Current Affairs Politics

Edwin Poots Turns The Knife On His DUP Rivals

It seems that Edwin Poots, the new head of the Democratic Unionist Party, is taking no prisoners in his contest with the demoralised followers of the former leader Arlene Foster and her would-be successor Jeffrey Donaldson. The Lagan Valley politician has smacked down any notion of reconciliation with his opponents by kicking them out of ministerial or committee positions at Stormont, elevating hardliners from the traditionalist wing of the party to their posts. By doing so he has completed the long-abiding revenge of the Paisleyite and Free Presbyterian faction in the DUP which saw influence gradually slip from its hands in the second decade of the 2000s, pushed aside by a mutually beneficial coalition led by militant-tuned-apostate Peter Robinson and a tightly knit group of defectors from the rival Ulster Unionist Party.

However today’s announcement, as well as sending a message to blow-ins and reputed moderates that Edwin Poots couldn’t care less for resignations by disgruntled members or criticisms by sceptical journalists, will no doubt have also caught the attention of a more influential audience. If, as reported, the fall of Arlene Foster and the defeat of Jeffrey Donaldson owes something to the backroom demands and threats of the Ulster Defence Association, the largest British terrorist grouping on the island and one long associated with elements of the DUP, then the upheaval at Stormont could almost have been designed to meet its political expectations. Particularly as the DUP has now made clear its intent to fatally undermine the Ireland/Northern Ireland Protocol while offering no real alternative beyond, by implication, moving the so-called Irish Sea border to the island of Ireland. Which of course fulfills the DUP’s original vision for Brexit as a mechanism to facilitate a partition 2.0.

This leaves pro-union opinion focusing on the possibility of a rebel faction in the DUP splintering off to join the Ulster Unionist Party or establishing its own organisation. On the face of it the first option seems the more likely one given that it is primarily the ex-UUP clique that is being pushed to the edges of the DUP. However, for all their supposed liberalism the former defectors and their associates might find a cold reception in their old home, especially as their ideological leanings place them closer to the politics of the late Ulster Unionist leader James Molyneaux than to the politics of the current UUP incumbent, Doug Beattie. Which might indicate that a pre-1994 UUP clone would be the more likely outcome of any split in DUP ranks.

Talking of Doug Beattie, the latest poster boy for moderate unionism has been forced to defend his attendance at an illegal loyalist parade in his constituency, an event which featured several hundred protestors led by masked militants holding terrorist flags marching through Portadown while the UUP MLA and the DUP MP Carla Lockhart looked on. Though the UPP boss denies seeing any paramilitary trappings during the demonstration – and indeed claims he was subject to abuse by the crowds – one is left wondering why he would would be present at a protest against the Ireland/Northern Ireland Protocol in the first place given the close involvement of violent extremists in the campaign.

66 comments on “Edwin Poots Turns The Knife On His DUP Rivals

  1. marconatrix

    My ‘like’ just means I appreciate the info. For us over in Britain it’s all a bit baffling at times, to say the very least. People who will readily fight the Brits to stay Brits?
    All rather sad really … 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think David Campbell and his cohorts on the LCC are getting to big for their boots. Calling for Simon Coveney‘s resignation I mean really what a bunch of clowns they really are.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Agreed, hoboroad. Mark my words, there’s a few relationships that are going to end in tears.

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    • I think it was quite astute of the Donaldson camp to publicly air that some of his supporters had been threatened by the UDA during the DUP leadership contest. The two-way inference was made crystal clear without needing to be articulated.

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  3. And Carla Lockhart is unfortunately the MP for Upper Bann and she is no longer a MLA.

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  4. To me the whole throwing Arlene Foster under the bus reminds me a lot of what Boris Johnson’s crowd did with Theresa May.

    At least on layer to what we are seeing might be a nasty game of having a woman spend the longest stretch of time trying to deliver the impossible and near the 11th hour sacking her in favor of “A Boy’s Club Member”-that way they can always write history to blame HER even in it’s Mr. Boy’s Club who actually had to deliver the “less than promised” outcome.

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    • notimportant

      Did it ever occur to you that that stuff is all for show?

      Theresa May is not a good person, remember. She was one of the pushers of Brexit. She had brought back empire nostalgia and the notion the British shouldn’t apologize for their many crimes against humanity around the world.

