A Conversation for The Political Parties of Northern Ireland

Hmmm

Post 1

Maolmuire

Sorry, I don't like this entry. It *seems* to be informative, but lacks any real insight into the rampant lunacy which pervades most Northern parties.

"The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) is seen as the moderate voice of unionism..." Just how moderate does unionism get? Not very I think is the answer. Perhaps 'least offensive' would be a better description of this party. However, they are better than the shower in the Democratic Unionist Party. This is a bunch of screaming loonies led by Ian Paisley. Essentialy, they believe that nationalists eat protestant babies, plot papist supremacy, etc. etc. Strangely enough, people actually vote for these people. !!! Paisley is well known in Ireland for his rabid anti-catholic rantings. The DUP do NOT inhabit the same world as the rest of us, that's for sure.
The rest of the unionist/loyalist parties are pretty much irrelevant except in the case of a close assembly election result.
The Northern Ireland Women's Coalition are technically a unionist party. They gave their support to Trimble and allowed him to defeat the DUP and some whiners in his own party who wanted to scupper the peace process.
SDLP. These guys seem to have their heads screwed on, except that they have allowed Sinn Fein to hijack their own constituency. They shouldn't have let that happen.
Sinn Fein- the 'we are not the IRA' party. Survived for years on a mandate from the all-Ireland 1919 elections. Are seperate from the IRA in as much that they cannot tell the IRA what to do. They were put in a real bind by continual demands to decommission arms, but realistically the IRA would not accept what they would see as surrender to the British unless they had first achieved victory of a sort with a stable functioning government in Northern Ireland. The decommissioning stick was gleefully used by cretinous unionists to goad either the IRA or the British government into destroying the peace process. They very nearly succeeded several times.


Funny sentence: "the first recent agreement of co-operation between London and Dublin". Well, which is it? First or recent? How about Sunningdale 1974 or the Anglo-Irish agreement circa 1982 or so?


Hmmm

Post 2

Norton II

Also worth pointing out that the DUP seem to function as the political wing of the Loyalist Volunteer Force, the Six Counties most rabid loyalist paramilitaries. The Rev. William McCrea (a leading member of the DUP's executive) gave the oration at the funeral of it's founder, Billy Wright.


Hmmm

Post 3

Demon Drawer

Maolmuire

OK I knew this one would cause controversy which is why I wrote an informative article, leaving out the rampant lunacy.

>"The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) is seen as the moderate voice of unionism..." Just how moderate does unionism get? Not very I think is the answer. Perhaps 'least offensive' would be a better description of this party.

However there are protestants who are moderate who see this as their moderate voice sure there are extremes in the party especially the Jeffrey Donaldson camp which are anything but moderate but without the UUP at least talking to Sein Fein NI would still be a political backwater or even a battlefield.

>However, they are better than the shower in the Democratic Unionist Party. This is a bunch of screaming loonies led by Ian Paisley. Essentialy, they believe that nationalists eat protestant babies, plot papist supremacy, etc. etc. Strangely enough, people actually vote for these people. !!! Paisley is well known in Ireland for his rabid anti-catholic rantings. The DUP do NOT inhabit the same world as the rest of us, that's for sure.

I think I made the distinction between the two reasonably clear.

>The rest of the unionist/loyalist parties are pretty much irrelevant except in the case of a close assembly election result.

Yes but they exist and have to me mentioned.

>The Northern Ireland Women's Coalition are technically a unionist party. They gave their support to Trimble and allowed him to defeat the DUP and some whiners in his own party who wanted to scupper the peace process.

Actually as the party was set up to be outside the current NI political infighting structure and does have members from all sides of the community, their designation in the assembly is non-alligned. They stand for the peace process and want the next generation of children in NI not to have to go through what I went through.

>SDLP. These guys seem to have their heads screwed on, except that they have allowed Sinn Fein to hijack their own constituency. They shouldn't have let that happen.

Any party that has the word democratic in their title has to accept the results of the ballot box. Sinn Fein have democratically elected representatives. The SDLP probably helped to steer SF towards using the ballot box after all there was no voice for the nationalist community until they were formed in 1970.

>Sinn Fein- the 'we are not the IRA' party. Survived for years on a mandate from the all-Ireland 1919 elections. Are seperate from the IRA in as much that they cannot tell the IRA what to do. They were put in a real bind by continual demands to decommission arms, but realistically the IRA would not accept what they would see as surrender to the British unless they had first achieved victory of a sort with a stable functioning government in Northern Ireland. The decommissioning stick was gleefully used by cretinous unionists to goad either the IRA or the British government into destroying the peace process. They very nearly succeeded several times.

Unfortunately the decommissioning stick as you call it was mentioned in the Belfast Agreement. SF however do express the views of a sizeable proportion of NI and their vote can no longer be seen as a protest vote as was originally thought when the hunger striker Bobby Sands successfully won the Fermanagh and South Tyrone by-election from his cell in the maze before dying a few weeks later.


>Funny sentence: "the first recent agreement of co-operation between London and Dublin". Well, which is it? First or recent? How about Sunningdale 1974 or the Anglo-Irish agreement circa 1982 or so?

Admittedly this should read the first of the recent agreements of co-operation between London and Dublin, the Anglo-Irish agreement.


