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DUP under pressure in Northern Ireland Election

by Frank Schnittger Thu Oct 31st, 2019 at 01:28:47 PM EST

Newton Emerson has a very interesting take on how the general election may play out in N. Ireland. The DUP currently hold 10 seats to Sinn Fein's 7, with one independent Unionist.  Essentially Northern Ireland has been re-partitioned East West between unionist and Nationalist representatives with a nationalist enclave in West Belfast.

By Furfur, Brythones - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

 


Every general election in Northern Ireland features a key constituency where the battle between unionism and nationalism is seen to be playing out. For decades these battles were about nationalism encroaching steadily on unionism - the "greening of the west", to use Sinn Féin's phrase.

For the past 20 years much attention has been stuck on Fermanagh and South Tyrone, where unionists held out by forming a unique electoral pact, usually involving the Democratic Unionist Party standing aside for the Ulster Unionist Party. It was presumed both parties would try this again in the next election, now set for December 12th.

Last week, new UUP leader-designate Steve Aiken ruled out any pacts with the DUP under his watch, saying the larger party had "besmirched unionism with its corruption and sleaze".

He also vowed to move the UUP to "an unambiguously pro-Remain position".

So the key constituency in this election will be North Belfast, where DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds is defending a 2,000-vote majority over Sinn Féin's John Finucane, currently serving as the city's mayor.

It would certainly be a sea-change in N. Ireland's politics if the divisions over Brexit where to over-ride the traditional unionist-nationalist divide resulting in a split in the unionist vote and a gain for Sinn Fein. Instead of fighting the election on its own record on Brexit, the DUP are already campaigning vigorously using the classic flag-waving tactic of demanding tribal solidarity and stopping the other side getting in.

But the DUP is also defending other seats against the Ulster Unionist party, the SDLP, and a resurgent Alliance Party where the sectarian dog whistle will not be as effective. It's overall vote was down from 36% in the 2017 general election to just 24 and 22% in the local and European elections this year but that was mainly because these elections were fought on a multi-seat constituency, single transferable vote, proportional representation system where a vote for another unionist party doesn't mean you might be letting a nationalist win the seat.

So much of the DUP vote is a purely sectarian headcount designed to keep unionism in power and nationalist out. Now that the DUP is seen to have put the Union in play through its ridiculous Brexit policy it will be interesting to see whether at least some Unionists look elsewhere for their representation. An estimated 40% of unionists (along with c. 90% of Nationalists) voted Remain in the 56-44% Remain vote in the 2016 referendum, and it is clear the Ulster Unionist party is now going after that Remain Unionist vote.

Display:
Given the situation this would be a really good time for Sinn Fein put on their Big Boy pants and take their seats in Parliament.

Not gonna happen, of course.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Thu Oct 31st, 2019 at 06:30:06 PM EST
it my not matter for long. If brexit happens, Ulster will peel away from the UK within a few years.

Once Ulster's identity was as an essential part of the United Kingdom, but its future economic survival is dependent upon the Republic. You cannot expect the fundamentalists in the DUP to understand that, but they'll be roadkill as everybody else embraces the EU.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Oct 31st, 2019 at 08:55:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think the odds are 6/5 and pick 'em of a return to violence in NI and the Republic.  It would take a statesman with the talents of Bismark to pull the island together and I don't see one.


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Fri Nov 1st, 2019 at 09:50:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I remain skeptical that NI violence will return to anything like previous levels.

The UK Secret State couldn't give a toss about unionists these days. The Tories have signalled that Ulster is no longer an essential asset and they certainly aren't going to return to a military commitment. Everybody knows where that goes and it's just an expensive mistake.

I'm also unconvinced that the republicans really want to return to the twin track bullet and ballot bo approach.

Yes, there are nutters on both sides whose criminal careers improve with the "cover" of para-military activity, but the reaction to the death of Lyra McKee showed that, outside of fairly limited circlees, these people are very much on their own. They are almost entirely without international support and the UK govt isn't going to either help the unionists with intelligence or money, nor provide a new IRA with a target.


keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Nov 4th, 2019 at 06:47:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Gove and company are the ones who didn't like the GFA because they wanted a military victory, whatever that meant.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Nov 5th, 2019 at 09:51:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
yes, I'd like to say his was an isolated voice within the current Tory party but 20 years seems to have infected them with an awful amnesia. But then again, gove et al weren't the ones who were suffering from the war, so why should they care anyway? It wasn't even their money being squandered.