      Yet that “betrayal” towards her by the Boris faction fooled people into seeing her in a sympathetic light, which I’m sure will allow her to rehab her public image and reinvent herself the way we’re seeing with Republicans in the US who make public acts to defy Trump or condemn “Trumpism” or Trump supporters or whatever else. Many of them have become media darlings of the liberal leaning media and the liberal establishment supporters.

      Beware wolves in sheep’s clothing.

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  5. These look increasingly like death throes, to me. And no better man to be front and centre of it all than Edwin Poots. If you had to pick the least articulate and least sympathetic leader you could possibly imagine to head up unionism at this time, then you couldn’t do better than chose the bold Edwin – talk about straight out of central-casting.
    I would caution against falling for this talk of moderate versus fundamentalist DUP (all things being relative, of course). It’s not as simple as that, and much more threatening to the DUP because it isn’t so simple. Gregory Campbell, Nigel Dodds, Diane Dodds etc are all anti-Poots, and on no planet (not even a DUP one) could you class those people as moderates, relatively speaking or otherwise.
    In something of a defence of Doug Beattie, apparently he was actually stood quite a distance from the Portadown parade, in the company of a clergyman monitoring the situation. He should have had the sense not to have gone anywhere near it, given how it might be interpreted. But, as far as I can tell, he is in no way supportive of the protesters.

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    • Meant to say, given the (Westminster) personalities involved, the DUP war might actually be about Brexit: “How could you have been so stupid as to trust Johnston?” But the DUP daren’t mention their support for Brexit. Reminiscent of that episode of Fawlty Towers. 😂

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    • True, Beattie has claimed that he was an observer not a participant at the demonstration. Which is fine, but the optics is bad. Hence Swann’s non comment on the controversy. As for his claim that he would have similarly observed an illegal pro-protocol parade in his constituency if it took place. Colour me sceptical.

      As for the Stormont shenanigans. Looks like the Paisleyites are back with a bang. Which makes the rumours about Ian Óg jockeying for position should the Poots’ leadership fail even more interesting.

      As for the new First Minister nominee. That 2022 election seems to be the elephant in the room that is terrifying the DUP and others. What’s the chances of the DUP pulling Stormont down before we ever get to an election? An election they will put on the long finger forever and a day.

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      • You could be right about Beattie, ultimately only he knows. As for his “pro-protocol” comment: he was taking no chances there, was he? He might as well have said he’d have turned up to the landing of a space craft in his constituency. He’s hardly going to be tested either way.
        As for next year’s election, I said on here a while back that the DUP might well wreck the assembly rather than face the electorate. Still, they have now slimmed themselves down to their lowest common denominator (and in a particularly brutal fashion that hasn’t gone down well). Which I think is almost suicidal of them. The critical mass of unionism is long past the “Paisley days” at their height. And, even on that, the DUP only became the largest unionist party by moderating itself vis a vis the fig-leaf agreement that allowed them to enter the assembly. Add to these the fact that they keep being linked with loyalist paramilitaries who are despised by broad unionism. As I say, it looks like the death throes of unionism to me. Compare how many people are turning out for these demonstrations to how it used to be. The numbers are paltry.
        If Biden can put enough pressure on Johnson, and I think he can and will, then we’re going to see quite a bit of back-pedalling there, which will be very interesting. Biden has been around the block too often to be taken in by that crew in the UK government; he knows the likes of Johnson inside out, having beaten a similar type of charlatan to get to the White House; and, as well as the US being a guarantor of the GFA, Biden himself is emotionally attached to the agreement. Johnson will end up backing the protocol and unionism will have to accept it.

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        • Sorry, meant to say as well. Can’t see MLA’s wages continuing to be paid this time if the assembly is brought down again, so it will not be easy for Poots to sell to his team of MLAs. Talking tough is one thing, sacrificing your income is another thing altogether.

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        • It’ll be interesting to see which way the Alliance Party jumps if the assembly election does take place next year. Will they designate as unionist to take Deputy First Minister if they beat the DUP into second place?

          So far there’s not much meat to the rumour that some AP folk are looking to talk up their pro-union credentials to win over wavering UUP or DUP voters. Surely that would risk the considerable pro-unity vote the party takes at the election? Or any future vote should it designate as unionist after the vote in Stormont. The DUP isn’t the only party likely to face some dilemmas in the months ahead.

