“She brings her father, her mother, her sister and her brother,
Oh! I never see Maggie alone.
She brings her uncles and cousins, she’s got ‘em by the dozens,
I never see Maggie alone.”
Remember that one? It was part of the soundtrack of my childhood. But it has bang-up-to-date relevance as well. Especially if you’re living in North Belfast.
How so? Well the sitting MP as you’ve probably noticed is Nigel Dodds of the DUP. If you’ve seen the DUP election broadcast you’ll know that they make considerable play of the fact that a hung parliament is the likely outcome of the Westminster election and that the DUP input could make all the difference.
So who has been making eyes at the DUP? Why David Cameron, leader of the Tory party. The man who believes in escaping from a recession by cutting and cutting again until society’s most vulnerable are on their knees. The man who’s clearly intent on privatising the National Health Service – ask any doctor or nurse.
“But but but” you say. “The DUP on their own may not be enough to give the Tories a working majority. There’s every chance they’ll need the help of Nigel Farage and UKIP”. How right you are. There’s a very good chance that Farage, the man who wants to take Britain out of the EU, could form a coalition with the Tories – Cameron has been careful not to rule it out. So you’d have one party that has promised a referendum on the EU by 2017 (the Tories) in partnership with a party whose central policy plank is that Britain MUST withdraw from the EU as soon as possible (UKIP). Think about it. Massive border controls between north and south as the south stays put and we’re dragged out of the EU by Nigel, David and chums.
It’s a stark choice. If you vote for Dodds, then the scenario I’ve outlined has every chance of happening. If you vote for Alban Maginness, he will not win the election but you’ll have given, intentionally or otherwise, a leg-up to the election of Nigel Dodds. If you stay at home and don’t bother to vote, you’ll also have given a leg-up to the election of Nigel Dodds. As Edmund Burke aptly said, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing”. (And women, Edmund, and women.) Now while the election of Nigel Dodds may not qualify as evil, it certainly will be the starting gun for a lot of unhappy consequences.
Some people pretend that politics is complicated. It’s not really. In this case vote Dodds and you’re helping elect Dodds. Vote Alban Maginness and again you’re helping elect Dodds. And of course stay at home and you’re helping elect Dodds.
And when and if that happens, you’d better get ready to receive David (‘Kill National Health and have an EU referendum 2017’) Cameron along with Nigel (‘Turn off the immigration tap and withdraw from the EU’) Farage. And that would inevitably lead to partition on steroids, as trade between north and south tried to work with the tariff hand-brake fully on.
Believe me when I tell you: dating Maggie had solitary consequences compared to voting in Nigel.
A yes Jude, the thought of what might happen if the British decide to leave the EU. I can’t believe they would be stupid enough to re-create the border again. The cutting edge of the IRA forced them to the negotiating table after a war lasting nearly 30 years. Can they really think that they can put up border posts and custom controls again.and nothing would happen?
I know that they are stupid and not the sharpest knives in the cutlery box, but I hope they have thought through the consequences of an exit. Perhaps now is a good time for a border poll?
I’ll end with this little bit of nostalgia, prompted by your post Jude. The year is 1958 and if you are driving north towards Roslea, Co. Fermanagh just outside the village there was a road sign, quite large, perhaps 6 foot wide by 6 foot deep, erected by the tourist board and welcoming the visitor to ‘northern ireland’ As the visitor approached the sign and with the light behind it, it looked like a sieve with about 200 bullet holes in it (just guessing, I never stopped to count them) Happy days Jude, thanks for the memories !!!
The cutting edge of the IRA forced the British govt. to the table that’s right obviously nothing to do with the British govt infiltrating the IRA or the Loyalists killing more nationalists and republicans and the IRA being unable to do anything about it but of course you are right!
This a deeply moronic post even by your standards Jude.
At least the SDLP and DUP will fight there corner in the House of Commons whilst Gerry Kelly and his colleagues will abstain and play no active part of the debate and therefore have no say in what happens and the wonderful irony is that worst case scenario you painted is more likely to happen because SF abstains from the House of commons!
As for the Tories they have been the party in charge for most of the duration of the NHS and guess what we still have the NHS so once again your point is completely wrong.