However, brexit will definitely force the Empire-nostalgists to review their options. The UK will have to review its pending priorities significantly and the anti-Soviet strategies of misile subs and the utterly pathetic aircraft carriers and the F-35 vanity aircraft too expensive to be risked in battle will have to be trashed.

The little englanders may find their brexit reveals England as having become very little indeed.

So, the open-ended excessive commttments that make re-entry into an armed conflict in Ulster simply don't make any sense. Surely even to an idiot like Gove

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Nov 5th, 2019 at 03:10:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How do they escape a military commitment if the violence levels do rise? What do they do if police and customs are targeted?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Nov 5th, 2019 at 10:30:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think they'll abandon Ulster. They''ll run away.

They might, might, offer some form of small subsidy for re-location to unionist, but given what's happening in Scotland and what will certainly happen on the ground in Ulster, I think they'd be wise to cut their losses and get out.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Nov 5th, 2019 at 03:16:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They could treat it as a criminal matter for the police to handle, trying to track down the guilty parties and bring them to a fair trial, all in order to isolate the violent elements from the community at large.

Though looking at the so called war on terror, maybe they just can't help themselves.

by fjallstrom on Tue Nov 5th, 2019 at 05:21:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
you know that we don't want to fight
but, by jingo, if we do,
we've got the guns, we've got the men
we've got the money too oh shit, maybe not

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Nov 5th, 2019 at 05:43:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
First Rule of GWOT (Global War On Terror): All terrorists are in other countries, so you have to send your troops to those countries.
by rifek on Wed Nov 6th, 2019 at 02:30:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Their terrorists are in other countries. Our terrorists wear our uniforms...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Nov 6th, 2019 at 09:22:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Brexit: How it threatens Ireland and how Americans can help | Irsh Times |

The Brexiteers are also dismissive of the leaders of the 26 nations of the EU. However, the UK will need a new trade deal with the US under its new status. US Senator Tom Cotton (Republican, Arkansas) sent a letter to Boris Johnson, signed by 45 senators (out of 100 total senators) pledging to back a trade deal with Britain with or without a deal. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (Democrat, California) however has assured the Irish government and warned the British government that a UK/US trade deal will not pass the House Of Representatives if it threatens Ireland. This is recognition that a hard border threatens the delicate peace.

Will Belfast ever have a Berlin Wall moment and tear down its 'peace walls'?

House committee passes Suozzi, King Brexit resolution protecting Ireland border

From archive, troubles and arms ...

Irish Northern Aid Committee
Gaddafi and the IRA's explosive relationship

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.

by Oui on Tue Nov 5th, 2019 at 12:58:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The letter (facsimile), which is not linked to the article.
First, if Britain leaves the EU with no deal, we will work with our administration, your government, and our friends in the EU to minimize disruptions in critical matters such as international financial transactions, and the shipment of medicine, food, and other vital supplies.

Second, irrespective of how Brexit occurs, we recommit to the NATO security alliance and the "Vive Eyes" intelligence partnership. We also will advocate for a new bilateral trade agreement, as early as your Brexit terms would allow, that reflects the centuries of open commerce between our nations.

Finally, we pledge our friendship in the future of the United Kingdom. Our soldiers have fought together from the beaches of Normandy to the mountains of Afghanistan. Together, we have toppled tyrants and liberated the oppressed. The shared stroy of our special relationship is a great one indeed, and we look forward to adding more chapters still.

There is no "recognition that a hard border threatens the delicate peace," because the number of Irish republican fin-tech entrepreneurs in USA (21st cen. "diaspora") who give a damn is exceedingly refined. Surprising no one but Mr Rooney's parochial apprehension of US politics since 1922. Quoting another deluded "contributor," Mr Dowd:
[Tom Cotton] pro British stance in the event of a no-deal Brexit will put him and the GOP senators in direct opposition with the Irish government supporters in the Congress. Speaker Nancy ["Pay-go"] Pelosi and Ways and Means Chair Ritchie ["Show me your TAXES"] Neal have vowed to block a trade deal if there is a no-deal Brexit and an attempt to restore the border.
Because it costs nothing to jawbone when passing through Dublin. The House does not pass US "trade deals". It may vote to pass more cash to the grande bourgeoisie of the Republic, some day in a little remarked provision in the next NDAA, if the price is right for data transfers from behind the iron GDPR. quid pro quo, y'all.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Tue Nov 5th, 2019 at 02:29:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The letter from Boris' Republican friends was congratulatory and signed on August 1, 2019.

