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.

196 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.

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    • 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.

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              • 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.

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      • 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.

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    • 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.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I take it you never heard the Stories about how Ivan Morrison treats his fans?

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      • I always knew he was a “curmudgeon” but that’s way different from what he’s at now.

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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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  21. As I’ve said from the outset, this talk of the unionist community being distraught and up in arms over the Protocol is over-blown nonsense. This from today’s Guardian: “A new survey by Queen’s University [Belfast] shows that 74% of Northern Ireland voters want a closer relationship between the UK and the EU.”

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    • What percent of those polled are unionists? Also what if different faction? It could be that those more activist in their unionism think differently about Brexit.

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      • Polls here in NI are done strictly on a representative basis re religion, political leanings etc, Grace (particularly when carried out by the likes of Queens University). So I imagine the percentages would be very close to 50%/50% unionist and nationalist, or whatever the latest societal breakdowns are (there was a census carried out earlier this year, so maybe broad stats from that were used to judge the breakdown – though not the answers, obviously).
        A quick glance at constituency breakdowns after the Brexit poll showed that a substantial number of unionists (amongst those who voted) voted to Remain in the EU. It would have been impossible to achieve a 55.8% vote for Remain without that being the case.
        Also, working on the basis that fanatics turn out to vote far more readily than non-fanatics, it can be safely assumed that a lot of the unionist Remain people sat at home and didn’t bother to vote in the referendum. Bear in mind that throughout the UK no one thought that the vote would go to Leave. So there was a widespread sense of “it’ll be all right on the night”, including in NI.
        The DUP are genuinely angry at the Protocol, because they were so blinded by their ambition to kill the GFA – or at least, because of changing demographics, the potential border poll aspect of it – they didn’t see the likes of the Protocol coming. But they are equally acutely aware that the blame for what has happened rests ultimately with themselves for backing Brexit, supporting the Tories, and trusting Johnson. So their antics are driven equally by attempts at deflection and genuine anger. Their pretence that unionism in its entirety is ready to take to the streets is absolute hogwash. A rent-a-mob fringe element, maybe. But they are minuscule in number and represent no one.

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        • Interesting that any poll would make sure the number were representative but not give a breakdown!!!

          That said, while many elements of the Unionist Community are and have been utter hate-mongers. I personally don’t believe reticence to have one’s citizenship changed and thus end up under a different government one didn’t grow up learning about and watching, a difference health system (I see the HSE as having real upsides over the NHS, but it’s also Byzantine and likely daunting to anyone who grew up with the NHS), a different education system (including a language requirement they never had) and more…..that even being more than “default” about that reluctance doesn’t make you a fanatic.

          I wouldn’t see everyone who wants to keep the nationality they grew up with and feels strongly about it in the category of much of the DUP. To me somebody who supports a man like Ian Paisley and strongly could well be a fanatic, but Unionism all by itself is not.

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          • I was quoting a newspaper reference to the poll, not the poll itself, which of course did give a breakdown.
            Here you go:
            Testing the Temperature 1 – Data Tables
            What do voters in Northern Ireland think about the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland?
            Polling undertaken by LucidTalk on behalf of Queen’s University Belfast’s ESRC-funded project Governance for ‘a place between’: the Multilevel Dynamics of Implementing the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland
            https://www.qub.ac.uk/sites/post-brexit-governance-ni/
            March 2021
            Data Tables
            Methodology: Polling was carried out online for a period of 5 days from 24 March to 28 March 2021. The project targeted the established Northern Ireland (NI) LucidTalk online Opinion Panel (13,316 members) which is balanced by gender, age-group, area of residence, and community background, in order to be demographically representative of Northern Ireland. 2,392 full responses were received. A data auditing process was then carried out to ensure all completed poll-surveys were genuine ‘one-person, one-vote’ responses, and this resulted in 2,176 responses being considered and verified as the base data-set (weighted and unweighted). Then in order to produce a robust and accurate balanced NI representative sample, this base data-set of 2,176 responses was then weighted by gender, community background and additional demographic measurements to reflect the demographic composition of Northern Ireland resulting in the weighted data tables and weighted results set i.e. the final results – 2,156 responses (weighted) and these are the results presented in this report. All data results produced are accurate to a margin of error of +/-2.3%, at 95% confidence. NB all surveys and polls may be subject to sources of error, including, but not limited to sampling error, coverage error, and measurement error. All reported margins of sampling error include the computed design effects for weighting.
            Data Weighting: Data was weighted to the profile of all NI adults aged 18+. Data was weighted by age, sex, socio- economic group (using data from the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency – NISRA), previous voting patterns (i.e. turnout probability), constituency, constitutional position, party support and religious affiliation. This resulted in a robust and accurate balanced NI representative sample, reflecting the demographic composition of Northern Ireland, resulting in 1,961 responses being considered in terms of the final weighted results – these are the results presented in this report. Data was weighted using a raking algorithm, in R, otherwise known as iterative proportional fitting or sample-balancing. Raking ratio estimation is a method for adjusting the sampling weights of the sample data based on known population characteristics.
            Two weights were calculated. These are the normal weight and the trimmed weight – with the trimmed weight being the one that we use in the results tables shown in this report. The trimmed weight is preferable as it reduces the influence of outlying observations. The total amount trimmed is divided among the observations that were not trimmed, so that the total weight remains the same. The weights are trimmed at 4 and 0.1 meaning that no observation is allowed to exceed these limits of relative importance.
            For this poll-project weights were used as follows: These were/are calculated from data such as the 2016 EU Referendum, the 2015 and 2017 Northern Ireland (NI) Assembly Elections, the 2017 NI Westminster election, the 2019 NI European Election, the 2019 NI Westminster election, NI census estimates, and electorate election figures for gender, age, religion, constituency etc. plus previous polling information and results from LucidTalk NI polls in the last 5 years for party and constitutional position.

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  22. I hope Stormont falls this week. A new election is called and SF and APNI are the two top parties with the SDLP in third with the DUP fighting the UUP and TUV for top dog in Unionism for 4th place.

    Liked by 1 person

    • If SF come out of an election as top dog with SDLP in third, then there’ll be a strong argument for a Border Poll – and not on some imaginary protocol border in the Irish Sea. I wonder if Poots and his cohort are about to be introduced to the concept of “unforeseen consequences”.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Incidentally, I hope ASF is taking note of how sorely he was missed. Comments on this at 71 and still climbing. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        • I am! I just wish I had the time to write.