As for a referendum what is wrong with having one on Europe don’t trust the people to come up with the right answer Jude?
As for voting SF well just look at the candidate SF has put up Gerry Kelly convicted bomber and killer still I am sure he is a wonderful person after all I am sure he charmed you to pieces when he sat next to you in the Landsdown hotel when you were acting as a chairman…
You’ll have to learn not to start your posts with an insult, neill. It’s bad manners.
OK. Do you seriously think that if Gerry K went into the House of Commons it would make a difference? I don’t think even you believe that.
Re Tories and the NHS: you’ve fallen into the classical post hoc-propter hoc fallacy. Because something follows something else, the first thing doesn’t necessarily make it happen. Cf roosters and the rising sun.
As to referendums – if a referendum were held tomorrow in Britain, there’s a good chance that hanging would be reinstated. That wouldn’t make it right. Or do you not believe in parliamentary democracy?
As for G Kelly being a bomber and killer – I’ll take your word for it. But as I’ve discussed with the ill-manner Michael, under that heading Churchill, Blair,Truman, Obama, MacMillan, Bush …I’d have thought they’d fit in very well. As to my chairing the event in the Lansdowne, I’m not sure what point you’re making. Gerry Kelly was very polite and quite friendly – he certainly didn’t begin his conversation with me by firing an insult. It doesn’t advance an argument and it isn’t really appropriate. As I think I may have said to you, if you spot others doing this, point it out.
As for G Kelly being a bomber and killer
If you cant accept what he was and what he did then how is it possible to have a logical argument with you?
As for your risible attempts to compare Churchill and Kelly I have to say that really takes the biscuit after all Churchill lead the UK in a life or death struggle with one of the most evil regimes ever known and eventually beat them and in comparison Kelly set off bombs and killed people and you still try to compare them no sane person would ever dream of doing so with the obvious exception of you.
However since he is in SF nobody will find any fault with him on this blog and most will think that SF are being bullied again by the cruel unionists and media again it really would be amusing if it wasn’t so pitiful
If you find any
Well. I’m quite out of breath after reading that stream of consciousness, neill. I’d suggest the conventional use of punctuation next time – you know, full stops ‘n’ that.
Now. I don’t remember ‘not accepting’ that G Kelly was a bomber and killer. I haven’t made it my business to read up the files on him. I’m not really that interested in what he did or didn’t do 30 + years ago – I’m interested in his campaign now. I’m glad you got a laff from my Churchill-Kelly comparison – laughter is the best medicine, isn’t it? My intention was to point out that, even without checking Kelly’s files, I KNOW Churchill was responsible for the deaths of far, far more people than ever Kelly was. Innocent civilians too, mind you. As to the media and press: produce for me two columns in the last month from either the Irish Examiner, the Irish Times, the Belfast Telegraph or (of course) the News Letter that speak favourably of Sinn Féin and I’ll press £20 into your hot little hand. And if you can’t, you can press £20 into mine. OK, neill? That should at least go some way to establishing whether or not the media are pro or anti Sinn Féin.
Think it was Thatcher that said if your opponent resorts to insults that’s how you know you’ve won the argument……
Some truth in that, especially when it comes to some Unionists…..
Better to insult rather to kill that maybe one of the reasons outside your support base that nobody trust SF
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, neill: you’re nothing if not a good laff. So there have never been any links between unionist politicians here and unionist paramilitaries? Here – pull this one. It’s got bells on it.
Plenty of unionist MPs have been involved in political violence Neill, why single out an ex IRA volunteer?
Name a unionist MP that bombed or murdered somebody go on I challenge you!
Jeffrey Donaldson was a member of the UDR, an organisation that carried out loads of murders and bombings, Ken Magginnis, Tom Elliot, members of the UDR, which worked in tandem with the UDA/UVF. Do you agree with that? The Unionist MPs ALL supported British terror against the Nationalists of the six counties, they supported whatever methods were deemed `necessary`. As for their individual behaviour, seeing as the UDR and it`s sister organisation the RUC were given a free hand and were never going to be prosecuted, only they know. I forgot to mention our law abiding first minister`s forage into the free state in 1986.