Nancy Pelosi says the House can block a negotiated trade agreement - TPA. I assumed she knows.

Related reading ...

Fast Track Trade Promotion Authority | Brookings - 2001 |
What's Really in the New Trade Promotion Authority Bill? | Cato - 2015 |

Boris tried to fast-track his Brexit deal through HoC --- been negotiating with Brussels, not the White House.

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.

by Oui on Tue Nov 5th, 2019 at 07:01:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Pls stop trying to learn US gov from US MSM. Readers here might assume people of the "Irish-American" persuasion are suddenly, genetically incapable of loyalty to the Republican Party or, worse, not motivated by profit.

Instead reconsider unstated assumptions about legitimate executive powers:

  1. The hag Nancy Pelosi.
  2. US Constitution, Artcle II, advice and consent.
  3. International Agreements and U.S. Law
  4. Cabinet US Trade Representative, TRADE ACT OF 1974, Part-4 (§ 2171) Office, Part-5 (§§ 2191 - 2194) limits of congressional "consideration"
  5. US Constitution, Article I, regulates WHAT?
  6. The hag Nancy Pelosi.
  7. United States Code (statute) expresses the limits of congressional authority in practice: incentives or sanctions against "entities"
  8. "fast tracks": House Rules, Senate Rules are not statutes.

US-UK do. not. do. international. law. m'k?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed Nov 6th, 2019 at 12:06:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The great divide ... red States and Blue States.

Not bound by a U.S. Constitution ... separation of powers ... sue the hell out of everybody ..., don't compromise or negotiate ... at last a bully president in the mansion called "White House" ... trample on the rights of anyone near .... guns are the rule of law ... disagreement? ... we'll unite and send in the U.S. Marines ... a matter of time and the numbers until this is recognized by civilised States ... International Law or treaties? ... useful to wipe one's ass in the out house.

At last we seem to agree on something! 😑

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.

by Oui on Wed Nov 6th, 2019 at 03:09:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We The People pay her a salary ... a "Prosperity Gospel" pastor who considers Trump a god. wtf

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.
by Oui on Wed Nov 6th, 2019 at 03:22:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Office of Public Liaison
established 1974, EOP est'd. 1939 (US Congress)

Legal, political, and popular opposition: zero

United States Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom
established 1998, US Congress

Legal, political, and popular opposition: zero

Faith-Based and Community Initiatives (a/k/a White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships)
established 2001, EO

Legal, political, and popular opposition: zero
--
US Constitution, 1st Amd, "establishment" clause
--

archived executive office administration
Ripley's
Believe it or not, EC description of Commission Secretary General title ...
The Dictator and the Decider
"He's doing our work for us, in a certain respect," said the speaker of the House.


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Fri Nov 8th, 2019 at 03:59:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
1 Year Out: A divided nation lurches toward 2020 election (APsplaining)
"It seems like Republicans and Democrats are intractable," said Mark Updegrove, a presidential historian and chairman of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation. "They are both adhering to their own versions of reality, whether they're based in truth or not."

The political divisions today reflect societal and economic schisms between more rural, largely white communities where the economy depends on industries being depleted by outsourcing and automation, and more urban, racially diverse areas dominated by a service economy and where technology booms are increasing wealth.

Many of those divisions existed before Trump, but his presidency has exacerbated them. Trump has panned his political opponents as "human scum," while Democrats view his vision for America's future as anathema to the nation's founding values.

Human scum - that's for Nevertrumpers. More deplorable fun coming.
by das monde on Wed Nov 6th, 2019 at 09:04:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
International law is what the powerful countries impose on the weak, and what the delusional cling to for protection from the powerful.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Nov 6th, 2019 at 09:24:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
this bromide applies to the Belfast Agreement as well as the International Criminal Court.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Nov 8th, 2019 at 04:24:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why do you think the UK government could blissfully ignore it until the EU threw its weight behind Ireland?

And has any general from the winning side in a war ever been prosecuted for war crimes?