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          • Yes, hadn’t considered the Alliance position. As I’ve often said, people were content enough to sail along with the settled situation under the GFA and in the EU (be what you want to be etc.) but the DUP and Brexit have forced hard choices to be made. A similar choice on unionist or unity will have to be made by Alliance. And they’re going to lose a lot of votes whichever way they turn. FWIW, I reckon when forced to decide, they’ll go pro-unionist and split.

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  6. I see a Tory Grandee is advising Boris to have a Love Actually moment with Joe Biden. In the film a British prime minister tells a American president where to go. So says Lord Forsyth once described as Margaret Thatchers favourite piece of Blue Tartan. Please Boris make this happen this is just the UK needs right now.

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    • Frost is the real thorn in EU-UK relations at the moment. It suits BoJo to cast the EU as the bogeymen and Frost is facilitating that. But how long can that gameplay continue? Sooner or later normal relations must be reestablished between London and Brussels. Or us the Tory plan to have a permanent cold war between the British and the Europeans? Let Europe take the blame for all of Britain’s problems in perpetuity?

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      • Frost really has a neck like brass: “This protocol is shit. Yes, the protocol that I negotiated.” Strikes me that Frost is in much the same position as the dopey health minister Hancock, being kept around as a useful sacrificial lamb when needs must.
        Johnson may be able to cast the EU as the source of all ills for a while, but once the smoke from COVID clears I don’t think that’s sustainable. And he certainly can’t afford to piss off Biden, never mind piss off both the US and the EU. Biden is too wily to allow Johnson to drive a wedge between the US and the EU, and that’s without even considering the real politic of the US/EU relationship.
        I think Northern Ireland will eventually be left to dangle, the only question is when.

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        • It’s a pathetic situation he has put himself in (Frost). What he thought he was achieving by presenting it as you say is just baffling. And the message this sends out to other states who have to deal with the UK bilaterally rather than as a part of the EU is something else. Either the UK negotiated a deal and agreed it unable to understand or see that it was problematic, or they negotiated a deal and agreed it knowing that and intending to renege on it whenever was expeidient. Imagine a potential trading partner lining up to a trade agreement with Britain. Hardly the stuff to instil confidence, and as you say Biden is far too wily to be steamrollered by B Johnson. It’s shabby shabby stuff even by his standards.

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          • Exactly right. Every (freely-entered-into) agreement between nation states ultimately rests on trust. Show yourself, as a nation, to be untrustworthy and life gets an awful lot harder.
            I think with Brexit, Johnson et al were so consumed with hitting the artificial deadline they had publicly set themselves that everything was rushed and pushed through with half a notion of “well, if this part doesn’t work out we can always blame the EU and/or renege on it”. I mean, lost in the swirl around the protocol and COVID is how badly the UK government let down the fishing industry, the very people Gove kept waffling on about protecting throughout the negotiations. Since Brexit, entire fishing communities in the south of England and north of Scotland have virtually collapsed. Likewise, fruit and vegetable farmers in the south of England now have crops rotting in orchards and fields because the cheap (foreign) labour they relied upon is no longer available.
            On a broader note, and probably an over-simplification, I think at least one of the many problems with Johnson’s administration is that he may be one of these people (bosses) who can’t bear to have underlings who are a lot smarter than he is, so he deliberately surrounds himself with mediocrities. A good boss recruits and encourages the very best of talents she/he can get to work for them, delegates extensively to them, and basks in their successes, while being careful to lavish them with praise. Simply put, a bad boss is too eaten up with jealousy of his/her smarter underlings to even consider giving them top jobs, never mind letting them have their head.
            I mean, who in their right mind would have tasked a civil service mediocrity like Frost to head up such delicate negotiations as Brexit entailed? Of course there’s also, as I mentioned earlier, benefits to be had from always having a fall-guy or two waiting in the wings, such as Frost and Hancock, for when the shit hits the fan.

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            • Completely agree, there’s a smell of amateurishness about the Johnson administration that’s very telling. I’m no fan of Thatcher and her administrations, but, say what one likes, they were significant political figures in their own right and even if ideologically tilted to the right they actually could run a state (for better and worse, often worse). And Frost is just… abysmal.

              Re your point about untrustworthy as a state or nation, do you think ultimately there’s a political price the UK is going to pay more widely further down the track?

