What does the Westminster election mean for Ireland? TUT talks…


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Picture by Maurice

If you buy The Irish Times or view it online you’ll notice that Stephen Collins et al are looking at the ‘Irish’  implications of the British General Election. (If you don’t know why I’ve put ‘Irish’ in inverted commas, you should probably stop reading now.) They wonder what lessons can be learnt by the twenty-six-county state.

First, they note, it gives an injection of joy to Enda and the lads (and lassies). If Cameron can bludgeon the British people for five years and get away with it, why shouldn’t Enda? Better still, if the Lib-Dems take all the blame for the bludgeoning and take an electoral bludgeoning themselves. That means any possible pain the southern electorate is feeling, not to mention the accompanying rage, could be directed at the Labour Party, its junior partner. Maybe best of all, the apparently unstoppable Sinn Féin juggernaut has come, as I think The News Letter puts it, to a shuddering stop.

Now that’s what I call positive thinking. And who’s to say Stephen and the boys mightn’t be right? After all, Enda is right up there in the polls…What’s that, Virginia? Polls my arse? Go wash your mouth out.

She may have a point too. I confess to a secret delight that human behaviour can’t be predicted, even if it has landed back into Downing Street a right-wing government that is hell-bent on privatising, among other things, the NHS.  And speaking of the NHS – yes, the south doesn’t have one, I know. But Leo Varadkar is Health Minister and if Leo can’t find ways of apparently doing a great job of renewing the medical service there while at the same time chopping it up into little bits to be sold to the highest bidder, then nobody can.

But it is true that the Shinners have found out they’re mortal too, isn’t it? When instead of making gains, they’ve lost a seat – and maybe the one seat the party wanted most of all to hang onto. Juddering stop to the juggernaut and all that.

Well, I’m old enough to remember (so are you, more than likely) when Sinn Féin had another deeply disappointing election. In fact I remember two. The first was the West Belfast election of 1992, when Gerry Adams lost his West Belfast seat to the SDLP. The end of the Shinners, tra-la, toodle- oo, pip-pip. Only then 1997 rolled round and Gerry took the seat again. That’s what, eighteen years ago. Was there any doubt that Sinn Féin would hold onto its West Belfast seat on Thursday? Not a smidgin.  The second event I remember was in 2007 in the southern state, when Sinn Féin, predicted to do great things, double or even treble its five seats…in fact lost one. Four alone. Oh God. Tra-la, toodle-oo, pip-pip.  And then came 2011 when they went from four Dail seats to fourteen, and the media there nearly gave themselves a hernia trying to present the near-tripling of the number of SF seats as a disappointment, a failure.

Or if you want to learn a similar lesson from across the water: remember the passionate campaigning of Alex Salmond and the SNP to get Scottish people to declare for independence…and they turned away. Better Together and all that. Time to go off into a corner, SNP, and put your hands over your ears and weep a little. Except that nothing of the sort happened. The SNP membership increased five times over, Nicola Sturgeon skipped rings round the sad figure of Labour’s Jim Murphy, and they went from six seats to fifty-six in Westminster.

So there are parties we all know that are slowly dying, to the point where one feels tempted to put them out of their misery. But I’m pretty secure in saying the Shinners are not such a party. In fact, I’d say they’re going to do markedly better in the Dail when its election is held next year; and I also think they’ll do markedly better in the Stormont election next year. It’s hard to stop an idea whose time has come. Not even what Perkie calls “The Unionist Times (TUT)” can do that. And as for the Sindo…sure the poor creatures, their hands are bogging in muck and their throwing arm is almost worn out.

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14 Responses to What does the Westminster election mean for Ireland? TUT talks…

  1. Paul May 9, 2015 at 10:49 am #

    I know we’re bit behind the times here in FST Jude, but the Fermanagh ‘Newsletter’ decided to bring us up to date with Mairia’s tale on the eve of the election, How considerate of them.


