i referred to were by Spence in the period mentioned,
    try reading some more historians, you will find out that your,
    IT WAS THEMMUNS IN 1969, is merely a self serving unionist narrative to explain their mopery..
    still with the foreign languages, you sound like Del Boy trying to sell someone a hooky microwave.
    and your the one who has trouble seeing what is in front of him.

  • Thomas Girvan

    So, basically there were no fatalities for a couple of years until what was accepted as the start of “the troubles”,
    ..mmm I think this is where I came in.
    Must go I’ve something in the microwave!
    Arrivederci!

  • Georfe Jungle

    Yes, she walks around with a wheelbarrow with all her correspondence at hand……………….

  • grumpy oul man

    So only fatalities count as trouble! house burning s, forced evictions don’t count,,
    very interesting and of course typical of the unionist inability to look at things in a balanced manner.
    3 time you have said goodbye.

  • Thomas Girvan

    I’m afraid that it is normally the case that historical statistics use fatalities as an indicator of civil disorder.
    I suppose it is a good barometer for analytical purposes. As an example, they refer to the number of Jews killed in WW2 as 6 million, however they don’t enumerate the number displaced, encarcerated or orphaned.
    I’m sure there were incidents of intimidation etc during the sixties, however as we live in a society which has been characterised by sectarian tensions throughout history that , unfortunately will probably always be the case.
    Of course this has applied to the rest of Ireland throughout the last century. Try googling “Bandon massacre” and you will find out about the treatment meted out to Protestants in Co,Cork. not to mention the various atrocities meted out during the Irish civil war.
    It makes for very disturbing reading.
    It might open your eyes and broaden your mind, if that is possible.
    I don’t know why you keep referring to my contribution in terms of being Unionist, are you incapable of forming an opinion based upon the realities or otherwise of a particular analysis without viewing it through the prism of the old stereotypes.
    I suppose it is a comfort blanket for people who are incapable of having their own long held historical predudices challenged.
    Everything is viewed as them and us, the tired old Orange and Green.
    My advice to you,,for what it is worth,is don’t try and rewrite history, instead it would benefit you to try reprogamming your own mind. Think out of the box!
    Ah well, parting is such sweet sorrow, but be reassurred,It is not goodbye, just Au Revoir!

  • grumpy oul man

    of course you would prefer if we ignored all the other unionist violence as irrelevant, it does of course feed into “the troubles started when they started shooting back”.
    It must be nice to only see what you want too see and close your eyes to the violence of your own side.
    and why do you find it so hard to say goodbye and mean it.

  • grumpy oul man

    People don’t use wheelbarrows to carry correspondence, things called laptops and smart phones are easier to haul around and all correspondence is electronically stored, accessible with a few flicks of a finger nearly anywhere.
    this wonderful technology started of in the last bit of the last century and has come into common usage.
    you may not be aware that the magic box you are sending messages on is part of this technology but it is.
    Wheelbarrows are so 16th century.
    Arlene should have checked her laptop any competent person (especially a trained Lawyer) should know this.
    So your excuse for her is bad memory and no wheelbarrow (no doubt she forget it ) , I think there is a straw behind you that you haven’t grasped yet.
    ,

  • Thomas Girvan

    Saying goodbye is never easy, but,as Humphrey Bogart famously said,
    “We will always have Paris”
    Slán.

  • grumpy oul man

    Will we always have Paris, brexit looms and who knows what the future holds.
    Salamat jalan.