          Plus, I absolutely HATE the new post editor in WordPress. It actively discourages quick posts or typing up a few thoughts and publishing them. Remarkably poor in terms of usability for the average blogger like myself. An improvement that has proved to be a disaster for blogging across WordPress.

          I tried typing up something yesterday on the Dublin Bay South shit show of a by-election and just gave up after five minutes. It was just too difficult to write in one fluid stream of thought like with the old WordPress editor.

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  23. It might be a bit of fun to try to predict the broad outcome of an NI election (obviously we can only judge by the currently prevailing situation).
    I reckon SF would be relatively clear winners, for two reasons. 1) The drift has been in that direction for a long time now, anyway 2) But I also think that with the nationalist electorate very conscious of this drift, and very angry at the prevailing situation, the SDLP may well be badly squeezed by SF.
    I think it would be a very close battle for second place between Alliance, and the Ulster Unionists with the latter just edging it thanks to a “Beattie bounce” and desertions from the DUP.
    Alliance third, then, with an increased vote.
    The DUP, reduced almost entirely to a Free P vote, and suffering from something of a mini-boycott by angry fanatics who couldn’t bring themselves to vote for anyone else, would limp in a humiliating fourth.
    The SDLP, badly squeezed by SF would come home fifth

    Overall, I think (added together) the “pure” nationalist vote will outscore the “pure” unionist vote, maybe by as much as 3%/4%. But how to interpret the Alliance vote? How will Alliance itself interpret it’s vote? That could be the next battleground, from which Alliance will emerge far from unscathed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The temptation for Alliance to redesignate as a unionist party if the Deputy FM office was for the taking would be hard to resist. Politics, after all, is all about the win. Naomi Long Deputy FM and default leader of the pro-union bloc at Stormont?

      But then, how would all those pro-unity/soft nationalist Alliance voters react to their votes suddenly becoming unionist ones? And what would Alliance do at the next Stormont election? Redesignate as Other just for the election campaign? Hardly.

      In any case, I’m cautious about an SF First Minister this time around. The DUP could still go hellfire and brimstone to get the unionist vote on-side. Fear, hatred, apprehension could still get the pro-union bloc out at the polls in sufficient numbers to make it tight.

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      • I should add, the SF team at Stormont is hardly inspirational, Conor Murphy and some others aside. SF might well fail to attract the votes it needs to pull it off.

        This option needs some cautious thinking.

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      • Let’s remember that the DUP only managed to become the largest unionist party by essentially softening its position from the fire and brimstone stuff, which had reached a ceiling. Besides that, the DUP’s antics over the past few years re Brexit and all that has come with it, including the street disorder, has really pissed off an awful lot of unionists. If anything, it has reminded unionists just what the DUP actually stands for. The Ulster Unionists stand to gain from that now that the party has a leader who seems unafraid of taking a different position from, and going head-to-head with, the DUP.
        Alliance is really going to be in a severe bind, as you say. I too think it will, initially at least, plump for designating as unionist if the opportunity for DFM arises. But it will cost them an awful lot. As would designating as nationalist. Sitting on the fence has nearly had it’s day, too.
        I agree with a point made the other day (by WorldbyStorm, I think it was) which essentially was that going too early for a Border Poll could be a major mistake. If it fell just short – which is a distinct possibility, to say the least – it could push the opportunity for another one back by God knows how many years.
        Another point, if SF gain power both North and South, then we’re into yet another ballgame.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I dunno. Maybe I’ve seen too many false dawns to be hopeful of SF taking the FM role in an early election. They could end being fellow victims with the DUP if the SDLP, UUP and Alliance successfully blames SF and the DUP for any early vote at Stormont in the middle of Covid-19 crisis and the customs dispute.

          Symbolically it would be great for SF to take the FM office. But what if the cost is a reduced vote or number of MLAs overall? That would undermine the symbolism.

          Additionally, I wouldn’t underestimate the DUP. Even a badly wounded DUP. They have their own well-honed party machine. One that does get out the votes. And apprehensive pro-union voters do tend to gravitate to those with the loudest Lambeg drum. Especially if the election was a bad one. Surpassing the rhetoric of feeding crocodiles and so on.

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          • Yes, no doubt the blame game will have an impact, and the smaller parties will seek to exploit that, probably with some (but limited) success. But still, in the current climate, the SF vote is far more solid than that of the DUP. Between Brexit, the Protocol, and the Foster business, it’s hard to over-estimate how much damage the DUP has done to itself.
            The DUP became the largest party within unionism for two reasons: it moderated it’s stance; and the Ulster Unionists were outflanked and imploded. Now, plus all of the above problems, the DUP has reverted to its former self with Poots; and, whether it proves to be true or not, the Ulster Unionists appear to have a relatively strong leader.
            All educated guesswork, of course. And only my sense of things at the moment.

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            • I forgot about the TUV, which will also provide a home for some of the DUP voters.

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  24. SF has asked Westminster to introduce a Irish Language Act. It is now up to the Secretary of State to decide whether Stormont stays or not.

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    • A smart move by SF. Puts the SoS/British government alongside the DUP as potential blame-carriers in the event of a collapse.
      Would the absence of a functioning Stormont Assembly help, hinder or make no difference to the UK government vis-a-vis the protocol?

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  25. The Westminster government will probably get the DUP of the hook they have got themselves on. Just like they did with abortion and gay marriage. But what is the point of having Stormont if Westminster keeps coming in to pass legislation Stormont can’t?

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    • I’m not so sure they will. Would the absence of a Stormont Assembly and Executive help the UK government re the Protocol?

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    • Yep, you were right, hoboroad:
      “Northern Ireland avoids crisis election as UK government promises to introduce Irish language act
      Northern Ireland has avoided a crisis election after the UK Government promised to introduce Irish language act in a late-night deal. Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald will now nominate a deputy first minister at Stormont.”

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      • Looks like SF have outflanked Poots and co. 😂
        David Blevins (Sky’s NI Corr) posted this on Twitter a little while ago: “Several DUP MPs and peers have written to leader Edwin Poots expressing concern about political developments and urging him to stall the nomination of Paul Givan as First Minister until there is wider consultation.”

        If Stormont falls, then the DUP will clearly be to blame.