  2. sherdy May 9, 2015 at 11:29 am #

    The phrase ‘turkeys voting for Christmas’ comes to mind in the wake of the general election results.
    It seems the people of the UK have not suffered enough – yet. But by the time the £billions are cut from welfare over the next few years they may have awakened from their suicidally political slumber.
    As far as Scotland and their referendum is concerned, they were promised all sorts of goodies to stay in the UK, they were bullied, they were threatened they would lose the use of the £ and plans were already in place for the construction of fortifications and customs posts to restrict their travel in and out of England. And maybe a few gunships were to patrol between Larne and Stranraer.
    Scots were totally despondent at the result, but at 7.30 the following morning Cameron made a speech about ‘English laws and votes for English people.
    It was like throwing a lit match into a can of petrol – the political attitude of the Scots changed instantly, and we have just seen the result when the Scottish representation at Westminster increased almost tenfold.
    I have to wonder: did Cameron really have no idea what the result of that England for the English speech would be? Surely it was not deliberately designed to sabotage the union.
    On the local scene the pig-headedness of the SDLP stopped them from gaining a seat and Sinn Fein from holding a seat. There would have been two less unionists at Westminster.
    There are serious rumblings within the leadership of the SDLP as the Demon Doctor does not see eye to eye with a number of other leading members – or maybe they don’t see eye to eye with him. but things are likely to get worse before they get better – if they do get better.
    So it seems they are prepared to sacrifice the wishes of the nationalist/republican electorate in their internal battles.
    The electorate may not easily forgive them for this!

  3. Perkin Warbeck May 9, 2015 at 12:12 pm #

    It hasn’t – (how does it go, now? oh, yes) – gone away you know, Esteeemed Blogmeister.

    One is referring to That Leaflet. You know, the Sectarian Leaflet of the Shinners distributed in Doddsville and culled from the Sectarian Census returns.

    You will remember, ar ndoigh / of course, as a daily junkie of The Unionist Times, that this Leaflet provided great mirth and merriment for The Old Testament Prophet of The People before Profit persons in his strong weekly column on Thursday. So much so he chose to head said column with: ‘Did you hear the one about…..?’.

    The joke so broke up the DOBlin media (c.f. Denis O’Brien) that the TUT columnist popped up again on Friday on the Matt ‘The Hoople’ Cooper show on Todayfm, specifically to tell the same joke once more for the delectation of all those established flunkeys who might have missed the spunky gag.

    This time the Londonderry Lad’s inner Trot totter up of votes added a punch line when he confidently predicted that his man, the personable People before Profit people person would do more better and win a seat for Stormont next year, going forward in West Belfast.

    The Londonderry Lad is nothing if not fluent in soccer,oops, football speak.

    One suspects, indeed that this leaflet joke is about to become a recurring decimal in the DOBlin media much in the way that the Dublin v Derry horror show in bogball HQ. has become.

    Why, only later in the same show the same Matt ‘The Hoople’ Cooper brought up the D v D h.show – yet again ! Curiously, a game he had just previewed in the Egg Chasing code in suitable awe-stricken shades of fawn – Leinster v The United Colours of Benetton at the, erm, R.D.S. last night turned out, if anything, even more worse (to employ a soccer,oops, term) than the D v D game.

    (Which of course is available on DVD for propaganda purposes by Soc and Rug supremacists).

    Does this mean last night’s RDS epic will also become a recurring decimal in the calculated calculus of the kept commentariat of the DOBlin media? Of course, it will, Though for a different reason altogether, like.For you see, it happened to be the swan-song of a hippo-sized hero who was being (gulp) morphed into a Legend. One is referring to……D’Arse (aka Gordon D’Arcy).

    Appropriately, the ground conditions were pure WW! trenchfare and so, were in keeping with the Flanders and Swann song especially chosen for the sad occasion of farewell:

    Mud, mud, glorious mud
    Nothing quite like it for stirring the blood
    So folks, folks, down to the hollow
    And then let us all wallow in glorious royal mud.

