Current Affairs Politics

Jeffrey Donaldson, DUP Leader, Peace Process Rejectionist

So here we go again. Ten years of successive leaders in the Democratic Unionist Party being hailed by the usual media suspects in Ireland and the United Kingdom as the “moderate” face of the party, politicians that governments in Dublin and London could “do business with”, bar the short-lived tenure of Edwin Poots. It began with Peter Robinson and his, um, profitable alliance with anti-peace process blow-ins from the Ulster Unionist Party, and his outreach to “garden-centre Protestants” and “unicorn Catholics” that never amounted to anything more than the desperate spinning of a few desperate pro-union journalists.

Then came the elevation of defector-in-chief Arlene Foster, the supposed F.W. de Klerk of Fermanagh unionism, who surprised no one by being more interested in starving crocodiles and keeping community tensions at fever pitch (while facilitating her colleagues and associates plans in keeping other things at, er, high temperatures…).

Now, following the oddly self-inflicted knifing of Poots and the kneecapping of the Paisleyites, we have the urbane Jeffrey Donaldson lined up for the top job. And sure enough, we have the accompanying deluge of newspaper articles and broadcasts predicting a new era (the third, fourth or fifth?) of unionist outreach to northern nationalist voters. Or constitutionally non-aligned voters (yeah, right!). Or liberal pro-union voters. Or whatever you’re having yourself.

Of course, to predict all this you have to ignore some inconvenient bits of history about the Lagan Valley MP. The bits where he and his supporters took down Edwin Poots on the basis of his implied acquiescence to Irish language equality in the Six Counties through a promised intervention by the British government at some future date. Or the bits where Donaldson has strongly indicated that wrecking Stormont is a price worth paying in order to protest the so-called Northern Ireland Protocol.

You could go back a wee bit further, to the Brexit referendum of 2016 and its aftermath when Jeffrey Donaldson was – and remains – the chief Brexiteer in the Democratic Unionist Party. An enthusiastic advocate for a no-deal withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, with the side benefit of the re-imposition of a hard border on the island of Ireland.

Or take his entry into the DUP as a defector from the rival Ulster Unionist Party, where he was a leader of the reactionary wing of the organization, agitating against the required outworking of the Good Friday Agreement and the Irish-British peace process in general. Until he jumped ship to the hardline DUP, having laboured with others to wreck the electoral prospects of his old party from within.

Then we could move right back to his first baby steps into unionist politics, a member of the Orange Order, a soldier with the notorious Ulster Defence Regiment, and an aide to another political renegade, the infamous Enoch Powell, the Conservative Party grandee who predicted rivers of blood in response to immigration to Britain and who became a lauded political refugee in the last outpost of empire.

All things considered, Jeffrey Donaldson a moderate? Sure…

105 comments on “Jeffrey Donaldson, DUP Leader, Peace Process Rejectionist

  1. Jeffrey never did the honourable thing he rejected the Good Friday Agreement and stayed in the UUP doing as much damage as possible. He should have resigned that morning and threw his lot in with the DUP. Let’s hope he does for the DUP what he did for the UUP wreck the party to such an extent that it takes it almost 20 years to recover. I remember reading somewhere that Jeffreys nickname in his first job was Rodney Trotter after the main character in the BBC comedy classic Only Fools And Horses.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Doubt very much the DUP will recover in 20 years.
      Looks like it and Stormont won’t last another 20 months
      It’s 11 months max to the next election in NI and the DUP are in a downward spiral, risking vote losses to the UUP and TUV.
      Can’t imagine the DUP playing second fiddle to a SF First Minister, whose existence would simply wipe out the raison d’etre for Stormont – a Protestant parliament for a Protestant people.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m not sure about that. The unionist and unionist sympathizing press/media/commentariat is definitely in an upbeat mode with the Don in charge and Poots gone. It’s all business-like this and pragmatic that. Ignoring his well-earned reputation as a Westminster Brextremist.

        With a sympathetic media who knows how the DUP might do?

        Liked by 1 person

        • Sir Jeffrey has to get his Loyalist base to accept the Acht na Gaeilge and the NIP. Two uphill tasks! No matter how good the media support.

          If the Loyalists are not kept happy, there enough of them to split the DUP vote in the May 2022 Stormont election.
          Which sees other parties SF, UUP? Alliance? making the running for the next Executive.
          It’s a feasible scenario. Whether it plays out or not, I don’t know.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Sonny Laymatina

    The DUP/UUP/PUP, or whatever else you want to call them, and all their bedfellow actors are just a colonial pretext for the continuation of British occupation and rule in northeastern Ireland by other means. Calling any of them “moderate” or “progressive” is just the usual corporate government media putting lipstick on their pig. No different really than the same BBC sorts calling various factions and forces of ISIS in Syria “moderate” and for the same reasons of imperial intervention, occupation and rule. A difference of degree perhaps but not kind.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think he will try to reach out to the prod in a garden centre vote. Which is a bit ironic considering they were the political power base of his erstwhile foe David Trimble. The media seem determined to see Jeffrey succeed which can’t be said for his predecessors. Jeffrey has to be seen to be winning otherwise the entire game is up for the DUP. They say he has already given up on stopping the Irish Language Act. He won’t achieve any real changes in the Northern Ireland Protocol. Apparently Jeffrey had a meeting with David Campbell of the LCC and Campbell has said he and Jeffrey are on the same page.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Unless the DUP can get a big win (or something that can be presented as such) I can only imagine that for the foreseeable future they’re going to try to avoid an election at all costs. Which doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ll keep the assembly in place. A wrecking ball to the GFA and direct rule from Westminster? Nor does direct rule automatically mean joint authority, as I’ve seen some people on here assume.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. No news on the By-Election or who in the DUP will stand aside so Jeffrey can be co-optioned into the First Minister’s seat?

    Like

  6. The Big Win for Unionism will probably be the renaming of the Northern Ireland Protocol. No actual changes in how it works but sure that will please the DUP as they were for the NIP before they were against it. Best of both worlds as Arlene would say.