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              • Not much in the short-term, I’m guessing, but if they continue along the same path there’s no doubting that the UK will pay a heavy price for being untrustworthy. Internationally, the Johnson administration’s attitude will most likely be considered something of an aberration for a while and excuses will made for it (they’re amateurs; they’ll soon learn; blah, blah blah). But not for very long. And an accelerating factor will be that the “sensible” world has had recent experience in this regard with Trump and his administration. Also, it depends on who the British piss off first. If it’s Biden, then the ramifications could be swift and heavy.

                Liked by 1 person

              • Also, this playing to the local gallery by cutting the UK’s 0.7 foreign aid contribution will go down like a lead balloon at the G7, none of whom (with each in a similar economic situation, and sometimes worse, because of COVID) have considered cutting their contribution.

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          • My guess is that Johnson probably underestimates Biden…….A common mistake over the last few years.

            Also most of the Tories suffer one very large blind spot with regards to how Brexit and NI would affect UK-US relations: They assume nearly all US sympathy for Ireland comes from people who have Irish roots. That was never really true: Not even when anti-Irish prejudice was at its peak (mostly between The Great Famine and US Civil War)-There were always Hibernian sympathizers in the US who didn’t have any known or likely Irish roots.

            The GFA is highly prized by the Democrats also because it was an example of a case where a Democratic President managed to do something good on the world stage, and without starting a war. Because it involved a problem-Northern Ireland-with a reputation for being particularly intractable and to some even “hopeless”. Because it disproved a sort of nihilism that said some parts of the world were more or less doomed to be stuck in cycles on conflict forever.

            The Diplomatic Corps are profoundly invested in the GFA because the process became a model for other places in the world. They are afraid that if the GFA was undermined, that there could be ramifications for any number of other places where that model has been applied or where they thought it might be applied in the future. From their point of view, anything that undermines International Diplomacy to that degree is a large risk factor for another WWI style scenario…..They tend to believe that complexity of what they do is not well understood by the public…and to an extent that’s true. Believe me, the Diplomatic establishment has the ears of nearly every powerful Democrat and many Republicans in Congress.

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            • I agree entirely.
              The British really don’t have a leg to stand on re the Protocol – they negotiated the thing, and not only agreed it in Downing Street and the Commons, but trumpeted it.
              The best that Frost can come up with in defence of the UK position is that the EU shouldn’t be so “purist”. In other words, “the EU shouldn’t be seeking to implement the rules and procedures that we both agreed upon”.
              Stand by for some fig leaf being agreed, such as a relaxation on the rules regarding pets being moved between Northern Ireland and Britain, to provide cover for a climb-down by Johnson and his cronies. Then fall-guy Frost will be moved (ie sacked).

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            • notimportant

              You’re falling for a shell game.

              Democrats do not care one iota about the Irish. They literally never talk about what Catholics have been going through for decades now or anything that would show that Irish natives are in fact a suffering indigenous group. Anything that brings legitimacy to the indigenous Irish claim on Ireland is completely ignored. Irish nationalism is demonized and increasingly associated with the far right and white supremacy. Irish Americans are increasingly demonized both for our current role in the US and our historic one. They want a united Ireland for one reason and one reason only: influence and simpler government.

              They care nothing for truth commissions. They care nothing for compensating victims of the violence. They care nothing for religious rights or indigenous Irish rights. Most people in the US know absolutely nothing about Ireland, especially younger people. If they know of The Troubles at all, it’s as an entirely sectarian conflict no different than the false narrative pushed about the Middle East. And now they are deliberately demonizing the Republic of Ireland, its religiousness, and especially Irish nationalism.

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      • There are two obvious factors in Boris Johnson scapegoating the EU. One is that his own “run” as prime minister is going to be finite. British PM’s have a tendency to be remembered well by history even if they left office with basement popularity rating. (Churchill is a good example of this.) This is NOT to say Boris Johnson is guaranteed the same outcome, but he could be hoping for it. Also the man has always had a flip “devil may care” mentality. He may care more about short term “glory” than the history books down the road.

        As for a “Cold War between Britain and Europe”? The world HAS seen this movie before. Henry #8 my friends? This is not the first time England divorced a “pan European” establishment, and last time around it took about 150 years to level off.