    Although ostensibly the losers, nonetheless United Colours of Benetton will still return home the ultimate winners to Treviso. For they will have within their permitted baggage allowance, enough ideas for next year;s always eagerly anticipated Spring Collection / Collezione di Primavera.

    When it will be announced that (gasp) Mud is the New Black ! Forty shades of ooze, sludge, silt, clab, clay, soil, slob and, lest one forgets, in recognition of that fine remembering fellow of Flanders….mire.

    But, to return to the Go-to Group Thinker for the DOBlin media on topics to do with such outre matters as pertain to the, erm, Left Wing. Ever prepared with his shovel-ready cliches and bespoke platitudes the droll prole caught Perkie unawares when he, The Londonderry Lad in a cloth cap turned rather snotty when questioned on the Scotty outcome.

    Though the professional prole continue speaking in that distinctive carpenter’s rule delivery of his, in which his sentences are opened slowly and then quickly snapped shut , Eamonn McCann (for it is he ! and can he make his n’s meet, with or without profit !! ) professed him self impressed, not, indeed, notty.

    If anything indeed, the Foyle-sider’s inner Better Together person before profit sounded as if the Clyde-siders had now positioned themselves in (gulp) Notland. For him, it would appear that Nationalism is the ultimate, inexcusable Notionalism.

    Perkie’s surprise was great. Not least because The Londonderry Lad is an obsessive soccer, oops, fitbal buff, and Nicola Sturgeon had just showed herself to be a true successor to Oor Jammie Johnstone.

    Byn the manner in which she had dribbled, nutmegged and then cheekily backheeled the, erm, outclassed defenders of Better Together Utd.

    But, of course, on immature reflection one remembered that Oor Jammie’s full name was, in fact, James Connolly Johnstone, he was a confessed RC and, (gasp) a Right Winger to boot.

    And we all know how James Connolly sans Johnstone has some previous in these matters. The shameless way he ditched his People before Profit convictions and thew in his lot with the Shinners,sans shinguards.

    Even as he were wheeled into the Stonebreakers’ yard it is said he still had his stockings doon aroond his wee ankles which first saw the peep o’day in Auld Reekie. Which seems to be a sort of jinx for all Jinkies, according to the Group-thinker’s official programmed way of thinking on these matters.

    To conclude by rewinding the reel to the top, and That Leaflet.

    Impactful though it may have been, not least on the kept commentariat of Norneverland, nonethess it is still in the penny farthing place compared to the WAM ! moment re. campaigning literature to do with the Referendum de dum to come here in the Free Southern Stateen.

    So surrealistic that Perkie still cannot quite get his manhole-cover sized head around it.

    So surrealistic, even the Salvador Dali of Dail Eireann heself wouldn’t even daydream of coming up with it.

    Ni mor do Perkie lui sios anois i seomra dorcha le deileail leis / Must now lie down in a dark room.

    • Perkin Warbeck May 9, 2015 at 7:21 pm #

      PS Awake ! Again.

      And so quite unlike The Sleepless Beauty (who has been on a virtual whirlwind tour of late in Erneland according to accounts) in at least one particular.

      Now, where was one? Ah, yes, in a dark room, contemplating the WAM ! moment in the Referendum de dum to come down here in the Free Southern Stateen. The moment which put the hoo hah to do with That Sectarian Leaflet in Norn Belfast, Noreverland in the halfpenny place.

      WAM ! incidentally, is an acronym for Woody Allen Moment ! And a little back story (a daarling phrase, Joxer !) might well minigh an fath / explain why, Esteemed Blogmeister..

      In 1985, the wizardly Woody made a movie entitled ‘The Purple Rose of Cairo’.which incorporated as its central dodge a magical piece of surrealism. A dodge which would have caused the curling moustachioes of Senor Salvador Dali to curl even more. With approval.

