Arlene and That Speech


“Pure bitterness!” a friend commented after watching First Minister Arlene Foster’s DUP conference speech. You know, the one where she accused southern politicians of ‘poaching’ firms and companies from the north, in the wake of Brexit.  The only ones with a hard border, she said, were southern politicians who carried a hard border in their heads. She, in contrast, welcomed southern visitors coming north to spend their euro.

I think my friend was wrong to characterise Mrs Foster as bitter. Bitterness is a luxury which politicians normally don’t indulge in, at least on television.  They may or may not be bitter, but they are happy to display bitter characteristics  when they think it’s politically advantageous. The alarming thing about Mrs Foster’s speech was that presumably it was seen as something that’d go down well with the DUP’s electorate.

You may at this point be leaning back in your chair, scratching your skull and murmuring “Now where have I heard that before?”  Let me help end your memory-chasing.  You heard it from Ian Paisley. The Big Man himself. Paisley’s entire career was built on injecting fear into the unionist population here. They must of course be afraid of the power of Rome, which was hell-bent on using its jesuitical wiles to pervert the thinking of good Protestants. What’s more, the power of Rome was exemplified and made incarnate just down the road in the south of Ireland. Given half a chance, the Popish hordes of the south would swallow up the beleagured north and make holy water compulsory in every household.  OK, maybe not every household. Just in public buildings.

So Arlene is treading a  well-beaten path when she warns her followers of the danger from the south. And of course like Paisley, she claims that the south is speaking out of both sides of its mouth. On the one hand it appeals to all parties to come together to cope with Brexit – an appeal that the DUP promptly and publicly rejected. On the other hand, the south sends its emissaries throughout the world to ‘poach’ firms who really should be going to the north of Ireland.

It’s a hard thing to say but in nearly twenty years, since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement, unionist politicians appear to be stuck in a time warp of churlishness and siege-mind. How much longer nationalist / republican Ireland can keep on extending the hand of reconciliation must surely be limited. You want to know how bad things are? Yesterday, even the south’s Minister for Foreign Affairs looked and sounded pretty fed up with Arlene’s accusations. And no, Virginia, he doesn’t look like that all the time.

The truth is, the south’s IDA does a much better job of encouraging foreign investment than its northern counterpart, InvestNI. Maybe that’s what Arlene was really trying  to cloak.  Is she bitter? No, not really. Just better as a follower of unionist opinion than a shaper of it.


48 Responses to Arlene and That Speech

  1. Eddie Barrett October 31, 2016 at 9:59 am #

    The women that pretends that’s she’s not Irish and that Brexit won’t affect her Constituency – The woman is in LouLouLand !!!

  2. moser October 31, 2016 at 10:04 am #

    Was more interested in what Willy McCrea had to say . . . .still denigrating SF. What a very unpleasant woman Arlene is.

  3. Twinbrook Lad October 31, 2016 at 10:27 am #

    Hiding the failures of InvestNI is correct Jude. It’s been known for years that the IDA are wiping the floor with them but they have the tools and armour to get the investment needed. Educated and eager workforce, tax rates (iffy one I know), and a nicer place to do business as seen from the outside world. While Ireland gets hundreds of millions in FDI every year, Arlene wants southerners to come and shop in Argos. How’s that for a business plan? Based entirely on exchange rates.

    • Mark October 31, 2016 at 11:45 am #

      ‘The truth is, the south’s IDA does a much better job of encouraging foreign investment than its northern counterpart, InvestNI. ‘
      Being fair, some of us can remember the investment brigade from occupied and free Ireland, post ceasefires heading off to the US of A, invited then by a President Clinton, the occupied civil servants, serving the part most recently ravaged by war came back with a couple of dozens of jobs, the IDA, in the alternative, brought back huge FDI, the reason, 12.5% corporation tax rate, it was mooted in 2006 that this rate should be extended throughout Ireland, now, which tradition most clearly rejected such suggrstion, it even being mooted, pre Seychelles, that the EU might permit this in the cause of ‘peace’.
      DUP are more goldfish than elephant.