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Nov 8th, 2019 at 07:29:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Trade Expansion Act of 1962 purportedly establishing USTR

actual reference
U.S. Code CHAPTER 7-- TRADE EXPANSION PROGRAM, U.S. Code § 1801. Statement of purposes
christ Kennedy admin

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Wed Nov 6th, 2019 at 12:18:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
From the Brookings article:
"Fast Track Legislative Procedures establish limitations on Congress, ensuring a streamlined legislative process. It requires introduction of the implementing bill in both houses of Congress, referral to relevant committees (at minimum the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committees), and automatic discharge after 45 legislative days if the bill has not been reported out of the committees. Fast track permits no amendments to the implementing bill and limits floor debate to 20 hours in each chamber. It requires a timely vote on the implementing bill in the House and Senate no more than 15 legislative days after leaving committee and ensures no conference committee, since both chambers vote on the same implementing bill."

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Nov 6th, 2019 at 04:14:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
discrete "parliamentary" procedures of the US House of Representatives and US Senate
CRS, Ex. 1, fn. 1, always read the footnotes --Jefferson's Manual, and Rules of the House of Representatives
CRS, Ex. 2, Fast Track" Legislative Procedures Governing Congressional Consideration of a Defense Base Closure and Realignment (BRAC) Commission Report (2013)
Ex. 3, Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015. 19 USC 4201 note -- Title I, Trade Promotion Authority

etc

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Fri Nov 8th, 2019 at 04:20:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"There is no 'recognition that a hard border threatens the delicate peace'."

Northern Ireland's violent past looms over last-ditch Brexit talks | NBC News |

Analysis: These are distressing times for those of us who were children when "the Troubles" began, who lived through its daily carnage.

In Ireland, we say the past is never over. And it has come back to haunt us as the prospect of a disorderly Brexit looms.

I was 9 years old when the war we euphemistically call "the Troubles" began in Northern Ireland.

"Troubles" doesn't come close to describing it.

I vividly recall the bloodstained images of the attack on civil rights marchers by police in 1968 that set off this terrible explosion of violence. It was a war that not only killed more than 3,700, it injured an estimated 47,000 people in at least 37,000 shootings and over 16,000 bombings.  

Brexit long negotiations is proof there is no solution to the Irish border question. From above map, the Irish border is Sein Fein territory.

How Brexit Put a United Ireland Back on the Map

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.

by Oui on Tue Nov 5th, 2019 at 07:26:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No sign of it. Abstentionism has a very long history in Irish politics and for Sinn Fein MPs to take an oath of loyalty to the Queen would be a bridge too far for them. Sinn Fein are getting a lot of flak for not being more effective in opposing Brexit however.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Oct 31st, 2019 at 10:45:23 PM EST
I did write "not gonna happen." :-)

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Fri Nov 1st, 2019 at 09:51:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
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 ]
General election: Sinn Fein stands down in three seats to help remainers, including unionist Hermon - live news

guardian


It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Mon Nov 4th, 2019 at 01:58:10 PM EST
Sorry for the broken link - this should be better

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Mon Nov 4th, 2019 at 02:00:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I presume they had no prospect of winning, so it is easy virtue-signalling for them. It does however strengthen the argument that SF MPs should also "do the right thing" and occupy their seats. It is the perfect time to change their policy since they would now not be breaking previous promises since they were made in relation to previous elections.
by det on Mon Nov 4th, 2019 at 05:58:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think it is virtue signalling as far as many of their supporters are concerned - many of whom want Sinn Féin contesting every seat.

The longer term Sinn Féin strategy has always been to gradually build an organisation in every constituency through assiduous constituency work on local issues so that they can be competitive a few elections from now.

Even a few thousand committed supporters can be enough to elect a Councillor or two, and after that the basis for electing an MP. That is how they gradually pushed the SDLP out of all their seats - even the seats formerly held by SDLP leaders Gerry Fitt and John Hume.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Nov 4th, 2019 at 08:20:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
coming soon to theaters worldwide
APsplainin | EU's Barnier warns of tough times ahead on UK trade deal
Barnier warned that "the U.K. should not think that zero tariffs, zero quotas will be enough. The EU will insist on zero tariffs, zero quotas and zero dumping."
[...]
"For us, it means a free trade agreement whose aim is not only economic and financial profit with zero tariffs and zero quotas but which is also in the interest of the people, their environmental and living standards," he said.