        To me just watching BoJo debate Mary Beard really made several things clear about the man. I saw him as absolutely capable dealing with the EU and an opposition party as if it was…..one of those crazy stories that pop-up in stories from Ancient Greece!!

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  7. I see Malachi O’Doherty writing in the Belfast Telegraph says he wouldn’t put it past Boris to call a border poll in order to rid himself of the Northern problem once and for all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It would take an SF First Minister to make that a possibility. Can’t see it happening before that. Once SF leads the executive all bets are off 😉

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    • Johnson would probably do it in a heartbeat, except for the ramifications re Scotland. It’s one thing to go down in British history as the guy who “finally solved the Irish problem”, another thing entirely to be remembered as the guy who oversaw the break up of the UK.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Talking to a friend yesterday who thought that Johnson likely wouldn’t do it now because the chances are it would be lost and the result would be no and that would set back unity by a generation! Whereas give it five or ten years…

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        • BTW. obviously BJ isn’t a nationalist – well, not an Irish nationalist or republican, but again there’s no real sentiment there re NI.

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      • notimportant

        Honestly, why would he or any other member of the elite care?

        I would bet money there will be a united Ireland, independent Scotland, and independent Wales in the near future entirely to give the illusion of independence and indigenous rights of the Scottish, Irish, Welsh, etc while the global elite use the distraction to exert the kind of influence they never could have as an official UK government.

        There will be a push for density all over the islands, for diversity and inclusion and “green” solutions that somehow strip indigenous land rights “for the good of the human race” and regulate everything. And people will vote for/eat all of it up because of what it will be disguised as.

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    • notimportant

      Bingo! Somebody who sees what I’m talking about.

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  8. If Boris’s political attitudes are anything like the way he runs his personal life ie he has a long history of getting rid of people who can no longer be any use to him it would not surprise me if he dumps the North.

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  9. Re the EU/UK talks, on its main six-o’clock news programme the BBC’s correspondent (not Laura Kunseburg) in voice dripping with sarcasm just said, “Government ministers seem genuinely surprised that they’re expected to abide by the terms of an agreement they signed up to.” 😂

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  10. Did anybody see the BBC Spotlight programme last night? Getting rid of the Protocol may not be as simple as the Unionists seem to think it will be for them. Even if they get a majority of the seats in the next Assembly election they won’t be able to remove the protocol in it’s entirety only certain limited sections of it a lot of it will still remain.

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    • Yes, yet another total con job by the DUP in promoting the idea that the Protocol can be arbitrarily dumped. The only way the Protocol can be removed is if it becomes unnecessary. And it only becomes unnecessary if the entire UK goes back into the Single Market (as opposed to the EU). Whatever happens there’s not going to be border posts at Newry (or anywhere else) again.

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      • Saw Frost interviewed on the BBC six-o’clock news yesterday evening. (When I say “interviewed” he gave a couple of lines on the state of play at the EU/UK talks.) First time I’ve seen him speaking to camera, so no idea of his usual demeanour, but he seemed a bit chastened to me. He certainly bore no resemblance to the bullish character his recent newspaper pieces seemed to portray. As I say, yesterday may just have been his true demeanour.

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  11. I see Joe Biden has publicly rebuked the UK Government accusing it of threatening the peace process on his visit to attend the G7 conference.

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    • I saw that. A US rep officially delivered a “demarche” no less (no, I hadn’t heard of it before either 😀). The seriousness of this is amplified by the fact that it was leaked to the media.

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  12. It looks like Biden is going to make sure Boris keeps to the deal he has signed up to. I’m looking forward to seeing further developments.

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  13. And an anonymous Tory MP told Politico: ‘America should remember who their allies are… unfortunately he’s (Biden) so senile that he probably won’t remember what we tell him anyway.

    ‘Unless an aide is listening I’m not sure he’s going to remember for very long.’

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    • This from The Telegraph: “Joe Biden should keep his sneering anti-British, anti-Brexit views to himself”. An opinion piece, I presume.

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      • It’s quite strange the attitude there that no one can express an opinion about how Britain acts – not least the President of the US. Actually bizarre.

