Friday 13 November 2009

Little boys' politics

The sheer childishness of the squabbling between the various unionist parties provokes mixed feelings amongst many non-unionists. From the sidelines non-unionists watch with feelings ranging from horror, through disappointment, disbelief and head-shaking disapproval, to occasional amusement, as the DUP, TUV and UUP trade play-ground insults.

From the UUP we have seen a website devoted to telling the DUP that their 'pants are on fire'. From the TUV we get silly jokes about the DUP suffering from TUVitis. And now, outdoing the others in sheer childishness, we get a pathetic DUP video on Youtube trying to ridicule the TUV.

This kind of thing is unfortunately common amongst children – sometimes even amongst less mature students – but to see supposedly mature adult parties reducing themselves to this level is quite sad.

Unionism as a movement seems to be degenerating into a number of playground gangs exchanging taunts and insults. Evidence of serious thinking is largely lacking. This kind of degeneration was to be expected during direct rule, when no party had access to real power and so had no incentive to develop policies. But since 2007 Northern Ireland has had an Assembly and an Executive. The parties have had ample time to adjust to that reality, and to start acting like serious politicians. That they haven't done so should profoundly worry ordinary unionists. Facing demographic decline and a real existentialist threat, the best their political leaders can come up with is childishness. If ever ordinary unionists needed to be reminded of the basic failure of their state, a close look at their own parties should suffice.

Unionist parties appear incapable of practicing real politics – much less actually governing in the interests of all. Their failures simply serve to remind us all that unionism is not a real political movement – it is simply the manifestation of a reactionary sectarianism that has no place in the modern world. It and its bastard offspring – Northern Ireland – should be consigned to the history books.




Anonymous said...

Ach don't be such an oul sour-bake! It was quite funny, especially considering that there are few more dour, miserable beings on this planet that Jim Allister.

The cure for such pomposity is a healthy dose of laughter at the pompous persons expense.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't have minded the video if it were even funny... But politicians, and Unionist politicians in particular, don't do funny.


ROBERT EMMET 1803 said...

If repartition was to happen would it do so on a county by county basis or on a coucil basis ?
Whichever option,wouldnt it be good for nationalists as the unionists would be left with a very small "state".
This small "state" would then probably undergo "greening" with time and then eventually be again partitioned.

Is it not a way of progress to reduce the size of the 6 counties bit by bit till it reaches nothing.

Anonymous said...

I think if Antrim and Down stayed in the UK it'd take centuries for them to "Green."

Speaking as a Derryman, if I had the option for repartition (and Derry's transfer to the Republic) I'd vote against it. I'd rather stay in the UK with the rest of the Northern nationalists than abandon them to the flag waving nutters of the DUP.

Watcher said...

I think you'll probably get your wish mate.

Nordie Northsider said...

If the British colony is reduced to Antrim and North Down it will ultimately be undone not by demographics but by coastal erosion.

Anonymous said...

What about NI becoming a Crown Dependency like Jersey?

Create an Northern Ireland identity, would not be part of the UK but would still be a possession of the Crown.

Then could adopt the Euro and lower corporate tax rates and create an all island economy.

Anonymous said...

Could Antrim and Down survive if repartition happened. The United Kingdom of GB and North Eastern Ireland. I'd doubt that the British even finance it. They would probably have to go it alone. I wonder what their solution would be for Catholics in this new Orange state.

MaleStripper said...

I've often wondered why The Republic just doesn't offer Loyalists cash to either leave the island, or accept a United Ireland? Has The Republic looked into this and come up with any provisional (dare I say it) figures?

Anonymous said...

In the ROI several generations now have progressively repurchased much of the country from the British artistocracy. Enough is enough. Britain's current 7bn sterling per annum spent propping up N.I. would go a long way toward repatriation expenses--UKP30,000 per annum for a family of four.

At what point (unionist % of the population) does the British govt. get to wash its hands?

ROBERT EMMET 1803 said...

Has the Irish government ever suggested to the british goevernment repartition,taking all but say Antrim and Down.
This would be a stepping stone in my opinion to full unification and not an abandonment of the nationalists left in the 2 counties of Antrim and Down

This would probably what Michael Collins would suggest if he were still with us- a brilliant strategist.

Heck,if we got 4 counties back,I would imagine the resultant 2 county "state" would be very volatile,sectarian,anti irish and doomed for a very short life span.

Anonymous said...

MaleStripper said...

I've often wondered why The Republic just doesn't offer Loyalists cash to either leave the island, or accept a United Ireland? Has The Republic looked into this and come up with any provisional (dare I say it) figures?

As a republican I sincerely hope no one here wants protestants to actually leave Ireland.

Orangeism is a narrow minded culture which I believe sells protestants short; their contribution to life here has been immense when you disregard that. A lot of what one thinks of when one thinks of pride in Ireland- Dublin's Georgian architecture, Derry's walls, the Titanic, Guinness, early 20th century literature etc. etc... We wouldn't have without Irish protestants.

I look forward to a United Ireland, and I'd like to believe I'll live to see it in some form; I want to see protestants as a part of that Ireland.

Anonymous said...

Would it even be possible for Northern Ireland to become a crown dependency?

Anonymous said...

I agree with the comment that the unionists should stay and that they are welcome as fellow Irish citizens. The south has, in the opinion of one historian (Foster) quietly become protestant in the last 30 years. There hasn't been much change in unionist attitudes during that time -- except that they can no longer sneer at the south as poor and backward -- but we can hope for some convergence.

Without a doubt the separation of the people's of Ireland brought out some of the worst of both and reunification would do the opposite.

Seymour Major said...

This post is unbalanced. If you believe that childishness in politics is confined to the Unionist side, think again.

No to long ago, we had Sinn Fein MLAs tittering over the spraying of green paint on post boxes.

That is not really the point though is it?

In politics, politicsl parties do what is necessary to win votes. If childishness works, they will do it. If it does not, it wont. In the end, the voters get the politicians they deserve.

Horseman said...

Seymour Major,

In the end, the voters get the politicians they deserve.


My point, of course, is that it seems that all of the unionist parties are maturity-challenged. You were not able, I notice, to argue against this point - even as regards your own political vehicle, UCUNF. Instead you point to the actions of the youth wing of SF. None of the examples I highlighted were actions of the youth wings of the unionist parties - they represent the actions, thoughts, and maturity level of the grown-up unionists. Pathetic is the only word appropriate, but symptomatic of unionism as a philosophy, I think.