      • Twinbrook Lad October 31, 2016 at 12:05 pm #

        Could the DUP be that pragmatic? It is a matter of principle that differences exists and the less similar the north is it maintains barriers, all at the expense of jobs and FDI which they crave to show that NI can and might just work.

        • Mark October 31, 2016 at 4:28 pm #

          Could not agree more however, why the crave for lower Corp. tax now when, frankly better managed in the six, we could have benefited from it a decade ago, afraid it’s still the OUP/DUP, ‘I can be more prod than you’ contest.

      • Ryan October 31, 2016 at 6:11 pm #

        “the IDA, in the alternative, brought back huge FDI, the reason, 12.5% corporation tax rate”

        There’s a lot more to the South’s economic success than just the CTR though Mark. Estonia has tried to copy Ireland’s success by lowering its taxes for businesses and it hasn’t been as successful from what I read.

        As economist David McWilliams has pointed out, the vast bulk of FDI into Ireland has come from the USA. In McWilliams documentary “The Generation Game” (available on youtube) he points out that the Irish diaspora in the USA plays a huge part in getting that investment into Ireland. Indeed the then CEO of General Electric, an Irish American, is asked by McWilliams did his Irish Heritage play a part in choosing to invest in Ireland and he pauses for a moment and replies: “Yes”. But he also points out that Ireland is an extremely business friendly country, highly skilled workforce, a very productive workforce and is English speaking. He says that made it even easier to invest here.

        The issue with the North is the political situation here. Why would any foreign company invest here whilst just 50 miles down the road there’s a more stable, friendlier and money saving alternative?….The reality is the DUP is jealous of the South’s successes and want to COMPETE with the South, instead of working together and bringing benefits for everyone on this island.

        To the DUP, working together and integrating the North and South’s economy, which would bring immense benefits for everyone, sounds too “fenian”….

        • Jim Lynch November 3, 2016 at 1:24 pm #

          Ryan, Arlene Foster’s actions reminds me of an old adage my grandmother used as advice;
          “Don’t cut your nose off, to spite your face.”

          The DUP seems to do just that, in relation to all things Irish.

  4. PF October 31, 2016 at 11:12 am #

    And yet articles on this site still wish to criticise cooperation between the SDLP and UUP.

    Well, ho hum.

    • Argenta October 31, 2016 at 3:12 pm #

      Why are you surprised that contributors on this blogspot criticise the cooperation between The S D L P and U U P? Surely it can’t have escaped your notice that this is primarily a Sinn Fein supporting blogspot and naturally the bulk of the contributions will be from party members!The apparent cosy relationship between S F and the D U P was exemplified by Arlenes speech which contained not one criticism of Sinn Fein!

      • PF October 31, 2016 at 3:40 pm #


        The tone and emphasis of this site is more than apparent.

        And as I said on another thread, it’s a deep, deep irony.

        Interestingly, neither SF nor the DUP appear to like Southern politicians, and they don’t much like each other either.

        But with both in power, everyone else is to blame.

        I’m glad I voted for neither.

      • Eddie Barrett October 31, 2016 at 4:43 pm #

        Argenta – You are indeed absolutely right – These days there just seems to be sooooo many Shinners about – 1,400 more people joined the Party two weeks ago – while The SDLP continues to age , wither and move closer to The Right !

        Amalgamation with The UUP would be ideal ?
        They are both great admirers of Westminster and The British Shilling !

        • PF October 31, 2016 at 6:14 pm #

          “They are both great admirers of Westminster and The British Shilling !”

          …And the aforementioned irony materialises before our eyes.

          Sinn Fein’s implementation of British rule in the six counties must really stick in the throat.

          Funnily enough, the more I think about it, the more the DUP and SF seem suited to one another.