      Older movie buffs than even Perkie will recall that SD (who never recorded a LP nor anything so dull) had, in 1945, contributed a surrealistic insert in the shape (of sorts) of a dream sequence to a movie by Alfred Hitchock: ‘Spellbound’.

      Not involving The Sleepless Beauty. (Though it might pay to have another gawk. One just never knows where she’s going to turn up next).

      In ‘The Purple Rose of Cairo’ the central character walks out of the screen and into the life of a mousy Miss munching pop corn in the stalls.

      Fast forward to the Free Southern Stateen when not one but two characters no less, walked out of a No Poster and into the studios and editorial offices of the ego and bacon eaters of the DOBlin (cf Denis O Brien) media.

      (No, not a part of a Noh Street Theatre group on tour from Japan).

      Turns out that these were hitherto anonymous actors who had posed as a generic happy family (and baby makes three !) for some photo agency, trousered their fees and gone back to resting between jobs. For all they knew their image was to be used as a h. family endorsing anything from toothpaste, placemats, diapers, lottery tickets or floss to the joys of sleepless (!) nights itself.Not to mention brushes which have classified as non-daft.

      Perkie’s inner younger male model knows how these things work, ever since he was chosen (neither today nor yesterday) from thousands of penniless teenagers to be the Face of Notspot, the killer anti-acne cream of the era.

      Thus, as part of the bargain, he kept his mouth shut when strangers, both perfect and imperfect, pointed him out in the street, gawped and were heard to mutter: ‘he’s even uglier in reality !’. An adolescent Perkie did not mind; and was happy to keep both his side of the b. and his fat fee of five shillings in his back pocket.

      But, as the Chopper Harris of Cork, like, might opine: dat was then, dis is now !

      Haven’t the happy couple walked out of the poster on Grafton Street itself (see below), purple with indignation, to issue a statement categorical to the effect that they are in fact, in reality, at this moment in t., going forward, on the Hissy Yis side of things.


      This was quickly followed by a purple with apoplexy Director of Amnesty International (FSS) issuing his critically acclaimed statement, categorically supporting the right of the happy parents in the poster to freedom of expression.Including that of disassociation from unsavoury causes. Not least, presumably, brushes which are not daft..

      That would be (gulp) the critically acclaimed Colm O’Gorman (no relation).

      Double W.A. M. !

      Time was when Perkie remembered that Amnesty International (including its branch office in the FSS) was precluded from dabbling in the domestic.But that may be just another instance of his encroaching amnesia.

      (The third person in the poster, the baby, was not canvassed for its views. This may or may not be insignificant).

      The recurring instance of the colour p. (see above) is not the only reason why one is reminded of ‘The Purple . Rose of Cairo’. The glamour boy hero with the walk-out part in the fillum gets to speak the following line:

      -‘I don’t get hurt or bleed,my hair doesn’t muss:it is one of the advantages of being in the movies’.

      Remind one of anyone? Hmmm, a whole catwalk of glamour boys, a chara: (l to r), Leo V,, Pat C, Eamon C’s eldest son, Just-out Justin etc etc etc’. who have flashed across our screens of late, bringing joy in dribs where once there only the drab.

      And then there is Grafton Street itself (see above): this was once the location of the Cairo Cafe in pre-pre-pre-pre-pre-Depression Dublin in the Early Twennies. And from which the infamous/ famous (depending upon one’s p. of view) Cairo Gang borrowed its name.

      And whose function was to challenge the cabaret supremacy of the Twelve Apostles, under the auspices of a noted choreographer by the surname (gulp) Collins.

      What next ? Rumour from the Rue Morgue has it that a particular harpie, by the name of , Ms. Sally O’Brien is taking her case to the Four Courts (a la Collins, see above) to plead her right to ‘look at any person (be it man,be it woman) in any way it might please her’.

      It is understood her case is being sponsored by the dunagareed ranks of the Dworkin Class.

      • Jude Collins May 9, 2015 at 8:21 pm #

        Perkie – stay as sweet/superb as you are. Always.