So what you are saying is that you have no evidence whatsoever Another Jude so why doesn’t that surprise me?
Oops, I forgot to mention the Third Force, remember them? They along with the UDA and UVF brought weapons into the north, which they then proceeded to dole out amongst themselves, you know, weapons that were used to shoot Catholics. When the Unionist MPs decided to plunge the sick counties into anarchy they used the muscle of the UDA and co, rather than the Boy Scouts.
Tom Elliot? Ken maginnis? Jeffrey Donaldson? Well they were part of a murder machine that’s a fact.
Neil, many Loyalist paramilitaries said they would never have planted the bomb or fired the gun if it weren’t for the likes of Ian Paisley Snr and his mates spurring them on. Everyone knows Loyalists were the fools for the Big House Unionist politicians who used them to do their dirty work for them.
I also remember likes of Sammy Wilson and Peter Robinson, senior members of DUP, carrying the coffin of a UDA leader at his funeral. I’m sure they NEVER knew what that UDA leader was involved in……
And who could forget Gregory Campbell loading his gun in front of the camera and even threatening acts of terrorism? (all can be seen on youtube Neill. part of the documentary “On the edge of the Union”, I believe).
But sure lets not let facts get in the way, eh Neil? it was all “them’uns” fault…..
have a look at Nigel Dodds, neill
And consider the Union is hanging by a thread – bear in mind Scotland
see other posts on the mirror –
then tell us what voting pattern is in the best interests of the people in North Belìfast
Look at West Belfast the Shinners have ruled there for ages and what have they achieved how many jobs?
Jude, you suggest that the DUP and UKIP, should the opportunity to form a coalition government arise, would jump into bed with Cameron and the Tories.
Of course the DUP would go along with this, but there is the chance Farage and his UKIP would find the DUP too far right-wing for them to feel comfortable and would either elbow them onto the floor or just downright refuse to associate with them at close quarters.
As far as Cameron’s promised in-out referendum is concerned, I hope you’re not getting your knickers in a twist at the prospect of the Brexit, after reading the panic stories in the Irish media.
The Conservative Party is run by the City of London with its big business tentacles, and their only function is to make money for themselves – not for the population in general.
Threats of a Brexit would cause nervous reactions on the stock market causing the Tory Party at Business to lose money and that will not be allowed to happen.
So if the Tories are involved in the next government some reason/excuse will be found to stall any referendum plans, and it will find itself on the proverbial long finger.
So calm down dears, the end of the financial world is not nigh – yet!
here are several reasons why the DUP should never, ever be considered as part of a UK governemnt
i can envisage a Lab/Con national government before the SNP are allowed to hold the reins of power in Westminster
If you’re Irish, come into…..
The future, perhaps,of dear old Dodds
Now rests firmly in the lap of the Gods
For this farrago of Nigels
Rings Big Ben’s high bells
A note of warning for a son of d’Auld Sod’s.
Unfortunately I don’t live in North Belfast, so I cant vote for Gerry Kelly, I’m in the Shinner stronghold in West Belfast where you can bet your house (and life) that Paul Maskey will get re- elected. Where as in the Unionist stronghold of East Belfast it seems Unionism needs to do a pact just to be in with strong chance of winning back the seat from Naomi Long. Just shows how well the DUP/UUP are looked upon by Unionist voters that in a Unionist
stronghold there has been a non-Unionist MP for the past 5 years….
Anyway, back to North Belfast. The SDLP vote there has been in decline for years, I’m sure Alban is a nice guy but he has no chance of getting elected there. So any vote for Alban is literally a vote for Nigel Dodd’s, its really that simple. If more and more Nationalists in North Belfast (and elsewhere too) took 10 minutes, just 10 minutes, to go to your local polling centre and vote for Sinn Fein then you would actually have a new MP instead of the current one whose an Orange man and who only works in the interests of one section of the community, especially when it comes to contentious Orange parades in that area.
So if you live in North Belfast and haven’t voted before or know others who haven’t, then please go out and vote and encourage others to do the same. If you want to make change then you have to vote for it. And remember, a vote for SDLP or not voting at all, is basically a vote for the DUP, its really that simple.
