Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Don't be DUPed again (1)!

The DUP has proved unable to secure a big name in order to spearhead its efforts to win back the European parliament seat which it no longer holds. An MLA and two councillors will seek the party’s nomination, the prospective candidates being Robin Newton, Diane Dodds and Deirdre Nelson.

Whoever is successful it is clear that the DUPes’ campaign will assume an all too familiar pattern. In 2007 the party raised the spectre of a Sinn Féin First Minister, having first instigated the change which made that situation possible. It was a piece of disgraceful and barefaced cynicism.

Frightening the unionist electorate will once again comprise a central role in the DUP’s tactics. The inevitable party ‘spokesman’ (aka press office hack) apparently said (or perhaps more accurately e-mailed to local newspapers) the following,

“This election will be a clear battle between the DUP and Sinn Fein. It is crucial that Sinn Fein does not top the poll.”


No matter how much a voter might loathe Sinn Féin, he is also be entitled to ask, why is it so crucial that Bairbre de Bruin doesn’t top the poll?

There are three seats available. If one of them is inevitably going to go to the Shinners, surely the DUP’s priority must be to ensure two others stay with unionists? Especially with the party being so big on ‘unionist unity’ n all! It is certainly desirable the Provos don’t top the poll. Ideally they wouldn’t get a seat at all. But crucial?

A pedant, or someone with a passing interest in consistency, might also wonder why, if the DUPes are so focussed on sidelining Sinn Féin, they spend so much time at Stormont carving up power with the Provos and trooping into the same division lobby.

And, of course, we hear Robinson et al constantly extolling the virtues of the power sharing agreement the two parties are dominating! One would almost think that SF’s hegemony in the nationalist community suits the DUP!

Meanwhile the DUPes managed to acquire the services of one of the Conservatives’ remaining Neanderthal backbenchers as an after dinner speaker. True to form he has criticised his leader’s deal with Ulster Unionists on the grounds that it compromises ‘unionist unity’. (Yes, that predictable and inconsistently applied old chestnut).

Nicholas Winterton is perhaps best known for defending the right of MPs to retain many different undeclared interests alongside their political work. Doubtless he feels at home speaking to a party which has scarcely hidden its determination to extract ever more from the exchequer.

His remarks remain just as invalid as the entire ‘unity’ argument’s substance. Depriving unionists of the choice to vote for a candidate which best represents them does not strengthen the Union one iota. A 300 odd strong bloc of unionists in the UK parliament strengthens it substantially.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Quite humurous to see al these Tories like your good self turning on a fellow Conservative who has faithfully served his party for nearly forty years in Parliament. Why? Because he happens to think hitching up with a bunch of losers in the UUP is a bad idea. What cheek, what nerve! Expel that man immediately.


Ha ha ha!

Chekov said...

Pro-DUP = Conservative. Pro-UUP = Tory. Very cunning.

Anonymous said...

Ha ha! I didn't intend it to be so. My point still stands though.

Timothy Belmont said...

The grammatical distinction, if it exists, between "Tory" and "Conservative" perplexes me. Is there a difference? And is the term "Tory" intended to be disparaging - depending on who uses it?

fair_deal said...

"Depriving unionists of the choice to vote for a candidate which best represents them does not strengthen the Union one iota."

First this is an exaggeration as only a limited deal is proposed so it is not a complete denial of choice. Basically 16 out of 18 would get a full choice.

How does leaving some Unionists with nationalist representation in Westminster "best represents" them or "strengthen the Union one iota"?

fair_deal said...

"Frightening the unionist electorate will once again comprise a central role in the DUP’s tactics."

The UUP have never of course used a scare tactic in its entire existence.

"why is it so crucial that Bairbre de Bruin doesn’t top the poll?"

Where you not around for the 'greening of the west' glee? SF topping the poll will be milked for everything it can.

Republicanism is lacking forward momentum and it is strategically sensible to deny them an opportunity to generate it. Look how the SNP has milked its election as a minority government in Scotland.

"surely the DUP’s priority must be to ensure two others stay with unionists? Especially with the party being so big on ‘unionist unity’ n all!"

So the UUP will be wanting DUP transfers then? So some forms of pacts and co-operation are acceptable after all?

"if the DUPes are so focussed on sidelining Sinn Féin, they spend so much time at Stormont carving up power with the Provos"

The St Andrew's Agreement (or the Belfast Agreement for that matter) did not abolish the electoral battle between Unionism and Nationalism.

"(Yes, that predictable and inconsistently applied old chestnut)."

The old chestnut that ensured the likes of Ken Maginnis got elected as MP for FST. Laterly Martin Smyth in South Belfast? Or when the DUP stamped on some of its own members to support united candidates after the AIA?

"Doubtless he feels at home speaking to a party which has scarcely hidden its determination to extract ever more from the exchequer."

Do you need a link to the Burnside article you highlighted and praised where he argued the Tory link was to deliver 'more finance'?
After all you are someone with "a passing interest in consistency"

"A 300 odd strong bloc of unionists in the UK parliament strengthens it substantially."

So only Conservatives can be Unionist? How is the union strengthened by exclusion of others?

Chekov said...