Current plans call for Britain to leave the bloc on Jan. 31 and end a EU Withdrawal Agreement transitional trade period as soon as the end of 2020. Considering that major international trade deals can often take over half a decade to clinch, that seems a precipitously short time.

Barnier told the Web Summit that by next summer, it will be clear if the Brexit trade EU Withdrawal Agreement transition period will have to be extended beyond the end of next year

archived
Safe Space
If HoC had ratified WA (alias "May's deal") on or before 31 March 2019...
Any tariff greater than 0 is the number driving prospects of "permanent insanity or piracy" through the UK.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Tue Nov 5th, 2019 at 07:12:25 PM EST
Johnny Watterson is a sports journalist. I have often read his reports without knowing anything about him personally. Here he is talking about the murder of his 14 year old brother Peter in Belfast in 1973. It really brings it home to you what the Troubles were like for those who bore the brunt of them... A reality now so glibly glossed over in the politics of the day.

Worth reading in full.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Nov 7th, 2019 at 01:04:49 AM EST
Newton Emerson: Tribal solidarity trumps all in North Belfast
The Ulster Unionist Party's new dawn lasted barely a week.

New leader designate Steve Aiken had pledged to run candidates in all 18 Northern Ireland constituencies in next month's Westminster election.

Unionist voters appalled by the DUP's mishandling of Brexit would have had a choice at the ballot box and a chance to save unionism from itself. In North Belfast, they could have unseated DUP deputy leader and chief Brexiteer Nigel Dodds for the price of letting in an abstentionist Sinn Féin MP.

That would have been a steep price but only a few hundred voters could have made the difference.

By last Thursday night, Aiken was wobbling under ferocious pressure from the DUP and other unionists. Last Friday, police were called to investigate threats against UUP staff. One threat mentioned a particularly violent faction of the UDA.

On Sunday, Aiken announced his party would not contest North Belfast. Possible loyalist intimidation of moderate unionist candidates recalls the political crises of the 1970s.

In his statement on Sunday, Aiken wrote: "It is better to elect Nigel Dodds in North Belfast and hold him to account than to elect an abstentionist MP."

How can the UUP hold Dodds to account when it will not run against him?

Aiken added: "We are a party that believes first and foremost in the union, and secondly in the importance of representative democracy."

Country over democracy is a dubious enough position if you feel your country is at risk. When the DUP is the risk it makes no sense whatsoever.

But tribal solidarity trumps all.



Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Nov 7th, 2019 at 02:06:25 PM EST
You'd be surrised how loyal you can be to the tribe when the leader puts a gun to your head

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Nov 7th, 2019 at 05:32:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And there in one go new Leader Aiken shreds his own credibility  and the raison d'etre of his party as a separate entity. How can you be pro-Remain and vote for Dodds?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Nov 7th, 2019 at 06:05:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's truer statement about anti-social customs and political organization in NI than "tribal solidarity."

yanno, some people keep using that antiquated, ethnographic term, "tribe", but I'm pretty sure it doesn't and was never meant to describe organized crime.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu Nov 7th, 2019 at 06:20:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
tribūs and Vilein bibbles

Did the Romans ever get to Ireland? I'm a bit foggy on that origin story.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu Nov 7th, 2019 at 06:24:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No. That's why we don't have straight roads - they all follow winding cattle tracks...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Nov 7th, 2019 at 06:31:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
< wipes tears >

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Nov 7th, 2019 at 06:58:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sylvia Hermon to stand down as MP for North Down
Lady Hermon has confirmed she is standing down and will not run to retain the Westminster seat she has held for 18 years.
She first won the North Down seat in 2001 as an Ulster Unionist.
She left the party in 2010 after it agreed an electoral pact with the Conservatives and since then has sat as an independent unionist.

<snip>

She backed remain in the 2016 EU referendum and in 2017 she was returned as the only pro-Remain MP from Northern Ireland to take her seat in the Commons.
Lady Hermon has been a vocal critic of the Conservatives' Brexit plans for Northern Ireland and last month she voted against Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Brexit deal.
In July 2019, she voted in favour of legislation in the Commons to legalise same-sex marriage and decriminalise abortion in Northern Ireland.

About the only unionist politician with any integrity...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Nov 8th, 2019 at 02:29:07 AM EST


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