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        • Well, unless said opinion is glowingly supportive, that is. In which case it will be lauded from the rooftops.
          It’s an extension of, or more accurately a hangover from, the Trumpian era of aggressive, chest out, macho, hard-man, bully boy politics. Which actually belies, in my view, an underlying sense of inferiority and lack of confidence – or at least a knowledge that you’re in the wrong.
          The Telegraph is, of course, Johnson’s “previous” employer and, according to Dominic Cummings, he tends to take his lead from that paper. It is also, if I’m not mistaken, home to Michael Gove’s wife. These being only a couple of examples of the incestuous relationship between the media and politics in the UK which is profoundly damaging to proper democratic accountability.

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          • +1 It’s a fear response. It’s such a pity, there’s a lot of good aspects to Britain, there’s no necessity for this chest-beating attitude. And it’s counterproductive because it is so easily found out and shown to be hollow. Years back in London I worked for a couple of years for a company that – unbeknownst to me when I arrived had just been taken over by an arm of Murdoch. Who had sold it to him? Why Michael Heseltine’s company. It’s almost beyond parody.

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          • notimportant

            Did you miss the whole “Obama is anti-Anglo” thing or something when he called out BP for polluting the Gulf of Mexico?

            The quote calling Obama anti-Anglo was from David Cameron in 2010. None of this started with Trump or is because of him.

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        • Some of those people just have an image about the kind of people in the US with any real sympathy for Ireland, that’s about 100 miles off from the reality.

          BoJo himself seemed pleasantly surprised by his meeting Biden. I’m certain Biden’s choice to emphasize issues where a lot of the common ground between the US and UK, on the first day and maybe even the first visit, was strategic.

          However, it seems likely that a lot of Bojo’s expectations were shaped as much by his family, educational, and political backgrounds, as anything he could have reasonably learned about Biden’s political style and attitudes.

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  14. Sarah Vine works at the Daily Mail. She met Micheal Gove when they both worked as Editors at The Times. She was Arts Editor he edited the Comment section.

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    • Thanks hoboroad, dunno what made me think Telegraph, but as soon as I saw your post I realised my mistake. This, incidentally, goes some way to explaining why the Mail has been highly critical of Johnson for the last while. It’s obviously batting for Gove.

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  15. Tamam

    Yes I believe you are absolutely right about the Daily Mail’s support for Gove

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  16. Like

    • The knowledge, interest and affection for unionism is simply not reciprocated by most in Britain. Again, living in the UK for a fair period, having a parent from England (and one who was CofE originally) and with many relatives with no link to Ireland whatsoever living there, that was clear as crystal. In some ways my sympathies are with unionists over this in the sense that the fundamental power relationships have been made very clear and they’re not pretty if one’s allegiance is to London. But Brexit was always an English (to some extent British) project and that was the big problem – England and Wales voted to leave and that vote meant something and IMO had to be respected even if not much liked, Scotland and NI did not, and those votes meant something. Scotland is still a work in progress but the protocol is in a way the outcome of that vote too and what it meant in the North. And for Brexiteers, or some, collateral damage was… well… collateral damage. In a way Hartley-Brewer’s honesty is sort of refreshing.

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      • I agree entirely with you. To put it bluntly, for the vast majority of those in England who even realise that NI is part of the UK, unionism is viewed in much the same way as a pain-in-the-arse distant relative who you can’t quite bring yourself to tell to fuck right off because you know they adore you. So you just sort of plod along dropping hint after hint hoping against hope that they’ll someday they’ll go. And hoping that until then they’ll park themselves in a corner somewhere, neither seen nor heard. The NI relative fully realises this, but is determined to hang on for grim death regardless.
        Somewhere along the line unionism has to take onto itself some self-respect and self-confidence, or be pushed out the door.
        I too find Hartley-Brewer’s admission refreshing, though not at all surprising. Brexit has always been a Little Englander project.

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      • Realistically it was an instant given that the English from all sides of the political map are were always going to have a different idea of what Britain should be than that Ulster Community from all ends of the political field.

        Brexit was a poorly thought out vehicle for English grievances, but I’m willing to accept that some English grievances are valid. For example, I’m baffled as to why England can’t have a Parliament as Wales, Scotland, and Northern IReland do-Sure that concerns about it becoming to powerful could be resolved by strict limits on its powers and locating in in a city like York away from London. The whole idea that the North of England is marginalized is VERY real as the history and current figures make clear.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Hartley-Brewer is another one that works for The Telegraph.