  5. Oz 2015 October 31, 2016 at 11:20 am #

    I read that Arlene remark to be about making excuses.
    As in ” We’re going to make a “success” of Brexit….If it wasn’t for those Pesky Free State types and their “poaching” ways….” Get them Southerners off our lawn

    In short..She’s getting the excuses in early.
    i do believe the Free State wants to get the Euro Banking regulator out of London.
    But since Dublin has an overcrowded public Transport system ..This will not happen.
    In fact the Fine Gael Muppets who denied the building of DART underground will ruin the best chances of Ireland “poaching ” anything of use.

    The Gombeanistas gave away 1.4 Billion, in the recent budget: but instead should have used that money to pay for DART Underground.
    The Gombean Men rule the failed statlet still.
    No wonder Partition has lasted 100 years.
    It’ll last 100 years more until somebody takes a stand and starts doing things with competence.
    But the Irish blow off and emigrate rather that stay and fight.
    And so it begins…Same as it ever was.

  6. Jack Black October 31, 2016 at 11:43 am #

    If the peace process survives with Arlene and the DUP top party with their huge mandate I would be more than surprised, her rant on Saturday was yet another expression of hatred towards anything Irish.

    • Ryan October 31, 2016 at 5:48 pm #

      “If the peace process survives with Arlene and the DUP top party with their huge mandate”

      The DUP don’t have a huge mandate, they only got 29% of the vote in the NI Assembly Election in May and that was down by nearly 1%. Its a big mandate but not huge. SF got nearly 25% of the vote, for example, down by over 2%, thanks to their pandering to the DUP and their murky stance on abortion. In total Unionism doesn’t get over 43% of the total vote and even that will decline in the next few years, maybe dropping below 40% by 2020 or a little later.

      When it comes to individual voters, SF and the DUP have roughly the same numbers, SF had more voters than the DUP at the European and Council elections, I believe. Why the DUP gets more seats than SF is difficult for me to understand but it must be down to how Unionists are concentrated together more in areas and Nationalists are more spread out, that’s just me speculating, though.

      • Scott Rutherford October 31, 2016 at 8:07 pm #

        Unionism got 45.2% of the total votes in the last assembly elections Ryan if you add up the DUP, UUP and TUV vote. The figure will be slightly higher than that though since I haven’t included Claire Sugdeon in that and she is a independent Unionist.

        The combined Nationalist vote including PBP (who don’t declare themselves as Nationalists) is 38%.

        • Ryan November 1, 2016 at 12:12 am #

          That’s not the figures my source gives Scott.

          And no, the PBP do regard themselves as Nationalist, they support a United Ireland but focus more on Socialist ideals. I listened to Gerry Carroll in West Belfast (Nationalist heartland) and he made very clear he supports Irish Unity.

    • MT November 1, 2016 at 6:45 pm #

      “her rant on Saturday was yet another expression of hatred towards anything Irish.”

      What did she say?

  7. Antaine de Brún October 31, 2016 at 12:49 pm #

    Politics in the north of Ireland bears some of the worst aspects of slapstick comedy and

    farce. By contrast, in The The Pursuit of Power: Europe 1815-1914 by Richard J Evans,

    the author suggests:

    “…that during the 19th century, the female half of Europe’s population was still largely

    disempowered and the cluster of European leaders who populated the age of war and

    genocide were all born in the 19th century.”

    On a positive note, Evans reminds us that the era’s thinkers – Hegel, Marx, Darwin, Mill,

    Nietzsche and Durkheim – still influence the discourses of the 21st century even though:

    “…male insecurity is expressed by the prevalence of beards.”

    Chris Johns, an economist, (Irish Times 28 October ) also made a number of thought

    provoking comments on
    “…Britain’s lazy, jaw-dropping act of visceral self-harm… just how

    visceral, rather than rational, it has all become. The arguments of the Brexiteers are anti-

    intellectual, lazy, populist, xenophobic (if not racist) and utterly inward-looking…Sterling is

    the single most important barometer of unemotional Brexit opinion, one that is sending a

    powerful message that the Conservatives are happy to dismiss as just another expert


    Meanwhile,the pantomime season is well under way in Belfast

    • Gerrymac October 31, 2016 at 9:42 pm #

      I’d put the non voting nationalist/dissidents at about 10%.

