Sunday 6 December 2009

What colour is that road?

To most people roads are roads. Sometimes motorways, sometimes mere lanes, but essentially just arteries for traffic.

But not for Jim Allister. For him roads are political – and he can spot an anti-unionist, or even anti-Protestant conspiracy where others merely see asphalt.

Take his recent press release (on his private web site, but not yet on the TUV’s):
“The A5, upon which there has been no business plan prepared nor economic appraisal conducted, is being pushed ahead, not because of meeting a prioritised need, but to headline a cross-border project. The A5 project has more to do with opening up speedy access to Donegal than finding the best way to meet local needs.”
Now, given the number of unionists who have holiday homes in Donegal, it might seem that the A5 is actually something that unionist voters might approve of.

Ah, but no. The real beneficiaries will be southerners, apparently:
“I do not see why the best of working farms, which have been the livelihoods of families for generations, have to be sacrificed to give travellers from Dublin swift transport to Donegal”.
But even where the conspiracy lacks a cross-border dimension, Allister sees a ‘sectarian’ dimension:

“I am appalled by the route suggested for the Dungiven bypass. Here a wider sweep around the town than necessary has been taken, resulting in the truncating of several farms. Is this in order to avoid the more direct route which would disrupt the GAA facilities? I suspect it is and that, again, the political direction of the department is playing its part in choosing to destroy some Protestant farms in order to preserve the GAA facilities.”
If such an accusation was true, it would be appalling and should lead to the immediate sacking of the minister responsible. In essence, Allister is accusing a whole department, its planners, the whole planning process, and numerous other involved actors, of deliberately trying to destroy farms on the basis of the farmers’ religion! But it isn't true, of course, and Allister has no evidence whatsoever to support his bizarre claims.

Allister’s determination to find anti-Protestant bias in every act by a department with a Sinn Féin minister is reaching levels approaching oddness. It is a sign of his political immaturity and political destructiveness. That such a proportion of the unionist electorate vote for him and his party is a poor reflection of their intelligence. His politics are the politics of the cul de sac, and those who follow him may have cause to regret their decisions if he ever actually achieves his ambition of exercising real power and influence.


Nordie Northsider said...

It really is dreadful - naked ethnic/sectarian spite. Quite dispiriting, really.

Anonymous said...

A map explaining all this would have been helpful. And what is a "GAA"? People outside of Europe read this blog too. As for the poor reflection on the intelligence of the unionist community, his appeal is tribal and that's the key. Its the same dynamic in North America (although it is race or ethnicity, not religion).

Anonymous said...

GAA is the Gaelic Athletic Association. They are the organization that organizes the Gaelic sports of Hurling & Football (not soccer)They have grounds all across the whole island of Ireland. Unionists don't like them because some of the sporting grounds in NI are named after dead IRA members. But they would have a problem with them anyway, the names of the grounds just give them an excuse to openly hate them.

Horseman said...

Anonymous (at 06 December 2009 21:32),

For maps, you could try Google maps or Multimap. Both probably show the roads in question, though I doubt if they would show the religions of the owners of the fields through which unbuilt roads will pass!

"A GAA" is also easily explained. Try

I know that people outside Europe read this (and even many people in Europe have no idea about the subject), but I assume that most readers have an Irish background, so I don't explain absolutely everything. I'll try to increase my link-density - that will also get me better ratings on Google (apparently, if what I read about their methods are correct).

hoboroad said...

I see Davide Cantoni a Harvard student has proven there is no such thing as a Protestant Work Ethic. Using data from Germany between 1300-1900 he has debunked the notion that Protestants work harder than Catholics. I read this at the Daily Telegraph Blogs.

Watcher said...

More sectarian 'thoughts' hoboroad, you clown...

hoboroad said...

How is pointing out there is no difference between Protestant workers and Catholic Workers sectarian? Surely if I was saying the opposite that would be sectarian.

Anonymous said...

WeightWatcher's very sensitive to bigotry. He doesn't seem to spot it when it comes from himself though.

Another beaut I from ATW, on homosexuality this time:

"The sight of two women [kissing] is even more vomit-inducing."

Hahaha. What a balloon.

malestripper said...

I don't mind the sight of two women kissing - especially two Japanese 'schoolgirls'


Anonymous said...

Jim Allister's anger about "the political direction of the department is playing its part in choosing to destroy some Protestant farms" is completly transparent.'s all to do with Willie Ross, the President of the TUV. His farm is the "some Protestant farms" that Allister refers to. Ross' vehement opposition to the Dungiven bypass for the past 40-odd years has all been to do with this fact. Well...he's also blatantly sectarian and hates the idea of a bypass for a Catholic town in what was the Unionist dominated Limavady council, until SF/SDLP took the majority of course. For all this time Mr Ross has refused to budge on this issue, its only been with the fall of the UUP and the SF Regional development Minsiter that the bypass has got the go ahead.

If Jim Allister's politics are entirely based on the few, middel class members that his party actually has then he faces an uncertain future.

hoboroad said...

Interesting point Anonymous maybe Allister should change his party name to the NIMBY party.

Paddy Canuck said...

hoboroad said...

"maybe Allister should change his party name to the NIMBY party."

Over here it means Not In My Back Yard... what would it mean over there in this case? Northern Irish Myopic Bigots Yoooonited? :)