    Like

  7. Without an assembly, there would be no need for Donaldson to be an MLA never mind First Minister, and therefore no need for him to stand down from his Westminster seat, thereby avoiding a by-election. He could, feasibly, be party leader and continue as a Westminster MP. The political action, as no doubt he would put it, would all be at Westminster. This situation could be brought about by simply having Givan resign and the DUP refusing to nominate a successor. And it could be maintained until either they get a “win”or ad infinitum.

    Like

    • Bringing down Stormont would be the nuclear option. Or so it would seem to outsiders. If the new DUP leadership is trying to forge a strategy acceptable to the grass roots, the wider unionist hardline and – above all, it seems – the organised loyalist gangs then defenestration of the northern executive might be a more limited option. That or finding some way of forever delaying things at Stormont without a collapse that the DUP could be wholly blamed for.

      Very hard to predict as we are in somewhat unprecedented political and electoral territory. Plus, the petty politics of Belfast are now being jostled and shaped by events in Dublin, London, Brussels and Washington that are playing out at a higher level.

      Like

      • As you say, very hard to predict. But as I see it, the problem for them with anything short of collapse is that a Stormont election is due next May. Will they take a chance on having recovered, internally as well as externally, by then? I really can’t see it.
        A collapse would also save Donaldson from having to vacate his Westminster seat and thereby cause a (Westminster) by-election. A further complication for him if he does resign his Westminster seat, where his polling numbers had dropped dramatically last time, is that Poots and Givan are both from (and quite literally live in) his constituency. There is bound to be some level of negative repercussions locally for Donaldson to go along with his falling popularity. And it’s not even as if an olive branch gesture is open to him, where Poots could be selected to stand for Donaldson’s Lagan Valley seat. Quite simply, even on a good day, never mind in the DUP’s current situation, Poots wouldn’t hold the seat.
        Here’s how I imagine it might play out. The DUP will do nothing for the time being. Use the summer, during Stormont’s recess, to agitate, demonstrate, pressurise and all that goes along with it. And in the autumn, if nothing has changed in their favour, then Givan will be told to resign and they’ll refuse to nominate a first minister.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Another one to be filed under You Couldn’t Make It Up: A few days ago in the House of Commons, without a hint of irony Sammy Wilson accused the government of “…acting like a colonial power in Northern Ireland” while he was giving off a bucket-full about them going over the executive’s head on Irish language etc.
    Incidentally, Wilson was sitting beside his colleague Gavin Robinson, while in the distance, one could see Ian Paisley Jnr sitting all alone at the opposite end of the same (empty) green bench. No kissing and making up has happened yet.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We also have unionist and Tory MPs still complaining about the “partition” of the UK via the Protocol. They’re just deranged.

      Liked by 1 person

      • That’s hilarious Tamam. He just doesn’t have an ounce of self-awareness.

        Like

      • notimportant

        Wow that’s like a decade ago when a Republican congressman compared giving black people reparations to native Americans giving white Americans reparations for the harm the (white owned, white controlled, and white founded) tobacco industry has caused. Some people really have zero self awareness.

        Like

  9. notimportant

    Another seeming win for Irish nationalists that comes due to a blunder by unionists. Just a tad bit convenient. How many handshake deals are these supposedly bumbling politicians making behind closed doors to shoot themselves in the foot? There is A LOT of money and power to be had post political office these days. I said when Trump decided to run that he was doing so to build money and connections and influence for himself post presidency.

    As for Enoch Powell, the funny thing is he was right. But the British aren’t victims. People taken in by racist British extremists think Africans are just violent for no reason but in reality they and people from the Middle East had ordered societies with laws and rules going back centuries that the British and other imperialists did everything to destroy and continue to do so. They had decades to do the right thing and undo some of what they did to these innocent people but have continued to do the opposite. People shocked that some Africans can be violent are like those shocked that former “colonial subjects” have waged terror attacks against the UK or France or wherever else. What it actually is, is people intentionally or unintentionally bringing the reality to European shores that European imperialists forced them to live in for centuries. Racists like Powell always have to blame everybody else the second things go poorly for them. Even now the British have a chance to avoid all of that by owning up to their past and their current meddling and making things right as well as by destroying the ghetto white UK culture corrupting immigrants in the first place and especially the drug trade. But they won’t. That would involve taking ownership of their own actions and that of the privileged set rather than blaming people for fleeing a country they destroyed as an invader. Instead, they’ll deliberately keep people in the UK as divided as possible and think that won’t eventually swallow them up as well. Kind of like what they’re trying to do in Ireland. That’s why people have to see their attempts at division for what they are (a power grab) and unite against them across all boundaries. Tribalism among the working class is how the most corrupt stay in power across the world. They want the least powerful divided and fighting each other while they sit safely in their highly secured ivory towers watching the festivities.

    Like

  10. notimportant

    ASF, I’m really curious to hear your thoughts on the Dublin protest/LGBTQ flag waving event at that church the other day. I’ve seen people claiming it’s anti-Catholic or was organized by an anti-Catholic group but I don’t really know enough to comment.

    It doesn’t surprise me to see the whole “Catholics are bigots” narrative being pushed and calling people “far right” or “fascists” but it all seems a bit ridiculous to me. Like what is the motivation to go after Catholic churches specifically and who is pushing it most? And how are the people who got the flag taken down in the first place even remotely far right or fascist? What is with this push to equate Irish Republicanism/Catholicism and even the tricolor with the ACTUAL far right loyalists and other vestiges of imperialism worldwide and who is behind it? Doesn’t it sound an awful lot like something Anglophiles would say to demean the Irish?

    I respect your opinion because I know how much you care about Ireland’s unique indigenous history and understand how it and Irish autonomy must be preserved. I see a lot of the opposite from the people speaking loudest against Irish Catholics and against the Catholic Church. Even demonizing the tricolor as if it’s the same as the union jack or the US flag!

    Help us outside the island make sense of this ridiculousness. I couldn’t even see this happening in the US, which is very much anti religion right now. Don’t you all have separation of church and state and freedom of religion?