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  17. It’s painful when one of your (now erstwhile) musical heroes turns out to be an absolute thick-as-a-plank, knob-head. Step forward Van Morrison (or rather, please don’t Van).
    To be honest, I had mentally moved Morrison from my “Hero” file last year, and filed him instead under “Tosser” when he started sounding off against COVID restrictions. And last night only proved, painfully so, how right I was.
    To be even more honest, regardless of the COVID stuff I’d have found it very difficult to be sharing any sort of common ground with Paisley Junior, who it seems is also a fan of Morrison (though I suspect his knowledge of Morrison’s work probably doesn’t extend beyond Brown Eyed Girl).
    Why do we tend to automatically think of “artists” as peace-loving, reasonable, and reasonably-intelligent people, anyway? It’s not as if there isn’t plenty of evidence to the contrary. Hitler was a painter of some talent (though history likes to pretend that he wasn’t). Same with Mao Tse Tung and Stalin who were both accomplished poets. Extreme examples, I know. But for every artistic trio responsible (between them) for the deaths of somewhere north of 100 million people, there are scores of other artistic types who, regardless of what their music, poetry or painting once led us to believe, turn out to be – let’s say – not quite who we thought they were. I’m sure you each have your own list. I certainly have mine, and it keeps growing the older I get. Artistic talent, it seems, is not too fussy about the nature of the vessel into which it is poured.
    Anyway, here’s goodbye to Madame George and Cypress Avenue; to Sweet Thing and Beside You; maybe Van just outgrew his Ballerina in The Way Young Lovers Do. Or maybe he always was a tosser and we just didn’t notice. 🥲

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    • Oh FFS, now we have that monumental prick Eric Clapton giving us his tuppence worth on COVID. Drawing on his extensive medical training, experience and research Clapton says COVID is a scam and people are being “brainwashed” into being inoculated. He says the jab, “Messed up my immune system” … “I lost the use of my hands for about three weeks”. He claims people are being “brainwashed” into being inoculated and talks about the dangers of people not being able to have children after being inoculated.
      This is the guy who announced on stage a few years back that he was going to have to stop playing guitar as his hands had become too painful. The same guy who spent two (or was it three?) years in the 70s locked away in his house gobbling up so much heroin he was unable to leave. He then replaced the heroin with alcohol for a few decades. But his current medical problems, if they exist at all, are entirely down to the COVID jab of course. Clapton grandly announces that he has now stopped watching TV and relies solely on the internet for his information. Great stuff! What next from him then? That 5G masts are the root of all our ills? As they say in these parts, there’s wiser eating grass.

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  18. notimportant

    Did it ever occur to all of you that maybe this is all deliberate? Maybe the British who are influencing the worst of the unionists deliberately want the worst of unionism to take over and basically force the hand of nationalists or maybe a foreign power acting as “mediator” to conquer the orange extremists once and for all? So the UK can be rid of Northern Ireland and eventually Scotland and Wales on an official level but the elite who are in control of England to begin with can then buy influence in those places in a way the official UK government can’t. Same with Brexit.

    I would genuinely bet money that this stuff over Ireland and the protocol is all deliberate and intended to destroy opposition to the UK being in the EU. The UK probably wants a united Ireland because a country owning land in colonies doesn’t matter like it used to. Instead, thee elite can just do it legally by using the EU structure to buy influence in a united Ireland. They can’t leave Northern Ireland because of unionists so they’ll push for things to boil over once and for all in NI and then wipe their hands like “we tried but NI voted for reunification with the Republic, so good luck!”

    Remember that Brexit was supposed to bring back manufacturing and jobs for the UK working class. Well has it? Is it ever going to? Or was it just a deliberate ploy to divide the working class along political and increasingly racial and ethnic lines while doing absolutely nothing about offshoring of jobs and takeovers of local companies and businesses and government and media by huge conglomerates and powerful people with global reach and a global mindset.

    You see literally the exact same thing happening in the US and being exported to the rest of the Americas. In 2016, Trump wins an election the left claims is stolen and interfered with by Russia. This following 8 years of partisan bickering during Obama’s presidency that conveniently blocked the most important changes he promised from happening. There were the poorly covered up scandals of the Obama administration and especially Hilary Clinton and her associates. There was the poorly covered up scandal of what the DNC did to Bernie. There were all of the Trump scandals and the deliberate propaganda by the media and campaigns to scapegoat him and his supporters for literally everything that ever happened. Maybe Trump, like Boris, was deliberately made President or PM to bring people who oppose globalism out in the open. Did this ever occur to anybody? I mean every single thing that’s happened in the US and UK and now Ireland and elsewhere has been so comically easy to uncover and so deliberately politicized and made partisan. Why does nobody ask why this is? Remember that Trump and Boris are both products of privilege and of elite boarding schools and that exclusive world.