South Belfast/Upper Bann/Fermanagh, South Tyrone, North Belfast, South Down and Foyle will all be interesting contests. I recently looked up the statistics to dear old Gregory Campbell’s seat in East Derry and that isn’t exactly a copper fastened Unionist seat. I’m not suggesting Gregory will lose it this year (though I’d love it if he did) but if the voting trend keeps going the way its been going over past 2 decades then I wouldn’t be surprised if a Shinner or SDLP sneaked in and knocked wee Gregory from his much loved seat at Westminister…….
Fingers Crossed. But for now, lets just hope the very real prospect of Nigel Dodds losing his seat to Gerry Kelly becomes a reality, so that North Belfast has an MP for ALL…….
An MP for all are you stark raving mad good grief man I know you are a shinner but for gawds sake have a bit of self awareness.
If I was a voter in North Belfast I would look at West Belfast and look at the job SF have done in West Belfast and ponder if you wish to follow that example for North Belfast.
So N Belfast has had a unionist MP for some time now. How’s it doing?…Oh OK. Mum’s the word.
Better than West Belfast that’s for sure!
West Belfast is so bad the last MP bolted……
Do you always assume that anyone who disagrees with you is stark, staring mad, neill? Interesting…
Yes clearly so : )
I certainly wouldn’t describe Nigel Dodds as an MP for all, I’d say that much Neil
The D.U.P made a big play out of the possibilities for their party and Northern Ireland in the event of A Hung Parliament prior to the 2010 election. And there was a hung Parliament and the Tories formed a coalition with the Lib Dems. The D.U.P and the other N.I parties were an irrelevance. I can remember Nolan goading the D.U.P on his morning show about their irrelevance in the negotiations following the election.
What short memories people have. it fees like de ja vu to me. After the election I predict that whether it be the Conservative party lead the next Government or the Labour party lead the next Government little old Northern Ireland will be an irrelevance again.
What will life be like after the election? Time will tell. We know what life is like at present given evidence of poverty, debt, unemployment, minimum wage zero hours contracts and economic migration. What does giving the Tories a mandate really mean for this part of the world? These are just some of the findings on poverty and social exclusion by a recent Joseph Rowntree Foundation Report.
• A single person in the north of Ireland needs to earn at least £14,000 per year to be able to afford a minimum socially acceptable standard of living. This figure is based on what people think is needed in a weekly budget.
• Household fuel is more expensive
• The proportion of people who are not in paid work has risen further (up 4%) and to a higher level (to 34% at the end of the second quarter of 2009) than in Britain (up 2% to 27%).
• The number of households most in need of social housing (defined by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive as being in ‘housing stress’) has almost doubled from 12,500 in 2001 to 21,500 today.
• Since 2006, there has been little change to child poverty.
Are you calling on Sinn Fein supporters to throw their weight behind Naomi Long in East Belfast, to help keep the DUP out? SF have no chance of winning there.
If the Britain does leave the EU there’s nothing to say that it won’t join Shengen, that would permit easy travel across the border (wouldn’t it?).
Also, if the UK want to leave the EU and want a poll for such a thing then why not.
It would be a great argument for a border poll too wouldn’t it “Right, youse are gettin’ a border vote, we want one too, get her sorted mate!”
I have just one question for you Neill with regard to your post: ”The cutting edge of the IRA forced the British govt. to the table that’s right obviously nothing to do with the British govt infiltrating the IRA or the Loyalists killing more nationalists and republicans and the IRA being unable to do anything about it but of course you are right!”
My question for you Neill is this. What were the British doing sitting down, with what they regarded as a bunch of terrorists, when, as you suggest, the British had the conflict won hands down?
The British won the conflict according to Neil…..it just took them over 20 years and then they struck a deal with the people they “defeated” that released all republican prisoners, gave Sinn Fein a role in government, guarantees a border poll, allows the Irish Government to have a say here, created North-South Bodies, parity between British and Irish here, etc.
Sounds like a great victory, doesn’t it?….
“Massive border controls between north and south as the south stays put and we’re dragged out of the EU” I can’t begin to think what the DUP could possibly see in that for some of their more bigoted supporters!
Perhaps the lady who signed DUP candidate David Simpsons nomination papers would have a view on it?