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        • Per my above post, the DUP letter is now on David Blevins’ twitter feed.
          It was signed by all DUP MPs, with the notable exception of Van’s singing partner, Paisley junior. Also, as far as I can tell, by all DUP peers.

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  26. Givan is now First Minister
    O’Neill is now Deputy First Minister

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  27. Very few DUP MLA’s in the Stormont chamber. Bedlam in the DUP party meeting according to Tracey Magee of UTV.

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    • Arlene Foster: “And it all looked so easy from the sidelines, Edwin. Didn’t it.” 😜

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  28. Will we have provisional DUP and the real DUP?

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    • Oh without a doubt, with a slot set aside for when the Continuity DUP emerges from some rural, God-fearing, ultra-hypocritical backwater to metaphorically smite down all those who have strayed from the path of righteousness (which will be everyone but themselves, of course).
      Yippee, 19th century here we come. Can’t wait.

      Liked by 1 person

      • 19 century? It seems to me that hard core Orangeism as we know it is a thoroughly 20th century phenomena. It also seems the 20th century and now 21st have been a lot more into “ideological purity purges”. The Victorians for all their sins were somewhat more willing to start “ultra broad tent” movements where nobody was sure that it was agreed on what “the cause” was all about.

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        • It was the DUP we were discussing, Grace, which isn’t entirely synonymous with “Orangeism”.
          But never mind, you’re right, of course, on the general point. The Orange Order was such a placid, benign, big-tent organisation and positive influence in Ireland right up until the 20th Century. And on the Victorians, you’re absolutely spot on again. The cheek of lying fuckers like Dickens and Zola for constantly complaining about the lot of the ordinary man, woman and child of that era. All of it totally made up. I’m a Little House on the Praire fan, myself. You too, I would guess. 😂

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          • It seems you are a big fan of twisting people’s words. Do any people you know actually use qualified arguments? Or is a nefarious subtext always assumed?

            (Note to self: It’s hard to make any qualified statements, with people who are always looking for hidden meaning.)

            As for LHOTP? Don’t remember reading it, so can’t really comment.

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            • Oh, please accept my humble apologies Grace. I thought you were saying this: “It seems to me that hard core Orangeism as we know it is a thoroughly 20th century phenomena.”
              And this: “The Victorians for all their sins were somewhat more willing to start “ultra broad tent” movements…”.
              I can only imagine what you were ACTUALLY saying got lost in translation. 😔

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              • Actually I don’t see how you could have honestly read that into my words.

                How could any of those Unionist outfits be what they were when the UK controlled the whole island once the Republic existed and ICW and partition had happened?

                Also unless you’ve a serious penchant for black and white thinking, I don’t see how suggesting that some very negative phenomena are indeed full products of the 20th and or 21st, could be taken to imply everything before was perfect. By the same -extreme (Il)logic- wouldn’t you also have to assume every activist who opposes nuclear weapons also thinks penicillin and photovoltaics are evil?

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              • Grace, I merely quoted your words back to you. And answered the specific points you were trying to make.
                What you were suggesting with your examples was that human nature had somehow regressed during the 20th and 21st century. Which is nonsense.
                Human nature neither regresses nor progresses. We are and always will be driven by the same base emotions, desires, irrational loves and hatreds, tribalisms etc as we always have been. The difference between the 20th and 21st centuries and any other is that technology had progressed (and continues to progress) and this progression included the ever-increasing ability to reach and kill one another in ever-increasing numbers. We will always find new excuses to kill one another, or employ old excuses (or variations upon them) to suit our purpose. It’s the ability to do so that has changed, not the desire.

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              • Funny as I never said human nature “regressed in the 20th and 21st”.

                I’d say it’s pretty obvious the 20th century brought some pretty dramatic changes good and bad not just in terms of technology but how people think. I don’t believe it was ever as simple as saying human nature “progresses”, “regresses” or “never changes”. People don’t think and act exactly as they did in Ancient Greece and I’ve little time for dogmas that say all changes are good or else they must all be bad.

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  29. In the 1980’s the Orange Order used to boast of having 100,000 members. Now I doubt it has 10,000 members these days. It’s very much a busted flush Drumcree caused that. There used to be some status in being a Orangeman in the Unionist Community not anymore and they only have themselves to blame.

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    • Exactly right. If the Orange Order appeared relatively benign for a while during the 20th century it was only because, by extension, it ruled the roost in Northern Ireland through its umbilical linkage to the ruling Ulster Unionist Party. When the foundations of the UUs power were shaken it (the Orange Order) reverted to type. Drumcree was the culmination.

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  30. Now Edwin has gone.
    The DUP dream team should be Sammy the Streaker and LondonGregory

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    • Yeah, poor Edwin. Like a dog that chases cars, he went after the leadership and when he got it he didn’t know what to do with it.

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  31. Sammy Wilson a leader for Unionism with nothing to hide.

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  32. I watched a TV discussion last night during which the panellists failed to mention that Donaldson, Poots and Givan are all reps from the same constituency, Lagan Valley. I’m wondering how the coup and counter-coup will play out for each of them at this (local) level.
    Struck by how one of the pundits on the programme, a guy from the News Letter (not Sam McBride, who is actually a very good journo) came across as even more hardline than the DUP. Crazy convoluted stuff from him. Very strange.

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  33. So, all of 20 days Poots lasted as leader. Pity Roy Castle isn’t still around.

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  34. notimportant

    This is exactly what I’m talking about.

    Edwin serves his role as the boogeyman (and I’d bet money will be rewarded for it) that helps show the DUP’s true colors. SF takes the opportunity to finally pressure Westminster to do the right thing re: the Irish language and forces DUP into a corner of their own making. Stormont is saved and a reunification poll seems likely.

    Doesn’t that seem just a tad bit convenient?

    It strikes me as really odd the way the DUP type of unionism is portrayed as basically a bunch of hicks with impotent rage. Remember these people support a global power that was built on corporate greed and globalist imperialism. Same with the Tories in the UK. These people would sell out their own grandmother for money and power. What makes you think they have any ideological purity whatsoever?

    These politicians on the far right seem so stupid and comically inept right? But politicians aren’t stupid. They have some of the sharpest advisory teams in the world who know how to make their political careers have as many lives as a cat.

