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Ulster Unionist leader Steve Aiken refuses to say whether party will stand candidate in North Belfast
Evidently, the rat bastid is unbought. He's is willing to sell a DUP whoopie cushion out from under Nigel Dodds to ...Sinn Fein? Preposterous. What would SF be doing there.
Bombardier's Belfast factory sold to Spirit in £850m deal
Keeping it real: jobs saved or created, US shares, Airbus SUBSIDIES, WTO blowback

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Nov 1st, 2019 at 01:37:24 AM EST
I'm not sure it matters all that much whether the UUP put up a candidate against Nigel Dodds of the DUP. The issue is that Dodds led the hardline Brexit campaign against Theresa May's Brexit plan, which has now resulted in Boris Johnson's Brexit plan which puts a border down the Irish sea to the horror of all unionists, not just Remainers.

Those unionists would probably vote for Alliance almost as easily as they would vote for the UUP, and Alliance have a credible candidate for the seat, Nuala McAllister, Finucane's predecessor as Belfast mayor. With Alliance's vote growing in any case, Dodd's 2000 vote margin over John Finucane should not be a big mountain to climb provided Finucane had maintain Sinn Fein's vote share.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Nov 1st, 2019 at 12:40:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
SMEs 'must grow skills, exports to be productive' (€ pay wall) <- Government Launches Major OECD SME and Entrepreneurship Policy Review as Part of Future Jobs Ireland <- source (pdf)

## Knowledge management

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Fri Nov 1st, 2019 at 05:53:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
An important issue in its own right, but I'm not sure how it relates to the topic of this diary.

For years economists have been pointing to the relatively poor performance of the indigenous Irish SME sector compared to other countries of comparable size - e.g. Denmark. Poor innovation, marketing, linguistic skills and financial expertise have all been highlighted.

Ireland's almost unique dependency on foreign owned, large scale or global businesses has also been highlighted as a key strategic vulnerability. We have a long way to go, especially if corporate tax reform causes FDI to dry up.

But how does this relate to the travails of the DUP in the North's general election?

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Nov 1st, 2019 at 06:41:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Arlene's days are numbered.
from 31 Oct, as hunger intensifies in NI, the chieftains will be sharpening knives...

UPDATE
Bad Week For DUP: Rival Unionist Party Want to Ditch Electoral Pact in Northern Ireland
awwww, there's that word, DITCH, again.
'Does Irish unity stand up to scrutiny in the real world?'
She's asking 'cause she don't know what 'Irish unity' is. She need help. Halp! Halp!

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Fri Nov 1st, 2019 at 07:28:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Bastid Queen: How I want to build a collaborative vision for unionism
I want to see a Northern Ireland where plans on the economy, education, health and other public services are the dividing lines for political debate and elections.

Unionist culture is important to me, as is my faith, and I disagree with Malachi that to be Protestant and support the monarchy and armed forces is 'backward-looking'.



Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Nov 1st, 2019 at 07:50:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
After partition in 1922, the small Protestant minority in the South declined from c. 10% in the south to c. 3% through a combination of emigration - as "imperial jobs" moved elsewhere in the British Empire, lower relative birthrates, the notorious Roman Catholic ne temere decree which required the children of mixed marriages to be brought up as Catholics, an unwillingness to live in a "Roman Catholic state", and isolated cases of intimidation and violence such as the killings of Coolacrease which were witnessed by my late wife's grandmother.

However the remaining 3% accommodated themselves to living in the "Free State" and then the Republic of Ireland without too much difficulty and there were genuine attempts by the new state to be inclusive. Two Presidents and several cabinet ministers have been protestants, and the last bastion of Catholicism - the Gaelic Athletic Association -  elected my wife's protestant uncle as President in 1994 (despite the fact that he played rugby not GAA in his youth). By the 1990's the population of Protestants had risen to 5% in part due to converts from Catholicism disillusioned by the extreme conservatism of the Roman Catholic Church.

Nationalists point to this relatively benign history of inclusion as indicating there will be no problem incorporating almost a million Protestants in Northern Ireland into a future united Ireland, but there are a few issues with this over-simplification:

  1. Firstly, it is easier to incorporate a smaller and declining minority.
  2. Secondly, Northern Protestants are "a different Breed" being more predominantly hardline fundamentalist Presbyterian rather than more liberal Anglicans.
  3. Thirdly, southern protestants saw themselves as Irish, whereas Northern Protestants like to pretend they are British.
  4. Fourthly, it's not just about religion. Northern Protestants have been the majority ruling class in Northern Ireland, quite ruthless in their determination to maintain that position by fair means or foul, and will not give up a dominant political and economic position easily.

That said, the potential for post re-unification conflict may be over-stated provided the transition is managed well. Even most Northern Protestants accept that re-unification at some stage is inevitable and will be irreversible, if only for demographic reasons, and their main objective is to put off that evil day for as long as possible.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Nov 2nd, 2019 at 08:42:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
UUP steps aside in North Belfast in boost to DUP's Nigel Dodds
The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) is to step aside in North Belfast in the UK's forthcoming general election in a reversal of a pledge by the party's leader-elect, Steve Aiken, to run a candidate in all 18 of the North's constituencies.

It follows "abusive and threatening" phone calls which were made to the party's headquarters on Friday.

In a statement on Sunday, Mr Aiken said the UUP was "a party that believes first and foremost in the Union", and would not stand in order to give the sitting MP, the DUP's deputy leader Nigel Dodds, the best chance of holding his seat.

"In the face of Boris Johnson`s terrible deal which forces Northern Ireland towards the edge of the Union," he said, "we cannot gift a seat to Sinn Féin who support this direction either in North Belfast or Fermanagh and South Tyrone."

So its back to the more familiar unionist/nationalist divide dressed up as a rejection of abstentionism... Still, remainer unionists still have a credible Alliance party to vote for, and that could eat into Dodds' majority.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Nov 3rd, 2019 at 04:39:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sickening to see a continuation of violence and/or the threat of violence as a major political factor in N. Ireland.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Nov 4th, 2019 at 04:21:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
'John Bull's political slum'

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Tue Nov 5th, 2019 at 02:35:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Call to freeze tax and NI thresholds in £45bn assault on poverty
m'k. This promo for Labour is lame, beginning with the headline.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Tue Nov 5th, 2019 at 03:45:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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