    Like

    • I think that over the last few years, since the abortion and equal marriage referendums, there has been an attempt to promote an American-style culture wars agenda in Ireland, one confined to a fringe of the fringe of the Catholic (and Evangelical Protestant!) right-wing in the country.

      That fringe has gradually made common cause with the political far right or alt-right. Which in turn has found inspiration and succour among the amorphous US and UK right-libertarian, far right, white nationalist movements via the internet.

      Into this has been fed Brexit and the machinations of UK-sponsored groups like Irish Freedom Party, the National Party and other Irexit and chauvinist/Hibernian types.

      Then add a dollop of the pandemic-deniers and various assorted lunatics
      Blend them into one self-sustaining, online eco-system.

      And you have a perfect storm of ideological extremism. Though thankfully still more of an occasional puff than a howling gale.

      This is why we have seen attacks on LGBTQ flags and emblems, increased harassment on the streets and so on.

      The average far righter in Ireland now is a mask-refusing, climate change denying, homophobic, xenophobic, conspiracy believing nutter who lives in mortal fear of a new world order and being whisked away to one of the UN reeducation camps hidden in New Mexico!

      Like

      • notimportant

        The funny thing is it’s actually rich people building THEMSELVES private cities in the deserts. There’s multiple ones currently under construction in the Southwest as well as in Latin America. Conspiracy theorists need to update their conspiracies 😂

        For the record, I think at bare minimum the Great Plains, Southwest, and West Coast need to be owned at least partially by indigenous people seeing as it’s not only their ancestral lands but the land given to some in exchange for stealing the South, Northeast, and Midwest from them. But that’s neither here nor there.

        This whole thing is weird to me. It’s nobody’s place to tell either that individual church or the larger body it belongs to what to do.

        And see that’s exactly what I’m talking about. This American-style culture war is being exported to every country on Earth by dark money/influence from the far left and far right. Between the “Irish slaves mean black people are lazy” nonsense started by white supremacists to the “Irish nationalism/Catholicism is the same as the KKK/DUP/etc etc” nonsense by the far left, your island is under attack by opportunists from both extremes.

        You have to ask why. Rich people and others with power never do anything for the right reasons. They stay rich and powerful by manipulating every situation to benefit themselves. Why are they fighting so hard to push for or against LGBT legislation/acceptance? There’s no reason there has to be such extreme polarization or American style culture wars. We have them in America for the same reason the UK does… our complex past as a colonizer (in our case colonizing the very country we live in). So why are there groups pushing such extreme views and shaming their opposition? Why are they associating Republicanism, Catholicism, and nationalism with the far right? Sure every country has its sheep who will go along with conspiracy theorists and hardliners for misguided reasons but who is behind it in the first place? It’s the people pulling the strings who are the problem on both extremes of the spectrum, and I guarantee they have connections to powerful people outside Ireland.

        Like

      • I’d think it would be almost impossible to create American style culture wars in Ireland for an extremely simple reason: It lacks the US based historical context, that feeds them. Ireland like any country could create its OWN culture wars for sure. However US culture wars are too rooted in the kind of historical context that many Europeans insist couldn’t possibly exist in the US because of the country’s age. Some of the larger sources are include

        1) Conflicts within the Puritans and between the Puritans and other groups. It has been noted that HUAC in many ways had shadows of Puritan Witch Trials and the degree to which the Jews were targeted by anti-Communism had some eerie parellels with Quaker persectuion in Puritan and heavily Catholic parts of the colonies. Even anti-vaccination conspiracies we see now are a lot like some “culture wars” in Puritan Colonial Massachusetts where Cotton Mather (important figure in the Salem Witch Trials too) over smallpox innoculation (more dangerous than the vaccination that was invented in England later) when he ordered his flock to have the procedure. A lot of the more disturbing reactions to 9/11, to serial killers the Satanic panics that helped make Qanon, really due parallel things that happened in particularly but not only the Puritan colonies.

        2) The complex series of reactions and counter-reactions to the whole “non-establishment clause” in the 1st Ammendment (aka The Separation of Church and State).

        3) Civil War related baggage-By this I mean not just the actual Civil War but much of the run-up AND aftermath that continued into the 1920’s: A lot of people conflate this one with simply saying “It’s all down to racism” or alternately dismissing the idea 100% by saying “Well there are plenty of racists in Blue Northern States”. Of course it’s insane to look at a country that literally fought a gigantic Civil War over slavery and that their couldn’t possibly be any regional variation at all. That’s essentially like saying Northern Ireland is absolutely no different than England because England has its share of current sectarian prejudices and an extremely violent sectarian history too. At the same time it’s ridiculous to think a Civil War of that calliber wouldn’t have more complex and profound effects on any nation than you’d could really understand by head-counting the percentage of racists in different states and counties. In fact it all had profound influences (which differed by region) on attitudes towards Federal spending, gender role/feminism, environmentalism, trains and infrastructure, education, and even attitudes toward things like alcohol, marijuana and harder drugs……and so much more!!! With the gender role part it’s been argued that the effects of the Civil War and 60’s years worth of its aftermath had such profound and regionally divergent effects on the lives of American woman that while not identical was every bit as profound as the divergence between East and West German woman over 47 years.

        You can’t really understand how American Cold Warrior could become either Anglophiles (like you described Buckley) or anti-feminists like Phyllis Schlafly without understanding the many layers to this Civil War baggage any better than you could understand The Troubles without historical context.

        So no. For all Ireland’s-deserved!!-reputation for having had a particularly rough history you can’t important American culture wars any more than you could just transport The Troubles to any location in the US with some tension between Catholics and Protestents……It just doesn’t work that way.

        Like

        • notimportant

          But they’ve been doing just that. Or have you missed the whole “The Irish owned slaves too” nonsense that attempts to erase the historical plight of the native Irish by painting them as no better than the colonizers?

          Like

          • Well both sides of these culture wars have played their stupid games with Irish history and Irish American history. It’s hard to imagine that this WASN’T going to happen, given that this population got the beginning of its legitimacy in US society by “fighting for Mr. Lincoln”, and because White Southern American culture has always leaned ambivalent at best towards the idea of a non-homogeneous white population.