        • Perkin Warbeck May 10, 2015 at 9:39 am #

          Ah,once the teacher’s pet, always the t.p.

          A sobering word of caution, Esteemed Blogmeister. Sweetness may no longer be an option, alas. The Perkie you taught in class to keep the colour purple from his prose is scarcely recognisable any longer.

          Then, the pizza-faced Perkie was in the pink of condition and was a Profit before People kind of people person. Nowadays, forsooth, it would be difficult be pick him out of a line up of paunchy People After Loss losers with lumbago and nasal hair, not to mention our old friends, toad spots.

          GRMA,.pe sceal e, as ucht na nithe deasa a duirt tu.,

          PS Your blog, EB, is a clone for Clones on Ulster Final Day: the place to be and to be seen. It is like the farmer’s meadow on the outskirts of the town, transmogrified for the day into a welcome car park for out-of-towners like PW. at knock down rates.

          One will be e. grateful to you for being flexible enough to kindly allow sufficient acreage to accommodate Perkies’s reasonably distinctive Off-white Dodge Stretch Limo (known as The Harlem Pimp’s Heap in the motor trade) with its tinted windows and tainted occupants.

          Alas, it is a sight which will no longer grace your wood-kern welcoming pasture. Reason is simple You will remember Amos and Andy, the long-time liveried chauffeurs with the distinctive Warbeck logo on their caps and crests and who shared the driving duties.

          Well, haven’t the disloyal duo suddenly decamped. Eloped by all accounts to get hitched in Biloxi, Mississippi, of all unlikely places, without as much as a by your leave. And then folk wonder why Perkie is possibly less than lukewarm in his support for the Hissy Yis side in the Referendum de dum to come.

          All politics is personal.

          So, nothing for it now, but for Perkie to garage his stretch limo and wheel the underused old Alouette out of the hangar. This has not been an option since the snipegrass terrain of the Ho Chi Monaghan Trail was a breeding ground for snipers.

          But now that the Shinner juggernaut has been brought to a juddering, shuddering stop, according to the ever reliable RTE, choppers are no longer in danger of coming a cropper in or around the Black Pig;s Dyke.

          You couldn’t, erm, see to it to build a H-pad on your pasture, Esteemed Blogmeister?

          Feel free to call it, erm, Collinstown.

          Muchas buiochas.

  4. Cushy Glen May 9, 2015 at 1:39 pm #


    The corporate media has potentially a big role to play in electoral outcomes. This is why the British Tories got elected. Most print media were supporting them. Why else would turkeys vote for Christmas except that they were so thoroughly brainwashed?

    The interesting case is Scotland which I know a bit about having lived there.

    The media in Scotland of all kinds were heavily against independence. For the Scots to get 45% voting for independence last year under the media blitzkrieg was quite an achievement. Even more so the total victory achieved in the general election.

    So how come the Scots survived the media onslaught?

    They got wise to the media, realised the media in Scotland were controlled by corporate forces hostile to Scottish interests & progressive politics & literally switched off. As you know they even mass picketed the BBC in Glasgow. Social media played a big part in the independence campaign.

    For the same to happen in Ireland, where the media is equally controlled & hostile to anything outside the traditional parties, the Irish electorate are going to have to learn the same lesson & ignore the corporate media. There are signs that this is already happening.

  5. Iolar May 9, 2015 at 4:21 pm #

    Poles apart

    Pacts may produce short term gains for political unionism, they will not create the conditions for progress. The need for a pact is a reflection of political insecurity and divided loyalties. Stormont continues to be regarded as an underachieving council by the Tories. Commentators in Britain are already questioning the significance of “Irish MPs” in the House of Commons while the SNP promotes its presence from John O’Groats to Lands End.

    Pro-Life groups are suggesting that Sinn Féin’s policy on abortion contributed to electoral losses. Who knows? The reality remains that many women continue to travel to England in order to terminate pregnancies, the Irish solution to an Irish problem.