Norton II

>Also worth pointing out that the DUP seem to function as the political wing of the Loyalist Volunteer Force, the Six Counties most rabid loyalist paramilitaries. The Rev. William McCrea (a leading member of the DUP's executive) gave the oration at the funeral of it's founder, Billy Wright.

There is no official link, although some members may well be members of both and Willie McCrea was asked as a friend of the family not in any other context I believe.


Hmmm

Post 4

Smij - Formerly Jimster

Fixed that 'first recent' bit, by the way.


Hmmm

Post 5

Demon Drawer

Good. smiley - smiley


Hmmm

Post 6

Recumbentman

This is most interesting. It is impossible to read anything on this subject without combing through to spot the clues that show which side this objective report is coming from!

All I could find was the three mentions of the word 'mainland'. Many people's image of a mainland is a body of land at least a hundred times bigger than the island referred to: so Europe is the mainland for the British Isles, Scotland is the mainland for the Hebrides, and so on. I notice however that the Shetlanders use 'mainland' for the largest of their islands; so perhaps republicans shouldn't bridle at the term.


Hmmm

Post 7

Demon Drawer

So no clues given away than really. As there is no guess as to the side of the objective writer.


Hmmm

Post 8

Recumbentman

Mmmm . . . might he be a Northerner currently in GB, more interested in GB politics (Labour?) than the (mildly Unionist) background he has left behind?

A guess based on a quick snoop at his PS.


Hmmm

Post 9

Demon Drawer

I have never voted unioinst or Labour in my life.


Hmmm

Post 10

Recumbentman

The fact that you answered a slightly different question than I asked makes me suspect I was close-ish. Enough of the identifying game: an unfortunate product of polarisation. I'm a Dublin voter for Greens, Labour and others: best summed up as "anything but Fianna Fail" (though I couldn't see myself voting SF either).


Hmmm

Post 11

Demon Drawer

Well I have voted Unionist I suppose but not at the top of the list in anything. So now you ahve to work it out again. Never having hte option to vote for labour by PR I have therefore never voted for them.


Hmmm

Post 12

Recumbentman

Ah sure what difference. smiley - cheers


political parties of N Ireland something missing

Post 13

sylvester

I am trying to reply to the initial statement about the parties in northern ireland. There is one glaring ommission. The Socialist Party which stood in the recent Assembly Elections ! yet you have included the New Labour who not only have not stood in elections but can't make their minds up about whether to recognise a section or not ???

for your information I woud put them in a new Socialist section. I suggest you cntact them to confrim this. their candidate is a leader of the Fire Brigades Union and have members on the NIPSA Executive ! smiley - cross
forgive me if I have posted this to the wrong place. am a novice at this !


political parties of N Ireland something missing

Post 14

Demon Drawer

Bearing in mind that I worte the article before the recent assmebly election the Socialist party was not then in existence in NI.


political parties of N Ireland something missing

Post 15

Demon Drawer

But Labour did stand in the talk about talk election they came 10th on the list of parties for that and sent 2 delegates to the talks. Labour HAVE also decided that local parties can be formed in NI and will be recognised members of the Labour Party. This decision was taken at the spring conference in 2003.


political parties of N Ireland something missing

Post 16

sylvester

this means that the opening posting needs to be corrected since it is out of date.


political parties of N Ireland something missing

Post 17

sylvester

What was the "Talk about Talk Election" ??smiley - ermsmiley - headhurts

Was it a talking shop ???

sorry about original posting but are there any other parties or info to change on original posting ???


political parties of N Ireland something missing

Post 18

Demon Drawer

Ok original posting is about the content of the actual article and postings cannot be changed. There are there as Historical ducuments of their time.

The talk about talks election. There was an election to elect people to the talks that set up the Good Friday agreement which elected 3 representatives per constiuency as well as 2 from each of the 10 parties that polled hte most votes across Northern Ireland.


Hmmm

Post 19

ambivalent_cat

It seems strange to say that Unionism doesn't get very moderate, there are plenty of moderate unionists. Obviously the people who make the news often do so because of slightly OTT viewpoints but within the actual UUP itself there are plenty of moderates. There are even some left wingers within the party (I'm not actually a member myself, but I am friends with a party worker).

Also speaking as a Alliance voter I would like to say that although we have never returned a Westminster MP we are often comfortably elected to the Assembly and to the local councils.

Although I do sort of agree with the comments on the SDLP. They do have 'their heads screwed on' and I always give them second preferences but they have become a doormat for Sinn fein.


Hmmm

Post 20

Recumbentman

In times of polarisation the middle ground always loses.

I've just read the excellent Hugh Trevor-Roper on 17th-century England. There was fierce polarisation in the first half of the century as the Thirty Years' War was going on in Europe between Roman Catholics and fundamentalist Protestants. In England the "moderate" Church of England was all but wiped out in the Civil War and the following ten years of Puritan Commonwealth. The Archbishop of Canterbury was beheaded; now that's extreme if you like.

However with the Restoration of the monarchy the moderates had their way and the Puritans found themselves suddenly out in the cold. So history shows that though moderates lose ground during times of violent opposition, they should stay firm, stay together and not lose heart.

How moderates can avoid being drawn into extremism is the big question.


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