            On one hand you have people trying to argue that the Irish were never anything but full citizens of the British Empire, that this so-called famine was just an overblown economic crisis that 98% of the Irish soldiers fighting for “Uncle Abe” were more pro-slavery than nearly all the Confederate Generals, but especially Robert E. Lee himself. Obviously it doesn’t help that some racist groups enjoy co-opting Celtic Symbols, that some Lost Causers compare Sherman or even Lincoln himself to Cromwell**** or even Stalin, or even that largelyportraits like “Gone with the Wind” are so darn popular.

            Then you get people who argue that slavery wasn’t so bad, because the slaves at least could eat while Irishmen starved, or that Lincoln abused the Irish Union soldiers far more than the BE, Cromwell ever did (similar tropes also try to paint the US Colored Troops at simply exploited victims), or that some of Ollie C.’s POW in Jamaica were slaves.

            The common denominator is that both sides are willing to cook up nonsense if they think it suits their purpose.

            The will also make claims that most slaves enjoyed living that well or that nearly all the officers in the Union army were either war profiteers and/or gang raping war criminals. They will claim that every white anti-war activists over the Vietnam War was ultimately motivated by Oedipal conflicts with Dad. They’ll women’s suffrage was a racist plot. They’ll claim most labor unions in US history were KKK connected****** They’ll tell you very knowingly that several non-existent features of the US Constitution either were a conspiracy of the slave planter class or alternately prove the South was justified.

            In short, it’s not just Irish they make up all kinds of garbage about. It’s anything they think just might support their argument. T

            It’s also a mistake to blame this nonsense entirely on bad schooling, ignorance or incuriosity. No. There have always been much more intentional forces greasing the wheels. This is a story about the most blatant of the lot:

            To be honest, I think some of the stuff in the video above was child abuse. However, it IS manipulative rather than just vaguely described “low standards”. Make no mistake.

            ***US schools have always tended to put Oliver Cromwell in a very negative light. The framing was always that BOTH sides of the English Civil War were so utterly horrible, Believe it or not, the earliest version of this came from English American Quakers.

            *****While some labor unions in the US did indeed have KKK ties, or leadership that were members, that’s a far cry from the “big story”. In fact, in most places the KKK opposed-often violently- any and all labor unions.

            Like

            • Grace is right. The idea that we can separate whole swathes of people into neat little “Right” and “Wrong” bundles is attractive, but wholly unrealistic and unfair. Not least when you’re trying to do it from a distance of 100s of years.
              For instance, the week-long Anti-Abolitionist riots (1834) in New York were, by all accounts, led mostly by Irish Catholic immigrants. Does this mean that all Irish Catholic immigrants in New York at the time took part in or sympathised with the riots? No, and it would be ludicrous to claim otherwise on either count. Does it mean that all those who rioted or sympathised with the riots were racist? Again, no. Some may indeed have been racist (as we understand it today) but the riots were fear-driven, by raw economics. In short, many in the NY Irish Catholic community, who at the time existed largely on the lowest rung of the social and economic ladder, feared an influx of freed slaves from the South would bring extra competition for employment.
              On a more general point, the earliest large influx of Irish people into the US was after the failed United Irishmen rebellion of 1798. They were mostly Presbyterians (or members of other non-conformist Protestant religions) who had fled for their lives after largely initiating and taking part in the rebellion. And again, neither were they all non-conformists. (Interestingly, an uncle of the Bronte sisters, a brother of their church minister father, Patrick, took part in the Battle of Ballynahinch as a UI volunteer. He escaped across the fields afterwards, to his home in the townland of Ballyroney near Banbridge/Newry).
              These early Irish immigrants came later to be known as Scots-Irish – though most often they and their descendants are, rightly, lumped in with the general Irish-descended US population. Did some of them own slaves or worked as slave overseers at some point? Undoubtedly so. Does that mean they were all anti-abolitionists and/or slave-owning racists? Absolutely not.
              Again, to generalise – and we all do it at times to some degree – is always wrong, and sometimes very dangerous to those we’re (negatively) generalising about.
              No surprise either that English-American Quakers painted both sides in the English civil war as horrible. Quakers are totally and actively opposed to violence, whoever it comes from and wherever it is directed. In fact, come to think of it, the Quakers are probably the only group in Northern Ireland that no one on either side of the conflict ever had a bad word to say about.

              Like

              • Failed to mention, Ulysses S Grant, by far Lincoln’s best general in the US civil war, was of Scots-Irish descent.

                Like

              • Once New York’s second and final “Phase out plan” for slavery was passed in 1817, most pro-slavery and copperhead movements in that state were generated largely by ultra-hard core Dutch Protestants. (This was also true in the Midwest.). While other ethnic groups did get involved with Northern pro-slavery, and “Copperhead” movements, it was always clear that the same historical and ideological strains that created apartheid had a major role in why some non-owning Northerners became fanatical defenders of slavery.

                With non-owning white Southerners defense of slavery tended to be more related to fear of meeting the same fate as the French Haitian population did.

                In antebellum times most black migrants to New York were fleeing slavery not abolition or emancipation. And people often feared the economic consequences of expansion of slave labor more than they did free blacks. It was widely observed that wherever slavery entered or expanded rates of abject poverty increased among those neither slave nor master. (This was seen in many societies too, and wasn’t unique to the antebellum US.)

                Thomas Lincoln was a classic example of a man who opposed slavery and its expansion more for the effects he knew it had on his own social class, than for the sake of the slaves themselves. His less hard-hearted son Abraham’s views on the topic evolved pretty continuously from late adolescence to assassination.

                It’s really a vintage “Lost Causer” trope to try to paint Irish Catholic or Scots-Irish Americans overwhelmingly pro-slavery demographics. (Though people with other agendas have grabbed onto those claims.)