    One cannot blame some voters for turning their backs on what passes for politics on this part of the island. Politicians can no longer take constituents for granted. The electorate will continue to vote with its feet until politicians deliver an effective system of government, that promotes rising, not falling standards of living.

  6. Ryan May 9, 2015 at 4:30 pm #

    This election has been nothing more than a pothole in the road for Sinn Fein. They may have lost Fermanagh/South Tyrone (even though they got 2,000 extra votes from 2010) but it will be won back sooner or later, more likely sooner.

    As I mentioned previously in this blog, this election has highlighted to nationalism 2 issues it has. The first is the failure of the SDLP and SF to co-operate. The second is the low voter turnout with nationalist voters. Now we can work on fixing these issues in time for next years Assembly Elections. I was happy to see that commentator Chris Donnelly (who I’m a big fan of, especially when he made the DUP’s William Humphrey MLA look like a complete turnip while debating the Twaddell Camp on the Nolan TV show) was on the front page of the Irish news highlighting low voter turnout within nationalism today. This is the right direction to go in, making people aware and talking about such issues.

    One thing that really stood out in this election was the UUP. I’m not talking about their victories, they won South Antrim by the skin of their teeth and they had no hope of winning F/ST without a Unionist pact. It was the behaviour of Mike Nesbitt. Yes, of course, he was happy he had saved his bacon but some of his comments, especially the defence of Tom Elliots “Fermanagh is not Green, its Red, White and Blue” comment really stood out. Is Mike Nesbitt a “moderate Unionist”? no I wouldn’t say so. In fact, its very hard to tell the difference between the DUP and UUP now days since Mike TV became leader of the Ulster Unionist Party. Mike even said he’d be voting DUP this election……strange thing to say for the leader of a rival party…..

    • sherdy May 9, 2015 at 9:14 pm #

      Ryan ‘moderate unionist’ is an oxymoron!

  7. michael c May 9, 2015 at 6:41 pm #

    Anyone who witnessed Nesbitt’s reporting of the troubles for UTV would have been in no doubt as to the the type of gobshite you are dealing with.

    • Ryan May 10, 2015 at 3:10 am #

      I remember him as a TV presenter on UTV Michael but I was very young then, having been born in 1990. As im sure you’d guess, Pokémon and The Power Rangers was on my mind a lot more then than the politics of Norn Iron or the biased news reporting of Mike TV lol the closest me and my friends got to politics in the 1990’s was throwing stones at RUC landrovers whenever they passed lol But in all honesty when I seen Nesbitt becoming Leader of the UUP I thought he really was going to bring Unionism into progressive politics, better politics than that of ex UDR, Orangeman Tom Elliot anyway.

      How wrong I was…..

  8. Belfastdan May 10, 2015 at 12:14 am #

    Believe me when I say that Unionism is coming together. A pact today will be a single party in the not too distant future,

    SF have slipped into the old SDLP mode taking voter’s allegiance for granted. Every vote has to be earned, strived for and valued.

    There are others like People before Profit who are ready and willing to fight SF for every vote. Either SF step up to the mark and meet the challenge head on or face a future of a declining vote in the North and becoming just another southern party.

  9. michael c May 10, 2015 at 11:33 am #

    Belfastdan,I would agree that SF need to engage with their core support more.I think that as much energy needs to be put into Ballymurphy to get the vote out as was done in middle class South Belfast where people are very fickle.The likes of Ballymurphy always stood with SF even in the worst of times and their interests should be put above all others.Thatsaid SF’s total vote actually increased in the North from 2010 but there is no room for complacency.PBP can shout all they like but in reality they have never devoted their entire lives to their cause like thousands of republicans have.They are college boys posing as revolutionaries but would have shit themselves had they had to through what the likes of Gerry Kelly,Raymond McCartney,Martina Anderson,Ian Milne and Sean Lynch went through. PBP spout about the working class but could never compete with the likes of the vast majority of SF’s urban reps who are possibly the greatest example of the working class elected by the working class in Europe.