    In the US we are finally seeing people who are completely fed up with government corruption finding and exposing dark money networks and global connections on both the Republican and Democratic sides the likes of which we only used to imagine. CCP associated businesses, Russian oligarch associated businesses, Middle Eastern oil money and theocratic regimes that have their hands in it and fund completely illegal dark money networks in US politics. Israel funding migrant advocacy groups in Europe and the Americas, corrupt Ukrainian oligarch businesses connected to US politicians and laundering their money through US politics.

    What makes you think the UK is any different? Soros has already been caught repeatedly interfering in UK politics and even in Ireland. The US far right and far left trying to influence the abortion referendum and other issues in Ireland. That the international left is pushing for migrant housing and against protections that give indigenous Irish people preference when it comes to assistance is fact, and I’m sure the right and left will interfere with things like the global minimum tax that would cause taxes to increase on the tech corps and other conglomerates that are doing major business in Ireland.

    But why is that? Do people really think the wealthiest and most unethical billionaires and other rich globalists have somehow grown a conscience when it comes to the migrant crisis, class issues, or climate change? These are people who literally build cities in the wilderness to never ever deal with us regular people. Globally.

    Or are they merely trying to buy influence and power in every single country on Earth, and more importantly buy land and resource (including water) rights? Why Ireland and the UK? Well the climate is completely ideal for dealing with the future climate crisis, and the UK is a global power cash cow. That’s the case in much of Europe but especially the east and north, which just so happens to be the other areas in Europe these globalists are focusing on.

    They’ve got their hands in every level of “green” tech, including the mining, in farming and water supplying methods, in real estate and land and water rights, in medicine and engineering and technology, and in the politics and media of every country on Earth. They have business and political dealings all over the globe in a way that will allow them to control literally everything while they build these secluded “smart” cities in deserts and jungles and other places exclusively for the super rich. Cities that will be probably the most expensive real estate in history and require an insane amount of resources.

    Everybody who gets into politics these days is in it for money and power. How do you know somebody didn’t make Edwin an offer in exchange for playing the boogeyman role?

    The most suspicious thing to me about this whole thing though was how much like an Antifa riot the riots in Belfast were. Blackbloc, backpacks, uniformity and controlled chaos. How do we know nobody is paying these kids to riot? Maybe people in influential positions have something to do with the drug sweeps or with the loyalist drug gangs who got raided in those sweeps? Drug gangs and other criminal organizations care about the almighty dollar over everything else. Even Neo-Nazi skinhead organizations in the US push drugs with cartels and black gangs. Who’s to say the loyalist drug gangs aren’t being paid by influential people to get those kids to riot? Remember all the collusion that happened between them and the British government. Why wouldn’t they sell out their own communities?

    I’m telling you, you need to follow the money and connections in all of this. The rich and powerful literally never do anything just to do the right thing, and they don’t have allegiance to any country or region or ideology. I have no doubt you could find dark money connected to every major player in this whole fiasco and in UK and Irish politics. Watch Edwin’s name obscurely pop up in connection to some kind of business deal in the future or something. You just know Arlene’s will.

    All of this is designed to keep us as divided as humanly possible while globalists take over every aspect of life and government. We’ll be tenants no matter what country we call home, living in crowded cities in the few inhabitable areas left in each region in the decades to come, which will of course be controlled and owned by the global elite. Who will live in these hyper isolated smart cities with private security on the level of current national military.

    The only way to stop these people from taking everything from us is by exposing their dark money networks and connections regardless of political ideology and forcing governments to make foreign lobbyists/think tanks/NGOs and all foreign money in politics illegal. Make political charities illegal. Make having any connection to this toxic ecosystem of money and influence in politics grounds for removal from office. Beware groups that sound like they’re “for the people” yet always somehow have connections to dark money or are staffed by privileged kids who don’t live any of what they talk. People over profit isn’t political and doesn’t belong to the right or left but to the people. Neither does respecting the sovereignty of nations and of indigenous peoples of those nations no matter what their race, ethnicity, religion, or politics.

    ASF is completely right to preach unity with loyalists in a united Ireland. We all need to unite across every single barrier no matter what country we call home before it’s too late and we’re herded like sheep into a future where we have literally zero control or power over anything. Any group or ideology seeking to divide people these days is doing so on behalf of the power structure in exchange for money and power and influence. They must be countered and ignored, without violence. Anybody who encourages violence against their political opponent is doing so on behalf of the power structure and selling their own people down the river. Unite and convert your supposed enemies to the greater cause that will in reality benefit you both. Loyalists don’t want to feel powerless just like those who want the Irish to have the power in Ireland. Those loyalists who just want power and to stay the dominant group will be exposed for what they are if both sides embrace truth, reconciliation, and unity. Real unity without Westminster influence.

    Remember, the enemy of your enemy is not your friend.

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  35. So do you oppose Intergrated education in the North as George Soros seems to be a big fan of it?

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    • notimportant

      I oppose interference in any sovereign country. If you all want integrated schools, you should have them. But nobody should force you to do anything or be allowed to influence anything from outside your country.

      The fact that George Soros even butts his old self into the business of Ireland as if he’s an expert or is the rightful ruler is a problem. You need to get his and other foreign money out of your local and national politics, whether Ireland or the UK.

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  36. You bring up a interesting point the DUP and other Unionists obsession with money. Notice now it’s all about how much the Irish Language Act will cost. David Trimble choose to keep his share of the Nobel Prize money unlike John Hume who gave his to charity. It’s true what they say when it comes to a choice of God or Mammon Mammon always wins.

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    • To be fair, I think the money aspect has nothing to do with the DUP’s opposition to the Irish Language Act, it’s probably one of the few excuses they can think of.
      This is a strange thing to say “… the DUP and other Unionists obsession with money”, particularly when tied to this “when it comes to a choice of God or Mammon”. It can hardly be argued that unionist politicians are the only ones fond of a “brown envelope”. So what exactly do you mean by it?

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    • Still can’t work out what you’re trying say here, or why you seem reluctant to be more precise.

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  37. I notice the USA have yet to appoint an Ambassador to the UK? I wonder if Joe Biden will send a member of the Kennedy family to the Court of Saint James?

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    • If so, it would hardly be the first Kennedy to be appointed to the position (wasn’t mafia-Joe there for a while?).

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  38. Yes and Caroline Kennedy was US Ambassador to Japan under Obama. And Jean Kennedy Smith was US Ambassador to Ireland when Bill Clinton was President. Managed to get a bit part in the film Micheal Collins.