                During the Civil War there were somewhere between 170,000-190,000 immigrant or first generation Irish Catholics fighting in the Union Army with 20,000-45,000 fighting for The Confederacy. Both the Union and Confederacy had about 250,000 Scots-Irish American soldiers and a population of Scots-Irish American men, women, and children of about 2.0 million people.

                Most attempts to paint Irish Catholic Americans largely pro-slavery are the kind of arguments that gather some small grains of truth and blow them up into a blob of nonsense. If what you want hear of is about moral ambiguity associated with Irish Catholics at that time, I’d say most of it lies in the Civil War itself. Yes, that was a war that ended slavery in the US. Yes the Lost Causers like to exaggerate the degree of war crimes committed by Union Soldiers. But it still was a devastated and brutal war, where war crimes existed, and the Irish were not immune to the behavior. Even for most Irish Catholic soldiers on either side who did no such thing as commit war crimes……it was still a war.

                With Scots-Irish distortion is largely done by conflating the fact, that Scots-Irish were a higher percentage of The Confederate Army and Population than the Union ones, with the notion that the vast majority of Scots-Irish fought for the Confederacy and were pro-slavery. Obviously this was nonsense, as the total numbers of Scots-Irish on each side of the Civil War was the same. They were simply a higher percentage of those in the Confederacy and Confederate Armies because The Union had a larger army and a much larger population.

                It’s also true that MANY of Lincoln’s top generals were of Scots-Irish origins, as were many Southern Unionists, abolitionists, and scalawags……..To say otherwise is like….well……..acting as if Protestant Irish Republicans simply did not exist.

                As for some other reasons Quakers had a low opinion of both sides of The English Civil War.

                They didn’t like Monarchy because of their radically egalitarian views. At one time most Friends rejected terms like Mr., Mrs. and Ms., as they thought even those terms smacked of “honorary titles”. They didn’t like the Roundheads because they were persecuted by the Lord Protectorate. It’s true that on meeting George Fox, Oliver Cromwell expressed considerable admiration for the man’s “sincereity and piety” However in the end……Yup he ended of persecuting the Friends/Quakers. So did his son. That’s major reason so many of them went to The Colonies.

                Like

              • I would be rather unsettled by the fact that you and I have been in agreement quite often recently, Grace – if I didn’t have the comfort of realising that you’re coming round to my worldview at last. 😉

                Like

              • notimportant

                There’s actually a really great series of pieces written by a Long Island historian about the Irish Americans around the time of the Civil War that you should read sometime. I could find and post the link if you all want.

                One of the things that gets completely ignored is the Irish immigrants were betrayed by a country that recruited them to be cheap labor under the promise they wouldn’t have to fight in the Civil War. Then that promise was reneged upon. That’s why they fought against the draft and had draft riots. Most people speaking on the situation don’t bother to learn that though. Were some racist? Sure. Did many have economic fears? Absolutely. But neither of those two was the whole reason for the violence. The Irish in fact were the group back then most likely to live in integrated neighborhoods with black people, which made them looked down upon by mainstream white society.

                But my who point here is Ireland has absolutely nothing to do with US history yet it’s people from outside Ireland whose only concepts of your country or you people comes from encountering Irish Americans who are imposing themselves on the discussions and conversation and narratives about your country and its history. It’s they who are imposing themselves on your country and its politics. This happens in every former colony that gained its independence in the 20th Century but because indigenous Irish people are white, it’s not being seen as the soft colonialism that it really is. The culture wars of former colonizing countries are poisoning not just your country but that of many former colonies under the guise of social justice or morality or religion.

                By the way, Grace’s video is a lie. Their efforts to push pro Confederate propaganda in schools failed and was in fact rejected. This is what US media has become, a propaganda outlet for whatever partisan side the outlet aligns with. That’s exactly what I don’t want to see happen to your island. Obviously Northern Ireland has its own culture wars thanks to still basically being a colony but nothing like the culture wars infecting your whole island and making the problems already there worse. You have to reject them and reject outside influence, even from people pretending to be on your side and care about the issues.

                Like

  11. I’m sure before the year is out somebody will label Jeffrey Donaldson a Judas. Just like his hero Enoch Powell. What ever he delivers will never be enough for the headbangers and witch-burners of the DUP. To them the glass is always half empty never half full. I honestly believe most of them prefer street protests and violence against anybody who doesn’t come up to their standards. Government was handed to them to easy. Everyone else had to make painful compromises in negotiations in order to set up power sharing under the GFA.

    Like

  12. The DUP are a hostage to their own history. Anti-Europe since their foundation by Ian Paisley. Paisley got elected to Europe promising to milk the EEC cow until the tits fell off. You only have to look at how much serious debate went into the DUP decision to back leave.
    They actually thought they could put a new land border around the Six Counties. Instead they cut themselves off economically socially and politically from the mainland.

    Like

  13. This by Sarah Vine (Michael Gove’s wife) is getting quite a bit of trolling on Twitter. Seems like a lot of people reckon it’s a shot across Gove’s bows – I can see why. 🤔

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-9728749/SARAH-VINE-problem-wife-knows-youre-not-Master-Universe.html

    Liked by 1 person

    • Diane Abbott tweeted this yesterday (along with a large pic of Gove):
      “Some people on Twitter seem to think that Michael Gove is poised to take over from Matt Hancock. But are they confident that Gove’s private life is beyond reproach? Maybe Sarah Vine can shed some light on this #BacktoBasics”

      Maybe Vine has indeed “shed some light on this”. 😂

      Like

  14. That court case taken by the Unionist politicians against the NIP well it’s verdict is due this coming week. I wonder if things are about to get even worse for the DUP?Could a British Court really find that the Act Of Union is now null and void?

    Like

    • Can’t see how this court case has a prayer of being successful. I’m no lawyer, but I presume in the UK a treaty becomes legally binding once it passes parliament. As did the most recent treaty between the EU and the UK, which included the protocol. And, in the absence of a written constitution, whatever passes parliament automatically supersedes whatever has gone before. Would a court ruling to this effect not be another one-goal by unionists? As I say, I’m no lawyer but that’s my rough understanding of it.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Would like to share this on to Rebel Breeze but can’t see a facility for doing that?