    Contrast that with “progressive” Macron in France who is as authoritarian as they come in some ways. Bans Muslim garb etc. Is constantly interfering in France’s former colonies and especially Africa. Refuses to issue French apologies for atrocities and imperialism despite running on a progressive platform. Remember that he was the hero against a very Trump-like political figure who was running for PM. Or with the American Democrats/left who continue to prove to be every bit as authoritarian and corrupt as the right while making themselves out to be champions of progressivism and etc. Ask yourself why is it that those on the far left for example keep pushing universal basic income and free healthcare etc/free college education that in reality will do absolutely nothing to bring people out of poverty rather than pushing for jobs and less corporate control of everything? Why are they pushing for offshoring jobs to “help” Latin America rather than helping Latin America form their own companies to make their own products to complete with US and European and Asian products? Why are they pushing for “socialism” and “communism” and big government everywhere while being rich/comfortably wealthy capitalists themselves? Why are they buying up land and resources everywhere and pushing top down government “for the people”?

    Remember that European companies still own or have a hand in the vast majority of resource and mineral rights in Africa and have done nothing to divest from that. Remember that tech companies are increasingly taking over in those same former colonies under the guise of environmentalism and going green and green tech and all of these things, while charity organizations and NGOs push “revolutionary” farming and water management methods.

    Well the elites in the US are doing the exact same thing to Latin America. At the same time that China and Russia are increasingly trying to basically recreate their former empires and being allowed by those same Western world powers to increase their influence over those former territories. Same with Iran in the Middle East and an India they’re trying to remake into a far left, secular country.

    You all keep mentioning how comical the Tories and unionists are, just like in the US with our politicians. Did it ever occur to you that maybe that’s by design? What better way to divide and conquer than everything that’s going on increasingly in every single country around the world? Especially the US, literally the only country in history founded on more than just controlling territory but on ideals that no other country has ever been founded upon. Ideals that btw are inspired by the indigenous federations as much as by the Quakers and ancient Greeks.

    The exact same people doing these things in Africa and the Middle East and Latin America, etc are the ones doing everything they can to make the US the world’s scapegoat. They are the same people deliberately bringing Muslim refugees into Christian areas while they help destroy the Muslim countries these refugees come from. Did it ever occur to you that maybe this is to destroy all religion and the identity and community that any given religion gives a people? To ensure we fight based on differences they exacerbate and politicize as much as humanly possible? To destroy all independence both individual and regional?

    You all will get a united Ireland (as you should) but will it really be yours? Not if you don’t push for local independence and individual rights. I fear all of this is deliberate and inclined to use diversity and “inclusion” against basically everybody standing in the way of globalism. Using refugees and immigrants as pawns in an attempt to destroy their culture and identity and remake the countries they come from. Using all of us as pawns against each other while destroying independence and resistance to globalism worldwide.

    Global imperialism disguised as “progress” and humanitarianism.

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  19. French President Macron makes his
    position clear:
    “We have a protocol,” he continued. “If after six months you say we cannot respect what was negotiated, then that says nothing can be respected. I believe in the weight of a treaty, I believe in taking a serious approach. Nothing is negotiable. Everything is applicable.”

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    • Things could get even trickier and time-consuming for British lorry drivers at Calais.

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  20. Macron and Biden seem to be getting on like a house on fire. Nice to see the leaders of the USA and France getting along so well. I suppose the Americans will need a strong and stable new ally in the EU what with UK falling apart before our very eyes.

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    • Agreed, though I’d be surprised if the main US ally doesn’t turn out to be Germany rather than France. Lost count of the number of times that Angela Merkel has struck me as the main “adult in the room”. Sometimes she’s seemed like the only one.

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      • Sure. Everyone likes Angela Merkel. However I’m not sure she can override the historical factors, especially now that she’s stepping down. The US could very well have a closer relationship to Germany that its generally had since WWI, however whenever the US gets “colder” to Britain it gets “warmer” to France-That tendency literally goes back to the 1770’s.

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