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    • You’re quite the Kennedy fan, it would seem. What are they like in the choice between God and mammon?

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  39. Hoboroad

    Oh I would say Pro money but then again it’s what you do with it counts.

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    • Well, I’m no expert on the Kennedy’s but expert enough to know that philanthropy is the one thing they’re not famed for.

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  40. I see Kate Hoey has been saying again that Ireland will be leaving the EU soon. When is someone going to call out high jump Kate on all her lies? She didn’t even get a large audience for her stupidity rally in Newtownards last night. Ian Paisley had 5000 masked men marching through that Town in 1981 I doubt they had 10% of that last night despite all the free publicity from Ben Lowry.

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    • Yep, how that one ever fooled herself, never mind the Labour Party, into believing that she wasn’t a Tory is beyond me.

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  41. I think she is on record calling for a United Ireland. She went to London and was in the International Marxist Group sold the party paper around the Town. So she was a bit of lefty then. Then joined the Labour Party was still thought of as a Socialist so it took her some time to find a safe seat under Kinnock. It always amazes me how as those on the far left get older the more right wing they become.

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    • Me too. I raised that very point on here a while ago. I noticed just the other day yer woman who was an out-and-out Marxist until fairly recently, then went all UKIP/Farage, is now sitting in the House of Lords as lady something-or-other. Is it the outer extremes of politics that attracts these people rather than (or at least more than) the actual ideologies involved? A sort of in-built dictatorial bent? Then again, how many extreme rightists ever move to the extreme left? Off the top of my head, I can’t think of any. Strange.

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    • notimportant

      See that’s what I’m saying. Both far left and far right share the same xenophobic views but when they’re in the far left they’re seen as harmless. In reality the people were always the same and merely using causes for their own ends.

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  42. Claire Fox she was on that GB News the other night spouting the usual nonsense. I wonder what happened to her sister Fiona she was a bit of a lefty too. GB News reminds me of the Tv comedy show KYTV with all the technical blunders and right wing views. It’s very funny to watch but I guess Andrew Neils rich foreign backers didn’t intend it to be so.

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    • Yeah, that’s her. Can’t bring myself to even look at that GB News. The supposed respectable news is becoming bad enough. Watched the BBC national news last night (the teatime one, pushed back an hour or so because of the football). Top item was the upcoming England v Scotland match, various reports on which lasted at least 8 minutes, and that’s no exaggeration. After this, other news included 11 people dead from COVID in the previous 24 hours, election upset by the Lib Dems, and so on. Then rounded off by another 2 minutes on the big upcoming match. It wasn’t even as if the BBC was screening the England/Scotland game. FFS, I love football but who on earth decided those priorities. If nothing else, it reminded me why I tend to stick to Channel 4 news.

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  43. It seems to be run like Fox News in the USA. The hosts on Fox News receive daily memos on what today’s talking points are. The GB News talking points seem to be BLACK LIVES MATTER are a Marxist group. Stonewall has achieved so much for gay rights and should now stop supporting trans rights. They bang on about the same subjects morning noon and night. Just the same as in the USA where the ACLU and Liberal Democrat’s seem to be the main targets for Fox News.

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    • Not “news” at all then, just opinion from a narrow, right-wing perspective. I guessed as much. This is only the beginning, too. If it follows a similar trajectory to Fox News it’ll soon be into Goebbels territory.

      On a not totally dissimilar theme, this from yesterday’s Financial Times is (scarily) interesting:
      Vladislav Surkov: ‘An overdose of freedom is lethal to a state’ | Financial Times
      https://www.ft.com/content/1324acbb-f475-47ab-a914-4a96a9d14bac

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    • notimportant

      Have you seen the ACLU lately? They’re the complete opposite of the civil liberties defenders they were founded as.

      And BLM is a Marxist group. They say so themselves. And they’re grifters who have gotten rich off of it while giving nothing back.

      Movements don’t need organizations or rich “allies”. Black people have and will create their own movements over and over until they no longer need to. They don’t need a corporate one like BLM to speak for them. Most of their chapters are suing the main group.

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  44. Yes they have only one opinion for every subject ie very right wing. GB opinion would be a more accurate description for it. Every right wing hack in the British press has been on it. I guess there will be circuit of these people going around and around Talk Radio and LBC now they have a TV Channel of their own.

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  45. Okay, a few questions. Once Donaldson is installed as party leader and, let us presume, wants to be First Minister, he will have to become an MLA. Does he resign his parliamentary seat and be co-opted into a seat vacated for the purpose by some current DUP MLA, or how otherwise does he manage that? To become First Minister, at some point he must also have Paul Givan resign, which would then throw us back to last week’s scenario of the DUP and SF nominating first and deputy first ministers. Will this go smoothly, or will Donaldson make demands re the Irish language? Possibly demands that he knows can’t be met? Was the DUP planning last week to let the executive fall over SF’s insistence on the Irish language, but Poots wrecked this by nominating Givan? Will Donaldson deliberately make demands that can only result in the executive falling?
    Personally, I fail to see any advantage to the DUP in this tactic. In fact, a major disadvantage would be them taking the blame for bringing down the executive in the middle of a pandemic. And then there’s the electorate. The DUP would be destroyed if there’s an election in the near future. So are they also planning some sort of boycott of the elections that would follow Stormont’s collapse? Have they given up on Stormont altogether? Are they hoping to bring about change to the protocol by exciting enough violence over the summer months? Or is the plan for Donaldson to be installed as party leader and First Minster and then business as usual at Stormont? I doubt it!
    Yet I really can’t see where the DUP are hoping to go in the next few months, new leader or no new leader.

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  46. He will have to resign his seat and Lagan Valley is not a safe seat. The Alliance party came within 6,500 votes at the last election. I could even see the UUP run Doug Beattie splitting the Unionist vote and letting Alliance have the seat. There are no easy options left for the DUP whoever is in charge. If Donaldson wins he can fully expect a baptism of fire. He is said to be more interested in scrapping the Northern Ireland Protocol which of course is a waste of time.

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    • Yep, though it’ll be hard for wee Jeffrey to forego the kudos of being an MP. And neither will be helpful to him that Poots and Givan are also Lagan Valley reps. There’s bound to be some blowback there.
      On another note, it’s interesting that Jim Allister was speaking at that rally at the weekend, with not a DUP rep to be seen.