    Like

  16. Trying to blame SF for changing GB stickers on cars to UK stickers when it is Unionists who voted for Brexit they are trying to appease. Talk about a political smokescreen.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9756751/Tory-fury-slap-face-ditch-GB-stickers.html

    Like

  17. I’m sure the Alliance Party will be happy to know that they have joined the Pan-Nationalist Front according to the Loyalist Bonfire Builders.

    Like

  18. I see a great push is on for intergrated education in the North. Look who is pushing for it they are no friends of Nationalism. It’s funny how Catholic Schools doing so well academically seems to set off certain people. I don’t see why Catholic parents should have to sacrifice their children’s future on the Altar of Letsgetalongism.

    Like

    • Diarmuid Breatnach

      Education funded by the State or local authority should be secular, which is a basic Republican democracy position and one which O’Connell gave away in favour of the Catholic Church and which Isaac Butt and the Irish Parliamentary Party both carried on with.

      If Protestant or Dissenter (or Jewish or Muslim) want denominational education, let them pay for it. But education funded by the taxpayer should be firmly universal and non-denominational. That would still not integrate education in the Six Counties, however, instead of in some areas, given the frequent population concentration into zones by affiliation. Teaching history would certainly be interesting in any mixed school.

      Like

      • Wonderfully put, Diarmuid. 👍

        Like

      • “Teaching history would certainly be interesting in any mixed school.”

        This intrigues me, because it’s something I’ve thought a lot about – albeit intermittently – over the years. Surely there has to be a way of teaching the facts of our history, without fear or favour, without avoiding, skirting over, or leaving anything out. No one will emerge with clean hands, simply because no one’s hands are completely clean. We have (as tribes/communities or whatever) inflicted great hurt upon one another.
        Then there’s how our history relates to that of so many other places around the globe. For instance, no fair-minded person can study colonialism without (pretty rapidly) coming to the conclusion that it was a great evil in every respect. If that same fair-minded person happens to be from Northern Ireland they cannot avoid then realising that Ireland was a victim of the evil of colonisation. Nor can they avoid concluding that NI is a product of colonialism. And that is essentially, at root, what we in NI are still paying the price for.

        Like

      • notimportant

        Or you could merely let the local communities vote on what they want their schools to be since they’re the ones paying taxes for it.

        I hate this notion that local politics or local communities should be part of some national body that governs in a top down manner. That’s not good for anybody.

        Like

    • I’m a big fan of Letsgetalongism. And therefore a big fan of integrated education.

      Like

    • Just out of curiosity, what makes you think that integrated schooling is necessarily going to be a poor education for Catholic or Protestant kids?

      Is your concern resources being stretched thin? Is it whether or not the Irish language will still be required? How history will be taught? Or do you think parents should have the option of having their kids taught religion in school?

      Or is it a fear that sectarian conflict will simply distract the students from their studies?

      Like

        • Not sure what your point is here, hoboroad. Three out of the five joint first-place schools are state schools. And two out of the three joint sixth-place are Catholic schools.

          “The five schools in joint first place are Loreto Grammar School in Omagh, Lumen Christi College in Londonderry, Dalriada School in Ballymoney, Rainey Endowed School in Magherafelt and Friends’ School Lisburn.
          In joint sixth place are Our Lady and St Patrick’s College Belfast, Wallace High School, Lisburn, and St Dominic’s High School Belfast.”

          Like

        • I’d say that’s a poor assumption: That because most of the best schools in a currently segregated system are segregated that integrated schools will be substandard. How do you know integrated schools won’t do well?

          Like

        • I’d say that’s a poor assumption: That because most of the best schools in a currently segregated system are segregated that integrated schools will be substandard. How do you know integrated schools won’t do well?

          Like

          • Absolutely right, Grace. Worth noting too that the “state” schools listed in this media report are to varying degrees integrated, in reality if not by title.
            I happen to have young relatives who attend overtly integrated schools (a deliberate choice by their parents) and they are all doing wonderfully well. But over and above the academic aspect, and to my mind far more importantly, integrated education has children mixing together, growing up together, and getting to know “the other” throughout their most formative years. Something that doesn’t always happen naturally in our, far too often literally as well as figuratively, divided society. They learn from a very early age that the stereotypes are bullshit. That there are no real differences – we are all just people.

            Like

    • “According to the Board of Deputies of British Jews, importing kosher goods from Dublin — the only other Jewish community on the island of Ireland — has been considered, however cost is too prohibitive.”

      Not sure how this can be the case. Surely with Dublin and Belfast both being in the EU Customs Union costs will be more or less the same in each city. And it’s not as if transportation costs would be prohibitive, Belfast is only 100 miles or so up the road from Dublin. Compare that to the cost of shipping/flying kosher goods from Britain.
      A little bit of independent research by the journalist would have been helpful. But then that might have disrupted the narrative.

      Like

      • Notice they don’t approach Belfast’s other religious minority with its own special dietary needs. But that’s the Belfast Telegraph for you.

        Like

        • I did notice that, actually. But feel obliged to stress that this in no way reflects on anyone bar the publication, which failed to notice/point this out).

          Like

        • notimportant

          Yeah, that’s intentional. Anything to keep people divided and undermine sovereignty.

          What an idiotic article. The Protocol is obviously the best for all parties in the long run yet they have to find some group to make it out to be a problem who can’t be labeled as racist or far right or whatever else.

          I mean seriously. “Under threat”? What? That’s insane. Flat out insane.

          Like

  19. Diarmuid Breatnach

    Yet another reason for supporting a united Ireland

    Like

  20. Stephen”We don’t do the South” Nolan now seems very interested in how SF poll people in the South. Despite all the other parties doing exactly the same thing. He seems to have woken up to he fact that wooden pallets burned on bonfires cost money. What next for Stephen burning rubber tyres pollutes the environment?

    Like

  21. Anybody know when we will start hearing the results of the recent Census? Or will the next election come first?

    Like

    • Diarmuid Breatnach

      Reply from on-line media:
      The Office of National Statistics (ONS) will be studying the answers from England and Wales.