Fuck it to bastarding fuck. I'd typed a long reply to all that point by cunting point and the pishflapping computer gave me a duplicate action page. >:-( Can't be arsed rehashing it at the moment,

fair_deal said...

The joys of modern technology, time is not of the essence in our debate.

Chekov said...

Right. Firstly, apologies for that foul-tempered, potty mouthed outburst. Frustration got the better of me.

“First this is an exaggeration as only a limited deal is proposed so it is not a complete denial of choice. Basically 16 out of 18 would get a full choice.”

In two full constituencies unionists would be denied the choice of voting for their preferred candidate. In at least one constituency access to mainstream Westminster politics would be denied. That is an unacceptable basis on which to start this new deal and it does not benefit unionism.

“Republicanism is lacking forward momentum and it is strategically sensible to deny them an opportunity to generate it. Look how the SNP has milked its election as a minority government in Scotland.”

We are not talking about SF increasing its share of the vote necessarily. We’re not even talking about nationalism increasing its share of the vote. If SF jump up and down and dance around because their vote holds up and the DUP’s drops off, then they are getting disproportionately excited about very little. O’Neill argues the point well.

“So the UUP will be wanting DUP transfers then? So some forms of pacts and co-operation are acceptable after all”

I’m not suggesting pacts and cooperation. I’m trying to ascertain what the DUP’s priorities are. Do the DUP think it is more important that SF don’t top the poll or that unionism wins two seats?

“The St Andrew's Agreement (or the Belfast Agreement for that matter) did not abolish the electoral battle between Unionism and Nationalism.”

The Belfast Agreement certainly did not prescribe enthusiastic carve-up with SF or sidelining smaller parties from decision making. Those are initiatives of SF and the DUP alone. A carve-up coalition was not inevitable.

“Do you need a link to the Burnside article you highlighted and praised where he argued the Tory link was to deliver 'more finance'?”

The crux of Burnside’s point is that the UUP were seeking to be part of the party (at Westminster) which could well be making decisions as regards finance. Not quite the DUP’s mantra of being owed by the squatters / Brits!

“So only Conservatives can be Unionist? How is the union strengthened by exclusion of others?”

No. I’ve never intimated that only Conservatives can be unionists despite your attempts to implicate that I have. But it will only be the Conservative bloc which can be 300 odd strong and span the entire UK. It is a strong showing for Conservatives which will most benefit the Union throughout our nation.

fair_deal said...

"Firstly, apologies"

No need perfectly understandable

"In two full constituencies unionists would be denied the choice of voting for their preferred candidate."

First some Unionists would be denied their choice not all, DUP voters denied in one and ConUUP voters denied in another, it is not total in each constituency.

In one ninth of NI constituencies there will not be a full choice. In one eighteenth of NI constituences there will not be the opportunity for the party you prefer. This is an improvement of 17 out of 18 on the last election for what you desire, this is a massive gain for what you desire.
UK wide it is in one without a full choice and 1 in 657 dnied the choice of the party you prefer Also no other party can claim to stand in all four constituent parts of the UK so it is a stronger 'unionist' boast than the other national parties. Almost everything you want can occur

More votes in our national parliament for nationalist parties is not going to strengthen the Union.

"If SF jump up and down and dance around because their vote holds up and the DUP’s drops off, then they are getting disproportionately excited about very little."

Opportunities are what you make of them not what others perceive them to be. Psychology plays a key role in politics so it should not be ignored.

"I’m not suggesting pacts and cooperation. I’m trying to ascertain what the DUP’s priorities are. Do the DUP think it is more important that SF don’t top the poll or that unionism wins two seats?"

Both are achieveable. However, if you want to achieve the latter co-operation is required.

"The Belfast Agreement certainly did not prescribe enthusiastic carve-up with SF or sidelining smaller parties from decision making. Those are initiatives of SF and the DUP alone. A carve-up coalition was not inevitable."

That is an entertaining re-write of how the first executive behaved.

"The crux of Burnside’s point is that the UUP were seeking to be part of the party (at Westminster) which could well be making decisions as regards finance. Not quite the DUP’s mantra of being owed by the squatters / Brits!"

No he specifically mentions more finance.

"No. I’ve never intimated that only Conservatives can be unionists"

Using phraseology of "A 300 odd strong bloc of unionists" and now clearly identifying them as conservative "only be the Conservative bloc which can be 300 odd strong" provides the very intimation you deny. If it is not the intimiation you wish I suggest greater care in your phraseology.

Chekov said...

FD,

If there are 300 Conservatives and UUs in a bloc, and the bloc is unionist, then there is a 300 strong unionist bloc.

fair_deal said...

A Unionist bloc which just made a deal with the SNP for a second year in a row
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/7854417.stm

Anonymous said...

Winterton is a silly old fart. He is well aware of the rationale behind the relationship between the UUP and Conservatives but prefers to patronise Northern Ireland by treating it like some colony that still has state sanctioned slavery. In that context the DUP is chief slave-owner. He is an exceptionally silly politician but has ZERO (with 73 zeros) influence in the Party. And he may well be kicked out on his arse because of this.

Chekov said...

Disappointing.