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  47. Little Jeffrey could end up with no job and with nothing much to show for it if he brings power sharing down. The British Government is planning on making moves on the Protocol in the next few weeks. I can’t see them deliver anything of any real use to anybody. The Protocol is here to stay and Unionists better start getting used to it.

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    • That’s my reading of it, too. I’m still astonished at the lack of foresight re Brexit and its implications on the part of the DUP. It wasn’t even as if, when the mist began to clear, there weren’t numerous occasions, and plenty of excuses they could have used (not least that NI voted against it), for them to have jumped off the train. Talk about self-inflicted wounds.

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  48. john cronin

    when dublin and belfast majority black and moslem, you will see what a small problem norn ireland was.

    “London Paddy”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well you’re a regular Enoch Powell! Joking aside, Ireland has one of the highest immigrant populations per capita in Europe and so far we’ve seen near zero trouble with it and near zero concern with it. Bar the anti-vax loopers and other assorted nutjobs playing at far right politics on YouTube and Facebook. I think you see this island nation too much through the filter of yonder Dysfunctionia. The UK we are not 😉

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      • The more diversity we have the better.

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      • notimportant

        That’s all well and good. My point I’m trying to make in my comments though is that the people pushing pro migrant policies and for more and more diversity for diversity’s sake either are or are connected to the very people eroding the sovereignty of the countries these migrants come from. You have Western dark money even in places like Mali or Ghana these days but especially the Arab world and elsewhere in MENA. A great example is the Western teaching being forced on Islamic countries under the guise of “aid” such as the I think it was ten million the US gave Pakistan for “gender studies” as part of the Democrats’ Covid relief bill and the many NGOs pushing pro abortion, pro LGBT legislation in those countries. All while Western corporations go on a building spree even in places like Afghanistan.

        Soros to use one example funds both pro abortion, pro LGBT groups and anti abortion anti LGBT Islamic groups in the Middle East. Why would he do that if not to cause division?

        I used to see things as left vs right wing too but the things I’ve learned showed me that that distinction only actually matters to voters and regular folk. The people in power have no ideological purity or morals. Shoot, the whole idea of political parties is a European construct yet you see it in every free nation on Earth, and with the exact same results. Dark money uses that system against the very people it supposedly represents. No different than the colonial era.

        The idea is to get all of us to see sovereign countries as just land and real estate and land as being owned by humanity as a whole with no regard to indigenous rights or culture or sovereignty.

        That guy is clearly blaming the wrong people and seeing things through the wrong lens but so are you if you see everything as left or right. People on the left and right are probably both profiting off of deals involving migrant housing or other issues they pretend to care about. Can you honestly tell me Ireland’s land and politicians aren’t for sale to the highest bidder?

        Shoot, the turmoil and upheaval that caused the migrant crisis was at least partially caused by the West. We had to intervene in sovereign countries like Syria under the guise of “human rights”. Just like in Iraq, and Afghanistan, and Yemen, and Libya, and Tunisia, and Egypt, and so very many other places where we installed the dictators in the first place.

        That’s not just an oopsie or a coincidence. It’s deliberate. The EU pretends to be all moral yet it doesn’t force member countries to take on refugees from their former colonies and instead just splits it up into quotas for every country to share. All while it grandstands towards the countries some of those migrants come from and tsk tsks them about being “backward” and “conservative” or whatever else. If they’d have just stayed out of things in the first place, there wouldn’t be a migrant crisis. There wouldn’t be any housing crises anywhere in Europe. Enoch Powell Jr in the comments there is right in that if Dublin and Belfast become majority African or Muslim (maybe he meant or Middle Eastern, since there are many African Muslims) then there will be serious issues but he doesn’t seem to grasp that’s entirely because the elites want the different races and genders and religions and orientations fighting each other. There’s no reason diversity needs to be a problem anywhere, and the people doing everything they can to avoid finding solutions to problems are doing so for a reason. Right left or otherwise. They want us all divided in every single country on Earth.

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    • Ha, ha, how ironic of a London-based Irish person complaining about immigrants in the UK. 🤦🏻‍♂️

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  49. Yes it can only be a good thing most of the people who come to the North from elsewhere fit in well and contribute much to the communities in which they live.

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  50. I’m tired of hearing from Unionist politicians of how the NIP is effecting the local economy negatively. It’s time for representatives of businesses big and small to step forward and tell the truth about what is going on in the North. Some are doing quite well others notice little change but that’s not what you hear in local media.

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    • The protocol provides the best of, yet another, world for Northern Ireland. In fact, if you recall at the very outset Arlene Foster said as much and praised the opportunities it provided, before a quick volte face.
      As for local media, they are a large part of the problem. The amount of airtime and credibility they give to this loyalist outfit and its every utterance is disgraceful. Plus relatively tiny protests, albeit threatening and sometimes violent, are covered extensively and presented as though widespread and representative of the general public mood. The protocol is invariably referred to in similar terms to how the DUP talks about it, all downsides and negativity. No mention at all of the positives.

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  51. If the LCC is so important then don’t the public have a right to know who it’s members are? I remember the press being keen to name any member of the IRA Council is it not about time we knew who these men who want to plunge the North back into violent conflict are?

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    • That would border on journalists acting like journalists, and we couldn’t possibly have that.

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  52. Latest from the DUP circus, via the News Letter’s Sam McBride on Twitter: “Edwin Poots tells Good Morning Ulster he received assurances from Brandon Lewis that there will be “very significant” changes to the NI Protocol which would be a “significant win” for unionists – but then admits “we haven’t got detail” of what those changes will be.”

    And this:
    “Sources close to Sir Jeffrey Donaldson have for the third time briefed that he’s prepared to collapse Stormont, signalling a new phase in which both the DUP & SF see walking away from government as a negotiating tactic.
    The striking thing about what Sir Jeffrey Donaldson’s camp briefed @StephenNolan is saying he will collapse Stormont unless there are “no barriers to trade” – that means walking out of Stormont unless the NI Protocol is effectively scrapped, which is a high bar.”

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  53. This is worth a read, re partition:
    The unionists left behind in the new Irish State
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-57488544

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  54. Boris isn’t going to bin a part of a International treaty just to keep the DUP happy. He was elected on a Get Brexit Done platform and he has a 80+ majority. The deal has been done the DUP just have to wise up and accept that reality bringing down power sharing will actually strengthen the Northern Ireland Protocol.
    Little Jeffrey should remember what his political mentor Enoch Powell said about all political careers ending in failure.