      The ONS is planning on publishing the initial findings from the Census a year later, in March 2022.

      However, the full results covering all Census data will be revealed a year after that, in March 2023.

      Like

  22. notimportant

    It’s a shame you had to close the comments on your newest post, ASF. What kind of world are we living in when a BLOGGER has to worry about being sued? Wow.

    I am seriously dismayed at seeing just how infected by European and US culture war nonsense your entire island has become. Everything is left or right. Each “side” demonizes the other. There is zero respect shown to or humanity recognized in “the other side”. Why are left or right even in the Irish political vocabulary? I mean I get why in NI, as it’s the UK. But now even in the Republic? That’s insane and beyond counterproductive.

    The worst part though is seeing allegiance to/defensiveness about foreign influencers trying to operate in the Republic. The left mentions the American and UK far right and embarrassingly enough Russia while the right mentions Soros and globalists (as if the American far right isn’t globalist 😂) and all of that. Nobody seems to stand up and say “Foreign influencers shouldn’t be affecting our politics or government regardless of ideology”, and that’s absolutely by design. It’s been happening in western/central Europe, Canada, and the US for decades if not longer.

    You seen what’s happening in other places globalists don’t run yet? The demonstrations/turmoil in eastern Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, and now the assassination in Haiti. All places that within the past few decades either allowed globalists influence in the name of “progress” and “economic development” or where globalists came in after a disaster such as the earthquake in Haiti or as a “peacekeeping force”. This less than a year after US election specialists “supervised” an election in eastern Europe. And a few years after they blatantly interfered in an election in Latin America and ran covert groups who bombarded the country’s press with smear campaigns that led to the actual rightful winner being jailed for no reason. And that wasn’t even done by Trump and his regime but by the people trying to investigate his supposed ties to Russia. Regardless of country, none of this stuff belongs to any political party but to the political machine itself.

    Do we even have answers for the role countries such as the US played in The Troubles yet? Before helping to orchestrate the peace process, were they aiding either the loyalists or the UK?

    As for the Human Rights watch and other organizations… considering they time after time refuse to condemn their host countries for despicable imperialist crimes, I really wouldn’t trust their opinion too much.

    Seeing where things are going for your island based on what has happened on a certain timeline first in the colonizer nations and now the formerly subjugated ones is why I try to warn you all with these comments. You need to nip foreign influence and partisanship/culture wars in the bud and stop focusing on political parties before it’s too late. Things like protecting and prioritizing native Irish language, culture, and history as well as truth commissions and teaching true history should be non-partisan no brainers yet somehow you need a political party to push that. That should throw up a massive red flag about what will happen when a united Ireland eventually happens.

    By all means Ireland should be a global citizen as it was pre-colonization but in a way that respects the indigenous Irish. Don’t allow yourselves to become like the Caribbean countries and other former colonies where the money and land and control is all in the hands of globalists and corporations. Diversity and cosmopolitanism too is a great thing but only when the indigenous group whose land it really is is respected. Such as in parts of Asia or MENA. Look at how long it took for indigenous Latin Americans to be recognized let alone given any rights or be respected. That’s not a coincidence. It’s deliberate, as is the undermining of their sovereignty being done by supposed “right side of history” types.

    And by no means let them defund the Gardai or replace it with anything that isn’t entirely in the control of the actual local communities rather than newcomer “community activist” types. We’re seeing in the US what defund the police is really about. Increasing crime to the point where the national or even international government (UN) steps in and runs it directly. That already happened in the “Strong Cities” initiative, and very few know about it. They had to sign off all law enforcement control to the program and basically agree to be a guinea pig without their citizens even knowing. Meanwhile our state capitols all became military complexes this past year due to “threats” after January 6 that miraculously never happened. And we’re passing Patriot Act 2.0, this time demonizing Americans who don’t blindly follow the government narrative rather than specifically members of the Islamic faith. And establishing regional offices in Florida and California for a police force that is supposed to only be in DC. Little by little, every bit of local independence is being stripped by the government here in response to “threats” and “systemic problems”.

    Beware when people who spent years minimizing an issue or not caring about it suddenly seem to care in a big way. They don’t care and never will. It’s a power grab. The entire focus of the international community when it comes to Ireland has been “sectarian violence” and how evil the IRA is and most recently in demonizing the indigenous Irish and painting them as being no different than the British. While they “both sides” every instance of loyalist aggression and talk about Ireland the same way they do the Middle East. Beware if that narrative ever flips and they suddenly care about the truth about Ireland and The Troubles or even the current situation. That means they’re trying to insert themselves for their own benefit. Just like they did with the many issues in places in the US like gentrification, systemic racism, crippling inequality, etc. Their real goal is to destroy any opposition to their globalist agenda. People in power or who come from privilege never do things for the right reasons. Period. We’re seeing this in the US where the upper middle class youth are co-opting working class struggles and movements and that of oppressed racial groups in order to gain power and replace the upper class. And the rest of us are being sacrificed for it. That’s what’s coming for you if you don’t nip it in the bud, and it will be dressed in Pride flags and Black Lives Matter t shirts or maybe even wrapped in the tricolor. It’s all about money and power, same as it ever was.

    Start independent parties or get rid of political parties altogether and vote for candidates rather than parties when you get a united Ireland, or you’ll end up with a future you really don’t want. Don’t let them divide you or distract you from the issues you face. Don’t let the international community create the narrative about your island either, and don’t let people not even from your country being the ones dominating your press or academia.

    Like

    • I’m afraid that the idea of bloggers being sued is not just a “imported US style culture war”. It’s that the Irish Republic has rather strict libel laws. Many countries have a rather broad definition of libel and specific definition of Freedom of the Press. If Ireland has rather strict definitions by European standards, they actually grandfathered that from Britain. If you want to know what I mean by Britain’s crazy libel laws check on cases like “McDonald’s Corporation v Steel & Morris” or “McLibel” where some environmental activists got in trouble for printing fact sheets critical of McDonald’s .