  8. Belfastdan October 31, 2016 at 1:25 pm #

    The DUP always need a bogey man so when Brexit begins to bite Arlene will say it’s all the fault of those pesky Southerners stealing our investment.

    It would have been nice of her to say what investment was allegedly stolen (although if something was never yours in the first place how can it be stolen), but there is a huge difference between waffle for the party faithful and actual evidence.
    Of course one might say that investment was stolen from the greener areas of these 6 counties for the benefit of the more loyal ones, but we’ll not go into that!

  9. ANOTHER JUDE October 31, 2016 at 1:42 pm #

    The free state is making itself look desperate by holding out the hand of friendship to the black north, why does it even bother? Let the place implode into economic chaos and the British will clear off once and for all.For decades Republicans wanted the north to sink, why all of a sudden should we give a fig? She is bitter, she does not share power with Martin because she wants to, rather because she HAS to. Never forget the DUP is populated by religious nutters who hate the Pope and are waiting on the second coming of THEIR Christ, the one who also hates Catholics and isn`t too keen on people having fun. Especially on Sundays. Hideous, the lot of them, only ISIS fill me with more disgust.

    • PF October 31, 2016 at 3:34 pm #

      I’m no fan of the DUP, but you might want to give your moral compass a tap after that comparison.

      • Ryan October 31, 2016 at 5:37 pm #

        “I’m no fan of the DUP, but you might want to give your moral compass a tap after that comparison”

        I think you should give your brain a tap PF, that’s a very fair comparison AJ made. The DUP/UUP/Orange Order/UDA/UVF could be compared to ISIS in my opinion:

        Religious fundamentalists? Tick

        Hatred of other people who aren’t of the same religion as them? Tick

        Formed a paramilitary of religious fundamentalists, aka Ulster Resistance? Tick

        Associates with active sectarian armed protestant fundamentalists groups, aka UVF/UDA? Tick

        Wants a state of their own, populated only by people of their religion? (UDA 1993 ethnic cleansing of Catholics plan, supported by the DUP) Tick

        Wants to discriminate on the basis of religion? Tick (the DUP was originally called the “Protestant Unionist Party”, some of their policies were: 1. Positive discrimination for Protestants in jobs and housing 2. Total Freedom of Movement for Orange Parades (aka, allow them to harass Catholics). George Seawright, an early member of PUP even said he wanted to burn all Catholics in incinerators.

        Has a Land Fund set up to prevent land falling into the hands of people of a different religion? (Orange Order, the Ulster Land Fund) Tick

        Murdered people solely on the basis of religion? (UDA/UVF/Ulster Resistance) Tick

        Tara, a group formed with the aim of “driving Catholicism out of ALL of Ireland, North and South, and reinstating ‘Celtic Christianity'”, formed by senior members of the Orange Order and UVF. Tick

        I could go on…..

        See? the facts never lie…..all religious fundamentalists have many things in common.

        • PF October 31, 2016 at 6:17 pm #

          Like the little boy who cried wolf, he was horrified when real terror appeared before him.

          You should learn how to think and how to compare, instead of making lazy parallels.

          • Gearoid October 31, 2016 at 7:33 pm #

            What’s wrong-is the truth hitting home and causing you to be peevish!

          • PF October 31, 2016 at 9:48 pm #

            Not at all, Gearoid.

            References to ISIS are a lazy modern take on lazy references to the Nazis.

            If you really need the difference explained to you then you have my pity.

            None of Ireland’s political parties frighten me, ISIS do.

            Your prejudice is getting in the way of your judgement and common sense.

            The comparion is lazy, misguided and dangerous.

          • Gearoid October 31, 2016 at 11:45 pm #

            Yes, PF, there is a certain degree of hyperbole involved in the comparison but the main point being made is a sound one. One cannot ignore the fact that ethno-religious hatred has built the careers of individual politicians and political groups in the north of Ireland for generations and has been the prime motivation for the nefarious activities of more than a few terrorist groups.

          • PF October 31, 2016 at 11:59 pm #


            Thank you for your reply – good to see your clarification carrying more weight than the initial, “certain degree of hyperbole” might have suggested.

            “…the nefarious activities of more than a few terrorist groups.”

            Quite. I won’t disagree with that.

          • Ryan November 1, 2016 at 12:19 am #

            “Like the little boy who cried wolf, he was horrified when real terror appeared before him”

            Emm….what is that suppose to mean?… to explain PF?…..

            “You should learn how to think and how to compare, instead of making lazy parallels”

            You should take your own advice PF, you clearly need it more than me but I get the impression you simply cant accept the obvious truth because you couldn’t even dispute the facts I listed. We’ll leave it there.

          • PF November 1, 2016 at 9:12 am #

            The Little Boy Who Cried Wolf is a children’s story with more credibility than your ‘facts’. You should try reading children’s stories more often, you’ll learn more from them than whatever it is you are reading.

            Gearoid had the good sense to see that.

            As for parallels, I haven’t made any. And refuting? When you learn not to conflate, perhaps conversation will be possible. I tend not to refute a false premise.

            But for the record, again, your parallels are lazy, misguided and dangerous.

  10. M E Moore October 31, 2016 at 2:38 pm #

    I’m glad the Southern Establishment has felt the sharp end of Arlene’s tounge. Now they know how Northern Nationalists feel up here where we’re left to the mercy of the Brits and the DUP.

    • paddykool October 31, 2016 at 4:00 pm #

      Good point ME..The DUP will always need something to kick and they’ll really need a whipping boy and someone to blame when Brexit really hits the faithful in the purse.It might as well be the old enemy….brass money….wooden shoes…..wee popes hopping about all over the place ….

  11. Perkin Warbeck October 31, 2016 at 3:12 pm #

    Just what is it about the current spat between Arle and Charl, Foster and Flanagan, Esteemed Blogmeister, that makes one think simultaneously of both Dion Boucicault and Dion and the Belmonts, respectively?

    The second b-teaser is easily dispensed with. The sight and sound of the Southern Yune on Liffeyside fingerwagging in the direction of the Northern Yune is, admittedly, a new, no-kidding sight on the block. But, nothing to worry one’s West British head about.

    After all, the course of true hand-in-glove never did run smooth, as Dion and the Belmonts memorably encaptured for all time in their smash hit of 1959:

    -Why must I be a Yune-ager in hand-and-glove?

    The opening lines hardly need repeating as they have been reiterated so often during the rocky course of the post-Brexit period; nonetheless, duty , if not David, becks:

    -Each night we have a quarrel it almost breaks my heart
    Cause I’m so afraid that we’ll have to part.

    But, this is merely for the optics: there is as much chance of, say, Dublin parting company from Sam Maguire as there is of Arl and Charl going their separate ways : the current ‘snarling’ is merely for the aurals, as well. The game which is actually being played out here is (yawn, stretch, trouser cough) between Fianna Fail and Fianna Fail Better (aka Fine Gael).

    When Meehawl Martin, the Teeshock in waiting (still), began fingerwagging La Foster and off loading reprimands to beat the band from the sacred acres of Bodenstown he was, in reality, taligating Charl Flanagan. Causing the latter to snarl, a contortion of the face which, in fairness, going either forward, sideways or backward, requires little effort on the part of the Foreign Minister for Foster Affairs.

    So, when Charl is fingerwagging Arl what he is doing in essence, is taking the Meehawl out of his Southern Yune rival. A tale as old as Adam. Speaking of which, and to extrapolate from the singular to the plural: the crucial bone of c. during the upcoming General Election south of the Black Sow’s Dyke will be to see who disses the most the party of Adams, and by association – (wink, wink) – the Missus who blows kisses to the party of Adams.

    There is another element to be factored into the current, temporarily ‘tetchy’ phase of the Ire-ationship between Charl and Arl: the former is constantly cabbin’ed, cribbed and confined by doubts dark, doubts that bark in the night . As is only natural for anyone who is but Flanagan the Third , a suitor in a suit, to turn up at the doorstep of Arl, for a parley vous, would be.

    How do I measure up with Ronnie? Am I on a par with Jamie?

    Small surprise that the features of Charl are gnarled so. The Perkin’s inner spin doctor prescribes the Charl under no circumstances is to forget to remember to send to the Lady a bunch of Black-stemmed Blood Red Poppies: as placebos go, they’re the way to go.

    Poppies which fly high, while they do indubitably rhyme with Croppies who lie down low, also begin with the same letter of the word which is, erm, germane to the latest outpourings of the Lady whose Heroine is a real honey of a Hausfrau.

    -P for Poacher.

    Ah, the old pennies, pounds and shilings at last are beginning to rhyme with the Inniskillings.

    The most memorable poacher ever imagined by a dramatist was, of course Conn the Shaughraun, a creation of Dion Boucicault.

    (Despite the Frenchness of his name, whisper it, it had to do with La Mere taking, erm, French leave from the sanctitiy of the matrimonial bed: best let the matter mattress there, as it need not detain us here – D. B. was every inch a Dub as Upper Gardiner Street is all the way down to Lower Gardiner Street).

    Consider this touching scene towards the end of this marvellously mercurial melodrama:

    -(The voice of Mrs. O Kelly is heard outside: at an unknown location near Finchely, Co. Fermanagh)

    Mrs. O’Kelly: Where’s my boy? Where is he?

    Conn the Shaughraun: Och, murdher – here’s the ould mother ! Hide me !

    Mrs. O’Kelly: Where is he – where is my vagabone?

    (Father Dolan brings him forward by the ear)

    Oh, Conn, ye thief o’ the world – my boy – my darlin’ !

    (Mrs O’Kelly falls on her son’s neck)

    Conn the Shaughraun: Whisht mother, don’t cry. See this – I’ll never be kilt again.

    Moya: Sure, if he hand’t have been mur-dhered, he couldn’t have

    saved us.

    Mrs. O’Kelly: And after letting me throw all the money away over the wake !

    Molyneaux: Turn the ceremony into a wedding. I really don’t see you Irish

    make much distinction.

    Claire: I believe that in England the wedding often turns out the

    more melancholy occasion of the two.

    Father Dolan: (To Conn). Come here. Will you reform?

    Conn the Shaughraun: I don’t know what that is, but I will.

    The P-word, P for Poacher is never too far from the tongue of Mrs. Arlene Foster (nee Kelly).

    PS Just what is it about Allen the Matchmaker that bodes so well, post-Brexit and post-Bodenstown?

    First Flanagan and Allen; then, Foster and Allen. The Cross-Border Unity of the Yunes cannot be too far off to be on again.

  12. Ryan October 31, 2016 at 4:58 pm #

    “You know, the one where she accused southern politicians of ‘poaching’ firms and companies from the north”

    This isn’t the first “poaching” accusation from the DUP in regard to the South. Apparently the South “poach” footballers from the North, even though those same footballers willingly choose to represent the Republic of Ireland soccer team, indeed many have dreamt of playing in the ROI soccer team, not NI’s, since the day they first kicked a ball.

    Gregory Campbell has been to the fore with these accusations of “poaching”. But just yesterday Gregory had been ranting on about James McClean, a Derry footballer, for not wearing a poppy. This is the same McClean which Gregory says should be representing NI, not the ROI. Is it any wonder many players from the North don’t want to represent the NI soccer team with supporters like Gregory and the DUP?….the disturbing thing is, the DUP, along with the IFA too, by the way, have even tried to stop footballers from the North playing for the ROI despite them clearly being entitled to. The IFA appealed to FIFA to stop northern born players opting for the ROI football team and FIFA frankly turned down their appeal.

    It shows their mentality that they want to FORCE people do what they want.

    “The alarming thing about Mrs Foster’s speech was that presumably it was seen as something that’d go down well with the DUP’s electorate”

    It may be alarming but its not surprising. The more extreme you are in Unionism the more votes you get, that’s common knowledge, hence why there’s a “Super Prod” competition on the eve of elections between the DUP and UUP. Any Unionist politician who tends to be moderate gets ditched (or even hounded out), ask David Trimble and Basil McCrea’s NI21.

    Nationalism tends to be the opposite. The more moderate (but firm) the more votes you get. The SDLP dominated Nationalism until the ceasefires of 1994-1996. It was after SF dedicated itself to solely political means that they became the largest party in Nationalism. They got so popular not by being door mats (which they are being now for the DUP) but by being firm with Unionism, along with a promotion of peace.

    “Paisley’s entire career was built on injecting fear into the unionist population here.”

    He’s also morally responsible for many UDA/UVF sectarian murders. Even David Trimble said recently that if there’s any one man responsible for the troubles then its Ian Paisley. Paisley whipped the crowds up, his protestant fundamentalism was extremely toxic. Author Susan McKay, who attended many of his rallies, said Paisley had a particular hatred of Catholic women because of their high birth rates. He use to make crude jokes about Catholic women and even encouraged “competition” between Protestant and Catholic women in child bearing…..

    “On the other hand, the south sends its emissaries throughout the world to ‘poach’ firms who really should be going to the north of Ireland.”

    In reality, all this steams from jealously of the South from the DUP. Even the German Finance Minister said in 2013 that Germany was jealous of the South’s economic growth and recovery. Why would the South even need to “poach” investment from the North? The North’s economy is a basket case, the South’s economy and the North’s aren’t even in the same league, any potential investor would choose the South any day of the week. Why? because its a stable society for a start, its workforce is one of the most productive in Europe, it very business friendly, its tax levels are very favourable, it has access to the EU single market, its English speaking with a highly skilled workforce, etc. Even Theresa May showed a little envy of the South when she said Apple would be “Welcome in the UK”. Apple replied that they see their future in Ireland.

    Compare all this with the North, where Stormont nearly collapsed all because of a “Fleg” being demoted to designated days…..the Northern state is a failure, that’s the reality. There’s a great economic case for Irish Unity, though we do need to shrink the public sector here massively in the mean time.

    “It’s a hard thing to say but in nearly twenty years, since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement, unionist politicians appear to be stuck in a time warp of churlishness and siege-mind”

    Ahh but your forgetting that most Unionists opposed the GFA. Trimble could hardly keep his party together to support it. The DUP openly opposed it and still try to thwart it despite it being a democratic decision (democracy when it suits). The UDA/UVF only supported the GFA at the time due to prison releases, nothing to do with “moving forward” or “Peace”, as the UVF/UDA’s current behaviour clearly shows of recruiting kids, driving out Catholic/Immigrant families and drug dealing.

    The DUP/UUP want Unionist Stormont back, they oppose equality and progress, the way they run Unionist dominated councils clearly shows that.

    “How much longer nationalist / republican Ireland can keep on extending the hand of reconciliation must surely be limited”

    SF/SDLP need to stop embarrassing themselves and their electorate by pandering to DUP/UUP. Its not going to work, how many votes do they need to lose before they get the message? You cant reason with the unreasonable.

    “You want to know how bad things are? Yesterday, even the south’s Minister for Foreign Affairs looked and sounded pretty fed up with Arlene’s accusations”

    I was surprised by his reaction myself. I was expecting the usual grovelling silence or even an apology to Arlene and a promise they would direct some investment up North, into only DUP constituencies, of course…..that’s what InvestNI does, which SF/SDLP refuse to highlight but thankfully many Independent Republicans have…..

    • Gearoid October 31, 2016 at 7:42 pm #

      You’ve hit the nail firmly on the head, Ryan.

      • Ryan November 1, 2016 at 12:22 am #

        “You’ve hit the nail firmly on the head, Ryan”

        Thanks Gearoid

  13. Sherdy October 31, 2016 at 6:04 pm #

    Arlene was telling us how wonderfully the north’s economy is doing at the moment – has she forgotten Wiggle-CRC losing 300 jobs and Bombardier losing 1,000 jobs? I suppose it just slipped her memory.
    She complains that the southern government are poaching ‘our’ investors – I wonder what makes them ‘ours’!
    Does Arlene not believe in free enterprise and capitalism?
    If the southern government are doing what Arlene alleges (despite the DFM knowing nothing about it), surely that is how the IDA is supposed to go about its business of attracting investors and investment.
    The fact that NI voted against Brexit should mean that our first minister is working to remain in the EU, not working against the overwhelming majority of the people of NI.

  14. Sherdy October 31, 2016 at 6:39 pm #

    Arlene said at the weekend that gays are welcome in the DUP.
    That wasn’t the experience of the once up-and-coming Paul Berry who was reported as having spent a night with another man in a hotel.
    When the story was published, Paul hadn’t even time to put his trousers on – he was unceremoniously kicked out of the party – how’s that for a welcome!

    • Ryan November 1, 2016 at 12:42 am #

      “Arlene said at the weekend that gays are welcome in the DUP”

      Important to remember that a large percentage of DUP politicians/members still believe homosexuality should be illegal…..the DUP’s founder was the driving force behind “Save Ulster from Sodomy”……even Peter Robinson is quoted very recently saying that he “hoped people would obey the Law” if Homosexuality was illegal again. I believe he said that in the same interview where he said he trusted Muslims to “go to the shops” for him….

      I think a gay person would be just as welcome in the DUP as a black person would be in the BNP…..

  15. Mark Petticrew October 31, 2016 at 7:20 pm #

    ‘Ulster Says No’ is political unionism’s instinctive approach to Dublin. Maintaining the partitionist pretence of those very foreign 26 counties is part-and-parcel of the unionist complex here, sieged in an ‘our-wee-country’ mind set.

    Arlene Foster’s rejection of the Taoiseach’s Brexit “remoaners” forum, her apparent indifference to southern trade (“there is a lot of talk about the RoI market – the most important market is the UK”) and now with her “poaching” allegations, indicate Foster’s own sneaking regard for an introverted Ulster.

  16. PF October 31, 2016 at 9:51 pm #

    All this anti-DUP ire, and Sinn Fein sharing power with them – I wonder who is more outraged at their partner in government.

  17. fiosrach October 31, 2016 at 10:32 pm #

    Ar-lene’s on fire. Where’s all the piss artists when you need them?

    • Ryan November 1, 2016 at 12:52 am #

      “Ar-lene’s on fire. Where’s all the piss artists when you need them?”

      LAD has a good video on their facebook page lol 🙂

  18. N Quigley October 31, 2016 at 11:53 pm #

    “Just better as a follower of unionist opinion than a shaper of it.”
    Nail + head + hit = Jude
    Absolutely no leadership in unionism, what a completely pathetic statement. Perhaps Arlene (and her party/voters) should concentrate more on why the south are better at attracting FDI. Perhaps it may have something to do with the small minded, backward facing, bigoted views held by many within her party (and voters). In contrast the south have, to a great extent, unburdened themselves from the grip of Catholic conservative power and are an increasingly socially liberal society. The southern government (whoever’s in power and whether or not you agree with their analysis) make policy decisions based on evidence and not on their personal religious beliefs. They don’t defend bigotry coming from so called men of faith and don’t tell foreign nationals that they can only be trusted to go to the shop to collect their messages. Every time you go to a foreign country to try and convince businesses to come and invest in NI your partners in government and Invest NI must feel like they are taking a kkk member with turrets syndrome for a walk through Harlem. The southern government are part of, and will continue to have access to, the EU market with its approx 500 million consumers. They have a competitive corporation tax rate (NI was going down the same road but without access to the EU market it won’t make one bit of difference whether it’s 9% or 90%). You aren’t even producing enough graduates with IT qualifications to supply current demand never mind trying to attract high value added FDI companies. This list could go on but I think you may have got the jist by now Arlene.

  19. Dominic Hendron November 1, 2016 at 12:32 am #

    Who’re we kidding

  20. fiosrach November 1, 2016 at 10:30 am #

    Don’t worry! It’s poppy time again. We have our country back. We have our sovereignty back and all is well with the world.