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  55. Seems to me too that bringing down Stormont will actually strengthen the protocol. In the sense that a few whining DUP MPs in the Commons, equivalent to a dozen or so grains of sand on a beach, will be much easier to ignore than a first minister and his cohorts in a devolved assembly.
    Besides anything else, what makes the DUP think Johnson could care less whether or not Stormont is up and running. I’m guessing its collapse would evoke no more than a shrug in Downing Street.
    I can only imagine this is yet another attempt at blame shifting re Brexit: keeping the focus off themselves and putting it on Dublin, the EU, and London.

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  56. They got rid of Mrs May who was bending over backwards to please them. And installed Boris who doesn’t seem to believe in anything apart from himself. Will historians look back in years to come and wonder in awe how the Union lasted for so long considering it’s great defenders are so absolutely incompetent and inept?

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    • Re your question about historians in years to come, this from Trainspotting came to mind: “Some people hate the English. I don’t. They’re just wankers. We, on the other hand, are COLONISED by wankers.” 😂

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  57. Are Unionists the greatest victims of wishful thinking on the entire planet?

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  58. It all reminds me of the Anglo Irish Agreement of the 1980’s. Massive street protests civil disobedience all the Unionist MP’s resigning from Westminster a day of action which brought the North to a standstill. Did it move Maggie to change her tune? No in fact it just made her more determined to see it through. I think in fact the AIA was the beginning of the end and we will see the complete end of Unionism soon.

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    • I’m the same, so reminiscent of those times – except in one crucial respect. There is nothing remotely like the same level of opposition as there was then. Nothing at all like it. No matter how much the DUP huff and puff, they’re not going to get anyone bar the usual suspects out on to the streets.

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  59. This is very good on Frost’s appearance today at the foreign affairs select committee:
    https://amp.theguardian.com/politics/2021/jun/22/they-might-have-got-more-brexit-sense-out-of-frosty-the-snowman

    Liked by 1 person

  60. It’s the little boy who cried wolf when it comes to Unionist Politicians. If Stormont is brought down the DUP will reap a bitter harvest at the following election. SF will top the poll people don’t vote for bitterly divided parties. The DUP will be lucky to come 4th.

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  61. Simon Hoare, Conservative MP for North Dorset and Chairman of the Northern Ireland Select Committee took Sammy Wilson to task on the Protocol on BBC’s Newsnight last night.
    Here’s a snippet of what he said: “Sammy all I would say to that is if the businesses and farmers of my constituency, which many of them wanted, were given the opportunity to have access to the internal market of the United Kingdom and the single market of the EU, they would bite your hand off, they would bite of my hand.
    “They would bite the hand of anyone who is offering it. It is now time, I think, to focus on the positives, iron out the problems, focus on rebuilding the economy and let’s get, all of us working together, the prosperity agenda as envisioned in the Good Friday Agreement felt by all sections of the Northern Ireland community.”
    Wilson appeared with a “Ulster is British” poster as a backdrop, and, I kid you not, a pound of sausages in his hand. How anyone within shouting distance of their right mind would even consider voting for an eejit like that is beyond me. It really is.

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  62. You have got to ask yourself the question do the DUP want the North to succeed economically? It’s beginning to look like they don’t NIP gives the North the best of both worlds trading with both the EU 300 million customers and the UK 60 million customers no wonder Mr Hoare’s electorate would bite his hands off.
    And Jeffrey Donaldson said he would support leaving the EU even if it cost the North 40,000 jobs. The DUP don’t seem to care about anyone’s else’s job only keeping their own.

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    • And, as you said yesterday, it’s high time local media started pointing out the multitude of benefits to be had from the protocol.
      Something else re Donaldson that I neglected to mention a few posts previously. As leader of the DUP MPs at Westminster, he above anyone else is responsible for the blind faith support they afforded the Tories throughout the Brexit process, and ultimately the delivery of the protocol. Could this have been a factor in Poots beating him to the party leadership?

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    • History is replete with example of factions that DON’T necessarily want the community they booster to succeed economically.
      The bottom line?

      IF the DUP doesn’t want the North to succeed economically and maybe even would rather it not, that’s not half as usual as some people (particularly those versed in Marxist theory) would have you believe.

      Another even bigger possibility is that the DUP is not being terribly rational on some issues. They may still believe that somehow Britain will be able to “provide” better than the EU. Despite the big talk, they may think that ultimately the UK will make sure that certain things come through for them as long as they keep their connection tot he UK.

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      • The problem for Unionism is the UK can no longer afford to carry any freeloaders. If the subvention is really 10 Billion pounds a year the hard working taxpayers on the mainland may decide to jettison the Six Counties. I’m glad to see business people speaking out about the benefits to them from the Northern Ireland Protocol .We are not all down our local supermarket fighting for the last loaf of bread as the DUP would have people believe. I was in a supermarket yesterday and it’s shelves were well stocked and the place was very busy.

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        • The other problem, then, is whether the Republic feels it can afford 10 Billion a year.

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          • The Question is it 10 billion a year or is someone cooking the books? The UK Government won’t release the figures. During the troubles the figure was 3 Billion a year which you have got to admit is a big jump.

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            • The UK government releases the figures every year (where did you think the £10 billion figure came from?).
              See details below:
              “Nine of the twelve UK statistical regions (the exceptions are London, South East England and East of England) carry a deficit. At nearly £5,000 per capita, Northern Ireland’s is the highest, followed by a £4,300 per capita fiscal deficit in Wales and £4,100 in North East England.”

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      • The mistake being made here is to imagine that “loyalty to” or “love for” a country is merely transactional. If only it were that simple. Grace touched on something when she mentioned that the DUP is maybe “not being terribly rational”. Often, love for a country is, on the face of it, the most irrational thing imaginable. Not least, when it is not reciprocated. For instance, Black people in the US have, and continue to be, treated abominably. In a wholly rational world you would imagine that they must despise the place. Yet, while rightly complaining about how they have been and are being treated, if asked 99.9% of Black US citizens will declare a genuine undying love for their country.
        It’s not that the DUP doesn’t want Northern Ireland to succeed economically, it would be ludicrous to think that is the case. THEIR position is that the Protocol somehow diminishes the position of Northern Ireland in the UK, and no amount of economic benefits that may flow from it can, to their mind, justify that diminution.

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        • But the lies they tell to others about there love for the UK is often unbelievable. You see it all the time William Crawley a nice enough man said a million Unionists live in the North not true and someone called into Talkback and told him so. At least he corrected himself. Unionist politicians going on about being apart of the worlds 5th biggest economy not true again they have dropped places in the rankings since Brexit. And then there are the Unionists who believe in Unicorns the mythical Catholics who will vote for the Union in any upcoming border polls. I suppose if you can belief the Earth is 6,000 years you can belief anything.

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        • It’s not the black population in the US that particularly resembles either community there really..nor is it any whole “race” that I have in mind for eerie resemblance to what you see in parts of Northern Ireland.

          More importantly there are a lot of “local big dog games” out there that have absolutely nothing to do with patriotism whatsoever. They show up among Communist, Fascists, Mafiosa, and all ideological stripes. It’s not usually all that patriotic as it often doesn’t have the country’s best interests at heart. Such things can show up anywhere, but it tends to happen more easily where political dissent is either not permitted or where voting falls almost entirely along some religious, sectarian, ethnic or racial line and/or where people tend to endorse the “local big dog is always right” ways of thinking.

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          • I wasn’t talking about what you had in mind, Grace (God forbid). Nor was I trying to compare the plight of anyone in any part of Ireland with that of Black people in the US – how on earth could anyone make that comparison. It was the possible lack of rationality that you touched upon on your way to somewhere else that I mentioned – thankfully on my way to somewhere else entirely.
            Loyalty to a nation can be, and usually is, totally irrational. The loyalty of Black US citizens to their nation is a perfect example of such irrationality (and unrequited love, to put it mildly, for country). So to try to attack unionists for being loyal to a state using economic and other transactional arguments is wasted breath. Of course they want NI to succeed economically, but even if it doesn’t succeed economically they don’t see that as a reason for leaving the UK.
            As always, you miss (or deliberately avoid) the point entirely. And heaven help anyone who dares mention to you the plight of Black citizens (or indeed any non-white communities) of the US.
            And incidentally, when did patriotism ever necessarily equate with a country’s best interests? And who gets to judge, except history maybe? Absolute hogwash.

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            • It seems obvious some things observed from the DUP aren’t all that rational from a POV of wanting to remain in The UK. If that were the only object I would have expected more effort to appeal to people across the political map in England and other parts of the UK. Certainly more moderate unionists do that.

              The truth is that I only correct you about 10% of the time when you write something I can spot factually incorrect: otherwise it would take up to much space.

              As a for a Patriot having his or her best interests at hear? I’d say that’s part of the definition. It’s true economics aren’t the only thing that matters. However for an area the size of Northern Ireland it would have to be a big consideration for making any political set- up work out.

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              • Sure thing, Grace. Am I perchance “factually incorrect” when I allude to your country’s abysmal treatment of Black and other non-white communities?
                Sometimes I’m so struck by your absolute lack of understanding of how everyday people work I wonder if you’re by any chance a nun, cloistered away in a convent. Are you in fact Sister Grace? 🤔

                PS: I see another mass grave of at least 750 indigenous children has been discovered at the site of a former religious-run school in Canada. This after the remains of 251 indigenous children were found at the site of another former religious-run school the other week.

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            • It’s nice to know that you think African Americans on the whole are “irrational” (note the difference between saying such a thing about a political party’s behavior and a whole population). You my friend would not have done so well in a live US school integration scheme, but what do I know? I only attended one.

              That’s sad about the mass graves in Canada. I’m not sure if you see it as relevant because you think Canada is my country, or because you don’t know that black rights and Indian rights have always had a complex relationship in all nations of North and South America.

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              • Do try to keep up, Sister Grace. I said their love for the US (a country that has enslaved them, and continues to murder them and deny them their rights simply because of their colour) is irrational.
                And I was wondering if the religious group involved in the Canadian thing was perhaps from the same order as yourself, Sister.

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              • “… black rights and Indian rights have always had a complex relationship in all nations of North and South America.”
                So you describe slavery and genocide as a “complex relationship”. Why am I not surprised?

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            • notimportant

              So the thing about black people having love for their country isn’t so much an irrational love. It’s a love for what they themselves have built.

              That’s how people who came from the bottom view America. It’s not that they’re so patriotic that they ignore or forget the recent past. It’s that they’re proclaiming their right to be a part of building the great country America set its sights on being in the very document that founded the country. They’re saying “We’re here, and we’re not going anywhere.”

              They claim America as theirs similarly to the indigenous peoples of America. That’s what all of that is.

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  63. It looks like the “Big Win” that Edwin Poots was told was coming from Brandon Lewis is the EU granting an extension of only two months for the grace period for chilled meats. Small beer indeed.

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    • Yep, what a result. Edwin has been vindicated. I’m sure local meat producers North and South will be delighted – not.

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  64. How come a BBC news crew and, as it turns out, a Daily Mail journalist just happened to be on the British warship that yesterday had a supposed run-in with the Russians off Crimea?
    Sheer coincidence no doubt, on the 5th anniversary of Brexit; while a British court is looking into allegations of Russian interference in UK elections (including the Brexit referendum); and virtually on the eve of the Bately and Spen by-election. Surely the whole thing couldn’t have been choreographed?

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    • notimportant

      See that’s what I’m saying! It’s so convenient to just be like “Look at the big bad Russians over there!” as if dark money and foreign governments/influencers haven’t been interfering in politics worldwide for decades. Shoot, the US for example absolutely interferes in Russian politics. They have since Lenin started gaining popularity. First the American (and I’m sure also European and Canadian) far left who traveled to Russia and helped spread Bolshevik propaganda then the anti-communists of a number of countries who sought to destroy the new non monarchical government.

      Every country does it to an extent but the Russians are somehow the biggest threat to Western democracy since Hitler. Okay. Honestly getting rid of intelligence agencies and other shadowy groups would benefit humanity so much it’s not even funny.

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  65. Jeffreys mentor was Enoch Powell who was a intergrationist someone who believed the North should be run from England. If Jeffrey believes he can achieve this by pulling down Stormont for good he is in for a suprise. It will be Joint Authority on offer if this happens. The Americans will see to that.

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  66. Lads, Grace is here to derail you

    Like

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