      Like

      • notimportant

        You’re completely missing the point, Grace.

        And the libel laws being a product of UK colonialism in Ireland doesn’t refute my point at all. Most things about the US are a result of European colonialism as well.

        Like

  23. notimportant

    This right here is what I’m talking about. This is who Soros is and why you should never let anybody connected to him anywhere near politics, movements, press, philanthropy/charity/do gooder work, or academia in any part of your island.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/madanboukman/status/1378813346787557377

    https://mobile.twitter.com/madanboukman/status/1378754982489513985

    You need to nip this globalist encroachment in the bud before it’s too late. Look at what has happened in every country they’ve interfered in. That’s without even getting into what American/Canadian/UK elites do.

    Take all of your movements back and take your country back before it’s too late. That’s as simple as being informed, not allowing partisanship or culture wars to divide you, rooting out all corruption and (even indirect) corporate influence and especially think tanks and NGOs. All completely legal, just like (for the most part) the way they infiltrate and influence sovereign nations is. They exploit loopholes and corruption and any other weaknesses/pressure points they can find.

    Like

  24. There has always been a isolationist wing to American politics than spans both the left and right. They always claim to have the blessing of the founding fathers don’t get involved in foreign entanglements trade with everybody etc. This stretches from Gore Vidals grandfather to the likes of Ron Paul Pat Buchanan and even to Donald Trump. All America’s Wars in the 20th Century have been down to Democratic presidents First World War Woodrow Wilson Second World War FDR Korea Truman Vietnam Kennedy. I think Biden is busy trying to start another war somewhere with the Russians maybe in Crimea. The Neo-Cons in the Democratic Party never really forgave the old USSR for going out of Business it probably cost them a lot of money.

    Like

    • notimportant

      If America had stayed isolationist, not just the US but the entire world and especially much of the third world would be far better off.

      We became imperialist like the Europeans and have been paying for it ever since.

      It’s exactly why you should never trust globalists or let them have influence in your country. Unfortunately they were in mine from the beginning.

      Like

  25. I see Lord Frost has blamed Theresa May for problems with the Northern Ireland Protocol. Well it wouldn’t be his fault after all he only negotiated it with the EU. And the DUP seem eager to aid and abet him in his dishonest adventure. Are these morons ever going to own up to there mistakes over Brexit. Theresa May offered the DUP a soft landing over Brexit yet they and there ERG pals only wanted it one way good and hard. Now they have got it. Stop whining boys you got what you asked for.

    Like

    • Good. Whatever their public utterings of support and shows of unity, there are bound to be more than a few Tories running out of patience with this guy, and with his boss. This will help stretch their patience a bit further.

      Like

  26. Joe Austin of West Belfast Festival interviews Brian Rowan, the outstanding NI journalist throughout the Troubles (and beyond). This is a outstanding interview.

    Like

    • For anyone who didn’t live through the Troubles, or lived a safe distance away, please watch the above video. Austin and Rowan subtly dispel any notion of romanticism that people sometimes attach to civil conflict. It is a dirty, brutal, backstabbing, dehumanising, massively unfair business. The innocent suffer way out of proportion to anyone else. The scars last for generation after generation.

      Like

  27. Like

  28. Like

  29. I see the DUP have voted to privatise the NHS in the House Of Commons. Yet another own goal by the party which opposes the Tory Government by voting with it most of the time.

    Like

    • Diarmuid Breatnach

      voting away one of the positives for people in the Six Counties as against joining the 26 Counties

      Like

  30. Some light reading for you:

    The Ireland/Northern Ireland Protocol. Responding to Tensions or Enacting Opportunity?
    A report by The Institute of Irish Studies at the University of Liverpool
    Authors: Professor Peter Shirlow FAcSS
    Michael D’Arcy
    Alison Grundle
    Jarlath Kearney
    Professor Brendan Murtaght

    Click to access The,Ireland-Northern,Ireland,Protocol,-,Responding,to,Tensions,or,Enacting,Opportunity.pdf

    I haven’t read this yet myself.

    Like

  31. I see Boris Johnson takes his marching orders not from the British public or even other senior Tories but from the Daily Telegraph newspaper who he thinks of as his real bosses. According to a interview given Dominic Cummings to the BBC tonight.

    Like

  32. New Lucid Talk Poll For the Belfast Telegraph :
    🔷DUP 13% (-3 from May)
    🔷SF 25% (no change)
    🔷UUP 16% (+2)
    🔷TUV 14% (+3)
    🔷Alliance 13% (-3)
    🔷SDLP 13% (+1)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! Tweeted that this morning. Fascinating, isn’t it? Cultural unionist voters heading back to UUP from AP, some cultural nationalist voters heading back to SDLP from AP, SF holding progressive nationalist vote, GP and PBP treading water, TUV taking hardliner DUP vote, etc.

      Will DUP ally with TUV to bring down the assembly to prevent SF first minister before 2022 vote, using Protocol as the excuse? Will UUP be forced to go along with it or make token gesture against?

      Will AP lose more cultural nationalist voters in that eventuality?

      Like

  33. Not exactly a great honeymoon for Jeffrey still he console himself with all his Trade Ambassadorships.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. High Jump Hoey strikes again

    Like

  35. Lucid Talk / Belfast Telegraph

    18-24 Age Group:

    SF: 49%
    UUP: 14%
    PBP: 9%
    ALL: 9%
    SDLP: 9%
    DUP: 5%
    TUV: 2%
    GP: 2%
    I/O: 1%

    20-23 August, 2021

    Like

  36. Little Jeffrey threatening to pull down the institutions in weeks if the Protocol is not removed.

    Like

  37. I see little Jeffrey has sent Nancy Pelosi a copy of the Good Friday Agreement the cheeky wee scamp. I hope Nancy sends him a copy of the United States Declaration of Independence in return to remind him that the United States Of America gave up listening to what the UK Parliament thinks over 200 years ago.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave A Comment (Please familiarise yourself with the ASF Terms of Use and Commenting Policy before posting a comment)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: